Tag Archive for bike boom

Photo released in Long Beach hit-and-run, Biden endorses bike/ped infrastructure, and no end to bike shortage soon

The good news is, my new carpal tunnel wrist braces are helping with the pain. 

The bad news is, they’re really slowing down my workflow by restricting my usually flying fingers. 

But who needs sleep, anyway?

Photo by Valeriia Miller from Pexels.

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Long Beach police released a security cam photo of the semi-truck and trailer involved in the hit-and-run crash that killed 56-year old Lisa Termin last month.

However, they’re already absolving the driver of responsibility, noting he or she may be unaware they hit anyone.

That may be theoretically possible, if unlikely, depending on how and where she was struck by the truck.

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Not only is our presumptive president elect one of us, Joe Biden’s plans for his first term include better bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

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Don’t plan on getting that new bike you’re pining for anytime soon.

Bicycling reports the shortage caused by the bike boom could last into 2022.

Both retailers and manufacturers say they haven’t seen such demand for bikes in several decades. Revard said that despite manufacturers significantly ramping up production, his industry contacts estimate the pandemic-fueled bike and part shortage will continue into 2021 and—based on what brands are quietly telling their retailers—may even last until 2022.

The magazine adds the lower-end bikes are in higher demand, so you may have better luck if you’re willing to spend more. Or consider buying a used bike.

Just be sure to check with Bike Index and 529 Garage to make sure you aren’t buying someone else’s stolen wheels.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

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This is whole share the roads with.

A 67-year old man was killed when he was severely beaten by a road raging driver following a Compton crash, then run over several times with his own car.

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It takes a real bike rider to see a story like this and only notice the bike.

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Fair warning. You never know who’s on that bike.

https://twitter.com/Sir_Labz/status/1325341053382242304

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

Who’s shocked that the ultra conservative British politician behind Brexit would turn out to be a bike hater, too? Road.cc explains how and why Nigel Farage is full of merde.

No bias here. The same London paper that hosted Farage’s diatribe insists it’s time to end the bike lane madness, accusing bike infrastructure of being the cause of traffic congestion, while ignoring the role played by all those people in cars, trucks and SUVs.

No bias here, either. A Glasgow letter writer complains about inexperienced bike riders on a “rarely used” bike lane. And experienced ones, too. But how can it be rarely used if there are enough bicyclists on it to complain about?

Apparently offended that a bicyclist took offense at nearly being run off the road, an English driver gives him a needless brake check just to prove what a horse’s ass he really is.

Then there’s this.

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Local

Votes are still being counted, but nearly half of the candidates endorsed by Streets for All have won their races.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says LA Councilmember Paul Koretz must listen to his constituents or risk losing his office. While I appreciate the sentiment, if they read their own paper, they’d know Koretz will be termed out in 2022, and planning a run for city controller.

A new lawsuit accuses pair of on-duty Compton city employees of killing bike rider Jose Portillo in a high speed crash in June of last year.

No surprise here, as South Pasadena nears approval of a climate plan that will depend on reducing car usage.

 

State

Sad news from Santa Clara, where an 84-year old woman was killed in a collision while riding against traffic.

 

National

Outside recommends the best women’s gear for fall mountain biking.

Hip Hop star Swae Lee is one of us, as he celebrates bike life with his two-wheeled crewe.

A Denver man recovered his stolen Trek after seeing it on a TV news report from a homeless camp.

Chicago Streetsblog lists ways to mitigate the risk on group rides as Covid-19 explodes across the US; rates have doubled over just the past three weeks.

A Massachusetts paper catches up with former BMX champ Tony Peloquin, who now airs it out in New England skate parks just for fun.

A bike-riding New York city council candidate learns the hard way that aspiring to public office is no guarantee of protection from crappy drivers.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. New York’s 750-mile Empire State Trail is expected to open later this year, connecting the Big Apple to the Canadian border. Even though Canada isn’t letting Americans in during the Covid-19 pandemic.

