Tag Archive for bicycling

“Slight recovery” for Ramona’s Michelle Scott in 2019 hit-and-run, NYPD blames victim, and Tamika talks bikes & racism

The news on Ramona bike rider Michelle Scott is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

According to the Ramona Sentinel, Scott is showing slight progress towards recovery even as she remains confined to a rehab facility, seven months after she was severely injured by a hit-and-run driver while riding to work last October.

The driver who put her there, 35-year old Chase Richard, faces trial on multiple charges next month, including two felony hit-and-run counts, and remains in custody on a $2 million bond.

But even if Richard is found guilty, he likely faces just four years behind bars.

Yet another example of the failure of our society to take traffic violence seriously.

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Peter Flax examines what he calls the “infuriating” conclusion of the NYPD’s investigation into the death of Robyn Hightman, who was killed by a truck driver who claimed he never saw the victim.

And never stopped, despite witness reports that he had to know he’d hit someone.

Not surprisingly, the decidedly bike-unfriendly NYPD blamed the victim for the crash, even though the 20-year old bike messenger was an experienced bicyclist, and a New York bike lawyer says Hightman was probably doing everything right.

Which sadly doesn’t count for much in the auto-centric city.

Flax had written about Hightman’s life and needless death for Bicycling shortly after the fatal crash.

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Boston public radio station WGBH will host a webinar with former LACBC Executive Director and social justice advocate Tamika Butler, among others, to discuss “how cycling, transit, and other systems and infrastructure in our cities and neighborhoods perpetuate the excessive monitoring and policing of Black and Brown bodies in public spaces.”

But you’ll have to register in advance. And get up early, because it starts at 9:30 am Eastern Time on Friday.

That’s 6:30 am here.

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For once, the people South LA aren’t being forgotten as the city moves forward with implementing the Slow Streets program.

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Local

The LA Times says a guided multi-day bike tour could be your safest vacation bet this summer.

Gear Patrol says the new MIPS helmet from LA-based Thousand will actually make you want to wear your helmet.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader asks whether the current bike boom will outlast the pandemic.

 

State

California ski resorts are open for mountain biking, with the usual post-pandemic restrictions.

One-legged bicyclist Leo Rodgers is moving to Costa Mesa to pursue his dream of “influencing and inspiring people,” while a crowdfunding page for his new foundation has raised just over $2,300 of the $10,000 goal; Rodgers was featured on the cover of the latest issue of Bicycling.

The Daily Pilot looks at Newport Beach-based ebike maker Electric Bike Co, whose first brick-and-mortar location is opening in the city on the 4th of July.

Work is continuing on San Diego’s Rose Creek Bikeway, but no estimate was given for completion of the construction project. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Bonita’s new bike park is finally back open, but with a mask requirement to get in, and riders have to stay at least six feet apart.

Supporters of Vision Zero ask if opponents of San Jose’s plan are really that selfish. Yes, they are

 

National

Bicycling says stats on aerodynamics are great, but what really matters is how much they affect how you ride. On the other hand, Road.cc says forget wheel weight and just focus on getting more aero.

Bicycling considers just what it takes to stay safe on your bike in the age of Covid-19.

A hand and wrist physiotherapist explains the causes and treatment of cyclist palsy, the nerve irritation caused by gripping your handlebars for extended periods.

Brit+Co says we’re all riding bikes now, so you need some bike gear that’s actually cute. Assuming you’re a woman, that is; evidently, men don’t need cute bikewear.

Yahoo says this tiny folding e-scooter is the future of bicycling. Hint: It’s not.

A free Colorado e-bikeshare program is helping chronically homeless people get back on their feet.

A St. Louis man and woman were busted for riding bikes that were stolen during the looting that followed the death of George Floyd.

Document Journal examines the New York social justice cycling collective that brought 10,000 bike riders out to the streets of Gotham to support Black Lives Matter. Which is about 9,900 more than have ever turned out in Los Angeles, with the exception of Critical Mass.

A former New York transportation commissioner is proposing a new carfree bridge to connect Manhattan and Queens to accommodate the boom in bike riding; although some advocates aren’t exactly thrilled with the idea.

New York is doubling the amount of temporary protected bike lanes in the city in response to the jump in bike ridership, although that’s still just an increase from nine miles to 18. However, that’s 18 miles more than LA has installed.

Two New Jersey men were busted for mugging a bike rider, just hours following their release after getting busted as porch pirates.

Kindhearted Pennsylvania cops gave a new bike and pump to a man who was saving up to buy a bicycle, while riding multiple buses to two jobs to support his five kids.

A South Florida bike shop teamed with a local foundation to donate a new tandem bike to a blind nine-year old boy so he can ride with his father for the first time.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett is teaming with community leaders and police in his Florida hometown for a two-day bike ride to build stronger community bonds. However, the wisdom of doing that in the middle of a pandemic, in a state with surging Covid-19 cases, is highly debatable.

 

International

The Conversation considers how cities can keep the new riders create by the Covid-19 bike boom on their bicycles.

She gets it. A Canadian columnist says if a Toronto woman is convicted of DUI, while already on parole and a ten-year driving ban for the drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding man, she should never be allowed to drive again. Then again, she wasn’t supposed to be driving now, so the question is what are they willing to do to stop her.

How to fix a bent derailleur.

The BBC examines whether the coronavirus crisis has brought us any closer to tackling climate change.

A Scottish bike rider is dead because an 84-year old man with failing eyesight ignored his doctor’s instructions not to drive.

A British man convicted of stealing a nurse’s bicycle while she was at work treating Covid-19 patients gets a slap on the wrist with less than four months behind bars.

A Dutch traveler’s association is calling for lower speed limits on bike paths, as more people are taking to bicycles to avoid public transit during the coronavirus pandemic; bicyclists are currently allowed to ride up to 27 mph.

Flanders, Belgium is giving away 10,000 free bikeshare rides in an effort get more people on bicycles during the pandemic.

The bike boom is exploding across Germany, too.

Taiwan’s “Pokémon Go grandpa” now has 64 smartphones spread out like peacock feathers on his handlebars to help him play the game. Although that means he probably can’t see the road right in front of him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cycling will look different this year in the wake of Covid-19, and here won’t be any hugs or kisses on the podium at this year’s Tour de France. Which means this is the perfect opportunity to get rid of podium girls once and for all.

NPR considers the ups and downs of Everesting in the wake of Lachlan Morton’s new record, set just outside my hometown.

 

Finally…

If your life’s dream is to own a Segway, you’d better hurry. Who needs a hotel when you can tow your own RV?

And how not to wash your bike.

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

Bike-friendly Councilmember Jose Huizar busted for bribery, Olive Street gets bike lanes, and Brits get £50 for bike repair

The other shoe finally dropped.

Two years after FBI agents raided the home and office of DTLA Councilmember Jose Huizar, he was charged yesterday with accepting bribes from a Chinese developer.

It had become clear in recent months that the Feds had Huizar in their sights, after a string of lower-level aides and go-betweens copped pleas that clearly implicated him.

Huizar, who was largely responsible for the bike-friendly Complete Streets makeover of Downtown Los Angeles in recent years, was charged under the RICO act for running a corrupt enterprise.

His arrest, along with the conviction of former San Fernando Valley Councilmember Mitch Englander, raises questions of whether anyone else was involved, and who else the Feds could be looking at.

Englander’s replacement, Councilmember John Lee, is believed to have been implicated in Englander’s bribery scheme, according to court documents, but hasn’t stepped down.

A number of other city officials and staffers, including South LA Councilmember Curren Price, have been subjects of search warrants.

Which means the question is whether Huizar’s alleged corruption marks the end of the investigation. Or just the tip of the iceberg.

And it serves as a reminder that those who support us don’t always deserve our support.

Although the sexual harassment case against Huizar, allegedly settled with funds from the bribery scheme, should have been a fucking clue.

The remaining city councilmembers voted unanimously to suspend Huizar from the council after his arrest; he was urged to resign before his term ends at the end of the year so Councilmember-elect Kevin de Leon can take over the seat.

Let’s hope de Leon turns out to be as much of a supporter of bicycles and Complete Streets as Huizar has been.

But less corrupt.

Allegedly.

Photo from josehuizar.com.

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Speaking of DTLA, it looks like Olive Street is about to get an upgrade.

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You might want to avoid Laguna Niguel’s Camino Capistrano for awhile.

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Great idea.

The UK is ready to roll with a voucher plan offering every resident the equivalent of $62 to get their bikes repaired,

The idea is to help get more people on bikes and support the bike industry, while giving a boost to the economy.

All of which we could use right here. And right now.

