Tag Archive for CD4

Feeling suckered by CA ebike voucher program, CD4’s Raman wins re-election, and why people keep dying on the streets

Just 291 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

As of this writing, we’re up to 1,017 signatures, so let’s keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us! 

Photo by Max J from Pexels.

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Let’s start with a look at California’s virtually moribund ebike incentive program, and its ongoing failure to launch.

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

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a woman is demanding action after police determine there’s “not enough detail” to charge a hit-and-run bus driver who just drove off after knocking her off her bike.

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

London’s Telegraph complains that the city is building more floating bus stops, even though some bicyclists don’t stop for pedestrians like they’re supposed to. Seriously, don’t do that. It only takes a few seconds to observe the right-of-way, and let pedestrians pass.

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Local 

Alhambra’s city council unanimously approved a new bike and pedestrian plan, which was delayed for two months to get more community input. Although as we’ve learned the hard way, getting a plan approved is meaningless unless it’s actually funded and implemented, regardless of apparent support.

A paraplegic Palmdale man says riding a handcycle in Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon fulfills his wildest dream.

LA County will spend $250 million to widen the Old Road in Stevenson Ranch to six lanes, while adding a protected bike lane in each direction. It costs an average of $1 million a mile to build a protected bike lane, which means they could build ten miles of protected lanes on both sides of the roadway, and still return $230 million change.

Santa Monica once again learned the hard way that free parking isn’t free; it cost the city $26,000 in lost revenue to provide free parking in city lots the last three days before Christmas, which resulted in exactly no benefit to local businesses.

Speaking of SaMo, the city is encouraging bicyclists to register their bikes through Bike Index or Garage 529 before May’s National Bike Month; you can sign up for lifetime free registration with Bike Index right here, as well as report a stolen bike or check their nationwide stolen bike registry. Full disclosure, I don’t get a damn thing for hosting Bike Index on this site, aside from the satisfaction of helping thwart bike thieves.

 

State

Survivors of a fallen Bakersfield bike rider filed a claim against the county, alleging dangerous conditions on the roadway where she was killed by a driver last year, including inadequate lighting, traffic signals and signage.

San Mateo bicyclists and traffic safety advocates are demanding answers after a hit-and-run driver left a bike-riding 62-year old woman with a broken back.

 

National

A new AI-powered device promises to use “computer vision” to alert bike riders to cars and other dangers on the roadway. So they expect us to rely on the same technology that draws people with three legs, and makes up various “facts.”

He gets it. Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus says the reason more people aren’t biking is too many cars, with too many driven without regard for others.

Now this is a bike travel guide, as a Boulder CO weekly offers tips on where to stop for food and drinks on your next long-distance ride.

Denver promises to plow bike lanes, as the city prepares to get up to 20 inches of snow, though bike riders are warned they may have to share traffic lanes with motorists. And yet, we’re somehow told that no one will ride a bike during LA’s temperate winters. 

Kindhearted Indiana cops gave a new bike to a 12-year old boy whose bike was destroyed when he was hit by a bus; fortunately, he wasn’t hurt.

That’s more like it. A bill in the Vermont legislature will give bike riders priority at intersections and require a four-foot passing distance.

New York Streetsblog celebrates the new Citi Bike bikeshare dock at the former Shea Stadium, now Citi Field, allowing bikeshare users to ride to a Mets game. But then you’d have to actually watch them play, so hard pass. 

A $9.6 million federal grant will fund a nearly nine-mile bike and pedestrian path between two Mississippi towns, as part of a project to widen US 90 from four to six lanes. So call it a win-lose for the environment and induced-demand. 

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine argues there should be tax incentives to buy and ride a bicycle. There should be some on this side of the border, too.

A BBC radio host is riding the “staggering distance” of 500 km across the country — the equivalent of 310 miles — to raise funds for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day. Or as randonneurs call a distance like that, Tuesday.

Bike-riding BBC host Jeremy Vine is suing a former Man City soccer player for calling him a “bike nonce.” Which I might find offensive, too, if I knew what the hell it meant.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly tips two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar to win Saturday’s Milan-San Remo, the longest one-day race in pro cycling.

The UCI Ethics Commission fined Soudal Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere for making disparaging comments about women, including suggesting that women drink too much, and that many female pros aren’t worth pro cycling’s current minimum wage.

 

Finally…

This is what it looks like when unloved bicycles are left to die alone. Just let the billionaires pay for a pod to change out of your sweaty clothes after a bike commute.

And that feeling when you promise to ride a bike to see your friends, after getting busted for driving an uninsured vehicle with an expired driver’s license.

At 103 years old.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month today

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA Times voter guides for CD4, CD6 and Healthy Streets LA; SGV bike ride Sunday; and Weiner talks speed governors

332 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles Times offers a detailed voter guide to the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, including a look at what it does and doesn’t do, as well as who supports and opposes it.

And there’s a lot more of the former than there is the latter.

The paper also provides election guides for the six-way race for the CD6 seat currently held by Imelda Padilla on an interim basis, as well as the two men challenging Nithya Raman in the reconfigured CD4.

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Update: This ride has been postponed until next Sunday due to risk of rain.

Safe Streets For SGV is hosting a moderately paced, nine-mile bike ride on Sunday to call for safer streets and promote better connections between Alhambra and South Pasadena.

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State Senator Scott Weiner describes his bill that would require speed governors in all new cars, which would “only” allow drivers to break the law by 10 mph.

Which sounds perfectly damn reasonable to me.

Thanks to MYVOTECD1 for the heads-up.

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The latest episode of Bike Talk is available online now.

A listener, Reese, speaks for connected, protected bike lanes in Utah. 2:00

News: With pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Los Angeles at an 8-year high, the departing Los Angeles Police Chief blames their reckless biking and walking habits. In California, SB 961 calls for all new cars to have speed governors. A Die-in against traffic violence at LA City Hall. 7:12

When a 14 year old on his bike was hit by an uninsured motorist in Chicago, personal injury lawyer Jonel Metaj took the case all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. Now, people in Illinois with uninsured motorist coverage will be protected when biking and walking, too. 18:57

Alison Cohen is the founder of Bicycle Transit Systems, which operates bikeshare in cities throughout the US. She explains how BTS came to be threatened with replacement by Lyft in Los Angeles. 33:00

A Bike Thought by Stacey. 52:23

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Not only was Farrah Fawcett one of us, but she could clearly do “Look Ma! No hands!” with the best of them.

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It’s now 43 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A couple of young Frenchmen walked without a single day behind bars for an eight-month series of attacks in which they leaned out of a moving car to push at least a dozen bike riders off their bikes and into ditches, and hit at least one man repeatedly with a small truncheon; they were both sentenced to two-year suspended sentences after telling the judge they were really, really sorry. No, really.

No surprise here. A pair of Australian teenagers were arrested for intentionally running down two Melbourne bicyclists in a stolen car last week, leaving the men with serious, potentially life-changing injuries, and posting video of the attack online. They joined a now worldwide social media-inspired trend of teens stealing cars and intentionally attacking people on bicycles — including recent attacks in Huntington Beach and Las Vegas — for no other reason than they can.

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Local 

Metro announced plans to improve streets, bus stops and bike lanes along the 710 Freeway corridor, after cancelling plans to widen the freeway in the face of public opposition.

Seven Culver City cops will join the Police Unity Tour, riding 300 miles to honor fallen officers.

 

State

San Diego and Imperial counties will share $12 million in state infrastructure funding, including for bike and pedestrian projects.

The atmospheric river that poured through California yesterday left a Santa Barbara bike lane closed due to flooding, with no projected opening date.

 

National

Bike Rumor picks the year’s best bike handlebar bags.

