Tag Archive for bicycling

CicLAvia returns to the Hollywoods, Puente Hills bike skills course, and possible WeHo protected bike lanes

The big news this weekend is Sunday’s return of the Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

The nation’s most popular open streets festival returns to Hollywood and West Hollywood with a 6.6 mile route that will run along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, before dropping down on Highland and connecting with Santa Monica Blvd.

Metro suggests taking the B Line, formerly known as the Red Line, to get there. Which is exactly what I would recommend, if you don’t ride there.

Meanwhile, WeHo invites you to stick around afterwards for a free concert with the Afro-Persian Experience in Plummer Park starting at 5 pm.

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Forget rails-to-trails.

The newest trend is dump to park, as Los Angeles County plans to turn the nation’s largest landfill into the first regional park the county has built in three decades.

The 142 acre, $28.25 million Puente Hills Regional Park will include an intermediate bike skills course in the first phase of construction.

Thanks to Mike Burk for the heads-up.

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Bette Davis once responded to a question about the best way for a young woman to get to Hollywood, with the advice “Take Fountain.”

Sort of like the LA version of how to get to Carnegie Hall.

West Hollywood must have been paying attention, though, because the city’s Transportation Commission just voted to support building protected bike lanes on Fountain Ave, which is currently home to some of the most uncomfortable sharrows in the LA area.

Assuming they get built, the new protected bikes could provide the first safe and efficient bike route into and out of Hollywood, while finally taming the streets’ deadly speeding drivers.

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More proof of Metro’s disastrous freeway expansion policies, which cause more harm to the climate than all of their more beneficial policies help.

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Anyone can fly or drive to next month’s Mammoth Gran Fondo.

Better you should ride your bike the 300 miles up there from Los Angeles, which would only make you more fond of the fondo.

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

Life is cheap in Hawaii, where a pickup driver walked without a day behind bars for killing a bike-riding man on Christmas Eve three years ago, depriving a family of their husband and father just before the holidays; the 58-year old driver was sentenced to a lousy one year of probation.

They get it. Britain’s Green Party says the ruling Conservative Party’s anti-bicycling rhetoric is putting people on bicycles in danger; the Tories are calling for mandatory liability insurance and license plates for bike riders.

The Chief Scientist for the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory apparently agrees, saying “demonizing cyclists is pointless.”

A caller to a British radio program accuses “arrogant” bike riders of getting out of hand and thinking they rule the road. You mean we don’t?

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

Police in New York are looking for an ebike-riding man who has sexually assaulted at least three Manhattan women since May. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

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Local

The LA Daily News concurs with yesterday’s story from The Eastsider, which reported the pilot closure of Griffith Park Drive through Griffith Park will be made permanent. KNBC-4 says you won’t be able to drive on it after today, apparently forgetting that it’s already been closed for weeks.

Hermosa Beach police cracked down on ebike riders using ped-assist bikes to exceed the city’s ridiculous 8 mph speed limit on The Strand, where ped-assist bikes are banned. I haven’t even been able to ride that slow on my acoustic roadie, which goes faster that 8 mph even in the lowest gears. And how are people on bikes without speedometers supposed to know how fast they’re going, anyway?

A seventeen-year old kid was critically injured in a collision in Manhattan Beach last Friday, when he allegedly ran a stop sign and clipped a van, then was thrown into the path of an oncoming car. Unfortunately, the story is paywalled, so you may only be able to read the first few paragraphs.

 

State 

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is calling for people to co-sign a letter to the SANDAG board of directors and city officials demanding safety improvements in the wake of four bike riders killed in the county just last week. Make that five, after a bike rider was killed by a motorcyclist fleeing a state park cop on Monday.

 

National

The Spotify podcast How to Save a Planet considers how to make bicycling cool again. As if it ever wasn’t.

A longtime bike shop owner explains how bike shops can weather the pressures of inflation.

Chicago bike riders are calling for change after a driver was allowed to park in a bike lane for days, receiving numerous tickets, while the failure to tow his car forced riders out into traffic.

An Illinois county will build a new bike trail to honor a fallen bicyclist and county judge, to keep his legacy alive after he was killed by a driver on Father’s Day.

An off-duty Chicago cop faces a pair of felony charges for attacking a 14-year old boy he accused of stealing his son’s bike; he picked out the one kid of Puerto Rican descent to blame, rather than all the white kids he was standing with.

A New York delivery firm has switched to ebikes to make deliveries for retailers like Whole Foods.

Gothamist asks if someone as politically connected as Jersey City’s hit-and-run driving councilwoman can really be held accountable for her crime. It’s not looking good at the moment, as she refuses to relinquish her seat.

A 75-year old Florida driver was arrested for the hit-and-run that left a bike rider with critical injuries; she was driving with a suspended or revoked license.

 

International

Cycling News examines the difference between cheap bike helmets and more expensive models. Other than the obvious impact on your wallet, of course.

A British Columbia website examine’s Vancouver’s secret underground bike economy run by homeless people.

Once again a child has been punctured by his bike handlebars, as an 11-year old boy in the UK had to wait nearly two hours for an ambulance after falling at a skate park, and having one of his handlebars puncture his groin.

She gets it, too. A writer for a Manchester, England paper says giving bike riders a speed limit just takes attention away from the real dangers on our streets.

A new study shows that if everyone bikes like the Danes, it would save an amount of emissions equal to the entire output of the UK.

A writer for Men’s Journal revisits the first three stages of this year’s Tour de France through the Netherlands, a month after the crowds and racers have gone home.

It took a 4,500-mile bike ride for a couple using Strava to draw a 600-mile long bicycle across the face of Europe, accompanied by their dog.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a 46-year old man got just 12 days for killing a 73-year old man when he crashed his bicycle into him.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as a new report shows the air around the Vuelta isn’t always as pristine as they might like.

Nairo Quintana has pulled out of the Vuelta, after allegations of using the banned painkiller tramadol.

Three-time world Madison champ Amy Pieters has been moved to a rehab facility in her native Netherlands; she spent four months in a coma after suffering a massive brain injury in a training crash.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the cops have your stolen bike, but they won’t give it back. Your next e-foldie could be made from flax, or maybe your next bike could be just plain weird.

And Formula 1’s Dutch Grand Prix wants to be more sustainable, and ban cars whenever possible.

Which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a car race.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

1st quarter traffic deaths jump again, proof pickups and SUVs cause more deaths, and holding killer drivers accountable

No, it’s not your imagination.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported yesterday that more people have died on American streets in the first quarter of this year than any year in the past two decades.

Early NHTSA estimates show 9,560 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes through the end of March, a seven percent increase over last year, which saw the highest number of traffic deaths in 16 years.

In other words, we are going the wrong way, at an ever-increasing pace.

There’s a wide range of likely reasons, ranging from speeding and distracted drivers to trucks and SUVs with high, flat grills designed to kill.

None of which are beyond our ability to solve today.

We only need to get enough people to care enough about the lives of innocent victims to demand change.

But so far, that, too, has been beyond our reach.

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On a related note, Ontario, Canada safety advocates say they have the numbers to prove pickups and SUVs cause more deaths, and have written the province’s chief coroner to request an investigation.

One of the studies, from 2021, estimates 8,131 pedestrians between 2000 and 2019 could have survived if they were struck by sedans instead of SUVs or trucks.

Another study, published in the Journal of Safety Research in June, found that while SUVs and trucks made up just 26.1 per cent of pedestrian and cyclist collisions, they accounted for 44.1 per cent of fatalities.  That study also suggested that because of their larger size, SUVs and trucks are more likely to hit vulnerable road users in the chest or head than a sedan.

Maybe they could write a few letters to US officials while they’re at it.

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A writer for Outside takes a deep dive into the aftermath of a tragic New York bicycling collision that took the life of a young woman, to examine why drivers are so seldom held accountable for killing another person.

And what can be done about it.

As part of the story, he looks back to the magazine’s groundbreaking Cycling Deaths project, which attempted to document every bicycling traffic death in 2020, recording nearly 700 fatalities.

In most of the stories we gathered information on, there were no consequences for the driver or even scrutiny of their behavior. Law enforcement rarely issued a ticket to drivers who killed cyclists. Criminal charges for the crash itself were even less common, often occurring only when a driver was intoxicated. It was hard not to read through each case and wonder: Is that the way things should be? Does driving that results in someone’s death cross the legal threshold for punishment that infrequently?

