Tag Archive for California

How to make bicycling more inclusive, police demand bike licenses in Lompoc, and $1000 ebike rebates in Sonoma

A new study from PeopleForBikes takes an in-depth look at how to break down the barriers to bicycling in the US, and make it more inclusive.

Bicycling Retailer reports the study concluded with five recommendations.

  • Meaningfully engage with historically marginalized communities on their turf: This is critical for facility planning, implementation, and promotion of cycling. It means going to places of work, play and residence and not expecting them to come to traditional meetings.
  • Don’t shy away from conducting focus groups in and with communities of color: A lesson learned during the study was the lack of experience many had with engaging and recruiting people of color to participate in the focus groups. It’s important to continue building rapport.
  • Expand private-sector encouragement programs: Businesses should encourage employees to commute by bike and provide incentives, from financial to amenities like shower facilities and indoor bike storage.
  • Develop tailored and culturally relevant educational materials, marketing, and outreach strategies: Bicycle safety and road sharing education needs to be provided for drivers, bicyclists, e-scooter users — and police officers, too.
  • Build and invest in bicycle infrastructure, both the big and small stuff: Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or age, most focus group participants said having a network of protected bike lanes was the No. 1 factor that would increase comfort and safety while bicycling. This is especially true with women and less-experienced bicyclists in high-traffic areas.

I’d add a sixth recommendation — find a way to overcome the inbuilt bias in favor of motor vehicles that permeates virtually every city, and prevents the building of safe bike infrastructure that would encourage more people of every description to ride.

Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay.

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In a report that doesn’t make any sense, a group of Santa Barbara-area TV stations say Lompoc police will now require bike riders to have a bicycle license, which is illegal under California law.

Not to mention every other state.

According to the report, the goal is to curb reckless bike riding by groups of young people.

The police department said it commonly receives reports of a group of young bicyclists riding in and out of traffic dangerously, cutting off vehicles, riding throughout parking lots and blocking traffic.

“The biggest complaint that we get is on these kids riding wheelies in the middle of traffic and playing chicken with vehicles,” said Sergeant Arias. “They’ll ride a wheelie for a long distance of time and a vehicle is coming and they’ll stay with the vehicle, and right at the last second they’re swerving to miss the vehicle and the goal is to see how close you can get to a vehicle.”

The problem is that only the state is authorized to write laws governing traffic, and it strictly controls what cities are allowed to do. And operator licensing is a right reserved to the state, which only requires them to operate motor vehicles.

Not to mention that police are only allowed to enforce traffic laws, not make them.

It could simply be a matter of bad reporting, with the station confusing bike licenses with registration.

State law allows cities to decide whether to require bicycle registration to prevent theft, and impose a small fine for failing to do so.

(I can’t find the code online right now, but as memory serves, it’s somewhere around $12.)

But the purpose of the law is to aid in recovering a stolen bike, not to rein in bad bike behavior.

So either the police intend to abuse the bicycle registration requirement to enforce behavior, or they are illegally attempting to rewrite the state vehicle code.

Neither one is good.

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A Sonoma Clean Power program is offering select ratepayers a $1,000 rebate to buy a new ebike.

Which raises the obvious question of why isn’t it available everywhere?

Or at least here in Southern California, where we “enjoy” the nation’s worst traffic and air quality, and desperately need efficient — and affordable — alternatives to driving.

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Pink Bike wants to show you how to survive mountain biking in wet weather.

Aside from just not doing it, that is.

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

A North Carolina bike rider learns the hard way exactly what a brake check looks like after complaining about a too close pass.

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

No bias here. A San Clemente CA letter writer wonders why the city is concerned with banning ebikes from the boardwalk, when local residents are “literally terrorized” by bullying roadies who refuse fail to comply with any traffic laws.

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Local

The LA Times explains how to hike the Santa Monica Mountains’ 67-mile Backbone Trail in eight easy day hikes. I know that’s not about bikes, but it’s all I found today.

 

State

San Diego residents will now be able to voice their concerns about dangerous road conditions, including bike lanes or the lack thereof, in new online forums maintained by the San Diego Association of Governments. Which could be a great idea if they actually read and act on them — without letting the motoring/NIMBY crowd dominate the conversation.

A professor emeritus at UC Berkeley says he’s back on his bike after nearly losing his life on his 19th cross-country bike tour, when the lane he was riding in suddenly ended on a steep descent.

No bias here. A Sacramento TV station warns about dangerous street rides taking over area roadways, then proceeds to report on a weekly, well-mannered family ride in Tracy, where even the police say there have been few problems.

 

National

She gets it. Curbed’s Alissa Walker says America’s standstill traffic is the only thing keeping traffic death rates from being even worse.

Recovering raptors in Bend, Oregon have a bike shop to thank for their new perches, as a local bike shop recycles its used tires by sending them to a nearby wildlife hospital.

Bike Portland profiles a “35-year-old, gay, armless, bike-loving former Russian orphan who wants to be Oregon’s next governor.”

Seattle bike shops are warning customers that the pandemic bike boom, and resulting bicycle shortage, is still going strong, and if you want a new bike this summer, you’d better order it now. Although an industry expect says a bike glut is inevitable when this is all over.

A 16-year old Las Vegas boy decides to pay it forward when strangers raise over $1,000 to replace his bicycle, which was stolen while he was at work; the boy, who has been in and out of foster care most of his life, will hold a bike drive this weekend to help others.

Missouri state troopers remind drivers that bicyclists have a right to the road, and motorists have a responsibility to drive safely around people on bicycles and motorcycles.

A New York website examines why so many automakers are now offering ebikes, concluding if may be less of a transitional step to buying an electric car than a realization that “life’s much more fun (and less expensive) on two wheels.”

A county executive on New York’s Long Island vetoed a measure to ban reckless bicycling by allowing police to “confiscate bikes and issue fines to cyclists who weave through traffic or ride with no hands, among other infractions.”

 

International

Cyclist dishes advice on how to make your bike faster, including reducing drag from flapping clothing and getting a good bike fitting. Although in my experience, the best way to get faster is to drop your own weight, if you have a few extra pounds to lose.

Sad new from Ecuador, as 59-year old former Olympian cyclist John Jarrin was killed when he was struck by the driver of a garbage truck as he rode his bike to work in the city of Cuenca.

A short film from Outside profiles the trail builders behind British Columbia’s new Kamloops Bike Ranch.

Good idea. A new sign now tells drivers when someone is riding a bicycle on a British Columbia bridge.

An 80-something London letter writer argues that he sometimes walks and sometimes rides a bike, but that doesn’t make him a cyclist or pedestrian. And that the best way to get more people to walk and bike is to reduce motor vehicle traffic on the crowded streets.

Hello contradicts former bonny prince Harry’s statement to Oprah in the recent interview that he didn’t get to ride a bike as a kid, showing photos of him riding with his royal parents.

British bike legend Chris Boardman says e-cars are now the biggest hindrance to active transportation, because they give people a reason not to change their behavior.

 

Competitive Cycling

Early season bike racing continues, as France’s Julian Alaphilippe out sprinted the peloton to win the second stage of the weeklong Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, while Belgium’s Wout van Aert holds the overall lead.

Cyclist profiles all-time women’s great Jeanie Longo as part of their series of legendary women; Longo continued winning races into her forties, despite allegations of doping.

Cycling Weekly asks if enough is being done to protect riders in the peloton from concussions. Short answer, no.

 

Finally…

Presenting a new city bike with a real twist — no, literally. And a collision between a bike rider and a truck driver is a wreck, not a battle.

Even if it does feel like a war out there some times.

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

State considers ebike rebates and stop as yield, and maybe now LA County will finally fix deadly Hawthorne Blvd

Things could be looking up in the state legislature.

Streetsblog takes a look at bike and traffic safety bills that have been introduced this session that could actually make a real difference on our streets.

AB 122 would finally legalize what most bike riders — and too many drivers — already do by allowing them to treat stop signs as yields; a similar law in Delaware resulted in a 23% reduction in bike crashes at intersections with stop signs.

AB 117 would allocate $10 million from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to provide rebates for ebike buyers; combined with a proposed 30% rebate on ebikes from the federal government, it could finally make ebikes affordable for lower income buyers.

Permanent Slow Streets could become a fixture in neighborhood with limited access to parks and high air pollution risk if AB 773 passes both houses.

As currently written, AB 43, sponsored by new Assembly Transportation Committee chair Laura Friedman would only track bike and pedestrian crashes, but the Burbank assemblywoman hopes to rework it to compel cities to redesign streets to lower speeds.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

You couldn’t have turned on your TV yesterday without encountering wall-to-wall coverage of Tiger Woods’ high speed rollover crash on Hawthorne Blvd in tony Palos Verdes Estates.

Fortunately, he’s expected to survive, despite major injuries to both legs.

