Tag Archive for bicycling fatalities

More high-speed carnage on dangerous LA streets, Streets For All tallies LA traffic violence, and Rivendell reparations fail

This is the cost of traffic violence, as the carnage continues on Los Angeles streets.

Just one day after a driver traveling at an estimated 80 to 100 miles per hour ran a red light and plowed into cars crossing the busy intersection of La Brea and Slauson, killing six innocent people, a well-known actress apparently copied the act.

Except Anne Heche plowed into a home in a fiery Mar Vista crash.

According to TMZ, Heche had apparently crashed into a pair of apartment building garages in the area, doing relatively minor damage to each, and may have been fleeing paparazzi and people trying to halt her as she sped up Walgrove Ave.

Security video shows her traveling at an extreme rate of speed.

Any bike rider or pedestrian unfortunate enough to be in her way would have been killed instantly.

Instead, she apparently lost control and slammed into a home less than a block from an elementary school, narrowly missing the homeowner inside.

The home and its contents were a total loss.

Heche herself somehow survived, despite suffering critical burns; as in the Windsor Hills crash, she was reportedly too badly injured and treated with too many medications to conduct a valid test for drug or alcohol use.

Although a sharp-eyed person points out what appears to be an open pint of alcohol next to the gear shift in one of the TMZ photos.

Heche reportedly faces a long and painful recovery from her injuries.

We’re only lucky that she didn’t take anyone else with her.

And once again, the crash points out the abject failure of LA’s chronically underfunded — and under-cared about — Vision Zero program, as well as the failure of the city to carry through with the transportation reforms promised in the mobility plan, in the seven years since either was approved.

Simply put, speeds like those in either crash should not be possible on surface streets. And the city should make every effort to ensure things like this can’t happen.

Let alone don’t.

Clearly, though, not everyone agrees. Take this comment in response to Friday’s post about the Windsor Hills crash.

Please.

Wow, this is one of the worst articles on this subject ever written. The ideas are without merit and the ignorance is almost frightening. I’d recommend not quitting your day job.

Never mind that this is my day job. But that, too, is who we share the road with.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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There’s no question that LA Times columnist Steve Lopez gets it, as he examines the horrifying carnage on our streets.

“People have their necks broken, they burn to death and suffer unrecoverable injuries. The onus for care drops into the laps of firefighters and paramedics … and even those guys, with all their equipment and training, can’t do anything,” (UCLA ER physician Dr. Mark) Morocco said…

It’s terrifyingly common in Los Angeles, and getting behind the wheel, or going for a walk or a bike ride, is a game of roulette.

Meanwhile, letter writers to the Times say the crash shows the city is desperate for safer streets.

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Important Twitter thread from Streets For All examining the full cost of traffic violence throughout Los Angeles, and in each individual council district, since Vision Zero and the mobility plan were adopted in 2015.

The charts also include the amount of mobility plan implementation, miles of bus and bike lanes, and how many people in the district signed the Healthy Streets LA petition to require implementation of the mobility plan when streets are resurfaced, which the organization accurately describes as massive citywide support.

You can find a downloadable pdf of the full report for each council district here.

Take a moment to check out your own district, then look at some of the others, like the 55 bike riders and pedestrians killed in Mitch O’Farrell’s CD13 in Hollywood, the 82 killed in Curren Price’s CD9, or the horrifying 105 dead in Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s CD8 in South LA.

Never mind that just one traffic death is one too many.

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Great piece from Outside, about custom bikemaker Rivendell Bicycle Works’ well intentioned, but ultimately doomed, effort to offer a 45% discount to Black customers as a form of reparations for the long history of racism in a the bike industry.

“The American bicycle industry has been racist, often overtly racist, since 1878,” the company wrote in the release. “Rivendell has been obliviously—not ‘obviously’—racist most of the time since 1994. We say this not to scold the industry, not to be publicly humble, not to scold other bicycle businesses, and not to be uncharacteristically on trend. It’s just true.”

Rivendell’s nine staff members were on board to launch the Black Reparations Pricing, or BRP. The company would not increase prices on other frames and would dedicate 10 percent of its inventory to BRP for customers who identified as Black. “We’re committed to it, and will not cave at the first heat,” said the company statement. “As for how it’ll affect business, we’ll just see. If we go broke because those who use the flag or God as an invisibility cloak for their white nationalism stop patronizing us we’ll…move on…”

The inequality started in the first bike boom of the 1890s, when cycling lessons and clubs were only available to white people, and bikes were priced out of reach for all but the most elite. The exclusion continued through the next century in ways that had a chilling effect on who rides and where—like a 1971 law in Washington, DC, that required costly bike licenses, which stopped many impoverished Black people from riding as commuters, or a 1987 bike ban in Midtown Manhattan, through which Wall Street executives sought to bar mostly Black and brown bike messengers from their lobbies and avenues, even while those same executives flocked to the mountain bike trails around their summer cabins upstate. A recent Los Angeles Times investigation reviewed 44,000 bike stops by police and found that they disproportionately targeted poorer communities with large nonwhite populations.

Unfortunately, the backlash was swift and severe.

Once Rivendell’s program hit the national media, Petersen began to receive threats by phone and email. Worried about his safety, he installed video cameras around the store. The company’s phones rang repeatedly with calls from alt-right podcasters, and their Yelp, Google, and social media sites were flooded with negative comments and one-star reviews. “Quit the political commentary BS & focus on bikes,” wrote one commenter on Instagram. “Those people, the majority of them, had never bought anything from us. They probably don’t even ride bikes,” says Will Keating, Rivendell’s general manager. “It’s like they just saw something that infuriated them on the internet and had to take the next step.” The program was shut down on the advice of Rivendell’s lawyers. “The whole thing—it was a grand plan that fizzled out,” says Petersen. “We were afraid for our physical well-being. It was really ugly around here. We were all miserable.”

“From a strictly legal perspective, we’ve been handcuffed,” Petersen wrote in a blog announcing the end of the reparations program.

It’s a good piece, and well worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because it clearly demonstrates the difficulty in trying to do the right thing, in a country so sharply divided along political and racial lines.

And it raises questions of how much more we could and should be doing to right historical wrongs that continue to manifest in the present.

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A rally will take place at Los Angeles City Hall this morning to protest the new ordinance criminalizing open air bike chop shops.

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Turns out that one of the most common aggressive maneuvers practiced by California drivers is against the law.

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On a happier note, it looks like Charlize Theron is one of us.

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Of course Marge Simpson is one of us.

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

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for getting out of his pickup to beat and strangle a man riding a bicycle, after crashing into the victim and knocking him into a pole.

Sometimes you turn to the cops for help after a road rage attack, only to discover it was a cop who did it; meanwhile, another Toronto cop crashed into a bike rider in a bike lane, later claiming the sun was in his eyes.

Police in the UK initially refused to take action after a woman deliberately drove her Range Rover into a bike rider, who called their response “victim-blaming twaddle.”

No bias here. A London writer proclaims the war on cars is a war on women. Which it wouldn’t be, even if it was real.

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

Great Britain’s transport minister is proposing a bill to reign in a “selfish minority of bike riders” by creating a bicycling equivalent to the country’s death by dangerous driving law, with a penalty up to life in prison.

A man on a bicycle is blamed for stealing a New Zealand statue of Ernest Rutherford, known as the father of nuclear physics, by rocking the statue back and forth for half an hour until it snapped off its base.

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Local

The LA Times reports on the parents of a 12-year old Pacific Palisades girl who are suing Rad Power Bikes alleging a defective design caused their daughter’s death.

The LACBC is giving donated bikes away to people in need through its Bike Match program.

 

State 

Streetsblog reports on a recent webinar explaining how to fight for bike lanes where you live.

Seriously? A Coronado newspaper says ebikes may be the future, but questions whether they’re a hazard on the island’s roadways.

Camarillo letter writers say the city needs to make itself bike-friendly now, not five years from now when a new bike path is scheduled to open.

A pair of 14-year old Camarillo boys were injured, one seriously, when they were run down on their bikes by a 68-year old driver at the Camarillo outlet mall.

The LA Times says the best SoCal bike trail is the Ojai Valley Trail, describing it as an “incredibly scenic path (running) 15 miles from the Ventura shoreline to the charming town of Ojai.”

Kindhearted cops in Arroyo Grande got a new bike for a 15-year old boy after the one he rode to his summer job was stolen.

