Tag Archive for bicycling

Investigation prompts Tesla to say no to driver video games, free Metro Bike rides, and giving a hot bike to a homeless man

It’s the last day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Your last chance this year to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

Thanks to Nina M and Mark G for their generous donations to keep all the bike news you need to know coming to your way every day.

So what are you waiting for?

Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, more than I could begin to say.

And will help keep our spokesdog from suffering any further indignities. 

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Please accept my best wishes for a joyful Christmas and healthy, happy and prosperous new year for you and your loved ones. 

As usual, we’ll off the week between the holidays, unless there’s any breaking news. 

So stay safe and enjoy the ride. We’ll see you back here bright and early January 3rd.

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Funny how it only took an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to convince Tesla that allowing drivers to play in-dash video games while the car was in motion is a bad idea.

After all, it’s not like distracted driving poses a danger to anyone or anything.

Meanwhile, The New York Times examines how we’re all unwitting — if not unwilling — participants in the beta testing of autonomous cars.

None of which are ready for primetime. Let alone rush hour.

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Metro wants to give you unlimited free rides starting today through Jan. 2nd.

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If you need a booster shot for holiday spirit, this story should do the trick.

A New Jersey columnist writes about how his new bike was stolen out of his garage. And the rainy Christmas Eve last year, when he spotted it outside a convenience store, and confronted the person riding it.

A man emerged from the store, grizzled, disheveled, hooded and bundled in a soaked winter coat. Probably homeless. He got on my bike, but before he rode into the dark downpour, I called, “Hey, where’d you get the bike?”

A guy sold it to him, he said.

“You know where he got it?”

No, he said.

I was about to say, “My garage,” but didn’t. I looked at him. His face was creased and lined and his sneakers were battered. He looked like a man who just walked a thousand miles and had another thousand to go. I wasn’t sure what to do. Take it? Call the cops? Unleash the Kraken? It was Christmas Eve, the guy was cold and soaking.

Instead, he just let the man keep it, without saying a word about who the bike really belonged to. And even drove him to the bus station to go someplace warmer, taking the bike with him.

If it doesn’t touch your heart, you’re a stronger person than I am.

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This is who we share the road with.

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Local

Metro has cancelled next month’s Design Lab and Tree Adoption workshop for stress-free connections in Central LA due to the rising Covid cases resulting from the Omicron variant. You’ve got your shots, right?

 

State

Petaluma is prepping for a road diet next month to convert a main street into a Complete Street that welcomes everyone.

 

National

CleanTechnica provides a long, long listing of all the ebike makers they could find. Meanwhile, Forbes offers tips on how to buy one.

Bicycling offers your bike-related resolutions for the coming year. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Pink Bike lists their nominees for mountain bike of the year.

Chicago bike riders complain that a new “protected” bike lane separated from traffic with car-tickler plastic bendy posts has made the street more dangerous than it was before.

Michigan lawmaker and bike advocate Dick Allen, founder of the multi-day Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw bike ride, passed away on Monday at age 88; the ride he founded just celebrated its 50th year.

New York Streetsblog gives the city a Streetsie Award for all the annoying things that didn’t get done.

‘Tis the season. A Mississippi 2nd grader went to a toy drive hoping for a new bike, but they were all gone before he could get one. So a kindhearted fire chief not only bought him one, he also made sure both the bike and matching helmet were green — the kid’s favorite color.

There’s not a hole deep enough for anyone who could run down a 13-year old Florida boy and just keep going; investigators have found the pickup, but need to determine who was driving it.

A Palm Beach, Florida magazine talks with the city’s famed Jack the Bike Man, whose nonprofit gives away over 2,000 bicycles every year.

 

International

A Toronto bike courier was acquitted of assaulting a driver after the judge ruled it was self-defense, following “loud and continuous” threats from the driver.

Record-setting Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley has finally finished his around-the-world tour, two years after he was nearly killed by a Texas pickup driver.

It’s six years behind bars for a British driver who texted friends about how drunk he was just before he killed a 15-year old kid out riding his bike. And fled the scene afterwards, of course. The boy was getting the half hour of exercise allowed under the country’s lockdown rules, while his killer was coming from slamming down beer and whiskey at an illegal lockdown party.

A Flanders man has a collection of classic bikes to lust after.

A mountain biker relates the lessons he learned riding a hardtail across the Alps.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bad news from Spain, where 30-year old Dutch national champion Amy Pieters was rushed into surgery for a head injury, after crashing while training with the Dutch track cycling team. SD Worx, the team she’s ridden with for the past six years, asked “everyone to respect the privacy of those involved,” which is not a good sign. Let’s all hope she bounces back.

Once again, a man and woman have ridden Zwift to pro contracts.

 

Finally…

Your next e-mountain bike could have three wheels — with two up front. Always give pedestrians plenty of notice.

And however you travel this holiday season, always carry a spare bike with you.

Just in case.

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

Caltrans commits to Complete Streets — no, really, Raman wants your street requests, and Dierks does it again

It’s the penultimate day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just two more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

Thanks to Sarah S and Castell C for their generous donations to help keep all the best, brightest and freshest bike news coming to your way every day.

So don’t wait. Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, more than I could begin to say.

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Maybe they’re finally done making excuses.

Streetsblog reports Caltrans has finally and formally embraced Complete Streets, supplanting an earlier policy that was seen as weak-kneed and too easy to weasel out of, which they usually did.

This time, it seems to have teeth.

The policy, signed by director Toks Omishakin on December 7, states that “Caltrans recognizes that streets are not only used for transportation but are also valuable community spaces. Accordingly, in locations with current and/or future pedestrian, bicycle, or transit needs, all transportation projects funded or overseen by Caltrans will provide comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities for people walking, biking, and taking transit or passenger rail unless an exception is documented and approved. When decisions are made not to include complete streets elements in capital and maintenance projects, the justification will be documented with final approval by the responsible District Director.”

It says all the right things.

We’ll see if they actually live up to it.

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If, like me, you still live in LA’s 4th Council District, which lost 2/3 of its previous residents in redistricting, it looks like Councilmember Nithya Raman is actually asking for help identifying needed changes on the streets.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1473777941440049157

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Country start Dierks Bentley, who was apparently born during a vowel surplus, learns a lesson about filming while fat biking in the snow. But at least he didn’t break a hip this time.

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Local

No surprise here. LAist says how long it takes to make safety improvements to a street depends on who represents your neighborhood on the city council. Or as we’ve learned the hard way, whether it gets done at all.

Speaking of which, South LA’s deadly Adams Blvd is finally getting a makeover under the city’s Vision Zero program, despite not currently having a representative on the city council after Mark Ridley-Thomas stepped back in the wake of bribery charges; the street saw nine traffic deaths in just three years, including a bike rider who remains officially unnamed two years later.

US Representative Judy Chu met with Glendora officials and Active SGV Executive Director David Diaz to tour the city’s Greenway Network, and tout the benefits of the new federal bipartisan infrastructure law.

 

State

Streets For All is joining Calbike in calling on the state to commit $2 billion of the record $31 billion budget surplus to active transportation projects; the money would fund 80 shovel-ready biking and walking projects throughout the state, including 17 in Los Angeles County.

 

National

Forbes recommends seven bike storage options to help get your whips squared away.

NBA all-star Kevin Love is one of us, telling a reporter the hardest workout he’s ever done was his annual ride up Utah’s 8.250-foot Mount Timpanogos.

Denver is reducing speed limits in residential neighborhoods to 20 mph. Which would be a good idea for Los Angeles, except the current 25 mph speed limit is already universally ignored by drivers.

A Michigan man can credit a wrong turn with saving his life, after an off-duty nurse spotted him writhing in a bike lane after she turned on the the wrong street on a freezing morning; without her help, the man could have bled out or frozen to death after apparently crashing his bike — or maybe getting knocked off it.

There’s a special place in hell for the man who stole a kids bike to make his escape as he fled a collision where he had just killed a woman while driving a stolen truck.