But it raises the question of why nothing has been done to improve safety on the deadly street, where a bike rider died in a hit-and-run a little further down the road a few years ago, and where residents say drivers routinely exceed the 45 mph speed limit.

It nearly took the life of one of the world’s greatest golfers.

The next person may not be so lucky.

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White Eyes, a 20-minute short film shortlisted for this year’s Live Action Short Oscar, questions who really owns a stolen bicycle, and the effect reclaiming it would have on the lives of those involved.

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People for Bikes takes a quick look at Black bike history.

https://twitter.com/peopleforbikes/status/1364314351990149120

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This is what a hit-and-run looks like.

The 48-year old English victim was lucky to escape with minor injuries, while questioning the humanity of the driver who left him lying in the street.

“You are not telling me you can’t see or feel a fully grown man on a bike coming in the roundabout. I’m sorry, but that’s just can’t be true.

“I’m really angry, sad and disappointed at the same time. I’m disappointed in the driver, as a human being. One thing is sure that had I done something like that, I would’ve been able to drive away.”

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One quick way to earn a bunch of one star reviews — park in a protected bike lane.

https://twitter.com/JamesNonchalant/status/1364132581810266115?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1364132581810266115%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-23-february-2021-281119

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

A new bill put forward by GOP members in the Washington legislature would tax bicycle and transit riders, as well as Uber passengers, to maintain the roads and fix the damage caused by…cars and trucks.

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

Police in Elmira NY are looking for a bike-riding man who slashed another man in the arm in a dispute over who owned the bicycle; the victim mistakenly thought it was his.

A British man walked with probation and a fine for punching his neighbor and throwing a bicycle at him when the other man refused to turn down his music at 5 am.

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Local

LA pediatric neurologist Chris Giza explains to The Washington Post how a 21-mile fake commute along the beach can provide balance for people working from home during the pandemic.

Once an environmental makeover of the Ballona Wetlands is finished, you could be able to actually ride through it, rather than just speed past on the Ballona Creek bike path.

Culver City is holding a virtual meeting tomorrow to consider expanding and strengthening the city’s Slow Streets program, including making the existing Slow Streets permanent.

 

State

A pair of California college students rediscovered their faith in humanity by riding across the US; the two women spent three months traveling a meandering 4,200-mile route.

Some San Diego bike riders say roundabouts may improve safety, but they don’t feel safe using them.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette examines the ways insurance companies will try to deny a claim by arguing that you assumed the risk of injury when you got on your bicycle. Which is like saying a driver assumed the risk of a wreck by turning the ignition key.

A Santa Cruz scientist who fatally ran down a bike-riding teenage farm worker 25 years ago warns maskless protesters what it feels like to carry that guilt every day.

A new gap-closing bikeway should turn Monterey’s bike lane to nowhere into a connected bike network that actually leads somewhere, while bike riders wait for the completion of a 28-mile off-road bike path connecting key points throughout the city.

 

National

The Today Show profiles three Black founders who built inclusive fitness groups for everyone, including Black Girls Do Bike founder Monica Garrison.

An outdoor website questions whether the REI co-op has grown too much; it’s now a $3 billion business with 168 stores and 19 million members.

Three generations of a Hawaiian bike shop-owning family struggle to weather the ups and downs brought on by the pandemic bike boom.

Kindhearted Florida cops gave a five-year old boy a new bike after his was destroyed in a “horrific” crash that left him seriously injured.

 

International

Road.cc considers fourteen of the best touring bikes for when you finally decide to chuck it all and hit the road.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old Vancouver man is back on a bike, after a bike shop offered him a loaner ebike for 30 days in hopes his own stolen ebike somehow turns up. He’s also had a martini every day for the last 60 years.

Devastated family members plead for information on how a Scottish man died, after his body was found three years following his disappearance on a charity bike ride.

Tragic news from the UK, where a three-year old girl accidentally hung herself when she fell from a tree while wearing her unicorn bike helmet. Sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve seen stories like this. It’s just another reminder that children’s bike helmets are for riding bikes, and can be dangerous under other circumstances.

An Irish girl who won the hearts of her countrymen when she opened up on TV about losing her leg to cancer has won them again, after learning how to ride a bike again using her prosthetic leg.

Sweden is reducing car usage and making cities more livable by replacing street parking with tables, benches and plants.

A Singapore ebike dealer will spend the next 13 weeks behind bars for forging government seals ensuring power-assist ebikes are safe to use, after repeated attempts to get official approvals failed.

A New Zealand ebike designer is calling for online retailers to fight bike theft by removing ebike chargers from their websites, and requiring proof of ownership before selling them.

Melbourne, Australia bike riders hope the fourth time is the charm, after three previous attempts at bikeshare failed.

You’ve got to be kidding. Melbourne police will use handheld speed guns to crack down on bicycle and e-scooter riders violating the 6 mph speed limit on a multi-use promenade. I have trouble riding that slow even in my lowest gears without falling over.

Australian authorities are offering a $250,000 reward for information on how a man ended up submerged in a sewage tank, after he was last seen riding his bicycle two years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips profiles 2019 junior world road and track champ Megan Jastrab, who won virtually every race she entered before Covid put juniors racing on hold, giving her an extra year to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Your new Porsche could come with a built-in bike rack. Your next bike helmet could weigh less than a hamster, or maybe a half dozen Pop Tarts.

And when you want to feel like you’re riding Eddie Van Halen’s guitar.

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

LADOT sets priorities for state legislation, driver tries to run down Pasadena bike riders, and fallen DC cop was one of us

Thanks to all for the kind words after yesterday’s non-post.

My pain is back down to a more normal — and more tolerable — level, so let’s get on with it. 

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Looks like they finally get it.

LADOT has released their legislative priorities for the coming year, which they’ll take to the state legislature if the Los Angeles City Council gives the okay.

1 – Reforming state law, allowing LA to lower speed limits (it’s crazy, but today LA doesn’t have control over its own speed limits, and even has to raise speed limits on already dangerous roads!)

2 – Automating speeding tickets using speed safety cameras. Speed is the #1 factor in determining if someone lives or dies when hit by a car, and speed cameras are a proven solution to reduce excessive speeding. Armed officers must be removed from traffic law enforcement, and this is a great way to do it. LADOT has a thoughtful proposal that takes into account privacy and makes sure the burden doesn’t fall disproportionately on communities that can least afford it.

3 – Increase legal protections for the most vulnerable road users(pedestrians and cyclists). This would increase civil fines and penalties in the event of crashes caused by carelessness or driver distraction (ex. texting).

4 – Get rid of handicap placard abuse by reforming the benefits they provide and increasing enforcement, so we can preserve handicap spots for those that truly need it.

Throw in new laws to target the hit-and-run epidemic crippling Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians — too often literally — and they might be on to something.

Streets For All is asking everyone to submit a comment to the council in support of the LADOT agenda.

You can find a sample comment template here, and use this link to submit your comments.

And if you want to call on the council to add a fifth priority to address hit-and-run, I won’t complain.

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A report has been circulating on Nextdoor about a driver intentionally trying to run down and brake check a pair of Pasadena bike riders.

I’ve obscured the license plate number since I have no way of verifying the report.

But keep your eyes open if you ride in the area.

And let’s hope the victims reported it to the police, because this is a crime — end could have easily been much worse.

Thanks to Steve Messer for the heads-up.

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Zachary Rynew calls out the sexism that’s been baked into the popular Belgian Waffle Ride in years past.

And which, like podium girls, doesn’t belong in cycling, period.

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That’s easy. All of them.

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Looks like fallen Officer Brian Sicknick, who gave his life defending the US Capital from insurrectionists on January 6th, was one of us.

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One hundred-year old Captain Sir Tom Moore was one of us, too.

The bike-riding WWII vet raised the equivalent of nearly $45 million for the UK’s National Health Service by walking laps across his backyard.

Sadly, he died Tuesday after catching Covid-19.

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Thanks to BikeSD for today’s history lesson, and shining a light on a Black woman we should all be thankful for.

And someone I’d never heard of before.

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Zwift invites you to pedal along with top Black cyclists like Nelson Vails, Rahsaan Bahati and Ama Nsek of LA’s L39ION of Los Angeles team in a virtual ride through New York.

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

No bias here. British radio personality Nick Ferrari, a regular critic of bicycling, said London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods are a form of apartheid. Never mind that he lives on one himself.

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

A British man denied selling an ebike allegedly used in a fatal shooting to cover-up for his nephews accused of the crime.

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Local

Hats off to LA’s Michael Park, who’s giving back to the community by leading a crew of bike riders in feeding the homeless in Koreatown twice a week. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

Metro Bike is offering a discounted bikeshare membership to essential workers for just $75 for a full year.

