Tag Archive for bike riders as heroes

Help children of fallen bike riding woman, call to toss out the MUTCD and start over, and bike riders are heroes — again

Some stories are just heartbreaking.

That’s the case with the death of a woman that came to light yesterday, when word broke that 31-year old Adriana “Fishy” Rodriguez died ten days after she was struck by a driver while riding her bike in Lincoln Heights last month.

Leaving her five young kids without a mother.

Now and for the rest of their lives.

So if you have a few extra bucks lying around, take a few minutes to donate to the GoFundMe account established for Rodriguez before she died; as of this writing, it stands at just $1,375 of the $7,000 goal.

It won’t bring her back.

But it might make things just a little easier for those kids.

And yes, I gave, too.

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Advocates and organizations are calling for tossing out the proposed auto-centric update of the The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, aka MUTCD, and starting again from scratch.

These two images pretty well sum it up what the whole debate is about.

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Once again, bike riders are heroes.

Or make that twice.

A pair of women rode to a Montreal woman’s rescue when a man stole her bike, chasing him over ten miles through three cities before he was arrested after crashing into a police cruiser; it didn’t hurt that one of the women was a recently retired cop.

Then again, there are are all kinds of heroes. Like a brigade of Toronto bike riders committed to helping others in need during the pandemic. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Los Angeles-based former pro and well-known Cookie Monster Phil Gaimon is back with his popular Worst Retirement Ever, as he takes on a KOM held by four-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome.

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Turns out San Francisco’s iconic and newly bike friendly Market Street is just returning to its post war glory.

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GCN tries to strip down and rebuild a bicycle using nothing but a multi-tool.

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

Ride your bike without lights and a bright phosphorescent jacket and helmet in Qatar, and it could be seized for a week. And you’ll have to show up with the required safety gear to get it back. That will be more reasonable when cars have to have phosphorescent paint, and drivers have to wear a helmet.

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

A runner describes being followed on a trail by a man on a bicycle who threatened to rape her, with no one around for protection; she finally escaped by running up to a lone house and calling police.

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Local

Streets For All is asking you to contact CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León, and urge him to support Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard Complete Streets Plan. Especially since opponents are resorting to outright lies.

Santa Monica-based Bird is reportedly planning to go public by piggy backing on a Texas company, with a valuation of $2.3 billion. Even though they’ve lost a total of $409 million in just the last two years.

Simon Cowell is back on his fat-tired ebike, riding along the beach in the ‘Bu with his family, nine months after breaking his back crashing an e-motorcycle.

 

State

Yes, San Diego, Black girls do bike.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette offers advice on how to avoid getting doored.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, the city has removed its Slow Streets. But the lessons learned over the past year could boost bicycling and walking in the city.

An angry Twitter thread from Carpinteria woman complains about the lack of protected bike lanes after her 20-year old daughter is nearly run down by a pickup driver while on a Mother’s Day ride.

The family of a San Francisco woman finally has some closure after a confessed serial killer pled guilty to killing her and two other women in New Orleans; she was last seen riding her bicycle in September of 2008, before her body was found later that day.

They get it. The Monterey County Weekly devotes their latest issue to bicycling, as their editor writes that part of the beauty of riding a bicycle is the ease and accessibility.

They get it, too. The Sacramento Area Council of Governments is calling for a bicycle freeway system connecting cities and neighborhoods in the six county area, comparing it to the freeway system built in the area 50 years earlier. Which means the ball’s in your court, SCAG.

 

National

An alleged drunk driver faces charges for fleeing the scene after fatally running down a Houston man who was fixing his bike on the side of the road.

A Wisconsin man faces charges after slamming his car into a man he thought was riding his stolen bicycle, shattering the alleged thief’s ankle. But then couldn’t prove to police that he actually owned the bike he claimed was his.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Renowned German Architect Helmut Jahn was killed while biking in Chicago when he was struck by two separate drivers after witnesses say he ran a stop sign on his bicycle; the 81-year old architect designed several of the city’s buildings, as well as notable buildings in Berlin, Bangkok and Philadelphia.

That’s more like it. New York’s mayor is calling for the passage of the Crash Victim’s Rights and Safety Package in the state legislature, a series of eight bills intended to improve traffic safety, including an expansion of speed cams, a crash victim’s Bill of Rights, lower speed limits, and reducing the threshold for DUI to .05.

A Black DC man is blazing a trail for a new generation of bike-riding people of color.

 

International

The Spokesmen podcast talks with noted bicycling researchers Ralph Buehler and John Pucher about their new book, Cycling for Sustainable Cities.

