Tag Archive for Bike the Vote

New Clifton Way sharrows in Beverly Hills, San Diego-area bike summit this week, and Bike the Vote tomorrow

So close.

Beverly Hills came tantalizingly close to installing the LA-area’s first advisory lanes, which narrow a roadway to a single two-way center lane and two bike lanes, requiring drivers to move into the bike lanes to get around an oncoming car.

Instead, they settled for sharrows that just sort of hint at a bike lane on both sides of Clifton Way between San Vicente and Robertson, requiring drivers to move to the center to get around bike riders.

Or more likely, impatiently following people on bicycles until they finally find a break in oncoming traffic, before angrily swerving around them.

Because, as we’ve noted before, sharrows only serve to thin the herd, with the arrows there to help drivers improve their aim.

Or as Peter Flax so aptly put it, sharrows are bullshit.

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The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is hosting its third bike summit this Thursday and Friday.

This is how SANDAG Associate Active Transportation Planner Josh Clark described it in an email.

In its third incarnation, the Regional Bike Summit has been a wonderful summary of practice and ideas that’s worth your attendance.  The full lineup of speakers, panels and fun at the San Diego Regional Bike Summit is hosted by the Bike Coalition. This year’s theme: Pedaling Past the Pandemic will highlight the recent “Boom” that has occurred during the pandemic and how we can maintain it. Highlights of the Summit include speakers and sessions on Mobility Justice, E-bikes, Housing and Active Transportation, MIcro-Mobility and Mobility Hubs, Connecting Communities and much more. We will also hear from our regional elected leaders on the state of mobility and bicycling improvements being made in our communities. Registration includes the opening reception, lunch on Friday and rides on Saturday.

You can learn more and register for the event here

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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Don’t forget to vote by mail, dropbox or at the polls by 7 pm tomorrow.

To make it easier, Metro is offering free bus and train rides on Tuesday, along with free half hour bikeshare rides with the promo code 060722.

Lime is also offering two free half hour rides Tuesday on any of their scooters or bikes to get you to and from the polls, use promo code LIMETOPOLLSCALI.

If you’re still not sure who to vote for, Streets For All released their final endorsements before tomorrow’s Election Day, including corgi dad Kenneth Mejia for City Controller, as well as endorsements for Congress in CA-32, CA-34 and CA-37, and Glendale City Council. You can find their previous endorsements for other races here.

And I agree with them about Mejia, after giving him my endorsement back in January.

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Tragic news from Kansas, where a Colorado man entered in the 200-mile Unbound Gravel was killed in a collision the evening before the race.

Sixty-one-year old Gregory Bachman was killed by the driver of a massive Chevy Silverado pickup while crossing a rural intersection. Local authorities said he somehow crashed into the truck, but didn’t explain how or why.

The gravel intersection doesn’t appear to be controlled by any signs or signals, leaving it up to each person to negotiate a safe crossing. It’s likely the driver wasn’t expecting to find anyone on a bicycle on a gravel country road like that.

A crowdfunding page for Bachman has raised nearly $4,200 of the modest $5,000 goal.

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A reminder that Megan Lynch will be discussing accessibility at tonight’s meeting of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition.

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If you ever wonder why people drive so aggressively, you can start with despicable marketing like this.

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Turns out the late comic Flip Wilson was one of us, at least on his show.

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

Seriously? A New York NIMBY is trying to sic the cops on a man who runs a curbside bike repair, fixing bicycles for free and giving away refurbished bikes to people in need, while accepting donations from people who can afford to pay.

Bizarre attack in the UK, where the organizer and a ride marshal of the Coventry edition of the World Naked Bike Ride were attacked and kicked off their bikes by masked riders on fast ebikes or trail bikes; one of the victims suffered a broken elbow.

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Local

The LA Times offers advice on how to get to the Hollywood Bowl without a car — including riding a bicycle, if you’re brave enough.

A man was hospitalized in critical condition after he was shot on a beachfront bike path in Long Beach Friday evening; no word on what led to the shooting, or whether the victim was walking, biking or just hanging out. Thanks to fartyshart for the link.

 

State 

No wonder the Golden State Warriors lost their first game in the NBA finals, after a nine-year old Warriors fan’s lucky lowrider bicycle was stolen.

No surprise here. Oakland police are blaming the victim in the death of longtime Chez Panisse wine director Jonathan Waters, concluding he was at fault for making a left turn in front of an 18-year old driver as he rode his bike home from work — although there’s no word on how fast the driver was going.

UC Davis police defend themselves over accusations that the cop on the scene after a bike rider was struck by the driver of a garbage truck did nothing to aid the victim before paramedics arrived. I’m also told a witness accused the cop of driving over the victim’s foot.

 

National

A Malaysian newspaper takes a look at the current state of bicycling in the US, finding 12.4% of Americans ride on a regular basis.

Forget all those new gas powered mail trucks. The US Postal Service is testing e-cargo bikes capable of carrying 400 pounds of mail.

A writer for Bloomberg says it’s time to start subsidizing the purchase of ebikes to jumpstart bike commuting.

Where to land your plane if you’re looking for a good bike ride.

Researchers at MIT have developed a self-driving bicycle, which they say could make docked bikeshare systems three and a half times more efficient, and dockless bikeshares eight times more efficient; the bike automatically turns into a tricycle to improve stability in riderless mode, then converts back when it’s being ridden.

Heartbreaking news from Indianapolis, where one of the last things a bike-riding hit-and-run victim did before she died was to give police the license number of the car that hit her, which led to the arrest of the 27-year old driver.

Around a hundred Boston bike riders turned out to honor late 19th Century Black bicyclist Kittie Knox, who defied racial and gender barriers and joined the League of American Wheelmen — forerunner to the League of American Bicyclists — just one year before they banned Black members in 1894; sadly, she was just 26 when she died just six years later.

Talk about ridiculous. NYPD officers conducted a crackdown on people riding ped-assist ebikes in Prospect park, where they are currently banned — effectively preventing people with limited mobility from accessing the park on a bike.

 

International

It will take a lot more than electric cars to stop pollution, because tire wear on today’s heavier vehicles causes 2,000 times the particulate pollution as what comes out of the tailpipe.

Montreal’s bicycle culture is seen as a model for the rest of Canada as gas prices continue to climb.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — touring Iceland by ebike.

That feeling when your celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee is interrupted by a buck naked couple on a tandem prepping for an au naturale fundraising ride the length of Britain.

Irish bike riders could get a lift up a hill with a 14% grade in Cork.

After a Detroit columnist crashes his bike while riding in France, he ends up getting x-rays and stitches from the only doctor available — a veterinarian.

A new Belgium survey shows that only 12% of people in the country ride their bikes to work or school. Which compares somewhat favorably to 0.6% in the US.

Former Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo is one of us, setting out with his wife on a four day, 280 mile bike tour to a Spanish shrine, to fulfill a promise he made to do the trip if the Spanish soccer team he owns a controlling interest in ever got promoted to the leagues top tier. Which it did.

Slovenian bicyclists raced up the country’s highest peak, climbing over 2,400 feet on small wheeled, singlespeed foldies, to honor the bikes that were once made in the former Yugoslavia.

India marked World Bicycle Day by making pans to donate a whopping 15,000 bicycles to Madagascar to get more people on bikes.

A crowdfunding campaign to help Afghanistan’s women cyclists escape the country has raised over $24,000 of the $187,000 goal.