Good news for the San Gabriel Valley, after Metro approved $12 million for active transportation projects in South Pasadena and Monterey Park.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized with unknown injuries after getting struck by a driver; no word on the victim’s condition.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature, AB 117, would create a $10 million, five-and-a-half-year ebike rebate program for California bike riders, using money from California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. So keep your fingers crossed. Or better yet, contact your representatives in Sacramento.

San Jose police released security cam video of the crash that killed a bike rider early Sunday morning; police are looking for a black Chevrolet Silverado with a bed cover and likely front-end damage.

A San Francisco supervisor calls for kicking out Lyft’s for-profit bikeshare, and turning it into a city-owned and potentially city-operated service.

Northern California bike shop owner Dennis Uphoff died last month after he was injured in his home; he was 69.

Police in Manteca are asking for a meaningful dialog with organizers of a series of mass bike rides involving mostly tween and teen riders, after accusing the riders of being “outright rude,” “blatantly defiant to orders” and spewing profanities at officers who try to rein them in.

 

National

Staffers from the recently defunct Bike Mag are starting a new mountain bike publication, called Beta.

Good piece from Cycling Tips Angry Asian saying it’s time to cut out the cancer of criticizing other bike riders for not doing it right or arguing that one kind of bicycling is better than any other.

The Portland driver who deliberately ran down numerous bike riders and pedestrians in a wild 15-block rampage, killing one and injuring at least ten others, has been hit with a well-deserved 31-count indictment, including a second degree murder charge.

New Las Vegas billboards tell drivers to change lanes to pass people on bicycles.

A Kansas City advocacy group is calling on the city to decriminalize walking and biking by repealing laws that have been used to target Black and brown people.

New York’s Suffolk County is confronting complaints about teen bicyclists swarming the streets by banning trick riding, weaving or zig-zagging “unless necessary,” as well as requiring a horn or bell, at least one hand on the handlebars, and no more than one person per bicycle, along with a raft of other requirements.

New York’s new transportation commissioner promises to install 10,000 new bike racks across the city, leaving it only a few million short of what’s needed to accommodate the city’s bike riders.

DC’s Vision Zero program actually has some teeth, requiring that any construction work on streets “pre-identified as a candidate for a protected bike lane, bus-only lane or private-vehicle-free corridor” has to include it in the final project.

The Maryland bike rider who assaulted a group of teens and ripped up the Black Lives Matter fliers they were posting along a bike path last year has walked with probation after apologizing for his actions.

Bike riders in DC fear the security fencing installed in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th will make their commutes more dangerous.

The coronavirus bike boom — and Democrat takeover of DC — leads to the reintroduction of two bills that died in last-term’s GOP-controlled Senate, to make bikeshare programs eligible for federal transportation funding and reinstate and improve the bicycle commuter tax benefit.

Virginia’s comprehensive bike safety bill, which includes the Idaho Stop law, passed the state house and moves on to the Senate.

 

International

Cyclist explains how to clean your bike in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. A standard of measurement that may be meaningless to most people on this side of the Atlantic.

A science website says drop your car and get on your bike if you really want to cut your greenhouse gas emissions.

A Guatemalan bike rider is fighting hunger by trading donated books for food to distribute to the needy.

North Vancouver is doubling the current $100 fine for blocking a bike lane, while banning “stopping, parking or otherwise impeding a mobility lane.”

A British man has founded a charity to give bikes to cancer patients to help them recover, crediting bicycling with helping him overcome his illness.

A pair of brothers in the UK are on trial for the alleged racist murder of a Black man to steal his bicycle.

Crashes involving bike riders more than doubled in Brussels over the past decade, with 72% involving a motor vehicle last year.

A group of female journalists and activists broke with taboos to hold northeastern Syria’s first women’s bike race to encourage women to ride bicycles and promote green transportation.

A surprising three-quarters of Aussie bike riders say they’ve been the victim of road raging drivers. The only real surprise is that the number is so low.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Quinn Simmons appears to be back in the good graces of his Trek-Segafredo team; the 19-year junior world champ will make his Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders debuts after being suspended last year for an online comment in support of Donald Trump that was widely seen as racist and divisive.

Zwift has banned two more virtual cyclists for cyber doping by falsifying ride data.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a bike from the local police. Bike tattoos are forever — especially the truly cringeworthy kind.

And that’s one way to make sure drivers pass safely.

https://twitter.com/CyclingContessa/status/1356625738238025730

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

LA bike crashes drop 90% in September, and Glendale’s Laura Friedman heads state Assembly Transportation Committee

It’s Day 18 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Robert R and John M for their generous donations to help bring you all the best bike news and advocacy, from around the corner and around the world. 

So don’t wait. Take a few moments to give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive right now!

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Call it a Chrismakah miracle.

Crosstown reports that LA had just ten percent of the usual number of bicycle collisions in September, dropping from 185 last year to just 18 this year — even though bike use jumped 52% after the pandemic shutdown earlier this year.

And through November, bike-involved crashes are down 70% compared to last year, from 1,655 in 2019 to 496 this year.

That’s reflected in a corresponding drop in bicycling fatalities, with 16 deaths in LA County this year, according to my stats, compared to 34 for all of 2019.

I can’t explain it, because traffic in the city is back to pre-pandemic levels. And it’s not like there’s been a sudden jump in bike lanes or Complete Streets, temporary or otherwise.

I’m stumped.

So how do you explain the unexplained decrease?

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Maybe there’s hope for California after all.

According to Streetsblog California, Burbank/Glendale Assembly Member Laura Friedman has been given the reins of the state assembly’s Transportation Committee.

The former Glendale city councilmember has long been a supporter of safer streets and reducing the use of private motor vehicles, while encouraging biking, walking and transit use.

And she has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to reform California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot.

Here’s how Streetsblog put it.

As a freshman Assemblymember, during the fierce and sometimes off-topic arguments about S.B. 1, Friedman spoke up against an argument that all money raised from gas taxes should go for road expansion to solve congestion. “We know that adding capacity does not decrease congestion,” she said. “Getting people out of their cars decreases congestion…”

Friedman also worked to find a way to allow cities to lower speed limits, a job that turned out to be much more complex than it should be. She succeeded in creating a Zero Fatalities Task Force to discuss the topic. The Task Force issued a report last year that recommended what Friedman had been saying: that the state should change the way it sets speed limits.

Now that she’s chairing the committee, maybe — just maybe — we’ll start to see a little more progress here in the late, great golden state.

We can hope.

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Here’s your chance to work in the wonderful world of bicycles.

A San Francisco ice cream company is looking for sales people to blast tunes and peddle their frozen treats from e-cargo bikes.

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition is looking for a full-time policy and planning director.

Unless maybe you’d rather move to Yellowstone adjacent Jackson Hole, Wyoming to head Mountain Bike the Tetons.

And if you’ve ever been to the Tetons, then yes, you would.

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Former presidential candidate and Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg is one of us.

And no, I don’t get it either, even though I like the guy.

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Time for your Tuesday mountain bike break.

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

A Singapore woman is looking for the hit-and-run bike rider who nearly slammed into her as she rode her bike with her husband on a park bike path, causing her to lose control and knock herself cold.

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Local

UCLA law professor emeritus Paul Bergman is one of us, frequently making the nearly 30-mile commute from his Pasadena home to campus by bicycle; he’ll be leading a free Zoom class to explain what really happens in a courtroom.

If you’ve got any extra cash lying around after donating to our holiday fund drive, Streetsblog is doing a little end-of-year fundraising, too.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. Residents along Oakland’s 8th Street are demanding traffic calming measures to stop drivers from slamming into their houses.

Burlingame has adopted a shiny new bike and pedestrian plan. Although as we’ve learned in LA, a bike plan doesn’t mean a thing if it never gets built.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 41-year old Morgan Hill man was killed when he was hit by not one, but two hit-and-run drivers while trying to cross the street. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A San Francisco cop is accused of injuring two people riding bikes after running a red light. Thanks to Dr. Metro BlueLine for the heads-up.

Ebikes could soon be allowed on fire roads on Marin County’s popular Mt. Tam.

 

National

Bicycling wants to teach you how to bomb down descents like a pro. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

Body building legend and former six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates is one of us, after dislocating his shoulder hitting an oil slick while biking with his wife. 

Um, okay. A Forth Worth man faces murder charges for chasing down a bike rider he accused of stealing a shotgun from his car — the car he stole, that is — then driving off laughing after fatally shooting the other man.

Ocean City, Maryland wants to build a beachfront bike path to get bicyclists off the dangerous coast highway. Although experience shows a beach path is likely to quickly become crowded with pedestrians and slower riders, forcing faster and more experienced bike riders back onto the highway.

 

International

A pair of Canadian researchers say expanding bike lane networks during Covid-19 can lead to more inclusive cities.

It looks like London’s bikeshare system isn’t going anywhere, after all.

A sports site profiles British bicyclist Mike Hall, who set a new record by riding around the world in just 91 days — an average of 200 miles a day.

