Tag Archive for Beverly Hills

New Clifton Way sharrows in Beverly Hills, San Diego-area bike summit this week, and Bike the Vote tomorrow

So close.

Beverly Hills came tantalizingly close to installing the LA-area’s first advisory lanes, which narrow a roadway to a single two-way center lane and two bike lanes, requiring drivers to move into the bike lanes to get around an oncoming car.

Instead, they settled for sharrows that just sort of hint at a bike lane on both sides of Clifton Way between San Vicente and Robertson, requiring drivers to move to the center to get around bike riders.

Or more likely, impatiently following people on bicycles until they finally find a break in oncoming traffic, before angrily swerving around them.

Because, as we’ve noted before, sharrows only serve to thin the herd, with the arrows there to help drivers improve their aim.

Or as Peter Flax so aptly put it, sharrows are bullshit.

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The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is hosting its third bike summit this Thursday and Friday.

This is how SANDAG Associate Active Transportation Planner Josh Clark described it in an email.

In its third incarnation, the Regional Bike Summit has been a wonderful summary of practice and ideas that’s worth your attendance.  The full lineup of speakers, panels and fun at the San Diego Regional Bike Summit is hosted by the Bike Coalition. This year’s theme: Pedaling Past the Pandemic will highlight the recent “Boom” that has occurred during the pandemic and how we can maintain it. Highlights of the Summit include speakers and sessions on Mobility Justice, E-bikes, Housing and Active Transportation, MIcro-Mobility and Mobility Hubs, Connecting Communities and much more. We will also hear from our regional elected leaders on the state of mobility and bicycling improvements being made in our communities. Registration includes the opening reception, lunch on Friday and rides on Saturday.

You can learn more and register for the event here

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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Don’t forget to vote by mail, dropbox or at the polls by 7 pm tomorrow.

To make it easier, Metro is offering free bus and train rides on Tuesday, along with free half hour bikeshare rides with the promo code 060722.

Lime is also offering two free half hour rides Tuesday on any of their scooters or bikes to get you to and from the polls, use promo code LIMETOPOLLSCALI.

If you’re still not sure who to vote for, Streets For All released their final endorsements before tomorrow’s Election Day, including corgi dad Kenneth Mejia for City Controller, as well as endorsements for Congress in CA-32, CA-34 and CA-37, and Glendale City Council. You can find their previous endorsements for other races here.

And I agree with them about Mejia, after giving him my endorsement back in January.

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Tragic news from Kansas, where a Colorado man entered in the 200-mile Unbound Gravel was killed in a collision the evening before the race.

Sixty-one-year old Gregory Bachman was killed by the driver of a massive Chevy Silverado pickup while crossing a rural intersection. Local authorities said he somehow crashed into the truck, but didn’t explain how or why.

The gravel intersection doesn’t appear to be controlled by any signs or signals, leaving it up to each person to negotiate a safe crossing. It’s likely the driver wasn’t expecting to find anyone on a bicycle on a gravel country road like that.

A crowdfunding page for Bachman has raised nearly $4,200 of the modest $5,000 goal.

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A reminder that Megan Lynch will be discussing accessibility at tonight’s meeting of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition.

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If you ever wonder why people drive so aggressively, you can start with despicable marketing like this.

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Turns out the late comic Flip Wilson was one of us, at least on his show.

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

Seriously? A New York NIMBY is trying to sic the cops on a man who runs a curbside bike repair, fixing bicycles for free and giving away refurbished bikes to people in need, while accepting donations from people who can afford to pay.

Bizarre attack in the UK, where the organizer and a ride marshal of the Coventry edition of the World Naked Bike Ride were attacked and kicked off their bikes by masked riders on fast ebikes or trail bikes; one of the victims suffered a broken elbow.

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Local

The LA Times offers advice on how to get to the Hollywood Bowl without a car — including riding a bicycle, if you’re brave enough.

A man was hospitalized in critical condition after he was shot on a beachfront bike path in Long Beach Friday evening; no word on what led to the shooting, or whether the victim was walking, biking or just hanging out. Thanks to fartyshart for the link.

 

State 

No wonder the Golden State Warriors lost their first game in the NBA finals, after a nine-year old Warriors fan’s lucky lowrider bicycle was stolen.

No surprise here. Oakland police are blaming the victim in the death of longtime Chez Panisse wine director Jonathan Waters, concluding he was at fault for making a left turn in front of an 18-year old driver as he rode his bike home from work — although there’s no word on how fast the driver was going.

UC Davis police defend themselves over accusations that the cop on the scene after a bike rider was struck by the driver of a garbage truck did nothing to aid the victim before paramedics arrived. I’m also told a witness accused the cop of driving over the victim’s foot.

 

National

A Malaysian newspaper takes a look at the current state of bicycling in the US, finding 12.4% of Americans ride on a regular basis.

Forget all those new gas powered mail trucks. The US Postal Service is testing e-cargo bikes capable of carrying 400 pounds of mail.

A writer for Bloomberg says it’s time to start subsidizing the purchase of ebikes to jumpstart bike commuting.

Where to land your plane if you’re looking for a good bike ride.

Researchers at MIT have developed a self-driving bicycle, which they say could make docked bikeshare systems three and a half times more efficient, and dockless bikeshares eight times more efficient; the bike automatically turns into a tricycle to improve stability in riderless mode, then converts back when it’s being ridden.

Heartbreaking news from Indianapolis, where one of the last things a bike-riding hit-and-run victim did before she died was to give police the license number of the car that hit her, which led to the arrest of the 27-year old driver.

Around a hundred Boston bike riders turned out to honor late 19th Century Black bicyclist Kittie Knox, who defied racial and gender barriers and joined the League of American Wheelmen — forerunner to the League of American Bicyclists — just one year before they banned Black members in 1894; sadly, she was just 26 when she died just six years later.

Talk about ridiculous. NYPD officers conducted a crackdown on people riding ped-assist ebikes in Prospect park, where they are currently banned — effectively preventing people with limited mobility from accessing the park on a bike.

 

International

It will take a lot more than electric cars to stop pollution, because tire wear on today’s heavier vehicles causes 2,000 times the particulate pollution as what comes out of the tailpipe.

Montreal’s bicycle culture is seen as a model for the rest of Canada as gas prices continue to climb.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — touring Iceland by ebike.

That feeling when your celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee is interrupted by a buck naked couple on a tandem prepping for an au naturale fundraising ride the length of Britain.

Irish bike riders could get a lift up a hill with a 14% grade in Cork.

After a Detroit columnist crashes his bike while riding in France, he ends up getting x-rays and stitches from the only doctor available — a veterinarian.

A new Belgium survey shows that only 12% of people in the country ride their bikes to work or school. Which compares somewhat favorably to 0.6% in the US.

Former Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo is one of us, setting out with his wife on a four day, 280 mile bike tour to a Spanish shrine, to fulfill a promise he made to do the trip if the Spanish soccer team he owns a controlling interest in ever got promoted to the leagues top tier. Which it did.

Slovenian bicyclists raced up the country’s highest peak, climbing over 2,400 feet on small wheeled, singlespeed foldies, to honor the bikes that were once made in the former Yugoslavia.

India marked World Bicycle Day by making pans to donate a whopping 15,000 bicycles to Madagascar to get more people on bikes.

A crowdfunding campaign to help Afghanistan’s women cyclists escape the country has raised over $24,000 of the $187,000 goal.

A Melbourne, Australia writer laments the city’s decision to stop building bike lanes, after getting complaints from out-of-town, pass-through drivers. Which should sound familiar to anyone who has been biking in LA for awhile. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch great Tom Doumalin calls it a career after the end of this season, saying “cycling required my blood, sweat and tears at times, but mostly it was beautiful.”

While we all wait with varying degrees of patience for next month’s Tour de France, racing goes on, with Dutch pro Wout van Aert winning the first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

CLR Effect reports on the third and final day of racing in the 2022 Los Angeles Velodrome Racing Association Spring Omnium at Carson’s Velo Sports Center, complete with some exceptional photos by author Michael Wagner.

 

Finally…

Nothing like celebrating pride with a drag bike parade. Your next bike could be a 2-D Volkswagen Bug.

And an 1891 patent proves you could have been riding inside one wheel, rather than on top of two wheels. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Young siblings victims of traffic violence in Sylmar crash, LA traffic violence spikes, and modest bike gains in Beverly Hills

Sadly, traffic violence continues to climb on Los Angeles streets.

The latest news comes as a young brother and sister were run down as they shared a bike in LA’s Sylmar neighborhood.

At last report, the 12-year old boy and his 8-year old sister were both hospitalized in stable condition with serious injuries.

The driver remained at the scene, and as usual, was not charged.

There is something seriously wrong when children can’t ride safely on what should be a quiet neighborhood street.

Just another example of the unhealthy hegemony of cars in the City of Angels.

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In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, traffic injuries and fatalities spiked on Los Angeles streets in the first two months of the year, after climbing last year.

The jump comes nearly seven years after Mayor Eric Garcetti sat at a massive desk plopped down in a Boyle Heights street to sign a proclamation declaring Vision Zero in Los Angeles.

And just three years from the date he promised to end LA traffic deaths once and for all.

Maybe someone should have warned him that it would require actually taking bold action and making the tough decisions to tame traffic and reduce motor vehicle use.

Oh wait, we did.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Mark Elliot of Better Bike Beverly Hills, who almost single-handedly led a shockingly successful fight to transform the former Biking Black Hole into something far friendlier to people on two wheels. Although there’s still a long way to go. .

Here he offers an update on what he terms modest wins in the city.

Despite the evident disinterest among our City Council majority (3-2) for multimodal mobility, the city has nevertheless notched a couple of modest wins for safer streets in Beverly Hills.

