Tag Archive for C40 Group

Chief Lunes cyclist dies in Vegas car crash, removing cops from traffic enforcement, and no 15-minute city in LA

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

Between my diabetes, neuropathy and whatever the hell else was going on, Thursday was one of the worst nights I’ve had in recent memory.

Just one more reminder that I’m not in charge of my own body any more.

Which is a very hard thing for a formerly dedicated bicyclist to face.

And another reminder to see your doctor, improve your diet, and do whatever it takes to keep your blood sugar under control. 

Because you really don’t want this shit. Especially now

Photo by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay.

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Let’s start with some heartbreaking news.

Many of us got to know Spencer Sims, either directly or through sites like this, following the hit-and-run death of bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA two years ago.

Like Woon, Sims was a member of the Chief Lunes cycling group, and was one of the leaders in the fight for justice for Frazier, as well as his mother and infant child, who was born after his death.

For well over a year afterwards, I got emails from Sims about the status of the case and the next moves in their battle for justice.

Sadly, I won’t be getting any more.

It took awhile to confirm, but Spencer Sims was killed, along with another man, in a single-car collision outside Las Vegas last week, when 19-year old driver lost control and the car they were riding in left the road.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt.

There were apparently no witnesses to the crash; a passerby reported finding the wreckage sometime later. Just a couple more sacrifices to the motor vehicle gods.

Now Woon’s mother will be even more alone and isolated without Sims looking in on her.

And he leaves this world without ever seeing justice for his friend and fellow rider. After a retracted confession and countless delays, Mariah Candice Banks, the woman accused of killing Woon in her high-end SUV, has yet to set foot in a courtroom for anything other than her arraignment.

Her long-delayed prelim is now scheduled for November 4th.

Sims won’t be there; let’s hope he and Woon are riding together somewhere. But maybe some of us can take his place.

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LAist makes the case for why we may not really need police to enforce traffic laws and curb traffic violence, suggesting there are effective alternatives like automated enforcement and self-enforcing street design.

This summer, a group of L.A. City Council members filed a motion calling on the city’s Department of Transportation and legislative officials to work with community members and report back on alternative methods of traffic enforcement, collision investigations and other traffic safety duties currently handled by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Some potential changes that will be explored: replacing LAPD officers with a “transit ambassador program” staffed by unarmed LADOT personnel and/or automated technology to monitor and cite drivers for speeding, illegal turns and other moving violations.

“Such a move would virtually eliminate the LAPD’s role in traffic stops, one of the leading forms of interaction between police and the public,” states the motion, which was filed by L.A. City Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mike Bonin, Curren Price and Herb Wesson.Breonna

It’s a challenging and thought-provoking read, well worth a few minutes of your time.

Because the current system really isn’t working for anyone.

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The C40 Cities — a group of 96 cities dedicated to taking action to fight climate change — says the concept of a 15-minute city is rapidly spreading around the world.

That’s the idea that you should be able to walk, bike or take transit to anything you need within 15 minutes of your home or office.

Except here in Los Angeles, of course.

Where the car continues to be king, nothing even slightly resembling a bike network exists anywhere outside of Downtown, and Metro just locked in major service cuts for at least the next year.

Never mind that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is the current chair of the Metro board. Not to mention chair of C-40 Cities.

Or are we not supposed to notice that?

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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

A truck driver floored it after encountering a Breonna Taylor protest in Hollywood, plowing through the crowd and seriously injuring a woman who was standing directly in front of his pickup.

That was followed by the driver of a Prius who forced his way through the crowd before being stopped and attacked with skateboards and bicycles.

A person was injured when a pickup driver plowed through a racial justice protest in Eureka, appearing to strike several people; the regional Coalition for Responsible Transportation condemned the attack.

A Milwaukee woman was injured when a driver accidentally hit her bike as she was riding on the wrong side of the road during a protest.

A Buffalo, New York woman faces charges for intentionally driving through a Bronna Taylor protest, seriously injuring a woman working as a bike marshal,

However, an Orange County woman flipped the script, seriously injuring two people by driving through a conservative, pro-Trump rally; 40-year old Long Beach resident Tatiana Turner was arrested.