SRAM issued a recall for all aftermarket 12-speed eTap AXS Red, Force, Rival and Apex shift-brake levers produced before July 2023 that were not installed by a bicycle dealer, telling owners to stop using them immediately.

Forbes recommends fat biking as one of “three winter adventurers (sic) you can’t afford to miss in Anchorage.” Especially since they finally have snow this year.

A kindhearted Maine high school resource cop called on a local bike shop to donate a refurbished bike for a kid who was struggling with attendance, leading to a new program accepting donated bikes for students.

A Baltimore letter writer says traffic calming doesn’t work, and new bike lanes will never lure people out of their motor vehicles, because cars.

After losing his own vision, a New Orleans man created a tandem bicycling group to allow blind people to keep riding.

 

International

Momentum offers seven “examples of stunning and inspiring bicycle infrastructure around the world.” None of which are in Los Angeles. Or North America, for that matter. 

A longstanding worker-owned bike shop in London’s Brixton neighborhood is begging for donations to help it withstand the worst year in its two decade history.

Singer Harry Styles is one of us, spending the last day before he turned 30 riding through London in a quilted orange puffer jacket.

A new London study suggests male Sikh bike riders might not benefit from bike helmets, because the style and thickness of their turbans could already provide the best possible head protection.

British ebike brand Gocycle is introducing a futuristic take on the family e-cargo bike — as long as you have at least seven grand burning a hole in your bank account.

Unbelievable. A road raging Jersey teenage was acquitted of manslaughter for killing a bike rider with a single punch to the face, claiming he was frightened by the victim, despite repeatedly honking at him and getting out of his car to confront him after the man deservedly flipped him off.

This is who we share the road with. Italian saboteurs are cutting down speed cams, and ripping out speed humps to fight for their God-given right to speed.

The Jerusalem Post highlights the best selling bike phone mounts. One of which I already own. 

A pair of Aussie researchers say e-scooter injuries are rising, but there’s not enough data yet to say if they’re more dangerous than other micromobility methods, such as bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

The first win of the 2024 cycling season goes to Belgian Soudal Quick-Step sprinter Tim Merlier.

 

Finally…

Why you shouldn’t trust your bike to the cheapest lock you can find at CVS. What happens when you let a Magic 8-Ball write your bike lane headlines.

And when the mayor’s office says just kidding about scrapping the city’s annual bike ride.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

New bikeways coming to LA’s CD4, murder trial in DUI death of 12-year old boy, and civilizing British streets — or not

At least one LA councilmember is living up to campaign promises when it comes to safe streets.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is reporting that CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman is moving forward with plans for seven new bikeways, though her efforts are hampered by short staffing at LADOT.

Linton blames the staffing shortages on the feared budget shortfalls due to the pandemic, which failed to materialize thanks to federal COVID recovery funds.

However, the department has been understaffed for years, particularly in regards to bicycling and walking infrastructure, which has severely hampered the department’s ability to make much-needed changes to our streets.

The bikeways are currently being planned or implemented in Los Feliz and the San Fernando Valley, including —

  • Replacing sharrows on Riverside Drive south of Griffith Park with a lane removal and parking protected bike lane, the first in the 4th Council District, due to be complete in the next few months.
  • Adding protected bike lanes on Riverside Drive north of Griffith Park, in cooperation with Glendale and Burbank.
  • New bike lanes on Hyperion Blvd from Griffith Park Blvd to Rowena Ave to connect current bike lanes on Rowena and Griffith Park Blvd, as well as bike lanes promised for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.
  • Closing an existing half-mile gap in the bike lanes on Burbank Blvd between Hazeltine Ave and Van Nuys Blvd, part of the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network.
  • Adding protected bike lanes leading from the G Line — nee Orange Line — bike path to the North Hollywood Metro Station and the Chandler bike path.

Raman is also assuming shared responsibility for portions of projects already underway in what was formerly other council districts, which were moved into her district under the recently redistricting.

  • A new three-mile long segment of L.A. River Greenway from Vanalden Ave to Balboa Blvd, which will nearly complete the river path west of the Sepulveda Basin, shared with 3rd District Councilmember Bob Blumenfield
  • The 3-mile long Reseda Boulevard Complete Streets Project currently  under construction from Victory Boulevard to Parthenia Street, shared with Blumenfield and CD12’s John Lee.

Unfortunately, she no longer has responsibility for much of Hollywood, Mid-City and Hancock Park, so any hope for changes there will depend on who replaces Paul Koretz in CD5, and whether Mitch O’Farrell remains in office in CD13.

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Suspected stoned driver Richard David Lavalle is set to go on trial this week for killing a 12-year old boy near a Costa Mesa park.

The 59-year old Long Beach resident faces a single murder count for running down Noel Bascon as he was riding a bike with his father near Tewinkle Park a little over a year ago.

Lavalle was driving a rented moving truck when he allegedly ran a stop sign, and slammed into the boy as he rode in a crosswalk on Arlington Drive.

He was previously convicted of DUI in San Diego County in 2013, which justifies the murder count for a second violation under California law, and was on parole at the time of the crash.

He faces up to 30 years behind bars if he’s convicted.

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He gets it.

A columnist for The Spectator says the UK’s updated Traffic Code will civilize the streets entitled motorists have ruled for far too long.

Without digging into the details, the main point of the changes is to give greater priority to vulnerable road users. Or put another way, unlike 007, they’re taking away drivers licenses to kill.

One they apparently issued themselves.

No one set out to turn our towns, cities, villages and rural roads into dangerous hellholes. It just happened as motorists assumed the right to highways which were never designed for motor traffic. It was the exercise of raw power: drivers of motor vehicles lording it over the rest of us because they could.

It’s worth a few minutes to give it a read.

On the other hand, there are people who don’t get it at all. Take this gasoline-addled automotive troglodyte.

Please.

Under cover of Covid, they have turned our city centres into crazy golf courses, intended to frustrate freedom of movement by giving priority to Lycra-clad lunatics on racing bikes and suicide jockeys on e-scooters.

Transport policy has been captured by single-issue, anti-car fanatics, hell-bent on bankrupting businesses and causing the maximum possible inconvenience to the traveling public…

Our other major cities have suffered from pollution-spewing traffic jams created by Town Hall Guardianista polar-bear huggers in thrall to the cult of the great god cycling.

Maybe that should read ‘Cyclops’, since the pushbike lobby are terminally myopic when it comes to seeing any point of view other than their own warped ideology.

Nope.

No bias there.

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When is a Culver City protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a parking spot.

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Good question.

What does Rancho Palos Verdes have against kids riding bikes at the park?

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It looks like San Gabriel Valley state Senator Anthony Portantino is one of us.

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

Someone is sabotaging a pilot bike lane on a Boston bridge installed to test plans for a more permanent lane, tossing orange cones marking the lane into the Charles River, not just once, but twice over the last weekend.

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Local

LADOT will host a virtual community meeting at 7 pm today to discuss the Lincoln Fast Forward project, which includes pedestrians improvements and rush hour bus lanes, but no bike lanes; however, bike riders are allowed to use the bus lanes, as long as you don’t mind an impatient bus driver running up your ass. You can register here.

A man was shot in a driveby while riding his bike at Whites Canyon Road and Delight Street in Santa Clarita; there’s no word on his condition, or if the shooting was gang-related or a road rage attack.

 

State

Singletracks looks at the California Mountain Biking Coalition, calling it a “squeaky wheel for trail advocacy.”

The Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at UC Berkeley, aka SafeTREC, is opening applications for the next round of its Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Training program.

Oakland completes a previously missing bikeway gap on Telegraph Avenue, albeit with just painted bike lanes, rather than the protected lanes found on other segments.