A 23-year old man was arrested for robbing a Palo Alto bike shop near Stanford University, after the shop’s workers refused to buy an ebike he’d brought in.

A rideout took over the eastbound lanes of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge on Saturday, as the CHP did their best to herd them onto a bike path.

A San Francisco bike hater belatedly becomes the Bike Guy after rediscovering riding in middle age.

 

National

A new study explains why most people never forget how to ride a bike, no matter how long it has been.

Bikeshare can play a role in helping older Americans age in place.

US Weekly considers the best ebikes for women of any height.

Still more traffic violence in New Mexico, where an alleged drunk driver without a valid license barreled through a Gallup parade celebrating Native American culture, injuring at least 15 people, including two cops who tried to stop him.

He gets it. A columnist for the Minnesota Post explains why driving is bad for America, saying other than extending our ability to move at high speed, it comes at the cost of almost every other kind of action.

More mass carnage, as five Minnesota bike riders were injured when they were run down from behind by a driver, who plowed into the group of seven bike-riding kids led by one adult; fortunately, none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Sad news from Ohio, where an Ohio State University student died of a “heart-related medical issue” just two miles from the end of a 102-mile fundraising ride.

Good news from Nashville, where Gospel singer Amy Grant is reportedly improving every day, after she was knocked unconscious for over ten minutes in a fall off her bicycle.

A New York ebike rider was the victim of a strong-arm robbery when he was punched in the head by a stranger who stole his bike in Central Park Saturday afternoon.

New York Magazine reports on their picks for the best bike helmets, while the New York Times picks the best handlebar bags.

The Washington Post examines the inevitable ebike bikelash, saying everyone loves ebikes, except for some who share the road, or the bike lane, or the sidewalk, with them.

Over 100 South Florida kids rode their bikes to call for an end to gun violence.

Life is cheap in Florida, where a man walked without a single day behind bars — or even being charged with a crime — for killing a bike-riding man when he somehow veered off the road last year.

 

International

We Love Cycling offers tips on how to go the beach with your bike.

A Calgary, Alberta man is back to gravel racing, ‘cross and mountain biking, using an adaptive bike he built himself, 20 years after he broke his back snowboarding.

An Ottawa, Canada organization is giving mom’s a taste of freedom by teaching women to ride a bike

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding, stoned and distracted driver gets less than two years for killing a newly married man riding a bicycle.

After he was pulled off his bicycle and beaten by men shouting anti-gay slurs, an Amsterdam man is angered by the lack of resource to mount a police response.

A writer learns the hard way not to joke about unhinged bicyclists in Amsterdam, especially if you weren’t born in the Netherlands.

Ukraine’s elderly bicyclists defy the military violence surrounding them, refusing to flee or give in to the chaos.

 

Competitive Cycling

Shades of a two-wheeled Eddie the Eagle. A 48-year old man representing Ghana in the Commonwealth Games finished 47th out of 54 competitors in the time trial, which was won by Australia’s Rohan Dennis; Chris Symonds keeps in shape by riding a hybrid bike to his job as a doorkeeper at Britain’s Houses of Parliament, where he keeps his bike safe by parking it at the House of Lords. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike tire turns invisible. Or when the road symbols suggest it’s a bike lane for dogs.

And maybe it’s just me, but it looks like he could use a larger frame.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Killer Michigan drugged driver allegedly a repeat offender, and California to get $631 million for climate resilient infrastructure

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

The 43-year old woman who killed two men and critically injured three others participating in a 300-mile Michigan fundraising ride for the Make-A-Wish program faces her second arrest for driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

Mandy Marie Benn reportedly had been prescribed Aderall and Suboxone, and had prescription bottles for Benzodiazepine in her car at the time of the crash.

Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction.

The prosecuting attorney in her case described her as so stoned that she “had slow and slurred speech, lack of balance and couldn’t follow instructions,” and told police the jumble of mangled bikes and bodies “almost looks real.”

She had previously been arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle while visibly impaired back five years earlier.

However, there’s no word on a conviction. Which suggests the charge was dropped or bargained away, allowing her to keep driving until she killed someone.

And she did.

Allegedly.

Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

Benn is charged with two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, as well as a couple misdemeanors charges.

She’s being held on a million dollars bail, and faces a maximum of 31 years behind bars.

Which pales in comparison to the cost paid by the victims and their families.

Meanwhile, the victims were identified as a 57-year old man and a 48-year old man, both from Michigan.

Two of the men who were injured have been released, while the third remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

And the Make-A-Wish foundation reports they’re “heartbroken” over the needless deaths and injuries.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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U.S. Senator Alex Padilla announced that California will receive over $631 million for “climate resilient transportation infrastructure” over the next five years through the federal infrastructure bill pass last year.

The bill includes provisions for transit, bicycling and pedestrian projects designed to combat extreme weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Calbike looks at how pandemic bike riding led to the birth of SB 932, the Plan for the Future Bill.

The bill from California Senator Anthony Portantino, and sponsored by Streets for All and Calbike, requires local governments to include provisions to make streets safer for people biking, walking, using scooters and taking public transit in the circulation elements of their general plans.

And it includes deadlines for starting and finishing construction of the new facilities, so cities have to actually build them.

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Seriously?

A writer for City Watch says residents of Eagle Rock deserve better than a remake of Colorado Blvd to make it safer and more livable for everyone, accusing Metro of jamming plans for a bus rapid transit down down their throats.

Evidently, keeping it a deadly, traffic-inducing car sewer is somehow better for them, in some inexplicable way.

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Yes, you can do stunts on a commuter ebike.

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

Police in New Orleans are looking for a bike-riding man who fired a single shot at a group of people walking down the street.

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Local

A Los Angeles couple has filed suit against Seattle ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, blaming a flawed design that makes it difficult slow down and stop while going downhill for the death of their 12-year old daughter from head trauma last year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines the newly renovated Culver Blvd bike path in Culver City, noting that the project improved pedestrian and rainwater facilities, but didn’t make major changes to the bikeway itself.

Helicopter and paramedic crews with the Los Angeles Fire Department rescued an injured mountain biker from a trail in in Shadow Hills on Saturday.

West Hollywood is now home to the next generation of Lime ebikes, with new ebikes from Bird coming later this month.

Santa Monica is planning another bike and pedestrian safety operation for today, ticketing any traffic violations that could put bike riders or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. Which means the standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

 

State 

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 40-year old man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike through an alley Monday morning.

Sad news from Grover Beach, too, where a 29-year old man on an ebike was killed when he reportedly crossed in front of an oncoming fire truck.

A 69-year old driver crashed into a Berkeley bike rider participating in a group ride Sunday afternoon, before slamming into three parked cars and flipping over; both the driver and the 29-year old man on the bike were taken to a local hospital with injuries that didn’t appear to be life-threatening.

SFist questions whether San Francisco’s mayor is trying to kill off the city’s popular Slow Streets program.

 

National

Ebike and e-scooter provider Bolt Mobility, founded by Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, has ceased operations in several cities virtually overnight, abandoning its vehicles on the streets.

Bike Portland talks with a disabled Portland woman and new bike rider who gained greater mobility on her adaptive bicycle. Proving once again that bikes are for everyone, not just for the healthy and strong.

A 16-year old Las Vegas boy has been missing since he left for his new job on Friday; his phone is turned off and his bike was found in a dumpster ten miles from his home.

Operators of Colorado’s Palisade Plunge mountain bike trail are urging everyone to beware of the scorching heat and bring extra water, after the heart-related death of one man.

Houston patients with pre or existing diabetes or hypertension can now get a prescription for rental bike use.

A Minnesota advocacy group offers a 45-minute recorded discussion on tips for utilitarian bicycling, complete with a print transcript in case you’d rather read it.

Bike lanes in a Boston neighborhood has become the latest battlefront in the battle over gentrification, as Black and Latino residents complain they’re neither needed or wanted by the residents in danger of being pushed out. Even though Black and Latino people ride bikes, too.

The New Yorker ponders what a 9,000 pound electric vehicle should sound like, since silent cars and trucks pose a significant danger to bike riders and pedestrians who rely on vehicle noise for their safety.

That’s a good problem to have. The Manhattan Borough president is suggesting that the city convert a traffic lane on the West Side Highway to a separated bike path to relieve bike traffic congestion on the popular Hudson River Greenway.

NPR talks with the Director of Transportation for Hoboken about how the New Jersey city has eliminated traffic deaths for the past four years through a series of incremental safety changes.