It’s very hard to find comprehensive data on penalties issued after car crashes, but among the safe-streets advocates and legal experts I talked to, it’s generally taken as a matter of course that people who kill cyclists while driving—even recklessly, even illegally—are rarely held legally accountable for their actions. The big picture, those observers say, is that drivers are offered a kind of impunity that doesn’t exist in just about any other situation where a human kills another human. “The judicial system is applying laws in a way that results in widespread injustice to victims of traffic violence,” says Gregory Shill, a law professor at the University of Iowa. “I would go beyond courts—a common root of all this is that we have a high social acceptance of traffic deaths.”

As the story points out, drivers should automatically lose their license if they kill another person, but seldom do.

As Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt put it, a drivers license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose

If I had my way, killer drivers would be sentenced to work-release, required to serve in emergency rooms and morgues during the day to tend to the victims of traffic violence, before returning to their cells at night.

Although the courts would probably consider that cruel and unusual punishment to subject them to that kind of emotional and psychological torment.

Unlike, say, their victims and their loved ones, who have to suffer that pain for the rest of their lives.

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This is who we share the city with, unfortunately.

Maybe they’re care more if it was 58. Or 59.

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Time’s running out to score a great deal on a vintage bike, and support a good cause in the process.

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Yes, your morning commute can be green, and actually make you happy.

Even in chilly Minnesota.

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Remember this the next time you have to lock your bike up to a banged-up wheel-bender rack.

Thanks to Glenn Crider for the heads-up. 

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GCN wants to help you improve your average speed on your bike.

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Our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards a photo of race walkers at the European Championships in Munich, where he’s working as a volunteer.

And points out that even they have to cope with race motos. Although the slower pace probably means they pose less risk to the racers.

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

That’s more like it. An Idaho driver has been sentenced to 12 years behind bars, with three years fixed, for chasing bike-riding kids through a public park with his pickup, then running over one boy’s bike after he jumped off. But it’s okay, because he’s really, really sorry. No, really.

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

LAPD officers shot a bike-riding young man waving a machete after he refused orders to drop the knife and allegedly advance on officers; no word on his condition.

Elderly London residents say they’ve stopped walking on a roadway that was closed as part of the city’s Low Traffic Neighborhood, the equivalent of a Slow Street in the US, out of fear of red light-running bicyclists and confusion over who has the right-of-way.

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Local

The Eastsider reports city officials will make the temporary closure of Griffith Park Drive through Griffith Park permanent, after a traffic study showed the closure eliminated cut-through commuter traffic without increasing traffic on Zoo Drive (scroll down).

LADOT is bringing protected bike lanes and bus islands to a one-mile stretch of Central Ave in Watts.

 

State 

A California firm is working with Toshiba to improve the chemistry of ebike batteries to reduce charging times and the risk of battery fires.

A coalition of San Diego advocacy groups have endorsed Alternative D for the planned reconstruction of Park Blvd through Balboa Park, which calls for eliminating parking and installing bus lanes and a separated bike lane.

He gets it. A spokesperson for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition says the problem isn’t that ebikes are unsafe, it’s a wakeup call to how unsafe the roads are.

Anson Williams, the 72-year old actor who played Potsie in Happy Days back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, is running for mayor of Ojai on a platform that includes expansion of bike paths and trails. He’s got my vote.

This is who we share the road with. A UC Santa Barbara cop was busted for a drunken hit-and-run in Solvang earlier this month; fortunately, his only victim was a parked minivan. Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

A San Jose homeowner says he’s spent $30,000 to construct reinforced barriers to stop out-of-control drivers, after 23 drivers have slammed into his home since the 680 freeway opened 50 years ago.

 

National

Next City offers more on the recent NACTO report suggesting that bike laws aren’t keeping bike riders safe, while leading to over-policing of people of color.

Cycling Tips offers a beginner’s guide to what matters most in selecting entry-level road and gravel bikes.

More than 2,100 Denver residents have received ebike rebate vouchers up to $1,700 since the program began in April; most putting their ebikes to good use, with around half riding them on a daily basis. On the other hand, California’s fully funded ebike rebate program remains in limbo, apparently awaiting a chilly day in hell. 

Congratulations to Nebraska, which is no longer the nation’s least bike-friendly state; that dishonor now goes to Wyoming, which is unfriendly to bikes and Cheneys, apparently.

Chicago Magazine talks with Christina Whitehouse, the founder of Bike Lane Uprising, an app allowing bike riders to log the location and submit photos of vehicles illegally parked in bike lanes.

No bias here. Chicago cops responded to a protest over drivers running red lights by changing the traffic signal to green for a full five minutes, stranding everyone waiting to cross the street.

A kindhearted Pittsburgh cop bought a new bike and helmet for an eight-year old girl, after firefighters weren’t able to save her bike from a fire at her grandmother’s house.

TMZ offers more information on the death of Ironman triathlete and Norristown PA cop Brian Kozera, who allegedly ran a stop sign on his bike and crashed into the side of a pickup, before being run over by the truck’s rear wheels. As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses to the crash, or if investigators are relying on the word of the driver.

 

International

If you’re looking for a new business opportunity, you could do worse than a solar-powered food ebike.

They get it. Calgary, Alberta is installing a bike lane to remove excess road space and slow speeding drivers.

Pilot protected bike lanes on one of Toronto’s busiest streets saw up to a 193% jump in ridership over a single year, while resulting in a less than one minute delay in motor vehicle traffic.

A seven-year old British boy became one of the youngest people to ride from Paris to London after his father was killed in an industrial accident, raising the equivalent of over $42,000 for bereaved children on the 200-mile journey.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says a proposal to requite license plates on bicycles in the UK makes bicyclists the latest target in the culture wars. The proposed regulations are reminiscent of North Korea, where people are required to pass a bicycle proficiency test and display a metal license plate on their bikes; that country also bans women from riding bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

For nearly two decades, we’ve been supposed to pretend Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis never won the Tour de France. Now we’re supposed to pretend Nairo Quintana didn’t have a top ten finish in the Tour last year, after UCI stripped him of 6th place for using the prohibited painkiller tramadol; Quintana denies ever using it, of course.

Ramona High School graduate Gwendalyn Gibson, class of 2017, became the only American to win a World Cup mountain bike race this year, after taking first in a West Virginia race last month.

In case you missed it yesterday, NPR offers a good look at gravel racing, and the sport’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Thanks to Lionel Mares for the reminder.

This week’s 2022 Para-Cycling Road World Championships somehow slipped under the radar, even as the US is making a good showing.

 

Finally…

Evidently, bike mechanics hate triathletes — and not just because they wear speedos, evidently. That feeling when American tourists have no idea why there are so many bicycles parked at European train stations; thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

And now you, too, can have your very own DIY beer stabilization system to avoid spilling your suds as you ride around Burning Man.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Taking Metro to task for wasting funds on highways, LA tanks on best bike cities list, and big Griffith Park announcement Friday

Let’s start with a new op-ed taking Metro to task for continuing to flush tens of billions of dollars down the highway toilet.

Writing in the LA Times, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider argues that the county transportation agency’s highway construction plans more than negate any climate change improvements from new transit lines, while only serving to make traffic worse.

Hello, induced demand.

Climate change impact is measured in two ways: vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. For the billions that we will spend on new bus and rail service, as well as active transportation improvements, Metro estimates in a study it just published that by 2047 we will reduce vehicle miles traveled by 9.7 billion, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2.7 million metric tons of CO2. These massive reductions would result in much cleaner air for us all, and go a long way toward meeting our climate goals.

However, just as Metro is spending tens of billions building rail and bus projects, it also plans to spend billions adding 363 miles of new highways and arterials. According to Metro’s own calculations based on state standards, this will increase vehicle miles traveled by up to 36.8 billion, and emit an additional 10.1 million metric tons of CO2.

Yes, you read that right — we are spending tens of billions of dollars to make climate change and traffic worse. The expansion of highways will do far more harm than the expansion of mass transit will avert.

Never mind that the money being wasted on highway expansion could be put to better use building bus and bike networks, as well as speeding the completion of the upcoming K Line (Crenshaw Line) to connect with the B Line (aka Red Line) at Hollywood & Highland.

That would create Metro’s first viable connector line, with connections to the B Line, D Line (Purple), E Line (Expo), and the C Line (Green), as well as connecting to LAX.

As Schneider says, it’s long past time Metro stopped sabotaging their climate-friendly projects, and instead spend the money we give them on projects that will reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

Wasting more money on highway projects is exactly what we don’t need now.

Or ever, for that matter.

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Surprising results, as a new survey ranks Utrecht in the Netherlands the world’s best bicycling city.

That’s followed by Munster, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium, before we get to the usual suspects in Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, Johannesburg, South Africa checks in as the worst city to ride a bike.

