My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence.
Between my diabetes, neuropathy and whatever the hell else was going on, Thursday was one of the worst nights I’ve had in recent memory.
Just one more reminder that I’m not in charge of my own body any more.
Which is a very hard thing for a formerly dedicated bicyclist to face.
And another reminder to see your doctor, improve your diet, and do whatever it takes to keep your blood sugar under control.
Because you really don’t want this shit. Especially now.
Let’s start with some heartbreaking news.
Many of us got to know Spencer Sims, either directly or through sites like this, following the hit-and-run death of bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA two years ago.
Like Woon, Sims was a member of the Chief Lunes cycling group, and was one of the leaders in the fight for justice for Frazier, as well as his mother and infant child, who was born after his death.
For well over a year afterwards, I got emails from Sims about the status of the case and the next moves in their battle for justice.
Sadly, I won’t be getting any more.
It took awhile to confirm, but Spencer Sims was killed, along with another man, in a single-car collision outside Las Vegas last week, when 19-year old driver lost control and the car they were riding in left the road.
Neither man was wearing a seat belt.
There were apparently no witnesses to the crash; a passerby reported finding the wreckage sometime later. Just a couple more sacrifices to the motor vehicle gods.
Now Woon’s mother will be even more alone and isolated without Sims looking in on her.
And he leaves this world without ever seeing justice for his friend and fellow rider. After a retracted confession and countless delays, Mariah Candice Banks, the woman accused of killing Woon in her high-end SUV, has yet to set foot in a courtroom for anything other than her arraignment.
Her long-delayed prelim is now scheduled for November 4th.
Sims won’t be there; let’s hope he and Woon are riding together somewhere. But maybe some of us can take his place.
LAist makes the case for why we may not really need police to enforce traffic laws and curb traffic violence, suggesting there are effective alternatives like automated enforcement and self-enforcing street design.
This summer, a group of L.A. City Council members filed a motion calling on the city’s Department of Transportation and legislative officials to work with community members and report back on alternative methods of traffic enforcement, collision investigations and other traffic safety duties currently handled by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Some potential changes that will be explored: replacing LAPD officers with a “transit ambassador program” staffed by unarmed LADOT personnel and/or automated technology to monitor and cite drivers for speeding, illegal turns and other moving violations.
“Such a move would virtually eliminate the LAPD’s role in traffic stops, one of the leading forms of interaction between police and the public,” states the motion, which was filed by L.A. City Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mike Bonin, Curren Price and Herb Wesson.Breonna
It’s a challenging and thought-provoking read, well worth a few minutes of your time.
Because the current system really isn’t working for anyone.
The C40 Cities — a group of 96 cities dedicated to taking action to fight climate change — says the concept of a 15-minute city is rapidly spreading around the world.
The concept of a “15-minute city” is picking up speed globally, and for good reason. In a “15-minute city” residents can meet all of their needs within a short walk or bike ride, making life in our cities more accessible & more sustainable.@CateSarfatti https://t.co/rUXgquBcUk
— C40 Cities (@c40cities) September 25, 2020
That’s the idea that you should be able to walk, bike or take transit to anything you need within 15 minutes of your home or office.
Except here in Los Angeles, of course.
Where the car continues to be king, nothing even slightly resembling a bike network exists anywhere outside of Downtown, and Metro just locked in major service cuts for at least the next year.
Or are we not supposed to notice that?
Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.
This is who we share the roads with, protest edition.
A truck driver floored it after encountering a Breonna Taylor protest in Hollywood, plowing through the crowd and seriously injuring a woman who was standing directly in front of his pickup.
— jessicarayerogers (@jessicarayerog1) September 25, 2020
That was followed by the driver of a Prius who forced his way through the crowd before being stopped and attacked with skateboards and bicycles.
A person was injured when a pickup driver plowed through a racial justice protest in Eureka, appearing to strike several people; the regional Coalition for Responsible Transportation condemned the attack.
A Milwaukee woman was injured when a driver accidentally hit her bike as she was riding on the wrong side of the road during a protest.
A Buffalo, New York woman faces charges for intentionally driving through a Bronna Taylor protest, seriously injuring a woman working as a bike marshal,
However, an Orange County woman flipped the script, seriously injuring two people by driving through a conservative, pro-Trump rally; 40-year old Long Beach resident Tatiana Turner was arrested.
WATCH: A car ripped through a crowd of Trump supporters at a BLM counterprotest in Yorba Linda. It was clearly deliberate and the driver did not stop even as the Trump crowd gathered to tend to the wounded. Trump supporters did NOT attack the driver. pic.twitter.com/f9nu6L0WBu
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 27, 2020
In a truly sickening action, a Seattle bike cop deliberately rolled his police bicycle over the head of a protestor lying prone in the street.
Let’s hope this is the last time that cop wears blue.
A little further south in Portland, police threw an Uber delivery rider off his bike and hogtied him, even as he insisted he was just doing his job and had nothing to do with the protests.
VeloNews follows along as five riders and a camera crew hope to inspire others with a 1,114-mile journey bikepacking tour exploring the Underground Railroad.
