Tag Archive for bike infrastructure

South Pasadena plans car-centric remake of Fair Oaks Ave, and anti-growth email scandal in car-centric Redondo Beach

It looks like South Pasadena is going the wrong way.

The town of just 26,000 people sandwiched between Los Angeles and Pasadena is proposing a plan to remove bulb-outs on Fair Oaks Ave, optimizing the street for motor vehicles while making it less safe for everyone else — particularly bike riders and pedestrians.

Here’s what Streets For All had to say.

THIS TUESDAY (today), the City of South Pasadena’s Mobility and Transportation Infrastructure Commission has an item on its agenda(item #3 – staff report here) to consider how to implement over $11M in federal funds for road safety improvements. Unbelievably, city staff seem to think that removing pedestrian bulb outs are a safety improvement (for whom!?). Additionally, the vast majority goes to car infrastructure – new signals, new lanes, and new cameras to monitor congestion.

It’s 2022 and we know the cost of traffic violence all too well in the Los Angeles area. There is no room for 1990s thinking using 2022 dollars. Make your voice heard.

BEST: MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT LIVE 11.15 at 6:30PM

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Meanwhile, Dr. Grace Peng offered her thoughts, including sharing her open letter to the South Pasadena city council.

Dear South Pasadena Mobility and Transportation Infrastructure Commission –

I oppose your staff’s recommendation to use federal dollars to make Fair Oaks Ave less safe.

Fair Oaks is a very wide and busy street. Crossing it within the allotted pedestrian signal time is already difficult for the mobility-impaired. Bulb outs reduce the distance, and make vulnerable road users safer.

The proof is right in front of us. I looked up South Pasadena in the Transportation Injury Mapping System.

The bulb outs were installed around 2010. Between 2011 and 2021, Fair Oaks Ave has seen fewer pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths than the narrower Mission St. This is a good indication that traffic calming elements on Fair Oaks are working. Stay the course.

Since Covid, there has been an increase in injuries on Fair Oaks, and in the whole region.  Do not allow cars to pick up speed while making right turns. This only increases the severity of injury and the risk of death to pedestrians. 

I live in Redondo Beach, where the death of a 13 year old girl at an unsafe intersection cost our city $33 Million in a wrongful death lawsuit. No amount of money will make that family whole again. And our city coffers suffer as well due to sharply increased insurance premiums. As a mother and daughter (to a mobility-impaired senior), I am begging you to improve, not remove pedestrian safety infrastructure. 

The $11 M in Caltrans funding could pay for pedestrian scramble signal timing changes. This would temporally separate vulnerable road users and cars/trucks in the intersections.  This would facilitate vehicle turns and improve safety.  Do this instead.

Grace Peng, PhD

PS I concur with the Streets For All recommendations below:

The ~$11M is coming from the canceled 710 North project; instead, the funds should be used to improve transportation for all modes in South Pasadena.

The vast majority of funds are proposed to be spent on cars – new signals, new turn lanes, new traffic monitoring cameras – none of these expensive items will help the residents of South Pasadena get out of cars, which are the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California!

Most egregiously, staff is proposing to REMOVE pedestrian bulb outs on Fair Oaks Ave – pedestrian bulb outs are a proven safety element that help save lives by enabling pedestrians to spend less time in the street when crossing. Removing them is contrary to every possible best safety practice.

I ask that you throw out these staff recommendations and start over. Build a true multi modal street. Add protected bike lanes (implement your own bike plan!) and more pedestrian improvements. Consider bus-only lanes in the city. With an average trip of only 3 miles, if you build safe alternatives to the car, many residents will use them, improving traffic, air quality, safety, and helping fight climate change.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

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At least it’s not as bad as the recently released recording of racist and otherwise offensive comments by three LA city councilmembers, two of whom still refuse to do the right thing and resign.

But emails between the mayor of Redondo Beach and various councilmembers and supporters sure as hell ain’t pretty.

The emails center on the majority-white city’s efforts to block housing projects, particularly those offering housing for low-income residents, as well as offensive racial “banter” in private conversations.

The emails were released as part of a freedom of information request filed by attorneys for a developer looking to redevelop the city’s pier, which was blocked by a public vote.