A Melbourne, Australia writer laments the city’s decision to stop building bike lanes, after getting complaints from out-of-town, pass-through drivers. Which should sound familiar to anyone who has been biking in LA for awhile. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch great Tom Doumalin calls it a career after the end of this season, saying “cycling required my blood, sweat and tears at times, but mostly it was beautiful.”

While we all wait with varying degrees of patience for next month’s Tour de France, racing goes on, with Dutch pro Wout van Aert winning the first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

CLR Effect reports on the third and final day of racing in the 2022 Los Angeles Velodrome Racing Association Spring Omnium at Carson’s Velo Sports Center, complete with some exceptional photos by author Michael Wagner.

 

Finally…

Nothing like celebrating pride with a drag bike parade. Your next bike could be a 2-D Volkswagen Bug.

And an 1891 patent proves you could have been riding inside one wheel, rather than on top of two wheels. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Leading LA mayor candidates ignore street safety, bikes fight high gas prices, and fighting SUVs one tire prick at a time

Ever get the feeling your issues are taking a backseat in local politics?

In a year where all of the leading candidates for mayor of Los Angeles are focusing their campaigns on crime and dealing with the homeless — one way or another — providing safe alternatives to driving hasn’t even been an afterthought.

Literally.

Just take a look at the websites for Karen Bass, Rick Caruso, Kevin de León, Mike Feuer and Joe Buscaino, and see if you can find a single mention of traffic safety. Let alone biking, walking or transit.

No mention of Vision Zero. Not a single word about building out the mobility plan to fix traffic congestion and fight rising gas prices. And nothing about investing in clean transportation to fight climate change.

Not. One. Damn. Word.

But at least Buscaino directed me to a nearly four year old op-ed he penned about embracing smart mobility options, after I complained about that on Twitter.

And as Barry J. Neely reminds us, Bass is one of us.

So let’s hope they all get around to addressing safe streets and alternatives to driving, however belatedly, as the campaign goes on.

Otherwise, it could be a very long four years, regardless of who wins.

Correction: Someone representing Mike Feuer reached out to me directing me to the page on Sustainability on his website, which contains one whole sentence about improving transit and building protected bike lanes, but only in the context of reducing greenhouse gases. 

Which, sadly, makes him the leader at this point.

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Today’s photo shows Los Angeles City Hall awaiting its next, hopefully bike friendly, occupant, with a little more commitment and follow-through than the current one. 

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Today’s common theme is people turning to bicycles to fight high gas prices, even though Los Angeles had a decade to get ready for this moment. And didn’t.

Streetsblog offers tips for new bike riders in the City of Angels.

Record gas prices are boosting ebike sales in San Diego, which are seeing exponential growth credited to prices at the pump.

The New York Times explains why California gas prices are so high. Although the best way to reduce price pressure at the pump is just not to play, and find another way to get around.

An Iowa writer says the state’s high gas prices make her want to ride a bike everywhere — even though their gas is over a buck and a half cheaper than California.

Rising gas prices are a double-edged sword for bike shops in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, driving up demand while increasing costs.

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Seems like a good time for a reminder that many, if most, Los Angeles car trips could easily be done by bicycle.

If they had a safe way to get there, that is.

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This might be taking things a tad too far.

An international group of climate activists are combating SUVs in an effort to drive the polluting, gas-guzzling and deadly vehicles off the road.

Thought to be an offshoot of Britain’s Extinction Rebellion, Tyre Extinguishers — the spelling points out their roots in the UK — punctures the tires on SUVs, with a goal to “make it impossible to own an SUV in the UK’s urban areas.”

And leave behind a politely worded note explaining their actions, while telling aggrieved drivers not to take it personally.

Which is kind of hard to do when someone leaves you feeling literally deflated, to put it mildly.

The group has targeted vehicles in London’s upscale Chelsea, Chiswick, Notting Hill and Belgravia neighborhoods, where they are colloquially known as Chelsea tractors.

And now the informal group has reportedly spread to Los Angeles, where someone allegedly inspired by their actions claims to have punctured SUV tires here .

I’d be the first to admit that I’d like to push every damn SUV into a pile and blow them all to hell. But I wouldn’t, even if I could.

Because vandalizing other people’s property is always wrong. Even if it is done for the right reasons.

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

Nothing unusual here, unfortunately. A bike rider was shot in the leg from someone in a passing car while riding on the UC Davis campus. And no, that’s not a prank, it’s a crime. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Bicyclists accuse an English county of closing a mountain pass to bikes as an anti-cyclist move “dressed up cheaply as health and safety,” two weeks after landslides closed the road to cars.

No bias here. When asked what should be done to improve safety for bicyclists in Oxford, England in the wake of recent deaths, drivers called for bicycle license plates, hi-viz and bicycling proficiency tests, rather than doing anything to drive safer.

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

A Glendale driver reported a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing into their car. Although something tells me there’s probably another side to that story.

After an 11-year old Springer Spaniel had his leg amputated when he was struck by a man “zooming” along a multi-use path on his bicycle, the dog’s angry owner called for steps to curb “arrogant” bike riders.

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Local

The Bike League recognized 33 new or renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities, with LA’s Loyola Marymount University moving up to silver, and Pasadena’s California Institute of Technology holding stead at bronze, while Cal Poly Pomona has to settle for another honorable mention.

 

State 

Caltrans is looking for public input on its draft Active Transportation Plan for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on state highways in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

San Diego’s mayor wants the city to marginally lower speed limits, using the same new state law Los Angeles is using to lower speeds 5 mph on 177 miles of streets.

 

National

NPR relates five ways to bounce back better from bicycle or other sports injuries.

The Today Show suggests their somewhat surprising picks for the best commuter, fitness and cruiser bikes.

A writer for Forbes says bicycle infrastructure saves lives by improving health and fitness, too.

Adventure Journal says yes, you can get a nice gravel bike for 900 bucks, albeit with a few caveats.

The Bike Portland podcast talks with local women behind the ebike revolution.

Phoenix AZ is responding to the death of a popular bicycle ambassador with plans to add more protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

Tragic news from Minneapolis, where a man died a year and a half after he was paralyzed by a driver with a revoked license while riding his bike on the sidewalk. The driver, who had two previous license suspensions, was sentenced to a lousy year in county jail in a plea bargain; if prosecutors had waited just six six weeks, the charge could have been vehicular homicide. Just one more example of allowing dangerous drivers to stay on the road until it’s too late.

A new documentary shows a man’s journey by bike from Chicago to New Jersey, riding alone to exorcise the demons of being abused by a priest as a child, and inspire other clergy abuse victims.

Bicycling profiles a proud Black Southern woman from Alabama, who encourages women to live authentically while advocating for representation in bicycling. As usual, read on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

It was Bike to Work Day in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, with the county’s leader leading the way.

 

International

Tern unveiled a new e-cargo foldie for anyone with an extra three grand lying around.

Horrible news from the Netherlands, where a 21-year old Massachusetts woman studying abroad was killed by a stalker, who placed a tracking device on her bicycle after they met on Tinder.

NatGeo wants to help you plan a bike tour through Belgium’s beer country.

German ebike subscription service Dance is expanding into more European cities, including Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and Paris. Which means the US, UK and Canada will have to wait.

Congratulations to Spanish bikemaker Orbea on being named Bike Brand of the year.

Angry New Zealand bike riders claim a teenage bicyclist didn’t have to die over the weekend, blaming local officials for turning a deaf ear to calls to make the area safer for people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great news, as NBC announced it will broadcast the first two years of the eight-stage Tour de France Femmes, aka the Women’s Tour de France, starting this July.