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In a truly sickening action, a Seattle bike cop deliberately rolled his police bicycle over the head of a protestor lying prone in the street.

He was immediately placed on leave after the video surfaced, pending an investigation., while the victim decried the apparent disregard for human life.

Let’s hope this is the last time that cop wears blue.

A little further south in Portland, police threw an Uber delivery rider off his bike and hogtied him, even as he insisted he was just doing his job and had nothing to do with the protests.

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VeloNews follows along as five riders and a camera crew hope to inspire others with a 1,114-mile journey bikepacking tour exploring the Underground Railroad.

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Gravel Bike California goes riding in Puerco Canyon, as well as Latino Canyon and the iconic Rock Store.

For those Español challenged like me, that translates to Pig Canyon.

Just so you know.

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Slow Streets comes to Altadena, where most streets are, anyway.

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

A New York woman recounts her recent hit-and-run, describing a deliberate attack by a driver who knew he could get away with it.

Police are looking for a man who jumped off some rocks to attack two bicyclists with a bat as they rode on a paved trail through a Philadelphia park.

A Scottish cyclist reports an elderly “gentleman” tried to run him and another rider off the road, slowing down and swerving into them just after they completed a 31-hour, 560-mile ride. Although that pretty much defies any definition of gentleman I’m familiar with.

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

Long Beach police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who killed another man in an early morning bike-by shooting.

A defense lawyer in Canada’s Northwest Territories argues that his client was too drunk to form the intent necessary for murder, after killing another man following a day of bicycling in a drunken stupor.

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Local

Metro Bike is shutting down operations on LA’s Westside for a couple months starting today, as the system expands and unifies the Westside and Central bikeshare networks, as well as bringing in the popular ebike service.

Despite the budget cuts, Metro’s new long-range budget included plans to close the long-standing eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path, and provide better bike access to DTLA. Because evidently, those must be the only places anyone would ever want to go on a bicycle.

 

State

SoCal ebike maker Electric Bike Company has opened their first showroom in Huntington Beach.

A San Diego nonprofit is working with local small businesses to train young adults to work in the bicycle industry.

A Ventura man celebrated his miraculous recovery from a near-fatal mountain bike crash by paddle boarding 14 miles back to Channel Islands Harbor Marina from Anacapa Island.

Bay Area bike riders dropped Bike to Work Day and celebrated Bike to Wherever Day last week, instead.

San Francisco finally gets around to opening a carfree route through Golden Gate Park.

Seriously? A woman who was injured riding a Jump scooter in San Francisco has filed a class action suit against several e-scooter companies, including Uber and Segway, because…wait for it…no one warned consumers that scooters don’t have turn signals. No one tell her about bicycles.

 

National

How to access bicycling directions in the latest version of Apple Maps.

The former head of the League of American Bicyclists says it’s time to stop relying on commuter data as the primary measure to make traffic planning decisions, because there’s a lot more to transportation.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is back in the bike business with a small line of carbon ebikes that are a far cry from the road bikes he used to be known for.

Minneapolis’ Black-led Major Taylor bike club has been working for two decades to get more people of color on bicycles.

How to navigate your next bike vacation in the Big Apple.

 

International

An op-ed from The Guardian calls for media reporting guidelines for traffic safety, arguing that how stories are reported and the language used contribute to the dangers on our roads and how the law is applied.

He gets it. Another writer for The Guardian says denying a child the joys of riding a bicycle is an abdication of parental responsibility, adding “No video game, Covid-19 lockdown or computer simulation can replace the childhood liberation of being alone on a bicycle.”

E-cargo bikes are already replacing trucks in cities around the world.

Chances are, a 13-year old dog may have visited more countries by bike than you have, traveling through 26 countries on a two-year bike tour of Europe and South America.

Cycling Weekly directs your attention to the best eco-conscious bikewear brands.