Not surprisingly, no American city made the top ten. You have to go all the way down to #39 to find San Francisco, followed by Portland at #41.

Los Angeles checks in at a deservedly low #57 out of 100 cities worldwide.

The only real question is why we ranked that high.

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The plot thickens, as both CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman and Finish the Ride, tease a big announcement on the future of Griffith Park this Friday.

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Nice. USA Cycling is looking to fast track entree to track cycling for kids from marginalized communities that have traditionally been ignored by cycling.

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The Bike League is recruiting more LCIs.

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

An Oregon driver is charged with 2nd degree murder for intentionally backing his truck into a man on a bicycle following an argument between the two men, pinning the other man against a wall.

A London, Ontario bike rider is speaking out about the apparently intentional hit-and-run that left him with a broken collarbone, and injured another rider.

A London cabbie celebrates the removal of a bike lane by buzzing the unfortunate bike rider who happened to be there.

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

An equestrian in the UK blames a bike racing club for panicking her horse, which nearly spun her in front of an oncoming car. We’re only getting one side of the story here, but seriously, show some respect and courtesy to others on the road.

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Local

The LA Times offers tips on riding an ebike, saying they offer a different ride than regular bikes.

West Hollywood looks forward to Sunday’s CicLAvia—Meet the Hollywoods, which travels down Hollywood Blvd, Highland Ave and Santa Monica Blvd, and invites attendees to stick around afterwards for a free concert with M&M The Afro-Persian Experience at Plummer Park.

Compton is embedding Botts’ Dots in an intersection in an effort to halt street takeovers.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Long Beach is planning safety improvements at an intersection where a seven-year old boy was killed by a left-turning truck driver while crossing in a crosswalk with his dad, even though the intersection was considered up to code at the time of last month’s crash.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets University open streets event is set to return to the area around Cal State Long Beach next month, after a two-year hiatus.

 

State 

Governor Newsom has signed a new law charging the CHP with developing statewide safety standards for ebikes. Although they couldn’t have found a less bike-friendly organization, or one with more limited training on existing bike laws.

The family of fallen bicyclist Christine Hawk Embree is calling for safer streets after the 35-year old woman was killed in a Carlsbad collision while riding her ebike with her 16-month old daughter, who somehow survived unscathed.

Former Santa Monica city manager and Los Angeles deputy mayor Rick Cole says the death of respected Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez is a wake-up call for street safety; Ramirez was killed crossing an Oxnard street last week.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is hosting their 12th Annual Bike Summit in Millbrae tomorrow.

San Francisco has put plans for congestion pricing on hold until traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, LA’s proposed congestion pricing plan is apparently being studied to death.

 

National

Road Bike Rider offers advice on how to survive the dreaded speed wobbles.

People For Bikes argues that bicycles and ebikes weren’t completely ignored in the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act, though you have to look pretty damn hard to find them.

Boston commuters are expected to take to their bikes to cope with a month-long train line shutdown.

Fire up your crocodile tears for all those New Yorkers who can’t find anywhere to park their cars, in the one American city where you’re least likely to need one.

A Virginia woman says now she needs to live for her friend after they were both run down by an 18-year old alleged drunk driver; only she survived, though she has a very long road to recovery.

 

International

Canadians are up in arms over a policy allowing ebikes in the country’s Banff National Park.

Road.cc remembers “slightly crazed” English bike designer Mike Burrows, saying we’ll “never see his like again;” Burrows died Monday at age 79.

That’s more like it. A 29-year old Scottish driver got a well-deserved five years behind bars, along with a 12 and a half year ban on driving, for killing a 16-year old boy riding his bike home from school, while he was driving at a whopping 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.

No bias here. Britain’s Transportation Secretary promises to get tough on bike riders, saying bicyclists should be insured, have license plates on their bikes, and be subject to the same speed limits as motorists.

The executive director of a UK bike advocacy organization says it’s a mistake to pitch ebikes as “enhanced bicycles,” arguing they should be considered the most energy efficient of all electric vehicles, instead.

A Toronto paper says Munich’s bicycling culture offers ideas on how to safely integrate bikes and cars, arguing that the city should prioritize safe infrastructure instead of cracking down on bike riders with ineffective policing.

She gets it. An op-ed writer for a Malta newspaper says a mandatory helmet law won’t make bicycling any safer; what’s needed is better infrastructure, safer vehicles and education.

A traffic safety organization in the Netherlands teamed with a bike advocacy group to call for a ban on ebike performance kits, which can double the allowed speed controls; a spokesperson says “If you install one on the electric bike, you are simply a racing monster.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome says he’s fully recovered from Covid, and ready to roll in Friday’s Vuelta a España, where he’ll co-lead the Israel-Premier Tech team with Michael Woods.

A new women and majority-minority owned cycling league is set to take off, with teams in Miami, Atlanta, Denver and Chicago.

 

Finally…

No, you can’t legally jam drivers’ cellphones, tempting though it may be. You — yes, you — can build your very own DIY ebike.

And Dustin Hoffman was one of us. On a foldie, no less.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

City Watch writer gets Healthy Streets LA all wrong, NACTO says change unfair bike laws, and CNN calls bike boom bust

Talk about not getting it.

A writer for City Watch complains that bike lanes won’t fight climate change in Southern California.

He apparently bases his entire argument on a misreading of a recent article in the LA Times about the Healthy Streets LA ballot initiative, although he seems to have missed the name of the proposal in his reading.

He also missed the part where it said the ballot initiative would require building out the Mobility Plan 2035 — including bus only lanes — instead assuming that it’s all about bike lanes and pedestrian improvements.

The initiatives backer, software entrepreneur Michael Schneider leads the organization “Streets for All.” Schneider seems impatient with the the City of Los Angeles’ execution of the city’s current plans on mobility and bicycles, and City Council President Nury Martinez’s own counterproposal for bicycles and pedestrians.

The Times only mentions bike lanes in the initiative with no mention of bus only lanes. Schneider calls his initiative a “nuclear option.” Playing with weapons is never to be taken lightly, particularly nuclear ones, and his initiative will not lead the city, and the region, in the fight to reduce carbon gases needed to mitigate the climate emergency we now live in. The initiative seems more for the bicycle riders for ride for recreation, and does not take into account transportation for getting to work, shopping, eating, entertainment and other activities of urban dwellers…

If vehicle lanes are to be removed and replaced when the roads are repaved, as in the initiative, the replacements must be bus only lanes, not bicycle lanes, or both.

Oddly, that’s exactly what the initiative calls for. Which he would know if he had actually looked into it, rather than firing off a knee-jerk reaction to a single news article.

He goes on to make a case for why bike lanes aren’t practical to combat climate change in Southern California — including that he is now a “Medicare approved senior citizen,” as if his particular status extends to the entire populace at large. Or that there aren’t other older people who ride on a daily basis.

Then there’s this.

Reasons for riding a bicycle. It would seem riding a bicycle in Los Angeles is mainly recreational. From the United States Census Bureau: “Los Angeles had 1.0 percent of commuters bike to work, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today in a new brief focused on biking and walking to work. Nationally, 0.6 percent of workers commute by bike.” LINK.

Bike advocates have argued for years that the Census Bureau’s figure is a dramatic undercount that misses people who use multi-modal commutes and part-time bike commuters, as well as many immigrants and homeless people who use bicycles as their sole form of transportation.

It also doesn’t count people who ride their bikes to school or shopping, or any other utilitarian uses that doesn’t involve riding to work five days a week.

And of course, he has to trot out the tired bromide that this is not Amsterdam, failing to recognize that Amsterdam was every bit as auto-centric as Los Angeles just a few short decades ago.

Not to mention arguing that it’s too hot to ride a bike in Los Angeles, and no one wants to get sweaty on the way to work. Even though LA has one of the nation’s most temperate climates much of the year, making it far more ideal for bike riding than many other cities with higher riderships, Amsterdam included.

And forgetting that it’s possible to ride without breaking a sweat, especially on an ebike, or to freshen up once you get to work.

Although give him credit for noting that automotive exhaust isn’t healthy for people on bicycles. Even though that’s a better argument for demanding non-polluting cars than discouraging bike use.

Despite his assertions, no one is arguing that bikes should take precedent over transit systems.

That’s not what the mobility plan calls for, and not what the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is about.

It doesn’t help anyone to go off half-cocked, and misrepresent what this ballot measure is about, and what it does, without taking the simple step of clicking on the damn link find out what it really is.

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They get it.

NACTO calls for changing laws and improving infrastructure that unfairly criminalize people on bicycles.