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

Retired motorcycle champ Miguel Duhamel is recovering after he was shot in the head with a BB gun from passing car while riding his bike in Red Rock, Nevada.

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

Police in Indianapolis are asking for the public’s help in identifying the bike-riding jerk who pushed another man off his bicycle, resulting in a severe concussion.

An off-duty NYPD cop was in a shootout with someone on a bicycle after a dispute with a group of men, who allegedly flashed gang signs; over a dozen shots were fired, but no one was hit.

A Tokyo bike rider was busted for allegedly damaging a driver’s car in a case of bike rage, even though that technically isn’t illegal until the end of this month.

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Local

Streetsblog says it will take more than a few sandwich boards to make LA’s 4th Street Slow Street friendlier for bicyclists and walkers.

The LAPD busted one of the bike and skateboard-riding Venice/Mar Vista gropers, and is looking for the other one, as well as any other women who may have been assaulted.

A pair of former competitive cyclists in Long Beach formed a messenger service to deliver just about anything by bike.

Gerard Butler is one of us, riding his bike to Venice for an evening ride along the beach.

 

State

Coronado plans to take over a pair of state highways from Caltrans, which could lead to more bike lanes in the city where residents find them dizzying and akin to having your daughters totally tatted. And led to James Corden’s all-time best monologue.  

Santa Barbara is politely asking bike riders to dismount on a new temporary plaza formed by closing a downtown street.

San Franciscans discover the unexpected delights of bicycling while they shelter at home.

Fremont shows other Bay Area cities how protected bikeways are done. Los Angeles could take a few notes, too.

 

National

He gets it. An infectious disease physician and bicyclist says he doesn’t wear a mask because he’s scared, he wears one out of respect for others.

Go ahead and order the fries. Bicycling says saturated fat isn’t bad for your heart after all.

Ouch. Vice examines how Uber turned a promising bikeshare company into literal garbage.

Gear Patrol suggests ten bike storage racks they promise will blend seamlessly into your home.

Portlanders are encouraged to get out and ride naked, by themselves, for a solo edition of the World Naked Bike Ride this weekend. Which could get you arrested just about anywhere else.

The Seattle Times talks with a former Caltrans and Los Angeles planner, currently working in Oakland, about how transportation planners can better serve people of color.

A Chicago woman is fighting for her life after she was right hooked by the driver of a city-owned dump truck. Crashes like that could be prevented by requiring sideguards on all large trucks, and cabs offering minimum 180° views.

A security guard in a bulletproof vest reportedly tackled a Black teenaged girl riding a Jump bike in Providence, Rhode Island, after Uber hired guards to recover their stolen bikes; naturally, the company denies it ever happened.

Sienna Miller is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride through New York.

Rayshard Brooks, the Black man who was recently shot by an Atlanta cop, was one of us, riding his bike to work when he lived in Ohio.

 

International

Road.cc picks the best front and rear daytime bike lights, and considers whether you should use them. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, hell yes. I’ve had far fewer close calls since I started riding with them at the urging of Mark Goodley.

Road.cc also suggests the best commuting upgrades for your bike. And for you.

Pez Cycling News picks the three best bike movies of all time, starting with everyone’s favorite. Okay, maybe just mine. And theirs.

Nothing strange here. A Northern Irish boy is missing after falling off his bike and striking his head, then taking off his all clothes and riding a little more, before abandoning his bike and walking away naked.

Tennis star Andy Murray is one of us, biking the famed Box hill climb while he shelters in Surrey, England.

Add the French Riviera to your bike bucket list. Assuming we can all travel again someday, and the Europeans let us back in.

A new Belgian study says bike riders in the country face no more risk than drivers do. On the other hand, Luxembourg is lagging badly.

Italy is enjoying a bike boom, too. Meanwhile, the European Public Health Alliance says the country can’t drive its way out of the coronavirus crisis with polluting vehicles.

A high ranking Manilla cop tell drivers to stay the hell out of the new bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Retired Belarusian pro Kanstantsin Siutsou got a four year ban for doping; the former Giro stage winner failed a test for EPO two years ago. Like that ban will really sting since he doesn’t compete anymore; it’s like firing someone two years after he quit. But hey, the doping era is over, right?

VeloNews spends a day with California-based women’s pro cyclist Tayler Wiles before the racing season theoretically gears back up.

 

Finally…

How to race halfway across the US without leaving Down Under. This is what a “suboptimal” bike lane looks like.

And your next roadie could set you back nearly $8,500.

But damn is it pretty.

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I continue to be surprised by the unexpected donations that have been coming in to support this site lately. Thanks to Carlos A and Bernard B for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

And note to Bernard — You’re welcome!

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

Hate crimes targeting — or by —  bike riders, Apple Maps adds bike directions, and a Rad restoration on demand

Sadly, today’s common theme is hate crimes, with a bicycle connection.

A white Cleveland man faces hate charges for deliberately driving onto a lawn and into a group of black teenagers, after a man at the house told him he couldn’t fix the driver’s bicycle.

A pair of Connecticut men face a raft of charges, including a hate count, for intentionally running three juvenile bike riders off the road with their car while shouting racial slurs, then jumping out and stealing one of their bikes after the kids wisely ran off.

English police are looking for a white BMX rider who shouted a racially abusive comment at a woman walking in the roadway; unlike in the US, hate speech is banned in the UK.

However, there was some good news, as over a thousand people turned out for a Milwaukee bike ride to spread the message that Black is Beautiful.

Photo by Johan Bos from Pexels

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In better news, Apple is adding turn-by-turn bicycle directions to Apple Maps in the next iOS upgrade.

Although a writer for Mashable says if the demo is any indication, the new bike route feature is off to a terrible start by sending riders on routes no one should ever use.

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A 4K restoration of 1980’s BMX classic Rad will be released on video on demand next month.

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Bolivian bus drivers get a feel for what a close pass from a bus feels like.

And it ain’t pretty.

https://twitter.com/carlosfgarciac/status/1274368229792722946

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Local

The Source looks at the upcoming project to build bus lanes and left-side protected bike lanes on 5th and 6th Streets in DTLA, though there’s no word on filling the seven block gap caused by two lousy blocks of parking.

You won’t need to worry about getting doored on Santa Monica’s Main Street anytime soon, where the city will replace street parking with al fresco dining while maintaining the existing bike lanes, with k-rails separating the two so you won’t sneeze on anyone’s food, as one letter writer insisted a week or two back.

 

State

An Oxnard bike rider suffered broken ribs and a back fracture when he was right hooked by a driver. Oddly, the Ventura County Star insists on mentioning that he wasn’t wearing a helmet, which wouldn’t have done anything to prevent his injuries.

An Orange Grove band director is riding his bike 420 miles from his UCLA alma mater back up to the city to raise funds to make up for the coronavirus crisis cancelling the school’s usual fundraising efforts.

 

National

National Geographic considers how bicycles changed the world, impacting virtually every aspect of life. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Cycling Industry News attempts to document the first chapter of the coronavirus bike boom.

Women’s Day lists nine online retailers where you can buy a bicycle, assuming they still have some left. Although you’re usually better off ordering through your local bike shop to ensure you’ll get one that meets your needs, and get hands-on service for your new bike.

Gear Patrol looks back at the birth of Oakley when founder Jim Jannard sold motorcycle gear out of the trunk of his car; the company was named after his English Setter.

Jump bikes may be disappearing from most places following their purchase by Lime, but they’re returning to Seattle as the city’s sole bikeshare provider.

Seattle-based RadPower’s newest ebike breaks the elusive $1,000 barrier for non-Chinese ebikes, at least to start.

Austin TX bike riders are about to get a popup bike lane leading to the state capitol building to aid in social distancing, in a state where it’s becoming more necessary every day.

Providence RI is launching a campaign to call attention to the city’s bike lanes.

Don’t count on bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge anytime soon, though it remains under discussion.

It’s open season on bike riders in Gotham, where three bike riders have been killed in New York City in just two weeks.

 

International

City Beat reminds us of the power of e-cargo bikes in rethinking our streets.

A Vancouver park reopened to car traffic, but with half of the roadway reserved for people on bicycles and on foot.

Once again, authorities failed to keep a deadly driver off the roads, after an Ontario woman was arrested for driving at twice the legal alcohol limit after serving less than half of a seven year sentence for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, then fleeing from police at speeds up to 124 mph; she also received a ten year ban on driving, which clearly didn’t deter her.

Bike-riding BBC host Jeremy Vine steps up when his neighbor’s bike was stolen, and Britain’s biggest bike chain stepped in to give the nurse with the National Health Service a new bicycle.

Another British bike shop chain is on the brink of going belly up, as GoOutdoors faces the equivalent of bankruptcy.