Here’s one more for your bike bucket list — biking along Russia’s scenic Volga River. Yes, that Volga River.

Israel’s Supreme Court rules that ped-assist ebikes are not motor vehicles, as long as they aren’t strictly throttle controlled.

The New York Times says bikes are booming in Manilla, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s anti-doping investigators cracked down hard on former pro Riccardo Riccò, hitting the admitted doper with a lifetime cycling ban long after he retired to open an ice cream shop — and while he was already serving a 12-year ban. Does that mean he can’t peddle ice cream from his cargo bike anymore?

Cyclist imagines what today’s racing bikes would be like if there were no UCI rules.

The Guardian looks back at the 125-year old Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic bike race.

 

Finally…

Why settle for a bike path when you can have an outdoor art gallery, too? That feeling when Google’s street view apparently decides your bike seat is obscene.

And that feeling when your bike ride gets an ostrich escort.

[Cape Point National Park][RSA] Credits go to Daniel’s ass from CyclistsWithCameras

………

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

Sheriff’s deputies shot Dijon Kizzee 16 times, blaming road diets for CA decline, and things are looking up in Santa Ana

The official autopsy is out.

And it’s not good.

A pair of LA County sheriff’s deputies shot Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee 16 times — yes, 16 — in an incident that began with a failed traffic stop for riding salmon.

And escalated when Kizzee allegedly dropped a stolen gun as he struggled to escape the deputies; what’s in dispute is whether he attempted to pick the gun back up. Especially since the official version of events has changed several times in the days following the shooting.

At least four of those shots could have been fatal.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas last year, a Black man told police officers 24 times that he couldn’t breathe before he died, in an incident that began when police tried to stop him for not having a bike light.

Yes, both men took actions that helped lead to their deaths.

But a simple traffic violation should never escalate to the death penalty.

………

No bias here.

A writer for the libertarian magazine Reason concludes that California is a cautionary tale for America — including road diets that remove traffic lanes and install bike lanes.

Never mind that road diets have been successfully used for decades throughout the US, including in red states.

But that would have involved doing a modicum of research, which might have gotten in the way of his preordained conclusions.

………

It looks like things are about to get much better in Santa Ana.

And should be everywhere.

………

This kind of puts it all in perspective.

………

Mr. CiclaValley reminds you to put more gravel in your life.

………

A couple more reminders to register your bike for free with Bike Index.

Especially now that Bike Index is partnering with the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles to create a new citywide voluntary bike registration program.

it’s up to us to make sure the free, voluntary program stays that way to prevent abuses like we saw with the city’s previous mandatory licensing program, which became an excuse to stop people of color without probable cause as they rode their bikes.

………

Deep thought of the day.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real. 

Horrifying attack in New York, where a speeding SUV driver appears to intentionally ram a group of bike-riding protestors before fleeing the scene; fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Once they find the driver, this should be prosecuted like the terrorist attack it is.

Talk about not getting it. Apparently confusing the treatment with the disease, a London columnist complains that bike lanes are choking the life out of the city through fume-filled traffic jams. Someone should tell him that it’s all those cars that cause the noxious fumes — and the traffic. And safe bike lanes mean fewer of those on the roads. 

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

An English teenager suffered a head injury when another man attacked him with a mountain bike.

A young Dublin man was accused of intentionally riding his bike into a taxi to file a fraudulent claim, but rode off after realizing he was being filmed by dashcam.

………

Local

LADOT wants your input on building stress-free connections on neighborhood streets. As opposed to all those stressful connections we’re all used to.

You have one more week to tell Metro what you think about fareless transit system.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee — the city’s only official voice representing bicyclists — is meeting virtually via Zoom at 7 pm tomorrow evening. You can see the agenda here, including draft motions addressing bias from the LAPD and the fire department in killing the Uplift Melrose project.

South LA could be on its way to a safer and more beautiful Broadway, including parking protected bike lanes, on one of the city’s most dangerous corridors.

Walk Bike Burbank puts three important questions to three candidates for city council. Read it before you vote.

The nascent GoSGV bikeshare system expands to Baldwin Park with 45 ped-assist ebikes and nine docking stations.

Santa Clarita residents can win prizes during the city’s Rideshare Week celebration.

A columnist for the Southern California News Group remembers Long Beach real estate scion and bike advocate Mark Bixby, who fought to get a bike lane across the new replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, and won, before dying in a 2011 plane crash along with four other people.

 

State

Sad news from Eureka, where a bike rider was killed in a collision when the victim allegedly swerved in front of an oncoming car, according to the driver and multiple witnesses.

 

National

This may just be the best biking on the moon photo you see today. Thanks to TedFaber for the link.

Travel & Leisure recommends the country’s best bike paths to explore US cities. Including one I grew up riding in my Colorado hometown.

After a bicyclist crashes into a cliff wall and falls into the roadway, a bighearted Tesla driver blocks traffic before rushing the victim to the hospital with a likely broken collarbone.

Wired explains what the ebike classifications are, and what that means to you.

Sad news, as longtime bicycle writer Garrett Lai died of natural causes last week; he was just 54.

The Daily Beast talks with Seattle’s Trumpet Man, the protestor who was run over by a bike cop while lying on the ground.

Three men who survived the tragic 1970 plane crash that killed most of the Wichita State University football team are riding their bikes from Wichita, Kansas to the Colorado crash site to remember their fallen teammates on the 50th anniversary of their deaths.

Chicago business owners blame new protected bike lanes for a drop in business, with one hardware store owner insisting the loss of parking spaces has meant a 30% drop in sales. Although a far more likely explanation is the same drop in business suffered by brick and mortar retailers across the US during the coronavirus pandemic.

A pair of men are now in custody for stealing a $3,500 handcycle from an Ohio man; they were captured after riding the bike in front of security cams in a Circle K parking lot.

Following a full year of international travel, bicycling helped a writer for the New York Times fall in love with the city again during the coronavirus lockdown. Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A New York nurse who spent the past several months on the frontlines of the the Covid-19 pandemic was killed in a collision with a motorcyclist as she attempted to ride her bicycle home following a late-night shift.

 

International

Your bike might be responsible for your back problems.

Road.cc examines the results when carmakers take a stab at making bicycles.

A bighearted triathlete bought a new bike for a 16-year old Canadian boy whose bike was stolen just weeks after finishing a nearly 375-mile ride from Montreal to Toronto, raising over $8,000 to provide clean water for indigenous communities.

The Sportsman offers a nice profile of Josh Quigley, the bicyclist who set a new record for the northern crossing of Scotland, just months after he barely survived getting run down at 70 mph driver by a Texas driver while on an around the world bike tour. He was inspired to do the ride by Britain’s Sir Chris Hoy after a failed suicide attempt.

A British woman wishes she gotten on the saddle sooner, after spending most of her adult life thinking riding a bike wasn’t for her.

In a truly heartwarming story, a seven-year old girl in the UK rode her bike around her school 100 times, completing nearly 16 miles over two days to raise funds for the hospice where her grandfather spent his last days. At last count, she’d raised the equivalent of nearly $1,500.

A German man turned his bike into a mobile video game.

A writer for Outside searches for meaning by island hopping through Norway on two wheels.

An Indian movie screening on Netflix centers on a brahmin’s stolen bicycle, without hiding the country’s dehumanizing caste system.

Ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong took a lap around Beirut on Sunday, leading a bike tour to raise funds and call attention to the city that was devastated by a massive explosion.

Heartbreaking news from Kenya, where a pediatric dentist who had called for the government to reduce crashes was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

A bike-riding Philippines columnist says it’s time the country has a mandatory bike helmet law. Never mind that experience around the world shows that helmet laws depress bicycling rates, which is exactly the wrong thing to do with the world facing a climate crisis — let along the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was a bad day for new world champ Julian Alaphilippe, who missed out on winning the rescheduled Liège-Bastogne-Liège by celebrating too soon, losing out to Primož Roglič at the finish line. Then was stripped of his podium position and relegated to fifth for an overly aggressive sprint.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Lizzie Deignan won the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège in a bold breakaway, racing about half the distance as the men.

The Giro kicked off on Saturday with a mini-tour of Sicily replacing the originally planned Hungary start that was derailed by the coronavirus, which did not work to three-time former world champ Peter Sagan’s advantage.

Good news as Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel is back on his bike, just six weeks after falling off a bridge in a dramatic crash at the Il Lombardia classic.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to perform bike stunts on your 12th floor balcony, at least put some damn clothes on — and try not to fall off. That feeling when a cat finishes the around the world bike tour you’re still dreaming about.

And who says you need a car to go shopping?

………

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

Boing Boing doesn’t get bike helmets, California exempts bike lanes from CEQA, and racism on the South Bay bike path

How to write about bike helmets, and make it clear in the first two sentences that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

Nobody thinks they’re going to get into an accident, which is half the reason why bicycle riders often sneer at wearing a helmet. The other half of the reason is obvious — helmets usually make you look incredibly dorky.