New leadership at the Transportation Division marks a new era. Mobility planning in Beverly Hills effectively cleared two kidney stones with the retirements of Aaron Kunz and Susan Healey Keene last year. Subsequently the mobility function was moved to Public Works from Community Development. Each change represented a big step forward. Daren Grilley and Jessie Holzer now are in charge of the transportation division and each understands the importance of safe streets. They walk the walk too, so to speak, as they both ride.

New commissioners have revitalized the Traffic & Parking Commission. For too long this commission sat idly by as crash injuries increased year-after-year. Commissioners for too long didn’t even ask why traffic enforcement in Beverly Hills took a ten-year holiday. But starting a few years ago, new appointments to the commission changed the dynamic. Now we have a safety-minded commission and a new chair: Sharon Ignarro. She really walks the walk. But hold on, we are hardly out of the woods yet: one of our councilmembers seems intent on defanging this commission. We beat-back that effort last month.

Elliot also calls on the biking and walking communities to support bike-friendly Mayor Robert Wunderlich and Councilmember John Mirisch in their campaigns for re-election to the Beverly Hills City Council.

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Hats off to the Laguna Woods bike rider who joined a couple of elderly men to confront a woman walking through the area wearing a Nazi armband, which is home to a number of Jewish retirees.

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One of our most frequent contributors, Megan Lynch will be a panelist discussing bicycling and accessibility at next month’s CalBike Summit.

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

Before you try to intimidate a woman riding a bicycle by revving your engine and honking your horn during a close pass, maybe make sure she’s not a plainclothes cop, first.

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

A British bike rider was threatened with arrest for attempting to jump a closed rail crossing barrier with his bike before finally be turned away, while another greeted cops with a “vigorous hand gesture.”

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Local

Caltrans is looking for your input on the agency’s draft Active Transportation Plan for Los Angeles and Ventura counties by April 5th.

LA Times readers aren’t fans of Governor Newsom’s plan to give rich and poor drivers alike a $400 gas tax rebate, even if they drive an e-car, while screwing anyone who doesn’t own a car. Meanwhile, the plan is criticized for undermining the governors own climate goals. But what’s a little climate emergency when there’s an election to be won by handing out piles of cash to people who don’t need it?

 

State 

Carlsbad imposes a draconian crackdown on ebikes and e-scooters, banning them from “public sidewalks, drainage ditches, culverts, channels, athletic courts or gyms,” as well as requiring riders to walk their bikes within 50 feet of a pedestrian on any trail less than five-feet wide; the city blames bike riders for 70% of all bike collisions, which defies logic.

A San Jose bike rider was lucky to avoid becoming collateral damage in a collision between two drivers, in one of the closest close calls you’re likely to see.

The Bay Area web series Comedians on Bicycles marked their season finale with a slow-motion bicycle race and a donut-eating contest.

A Marin paper says it makes sense to earmark $2.5 million to build bike and pedestrian paths along the SMART commuter rail corridors.

A Chico man learns the hard way thy shall not steal thy neighbor’s bike.

 

National

Rolling Stone gets on the ebike bandwagon, telling readers to fight high gas prices by ditching their cars and getting an ebike.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the wheel out from under Portland’s Unipiper unicycle-riding flame-throwing bagpiper.

Proving it can be done, Seattle is taking steps to remake a major state highway that cuts through the city, with a $50 million plan to revive the corridor dying from cut-through traffic, and make the seven lane roadway welcoming to people on riding bikes and on foot. Maybe Malibu can take note before LA’s killer highway claims another innocent victim.

An Arizona woman is suing Costco and Phantom bikes for an illegal design using the right brake to stop the front wheel on their ebikes, allegedly losing an eye and suffering other injuries when the brake setup caused her to go over her handlebars.

An Idaho cop says no, you don’t have to yield to bike riders in a crosswalk, but it beats the hell out of hitting them.

Nice way to bury the lede. A Hudson Valley newspaper reports a 69-year old man was charged with wearing earbuds while riding a bike, and failing to signal his turn. Neither of which would have likely come to the attention of the police if he hadn’t been hit by a driver, first.

The New York press is quick to paint bike riders as outrageous scofflaws endangering pedestrians, but it’s just as likely the rider will suffer serious injuries in any collision with someone on foot. The latest case in point is a Harlem ebike rider who was gravely injured when he struck someone crossing the street and flew over his handlebars.

In a major safety improvement, the new protected bike lane on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge has slowed motor vehicle traffic 28%, reducing average speeds just below 20 mph. Although chances are, the drivers using the bridge won’t see that as a win.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette demands an apology from the city police department for the fatal tasing of a Black man who took a bike for a test ride around the block without permission; the victim died after officers tased him multiple times in a matter of minutes.

The Washington Post talks with the Australia native who gained social media acclaim as the Bike Man who singlehandedly slowed a DC truckers convoy protest.

No bias here. Wackadoodle rightwing Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene told a crowd that ”Pete Buttigieg can take his electric vehicles and his bicycle, and he and his husband can stay out of our girls bathrooms. Yup.” Not that they were planning to take their electric cars and bicycles into one.

 

International

Brompton is recalling their new ebike foldies because the mudguard can get caught in the tire.

Travel and Leisure examines the intersection of bike tours and Michelin-starred food.

Treehugger says anecdotal evidence shows high gas prices are leading to booming ebike sales.

Canadian Cycling Magazine celebrates the Oscars with their picks for the best and worst bicycling movies. Although nothing matches the action of an open-handed Will Smith slap delivered to the face of a stunned Chris Rock.

London is facing a bikelash from Conservative councilmembers, who have taken steps to remove popup bike lanes and pedestrianized areas before they had a chance to change transportation behavior; the city’s transportation agency has responded by cutting funding to their districts.

British Olympic cycling hero Sir Chris Hoy says he’s experienced fewer close passes since the county’s new Highway Code went into effect. Although we saw the same thing in California when the three-foot passing law went into effect, but it didn’t last.

Dutch ebike maker Cowboy continues to bring in $81 million in new funding, despite record pandemic and supply chain-related losses.

Great idea. An Indian petrochemical company gave each of its 142 employees an identical new bicycle, and is encouraging them to bike to work at least once a week.

Abu Dhabi says ditch the passenger and wear a helmet if you’re riding a bike, ebike or e-scooter in an emirates bike lane.

 

Competitive Cycling

We may have glimpsed the future of pro cycling, as 21-year old Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay just missed the podium with a fifth place finish in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, in his first full year on the pro tour — then followed it up with first place in Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem, a significant breakthrough for Black African riders. Meanwhile, Wout van Aert came in first in the E3.

It says something when the great Marianne Vos says she just wasn’t fast enough to catch 24-year old Italian Elisa Balsamo in the women’s Gent-Wevelgem.

Twenty-three-year old Sergio Higuita captured the Volta a Catalunya after climbing into the lead on Saturday, fending off multiple attacks on Sunday’s final stage.

British pro Lizzy Banks is finally back in the peloton, after losing most of last season to a traumatic brain injury and a major bout with Covid.

Great news from Colombia, where former Tour de France and defending Giro winner Egan Bernal is back on a bike, just two months after a nearly fatal training crash when he slammed into the back of a poorly parked bus.

Kazakhstan pro Alexey Lutsenko will be sidelined for the foreseeable future after breaking his shoulder and collar bone while training in Tenerife.

We’re less than one week away from the world’s biggest little bike race, as men’s and women’s teams were announced for Indiana University’s famed Little 500, made famous in Breaking Away.

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike could fold and glow in the dark. It doesn’t pay to play doctor if you ain’t one.

And don’t ride naked through the woods sporting wood of your own.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Settling for sharrows in Beverly Hills, Times columnist gets that crashes don’t just happen, and parking on the bike path

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

I’m still battling the same health issues I’ve been dealing with since before Halloween. Most nights I battle through it; last week I couldn’t. 

But after seeing four different doctors since this all began, we’ve reached a clear consensus is that it’s definitely a) an inner ear problem, or b) not an inner ear problem. 

Maybe the next four specialists I’m supposed to see can figure it out. 

Meanwhile, have happy Presidents Day! Go out and buy a mattress or something. 

And go for a ride, already.

The Sharrows Are Bullshit t-shirt modeled by yours truly in today’s photo can be purchased from our friend Peter Flax.

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Good news and bad from the former Biking Black Hole.

The good news is Beverly Hills, which has made a major turnaround in recent years, will be implementing a “minimum grid bikeway network.”

The bad news is, it’s just going to be signs and sharrows. In other words, it’s the least they can do.

Literally.

Hopefully, this is just the first step as the city implements its Complete Streets plan, with its promises of pursuing “parallel, longer-range efforts to expand and upgrade cycling infrastructure.”

Let’s hope so.

On the other hand, until the paint is on the ground, we’re always just one election — or uprising by angry drivers and/or overly privileged home or business owners — from a change of heart.

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Maybe she’s starting to get it.

It was only a week ago that we criticized the Los Angeles Times’ Robin Abcarian for concluding that Vision Zero was a worthy, but impossible goal, so “why go out on a limb with a big, bold promise that is so obviously doomed to fail?”

But yesterday found her reconsidering use of the word “accident,” after reading author Jessie Singer’s new book There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster — Who Profits and Who Pays the Price.

Although the AP’s change of heart on the word should have tipped her off long before now.

She quotes Singer saying that in virtually every case, there is a cause — often more than one — leading up to the cause of any unfortunate event.

“Never focus on the last causal factor,” Singer told me. “The thing we screw up about ‘accidents’ is looking at the last person who made a mistake. Accidents have layered causality. When you look toward the question of preventing harm, there are just so many answers, so many ways we can throw a pillow between us and our mistakes.”