Seriously? Bike-riding BBC radio host Jeremy Vine stands accused of bullying and intimidating a group opposed to Britain’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods through “libelous and defamatory” statements, after accusing them of cutting the heads off flowers and spreading them on the doorstep of an LTN supporter.

The overwhelming majority of the 42 bicyclists killed on Australian roads last year were men over 40, in part because so many took to their bikes while working from home during the pandemic. While that may not sound like a lot compared to the 846 killed in the US in 2019, it’s a heavy toll for a country of less than 26 million people.

Aussie food delivery riders are accused of causing “total chaos on the streets” after an ebike rider killed an 89-year old man while running a red light. There’s no excuse for recklessly taking a human life. Ever. But just wait until they hear about the damage done by cars and their drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s Filippo Ganna held on to the pink leader’s jersey he claimed by winning the time trial in Saturday’s opening stage of the Giro.

Cycling Weekly offers five key takeaways from Sunday’s second stage of the Giro.

Twenty-one-year old Belgian star Remco Evenepoel understandably broke down in tears after his seventh place finish in the time trial, nine months after breaking his pelvis crashing into a bridge and falling down a ravine in the Tour of Lombardy.

The peloton paused to remember Wouter Weylandt at the start of Sunday’s second stage, on the tenth anniversary of his death in the 2011 Giro.

France swept the first weekend of the Mountain Bike World Cup season, in advance of the upcoming Olympics.

 

Finally…

Call it one of the earliest ped-assist bikes, dating back 118 years. Nothing like knowing a three-year old could probably ride circles around you.

Or maybe just me.

And maybe your bike handling skills aren’t as good as you think.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

5 mph speed limit on SaMo bike path, Kizzee protestors sue Sheriff, and bike rider gives his life to save his daughter

They’ve got to be kidding.

David Drexler writes that Santa Monica has finally installed a curb separating bike riders and pedestrians on the newly widened Marvin Braude bike path through the city’s beaches.

But at the same time, they’ve installed a ridiculous 5 mph speed limit on the pathway, which is a fast walking pace, and slower than most people run. And almost half the 8 mph speed limit in Hermosa Beach.

Never mind that, as he points out, it’s hard to ride a bike that slowly without falling over, even on a cruiser bike.

Just more evidence of biking rules being set by people who’ve never ridden one.

Photos by David Drexler.

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Los Angeles County protestors aren’t backing down in the ongoing street confrontations with the Sheriff’s Department.

A group of people have filed for a temporary restraining order against the LASD’s use of nonlethal weapons during sometimes violent crackdowns against protestors following the shooting of Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee.

Deputies have insisted that they are justified in cracking down on the protests, citing things like bike helmets and shields as proof of protestors’ violent intent.

Meanwhile, the people protesting Kizzee’s shooting have decried what they consider heavy-handed assaults on largely peaceful protestors.

It’s hard to say who’s right, since the department has gone out of its way to intimidate and arrest legitimate members of the press.

Meanwhile, bike riders in many parts of the county continue to express a fear of being harassed or arrested by sheriff’s deputies for Biking while Black or Brown.

Which is something no one should ever have to fear.

Let alone experience.

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Once again, a bike rider was a hero.

Tragically, this time.

A 45-year old Tracy CA man was riding bikes with his nine-year old daughter when a speeding driver suddenly drove directly towards them; his final act was urging his daughter to safety before the careening car took his life.

Compounding the tragedy, the formerly two lane street where the crash occurred has suffered from speeding drivers since being widened to four lanes earlier this year.

We’ll never know if he and his daughter might have both made it home to their family if it hadn’t been.

And someone should ask Sacramento’s ABC10 why it took until the next-to-last of 17 paragraphs in their story to mention that the damn car even had a driver.

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A frequent bike rider, who asked not to be named, forwarded this dashcam video taken during a recent drive through Santa Monica, demonstrating why stopping for red lights matters.

Or at least observing the right-of-way.

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A new short film documents life in Los Angeles for people on two wheels, with a veritable who’s who of LA bike luminaries.

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Former pro Phil Gaimon explains why bicyclists ride in the road, answering the question countless clueless drivers have hurled at him over the years.

Got to hand it to Gaimon.

He may not have set the world on fire in the pro peloton, but he’s become one of the most effective and entertaining ex-pros after retiring.

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

No bias here. A BBC crime program ostensibly about bike theft wasted its time with an unrelated call for mandatory helmets for bike riders. Call me crazy, but even 100% helmet compliance would do nothing to stop the theft of a single bicycle.

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

Police arrested a San Mateo CA man as he attempted to flee by bike after shooting up his neighbors’ mobile homes, then barricading himself inside his trailer.

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Local

You could get the Bird for your birthday or some other special event. Or just buy your own from the Santa Monica-based company for the low, low price of $599.