Who knows, the rest of the article may be brilliant.

But that’s where I stopped reading.

Because from my experience, most people are painfully aware of the risks we assume every time we get on a bike.

And I’ve never known anyone who made the very nuanced choice of whether or not to wear one based on how they make you look.

As I’ve noted before, I never ride my bike without a helmet. And I credit mine with potentially saving my life during the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident.

But that’s the only time I’ve needed one in four decades of riding a bike.

The simple fact is, bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively low speed falls, not high speed impacts like car crashes.

They also do nothing to protect any other part of the body, which is why it’s often meaningless when police or the press report on whether or not a crash victim was wearing one, without indicating whether the crash would have been survivable either way.

And unless you spring for a MIPS or WaveCel model, they do absolutely nothing to prevent against traumatic brain injuries.

Which is why I got to spend a night in Intensive Care, and a couple more under observation, after getting my bell rung like a carillon in the aforementioned incident.

Some argue that bike helmets have other downsides, from encouraging risky behavior and closer passes, to making bike riding appear far more dangerous than it actually is.

Especially since no one seems to call for helmets in the shower, when climbing ladders or riding in cars, all of which have a significant rate of head injuries.

I know where I come down in the debate — and yes, there is one, despite all the overly simplistic “no brainer” comments.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a cheap form of insurance, on the off chance I ever need it. I’d much rather ride with one I’ll never need, than need one and not have it.

Besides, it gives me a good place to mount my bike cam without hogging handlebar space.

So use your own judgement.

But chances are, no one bases their decision on whether it makes them look dorky, or messes up their hair.

Except maybe Boing Boing readers.

………

The California state legislature has passed a bill exempting bike lanes from air quality restrictions for the next ten years — cutting red tape and eliminating a tool opponents have long used to halt any changes to the streets, no matter how beneficial.

………

Sadly, this is who we share the South Bay bike path with.

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Why let a little thing like a bike lane — or a playground — get in the way?

https://twitter.com/mobimaw/status/1300110780692680710

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How to give your bike a bath.

GCN also answers the eternal question of whether a gravel bike can keep up offroad.

………

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

Someone is boobytrapping bike and pedestrian trails in Victoria, British Columbia, stringing nearly transparent finishing line where it could trip someone walking or riding a bike.

An Irish man was pulled off his bicycle and repeatedly punched in the face by three other men while riding on a bike path, for no apparent reason.

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

A Texas man was stabbed in the stomach by a homeless man as he was riding home from a bar, and got into a dispute with the other man riding in the opposite direction.

Horrible story from New York, where a 15-year old boy was slashed in the face by a bike-riding man using a razor blade attacked to a pole, in an apparently random attack in Times Square.

No bias here. A Singapore driver offers a windshield perspective of a bike rider cutting in front of his car without looking, then inexplicably going ballistic over a gentle tap on the driver’s horn. Although something tells me there’s more leading up to this that got left on the cutting room floor.

………

Local

Streetsblog says LA’s “already driver-permissive” Slow Streets program is being watered down even more, in the city where cars continue to come before people.

The next time you take your bike on a bus or train in LA County, the trip could be free, as Metro’s CEO wants to eliminate fares next year.

 

State

San Diego authorities have identified a pair of suspects in the hit-and-run crash that left a bike-riding man with life-threatening injuries; the couple got out of their SUV to look at the victim, then casually removed his bike from underneath the vehicle before driving away.

No bias here. According to the local paper, a Chino bike rider somehow struck a moving pickup, while somehow riding distracted. Which makes this a story that is somehow totally useless.

A 74-year old Victorville man was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver who abandoned his car after his passenger moved it, and both fled in another vehicle.

Fremont will invest $750,000 to protect ten miles of existing bike lanes.

Good question. An Orinda hit-and-run victim wants to know why police don’t enforce laws to protect bicyclists.

A Tahoe-area paper looks back to the first crossing of the Sierras by bicycle.

 

National

Outside offers a few considerations to take into account before replacing those car trips with an e-cargo bike.

Figures. A new mystery thriller revolves around a man on his way to a cycling competition. Except he turns up dead in the first few pages.

Schwinn is shifting marketing gears to ride the crest of the bike boom.

Singletrack lists 12 things mountain bike magazines need to stop doing. Including making lists like that.

Probably not the best idea to assault a cop in an Arizona ER, then ride your bike into Walmart and steal a bottle of booze after crashing into the display.

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska man was sentenced to 18 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Colorado bike rider. In California, that likely would have gotten a measly four-year sentence — if prosecutors didn’t bargain it down just to get a conviction.

A group of Wisconsin men dedicated the first 4.3 miles of a group ride to Chadwick Boseman, and call attention to health risks facing Black men.

Milwaukee firefighters rode 183 miles to honor a fallen compatriot.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customize adaptive bike from a Michigan boy with cerebral palsy.

Kindhearted Ohio cops bought a new bike for an eight-year old boy after the bike he got for his birthday was stolen.

A Massachusetts bike charity gave 200 bicycles to help children in need.

The bike boom is claiming a victim in the Philadelphia area, as an 85-year old family-owned bike shop is shutting its doors because they can’t get the bikes and parts they need to stay in business.

A Virginia nonprofit donated 23 custom-built adaptive bicycles to children with disabilities; the organization was founded by a disabled vet who personally learned the difference an adaptive bike could make in his life.

Over 130 bike riders turned out to honor a 57-year old North Carolina man who was murdered in an apparently random attack as he rode his bike on a local bike path.

No bias here, either. A New Orleans man was killed when an on-duty cop crashed into his bike with his patrol car; as always, the cops blame the victim for somehow coming into the officer’s lane.

 

International

International financial services giant Deloitte predicts the rate of bicycle commuting will double around the world over the next three years, as technological changes make riding faster, easier and safer.

One unexpected effect of the coronavirus bike boom — bike thefts in an English town are up as secondhand bike prices spike.

The Guardian offers tips on how to keep your bike from being stolen. Or maybe just how to keep your bike, period.

A British man uses himself as proof that heavier people can ride bikes, too.

Frightening story from the UK, where a man’s bike and cycling shoes were stolen after he was rammed with a van.

The bike boom has come to Finland, too

It’s not often that a story can be heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. A two-year old Polish boy rode a trike for the first time after losing both feet to sepsis when he was just an infant; he was initially given just a 0.1% chance of survival.

An Indian paper says unlike European cities, bike commuting in Delhi is fraught with danger for the poor. Meanwhile, Bengaluru is crowdsourcing routes to create the city’s first European-style cycling district.

More people are riding bicycles in Singapore, although one rider describes biking in the city as “a pain.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Since the Tour de France is available to nearly everyone on cable TV, we’re going back to our usual spoiler-free recaps, in case anyone is letting the race stagnate in their viewing queue.

Stage one of the Tour delivered a surprise winner in a rainy, crash-filled stage. Or at least it was a surprise to everyone but the eventual winner.

Sunday’s stage winner out-sprinted the peloton to claim the race, and dedicated the race to his late father, who passed away in June. Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb are already out, and a number of riders started the second stage banged up.

Monday’s stage three should be a day for the sprinters.

A 23-year old California man became the first Native American to take part in the Tour de France, and one of just three Americans in this year’s race.

CNN looks at the problems of staging what they call the world’s toughest bike race in the middle of a pandemic.

The men get 21 stages in the Tour de France, but the women get just one. Britain’s Lizzie Deignan out sprinted defending champion Marianne Vos to win La Course, a one-day, 60-mile circuit race.

In the latest cycling scandal, Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati was caught on camera removing something from the pocket of injured cyclist Remco Evenepoel and covertly slipping it into his own pocket, after Evenepoel crashed in Il Lombardia.

 

Finally…

If your girlfriend rejects your proposal, it may not be the best idea to respond by whacking her with your bike. Just what every bicyclist needs — a combination stationary bike, back scratcher and cookie dispenser.

And bike racing has been around longer than the talkies.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

……

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

CA bill could effectively ban bikeshare and e-scooters, ride for Black and Indigenous mental health, and hot bikes on LetGo

An op-ed in the LA Daily News op-ed questions why the California legislature is targeting dockless bikeshare and e-scooters.

The piece, written by Santa Monica Spoke director Cynthia Rose; Circulate San Diego ED Colin Parent, Finish the Ride and Streets Are For Everyone ED amian Kevitt, and Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, says that regardless of its intent, AB 1286 would “create new rules so onerous that micromobility operators may no longer be able to operate in California.”

Which doesn’t sound like the intended outcome.

Or the right one.

This bill doesn’t just impact newer micromobility like electric bikes and scooters, but extends to traditional, city-sponsored bike share programs as well, including the long running Bay Wheels system in the Bay Area and Metro Bike Share in Los Angeles. As our state grapples with so many pressing issues, including the economic and climate crisis, why is the legislature threatening our most sustainable and lowest cost transportation options?

First and foremost, this bill prohibits micromobility operators from using waivers of liability – the same waivers everyone signs when renting a car or taking a yoga class. No other industry is subject to a waiver provision such as the one proposed by this bill. By gratuitously singling out micromobility operators, the legislature is opening the door to unnecessary litigation, and operators have made clear they will likely have to leave California if they are not able use these waivers. Our cities will be harmed in the process, as waivers shield cities from frivolous lawsuits as well. California law already holds operators accountable and responsible for faulty devices to rightfully protect consumers, so there is simply no need to pursue these changes.

It’s understandable that legislators would want to improve liability laws regulating micromobility.

But this is like using a cannon to kill a mouse in your living room.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and the legislature will give itself a timeout to work with advocates and company representatives, and consider more carefully just how to improve safety without forcing users back into their cars.

………

Former international pro basketball player Damen Bell-Holter, who was with the Boston Celtics just long enough to grab a sandwich, is hoping to have a greater impact by riding to raise funds and awareness for mental healthcare for Black and Indigenous men.

The founder of Break the (Bi)Cycle, Bell-Holter will be leading a 1,500-mile ride from Bellingham, Washington to San Diego, stopping to speak with various tribes along the way.

Bell-Holter said he’d seen similar campaigns, but the topic is one he’s long held close, speaking and raising awareness of across Alaska and elsewhere. There’s a large gap in the availability and effectiveness of mental health care for Black and Indigenous men, especially in Alaska, Bell-Holter said, resulting in intergenerational trauma that can lead to some of the highest rates of death by suicide and substance misuse in the country.

“I’ve been bouncing my head off the wall about this for a few years. There’s so much violence and abuse in Alaska. What does prevention look like,” Bell-Holter said. “There’s a lot of trauma that outside people don’t understand. Non-Native and non-Indigenous people don’t understand there’s a lot of intergenerational trauma that’s not visible from the outside.”

The goal is to raise $100,000, which will be split 20 ways, resulting in just $5,000 each for the various tribes and communities.

You can contribute through the group’s crowdfunding page. So far, they’ve raised just over $3,600 in seven weeks.

Maybe we can all share this one, and get some support for a worthy cause.

………

A bike theft victim calls attention to an online chop shop hawking hot bikes on LetGo. And the problem of stolen bikes being sold on the platform in general.

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This is what Share the Road really means.

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

After an 18-year old Virginia man’s bike was hit by a pickup driver while riding with a group of other riders, he responded by breaking the driver’s mirror. And the driver responded by attacking him with a stick.

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

See above.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof rode to the rescue in his Swedish hometown, tackling a bike-riding purse snatcher who’d just robbed a 90-year old woman. Although the thief probably took a dive in hopes of drawing a penalty kick.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at the new left side, parking protected bike lanes on Grand Street in DTLA, which continues to get safer and more rideable, while most of Los Angeles languishes.

That last item said “most of Los Angeles,” because of two new protected bike lanes on Broadway and Avalon Blvd in South LA, which is the other area currently seeing safety improvements in the city.

A Pasadena website offers more information on last weekend’s Black Lives Matter ride, which visited the sites of five violent police encounters in the Rose City.

 

State

A Huntington Beach real estate agent and rock drummer remembers his halcyon days as former Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rogers bike buddy.

Newport Beach Police will be focusing on bike and pedestrian safety enforcement next month. So ride to the letter of the law when you’re in the city. And maybe even put a foot down if you see a patrol car. 

Imperial Beach has approved construction of a new 6.4-mile bike path connecting the international border with San Diego County’s Bayshore Bikeway.

The Bay Area Bike to Work Day will be changed to Bike to Wherever Days, after being moved from the usual May date to September 24th. That compares to Los Angeles County, where this year’s Bike to Work Day has apparently been postponed to when hell freezes over.

 

National

Bicycling suggests six “crazy easy” ways to welcome rookie riders into the wonderful world of bicycling; as usual, you can read the article on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall shuts you out.

A men’s website suggests hitting the road on one of the “seven best bicycles available now.” As usual, the list isn’t remotely accurate or comprehensive; on the other hand, any list that includes a fixie, a foldie and Schwinn’s reborn Krate bike can’t be all bad.

ZDNet offers advice for the ebike curious.

Apple’s new iOS14 is finally making Apple Maps useful for people on bicycles, allowing you to select the fastest route, or one using busy or less busy roads.

A brick building in St. Louis collapsed unexpectedly over the weekend, likely destroying many of the 700 children’s bikes stored there as part of a program to give kids a free bike after completing a bike safety course.

Once again, a dangerous driver managed to stay on the road until it was too late. A Chicago man was arrested for continuing to drive with his license suspended due to DUI, after killing an 83-year old man riding a bike, claiming he just didn’t see the man riding in front of him before stomping on the gas pedal. Unfortunately, he’ll likely walk away with a slap on the wrist, while his innocent victim paid with his life.

A DC woman was lucky to get her stolen bike back after she spotted the thief riding it and was able to wave down a passing patrol car; it helped that she had a photo of the bike and the serial number on her cellphone. Hint, hint.

Georgia bike riders turned out for a short 2.23 mile ride in memory of Ahmaud Arbery, six months after he was gunned down by a trio of self-appointed vigilantes.

 

International

A new study suggests that looking at happy pictures before your ride will result in less suffering during it. And unhappy pictures will have the opposite effect.

The UK’s Spectator magazine recommends 14 bicycling routes around the world they say rival the Tour de France. Which might be remotely accurate if the Tour de France was just a leisurely one-day ride around a local landmark.

London bike riders offer tips on riding a bike in the city, almost all of which apply virtually anywhere.

An Edinburgh woman calls for redesigning a floating bus stop, saying she was furious after she and her son were nearly hit by a bike rider “who came out of nowhere” as she stepped across a cycle track to get to her bus. She’s got a point. But no one ever comes out of nowhere. And nearly getting hit isn’t exactly news, especially after apparently failing to look both ways.

Berlin’s new bike lanes have failed to improve safety, as fatalities rise and advocates call for greater regulations on large trucks. Meanwhile, the city’s Green Party wants to charge SUV owners more to park their behemoth vehicles. Yes, please.

A Malaysian man is waiting for borders to reopen so he can get back on the road, two years after riding away from his law career to bike around the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

The union representing professional cyclists rejected criticism over unsafe conditions at this year’s races, after several riders questioned what good the group was if it couldn’t do something about it.

 

Finally…

If you can’t cut the lock on the bike you’re trying to steal, just take the bike rack with you. Evidently, Sgt. Preston of the Yukon would trade his dog team for an ebike these days.

And seriously, don’t ride if you have Covid-19.

Or think you might have.

Period.

……

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

Slow Streets promised in LA bike plan but never built, tracking US bike deaths, and Pasadena offers free bike work

I had an interview yesterday about the sorry state of bicycling in Los Angeles.

And in the course of our discussion, it belatedly dawned on me that if LA had actually built out the 2010 Bike Plan that was unanimously approved by the city council, we wouldn’t need to beg the city for Slow Streets for social distancing

Because the Neighborhood Bikeway Network we were promised as part of the plan — one of three bike networks that would support everything from local family rides to crosstown commuting — would already give us exactly that, in every neighborhood in the city. 

Rich, poor and otherwise.

Just one more reason to demand that the city recommit to the Mobility Plan 2035 that they already committed to.

After all, we only have 15 years left to build out the transportation paradise they promised by 2035.

Unless maybe they had their fingers crossed.

Or it was all “aspirational.”

Photo by David Mark from Pixabay.

………

It looks like Outside is entering my world.

Yesterday, the magazine announced a new program to track every bicycling fatality in the US this year, saying you can’t stop something if you don’t see it happening.

Which is exactly why I started reporting on SoCal bicycling deaths a decade ago, to shine a light under the deadly rock city and state officials were hiding them under.

The magazine leads off with a hard-hitting infographic on bike deaths, including the frightening stat that California accounts for 18% of bicycling fatalities, tied with Florida.

As the nation’s most populous state, California has an explanation, but no effing excuse. Especially when state and local leaders talk about Vision Zero without doing a damn thing to actually save the lives of people, on bikes or on foot.

That’s followed by a trio of stories expounding on the subject.

First, former Bicycling editor Joe Lindsey examines how the bigass SUVs Americans love are killing us. Literally.

That’s followed by advice on what to do if you’re hit by a driver, and how to navigate the legal and medical minefields that follow. Although the headline continues the sloppy journalistic practice of putting the blame on the vehicle, rather than the person driving it.

And finally, a writer pens a missive to the hit-and-run driver who left him in the street to die.

They’re not easy reads.

But it’s vital to read them if we’re ever going to change the deadly culture on our streets.

I wish them luck.

Tracking bicycling deaths is very hard, depressing work. Something the Bike League learned the hard way when they tried documenting every bicyclist killed on American roadways several years ago.

And quit after one year.

But maybe, just maybe, it will go a little easier this time, as Covid-19 continues to keep many drivers, and their killing machines, of the roads.

We can hope.

………

Pasadena is partnering with ActiveSGV to provide free basic bike repairs and self-guided neighborhood tours.

Meanwhile, the advocacy group wants your support for ebikes in National Parks.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1257380723780091906

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Enduro World Series pro Jesse Melamed explains how to break down a mountain bike trail.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton rebuts the silly argument that Angelenos don’t need Slow Streets because we have more sidewalks than any other US city. We also have more streets; that doesn’t mean those sidewalks are adequate even under normal circumstances.

Forty some odd years later, Dennis Quaid is still one of us, as the Breaking Away star goes for a Westside LA bike ride with his fiancé; Road.cc patiently explains just what the Daily Mail got wrong in writing about it.

Jason Statham is one of us, too.

Hoodline lists the top four affordable bike shops in Long Beach — or rather, their computer does. And the best in Santa Ana, too.

 

State

WTF? San Diego has approved a plan for Slow Streets promoted by bike advocates — and opposed by local business groups, who for some strange reason didn’t want people to exercise while social distancing in front of their closed shops.

I’ve long been a fan of Richmond’s Rich City Rides bike co-op, as well as founder Najari Smith; California Streetsblog looks at how the group is caring for the local community during the coronavirus crisis.

 

National

Maybe the software is getting better. After repeated reports that self-driving cars had trouble spotting people on bicycles, a Tesla driver says a new upgrade helped spot a bike rider who was hidden from view.

An urbanist website says Seattle’s densest neighborhoods need open streets, too.

The goalie for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche is one of us; Philipp Grubauer is using his downtime to ride “about 100 miles” a day.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive bicycle from a Minnesota special needs kid.

No bias here. A Connecticut man was killed when he crashed his bicycle into a stopped garbage truck. But no one mentions the likelihood that the truck may have stopped short as he followed it, like they often do.

Anne Hathaway is one of us, going for a ride with her husband along the beach near their Connecticut home.

A writer for New York Streetsblog says the city’s open streets need to lead to permanent changes limiting motor vehicle use.

Baltimore did what LA can’t, or won’t, opening several miles of streets for bike riders and pedestrians to practice social distancing.

It only took the injuries of two teenage bike riders to spur Maryland officials to install a buffered bike lane on the same road. Maybe someday we can actually get bike lanes installed before someone gets hit.

A New Orleans letter writer complains about scofflaw bike riders, and wonders how they’d react if he drove the same way. Apparently forgetting that he’s behind the wheel of a big dangerous machine, and they’re not.

 

International

Bikes are leading the way out of the lockdown in cities around the world.; even tourism websites are starting to notice.

Cycling Weekly examines how the bicycling industry is fighting the coronavirus.

FloBikes offers their picks for the year’s best bikes in several different categories.

No bias here, either. An Edinburgh columnist says bike riders need to start obeying the law in exchange for new pop-up bike lanes. Because no one ever builds a new roadway before drivers promise to stop speeding and put their phones away, or make pedestrians pinkie swear before installing a crosswalk.

Bicycling belatedly catches up with the French plan to give people the equivalent of up to $54.50 for bike repairs to encourage bike commuting after the country reopens; the 20 million euro plan will also pay for bicycling education and increased road space to make bikes “the little queen of de-confinement.”

If this photo doesn’t make you want to ride your bike through the mountains of Islamabad, nothing will.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe you missed this year’s edition of the Redlands Classic, which took place virtually on the wonderful world of Zwift.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t use a flare gun as a bike theft security alarm. Your next lock could track your bike through 100 countries if it gets stolen; then again, if the lock worked, it wouldn’t have to.

And apparently, the new AmazonBasics bike lock is as bad as you might think.

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

California goes on lockdown while bicycling — and bike shops — get a pass, and some newly free coronavirus reading

The other shoe has finally dropped.

All 40 million Californians are now expected to remain at home except for essential activities for an unspecified time due to the coronavirus crisis, while Los Angeles residents are expected to be self-shut ins for at least the next month.

Except we’re all encouraged to get out and walk, hike, run or bike to maintain our health, mental and otherwise. As long as you maintain a six-foot distance from anyone other than the people you’re with.

And not in groups larger than ten.

Even Fox News says so.

And yes, you can still get your bike repaired, and likely get a new one. Which is the best possible way to support your local bike shop.

The same holds true in San Francisco, too.

Although LA County apparently needs to get onboard.

Thanks to Active SGV for the last tweet.

Photo by Serjj from Pexels.

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Cycling magazine Rouleur says stay the eff home, and read their back issues for free.

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Local

Very disappointing news, as the LA Times suggests we may have a clue why the FBI raided the offices of outgoing CD14 Councilmember José Huizar, one of the city’s most bike-friendly officials, and why his wife dropped out of the race to replace him. Because a political fundraiser pled guilty to delivering nearly a half million dollars in bribes to an unnamed member of the LA city council who seems to match Huizar’s description. Say it ain’t so, José. Say it ain’t so.

Michael Keaton is one of us, as he rides his ebike through Pacific Palisades.

CiclaValley rides the tunnels to nowhere in Shoemaker Canyon.

 

State

You could win $5,000 for claiming the KOM for the fastest woman to make it up the iconic Old La Honda climb outside Palo Alto before April 15. Somehow, Queen of the Mountain just sounds kinda sexist to me.

A Pleasanton bike club is calling on Caltrans to fix an intersection over a newly widened expressway where light cycles are too short for bike riders to get safely across, leaving them stranded in the middle of a busy street.

Bay Area mobility advocates recommend ways to build protected bike lanes that work for elderly and disabled people, as well as people on bicycles.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride safely during the coronavirus crisis. Most of which is how I usually ride anyway.

A bike industry insider says the coronavirus could result in a new bike boom, as people try bicycling and discover they like it.

Seated dockless e-scooter provider Wheels follows Lime’s lead, and suspends operations until next month — not just on the West Coast, but throughout the US.

The Cherokee Nation has announced the nine participants in this year’s Remember the Removal Bike Ride, which covers 950 miles from Georgia to Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. And remembers one of the greatest injustices and atrocities in American history.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising money to support a youth cycling education program for children on Arizona’s Yaqui and Tohono O’odham reservations.

Idaho authorities have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run death of a woman whose body was found in a ravine three days after she was hit while riding her bike.

A Boston bicyclist rides through the mostly carfree streets of downtown in the age of Covid-19. In case you’re wondering, I prefer to the non-hyphenated version carfree because it looks like carefree. Which it would is. 

Instead of the usual group ride, a Buffalo NY slow roll ride encourages people to ride together separately, while staying at least six feet apart.

No surprise here, as car crashes are down by a third in New York as people stay home from work, willingly or otherwise. And bicycling injuries are up 43% over the same week last year, with more people are taking to their bikes rather than risking the viral lottery on the city’s subways; New York’s mayor swears he’ll do something to help.

The jump in New York bikeshare ridership has ended, but is still at normal levels despite a massive drop in overall commuting rates. Meanwhile, the usually anti-bike New York Post says bikeshare is one of the safest ways to travel during the coronavirus crisis, but fails to note that riding your own bike is even safer.

Bike shops are once again considered essential as Philadelphia shuts down.

A Florida public radio commenter observes that cities are realizing that roads aren’t just for cars. And says coronavirus is a speed bump, not a stop sign.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske reports that all charges have been dropped against the 18-year old bike rider arrested for fleeing from an officer and resisting arrest for the crime of rolling a stop sign. As well they should be. And the officer should be given a little retraining. Okay, maybe a lot.

 

International

Two-year old World Bike offers paid, guided mountain bike tours in Nepal and Guatemala, with Peru and Lesotho planned for later this year, using the funds to help get women in those countries into the sport.

Mexico City may follow the lead of Bogota, Columbia by expanding the city’s bike paths virtually overnight to slow the rate of coronavirus infections. Los Angeles could take advantage of the traffic slowdown to do the same thing, so it would be ready when the city comes back to life. 

A former Canadian soldier who served in Syria, Bosnia and two tours in Afghanistan received a $1 million settlement from the city of Vancouver, after he have to leave the military due to injuries he suffered when he was forced to jump off his bicycle to avoid a driver who ran a stop sign. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t explain why the city was held liable for injuries that would seem to have been caused by the actions of the driver.

No bias here. Residents of a wealthy English town say bike riders who don’t wear hi-viz make them feel “unsafe” while they drive their expensive SUVs. Evidently confusing their safety with that of their potential victims.

France has banned bicycling entirely in an effort to fight the new coronavirus.

A German professor at an Indian University is remembered fondly as the Bicycle Lady, riding her bike across the length and breadth of the campus, while arguing that cars don’t belong there. I like her already.

A Japanese man is on trial for sneaking into a bike shop to steal the equivalent of $910, and killing a female employee when she screamed.

 

Competitive Cycling

A community paper in Highlands, CA mourns the loss of this year’s Redlands Classic, but notes there was no other choice.

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on Olympic qualifying, forcing USA Cycling to make adjustments on the fly.

Five-time Tour de France champ Bernard Hinault says we shouldn’t hesitate to cancel the race it that’s what’s called for, because life is more important than cycling.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who needs spokes?

And Merry Christmas, indeed. Even if spring just started.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the forward.

 

CA bike deaths set 25-year high, bicycling cop pays dangerous driver a visit, and bike video captures Kobe crash conditions

Yes, they really are killing us out there.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that California bicycling fatalities are the highest they’ve been in 25 years.

The NHTSA analyzed the data for the state, and found more bicyclists died in traffic collisions in the years from 2016 through 2018 than any other three-year period since Bill Clinton took office.

And that’s a long damn time ago.

Needless to say, LA County once again led the way for the entire state, with an average of 35 deaths per year in that same three year period, compared to a little less than 25 per year from 2006 to 2008.

Also needless to say, the best way to stop people from dying on the streets is to lower the damn speed limits.

Which would require repeal of the deadly 85th Percentile Law, and legalization of speed cams to enforce it.

And that can’t happen soon enough.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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A bike-riding LAPD cop describes going to visit a reckless driver who nearly ran down a pair of bicyclists at Ohio and Veteran in Westwood.*

And for a change, it has a happy ending. Well worth a short six minutes of your day.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

*Exactly where I used to ride both coming and going at least three or four times a week before we moved to Hollywood.

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Apparently, Mr. Rynew has been a very busy boy, filming the first bike video connected to the helicopter crash that killed nine people, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter.

Then stumbling on the Coaster Bike Challenge.

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Streetsblog is hosting a Transportation Town hall in CD12 next month; both regressive incumbent John Lee and progressive challenger Loraine Lundquist have been invited, but only Lundquist has confirmed so far.

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Once again, the Marines have decided to some military stuff on Camp Pendleton — like helicopter operations, according to the base — which will mean shutting down the bike path for the week of February 10th.

However, people on bikes are allowed to ride I-5 through the base, while cursing the Marines for forcing them out there.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

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Every bike event should be held in a craft brewery. And every bike path should lead to one.

Just saying.

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Robert Leone also forwards opportunities for San Diego bike riders to get more involved, courtesy of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition.

This Tuesday, January 28th from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at our office downtown (300 15th St. San Diego, CA 92101) we will have a presentation from Susan Baldwin on Measure A. She will highlight the importance of smart growth and how crucial this is for the San Diego region. Learn more here. We invite you to join us and learn more so that you may make informed decisions when you vote.

This Wednesday, January 29th at 6pm the Draft Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the City of Chula Vista will be presented at a specially scheduled Safety Commission Meeting in the Council Chambers. Click here for the agenda. Click here for the Draft ATP. The address is 276 Fourth Ave. Chula Vista, CA 91910.

Next Monday, February 3rd, 2020 at 2pm the City Council members from the City of San Diego will vote on the Budget Priority Memos they each submitted Friday, January 10, 2020 to the Mayor’s office. Click here to see what they submitted. If you would like to attend and speak, please join us. There will be a lot of people who plan to attend with their requests. The more we can speak up for cyclists the better!

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It may not have been easy, but Bicycling once again proves there’s no such thing as a theft-proof bike lock.

Then again, as one cop put it, all you really have to do it make easier for a potential thief to steal someone else’s bike instead.

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The Hollywood Reporter reviews the latest Lance Armstrong documentary, which premiered at Sundance in advance of its airing on ESPN.

But this pretty well sums up what you need to know.

Every word he says in the documentary feels either lawyered to death or endlessly rehearsed over countless solitary bike rides…because he’s still halfway between victimhood and martyrdom in his own mind.

Touché.

To paraphrase an old country song, how can we miss him if he won’t go away?

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

A road raging New Mexico driver faces a well-deserved four and a half years behind bars after he was convicted of shifting his vehicle into reverse and backing into a group of senior bike riders he’d just passed, after exchanging words with them. Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the link.

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

A Wisconsin father hopes a $10,000 reward will lead to the two people riding bicycles who stabbed his son to death in an apparently random attack last September, then disappeared without a trace.

A Florida bike rider faces charges for pulling out a hammer and attacking a driver who almost hit him, after the driver told him he’d been watching out for cars, not people on bicycles. I’ve practiced nonviolence since I was a teenager, but I’d still be tempted to take a swing at him myself for that.

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Local

Bike West LA, Bike Culver City and the Central NBA/Sunset4All will host the second annual Mobility Mixer tomorrow night at the Bike Shop California on Motor Ave in West LA.

ULCA’s Daily Bruin reports Wheels sit-down scooters will soon come with an attached helmet. Somehow I doubt those hygienic liners they promise to provide will keep people from sharing their scalp critters, though.

Ride Around Pomona and Pomona Valley Bike Coalition will hop in the wayback machine for a 1950’s themed casual ride through, yes, Pomona.

 

State

Give it up, scofflaw scooterists. Lime will soon know if you’re riding on the sidewalk illegally. Now if they can just figure out how to tell when they’re parked blocking the sidewalk.

Speaking of scooters, San Diego just voted to ban them from the city’s boardwalks.

This is who we share the bike paths with. A 70-year old Santa Cruz woman was busted for her third DUI after driving the wrong way on a local bike path. Just one more example of government officials keeping dangerous drivers on the roads. Or bike paths. 

Streetsblog says the Bay Area suburb of Fremont will soon have the area’s best curb-protected bike lanes. And definitely puts to shame anything we have down here.

 

National

Bike Snob breaks down and admits that some bike do have souls.

CityLab offers its predictions for the scooter industry.

Bicycling talks bike baskets, and lists the ones they recommend. But which is the best one for toting a corgi?

Forbes says much of the initial information about the killing of bike rider Elaine Herzberg by a self-driving Uber car in Tempe AZ was wrong, including the myth that she “came out of nowhere.”

A Texas TV station corrects a letter writer, saying runners and walkers are required to face oncoming traffic, but bike riders are forbidden from riding salmon.

Seriously, what good is a bike box if the cops won’t keep drivers out of it? The Chicago Tribune wants to know.

Congratulations to New York, which came out on top with the least impact in a ranking of the climate impact of 100 metropolitan regions, followed by the Bay Area. Los Angeles ranked a surprisingly good 34, scoring high for bike use — no, really — and transit, but losing significant points for vehicle miles traveled.

Mourners released balloons on Tuesday in honor of Deondrick Rudd, the Louisiana bike rider who was killed by street racing brothers last weekend; Rudd was preparing to propose to his girlfriend on Valentines Day. Don’t do that. Mylar balloons can short power lines, causing fires and blackouts, while latex balloons pose a risk to birds and wildlife once they come back down. And they always come back down. 

 

International

Unlike some bicycling magazines and sites we could mention, Road.cc apparently recognizes that not every bike rider has wads of money falling out of their Rapha, recommending five roadies under the equivalent of $390, as well as ten of the best affordable bike shorts.

A Montreal website says the city’s Vision Zero program is revolutionizing the way people think about Montreal’s streets. That compares favorably with Los Angeles, which is revolutionizing the way a Vision Zero plan can gather dust on the shelf.

An English writer stumbles on his stolen bike, and swears his way into getting it back.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver gets off with a measly eight months behind bars for killing a woman riding a bike while talking to his wife using a handsfree cellphone, despite blinding glare from the wet road.

An Irish paper breaks down where the country’s political parties stand on bicycling issues. All of which show more support for bikes than both of America’s two major political parties.

Paris offers yet another incentive to get people out of their cars, reimbursing residents up to the equivalent of $660 for buying an ebike or cargo bike.

Damn. A Bali mob beat a man to death over an accusation that he’d stolen a bike helmet; police have been unable to confirm the theft, let alone who did it.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews tells the tale of how Primož Roglič, aka he whose name must be copied and pasted, made the unusual leap from ski jumping to the top of the cycling world.

A writer for Cycling Tips struggles to find hope in the hopeless at the Tour Down Under — or as he calls it, the brushfire tour.

Cycling’s governing body has pulled the plug on China’s Tour of Hainan next month due to fears over the new coronavirus.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to make your bank robbery getaway by bicycle, maybe try something a tad more nimble than a cruiser bike. If you want to go unnoticed after shoving 30 purloined cellphones into your pants, maybe spandex bike shorts aren’t the best choice. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for that one.

And if you think a dangerous pass is a good idea, this British cop has some advice for you.

 

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