Abcarian seems to take that message to heart, concluding,

Almost every day, I drive past the intersection on Venice Boulevard and Shell Avenue close to where the actor Orson Bean was struck and killed by two cars as he crossed the four-lane street one dark evening two years ago. There’s a new bright crosswalk, warning lights and signs now where before there were none.

I used to think his death was an unfortunate accident. I’m starting to think of it as inevitable.

Meanwhile, Singer, author of There Are No Accidents, says it’s time to stop yelling at drivers, and start expecting the government to demand safer cars.

After the founding of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the 1960s, the organization began requiring safety improvements to protect the occupants of cars, from seat belts and collapsable steering wheels to air bags.

The result was a steady decline in traffic deaths, resulting in as many as 600,000 lives saved, Singer says.

Until now.

But progress began to reverse even before the coronavirus pandemic. Speeding on pandemic-empty streets only exacerbated the threats posed by heavier, more powerful SUVs. The crisis of traffic safety has been particularly acute for people on foot. While traffic fatalities rose 5 percent in the past decade, pedestrian deaths rose by nearly half. For people living in povertyBlack people, and Indigenous people, the likelihood of traffic death, inside and outside a car, is even more acute.

The European Union and Japan have not seen a concurrent crisis. In those jurisdictions, regulators protect people both inside and outside of a vehicle; vehicle-safety ratings take pedestrian risk into account. More than a decade ago, EU and Japanese regulators required that automakers redesign bumpers, hoods, and detection systems to reduce the likelihood of death on impact. Putting the onus of survivability on the automaker spurred the development of new technology, such as airbags that inflate outside the vehicle. Pedestrian fatalities fell by more than a third in a decade in Europe and have fallen by more than half since 2000 in Japan.

Meanwhile, The Nation makes that case that cars kill twice as many people as guns, and disproportionately affect people of color.

And why.

We also need to change our roads, which often plow through Black and low-income communities with the goal of making it easier to drive farther and faster. Replacing intersections with roundabouts could reduce crashes by more than 50 percent. We can hem in streets with curbs. Removing lanes, adding shoulders, bike paths, and speed bumps, and creating turn lanes would all decrease speeding and crashes.

On the other hand, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham seems to come out in favor of traffic deaths in the name of freedom.

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Mark your calendar for March 5th, when the Taylor Yard Bridge officially opens.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

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It’s bad enough we have to deal with people parking in bike lanes.

But this is taking it too far.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1494378341465395202

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This is what we could have in Los Angeles, if our ex-Climate Mayor and future ambassador to India had even a fraction of the courage and commitment shown by the his predecessor, the mayor of Paris.

https://twitter.com/grescoe/status/1494326829305323521

And did I mention who else is following suit?

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Presenting the height of women’s bikewear fashion, circa 1897.

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I’m happy to say Trevor Noah is one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1495261934999855115

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Your periodic reminder that this is not what bikes are for.

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This is who we share the road with.

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That feeling when what’s passing you on bike path isn’t a bicycle.

Let’s just hope there wasn’t someone inside.

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Former pro Ted King shares his experience on the annual 400-mile Coast Ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, including the invaluable direction finding advice to just keep the ocean on the right.

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The folks at GCN tackle the route of famed Paris-San Remo race.

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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 complains that a 17-year old boy riding an ebike “could have been traveling upward of 20 mph” when he was critically injured in a collision with a truck driver, using that to justify a call to put the brakes on ebikes. Then again, the teen could have been doing just 12 mph. Or 17. Or any other number he wants to pull out of his ass.

Boston bike riders support a pilot program for widening a bike lane over a key bridge, even as video shows vandals tossing the orange cones off it.

Road.cc asks why asking drivers not to pass bike riders too closely causes so much irrational anger.

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Local

Mark your calendar for March 19th, when Walk ‘n Rollers will mark ten years of making a difference for kids on our streets.

To the surprise of virtually no one who lives here, most people in Los Angeles like living here, though there is a lot of room for improvement.

A writer for City Watch calls out councilmember and mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino for what he calls the “ill-conceived notion” to outlaw sidewalk bike repair. Meanwhile, Buscaino’s turn to the right in the mayor’s race has been outflanked by even more conservative billionaire Rick Caruso.

 

State 

California Assemblymember Phil Ting is taking another crack at making it legal to cross the street, reintroducing a bill that would legalize jaywalking, which disproportionately affects people of color.

Also back for another round is a proposal in the legislature to legalize a pilot speed cam program, while another bill would require Leading Pedestrian Intervals at all stop lights statewide. Let’s make sure the law explicitly allows bicycles to use LPIs, too.

A proposal from San Diego’s mayor would shift infrastructure spending, including bikeways, to lower income areas.

Kern County’s long awaited lake-to-lake Kern River Bike Trail has finally become a reality, with a 36.3-mile pathway connecting Lake Ming with the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area.

 

National

A Streetsblog op-ed makes the case for why Vision Zero is a human rights issue for the deaf community and other disabled people.

A new add-on battery promises to double the range of your ebike.

Ford is examining replacing warning alerts with the sounds of simulated, in-car footsteps and bike bells to get the driver’s attention.

Bicycle Retailer examines the role volunteers play in helping Bike Index return stolen and missing bikes to their rightful owners.

Peloton workers say the company sent out rusted stationary bikes to customers as it struggled to keep up with demand.

Shaq says he once bought a new bike for a random kid at a bike shop. Although the kid was probably too young to know who the hell his giant benefactor was.

After nearly 30 years, Seattle’s King County has finally pulled the plug on its well-intentioned but misguided mandatory bike helmet law, after belatedly discovering that it unfairly targets the homeless and people of color; repeal of the law also removes a contested pretext for traffic stops.

European countries offer hard-hitting traffic safety messages; in the US, we’re more likely to get messages like this one from Austin, Texas that says Life is Valuable, Please Drive Safe. Which isn’t likely to get anyone to take their foot off the gas long enough to read it.

Hoboken NJ offers proof that Vision Zero really can work if cities make a commitment to it, with no traffic deaths for the past two years, and a 35% and 11% drop in collisions involving pedestrians and bike riders, respectively.

She gets it. A Virginia columnist decries news coverage that blames and dehumanizes victims of traffic violence.

Our sympathy to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which now has the fourth-worst traffic congestion in the US, behind only eternal leader Los Angeles, New York and Miami.

A new Florida law allows group rides to proceed through stop signs ten riders at a time. But only after coming to a complete stop first.

 

International

Momentum highlights beautiful bike trails in national parks around the world. Which you could visit on your very own amphibious ebike camper.

That’s more like it. A skyscraping Toronto condo tower is being targeted to the bicycling community, complete with a bike repair room, secure bike lockers and a dedicated bicycle elevator.

Road.cc remembers Southern England’s classic handmade steel-frame bike builders of the last century.

You’ve got to be kidding. A prolific thief was given a “final, final chance” after he was convicted of stealing the equivalent of $1369 worth of parts from a British bike shop, which he claimed was to buy his daughter a birthday present — despite a whopping 126 previous convictions. Must have been a damn good present, too.

This is why people keep dying on our roads. A judge could give a convicted drunk driver his license back after a ruptured Achilles heel left him unable to walk or ride a bicycle. So they want to put him back in a big, dangerous machine and give him another chance to kill someone, since he wasn’t successful the first time.

Life and lies are cheap in the UK, where a woman walked without a single day behind bars for fleeing the scene after running down a nine-year old boy on a bicycle, then lying to police investigators, claiming she hadn’t been in a wreck.

Life is cheap in the UK, part II. A 76-year old British man will spend two years behind bars for the impatient pass and head-on crash that killed a man riding a bike, who was reportedly doing everything right. But at least he’s been banned from driving for seven years, even though it should have been life.

Life is cheap in Ireland, too, where a drunk, hit-and-run driver got a lousy two and a half years for killing a man on a bicycle, after leaving him lying in a field to die alone.

Your next French e-cargo foldie could glow in the dark.

After India’s prime minister tried to link the Samajwadi Party, which uses a bicycle as its symbol, to a 2008 terrorist bombing, an Indian paper relates the history of bike bombs around the world.

Longtime Bollywood actor and producer Anil Kapoor is one of us.

Bicycling Australia tackles the eternal question of whether or not to shave your legs.

 

Competitive Cycling

After 13 years, retired pro Ruth Winder discovers that unbecoming a pro cyclist isn’t much easier that becoming one.

Egan Bernal gives a first-person account of the harrowing 38 mph crash that nearly left him paralyzed, as he shares his hope of a return to racing.

Belgian pro Wout Van Aert had a one word response to Chris Froome’s suggestion that specialized time trial bikes should be banned from pro cycling: “Bullshit.”

Cycling Tips examines legendary Black cyclist Major Taylor’s 1903 singlespeed Peugeot track bike, complete with wooden rims.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get away with seven grand worth of meth because the cops didn’t have probable cause to stop your bicycle. When you’re such a jerk your mom gives away your new birthday bike before you can even ride it.

And when you leave your bikes at the beach just a tad too long.

………

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

Study shows bicycling got safer last year, new Beverly Hills protected bike lane, and cops bust Mar Vista bike chop shop

Maybe things have gotten safer.

Or maybe not.

A new study published in the Journal of Transport & Health found that collisions involving bicyclists decreased during the pandemic last year, as bike riders shifted from rush hour commutes to more midday rides, and from crowded roadways to offroad trails.

However, other reports suggest that bicycling collisions increased last year as the bike boom encouraged more riders to take to the roadways, with greater lethality as less crowded streets allowed motorists to drive more aggressively.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until statistics for 2020 come out next year to know what really happened in the last one; right now, 2019 is the most recent year available.