No surprise when the hit-and-run driver who ran down a pair of bike riders in a Florida retirement community turns out to be an 89-year old woman. She probably shouldn’t have still been driving at that age to begin with.

 

International

Treehugger explains why we should sell Vision Zero like a car commercial.

Pink Bike offers a “cacophony of whimsical bike illustrations” courtesy of artist Cy Whitling.

When Canadian musician Adrian House’s car-based tour of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in support of his latest album was blocked by Covid-19, he bought a special pannier for his guitar and did it by bike. And no, you can’t find his music on iTunes, I tried.

UK Olympic cycling legend Chris Boardman argues that it’s safer not to wear a bike helmet for casual riding.

Now that’s more like it. A Scottish pizza parlor is honored for refusing to serve drivers who parked in the bike lane, as well as offering a ten percent discount for customers who come by bike.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A heartbroken British father offers an emotional tribute to his 11-year old son, who was killed by a driver as he was riding his bike with his best friend, who was also killed.

UK auto parts and bike dealer Halfords stepped in to give a 12-year old heart transplant recipient a new bike after thieves stole the rear wheel of his bike, damaging the brakes and chain in the process.

The Netherlands is exploring technology to automatically cut power to ebikes entering residential and built-up areas in an effort to reduce deaths.

A pair of mountain bikers take a mostly singletrack tour on the Stoneman Taurista trail through the Austrian Alps. The photos alone are worth the click.

Munich, Germany pulls the plug on the city’s coronavirus-inspired pop-up bike lanes, apparently assuming Germans aren’t into winter biking.

The bikeshare system in Panchkula is proving far more successful than other Indian cities, despite being less than half the size.

 

Competitive Cycling

Just weeks after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the Tour de France, former Slovenian ski jumper Primož Roglič bounced back to secure the top of the podium in the Vuelta.

Thirty-eight-year old Australian Rory Sutherland calls it a career after 18 years in the pro peloton.

Chris Froome pulled the plug on his career with Team Ineos, nee Team Sky, after 11 years and four Tour de France titles; he’ll ride for Israel Start-Up Nation as he seeks a record-tying fifth win next year. Even though He Who Must Not Be Named won seven, but everyone is pretending he didn’t. So there’s that.

Hats off to Florida’s Chris Nikic, who became the first person with Down Syndrome to compete in an Ironman triathlon.

 

Finally…

Evidently, hot wax is good for bike chains, as well as bikini lines. Fall off your bike looking for mushrooms, and find a stash of rare coins, instead.

And who needs a horse to rob a train when you’ve got a bicycle?

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

Strava data shows LA bike rate double last year’s; and gun charges yes, but nothing for driving through Pasadena protesters

One quick note. 

Santa Monica Spoke founder Cynthia Rose informs me that the 5 mph speed limit signs on the beachfront bike path we mentioned on Monday was installed temporarily for a construction project, and have been removed. 

So that’s one bit of good news to start your day. 

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels.

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Apparently, LA’s bike boom wasn’t an illusion.

According to Strava data, bicycle use in bike-unfriendly Los Angeles nearly doubled in May, jumping 93% over this time last year.

Among the six U.S. cities for which Strava provided data, Houston and Los Angeles, two sprawling metropolises where just .5% and 1% of the respective populations biked to work in pre-pandemic times, stand out. In Houston, the total volume of cycling trips in Houston was 138% higher in May 2020 than in May 2019. In Los Angeles, the jump was 93%. Unlike their peers, these two places also saw cycling increases in April, the first full month of widespread stay-at-home order and economic shutdowns.

Never mind that Strava is still used by a subset of bike riders, meaning the actual numbers could be even higher, as the LACBC’s Eli Akira Kaufman points out.