Pasadena police ticketed 79 drivers during the city’s latest bike and pedestrian safety crackdown, along with 12 bicycle riders and 12 pedestrians.

 

State

More bad news from Northern California, where a San Jose bike rider was killed in a collision Sunday night.

No surprise here, as Bay Area advocates complain about city officials and employees speeding in San Francisco and willfully blocking safety infrastructure in Oakland.

Good news for Bay Area bike riders, as Colorado’s bike-friendly New Belgian Brewery is establishing its first West Coast outlet in San Francisco’s Mission Bay.

San Francisco authorities are struggling to identify a hospitalized man who was seriously injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike. This is why you should always have some form of ID that’s not likely to get lost or stolen when you ride your bike. I always wear my RoadID, but you can also carry a card with your name and emergency contact information.

 

National

Tech Crunch likes the new Lumos smart helmet.

Now we’re getting somewhere. A small DIY ebike conversion kit attaches to the disk brake mount on your mountain bike — although it will set you back nearly two grand.

A rider for Jalopnik is fascinated by the process when he takes an old steel Schwinn to an expert framebuilder to have his broken frame repaired.

Four years after an Iowa collision in the middle of a coast-to-coast bike ride left a man confined to a wheelchair, he’s back to finish the ride using a handcycle. And raising funds for a cancer charity.

Kindhearted cops bought a pair of new bikes for a couple of Detroit sisters after learning the girls had to share a single bicycle.

New York bike riders will be on their own, as city officials plan to close part of the Hudson River Greenway for reconstruction work with no safety provisions for riders forced to detour onto the streets; the pathway is the busiest bike path in North America. Which is saying something for anyone who’s ever tried to ride the Venice bike path on a holiday weekend.

A Philly bike messenger offers advice on how to bike commute with confidence. Although that the last bit of advice to “Act like you’re in a car,” could taking up too much space, emitting noxious gasses, and threatening everyone else on the road. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if you’ve been blocked by Bicycling’s draconian firewall. Which kind of makes you wonder what’s the point of having it.

A Virginia billboard honors five-year old Cannon Hinnant, who was fatally shot point blank by a neighbor for the crime of riding a bicycle on his lawn earlier this year.

In a near mirror image of the Tracy crash, an angry Florida family wants to find the hit-and-run driver who injured a seven-year old boy as he was riding bikes with his father.

 

International

Cycling News explains the difference between mountain and gravel bikes.

Vancouver has just quadrupled the fine for dooring a bike rider. Although the new $368 fine still seems too low. And that’s Canadian dollars.

A British military vet says losing his right arm and shoulder in a motorcycle crash is the best thing that ever happened to him, after competing as a paracyclist in the Invictus Games and becoming an advocate for positive body images.

Owners of Belgium’s Cowboy ebikes will get a free GPS-enabled crash detection system through a software update to alert emergency contacts with their exact location; the company says the risk of a false alarm is “near zero.”

Berlin police are engaged in a bicycle and pedestrian safety crackdown of their own in the face of a rising traffic death toll.

Great idea. Mumbai bike riders can get free emergency IDs issued by the city to provide their name and emergency contacts, as well as doctors and vital health information, in the event of a crash. That San Francisco unidentified bicyclist could have used something like that.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News looks back at eight memorable moments from this year’s Tour de France.

Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar ditched his power meter and relied on the Force for the pivotal ascent during Saturday’s time trial. Okay, so maybe the Force reference was just a metaphor.

French judicial authorities are investigating doping accusations against Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana’s Arkea-Samsic team, as well as entourage members who aren’t actually with the team. However, that does not necessarily mean Quintana or other team leaders have been implicated. Good thing the era of doping is over though. Right?

 

Finally…

Evidently, even mountain lions like to watch kids ride bikes — unless maybe they’re just looking for dinner. Who needs to actually ride a mountain bike when you can just play it on your phone?

And when you’re carrying funny money, oxy laced with fentanyl, pipes, scales, knives and brass knuckles on your bike, put a damn light on it, already.

And poop before you go out.

Seriously.

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

People’s Court frowns on wacky driver lawsuit, Oregon bike riders ferry food to burn zones, and biking can be bananas

Maybe the arc of the moral universe really does bend towards justice.

The case of the bike rider who was sued by the driver who rear-ended him finally concluded on Friday, after it was heard in America’s highest court.

And by that I mean The People’s Court, of course.

Rochester NY bicyclist Bryan Agnello was sued for $700 for damage to the schmuck’s driver’s car, despite suffering $2,500 in medical bills and damage to his bike.