Bad news for the competition, as 39-year old Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s still improving after two decades as one of the top women’s cyclists.

Sad news from the UK, where 28-year old Scottish track sprinter John Paul has died; no cause of death was announced.

 

Finally…

Forget race results — what really matters is pro cyclists and their animal buddies. Your old bicycle chain could turn into spectacular nude human figures.

And who says a stationary bike has to stay that way?

https://twitter.com/AmericanFietser/status/1501228437457227776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1501228437457227776%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-march-2022-290929

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Thanks to Margaret for her generous annual contribution to support this site, and keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s okay, we’ll wait. 

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Bad news from San Diego.

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

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

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

Let’s hope they’re wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s Linton again.

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

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

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

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

Don’t believe me?

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

From the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan

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

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

So let’s wake that sleeping Giant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, so he explains with words, too.

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

Since they didn’t do so great before.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

Calbike vetoes recall, urges support for Safety Stop; hidden history of LA bikes; and bikes & coffee go good together

Let’s start with a little news from Sacramento.

Starting with Calbike urging everyone to vote no on the election to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

Personally, I’m no fan of Newsom. But the place to challenge him is in next year’s general election, not a needless and wasteful recall that’s nothing more than an attempt to claim a prize the GOP couldn’t otherwise win in deep blue California.

Speaking of Calbike, the statewide bike advocacy group urges you to contact your state senator no later than tomorrow to support AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill.

The bill would introduce a partial Idaho Stop Law in California, allowing people on bicycles to treat stop signs as yields. However, it would not allow bike riders to treat red lights as stop signs, as the Idaho law does.

And finishing our Calbike trifecta, the organization is working with the California Air Resources Board to draft an ebike rebate program to go into effect next July. The $10 million program is already fully funded, so it’s just a matter of working out the details.

Meanwhile, Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman says we’re getting close to breaking the death grip of the 85% rule on California streets.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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Great twitter thread on the forgotten history of bicycles in the City of Angels.

All of which makes you wonder why most of it never showed up on our streets.

Or have LA leaders always suffered from a lack of political will, and the courage to stand up to angry NIMBYs?

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Registration has opened for next year’s 44th Annual LA Chinatown Firecracker festival, celebrating the Year of the Tiger.

The event will mark the Lunar New Year with a series of run, walk, bicycling and dog walk events held over the weekend of February 19-20, 2022, including rides of 20 and 40 miles.

Photo courtesy of Firecracker LA.

Meanwhile, the annual Long Beach Marathon will return this October, along with a 20-mile bike tour before the race.

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Bloomberg makes what may be one of the most inadvertently accurate — and unfortunate — word choices ever.

In a story discussing the difficulty of building self-driving cars, Waymo staffers says they’ve solved 99% of the problem.

But it turns out that last 1% has been a killer. Small disturbances like construction crews, bicyclists, left turns, and pedestrians remain headaches for computer drivers. Each city poses new, unique challenges, and right now, no driverless car from any company can gracefully handle rain, sleet, or snow. Until these last few details are worked out, widespread commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles is all but impossible.

Killer, indeed.

Especially after one of Uber’s self-driving cars ran down and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bicycle across a Phoenix roadway two years ago.

So maybe the last 1% might be a tad more important than they think.

Correction: I originally wrote that Herzberg was killed by a Waymo car, but it was actually an Uber vehicle. Thanks to Andy Stow for catching the mistake.

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Pull up another chair at the coffee shop.

In what may be the best news ages, it turns out bikes and coffee really do go together.

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How to use your brakes to improve mountain biking speed.

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Take an Andorran mountain bike ride with Peter Sagan.

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

A group of New Jersey bicyclists were threatened by a pickup driver and his passenger who buzzed them, then got out of the truck after blocking their path, and told them to get off “their” road or they would kill them.

No bias here. A British paper is up in arms over a spacious 11-foot wide bike lane next to 9.5-foot traffic lanes, failing to grasp the concept that narrow lanes improve safety by forcing drivers to slow down.

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

Probably not the best idea to tow a loaded shopping cart with one hand while riding your bike with the other.

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Local

CicLAvia is looking for an event production assistant to help put on the country’s most successful open streets events.

Los Angeles considers improvements to Huntington Drive in Lincoln Heights, using funds originally earmarked for the cancelled 710 Freeway extension. Let’s hope they don’t try to sell us yet another incomplete street under the guise of Complete Streets.

Santa Monica is hosting a two-day open streets festival on Main Street this weekend.

Long Beach is moving forward with plans to actually reduce speed limits in Belmont Shores, one of the few times state-mandated speed studies have actually resulted in slower streets.

 

State

A bike-riding woman gets dangerously buzzed in a pair of punishment passes on San Francisco’s newly reopened Great Highway, which had been closed to cars during the pandemic. The video of the passes embedded in the story doesn’t work, but you can see it here

NorCal bike chain Mikes Bikes has been sold to the Dutch company behind Santa Cruz, Cervelo and Gazelle bikes.

The rich get richer. Bike friendly Davis is installing a new green bike lane and a two-way cycle track on the west side of the UC campus.

 

National

The Manual makes their picks for the best road bikes, most of which cost at least 11 grand — and go up from there.

Marin Bikes is recalling several mountain bike models to repair a defective bottom bracket that can break while riding.

At least some Las Vegas cops were disciplined for the death of a Black man, who was initially stopped for riding without a front light on his bike; like George Floyd, he repeatedly told police officers he couldn’t breath as one knelt on his back. Unfortunately, though, that could mean anything from a simple reprimand to dismissal from the force.

A Utah man will face the equivalent of a vehicular homicide charge for the alleged drunken and distracted crash that killed a man riding his bike last year.

A San Antonio, Texas CEO rode his ebike 9,500 miles through 30 states to visit all of his company’s offices and call attention to the need for senior care, while raising $100,000 to install grab bars in the homes of local seniors.

A Michigan town backs down on plans for bike lanes on a state roadway after local residents brought out the torches and pitchforks, opting to install parking on both sides of the street, instead.

Florida’s Sarasota Magazine explains what Everesting is and how to get started. Step 1, leave Florida for someplace a little less flat.

 

International

A Scottish bike shop lost over $42,000 worth of bicycles to a trio of late night burglars.

The Dutch city of Groningen is introducing a small fleet of hydrogen-powered ebikes available to various city departments, and fueled by “green hydrogen” produced by a nearby solar power plant.

How to buy and ride a bike in Denmark. Step 1, move to Denmark.

 

Competitive Cycling

Overhead video shows a massive crash at the Vuelta that took down half the peloton, resulting in a change in the leader’s jersey.

Three novice mountain bikers share the lessons they learned training for, and competing in, Colorado’s legendary Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Your next bike bag could be made from leftover Burleys. If you insist on skitching, try not to lose your grip.

And nothing like the ever-popular genre of loser bike rider advertising.

………

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

Hit-and-run driver busted behind bars for killing South LA father, LA considers civilian traffic cops, and Bike the Vote!

They didn’t have to look far to find one hit-and-run driver.

After three full months of searching, investigators identified the driver who killed a 37-year old father as he was riding with his two children in South LA.

Police identified 26-year old Los Angeles resident Moises Iscaya on October 6th as the driver who — allegedly — fled the scene after running down Jorge Guerra on July 8th; Guerra died after spending eight days in a coma.