And it remains to be seen whether things have reverted to previous levels as more traditional traffic patterns have resumed as businesses reopened this year.

But I’d put my money on things being worse, not better.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

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For any of us who remember the bad old days of the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills before it unexpectedly got bike friendly, hell has officially frozen over.

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After entirely justified criticism for failing to investigate a bike chop shop being openly operated on a Mar Vista Street, the LAPD discovers it can, in fact, do something about it.

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Once again a bike rider is a hero to man and beast.

https://twitter.com/haverkamp_wiebe/status/1461587023379283969

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

This is who share the road with.

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

A British man was knocked out by a pair of men who’d been following him on their own bikes, and when he woke u, they’d stolen his.

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Local

CleanTechnica doesn’t pull its punches, accusing LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva of leveraging poor bicycle infrastructure to deprive people of color of their human rights, and hacking the Fourth Amendment to allow questionable, if not illegal, searches of bike riders.

Metro’s universal basic mobility pilot program starting in South LA next summer will allow users to ride a bike, scooter, car, bus or train with a single low cost transit pass.

 

State

A chance meeting with an elementary school principal led to a donation of 24 balance bikes for Huntington Beach kindergarten students courtesy of BMX pro Mike Clark, as part of the All Kids Bike program.

Nonprofit advocacy group BikeVentura is opening their second Bike HUB co-op, in downtown Oxnard.

Palo Alto is opening the city’s long-planned new $23 million bike bridge tomorrow.

LA’s Metro Bike isn’t the only California bikeshare system facing change, as San Francisco’s Bay Wheels faces an uncertain future.

 

National

Spy considers the best cycling caps. I’ll take the Bianchi cap in the classic celeste, thank you.

Men’s Health looks forward to the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on bikes.

The U.S. Departments of the Interior and Transportation announced a plan to draw on funds in the new infrastructure bill to refocus transportation in National Parks on greener options, including expanded bike trails and shared micromobility programs.

A bighearted crew of Austin, Texas BMX and stunt riders dug into their own pockets to buy a new custom-made bike for an 11-year old boy after his bicycle was stolen, and made him their guest of honor on their weekly 16-mile joyride through the city.

A pair of Indiana radio personalities are living atop a scissor lift for five days to encourage donations to the station’s bike drive, which has distributed over 11,000 bicycles to kids in need in the past five years.

A New York writer hires a bike whisperer, after a crash into the metal bollards on the Hudson River Bikeway led to a fear of bike paths.

New York takes a big step towards secure bike parking with the first Oonee curbside bike lockers, capable of holding up to ten bicycles each in a single parking spot, and fully insured against theft.

The New York Post offers a video “biker’s guide to not dying” on the city’s streets.

Seriously? Virginia considers a wrong-headed plan to ban bikes from in front of the state capitol, forcing crosstown riders to dismount and walk for several blocks, all because a state official has “occasionally seen near-collisions” between people walking and riding bikes in the area. It’s like every collision or near miss inevitably gets blamed on the people on bicycles, as if pedestrians never step out without looking. 

A Florida weekly examines the weekend biker boys of the Bikes Up, Guns Down movement.

 

International

A Toronto website offers the reasons why they love ebikes — and hate them at the same time.

Brompton introduces a new lightweight line of foldies that checks in at less than 22 pounds.

London’s mayor warns of major transportation cuts, including cutting back on bike lanes and pausing the city’s Vision Zero program, as the city’s transportation department faces a budget hole equivalent to $1.7 billion.

Spanish bikemaker Orbea addresses the bike shortage with a new online tool allowing you to check the availability of their bikes, and reserve the one you want.

A Pakistani woman is teaching girls how to ride a bike so they don’t have to rely on others to get to school, despite the country’s long-held conservative attitudes.

An Australian stroke survivor was struck by a driver while on a 5,600-mile recumbent ride across the continent to raise money for stroke support services, leaving him with a shattered pelvis and broken leg.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forbes rides with former pro cyclist Ian Boswell, who traded the pro peloton for Vermont’s gravel roads after a bad crash left him with a lingering brain injury.

 

Finally…

Turn your bike into a two-wheeled Demogorgon. Confronting the mythical ninja cyclist.

And we may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about wannabe TikTok stars.

Right?

https://www.tiktok.com/@lucasmcmillan1/video/7031737239692381445?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2F&referer_video_id=7031737239692381445&refer=embed&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

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

First-ever CicLAvia could be coming to Beverly Hills next year, and bizarre Santa Monica bar rage vehicular murder

We may be burning in California, but hell has officially frozen over.

The former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills continues to burnish its new-found bike friendly image, with plans to co-host a CicLAvia with West Hollywood and Los Angeles sometime next year.

The proposal would reprise the 2019 route that ran along Hollywood Blvd to Highland Ave, and south to Santa Monica Blvd. If Beverly Hills can work out the details, it would then extend west to Beverly Drive.

Even more surprising, Beverly Hills is the driving force behind this effort, rather than the other way around.

And no, I never would have imagined it when we were butting heads with less enlightened city officials back in the day.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Culver City man faces charges for intentionally running down a man standing outside a Santa Monica restaurant on Monday.

Except he ran down the wrong man.

We’ll let the Santa Monica Daily Press try to explain the bizarre attack.

According to SMPD, Sloan was asked by restaurant staff to leave Busby’s on Santa Monica Blvd. before the incident. Sloan, angered by this demand, exited the establishment, and retrieved his vehicle. He then drove through the parking lot in an aggressive manner before attempting to intentionally hit a customer standing in front of the business. However, Sloan only ran over the foot of his intended target and instead struck the victim.

Oops.

To make matters worse, he knew the guy he actually killed, and had been drinking with him before he went berserk behind the wheel.

The driver, Nicholas Ralph Sloan, was arrested 15 miles away in the San Fernando Valley when the CHP stopped his Porsche Panamera for speeding.

He was booked on suspicion of murder, assault with a deadly weapon and DUI.

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This, too, is who we share the road with.

A Rhode Island woman was pulled from her car and brutally beaten by a group of ATV and dirt bike motorcycle riders when she had the audacity to honk after they sat through two green light cycles.

To make matters worse, they did it in full view of her friend’s eight-year old daughter, who was inside the car along with the girl’s mother.

Needless to say, the victim was “shaken and injured” in the aftermath of the attack, but didn’t need to be hospitalized.

There’s just no fucking excuse. Ever.

Period.

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And you thought things were bad on this side of the Atlantic.

https://twitter.com/philsturgeon/status/1394708129166802947

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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 San Luis Obispo letter writer calls plans for a recently approved bike boulevard “racist, ableist, ageist, elitist, and plain mean, nasty, and rotten to neighborhood residents…” But seriously, how does he really feel?

No bias here, either. A local British paper spends a few paragraphs reporting the death of a man riding a bicycle, then devotes another 17 paragraphs to how much the locals hate people on bikes.

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

New York police are looking for a pair of men sharing an ebike who stabbed two men in a car in an apparent road rage attack following an argument.

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Local

If you’ve been waiting for the long promised bike lanes on the North Spring Street Bridge, you can keep holding your breath. Streetsblog reports work still hasn’t begun on the the bike lanes, which were expected to be completed three years ago; local advocate point the finger at CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who has fought bike lanes and other safety projects in the district since taking office.

Good news from San Pedro, where a 19-year old man who disappeared while riding his bike has been found; no word on his condition or where he’s been for the past two weeks.

 

State

Sacramento Magazine considers the most useful bicycling apps.

 

National

Forbes shares their picks for the best ebikes. And for once, the choices make sense.

A Portland lawyer is suing aerosol makers and companies that sell them in an effort to halt “driving zombies,” after woman was killed while riding in a bike lane, by a driver who was caught on security cam huffing a computer keyboard dusting spray outside a Home Depot. Interesting approach, but good luck with that.

A Minnesota paper offers tips on basic fit and maintenance to keep your bike rolling.

Tragic news from Detroit, where an 18-year old nursing student was killed in a shootout as she was riding her bicycle in front of a friend’s duplex a couple weeks ago; police now say she was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire.

A 68-year old man has come forward, claiming to be the only witness to the crash that killed a companion to heiress Doris Duke when he was a 13-year old paperboy riding his Schwinn ten speed; it has long been rumored that the Rhode Island crash was murder, along with the earlier “accidental” death of Duke’s husband.

New York’s popular TD Five Boro Bike Tour returns this Sunday; the 40-mile ride through the city’s five boroughs, which Forbes calls America’s biggest bike ride, expects to draw a pandemic-restricted 20,000 riders instead of the usual 32,000. Although CicLAvia usually draws more than that on a bad day.

A newly signed bill will now require New Jersey drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle.

 

International

Your new ebike could be a Harley. But only if you’re willing to go to Europe to buy it.

British bikemaker Hope Technology unveiled a road bike prototype of the innovative Olympic track bike they developed in collaboration with Lotus Engineering. Although it’s allegedly based on a stolen design

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a three-year old boy was killed when his own father backed over his bicycle while he was riding on their Welsh farm.

A British trucking trade group apparently wants defend their right to keep killing people, complaining that a proposed rewrite of the country’s Highway Code to protect vulnerable road users is “inherently unjust.”

RM, one of the masterminds behind K-pop stars BTS, is one of us, sharing his love of bicycles with a fan site.

 

Finally…

If you insist on riding your bike drunk, try to stick with roads where bikes are allowed — and to just one lane at a time. A gun site says always wear a bike helmet when carrying a concealed weapon on your bike.

And yes, bike riders have to pull over for emergency vehicles.

Just like most drivers don’t anymore.