A Manilla business site says it took a pandemic for the country’s leaders to take bicycling seriously. Unfortunately, even that hasn’t done the job in the US yet.

One of the Philippines greatest national heroes had a simple wish in the final year of his life, before he was executed by Spanish colonial rulers in 1896 — a bicycle, which he never got.

Australia is urged to raise the power and speed of ebikes to get people out of their cars and ease post-pandemic congestion; the country currently limits ebike speeds to just 15 mph.

 

Competitive Cycling

Car racing and Paralympic champ Alex Zanardi in stable condition in a medically induced coma, but remains in grave neurological condition, following a horrific crash in an Italian handcycle race.

SoCal’s Tour of Flanders-winning national road champ Coryn Rivera reveals the diet that helps her cross the finish line in first place.

 

Finally…

Legendary cowboy actor Tom Mix rode more than horses. Lachlan Morton’s record-setting effort to ride the height of Mt. Everest twice in one week was overshadowed by a less than 50-mile pedal bike rideby a two-year old.

And documenting a truly Legendary bike build.

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Surprisingly, donations keep coming in to support this site. Thanks to Michael W for his generous donation to keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

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

America bikes for racial justice, cars become weapons against protesters, and H’wood k-rails protect mural not bike riders

Not everyone was marching for racial justice this past weekend.

Some were riding and rolling, as LA bike riders took part in a solidarity ride from Echo Park to Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday.

San Diego boarders and bicyclists rolled out over the weekend to protest racism and police violence.

Things didn’t always go peacefully, however, as someone in a plateless SUV drove through a Portland Black Liberation Ride, damaging at least one bicycle.

Dozens of people took the call for racial justice to the casinos on Las Vegas Blvd in a peaceful protest organized by a retired NBA player.

Rochester NY celebrated Juneteenth with a bicycle Freedom Ride, in memory of the Freedom Riders of the 1960s.

By far the biggest ride took place in New York, where an estimated 10,000 people came out on Saturday for a New York City ride to protest police brutality and champion Black Lives Matter.

Hundreds turned out to ride in support of Black Lives Matter in the former capital of the Confederacy in Richmond VA.

Photo by Life Matters from Pexels.

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Meanwhile, NPR says at least 50 drivers have intentionally rammed protesters, as right-wing extremists turn their cars into weapons.

Like this Michigan driver, who asserted her God-given right to the road, regardless of who might be in her way, by driving through a group of protesters, injuring two people and driving over a 71-year old man’s bicycle.

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Let’s just leave this one right here for now.

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Heartbreaking news, as former F-1 and CART champ Alex Zanardi is in a medically induced coma after he was severely injured during a handcycle race in Italy.

Doctors report he is in grave neurological condition, unsure if he will suffer mental impairment.

Zanardi became a champion Paralympic cyclist after losing both his legs in a horrific CART racing crash in 2001, winning gold and silver medals in the London and Rio games.

I got in trouble with someone on Twitter over the weekend after mistakenly saying Zanardi lost his legs in a Formula 1 crash, rather that in CART, trusting nearly 20-year old memories rather than pausing to look it up.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Corona driver rear-ended a motorcyclist. Then kept driving with the motorbike stuck under his minivan.

Fortunately, the victim was not seriously hurt, and the driver has been arrested.

If there’s any justice, this will be the last time he ever drives.

Thanks to John Damman and Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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The president of Oakland’s city council is belatedly noticing that the local police are targeting kids on scraper bikes.

I’m not sure who sent this one, but thank you, whoever you are!

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BBC presenter Jeremy Vine discovers that we turn invisible on a bicycle.

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Speaking of who we share the roads with, it’s one thing to pull out in front of someone on a bicycle.

But it takes a special skill to pull out in front of a steaming locomotive.

https://twitter.com/Ogilvie_CJ/status/1274602928502956037

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The Urban Cycling Institute goes in-depth to examine the great French street reclamation, as Paris and Nice respond to the pandemic by stepping up plans to reimagine what our streets can be.

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Pink Bike says it’s time to get to know Japanese stunt rider Tomomi Nishikubo.

Meanwhile, don’t watch this downhill chase full screen on an empty stomach.

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

Last week we shared news of a horrible attack on a Florida bike rider, who was shot in the head with a crossbow by a passing driver for no apparent reason — although it’s worth noting that the driver was white, and the victim is Black. A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $64,000 of the $75,000 goal. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

A Santa Rosa nurse says she was punched in the face by a man on a bike, after she was accused of driving recklessly through a group of protesters who shattered her windshield with a skateboard and a bicycle. Seriously, don’t do that. Take video, take photos and take down the license. But don’t resort to violence. And don’t abuse your bike. 

Police in Chicago are looking for a bike-riding groper who assaulted a woman walking her dog on the city’s Lakefront Trail.

A man suffered a concussion when he was pushed off his bicycle by an aggressive bicyclist on an Indiana trail; witnesses say the attacker was swearing profusely before he intentionally elbowed the victim.

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Local

Free your schedule for tomorrow evening, when the LA Department of Engineering will host a virtual town hall to discuss plans for the LA Riverway through the San Fernando Valley, between Lankershim and Whitsett.

 

State

As we’ve noted before, it takes a major schmuck to repeatedly burglarize a San Jose bike co-op that’s given away over 3,500 bicycles to homeless people.

San Francisco will keep a pilot protected bike lane on a section of Valencia Street, after the temporary lane proved successful.

The Redding bike rider killed in a solo crash earlier this month is described as someone who “did good deeds for everyone;” he was killed when he his head on a curb while riding without a helmet. Crashes like this are exactly what bike helmets were designed for; they were never intended to protect against motor vehicles.

More bad news from Chico, where a man was killed riding his bike in a collision with an apparently driverless car; the victim was blamed for riding through a stop sign. Thanks to John McBrearty for the link.

 

National

It was nice while it lasted. Auto traffic in the US has rebounded to 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Which means time is rapidly running out to take streets back from the big, dangerous machines. Thanks to Aurelio Jose Barrera for the second link.

The new lighted smart helmet from Lumos debuted on Kickstarter over the weekend, taking just four minutes to meet the $60,000 goal — then surpassed it by roughly 2500%. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.

The Daily Beast offers advice on how to plan a long-distance bike ride in the age of Covid-19.

The New York Times offers tips on how to store a big bicycle in a small apartment.

The Today Show considers why bicycling has soared in popularity during the pandemic. Maybe because it’s good for you, with built-in social distancing, and safer when there are fewer cars on the streets. And it’s fun.

Kindhearted members of an Arizona riding club replaced a young girl’s stolen bicycle, and tossed in a lock and a gift certificate for a new helmet.

Speaking of kindhearted strangers, a trail riding group bought a new bicycle for a seven-year old Fort Worth, Texas girl after hers broke. And gave it to her just in time for her Marine father to come home on Father’s Day.

A Michigan man is riding 100 miles a week, with a goal of 1,000 miles by Labor Day, to raise $10,000 for Black Lives Matter.

Even though they’re thousands of miles apart, a father and son spent the weekend riding together in a virtual ride across Maine.

A Brooklyn woman completed a three-year project to ride every block in the New York borough, covering over 4,400 miles.

You already have the Greater Allegheny Passage-C&O Towpath bicycle trail leading 350 miles from Pittsburgh to DC on your bike bucket list, right?

You can now legally ride an ebike anywhere a bicycle is allowed in Florida, as the state rushes to catch up to the 21st Century.

A laid-off Disney World performer has ridden his bike over three thousand miles since the pandemic began in an effort to spread smiles around the area.

 

International

Great story from Brazil, where a man built an adaptive tricycle by hand for his granddaughter with cerebral palsy.

Toronto residents are taking advantage of good weather and a partially closed boulevard along the lakefront to get out on their bikes.

A local website suggests eight Montreal bike paths with incredible views for your next trip to the bicycling city.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a British priest’s bicycle.

Bikes are really booming in Great Britain, where 5% of consumers have bought a bicycle since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. Although some of those are probably healthcare workers replacing their stolen bikes.

Kate Moss is one of us, as she goes for a leisurely bike ride in the UK’s Cotswolds.

Nice. A new cross-border bike path will connect the Slovak and Czech cities of Trencin and Brumov-Bylnice.

Greek bicyclists stripped down and hopped on their bikes for this year’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, which has been cancelled virtually everywhere else due to the coronavirus.

Residents of Dhaka, Bangladesh, explain why they’re taking to their bicycles during the city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Talk about not getting it. The mayor of Manilla says he’s opposed to bike lanes in the city, because the streets are too dangerous to try to make them safer for bike riders.