Another reminder to always carry ID when you ride a bike, as authorities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana struggle to identify a man killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding a bike.

 

International

After a British teacher flipped over his handlebars and broke his collarbone, he credited the what3words app with pinpointing his rural location for the paramedics.

Here are 18 bicycling routes throughout the island nation for your next trip to Singapore.

 

Competitive Cycling

Another day, another major crash in track cycling at the Commonwealth Games; Australia is leading a push for better safety measures.

Veteran Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s “super proud” to have won the first women’s Tour de France in 33 years, despite nearly quitting due to stomach issues early in the week.

The Astana Qazaqstan cycling team reinstated Colombian rider Miguel Ángel López after he was questioned, and apparently cleared, in the investigation into the alleged activities of a Spanish doctor suspected of drug trafficking.

 

Finally…

Celebrate a Tour de France finish on your next bike ride, complete with cheering fans. Your next ebike could have a built-in boombox to annoy everyone as you ride by.

And Aquaman is one of us.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Alleged DUI Michigan driver kills 2 fundraising riders and injures 3 others, and Culver City remakes Culver Blvd bike path

Once again, a motor vehicle in the wrong hands has become a weapon of mass destruction.

Two people were killed, and three critically injured, when an alleged DUI driver plowed into a group of bicyclists participating in a Michigan Make-A-Wish fundraising ride.

The driver reportedly crossed the center line in an ill-advised effort to pass a slower driver, hitting the victims head-on.

Meanwhile, a Canton, Michigan family went out on their own as a tribute to the victims, after the third and final day of the ride was cancelled in the wake of the crash.

This comes just six years and less than 70 miles from the infamous Kalamazoo massacre, where a stoned driver killed five people and injured several others taking part in a weekly ride.

That driver was sentenced to a well-deserved 40 years behind bars.

Let’s hope this one sees the same sort of justice.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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The knock on the Culver Blvd bike path has always been the increased risk bike riders face at intersections.

Hopefully they’ve improved the signaling to improve safety.

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If you’ve been reading this site over the last decade or so, you’ll know I’m a big fan of the Militant Angeleno’s CicLAvia guides, and even co-hosted a epic guided ride with the notoriously shy masked man during the CicLAvia celebrating the LA Symphony’s 100th anniversary.

He’s never asked us for anything in return.

Until now.

Now, for the first time, the Militant is asking you to send a little much-deserved love his way, in the form of a PayPal donation.

So I hope you’ll join me in opening your heart and wallet to support one of the city’s most loved personalities.

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This, too, is the cost of traffic violence.

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

They clearly don’t get it. A Staten Island website complains about plans for a road diet and removing parking spaces, saying bike lanes aren’t the answer to speeding drivers. Except that’s exactly what road diets are for, and bike lanes are just a tool to narrow traffic lanes and force drivers to slow down.

You’ve got to be kidding. A New Jersey columnist sides with a Jersey City councilmember who fled the scene after crashing into a bike rider, saying the crash shows bicyclists think they’re above the law. I’d say hit-and-run is just a tad more serious than mistakenly thinking you’ve got the green light, as the rider claimed. But that’s just me.

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

New York police are looking for a bike-riding snatch-and-grab thief who is targeting women to steal their cellphones.

Um, no.  A British bike courier faces charges after going on a rampage when his bike was stolen, smashing the windows on twelve businesses with his U-lock, then attacking the cops who tried to stop him. Seriously, don’t do that.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a bike-riding man walked with an 18-month suspended sentence for plowing into a pedestrian, leaving the man with a serious brain injury.

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Local

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal to decriminalize riding a bike on a sidewalk tomorrow, in response to an LA Times investigative report that showed sheriff’s deputies used the sidewalk ban to disproportionately target people of color.

NBA great LeBron James puts his money where his passion lies, investing $30 million dollars in Germany-based, direct-to-consumer Canyon Bicycles.

 

State 

No surprise here. The family of a 34-year-old man who was killed riding an e-scooter in a bike lane on San Diego’s Pershing Drive is suing the city; John Sepulveda was killed just two months and a few blocks from where noted architect Laura Shinn was killed by an allegedly stoned driver while riding her bike.

This is who we share the road with, too. A Riverside man is being hailed as a hero after he ran into busy freeway traffic to save the life of a motorcyclist caught up in a multi-car crash.

Hats off to Simi Valley Eagle Scout Chad Agruso, who installed a bike repair station on the Arroyo Simi Greenway Bike Trail.

Camarillo and Ventura County are considering a proposal to extend the Calleguas Creek bike path from Pleasant Valley Road to California State University Channel Islands, and possibly beyond.

Life is cheap in Bakersfield, where a woman walked with a lousy two-years probation for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider. And then we wonder why drivers don’t take hit-and-run seriously. Or killing someone, for that matter.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 23-year veteran of the police department was killed in a collision while riding a bicycle on Saturday; he was taking part in the annual Tour De Lakes put on by the Fresno Cycling Club.

Caltrans has begun taking comments on building a comprehensive multimodal corridor plan for the I-5 corridor through Sacramento County, which will analyze impacts to all modes of transportation, including bicycling and walking.

 

National

REI is holding a bike sale through August 8th.

Streetsblog examines what’s in the new Senate climate bill for sustainable transportation — and what isn’t. Hint: Ebike rebates.

Google Maps will soon offer information on bike lanes, hills and turn-by-turn directions specifically for people on bicycles.

Bike Portland offers a photo essay from this weekend’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, easily one of the nation’s largest.

Portland celebrated the opening of a long-awaited new bike and pedestrian bridge named for bike-riding Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

Seattle’s Critical Mass ride turned into a memorial for a fallen bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run earlier this month, as the victim’s widow insisted “We should all be safe.” Thanks to Pops for the heads-up. 

A kindhearted Choctaw Nation Tribal cop bought a new bike for a 13-year old girl on the Oklahoma reservation, after hers was stolen.

Two Minnesota bike riders were collateral damage when a driver’s SUV rolled over following a collision, and crashed into them as they waited at an intersection; both victims were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Christian singer Amy Grant is reportedly resting comfortably at home in Nashville after she was released from the hospital following a fall off her bike, postponing all her concerts planned for this month.

They get it. A Buffalo NY editorial board says rising bike and pedestrian deaths demand better road designs.

They get it, too. DC is considering allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and banning right turn on red for drivers.

 

International

Road.cc offers helpful advice on what to do if an airline loses your bike. Hint: Don’t go ballistic and trash all their planes, tempting though it may be.

Vancouver responds to a recent bicycling death by making sideguards mandatory for city-owned heavy trucks.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a custom adaptive bike from a ten-year old Calgary girl with cerebral palsy.

A Toronto paper says making a right turn on a bike is harder than you think, offering tips on the right way to do it — including taking the whole right lane.

Welsh leaders back off plans to improve safety for everyone by reducing speeds to 20 mph after drivers complained, and will now raise speed limits back to 30 mph on some roads.

Dangerous drivers aren’t the only risk Ukrainian bike riders face, as a woman was lucky to escape harm by riding away just seconds before a Russian rocket struck.

Bicyclists in Malta are complaining that the island’s bike lanes must be designed by someone who has never ridden a bike. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

China is once again the bicycle kingdom, as the coronavirus and rising fuel prices bring bikes back in vogue.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe it’s the Rouleur jinx. Just one day after the European cycling magazine asked if the great Marianne Vos could continue to dominate the Tour de France Femmes, the answer was no.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten made that an emphatic “no,” burying the field with a solo attack on Saturday’s penultimate stage, and winning by a whopping three minutes and 26 seconds.

The 39-year old Dutch cyclist somehow survived six bike changes due to a mechanical issue early in Sunday’s eighth and final stage to win the Tour with a final margin of 3 minutes and 48 seconds; van Vleuten’s win comes six years after her horrific crash in the Rio Olympics.

Twenty-seven-year old Veronica Ewers was the top American finisher in 7th place.

CNN calls the inaugural race an “absolutely beautiful moment” that can change women’s cycling.

Sunday’s morning track cycling session at the Commonwealth Games was cancelled due to a mass crash in which England’s Matt Walls and Canada’s Derek Gee went over the wall into the crowd; Walls was treated for over 40 minutes before leaving in an ambulance.

American mountain bikers made history, as Christopher Blevins and Gwendalyn Gibson topped the men’s and women’s podiums at the UCI mountain bike World Cup in Snowshoe, West Virginia, the first time Americans have won both races.