In his court filing, (driver Jovonte) Cook stated that Agnello was riding his bike on I-490 at about 60 mph and that he “didn’t see him coming at me at all due to bad weather.” It was raining when the collision occurred.

During an interview with CITY, Cook estimated Agnello was traveling 80 mph and “came out of nowhere and splashed on my front windshield” while Cook was driving on I-490 while on his way to his job delivering pizzas.

Never mind that, according to the police, the crash occurred on a city street, not a divided freeway. And anyone who can ride 80 mph on level ground in a driving rain without an engine would easily be the greatest cyclist of all time.

Then again, anyone who could walk away from a crash at that speed should probably be wearing tights and a cape.

Needless to say, Judge Marilyn Milian dismissed the case. And reportedly was none too pleased with the man who brought it.

Photo from The People’s Court Facebook page.

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Once again, bike riders are heroes.

NPR reports on the efforts of a group of people using bicycles to bring much needed food and water to Oregon towns devastated by the ongoing fires.

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More proof you can literally carry anything on a bicycle.

Unfortunately, I lost track of who sent this one to me, but thank you, anyway.

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How to get a good bike, more or less, for $50 bucks, more or less.

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You might want to take your dramamine before you watch this downhill run.

I wish I had.

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

A driver in Maui got out of his pickup and repeatedly attacked a bike rider with a golf club in an unprovoked attack.

Delivery riders say they are routinely attacked in large swaths of Dublin and other Irish cities, whether on motor scooters or bicycles.

A South African bicyclist was pulled off his bike by a passing pedestrian in an apparently random attack caught on security cam.

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

Apparently, the biggest problem in Manteca CA is a bunch of finger-snapping kids on bikes.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times reports on the renewed vitality of LA’s Leimert Park, where Black-owned businesses are thriving in the post-George Floyd era, including the Ride On! Bike Shop/Co-Op run by Adé Neff.

Congratulations to former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler on being named Private Sector Professional of the Year by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.

Santa Clarita has officially unveiled its long-awaited new seven-acre bike park.

 

State

A San Diego missing person’s investigator passed away last month after years of battling liver failure — but even at her sickest, she attached an e-bike motor to her bicycle so she could ride along with marchers on a three-day breast cancer awareness event. And when the engine gave out, she got off and pushed it to keep up.

Ventura County opened the second phase of a nearly six-mile bike lane on Potrero Road bordering unincorporated Thousand Oaks.

San Jose-area residents say bike riders have no right to ride in fire zones where drivers have been ordered out.

No surprise here, as San Francisco is searching for new solutions to protect the city’s Slow Streets, as drivers plow through signs indicating the streets are closed to through traffic.

San Francisco allows one person to delay eco-friendly projects in the middle of a climate crisis. Unfortunately, the Chronicle’s paywall won’t let me read this one; maybe you’ll have better luck. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. 

A Rohnert Park man faces charges after using a fake gun to steal a bike from Walmart. The joke’s on him, though, because he probably got a fake bike, anyway.

 

National

Somehow we missed this piece from Vogue UK on famous, mostly female bike riders of the past 60 or so years. Audrey Hepburn looks as good on a bike as anyone could, although Bogie is no small shakes himself. And Queen Latifah can ride with me anytime. 

A Las Vegas letter writer is happy to see the bike boom hit Sin City.

A Denver op-ed calls for making it a denser, walkable and bikeable 15-minute city.

A Colorado man gained a new faith in humanity by biking 3,300 miles across the US, and talking and staying with all kinds of Americans, including sleeping with homeless people in Los Angeles.

When a Nebraska man found a kid’s bike the previous owners of his new home had left in the garage, he used it to spark a bicycle ministry through his church.

Streetsblog Chicago calls for installing cheap plastic-curb protected bike lanes throughout the city.

Kindhearted Tennessee sheriff’s deputies gave a new bike to a ten-year old boy after his was stolen.

Actress Minka Kelly is one of us, as she rides the streets of New York on her bigass ebike.

After a New York man was killed riding his bike in a supposedly carfree park, the police say he died in a tragic fall, while friends and family members insist he was hit by a driver — most likely in a police car.

In a moving gesture, hundreds of New York Black Lives Matter protestors dedicated Friday’s march to a supporter of the movement who was killed in a collision while riding her bike last week.

Family members were reunited with the injured dog who survived the South Carolina wreck that killed their son and brother, as the pair were riding from New York to Florida.

 

International

That new Lamborghini-inspired Cervelo can be yours for a mere eighteen grand.

Vancouver residents rally to demand the return of a traffic lane that was converted to a bike and walkway through a city park. Because evidently one lane of traffic in each direction through a park — keyword park — just isn’t enough for their motor-driven little hearts.

