Tag Archive for Black Lives Matter

Ryu motion to make Slow Streets permanent, Legion of LA founder Justin Williams, and popup bike lanes spreading

Once again, LA civic leaders attempt to reinvent the wheel.

That’s because a new city council motion is calling for a study of what it would take to make the city’s Slow Streets program permanent.

Except that study was already conducted ten years ago, when the city studies, and unanimously adopted, an entire network of Slow Streets, then called Bicycle Friendly Streets, as part of the 2010 bike plan.

A plan whose entire existence seems to be forgotten these days.

It’s also worth noting that the Slow Streets motion comes from CD4 councilmember David Ryu, who has suddenly become a champion of safer streets as he faces a major challenge from safe streets champion Nithya Raman for his seat.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

………

Great story from KCBS2/KCAL9, as they interview South LA’s own Justin Williams, founder of the diversity-based League of Los Angeles cycling team.

This is how they describe the story.

He’s the 2-time defending national champ in a sport you may not be familiar with. From South Central LA, Justin Williams is the best Criterium Cyclist in the country and one of the only African-American riders. Now, he’s using his platform to grow his sport and support the current protests in a push for equality everywhere.

Note: If the video doesn’t show up on your browser, just click the link above.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.
………

Major cities around the world are taking advantage of the pandemic slowdowns to install popup and permanent bikeways and pedestrian improvements.

Except Los Angeles, of course.

Chicago proves it is possible to move forward with Vision Zero during the pandemic, including new curb-protected bike lanes and other safety improvements to tame dangerous Michigan Avenue and make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers.

The New York Times takes a deep dive into how cities around the world are trying to prevent gridlock as the pandemic lockdowns end, including reclaiming the streets for people riding bikes and walking.

A pair of neighboring Ontario cities are closing curb lanes on a number of streets to install temporary bike lanes.

The BBC asks if Britain’s popup bike lanes will be enough to keep people riding

Munich, Germany is getting popup bike lanes at least through October, assuming Covid-19 is under control by then. Which seems highly unlikely.

………

Around one hundred people rolled and rode for Black Lives Matter and Breonna Taylor; over twice that many took part in a Pedal for Justice ride the next day.

A couple hundred Cleveland women came out to ride against injustice and support Black Lives Matter.

Hundreds of Boston bike riders turned out for a Ride for Black Lives on Saturday.

………

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of us.

Then again, so was Gandhi.

………

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

A 13-year old British teen was pulled off his bike and tackled by police in a case of mistaken identity — while he was taking part in a charity ride with his father.

A road raging British driver has been arrested after getting out of his car to confront, and kick, a small group of bike riders.

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

Pasadena police busted a bike-riding armed robber after recognizing the description given by the victim as a local transient; officers recovered some of the money, as well as the bike he was riding. Which is cop talk for saying that was probably stolen, too.

………

Local

The new North Atwater bike and pedestrian bridge doesn’t appear to be working out so well for equestrians, who have their own separated lane across the bridge.

BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners looks at what Los Angeles can learn from bike-friendly cities that are doing safety right. Hint: Just about everything.

 

State

An Anaheim man describes losing 300 pound in a single year after maxing out the scale at 599 plus, in part by switching to riding a mountain bike after Covid-19 shut the gym down.

All summer events have been cancelled in Aliso Viejo, including next weekend’s planned fireworks and bike ride.

Riverside has cancelled their fourth of July fireworks due to the coronavirus and replaced it with food and backpack drives, as well as a community bike ride, which hopefully won’t spread it, either.

Fresno police are looking for the heartless coward who ran down a bike rider on June 20th, and left the victim dying in the street.

The CHP has busted a hit-and-run driver who seriously injured two bike riders in Sacramento’s Natomas neighborhood in April.

A Lodi bike rider was critically injured in a collision with an apparent driverless car, since the local TV station didn’t bother to mention whether it had one.

 

National

Business Insider examines the rise and fall of the Jump bike, and how Uber drove what was supposed to be the future of the company into the ground in just two short years.

A writer for Vogue concludes there’s no such thing as a cool, chic or fashionable bike helmet, but some look better than others.

NPR offers a guide to exercising in a mask when you run or bike outdoors.