The second edition of L39ION of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams’s Into the Lion’s Den crit has been postponed until next year.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding your bike with a joint and a couple stolen social security cards, put a damn light on it. Or when you’ve got an open beer, meth and three ounces of weed on your bike, maybe try riding with traffic, instead.

And that feeling when you enjoy a romantic tandem ride with 330 million of your closest friends.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Updating traffic violence news, Healthy Streets LA turns in 120,000 signatures, and OC applies for bikeway grant

Happy first day of summer! And belated Juneteenth and Father’s Day greetings! 

Maybe one of these days I’ll actually catch up to the calendar. 

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Let’s start by updating a pair of tragedies we mentioned yesterday.

First is an Illinois county judge who was killed when he was rear-ended by a 73-year old driver. Today brought news that he had been riding with his wife on a roadway rated by the state as unfriendly for bikes, yet which was inexplicably recommended by Google Maps; he was also a board member for a statewide bike advocacy group.

We had also mentioned that a Buffalo, NY woman was killed when a driver plowed into a group of three bike-riding women; today we learned the victim was popular singer-songwriter in the area. Police believe the crash occurred when the driver suffered some sort of medical emergency.

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This is just a fraction of the 120,000 signatures they’re ready to turn in for the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s 2:15 pm special public meeting of the LA City Council’s Public Works and Transportation Committees to discuss a proposal to adopt the wording of the ballot proposition before it goes to a public vote this November.

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This could be a big plus for OC bike riders.

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The estimable Will Campbell struck out in an effort to bike to the new Sandy Koufax statue at Dodger Stadium.

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Lionel Mares forwards photos from Saturday’s ride along the LA River with LACBC and California Sate Senator Maria Elena Durazo and LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman.

Speaking of the LACBC, any donations to the bike advocacy group will be matched dollar for dollar by Warner Bros. Discovery for the next month, up to a total of $25,000.

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An inspiring new video demonstrates how an adaptive athlete helped Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s “deepest, darkest” mountain bike trail welcome adaptive bike riders.

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

Denver area sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man with a long criminal record who allegedly swerved his pickup onto the shoulder of a highway to attack a group of bicyclists Sunday morning, critically injuring one woman; deputies found his abandoned truck that night, after he had stopped briefly to dislodge a bicycle stuck underneath it.

………

Local

Former LACBC board member and Laemmle Theaters owner Greg Laemmle is hosting his popular Tour de Laemmle this Sunday, welcoming anyone who wants to join him in riding to the recently sold Laemmle Playhouse 7 one last time.

The star of the documentary Q Ball was released from prison after 24 long years; he had been sentenced to life behind bars for his third strike conviction after Long Beach police found him in possession of a gun when they stopped him for riding his bike without a light. Otherwise known as a pretext stop, giving cops an excuse to stop and search someone.

 

State 

Food giant Mondelēz International got the munchies, and gobbled up Emeryville-based maker of Clif Bars for a whopping $2.9 billion. Yes, that’s billions with a B.

 

National

File this one under bad ideas. President Biden is considering a temporary pause in the already too low federal gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in 29 years. There are better ways to address the pain of high gas taxes than cutting funds that support transportation spending. Like tax rebates funded by a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

No, that wasn’t former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki making fun of Donald Trump after Biden fell off his bike.

Bike Hacks offers tips on how to feel safe and confident on the road while riding at night.

A Portland man has filed suit against the city, alleging he was injured by a flashbang grenade and beaten by police during the 2020 racial justice protests, and unable to reclaim his bicycle after it was seized by officers.

A new entry-level, retro-style cruiser ebike from Seattle bikemaker E-Velo is specifically designed for riders under 5’10” tall. Although I would hardly call $3,500 “entry-level.”

Pittsburgh has installed the city’s first advisory bike lane, which channels drivers into a shared center lane, while allowing them to briefly move into the bike and pedestrian lanes on either side — just like the one that was unceremoniously ripped out in San Diego.

This is who we share the road with. Six people were injured, three critically, when a New York cabbie hit a bike rider after rounding a corner, then jumped the curb, slamming into several pedestrians and pinning two women against a wall; once again, police suspect the driver may have suffered some sort of medical episode.

Police in Tupelo, Mississippi struggled to identify a man who was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike Friday, before members of the public came up with his name several hours later. One more reminder to always carry ID with you when you ride — preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated.

 

International

A new Colombian law named for a 13-year old victim of traffic violence killed riding his bike commits the country to improving traffic safety through the safe systems approach, while reducing speed limits and adopting UN regulations for vehicle standards and licensing.

Canadian musician DJ JaBig is entering the final leg of a 10,000-mile ride through the US to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief; he’s less than $1,000 short of his $16,500 goal.

Bath, England decides to trade up, replacing two golf courses with a new bike park.

Angry bike riders complain about ice cream trucks illegally parked in the protected bike lanes on London’s Westminster Bridge.

Israeli approved plans to crack down on bike and e-scooter riders for crimes like riding distracted and not wearing a helmet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly talks with Alexey Vermeulen, who bailed on a brief road cycling career to earn six figures as a gravel privateer.

Win a bike race, celebrate with a dip in the pool in full kit.

And avoid that awkward sprint to the finish with a spirited round of Rochambeau.

https://twitter.com/eurosport/status/1538145608309084160?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1538145608309084160%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Ftweets-of-the-week-rock-paper-scissors-at-a-bike-race-the-other-geraint-thomas-and-quinten-hermans-makes-a-splash

 

Finally…

Why wait for bikes to hit the road when you can run them down in the shop? That feeling when a stray bike wheel shuts down the entire subway.

And once again, a bike rider is a hero. If only to our feathered friends.

But wait, there’s more!

Thanks to TEOTWAWKI, aka TRutt, for the heads-up.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

6 years for hit-and-run death of Colton boy, LA votes on bike chop shop ban today, and demand Griffith Park bike safety

The hit-and-run driver who killed 15-year old bike rider Javier Gonzalez in Riverside has been formally sentenced to six years behind bars.

Thirty-seven-year old Riverside resident Rosendo Morales Caldera pled guilty earlier this month to hit-and-run resulting in death, with a sentence enhancement of fleeing the scene of a crime, after prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Caldera might not have faced any jail time if he’d just stopped his damn truck, since Colton resident Gonzalez and his friends were riding on the wrong side of the street.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

The Los Angeles City Council will vote on a proposed ordinance today to ban outdoor bike repairs and sales on public property, in an effort to halt open air bike chop shops.

However, it will exempt “people in possession of a single bike being repaired with the express purpose of allowing them to ride it again.” Which means you shouldn’t be subject to the law just for fixing your bike in public.

Key word, shouldn’t.

Although whether it will actually have an effect on bike theft remains to be seen.

………

A Reddit post reminds us about the Griffith Park Advisory Board, which meets twice a month to discuss matters concerning the park.

Like how to keep bike riders safe from all the cars and drivers they let in to what should be a safe place for people.

The next virtual meeting takes place on the 27th of this month.

Improving Safety within Griffith Park: Griffith Park Advisory Board from BikeLA

……….

Inspiring story of a Tampa, Florida bike mechanic who rides his fixie with just one leg, after losing his left leg in a motorcycle crash.

Even on the track.

………

GCN offers advice on how to perform basic maintenance for beginning bike riders.

………

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

This is why we can’t have nice things. A San Francisco disability advocate, backed by an art museum, is filing a ballot measure to force the return of cars to newly carfree John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Disgruntled motorists have been sabotaging London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods by repeatedly tipping over planters intended to limit traffic flow.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 profiles the Watts-based East Side Riders and co-founder John Jones III as they work to support the community and push for change.

Pacoima is launching the San Fernando Valley’s first ebike-based bikeshare system, which will be free to use for the next nine months.

He gets it. An op-ed from former Santa Monica City Manager and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Rick Cole says stop spending billions on freeways. That money could be better spent on transit, biking and pedestrian projects to reduce the need to drive, instead of fueling it.

 

State 

Guardian Bikes, a children’s bikemaker financially backed by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, is pulling up stakes in Irvine and moving to Seymour, Indiana, which should result in a ten-times increase in production.

A handful of residents and business owners turned out to protest as San Diego began work to remove two traffic lanes and install protected bike lanes on Park Blvd in University Heights, at a cost of just 88 parking spaces — most of which will be replaced nearby.

A Palm Springs man started an organization to provide bicycles to homeless people, to support them with much-needed transportation.