Fortunately, his two children were uninjured, aside from the trauma of seeing their father killed in front of their eyes.

When LAPD officers searched for Iscaya, however, they found he was already being held by sheriff’s deputies on $2.2 million bail, charged with multiple counts including murder.

Maybe they should just add another murder count while they’re at it.

Unfortunately, felony hit-and-run resulting in death would only add a maximum of four years to whatever he gets if he’s convicted on the other charges.

Something that has to be changed if we ever want to stop the epidemic of hit-and-runs in this state.

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The Los Angeles City Council will consider using unarmed civilians and speed cams for traffic enforcement and collision investigations this morning.

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Calbike offers a reminder to Bike the Vote this year.

In every sense.

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Congratulations to Davis on their award-winning bike safety musical. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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New York bike cops continue to use their bicycles as shields and weapons against protesters.

And bust protestors because their bikes fall over.

………

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

Boston suburb rips out a new bike lane after just six days, after vocal residents choose parking spaces over people’s lives.

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Local

Los Angeles could soon be the home of the nation’s largest ebike factory; privately owed ROKiT MADE plans to open next year to build “best-in-class e-Bike models across all price points in each market segment,” in a plant designed to accommodate up to 2,000 workers.

Santa Monica is planning to add a two-way separated bike lane protected by thin plastic bollards on Ocean Ave, replacing the current painted lane.

 

State

Santa Barbara’s new e-bikeshare system continues the transformation of the city’s main street, as State Street has been reclaimed from cars to provide space for outdoor shopping and dining.

Sad news from Porterville, where a 15-year old boy was killed riding his bike in a crosswalk.

A Fresno man faces charges after he was caught on video threatening a bike rider at knifepoint to steal his backpack.

San Francisco isn’t on track to meet the Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the next four years. But at least they’re trying, unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

Davis is asking residents to take the Bike League’s Bicycle Friendly Community survey.

The City of Angels is building new bike lanes. No, the other City of Angels.

 

National

Urban planners from across the US consider repurposing traffic lanes for other uses in a post-pandemic world.

A writer for The Verge says driving the massively oversized Cadillac Escalade was one of the most stressful experiences of his life, while Outside says the new electric Hummer is the awesome pickup we’ve all been waiting for. Um, no.

A Colorado mountain biker rides the trail pioneered centuries ago by the Ute tribe.

Texas is launching a Drive Smart, Walk Smart, Bike Smart public safety campaign to combat a jump in bike and pedestrian crashes. Because everyone knows it’s better to air a few ads than do something about dangerous drivers and fix the damn streets.

A Kansas driver had his wrist slap sentence tossed out on appeal, after the court ruled the judge has exceeded her discretion by reducing his ten-year sentence for second-degree murder by over eight years; the court ordered him resentenced for running down a man with his car following a dispute.

A St. Louis nonprofit devoted to refurbishing bikes to donate to kids in need is slowly trying to rebuild after a building collapse destroyed hundreds of stored bicycles; the head of the group didn’t know the building they used for storage had been condemned seven years ago.

Good question. A Vermont paper asks if anyone can do anything about bike theft, while a bicyclist offers a tragic reminder to put your damn phone down while you ride.

Manhattan officials killed a proposal for a cargo bike corral to accommodate the bikes used for Whole Foods deliveries because it would have meant the loss of five lousy parking spaces.

DC’s Metro built bike corrals at three park and ride locations — and somehow spent $20,000 per space doing it.

Residents of a Maryland city are up in arms over groups of ill-mannered kids on bicycles swarming the streets.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, as a South Carolina man was sentenced to 20 years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider after four previous DUI convictions.

A New Orleans bike group cancels their weekly light-up bike parade after it proves too popular during the pandemic.

 

International

Travel & Leisure lists the world’s top bicycling cities. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t make the list; Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis did.

Add these to your mountain bike bucket list. Bicycling recommends a handful of bikepacking singletrack trails across the US and around the world. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

They get it. A Bogotá, Colombia website says it’s time to protect vulnerable bike riders, because riding a bicycle shouldn’t be a capital crime.

Mexico’s Merida will build a 45-mile bike lane network circling the Yucatan town.

The bighearted owner of a Toronto bike shop gave a new bike to a frontline hospital worker whose bike was stolen as he worked a 28 hour shift.

Conservative councilors in the London borough of Hackney called for removing Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the country’s Slow Streets equivalent — despite their popularity with the city’s residents.

UK car insurance claims involving bike riders have doubled this year, as more people took to two wheels during the coronavirus lockdown.

Life is cheap in Great Britain, where a careless driver who killed a bike rider got just 30 months behind bars — which included time for also stealing 16 cars worth over $250,000.

Spain plans to reduce the standard speed limit in cities from the equivalent of 31 mph to 18 mph to improve safety for people who aren’t in cars.

Forget helmet laws; an Iranian woman was busted for riding a bicycle without a hijab.

 

Competitive Cycling

English cyclist Dan Martin took the third stage of the Vuelta, while the Giro got a new leader after Thursday’s stage as João Almeida cracked climbing the iconic Stelvio.

Apparently, Colombia cyclist Fernando Gaviria thought Covid-19 was so nice, he caught it twice.

VeloNews examines Anna van der Breggen’s successful strategy to win Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

Highland could serve as a substitute if the annual Redlands Classic stage race isn’t able to roll next year.

The Cedar City, Utah edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride was the first gravel race to roll as the nation slowly continues a premature wakeup from Covid-19; VeloNews looks at the precautions that were taken to help keep everyone safe.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike to commit a burglary, maybe the fireplace isn’t the best place to hide. Your next ride could result in glowing reviews. No, literally.

And someone must think roadkill looks better in stripes.

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

Morning Links: Bike the Vote LA endorses in CD12, Watch for Me in NC, and the war on bikes keeps going on

It’s a light news day, after today’s bike news apparently got crowded out by the tragic burning of Notre Dame Cathedral.

The good news is, however, until John Snow learns to ride a bicycle, or Cersei starts driving, this will continue to remain a Game of Thrones spoiler-free zone.

And before we move on, I hope you’ll join me in thanking Josh Cohen and Cohen Law Partners for renewing their sponsorship of this site for a sixth consecutive year.

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Bike the Vote LA has released their endorsements for the special council election in LA’s 12th Council District.

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A new public service campaign tells North Carolina drivers to “Watch for Me” to reduce bike and pedestrian crashes.

Doesn’t do it for me. But what do you think?

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

A Milwaukee man was severely beaten after flipping off the driver who nearly hit him while he was riding in a bike lane.

My own hard-won advice — never flip off the driver behind you.

For reasons that should be obvious, but for some reason, wasn’t at the time.

………

Local

The Long Beach Post wants to know why the city isn’t improving safety on the bridges over the 710, despite the deaths of two people since the first of the year, including a 64-year old woman riding her bicycle.

626 Golden Streets looks forward to nine upcoming open streets events in the LA area. Unfortunately, I’ll have to miss this spring’s events, including the Wilmington CicLAvia at the end of this month, but should be back on my bike in time for the Hollywood/West Hollywood CicLAvia in my own backyard later this year.

State

A Bakersfield letter writer gets as proprietary as any privileged motorist, saying bike trails are for people on bicycles, not people walking or their dogs. Except under California law, any separated pathway without a parallel walkway is considered a multi-use path, regardless of what it’s called.