Montreal is expanding a pilot bicycle delivery program to year-round after it proves to be faster than the country’s postal service.

Here’s something to look forward to. The new album by Nova Scotia indie rocker Rich Aucoin, due out this Friday, was inspired by his 2018 journey by bike across the US from Los Angeles to New York.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor is one of us. And a city bus driver may be in trouble for honking at her after she fell off her bike, and continuing to honk until she got up and dragged herself off the road.

A UK paper explains to uncomprehending drivers why close passes are just a tad upsetting. And no, it’s not a victimless crime.

A Parisian fixie rider sparks the basis for an award-winning graphic memoir of an American student in Paris.

Famed Pakistani bicycle adventurer Samar Khan reports she was groped by a passing motor scooter rider while riding her bike in the capital city of Islamabad. But don’t be too judgmental; that happens far too often in this country, too.

A Ghanian-Belgian writer calls for making bicycling a safe means of transport in the African country.

Uganda will celebrate World Tourism Day with a 124-mile bike ride.

A Singapore letter writer says bike riders who use public roads should be licensed, while exempting those who only use bike paths. Apparently assuming the latter will never have to use roads to bridge a gap between bikeways, unlike pretty much everywhere else on earth.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was a big day for Slovenia in yesterday’s 15th stage of the Tour de France, while the yellow jersey continues to rest on a man who used to be a world class ski jumper.

The race doctor for the Tour passes the buck after Romain Bardet finished stage 13 with a concussion and small hemorrhage following a fall, insisting his life was never in danger and it was the team doctor’s responsibility, anyway.

The Tour’s only Black bike rider says he’s ready to make a statement in support of Black Lives Matter. Then again, the fact that he’s the only one in the entire peloton makes a pretty big statement of its own.

ESPN profiles Neilson Powless, the first Native American to compete in the Tour de France, and one of just three Americans to start the race; he’s currently 54th out of 156 riders still competing in the general classification after Sunday’s stage.

Thanks to this year’s Covid-compressed racing schedule, the Tour de France isn’t the only game in town this year. Or Europe, anyway.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert is making his mark in the pro WorldTour, just two years after making the jump from three-time world ‘cross champ.

American pro Tejay van Garderen is donating last year’s bike to benefit Peace Peloton, a bicycling nonprofit supporting Black empowerment; a $50 donation to the group before this Sunday will enter you in a drawing to win the bike.

A Belfast paper remembers Debbie Barclay, who blazed the way for women’s cyclists in Northern Ireland until she was paralyzed from the waist down after crashing on a descent in a 1988 English stage race; she died last week of an undisclosed cause.

 

Finally…

Royals may not be able to walk on water, but apparently, they can bike on it. Throwing your bike on the hood of a parked car is not a recommended use.

And seriously, who doesn’t need Winnie the Pooh bike shorts?

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

Bike riders come out in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica closes down, and bicycle deliveries in the age of Covid-19

One quick note.

With April 1st just two days away, I want to stress that this site will not observe April Fools Day. 

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, you need to be able to trust what you read. Especially here.

Credit David Drexler with the photo of an eerily empty 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. 

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You can hear the results of my interview with Take Two’s Leo Duran archived on the KPCC website, as we discuss social distancing on a bike and riding bike paths that were shut down within hours of our conversation.

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It was rewarding to see dozens of people riding bikes in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills as I passed through with my wife over the weekend, ranging from spandexed roadies to families with small kids.

More evidence that people will return to the streets if they feel safe, and bring their kids with them.

Notably, there were no large groups of riders; the largest non-family group I saw was just three people riding together, and staying widely spaced from others on the street.

Which is exactly what we need to do for the foreseeable future.

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David Drexler reports that the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path through Santa Monica was shut down over the weekend, as announced, after people ignored social distancing requirements to pack it the previous weekend.

He also says the newly widened bike path was open north of the pier, though very few people were taking advantage of it.

And with the other closures in place, the primary route people were taking to get down to the beach appeared to be the steep California Incline, below.

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This is what an everyday hero looks in the age of Covid-19.

The LA Times talks with bike messenger Justin Zemlyansky about delivering food — despite being at higher risk of serious complications due to diabetes and a compromised immune system.

Speaking of everyday heroes, I’m told the owner of DTLA restaurant Redbird is one of us, as he teams with LA Family Housing to provide 1,300 boxed meals every day to feed the homeless during the coronavirus crisis.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.

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The worldwide rash of bike theft news goes on.

Last week, we mentioned the British doctor whose bike was stolen while he was tending to coronavirus patients. Even though the bikemaker replaced it for him, the outpouring of support from kindhearted strangers was so great, he’ll be donating several additional bikes he was given to his colleagues at the National Health Service. Police arrested two men in the theft.