Oakland residents protested to call for safer streets in the wake of two deadly collisions involving a man on a bicycle and an elderly pedestrian.

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is one of us, explaining he rides his bicycle to home games to cut his carbon footprint.

 

National

ABC News reports that racial disparities in American traffic fatalities are even worse than previously thought, especially for pedestrians and bike riders, with Black pedestrians and cyclists 2.2 times and 4.5 times more like to killed on a per-mile basis, respectively; the trend is similar for Hispanic Americans.

Bicycle Retailer says increases in US bike ridership reached the highest levels in decades during the pandemic, but the bike boom may already be over.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico letter writer asks why the city can’t keep bike lanes clean and free of debris. Something most of us would like to know, wherever we live.

Kansas drivers are reminded to watch out for bike riders this month, as the Trans Am Bike Race and the Race Across America, aka RAAM, roll through the state, along with the annual Biking Across Kansas; three riders have been killed in the last five years.

The Chicago Sun-Times calls on the city to raise the fine for drivers who block bike lanes, after a three-year old girl was killed when her mother rode her bike around a utility truck parked in one.

A 43-year old Toledo man faces charges for viciously beating a 70-year old man riding his bicycle on a bike trail; the suspect bizarrely claims he was just trying to wake the victim up because he didn’t look well.

Writing from the perspective of a “non-avid cyclist,” a DC woman calls for better bike infrastructure for people like her, rather than the self-proclaimed “avid cyclists” who always seem to show up to oppose it.

A Virginia writer remembers riding his $5 junkyard bike all over town as a boy, while lamenting that kids don’t ride bikes anymore.

 

International

Riders stripped down to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico to call for greater visibility of people on bicycles; dozens of riders joined the fun in Toronto, too.

A Calgary man was sentenced to three years and three months behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike-riding man as the driver was leaving a golf course; the judge rejected a defense plea for a lenient sentence, saying it wouldn’t deter other people from drinking and driving.

An Ottawa, Canada woman has been holding weekly bike giveaways for the past three months to help Ukrainian refugees settle into the city.

Hanoi, Vietnam is opening a new 200-station bikeshare network.

An outdated law limiting handlebar widths means that most mountain bikers in Western Australia risk fines for breaking the law.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini won the Women’s Tour of Britain by just one second over Australian Grace Brown, thanks to a four-second bonus for a third place finish in the final stage.

Sprinter Mark Cavendish probably won’t have a chance to break his tie with Eddy Merckx for the most stage wins in the Tour de France, since he’s unlikely to make the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team roster for the race.

 

Finally…

What’s a bike race without a little booze? Before you submit video of a scofflaw bicyclist, make sure you’re not the one breaking the law.

And before you celebrate your win, make sure you really did.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA considers Complete Streets makeover of Valley Blvd, US House hearing on traffic deaths, and Ballona Creek path closed

Los Angeles is taking the first tentative steps towards a Complete Streets makeover of Valley Blvd, from Mission Road to Soto Street

Proposals for the four-mile stretch of Valley Blvd include bus lanes and a possible sidewalk level, two-way cycle track, while sinking railroad tracks to reduce crossings and improve safety.

But don’t hold your breath.

Actual construction is at least five to ten years off. And what gets built will depend on a series of public meetings, which gives the usual NIMBYs a chance to derail everything.

Photo courtesy of the City of Los Angeles, via The Eastsider.

……….

About damn time.

The US House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee held a hearing yesterday to consider the country’s rising rate of traffic deaths, especially among pedestrians and bike riders.

Then again, it’s one thing to conduct a hearing. It’s another to actually do something about it.

Which hasn’t exactly been Congress’ strong suit in recent years.

………

A section of the Ballona Creek bike path between National Blvd and Duquesne Ave in Culver City will be closed through this month.

………

Sunset For All hosts another coffee walk to spread the word about plans for a more human-focused boulevard.

https://twitter.com/SunsetForAll/status/1534319644634497025

………

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

An Idaho man faces up to 15 years behind bars after accepting a plea bargain for driving through a public park trying to run down a boy riding a bicycle; fortunately, the kid was able to jump off before the man ran over his bike.

Police in the UK are looking for the passenger of a pickup who shouted out the window and squirted an “unknown liquid” in the face of pair of bicyclists as the truck passed them. Far from a harmless prank, something like that can startle the victim and cause a dangerous fail — regardless of whether the substance itself was actually harmful.

………

Local

A Long Beach bike rider is in stable condition after he suffered injuries to his upper body when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the California Heights neighborhood.

 

State 

Victorville will close a portion of Green Tree Blvd for three months as part of a street makeover, including adding bike lanes along the roadway to create a seven-mile bike loop.

Zebra sightings continue in Santa Barbara, including one that chased a bike rider on Sunday; locals suggest it could be a free-roaming domesticated animal who has gone on several previous walkabouts.

San Jose’s Mr. Roadshow says he’s surprised the Bike League rated California as the country’s fourth most bicycle-friendly state, even as bike and pedestrian deaths continue to rise. He should see how surprised the rest of us are.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a therapy bike belonging to an 11-year old Sacramento boy with cerebral palsy; fortunately, kindhearted community members have raised more than $3,000 to replace it.

 

National

Outdoor offers their favorite outdoor love stories shared by the magazine’s readers, including a California couple’s mountain biking meetup that sparked their relationship.

Consumer Reports warns against buying or using the Tony Hawk Silver Signature Series helmet after it failed a safety test; the manufacturer had offered the helmet as a replacement for the recalled Dimensions Bluetooth Speaker multipurpose helmet, which also failed the magazine’s safety tests.

Bicycling recommends their picks for the best saddle bags. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Dallas is the latest major city to adopt a Vision Zero program, agreeing to halt traffic deaths by 2030. Let’s hope they show more commitment than Los Angeles and other cities have, where it’s failing for lack of effort and investment.

A Chicago public radio station considers what the city can do to improve safety for bicyclists, after three riders have died on city streets this year. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has suffered over twice as many deaths, and no one has even batted an eye. 

Prosecutors charged an Indianapolis man with murder for the fatal hit-and-run that killed his ex-girlfriend as she was riding her bike; she identified her killer by giving police his license number before she died.

A writer from Streetsblog says New York can have nice things, but only after they get rid of cars — like blocking vehicles from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

That’s more like it. DC is considering a plan to charge owners of large trucks and SUVs more to register their vehicles in an attempt to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, with an extra $175 for vehicles weighing between 3,500 and 6,000 pounds, and $500 for anything over that.

 

International

Digital Journal suggests smart helmets could be the future of bicycle safety.

British police are relying on bike cam and dashcam video to enforce traffic laws, after cutbacks in traffic cops. Unfortunately, that’s illegal in most, if not all, US states, where traffic infraction have to actually be witnessed by a cop.

A 49-year old father of three from the UK shares how bicycling helped him recover from a brain tumor, calling it as important to his recovery as his medications.

Your next custom-fitted Italian steel bike frame could come complete with gold-plated lugs and stays.

A 42-year old Dutch woman has been charged with attempted manslaughter for grabbing the arm of the country’s former legal protection minister as he rode his bike at a high rate of speed, causing him to fall heavily and break several ribs, as well as his pelvis and collarbone.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former world ‘cross champ Thalita de Jong is finally back in the women’s WorldTour, five years after a knee injury knocked the Belgian cyclist out of the sport’s top levels.

The Sportsman says seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome is in the toughest fight of his career as he fights just to make the Israel–Premier Tech team for the Tour de France.

The coach of India’s international cycling team has been accused of sexual harassment and trying to force himself on one of the country’s top women’s cyclists.

The Spanish cycling community mourned the death of 87-year old Julio Jiménez, one of international cycling’s best climbers of the ’60s, after he was killed when the driver of the car he was in crashed into a wall.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a little 65 mph bike ride through the California desert. Your next bike could be the self-proclaimed Ferrari of ebikes, for the low, low price of just 18 grand.

And that feeling when jousting on bicycles with boat oars ends up pretty much the way you’d expect.

Jousting with oars on bicycles from WinStupidPrizes

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Plea deal in death of 15-year old Javier Gonzalez, grieving families fight for safer streets, and housing for people not cars

Happy World Bicycle Day!

Now get out there and ride one.

And contact your elected leaders to demand safer streets when you get back.

………

It looks like there will be justice for Javier Gonzalez, after all.

If you consider over six years justice for fleeing the scene after killing a teenage boy.