Eli Akira Kaufman, the executive director of the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, said the data also likely leaves out many of the essential workers he’s observed hopping on bikes instead of the bus, which could mean that the numbers are even higher than what the Strava data shows. Now his thoughts are towards the future. Cities like Houston and L.A., with their thousands of miles of car-oriented streets, have their work cut out building protected bike lanes and other infrastructure to encourage cycling even after the pandemic ends

“How do we keep the riding coming?” he said. “That’s the question now.”

The obvious answer to that is to provide a safe, convenient and connected network of bikeways that allows riders to traverse the city, and their own neighborhoods.

Which is exactly what LA’s three-tiered 2010 bike plan, now part of the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, calls for.

And exactly what Los Angeles isn’t doing.

Meanwhile, bikes are still booming, as SoCal bike shops report double and triple their normal sales.

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This is who we share the roads with, protest edition.

A San Marino man who drove through a group of peaceful Pasadena protestors last month has been charged with conspiracy to transport firearms across state lines, as well as making a false statement to police.

During a search of Hung’s truck, police found a loaded semiautomatic handgun, multiple high-capacity magazines loaded with ammunition, an 18-inch machete, $3,200 in cash, a long metal pipe and a megaphone, according to the affidavit.

Evidently, endangering innocent people with a motor vehicle is just dandy, though.

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This is who we share the roads with, hit-and-run edition.

The LAPD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a 70-year old woman in Chinatown as she walked in a crosswalk with the right-of-way, leaving her with a brain bleed and a broken neck.

Security video shows the heartless coward get out of his Mercedes to look at the victim, then get back in and simply drive away.

As usual, there is a $25,000 standing reward for any hit-and-run that results in serious injuries in the City of Los Angeles.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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Streets for All has released their endorsements and Voter Guide for the November election, in both English y Español.

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They get it.

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LADOT has begun work on a curb-protected Complete Streets project on Reseda Blvd in Reseda and Northridge.

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Then there’s this.

Secure bike parking is a good thing. But maybe we can do a better job of considering the needs of disabled riders next time.

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Germans know how to promote World Car Free Day.

https://twitter.com/BirgitHebein/status/1308390818756079618

That tweet translates to,

Take public transport, walk or cycle and thus set an example for more space in the city.

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It’s not everyday a hospital ad is worth sharing.

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Bike stunts, without the bike.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A London bike rider suffered a broken shoulder when a road raging bus driver allegedly swerved into him, knocking him off his bike; passengers on the bus reportedly begged the hit-and-run driver to stop.

An Aussie man faces charges for pushing a friend in a shopping cart into a group of bicyclists traveling at over 25 mph, taking out a number of riders. The man, who had been drinking for a dozen hours, claims his actions weren’t deliberate and he just lost control of the cart, despite how it looks on security cam video.

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

In a tragic story from Milwaukee, a 54-year old man was fatally gunned down by a bike rider in a dispute over a traffic “mishap.” There is no excuse for violence, especially at the risk of someone’s life. Just suck it up and ride away, already.

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Local

Los Angeles joined with New York, London, Berlin and eight other cities in Europe and North America in pledging to divest from fossil fuel companies to fight climate change.

LADOT wants your help in identifying low-stress travel corridors in Central Los Angeles.

A new self-guided audio bike tour through DTLA leads you through the hidden histories of Latino Los Angeles, while the slower pace on a bike allows you to take it all in.

Metro is pulling the plug on its smart bike bikeshare program on LA’s Westside, replacing them with “classic” bikeshare bikes in Venice, Palms, Playa Vista and Santa Monica, while adding nine more docks.

REI is offering adult classes on how to ride bike in Redondo Beach next month, as well as one-on-one adult instruction in Redondo Beach and Santa Monica; the outdoor co-op is also offering kid’s classes in Santa Monica.

 

State

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order banning the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles in the state by 2035. Unfortunately, he didn’t take any action to encourage bike riding, walking or transit use to make those vehicles unnecessary.