Bike Magazine looks at some of the new products introduced at last weekend’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

Berkeley police have issued an arrest warrant for a 45-year old driver accused of fleeing the scene after seriously injuring a bike rider in a crash.

Now you can pedal your way across the Oakland Bay. Okay, so it’s an estuary. That doesn’t rhyme.

Stanislaus County bike riders will gather to remember a man who was killed while riding his bike earlier this month; his daughter says the popular rider shouldn’t have been out on his bike that day, after being told to take it easy following a heart procedure.

National

A new survey from the National Safety Council shows that most Americans support lowering speed limits slightly, installing speed and red light cameras, and conducting more sobriety checkpoints. All of which would save lives. And all of which entitled drivers will undoubtedly fight.

Performing intervals twice a week could help you live longer.

A Missouri man got his bike back after spotting it for sale on Craigslist. Except after arranging a sting, the cops got diverted to a domestic disturbance on the way — which just happened to be at the thief’s home, finding the man’s bike inside after the suspect ran away.

Another case of keeping a drunk driver on the streets until its nearly too late, as an alleged drunk driver lost control and just missed a Wisconsin bike rider before slamming into a light pole and running away on foot.

University of Dayton students designed a voice-controlled shifting mechanism for the recumbent belonging to a military vet who lost three limbs in Afghanistan.

After a Louisiana man’s bicycle was stolen while he was working at a restaurant, his kindhearted coworkers raised $300 in just 30 minutes to replace it.

International

CityMetric contributes ten things you should know about ebikes, including that they’re not cheating — and they’re the future.

A local paper says it’s hard to predict the impact of bike lanes versus parking on property values in a Vancouver neighborhood. Even though studies show quality bikeways tend to increase home values.

A British serial bike thief is back behind bars for the next six months after confessing to stealing a bike while already on probation — and while legally prohibited from even touching one.

Speaking of bike theft, an Irish man was lucky to get his bicycle back after spotting it for sale online and contacting the police to set up a sting.

A US Air Force appeals court re-affirmed the conviction of a senior airman sentenced to four years for negligent homicide in the death of a bike rider at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base.

Finally…

Using bikes to paint a portrait of Elvis on the streets of Nashville. Your next bike could have four wheels — but only use two at a time.

And if you’re riding a bike while under the influence and carrying a concealed weapon, put a damn light on it, already.

The bike, not the gun.

And don’t jump into a river trying to get away from the cops.

Morning Links: E-scooters on fire, free bikeshare and scooter rides on Election Day, and no good guys in Aussie video

Are we tired of talking about e-scooters yet?

That Bird or Lime e-scooter you rode — or maybe dodged? That was a Segway.

Never mind falling off, Lime is pulling some of their e-scooters from Los Angeles, San Diego and Lake Tahoe because the batteries could catch fire.

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Speaking of Lime, the company will be offering free e-scooters and dockless bikeshare rentals on Election Day next week. Thanks to Baz for the link.

And you can Bike the Vote with Metro, as Metro Bike will join bikeshare operators around the US in offering free rides on Tuesday, as well as free bus and train rides.

Meanwhile, Metro Bike is offering a chance to win a free $200 gift card for participating in their annual survey.

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Sometimes there aren’t any good guys.

After a video went viral showing a driver sideswipe an Aussie bicyclist, then get out of his car and toss his bike into the bushes, both men ended up in front of a judge.

The guy on the bike got probation and a letter of apology after admitting he keyed the driver’s car before the crash shown in the video.

Not to mention doxing him by posting his name, address and phone number online.

The driver, who was already on probation, had four other charges dismissed after copping a plea to recklessly causing injury, and got off with a $1,000 fine and court costs.

Still unanswered is what the hell the driver did to piss the bicyclist off in the first place.

Because people on bikes hardly ever just key cars at random.

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Local

Just weeks after writing about the dangers of biking in Los Angeles, and on Spring Street in particular, KPCC and LAist journalist Leo Duran nearly got hit by a red light running driver while attempting to cross on the new bike signal.

Los Angeles plans to use eminent domain to acquire the land needed for a pedestrian bridge over the LA River connecting Cypress Park and Frogtown after reaching an impasse with a developer who wants to build on the land, even though it’s in the flood plain.

Another bike event is scheduled for this weekend, as CICLE and Metro are hosting a BEST Ride to tour Scott Froschaur’s The Word on the Street public art project.

A police website profiles Pasadena’s newly reformed Neighborhood Action Team bike cop unit; officers weren’t required to know how to ride a bike when they joined, but had to learn how to fall.

 

State

The CHP is asking for donations of bike lights and reflective gear to distribute to people in Modesto who can’t afford to get their own. Although it would be nice if they didn’t blame bicyclists and pedestrians for causing most crashes.

Formerly Scotts Valley-based Fox Factory will say hasta la vista to California by moving their HQ to Georgia, and transferring the bike products division to Reno.

Good story from a Redwood City high school newspaper about the city’s new protected bike lane, and how it could encourage more people to ride. Seriously, someone should tell the kid who wrote it that he’s got a great future in the news business.

A Bay Area man describes the day his heart short-circuited while he was riding, pedaling up to the ER with his pulse pounding at 215 beats a minute. Meanwhile, VeloNews examines the effect endurance sports has on your heart.

 

National

Outside considers those vital beer and candy pairings for your leftover Halloween treats.

Bike Snob wants to make the roads safer by making driving dangerous again.

Bicycling offers five recovery tips.

This is who we share the roads with. A Portland driver was taken into custody for purposely driving into protesters outside the county courthouse.

This is who we share the roads with, part 2. A pair of Portland business owners apparently think it’s okay to run over people with their cars. Or maybe funny, which is worse.

Tacoma WA is finishing the final link on a 15-mile bike path that will give riders a safe crosstown route for the first time. Which is exactly what we need in Los Angeles. And for which there are no current plans.

A writer for a Texas A&M university paper describes a series of wildcat Midnight Crits in San Antonio, saying it’s only for the daring.

Dallas will open up 20 miles of streets on Saturday for their second annual open streets event.

They get it. The prestigious Mayo Clinic is installing 200 bike racks around Rochester, Minnesota in an effort to get more people riding.

Tragic news from Indiana, where a nine-year old girl and her six-year old brothers were killed when a pickup driver ignored the stop sign and warning lights on the bus, and slammed into them as they crossed the street; the girl had stepped in front of her brothers in a vain effort to protect them. The 24-year old woman behind the wheel now faces three counts of negligent homicide. Seriously, this is why drivers are supposed to stop for a school bus, but often don’t. And yes, bike riders are supposed to stop, too.

Baltimore’s new Complete Streets ordinance is attempting to build racial equity into the law.

Forget the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s tests on bike helmets. If you really want to know if a helmet will protect you in a crash, look to studies from the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, which go far beyond CPSC standards to see how they hold up under tests that simulate real world conditions.

 

International

Clean Technica blames physics for the rising rate of injuries and fatalities involving ebikes — but fails to take their increasing popularity into account. Never mind that they fail to differentiate between high speed throttle-controlled bikes, and the more common — and significantly slower — ped-assist bikes.

This is who we share the roads with, part three. Prosecutors argued that an Ottawa driver was at best “willfully unaware” that he hit and killed a bike rider after driving home from his brother’s wedding at 4:30 am, and having been awake for 22 hours. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bike rider is lucky to avoid a crash as a delivery driver swerves directly into her.

Australia’s largest bike advocacy group is calling for a repeal of the country’s law requiring bike helmets, at least for riders on sidewalks and offroad paths.