Thirty-seven-year old Riverside resident Rosendo Morales Caldera pled guilty to hit-and-run resulting in death, with a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene of a crime, after prosecutors agreed to drop a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Caldera was accused of killing Gonzalez last March as the 15-year old boy rode salmon with his friends on a Riverside street, slamming head-on into his bicycle before speeding away without stopping.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 13th. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of six years and eight months, significantly above the standard penalty of four years for a fatal hit-and-run in California.

And yet, it seems like it’s still not enough.

Caldera has a lengthy criminal record, with prior convictions for car theft, possessing a forged driver’s license, vandalism, and being felon in possession of a firearm; he was out on probation at the time of Gonzalez’ death.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

………

Today’s must read is a hard-hitting, inspiring and heartbreaking piece from the New Yorker, about families of fallen pedestrians and bike riders who banded together to fight for safer streets — leading to the country’s first Vision Zero in New York, and traffic safety wins at city hall and the state capital.

And balanced out by just as many losses.

The group they founded, Families for Safe Streets, has grown to include chapter across the US, including here in Southern California. Each of whom has lost a family member to traffic violence.

But this is what they’re up against.

By century’s end, cars had grown progressively larger, better insulated from the feedback of the surrounding environment, and safer for the people inside them. Those on the outside were less lucky. The U.S. automotive lobby resisted regulations enacted in Europe that made cars and trucks less lethal, and, by 2018, the number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths per kilometre in the United States was more than four times higher than in the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Among the most vulnerable are older adults, who in 2020 made up twenty per cent of killed pedestrians, and people who live in low-income neighborhoods where there has been little investment in safe road design.

Between 2010 and 2019, as the number of U.S. drivers or passengers who died in collisions held fairly steady, deaths of those on bikes rose thirty-six per cent, and deaths of those on foot nearly doubled.

It’s a long piece. But more that worth the time you’ll invest in reading it.

………

A columnist for The New York Times says California has to flip the paradigm of having too much housing for cars, and not enough for people.

Farhad Manjoo calls for the passage of AB 2097, which would prohibit minimum parking requirements near public transit, or at least SB 1067, which gives developers more leeway to get around parking minimums.

Meanwhile, UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup calls for enforcing the state’s parking cash-out law to reduce emissions and fight climate change.

………

For early risers, the LACBC will host a Twitter Space to discuss women, children and bicycling starting at 6:00 this morning.

Yes, 6 am.

So chances are, you may have already missed it.

………

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

No bias here. Call it friendly fire, as a self-professed non-leg-shaving cyclist says everyone hates bike riders, so we should ride cringingly at the edge of the road to keep from annoying drivers more than they already are. Even in the English countryside where he says hedges block drivers’ views, making it far safer to take the lane, regardless of who you piss off.

Horrible news from the UK, where a woman riding a bicycle was left with a life-changing injury when a man sicced one of his large dogs on her, forcing it to bite her upper leg and clamp down for several minutes until she managed to break free, after accusing her of nearly running into his kid on a bike path. Let’s hope he goes away for a long time. And those dogs — and his kid — get a new home with someone who isn’t so cruel.

………

Local

A writer for City Watch pushes back on the recently approved plans for a bus rapid transit line on Colorado Blvd through Eagle Rock, calling the reallocation of traffic lanes undemocratic because it doesn’t give all the road space to people in cars. Even though it seems far more democratic to reserve space for pedestrians, bike riders and yes, transit users, too.

The LACBC is working with Los Angeles Walks on a pilot program to encourage business owners in Wilmington and San Pedro to use ebikes.

 

State 

Calbike offers an update on active transportation bills in the state legislature, with a number still alive, including bills to legalize jaywalking, treat stop signs as yields, and require cities to include bike and pedestrian facilities in their circulation plans.

An op-ed from an Escondido urban planning student says California cities are unwalkable, unbikeable and dangerous, but they don’t have to be.

Très scandaleux! A San Diego TV station claims to have caught the 30th Street bike counter double counting some bike riders, not counting others, and even counting an armored truck illegally parked in the lane, which some local business owners claim proves the new bike lane is underused.

Berkeley residents are fighting for a carfree future on Telegraph Ave north of the UC Berkeley campus; as usual, business owners along the street are fighting back, unable to imagine any customers walking or biking to get there. If customers won’t walk or bike a few blocks to do business with you, there’s something seriously wrong with the way you do business.

 

National

NACTO says the US Department of Transportation is still taking comments on proposed safety regulations to make massive trucks and SUVs safer for bike riders and pedestrians; you have through Wednesday to voice your concerns. Or you can follow their template.

Portland is now installing lengthy lines of bike racks along sidewalks in an effort to keep homeless people from sleeping there.

Housing inspectors in Minneapolis are saying goodbye to their SUVs and using Rad Power ebikes to conduct their inspections instead; the city purchased five of the ebikes for a total of $12,000, and have already put 1,200 miles on them. Which is a hell of a lot less than they would have paid for five motor vehicles.

Syracuse NY is expected to approve a $700,000 settlement for a man who was critically injured when a speeding cop slammed into his bicycle; witnesses said the police car was traveling without lights or siren.

That’s more like it. New York City officials call for automated bike lane cams to crack down on scofflaw drivers who can’t resist turning them into parking lots.

One casualty of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was New York’s ultrafast bicycle delivery startup Buyk, which was forced to declare bankruptcy and layoff all of its American employees when US sanctions cut off access to its Russian co-founders and parent company, as well as financing from Russian banks.

Very Local highlights the top five “bicycling adventures” in the Big Easy. Although I suspect most New Orleans bike riders would prefer if riding there wasn’t quite so adventurous. 

Life is cheap in Florida, where a Vero Beach driver walked with a lousy $148 fine for swerving into a bike lane and killing a 63-year old man riding a bike, despite his long record of traffic violations and refusal to take a blood test.

 

International

Financial Times calls bicycles the cheap, green, low-tech solution for the world’s poorer megacities. Then again, they’re a pretty good solution for the rich ones, too. You can also read it here if you can’t get past their paywall.

Mounties in New Brunswick have written just 121 tickets in the five years since the province passed the equivalent of a three-foot passing law, known locally as Ellen’s Law, for a rising pro cyclist who was killed by a passing driver.

A Philippine transport group marks World Bicycle Day by calling on the government to ensure people on bicycles arrive alive.

A new study from a Sydney, Australia hospital shows injuries to delivery bicyclists are dramatically underreported, with delivery riders 13 times more likely than other bicyclists to be injured between the hours of 8 pm and midnight.

Melbourne, Australia will halt the installation of new bike lanes in the central business district, apparently unprepared for an entirely predictable bikelash from businesses and delivery drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old Texas man is determined to complete this weekend’s 200-mile Gravel Unbound race, after missing the time cut at the 120-mile checkpoint last year.

European carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website ranks the three greatest domestiques of all time.

 

Finally…

Start your new career as an NYC bike lane inspector. Fix your own bike, already.

And face it, you just can’t duck karma, instant or otherwise.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Longtime Chez Panisse wine director killed while riding bike, and Fresno driver deliberately runs down four bike riders

This is the cost of traffic violence.

The longtime wine director for famed Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse was killed while riding his bike over the weekend.

Jonathan Waters was struck by a minivan driver Friday night, as he was riding home from the restaurant where he’d worked for 32 years. He died in an Oakland hospital the next day.

An authority on local wines, Waters was credited with raising the reputation of several small California wineries.

Photo by WikimediaImages from Pixabay.

………

Call it attempted murder.

A Fresno hit-and-run driver ran down four bicyclists Saturday morning, crossing the road to strike them head-on in what the victims say was a deliberate attack.

They report the driver looked right at them as he mowed them down one by one as they rode single file on the right side of the road.

Fortunately, they all managed to escape serious injury.

Let’s hope prosecutors take this one seriously, instead of treating it like just another oopsie.

………

Mark your calendar for the annual COLT ride — Chatsworth Orange Line Tour — on the 12th.

………

Orange County bike riders, be sure to attend tonight’s virtual public meeting to extend the Coyote Creek Bikeway into Buena Park.

………

Local

As of yesterday, PCH will be narrowed to one lane in each direction for construction work to replace the 96-year old Trancas Creek Bridge; the new bridge will have bike lanes, pedestrian lanes and 10-foot shoulders, as well as a six-food median. Unfortunately, it will also have capacious 12-foot traffic lanes to encourage speeding.