Hold your pony in check. Newport Beach adopts an ordinance aimed at ebike users on the city’s boardwalk, stating that no one may exceed the posted 8 mph speed limit, regardless of what they’re riding.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies will crack down on traffic safety violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians in Dana Point today, regardless of who commits them. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit lines, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Diego’s new Mid-City Bikeway project is nearly half-finished, as the city unveiled eight new traffic circles installed to improve safety at intersections.

Condolences to San Diego bike riders, who will soon be stuck with the city’s first sharrows on a three block section of Hancock Street. As we’ve said before, sharrows only serve to help drivers improve their aim in an effort to thin the bike riding herd.

Our friend Michael Wagner of CLR Effect visited Santa Barbara’s newly closed State Street, saying restaurants and businesses are benefitting from the carfree foot and bike traffic, and comparing it to a 24/7 CicLAvia. Which sounds like a damn good idea to me.

I’ve found lots of things while riding a bike. Fortunately, a human skull on a Tahoe bike trail ain’t one of them.

 

National

Good news for my fellow diabetics, as a new study shows bike riding reduces cardiovascular mortality in diabetes, as well as mortality risk from all causes. If the coronavirus doesn’t get us first, that is.

The Verge visits the makers of Rain-Bow bike fenders.

C|net reviews Garmin’s new rearview bike radar systems and rides away impressed.

Mashable says Ridepanda is your one-stop shop for all things ebike and e-scooter.

Specialized gets spanked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which has rejected the company’s trademark application for its latest bike, ruling it’s too similar to a tire brand.

Singer-songwriter Laura Veirs is one of us, riding her bike “all over Portland” to cope with her divorce after 20 years of marriage.

A manager with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission patiently explains why allowing bike riders to treat stops signs as yields is better for everyone.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, with an easy bike tour around Aspen and Snowmass, Colorado.

A new Indianapolis mural will honor Black cycling legend Major Taylor — even if it means removing another mural that has been there for 45 years.

Kindhearted Connecticut cops pitched in to buy a little boy a new bike after his was stolen.

A New York State assembly member says the state must subsidize ebike purchases. The same goes for California, except more so.

Nearly 130 people rode their bikes 300 miles from New York to DC last month to protest police brutality and racial injustice as part of the March on Washington. As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if you’re blocked by Bicycling’s draconian paywall.

DC adopts a Vision Zero bill intended to eliminate traffic deaths within the next four years, including plans for red light and stop sign cams, as well as bus lane cameras. Let’s hope they have better luck with it than we did, since LA’s Vision Zero has devolved into a nearly forgotten footnote in city history.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Georgia man on the cusp of 90 has been buying and refurbishing bicycles for the past decade, giving away the finished bikes to children, schools and charities.

They get it, too. Miami is planning to permanently ban cars from the city’s beachfront Ocean Drive, while prioritizing pedestrians first in the city’s entertainment district, followed by bicyclists and transit, with personal vehicles last.

 

International

Medical staff with Britain’s National Health Service continue to be targeted by bike thieves, as one man has now had two bikes stolen in just the past three months.

Electric cars won’t solve the UK’s pollution problem. Or California’s, for that matter.

Blue-tired, Netherlands-based Swapfiets is reportedly taking Europe by storm with its long-term bike rental business model, and a promise to fix your flats for you.

Cyprus intends to invest half a million euros to encourage more people to walk and bike. However, that only equates to $585,000, which won’t go very far.

Los Angeles could soon get lapped by Tehran, as Dutch officials offer recommendations to get the city on the right track for bicycling, while noting that several Iranian cities have the potential to be bike friendly.

Talk about not getting it. A Philippine city is considering a proposal to mandate helmets and reflectorized vests for bike riders, as well as limiting riders to carrying minimal loads, since “bicycles are not designed to carry much cargo.” Which would come as a hell of a surprise to many bike commuters and cargo bike owners.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur profiles Trinidadian cycling star Teniel Campbell, saying she’s on the brink of breaking big in women’s cycling.

Red Bull shares the playlists that get mountain bike, ‘cross and cross-country pros ready to ride.