Needless to say, Vancouver bike riders aren’t happy about the closure of a popup bike lane through a park, because drivers somehow insisted they needed two lanes each way for their cars. Yes, choosing cars over people in a park.

A bighearted Cambridge University academic replaced a speech therapist’s stolen bike, because they’d helped him so much when he was diagnosed with a severe speech impediment as a child.

An 11-year old English girl rode a tandem 70 miles with her dad to visit all 12 cricket clubs in the North Staffordshire area, raising more than four times her original goal of £500 for cardiac risk assessments for young people; she’s raised the equivalent of over $2,800.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 93-year old British man raced competitively until he was 80, and still rides 150 miles a week.

A bike rider in the UK recorded 14 drivers traveling through a popup bike lane in just 35 minutes. Kind of makes you wonder how many went through it the other 23 hours and 25 minutes.

Forget CicLAvia. The entire city of Paris left their cars at home for one day for the city’s annual carfree day.

Parisian pedestrians find themselves competing for space with bike riders on the city’s busy streets.

France is introducing a new victim-blaming bike safety campaign as bicycling injuries go up with more people taking to the streets on two wheels.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. An Indian family is alive today because an anonymous bike rider was in the right place at the right time, leaping into action to pull them to safety after their car went off the road and into a natural drain before simply riding away afterwards; sadly, though, he wasn’t able to save the family’s three-year old girl.

Bicycling violations are up as in Japan as bicycling booms during the pandemic.

Malaysian bike riders take issue with a call from the country’s road safety institute to license bicyclists and require numbered plates, saying it would not improve traffic safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

Julian Alaphilippe won the world road championships with a late attack, becoming the first Frenchman to wear the rainbow jersey in over two decades.

Anna van der Breggen continued the Dutch dominance of the women’s road worlds, as the country placed three of the four top finishers; cyclists from the Netherlands have won the event four years in a row. Van de Breggen claimed the time trial title, too.

Last week we mentioned defending champ Chloe Dygert was injured after wiping out during the women’s time trial world championships. Turns out that injury was more gruesome than any of us probably imagined.

 

Finally…

If he really was Lucifer, why would he need to steal a bike? Two hundred miles in 32 hours is pretty good — especially when you’re doing it on your daughter’s little pink girl’s bike.

And evidently, moose don’t like cars any more than people on bikes do.

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

G’mar Chatima Tovah!

Climate mayors call for 15 minute cities, thief ransacks Anaheim bike room, and trade your privacy for Road ID discount

A report from the C40 Cities group promotes the new Paris model of putting all necessities within a 15 minute biking or walking distance.

The climate group, currently led by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, encourages the model as a response to municipal budgets ravaged by Covid-19.

Which makes it worth noting that the “world’s climate mayor” is doing nothing of the sort in his own city, except for encouraging greater density.

Which is problematic in itself, after a number of current and former city officials have been implicated in a bribery scheme to approve building projects.

As we’ve noted before, cities around the world have taken advantage of the lighter traffic brought on by the pandemic to make temporary, and sometimes permanent, changes to encourage more biking and walking.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, has done absolutely nothing outside of the Downtown area, where Councilmember Jose Huizar has been a driving force behind a move to Complete Streets.

He is also charged with being the ringleader behind the bribery scheme.

Which pretty much sums up the current state of the city.

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A bike thief was caught on video ransacking an Anaheim building’s bike room. Which is exactly why I don’t recommend using them.

Bike rooms give the illusion of security while providing an enticing target for thieves. Better to find space in your home to keep your bikes inside.

And register your damn bike already.

https://twitter.com/lemusss29/status/1287897963927281664

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Road ID is offering half off to VIP members starting tomorrow — if you’re willing to sacrifice your privacy to become one by signing up for texts.

I wear mine every time I ride my bike. And any other time I leave home.

But I also prefer to maintain a little privacy, and not get spammed with commercial messages every time I look at my phone.

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Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley is one of us.

Orlando Bloom is one of us, too.