Flux says an ebike is a must-have for your next trip.

An Omaha, Nebraska newspaper recommends bicycle camping for a Covid-friendly excursion.

Kindhearted Texas cops got a local mission to donate a new bicycle to a 61-year old man after someone stole the bike he used to get to work at Walmart; they tried to buy one for him, but there weren’t any bikes available due to the bike boom.

The bighearted owner of a Flint, Michigan diner gave away 1,400 bicycles to local kids this year, for a total of around 6,000 bikes in the last eight years; unfortunately, this is the last year of the program.

A Harvard ornithology professor is riding his bike across the US in support of Black birders and Black Lives Matter. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

New York Streetsblog says restaurants are stealing bike lanes to expand their outdoor seating. Expanded seating is a great idea, but they should be required to install temporary protected bike lanes to go around it.

A New York father is looking forward to getting back on his bike, two years after a misdiagnosed heart condition interrupted his life.

Quartz asks if Covid-19 will finally turn New York from a city of straphangers to a city of bike riders.

Jalopnik says the NYPD is so bad at traffic enforcement, people want them out of the job. It’s not just New York; the same demands have been made in Los Angeles, too.

Chattanooga TN mountain bikemaker Ocoee is getting a name change to avoid any unintended confusion with a 1920 racial massacre by a white mob in Ocoee, Florida, which resulted in the deaths of over 30 Black residents; the company was actually named after the mountain biking trails around Tennessee’s Ocoee River.

Baltimore is telling everyone to Look Alive to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in a new public service campaign.

A Virginia paper spells out the advantages of ebike compared to cars, as well as standard bicycles.

A Miami cop killed one bike rider and injured another in an on-duty collision.

 

International

Bike Radar explains how to turn your bike into an ebike.

A report from Reuters says car crashes are deadlier in the US and the UK, as drivers can’t manage to keep their damn feet off the gas during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Police in Calgary, Alberta are teaming with Bike Index to help return more stolen bikes to their owners. Until Los Angeles shows a similar level of enlightenment, you can register your bike for free right here.

Newly released sales figures show the UK’s bike boom resulted in explosive growth, with April bike sales doubling over the year before; however, formerly booming ebike sales are down.

An Irish columnist says the bike boom has been one of the unforeseen consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, but questions how safe bicycling will be as regulations ease and traffic increases.

More on the five-year old English boy planning to ride 100 miles in five days to raise funds for a charity that “helps sick, disabled or disadvantaged children experience a magical day out.”

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo won reelection, establishing clear support for her plans to revamp the city’s streets to boost bicycling and walking. Meanwhile, she’s speeding up work on a green makeover of the city’s car-clogged inner beltway.

No surprise here, as Belgium’s King Philippe is one of us, along with his entire family.

Car clogged Mumbai is getting 24 bicycle councilors, one for each of the city’s 24 districts, with a goal of making the city the bicycling capital of the world by 2030.

An inexperienced Melbourne bike rider just barely lost a crosstown commuting challenge through the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

Admitted doper Nicki Sorensen says he’s embarrassed by what he did as a pro cyclist, but insists he belongs as a team sports director so he can tell younger riders what not to do.

A writer for The Guardian pens a love letter to the Tour de France, saying the race will be missed this summer. The rescheduled race is set to begin in late August, but don’t hold your breath.

Cycling Weekly looks back 65 years to Great Britain’s first all-British Tour de France team.

As cycling prepares to return, we’re reminded that it’s impossible to ride in a peloton without riding in other riders’ snot. Which is pretty much the best reason to avoid group rides right now.

 

Finally…

Presenting the clopless bike pedal. Don’t crash into women carrying water on their heads, or the could ban bikes for everyone.

And it may be easier to remove free parking from Monopoly than on city streets.

………

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

Lime supports local bike advocacy, Bicycling calls for racial diversity on bikes, and dogs (and a monkey) on bikes

E-scooter riders have come to appreciate the value of bike lanes as much as anyone.

Now Lime is trying to channel that energy into safer streets for all of us.