 

National

Peloton is forced to explain once again that their indoor cycling bikes really aren’t dangerous, after a character on Billions suffers a heart-attack following a session on the bike; needless to say, the company was none too pleased.

Here’s your chance to break into the glamorous bike biz, as PinkBike lists 19 open jobs available right now.

Home improvement guy Bob Vila has a seven-point plan to change a bike tire for you.

New York’s Daily News says the city’s new mayor is right to prioritize safe streets, after mixed Vision Zero results under the previous mayor.

Miami reopens iconic Ocean Drive to cars after two years, but with a new two-way bike lane facing the beach.

 

International

Road.cc looks forward to eleven big bike launches expected to be unveiled in the coming year.

Unbelievable. A sheriff’s deputy found a British Columbia driver smoking heroin shortly after he ran down a 67-year old man riding a bike and kept going, even though he knew he hit something but was too scared to stop.

Bicycle holding company Pon.Bike announced plans to return bikemaking to Europe with a Lithuanian production facility capable of building up to 600,000 bicycles a year; they are the parent company of Gazelle, Cervélo, FOCUS, Santa Cruz and other bike brands.

Your next Japanese foldie ebike could come with just 57 low-maintenance parts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bad news from Colombia, where former Tour de France and current Giro champ Egan Bernal was seriously injured in a collision with a parked bus while training with teammates in his hometown of Zipaquira; Bernal suffered a broken femur and kneecap, requiring surgery to reconstruct his right leg, as well as to stabilize a spinal fracture and traumatic disc herniation.

Former national and Pan-American ‘cross champ Stephen Hyde is calling it a career after ten years on the pro circuit.

 

Finally…

Crashing bicycles, houseflies and infinite series mathematics. Why waste energy pedaling when you could just power your bike with an electric drill?

And seriously, who hasn’t jumped a bike off a hovering helicopter?

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

Irish driver says bike riders are always right, crowdfund campaign for 13-year old crash victim, and help set policy in CD4

She gets it.

Today’s must read comes from an Irish columnist who says bike riders are always right, even though she’s a driver.

Well, maybe not always.

She describes being chased off her bike, first by catching a tire in a Dublin rail track, then by a cab driver who leaned on his horn and called her a “stupid bitch,” for the crime of being on the road ahead of him.

And hasn’t ridden it since.

But still, there’s this —

But we are sharing the road. We don’t own the road, we drivers. Paying motor tax doesn’t entitle us to everything from kerb to kerb and baying that “cyclists don’t pay” is childish. Cycling is a sustainable, relatively inexpensive, and health-promoting mode of transport. Do we really want to tax that? What next, pedestrians paying footpath tax?

She sums it up this way.

Back in my spot on the devil’s lap, I must acknowledge that just as there are bad drivers, there are bad cyclists. The weavers, the light-breakers (even though this is often the safest option), the all-in-blacks. Of course they exist, but they can’t be a reason to scapegoat an entire community of cyclists. I guarantee if you see one “bad cyclist” on your journey, a cyclist sees 10 dangerous drivers, two of which unwittingly tried to kill them.

It’s worth a few minutes of your day to give it a read.

If only to see that there really are people who don’g ride a bike, but get what it’s like for us, anyway.

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A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help pay funeral expenses for Edward Vazquez Jr, the 13-year old boy killed by a driver while riding his bike in Corona last week.

As of this writing, it’s raised just $1925 of the $15,000 goal.

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Here’s your chance to help direct policy for my councilmember.

Which is why I want someone who rides bikes to get the job.

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If your bike was stolen stolen in the Rancho Cucamonga area recently, the local PD may have good news for you. Or not.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

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Why would anyone in Ontario, Canada, give a damn about distracted driving when the premier of the province clearly doesn’t?

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A new Quebec ad campaign takes aim at jaywalkers.

Literally.

Maybe instead of wasting money telling people not to jaywalk, they could improve streets with better crossings so it’s not necessary. And safer if they do, anyway.

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Of course there’s a bicycle superhero. Because why wouldn’t there be?

Then again, this is the real superpower.

https://twitter.com/davidguenel/status/1483106840510545928

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

File this one under be careful what you wish for. A bill in the Vermont legislature would require everyone on a bicycle to ride single file on any roadway without bike lanes. Which would increase the danger for people on bikes by encouraging unsafe passing, while increasing the time, distance and risk involved to pass a large group of riders.

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

An off-duty cop working as a security guard engaged in a shootout inside an Oklahoma  Walmart with a man who tried to pay for a few items while walking out without paying for a new bike.

Police in Queens, NY are looking for the rider of a throttle-controlled ebike who pulled out a gun, and shot out a speed camera.

A conservation group is accusing bike riders of damaging the UK’s New Forest national park, after a six-week study showed 550 people on bicycles riding off designated trails. Seriously, show some respect for the land.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton remembers longtime transit advocate and Streetsblog contributor Dana Gabbord, whose big heart gave out just shy of his 60th birthday.

The Eastsider says county workers want to know what keeps people in East LA from walking and being more active. Hint: They usually have four wheels

WeHoVille talks crime and ebikes with West Hollywood Public Safety Commissioner Danny Roman, owner of Bikes & Hikes LA.

 

State

Sonoma votes for a road diet on a major street, while still forcing bike riders to contend with drivers parking their cars.

 

National

It’s been a big couple years for women’s bicycling, as nearly 56% of women who currently ride bikes either started during the pandemic, or came back to bicycling after a layoff.

A writer for Jalopnik tries to track down the provenance of a bike someone apparently won off the side of a Hi-C drink box.

Some Portland residents responded to calls to use MLK Jr. Day as a day of service by sweeping out bike lanes, while an Idaho group used the day to distribute 50 bikes to people in need.

Seattle may not have repealed its mandatory bike helmet law yet, but the local police have decided they won’t stop riders just for not wearing one anymore, as well as downplaying a number of other minor traffic violations since they don’t have a direct connection to the safety of others.

A Vermont website remembers the bike-riding former state house leader, whose passion for bicycling was matched only by his passion for public service; Willem Jewett was just 56 years old when he died via the medical-aid-in-dying law he helped pass, after struggling for years with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

New York’s new mayor plans to cut the city’s vehicle fleet down to the bare minimum, and encourage employees to ride the subway or take buses instead. Or better yet, just improve the city’s bike network and tell ’em to ride bicycles, instead. 

NBA star Jimmy Butler is one of us, buying a new bicycle so his two-year old daughter can ride in a child’s seat on the back.

Hundreds of Florida teens turned out for the annual, unsanctioned Wheels Up, Guns Down rideout to mark Dr. Martin Luther King’s call for nonviolent protest, including one group that took over the right side of a freeway.

 

International

Vogue Business considers the fashion industry’s recent inroads into the world of bicycling.

If you build it, they will come. Despite cries that London’s new bike network is blocking traffic, it is traffic, as bike riders now outnumber motorists in some areas of the city.

An English serial bike thief will spend the next 21 months behind bars for stealing six bikes worth more than $6,000 after gaining access to three apartment buildings.

A British man tells his harrowing tale of suffering a debilitating stroke at just 39 years old, and how he fought his way back to full mobility with determination and a bicycle.

Good Samaritans kept an alleged stoned driver from fleeing the scene after running down a UK bike rider, punching him in the face and dragging him out of the car he was trying to jack after abandoning his own heavily damaged car.

A retired Irish schoolteacher has become the oldest person to ride a bike around the world, completing the challenge at the ripe old age of…56? Seriously? That’s a ridiculously young age to be the oldest to do damn near anything, let alone anything to do with riding a bicycle.