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Thanks to Mark J for his generous donation — and kind words — to help keep this site going; as always, any donation, no matter how large or small, truly helps and is deeply appreciated. 

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

Unofficial Bixby bike lane opening on new Desmond Bridge, Beverly Hills popup on Sunday, and the cost of traffic violence

That long-planned bike lane over the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge is finally still not open.

The Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path was inaugurated with a private ceremony Saturday on what is now called the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge.

The bike advocating scion of one of Long Beach’s most prominent families, Bixby had fought for a bikeway along the bridge prior to his death ten years ago in a private plane crash, along with four other people.

Despite the ceremony for Bixby’s family and friends, the path is not expected to open to the rest of us for several more months, while a connector bridge leading to it won’t be ready for another year and a half.

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The former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills is demonstrating just how far they’ve come.

The city is hosting a popup protected bike lane on Roxbury Drive next to Roxbury Park from 10 am to 4 pm this coming Sunday. The lane is designed to protect riders while connecting with existing bikeways in Los Angeles, without removing any parking spaces.

Which means there’s a realistic chance it might actually get built.

Meanwhile, this is what we could and should have here in Los Angeles.

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Hats off to LA’s Metro Bike workers on their successful campaign to form a union to protect their rights with the company that manages the Los Angeles bikeshare system.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Another promising life was needlessly cut short, for the crime of crossing the street near the Beverly Center.

As usual, there is a standing $50,000 reward for his killer.

Police are looking for the driver of a white BMW driving east on Beverly Blvd. Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division detectives at 213/473-0234.

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The Netherlands is advancing bike safety by removing protected bike lanes on some streets, redesigning them to give priority to the vast majority of users.

The people on bicycles.

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Who says bike riders never stop for red lights?

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

Anti-bike sabotage rears its ugly head in Colorado, where someone has apparently been tossing thumb tacks on a popular bike lane.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Kalamazoo, Michigan ghost bike. Or any other ghost bike, for that matter.

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

A Buffalo NY man faces charges for injuring two men with an illegal gun in a bike-by shooting.

A road raging bike rider faces charges for attacking a lawyer on his way to court, after somehow getting blamed for the Indian equivalent of a right hook. A reminder to never resort to violence, no matter how justified it may seem at the time, because you’ll automatically get the blame.

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Local

Streets For All reminds us that the LACBC and Sunset4All are over halfway to their goal of raising $25,000 for LA’s first public/private partnership to build protected bike lanes on the eastern part of Sunset Blvd; make that 55% as of this writing. So what the hell are you waiting for, already?

 

State

A man was seriously injured in a collision in Downtown San Diego when a driver crashed into the e-scooter he was riding.

Also in San Diego, a 65-year-old man suffered a skull fracture, fractured pelvis and multiple other injuries when he was run down by a suspected drunk driver while walking his ebike, after it had apparently run out of juice; fortunately, his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

They get it. Instead of cracking down on teen bike riders, police in Fresno are riding with them.

Santa Cruz pulled up stakes on a popup bike lane, after saying they don’t have the money to make it permanent. Especially since it didn’t even get the full endorsement of a bicycling club.

They kind of get it. San Jose will consider reducing future parking, while leaving all the current spaces intact.

Uber’s CEO says he nearly got killed delivering food by bike outside San Francisco’s Oracle Park baseball stadium for the company’s Uber Eats program.

Alpine County’s 40th annual Death Ride took a back seat to a real risk of death, after it was cancelled when Northern California’s Tamarack fire exploded to over 18,000 acres. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

If you’re riding a bike in Ukiah carrying meth and a loaded gun, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is. Not the gun.

 

National

Two-time NBA champ Ray Allen is one of us, crediting his helmet with saving him from “a far worse fate” after he ran over a tree branch and was thrown from his bicycle.

Outside looks at the new mountain bike boomtown of Ely, Nevada.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive bike from a disabled Minneapolis woman. Seriously, just how low do you have to be to steal someone a person relies on for accessibility, let alone transportation? Thanks again to Megan Lynch. 

The off-duty Chicago cop who killed a nine-year old boy with his jacked-up pickup as the kid was riding his bike in a crosswalk got a traffic ticket for “failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the road. Yes, a lousy traffic ticket was all he got for killing an innocent kid.

Police in Arkansas used a pair of bait bikes worth nearly four grand to bust a bike thief suspected in a number of high-end bike thefts. But the LAPD still won’t use bait bikes to confront rampant bike theft in Los Angeles, thanks to a ruling from the City Attorney that it might be considered entrapment — despite their successful use in a number of other cities in California and across the US.

Forget driving, and explore Indiana’s Notre Dame University by bicycle.

A Massachusetts ebike maker is introducing a new bicycle for first responders, complete with a 70 mph top speed and its own drone.

Horrible news from New York, where man riding a bikeshare bike was shot and killed at point blank range.

Heartbreaking news from New Orleans, where a baby was found stabbed to death in a bicycle trailer; police arrested the baby boy’s mother after finding a sharpened railroad spike covered in blood on her bicycle.

 

International

A writer for Medium makes the case that streets are for people, not cars.

Portland will donate 600 used bikeshare bikes to Hamilton, Ontario, to help keep that city’s bikeshare system going after it nearly shut down last year.

British authorities punish the victim, jailing a man whose bicycle had been stolen for confronting the thief with a fake gun to get it back; he got 13 months behind bars, while the thief only got four.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a 76-year old driver walked with a suspended sentence for killing a 69-year old man riding a bike. But at least he won’t be able to drive again until he’s 86. And yes, that was sarcasm.

Our old friends Chris and Melissa Bruntlett, who uprooted their two kids to move from Vancouver to the Dutch city of Delft, discuss just how their new home gets bicycling right.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’s leading bicycle advocacy group called for a get-tough approach to people who hack their ebikes to exceed the 15 mph speed limit on bike paths, as much as doubling the allowable speed.

An Indian engineer hacked an old bicycle to convert it into an ebike capable of riding at 25 mph, for the equivalent of $267.

A writer for Stars and Stripes begs bike riders to pay attention in Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as 22-year old Slovenian Tadej Pogačar took his second consecutive Tour de France in such convincing fashion, it raises the question of whether everyone will be racing for second place for the foreseeable future.

Pogačar swore there’s nothing illegal about his bike, after riders from other teams said they heard strange noises emanating from the rear of his bike, and that of his teammates and three other teams; it didn’t help that Pogačar’s teammate Matej Mohorič made an ill-advised “zipped lip” gesture after winning stage 19.

It’s not every day a pro cyclist turns hero. Chris Froome, Philippe Gilbert and BikeExchange’s Christopher Juul-Jensen were riding back to their buses at the end of stage 17 when they saw a bike-riding tourist ride off the road into a ravine after missing a turn, so they hopped off their bikes and climbed around 65 feet down to rescue him; the man was injured badly enough that he had to be evacuated by ambulance.

Thirty-year old former pro Ian Boswell faces the difficult choice of whether to turn pro again and return to full-time cycling after winning June’s Unbound Gravel race.

Once again, LA’s own diversity-based L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team swept the podium on the men’s side at the third round of USA Crits in Salt Lake City; L39ion’s women’s team sat this one out, giving other teams a shot at victory.

Disappointing to see Cavendish miss out on breaking Eddy Merckx record for most stage wins in the Tour de France, but no one makes the right moves all the time. But after four stage wins in this year’s race, along with capturing the points title, there’s a good chance he’ll get another shot next year.

 

Finally…

Your next full suspension mountain bike could be made of plywood. That feeling when you live in San Diego, and decide to ride your bike to grandma’s 90th birthday celebration — in North Dakota.

And how to spot a clown behind the wheel, without the big red nose and stuff.

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Thanks to Raul M for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

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

$10 million ebike rebate added to CA budget, onerous bikeshare insurance bill, and Beverly Hills gives up on bikeshare

This is beginning to look like a watershed year for bicycle bills in Sacramento.

Calbike writes that a proposed $10 million program to help Californians buy ebikes has made it into the latest draft of next year’s state budget.

SACRAMENTO – CalBike is thrilled to announce that legislators approved a $10 million e-bike incentive program in next year’s state budget. Funded as part of the state’s campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, the program will help thousands of Californians get access to e-bikes to replace car trips. Bikes eligible will include bikes “designed for people with disabilities; utility bicycles for carrying equipment or passengers, including children; and folding bicycles.”

It joins bills to decriminalize jaywalking (AB 1238) and allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields (AB122), which both pass out of committee in the state senate last week.

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Calbike and the LACBC are also stepping up efforts to oppose AB371, which would force bikeshare and e-scooter providers to extend insurance coverage to their customers, which could have a chilling effect on micromobility.

This is why we are frightened by a bill in the state Senate that could kill shared bike and scooter systems. It would require nonprofits, government agencies, and private companies that operate shared bike and scooter systems to extend their liability coverage to the sole negligence or reckless behavior of a rider, setting a legal precedent that no other industry is subject to. Just like a rental car company cannot be held liable for the reckless actions of their drivers (Graves Amendment), neither should shared bike and scooter operators Further, the proposed form of insurance would be highly susceptible to fraud due to the low cost and ease of staging accidents, with minimal burden of proof.

The bill would even apply to the nonprofits and government agencies that just got funded to operate bike share systems with some of the $20 million in Clean Mobility Options grants. The Air Resources Board clearly understands the potential of these systems; the legislature should also, and abandon this attempt to impose a fatally impractical requirement.

Let’s hope they get it.

While more probably can and should be done to protect bikeshare and scooter users, and those around them, this is not the time to make them financially untenable and drive micromobility users back into their cars.

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You can kiss Beverly Hills Bike Share goodbye.