The company is launching their new Lime Action program in partnership with a number of advocacy groups across the US, including the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

“As people around the world are taking action to support racial justice, safer streets and cleaner air, we are excited to provide a platform for our millions of riders to turn their passion into action,” said Katie Stevens, Head of Global Policy at Lime. “Lime Action connects our riders with local grassroots organizations making meaningful change in their communities. We’re proud to help riders strengthen their hometowns by getting involved in efforts to create safer, calmer streets, reduce congestion and harmful emissions from car traffic, and fight systemic racism and injustice.”

Lime will provide their partner organizations with access to a number of advocacy tools, as well as directing their users to get involved with local organizations like the LACBC.

However, it light of today’s issues, safer streets in the traditional sense are just part of the fight.

The Lime Action partnerships and organizations will enable our riders to engage on issues that range from those directly impacting their rides, such as safer streets, to making transportation and our cities as a whole more equitable, and to helping make our world more sustainable:

  • Safer Streets: Lime riders are often encountering bike lanes for the first time on a scooter– and quickly discover how street space issues between cars and other modes of transportation can affect their safety. Lime Action will provide a way to translate this awareness into action to support campaigns for safer street infrastructure, including bike lanes, greenways, and cycle tracks.
  • Social Justice: Lime believes in strengthening our cities, and that goes beyond safe infrastructure. That’s why Lime Action partners with local organizations supporting re-entry for formerly incarcerated people, addressing institutional racism, providing career training and meaningful employment, and increasing opportunities for underprivileged youth.
  • Sustainability: The COVID-19 crisis has driven home the impact car travel has on our local air quality, with major improvements to clean air in cities when car use is minimized — but these reductions are already being erased as cities begin to recover. Lime riders already help to contribute to reductions in car use, with a quarter of all rides replacing a car trip, and all trips being powered by 100% renewable energy. Lime Action provides additional ways to support cleaner air by getting involved in local environmental and sustainability campaigns.

Lime also has a program that allows users to donate a small additional percentage to the LACBC and other organizations at the end of their rides.

Although it would be nice to see the company put its money where its mouth is, by committing to donate a few cents from every ride to the advocacy groups they partner with, which could provide a steady revenue stream for groups that desperately need it.

But this is a great start. Because scooter users need safe and fair streets as much as we do.

And we can definitely use their help to demand change from our elected leaders.

Meanwhile, a writer for Medium says the coronavirus may mark the turning point to profitability for scooter companies, by providing a safer alternative to transit.

………

An editorial from Bicycling calls for support for national and local bicycling organizations working for more racial diversity.

Here in Los Angeles, they mention the Bahati Foundation, Legion of Los Angeles, and Alterra Home Loans Cycling Team in Houston and LA.

All of which are worthy of your time, money and efforts.

But I’d also include local standouts like East Side Riders Bike Club, which is feeding hundreds of people who might otherwise go hungry this summer, and South LA’s Black Kids on Bikes, just to name a few.

………

He gets it.

After celebrating the newly carfree State Street pedestrian plaza, and calling for everyone to wear masks when they go there, a Santa Barbara columnist had this to say.

In all this forced solitude and isolation, people are rediscovering the simple joys of one of mankind’s greatest inventions: the bicycle. Not to state the obvious, but there are few better ways to get out and about while maintaining a safe social distance. Hazards and Bicycle Bob’s report their bike repair waiting lists longer than Trump’s Tulsa rally reservation list — only there are no K-Pop agitators and saboteurs involved. Bikes that sell for $500 flew out the door a month ago. Electric bikes are everywhere.

With so few cars on the road, the streets are safer. For a while, every day felt just like Sunday morning.

He goes on to criticize plans to ban bikes from the plaza, as we noted a few days ago.

And ends with this line.

There’s hope. Humans, after all, remain the only species that can ride a bike or snap their fingers.

So someone should tell him about this.

And this.

And this.

And yes, this.

………

You’re invited to Ride Against Racism this Sunday to support Black Lives Matter and protest police brutality.

https://twitter.com/VelTheWonder/status/1276186111186853890

………

Former basketball great Bill Walton is teaming with marathon champ Meb Keflezighi to host another BikeForHumanity virtual bike ride this July to benefit several charities, including No Kid Hungry.

………

This is what it looks like to get run down from behind when a close pass isn’t.

………

Rapper and producer DJ Mustard’s son is one of us now.