 

Competitive Cycling

An Olympic track cyclist decides to ride the Leadville 100 after retiring, and discovers that nothing had prepared him for what he faced.

Lance rides again, taking part in a Costa Rican mountain bike race despite a lifetime cycling ban; the race is held outside of UCI and WADA jurisdiction, which allows him to compete.

The newly crowned women’s masters track cycling champ defends her victory, saying it’s okay for trans women to compete — and win — in women’s sports.

 

Finally…

A man writing as a woman offers advice on how she’s more comfortable riding men’s bikes instead of women’s, which makes sense since she evidently isn’t one. Zwift goes virtually cycling in a virtually scary Halloween world.

And Taipei’s mayor is one of us, and he raps.

More or less.

Morning Links: Phil Gaimon pens his own obituary, balance bike parking, and Bike the Vote endorsements

Take a few moments, right now, and read this hard-hitting piece from Phil Gaimon, who narrowly avoided being turned into road kill by a salmon driver speeding around a curve on the wrong side of the road.

Just like the squirrel he passed several minutes later after he composed himself.

Of course, the squirrel did dart into traffic and he’ll get no mention in the local paper, but if I’d shared his fate I expect that would be the headline for me. I’ve made peace with the fact that this probably is how I’ll die someday and I’m choosing to still do it, but I’d like to set the record straight here. When I die on my bicycle, I didn’t do anything erratic and I didn’t make a mistake. I’m an expert at bike riding, I did it for a living among the best in the world for years, and in my retirement I ride cautiously because I had enough broken bones when it was my job. When I die it’s because of some asshole not paying attention, speeding, texting, or both, on roads where there’s no infrastructure or room for error, and most likely there won’t be much of a punishment. I’m dead, so at least they can get the story right.

I’ve long thought the same thing as Phil Gaimon describes.

Odds are, when I finally meet my maker — which hopefully will be a very long time from now — it will happen on a bike.

Not because bicycling is dangerous, but because I’ve spent far more time on my bike than I have doing anything else. And plan to continue as long as I’m able to remain upright and turn a pedal.

But now that I live it Hollywood, it seems even more likely, thanks to streets filled with aggressive and distracted drivers. Along with a near total lack of bike lanes, protected or otherwise.

And no, sharrows don’t count.

Like Gaimon, I fully expect to be blamed if that ever happens.

And like Gaimon, it won’t be true.

That’s why I use a bike cam when I ride, so I’ll have proof I didn’t run a red light or stop sign, or suddenly suicide swerve out in front of traffic.

It’s cold comfort.

But to will have to do until Los Angeles finally gets serious about Vision Zero.

And finally commits to building the bike plan its already committed to.

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On a happier note, this tweet gave me the biggest smile I’ve had in weeks.

https://twitter.com/asausagehastwo/status/1044233989064708097

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Get ready to bike the vote this November, as Calbike offers its endorsements in the coming election.

Interesting to note that all but one of the legislative candidates they endorse supports using clean transportation financial incentives for bike purchases.

Which translates to giving rebate to encourage people to buy bicycles, ebikes or otherwise. And actually use them to replace car trips.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA has released their own voter guide for the LA area. Nice to see my own Assembly Member made the list.

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Local

A new study ranks the 20 most congested cities in the US; for a change, Los Angeles wasn’t at the top of the list. In fact, LA ranked seventh, behind Chicago and ahead of Seattle.

It’s a busy bike weekend in DTLA this week, with CicLAvia rolling on Sunday, and the Bike! Bike! conference Thursday through Sunday at Los Angeles State Historic Park; Bike! Bike! is intended to bring bike owners, bicycle shops and bike groups together to “workshop new ideas and methods to advocate for urban bicyclists.”

Community stakeholders conducted a “slow jam” on Temple Street, where limited safety improvements are underway after Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Mitch O’Farrell combined to kill a desperately needed road diet on the dangerous street. Although the improvements might help people on foot, it’s not a Complete Street unless it safely accommodates people on two wheels, as well.

Streetsblog visits the new purple curb extensions on the Pico Blvd Great Streets project. But how great can it really be without bike lanes?

CiclaValley races his wife from Westwood to the San Fernando Valley, pitting bike against car. You can guess who won.

Santa Clarita City Councilmember Cameron Smyth explains why you should ride in the city, and explains how Santa Clarita’s Heads-Up traffic safety campaign applies to people on bicycles.

 

State

Unsafe routes to schools. A mother and her eight-year old son were lucky to escape with minor injuries when a turning driver struck their tandem bike while they were riding to school. Police said the driver couldn’t see because he had the sun in his eyes, which makes it okay, right?

The Ventura County Star says it’s time to stop the madness, and do what you can to clean the air by car-pooling, taking the bus, walking or riding a bike.

San Francisco’s new mayor called on the city to speed up Vision Zero safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians. It would be nice if LA’s mayor would say the same thing. But don’t hold your breath.

 

National

A new AAA study shows 80% of drivers overestimate the technical capabilities of their car’s safety devices, especially the ability to detect bicyclists and pedestrians. Maybe because every other car commercial shows them doing exactly that.

Uber has announced a $10 million fund to advocate for congestion pricing and charging stations for dockless ebikes near transit stations.

Bicycling offers 30 bike hacks every bicyclist should know. As long as you’re willing to put up with their annoying click-through format that only shows one item at a time.

Seattle bike commuting is down to its lowest level since 2007; just 2.8% of city residents rode to work last year, down from 3.5% the year before.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. An Iowa woman faces a 1st degree murder charge for stalking a man who accused her of stealing, and using her car as a weapon to intentionally run him down as he rode his bike in a parking lot, while driving under the influence.

Michigan’s new three-foot passing law goes into effect today.

A road raging Ohio lawyer lost his license to practice for a year — make that six months — after he brake checked a bike rider, and stomped the cellphone of a physician who stopped to record the incident. He also skipped out on the court hearing for the misdemeanor he ended up charged with, leading to his later arrest and conviction.

Seriously? It will now cost DC drivers who park in a bike lane three times as it does to door a bike rider under the city’s new Vision Zero laws; meanwhile, a bicyclist who hits a pedestrian crossing the street will be fined $150, but just $100 for hitting someone walking on a sidewalk.

A DC council member says the city has to do more to protect bike and scooter riders, including building protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, an advocacy site says it’s been just two days since a driver killed someone biking, walking or scooting in DC.

A Tampa FL columnist says a proposed transportation sale tax, which would reserve 12% of funds for bike and pedestrian projects, is a good start to change the city’s ranking as the nation’s most dangerous place for bike riders.

 

International

This is the cost of traffic violence. A promising young Canadian ballet student was killed in a collision on Sunday.

No bias here. A deputy mayor on Canada’s Prince Edward Island says requiring bike riders to attach a license plate to their bike or helmets would make the city friendlier to bicyclists. No, really.

A writer for London’s Evening Standard says bicycling must be made safer after decades of half-hearted attempts.

Members of an Oxford, England men’s choir will ride 100 miles to Wales to remember their roots as descendants of Welsh residents who moved to Oxford during the Great Depression.

This is who we share the roads with. A British motorcyclist records a road raging minicab driver running over his parked bike after he got off to confront the man. But the motorcycle rider was no angel, either, kicking and hitting the car after threatening to break the driver’s skull.

An American Vietnam vet with an Ivy League education gave up his life in this county to live as a hermit in Ireland, using his bicycle to get around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist examines the superstitions and rituals of the pro peloton, and concludes they might give riders a mental edge.