Nice. New York’s newly appointed transportation commissioner commits to replacing half of the car-tickler plastic bendy posts that pass for protection on too many of the city’s 198 miles of protected bike lanes, with something more solid and actually protective in his first 100 days in office.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare was knocked offline at the height of rush hour yesterday when Amazon’s internet servers went down again.

A 21-year old Florida man faces multiple charges for the alleged drunken and stoned crash that killed a father out for his daily bike ride. But his lawyer thinks he should get credit for sticking around and trying to help the man, who wouldn’t have needed it if he hadn’t been driving.

 

International

Momentum questions whether ebikes are suited for cold North American winters, noting that they don’t perform well in temperatures below 0° Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, Jalopnik examines the problem of lithium mines needed to fuel the world’s conversion to electric cars — a problem shared by ebikes, albeit to a lesser degree.

Speaking of a special place in hell, whoever stole a Vancouver man’s mountain bike as he lay in the hospital recovering from a ruptured spleen certainly deserves it; remarkably, police recovered the man’s bike days later after spotting it during a walkthrough of an SRO hotel.

An 85-year old Frenchman got back the bike his father built from spare parts in 1946 when he was ten years old, after it was recovered by a junk dealer in good, rideable condition.

An Aussie man got his stolen $15,000 Cervelo back after spotting an ad on Facebook selling just the wheels for $1,000; police charged a woman with possessing stolen property.

 

Competitive Cycling

Will the last bike race to leave the US please turn off the lights? The Tour of Utah became just the latest in a long list of major bike races to bite the dust, joining the Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and too many others, in going out of business.

PEZ Cycling News considers history’s best comebacks in the pro peloton, including the problematic Mr. Armstrong.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to set a playground on fire, don’t leave your bike there afterwards — and don’t try to tell the police someone stole it. That feeling when the cops apparently stole a bike corral, because parking.

And celebrate the holidays with a mountain biker’s entertaining take on the season’s most interminable carol.

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

90-year old walk advocate severely injured by driver, ’tis the season to give kids bikes, and biking down stairs in hot pursuit

It’s the last three days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Brandon H and Michael S for their generous donations to bring all the best bike news and advocacy to your favorite screen every morning.

And yes, the corgi is going to keep staring at you while you’re reading this, until you give in. 

So don’t wait. Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

It’s okay. We’ll wait. 

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A driver ran down 90-year old walking advocate Jacque Ensign, the co-founder of the Berkeley Path Wanderers, as she walked in a Berkeley crosswalk, leaving her with “multiple severe injuries.”

She’s one of three older residents seriously injured while walking or biking on the same short section of roadway in the Bay Area town.

Which is a pretty damn good indication they have a serious traffic safety problem.

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‘Tis the season.

Sacramento sheriff’s deputies made a ten-year old special needs boy’s wish come true, giving him a bicycle made to look like a police motorcycle, including red light and siren.

Police in Port Isabel, Texas gave a ten-year old boy a new bicycle as a reward for pointing out where a suspect was hiding.

A professional mountain biker performed stunts for a group of 65 Hartford, Connecticut first graders, then surprised them all with new bikes and helmets.

A foundation started by a Baton Rouge, Louisiana man has given adaptive bikes to special needs kids for the last 14 year, donating over 400 of the high-end bikes in that time.

A Mississippi sheriff’s department is teaming with a local chapel to donate bikes to a pre-selected group of children.

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Pink Bike examines the difference between $450 and $2,200 mountain bike wheels.

Now someone tell ’em to do road bikes next, ’cause I need new wheels if my damn hands ever let me start riding again.

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A Seattle bike cop rides his bike down a couple flights of stairs before chasing a suspect on foot to recover a gun and bust a suspected drug dealer.

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

A British politician demonstrates the opposite of the holiday spirit, yelling at a group of kids to get off their bicycles for the crime of riding in a new bike lane that recently opened. Schmuck.

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

Police in Osaka, Japan believe a bike-riding man accused of arson at a mental health clinic where he was being treated attempted to seal the door with tape before lighting a leaking container of gas on fire, sparking a blaze that killed 25 people.

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Local

Metro will offer free bus and train rides on Christmas and New Years’ Eves, along with free Metro Bike rentals the same days.

 

State

San Clemente will consider banning bicycles and ebikes from the pier, as well as the beach trail and sidewalks, in response to complaints about reckless bike riders.

The rich get richer, as the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, offers a progress report showing 12 miles of new bikeways, with 11 more currently under construction and another 34 miles in the wings. Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the email.

A San Luis Obispo op-ed explains how bike riders can avoid right hooks. Although better advice would be to tell drivers to check their mirrors and blindspots to avoid cutting someone off in the first place.

Bike Davis looks back on the last year in California’s ostensibly most bike-friendly city, in the form of the 12 Days of Christmas. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

 

National

A triathlon site considers the best reflective and hi-viz gear to keep you safe on your bike.

A small Chicago bike shop is out around $16,000 after thieves broke in for the second time in two weeks, stealing five bicycles worth $15,000; the rest is the cost of having the glass replaced for the second time. Meanwhile, a SWAT team surrounded a bike shop in nearby Skokie, Illinois, but all they found inside was a few missing bikes. Thanks to David Drexler for the tip.

It’s not safe for anyone outside of a car on New Jersey streets these days, as bicycling and pedestrian deaths reach their highest levels in 32 years.

Eight Pittsburgh PA cops will face discipline for killing a man who was tased to death for the crime of taking a bike being sold for fifty bucks for a test ride around the block without permission; the Black victim was tased eight times in rapid succession, dying the next day. Criminal charges are still being considered against the officer who fired the taser, and possible others.

Life is cheap in Georgia, where judge tossed out charges against a state senator for failing to call 911 when his buddy called to tell him he’d just fled the scene after running down a bike rider; he called the police chief, instead, fatally delaying the critical emergency response.

Frank Sinatra would probably appreciate plans to install bike lanes on Sinatra Drive in his home town of Hoboken NJ, since he looked pretty dapper on a bike himself.

 

International

Cyclist beats a dead horse, once again raising the long-settled question of whether it’s safe to ride a bike when pregnant. Not only is it safe to ride when your pregnant, it’s good for you and your baby, who will likely be born wearing cleats and a jersey. Unless you’re a man, that is, in which case it’s not safe at all. 

Jalopnik explains how a group of Colorado bike theft victims worked with Bike Index to uncover a ring of bike thieves who would steal high end mountain bikes, then send them across the border to be resold in a Juárez bike shop.

Mexico News Daily considers a far more legitimate operation, profiling an all-female studio making custom, hand-built bicycles in Mexico City.

With typical Brit understatement, the government of the UK says it has no plans to make people on bicycles wear identification numbers, regardless of what a popular bike-hating lawyer demands.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twentyone-year old Columbian cyclist Daniel Arroyave was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was struck by a driver while on a training ride in his home country; however, his bike is toast.

Spanish cyclist Rafael Valls calls it a career after 11 years on the WorldTour, concluding that lingering injuries prevent him from competing at an elite level.

 

Finally…

Apparently, cops are perfectly okay with someone flashing a fake driver’s license and a tin foil police badge while riding a possibly stolen ebike. When you’re carrying $13.8 million in coke on your bike, try not to hit a car fleeing from the cops.

And that feeling when a protective barrier is there to protect the sidewalk, not the bike lane.

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

Fed ebike credit dies with Build Back Better plan, and Lime CEO says it’s the cars littering out streets, not the scooters

Just four days left in the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Richard N and Kent S for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

So don’t wait. Time is running out!

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

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It looks like there won’t be a federal ebike tax credit in your stocking this year, after opposition from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin doomed Biden’s Build Back Better bill for this year.

If not permanently.

At least California residents can look forward to a $10 million ebike tax incentive program going into effect sometime this coming year.

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He gets it.

The CEO of Lime tells Time it’s not ebikes and scooters that are littering our streets, it’s all the cars.

Thanks to Chris Giza for the heads-up.