Redondo resident Dr. Peng says officials purposely undermine transit and active transportation projects to create anti-housing furor.

It’s also worth noting that local officials are insisting that ebike riders obey the law; drivers, not so much.

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Streets For All continues a strong run in this election cycle, as two more candidates endorsed by the transportation PAC claimed victory, including new LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath; a click on the lower right panel reveals 15 candidates and propositions who’ve won with their endorsements, with no losses — yet.

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

Ann Arbor, Michigan goes back to the drawing board after local residents insist on keeping their on-street parking instead of a new bike lane, even though the homes appear to have fully functional driveways. And bizarrely argue that street parking improves safety, while bike lanes don’t — exactly the opposite of the actual effects.

An English bike rider suffered a broken leg after he was knocked off his bike by a road raging pedestrian following an argument between the two men.

It was evidently a bad weekend for people on bikes in the UK, as a second bike rider was hospitalized with serious head injuries when he was viciously attacked by a road raging driver.

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

Police in the UK are looking for a pair of hooded teenagers who rode up on bikes before demanding money and belongings from two 17-year old boys, but ended up riding off empty handed.

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Local

No surprise here. The Los Angeles Daily News reports Metro’s proposal to “simplify” it’s fare structure, which masks a dramatic fare increase, came in for overwhelming criticism during yesterday’s problem-plagued virtual meeting.

Santa Monica collected over $5 million in Development Impact Fees in 2022, adding to a pot of $11.4 million set aside for transportation projects, including $3.4 million for bikeways in 2024; the city spent nearly $1 million of the fund for active transportation projects this year.

 

State 

Petaluma announced plans for a bicycle boulevard on the city’s west side.

San Francisco safe streets advocates celebrate after last week’s election resulted in a victory to keep JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park permanently carfree.

A Tulare County woman faces up to four years behind bars for the hit-and-run that killed a man walking his bicycle earlier this month; Shay Dejonge is being held without bail after entering a not guilty plea.

 

National

The Bike League is now offering an online Bicycle Friendly Drive Training course. Which most drivers will undoubtedly rush to take.

No surprise here, either. A new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health shows that bike lanes may be the most cost-effective way to improve public health.

Bicycling reports on the Bike League’s latest list of Bicycle Friendly Universities; congratulations to SoCal’s Santa Monica College, UC San Diego and the University of San Diego. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Wired reports that the pandemic bike boom is still going strong in cities that invested in bike infrastructure, but faltering in those that didn’t — like Los Angeles, for instance. Meanwhile, the magazine also recommends the best ebikes for elderly riders, only one of which is an adult tricycle.

Cycling Weekly says it’s been a rough year for Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes, after the company has faced lawsuits, layoffs and a recent recall.

A 67-year old Washington woman has set a Guinness world record as the oldest woman to ride across the US from coast-to-coast.

Three men face charges for recklessly riding their bikes in Salem, New Hampshire, after they were stopped as part of a rideout group weaving in and out of traffic.

The Guardian reports “everyone is scared” after ebike batteries are alleged to have caused 200 fires in New York, resulting in six deaths. Although other reports suggest that the problem stems from delivery riders using low-cost refurbished lithium ion batteries with mismatched chargers. 

New York could get another large pedestrian plaza before Los Angeles gets its first, as the city starts the process of removing cars from Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, after previously making Times Square carfree.

You can now ride your bike between Hoboken and Jersey City on a new curb and plastic bendy post-protected two-way bike lane.

 

International

A Vancouver writer calls on the city to keep the bike lanes through the city’s Stanley Park, which the city council recently voted to remove.

Tesla insists a crash that killed a Chinese motorcyclist and a high school student on a bicycle wasn’t its fault, despite data taken from the vehicle that failed to show the Model Y SUV applied its brakes before the crash.

Melbourne, Australia officials were urged to rip out a series of popup bike lanes, after an independent review found they either offered limited benefit, or actually increased the risk to bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to American Hannah Roberts, as the 21-year old Olympic silver medalist won her third consecutive BMX Freestyle world title.

A 31-year old former pro cyclist from the Isle of Man will spend four years behind bars after he was busted for dealing coke; Christopher Whorrall blamed his downfall on hitting rock-bottom after an injury ended his career.