Although someone should tell him to be careful around walls.

https://twitter.com/RapCentury_/status/1275970424476663809?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1275970424476663809&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Freal923la.iheart.com%2Fcontent%2F2020-06-25-mustard-teaches-his-son-to-ride-a-bike-it-didnt-go-as-planned%2F

………

Unfortunately, there are far too many bikeways like this in the US, too.

………

Former pro Phil Gaimon is back with another video, explaining five common bike collisions and how to avoid them, no matter how man wheels you travel on.

………

Local

Somehow we missed this ranking of America’s best and worst cities for your heart. And for a change, Los Angeles scores well on a national list, checking in at a relatively healthy 20.

The LA Times recommends nine Los Angeles trails to ride your bike. Although they take a very expansive view of LA, including anything north of San Diego and Imperial Counties. 

Speaking of The LA Times, they join a long list of news outlets asking if the pandemic-fueled bike boom will continue. Short answer: At least as long as the pandemic does.

Downey’s mayor now has a 26-year old, bike-riding, YIMBY challenger for her city council seat.

This is who we share the road with. A woman walking her dog on a Palmdale bike path was killed by a driver who lost control while fleeing from sheriff’s deputies.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission, not to be confused with Caltrans, approved $100 million in Complete Streets funding, and began a discussion of equity in transportation.

San Luis Obispo bike riders rode 8.46 miles on Wednesday to honor George Floyd and show solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

 

National

FloBikes offers advice on how to avoid common bicycling injuries. The ones that happen without falling off.

WTF. Police in Maine report a pickup truck creepily followed an eleven-year old girl as she rode her bike. But never mention that the truck may have had a driver.

Six urban rides to explore Boston for the next time you find yourself in Beantown.

A Rhode Island bike shop is celebrating its 100th anniversary; the shop was founded two years after the last pandemic, and its anniversary comes just in time for the next one.

Life is cheap in upstate New York, where even killing an off-duty cop riding a bike with his son merits nothing more than a traffic ticket.

New York advocates are making progress in efforts to remove the NYPD from traffic enforcement and return responsibility for enforcement to the city’s Department of Transportation.

After years of ticketing and confiscating bicycles from immigrant delivery workers, New York City has finally gotten around to legalizing ebikes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’ll be giving all those bikes back and refunding their money.

New York continues to lap Los Angeles, as it opens up normally congested streets so people can dine al fresco, unlike their Left Coast counterpart.

A Delaware letter writer says the problem isn’t people parking their bikes illegally, it’s that the city didn’t put bike racks where people need them.

Superstar Columbian singer Maluma is one of us too, going for a Miami bike ride with a friend.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on whether you should buy a tandem, and how. Hint: Only if you like to ride with someone else.

Gear Patrol says one of the best bike saddles is from a company you’ve never heard of.

Take a virtual bike ride along a London DIY pop-up bike lane.

A London paper offers advice on basic bike maintenance for new riders.

An Indian woman who couldn’t even ride a bike four years ago is now a virtual RAAM champ. And she’s not a small woman, which should give hope to people everywhere.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pope Francis has joined people around the world in expressing his support for Alex Zanardi, as the Paralympic champ fights to recover from a horrifying handcycling crash; doctors are worried that Zanardi, who already lost his legs in a car racing crash, may lose his eyesight or suffer brain damage.

The Dutch cycling federation considers how to move forward this summer after the country lifted its ban on competitive sports.

 

Finally…

Not many people can claim they sold bikes to Bruce Springsteen and Richard Nixon. Who needs a clown car when you’ve got bikes?

And Tour de France champ Egan Bernal has clearly mastered the most important bike skills.

………

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

America bikes for racial justice, cars become weapons against protesters, and H’wood k-rails protect mural not bike riders

Not everyone was marching for racial justice this past weekend.

Some were riding and rolling, as LA bike riders took part in a solidarity ride from Echo Park to Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday.

San Diego boarders and bicyclists rolled out over the weekend to protest racism and police violence.

Things didn’t always go peacefully, however, as someone in a plateless SUV drove through a Portland Black Liberation Ride, damaging at least one bicycle.

Dozens of people took the call for racial justice to the casinos on Las Vegas Blvd in a peaceful protest organized by a retired NBA player.