The tony city is joining a growing list of SoCal cities in pulling up stakes on its docked bikeshare system at the end of this month.

I wouldn’t hold your breath on those new shared mobility options, though.

At least not as far as bikes or scooters are concerned.

Thanks to David Drexler for the forward.

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Cable news outlet Spectrum News 1 highlighted Walk ‘n Rollers bike repair hub and free bicycle distribution program.

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

No bias here. The mayor of an Iowa town is begging for lawsuits, let alone funerals, after posting a large sign telling drivers not to stop for bike riders where a popular bike trail crosses a two lane highway. Even though he insists he rides a bike himself, and only wants to improve safety by encouraging people in cars to kill people on bikes just keep going. Sure, let’s go with that.

A London school is using traffic cones to block a new bikeway, claiming bicyclist are endangering the students — never mind that they’re endangering their own students and parents who ride bikes to school.

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

An English ebike rider with defective brakes walked without a day behind bars after he was sentenced for recklessly weaving in and out of traffic before running a red light and crashing into a car; he suffered serious head injuries in the crash.

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Local

Los Angeles was ranked as the nation’s 14th most future-focused city, based in part on LA’s bike score. No, really.

KCRW considers what a post-pandemic Los Angeles will look like, as UCLA architecture and urban design professor Dana Cuff points to CicLAvia as a sign of hope.

LA Taco offers a photographic look at the annual Chief Lunes Fireworks Party Ride through DTLA and Glendale on the 3rd.

Pasadena is looking for input on the city’s proposed pedestrian plan.

KNBC4 sounds its “bulbous bike horn” over the return of CicLAvia in Wilmington next month.

 

State

There’s justice for a fallen San Diego bike rider, after Abbas Karama Shariff copped a plea in the hit-and-run death of 35-year-old Daryl Treadwell in May of last year; he’ll be sentenced to the maximum penalty of four years behind bars.

A new study from San Diego’s Juiced Bikes confirms that riding a ped-assist bike over challenging terrain burns as many calories as a game of basketball. Playing, that is, not watching.

Streetsblog San Francisco calls Oakland’s decision to keep the protected bike lanes on Telegraph Ave a “resounding win for safety.”

Bike riders in Los Altos are calling a new freeway expansion project a death zone, with riders on the Foothill Expressway now expected to cross left over double right turn lanes in order to keep going straight.

Sad news from Chico, after it turned out the bikepacker killed by a grizzly bear while camping in Montana earlier this week was a 65-year old woman from the NorCal city.

 

National

Bicycling says yes, there’s a shortage of bicycles and parts due to the pandemic bike boom, but you don’t have to be a jerk about it. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Outdoor Life rates trunk-mounted bike racks.

A pair of Nebraska nonprofits formed the state’s first all-girl mountain bike team to encourage young women to get out and ride.

There’s a special place in hell for the owner of a historic St. Louis building, who is threatening to evict a bike charity by Monday after the bicycles they’d planned to donate to disadvantaged kids were damaged in a partial building collapse last summer — even though the owner was renting them space in a building that had been condemned in 2013. They estimate it will take another $40,000 to clean and repair the bikes so they can be safely ridden.

A Houston rabbi is recovering from multiple broken bones after the bike path he was riding on ended without warning, and he crashed into some large traffic barrels that were lining the roadway.

A Virginia bike shop owner calls the state’s new law requiring drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle “a blessing,” saying most people didn’t know how to judge the previous three-foot passing requirement.

Good for them. Inspired by a five-year old amputee, a group of Lafayette, Louisiana high school students are hoping to take a product they developed for a robotics competition to market; the adaptation kit they created can be added to any bicycle in minutes to assist people with missing or compromised legs to ride a bike.

 

International

A group of young Bolivians are battling pollution by forming the first bicycle messenger and delivery service in the smog-choked city of Cochabamba.

This is the cost of traffic violence. An eleven-month old baby is dead and his father hospitalized after they were collateral damage in a collision between the drivers of a supercar and an SUV in Vancouver, when one of the vehicles slammed into a group of pedestrians.

I want to be like them when I grow up. Canada’s Royal Academy of Octogenarian Cyclists Facebook group is for people over 80 who still love to ride a bike.

When my wife and I visited London several years ago, we quickly learned walking around Parliament and Westminster Abbey meant taking your life in your hands. Now plans are in place to cut Westminster speed limits to just 20 mph to improve safety and encourage more people to walk and bike.

Call it a royal tandem, as the queen’s daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, took to two wheels to support a “new initiative to tackle rising unemployment among people who are blind or partially sighted,” with the program’s appeal manager as stoker.

A British motorcycle rider got three years behind bars for fleeing the scene after slamming into a bicycle rider when he clipped the wheel of another bicycle and sliding across the roadway. He was arrested after he returned to the site of the crash on a borrowed bicycle, and was chased down by a cop who had to borrow another bike to catch him.

A new Austrian study confirms what most of us already suspected — suburban living is the worst for carbon emissions.

Victoria, Australia will give new See.Sense smart lights that collect roadway data to 1,000 bike riders in an effort improve safety for bicyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yesterday’s Tour de France winner claimed his fourth career stage win, on the most prestigious stage of the world’s most prestigious bike race. Meanwhile, no change in the yellow jersey, even if it did crack a bit.

Germany cyclist Tony Martin was forced to abandon the Tour after crashing into a ditch.

Sadly, we don’t have to worry about spoilers in women’s cycling. Twenty-one-year old Dane Emma Norsgaard won her first stage in the Giro Donne by just edging out SoCal’s Coryn Rivera on a course that circled Lake Como. No word on whether they waved to George and Amal Clooney as they went by.

Pink Bike examines how technology pioneered in mountain bikes is making its way into pro cycling.

Flo Bikes looks forward to this weekend’s Mountain Bike Nationals. They’re being held at the Colorado resort where I learned to ski, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

A 29-year old Poway man with cerebral palsy is on his way to Tokyo to compete on the US cycling team in the Paralympic Games.

 

Finally…

Police seldom have much of a sense of humor when you blow through the barricades and nearly run over a bunch of bike cops. Los Angeles bike riders have to watch out for LA drivers; bike riders in Maine have to beware of itchy caterpillars.

And this is what the latest installment in the Fast & Furious franchise looks like to a traffic safety advocate.

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

Death of DC bike advocate reveals LA safety failures, LADOT bike count up 22%, and arrested for Biking While Black

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words following my surgery earlier this month. 

My fumble fingers are finally functional again, even though the swollen new Frankenhand they’re attached to is still almost, sort of, not really, kind of back to normal.

But it’ll get there. And nearly two weeks after surgery, the pain is already better than it was before, so there’s that.

Meanwhile, we have a lot to catch up on.

It will take a few days to catch up on all the bike news we missed, but I’ll make sure we don’t miss out on anything important. 

So let’s get started on the first installment. 

And my apologies for the near-total lack of credits today; with one exception forwarded by multiple people yesterday, I lost track of who sent what to my attention during my extended downtime, which is going to be a problem until we get caught up. 

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels.

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Heartbreaking news from DC, where a longtime bike advocate was killed in a collision, just hours after tweeting about the dangers on the city’s streets.

Here’s how the Washington Post described it.

(Jim) Pagels was struck in a horrific chain-reaction crash along Massachusetts Avenue NW, about a mile from his home on Capitol Hill, his family said. The avid rider and self-described urbanist who was in his second year of a doctorate program in economics, died at a hospital.

Pagels’s sister, Laura Menendez, described her brother as funny, smart and passionate about many things — pursuing his postgraduate studies, playing tennis and board games, and traveling by bike.

“He had a good heart,” Menendez said. “And he was such a huge advocate for bike safety.”

The paper also quotes a friend of Pagels.

“He was so excited about working in that urban space,” said Finn Vigeland, a close friend who met Pagels while the two worked on the Columbia Daily Spectator. “He was well aware of the dangers of cycling . . . but he loved biking, and he wanted everyone to bike. He wanted everyone to feel like this was the best way to get around D.C…

I hope our city leaders hear about Jim and understand the life that was so senselessly taken away on Friday. He cared so deeply about the injustices that led to his death, and he would want us to be furious about it,” Vigeland said. “I hope that knowing that this was something Jim was working so hard to change might prompt people to take bolder action.”

Let’s hope city leaders get the message here, too.

Before it’s too late for someone else.

Meanwhile, a writer for the LA Times took the death of his friend and former college classmate personally.

And used the tragedy as a springboard to call for safer streets, and talk with Michael Schneider, founder of LA street safety PAC Streets For All.

It doesn’t take long for their conversation to get to the heart of the problems on our streets.

ME: Six years ago, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2025, part of the global Vision Zero initiative. So far, we’re not on track to meet that goal. My colleague Steve Lopez recently reported that 238 people died in car crashes in Los Angeles last year — only a tiny decrease from 2019 despite significantly reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and just 8% less than the first full year Garcetti’s policy was in effect. What is going on?

SCHNEIDER: Our city is very good at plans and goals and not very good at implementation. Can you imagine if you were a heart surgeon and people were coming in for heart surgery, and no one would let you operate? Vision Zero is a laudable goal, but until we have a City Council and a mayor who will spend the political capital to make the tough decisions and deal with NIMBY blowback to make changes to our streets, it’s never going to happen…

ME: Where has Mayor Garcetti been on safe streets?

SCHNEIDER: Absent. He says all the right stuff, and he hires great people, like Seleta Reynolds. He will never risk his neck at all for a bike lane or a bus lane.