 

Finally…

Apparently, its against the law to fix an illegally obscured license plate. When you’re already the most wanted man in town, put some damn lights on your bike.

And when is a bike lane not a bike lane? When horn-honking drivers use it to bypass traffic, while insisting people on bikes get the hell out of their way.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Meager LA bikeway output in decline, support urged for Stop-as-Yield bill, and Carlsbad declares bike emergency

Before we get started, my brother the former Iditarod mushing and bike-riding adventurer is off on another cross-country bike tour.

He left yesterday on the Trans-America trail, taking it from Western Colorado to the Atlantic Coast. 

I’ll try to keep you posted when he shares details of his trip. 

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I doubt it will surprise anyone that bikeway implementation in Los Angeles fell last year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the LADOT showed a total of just 39.1 miles of new or upgraded bikeways for the most recent fiscal year that just ended, down from 52.5 the previous year.

And yes, that includes sharrows and bike routes, as well as protected bike lanes, bike paths and painted bike lanes.

Linton reports that implementation of bikeways fell precipitously under outgoing Mayor and erstwhile almost ambassador to India Eric Garcetti.

Although Garcetti doesn’t shoulder all the blame.

Under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, bike facility implementation peaked at 200+ new bikeway lane-miles annually. Since Mayor Eric Garcetti took office in 2013, implementation has fallen dramatically. Under Garcetti-appointed city Transportation Department (LADOT) General Manager Seleta Reynolds, new bikeway mileage has been dismal, hovering between 10 and 52 miles annually for the past seven years.

It’s not all Garcetti and Reynolds’ fault, as their modest efforts have been blocked by many city councilmembers: Gil CedilloPaul KoretzCurren PriceDavid Ryu, Mitch O’Farrell, and Paul Krekorian have all vetoed planned bikeway projects in their districts.

I got pushback when I declared on twitter that last year’s total was a fail, as Linton and others pointed out that the figures for last year included some high-quality installations.

Which is fair.

Under Villaraigosa, the city focused on what they referred to as the low-hanging fruit, where installation of a bike lane didn’t require removing parking or a traffic lane.

And while the city remains averse to doing anything to annoy or inconvenience people in cars, they have built more protected bike lanes and cycle tracks in recent years.

Not enough, but still.

And not enough are truly protected, as the city too often pretends that car-tickler plastic bendy posts offer some form of protection from motorists, who can simply drive over them at will.

Hopefully, a new mayor and city council will increase funding to LADOT to hire more bike-focused engineers, and wipe the dust off the city’s Vision Zero and mobility plans.

We can hope, right?

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Calbike is urging everyone to call their state senators to urge them to vote for AB 1713, the latest attempt to pass a Stop-as-Yield law.

Streetsblog says we’re this close to getting the right to treat stop signs as yield signs, and that the bill addresses Governor Newsom’s complaint that led him to veto the previous version by limiting the law to riders over 18.

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They get it.

Carlsbad has responded to the recent deaths of two bike riders and a jump in ebike injuries by declaring a state of emergency, allowing the city to take immediate action to improve safety for bicyclists.

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Dr. Grace Peng has done the hard part for you, developing talking points for this afternoon’s workshop to discuss the California ebike rebate program.

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Belgian pro Wout Van Aert goes Hollywood, making a brief appearance in a Red Bull video featuring F1 racer Max Verstappen.

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GCN considers why bicycle license plates are a terrible idea.

Because they are.

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

A Chicago father accuses a hit-and-run driver of intentionally striking him and his daughter as they were biking home from school, not far from where a three-year old girl was killed earlier this year.

The Spanish driver who killed two people and seriously injured three others when he rammed a group of bike riders, possibly intentionally, is being held without bail pending trial, as police investigate him for possible murder charges; he has a long record of traffic safety violations, as well a violence against women.

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

New York police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider, following the death of a pedestrian, who died days after the bicyclist collided with him while the victim was crossing a Manhattan street.

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Local

KCRW looks at the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, which is being considered by the city council today, asking if the city can finally be friendlier to transit users and pedestrians. Because the measure’s not just about bikes, regardless of some perceptions.

The LA Times celebrates the closure of Griffith Park Drive through Griffith Park, and questions what other streets should be closed next. Like Hollywood Blvd, which is long overdue for a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood & Highland.