An 18-year old Belgian cyclist insists he’s not the next Eddy Merckx, as he prepares to make the leap from the junior ranks to the WorldTour next year.

Canada’s “starry girl cyclist” of the 1930’s is being inducted into the country’s Cycling Hall of Fame, after a riding career spent leaving fellow riders and stereotypes in her wake.

After years of misfortune, Australian time trial specialist Rohan Dennis claimed the world champ’s rainbow jersey in the event.

 

Finally…

Before you complain online about a bike riding mom and her child, make sure you’re right.

And when a cop right hooks a bike rider, it’s just a “momentary lapse in attention.”

Right.

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to MilitantAngeleno@gmail.com. We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Support injured bike rider with new T-shirt design, and new bill could end CA e-scooter helmet law

Here’s your chance to look good by helping out an injured rider.

Several months ago, a man who goes by the name of Hery reached out to me for help after he was injured by the driver of a car.

I gave him what advice I could; unfortunately, he’s still struggling, as the message below indicates.

Eight months ago while riding my bike to work I was hit by car. I woke up with wiring in my mouth and have been on disability ever since. Recently I was informed my Medi-Cal won’t be covering some medical expenses, and over these last 8 months I’ve also accumulated a lot of debt just trying to get by. So I’ve decided to design T-shirts to raise money for bills and other expenses.

This is what Hery’s bike looked like after he was injured in the crash

It’s a great looking design, and a good cause, helping someone get back on his feet after he was injured in a crash.

And it’s available on anything from T-shirts and hoodies, to stickers and coffee mugs.

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A new bill passed by the state senate on Thursday would remove the ridiculous helmet requirement for dockless e-scooters — and the nearly $200 fines too many users have had to pay for breaking the law.

AB 2989 would also cap scooter speeds at their current 15 mph, while allowing cities to permit their use on more types of streets. Powered scooters are currently restricted to streets with bike lanes or speed limits of 25 mph or less.

The bill needs to return to the assembly before it goes to Governor Brown, where experience tells us it will face an uncertain fate.

………

Todd Munson does what I’ve often threatened to do, recording two minutes of scofflaw drivers running the stop sign near his home.

I could do the same thing at either of the intersections closest to our apartment, with the same results.

Yet so many drivers seem to get apoplectic they see bike and scooter riders doing the same things they do every day.

………

Los Angeles bike riders have to fight to get a bike corral. Riders in the the Netherlands get this, instead.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the heads-up.

………

There was a time when Bike the Vote was more than a slogan, as an academic journal site remembers when bike riders were a political block courted by the GOP. And helped deliver the vote to William McKinley in 1896.

………

Evidently, it’s not just Los Angeles.

Lincoln, Nebraska residents and bike riders support a lane reduction on major street, while a business association predicts a traffic apocalypse and calls it the first salvo in the war on cars.

In Jacksonville FL, the city wants to remove lanes from a street to improve safety, but local residents insist they like it just the way it is.

And an Edmonton, Canada letter writer says a lane reduction and two-way cycle tracks don’t make any sense, and he can’t understand why bike riders wouldn’t prefer a quieter, tree-lined street. The answer is they probably would, if it went the same places, with no stops and with signalized intersections at major streets, because bike riders need to get where they’re going just like drivers do.

………

Local

LA Magazine previews the My Figueroa Complete Streets project, which will be officially unveiled this Thursday.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that a wealthy neighborhood gets street repairs on dangerous Griffith Park Blvd where a rider was injured, while a less well off neighborhood gets signs and a recommendation from the city attorney to remove the bike lanes instead of fixing them.

Curb extensions are installed on Pico Blvd to improve safety at Hauser and Curson. Although it clearly could have been the first step to installing protected bike lanes, instead.

 

State

An Oceanside bike rider is lucky to be alive after surviving a crash with a commuter train that left him with minor injuries. Let that be yet another reminder to never try to go around crossing gates, even if it appears to be safe at the time.

The San Diego Union-Tribune asks if the city is ready to eliminate parking requirements for downtown housing.

Members of Rich City Rides rode to Oakland’s city hall to protest the arrest of founder Najari Smith for Biking While Black.

Sad news from Austria, where beloved Oakland triathlete Alistair Eeckman was killed in a crash with a bus while on a training ride, just one day after finishing sixth in the Powerman Austria; he was just 23. Thanks to Matt Stewart for the news.

 

National

Streetsblog says America’s car culture is literally shortening your life.

Your next Uber may not have a driver — or four wheels. The ride-hailing company’s new CEO sees a shift to ebikes and scooters for short trips.

A Colorado couple literally wrote the book on cycling the Great Divide, with all proceeds going to the Adventure Cycling Association.

Sioux City, Iowa, has made progress when it comes to bicycling, but still has a long way to go.

Tour de France laterne rouge Lawson Craddock returns home to a hero’s welcome at Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, after raising what could be as much as $400,000 to rebuild it following last year’s Hurricane Harvey. And announces it will be the site of USA Cycling’s new Olympic development program.

A Texarkana TX newspaper gets it, explaining that the city’s new sharrows don’t actually change anything, since bicyclists already have a legal right to ride in the traffic lane, but simply remind drivers of that fact.

Around a thousand people turned out for a bike ride to honor a Milwaukee bicycling icon who founded a chain of bike shops and created bike paths across the US.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Minnesota man rides his age to celebrate his 90th birthday, breaking it up into six 15 mile rides.

A Tennessee family has developed a device to fit on the handlebar ends on kids bikes, that will hopefully prevent puncture injuries that aren’t as rare as they seem. Something like that should be required for every kid’s bike sold; every year, several children are seriously injured or killed by worn bike parts.

Streetsblog says a single double-parked truck can undermine everything the New York Department of Transportation does to keep streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians, because it all falls apart without enforcement.

A DC bike advocate says our streets don’t have to make us unhappy.

A Florida singletrack rider rescued a baby raccoon by putting him in his backpack, and riding him to safety before the coyotes could get him. It may be cute, but most experts recommend against trying to rescue seemingly abandoned animals; chances are, the mother is hiding somewhere nearby.

 

International

Ottawa bike riders are taking to social media to try to track down their stolen bicycles.

Now that’s a close call. An Ottawa bike rider decides he needs to buy some lights after a driver makes a left turn directly in front of him in the dim twilight. Which he should have had long before this ever happened.

Speaking of close calls, a British bike rider was nearly sideswiped by a trailer pulled by a van in a near-miss caught on bike cam.

Pamplona has running with the bulls; Birmingham, England has wheelie-popping teens riding with the buses.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says bike helmets should be made mandatory in the UK, adding “I’ve put on a helmet more times than I’ve buckled a seatbelt.” Then tries to walk it back the next day.

A New Zealand Op-Ed says there’s no need for a war between bicyclists and motorists; just slow traffic and build some decent infrastructure.

 

Competitive Cycling

A reminder of the dangers of amateur racing, as 30 riders went down in a mass crash in a Wisconsin race, sending four people to the  hospital, and leaving a number of others with minor injuries.

Three years ago, Staci Nash was a two-time NCAA Division II track champ — the running kind, not cycling. Today, she’s a two-time national mountain biking champ.

Ritchie Porte says I beg your pardon, I never promised you I was going for the general classification in the Vuelta.

Speaking of the Vuelta, Deadspin calls it the strangest, hardest stage race of the cycling season, and predicts this year’s race will kick ass. Meanwhile, Cycling News says it’s the last chance for ten riders.