The group argues that red light and stop sign laws, and equipment laws like bike bell or helmet requirements, are too often used to target people of color, including in New York and Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, they argue that ticketing bicyclists for sidewalk riding or riding salmon is more an indication of inadequate infrastructure than bad bike behavior.

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On the other hand, CNN doesn’t get it.

The cable network reports that the bicycling boom has gone bust, as indoor cycling firms like Peloton and Soul Cycle are facing layoffs, while bike shops are burdened with too much inventory.

Yet bicycling rates remain at near-historic highs in many cities, which suggests bike sales may have slowed simply because a) some bike shops may have over-ordered during the recent inventory shortages, b) many people already have the bikes they need.

Although whether they have all the bikes the want is another matter.

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

A Redditor discovers the hard way that it’s not really funny to tell a coworker “You should have come by car” after she was hit by one while riding her bike to work.

No bias here. After a 70-year old Massachusetts man was killed in a dooring, the local press blames him for crashing into the open car door. Just to be clear, dooring is almost always the driver’s or passenger’s fault, because the law requires that a car door can only be opened when it’s safe to do so.

A London, Ontario bike rider was left with a broken collarbone and road rash when a pickup driver intentionally swerved into him and another rider, after deliberately buzzing the group behind them.

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

The NYPD is looking for three drivers and a bike rider responsible for a weekend hit-and-run rampage that killed one pedestrian and injured five other people, including a 44-year old man who suffered a critical head injury when he was struck by a man on a bicycle, who fled the scene. Just a reminder that bicyclists have the same obligation to stop following a crash that drivers do.

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Local

Long Beach is investing over half a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements over the next five years, including complete rebuilds to improve traffic flow and safety for pedestrians and cyclists on major corridors like Studebaker Road, Artesia Blvd and Anaheim Street.

A man was repeatedly stabbed on Long Beach’s beachfront bike path in an apparent robbery attempt Sunday night; fortunately, his injuries aren’t considered life-threatening.

 

State 

Streetsblog California considers new models in bicycling advocacy, and how new groups can work with established organizations to improve safety and equity.

Thirty-six-year old Kenneth Alexander Heimlich went on trial for a violent rampage in Fullerton and Buena Park, including pushing a man with a bicycle into traffic and repeatedly stomping on his head, for no apparent reason.

A San Francisco op-ed complains about the city police department’s ineffectiveness in combating traffic violence, saying they’re failing to enforce the five most dangerous driving violations, particularly on the city’s High-Injury Network.

The Bay Area’s Bike East Bay is working with the city to build a series of popup protected bike lanes, spending just $20,000 for plastic bollards, tape, and other temporary street markings.

 

National

Best Reviews looks at the best Abus bike locks available on Amazon.

Gear Junkie says ABS anti-lock braking may be one of the next vital ebike features to make riding safer and more fun.

Heartbreaking story from Seattle, where a woman urges drivers to slow down after her husband was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Minnesota advocacy group Streets MN offers the second part of their Tips for Utilitarian Cycling, including advice on riding in heat and rain.

Louisville KY bicyclists are pushing for protective barriers on bike lanes to improve safety from inattentive drivers.

A 45-year old Cleveland man pled not guilty to multiple charges for slamming his car into a family riding their bikes, killing a three year old girl and injuring her father and ten-year old sister, before fleeing the crash on foot.

More heartbreaking news, this time from Pennsylvania, where an off-duty Montgomery County cop was killed when he allegedly swerved his bicycle into the path of an oncoming driver. Norristown Police Cpl. Brian R. Kozera had overcome a rare form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to compete in six Ironman triathlons, and was scheduled to compete in Kona in October. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

 

International

A Manchester, England walking and biking advocacy group is complaining about an epidemic of drivers parking in bike lanes. Which seems to be a universal problem; if they have bike lanes on Uranus, someone is probably parking in them.

Kindhearted British police give a ten-year old Ukrainian refugee boy a new bike. Which naturally brought out all the hateful trolls on Facebook.

A Norwegian study suggests e-scooter riders are significantly more reckless than bike riders, and four times more likely to ride drunk. Then again, I’d have to be drunk to ride one. But that’s just me.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great news, as the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team confirmed that Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner Egan Bernal will return to racing today with the five-stage Tour of Denmark, just eight months after his near-fatal crash on a training ride in his native Columbia.

Primož Roglič has been declared fit and ready to ride as he goes for a fourth consecutive Vuelta title, after abandoning the Tour de France with a dislocated shoulder and back injury.

Thirty-one-year old Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin calls it a career “with immediate effect.”

A Richmond VA newspaper talks with hometown hero Emma Langley, who won the US women’s road national championship in June.

NPR looks at gravel bike racing, with the sport’s focus on diversity and inclusion amid its soaring popularity.

 

Finally…

Nice wood-print illustration of a tandem bike. What good is a Commonwealth Games medal if you can’t use it to score free beer?

And who needs a limo to get married in style?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Contact LA city council to support Healthy Streets LA, and CA bill would give up to $5,000 tax credit for carfree households

Streets For All is asking everyone to support the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal now that it’s before the Los Angeles City Council.

The council has 20 days to decide whether to adopt the proposal as written or place it on the ballot for the 2024 election.

Or they could adopt their own ordinance, which could include similar language to the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal, but could be change at any time, for any reason, unlike the the ballot measure which would require a vote of the people to modify or repeal.

Your support matters, especially since some advocates have come out against it.

WE NEED YOU:
Tell City Council to adopt Healthy Streets LA!

Last month, we turned in more than 100,000 signatures from residents in every single council district in Los Angeles — the people demanded safer streets, protected bike lanes, and dedicated bus lanes. Yesterday, the City Clerk certified our petition.

Now, it goes to City Council. The City Council has 20 days to decide to adopt our measure as an ordinance, or send it to the ballot to let the voters decide. We already know what voters want. That’s why we need your help to get the city council to adopt us as an ordinance within the next two weeks.

MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE COUNCIL FILE

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Good news for carfree households.

Let’s hope this one passes.

It could do as much as anything to help get people out of their cars.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A New Hampshire truck driver plowed head-on into a group of motorcyclists, killing seven people; a jury let him walk without a day behind bars, though he may be deported to his native Ukraine. Just in case you wondered why people keep dying on our streets. And my apologies to whoever sent this to me; I’m afraid I lost track of it over the weekend.

A Pennsylvania man faces charges after plowing through a crowd gathered to raise funds for victims of a deadly house fire, killing one person and injuring 17, including four critically; he then ran down his own mother with his car and beat her to death with a hammer.

A driver plowed into an Arlington, Virginia pub, injuring 15 people, two critically; people inside described the crash as being like a bomb going off.

………

Too many Angelenos learn about our deadly streets the hard way.

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Evidently, Portland drivers can figure out what San Diego drivers couldn’t.

Or didn’t want to.

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Not Just Bikes considers the bakfiets as a car. replacement.

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French illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé created over one hundred covers for The New Yorker, including many bicycling themed illustrations.

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If anyone has me on their Secret Santa list, I’ll gladly settle for a copy of this painting.

Or the original, even.

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

This is what a punishment pass looks like.

No bias here. A Louisville KY TV station reports, apparently seriously, that a salmon cyclist crashed her bike into the front of a police patrol car, rather than the cops hitting her with their car. That’s like saying “Please accept my apologies for hitting your fist with my nose.”

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

Police in Fort Worth, Texas are looking for a bike-riding man who rode out of the darkness to slash a man’s arm with a machete.

………

Local

Los Angeles Times readers address the recent article about the Healthy Streets LA initiative qualifying for the ballot with surprisingly less vitriol than expected, though one insisted on trotting out the old “this is not Amsterdam” bromide, combined with the myth that its too hot to ride to work in a suit here. Especially since so many Angelenos have ditched their suits post pandemic.

The Times editorial department says you’ll soon have the chance to vote for safer streets.

Treehugger says the high-speed Windsor Hills crash that killed six victims, including a pregnant mother just two weeks from full term, has reignited debate about installing speed limiters in cars.

 

State 

California governor Gaven Newsom has named former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve as the state’s first Infrastructure Advisor to identify priority projects and maximize access to federal dollars.

A memorial crowdfunding campaign has raised over $110,000 for the family of Christine Hawk Embree, the 35-year old Carlsbad mother killed by a driver while riding an ebike with her 16-month old daughter; at last check, the fund stood at more than $119,000.

Eight San Diego men set a new team record for riding across the US in five days, two hours and 47 minutes.

Police in Contra Costa County arrested a hit-and-run driver who allegedly killed a 57-year old bike rider, before crashing head-on into another car minutes later.