You know a city is serious about getting people out of their cars when bikeshare is free, like it is in Prague, where a pilot program allowing transit pass holders 15 minutes of free bikeshare, up to four times a day, is going to be made permanent. Especially since rental bikes are a gateway drug for bicycling.

A delivery rider for Uber Eats faces a charge of professional negligence resulting in death after running down a 78-year old man crossing a Tokyo intersection; police blame the speed required by the company for causing the crash.

A new Kiwi study shows that the benefits of walking and bicycling outweighs the costs of building better facilities and educational campaigns by a whopping ten to one, especially in terms of better health and fewer cars on the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett says pro cycling has gotten so scientific and technical, it doesn’t even feel like he’s riding a bike anymore.

A new self-supported bikepacking race will take riders on over 1,000 miles of new trails through Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico.

 

Finally…

How to give your bike an extreme wooden makeover. If you’re planning to pawn a stolen bike, don’t give them all your personal information.

And we’ll know it works when it becomes the latest time trial technique.

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

Caltrans commits to Complete Streets — no, really, Raman wants your street requests, and Dierks does it again

It’s the penultimate day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just two more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

Thanks to Sarah S and Castell C for their generous donations to help keep all the best, brightest and freshest bike news coming to your way every day.

So don’t wait. Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, more than I could begin to say.

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Maybe they’re finally done making excuses.

Streetsblog reports Caltrans has finally and formally embraced Complete Streets, supplanting an earlier policy that was seen as weak-kneed and too easy to weasel out of, which they usually did.

This time, it seems to have teeth.

The policy, signed by director Toks Omishakin on December 7, states that “Caltrans recognizes that streets are not only used for transportation but are also valuable community spaces. Accordingly, in locations with current and/or future pedestrian, bicycle, or transit needs, all transportation projects funded or overseen by Caltrans will provide comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities for people walking, biking, and taking transit or passenger rail unless an exception is documented and approved. When decisions are made not to include complete streets elements in capital and maintenance projects, the justification will be documented with final approval by the responsible District Director.”

It says all the right things.

We’ll see if they actually live up to it.

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If, like me, you still live in LA’s 4th Council District, which lost 2/3 of its previous residents in redistricting, it looks like Councilmember Nithya Raman is actually asking for help identifying needed changes on the streets.

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Country start Dierks Bentley, who was apparently born during a vowel surplus, learns a lesson about filming while fat biking in the snow. But at least he didn’t break a hip this time.

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Local

No surprise here. LAist says how long it takes to make safety improvements to a street depends on who represents your neighborhood on the city council. Or as we’ve learned the hard way, whether it gets done at all.

Speaking of which, South LA’s deadly Adams Blvd is finally getting a makeover under the city’s Vision Zero program, despite not currently having a representative on the city council after Mark Ridley-Thomas stepped back in the wake of bribery charges; the street saw nine traffic deaths in just three years, including a bike rider who remains officially unnamed two years later.

US Representative Judy Chu met with Glendora officials and Active SGV Executive Director David Diaz to tour the city’s Greenway Network, and tout the benefits of the new federal bipartisan infrastructure law.

 

State

Streets For All is joining Calbike in calling on the state to commit $2 billion of the record $31 billion budget surplus to active transportation projects; the money would fund 80 shovel-ready biking and walking projects throughout the state, including 17 in Los Angeles County.

 

National

Forbes recommends seven bike storage options to help get your whips squared away.

NBA all-star Kevin Love is one of us, telling a reporter the hardest workout he’s ever done was his annual ride up Utah’s 8.250-foot Mount Timpanogos.

Denver is reducing speed limits in residential neighborhoods to 20 mph. Which would be a good idea for Los Angeles, except the current 25 mph speed limit is already universally ignored by drivers.

A Michigan man can credit a wrong turn with saving his life, after an off-duty nurse spotted him writhing in a bike lane after she turned on the the wrong street on a freezing morning; without her help, the man could have bled out or frozen to death after apparently crashing his bike — or maybe getting knocked off it.

There’s a special place in hell for the man who stole a kids bike to make his escape as he fled a collision where he had just killed a woman while driving a stolen truck.

Nice. New York’s newly appointed transportation commissioner commits to replacing half of the car-tickler plastic bendy posts that pass for protection on too many of the city’s 198 miles of protected bike lanes, with something more solid and actually protective in his first 100 days in office.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare was knocked offline at the height of rush hour yesterday when Amazon’s internet servers went down again.

A 21-year old Florida man faces multiple charges for the alleged drunken and stoned crash that killed a father out for his daily bike ride. But his lawyer thinks he should get credit for sticking around and trying to help the man, who wouldn’t have needed it if he hadn’t been driving.

 

International

Momentum questions whether ebikes are suited for cold North American winters, noting that they don’t perform well in temperatures below 0° Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, Jalopnik examines the problem of lithium mines needed to fuel the world’s conversion to electric cars — a problem shared by ebikes, albeit to a lesser degree.

Speaking of a special place in hell, whoever stole a Vancouver man’s mountain bike as he lay in the hospital recovering from a ruptured spleen certainly deserves it; remarkably, police recovered the man’s bike days later after spotting it during a walkthrough of an SRO hotel.

An 85-year old Frenchman got back the bike his father built from spare parts in 1946 when he was ten years old, after it was recovered by a junk dealer in good, rideable condition.

An Aussie man got his stolen $15,000 Cervelo back after spotting an ad on Facebook selling just the wheels for $1,000; police charged a woman with possessing stolen property.

 

Competitive Cycling

Will the last bike race to leave the US please turn off the lights? The Tour of Utah became just the latest in a long list of major bike races to bite the dust, joining the Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and too many others, in going out of business.

PEZ Cycling News considers history’s best comebacks in the pro peloton, including the problematic Mr. Armstrong.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to set a playground on fire, don’t leave your bike there afterwards — and don’t try to tell the police someone stole it. That feeling when the cops apparently stole a bike corral, because parking.

And celebrate the holidays with a mountain biker’s entertaining take on the season’s most interminable carol.

………

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

LA adopts redistricting plan, PA man dies after being tased 8 times for riding bike, and Peloton’s Big PR nightmare

Just two weeks left in the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Joseph R, Brian N and Joshua T for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your favorite screen every morning.

That makes 50 donations in just two weeks — a full week ahead of last year’s record pace!

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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

………

The LA City Council has approved final redistricting maps that will take effect January 1st.

You can find your new district here.

At first, I thought I’d been disenfranchised by the council, who moved CD5 Councilmember Nithya Raman out of much of her old district, and away from many of the people who elected her.

Instead, it looks like I’m still there, if barely.

Meanwhile, there’s an active campaign going on in nearby CD5, where pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz has gone out of his way to block bike lanes contained in the city’s mobility plan for far too long. And who will thankfully be termed out this year.

Fortunately, there’s a long list of candidates running to replace him, most of whom appear to support bikeways and safer streets.

I’ve already endorsed Scott Epstein, who I’ve known for years as a friend, and for his work on the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee and chairing the Mid City West Community Council.

But I’m always open to hearing from other candidates.

Anyone running for office in CD5, or any other Los Angeles council district, is welcome to submit a guest post outlining their positions on bicycling, transportation and safe streets.

Then again, that same offer goes for any other LA elected office, or any other city in the LA area.

………

Unbelievable.

A Pittsburg, Pennsylvania man is dead, after being tased by cops eight times for the crime of test riding a used bike, apparently without permission.

According to a local TV station, 54-year old Jim Rogers — no relation — took a bicycle that was being sold for 50 bucks on someone’s front yard, then returned it after riding around the block.

Why that required a massive police response, let alone lethal force, I will never understand.

And any ostensibly non-lethal weapon can easily become lethal when it is used repeatedly on someone in a short period of time.