Pedestrian advocates call for banning bike riders from shared pathways in Queensland, Australia, after a 93-year man was killed in a head-on collision with a man on a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Call it a fixed false alarm. Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton didn’t set a new record for Everesting after all las week. Then he did, shaving ten minutes off the existing record.

The founder of the Dirty Kanza gravel race has been fired after a social media post calling the Atlanta shooting of Rayshard Brooks justified. However, the name of the race is also problematic; Kanza is another name for the Kaw Nation and its people, which means Dirty Kanza could be read as “dirty Indian.”

A French website says there’s nothing to suggest the rescheduled Tour de France won’t start as planned this August. I wouldn’t hold your breath, though.

 

Finally…

Your next bicycle could read your mind. Your next car could be a single seat backward e-tricycle.

And when you’re carrying heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and crystal meth on your bike, with an outstanding arrest warrant, put a damn horn on it, already.

On the other hand, how the hell could a passing cop even tell if you had one? Never mind what a stupid law that is.

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

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

“I can’t breathe”: Las Vegas bike rider killed by cops over bike light; over $110,000 raised for SoCal cycling diversity

Nine months ago, it was a needless tragedy.

Today it stands as yet another reminder why so many people of all races are taking to the streets to demand justice, and change.

It was last September when a man died in police custody after a Las Vegas cop kneeled on his back, ignoring his repeated cries of “I can’t breathe.”

Sound familiar?

This is what I had to say at the time.

Once again, a man has died at the hands of police for what began as a simple traffic stop.

When a Las Vegas man took off running after police tried to pull him over for not having a headlight on his bike, a pair of cops chased him down, then kneeled on his back as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.

Which turned out to be his last words.

He was found with drugs and a gun, and had slipped an ankle monitor, which explains why he ran.

But what it doesn’t explain is why police didn’t respond to his complaint about not being able to breathe once they had him in custody.

And why they allowed a traffic stop to escalate into a lethal use of force.

What’s missing there is any reference to the victim’s race.

In retrospect, it almost goes without saying that he was Black, although the only reference to his race was a photo from the police press conference and a news report showing the victim’s grieving family.

And he had a name.

Byron Lee Williams.

I didn’t mention it at the time; I don’t normally mention the names of people outside of Southern California, and often not then.

But in retrospect, I should have.

Because he joins a long and growing list of black people unjustly killed by police.

Names like Rayshard BrooksGeorge Floyd, Breanna Taylor and Michael Brown.

And Byron Lee Williams.

Which is not so say Williams didn’t do anything wrong. But nothing he did called for the death penalty. Or a summary execution without the benefit of a judge and jury.

And it never should have been allowed to escalate from something as minor as a simple traffic stop for a missing damn bike light.

Now Williams’ family is renewing their calls for justice, joining a loud, mournful and growing chorus of loved ones needlessly left behind.

As well they should. Especially in light of this, from a story released yesterday by NBC News.

Thompkins and Scott said the additional video showed officers dragging Williams around a corner, his body still limp, before dropping him on the ground. At one point, Thompkins said, the video showed Williams asking for an ambulance and an officer telling Williams that nobody was coming to help him.

Williams then fell silent, lying on the ground as the officers laughed and discussed weekend plans, Thompkins said.

I’ve known a lot of cops over the years, and worked with several as part of the LAPD’s bike liaison program.

With a few notable exceptions, most have struck me as caring men and women who want to do the right thing. And many want bad cops off the force as much as anyone else.

Although their union is another matter.

I’ve been quick to call the police out when they do something wrong. But I also recognize that my white skin means my experience isn’t the same as what my Black and brown friends have to go through at their hands.

And it’s entirely possible to recognize that police officers have dangerous jobs, and hope they all make it home at the end of his or her shift, while still recognizing that things have to change. Major, systemic changes.

It isn’t a matter of Black and white, liberal or conservative.

Just right and wrong.

Because we all have a right to get back home safely, and in one piece.

Regardless of skin color.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

Great news from former national road, crit and track champ Justin Williams, whose crowdfunding campaign for his Legion of Los Angeles cycling team has raised well over twice the original $50,000 goal to promote diversity in the sport.

He had this to say on his new From The Gun With L39ION podcast, as quoted by Cycling News.

“Wow, that’s been crazy,” said Williams of the fundraiser. “We set the mark at $50,000 because we thought that would be a decent number, and I want to share with you guys what we are going to put all of that toward. It’s more than doubled so we will figure out more stuff to put it toward, but for the most part we will put the money toward team infrastructure.

“The funds will allows us to do team camps and more community engagement, which is something I really like to do. We will bring back junior day camps and BBQs, and elevate what that was. We’ll break it up into three and four hours with the whole L39ION team, and then break up into groups … and it will be open to every junior team.”

Nice to see someone rewarded for doing good work.

………

Authorities have identified the victim of Wednesday’s e-scooter fatality in Silver Lake as 68-year old Los Angeles resident Timothy Stirton.

He was killed when a driver speeding at least twice the posted 35 mph speed limit slammed into him before crashing into a local restaurant.

The driver, a woman in her 70s, said her car began to accelerate when she tried to slow it down, and only drove onto the wrong side of the road to avoid crashing into other vehicles.

Which sounds less like a mechanical failure than yet another argument for testing older drivers on a regular basis, before they mistake the gas pedal for the brakes.

………

The latest video from GCN explores the eternal question of whether you should get a roadie or a gravel bike.

If you can even find one in this market, that is.

………

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

No bias here. A Vancouver woman says a decision to close a local park to cars while a bike lane is built is just an example of knee-jerk anti-car hostility, and accuses the “bike lobby” of bullying. Funny how people who oppose bike projects are just concerned citizens, but supporters always seem to be part of some shadowy bike lobby.

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

An accused Chechen hit man was apparently one of us, after he was seen throwing a wig, gun and a bicycle into a German river; prosecutors allege he murdered a Georgian man on orders from the Russian government.

………

Local

The LA-area Helpful Honda Dealers teamed with the LAPD to buy a new adaptive tricycle for a Sherman Oaks boy with Down’s syndrome, after his was stolen last month.

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bike ride with her boyfriend as part of a “fun-filled” day out.

 

State

Redding has become the first place in California to be honored with a bronze medal by the International Mountain Bicycle Association for its extensive trail system.

The fight over bike lanes is usually the need to remove parking spaces. In Santa Barbara, it means removing some fully grown trees.

A Fresno woman ran inside her house and locked the door after she was approached by a stranger. So he went into her open garage and walked off with a $1,700 ebike.

 

National

The New York Times offers detailed advice on how to start riding a bike in the age of coronavirus and bike shortages. Meanwhile, HuffPo offers suggestions from experienced bike riders for new urban bicyclists; always being predictable is a good place to start.

Streetsblog says this could be micromobility’s big moment as it experiences “stratospheric jumps” in usage around the US despite, or maybe because of, the pandemic.

A college professor explains how he lost 55 pounds after he changed careers and started bike commuting.

Portland bicyclists are riding to support Black Lives Matter protests and demand changes.

Never mind bike lanes. Cincinnati has over 570 miles of bike trails in the greater metro area.

Seriously? Buffalo NY residents are demanding changes after 120 pedestrians and 41 bike riders have been hit by drivers on a single street over the past five years, including three fatalities. Yet city officials have refused to implement traffic calming measures to save lives.

New York Streetsblog looks at the role bicycles play as a means of protest and exposing racism.

A Georgetown, Delaware organization bought a new bicycle for a 17-year old boy so he can get to work and keep his job.

Kindhearted Virginia cops dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young boy whose new bicycle was stolen just four hours after he got it, then they recovered his original bike in a creek; the boy’s parents say they’ll fix it up and give it to someone who needs one.

An Alabama man takes hit-and-run to the extreme, firing a gun in the street before assaulting a bike rider and stealing his bicycle, then fleeing on foot before he was captured by police.

Miami bike riders are in the same sinking boat as we Angelenos, as city leader leaders have failed to taken steps to accommodate the boom in bicycling.

No bias here, either. A letter writer in Key Biscayne, Florida demands a vote on a proposed new bike lane, saying bicyclists “don’t pay tolls or add to the economy, and in fact are just not good neighbors.” And swears locals will never give up their golf carts for a bike.

 

International

Scotland Yard is looking for a suspected serial bike thief accused of stealing nearly $12,500 worth of bicycles throughout the London area.

A Scottish op-ed calls bicyclists a threat to mature walkers, noting that older people may not be able to hear whistles or spoken warnings. Always ride with care around pedestrians of any age, and give them as wide a berth as possible, for their safety and yours.