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

No surprise here, as Oregon bike riders report a rising tide of road rage incidents in recent months. Everyone is stressed because of the coronavirus and the resulting restrictions, which means too many drivers will end up taking it out on us.

Seriously? A moonlighting Arizona cop says he felt his life was threatened by a mountain biker who ignored no trespassing signs at a golf course while looking for a formerly accessible trailhead — so he tackled the rider off his bike and pulled a loaded gun on him during the scuffle, while insisting the victim somehow lunged off his bike at him.

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

Chicago police appear stumped about why a man on a bike shot and killed a Rastafarian community activist, though conservatives are quick to blame his surprising support for Donald Trump for his murder.

A New York bike rider went on a racist and homophobic obscenity-laced rant after an Asian driver honked at him, then faked an injury claiming the driver hit his “$11,000 bike.”

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CDTvX1UhjFe/?utm_source=ig_embed

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Local

Metro Bike is offering a bikeshare relief program through this month, with discounted passes ranging from a single $1 ride or 24-hour pass, to a $100 pass for a full year.

LA-area streets are being reimagined as outdoor dining spaces; the question is whether it will last post-pandemic. Actually, the real question is why we can find street space for restaurant patrons, but we can’t manage to find any for bike lanes.

KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks with Lex Roman, author of a guide to where to vote and how government works, about how you can become a more civically engaged Angeleno. Because most of us need to.

 

State

Encinitas has finished work on protected bike lanes and other infrastructure improvements, including mosaic art panels designed by local students and artists

Groups of wheelie-popping teens are ignoring the dismount signs on Santa Barbara’s newly pedestrianized State Street.

The Bay Area’s East Bay Times recommends more than a dozen “great, scenic bike trails” crisscrossing the region.

Yreka’s Leslie Burley-Cobb has been nominated for the BMX Hall of Fame; she was one of the first women in the sport in the late ’70s, collecting 268 trophies before she retired in 1985. Raise your hand if you knew there even was a BMX Hall of Fame. And yes, mine are firmly in my pockets. 

 

National

A Harvard professor is nearing the end of his cross-country bike ride to call attention to Black Lives Matter and Black Birders Week.

A writer for Gizmodo says riding an ebike has changed her entire perspective on how we get around.

Yahoo Life! says you don’t need bike shorts or clip-in shoes for these “cute” commuter bikes. Then again, you don’t need them for any other bikes, either.

“Beloved” international security expert and self-defense trainer Dave Acosta was killed in a Utah mountain biking crash last week.

Beloit, Wisconsin’s Bike Elves program has refurbished and given away 5,380 bicycles over the last nine years, after being founded by a man suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s.

An Illinois driver is being held on $1 million bail for reckless homicide after killing one bike rider and critically injuring another while fleeing from police.

Minnesota has found a used for abandoned mine pits by converting them to 30 miles of mountain bike trails.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A well-known Memphis minister died after being taken off life support following a bicycling collision last week.

The worldwide bike boom continues, as Boston bike shops are running out of bicycles.

Now that’s more like it. The New York Times offers tips on how to stay safe on mass transit — and includes bikeshare as a recommended alternative.

Drive-in movies are popping up all over New York; bike-in movies, not so much.

A New York novelist says riding through the pandemic has changed her perspective of the city.

 

International

Road.cc previews the bike tech trends for next year.

Rapha was justifiably criticized for water bottles printed with a message that could lead to eating disorders if anyone actually followed it.

After a London cabbie posted photos of Dutch parents riding their kids to school on cargo bikes, sarcastically asking if that’s really the kind of morning school run people want to see, the public responded with a resounding “Yes.”

A Croatian expat living in London says helmets, Lycra and flashing lights have become part of his new reality exploring the city by bike in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

Five Northern England bicycle trails to add to your bike bucket list. Unless maybe you’d rather combine beer and bikes on five trails surrounding Prague in the Czech Republic. I’ll take both, thank you. And they make some pretty decent beer in the UK, too.

The Irish Times recounts 12 reasons to start riding a bike, almost all of which apply equally well on this side of the Atlantic.