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

A Houston councilmember tries to have it both ways, walking back criticism of bike lanes as being too in tune with the needs of bicyclists, to the detriment of drivers, then saying his complaints about bike lanes still stand.

Welsh dirt and pedal bike riders were warned to be careful, after a man suffered horrific neck injuries when someone sabotaged a bike trail by stringing barbed wire over it at neck level. As we’ve said before, anyone who does something like this should face terrorism charges, because there is a clear intent to injure others to frighten people off their bikes.

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Local

ActiveSGV celebrated the season with a test ride of the new ebikes coming to the San Gabriel Valley’s bikeshare system next year, along with a ride to observe a 100-year old Christmas light tradition.

 

State

A 57-year old dialysis patient rolled into San Diego to finish the final 1,800 miles of the New Hampshire to California recumbent ride her son was on when he was killed by a Mississippi driver three years ago.

Congratulations to Santa Barbara for their newfound status as a Silver level Bicycle Friendly Community.

San Francisco advocates say they’ve been patient long enough, and want the protected bike lanes and intersections they were promised before Covid shut everything down.

 

National

Nice move from Yuma, Arizona, which has installed a public sculpture honoring a local Special Olympian along a local bike path; the bicycle used by 49-year old Charles E. Cheatham will stand as a memorial to the athlete, who passed away earlier this year.

Police in Glendale, Arizona ask for the public’s to catch a hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider, just one day after the fatal crash; meanwhile, police in Amarillo, Texas just waited until the weekend was over. Unlike the police in a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name, who prefer to wait until the trail grows cold, for reasons known only to them.

Chicago advocates’ warnings of increased danger for people walking or riding bikes if a new Amazon warehouse was approved have come to pass, after a bike lane was erased to make room for a turn lane for the convenience of their drivers, dumping bike riders into traffic without warning.

New York’s mayor elect has selected the longtime chair of the city council’s transportation committee as the new head of the Department of Transportation. He gets high marks from the city’s bike advocates. 

Gothamist says outgoing New York Mayor De Blasio gets praise for starting Vision Zero, while critics complain he didn’t go far enough. Sort of like another big city mayor and future ambassador to India we could name.

New Orleans plans to focus on improving safety for bike riders and others on the streets next year, after the worst year for traffic deaths in the Crescent City since 2014.

 

International

Bike Hacks considers why bike jerseys are so expensive these days.

British police have made a trio of arrests in the home invasion robbery that terrified pro sprinter Mark Cavendish and his family last month, charging a 30-year old man and two 27-year olds for the break-in; no word on whether any of the items stolen were recovered.

Good news about former Italian F1 driver and Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi, who is finally home from the hospital, 18 months after he suffered severe head injuries when he was hit by a truck driver while training on his handcycle.

Over 200 people in Santa suits turned out for an annual bike ride in the Bosnia-Herzegovina city of Mostar yesterday; the four-mile ride was open to anyone with a bicycle and a Santa hat.

 

Competitive Cycling

The three kings of ‘cross will be going head-to-head-to-head four times in the week between Boxing Day and the day after New Years, which really needs a better moniker.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to whip out a gun while stealing a bike from Walmart, at least steal a better bike. Now you can ride gravel without ever taking your bike off the rollers. Or going outside, for that matter (scroll down).

And that feeling when you get your stolen bike back before you even know someone took it.

Which is another good reminder to register your bike.

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

Pity the poor oppressed drivers, killer Texas driver blind in one eye & can’t see out of the other, and ’tis the season

It’s the final week of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just five more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. 

It was a record-setting weekend, easily topping last year’s record 73 donations.

So let’s all thank Alissa C, Joel S, Gregory S, John C, Adrienne G, David A, Steven Y, Heather J, Matthew R, Steven F, Brer M, Mitchel D, Jeff M and Joel F for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news coming your way every day.

Which raises the question, what are you waiting for, already?

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

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Today’s must read comes from The Guardian.

Columnist Catherine Bennett writes in sympathy to all the poor, oppressed drivers forced to share the road with the rest of us.

Reports from the frontline of the war on motorists have made distressing reading for some vehicle owners. With low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) surviving both physical and media assault, improved protections for pedestrians and cyclists in a revised Highway Code will weaken still further, they discover, a right to road domination long understood to be, if not divinely ordained, something even better: unassailable.

She goes on to discuss an unfortunate driver who was sentenced to a whole 18 months behind bars and a three-year driving ban for chasing, and ultimately running over a man on a bicycle, recording the entire intentional attack on his dash cam accompanied by his screaming wife.

And leaving his victim “fortunate to survive injuries including a fractured pelvis, torn genitals, six broken ribs and a punctured liver.”

She concludes this way.

Teachable moment: if you want to behave recklessly and dangerously on a road without incarceration, inconvenience, or even incurring a large fine, it’s advisable to do it inside a car. As for almost killing a stranger in a moment of madness: that too, as demonstrated by Mr Moult, is best done, for the avoidance of more stringent penalties, from a seatbelted position inside, for preference, one of the car industry’s more environmentally objectionable models.

Seriously, read it.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

The 66-year old Texas driver who slammed into a group of cross-country bicyclists, killing a Massachusetts man and injuring two others — including a Santa Rosa woman —  explained the crash by telling police he’s blind in one eye and can’t see very well out of the other one.

So why the hell was he still allowed to drive?

Someone, somewhere, should have noticed his vision problems and got him off the streets before he killed someone.

Not after.

Just one more example of the convenience of drivers being given priority over the safety of everyone else.

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‘Tis the season.

Orange County’s Bicycle Santas are back after last year’s forced hiatus, donating 80 bicycles to FaCT (Families And Communities Together, Orange County).

Around 200 Portland kids can expect new bikes, thanks to a group collecting bicycles and tricycles for children in need under five years old.

A Boulder, Colorado program has provided anywhere from 300 to 500 refurbished bikes for local kids each year for the past 15 years, as well as 50 ebikes for essential workers this year, funded by a state grant.

A massive bike donation program in Syracuse NY celebrated its 25th year by giving away 2,000 bicycles to people in need.

Donations are still being sought for a Virginia Beach VA foundation, where organizers hope to distribute 300 bikes to kids this Christmas.

Fayetteville, North Carolina’s famed Bicycle Man charity is giving away around 1,000 new and refurbished bicycles, after delaying last year’s giveaway due to the pandemic. The longtime community activist started by repairing bikes in his garage; his wife took over following his death eight years ago.

A church in Columbia, South Carolina is continuing their tradition of refurbishing around a hundred bicycles a year to give to local kids.

Louisiana’s Terrbone Parish hosted a bike and toy giveaway, with 300 bicycles given to children in need, including families still suffering from 2009’s Hurricane Ida.

A Cajun Country car club donated three custom-built adaptive bikes to special needs kids in Louisiana.

Nearly one hundred kids got new bicycles in a Daytona Beach park.

Today’s list also includes one of our own sponsors, San Diego bike lawyer Richard L. Duquette, who is now among latest sponsors of the Bikes 4 Kids Project.

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

As usual, there’s no shortage of anti-bike letter writers, who put their bias on full display in response to Michael’s Schneider’s recent op-ed calling on officials to drop their opposition to bike lanes; one writer said people on bicycles are usually very fit and very brave, and so there’s no point wasting our streets on a tiny niche. Cleary, he hasn’t met many of us.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Irish man walked with a suspended sentence after threatening a female bike cop, promising the court he’s a changed man and will never, ever do it again — even though seven of his 72 previous convictions were for threatening behavior. Yes, 72.

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

Authorities in Florida are on the lookout for a man who fled on a cruiser bike after robbing a convenience store with a sawed-off shotgun.

A bike-riding man in Osaka, Japan is under investigation for an apparent arson fire that killed 24 people at a mental health clinic where he was a patient.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times asks if drivers are angrier these days, and goes on to answer their own question — an average of 42 people a month were shot or wounded in road rage shootings in the past year, double the previous average. And one person was shot or injured every 18 hours in the US this year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines the new MOVE Culver City project, and concludes Downtown Culver City just got more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly.