A new 600-mile hiking and mountain biking trail could help revive dying towns in the Sierras.

 

National

Bike shops couldn’t keep up during the pandemic bike boom, and ended up ordering bikes that weren’t delivered until the after the boom crested; now they’re overflowing with bikes they can’t sell. For some reason, this story wasn’t blocked by the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, though your results may vary. 

Tech Radar offers a ten point checklist on how to safely secure your bike. And adds advice to never buy cheap secondhand bikes from shady sellers.

A Flagstaff, Arizona woman rode her mountain bike 2,700 miles on off-road trails in 51 days — despite being blind.

There is no lower form of human scum than someone who could leave a bike-riding 6-year old Las Vegas boy to die in the street.

That’s more like it. A Beaumont, Texas driver got 12 and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; his sentence was extended as a repeat offender.

A Wisconsin family brings 17 extra bikes with them to ensure every child can take part in the Green Bay Packer’s tradition of riding borrowed kids bikes to practice.

Christian singer Amy Grant has postponed more concert dates in September and October, as she continues to recover at her Nashville home from being knocked cold falling off her bike.

No, New York City will not be banning cars anytime in the foreseeable future.

The gunman who killed a security guard on the set of Law & Order: Organized Crime in Brooklyn last month apparently stalked the victim using a bicycle.

Someone tossed a heavy bikeshare bike onto the tracks in front of a New York subway train, with predictable results.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Friends remember a Virginia woman who was killed by a teenaged drunk driver while riding with a friend at 7:30 am; the other woman remains hospitalized in critical condition.

President Biden took another bike ride with his family while on vacation in South Carolina. And didn’t fall off this time.

A Miami man carries his 75-pound, sunglass-wearing golden doodle on his back as he rides around his neighborhood.

Kindhearted Florida duputies bought a 13-year old boy “the monster of all bikes” after learning he was depressed over the theft of his bike and the death of his father.

 

International

Road.cc reviews the new book Two Wheels Good – The History and Mystery of the Bicycle, giving it four out of five stars. The website also lists a half-dozen bike upgrades you don’t really need, from high-end gruppos to disc brakes and tubeless tires.

Kindhearted Ottawa, Canada cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young kid after the one he received in a charity giveaway was stolen.

Someone may have stolen $3,300 from a bike rider in Trinidad after he was killed in a collision.

A British luxury lifestyle magazine recommends the best places for a biking vacation this fall. And no, nowhere in the US made the cut.

They get it. Officials in Camden, England say new bike lanes will benefit both bike riders and local businesses.

A 34-year old Edinburgh man with terminal motor neurone disease completed a mountainous, 20 hour, 265-mile fundraising ride; in the four years since his diagnosis, he’s raised the equivalent of $181,000 to fight the disease, with another $60,000 pledged for this ride.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver got just seven months behind bars for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle; he played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card, saying he just didn’t see the victim.

Would you like fries with that? A new documentary tells the story of a Yugoslavian man who ate an entire bicycle in three days. No, really. 

Over 100 bicyclists turned out to mark Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, aka the 75th anniversary of Indian independence.

Nice story from Gabon, where a teacher got tired of watching her students walk for miles to get to school, so she started a company making bamboo bicycles; she already has over 5,000 orders.

You’ve got to be kidding. The new Hermes bicycle sold out in mainland China, despite a price tag over $24,000. Demonstrating that a number of wealthy Chinese have more yuan than sense.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seventy-one-year old Rick Taggart qualified for the US Nationals for his age bracket, despite a high-speed crash in the final mile of a 76-mile race that left him with a broken collarbone; he somehow managed to finish the race anyway.

Pez Cycling News takes a look at seven of the world’s “most challenging, weirdest bike races.”

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike breaks during a 1,000-mile audax, so you ride into the nearest town, buy a new frame and build up a new one to finish the ride. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting kicked in the head by a deer doing a high jump. 

And evidently, Napoleon was one of us, too.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Times columnist takes on dangerous drivers and politicians, and transportation bills advance in the state legislature

Trust the Los Angeles Times’ Steve Lopez to take on LA’s dangerous drivers, and the streets that encourage that behavior.

He says that Angelenos — or at least his readers — have had it with speeding drivers in the wake of last week’s crash that killed five people, as well as an unborn baby just two weeks from full term.

They want more enforcement, stiffer penalties for offenders and better street design, and they want to know why — even as we move toward electric vehicles to save the planet — the auto industry produces gas-guzzling behemoths that easily go twice the highest speed limits, and why the media culture celebrates velocity.

While he addresses safety concerns throughout the city, what especially stands out is a group of Angelino Heights residents who are fighting to stop filming for the latest movie in the Fast & Furious franchise, over fears it will encourage still more dangerously aggressive drivers to seek out the neighborhood.

“We will not stand for them filming here,” says a letter that was emailed to City Hall, arguing that the moviemakers “do nothing to dissuade their macho fans from endangering people’s lives on public streets in Los Angeles…”

“I am sick and tired of these knucklehead street racers speeding and doing doughnuts in our neighborhood,” said Echo Park resident Alan Lee, who lives near a market featured in one of the “Fast & Furious” movies. The market draws speeders and stunt drivers, Lee said, and he saw one lose control and plow into a neighbor’s car.

Michele McKinnon said tenants in her Echo Park apartment building complain of stunt driving and the smell of burned rubber, a familiar scent on weekend evenings. The “Fast & Furious” franchise has made billions glorifying “deadly street racing,” McKinnon said in an email to city officials, promising to disrupt filming “all day and night” in honor of those who have lost their lives to reckless driving.

Speed Racer wannabe see, Speed Racer wanna be do.

Lopez also isn’t afraid to take state legislators to task for failing to earn their pay.

Some legislators have tried to do something, but several bills to control speeding have failed. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that whereas national Republican lawmakers have failed to support sensible gun control proposals despite the ongoing firearm carnage, the Democrats who dominate the California Legislature have been missing in action when it comes to cracking down on drivers who use vehicles as weapons.

Amen, brother.

Still, there’s good news on the legislative front, as we’ll see in the next section.

Artwork by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

It was a good day from transportation bills in the state legislature yesterday.

First up, Assembly Member Laura Friedman’s bill to tie state transpiration projects to California’s Climate Action Plan passed out of committee.

Streets For All notes that several transportation bills passed out of the Appropriations Committee, where good bills too often go to die.

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GCN examines five descent positions so dangerous their were banned.

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

A dermatologist and self-annointed expert on urbanism honors the founder of City Watch after Ken Draper’s death, yet devolves into complaining about “bike nazis” while adding “you know who you are.”

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

A San Francisco man will avoid anti-Asian hate crime charges after he was arrested for jumping off his bike and attacking former San Francisco commissioner-at-large Greg Chew.

A 44-year-old New York man was critically injured by a hit-and-run bike rider, who was part of a larger group of bicyclists riding through Manhattan.

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Local

LA Times readers weigh in on whether kids should be riding ebikes, after the parents of a Pacific Palisades girl files suit against Rad Power Bikes for her death.

Anne Heche was reportedly high on coke at the time of her fiery crash into a Mar Vista home; the actress suffered a catastrophic brain injury, and isn’t expected to survive.

StreetsLA has partnered with CAKE electric motorcycles to inspect 1,100 miles of bike lanes in the city.

 

State 

The San Diego community mourns Christine Hawk Embree, the mother killed riding her ebike in Carlsbad on Sunday.

East San Jose has received a $10 million grant to improve safety around Senter Road, including new street lights, bike lanes and other protective measures.

A San Francisco music club threatens that they’ll have to close if a new bike lane running in front of the venue goes in, apparently thinking their survival depends on a handful of free parking spaces, rather than happy customers.

 

National

The Biden administration released the first round of funding for federal RAISE grants — Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity — which were formerly known as BUILD grants, which were themselves formerly known as TIGER grants, releasing roughly $2.2 billion to fund 166 initiatives in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

California Representative Mike Thompson has sent a letter to the USPS urging the Postal Service to use more ebikes.

Mother Jones talks with author Jessie Singer, who says when drivers kill — not cars, thank you — it’s not an accident.

A group of volunteers is building a 5,000-mile mountain bike trail stretching from Washington state to Baja California.

Strong Towns Program Director Rachel Quednau discusses opening an ebike shop with her husband.

Bicycling considers all the best bike locks — or at least the best bike locks you can get on Amazon. Meanwhile, ZDNet says you need two locks to secure your ebike, recommending a pair of Kryptonite’s.

Check the bikeability of your next neighborhood on Zillow before you move.

Police in Vail, Colorado busted a suspected serial bike thief.