A nurse in the UK felt like she’d been targeted after someone broke into her car and stole her bicycle, uniform and other items, then used a stolen key fob to break into her partner’s home. But the joke may be on the thief because the dirty uniform could be infected with Covid-19.

Another English nurse had to walk home after a thief stole her bike while she was working a 12-hour shift.

A bold thief snatched a bike belong to a British midwife literally behind the back of her husband as she was shopping in a market.

A Victoria, British Columbia bike shop replaced a healthcare worker’s bicycle after it was stolen.

Answering the eternal question of what kind of person would steal a bike, an Ottawa bike theft suspect repeatedly spat on police officers as they took him into custody, claiming he had Covid-19.

Then there’s this one, from our own back yard.

Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the Velo Pasadena link.

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Learn about rebalancing the streets for people this Thursday.

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Before we move on, maybe you could use a soothing bike-related interlude. Lord knows I could.

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Local

The latest word is Los Angeles County is closed until further notice. Long Beach followed suite by closing all bike and pedestrian paths — and dumping mulch into skate parks — while Pasadena has closed the popular Rose Bowl Loop after complaints that people weren’t practicing social distancing

The LACBC offers tips on how to ride safely in the age of Covid-19, while the California Mountain Biking Coalition offers their own guidelines for riding safely during the coronavirus crisis.

LA-based Wheels is responding to the coronavirus by introducing self-sanitizing handlebar grips.

Santa Monica-based Bird laid-off 30% of its employees on Friday; workers complained that they were let go without notice when they connected to a Zoom conference.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, as he goes for a ride through Pasadena with his apparently no-longer-estranged wife.

Robin Wright went for a bike ride in Brentwood with her husband and dog, wearing matching black outfits. And yes, that includes the dog.

Adam Sandler went out on his Pedego ebike for a spin around the ‘Bu.

And Ben Affleck’s eight-year old son is one of us, too.

 

State

Caltrans commits to incorporating Complete Streets practices in its highway maintenance projects, but only where feasible; Streetsblog says it’s difficult to tell just what they mean by that, however. Bearing in mind that what’s feasible is too often in the eye of the windshield-biased beholder.

A man riding a bike was critically injured in a Victorville collision Friday night.

A San Francisco advocate reflects on the weird calm of the city’s virtually carfree streets.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss doesn’t mince words in declaring that bike shops are essential businesses, and more important than ever during the coronavirus crisis. However, not everyone agrees.

Evidently Weiss has been busy, as he also writes to recommend the joy of riding alone in trying times. Which has helped keep me sane for the better part of four decades.

Pez Cycling News looks at the movie that inspired me to start riding and develop a huge crush on Robyn Douglass.

Bike Mag talks with bike shops around the country to see how they’re handling the coronavirus crisis.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Portland man continues to ride a bike, 15 years after he rode every street in the city — then set out to ride every street in the suburbs, too.

An Idaho bike shop owner says more people are turning to mountain bikes because they don’t feel safe on the roads.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Minnesota man credits riding a bike every other day and seldom smoking with helping him get to be 90 years old.

Bike riding in Minnesota is up 20% since the governor declared a state of emergency.

An arrest was finally made in the hit-and-run death of an Arkansas bike rider, who was killed just 58 days after he got married.

Sad news from Massachusetts, where a man has died after he, his wife and son were critically injured in a collision while riding their bikes; still no charges against the driver.

A New York op-ed says the mayor’s social distancing plan gets it all wrong, and that the city should either open up more street space for bike riders and pedestrians, or lock everyone up at home.

Seventy-five-year old Rod Stewart is one of us, taking a spin around his Miami block on his mountain bike.

 

International

Cycling Weekly tells the story of a man who’s struggling to get back on his bike after losing the use his limbs, literally overnight, due to a rare medical condition.

Road.cc has a list of 36 books they say every bike rider should own. Of which I have exactly two.

The Verge says it’s a great time to buy an ebike as a way to practice social distancing over long distances.

London’s Mirror lists the year’s best foldies, starting at the equivalent of a surprisingly affordable $167.

The wife of a 40-year old British man is telling the world to take Covid-19 seriously, as the “young, fit” British bike rider recovers following a terrifying seven-day struggle for his life.

A Brit triathlete flaunted the country’s coronavirus lockdown by taking a nine hour, 200 mile ride he termed the Tour of Norfolk, saying if it’s okay to go out for a one-hour ride, it’s okay to go out for five or six. Even though he exceeded that by 50%.