The bike boom is real in the UK, and so is the bike shortage. One woman learns the bike she ordered won’t arrive until next year.

A new conversion kit from a Polish company promises to turn your bike into a smart ebike in just ten minutes.

Bikes are booming big time in Bangladesh, too.

An award-winning journalist is the subject of a fatwa from an Iranian cleric calling for her death, after she called for women to be allowed to ride bikes in the conservative Islamic country.

 

Competitive Cycling

London’s Black Cycling Network has launched the UK’s first Black and ethnic minority cycling team.

Pez Cycling News talks with former Swedish cycling star Marianne Berglund, who won over a hundred races in the ’80s and ’90s.

 

Finally…

How to ride your bike nearly 300 hours and not get anywhere. No, Jeep’s new ped-assist ebike is not a threat to Harley Davidson’s new $30,000 e-hog.

And riding around an airport can be a real blast.

That’s not a good thing.

………

Happy Juneteenth, and happy Father’s Day this Sunday.

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

High speed Silver Lake crash kills scooter rider, LAPD seeks sexual assault suspects, and parking in DTLA bike lanes

This is who we share the roads with.

A scooter rider was killed by a speeding driver in Silver Lake yesterday, just before the driver lost control of his SUV and slammed into a restaurant.

Fortunately, it hadn’t opened yet.

The driver was reportedly traveling at least 75 mph — over twice the legal speed limit — while swerving around cars and onto the wrong side of the roadway in the moments leading up to the crash, and just missing a woman riding her bike.

The scooter rider, who has not been publicly identified, wasn’t so lucky; two other people were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Fortunately, the newly reopened restaurant hadn’t begun its lunch service yet, or the situation could have been much worse.

This is exactly the problem many people have been warning against for weeks, myself included, as Los Angeles has failed to take any significant action to slow traffic on streets lightened by the coronavirus pandemic.

While traffic has seen a significant uptick in recent weeks, there still aren’t enough vehicles on the streets to slow people who can’t seem to keep their foot off the gas pedal.

Other cities around the world have taken advantage of the lighter traffic to reduce road capacity, carving out additional space to walk or ride bikes in an effort to slow traffic and provide safe alternatives to driving.

Yet LA has done nothing more significant than change the timing of some traffic lights.

Now an innocent person is dead because of it.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

………

Speaking of who we share the roads with, an Eagle Rock driver can’t seem to grasp the concept of Slow Streets.

Or maybe just that they don’t belong to people in cars.

………

The LAPD is on the lookout for a pair of serial gropers who have been sexually assaulting women walking or jogging alone in Venice and Mar Vista, sometimes making their escape by bicycle.

They may be responsible for similar attacks in Culver City and Marina del Rey.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Sexual Assault Section at LAPD’s Operation West Bureau, 213/473-0447.

Because no one should have to put up with this crap.

Period.

………

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Patrick Pascal forwards a series of photos showing that the more things change, the more they stay the same on DTLA’s 7th Street, where the newly protected and buffered bike lanes are still nothing more than parking lanes for Downtown’s entitled drivers.

Photos by Patrick Pascal.

 

He also notes that the cop shown here spends a lot of time on the street. But never seems to ticket anyone on four wheels.

………

A new video prepared for the NACTO’s Bike Share and Cities for Cycling Roundtable talks with disabled people to show they ride bikes, too — and need to be taken into account when infrastructure plans are considered.

Frequent BikinginLA contributor Megan Lynch is one of the riders they talk with; you’ll find her around the three-minute mark.

She stresses that, in addition to her comments in the video, bike parking needs to accommodate less traditional bicycle designs used by handicapped riders, including recumbents, ebikes and adaptive bikes.

………

Gravel Bike California offers a video guide to one of the best climbs in Los Angeles.

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.

………

There will be a bike ride celebrating tomorrow’s Juneteenth starting in DLTA Friday evening.

The unofficial holiday marks the date the last remaining slaves in Texas learned about the Emancipation Proclamation and their newfound freedom.

In light of this year’s protests over police killings and the fight for racial justice, the celebration should be bigger than ever.

………

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

A Florida man faces charges for pulling his truck up next to a bike rider, and shooting him in the head with a crossbow for no apparent reason; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

………

Local

The Santa Monica Daily Press talks with a pickup driver who had his wallet stolen and his truck damaged when he came to the aid of a bike-riding woman who was being attacked by looters, armed with just a hockey stick.

A Santa Monica letter writer really doesn’t like plans for expanded outdoor dining on Main Street, concerned that a passing bicyclist could sneeze on his guacamole.

E-cargo bikes could play a significant role, as Santa Monica looks to create the first zero-emission delivery zone in the US.

Santa Monica-based Bird is teaming with an Israeli company to provide turn-by-turn navigation to guide scooter riders through bike lane networks; the app will launch in Paris and Tel Aviv. Which makes sense, since we don’t even have a bike lane network in Los Angeles.

KABC-7 looks at how Long Beach ebike shop Propel Bikes is fairing during the coronavirus bike boom.

Stranger Things actor Joe Keery is one of us, going for a semi-casual ride through LA in a t-shirt and bibs.

 

State

Would someone please tell the Fountain Valley Fire Department that a bike helmet isn’t the best way to prevent head injuries and death? It’s a lot better to ride safely and defensively, and avoid crashes in the first place; helmets should always been seen as the last resort when all else fails. Not the first.

Ventura is closing down a five block stretch of Main Street in the downtown area for the next month to encourage people to get out to shop or dine while maintaining social distancing; meanwhile, the LA Times describes a similar street closure in Santa Barbara as “so popular it’s scary.”

Seriously, it takes a major schmuck to steal $20,000 worth of bikes from a San Jose bike co-op. Again.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the role of bicycles in the fight against racism.

Newsy examines the risk of catching Covid-19 while on a bike ride with friends, and concludes you don’t have much to worry about. Although it’s still best to limit it to a small group.

This is who we share the roads with, part two. A Portland man faces charges after driving into a group of protesters early Wednesday morning, injuring three people, then attempting to flee while driving recklessly at a high rate of speed.

A disabled Las Vegas vet turns to a ‘bent to help get his life back on track.

A coalition of Connecticut organizations, businesses and individuals have called the state’s electric car rebate program inequitable because it only applies to electric cars, arguing it should offer rebates on more affordable ebikes, as well.

A regional planning group is calling for a 425-mile bicycle network connecting all of New York’s five boroughs. Which might be the only thing that could prevent crippling gridlock due to a surge in post-coronavirus driving.

Police in New Jersey’s Long Beach remind residents and visitors that traffic safety is a shared responsibility. Which is true, unfortunately, since no one can seem to get the people in the big, deadly machines to behave.

A Florida woman got her stolen $8,000 racing bike back after a sheriff’s deputy spotted a homeless man with it. But then somehow had to search for the owner, even though she’d filed a police report.

 

International

Good advice from Road.cc on eight things on your bike you should check before every ride.

Bike Radar suggests Father’s Day gifts for your bike riding dad. Or just buy them for yourself, and pretend they’re from your kids.

The CBC looks at Calgary through the eyes of bicycle riders newly minted by the coronavirus bike boom.

A London TV presenter is encouraged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proclamation of a golden age of cycling and decides to give it a try, but finds the experience terrifying.

London’s Independent says the pandemic has shown that a green urban utopia is within our grasp.

The Guardian examines one of the UK’s toughest bike rides, the 79-year old Cape Wrath Challenge, on eleven miles of single track through Scotland’s windswept moors to a craggy Victorian lighthouse.

 

Competitive Cycling

You can get Major Taylor’s autobiography The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World for less than twenty bucks on Amazon. The legendary cyclist had to fight racism and prejudice throughout his short life and career, making it surprisingly appropriate for our time, too.

The Ventura County Star profiles 27-year old Kendal Ryan, who recently made the long list for the US women’s track cycling team for the 2020 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

A German website looks back at the Cannibal, as the legendary Eddy Merckx turns 75.

Peter Sagan announces he’ll skip the rescheduled classics to race back-to-back in the Tour de France and the Giro this summer on just two weeks rest.

 

Finally…

If you’re already on parole for theft, it’s probably not the best idea to make off with a kid’s bike because you’re tired of walking. How to ride across the US without leaving your car dealership.

And it turns out riding topless is perfectly legal in Minnesota.

Even for women.

………

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

Signal Hill bike rider critical after hit-and-run, Everesting record falls again, and trade your car for an ebike — next year

Maybe some day our elected leaders will care enough to stop hit-and-runs.

Unfortunately, that day, if it ever comes, will be too late for a Signal Hill bike rider, who was severely injured in a hit-and-run on Monday.