Former Vuelta and Giro winner Nairo Quintana has denied any wrongdoing in a doping investigation targeting members of his entourage. Then again, that’s what Lance said. And Landis. And Contador. And…

 

Finally…

If you’re going to propose on the Brooklyn Bridge, tell your photographer to stay out of the bike lane. If you didn’t drive on a narrow bike trail, your Jeep wouldn’t need to be rescued in the first place; thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

And you be you.

https://twitter.com/CarHelmets/status/1308499866411134977

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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. 

Rahsaan Bahati talks race and cycling, Gaimon’s tips for new and experienced riders, and DC bike jerk attacks young girl

Just in time for the social justice protest movement roiling the county, VeloNews offers a challenging conversation with LA’s own 10-time national road champ Rahsaan Bahati about race and cycling.

Here’s a small piece of what he has to say.

I’ve been on training rides where I’ve had older adults who didn’t like me because, one, the color of my skin, and two, I was better than them. This is as a kid, having a white guy in his 40s tell me to get off a ride.

You go to Europe and it’s the same level of ignorance and racism. When I was a year out of college, I was fortunate to get a job with Jonathan Vaughters, went over to Europe, my teammates were Danny Pate, Mike Friedman, Tyler Farrar, all those guys. They’d never taken a break to go to school and I had. I remember I had another month left to be there and I remember being in car, overhearing the director or someone saying, ‘he’s no good.’ It’s like, ‘dude, I just spent the last five years at Indiana University.’

Seriously, take a few minutes to read it.

Because Bahati’s not saying anything he hasn’t said for years. The only difference is, people are finally paying attention.

And if you want to make a difference in today’s LA, you could do a lot worse than supporting his work with the nonprofit Bahati Foundation.

Photo from Bahati Foundation website.

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Former pro Phil Gaimon is back with tips for new bike riders, while telling experienced riders not to screw this up with their obnoxious rules.

And yes, Gaimon’s typically tongue-in-cheek delivery will probably make this the funniest thing you watch today, despite his perfectly serious message.

Gaimon may have never reached the dope-fueled heights Lance Armstrong did.

But he’s become the bike advocate Lance has never been, but should be.

Especially since Lance owes a lot to all of us who bought his lies for so long.

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The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Someone in a white van has been egging several bike riders in Yorkshire, England in recent weeks.

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

Talk about a jerk. This is about the worst behavior by a bike rider we’ve seen in some time, as a spandex-clad man assaulted a little girl on a DC-area trail, ripping flyers out of her hands demanding justice for killer cops, then ramming his bike into the man who was filming him.

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Local

Long Beach’s Bixby Knolls neighborhood virtually celebrated eight years of Kidical Mass.

TMZLive host Harvey Levin is one of us. Although he may not be for awhile, after a “pretty bad” knocked him off his bike and off the air.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

The new transportation bill proposed by House Democrats contains $6.3 billion for biking and walking infrastructure.

A senior Sam Schwartz transportation planner says now is the time to rethink the right of way as the right to social movement.

US bike sales are up 30% over pre-pandemic shutdown levels. But if you can’t get a new bike, you can always fix up an old one.

Bike mechanics are in short supply, too.

A new service founded by a British expat living in Portland delivers tea, roses and handwritten notes or poems by bicycle.

Bike shop owners in Portland are hunting for dozens of bicycles that were stolen by looters during weekend protests. Just like bike shops pretty much everywhere else in the US.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike thieves who targeted a blind bike shop owner in Medford, Oregon, who’s crowdfunding money to stay in business after his shop was hit by thieves multiple times in recent weeks; the campaign has raised over $5,600 in just three days., more than making up for losing $5,000 worth of bicycles.

Ann Arbor, Michigan could soon be home to more protected bike lanes and fewer car lanes, along with more space for pedestrians, as the city responds to the coronavirus crisis. Which is a lot more than a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name is doing right now.