A writer for Lonely Planet explains how he rode 468 miles across Iowa for RAGBRAI with 18,000 close friends.

Chicago is installing a trio of speed cameras to calm dangerous intersections near where two bike riders were recently killed. Yet they bizarrely remain illegal here in California, where speeding evidently isn’t a problem.

An Ohio grand jury indicted a driver who fled on foot after crashing into a family riding their bicycles, killing a three-year old girl.

New York is backsliding on open streets, as residents lost 63 miles of open streets over the past year.

A Florida state attorney — the equivalent of a DA — has rescinded a policy put in place by her predecessor to address the problem of police stops that disproportionately targeted Black people, aka Biking While Black.

 

International

F1 great Lewis Hamilton expands on his recent statement that he finds driving outside of the track very stressful. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

Cycling Weekly examines whether expensive sunglasses perform any better than the cheap ones.

Um, no. A British bike delivery startup prohibits its workers from wearing bike helmets, fearing helmet use will somehow make them more aggressive.

A bike rider in the UK complains the the country’s legal system “is not fit for purpose,” recounting his struggle for justice after he was hit by a driver 18 months earlier.

Police in Graz, Austria are cracking down on drunk bicyclists, after residents respond to drunk driving laws by taking to their bikes. I still say that’s counterproductive; I’d much rather see a drunk on a bike than in a car, where they could do far more harm.

 

Competitive Cycling

Marianne Vos has made it three for three in the Tour of Scandinavia, notching stage wins in the first three stages to build a modest 22 second lead going into today’s stage.

Twenty-six-year old Flanders pro Laurens De Plus tells drivers to think twice or wait five seconds after he was knocked off his bike in a collision on a training ride.

Maybe the era of doping isn’t really over, after all, as weekend crit warrior Jackson ‘Huntley’ Nash received a lifetime ban for multiple anti-doping violations, while 23-year-old Italian pro Michele Gazzoli got a one-year ban for using a prohibited stimulant.

 

Finally…

A Portland bike rider explains how to make your next move by bike. Yes, you can get a new sofa home by bike.

And now we know what inspired Far from the Madding Crowd.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Healthy Streets LA ballot measure qualifies for ballot, moves to city council; and Paris moves to be 100% bikeable

Correction: I got a couple things wrong in the following piece.

First off, the Healthy Streets LA initiative has qualified for the 2024 ballot, not this fall as I originally wrote.

Second, my sloppy wording implied that the city council had the option of changing the wording on the initiative, but they don’t. They have the option of adopting the initiative as written, or adopting their own ordinance based on the initiative. 

I’ve made both corrections below. 

It’s on.

The Healthy Streets LA ballot measure has been approved for the 2024 election.

According to Streetsblog, the LA City Clerk’s office ruled that the coalition behind the proposal, headed by transportation PAC Streets For All, has collected enough qualified signatures to go to a vote of the people.

Or as an alternative, the city council could skip the whole hassle of campaigning for the next two years, and adopt the measure outright, which is what Streets For All is pushing for.

The measure would simply require that the city implement the already approved mobility plan whenever streets in the plan get resurfaced, whether repaved or coated with a slurry seal.

The council can adopt the plan outright, adopt their own alternative version based on the plan, or vote to place it on the ballot.

Some people, including longtime leading pedestrian advocate Jessica Meaney, have called for the city to adopt the alternative version including a plan for implementation with a focus on equity.

The problem with that is that it could be amended or revoked by a simple vote of the city council at any time, for any reason. So if the next Gil Cedillo or Paul Koretz decided they didn’t want bike lanes in their district, they could easily have them removed.

Adopting the proposal outright would give it the force of law, and would require a vote of the people in order to modify it. And nothing prevents the city council from approving both the Healthy Streets LA proposal, as well as the council’s version, with a focus on equity in the resurfacing schedule, to govern how it will be rolled out.

Which would be the best of all possible worlds, and what Streets For All is recommending.

Meanwhile, the LA Times looked at the ballot measure, and the willingness of city officials and the public to make real changes to the streets to increase safety and livability.

In the city where the car is king, activists are pushing to claim strips of the biggest boulevards for bicyclists and walkers.

Their fight has played out at Griffith Park, where streets were recently closed after a cyclist was killed. It spilled out along the steps of City Hall where advocates staged a die-in. And now, it could make its way to the ballot box in a vote that will test traffic-weary Angelenos’ willingness to put themselves on a so-called road diet to make streets safer and the air cleaner.

But what jumps out from the story is a comment from a board member from NIMBY advocacy group Fix The City.

“If you take away vehicle lanes, you are creating congestion,” said Mike Eveloff, a board member of the nonprofit Fix The City. The group successfully sued Los Angeles over its mobility plan, mandating that an extensive outreach plan accompany new projects for 10 years. “This will result in even more lawsuits against the city. There are no costs disclosed. This represents a ‘hidden’ tax.”

Eveloff said he once loved to cycle but not anymore. “The infrastructure is incompatible with cars, bikes and pedestrians sharing the same space.”

He clearly doesn’t recognize the irony of that statement.

Because that same lack of safe infrastructure keeps many people from riding their bikes or walking to the market. And the fixes the Fix The City group opposes are exactly what would allow him to ride a bike once again.

Who knows, he might even like it.

………

This is what Los Angeles could be doing.

Paris has invested the equivalent of 154 million dollars to transform itself from a typically auto-centric, car-choked city to one where both residents and visitors can choose to get anywhere in the city on two wheels.

Now Paris is planning to drill down to the neighborhood level over the next five years, to make 100 percent of city safe and convenient to travel by bicycle.

The city is increasing its investment to $258 million to build 621 miles of bike lanes and 186 miles of cycle tracks, along with 30,000 bike racks, with 1,000 spaces reserved for cargo bikes, and 40,000 new secure bicycle parking spaces.

They’re also planning for 8,400 ebike charging stations.

This is the sort of wholesale transportation changes we were promised with the adoption of LA’s mobility plan, before we were all told it was merely “aspirational.”

And forgettable, evidently.

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Robert Downey Jr. is one of us, as he makes a sepia toned call for more bike lanes.

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A Vancouver visual effects artist created short videos placing local bicyclists in the Upside Down and the middle of a Star Wars battle.

………

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

The widow of a man murdered by a bike-riding man while their family was on vacation in Myrtle Beach SC is demanding the death penalty or life in prison for his killer; the victim was shot eight times after agreeing to give the down-and-out stranger a ride

………

Local

AAA calls on people to drive safely and avoid distraction as kids return to school. Never mind that they should drive that way all the time, whether or not school is in session.

The LAPD reports things are finally quieting down on LA’s new $577 million 6th Street Viaduct, while the city public works committee considers a proposal to periodically close the bridge to cars to allow greater bike and pedestrian access.

Santa Clarita residents are invited to a public meeting on Wednesday, August 24th to learn more about the Bouquet Canyon Bike Trail project.

 

State 

Streetsblog calls on California to ban parking minimums, noting that AB 2097 would prohibit parking mandates in areas near public transit.

Assembly Bill 371 could threaten bikeshare systems throughout the state by requiring providers to obtain insurance to cover the cost of injuries or deaths caused by negligent users.

Steve Martin is one of us, riding his ebike into town when he spends summers in Santa Barbara with his wife.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a bike-riding man was killed in a collision just after midnight Wednesday.

Gizmodo calls Silicon Valley’s push into transportation a miserable failure, marked by a lot of disruption but not much innovation, while a Canadian technology writer accuses tech firms of planning for transportation that benefits the few, not the many.

San Francisco has received a $23 million federal grant to improve the plastic-protected bike lanes on a seven-block section of Howard Street, including concrete buffers, curb-protected intersections and new bike traffic signals.

No surprise here, as the parents of a 19-year old UC Davis student killed by a university garbage truck driver as she rode her bike to class have filed a wrongful death suit against the university.

A New Jersey website offers tips on how to keep your bike from getting stolen.

A new study suggests the Richmond-San Rafael bridge is dramatically underused, with an average of just 136 weekday crossings.

Call it a different kind of tall bike, as Road Bike Action examines 6’7″ former NBA great Reggie Miller’s new Moots gravel bike.

People For Bikes examines plans for the Lost Sierra Route, a new 600-mile bike trail connecting 15 mountain towns in Northern California.

 

National

Treehugger asks if we’re seeing the beginning of an e-bikelash.

Speaking of Silicon Valley tech firms, Ralph Nader urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, to recall Tesla’s full self-driving technology, calling it “one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades.”

CityLab calls for installing speed governors on all cars to keep drivers from dangerously exceeding the speed limit; modern versions use geolocation to match the posted speed limit on a given roadway.