Good idea. A UCLA professor has created a new app enabling people to easily organize group bike rides to create safety in numbers for bike commuters.

Streetsblog talks with Los Angeles-based comedian George Coffey, who is turning Metro’s foibles into fodder for jokes.

Active SGV continues to live up to its name, as they continue to be one of the most active advocacy groups in the LA area; the group is bringing Slow Streets and open streets to the San Gabriel Valley, with a number of demonstration projects to show the value of traffic circles, outdoor dining, and bike lanes.

 

State 

Thirty-six-year old Kenneth Alexander Heimlich was convicted of going on a two-city crime rampage in Orange County in June, including pushing a bike rider into traffic and repeatedly stomping his head for no reason as they waited at a bus stop.

A 63-year old San Diego man was the victim of a hit-and-run when a driver turned in front of his bike, in a crash caught on security cam — even if the local TV station can’t be bothered to include it. Or even link to it. Schmucks.

Life is cheap in Lafayette, where the driver who killed 86-year old Joe Shami, better known as The Legend of Mount Diablo, walked without a single day behind bars; Lori Everett got a lousy one year probation and 100 hours of community service, while her victim got the death penalty.

A Davis writer says bicycle etiquette begins with being considerate.

 

National

The New York Times takes a look at the rise in traffic deaths, which disproportionately affect Black, Latino and low-income families.

A new study shows Blacks are overrepresented in bike and pedestrian deaths; the study also shows drivers of pickups and SUVs accounted for 38% of bike riders and pedestrians killed on the roads, despite being involved in just 20% of the crashes.

Marketplace says high-tech speed governors are gaining traction with safety advocates, even though carmakers hate the idea.

A six-year old Minneapolis girl was collateral damage in a shootout between two men when she was shot in the leg as she was riding her bike.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a pickup driver was arrested for vehicular homicide for killing an eight-year old girl as she rode her bike on the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Reservation.

Bighearted former Indiana University basketball player and Head Coach Dan Dakich and his wife gave away 31 bikes to kids in need earlier this month, as they work year round to ensure that every kid can have a bicycle.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A North Carolina driver walked without a single day behind bars after copping to a plea deal for probation in the DUI death of a bike rider. Which sends a clear message to other drivers that it’s perfectly okay to get drunk, get behind the wheel and kill someone.

 

International

Road.cc considers the carbon footprint of your bike, which may be more than you think.

Newspaper readers in Hertfordshire, England like a government proposal to regulate bicyclists by requiring a numbered license plate and liability insurance to catch riders who totally ignore the rules. Even though that isn’t likely to happen, numbered plates or not.

Welsh bicyclists are ignoring government warnings to stay off the world’s longest and highest aqueduct; officials insist the 126-foot high structure isn’t wide enough to accommodate both people on foot and on two wheels.

Tragic news from Scotland, where champion mountain biker Rab Wardell died in his sleep in his Glasgow home, just two days after winning the elite men’s title at the Scottish MTB XC Championships; he was just 37.

A new study shows that Lisbon, Portugal’s bike paths reproduce the city’s social inequities, with people in working class neighborhoods having less access to them than residents of wealthy neighborhoods.

The first ever, ten-day Tour De Maccabi bike race and adventure tour will take Jewish bike riders rom Krakow, Poland through Slovakia and Hungary, before ending in front of Europe’s largest synagogue in Budapest

 

Competitive Cycling

As predicted, the first day back in Spain shook up the standings in the Vuelta, as three-time defending champ Primož Roglič stormed to victory in what The Guardian termed a “stunning effort,” taking the leader’s red jersey in the process; American Sepp Kuss is in second place, 13 seconds back.

The Mountain Bike World Championships begins today in Les Gets, France.

USA Cycling named the US men’s and women’s road cycling and time trial teams, with L39ION of Los Angeles cyclist Skylar Schneider the lone domestic competitor to make the team.

 

Finally…

Blame bikes for the demise of religion and a rise in women smokers.

And face it, he’s got a point.

https://twitter.com/fietsprofessor/status/1562125196689129474

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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.

https://twitter.com/awalkerinLA/status/1325647777972432896

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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.

https://twitter.com/JHop_Seattle/status/1325649464707538946

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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. 

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