Rochester NY celebrated Juneteenth with a bicycle Freedom Ride, in memory of the Freedom Riders of the 1960s.

By far the biggest ride took place in New York, where an estimated 10,000 people came out on Saturday for a New York City ride to protest police brutality and champion Black Lives Matter.

Hundreds turned out to ride in support of Black Lives Matter in the former capital of the Confederacy in Richmond VA.

Photo by Life Matters from Pexels.

………

Meanwhile, NPR says at least 50 drivers have intentionally rammed protesters, as right-wing extremists turn their cars into weapons.

Like this Michigan driver, who asserted her God-given right to the road, regardless of who might be in her way, by driving through a group of protesters, injuring two people and driving over a 71-year old man’s bicycle.

………

Let’s just leave this one right here for now.

………

Heartbreaking news, as former F-1 and CART champ Alex Zanardi is in a medically induced coma after he was severely injured during a handcycle race in Italy.

Doctors report he is in grave neurological condition, unsure if he will suffer mental impairment.

Zanardi became a champion Paralympic cyclist after losing both his legs in a horrific CART racing crash in 2001, winning gold and silver medals in the London and Rio games.

I got in trouble with someone on Twitter over the weekend after mistakenly saying Zanardi lost his legs in a Formula 1 crash, rather that in CART, trusting nearly 20-year old memories rather than pausing to look it up.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A Corona driver rear-ended a motorcyclist. Then kept driving with the motorbike stuck under his minivan.

Fortunately, the victim was not seriously hurt, and the driver has been arrested.

If there’s any justice, this will be the last time he ever drives.

Thanks to John Damman and Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

The president of Oakland’s city council is belatedly noticing that the local police are targeting kids on scraper bikes.

I’m not sure who sent this one, but thank you, whoever you are!

………

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine discovers that we turn invisible on a bicycle.

………

Speaking of who we share the roads with, it’s one thing to pull out in front of someone on a bicycle.

But it takes a special skill to pull out in front of a steaming locomotive.

https://twitter.com/Ogilvie_CJ/status/1274602928502956037

………

The Urban Cycling Institute goes in-depth to examine the great French street reclamation, as Paris and Nice respond to the pandemic by stepping up plans to reimagine what our streets can be.

………

Pink Bike says it’s time to get to know Japanese stunt rider Tomomi Nishikubo.

Meanwhile, don’t watch this downhill chase full screen on an empty stomach.

………

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

Last week we shared news of a horrible attack on a Florida bike rider, who was shot in the head with a crossbow by a passing driver for no apparent reason — although it’s worth noting that the driver was white, and the victim is Black. A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $64,000 of the $75,000 goal. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

A Santa Rosa nurse says she was punched in the face by a man on a bike, after she was accused of driving recklessly through a group of protesters who shattered her windshield with a skateboard and a bicycle. Seriously, don’t do that. Take video, take photos and take down the license. But don’t resort to violence. And don’t abuse your bike. 

Police in Chicago are looking for a bike-riding groper who assaulted a woman walking her dog on the city’s Lakefront Trail.

A man suffered a concussion when he was pushed off his bicycle by an aggressive bicyclist on an Indiana trail; witnesses say the attacker was swearing profusely before he intentionally elbowed the victim.

………

Local

Free your schedule for tomorrow evening, when the LA Department of Engineering will host a virtual town hall to discuss plans for the LA Riverway through the San Fernando Valley, between Lankershim and Whitsett.

 

State

As we’ve noted before, it takes a major schmuck to repeatedly burglarize a San Jose bike co-op that’s given away over 3,500 bicycles to homeless people.

San Francisco will keep a pilot protected bike lane on a section of Valencia Street, after the temporary lane proved successful.

The Redding bike rider killed in a solo crash earlier this month is described as someone who “did good deeds for everyone;” he was killed when he his head on a curb while riding without a helmet. Crashes like this are exactly what bike helmets were designed for; they were never intended to protect against motor vehicles.

More bad news from Chico, where a man was killed riding his bike in a collision with an apparently driverless car; the victim was blamed for riding through a stop sign. Thanks to John McBrearty for the link.