Take a nearly 1,250 mile ride over trees and beneath the water on the trails of the Belgian home of stinky cheese.

Bicyclists have been unofficially banned from the highways of Jalandhar, India, even though it’s legal to ride there; despite the law, riders are being told to stay off the roads following the death of a bike rider.

A Philippines foundation is changing lives one bicycle at a time by donating mountain bikes to people struggling to hold onto their jobs in the face of the pandemic.

Red Bull Australia picks their ten favorite gravel bike shoes, as well as eleven cycling jerseys that apparently don’t care where you wear them.

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Ellen Van Dijk won the Strade Bianche gravel race on a bike borrowed from a teammate, after her Trek-Segafredo team was struck by thieves the night before the race. Meanwhile, Wout van Aert won on the men’s side.

Former Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali suffered an injured hand in the Strade Bianche, just one of the 124 cyclists who abandoned the race in 104° temperatures out of the 166 who started; only 45 cyclists finished the women’s race.

 

Finally…

High-end bike options for people who have more dollars than sense, and are willing to part with a lot of the former.

And don’t dare ride a whole six miles below the speed limit after lunch with you mom.

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

Morning Links: Eric Garcetti strange choice to chair global mayors’ climate group, and lots of upcoming bike events

In a surprising move, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been chosen to chair the C40 group of global mayors as they confront climate change.

Maybe the other 90-plus mayors haven’t taken a good look at what’s happening on our city streets lately.

Or more precisely, what’s not happening.

Garcetti was chosen to follow Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo as chair, who earned her bona fides by taking dramatic steps to cut auto use and emissions in the city, including closing down a major highway along the Seine, banning diesel cars from the entire metro area by 2025, and removing all gas-powered cars from the city’s streets five years later.

By comparison, Garcetti has talked about, but not implemented, Vision Zero and a citywide Green New Deal. And ripped out road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey because some people got mad.

He claims he’s going to make implementing a Global Green New Deal his top priority.

Maybe he could start by doing something about the sheer number of motor vehicles on the streets, and providing safe, convenient alternatives to driving. Something he’s failed at miserably in the six years he’s been mayor.

But maybe all those other mayors know something we don’t.

We can only hope.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers ten specific steps Garcetti could take to show he’s taking the climate emergency seriously — all of them good.

And the LA Times says fighting global climate change will take political courage at home. Something else Garcetti has failed at miserably so far.

Paris’ green revolution has been both wildly popular and incredibly controversial — in part because the transformation has been so swift. But the mayor has been unrelenting in her campaign, showing what is possible when a major city commits to fight climate change on the ground.

Garcetti could do something similar in Los Angeles. He could, for example, build bus-only lanes, protected bike lanes and safer streets. He could set a powerful example for the entire world by starting to transform a city famous for its cars (and the traffic and pollution and greenhouse gases they bring) into one that people can navigate without them.

But unless Eric Garcetti can rediscover the political leadership he showed as council president under former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, you can probably plan for a very hot future.

Photo of Eric Garcetti at C40 group taken from press announcement from the mayor’s office.

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Let’s catch up on some upcoming bike events.

You’re invited to tomorrow’s slow roll and model-building workshop to envision a more bike-friendly Elysian Valley.

This Sunday Lyft and Santa Monica Spoke are sponsoring a Lyft Scooters Safety Event with free test rides, skills training, refreshments and helmet giveaways at the Santa Monica Bike Campus.

The California Bike Summit returns to Los Angeles this Tuesday through Thursday at the Center for Healthy Communities in DTLA, sponsored by Calbike.

Volunteers are still needed for the 12th Annual Bicycle and Pedestrian Count in Long Beach on October 17th and 20th.

Phil Gaimon’s Hillclimb World Championships will head up Santa Barbara’s famed Gibraltar Road on the 19th. Cookies will be had by all.

CicLAvia will team with Strava to present A CivSalon: Who Do LA Streets Serve? on October 22nd.

The San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event returns on the 26th of this month, with a route through El Monte and South El Monte.