According to the Press-Telegram, the man is in critical condition after he was struck by a driver while riding on Skyline Drive at Cherry Avenue around 11:55 pm.

He was run down by a southbound SUV while crossing the intersection while riding west on Skyline. Which means either he or the driver ran the red light.

But regardless of who was at fault, the driver is now wanted for felony hit-and-run.

Police are looking for a dark-colored Chevrolet Tahoe. Hopefully they’ll find the heartless coward who was driving it.

And his victim will make a full and fast recovery.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

Once again, we have a new record for Everesting, after Aussie pro Lachlan Morton dropped the time required to climb the height of Mt. Everest on a bike to just 7 hours 32 minutes and 54 seconds.

And he set it on a road I grew up riding, on Rist Canyon just outside my Colorado hometown.

Which makes me just one degree of separation from the new world record.

Right?

………

The South Coast Air Quality Management District is finally getting around to implementing a recent state law allowing you to trade in your older car for a new ebike.

But only if you can wait until next year.

I can’t, unfortunately.

………

Local

South LA bike and community advocacy group East Side Riders teamed with the LA Galaxy to feed 600 people in Watts on Tuesday. Or maybe 1,000, depending on whether you believe the headline or the news story.

Pasadena police busted a bike rider who fled from an attempted traffic stop; they found him hiding under some bushes with a gun and ammunition magazine.

 

State

About damn time. San Francisco State Senator Scott Wiener introduced a bill that would exempt transit, bike and pedestrian projects from CEQA reviews, which have been twisted by opponents to delay — or halt — environmentally friendly transportation projects.

Lompoc approves plans to expand the city’s bike network in hopes of promoting it as a bicycling destination. Although as we’ve learned in Los Angeles, approving a new bike plan doesn’t mean you’ll ever see paint on the street.

An 18-year old Mountain View driver faces charges for fleeing the scene after running down a teenage bike rider, who suffered what were described as moderate injuries.

An artist is welcoming the world back from the coronavirus shutdown by adding a bit of beauty to a Sacramento bike path.

 

National

Clean Technica says every ebike and electric car brings $10,000 in social benefits.

How to wear and care for your bike helmet.

Welcome to Portland, where tall bikes were killed by high housing costs.

A Wisconsin bike shop was forced to close for 14 days after an employee was exposed to someone with Covid-19.

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, as a Wisconsin man was booked for his third drunk driving offense for fleeing the scene after running down a teenage girl riding with her mother.

A Chicago man was an accidental victim of gun violence, after he was killed by a stray bullet while riding his bike past a street shooting.

A Maine bicycle coalition is launching a campaign to make it socially acceptable for drivers to slow down and drive the speed limit. Good luck with that.

A New Jersey kid made a troubling discovery when he found a dead body on the side of the road while riding his bike.

Rhode Island restaurant and beverage workers hit a local trail on their bikes, raising $8,000 for bartenders, bars, restaurants and hospitality nonprofit organizations.

New Orleans bike riders rode through the city to demand name changes to streets named after Confederate leaders.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The son of a Miami rabbi, who was a star high school soccer player, died after clinging to life for nearly two months when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike.

 

International

Covid-19 is keeping students in Bolivia out of school. So a bike-riding teacher is bringing school to them.

Police dispatchers in an Ontario, Canada town pitched in to buy a four-year old girl a new bicycle, after some jerk stole the Frozen-themed bike she’d just learned to ride on.

Gordon Ramsey’s one-year old son is one of us now.

The next bike from British motorcycle maker Triumph will have pedals. And be electric.

The coronavirus bike boom has hit Paris, too.

Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault is leading an effort to rescue Mavic, the financially troubled French bike component maker.

Model turned Bollywood actress Aisha Sharma is one of us, too.

The Philippine president may be just this side of a dictator, but at least he’s expanding bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

This year’s mountain bike nationals could take the form of a trail time trial in an effort to maintain social distancing. If it happens, which is a big if at this point.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can get an e-foldie for under seven hundred bucks. Your next spokes could be made of plastic.

And Everesting is even harder when there aren’t any hills around.

………

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

LADOT drops DTLA bike lanes in favor of parking, Pomona thinks bike lanes are for kids, and LAFD on bikes

One quick note.

I renewed my annual membership in the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition last night.

With the LACBC facing financial difficulties stemming from the coronavirus crisis, as well as major financial mismanagement by the previous executive director, who shall forevermore go unnamed here, it’s more important than ever to join or renew your membership

Or just make a donation to keep the LACBC fighting for your right to ride safely on our streets. 

………

I have a confession to make.

Ever since the company my wife works for — correction, worked for — shut down for the coronavirus lockdown, never to return, I haven’t been able to dig into the details on bike projects the way I’d like.

As much as I enjoy having her around, I miss those nine hours or so to myself everyday to gets things done.

Fortunately, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is here to take up the slack.

Because one of those projects, which I mentioned here last week, would install bus lanes, along with left-side protected bike lanes, on one-way 5th and 6th Streets in DTLA.

But what I didn’t realize was that those bike lanes are only planned for just over half of the 1.3 mile project.

As Joe explains it,

Overall this is a good project. It’s a worthwhile improvement over what is out there today.

I did get a little frustrated about bike lanes on these streets. The city is adding left-side bike lanes (a one-way street best practice – like bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets) but only on about 0.7-mile of the overall 1.3-mile project – just over half the project. The issue is parking – there are two blocks of on-street parking that would need to be removed. While I personally would favor removing that parking, I understand it’s not easy politically.

I am still frustrated though that the city is basically throwing out 7 blocks of bike lanes because just 2 blocks are difficult. I wrote a letter to try to get the city to do the remaining 5 easy blocks of bike lane – which would connect Pershing Square with the downtown library.

That’s right.

LADOT, which is supposedly tasked with implementing the mobility plan, bike plan, Vision Zero, and the mayor’s Green New Deal plan to dramatically reduce driving in the city, is skipping a full seven blocks of bike lanes in favor of two lousy blocks of car parking.

In Downtown Los Angeles, no less, which UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup describes as having more parking per acre than any other city.

No, anywhere.

Which pretty much tells you where people on bicycles rate in the city’s transportation hierarchy these days.

Like several steps below cars. And maybe a step or two above road kill.

Fortunately, Joe’s not one to soft pedal something like this.

He suggests emailing city officials to politely request that they install additional bike lanes, at least on the five blocks where it doesn’t require the removal of parking spaces, and wouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

And he even provides a sample letter, while stressing that you should put it in your own words.

Email addresses:

  • councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
  • mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org
  • seleta.reynolds@lacity.org
  • and bcc Joe Linton at linton.joe@gmail.com)

Sample letter:

Honorable Councilmember Huizar, Mayor Garcetti, and General Manager Reynolds –

I write to you in support of adding bus and bike lanes to the greatest extent possible on 5th and 6th Streets downtown.

BSS is repaving these streets starting June 15th. LADOT announced that bus lanes will be added from Figueroa to Central, and left-side bike lanes will be added from Spring to Central.

Thank you all for your role in bringing much needed bus lanes, which will improve transit, air quality, equity, and quality of life for Angelenos.

Thank you all for the needed bike lanes, which will improve safety and health. I urge you though to extend the bike lanes further than the current announced length. It appears that LADOT is skipping seven blocks (Figueroa to Spring) of bike lanes to preserve two blocks (Hill to Spring) of parking.

At a minimum, the city should install a left-side bike lane for the missing five blocks – from Hill to Figueroa – where there is sufficient space and no parking removal necessary. Adding this bike lane would keep cyclists safer, as well as keeping us out of the bus lane, making the bus lane more effective.

Sincerely,

[name]
[street address]

I’ll send my email later today. And I hope you will, too.

Because there’s no reason our safety should take a backseat to a parked car.

………

Apparently, bike lanes are for kids in Pomona. Or at least, they now come under the Youth Services budget.

Thanks to Eric Griswold for the heads-up.

………

Who needs a firetruck or paramedic unit when you’ve got bicycles?

………

Bike Angeles takes a hi-def bike tour of the UCLA campus.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the link.

………

This is exactly what Los Angeles isn’t doing right now.

But should be.

………

Austrian mountain bikers Fabio Wibmer & Vali Höll are finally back to shredding after the country ended its lockdown and reopened the trails.

………

Local

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon shares his eating habits with Bicycling. And no, it isn’t just cookies.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was sent to the hospital after getting hit by a driver at Newhall Ranch Road and Santa Clarita Parkway on Monday; no word on the victim’s condition. Although it would be nice if story mentioned that the car even had a driver.

Creed star and Black Panther antagonist Michael B. Jordan is one of us, going for an “invigorating” LA mountain bike ride on Sunday, one week after his impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter protest.