But I think we’re on the cusp of some exciting changes, especially because the city of Los Angeles has now aligned their elections with federal elections, and the turnout is so much larger and so much more progressive. I think we are on the cusp of truly having different political leadership, where a guy like Paul Koretz, who’s termed out, couldn’t win in 2022 and beyond. And where someone like Nithya Raman, who had making the city more bikeable in her campaign messaging, can defeat an incumbent.

Then there was this about the recent failed attempt to make iconic Melrose Ave safer and more livable for everyone.

ME: Talking about blowback, I read the post you wrote about the proposed “Uplift Melrose” project, which would have added protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and shaded seating areas along a 1.3-mile stretch of Melrose Avenue. There was broad support from local businesses, but City Councilmember Paul Koretz effectively killed the proposal. Why is it so difficult politically to get changes like these approved?

SCHNEIDER: Opponents typically say the following: If you remove parking or reduce car capacity in any way, how are people going to shop or get to businesses? You’re going to kill business. They also ask, “Why would we invest in this when no one uses the bike lanes anyway?” People cite anecdotes of driving by bike lanes and seeing them empty.

If we had a beautiful six-lane paved highway that only went for one mile and then became a dirt road with potholes, how many cars would take that road? That is the equivalent of what we ask people to do when they bike around Los Angeles. If we had a network of protected bike lanes, you would see a ton of people using them. One piece of evidence is CicLAvia. Those events bring out tens of thousands of people to ride their bikes on closed streets.

What happened to Uplift Melrose was egregious even by L.A. standards. Koretz basically became a puppet for mostly white, wealthy homeowners who couldn’t see themselves riding a bike or a bus.

Pagels’ death serves as a tragic reminder of what can happen to anyone on the streets — even though the risk to any one of us at any particular time is infinitesimally small.

But if anything ever happens to me when I’m riding a bicycle, I want you to politicize the hell out of it.

Take what’s left of my body to the city council and dump it on the dais, if you have to.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Or literally, for that matter.

And if it happens on a street marked for safety improvements in city’s mobility plan, I hope those lawyers up there on the right will join together to sue the hell out of the city for failing to keep their commitment to safer streets.

Or maybe just sue over LA’s failed and forgotten Vision Zero plan to force the cowards we foolishly elected to lead us to the changes we so desperately need on our streets.

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LADOT has finally release the results of the city’s biennial walk and bike count, which for years has been done on a volunteer basis by the LACBC and later, LA Walks.

Which is something they should have been doing all along.

The result was a 22% increase in bicycle rates from the last count — in 2017.

And yes, they are just now releasing data collected that was collected two years ago, for reasons known only to them.

It also shows how easy it is to boost bicycling with a little decent infrastructure, with a 73% jump in ridership as a result of the protected and separated bike lanes on the MyFigueroa project.

MyFig also resulted the city’s most heavily-trafficked pedestrian corridor, even above the tourist-clogged sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.

And it points to how Los Angeles can increase the far too low rate of women riding bikes on city streets.

While the report found that women make up 40 percent of pedestrians on weekdays and 44 percent on weekends, women made up just 14 percent of cyclists.  However, the report also indicated a 120 percent increase in female riders on streets improved with dedicated bike paths.

In other words, all they have to do is what the city already committed to in the 2010 bike plan, and the mobility plan that subsumed it.

Not to mention LA’s nearly forgotten Vision Zero and the mayor’s Green New Deal.

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What the hell.

I’m not sure where this video is from; I can’t make out the the police patches or or the name on the patrol cars.

But something looks seriously wrong about a bunch of while cops taking a young black man into custody for the crime of…wait for it…

…riding a bicycle without lights or licenses.

In the middle of the day, no less.

And while some cities require bikes to be registered, I don’t know any place where police have the authority to seize private property over a handful of minor infractions.

Which would be illegal as hell if they tried to seize someone’s car for an expired license or failing to signal a turn.

Let alone not having their headlights on in broad daylight.

Unfortunately, there’s a term for crap like this — Biking While Black.

And regardless of their motivation, it makes the cops look racist AF.

Thanks to Jon, Megan Lynch and Stacey Kline for the heads-up. 

And if anyone knows where this happened, let me know so I’ll never make the mistake of going there.

Update: Thanks to Al Williams for identifying this as Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Which I will make a point of never visiting. 

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If you live or ride in Beverly Hills, the city needs to hear from you at today’s city council meeting, where councilmembers will consider the city’s proposed Complete Streets plan.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free parking for a tire shop.

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

A Texas bike rider bike rider was hospitalized with a brain bleed and facial fractures when he was run down by a drunk driver — while riding on an ostensibly carfree bike path.

Singaporean actor Tay Ping Hui says he’s got nothing against bicyclists, despite complaining when a small group of riders merged onto the roadway ahead of him. Because apparently, it’s asking too much to slow down or change lanes to drive safely around them.

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

No bias here, either. A Singapore motorcyclist calls for banning bicycles from the roads after watching one — count ’em, one — scofflaw bicyclist weaving through traffic. Meanwhile, the website somehow feels the need to point out that 34 bike riders were ticketed for breaking the law over the weekend. Makes you wonder how many motorcyclists got tickets the same weekend. Let alone drivers. But sure, blame everyone on bicycles.

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Local

LA Magazine highlights “cool” bike accessories to keep you riding in style. Too bad they forgot to feature that mirrored helmet in the main photo. Because who wouldn’t want to look like a human disco ball?

LA Taco takes a look at nine kinds of bad drivers you’ll meet on the streets of Los Angeles — and they include kids on scooters in that.

Keep an extra eye open if you’re riding the Arroyo Bike Path through Arroyo Seco Park, where a man walking on the pathway was shot several times by couple men who approached him around dusk Sunday evening.

A proposal for protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s North Lake Ave would keep 98% of the current parking on the street.

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies made a spectacular rescue of a mountain biker who went off the side of the road on Mt. Wilson; the victim was hanging head-first over a sheer cliff, clinging to the rock face like a cat, suspended by a thin cord around his ankle.

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant was one of us, starting his bike rides at 4:30 am and not coming home until the sun was at its peak.

 

State

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would increase the penalties for a fatal hit-and-run from 2 to 4 years to 3 to 6. It’s already been watered down from the original proposal, which would have doubled the penalties for hit-and-run that result in death or permanent serious injury.

Calbike wants your support for the proposed Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which is exactly what many riders safely do right now. And far too many drivers do unsafely.

AB117, the bill that would create a $10 million fund to help lower income Californians buy ebikes, passed its first test in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Meanwhile, AB 43 unanimously passed the Assembly Transportation Committee with no opposition; the bill would retain the deadly 85th Percentile Law, but allow cities to consider factors other than drivers’ right feet in setting speed limits, such as the location as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety.

California is joining a nationwide movement to prioritize safety over speed. The question is whether the shift is real, or if the legislature will simply pass a few feel good bills before forgetting all about it and moving on to other matters, as too often happens.

Credit old school police work. Riverside police finally busted the hit-and-run driver who killed 52-year old Brian Sabel two years ago, arresting 34-year old Menifee resident Steven Allen Watson Jr. for the crime, despite the apparent lack of any witnesses or evidence at the time of the crash.

Bay Area bike riders may want to ride with a partner or group around Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills above Berkeley, where a number of solo riders have been robbed by armed bike jackers; at least five riders have been run off the road and robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint since late March.

A San Francisco ER physician calls for keeping the city’s Safe Streets, saying they’ve helped empty his emergency room.

A San Francisco woman celebrates seven years of living carfree after switching to an ebike when her car was totaled by an uninsured driver; she claims she’s saved over $50,000 over that period.

 

National

Of course she gets it. Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan teams with her Streetfight co-auther to call for cities to hold onto the street space reclaimed for people during the pandemic, saying surrendering our cities to cars would be a historic blunder.

My hometown university has now joined the Vision Zero club. Which isn’t too surprising, considering it’s surrounded by one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities. Even though it didn’t get that way until long after I left, of course.

Apparently writing with all seriousness, a New Hampshire medical worker and self-described cyclist says he worked with a state legislator on a bill that would require bicyclists to ride salmon, but the bill died when he couldn’t get time off work to attend the hearing. Because evidently, riding a bike in New Hampshire just isn’t dangerous enough already.

A Massachusetts man got his fat tire bike back two months after it was stolen, when he recognized it being ridden by a burglary suspect on a TV news story about a break-in.

The Big Apple is getting a belated start on the micromobility revolution, as the city finally gets its first e-scooters.

 

International

In a story that’s scary as hell, a writer for Bike Radar examines whether lane-keeping technology poses a risk to bike riders, after he had to wrestle a car for control to avoid running down a bike rider sharing the same lane.

T3 considers what you get with a high-end road bike that you don’t with a cheap one. Or put another way, is an expensive bike really worth 20 times more than a low-end bike?

A pair of Vancouver business owners are taking their case to the British Columbia Supreme Court to fight the re-installation of a protected bike lane through a park, arguing the decision to swap a traffic lane for a bikeway wasn’t “reasonable, rational or logical.” Seriously. It’s in a park.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole an ebike from a disabled 13-year old English girl.

A pregnant British driver will spend the next 30 months behind bars for killing an 80-year old triathlete while chatting with her sister on WhatsApp; no word on whether her baby will spend the first years of its life in prison with her.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 26-year old driver got a lousy 35 months in jail for intentionally running down a 13-year old boy riding his bike after getting into an argument with the kid in a park, and following him for 20 minutes before using his car as a weapon to attack him.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley is on his second day of a world record attempt for the greatest distance ridden on a bicycle in a single week, attempting to ride 320 miles a day in an 80-mile loop through the Scottish countryside; he’s aiming for Aussie pro Jack Thompson’s record of 2,177 miles, despite suffering multiple broken bones in a crash three months ago.