Bicycling profiles a 54-year old Detroit man who lost nearly 200 pounds after getting on his bike and discovering triathlons. And likely saved his own life in the process.

Not even bikes are safe from the NYPD’s aggressive policing, as charging officers indiscriminately confiscated bicycles belonging protesters and reporters alike.

Miami’s elite bike cops formed the front lines of the city’s response to recent protests.

 

International

FloBikes recommends the best bicycling books on the market right now.

Bike Radar offers advice on how to finance a new bike.

British pedicab company PedalMe has dropped their rates in an effort to get more cars off the streets during the pandemic, saying they’re now cheaper than Uber

Thousands of Brits are reaching out to local leaders to demand pop-up bike lanes, as a new survey shows 36% of UK residents would dump their cars if they felt safer biking and walking.

A horrifying X-ray shows a knife embedded in the skull of a 60-year old Spanish man, who was stabbed in the head when he tried to intervene in an argument over a bicycle. Be sure you really want to see that before you click on the link, because that image will stick with you.

A pair of bike advocates in Bengaluru — formerly known as Bangalore, India — are encouraging more people to get out and ride in the post-Covid-19 era. Which hasn’t come yet, and probably won’t for a very long time.

A Kenyan news anchor urged drivers to be more careful after he was hit by one while riding his bike; calling Nairobi one of the world’s most dangerous cities for bicyclists.

Bicycles are helping raise Zambia’s female farmers out of poverty, shaving hours off their journey to get fresh milk to market.

Korean carmaker Kia used to be one of us, beginning as a bike parts maker, and producing the country’s first full-size bicycle in 1951.

Bikes are booming Down Under, too, with a 200% jump in Adelaide alone.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could run on rails. Your next ebike may not stop someone from stealing it, but at least it will tell you if someone does.

And now we know what that weird Turkmenistan World Bicycle Day globe was.

………

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

Bike shops are booming while LA does nothing to meet demand, and the Covid bike boom keeps getting bigger

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence, due to an unanticipated ride on diabetic blood sugar rollercoaster.

Yet another reminder to do whatever it takes to get your own blood sugar under control before it’s too late, because you seriously don’t want this crap.

Never mind that diabetes puts you at greater risk of serious complications from Covid-19.

Fun times.

………

Yes, it’s true.

For weeks now, we’ve been linking to stories reporting about a nationwide bike boom brought on by the coronavirus crisis.

And lately, about how that boom is leading to a looming lack of bicycles across the US, as local bike shops sell out of their existing stock, and the usual endless bike pipeline unexpectedly dries up.

That was confirmed locally when I spoke with Carlos Morales, my brother from another mother and owner of Stan’s Bike Shop in Azusa, who says he’s never seen anything like it.

According to Morales, he’s spoken with longtime bike shop owners who say there hasn’t been anything like this since the bike boom of the ’70s.

He says his shop has been so busy that he sometimes has to lock the front door to prevent overcrowding, or just catch his breath for a few minutes.

Morales has been lucky so far that he’s been able to develop sources for bikes and parts outside the usual distributors, and has been able to keep his store fully stocked as a result. In fact, he says his shop is overflowing with tubes and tires right now.

Many others haven’t been so lucky, telling Morales that the bikemakers and distributors they usually rely on have run out of bicycles, and aren’t expecting to restock until late summer or fall.

Which could make for a very long summer.

I heard the same thing from another source yesterday, when I exchanged emails with Alison Littlefield, owner of Utah’s Contender Bicycles.

Yes, Utah has been the same. It is wild. In mid-March when all of this hit, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that bike biz would boom. It is just crazy and we should all consider ourselves very, very lucky. In the winter even before COVID, I felt like we were a little heavy on inventory but I am sure happy we were.

Maybe this is exactly what the bicycle industry needs.

Just a few short months ago, many shops were hurting. It wasn’t unusual to see reports of longtime shops going under, or owners throwing in the towel after deciding it just wasn’t worth it anymore.