Pasadena capped off Bike Month with an 8.5-mile ice cream tour of the city.

 

State 

Encinitas has received a $20 million loan to finance the final phase of a new streetscape on the North Coast Highway in Leucadia, which will include new bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

A San Diego cultural nonprofit is fighting proposals to remove a small amount of parking to make room for bike lanes in Balboa Park, even though it would still leave over 6,700 parking spaces in the park.

Someone riding a motorized unicycle was killed in a collision with the driver of a recycling truck in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood; initial reports indicated the victim was on an ebike.

 

National

Streetsblog examines the difficulty in trying to visit our car-centric national parks without one.

Two years after she was paralyzed from the neck down in a car crash, a former North Dakota surgeon will ride again, thanks to a new three-wheeled, e-assist adaptive recumbent.

A University of Maryland professor calls traffic deaths and injuries a silent epidemic on wheels, with Americans are three times more likely to die in a collision than their European counterparts.

A Miami man blames the raised armadillo barriers on a protected bike lane with causing the e-scooter crash that left him with a badly broken leg.

 

International

Police in Ontario, Canada have charged a fourth person in the death of a 59-year old man, who was killed when his bike was struck by the driver of a stolen car.

A group of Canadian researchers consider whether bicycles can help the world address pressing social issues, concluding that despite their potential, bikes can’t do it on their own.

Edinburgh bike riders say they remain at risk from the city’s tram lines, five years after a young woman was killed when she was struck by the driver of a minibus after catching her tire in the tracks.

Bike thefts continue to fall in England and Wales, dropping for the fifth straight year despite a jump in ridership; an insurance company credits less commuting due to the pandemic for the most recent drop.

A speeding, road raging driver got a well-deserved seven years and nine months behind bars for killing a British father of two by ramming his bike from behind at 70 mph; the other driver got eight years for racing away and leaving the victim to die in the street.

The English author of The Slow Road to Tehran: A Revelatory Bike Ride through Europe and the Middle East tells Cycling Weekly she never thought the nearly 7,000 solo bike trip was dangerous, even if others did.

A New Zealand woman faces a charge of careless driving causing death for dooring a 19-year old man riding a bicycle, who was knocked in front of another driver and killed. Proof that it’s possible to charge a driver for dooring, even where it’s not explicitly prohibited.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist sums up the recent Giro d’Italia as a redemption cycle, saying virtually every stage saw some sort of comeback, second chances and revenge rides.

Scottish track cyclist and Olympic Madison champ Katie Archibald was injured when a driver cut her off at a T-intersection while on a training ride, sending her flying over the car’s hood; she escaped with ligament damage to both ankles.

VeloNews lists ten men to watch at this weekend’s Unbound Gravel race, formerly known as the racially insensitive Dirty Kanza.

CyclingTips takes a deep dive into why speeds continue to rise on the men’s WorldTour, concluding it’s probably better tech and techniques, rather than a return to doping.

 

Finally…

Turn your old bike into your new ebike. Your next ebike may not look like one.

And Bike Month may be over, but tomorrow is World Bicycle Day.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

US traffic deaths soar, LA Times picks Pynoos over O’Farrell, and Friedman fights for bike safety on Burbank bridge

If you thought our roads are getting more dangerous, you’re right.

According to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42,915 people were killed on American streets last year — the highest total since 2005, and an increase of 10.5 percent over 2020.

Bicycling fatalities rose five percent, to 985 — an average of five deaths every two days — while pedestrian deaths jumped 13 percent to 7,342.

Not surprisingly, nearly two-thirds of US traffic fatalities occurred in urban areas, where there are more people, and more cars.

Artwork by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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In political news, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer dropped out of the race for mayor, swinging his support to Karen Bass.

And the LA Times made a surprising endorsement of former Mike Biden staffer Karen Pynoos over incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in CD13 — without mentioning O’Farrell’s role in tanking the shovel-ready Temple Street lane reduction in the wake of the Playa del Rey fiasco.

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California Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman jumped into the road safety fight to push for steps to improve bike and pedestrian safety on the new Burbank Blvd Bridge.

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Still more Bike to Work Week news.

Or bike anywhere, for that matter.

Tonight marks the annual Ride of Silence, with rides throughout California; a ride will be held in Los Angeles at 7 pm tonight, starting at 3554 W. First St .

Metro is celebrating tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day by offering free rides for everyone on all Metro Bus and Rail lines, as well as free half-hour Metro Bike rides.

Bike Metro is teaming with the LACBC to host a lunchtime ride through Chinatown on Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

Culver City Bus is offering free rides for bike riders on tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Day One are hosting a Handlebar Happy Hour at the Dog Haus tomorrow night.

And make plans for a Spoke and Art Ride this Saturday.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the bike thieves who rammed an 81-year old British man with their car, knocking him into a ditch and stealing his new mountain bike.

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

A 35-year old ex-con will stand trial for the unprovoked murder of a San Diego man in a Pacific Beach restroom, before the killer fled on a bicycle; Martin Alvarez, Jr. has entered a not guilty plea to the fatal stabbing.

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Local

The proposed LA River Master Plan has been posted online, along with public comments about the plan.

A massive Puente Hills landfill could soon become the new Puente Hills Regional Park, including plans for a bike skills park.

 

State 

Plans for a two-way bikeway down the middle of Palo Alto’s California Street hit the skids, failing on a tie vote at the city council.

 

National

No surprise here. A new study from the Urban Institute shows that tax rebates are a better solution to soaring prices than cutting gas taxes, while policies that discourage driving — like high gas prices, for instance — would have the greatest longterm impact on inflation.

Advisory bike lanes, which give bike riders priority and force drivers to share the roadway, are coming to a pair of short Portland streets. Advisory streets have bike lanes on either side, with a single car lane shared by drivers traveling in both directions; drivers are expected to move into the bike lanes to pass one another, before returning to their lane. Let’s hope they have a better rollout than they did in San Diego

A crowdfunding account has raised over $91,000 for the family of a young Las Vegas father who was killed by a speeding driver while riding his bike on Sunday.

A Minneapolis man pulled himself out of depression and got his life on track with an apprenticeship at a nonprofit bike shop dedicated to providing mentorship and training for young people dealing with housing instability.

Miami bike riders demanded safety improvements to the city’s Rickenbacker Causeway following the death of a couple riding in the bridge’s green bike lane.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers what makes a good beginner bicycle.

After bike riders complained about a 22 mph speed limit, organizers of the 20,000 person Ride London backed off and removed the speed cap.

Someone cut the locks off a semi-truck in the UK, and made off with 133 Merida bikes as the truck was stopped at a truck stop, while leaving 73 bikes behind.

The co-owner of the Israel Cycling Academy WorldTour cycling team has donated one million dollars to complete a bike trail in Elad.

A Kiwi driver was captured on video ramming a woman riding a bike directly in front of her car, but will only get a lousy $150 fine because she “wasn’t injured enough.” But at least the driver apologized and offered to fix her bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

History was made Tuesday when 22-year old Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay outsprinted Mathieu van der Poel to win stage 10 of the Giro, becoming the first Black African to win a Grand Tour stage.

Ayesha McGowan, the only Black rider on the women’s pro tour, called it a victory for all of us.

Even van der Poel showed his support for Girmay in defeat, with a thumbs up gesture as the African rider crossed the finish line.

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike could be self-charging with solar panels. And Giro podium today, followed by a Prosecco cork in the eye.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Justice for Woon — Banks pleads guilty in fatal hit-and-run, and LA active transport woefully understaffed and underfunded

The good news is, my migraines finally let up after about eleventy-seven hours of sleep the past few days. 

The bad news is, they haven’t gone far. 

It’s been more than a month since one of my many doctors decided the health problems I’ve been suffering since last fall were the result of vestibular migraines, necessitating a complete upending of my diet. 

No caffeine. No chocolate. No artificial sweeteners — not a good thing for a diabetic. No aged cheeses or dried fruits. Or even a number of fresh ones, along with a very long list of other newly verboten foods.

Basically, if I like it, or used it to control my diabetes, I can’t have it. 

But after five weeks of slowly adjusting the new diet, I’m feeling even worse than when I started. 

But let’s try to plow through this anyway, and see how much we can catch up on today. 

And a belated happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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It looks like we’ll finally see justice for fallen bicyclist Frederick Frazier, who was run down by a speeding driver in a Mercedes SUV on a South LA street over four long years ago.