A Seattle website suggests riding your bike around the scenic islands of Puget Sound.

Utah has seen a spike in fatal bike crashes, already topping any other year for the past decade.

A Durango, Colorado letter writer reminds readers that without an ebike, he wouldn’t be able to ride at all.

A Massachusetts city councilor is calling for the removal of a bike lane, even though it has reduced crashes a whopping 77%.

 

International

Toronto’s mayor met with the city’s largest bike advocacy group protesting a crackdown on bike riders in the city’s High Park; an Ontario website calls the crackdown a colossal waste of time and money, since only 15 pedestrians were hit by bike riders over an eight-year period, with no fatalities, while drivers killed 212 pedestrians over the same time.

A London bike company is offering commuters free bikes to use when tube workers are on strike.

Five British bicyclists completed a 1,100-mile trip across the country, raising the equivalent of nearly $100,000 to install “life-changing” gardens at every spinal injury center in the UK.

Horrible story from India’s Uttar Pradesh state, where a woman and her son beat a young man on a bicycle to death, using a bat to knock him and his bike into an open sewer.

A New Zealand website recommends the world’s best and most beautiful bike routes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Veteran World Cup mountain biker Lea Davison has walked away from the Life Time Grand Prix gravel racing series, concluding she loves mountain biking, gravel not so much; she also cited a lack of safety and fairness.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can sculpt a giant pink cow for a Florida bike path. Or hold your own in a drag race pitting a DIY ebike against a Ford Mustang.

And if you’re going to get drunk and fall off your bike, try not to do it in front of someone’s doorbell cam.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

13 previous car crashes for nurse who killed six people in Windsor Hills, and women and retirees fastest ebike adopters

Talk about keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 37-year old, Texas-based traveling nurse Nicole Lorraine Linton was involved in 13 prior crashes before she killed six people and injured eight others after allegedly blowing through a red light at up to 90 mph on Thursday.

Yes, you read that right.

Thirteen previous crashes, including a 2020 crash that totaled both vehicles. And yet she was somehow allowed to keep driving, despite demonstrating a clear inability to do so safely.

Either that, or she was plagued by some of the worst luck in the history of driving.

Linton was formally charged with six counts of murder — one for each victim — along with five counts of vehicular homicide. The unborn child of the pregnant woman killed in the crash accounts for the discrepancy; the death of the eight-and-a-half month unborn baby is eligible for a murder charge, but not vehicular homicide.

LA County DA George Gascón concluded her prior crash record indicated she was aware of the risks of driving in a dangerous manner, making her eligible for the murder charges.

Linton faces up to life behind bars upon conviction. She’s currently being held without bail after the previous $9 million bond was revoked.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

……….

Meanwhile, the news is not good for Anne Heche.

The actress, who was seriously burned crashing her car into a Mar Vista home at high speed on Friday, is reportedly in extremely critical condition after slipping into a coma.

Police investigators are trying to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the fiery crash.

………

I once made the mistake of telling a bikemaker I didn’t see a market for ebikes, because I assumed everyone would want the exercise and health benefits of a standard bike.

Turns out I was wrong about that, too, since studies show ebikes offer the same health benefits as any other bike.

So this is a snapshot of just who is taking up ebikes.

You know, the market I somehow couldn’t picture.

………

Let’s take a few moments to consider what’s possible when you register your bike with Bike Index.

You can get a free, lifetime registration in just minutes.

So if anything happens to your bike, you’ll have all the information you need to add your bike to Bike Index’ nationwide database of stolen bikes. And increase your chances of getting it back, wherever its found.

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Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening.

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Who needs an ebike bike when you can build your very own DIY jet-powered 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. A new San Francisco group demanding the reopening of JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park to cars has issued their full set of demands, including parking on every street, no parking-protected bike lanes, and no bike lanes replacing parking.

A road-raging Dayton, Ohio man faces charges for intentionally running down, then running over, a man riding a bicycle, before getting out with another man and looking at the victim; the attack was apparently in retaliation for the rider throwing a small flashlight at the driver’s car, after someone in the car threw a water bottle at the victim.

A Florida driver is accused of circling back and jumping a curb to intentionally run down a pair of bike riders, then getting out and shooting one of them in the leg

British police interviewed a man accused of “furiously” pushing a man against a wall and throwing his bicycle out into the street, for the crime of riding his bike on the sidewalk.

An Irish road and cyclocross racer is back to riding just two weeks after he suffered four broken ribs and two broken vertebrae, as well as a partially collapsed lung, when someone sabotaged a mountain bike trail with a rope strung across the path; Seán Nolan warns that its only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

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

A Nebraska man was busted after fleeing from police on his bike when the cops recognized his as having outstanding warrants; he was also carrying meth and drug paraphernalia in his backpack.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man learns the hard way that if you’re going to stab a man and ride off on his bicycle, make sure it doesn’t have a flat tire first.

Police in Chicago are looking for a bike-riding man who has targeted elderly women in a string of strong-arm robberies, stealing their jewelry before riding off.

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Local

Dozens of bicyclists and other activists turned out at City Hall on Monday to protest a new ordinance banning outdoor bike chop shops, fearing the law could be used to target low-income people and people of color, rather than cracking down on bike thefts.

Streetsblog reports Venice Blvd will be getting another 4.3 miles of parking protected bike lanes connecting to the .8-mile Mar Vista Great Street project, for a total of 5.1 miles of protected bike lanes.

The LA River Greenway is getting a new Canoga Park entry pavilion designed by acclaimed architect Frank Geary, even though the river is nothing more than an open air concrete culvert at that point. Geary has also proposed hiding lower sections of the concrete channel under elevated parks, rather than returning the channel to a more natural state.

Walk Bike Glendale offers action alerts on proposed makeovers of North Brand Blvd and La Crescenta Ave, as well as plans for a feeder ride to the Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia on August 21st.

 

State 

Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 922 passed the state Assembly with almost unanimous support; the bill expedited bike, pedestrian, light rail, and rapid bus projects by exempting them from the California Environmental Quality Act, aka CEQA. It now goes back to the Senate for a final vote before going to the governor’s desk for a signature.

Encinitas-based bikemaker Electra continues to stick close to its roots, keeping its focus on cruiser bikes on the eve of its 30th birthday.

San Diego’s newly revised Climate Action Plan doubles down on efforts to get people out of their cars, including a shift to more Class IV protected bike lanes.

Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Commission approved the removal of 34 trees to build a bike path on the city’s Modoc Road, which will require moving the roadway 12 feet so the path won’t go through sensitive wildlife habitat near Arroyo Burro Creek; the project is less controversial than another one along Modoc Road in Santa Barbara County, which will require removing 40 to 61 trees.

Streetsblog calls on San Francisco officials to fix a street grate in Golden Gate Park that could grab a narrow bike tire and bring down the rider. And did. Call it Golden Gate Grate-gate. 

Oakland wants to use a $1 million state grant to buy 500 ebikes to open an ebike library for low-income neighborhoods.

After hundreds of bike-riding teens swarmed the lower deck of the San Francisco Bay Bridge Saturday afternoon, they’re accused of burglarizing businesses and throwing things at people in Oakland.

A man was sentenced to a well-deserved 17 years behind bars for trying to rape a woman on a Davis bike path.

 

National

Streetsblog offers advice on how to access federal funding from the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program, offering a cool $1 billion a year for the next five years for “meaningful, community-led Vision Zero projects.”

Even with federal incentives of up to $7,500, electric cars remain outside the reach of many Americans. Yet the new climate bill fails to mention far more affordable bicycles, let alone ebikes.

The Verge says the ebike tax credit is only mostly dead, as supporters plot the next steps to revive it.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Take a cog railway train to the summit of Colorado’s 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, then bike 13 miles and 5,000 feet back down.

A 49-year old Durango, Colorado fire fighter was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver; his death came just two weeks after a 60-year old member of the same department died of a heart condition while riding bikes with his son.

A 68-year old Sierra City, California man was killed when he was rear-ended by a semi driver and knocked into a ditch while riding in Kansas.

Great idea. While Houston is in the midst of a years-long commitment to build 1,800 miles of high-comfort bike lanes, the city is reserving 10% of the funding for smaller “strategic” projects suggested by members of the bicycling community.

Police arrested a 26-year old man for yelling and chucking rocks at people using a Madison, Wisconsin bike path.

A Detroit website says more pedestrians are getting killed as trucks and SUVs keep getting bigger, with some models now exceeding the size of a WWII tank.