Electrek says if you’re still waiting for a new ebike, it’s probably stuck on a ship off Long Beach.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks at what’s in the new federal infrastructure bill for the state.

A Chula Vista bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was rear-ended by a driver following some “miscommunication,” because the bike lane was clogged with storm debris.

Family members remember Ricardo Serrano, the 15-year old boy killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bicycle in Victorville less than a mile from his school earlier this month.

 

National

Nice tradition in one Billings, Montana neighborhood, where residents still light luminarias every Christmas Eve in memory of a 12-year old boy who was killed  by a driver while riding his bicycle in 1962.

A 22-year old Mad City, Wisconsin man operates a one-person bicycle recovery program within the police department.

One person is dead, and seven injured, after nine ebike batteries blew up while being recharged in New York overnight, sparking a massive fire; two teens were forced to shinny four stories down an exterior pipe to escape the blaze.

A Steetsblog op-ed observes that bike booms come and go, so the New York’s new mayor has to seize the moment to make transformative change.

A stoned Long Island utility worker faces 3.5 to 10 years behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle while high on meth, amphetamines and fentanyl; he slammed into five separate vehicles after running a red light, fled that crash before hitting the victim, fled again and ultimately attacked another driver after slamming head-on into the man’s truck.

A certified cycling instructor in Jersey City NJ says there’s currently a de facto ban on bicycling for transportation in the city.

She gets it. A DC columnist says a five-year old girl recently killed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk with her father deserved better, and should leave behind a legacy of safer streets.

A Norfolk, Virginia man has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the local police for excessive use of force, after a cop tackled him off his bike for the crime of riding without a headlight, breaking his leg in three places; needless to say, an internal investigation concluded the cop didn’t do anything wrong.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana continues to make progress on accommodating people on bicycles, with plans in the works for a bike path that would wind through five parishes, the Louisiana equivalent of a county. And it only took four decades after I left.

Miami bike riders complain that new widely spaced rubber armadillos placed on a causeway to protect them from drivers have just replaced one danger with another one.

 

International

Road.cc examines the science behind flashing versus steady bike lights. So why does it have to be one or the other? I ride with a solid beam illuminating the roadway, and a flashing light to get drivers’ attention. 

Meanwhile, Road.cc’s off-road edition considers whether titanium is the ultimate frame material off-road bikes.

Buzzfeed considers 18 places around the world where cars are banned, and “no one seems to miss them.”

Life is cheap in Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a parole board told a woman who was sentenced to five years behind bars after killing a man riding a bicycle and fleeing the scene while driving drunk last year can go home during the day.

London’s Independent considers the huge change a bicycle can make in a refugee’s life, and how you can contribute. Even if you have to read the story on Yahoo.

According to a recent survey, even though bicycling is up 30% in Scotland, 61% of bike riders say a lack of safe riding routes keeps them off their bikes.

It may be a long way to Tipperary, as the song says, but you may not find anywhere to park your bike in the Irish city once you get there.

A 70-year old blind Japanese woman has authored a picture book based on her own experience riding a bike for the first time at age 60.

A New Zealand woman can credit her two-year old rescue dog with saving her life following a bike crash, climbing up an embankment to get help after she had ridden off the edge.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now you, too, can own the bike Wout Van Aert rode to victory on Mount Ventoux in this year’s Tour de France; bidding currently stands at nearly $15,000.

USA Cycling announced a new national crit series with a $100,000 purse, although it currently features just six of the previous ten races.

 

Finally…

Learn how to ride a bike in real life, in the metaverse. That feeling when you go on to become a famous actress, even if your first stunt double was a bike-riding boy in a padded bra.

And yes, he gets it.

………

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

Governors get it wrong on traffic safety, support plan to extend Ballona Creek bike path, and new bike path coming to SGV

It’s the last eight days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Stephen T and Marven N for their generous donations to bring all the best bike news and advocacy to your favorite screen every morning, and help keep the corgi in kibble. 

So what are your waiting for, already?

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, more than she or I could ever express.

………

You can always count on the Governors Highway Safety Association to get it wrong.

A new report from the group calls for safety advocates to focus on driver behavior, and not just infrastructure, to improve traffic safety.

To their credit, they start out well.

“Emphasizing one approach does not mean we should discount others,” GHSA executive director Jonathan Adkins wrote in the report. He stressed the need for advocates to use a “safe system” approach, one that includes many different approaches, including enforcing existing laws, educating drivers and engineering streets to minimize crashes. The idea is that the system builds redundancy, to reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes.

But it quickly goes south from there.

At the same time, though, GHSA cautioned against advocates going overboard in increasingly popular approaches like Vision Zero that stress the importance of changing infrastructure to make streets safer. Those movements have led to the growing popularity of protected bike lanes, pedestrian islands and narrower vehicle lanes, which protect non-motorists and encourage slower vehicle speeds.

That has sometimes led to a “disconnect,” GHSA said, over whether traditional campaigns about driver behavior belong in those new approaches.

The problem is, as the director of Transportation for America points out, 100% of the effort up to now has been on education and enforcement.

You only have to look at the more than 33,000 people killed on US roadways to realize that approach has failed. And will continue to fail.

Closer to home, you just have to walk or bike on LA streets to realize traffic safety eduction too often falls on deaf ears. And enforcement has little or no impact on daily driver behavior, because drivers have little or no fear of getting caught.

The only rule on our streets seems to be do whatever the hell you want as long as you don’t kill anyone.

And if you do, blame the victim.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that traffic deaths have remained high in the City of Angels, despite the city’s negligible Vision Zero program.

Yes, traffic safety education and enforcement matter. But enforcement only works if drivers have an actual expectation they will be held accountable when they break the law.

You can stop laughing now.

That just leaves remaking our streets to prevent speeding and other bad behaviors, which a century of experience tells us in the only way we’re ever going to see any real improvement.

Because what we’ve been doing — and what the GHSA calls for — just hasn’t worked.

And won’t.

Because the traffic safety definition of insanity is to keep focusing on education and enforcement, and somehow expect a different result.

………

Streets For All needs your vote for a proposal to extend the Ballona Creek bike path to the intersection of Cochran Ave and Venice Blvd in Mid-City Los Angeles, roughly two miles northeast of where it currently stops in Culver City.

Our effort (along with SWA, Culver City Forward, Bike Culver City, and others) to extend the Ballona Creek bike path has been selected as a finalist by Urbanize LA as a top project of 2021. Winning the top spot would increase visibility and momentum to get the project in the ground. They are currently accepting votes from the public – please vote now!

You can cast your vote here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

………

Streetsblog reports on six new projects in the San Gabriel Valley, which received a total of $20 million in state parks grants.

That includes $3.285 million for the new Big Dalton Wash Trail and new pocket parks in Baldwin Park.

Here’s what Streetsblog’s Kristopher Fortin had to say about the planned project.

The new Big Dalton Wash Trail Greening Project will add a contiguous bike trail with lighting and four pocket parks on Northern Garvey Avenue, Southern Garvey Avenue, Dalewood Street, and Francisquito Avenue along the trail system. The project includes a new pollinator garden, playground with two shade structures, picnic areas throughout each park with shade structures, three exercise stations, public art at each park and along the trail, pathways, signage, landscaping, and ornamental fencing.

Last year, the city was awarded $2.5 million – from the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant Program funded by Proposition 68 – for the 2.8-mile Big Dalton Wash multi-use path, which is planned to extend from Central Avenue to Baldwin Park Boulevard.

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Another satisfied customer.

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Speaking of education, count on bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid to know the full story behind one of my favorite bike posters, with a message that can’t be repeated enough.

The book he’s holding is Reid’s Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling, which I highly recommend, along with his first book, Roads Were Not Built for Cars.

………

An Illinois paper recommends things every bike rider needs, except most them you actually don’t.

Although some things are essential, like a decent bicycle. Then again, who could pass up a fat tire bike and matching chainsaw?

………

Good point.