Some witnesses reported that Rogers became aggressive after police arrived, while others reported him begging them to stop.

To make matters worse, officers told arriving paramedics to go away, then loaded Rogers into a patrol car — and inexplicably drove past one hospital to reach another one further away, as he slumped unconscious in the back seat. The cops reportedly said they thought he was sleeping.

He died the next day.

Let’s hope his family has a good lawyer. Then again, even a crappy one could probably win this case.

Meanwhile, four cops now face firing for the incident, with two others staring at well-deserved demotions.

Hopefully that includes the cop who fired his taser eight times, and needed two tries to get through the police academy.

………

Spoiler alert.

Peloton discovers that feeling when their high-profile product placement unexpectedly turned into a PR nightmare.

Skip this one if you’re still planning to watch the first episode of the new Sex and the City reboot, though.

………

Finish the week with a little gravel grinding.

………

Join Active SGV for the return of their annual holiday ride on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the LACBC is hosting a family-friendly ride through Maywood and South Gate along the LA River the same day.

………

If you’re up near Santa Barbara this weekend, stop by the bike yard sale to find all the stuff you need, and probably won’t get for the holidays.

………

Here’s your chance to become a certified bike instructor.

……….

‘Tis the season.

A Boise, Idaho public radio station talks with the executive director of the Boise Bicycle Project, which is planning to give 500 bicycles to local kids.

A bike shop owner in Iowa is donating 14 upcycled bicycles to a local Christmas club for kids in need.

An Illinois bike shop owner is donating 60 refurbished bikes to a state children’s home.

……….

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

A North Dakota man managed to slip the cops as he fled a traffic stop on his bike. But was busted anyway, after he kicked in the door of a random apartment and barricaded himself in the bathroom.

Oakland is repairing a public Christmas tree in Jack London Square that was torched by a bike-riding arsonist.

 

………

Local

This site’s not the only one begging for money this month. If you have anything left over after donating to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, give a little to LA Streeetsblog, too.

 

State

SANDAG’s proposed 70-mile regional bike lane system will now cost more than double the original estimate, cover 10% fewer miles and take longer to finish.

The Voice of San Diego says forget the debate over proposed road usage fees, and focus on making the transportation changes we need to save the planet, and ourselves.

 

National

A new report surprisingly suggests it would only take a minimal investment to restore American bicycle manufacturing, despite losing over 97% of bike building to overseas factories.

The Adventure Cycling Association is looking for a Safety Manager to join their advocacy team to work for better safety on US Bicycle Route System.

WaPo talks with the former chief of strategy and innovation for Seattle’s DOT; Benjie de la Peña predicts shared micromobility will continue to grow as an alternative to traffic-choked commutes.

Las Vegas hosts a police-escorted ghost bike ride along the Las Vegas strip this morning on the anniversary of the meth-fueled massacre that took the lives of five people riding their bikes last year. Which got the stoned truck driver who killed them a well-deserved 16 to 40 years behind bars.

Police in New York are on the lookout for a pair of strong-arm robbers on a two-month crime spree targeting low-income, often immigrant, delivery riders for their ebikes.

That’s more like it. A New York community board says don’t bother arguing against the need for bike lanes, just tell them where the lanes should go.

A proposed remake of a Brooklyn street would create New York’s first bicycle superhighway. Which is one more than Los Angeles, which has exactly none on the drawing board.

A Maryland TV station talks with DC’s one-wheeled Grubhub delivery rider.

 

International

Bike Radar recommends the best winter-weight mountain bike jerseys to keep you warm on the trails, while Cycling News considers the best truck-mounted bike racks for your car.

A tiny new automotive-style shifter could allow you to bang through the gears on your electronic derailleur.

No surprise here, as plans to expand ebike access in Canada’s Banff National Park are drawing fire.

London is banning e-scooters from all forms of public transit after one burst into flames on a train last month.

Twelve percent of Brits want to find a new bike under the tree this year.

Germany’s new food and agriculture minister is one of us, eschewing the standard black limo to arrive at the country’s presidential palace on a bicycle.

A 25-year old, visually impaired Indian man is riding 4,660 miles across 12 of the country’s states to prepare for his ultimate goal of climbing Mt. Everest.

That’s more like it, too. An Aussie man was sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars for killing a 60-year old woman who was riding her bike in a bike lane, while he was still stoned from a multi-day drug binge. He abandoned his car and passengers after the crash and called an Uber to take him home; he still had ice, amphetamines and cannabis in his system when he was arrested hours later. The judge described his attitude after the crash as “superficial, glib and self-centered.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclocross could become the next new Winter Olympic sport. But you’ll have to wait until 2030 at the earliest.

The careless spectator who got her 15 minutes of fame by causing a massive crash with her cardboard shoutout to her grandparents in the first stage of this year’s Tour de France was lucky to escape with the equivalent of a $1,353 fine.

Twenty-one-year old Australian cyclist Sarah Gigante is angling for a spot in next year’s inaugural Women’s Tour de France.

Fifty-year old, three-time Fleche Wallonne winner Davide Rebellin will enter a remarkable 30th year as a pro cyclist next year.

 

Finally…

People thinks you need a bigass bike seat. If Santa’s not around, maybe a bike-riding Ms. Christmas will do.

And when you care enough to send your worst.

Then again, it beats the hell out of these Share the Road stickers.

………

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

CD4’s Raman rides through district to examine safety, and Sunset4All just $16,000 short of protected bike lane goal

Maybe there’s hope for my part of town yet.

CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman rode ebikes with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton and the LACBC to learn just what bike riders face on the streets of her district.

And the overwhelming lack of safe bike infrastructure that forces them to.

Due to Raman’s council predecessors, there are not a lot of bikeways in this part of CD4; the only bike lane on the ride was on Hauser Boulevard through Park La Brea. The southern part of the district does feature many fairly well-biked areas, including 4th Street, a low-traffic sharrowed bike route long preferred by cyclists and pedestrians (during COVID, parts of 4th saw more walking and bicycling than driving.) The ride also visited neighborhood traffic-calming street closures along Fairfax Avenue, and the relatively calm 8th Street – which appeared on SBLA’s list of suggested relatively easy bikeways that Raman might consider taking on. There are currently no protected bike lanes in Raman’s district…

“My dream for this district and for the city as a whole is that we can make it safer and easier for people to be able to move around outside of their cars: have it be not just possible, but a pleasant and beautiful experience to get around this city.” “We started six months ago,” noted Raman, “but we’re at the beginning of that process now. And I am really excited to get the entire community involved in thinking about that.”

Let’s hope that she can and will finally get LADOT to actually get something done around here. And repair some of the damage cause by her less-than-bike-friendly predecessors.

………

Sunset4All is now 36% of the way to their $25,000 goal to create a private/public partnership to install protected bike lanes on Sunset and Santa Monica blvds east of Hollywood, after crossing the $9,000 barrier.

………

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

A bike-riding Houston couple open up about the 4th of July incident, when the husband shot a road raging driver who shouted they didn’t belong on the street before intentionally ramming his car into the wife; police arrested the driver after concluding they shot him in self-defense.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Two scientists from opposite ends of the earth converged in San Diego to help change the world. And both lost their lives riding bicycles within 24 hours of one another.

One of those deaths was caused by an alleged drunk driver, part of a disturbing increase in DUI deaths in San Diego County.

Residents of San Diego’s Hillcrest and North Park neighborhoods are taking matters into their own hands to recover their stolen bikes by pushing the apparent thieves off their bikes and demanding them back.

A San Jose man was left for dead after a hit-and-run driver fled the scene while the victim was on a group ride with 20 other people.