 

National

It was nice while it lasted. Auto traffic in the US has rebounded to 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Which means time is rapidly running out to take streets back from the big, dangerous machines. Thanks to Aurelio Jose Barrera for the second link.

The new lighted smart helmet from Lumos debuted on Kickstarter over the weekend, taking just four minutes to meet the $60,000 goal — then surpassed it by roughly 2500%. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.

The Daily Beast offers advice on how to plan a long-distance bike ride in the age of Covid-19.

The New York Times offers tips on how to store a big bicycle in a small apartment.

The Today Show considers why bicycling has soared in popularity during the pandemic. Maybe because it’s good for you, with built-in social distancing, and safer when there are fewer cars on the streets. And it’s fun.

Kindhearted members of an Arizona riding club replaced a young girl’s stolen bicycle, and tossed in a lock and a gift certificate for a new helmet.

Speaking of kindhearted strangers, a trail riding group bought a new bicycle for a seven-year old Fort Worth, Texas girl after hers broke. And gave it to her just in time for her Marine father to come home on Father’s Day.

A Michigan man is riding 100 miles a week, with a goal of 1,000 miles by Labor Day, to raise $10,000 for Black Lives Matter.

Even though they’re thousands of miles apart, a father and son spent the weekend riding together in a virtual ride across Maine.

A Brooklyn woman completed a three-year project to ride every block in the New York borough, covering over 4,400 miles.

You already have the Greater Allegheny Passage-C&O Towpath bicycle trail leading 350 miles from Pittsburgh to DC on your bike bucket list, right?

You can now legally ride an ebike anywhere a bicycle is allowed in Florida, as the state rushes to catch up to the 21st Century.

A laid-off Disney World performer has ridden his bike over three thousand miles since the pandemic began in an effort to spread smiles around the area.

 

International

Great story from Brazil, where a man built an adaptive tricycle by hand for his granddaughter with cerebral palsy.

Toronto residents are taking advantage of good weather and a partially closed boulevard along the lakefront to get out on their bikes.

A local website suggests eight Montreal bike paths with incredible views for your next trip to the bicycling city.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a British priest’s bicycle.

Bikes are really booming in Great Britain, where 5% of consumers have bought a bicycle since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. Although some of those are probably healthcare workers replacing their stolen bikes.

Kate Moss is one of us, as she goes for a leisurely bike ride in the UK’s Cotswolds.

Nice. A new cross-border bike path will connect the Slovak and Czech cities of Trencin and Brumov-Bylnice.

Greek bicyclists stripped down and hopped on their bikes for this year’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, which has been cancelled virtually everywhere else due to the coronavirus.

Residents of Dhaka, Bangladesh, explain why they’re taking to their bicycles during the city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Talk about not getting it. The mayor of Manilla says he’s opposed to bike lanes in the city, because the streets are too dangerous to try to make them safer for bike riders.

Pedestrian advocates call for banning bike riders from shared pathways in Queensland, Australia, after a 93-year man was killed in a head-on collision with a man on a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Call it a fixed false alarm. Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton didn’t set a new record for Everesting after all las week. Then he did, shaving ten minutes off the existing record.

The founder of the Dirty Kanza gravel race has been fired after a social media post calling the Atlanta shooting of Rayshard Brooks justified. However, the name of the race is also problematic; Kanza is another name for the Kaw Nation and its people, which means Dirty Kanza could be read as “dirty Indian.”

A French website says there’s nothing to suggest the rescheduled Tour de France won’t start as planned this August. I wouldn’t hold your breath, though.

 

Finally…

Your next bicycle could read your mind. Your next car could be a single seat backward e-tricycle.

And when you’re carrying heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and crystal meth on your bike, with an outstanding arrest warrant, put a damn horn on it, already.

On the other hand, how the hell could a passing cop even tell if you had one? Never mind what a stupid law that is.

………

Thanks to David E. for his generous donation to support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

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

“I can’t breathe”: Las Vegas bike rider killed by cops over bike light; over $110,000 raised for SoCal cycling diversity

Nine months ago, it was a needless tragedy.

Today it stands as yet another reminder why so many people of all races are taking to the streets to demand justice, and change.

It was last September when a man died in police custody after a Las Vegas cop kneeled on his back, ignoring his repeated cries of “I can’t breathe.”