And nearly four years since Mariah Kandise Banks was arrested for killing the young man known to everyone as Woon, and injuring Quatrell Stallings, as they rode their bikes near Manchester and Normandie in 2018.

This is what our anonymous courtroom correspondent emailed me Friday afternoon.

On a beautiful sunny day over four years ago, Mariah Kandise Banks ran down Frederick Frazier and left him to die in the arms of a stranger just a few blocks from his home. She was later apprehended and charged with hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.

This afternoon, another gloriously sunny spring day, Banks accepted a plea deal from the DA.

The count of 20001(b)(2), hit and run involving great bodily injury or death, was dropped.

With tears, Banks pleaded no contest to one count of 192(c)(1), vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

For this charge, she was sentenced to four years in state prison, restitution, fines, and three years of parole upon release from incarceration.

She had requested a surrender date in September due to significant childcare obligations, which was denied.

Sentencing will be on August 19th. Woon’s family is expected to present their impact statements on that date.

RIP Woon. Ride in peace.

Banks could have received up to six years, with another four for the felony hit-and-run count that was dropped.

Peter Flax offered this heartbreaking account of Woon’s death, and the impact his loss had on his grieving mother, fiancé and infant son, who was born months after he was killed; he didn’t know yet that he was going to be a dad. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Four years doesn’t begin to seem like enough for the heartless crime and attempted coverup.

But it will have to do.

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I’m not always a fan of CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who singlehandedly halted the fully funded and shovel-ready lane reductions and bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd through North Hollywood’s Arts District.

But he’s absolutely right in calling the chronic underfunding and understaffing at LADOT “a threat to public safety.”

Well, no shit.

As LAist points out, despite the adoption of Vision Zero seven years ago,

At the same time, the death toll on L.A. streets continues to rise. Within the first 15 weeks of 2022, 95 people were killed in crashes, according to preliminary city data. In the same period last year, the toll was 87.

The number of pedestrians killed by drivers is especially grim — up 53% citywide compared with the same period last year. The greatest share of those victims is in South L.A., where pedestrian deaths more than doubled from this time last year.

And last year was bad; 2021 marked the highest annual death toll in nearly two decades, with nearly 300 people killed in collisions. Roughly half of those victims were killed by drivers while walking or biking. Nearly 1,500 other people were seriously injured in crashes.

Yet shockingly, but unsurprising to any of us who have been paying attention, LADOT is currently working with a 21% vacancy rate — with a whopping 50% in the active transportation and Vision Zero programs.

Not to mention nearly two dozen additional positions that need to be added to meet LA’s active transportation goals.

The agency tried to address those needs by requesting 18 new active transportation positions, as well as two new Vision Zero hires.

Yet Mayor Garcetti, whose dreams of an India ambassadorship have largely gone up in smoke, responded by cutting LA’s transportation budget, while funding just the two Vision Zero hires.

That’s just two more people for a city of nearly 4 million, with 8,500 miles of streets and a rising toll from traffic violence.

Sure. That’ll fix it it.

Although, as the story notes, Vision Zero spending is up slightly over last year, if you squint hard and juggle the numbers just right.

But no matter how you slice it, it’s still just a fraction of the $80 million LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds said five years ago would be necessary to cut traffic deaths a modest 20%.

And a pittance compared to the $270 million New York invested in Vision Zero in 2019 alone.

As others have said, if you want to know a city’s priorities, look at its budget.

And ours says LA just doesn’t care.

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Today is the last day to tell the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it’s long past time to consider the safety of those outside of cars and trucks in their new vehicle safety tests.

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California’s bicycle omnibus bill — which would allow speed-limited, ped assist ebikes on bike paths statewide, permit bike riders to use leading pedestrian intervals, require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, and ban bike licensing requirements — has cleared the state assembly and is moving on to the senate.

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We’ve never had a single ride with the mayor of Los Angeles. But at least you can ride with the mayor of Glendale next Saturday.

Or ride SaMo to Venice with Metro.

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Long Beach offers a very full calendar of Bike Month events.

Meanwhile, Metro offers other events around the LA area.

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They’ve got a point.

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Who needs a drivetrain when you can build your own DIY propeller-driven bicycle?

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

No bias here. Carlsbad CA uses Bike Month to actively discriminate against bicycle, ebike and e-scooter users, banning riders from sidewalks, ditches, sports courts or gyms, as well as requiring them dismount on any trails narrower than five feet or within 50 feet of a pedestrian or someone on horseback.

No bias here, either. Australia’s Daily Mail unleashed a recap of online motorist drivel and dreck, including “calling for cyclists to carry licences, criticising those on bikes for taking up ‘car lanes,’ and claiming that cyclists are ‘more dangerous’ than 4×4 drivers.”

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

Police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot a man in DTLA, after riding up to him as he walked on the sidewalk, before riding away.

When a road raging Glasgow driver got out of his car looking for a fight with a man on a bike, he probably wasn’t expecting the whooping he got.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at the installation of a permanent rainbow memorial for Venice hit-and-run victim Prynsess Brazzle, who was killed while riding her bike at the intersection of Pacific and Rose Aves last year. Of course, this being Los Angeles, permanent usually means until it breaks or someone gets tired of it.

Metrolink is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle during next week’s Bike to Work Week, along with an ebike and rail pass contest package worth $2,500.

 

State 

Newton’s third law of motion applies to politics, too. As Caltrans commits to getting out of the freeway business and refocusing on Complete Streets, the state’s massive 450,000 member building and construction workers union is pushing back.

Sad news from Paso Robles, where a 68-year old man was killed when he rode his bike off the road and ran into a culvert, throwing him off his bike.

 

National

Seriously, who wouldn’t want a solar-powered combination ebike, camper and electric boat? Perfect for riding those flooded freeways if it ever rains here again. 

Barry Morphew, the Colorado man who recently saw murder charges over his missing wife dismissed, says he just wants her to be found. Suzanne Morphew was last seen riding her bike on Mother’s Day two years ago; authorities dropped the charges after claiming they are close to finding her body. Meanwhile, Fox News examines where the case stands now.

Former Olympic gold medalist and world champ Scott Hamilton finished a 444-mile ride to raise funds to fight cancer, 25 years after his last treatment for testicular cancer.

New York is already up to 75 traffic deaths this year, after an NYU student was killed by the driver of a private waste truck.

Bloomberg says ebikes are transforming New York’s transportation future. Which could be happening here in Los Angeles, too, if the city had just bothered to fund active transportation and Vision Zero.

A feel good story turned painful when a Louisiana man was struck by a speeding truck driver, just one day after he been given a new ebike purchased through a crowdfunding campaign.

 

International

Road.cc says the promised benefits of the ebike-replacing SuperWheel sound great, but defy the laws of physics.

A Canadian man lovingly restored his brother’s rusted BMX bicycle, over 35 years after the 15-year old boy was killed in an avalanche.

This deaf, bike-riding London cat is breaking the internet.

A new study from an insurance website ranks the UK’s safest and most dangerous cities for bicycling.

An Afghan man rejected an offer of free plane tickets to ride his bike from Karachi to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage, a distance of over 2,800 miles by car.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Tanzania is now allowing bike riders to ascend Africa’s fifth highest mountain, the nearly 15,000-foot Mount Meru in Arusha National Park.

Sad news from Namibia, where 60-year old rugby legend Gerhard Mans was killed by the driver of an unlicensed BMW while he was riding his bike with a group; he was captain of the country’s first national team after gaining independence.

The closure of Beijing’s subway system due to a Covid surge is leading to a revival of the city’s legendary Bicycle Kingdom.

Authorities in New Zealand are looking for the eco-jerk who destroyed slow growing, 100-year old palms and other native trees to carve an illegal mountain bike trail through a park. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

 

Competitive Cycling

A familiar face took the Giro’s 3rd stage on Sunday, as Mark Cavendish claimed his 16th stage win in the Italian Grand Tour, although he has a way to go to catch up with Cipollini’s 42 Giro stage wins; Mathieu van der Poel kept his grip on the leader’s pink jersey.

Yes, this is what pro cycling is like every day. Four-legged fans at the Junior Peace Race in the Czech Republic kicked up their hooves ahead of the advancing peloton, apparently preparing the young riders for spectators on the WorldTour, who often behave like animals.

  

Finally…

How many miles per gallon of gas could your bike get, if by gas you meant beer? Your next bike could cost forty grand and shatter in a crash — if you can find one.

And don’t try to tell us you’ve got bike skills if you can’t do it, too.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1523014821964247041

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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