Tragic news from Fremont, where a 15-year old boy suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike on the 4th of July; for a change, the 23-year old driver stuck around.

Big win in Oakland, where the city council voted unanimously to keep and improve the successful protected bike lanes on Telegraph Ave, rejecting a DOT plan to replace them with an unprotected buffered bike lane.

 

National

A trio of Utah advocacy groups are using a tandem bike as a two-wheeled metaphor to call for parents to support their LBGTQ+ kids to help keep them off drugs and alcohol.

The family of a popular Colorado Springs CO bike fitter has filed wrongful death suit, following his death in police custody while handcuffed and prone on his stomach after being tased multiple times; 49-year old Chad Burnett had allegedly threatened a neighbor with a knife while suffering a mental health crisis.

Here in Southern California, we have to worry about bearish drivers, but we seldom have to face the real thing, as a Montana bikepacker was killed by a grizzly that wandered into his campsite.

A Black Army vet used bicycling to recover from a devastating disease after receiving a stem cell transplant. Then she went on to found an annual bike race and a family bike fest to inspire others. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Michigan man began fixing discarded bikes as therapy for his depression. Now he’s fixed and given away nearly 400 bicycles to people in need.

A Streetsblog op-ed calls for the NYPD to combat the department’s windshield perspective by requiring officers to get out and bike their beats at least once a year. Although once a week would be much more effective for everyone.

The New York Daily News says the city’s 80,000 delivery riders are the unheralded heroes of the pandemic.

 

International

The owner of a bike touring company is refusing to pay damages for a bike-on-bike collision on an Edinburgh pathway, insisting she’s not to blame when the other rider was doing 20 mph around a blind corner.

An Irish newspaper calls bike fitting a 90-minute analysis that will change your bicycling life forever.

 

Competitive Cycling

The beat goes on, as Mark Cavendish, who wasn’t even expected to ride in this year’s Tour de France, is now just one win from tying The Cannibal’s once unreachable record of 34 Tour stage wins.

Defending Tour champ Tadej Pogačar says he doesn’t need to cheat since he’s leading this year’s race because he pushes “good watts.”

Today the Tour peloton with tackle the legendary Mount Ventoux, not once, but twice from different directions — 54 years after British cycling champ Tom Simpson collapsed and died on the slopes of the mountain.

By now, we’re all familiar with how the legendary Gino Bartali saved countless Jews by smuggling documents in his bike frame during WWII. But he also saved his own country a few years later when Italy was on the brink of anarchy, providing his countrymen with something to cheer for by gaining an incredible 30 minutes in just two stages to win the Tour, after being 21 minutes down in the general classification with just one week to go.

Dutch cyclist Lorena Wiebes took the fifth stage of the women’s Giro d’Italia Donne, while defending Olympic champ Anna van der Breggen held onto the pink leader’s jersey.

Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton isn’t the only rider trying to beat the Tour peloton into Paris; seven-day cycling distance record holder Jack Thompson is attempting to ride the entire Tour de France route in just 12 days.

Let’s hope you’re happy with the current direction of pro and amateur cycling, because we’re going to be stuck with it for another four years.

 

Finally…

Throwing a bicycle through a business window is not one of the recommended uses for it. And when a driver blocks the bike path, just walk your bike over it.

The car, that is.

………

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

Council candidate calls for Ballona extension, MUTCD comments due Friday, and always ride with adorable kids

Update: That crowdfunding campaign for 31-year old Adriana “Fishy” Rodriguez, who left five young children without a mother when she was killed by a driver while riding her bike in Lincoln Heights last month, has now raised half of the $7,000 goal.

Thank you to everyone who dug into their own pockets to help these kids.

If you haven’t given yet, take a few minutes to donate to the GoFundMe account that was established for Rodriguez before she died.

………

CD4 City Council candidate Scott Epstein highlights Streets For All’s proposal to extend the Ballona Creek bike path to the creek’s eastern terminus in Mid-City Los Angeles, where it would connect with a planned Bicycle Friendly Street leading into Hollywood.

Speaking of Epstein, the longtime LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member is raising funds for his campaign to put another much-needed bike friendly voice on the city council.

………

Time’s running out to comment on the tone-deaf, auto-centric revision to the MUTCD, the traffic engineering street design manual.

And tell them to throw the damn thing out and start over with something that treats bike riders, pedestrians and transit users like we belong here, too.

 

………

Don’t junk your old wheels, turn them into art.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

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

Britain’s immense Bolton Abbey estate continues to deny it has a ban on bike riders and equestrians, but the barricades and security guards blocking a key bridge would argue otherwise.

A London park’s code of conduct tells bike riders not to scare the people in the big, dangerous machines. No, really.

………

Local

Metro is offering a chance to win a $200 gift card just for completing their annual bikeshare survey.

Progressive news site KnockLA says we can’t lose a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to plan the future of the LA River, calling the county’s Geary-designed draft LA River Master Plan just flat out bad. I wish I could disagree with them, but yeah.

A working mom in South LA’s Windsor Hills neighborhood has converted an empty parking lot on Slauson Blvd into the RideWitUS-LA bike shop and bike club to serve LA’s long-neglected African American community.

A Chicago journalist arrived in Santa Monica at the end of a 2,500-mile ride from the Windy City, collecting people’s stories about Covid-19 along the way.

 

State

No bias here. A San Francisco supervisor is sharply criticized for comparing efforts to keep JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park carfree to segregation in the 1950s South, because the park is so hard for people from his largely Black district to reach if they don’t drive. Which is a far better argument for better transit than turning the street back over to motor vehicles.

 

National

Gear Patrol looks at long overdue efforts to diversify bicycling and make it more welcoming for people of color.

The Week says there’s a simple and cheap way to make room on the roads for bicycles and transit — just put an end to car supremacy. Unfortunately, like other forms of supremacy, calling to end it is a lot easier than actually doing it.

The people who brought you the Commodore 64 and 8-bit Atari are the designers behind a new ped-assist ebike.

This is who we share the road with. An Oregon driver is on trial for the road rage death of a motorcyclist, after repeated swerving his oversized pickup into the biker’s lane. Although he just faces felony vehicular homicide charges, rather than the murder count his actions would seem to call for.

Oklahoma’s governor has signed that state’s version of an Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and treat red lights like stop signs.

Kindhearted cops in a Detroit suburb pitched in to buy a new bike for a Taco Bell employee, after someone stole the bicycle he used as his only form of transportation.

Outgoing New York Mayor de Blasio announces plans to install five major busways and another 30 miles of protected bike lanes this year, in a major move to reshape the city’s streets before he leaves office. Although Streetsblog complains he’s not doing anything to curtail private car use.

Speaking of de Blasio, a Staten Island writer complains about plans to cut the speed limit on a major artery to 30 mph, calling it a traffic ticket money grab on the mayor’s part — even while acknowledging that dropping the speed limit is one of the best ways to halt the rising toll of pedestrian deaths.

And capping off our de Blasio trifecta, the mayor finally got out of his chauffeured SUV and onto a bikeshare bike, suddenly getting a new perspective of the city.

Pennsylvania snowboard maker Gilson Snow has introduced a sustainable wooden bicycle, made with the same laminated wood used in their boards.

Tragic news from Florida, where a bike-riding man and women were killed in a collateral damage crash when an allegedly stoned driver crashed into an oncoming SUV while passing slower traffic in a no-passing zone, knocking the SUV over and onto a bike trail next to the roadway, where the couple riding their tandem bike were sitting ducks.

You know you’re in bike-friendly Portland when business owners sign a petition calling for new protected bike lanes on their street, instead of fighting them.

 

International

Your kid’s next balance bike could be a Bentley.