Sound familiar?

This is what I had to say at the time.

Once again, a man has died at the hands of police for what began as a simple traffic stop.

When a Las Vegas man took off running after police tried to pull him over for not having a headlight on his bike, a pair of cops chased him down, then kneeled on his back as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.

Which turned out to be his last words.

He was found with drugs and a gun, and had slipped an ankle monitor, which explains why he ran.

But what it doesn’t explain is why police didn’t respond to his complaint about not being able to breathe once they had him in custody.

And why they allowed a traffic stop to escalate into a lethal use of force.

What’s missing there is any reference to the victim’s race.

In retrospect, it almost goes without saying that he was Black, although the only reference to his race was a photo from the police press conference and a news report showing the victim’s grieving family.

And he had a name.

Byron Lee Williams.

I didn’t mention it at the time; I don’t normally mention the names of people outside of Southern California, and often not then.

But in retrospect, I should have.

Because he joins a long and growing list of black people unjustly killed by police.

Names like Rayshard BrooksGeorge Floyd, Breanna Taylor and Michael Brown.

And Byron Lee Williams.

Which is not so say Williams didn’t do anything wrong. But nothing he did called for the death penalty. Or a summary execution without the benefit of a judge and jury.

And it never should have been allowed to escalate from something as minor as a simple traffic stop for a missing damn bike light.

Now Williams’ family is renewing their calls for justice, joining a loud, mournful and growing chorus of loved ones needlessly left behind.

As well they should. Especially in light of this, from a story released yesterday by NBC News.

Thompkins and Scott said the additional video showed officers dragging Williams around a corner, his body still limp, before dropping him on the ground. At one point, Thompkins said, the video showed Williams asking for an ambulance and an officer telling Williams that nobody was coming to help him.

Williams then fell silent, lying on the ground as the officers laughed and discussed weekend plans, Thompkins said.

I’ve known a lot of cops over the years, and worked with several as part of the LAPD’s bike liaison program.

With a few notable exceptions, most have struck me as caring men and women who want to do the right thing. And many want bad cops off the force as much as anyone else.

Although their union is another matter.

I’ve been quick to call the police out when they do something wrong. But I also recognize that my white skin means my experience isn’t the same as what my Black and brown friends have to go through at their hands.

And it’s entirely possible to recognize that police officers have dangerous jobs, and hope they all make it home at the end of his or her shift, while still recognizing that things have to change. Major, systemic changes.

It isn’t a matter of Black and white, liberal or conservative.

Just right and wrong.

Because we all have a right to get back home safely, and in one piece.

Regardless of skin color.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

Great news from former national road, crit and track champ Justin Williams, whose crowdfunding campaign for his Legion of Los Angeles cycling team has raised well over twice the original $50,000 goal to promote diversity in the sport.

He had this to say on his new From The Gun With L39ION podcast, as quoted by Cycling News.

“Wow, that’s been crazy,” said Williams of the fundraiser. “We set the mark at $50,000 because we thought that would be a decent number, and I want to share with you guys what we are going to put all of that toward. It’s more than doubled so we will figure out more stuff to put it toward, but for the most part we will put the money toward team infrastructure.

“The funds will allows us to do team camps and more community engagement, which is something I really like to do. We will bring back junior day camps and BBQs, and elevate what that was. We’ll break it up into three and four hours with the whole L39ION team, and then break up into groups … and it will be open to every junior team.”

Nice to see someone rewarded for doing good work.

………

Authorities have identified the victim of Wednesday’s e-scooter fatality in Silver Lake as 68-year old Los Angeles resident Timothy Stirton.

He was killed when a driver speeding at least twice the posted 35 mph speed limit slammed into him before crashing into a local restaurant.

The driver, a woman in her 70s, said her car began to accelerate when she tried to slow it down, and only drove onto the wrong side of the road to avoid crashing into other vehicles.

Which sounds less like a mechanical failure than yet another argument for testing older drivers on a regular basis, before they mistake the gas pedal for the brakes.

………

The latest video from GCN explores the eternal question of whether you should get a roadie or a gravel bike.

If you can even find one in this market, that is.