No irony here. A UK motorists’ group calls on people to to leave their bicycles at home so they don’t fall off and overwhelm the country’s health service during the pandemic. Because we all know no one ever gets hurt riding in a car.

Bike Radar examines Scottish former hour record holder Graeme Obree’s new “weird and wonderful” homemade bike.

Dutch ebike riders will be allowed to use the country’s bike paths because red lights don’t recognize their lightweight ped-assist bikes on the streets, but they’ll be limited to 18 mph.

An Indian man carried his wife on his bicycle over seven miles to a hospital after she was injured at the factory where she works; he couldn’t afford the nearly $270 cost for an ambulance.

Evidently, they’re serious down there. A Johannesburg, South Africa bike rider became the first person arrested for violating the country’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.

A Kiwi website uses Strava data to show bicyclists and runners are flaunting New Zealand’s coronavirus lockdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de France could be held without spectators this year, if it’s held at all. Although it would be virtually impossible to clear spectators from the 100+ mile stage routes, and would do nothing to prevent transmission of Covid-19 between the cyclists and crews; the best hope is that the virus simply recedes by then and allows the race to go on.

The mountain bike world championships scheduled for Germany this June has fallen to Covid-19, just like every other bike race so far.

Even though there’s no bike racing right now, you can always live in the past.

The Dirty Kanza gravel race will be holding a virtual training camp for would be competitors.

In a case of good news/bad news, or maybe vice versa, Canadian pro Mike Woods has plenty of time to recover from the broken leg he suffered in the final stage of Paris-Nice, thanks to the pro cycling coronavirus shutdown.

One the other hand, South African cyclist Nic Dlamini finally got the all clear from his doctors after national park rangers broke his arm last year while trying to seize his bike for the crime of not paying the entrance fee on a training ride. But now there are no races to ride, and the entire country is under a total lockdown.

The action continues in yesterday’s stage 7 of the Tour de Quarantine.

 

Finally…

At last, a vegan ped-assist bike, just like virtually every other bicycle. And this might just be the screaming, bike-riding comedian we need right now.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Why we can’t have nice things — Ballona Creek, other LA area trails close because Angelenos won’t practice social distancing

Angelenos couldn’t manage to keep away from each other over the weekend.

Let alone stay home.

So now we have a lot fewer places to do it.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority has closed all the parks and trails under their authority, including the popular Ballona Creek bike path, and at least some portions of the LA River bike path.

Which exactly the wrong move when bicycling is one of the safest forms of transportation for avoiding exposure to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

And it severely limits safe options for bike riders used to using the creekside trail to bypass busy and dangerous Westside streets.

Think of it as akin to closing the nearby 10 Freeway, which would be unthinkable for most Angelenos. But is, apparently, all too easily done when it involves people on bicycles.

This comes after numerous reports of people crowding the beachside bike path in Santa Monica, which has also been shut down as of Sunday afternoon. As well as images from Runyon Canyon, which drew condemnation from across the US over the weekend.

Along with other sites in the LA area, and up and down the state.

Not to mention several sightings of spandexed idiots riding closely in pacelines, as if they and everyone they know or encounter were somehow immune to the disease.

Malibu’s Solstice Canyon is also closing effective today, after the CDC concluded that the necessary distancing couldn’t be achieved.

So let’s make it as clear as we possibly can.

Stay the fuck home.

Go out for necessities and essential services only. Which doesn’t mean shopping at Target, Costco or anywhere else because you’re bored.

Get what you need and go home. Because every stop you make, and every moment you spend out, increases the risk that you could catch Covid-19 or spread it to those you love.

Or to total strangers, some of whom may not survive it.

As a diabetic, my risk of death from coronavirus is much higher than most. And my wife, who suffers from a number of medical issues, is almost guaranteed to suffer serious complications if she is exposed.

And we’ll both lose our medical insurance at the end of next month if she can’t get back to work by then.

Our lives, and those of countless others, are literally in your hands.

So wash them, already.

Yes, you can go out to exercise and get some air. Walking and bicycling are highly recommended.

But when you do, practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from anyone you don’t live with.

If not for us, then because they’ll take that away too if you don’t.

Just ask the people of Italy and Spain.

And now, France, where jogging more than one mile from your home is prohibited, and bicycling banned entirely.

There are very few people alive today who have ever seen a pandemic like this.

And unless they’ve already caught it, no one alive has immunity to it.

No even you.

Thanks to Michael Taggart for the heads-up.

Photo of non-social distancing on the Santa Monica bike path by David Drexler.

………

Bike riders are turning out to be heroes in our nation’s hour of need.

Bike Portland says bike delivery pros are proving their value — and their mettle — in the age of coronavirus.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 94-year old rides his bike 45 miles a day delivering food for Meals on Wheels, even during the Covid-19 outbreak.