Great long read from Peter Flax, who recounts the strange happenings 70 years ago as two legendary racers faced off in the 1948 world championships, which neither one won.

 

Finally…

Sometimes riding down a freeway in rush hour traffic calls for nothing more than a g-string. Yes, you can still take a Sunday drive — as long as it’s on a bike.

And when you hear hoofbeats, stop and say hi.

 

Morning Links: Road rage death in San Bernardino, Hernandez hit-and-run trial starts, and Bahati races RAAM

It’s election day in California. So stop what you’re doing, and get out and bike the vote already.

We’ll wait.

………

KNBC-4 reported last night that a bike rider was killed in San Bernardino as collateral damage in a possible road rage dispute between two drivers.

Unfortunately, the story does not appear to be online as of this writing.

………

Testimony has started in the trial of Ventura tow truck driver Hermin Martin Henderson, accused of running over 14-year old bike rider Jonathan Hernandez, then fleeing the scene without stopping.

Hernandez was seen on security video running the red light while riding without lights, so Henderson wouldn’t have been at fault if he had simply stopped as the law and basic human decency requires.

Hernandez was riding to a friend’s house when he was killed; he was reportedly troubled after joining his family to mark his sister’s birthday, who had died of leukemia a few months earlier.

He was struck by second driver as he lay in the road after getting hit by Henderson’s tow truck; that driver was never found.

………

South LA has a stake in this year’s RAAM.

Compton’s own ten-time National Crit Champ Rahsaan Bahati will compete in the 3,000-mile Race Across America, one of the world’s toughest ultra-endurance races. He’ll be riding to raise funds for his own nonprofit Bahati Foundation, as well as the Jessie Rees Foundation and Augie’s Quest.

The race starts a week from today in Oceanside, California and will finish in Annapolis, Maryland roughly eight days later.

………

Local

Councilmember Mitch Englander is calling for an emergency moratorium on dockless bikeshares and greater regulation, after complaining about bikes being haphazardly strewn about. Because it’s just so darn hard to pick up a bike and move it if it’s in the way. And he couldn’t be more wrong about the “failure” of dockless bikeshare in China, where its overwhelming success has led to problems of oversupply as competing providers try to capture the market.

Bike SGV has a full slate of events this month.

Santa Clarita will be reviving its “Heads Up” safety campaign this summer in an attempt to educate bicyclists and motorists to improve safety. Although all the advice appears to be aimed at the people on two wheels.

 

State

An Op-Ed in The Daily Pilot says more people in Costa Mesa would bike or walk if they felt safer on the streets. In other words, pretty much like everywhere else.

A new online Bakersfield bike map hopes to pinpoint dangerous areas where riders feel unsafe on their bikes.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 73-year old Los Altos woman is writing a book, and spending the next week riding down the coast on the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride.

As San Francisco struggles to decide whether to allow e-scooters, Wired says don’t ban them, redesign the streets to make room for them. And save the city in the process.

Sad news from Nevada City, where a 68-year old cyclist was killed in an apparent fall while riding in Bosnia with his wife and another couple.

 

National

A 57-year old widow trades her bicycle for a Harley.

A woman on an around-the-world bike ride says you have to tackle America’s greatest road trip, riding down the Left Coast on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route.

At 106 miles, Utah now has the longest continuous bike trail west of the Mississippi.

Colorado officials plan to confront a rising bicyclist and pedestrian death toll with a social media campaign saying “Safety Starts with All of Us” on Facebook and Twitter. Sure, that will work.

This is the cost of traffic violence, as a Texas family cries out for justice, and wonders how anyone could be so cruel that they could leave a bike rider dying in the street. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A St. Louis sports reporter traded his car for a bike, and doesn’t regret it a bit despite the Missouri winters.

Two years after she was paralysed from the waist down by a distracted driver on a Bike & Build ride, and her riding companion killed, a Michigan woman is planning to use a handcycle finish the ride she never completed. The driver who hit them got just two months behind bars.

Milwaukee officials say they need more bike riders on the streets.

A Manhattan congressman is the definition of windshield bias as he blames bike lanes for traffic problems, and not the illegally parked SUVs. Seriously, some people just can’t see the traffic for the cars.

Don’t do this. A New York cyclist traveling with a group of around 12 riders crashed into a woman and a child as they were crossing the street, although it’s not clear from the article who had the right-of-way.

If you’re going to observe the annual World Naked Bike Ride — in any sense — New Orleans is probably the best place to do it.

 

International

That runny nose when you ride could be a sign of Exercise Induced Rhinitis, or EIR. Or it could be a sign that it’s time to give up that coke habit.

A lifelong Winnipeg bike rider is working to get more indigenous youth on bicycles.

The war on bike continues, as a Toronto mountain biker suffered cuts on both arms when he crashed into barbed wire that had been strong across a trail.

Toronto bike advocates worry that progress has stalled on a key bikeway, despite a city council vote to make it permanent.

A London driver observed World Bicycle Day by abandoning his car and running away after crashing into a bike rider on a designated Quietway, leaving the victim to die in the street.

London’s former cycling commissioner says bicycling improvements are sure vote winners, in the UK or the US. Maybe someone should tell that to the LA city council.

First it was a bike rider in the UK threatening a driver with a knife, now a man with a knife threatened a pair of bike riders.

A British bike advocate says their local Parliament member is wrong; it’s drivers who pose a risk to pedestrians, not people on bicycles.

For the first time, an all-women’s bike ride is rolling across the kingdom of Bahrain, complete with a sag wagon for rest and security.

A Nigerian government official marked World Bicycle Day by saying that encouraging more people to ride bicycles is one of the surest ways to minimise traffic congestion.

A Moroccan man has ridden over 13,000 miles across the African continent, only to have his bike stolen ten minutes after he locked it up outside a mosque in South Africa.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist can thank a driver for his quick action in avoiding a crash, after the rider slipped when he hit a patch of gumnuts and fell in front of the oncoming car. And no, I didn’t know what they were, either.

Another bike race, another crash with a race moto. But at least this time, no one was seriously hurt.

Electric bicycles have shed their mamachari image in Japan, as “sporting ebikes” have suddenly developed a cool factor.

Tragic news from Singapore, where a 60-year old woman is on life support after a 17-year old bike rider allegedly crashed into her from behind on a shared-use path.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nearly two dozen cyclists were treated for injuries when bad pavement caused a mass crash in a Maryland bike race.

Once again, a pro cyclist has been sidelined by a collision, as Dimension Data’s Lachlan Morton suffers a broken arm when he’s struck by a driver while training in Colorado.

Amgen Tour of California winner Egan Bernal is preparing to make his Tour de France debut riding in support of Chris Froome. Assuming the doping cloud over Froome’s head doesn’t come down on him, that is.

A Cycling Weekly writer says he’d like to see a little more silliness on the pro tour.

A Wisconsin paper profiles 33-year old ultra-cyclist Brett Stepanik, the first rider to finish the 750-mile Arizona Trail Race, the 2,732-mile Tour Divide Mountain Bike Race and the 580-mile Colorado Trail Race on a single-speed bike in a single year.

 

Finally…

This story seems to be saying if you’re going to ride drunk, wear a helmet. If you ride naked with a group, it’s the World Naked Bike Ride; if you ride naked by yourself, you’re just a perv.

And no, we don’t have to accept that cars will kill anyone, with or without a driver.

 

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