………

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

A British driver was sentenced to five years behind bars for leading police on a high-speed chase, driving four times the posted speed limit and narrowly missing bike riders in the process.

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

Los Angeles police are on the lookout for the “Two O’Clock Rock” burglar, who got his name by throwing rocks through the front window of businesses to burglarize them between 2 and 4 am, before making his getaway by bicycle or in an early 2000s Nissan.

………

Local

‘Tis the season. Three hundred third and fourth grade students in Watts got a new bicycle and a basketball, courtesy of longtime community organizer “Sweet” Alice Harris.

Metro is teaming with the LACBC to host a short, family-friendly bike ride to celebrate the Season of Sharing this Sunday; Metro is also hosting a pair of virtual bicycle education classes today and tomorrow.

This is who we share the road with. A West Hollywood driver demonstrated the dangers of converting parking spaces into dining spots, by driving through one on Santa Monica Blvd.

An op-ed from Wesley Reutimann of Active SGV and Topher Mathers of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition calls out the rising death toll on Pasadena streets, with six people killed and 55 injured while walking in the city in just the last 11 months.

 

State

A 17-year old San Marcos boy suffered what’s described as major injuries when he allegedly ran a red light on his ebike, and t-boned an Amazon delivery van in the intersection. As always, the key is whether any independent witnesses saw him blow through the red, other than the driver he crashed into.

San Diego’s Ride1Up is introducing a new ebike built for two — as long as one person just wants to go along for the ride.

Bike-friendly Davis is attempting to combat rampant bike theft by offering free online bike registration through Bike Index. Then again, anyone can do the same thing right here

Add this one to your bike bucket list. In less than ten years, you should be able to ride a new 600-mile biking and hiking trail through the Eastern Sierra Nevadas; the Lost Sierra Route will connect 15 mountain towns in Northern California and Nevada, from Truckee to Susanville.

 

National

And just like that, Peloton was forced to pull their viral ad suggesting Mr. Big didn’t die in the Sex and the City reboot after all, after two women accused actor Chris Noth of sexual assault.

More ebike news, as Rad Power has introduced the second generation of its low-priced RadRunner e-utility bike.

Phoenix bike advocates call for protected bike lanes on what is euphemistically  called a bike boulevard, where a popular bike ambassador was killed recently; the only bike infrastructure currently on the bike boulevard are some sharrows and Share the Road signs. Meanwhile, a Phoenix weekly calls it a “posthumous step towards justice for the orange-vested downtown ambassador.

‘Tis the season. A worker at a Phoenix grocery store says he feels loved, after a brief conversation with a customer about the sad state of his bicycle led to a two-month crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new one.

This is who we share the road with, part two. A Colorado truck driver was sentenced to a whopping 110 years behind bars for the fiery crash that killed four people, despite his claims that his brakes failed; the judge said his hands were tied by a state law that requires the sentences to run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

Heartbreaking news from Pennsylvania, where a 71-year old man suffered an extreme slow-motion death due to complications from a traumatic brain injury he suffered in a bicycle crash 35 years earlier.

A New York writer says the NYPD is cultivating bike lane chaos by refusing to enforce laws keeping Vespas and mo-peds out.

Cross GoTrax products off your holiday shopping list, after the Better Business Bureau of Virginia gave the ebike, scooter and hoverboard maker an F rating, noting that complaints about defective products were usually ignored, and when they weren’t, they were usually replaced with other defective products.

 

International

Bike Radar examines the subtle differences between ‘cross and gravel bikes.

Bike Europe looks at the state of Eastern and Central Europe’s efforts to reshore bicycle production from China.

Toronto proves cities can make popup bike lanes permanent, voting to keep seven temporary lanes in place. Los Angeles could do the same thing, except it never built any to begin with.

Speaking of Toronto, a ghost wheelchair now honors a beloved woman who was killed when she was struck by the driver of a cement truck.

Five bike routes to explore Amsterdam on your next trip to bike heaven.

Tibetan refugees living in India held a series of cross-country bike rallies calling for a boycott of the February Beijing Winter Olympics.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to get in a wreck, speed up you’re emergency response by getting run down by an ambulance driver. If you can’t find a new ebike, just build one.

And how to sneak out for a bike ride when you’re working the ER.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

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

Design stress-free connections in Central LA, close the DTLA gap on the LA River path, and Arthur C Clarke was one of us

Just nine days left in the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to John C for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Here’s your chance to help design stress-free connections for biking and walking in Central Los Angeles.

And score a free tree in the process.

………

Metro is looking for feedback on plans to close the longstanding gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA, Vernon and Maywood.

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CD3 candidate Yasmine Pomeroy talks about the increased dangers to pedestrians on LA streets, despite the city’s Vision Zero program, and the lack of funding for Safe Routes to Schools.

She’s running to replace Bob Blumenfield in the district.

………

Never put it past an impatient driver to pass at exactly the wrong time.

………

Legendary writer Arthur C. Clarke was one of us.

Even if those shorts are a little scary.

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Pink Bike demonstrates how to make jumps easier on a mountain bike.

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

A shirtless Houston jogger faces charges for attacking a bike rider with a metal pipe for no apparent reason, after the rider had already passed him once without incident.

Sad — or maybe infuriating — news from the UK, where a woman has left Twitter after complaining about the abuse she received from a group of men opposed to her efforts to support active transportation.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would put an end to freeway expansion in underserved neighborhoods. Maybe they could spend the money on transit and bikeways serving those underserved communities, instead.

San Diego’s Rouleur Brewing is hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater Ride this evening.

A columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune points out that bike lanes usually have a positive impact on local businesses, although the cost for the city’s planned 77-mile regional network has ballooned to $446 million, more than double the original estimate.

Caltrans promises to make improvements on Bakersfield’s Union Ave, including pedestrian crossings, new sidewalks and green bike lanes; the deadly corridor has seen 28 traffic-related fatalities in just the last two years. With deadly stats like that, they should be putting in protected bike lanes for the full length.

 

National

The only bike mechanic in Congress, retiring Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, talks with CityLab about the state of transit in the US, fixing existing highways before building new ones, and the need for protected bike lanes.

A pair of Seattle cops won’t face discipline over a viral video that appears to show bias against a homeless man who was struck by a driver while riding a bicycle.

The family of a man killed in the meth-fueled crash that killed five Las Vegas bike riders have filed suit against the driver, the trucking company he worked for, and the driver who was escorting the group.

A bighearted 81-year Texas man is spending his retirement refurbishing and customizing discarded bicycles to give to local kids. And sometimes not so local.

DC bike riders are worried that the city isn’t living up to the mayor’s commitment to build ten miles of protected bike lanes every year. At least they have a commitment, unlike LADOT’s vague promise to build one major active transportation project per year.

Meanwhile, DC announced plans for a people-friendly makeover of a busy commuter corridor, removing traffic lanes in favor of installing bike lanes and improving access for people on foot, as well as transit users.

Evidently, Georgia’s not the most bike-friendly state, as only Decatur managed to receive a silver-level award from the Bike League’s Bicycle Friendly Community program, with a handful of other towns garnering bronze.

 

International

CityFix calls for investing in bicycling and walking to build safe, sustainable cities.

A Toronto bike messenger has been acquitted of all charges over a viral altercation with a driver, after the judge concludes that his actions were reasonable self-defense.

This is who we share the road with. Or not, for the time being, as a Paris cab company has suspended the use of Teslas after one of the company’s cars accelerated instead of stopping when the driver hit the brakes, killing someone on a bicycle and injuring 20 other people, three of them seriously.

A German court has has sentenced a bike-riding Russian hit man to life in prison for killing a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park, after prosecutors alleged he was the commander of a special unit of the Russian FSB spy agency.

Bicycling wants to take you riding on a seven-day tour of Tuscany, for the low, low price of $7,650 if you’re willing to share a room, $8,100 if you’re not. I can’t find this one on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, as Italy plans to open a 26-mile rail-to-trail pathway along the country’s famed Adriatic coast.