The woman accused of killing two men participating in a Michigan Make-A-Wish fundraising ride while driving under the influence is due back in court for a prelim next week; the crash left nine kids without their fathers.

The bighearted employees of a Maine company pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 19-year old coworker, after the bike he used to ride to work was stolen.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is one of us, after he suffered a broken wrist falling off his bike to end his season; a Texas website offers an incomplete list of other major league bike incidents, although they include motorcycles as well as bicycles.

New York saw a 33 percent jump in weekday bicycling trips during the deepest, darkest days of the pandemic in 2020. Meanwhile, the latest official figures for Los Angeles show a 22 percent increase — in 2019, before the pandemic and subsequent bike boom.

New Yorkers want more, and more secure, bike parking. Then again, doesn’t everyone?

DC has a new bicycle awareness specialty license plate, even if it does misspell “taxation.”

New Orleans police arrested a 16-year old boy, accusing him of stealing a bicycle from an off-duty cop in a French Quarter strong-arm robbery.

 

International

A Suffolk, England woman is credited with helping save a man’s life after he rode his bike into a river; now she’s raising funds to support the medical charity that helped his rehabilitation.

British police failed to arrest a single bike thief in 87% of neighborhoods with at least one bike theft. And usually a lot more.

A German company has introduced what they call the world’s smartest bike helmet, including a full face air bag, 360° surround safety system, LED lights and a breathable, 3D-knitted liner.

NPR says many Sri Lankans have switched to bicycles due to the country’s economic crisis.

The pandemic is fueling a sports bicycling boom in China, a country more noted for utilitarian and proletarian bikes; meanwhile, the country’s surviving bikeshare companies are raising their prices in an effort to finally turn a profit. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Indianapolis Monthly takes readers to school, explaining what a crit is.

A new documentary captures Pittsburgh’s Frigid Bitch alleycat bike race.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you find driving stressful when you’re not going 186 mph. Try not to back your motorbike into a pit.

And this is who we share the road with.

https://twitter.com/ChadBlue83/status/1556435695635517440

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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.

Free LED safety gear for low-income Culver City commuters, and reasoning with an angry climate denying driver

Bike Culver City is starting a light giveaway program for bike riders and pedestrians in the city.

BCC steering committee member Art Nomura writes to say the organization has won a grant from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) GoHuman program to purchase and distribute hi-quality LED safety equipment to low income workers in Culver City and the vicinity.

Bike Culver City will be giving away a free top-rated LED Vest or a pair of hi-vis LED lights to qualified recipients; night or early morning workers that bike or walk to work (including first and last milers) are especially encouraged to apply.

Anyone interested in the program can click on this link to see what is available and to fill out a simple application form in English or Spanish.

However, he stresses that the application period ends on August 16, so this is a limited time opportunity.

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Um, okay.

An angry Portland driver goes off on a cargo bike rider because of his sticker reading This Machine Fights Climate Change, calling climate change a hoax and a scam, and saying the rider’s Antifa buddies can go to hell.

No, really.

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People For Bikes urges you to contact your US senators to demand the inclusion of an ebike tax credit and bicycle commuter benefit in the final draft of the new climate bill, aka the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

Although at last report, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was the last remaining holdout on the bill, looking to add back tax breaks for corporations and private equity managers.

So the question isn’t what your senator will support, but what can they get Sinema and bill co-author Joe Manchin of West Virginia to sign off on.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski was killed in a traffic collision, along with two of her staffers, when a driver traveled onto the wrong side of the road and hit her SUV head-on.

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That feeling when a famed mountain bike park is full of bears. And no, you probably shouldn’t greet one like a lost puppy.

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If you need me, I’ll just be pretending I’m on my way to Bruges now, thank you.

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

After a Toronto bike rider was hit by a cop rolling a stop sign, he claimed the same officer had been harassing riders in a city park all day.

A 65-year old English man was injured when a road raging driver pushed him off his bike for the crime of not riding in a bike lane; he says he was hurt so badly he had to quit his job as an undertaker, and now struggles to play his trombone and bass guitar. Although probably not at the same time.

A British driver and his passenger face murder charges for deliberately driving onto a sidewalk and killing a man who was riding a bicycle with his girlfriend on the handlebars, before fleeing the scene without stopping.

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

Police in New York are looking for a Brooklyn bike-by shooter who shot a man who was standing outside his house, leaving the victim in critical condition. Although the NY Post can’t seem to decide whether the shooter was riding an ebike or a scooter.

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Local

Streetsblog is over halfway to their summer fundraising goal of $15,000, and just needs to raise another $7,000 to keep up their vital work reporting on Los Angeles and California transportation issues.

The Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia route returns on August 21st, once again heading along the Hollywood Walk of Fame before dropping south to Santa Monica Blvd.

Camilla Cabello is sort of one of us, trying a kids bike on for size at a Los Angeles area Walmart.

 

State 

Carlsbad’s long-awaited 94-acre Veterans Memorial Park could soon be home to the city’s first bicycle park, complete with pump track, jumps and a slalom course.

Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, pled not guilty to a charge of DUI stemming from a May injury collision in Napa County; the 82-year old driver had a blood alcohol level of .082% after the crash — just over the .08% limit.

 

National

A trio of Republican senators are fighting for your right to drive drunk, introducing a bill that would remove a requirement for carmakers to install passive drunk-driving detection mechanisms on all new cars by 2024.

The prestigious National Law Review considers the causes of bicycling crashes and how to avoid them.

Planetizen says accurate bicycle counts on city streets matter, because inaccurate — or non-existent — counts could lead to an underinvestment in bike infrastructure.

Streetsblog considers the multiple strange and varied vehicles that get called ebikes, and where they belong on the road, while Wired offers the latest deals on ebikes, e-scooters and accessories.

Prevention recommends the best women’s bike shorts. Only one of which is actually intended for, you know, riding a bike.

Seattle is testing a number of alternatives for building protected bike lanes this summer, from armadillos to low concrete barriers, with a goal of placing the winner throughout the city.

A Durango, Colorado letter writer insists residents of the city have been duped into thinking ebikes can have a tangible reduction on greenhouse gas emissions. Although he seems to think the point is to replace regular bike trips, rather than replacing car trips with ebikes.

A bighearted Odessa, Texas shop owner bought a new bike for a longtime customer after his was stolen outside the store.

Heartbreaking story from Michigan, where one of the two men killed by an alleged DUI driver shared his motivation for participating in the challenging 300-mile ride just hours before his death — a bracelet with the name of a Make-A-Wish child that he looked at whenever he needed inspiration.

A kindhearted Connecticut cop bought a new bike for a little kid who started crying after realizing he didn’t win one in a raffle on Tuesday’s National Night Out.

That’s more like it. A Manhattan community board is onboard with plans for a road diet and bike lanes, but are insisting on concrete barriers instead of just paint.

Another tragic ebike fire in New York, where an exploding battery took the life of a five-year old girl and a 36-year old woman in a Harlem apartment, along with their three dogs; the girl’s father survived in critical condition. Although once again, the local CBS station can’t seem to decide if it was an ebike or an e-scooter.

 

International

Bike Radar recommends the best torque wrenches to work on your bike. And no, that’s not what you use to hammer a tight nut you can’t get off.

An 80-year old Canadian man is trying to set a new world record for the longest journey by motorized bike, riding an ebike over 8,000 miles from Alaska to Panama.

Canadian bicycling injuries jumped 25% in the first full year of the pandemic, likely due to an increase in bike ridership. 

More proof that opposition to bikeways melts away over time. Despite the opposition of some drivers, local residents strongly support the UK’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, Britain’s version of Slow Streets; in one study, 44% opposed an LTN in their neighborhood before it was installed, but after five years, less than 2% wanted it removed.

Porsche is jumping deeper into the ebike market by creating two new companies — one to make ebike components, and the other to build complete ebikes based on them.

A new German study suggests drivers pass bike riders just as close, if not closer, on streets with low speed limits as they do on faster streets.

Australia has issued an urgent recall notice for the children’s eZee Viento folding ebikes, which could suffer a broken frame while being ridden. The bikes were also sold in the US, but no word on a recall here yet.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has announced the members of the US team for the Mountain Bike World Championships in Les Gets, France later this month.

Note to race organizers — speed bumps defeat the purpose of bike races. A half-dozen cyclists went down hard after clipping a speed bump in the last quarter mile of Spain’s Vuelta a Burgos.

 

Finally…

Is it really an ebike if it doesn’t have pedals, looks like a dirt bike and goes 38 mph? Or if the pedals are so hidden away they’re almost impossible to use?

And the story may be science fiction, but at least Amazon’s Paper Girls gets the ’80s bikes right.

And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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