A biking Brooklyn bartender is riding door-to-door to deliver mixed spirits to lift his customers’ spirits.

New York bicyclists are volunteering to buy groceries for older people who can’t get out on their own.

Bike riders in Tampa FL are pitching in to deliver food for local restaurants after they were shut down except for takeout and delivery.

And speaking of bicycle heroes, Italian bikewear company Santini has put padded shorts on hold while they devote their efforts to making as many as 10,000 medical masks a day.

………

The mayor of Watsonville discusses a recent police crackdown as part of the city’s Vision Zero effort.

But let’s be clear.

Bike helmets aren’t Vision Zero. Bike lights aren’t Vision Zero. And neither are traffic tickets.

Yes, they all may help. But Vision Zero is recognizing that people will always make mistakes, and redesigning streets so those mistakes don’t become fatal.

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If you have a few extra bucks lying around, you can’t ask for a better cause.

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If you’re bored at home — and who isn’t? — get the crayons or markers out and do a little coloring.

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That feeling when a 10-year old can ride rings around you. Or over you.

………

Most people would just settle for a helmet cam.

………

No argument here. Although this was probably someone’s not-too-distant relative.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

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

As British track cyclist Lauren Bate would undoubtedly agree.

https://twitter.com/LaurenBatee/status/1240998997332054021?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1240998997332054021&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Flive-blog-man-drives-lauren-bate-272077

………

Local

Bike Talk talks LA bike politics this week.

Colin Hanks is one of us, taking his daughter for an ebike ride through the streets of LA.

Dennis Quaid is one of us, too, as he goes for a ride through Pacific Palisades with his fiancé.

And while we’re at it, we can’t forget Adam Sandler, who took a spin through the ‘Bu on his Pedego ebike.

 

State

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a 48-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike; he was found off the side of the road next to his mangled bicycle.

A woman takes a ride through San Francisco with her 15-year old son after the lockdown, and finds a city neither recognizes.

San Francisco rejected calls to close RFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to provide safe walking and biking space.

Sad news from Modesto, where a man died as a result of an apparent medical event while riding his bike; first responders found him down on the ground, still straddling his bike.

 

National

A writer for Outside sets his course in life with a BMX faceplant in the driveway when he was seven years old.

A Missoula, Montana newspaper talks with locals who refurbish and ride vintage steel road bikes.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Minnesota man faces charges for allegedly being under the influence when he struck and killed a 16-year old boy; he has two previous DUIs, as well as at least six convictions for driving without a valid license, and a handful of criminal convictions.

An idea who’s time has come amid the coronavirus crisis, as New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for closing some streets to cars to make more room for pedestrians for social distancing, and to declare bike shops essential businesses during the virus closures. Unfortunately, New York’s governor disagreed, ruling bicycle repair was non-essential, despite the city’s recent surge in ridership, before eventually changing his mind.

Meanwhile, New York’s mayor responded with temporary protected bike lanes on two major corridors.

New York isn’t the only city seeing a bike boom. Ridership in Philadelphia has more than doubled since the first of the month, compared to the same time last week; one corridor saw a 471% increase. Then again, it’s boom times for bikes that don’t move, too; scooters, not so much.

 

International

Experts are calling for countries to generously fund bikeways in response to a worldwide jump in bike use due to Covid-19.

Mexico City’s mayor shut down the city’s popular ciclovía on Sunday to avoid spreading coronavirus.

Good question. A Canadian paper wants to know why things aren’t getting better after so many cities have embraced Vision Zero.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says the UK should encourage bicycling during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Bike Radar tries to answer all your burning coronavirus bicycling questions.

Pretty much the definition of tragic irony, as a London bike rider was critically injured in a collision with an ambulance driver.

A British father is still on the road after quitting his job on a whim to ride 28,000 miles around the world for the last two years.

India’s biggest bikemaker has shut down to protect its workers from Covid-19.

Think you know how to harden up? Try riding a paracycle 250 miles across Kenya while steering with your chin the entire way.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has pulled the plug on American bike racing through May 3rd. But don’t be surprised if we’ve seen the last bike race for quite awhile.

Yes, the pros are on lockdown, too.

American cyclist Lawson Craddock is in self-quarantine in his Texas home after returning from the abbreviated Paris-Nice stage race, to prevent inadvertently spreading the virus to his family.

When there’s no bike racing, there’s nothing to talk about except recent cycling kerfuffles.

 

Finally…

Just want we need — a Mercedes pickup made just for bicyclists. Who says there’s no bike racing now?

And maybe there’s a reason why downhillers don’t use roadies.

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Came in way too hot. Whoops.

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