San Diego’s CicloSDias open street event will walk, roll, skate and stroll the streets of our neighbor to the south on October 27th. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Peter Sagan’s Gran Fondo Roadie-Oh comes to San Diego November 8th through 10th.

Pasadena will host the 2nd Annual Pasadena Adaptive Sports Festival on November 9th, with eight adaptive sports including handcycling.

The San Diego Padres will host their 7th Annual Padres Pedal the Cause at Petco Park November 16th to raise money to fight cancer.

The last CicLAvia of the year will roll a straight route down Sherman Way in the San Fernando Valley on December 8th.

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Local

Less than half of all UCLA employees drive alone to the university, compared to just 23% of students. But just 3.5% of students and staff bike to campus, in a sign of how little Los Angeles has done to provide safe riding routes through Westwood.

South Bay letter writers say people on bicycles aren’t the problem, it’s the people in the big, dangerous machines.

 

State

New rules are reining in San Diego’s e-scooter Wild West.

The man who allegedly ran down a Ramona woman as she rode her bike to work last week pled not guilty to a charge of felony hit and run.

A Vallejo cop takes the fifth in a lawsuit over the shooting death of a man who was stopped for not having a light on his bike; he was also one of the cops who fatally shot a man who was sleeping in his car in a Taco Bell parking lot with a gun in his lap.

 

National

A new study shows wearing a bike helmet can reduce your risk of a facial injury by 40%, but does nothing to reduce the severity if you do suffer one; despite those results, the researchers recommend that bicyclists should wear the equivalent of a full-face motorcycle helmet.

The Verge offers tips on how to buy an ebike. Step 1: Find the bike you want. Step 2: Pay for it. Step 3: Enjoy!

If you can get past their paywall, the Wall Street Journal concludes that smart helmets are probably safer; you can now get the new Lumix Matrix smart helmet at the Apple Store.

Bicycling says its not just an Apple Watch that can call for help if you fall off your bike. And offers 15 great trails to add to your mountain bike bucket list.

Don’t count on a driverless Tesla to spot you. Or avoid you, for that matter.

Kindhearted Sioux Falls SD residents join with a local business to buy a new handcycle for a man suffering from a rare cancer after he had a leg amputated.

A Minneapolis man decides to honor his late brother with a “fantastical” diagonal ride across the US from Northwest Washington state to Key West, Florida.

Michigan bike advocates say put a bell on your bike.

Senior players on an Ohio high school football team pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a freshman teammate, after the one he used to ride to school was stolen.

Evidently, it’s not just the NYPD that insists on using a new bike lane as a parking lot.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is one of us, relaxing after games by riding his beach cruiser home. But he’s willing to have the fans join him.

This is who we share the roads with. A white Florida man gets 20 years for fatally shooting a black man in a dispute over a lousy parking spot.

 

International

Trump says he’s aware of the wife of an American diplomat who claimed diplomatic immunity to avoid responsibility for the hit-and-run death of a British motorcyclist, but is noncommittal about sending her back to face charges, and puts the blame on Brits for driving on the wrong side. But his notes tell a different story, clearly stating that she will not be going back to the UK.

Dyson drops its plans to build an electric car. Which is too bad, because we could really use a car that vacuums the road at the same time.

Expect to pay an extra 30 rupee baggage fee to take your non-foldie bike onto a Bangalore Metro train — which works out to just 42¢.

A South African website offers advice on how bicyclists can stay safe on the roads. Which for once doesn’t start and finish with “wear a helmet.”

A plus-sized former rugby player worked with another Aussie man to build an unbreakable high-end road bike for heavier riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

A sports website says riding in the Tour de France would be murder on your body, no matter how athletic you are.

Some of pro cycling’s better known names still aren’t under contract for next year, including American’s Taylor Phinney and Brent Bookwalter.

 

Finally…

Some people think the answer to everything is found in the Bible, like whether to build a bike path. If you’re riding a stolen bicycle while carrying garden shears, brass knuckles and a shotgun, put a damn light on it, already.

And let’s end today with a couple minute mountain bike break.

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