Shimano has successfully gotten a fake clearance site taken down that was posing as part of the company.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay has been named African cyclist of the year for the second year running, after taking silver in the U-23 world championships.

Three days of track cycling are coming to the Carson velodrome this weekend.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike goes through someone’s windshield, without anyone riding it. If you’re pretending to be blind, maybe don’t ride your bicycle through the town square.

And we all know who’s always to blame.

Right?

………

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

 

San Diego bike rider gravely injured, waking the two-wheeled giant of LA politics, and biking to school in the rain

It’s the last ten days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael W and Dan W — no relation — for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

I often ask you to support other people and causes throughout the year. But this is the only time all year I actively ask for your financial support for this site. 

So take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

It’s okay, we’ll wait. 

………

Bad news from San Diego.

A 51-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when a driver rear-ended his bicycle, after he allegedly left a bike lane and veered into traffic, although it’s possible he may have been trying to make a left turn.

The crash occurred around 5 pm Monday in the 5900 block of University Ave in the Redwood Village neighborhood.

Sadly, police said the victim is not expected to survive.

Let’s hope they’re wrong.

………

As Streetsblog’s Joe Linton makes clear, Southern California “rarely misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity when it comes to bike lanes.”

Including bike lanes already been approved by Metro, Los Angeles and/or Caltrans, but never installed.

Even when the cost is nothing more than a few cans of paint.

Recently, there has been a frustratingly continuous drumbeat of planned bikeways being left off of large-scale southern California construction projects.

There are a host of reasons for the omissions. Numerous agencies are involved, though it’s mostly Metro, Caltrans, and L.A. City Public Works Department bureaus. The effect is the same: missed opportunities for interconnected facilities that would move the southland closer to becoming a safe and convenient place to get around by bike.

He goes on to cite a long list of recent projects where previously approved bike lanes were either downgraded or omitted entirely.

From the infamous Northvale Gap in the E Line — nee Expo — bike path, to the upcoming Van Nuys Blvd light rail project, which was supposed to include nine-miles of bike lanes along the rail route, but will now preserve that road space for cars.

And that doesn’t include countless other bike lanes that government officials have already committed to, but which have been unceremoniously shelved, often with little or no fanfare.

Here’s Linton again.

What is exasperating is that agencies already have approved bike plans – often the result of a great deal of advocacy pressure from cyclists. L.A. City adopted its Mobility Plan in 2015. Metro approved its Complete Streets Policy in 2014 (and received national recognition for it.) That policy builds on Metro’s 2014 First/Last Mile Strategic Plan. Even Caltrans recently released its own Statewide Complete Streets Policy.

Bike riders press to get bikeway facilities included during project planning processes, often to be told that there just isn’t space or funding or staffing or something-or-other for bikeways. Then, even when agencies (often reluctantly) approve bikeways as part of larger plans, they are dropped in full or in part during construction – as if bicycling is just not a valid way to get around, and as if the safety of bicyclists just isn’t quite worth following through on.

The bottom line, though, is that crap like this only happens because we let them get away with it.

As I’ve stressed before, the bicycling community is the sleeping giant of Los Angeles politics.

Don’t believe me?

In the 2010 bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council, the city estimated that 434,161 Angelenos ride their bikes at least once a month.

From the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan

That’s more than the entire 407,147 votes cast in the last mayoral election, which put Eric Garcetti back in office for his final term.

Never mind the estimated 786,918 people who ride every summer, or the 1,356,754 who ride sometimes. Let alone the overwhelming majority of people in Los Angeles who say they’d like to ride a bike more, if they only felt safer on the streets.

So let’s wake that sleeping Giant.

We have the perfect opportunity to be heard, and to make a real difference in this city with the upcoming 2022 elections — the first time since 2013 we will be electing someone other than the disappointing, and soon to be disappearing, Garcetti. Not to mention half of the city council, including a number of open and contested seats.

It’s up to us to make enough noise that we can’t be ignored.

And then hold their feet to the fire once they get elected.

………

As George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

Which applies perfectly to all those drivers who insist you can’t ride a bike in the rain. Let alone drop off your kids at school.

And to which Streets For All founder Michael Schneider responds with actions, not words.

Okay, so he explains with words, too.

………

There’s a bike path in there somewhere. Let’s see how long it takes the county to clear it this time.

Since they didn’t do so great before.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Here’s your chance to ask for bike lanes in Larchmont.

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Good to hear from our old friend Opus the Poet, even if the news he shared wasn’t.

There was a YouTube creator hit on an e-bike in a hit and run.
Suspect vehicle was a black SUV of unknown make, model, and year. Victim’s insulin pump was destroyed in the wreck, to give an idea of how violent the wreck was.

It starts around the one minute mark. Unfortunately, while Hartford lives in California, she doesn’t say where the crash happened.

………

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

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick discovers that some Sprouts security guards didn’t get the memo when it comes to letting shoppers into the store with a bicycle. Adding insult to injury, one even told him to get a car.

A British Columbia man got 21 months behind bars for deliberately running down a bike-riding neighbor he’d been quarreling with, leaving the other man with serious injuries.

A British petition to force bike riders to use bike lanes and wear numbered bibs has drawn 10,000 signatures, which will require a government response.

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

A man in Mad City, Wisconsin fled on his bicycle after attacking another man with a baseball bat following an argument in a convenience store. Although there’s no explanation for why he had a baseball bat with him on his bike in the first place.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 offers five things you need to know about illegal street racing and takeovers, like the tidbit that street racing collisions have tripled in Los Angeles this year — including the death of a USC student killed by street racers this past weekend.

 

State

A San Clemente mountain biker was the victim of an off-road hit-and-run when he was knocked down on a trail by a man riding an electric motorcycle, who fled the scene.

The founder of Bike Index says OfferUp refuses to do anything to curb scammers, after a man ran off with a San Marcos man’s bike in response to an OfferUp ad, after handing him a bag supposedly full of cash to buy it.

 

National

A new report from the Coalition for a Prosperous America says the US must build back bike manufacturing in this country if we want the pandemic-induced bike boom to continue; over 97% of bikes sold in the US come from outside the country, with over 86% coming from China alone. Just like virtually every other American industry these days. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

A green business site calls ebikes the “uncelebrated heroes” of last-mile delivery.

Seattle attorneys are filing suit against the city and a local railroad over injuries to several bike riders resulting from a 1.4-mile gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail, as local business owners and trucking companies fight plans to close it. Maybe if we did that here, we might not have such a problem with all those disappearing bike lanes.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes announced plans to raise prices across the board on all their ebikes in response to the ongoing supply chain issues.

The woman who killed a prominent San Antonio surgeon in a drunken crash as he was riding his bike has been sentenced to a well-deserved 15 years behind bars.

A Massachusetts man who raised over $70,000 for cancer research, as well as raising funds for an Israeli charity for people with disabilities, now needs help with his own disability after September crash while riding his bike left him a paraplegic; a crowdfunding page has raised over $103,000 of the $250,000 goal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Florida man has ridden 3,500 miles on his bike this year.

 

International

Momentum reports cities around the world are sacrificing parking spaces to make room for people on the streets. Including people on two wheels. Unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

A new combo bike cam promises a 80 lumen tail light, combined with a camera capable of recording 9.5 hours of 1080p video and audio; it’ll set you back $182 on Kickstarter right now.

No bias here. Politico says Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has lost the love of Parisians in her efforts to transform the city into a “green cyclist’s utopia.” Even though she was just re-elected last year after already setting much of the changes in motion.

A German court is set rule on whether an alleged bike-riding Russian hit man killed a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park on orders from Moscow.

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition calling on Lisbon, Portugal to keep a bike lane until another safe alternative can be found, while more than 1,000 turned out for a demonstration demanding it stay in place.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews offers a series of photos from the 2021 Cyclocross National Championships in Chicago, as a where a first lap breakaway led to six riders spending the rest of the race chasing eventual winner Eric Brunner.