The Ecologist explains the reasoning behind the Car Free Megacities campaign to transform London, Paris and New York by greatly reducing motor vehicle use. Maybe they can pretty please include LA in that, too.

No surprise here. Drivers and bicyclists disagreed over popup bike lanes in Waterloo, Ontario, with bike riders feeling safer while drivers felt inconvenienced.

A Halifax, Nova Scotia paper argues that poorly executed Slow Streets could be worse than none at all, after a bike rider was hit by a truck driver who claimed he had no idea he was driving on one (scroll down).

A British expat living in Copenhagen strangely calls on bike riders to stop intertexting — using a smartphone while crossing an intersection — rather than just leaving your damn phone alone while riding.

Shimano considers the future of bicycling in bike-loving Belgium.

Clever idea, as German bikemaker Convercycle introduced a new e-cargo bike with a wheelbase that extends and contracts, depending on your needs.

Horrible story from China, where an ebike battery exploded on a crowded elevator, sending four people to the hospital, including a five-month old baby.

Cycling Tips looks at the highlights this year’s Australia Handmade Bicycle Show.

 

Competitive Cycling

American Joe Dombrowski celebrated an early birthday by surviving a long breakaway to win a dramatic, rain-soaked fourth stage of the Giro, while Italy’s Alessandro De Marchi slipped into the pink leader’s jersey.

Meanwhile, VeloNews talks with some of stars of the WorldTour about a stage they describe as “thrilling.”

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get bitten by Jesus of Nazareth’s dog. Forget the speakers, just take your entire DJ deck along on your ride.

And if you want to avoid having angry drivers stuck behind you, make sure to always bring some adorable little bike riders with you.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

LA Times endorses Ryu’s policy ripoffs, a genuine Good Samaritan, and Amazon is or isn’t selling a cheap Peloton knockoff

I’m having major problems with my neuropathy tonight, and really struggling to get today’s post online. 

So let’s go with a little shorter edition today, and save anything we missed for tomorrow. 

The cool thing about neuropathy is you get to enjoy the sensation of demons ripping the flesh from your bones, without the inconvenience of actually dying and eternal damnation and all that. 

………

Somehow, the LA Times endorsed David Ryu for reelection in LA’s 4th Council District, despite noting that many of his recently adopted progressive policies were taken from challenger Nithya Raman.

Ryu’s Road to Damascus conversion from one of the council’s most auto-centric, anti-bike councilmembers to one of most progressive members of the body has come in just the last several months, as he faced a serious challenge from a genuinely progressive, environmental and bike friendly advocate for the homeless.

It’s surprising that the Times fell for what looks to be a self-serving attempt to hold onto his job at all costs.

And it raises a serious question of sexism, when the paper’s editorial board prefers the man who stole his policy positions over the woman they admit actually originated them.

It makes far more sense to follow the endorsements of Calbike, Bike the Vote LA and Streets For All and cast your ballot for Nithya Raman.

I know I will.

………

After a Michigan woman posted on Facebook that her bike was stolen during her ten-hour shift at an Ann Arbor medical center, a total stranger spotted it listed for sale online.

So he set up a meeting with the seller, who wanted $850 for the bike. When the man refused, the seller tried negotiating. But the man again refused, saying he knew the bike was stolen.

The thief finally apologized, but asked for help because he’d fallen on hard times.

So the woman got her bike back.

And the thief got a $100 gift card from the man, along with an offer for a job at one of his auto shops.

If you ever wondered what it means to be a Good Samaritan, that’s pretty much it.

Although it may be awhile before the thief can take advantage of the offer, since they turned him in to the police to answer for his crime.

………

Amazon is now selling their own Peloton knockoff in partnership with fitness startup Echelon for just $499.

Or maybe they’re not.

………

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

Police in Ohio are looking for a man who stole a cash drawer from a local thrift store, before tucking it under his arm and riding off on his bike.

………

Local

Attorneys for Dijon Kizzee say the Compton bike rider was lying on the ground when sheriff’s deputies shot him 15 times.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says the new Elysian Valley walk/bike bridge is really taking shape.

 

State

A San Diego County Supervisor teams with local advocacy groups to establish a program loaning out ebikes to reduce automobile use, with an option to own them at the end of the two-week program.

 

National

After he calms down, a very forgiving writer for Singletrack refuses to blame the thief that stole his Surly mountain bike, and is just glad it wasn’t one of the bikes belonging to his bike courier neighbors.

After completing a 750-mile ride through the Rockies to talk with average Americans, a reporter for an Idaho public radio station concludes that the US is an unwieldy quilt slowly being torn apart by forces yanking at the threads until they fray.

Bike friendly Portland isn’t so friendly this year, as a rising traffic death toll shows the pandemic isn’t changing driving habits.

A Minnesota city settles an environmental lawsuit by agreeing to mitigate damage from a planned mountain bike trail through through one of the last known habitats of the critically endangered rusty patched bumblebee. Although a better solution would be to build the damn trail somewhere else.

A bike ride will follow the route of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 to commemorate the victims and raise funds for a community bike shop dedicated to Chicago’s most underserved communities.

 

International

An Indian woman tried biking to work once, and swears she’ll never do it again.

Residents of Mumbai and Kolkata marked Tuesday’s World Car Free Day with a group bike ride.

They get it. The Queensland, Australia DOT shuts down an argument over whether bicyclists should pay registration fees by reminding readers that bicyclists pay for road upkeep through their taxes, just like everyone else.

Yikes. A review of a Sydney, Australia popup bike lane installed during the coronavirus lockdown found several conditions that pose an “intolerable” risk of injury or death.

 

Competitive Cycling

A North Carolina student newspaper says surprise Slovenian Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar’s victory ranks among the greatest in cycling history. Meanwhile, Road.cc examines the Colnagos he rode to a last-minute victory.

A pair of writers for The Conversation say cycling’s entrenched macho culture means head injuries too often go ignored.

Life is cheap in Lesotho, where the kingdom’s the top cyclist is finally back on his bike, six months after he was seriously injured when an unlicensed taxi driver slammed into a group of four riders near the finish of a race; needless to say, the driver walked with a suspended sentence.

 

Finally…

Maybe using a hammer to retrieve your lost Air Pods from someone else’s wall isn’t the best idea — especially if you’re carrying heroin on your bike. Then again, trying to drive a Jeep on a mountain bike trail isn’t the best idea, either.

And bicyclists find lots of things when they ride.

But a burning car with a body in the trunk usually isn’t one of them.

………

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

Sheriff’s deputies kill Black bike rider in South LA, driver rams LA bike protest, and Metro nixes Eagle Rock bike lanes

Biking While Black has long been treated like a crime.

But it’s not supposed to carry the death penalty.

Yet that’s what appears to be what happened Monday afternoon when a pair of LA County Sheriff’s deputies spotted a Black man riding a bicycle on Budlong Avenue in the Westmont neighborhood of South LA.

They attempted to stop him for some unspecified traffic code violation, which could have been anything from riding the wrong way to riding a cruiser bike with raised handlebars.

Or it could have just been a pretext to stop and search, despite a lack of probable cause.

Twenty-nine-year old Dijon Kizzee attempted to flee on foot, and allegedly punched one of the deputies when they caught up to him a block later.

He dropped a bundle of clothing he was carrying; the deputies opened fire when they reportedly spotted a semi-automatic handgun in the bundle — making Kizzee just the latest in a long line of Black and brown men and women killed by police under questionable circumstances.

But LA Congresswoman Karen Bass asks the same questions I have. Especially why did the deputes shoot after Kizzee dropped his weapon?

A day later, the Sheriff’s Department attempted to clarify, saying Kizzee had made a motion towards the weapon.

Which, again, can mean absolutely anything, from lunging towards it to merely pointing in that direction.