 

State

Advocacy group Bike Bakersfield is back in business 16 hours a week after shutting down for the coronavirus lockdown.

Calbike considers the planned Central Valley Bikeways Project, intended to connect several Central Valley cities with California’s high speed rail. Assuming the rail project actually gets built, that is.

The Sonoma bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run a couple weeks ago has been identified as a 35-year old Romanian entrepreneur, who was killed when a passing pickup driver struck him in the head with the truck’s wing mirror; the damaged truck was found a few miles away, but the driver still hasn’t been arrested.

 

National

The Associated Press catches up with the worldwide bike boom, saying Target and Walmart have been cleaned out of bicycles.

Thanks to kindhearted community members, a seven-year old Missouri girl with limited mobility in her legs can ride along with her dad in a custom-built sidecar attached to his bike.

This is why you don’t try to recover a stolen bike yourself. A Wisconsin man is lucky to be alive, and may still lose his arm, after he was shot while trying to reclaim his stepson’s stolen bicycle; a 17-year old teenager has been charged with the crime.

A new bike and pedestrian path has opened along a Tarrytown NY bridge, providing an iconic view made famous by the 18th Century Hudson River School of artists, as well as a grate view of the river 102 feet below. And no, that’s not a typo.

Fortune says bikes will have a new place in city life in New York, and around the world, as life rebounds from the coronavirus crisis.

 

International

Cycling News looks at the pros and cons of buying a gravel bike.

The Share the Road Cycling Coalition and The Centre for Active Transportation have posted a recording of their webinar Making Space: Biking out of the pandemic online. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

A Toronto man is biking 46 kilometers — the equivalent of 28.5 miles — or running 4.6 kilometers every day for 46 days to honor George Floyd, who was 46-years old when he was killed by a Minneapolis cop. Or ex-cop, now.

A British Parliamentary advisory group has concluded that e-scooters are inherently unsafe, while a European group says the risk is no greater than riding a bicycle.

According to an English author, one bright spot in the Covid-19 pandemic is the rise of bicycles, and the role they play in art and society.

A former bike shop owner, soon to be prime minister, negotiated a huge increase in active transportation spending, committing 10% of the country’s transportation budget on bicycling and another 10% on walking; two-thirds of the remaining 80% will go to public transit.

Bikes continue to boom in Kolkata as an alternative to mass transit in the age of Covid-19.

Chinese tech giant Tencent is building a carfree city of the future on reclaimed land in Shenzhen, centered on a green corridor for buses, bikes and autonomous vehicles

Taiwanese bikemakers and parts suppliers — including Giant, the world’s largest bikemaker — are pedaling faster than ever to catch up with the booming worldwide demand.

Seoul, Korea is planning to build another 14 miles of bikeways within the next year as the city plans a bike path network to “cut congestion, fight pollution and reduce energy use.”

People caught violating Japan’s strict new bike laws just twice in three years will have to take a traffic safety course, or pay the equivalent of a $460 fine.

Jakarta, Indonesia is bringing back their weekly Car Free Day, but limiting it to bike riding and walking, with no food services or other vendors.

Horrifying Twitter thread from Australia, where an aboriginal man was allegedly beaten by police for the crime of riding without a helmet and bike lights.

 

Competitive Cycling

After beating cancer twice and surviving getting hit by a truck while riding across the US, 40-year old endurance cyclist James Golding insists he’s going to win the Race Across America, even if he has to wait another year, after this year’s RAAM was canceled.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to jack a truck, don’t leave your bike in the back once you dump it. Your next e-mountain bike could take a selfie.

And doesn’t everyone take their pet chicken riding with them?

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Thanks to Scott R for his generous donation to help keep this site coming your way every day. Donations are always welcomed, especially now.

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

Bikes play a role in racial justice protests, bicycles and Covid-19, and Redondo police seek owner of recovered bikes

Life has been upended by Covid-19 and demands for racial justice in recent weeks.

And not too surprisingly, bicycles are playing a significant role in both.

So let’s start with the latter. Like The LA Metro Bikes at Sunday’s massive All Black Lives Matter protest march in Hollywood there on the left.

Then there’s Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who points out that bicycles have been agents of change for 200 years, saying they should be used for revolution, not police violence.

The Verge takes a similar theme, saying bicycles can be a tool of protest, as well as police brutality.

Not all the protest rides are past tense; Black bike riders in Richmond CA are holding the 2nd Annual Bike 4 Justice this Friday, aka Juneteenth.

Reno, Nevada saw one hundred bike riders take over the streets of downtown to bring awareness of racism in the bicycle community.

Denverites rode their bikes to the state capital to support Black Lives Matter.

Two hundred people in New Haven CT took to their bikes to protest police brutality.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts paper offers a photo essay of that city’s Cycle for Change protest ride intended to bring awareness to young people.

Over one thousand bike riders turned out for a Gotham bike protest (scroll down).

The NYPD is accused of illegally seizing bicycles from protesters and reporters.

Philadelphia songwriter Orion Sun says she was brutalized by police after using her bicycle as a barricade to prevent riot cops from getting to other protesters. Then went home and wrote a song inspired by the experience.

The owner of a Philly bike shop is taking getting looted in stride, saying there are far more serious things to be mad about.

Apparently unable to pick just one form of transportation, the Big Easy took a break for a gay pride and Black Lives Matters bike ride. And a motorcycle rally. And a motorcade.

Miami protesters took to “two wheels for one reason,” calling for an end to lives lost due to racial injustice.

And Slate says drivers ramming into protesters fits into a long tradition of motorized attacks celebrated by extremists. Although some drivers just seem to be impatient, entitled jerks.

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Meanwhile, the world is still responding to the coronavirus crisis, as well as the resulting bike boom.

Returning to Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, he says let’s not blow the bike boom by being critical of new riders.

Forgetting that the whole idea behind Slow Streets is that they’re temporary, a Napa letter writer says there’s no need for them in the city because they won’t be necessary when people go back to work.

The founder of Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes says the pandemic has proven bikes are essential.

A New Jersey bikemaker for Walmart says their company has never been busier, and it’s now taking minimum of three weeks to resupply stores.

British bike retailer Ribble has seen an across-the-board 300% increase in sales, from inexpensive hybrids to cutting edge time trial bikes.

Britain’s Chris Boardman says pop-up bike lanes are a form of social justice.

An Indian website questions why a bikemaker would shut down entirely in the face of booming bike ridership.

Even Bahrain is experiencing the coronavirus-inspired bike boom, as Hamad Town responds by approving plans for striped and separated bikeways across the city.

Around 30 Nigerian bicyclists rode through the streets of Lagos while observing social distancing to call attention to Covid-19 on World Bicycle Day.

As Covid-19 cases continue to climb in Indonesia, commuters are turning to their bicycles to avoid the virus.

Sydney, Australia is installing six pop-up bike lanes leading to the central business district, with bicycling up 50% and increasing numbers of people saying they’ll keep riding when they go back to work. That compares to Los Angeles, which so far has installed exactly none.

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Police in Redondo Beach are looking for the owners of what they describe as a pair of high-end bikes they suspect were stolen after detaining the suspected thief.

Which is just one more reminder to register your bicycle today. And always report the theft to the police if your bike is stolen, because those are the best ways to ensure you’ll get it back if they recover it.

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GCN offers a crash course in bunny hopping.

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

A group of bike-riding teenage boys pushed a 26-year old woman on a bicycle into a canal, apparently simply because they could.

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Local

Gerrard Butler is one of us, driving to the beach to ride the bike path through Santa Monica.

 

State

An Encinitas newspaper considers complaints that the new protected bike lanes along the Coast Highway in Cardiff are making things worse. We looked at the same problem here early last month.

A 22-year old Riverside woman has been arrested for the Corona hit-and-run that took the life of a 21-year old man who was out riding his bike with a couple friends Thursday night.

A Sacramento Korean War veteran and survivor of the Japanese American internment camps marked his 92nd birthday with a bicycle parade; he rode a bike into his 80s until he had to give it up for walking, instead.

Sad news from Redding, where a man was killed in a solo fall after apparently hitting a curb.

 

National

He almost gets it. A writer for a business site calls for better infrastructure and laws to promote bicycling — but also for mandatory helmet laws and reflectorized vests.

After a ten-year old Utah girl’s adaptive tricycle was stolen, a kindhearted Good Samaritan stepped up to buy her a new one.

A writer for Forbes thinks people aren’t smart enough to figure out how to drive on streets with words painted on them, and says they’ll confuse self-driving cars, too. If that’s the case, it neither one should be on the streets. And I don’t mean the painting. 