………

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

No bias here. A Vancouver woman says a decision to close a local park to cars while a bike lane is built is just an example of knee-jerk anti-car hostility, and accuses the “bike lobby” of bullying. Funny how people who oppose bike projects are just concerned citizens, but supporters always seem to be part of some shadowy bike lobby.

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

An accused Chechen hit man was apparently one of us, after he was seen throwing a wig, gun and a bicycle into a German river; prosecutors allege he murdered a Georgian man on orders from the Russian government.

………

Local

The LA-area Helpful Honda Dealers teamed with the LAPD to buy a new adaptive tricycle for a Sherman Oaks boy with Down’s syndrome, after his was stolen last month.

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bike ride with her boyfriend as part of a “fun-filled” day out.

 

State

Redding has become the first place in California to be honored with a bronze medal by the International Mountain Bicycle Association for its extensive trail system.

The fight over bike lanes is usually the need to remove parking spaces. In Santa Barbara, it means removing some fully grown trees.

A Fresno woman ran inside her house and locked the door after she was approached by a stranger. So he went into her open garage and walked off with a $1,700 ebike.

 

National

The New York Times offers detailed advice on how to start riding a bike in the age of coronavirus and bike shortages. Meanwhile, HuffPo offers suggestions from experienced bike riders for new urban bicyclists; always being predictable is a good place to start.

Streetsblog says this could be micromobility’s big moment as it experiences “stratospheric jumps” in usage around the US despite, or maybe because of, the pandemic.

A college professor explains how he lost 55 pounds after he changed careers and started bike commuting.

Portland bicyclists are riding to support Black Lives Matter protests and demand changes.

Never mind bike lanes. Cincinnati has over 570 miles of bike trails in the greater metro area.

Seriously? Buffalo NY residents are demanding changes after 120 pedestrians and 41 bike riders have been hit by drivers on a single street over the past five years, including three fatalities. Yet city officials have refused to implement traffic calming measures to save lives.

New York Streetsblog looks at the role bicycles play as a means of protest and exposing racism.

A Georgetown, Delaware organization bought a new bicycle for a 17-year old boy so he can get to work and keep his job.

Kindhearted Virginia cops dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young boy whose new bicycle was stolen just four hours after he got it, then they recovered his original bike in a creek; the boy’s parents say they’ll fix it up and give it to someone who needs one.

An Alabama man takes hit-and-run to the extreme, firing a gun in the street before assaulting a bike rider and stealing his bicycle, then fleeing on foot before he was captured by police.

Miami bike riders are in the same sinking boat as we Angelenos, as city leader leaders have failed to taken steps to accommodate the boom in bicycling.

No bias here, either. A letter writer in Key Biscayne, Florida demands a vote on a proposed new bike lane, saying bicyclists “don’t pay tolls or add to the economy, and in fact are just not good neighbors.” And swears locals will never give up their golf carts for a bike.

 

International

Scotland Yard is looking for a suspected serial bike thief accused of stealing nearly $12,500 worth of bicycles throughout the London area.

A Scottish op-ed calls bicyclists a threat to mature walkers, noting that older people may not be able to hear whistles or spoken warnings. Always ride with care around pedestrians of any age, and give them as wide a berth as possible, for their safety and yours.

The bike boom is real in the UK, and so is the bike shortage. One woman learns the bike she ordered won’t arrive until next year.

A new conversion kit from a Polish company promises to turn your bike into a smart ebike in just ten minutes.

Bikes are booming big time in Bangladesh, too.

An award-winning journalist is the subject of a fatwa from an Iranian cleric calling for her death, after she called for women to be allowed to ride bikes in the conservative Islamic country.

 

Competitive Cycling

London’s Black Cycling Network has launched the UK’s first Black and ethnic minority cycling team.

Pez Cycling News talks with former Swedish cycling star Marianne Berglund, who won over a hundred races in the ’80s and ’90s.

 

Finally…

How to ride your bike nearly 300 hours and not get anywhere. No, Jeep’s new ped-assist ebike is not a threat to Harley Davidson’s new $30,000 e-hog.

And riding around an airport can be a real blast.

That’s not a good thing.

………

Happy Juneteenth, and happy Father’s Day this Sunday.

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

%d bloggers like this: