Tag Archive for cargo bikes

LA skips worldwide Slow Streets movement, print your own Slow Street signs, and tackling Amazon in a cargo bike

Today’s common theme is the ongoing battle for Slow Streets and Open Streets — and what will follow post-pandemic — allowing people to safely get outside during the coronavirus crisis.

Something that seems to be sweeping the world. Except for Los Angeles, which is sweeping up the rear behind virtually everyone else.

As usual.

Mayor Robert Garcia wants Long Beach to repurpose some streets to provide more space for people. Funny how much more progressive Long Beach is when it comes public spaces and transportation than its ostensibly progressive neighbor to the north.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss wonders what happens when traffic comes back to our formerly quiet streets, warning we need to be prepared to hear a much-needed new normal is a luxury we can’t afford.

Houston’s chief transportation planner says coronavirus-quiet streets can’t just be for motor vehicle commuters. Could someone please give him LA Mayor Garcetti’s phone number?

It’s a sad commentary when the people of Bentonville Arkansas, the hometown of Walmart, get Slow Streets to provide safe space to exercise outdoors, and Los Angeles can’t.

Maine’s bike advocates think a more bike-centric culture could take hold in the state as a result of the pandemic. Unfortunately, that’s just wishful thinking unless steps are taken now to actively encourage bicycling while discouraging people from getting back into their cars.

Maybe someone should explain the concept of open streets to the NYPD, after the department sent 30 cops to shut one down in Brooklyn — despite an okay from New York’s Department of Transportation.

CNN says our cities may never look the same in a post-pandemic world, as they provide more space for biking and walking, and make other adaptations to adjust to the new reality.

A Vancouver newspaper suggests paying people to bike instead of driving to keep traffic from roaring back post pandemic. Which could be much more effective than congestion pricing, without the inevitable backlash.

No bias here. A London mayoral candidate says plans to encourage people to walk and bike to work are “madness,” and people shouldn’t have to choose between crowded trains and getting crushed by a truck on a bike. At least he’s got the last part right. But the solution is to tame traffic so we can encourage active transportation without posing a risk to human life.

After a Scottish columnist demanded that bike riders “do something” in return for pop-up bike lanes, the UK’s cycling organization wants to know why people on bikes have to meet some sort of special criteria just to be kept safe.

And these brilliant street signs from New York’s Transformation Dept gets the idea across better than just about anything else.

Maybe we should just print them out and start using them, instead of waiting for the city to finally get around to it.

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London’s Pedal Me e-cargo bike delivery service warns it’s coming for the world’s biggest retailer.

If they cross the Atlantic, I’m all in.

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Local

Assisted by a truck-driving stranger, a 17-year old South Pasadena boy tackled a bike thief as he tried riding away after snatching a bike out of the hands of the boy’s sister.

Long Beach is reopening parks and the beach bike and walking paths today, even as Covid-19 cases and deaths continue; however, face masks will not be required for “physically distanced exercise.”

Long Beach is partnering with bicycle community group Pedal Movement to offer virtual bike workshops, although you already missed the first one.

What it’s like to ride 55 miles on PCH from Long Beach to Crystal Cove along PCH in today’s Covid-19 world.

Yes, that could have been the former Governator’s oldest son you saw riding an elliptical bike through LA last week.

 

State

A 53-year old Spring Valley bike rider suffered major injuries when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver in a dark sedan.

A San Jose nonprofit is using bicycles to distribute vegetable plants to people in need.

Sad news from Chico, where a 65-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver in a pickup. Note to CHP: When a bike rider gets run down by a motorist doing 55 mph, it doesn’t effing matter how fast the bike was going.

 

National

Take your dog with you on your next ride, with nine “unbiased” reviews on doggie bike trailers that just happen to link to Amazon pages where you can buy them. And only the Amazon pages.

A 68-year old lifelong bike rider says signs on Oregon mountain bike trails prohibiting ped-assist ebikes is just outright snobbery; meanwhile, Cycling Tips says ebikes are okay on gravel, but more fun in the company of other ebike riders.

The other Vancouver — no, the one in Washington— is forced to hit the pause button on a planned protected bike lane after stripping the city’s transportation budget due to the coronavirus crisis. Something we can look forward to just about everywhere in the days to come, including Los Angeles.

A 17-year old Colorado man is now a thriving triathlete, eight years after his mother made the heartrending decision to amputate his leg due to a congenital condition.

An Austin TX man faces charges for deliberately running down a man on a bike as the victim was attempting to escape following a domestic dispute.

Now that’s a real superhero. Chicago’s beer fairy is delivering craft beer by bicycle. And yes, with wings attached.

French BMX pro Matthias Dandois rides though an empty New York.

 

International

The Guardian offers ten reasons now is a great time to start riding a bike. All of which apply wherever you are.

He gets it. A writer for a sports and development website says bicycling should be considered a form of public transportation in a post Covid-19 world, once we finally get there.

Tragic news from Argentina, where soccer legend Tomás Carlovich died after slipping into a coma when he was mugged by a thief who stole his bicycle; Argentine great Maradona called Carlovich the greatest of all time, even though he never played for the national team, by choice.

A British Columbia city shows how easy it is to make a protected intersection.

Montreal residents are “desperate” for bicycles, as local shops sell out due to the coronavirus bike boom.

A London letter writer complains that “aggressive” cyclists should look out for pedestrians in bike lanes, not the other way around.

Madonna’s 19-year old son is one of us, going for a ride through London dressed like Oliver Twist.

A six-year old English girl raised £1,000 for Britain’s National Health Service — the equivalent of $1,234 — by riding 100 miles on her bike in ten days.

Britain’s government is encouraging people to get out on their bikes as the country begins lifting its coronavirus lockdown, including a surprise announcement that it is investing £2 billion — the equivalent of nearly $2.5 billion — to “put cycling and walking at the heart” of the country’s transportation policy.

A writer for The Guardian debates whether we’re entering a golden age of bicycling, or if it’s just another empty promise. And says riding a bike does more to help the UK’s National Health Service than clapping once a week.

Once again, a Brit medical worker has been targeted by a heartless bike thief, after an intensive care nurse got off work to find all three locks on her bike had been cut.

The coronavirus bike boom has cleared British bike shops of virtually all their available bicycles, with foldie maker Brompton seeing a five-time increase in online sales.

Thousands of Slovenian bike riders took over the streets of the capital city, Ljubljana, to protest allegations of coronavirus purchasing corruption; a smaller protest was held in Maribor, the country’s next-largest city.

Once again, an Indian migrant worker has been killed by a driver while bicycling over 700 miles back home during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

Finally…

Otters help bring bike thieves to justice. How about a new Ferrari that weighs less than an unabridged dictionary?

And no. Just…no.

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

Funds pour in to aid cargo bike mugging victim, ebike maker donates medical masks, and bikes are bliss on two wheels

Let’s start with a little good news for a change.

Because there are still a lot of very kind and generous people in this world.

Yesterday we mentioned the cargo bike-riding elotera who was mugged when a pair of thieves assaulted her in South LA, stealing her purse with the meager amount she had earned to support her family.

She lost $80 to the muggers.

But now, thanks to the generosity of over 450 kindhearted strangers, she’ll be getting more than 135 times that much back.

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels.

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Speaking of generous people, I was happy to find this announcement in my inbox yesterday.

Luis Razo, Manager of Operations at Aventon Bicycles, an Ontario, California-based E-bike manufacturer & retailer, says the community has supported the company, so now it’s time to give back four thousand surgical masks and one thousand N95 masks to Loma Linda University Medical Center and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where supplies are running short.

The company will also donate two E-bikes to Loma Linda University Medical Center. It’s a personal mission for Luis Razo. His wife Gracie is an RN at Loma Linda Hospital, on the front lines of this pandemic.

Nice to see so many members of the bike industry pitching in to help when our entire world is in crisis.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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He gets it.

An Illinois writer describes bicycling as bliss on two wheels. And doesn’t stop there.

Of all avocations, riding a bike is, almost beyond dispute, the finest. With endorphins and all, it is as much exercise for the brain as the heart, lungs or legs, a way to solve all the world’s problems while seeing the world.

Which is about as good a description as I’ve ever come up with.

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Phil Gaimon remembers what it was like to ride with other people.

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Local

He gets it, too. A writer for the LA Times says it’s time to take streets away from cars and give it to people.

The LA Times examines what’s open (hint: not much) and closed (almost everything) in LA, Orange and San Diego Counties this weekend. At last word, the Ballona Creek bike path, LA River bike path and San Gabriel River Bike Trail were still open, but that could change any time.

Evidently, it was family bike day in LA, with Kate Hudson riding with her son in her LA neighborhood, Arnold riding through West LA with his less-famous daughter, and  Adam Sandler going for a ride with his daughter in the ‘Bu.

English actress and Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is one of us, too, even if she sticks to the sidewalks of Los Angeles.

 

State

A San Jose man writes in to complain that Millennials and their dogs are ruining bike trails for everyone else. Seriously? There are just as many jerk and jackass Baby Boomer and GenXers as there are Millennials — and just as many kind and considerate people, too. It’s no more fair or accurate to blame every member of any generation for the actions of a few than it is any other social, ethnic or religious group.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says get your bike ready, and get out for a slow ride. Thanks to Robert Leone for the forward.

Tragic news from Stanislaus County, where a 51-year old single father was run down by a driver as he was riding his bike, and left to die alone on the side of the road.

 

National

VeloNews looks at more bikes from the virtual North American Handmade Bicycle Show, including one from my hometown, as well as a very cool wooden tandem. The cycling magazine also offers their take on the best women’s mountain bike gear for 2020.

Bike Mag suggests hacks you can try out on your own bicycle while you’re stuck at home.

Neil Young famously said rust never sleeps. But there are things you can do to keep it from ruining your mountain bike.

Sears waits until the entire bike industry is on the brink to try to claw back money it paid out to several bicycle companies before it went belly up two years ago.

The annual Iron Horse Classic in Southwestern Colorado has been postponed, if not cancelled.

A kindhearted Boise cop bought a bike for a homeless man so he’d have a way to get to work after he was involved in a crash.

The local paper in Lincoln, Nebraska offers tips on how to avoid collisions while maintaining social distancing on the city’s newly crowded bike trails. If that photo is any indication, crowded is a relative term.

A Milwaukee man wanted to show his support for local bike shops struggling to hold on in the coronavirus crisis, so he set out on a solo bike tour of several shops to post words of encouragement in their windows.

A Chicago letter writer says we may be keeping our distance, but people have never been friendlier.

Eight beautiful bike rides in the Chicago area. Or maybe get back to nature on Houston bike trails.

A writer for Jalopnik goes carspotting in New York, and discovers classic bikes are the real city cars. Including the first modern bike built for women.

Bike shops are listed as essential businesses in Pennsylvania.

 

International

Good question. Fast Company questions whether we can maintain the current coronavirus bike boom when the world finally comes out the other side. Which it inevitably will, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment.

Cycling Weekly examines what steps bike shops are taking to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Road.cc wants to get you in a gilet.

British Columbia advocates join their counterparts around the world in calling for more space for pedestrians and bike riders during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Brompton is crowdfunding the equivalent of nearly half a million dollars to donate 1,000 of their iconic foldies to staffers with the UK’s National Health Service; they’ve raised the equivalent of nearly $110,000 with 12 days to go.

The Next Web loves the new race bike from Germany’s direct-to-consumer bikemaker Canyon, but says it’s “hella expensive;” at the equivalent of nearly six grand, though that’s barely midrange these days. On the other hand, Gear Patrol thinks Canyon’s full-suspension mountain bike is surprisingly affordable at $2,399.

Heartbreaking story, as an Indian man is riding over 1,300 miles on a secondhand bike from Mumbai to Kashmir to see his dying father one last time, despite the country’s 21-day mandatory lockdown.

After the country went into a coronavirus lockdown, New Zealand’s Health Minister stirred up controversy by bending, if not breaking, the rules by driving to get out for a mountain bike ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta says they’re sticking with their August start date, despite the cancellation or postponement of most of the cycling season so far this year.

Covid-19 is taking a toll on pro cycling, as riders are forced to take a drastic cut in pay until racing resumes later this year — assuming it does.

 

Finally…

No, you don’t need Android Auto unless you’re actually in one. Oh, nothing much, just a casual fat bike ride through the Yukon at 44° below zero.

And keeping the team alive by riding together every morning, separately. And at home.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

More Covid-19 bike news, you can’t carry heavy things on a bike, and Del Rey gets its very own Great Street

Today’s Covid-19 news comes from New York, where commuters wary of possible germ-infested subways are taking to bicycling, many for the first time.

Meanwhile, the city’s mayor and failed presidential candidate swears he was only joking when he said he wouldn’t follow his own advice to bike to work to avoid the new coronavirus because his bike skills need work.

And an op-ed says New York has to make the streets safer to make bicycling safer.

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As everyone knows, you can’t carry heavy loads on a bicycle.

I said, you can’t…oh, never mind.

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CiclaValley goes gravel grinding in the Verdugos and Cherry Canyon with Gravel Bike California.

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A London bike rider stresses the importance of keeping a close eye on everyone on the road.

And misses the pothole that took him down.

Something I can relate to, after once noting the location of every vehicle at an intersection before leaning into a perfect high-speed right turn. Yet somehow failing to spot the puddle directly in front of my wheel.

Then almost miraculously skidding across eight lanes of busy traffic without getting run over, and smashing into the curb on the far side.

I was lucky to get up with just a broken elbow, road rash from head to heel, and my shredded spandex shorts literally hanging a thread from indecent exposure.

Good times.

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A speeding British driver loses control on a slick roadway, barely missing a bike rider before flying off the road.

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Local

Centinela Ave in LA’s Del Rey neighborhood is now the second street in Councilmember Mike Bonin’s 11th Council District to receive a Great Streets designation. Hopefully this one won’t bring out the NIMBYs for another years-long fight like the one on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista.

KCET presents seven places where you can discover the LA River, much of which is accessible by bike. And all of which should be by 2028, when the LA River bike path is scheduled to finally be completed.

Hoodline uses Yelp reviews to list the four highest-rated budget-friendly bike shops in Los Angeles, including Mar Vista bike co-op Bikerowave.

Pasadena’s Over Town Brewing Co. will celebrate their first anniversary by joining with the SGV Foothill Flyers Vintage Bicycle Club to host a Vintage Bike Show and Swap Meet on Sunday.

Friday the 13th could be unlucky for scofflaw bike riders, pedestrians and motorists in Santa Monica, where police will conduct bike and pedestrians traffic enforcement safety operations throughout the remainder of the month, starting tomorrow. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

 

State

The owner of Fullerton Bicycles and Buena Park Bicycles is buying the ebike shop next to the Fullerton store to expand their electric offerings.

Coronado’s popular My Bike kinetic sculpture is getting a tune-up.

Family members have identified the Bakersfield father who was killed in a collision with a sleeping motorcyclist while he was riding on the sidewalk; a crowdfunding campaign has raised just $900 of the $5,000 goal. Something is seriously wrong when people have to raise money from strangers just to bury innocent victims of traffic violence. And how the hell do you fall asleep riding a motorcycle?

The 2020 Bicycle Leadership Conference sponsored by PeopleForBikes, usually held in conjunction with the now-postponed Sea Otter Classic, has been rescheduled for October.

Palo Alto authorities have identified the 11-year old boy who was killed by the driver of a flat bed truck while crossing the street on his bike last Friday; his parents tell drivers to slow down for kids. Seriously, when we will decide that too many of our children have been senselessly killed on our streets — and finally do something about it?

A Modesto couple is credited with saving a man’s life after he suffered multiple seizures while riding a bike.

 

National

Curbed is turning the panel discussion that was planned for the now-cancelled SXSW into a virtual discussion at 9:30 am PDT tomorrow.

A pair of writers for Urology Times, which most men rush to read every month, says the health benefits of bicycling outweigh the risks, but while bike riding doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction, men should get a professional bike fit to lower the risk of urethral strictures, genital numbness and saddle sores.

Must be nice. All the Portland city council candidates agreed on the city’s transportation issues at a recent forum, including opposition to widening a freeway, and supporting more and better sidewalks and bikeways.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled bike a 61-year old Wisconsin man with cerebral palsy used as his only form of transportation. Even if an anonymous Good Samaritan replaced it with a new one the next day.

DC will try out experimental advisory bike lanes on streets too narrow for bike lanes without removing parking, by striping bike lanes on both sides with just one narrow center lane for drivers, but allowing drivers to merge into the bike lanes to pass cars coming in the opposite direction.

After Maryland officials rejected a proposal to put a bike lane on a new bridge across the Potomac, bike advocates responded with a plea to save the old one and turn it into a bike and pedestrian bridge.

A Florida driver got a well-deserved eight-years behind bars, plus another seven years probation, for the hit-and-run, distracted driving deaths of two women riding their bikes. The bad news is, he’ll get his driver’s license back three years after he gets out.

 

International

A new study published in the prestigious BMJ medical journal says yes, bike commuting is riskier than other forms of transportation, but the health benefits outweigh the risk.

US News & World Report — yes, it still exists — says carfree streets around the world help combat loneliness by providing spaces where strangers can mingle.

The London detective responsible for traffic safety says video evidence is “almost the biggest single agenda item” to improve safety on the streets. Except it still can’t be used in California, and much of the US, for enforcing traffic violations and misdemeanor crimes.

Residents of an English village pitched in to replace an 11-year old boy’s new mountain bike after it was stolen from his school.

Yes, it can be done. A British man quit his job of 20 years, sold his house, bought a bike and set out to travel the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside profiles 58-year old mountain biking legend Tinker Juarez, who has been riding for 45 years of his life and still beats competitors half his age.

The Paris-Nice bike race goes on, with a forth stage individual time trial. Enjoy it while you can; this is likely to be one of the last professional races we’ll see this year.

 

Finally

Riding a bike across the US isn’t that unusual anymore; doing it while dying of stage-four cancer is. When you get sued by the driver who hit you, take your case to the People’s Court.

And riding a bike to avoid coming down with something may not be a new idea, after all.

Weekend Links: Own your own bicycle coffee café, slower driving works in Scotland, and WeHo candidate surveys

Ever want to just chuck your damn job and become self-unemployed self-employed like me?

Now you can become a bike-born coffee entrepreneur with your very own Wheelys.

No, not those kid’s shoes with a wheel in the heel.

But a full service café on wheels that folds out in just minutes to put you in the business of serving caffeine aficionados anywhere you can pedal. And it folds back down to store in the shipping container it came in, which doubles as a garage.

Think of it as your very own food truck. Without the truck.

Better yet, at just $3450, it costs less than a lot of road bikes. And less than 1% of the cost of opening your own Starbucks.

For that price, an enterprising cyclist could park one along PCH, and make enough to retire just from the riders who pass by.

Heck, I even want one.

If only to make sure I’ll have fresh coffee and Danish on my next ride.

Wheelys graphic

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As slower traffic speeds spread through Scotland, attitudes that bicycling is unsafe are changing, and more children are riding to school — jumping from 3% to 22% among older children in Edinburgh.

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Harelbeke posterThat ridiculous E3 Harelbeke poster has been banned.

As much as I hate censorship, this isn’t the way to promote bike riding to women. Or anyone but than teenage boys, for that matter.

Then again, it’s nothing new for the folks at Harelbeke.

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The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition has received candidate surveys from 10 of the 12 candidates for the city’s three at-large seats in next week’s city council election.

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Still more bike events coming up this weekend and beyond.

Los Angeles Magazine recommends Saturday’s Chinatown Firecracker Run/Walk & Bike Ride, as does commenter Brian Nilsen.

Culver City Walk and Rollers will host a Family Fun Ride and Smart Gardening Workshop on Saturday.

UCLA’s Fowler Museum invites you to celebrate all things bicycle at the Bike Day Family Festival this Sunday.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is hosting a women-only Ladies Bike Ride for International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8th.

Zócalo and Metro host a discussion on whether Car Culture is Dead on Wednesday, March 11th at MOCA. We don’t actually have to kill car culture, just tame it.

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Local

Streetsblog asks what DTLA needs to do to get ready for bike share.

Tori Spelling teaches her unicorn-helmeted daughter how to ride a bike.

That gargantuan six-way Los Feliz mess where Hollywood Blvd, Hillhurst Ave, Sunset Blvd and Virgil Ave connect remains a challenge for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

Maybe it really is a new era at Caltrans, as the notoriously auto-centric state transportation agency releases an annual report focusing on non-motorized travel. Although, as Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry points out, calling bicycling and walking non-motorized transportation is “like calling women nonmen.”

More confirmation of a change in attitude at the agency, as the Adventure Cycling Association looks at Caltrans’ agreement to allow bike tourists to legally ride through the high desert, completing the Bike Route 66 through the state. The ACA thanks Calbike and CABO, among others, for their help in finding a solution.

The San Diego Untion-Tribune says California’s proposed mandatory helmet law doesn’t make sense on the boardwalk, while BikeSD spells out the reasons a helmet law doesn’t make sense. And Pedal Love says requiring helmets is a step in the wrong direction; better to remember it’s another person out there, whether on a bike or behind the wheel.

A Sacramento bike shop doubles as a pedal-powered delivery service for farm-to-table restaurants.

A new city report says San Francisco is dangerous but not deadly for bike riders.

 

National

A trucking website suggests bikes could be the next wave in cargo hauling.

Clean Technica says the US has built as many protected bike lanes in the last two years as it had in the previous 140 years. But what exactly did bikes have to be protected from in 1875, except maybe outraged equestrians?

Maybe the LAPD should follow Portland’s lead and establish a bike theft task force.

A Colorado House committee votes to encourage dangerous driving by banning red light and speed cameras over the objections of law enforcement agencies.

Kentucky’s best known liability lawyer is back at work after a near-fatal bicycling collision; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card by saying he was blinded by the sun.

A Boston doctor says bicycling can help provide relief from migraine symptoms. Having blown chunks home more than once trying to make it back home home after developing one while riding, I can truthfully say it didn’t help me.

Credit fellow bike blogger the Witch on a Bicycle for pointing out a New York site that keeps track of cops who park in bike lanes, including here in LA.

Parking wins out over bike lanes in Princeton NJ.

 

International

Saskatoon gets its first protected bike lane this spring.

London introduces bike-friendly construction trucks loaded with safety features in an attempt to reduce bike fatalities, while a UK cyclist argues it’s safer to jump red lights, even if the cops ticket you for it.

A British woman posts a public sign demanding the return of her stolen bike.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider jumps a railroad barricade as a train bears down on him.

A Chinese man set out on a bike ride in 1997 to explore different cultures. And he’s been cycling around the world ever since.

 

Finally…

Here’s your chance to be a star, as a British TV show is looking for a “speed freak” bicyclist to travel the world competing in local racing events, including Mongolian yak racing. You could own your very own Transformer as Ford patents plans for a car that reassembles into a bicycle.

And LA’s notorious bike thieves take it too damn far by snatching one of those new bicycle-shaped Echo Park bike racks.

I wonder if they realize it’s not really a bike.

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Not only was Leonard Nimoy one of us, but William Shatner stole his bike.

 

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