But many of those bike shops that have managed to stay open during the coronavirus lockdowns are reaping the rewards.

Even those without bikes left to sell are struggling to keep up with service requests.

Morales says repair work at his shop is now taking about five days. Which is short compared to other SoCal shops he’s spoken with, where it can take as long as 25 days just to get a bike on the bench, let alone do the actual work.

Of course, the question is what will happen when businesses reopen, and drivers flood back onto the streets.

Other cities have installed temporary bike lanes during the pandemic, with an eye towards making them permanent when this is finally over. Or building out the city’s bike plan while streets are quieter and the work can be done faster.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, is doing nothing.

No bike lanes. No progress on Vision Zero. Not even the “comprehensive Citywide network of active transportation corridors” that were promised just a few months ago, when the mayor unveiled his latest iteration of the city’s Green New Deal with typical fanfare.

With the typical lack of followthrough so far.

That matters.

Because the clock is ticking. It takes about three months for bicycling to become a habit for a new rider, according to Morales.

And as we’ve all too often seen, once someone gets frightened off the streets, they seldom come back.

Right now, we have a once in a generational opportunity to reshape our streets, and change the way people get around this city.

But so far, Los Angeles is blowing it.

Which means when motorists come back, we’ll be back in exactly the same mess we were in before.

And our streets will continue to grind to a halt, until no one can go anywhere.

Bike shop photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

………

I found Ms. Littlefield by following one of those typically winding online trails, fueled by lockdown boredom, which somehow led to a search for corgi bike jerseys.

No, really.

And unexpectedly turned up this.

Needless to say, I had to have it.

But when I couldn’t find it on the Contender website, Littlefield explained I was a few years too late. The jersey was for long past fundraiser for the Utah Humane Society.

So for now, I’ll have to content myself with gazing admiringly at the store’s PR staff.

But if they ever bring that jersey back, they can just come and take my money.

………

More on the boom in bicycling.

KCRW talks with the founder of Linus Bikes about the bike boom, and whether it will continue.

A Beverly Hills newspaper says the bicycling trend is growing stronger in the city. Which is something no one would have expected just a few years ago; although you’ll have to click through and download the online edition of the paper to access the story.

The numbers for Brooklyn, and New York as a whole, are way up as more riders take to the streets.

A Florida bike shop says they had four months of sales in April alone.

HuffPo questions whether America’s interest in carfree streets will outlast the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s not just the US. Bikes are booming in South America, as well, from Bogota to Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, tone-deaf Uber responds to the nationwide bike shortage by sending thousands of Jump ebikes to the scrapheap.

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CiclaValley and child get their 15 minutes of joyful fame.

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The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A British man will spend the next 12 weeks in a back brace after a driver appeared to intentionally knock him off his bike before fleeing the scene; a woman says a driver deliberately swerved at her as she rode the same road on the same day. Having spent a similar amount of time in a back brace, I can testify that it’s no fun.

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

Police in Humboldt County are looking for a bike-riding porch pirate.

A popular, long-time Colorado bike shop worker died in a struggle with police, who tased him as he brandished a knife.

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Local

Former LA city planner Dick Platkin relates what he’s learned about Los Angeles on his daily bike rides during the coronavirus lockdown. And the picture ain’t pretty.

Slow Streets are catching on fast in LA’s Mid City West neighborhood.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare remains free during the coronavirus crisis, thanks to a grant from the city.

 

State

Slow Streets are spreading across San Diego, with the county coming soon.

An alleged sexual assault suspect was beaten to death near a Ventura bike path after the victim cried out for help.

Tragic news from San Jose, where a 40-year old man died following a collision with another bike rider on Guadalupe River Trail. And no, he was not wearing a helmet, even though crashes like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Sad news from Petaluma, where a father of two young children was killed riding his bike by a driver stoned on prescription drugs, who crossed onto the wrong side of the road.

More sad news, as a 63-year old woman was killed in a bicycling crash in Chico.