But what’s painfully clear is that he was not holding it or threatening them with it when both deputies shot him multiple times.

And continued firing after he was on the ground.

One witness insists he never had a gun, and what the deputies saw was his cellphone; however, authorities say a gun was recovered from the scene.

Another indicated that Kizzee had his hands in the air at the time of the shooting.

Sadly, I have no confidence in the Sheriff’s Department to conduct a full, fair and honest investigation of the shooting. Especially under the leadership of a sheriff who seems more interested in getting fired deputies back on the force than in protecting the people of LA County.

And one who continually denies the existence of tattooed gangs within the department, including a clique called The Executioners operating out of South LA.

The mere name of which raises questions anytime they fire a gun.

We need to wait for more information before drawing any conclusions about what actually happened, because initial reports are often wrong.

And we may never know what really happened, since the LASD doesn’t require body cameras on its deputies, although thankfully, that may soon change.

Yes, there’s an argument to be made Kizzee shouldn’t have run, and shouldn’t have fought with the deputies. Let alone carried a concealed weapon.

Although some of that could have been caused, or exacerbated, by Kizzee’s ADHD.

But nothing he did appears to have called for a summary execution without trial on the streets of LA County.

One thing is clear, though. 

It’s long past time to stop needlessly killing Black and brown people.

And no one should ever be executed merely for riding a bike with the wrong skin tone.

………

Somehow, this didn’t make the news here in Los Angeles.

A driver rammed through a crowd of bike riders, apparently part of a rolling Black Lives Matter protest, at Melrose and La Brea on Sunday afternoon.

And may have deliberately tried to run down a 14-year old boy.

………

Metro proposes taking a big step backward by removing bike lanes on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and replacing them with bus lanes that bike riders can use.

As long as they don’t mind having a speeding bus run up their ass.

https://twitter.com/topomodesto/status/1301016105004142593

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The candidates for LA City Council in CD4 will hold a virtual debate tonight.

https://twitter.com/bikethevote/status/1300636096330563584

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In what’s definitely the best story of the day, after discovering a boy riding his bike in his driveway, a man responded by taking some chalk and drawing a racetrack for the kid.

………

Today’s common theme is an incredible string of violent assaults involving a question of bicycles, and who owns them.

A 19-year old New Mexico man faces a murder charge for fatally shooting another man in a dispute over the victim’s bicycle.

A Wisconsin man was arrested for using a knife to fight with another man, armed only with a belt, in the middle of a street over who owned a bicycle.

Police in New Jersey arrested two men for attempting to steal a bicycle, and swinging a bottle at the victim’s head.

An English man was knocked off his bike and punched in the face by a group of teenage boys, who then made off with his bicycle.

A 17-year old Irish boy faces a murder charge for allegedly stabbing an 18-year old man five times in a dispute over a possible stolen bicycle.

………

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

No bias here. A London paper blames a jump in rural bicycling injuries and deaths on weekend warriors chasing KOMs, without a single mention of the people in the big, dangerous machines.

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

A pair of Fresno men were injured when they were shot by someone on a bicycle, several minutes after first coming in contact with him.

An Arcata CA bike rider is under arrest for throwing several large rocks in a road rage incident, shattering a store window at a local shopping center.

Someone on a bicycle attacked a New York City judge, punching her in the jaw as she was walking to the courthouse Monday morning; it’s not clear whether she was the victim of a random attack, or if someone deliberately targeted her. Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

A New Jersey bike rider faces a sex charge for allegedly fondling a woman after circling back to assault her.

Apparently, it’s possible to have a drive-by shooting without a car, after a bike rider fired several shots at an Alabama home.

………

Local

Apparently, LA bicycle advocates have gone “way beyond the pale of being pro-mobility” and are somehow tied to crooked developers. In that case, I want to know who’s getting my take, cause I’m sure as hell not getting it.

The Harvard Park intersection of Slauson and Western Aves ranks as the most dangerous in Los Angeles, in terms of the number of collisions.

LADOT wants your input on creating safe, stress-free connections on neighborhood streets. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

Metro is celebrating a long-delayed Bike Month in September.  Uh, yay?

Pasadena police wrote 82 tickets during a seven-hour crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians; 67 tickets went to drivers, while 11 pedestrians were ticketed, along with just four bike riders.

Pasadena is extending their free Project Wheelie low-income bike repair program.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies are holding their own bike and pedestrian safety crackdown today. As always, ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.

 

State

The California legislature passed SB 288, which streamlines CEQA approval for environmentally friendly transportation projects such as bike lanes, light rail and bus lanes; now it goes to the governors desk for approval.

The rich get richer. Oakland has extended the parking protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue.

Newly rebranded Jump dockless ebikes will return to the streets of Sacramento, after Lime bought the brand from Uber.

 

National

Yahoo names America’s most bike friendly cities, led by Portland and Minneapolis; California is represented by San Francisco and Oakland, ranking fifth and twelfth, respectively, as well as a surprising Irvine at 24th. Needless to say, Los Angeles is nowhere to be seen.

SGV Media talks with new PeopleforBikes CEO Jenn Dice.

An Oregon man will spend this month riding down the Left Coast from Canada to Mexico to call attention to suicide awareness.

Unbelievable. After a Reno bike rider gets left crossed by a driver, a local  TV station blames the victim for hitting the car.

A Wisconsin family drove across the US to deliver 50 refurbished bicycles to a Lutheran mission in Texas, to donate to underprivileged children in El Paso and across the border in Juarez, Mexico.

New York responds to a jump in traffic deaths by lowering the speed limit on nine major streets. Which compares to Los Angeles, where speed limits only seem to go in one direction. And it ain’t down.

New York won’t be upgrading the bike network in the Bronx, despite four bicycling deaths in just three months; instead, the city will respond with heavier police enforcement, even though that didn’t help when they tried it earlier this summer.

New York Magazine offers advice on everything you need to start mountain biking, from the bike up.

A Christian radio host claims a bike rider harassed him as he was leaving the White House last week, while denying he tried to punch the other man, despite video appearing to show exactly that.

A North Carolina company is literally reinventing the wheel, creating a new bike wheel with carbon spokes half the weight of metal spokes.

A kindhearted Georgia cop bought a new bike for a Walmart employee, after a bike theif forced him to walk to work.

Kindhearted Florida sheriff’s deputies got a new bike for a 13-year old boy after his was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on crosstown bike commutes.

Another reminder to slow down and ride carefully on bike paths — and always carry ID — after an unidentified Windsor, Ontario man suffered life threatening injuries in a collision with another bike rider.

Scotland will invest $100 million a year for the next five years to improve conditions for bicycling and walking, along with reallocating more road space from cars to bikes.

A new study shows that closing central Madrid boosted retail spending nearly 10%. Thanks to W. Corylus for the link.

Sad news from Australia, where 26-year old BMX legend Charlie Gumley apparently drowned while on a kayaking trip.

 

Competitive Cycling

In today’s spoiler-free Tour de France update, that guy with the unpronounceable name won the race’s first mountaintop finish

Sunweb cyclist Tiesj Benoot escaped without any major injuries after crashing over a guard rail in Tuesday’s fourth stage of the Tour. But his bike wasn’t so lucky.

Bicycling looks ahead to today’s stage five.

The BBC talks with South LA’s Williams brothers about their efforts to diversify cycling and create bike racing superstars.

This is what is looks like when photographers don’t get the hell out of the way.

 

Finally…

This is what you get when bikemakers consider getting into the e-car business. Seriously, don’t touch the horses when you zoom by on your ebike.

And that feeling when you’ve got a big truck tire to move, and your cargo bike must be in the shop.

……

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