France is now allowing drivers to trade their old, smog-belching cars for a nearly $3,000 grant to buy a new ebike.

Last year was even a bad year for bike riders in the Netherlands, with the highest number of bicycling deaths in the past 25 years.

This is who we share the road with. A Kiwi driver is filmed blissfully driving on the right side of the road — which is the wrong side Down Under adjacent — until confronted head-on by a large truck. If your first thought was that it was probably just an American tourist confused about what side to drive on, join the club.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch legend Marianne Vos outsprinted the competition to win the one-day Amstel Gold Race on Sunday; Belgian Wout van Aert took the men’s race by a nose in a photo finish.

More proof cycling hasn’t kicked its doping habit yet, after 52-year old California masters racer Vahe Aivazian was banned for four years for testing positive for not one, not two, but ten different banned drugs. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

That feeling when your personal traffic bypass bridge turns out to be a pedestrian walkway. That feeling when you’re an elected official with no idea what Bicycle Day is all about.

And who needs to pick a bike lock when you can just blow it up with a hand grenade?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

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

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

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

So what are you waiting for? 

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

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No bias here.

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

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

But then he added this gem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

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

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

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

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

Got it.

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It’s official.

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

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

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

And do a lot of good in the process.

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

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

No, the other kind.

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We all wish we could do this sometimes.

Or maybe all the time.

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

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

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No surprise here.

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

 

State

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Or maybe a 5,000-year old whale.

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

Bike riders come out in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica closes down, and bicycle deliveries in the age of Covid-19

One quick note.

With April 1st just two days away, I want to stress that this site will not observe April Fools Day. 

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, you need to be able to trust what you read. Especially here.

Credit David Drexler with the photo of an eerily empty 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. 

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You can hear the results of my interview with Take Two’s Leo Duran archived on the KPCC website, as we discuss social distancing on a bike and riding bike paths that were shut down within hours of our conversation.

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It was rewarding to see dozens of people riding bikes in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills as I passed through with my wife over the weekend, ranging from spandexed roadies to families with small kids.

More evidence that people will return to the streets if they feel safe, and bring their kids with them.

Notably, there were no large groups of riders; the largest non-family group I saw was just three people riding together, and staying widely spaced from others on the street.

Which is exactly what we need to do for the foreseeable future.

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David Drexler reports that the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path through Santa Monica was shut down over the weekend, as announced, after people ignored social distancing requirements to pack it the previous weekend.

He also says the newly widened bike path was open north of the pier, though very few people were taking advantage of it.

And with the other closures in place, the primary route people were taking to get down to the beach appeared to be the steep California Incline, below.

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This is what an everyday hero looks in the age of Covid-19.

The LA Times talks with bike messenger Justin Zemlyansky about delivering food — despite being at higher risk of serious complications due to diabetes and a compromised immune system.

Speaking of everyday heroes, I’m told the owner of DTLA restaurant Redbird is one of us, as he teams with LA Family Housing to provide 1,300 boxed meals every day to feed the homeless during the coronavirus crisis.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.

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The worldwide rash of bike theft news goes on.

Last week, we mentioned the British doctor whose bike was stolen while he was tending to coronavirus patients. Even though the bikemaker replaced it for him, the outpouring of support from kindhearted strangers was so great, he’ll be donating several additional bikes he was given to his colleagues at the National Health Service. Police arrested two men in the theft.

A nurse in the UK felt like she’d been targeted after someone broke into her car and stole her bicycle, uniform and other items, then used a stolen key fob to break into her partner’s home. But the joke may be on the thief because the dirty uniform could be infected with Covid-19.

Another English nurse had to walk home after a thief stole her bike while she was working a 12-hour shift.

A bold thief snatched a bike belong to a British midwife literally behind the back of her husband as she was shopping in a market.

A Victoria, British Columbia bike shop replaced a healthcare worker’s bicycle after it was stolen.

Answering the eternal question of what kind of person would steal a bike, an Ottawa bike theft suspect repeatedly spat on police officers as they took him into custody, claiming he had Covid-19.

Then there’s this one, from our own back yard.

Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the Velo Pasadena link.

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Learn about rebalancing the streets for people this Thursday.

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Before we move on, maybe you could use a soothing bike-related interlude. Lord knows I could.

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Local

The latest word is Los Angeles County is closed until further notice. Long Beach followed suite by closing all bike and pedestrian paths — and dumping mulch into skate parks — while Pasadena has closed the popular Rose Bowl Loop after complaints that people weren’t practicing social distancing

The LACBC offers tips on how to ride safely in the age of Covid-19, while the California Mountain Biking Coalition offers their own guidelines for riding safely during the coronavirus crisis.

LA-based Wheels is responding to the coronavirus by introducing self-sanitizing handlebar grips.

Santa Monica-based Bird laid-off 30% of its employees on Friday; workers complained that they were let go without notice when they connected to a Zoom conference.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, as he goes for a ride through Pasadena with his apparently no-longer-estranged wife.

Robin Wright went for a bike ride in Brentwood with her husband and dog, wearing matching black outfits. And yes, that includes the dog.

Adam Sandler went out on his Pedego ebike for a spin around the ‘Bu.

And Ben Affleck’s eight-year old son is one of us, too.

 

State

Caltrans commits to incorporating Complete Streets practices in its highway maintenance projects, but only where feasible; Streetsblog says it’s difficult to tell just what they mean by that, however. Bearing in mind that what’s feasible is too often in the eye of the windshield-biased beholder.

A man riding a bike was critically injured in a Victorville collision Friday night.

A San Francisco advocate reflects on the weird calm of the city’s virtually carfree streets.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss doesn’t mince words in declaring that bike shops are essential businesses, and more important than ever during the coronavirus crisis. However, not everyone agrees.

Evidently Weiss has been busy, as he also writes to recommend the joy of riding alone in trying times. Which has helped keep me sane for the better part of four decades.

Pez Cycling News looks at the movie that inspired me to start riding and develop a huge crush on Robyn Douglass.

Bike Mag talks with bike shops around the country to see how they’re handling the coronavirus crisis.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Portland man continues to ride a bike, 15 years after he rode every street in the city — then set out to ride every street in the suburbs, too.

An Idaho bike shop owner says more people are turning to mountain bikes because they don’t feel safe on the roads.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Minnesota man credits riding a bike every other day and seldom smoking with helping him get to be 90 years old.

Bike riding in Minnesota is up 20% since the governor declared a state of emergency.

An arrest was finally made in the hit-and-run death of an Arkansas bike rider, who was killed just 58 days after he got married.

Sad news from Massachusetts, where a man has died after he, his wife and son were critically injured in a collision while riding their bikes; still no charges against the driver.

A New York op-ed says the mayor’s social distancing plan gets it all wrong, and that the city should either open up more street space for bike riders and pedestrians, or lock everyone up at home.

Seventy-five-year old Rod Stewart is one of us, taking a spin around his Miami block on his mountain bike.

 

International

Cycling Weekly tells the story of a man who’s struggling to get back on his bike after losing the use his limbs, literally overnight, due to a rare medical condition.

Road.cc has a list of 36 books they say every bike rider should own. Of which I have exactly two.

The Verge says it’s a great time to buy an ebike as a way to practice social distancing over long distances.

London’s Mirror lists the year’s best foldies, starting at the equivalent of a surprisingly affordable $167.

The wife of a 40-year old British man is telling the world to take Covid-19 seriously, as the “young, fit” British bike rider recovers following a terrifying seven-day struggle for his life.

A Brit triathlete flaunted the country’s coronavirus lockdown by taking a nine hour, 200 mile ride he termed the Tour of Norfolk, saying if it’s okay to go out for a one-hour ride, it’s okay to go out for five or six. Even though he exceeded that by 50%.

No irony here. A UK motorists’ group calls on people to to leave their bicycles at home so they don’t fall off and overwhelm the country’s health service during the pandemic. Because we all know no one ever gets hurt riding in a car.

Bike Radar examines Scottish former hour record holder Graeme Obree’s new “weird and wonderful” homemade bike.

Dutch ebike riders will be allowed to use the country’s bike paths because red lights don’t recognize their lightweight ped-assist bikes on the streets, but they’ll be limited to 18 mph.

An Indian man carried his wife on his bicycle over seven miles to a hospital after she was injured at the factory where she works; he couldn’t afford the nearly $270 cost for an ambulance.

Evidently, they’re serious down there. A Johannesburg, South Africa bike rider became the first person arrested for violating the country’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.

A Kiwi website uses Strava data to show bicyclists and runners are flaunting New Zealand’s coronavirus lockdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de France could be held without spectators this year, if it’s held at all. Although it would be virtually impossible to clear spectators from the 100+ mile stage routes, and would do nothing to prevent transmission of Covid-19 between the cyclists and crews; the best hope is that the virus simply recedes by then and allows the race to go on.

The mountain bike world championships scheduled for Germany this June has fallen to Covid-19, just like every other bike race so far.

Even though there’s no bike racing right now, you can always live in the past.

The Dirty Kanza gravel race will be holding a virtual training camp for would be competitors.

In a case of good news/bad news, or maybe vice versa, Canadian pro Mike Woods has plenty of time to recover from the broken leg he suffered in the final stage of Paris-Nice, thanks to the pro cycling coronavirus shutdown.

One the other hand, South African cyclist Nic Dlamini finally got the all clear from his doctors after national park rangers broke his arm last year while trying to seize his bike for the crime of not paying the entrance fee on a training ride. But now there are no races to ride, and the entire country is under a total lockdown.

The action continues in yesterday’s stage 7 of the Tour de Quarantine.

 

Finally…

At last, a vegan ped-assist bike, just like virtually every other bicycle. And this might just be the screaming, bike-riding comedian we need right now.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

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