 

National

Thrillist swears you can get a great bike for under $500. Which is nearly as cheap as a bicycle-shaped object from a big box store.

A local business paper talks with the Executive Director of the Hawaii Bicycling League about the problems facing nonprofits. Like maybe a name that suggests competition rather than advocacy.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus offers a difficult and painful meditation on racism, public space and transportation activism in the wake of Amy Cooper and the police killing of George Floyd. Sadly, cars aren’t the only danger people of color face on the streets. As a nation, we have to do better.

A new study from the University of Washington confirms that bikeshare is getting commuters to leave their cars at home.

A Boulder CO bike rider who barely survived a hit-and-run driver has advice on how to drive on coronavirus-light streets. Hint: Put down your phone and take you damn foot off the gas pedal.

A Chicago bike rider was critically injured when he was struck by a 16-year old boy who jacked an SUV at gunpoint; the same SUV nearly ran down three other riders, as well.

Slow Streets are coming to Chicago, too.

Something is seriously wrong when you can kill a 13-year old kid riding his bike in upstate New York, and walk away without so much as a ticket.

He gets it. A professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University says poor and black “invisible bicyclists” need to be part of post-pandemic transport planning, too.

Bikeshare provider Zagster is pulling out of the Atlanta area due to the coronavirus pandemic; they pulled the plug on my hometown, too.

New Orleans’ bikeshare system could be in jeopardy as Uber transfers ownership to Lime, which doesn’t seem it want it, either.

Leave it to New Orleans not to pass up a chance to get naked. Even though this year’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride has been cancelled most places, Big Easy riders will still strip down and saddle up, albeit in multiple rides of less than ten people.

Peter Flax is up to his usual moving work, as he takes an emotional, in-depth look at one-legged Paralympic cycling champ Leo Rodgers, calling him “the kind of cyclist we all need right now.” Meanwhile, the local Tampa FL paper takes pride in a hometown hero making the cover of Bicycling.

 

International

A new study shows even short amounts of bicycling activates a “cellular vacuum cleaner” to clear out muscular damage to keep things in working order. Although it would be a lot more appealing if they didn’t call it the “death marker protein.”

Bike Radar has tips for getting into, or back into, biking to work, while Cycling Weekly explains what you need to know before buying your first bike. Like it will only make you want another one. And another.

A Vancouver weekly says the city is setting the standard for North American bicycling.

Brit bike icon Chris Boardman is calling for presumed liability to protect bike riders in a post Covid-19 world.

It takes a real schmuck to just keep going after plowing into a handicapped British bicyclist riding a handcycle. Or in this case, two motorcycle-riding schmucks.

Great idea. A Scottish inventor and an Olympian are teaming up to crowdfund new bicycling sunglasses with built-in mirrors to see what’s behind you. Now if they just make them in a prescription version, I’m in. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Scary story from Ireland’s former minister of state, who thought he was going to die on the side of the road after breaking his neck when his bike hit a tree stump.

Bicycling gets an inside look at Sweden’s MIPS as they work to prevent damage from concussions. Although sometimes a bike helmet doesn’t look like one.

Offers have been pouring in for the 15-year old Indian girl who carried her injured father over 700 miles home on the back of her bicycle. But all she wants is to go back to school.

A South African cyclist says the country’s roads are a war zone after a negligent driver nearly ended his life.

An Aussie political official has been posting online about riding to work in recent weeks. But she failed to mention she was riding because she’d lost her driver’s license earlier this year for multiple speeding tickets.

 

Competitive Cycling

German pro André Greipel is teaming with Strava for the Ride Around the World challenge on June 3rd’s World Bicycle Day to fight ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Spanish pro Gustavo César Veloso lost two bikes and gear worth over $11,000 when thieves jumped the wall to his house.

………

Finally…

Everything you always wanted to know about Everesting but were afraid to ask. Is that a billy club in your bike shorts, or are you just happy to…well, you know.

And fix those squeaky brakes, already.

………

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

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