 

Finally…

Who knew Best Buy sells ebikes — or that we’re a day late and $500 short. That feeling when you’ve spent your career torturing bikes and the people who make them.

And maybe consider adding an air horn or two for extra safety and entertainment on your bike.

………

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

Times op-ed says LA can’t keep pushing bikes and buses aside, and 330-mile NorCal rail trail threatened by coal plans

Just 11 days left to give to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael B and Phillip Y for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

This is the only time all year we actively ask — okay, beg — for your money. 

So take a moment to open your heart and wallet. And give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

He gets it.

In a hard-hitting LA Times op-ed, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says Los Angeles can no longer afford to push buses and bicycles to the side.

Or worse, actively block implementation of safe bus and bike lanes.

Paul Koretz kills a bike lane on Melrose and fights a bus lane on Wilshire. Gil Cedillo and Mitch O’Farrell work together to kill a bike lane on Temple. Paul Krekorian kills a bike lane on Lankershim. David Ryu kills a bike lane on 6th Street. John Lee fought a bus lane on Nordhoff. All of these real events over the last few years have something in common: members of the Los Angeles City Council actively ignoring the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, part of the general plan passed by the council in 2016.

He goes on to explain that there’s no way to get drivers out of their cars without more efficient transit and bikeways.

And that there is no way to prioritize alternative modes of transport without sacrificing some driver convenience and space on the street.

Then there’s this.

Another issue in Los Angeles is that we tend to build bike lanes in small segments based on the city’s repaving schedule. The problem here is that just like car lanes, bike (and bus) lanes really work well only as a network. Imagine if the 101 almost connected to the 405, and the 405 almost connected to the 10, and in the gaps, drivers faced a dirt road with potholes. How many cars would drive on those roads? Yet we ask the same of people on bikes today. Unless someone can get to where they need to go and feel safe for the entire journey, many won’t bother. That requires a network of protected bike lanes that connect to other protected bike lanes, criss-crossing the city.

Not surprisingly, he hits the nail on the head when it comes to the solutions.

We need all candidates running for mayor and City Council in 2022 to be leaders on this issue. The mayor especially must lead by action, not just talk, as it is today. Individual council members should not be allowed to block road changes prescribed in the Mobility Plan. We need citywide implementation, across district lines; the average Angeleno has no idea where one district ends and one begins, and those boundaries should not determine where a bike or bus lane mysteriously stops or starts.

We have elected far too many hypocrites and spineless “leaders” with their finger to the wind, bending whichever way people scream the loudest.

That needs to change.

Now.

We have to elect genuine leaders committed to their principles, who know what needs to be done and have the political courage to do it.

Because this city may not survive otherwise.

At least not in any form we’d want to live in.

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Gravel Bike California is sounding the alarm about plans to use an abandoned railway to ship coal to California’s North Coast, where it would be loaded onto ships and transported overseas.

Not only would the plan be like setting a torch to the growing climate emergency, it would expose everyone living along the rail line to the dangers of highly carcinogenic coal dust.

And it would mean the death of plans to convert the defunct North Coast rail line into the Great Redwood Trail, taking riders through ancient redwood forests and along roaring rivers.

You can sign a petition to oppose the plans here.

Because there’s no benefit to anyone to shipping coal through the redwoods.

Except for the people whose pockets it would line.

………

Throw in some donuts, and we’ll all show up.

………

Take a Welsh mountain biking break if you’ve got 24 minutes to spare.

………

‘Tis the season.

All 55 third graders at a Lakewood, California elementary school got new bikes for the holidays, after initially being told just two students would win one.

A Good Samaritan bought a new bike for a popular Milwaukee pizza shop employee after his was stolen, giving it to the police to pass along anonymously.

A Newport RI bike club donated 100 rebuilt bicycles to students at a local elementary school.

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

A Montreal bike rider was the victim of a pepper spray attack by a road raging motorcyclist, who thought the victim should have been riding in the nonexistent bike lane.

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

Police in Miami are looking for a shooting suspect who fled on a red BMX bike. No, the one in Oklahoma.

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Local

Los Angeles will break with longstanding tradition, and take advantage of a new state law to actually lower speed limits on some streets next year.

This is who we share the road with. A 21-year old USC student was killed by a pair of street racing drivers as he walked in a crosswalk near campus; surprisingly, both drivers stopped following the crash.

 

State

This is who we share the road with, part two. Once again, an elderly driver has been kept on the road until it’s too late, as an 87-year old Desert Hot Springs man faces vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run charges for crashing his Caddy into the back of a school bus, then plowing into a group of kids as he tried to flee, killing a nine-year old girl and injuring three other children. Whoever kept renewing his license should face charges, too.

No surprise here, as a Salinas paper says whether you’re safe on a bicycle depends on where you are. In other words, just like anywhere else.

With just over two weeks left in the year, San Jose traffic deaths are approaching record levels, despite the city’s Vision Zero program.

 

National

Yes, you can bring your Christmas tree home by bicycle.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about the need for bright lights on your bike, both to stay safe and and limit liability in a collision. I suggest going even further by riding with multiple bright lights day or night to increase your visibility. And note to Mionske: Isn’t time to stop using that outdated and inaccurate term “accident?” A crash isn’t an oopsie. 

Cycling Tips offers four great bicycling photos from the previous two centuries and the stories behind them. Like a stunt cyclist upside down on a loop-the-loop, and riding down a steep flight of stairs on a Penny Farthing.

A Washington writer says bike riders should just go around people who walk in the bike lane when there’s no sidewalk, because “running into a pedestrian is fundamentally unsafe.” Well, yeah. He’s got a point. 

Heartbreaking story from a Flagstaff AZ writer, who struggles to process her emotions in the wake of witnessing a woman killed, and several others injured, when a tow truck driver blew a red light and plowed into them during the city’s May Bike Party.

The couple responsible for putting up ghost bikes in Houston are looking for volunteers to help replace stolen bikes. Seriously, there’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a ghost bike.

It defies logic, but apparently, it’s possible to hit and kill a 12-year old bike-riding Texas girl with your pickup without doing anything wrong.

New York bike riders are demanding a downtown civic group replace their sleek-looking bike racks, which they say only a thief could love.

Yesterday we linked to video of a nine-year old DC boy run down on his bike by a hit-and-run driver as he was riding home from school with his mother; today he’s speaking out to call for safer streets. My kind of kid.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana is finally recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community. And only 40 years too late for me, after risking my life to ride there. And don’t get me started on beer-chucking LSU frat boys. 

 

International

Yanko Design looks at the year’s best new bicycle innovations, including airless bike tires, zip-on bike tire treads, and a compact air pump — for car tires.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker digs into a pair of rapidly spreading London myths — that the city is the most congested in the world, and the reason is bike lanes. Neither one of which he says is true.

It only took four hours to fully crowdfund new bike lights from Northern Ireland’s See.Sense, promising 575 lumens from the front light, and 350 in the rear, which brightens as you slow down. And if you hurry, a set will set you back as little as $118.

UK authorities are urged to close a loophole in traffic law that allows killer motorists to keep driving if taking their license away would cause an extreme hardship. Imagine the hardship it causes the people they kill.

A 26-year old British man is riding over 5,100 miles from Bristol, England to Beijing, despite being diagnosed with cancer.

If you’re an Aussie football star, maybe don’t get drunk and attempt bike stunts. And fail.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand could struggle to compete internationally in the future, with the short-sighted closure of four of the country’s cycling development centers.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you need a better excuse than simply not remembering that you stole a bike. You could have been the proud owner of a $7,500 handmade El Polo Loco lowrider bike if you’d just moved a little faster.

And who says self-driving tech is just for the people on four wheels?

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

Stoned killer of Costa Mesa fire captain gets 16 to life, Peloton PR disaster, and bike-riding car vandal strikes in Norwalk

Time’s running out to give to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just 12 days left to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

Thanks to Nick R, Steve M, Sean M, Penny S and David M for their generous donations to help support this site, and keep the corgi in kibble for the next couple months.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. And needed.

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Sixteen to life.