Not everyone in Austin, Texas is on board with the city’s new Healthy Streets, which is just another — and much better — name for Slow Streets. Although the same could be said about any street change, anywhere.

Community members in an Ohio town are raising funds for a nine-year old boy who suffered a serious brain injury when he was struck by a motorcyclist while riding his bike last month.

Detroit-based ebike and Vespa-style e-scooter maker GenZe is going belly up, after its parent company decided to shut down operation within the next six months.

Seriously? There weren’t even any charges when an off-duty Rochester NY police lieutenant was killed when he was rear-ended by a 70-year old driver while riding his bike.

A ebike rider suffered life-threatening injuries after colliding with a pedestrian in Queens NY; the other victim, a man in his 60’s, was in stable condition. A tragic reminder that crashes between bicycles and pedestrians are just as dangerous for everyone involved.

Streetsblog says the NYPD is a lousy partner on Vision Zero.

A Hoboken councilmember calls for allowing people to lock their bikes up in municipal parking garages. Better yet, just kick out the cars and make the whole thing bike parking.

Philadelphia police are no longer welcome to participate in the city’s Vision Zero.

 

International

A writer for Rouleur learns the hard way what it’s like to come off your bike and break a collarbone. And how long it takes to recover.

Ottawa bike riders were ignored when they warned that painting super sharrows on a busy street would be too dangerous; now a young woman paid the price when she was seriously injured by a pickup driver.

A Montreal district ignores pleas to install more bike racks, then seizes bikes locked to trees because there wasn’t any.

A London man is nearing the finish line on his personal goal of riding 100 km — slightly more than 62 miles — a day for 100 days, and planning to ride a virtual Race Across America once he’s done.

When a man in the UK found his stolen bike for sale online, the cops told him to handle it himself. And were immediately contradicted by other cops.

An elderly British driver wrecked his $300,000 Ferrari. So naturally, a bike rider got the blame.

Just wait until they hear about Los Angeles. A European policy site says there are too many cars in Azerbaijan, where one in seven people own one, and it’s essential to switch to bicycles instead.

A developer in New Zealand is offering to build new bike path along a major highway at no cost to the city, in exchange for the rights to install digital billboards.

Melbourne is planning to remove hundreds of parking spaces to make way for 26 miles of bike lanes over the next two years.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News wants to know why Black bike riders are so underrepresented in the pro peloton, calling it a case of everyday racism.

Speaking of which, Specialized Bikes founder Mike Sinyard will donate ten million dollars to the company’s Outride Foundation to fight racism and promote diversity in cycling.

 

Finally…

Remember to always carry a spare bicycle in your trunk, just in case. No bike is complete without a Chinese-style Lucky Cat bike bell waving a paw on your handlebars.

And hang on Rigoberto Urán’s wheel  at 27 mph while earring a backpack and work boots, and he could give you a new bike (scroll down).

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

Warning for Camp Pendleton bike riders, California Guard guards SaMo bikeways, and more shredding on mountain bikes

Let’s start today with a warning from Caltrans for Camp Pendleton bike riders.

This message is a reminder to all cyclists traveling through Camp Pendleton to stay on the bike path at all times. Camp Pendleton is an active training base and it operates 24/7 conducting training. Venturing off the bike path could expose civilians to unsafe conditions.

The Camp Pendleton Community Plan Liaison informed Caltrans that cyclists were observed on the landing zone just off of the bike path (see map attached). A military helicopter that had been approaching the landing zone had to abort its landing to avoid injuring the cyclists that had trespassed military grounds. To ensure the safety of civilian cyclists and military members of Camp Pendleton, please stay on the bike path. The bike path is the only area where cyclists are allowed on Camp Pendleton. Cyclist and Caltrans are allowed on Camp Pendleton through permits approved by the military, to ensure cyclist access continues, please follow the rules set by the Camp Pendleton staff.

For everyone’s safety, please pass this message along to fellow cyclists, and if you see anyone diverging into military property, please let them know to stay on the bike path.

Seriously, that could have been a disaster.

And failure to stick to the rules could result in everyone getting banned from the base, which would also be a disaster.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the message.

Today’s photo come from David Drexler, showing a newly reopened, extra wide Marvin Bruade bike path in Santa Monica.

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Drexler also forwarded photos from last week’s unrest in Santa Monica, showing what he calls the world’s safest bikeways on Ocean and Colorado, with the streets guarded by California National Guard troops.

Although that’s not exactly what I’d call inviting.

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Let’s take another quick shredding break this morning, with mountain biking videos from Argentina…

Switzerland…

And New Zealand.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. After a Russian driver slammed into a 12-year old bike rider, leaving him with serious, long-lasting injuries, the coldhearted driver sued the kid for scratching her car — and won.

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

Police in Atlanta are looking for a bike-riding robber who fired shots inside a check cashing business.

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Local

Over 1,000 people turned out for a bike ride and march through the Crenshaw District last weekend, described as a demonstration of love by and for black men.

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is one of us, riding his mountain bike through the ‘Bu.

 

State

No, drivers can’t legally blare on their horns to show their displeasure, whether with other drivers or people on bicycles. But good luck getting anyone to enforce it.

Calbike examines how Californians can support endangered community bike shops.

Faux Danish city Solvang is getting in on the Slow Streets movement, temporarily closing a main street through the city’s business district to motor vehicles.

Ranchers in tiny Red Bluff — population 14,000 — are holding a Ride Against All Racism this Sunday, and inviting people to walk or bike along if you don’t have a horse.

Critical Mass continues its monthly takeover of the streets of San Francisco.

Consider it the world’s most beautiful ciclovía. Yosemite’s Tioga Road opens to bike riders this weekend, before it’s opened to cars on Monday.

 

National

A new study shows short sprints during your ride can help keep your muscles healthy.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske looks at whether bike shops are essential services during the lockdown. Which should be an obvious yes, but isn’t always.

Nearly 2,000 Portland people turned out for a ride to support Black Girls Do Bike’s call for racial justice.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, after a group of Seattle riders used their bicycles and bodies to protect protesters from a driver who intentionally tried to smash into the demonstrators.

A Chicago columnist says the city’s first shared street is great, but it isn’t the long-lasting change they need.

A bighearted Michigan dentist donated $15,000 worth of free dental work to the 18-year old black man who had his front teeth knocked out by a bigoted white man using a bike chain.

A DC bike rider takes it on himself to clear broken glass from a bike lane by hand.

Marchers in Charlotte NC turned to people on bicycles to carry supplies and keep order at the ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd.

The Florida legislature passed a bill allowing ebikes on any road, path or sidewalk where regular bicycles are allowed; now it’s up to the state’s Republican governor to sign into law, or not.

 

International

British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor explains her recent bicycling injuries came when she swerved to avoid someone on a Thames River pathway and fell off her bike, without a helmet, smacking her head on the concrete down below. Which serves as a reminder that slow speed falls are exactly what bike helmets are designed for, not collisions with motor vehicles.

A former Welsh rugby star raised the equivalent of over $176,000 by riding his bike 1,000 miles last month, benefitting the cancer center that helped him beat testicular cancer.

Heartbreaking story from the UK, where a father went looking for his 14-year old son when he didn’t return from a bike ride, and found him being treated by paramedics as the boy lay dying in the street, the victim of a speeding driver.

A new study shows Great Britain could face a “traffic tsunami” as people turn to their cars to avoid public transit. Which is exactly what we’ve been warning about over here.

No surprise here, as over two-thirds of people in Brussels, Belgium, want more space for people walking and biking, as well as public transit, and less devoted to motor vehicles.

Only 20% of bicycling injuries on Belgian and Dutch roads involve a motor vehicle.

Slovenia invites you to discover the country by bicycle.

An Indian paper says bicycles have empowered women, revolutionized fashion, cleared the air, and led to…glowing skin? Seriously?

Tel Aviv is planning to double the amount of the city’s bikeways over the next year, hoping to avoid becoming another Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Team USA announced the preliminary road, mountain biking and track cycling teams for the delayed Tokyo Olympics, assuming the pandemic is under control and they actually take place next year.

Apparently, this is Legion of Los Angeles week. Team founder Justin Williams makes the news once again, as the former US track, time trial and road cycling champ discussed Lance, and Lance’s former team manager Johan Bruyneel, on Williams new podcast. Meanwhile, the crowdfunding page for the LA-based diversity-themed cycling team has raised over $101,000 — doubling the original $50,000 goal.

 

Finally…

Get your kids started early with a BMW balance bike. Now you, too, can own a handcrafted Dutch supercar and matching bicycle, along with your very own airline seats — minus the plane.

And that feeling when a pair of tire blowouts save your life.

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

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

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