That’s the sentence handed down to 28-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa in the drugged driving death of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza.

Scarpa, a former drug counselor, was convicted of second degree murder for jumping a curb in Mission Viejo, and running down Kreza as he was riding on a sidewalk.

Kreza was training for an upcoming triathlon when Scarpa slammed into him, as he was driving home from partying all night with a cocktail of drugs in his system.

Scarpa told investigators he’d taken meth, fentanyl and “undefined downers,” and had been awake for days before getting behind the wheel.

Someplace he had no business being under any circumstances.

Kreza left behind his wife and three young daughters, who have been understandably devastated by their loss, and who struggle to go on without him.

Hopefully, Scarpa can get clean behind bars, and do something to benefit society when and if he gets out..

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More on last week’s Peloton PR disaster.

Peloton stock prices plunged in the wake of a key character dying after using one on the first episode of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…

Meanwhile, the New York Times wants to know if the company can sue over it, while Peloton responds by resurrecting the victim in a new ad.

This comes just two years after the company’s self-inflicted PR fiasco with their widely panned Peloton Wife holiday commercial.

Maybe they should just avoid the holidays from now on.

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Sheriff’s deputies in Norwalk are looking for a bike-riding man who vandalized a pair of cars last week.

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‘Tis the season.

Third graders at two Tustin schools thought they were going to learn who won a new bicycle in an essay contest; instead, all 143 kids got a new bike, courtesy of Aliso Viejo’s Dirtbag Mountain Biking Club and Bikes for Kids.

Volunteers in Madera, California built 215 bikes ranging from tricycles to 29″ mountain bikes to give to children in need.

A motorsports dealer in French Camp CA was hoping to give 200 bicycles to local kids over the weekend, a tradition of giveaways that began when he decided to fix up and donate 30 bikes four years ago, rather than throw them away. And yes, I had to look that one up to figure out where the hell French Camp is.

Volunteers in Tyler, Texas continued a 35-year tradition of rebuilding bicycles to donate to local kids for the holidays.

Over 200 people turned out for the longest-running holiday themed bike ride in the Boston area, many dressed as Santa or other seasonal characters. Although probably no one bothered to dress as Krampus, darn it.

A Georgia auto shop owner has given away hundreds of bicycles over the last ten years. And this year was no exception.

Panama City, Florida’s Salvage Santa oversaw efforts to rebuild 350 bicycles to give to local kids and organizations, an ongoing effort for the past 43 years.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man has over 2,000 bicycles to give to kids “at the bottom of the food chain” this year; a tradition that started with just 20 bikes 15 years ago.

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Zackary Rynew calls attention to LA’s use of plastic bollards to keep cars safe. Yet somehow, they have trouble using them to protect people on bicycles.

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Volunteers are needed to work this weekend’s Holiday Carnival at the Velo Sports Center, and experience three days of competitive track cycling.

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The open streets revolution is spreading worldwide.

The latest evidence comes from Kenya, where three major streets were closed to cars and opened to people in the city of Kisumu on Saturday.

Thanks to @Menorman for the heads-up.

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Apparently, Joe Jonas is one of us, taking to a bike on the streets of New York to get to his latest show.

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There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after knocking a nine-year old DC kid off his bike. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to be too badly hurt.

As usual though, you can’t unsee it. So be sure you really want to watch a little kid get run down by a heartless coward before you push play. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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You still have time to make a bid on the jersey Lachlan Morton wore on his alt-Tour de France run, where he followed the entire race route while putting in more miles, and riding solo. And still beat the peloton into Paris.

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

No bias here. Plans to close a longstanding gap in Seattle’s famed Burke-Gilman Trail hit a snag when the Teamsters and local businesses complained that putting a bike lane through the area will make it more dangerous for their businesses and truck drivers. Because apparently, running over a bicyclist get blood on their big, bad trucks.

No bias here, either. A retired New Jersey planner and engineer says forget installing bike lanes in downtown Northampton street, because bike riders can just get off and walk. And it’s just too dangerous for people on bicycles on the street without them, anyway. That sound you heard is thousands of near simultaneous head-slaps from every bike rider reading that crap.

Or here. A DC writer says just because a four-year old kid was was hit by a car while riding in a crosswalk, that’s no reason to call for safer streets. And misrepresents safety studies to say protected bike lanes are no place for kids.

A British man in his 30’s was critically injured in what police are describing as a deliberate attack, as the driver used his car as a weapon to run down the victim on his bike before fleeing the scene.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the bike-riding thief stole two days worth of cash donations to a San Francisco toy drive.

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for hurling a sharp-edged rock into a passing car, slightly injuring a boy inside, after the driver swerved close to him to avoid rocks in the roadway; he admitted to keeping the rock strapped to his bike for exactly that purpose. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

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Local

Thieves scaled a fence to break into a home in LA’s Mid-Wilshire neighborhood, stealing a $2,700 ebike and power tools while the residents were in the house.

Police have identified a 29-year old man as the victim of a fatal shooting in a homeless camp along the LA River bike path in South Gate.

A 23-year old mountain biker was in serious condition Saturday after he was airlifted following a fall in the Santa Monica Mountains above Pacific Palisades.

 

State

Caltrans has issued a new Complete Streets policy, which states that all Caltrans projects will, by default, provide “comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities” for bikers, walkers, and transit riders. Let’s hope they live up to it this time.

Encinitas is looking at installing a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane on the Coast Highway to help people on bikes get to the legendary Swami’s Beach.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, will consider implementing a road usage fee that would charge drivers for each mile they drive. Which is one of the best reasons I’ve heard to ride a bike instead.

 

National

A digital photography site offers tips on how to get better shot of bicycling events.

Bicycling offers advice on when to fix your own bike — and when to let someone else do it. As usual, read it on Yahoo it Bicycling blocks you.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss considers the zen of ignoring obstructions in the bike lane. Which seems like kind of a metaphor for life.

A legal website looks back at how government regulations killed off the forerunner of the e-scooter a hundred years ago, and questions whether history will repeat itself.

Over 300 bike riders turned out for a memorial ride down the Las Vegas Strip to remember five men and women killed by a meth-fueled semi driver a year ago while on a group ride just outside of town.

A formerly 306 pound Indiana man credits bicycling with helping him drop 136 pounds in just 18 months; he started on a stationary bike, before bicycling neighbors invited him to come outside and ride with them.

Ebike makers are teaming with local nonprofits to provide discounts to front line workers in the Bronx.

Heartbreaking story from DC, where a woman describes how she went from mom to traffic safety advocate following the death of her five-year old daughter, as she was riding her bike in a crosswalk last September.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to make your bike more comfortable.

A former London bike courier explains why he’s willing to risk prison to fight for safer streets for people on two wheels, and call attention to the impending climate emergency. Which is clearly already here.

Tripling current levels of bicycle use in London would result in the equivalent of a $6.62 billion boost to the local economy, according to a new study.

Great Britain has introduced new traffic rules to give bike riders, equestrians and pedestrians a higher priority on the road, with the new rules going into effect January 1st.

World champion British cyclists Rachel Atherton and her older brothers Dan and Gee are moving from racing mountain bikes to making them.

A German court ordered employers to provide all the tools their employees need to do the job, including bicycles and smartphones for delivery riders and bike couriers.

A pair of Italian teenagers were sentenced to 18 months behind bars for their roles in the gang that stole 22 bikes from the Italian national track team at October’s world track championships.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips talks with the philosopher of the pro peloton, French cyclist Guillaume Martin, who has flown under the radar while notching a number of top ten finishes.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert is just as dominant at ‘cross as he is on a road bike, taking a snowy first place by more than a minute at Val di Sole, while the great Marianne Vos was narrowly edged out by 19-year-old Dutch cyclist Fem van Empel on the women’s side.

 

Finally…

One more time, if you’re riding a stolen bike in the wee hours of the morning, put a damn light on it.

And Burger King is preparing to field a whopper of a cycling team. Although credit Jay Cisco with a better take than mine.

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

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