Gravel Bike California goes riding in Puerco Canyon, as well as Latino Canyon and the iconic Rock Store.
For those Español challenged like me, that translates to Pig Canyon.
Just so you know.
Slow Streets comes to Altadena, where most streets are, anyway.
— Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition (@PasadenaCSC) September 24, 2020
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.
A New York woman recounts her recent hit-and-run, describing a deliberate attack by a driver who knew he could get away with it.
Police are looking for a man who jumped off some rocks to attack two bicyclists with a bat as they rode on a paved trail through a Philadelphia park.
A Scottish cyclist reports an elderly “gentleman” tried to run him and another rider off the road, slowing down and swerving into them just after they completed a 31-hour, 560-mile ride. Although that pretty much defies any definition of gentleman I’m familiar with.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Long Beach police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who killed another man in an early morning bike-by shooting.
A defense lawyer in Canada’s Northwest Territories argues that his client was too drunk to form the intent necessary for murder, after killing another man following a day of bicycling in a drunken stupor.
Metro Bike is shutting down operations on LA’s Westside for a couple months starting today, as the system expands and unifies the Westside and Central bikeshare networks, as well as bringing in the popular ebike service.
Despite the budget cuts, Metro’s new long-range budget included plans to close the long-standing eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path, and provide better bike access to DTLA. Because evidently, those must be the only places anyone would ever want to go on a bicycle.
SoCal ebike maker Electric Bike Company has opened their first showroom in Huntington Beach.
A San Diego nonprofit is working with local small businesses to train young adults to work in the bicycle industry.
A Ventura man celebrated his miraculous recovery from a near-fatal mountain bike crash by paddle boarding 14 miles back to Channel Islands Harbor Marina from Anacapa Island.
Bay Area bike riders dropped Bike to Work Day and celebrated Bike to Wherever Day last week, instead.
San Francisco finally gets around to opening a carfree route through Golden Gate Park.
Seriously? A woman who was injured riding a Jump scooter in San Francisco has filed a class action suit against several e-scooter companies, including Uber and Segway, because…wait for it…no one warned consumers that scooters don’t have turn signals. No one tell her about bicycles.
The former head of the League of American Bicyclists says it’s time to stop relying on commuter data as the primary measure to make traffic planning decisions, because there’s a lot more to transportation.
America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is back in the bike business with a small line of carbon ebikes that are a far cry from the road bikes he used to be known for.
Minneapolis’ Black-led Major Taylor bike club has been working for two decades to get more people of color on bicycles.
An op-ed from The Guardian calls for media reporting guidelines for traffic safety, arguing that how stories are reported and the language used contribute to the dangers on our roads and how the law is applied.
He gets it. Another writer for The Guardian says denying a child the joys of riding a bicycle is an abdication of parental responsibility, adding “No video game, Covid-19 lockdown or computer simulation can replace the childhood liberation of being alone on a bicycle.”
E-cargo bikes are already replacing trucks in cities around the world.
Chances are, a 13-year old dog may have visited more countries by bike than you have, traveling through 26 countries on a two-year bike tour of Europe and South America.
Cycling Weekly directs your attention to the best eco-conscious bikewear brands.
Needless to say, Vancouver bike riders aren’t happy about the closure of a popup bike lane through a park, because drivers somehow insisted they needed two lanes each way for their cars. Yes, choosing cars over people in a park.
A bighearted Cambridge University academic replaced a speech therapist’s stolen bike, because they’d helped him so much when he was diagnosed with a severe speech impediment as a child.
An 11-year old English girl rode a tandem 70 miles with her dad to visit all 12 cricket clubs in the North Staffordshire area, raising more than four times her original goal of £500 for cardiac risk assessments for young people; she’s raised the equivalent of over $2,800.
I want to be like him when I grow up. A 93-year old British man raced competitively until he was 80, and still rides 150 miles a week.
A bike rider in the UK recorded 14 drivers traveling through a popup bike lane in just 35 minutes. Kind of makes you wonder how many went through it the other 23 hours and 25 minutes.
Forget CicLAvia. The entire city of Paris left their cars at home for one day for the city’s annual carfree day.
Parisian pedestrians find themselves competing for space with bike riders on the city’s busy streets.
France is introducing a new victim-blaming bike safety campaign as bicycling injuries go up with more people taking to the streets on two wheels.
Once again, a bike rider is a hero. An Indian family is alive today because an anonymous bike rider was in the right place at the right time, leaping into action to pull them to safety after their car went off the road and into a natural drain before simply riding away afterwards; sadly, though, he wasn’t able to save the family’s three-year old girl.
Malaysian bike riders take issue with a call from the country’s road safety institute to license bicyclists and require numbered plates, saying it would not improve traffic safety.
Julian Alaphilippe won the world road championships with a late attack, becoming the first Frenchman to wear the rainbow jersey in over two decades.
Anna van der Breggen continued the Dutch dominance of the women’s road worlds, as the country placed three of the four top finishers; cyclists from the Netherlands have won the event four years in a row. Van de Breggen claimed the time trial title, too.
Last week we mentioned defending champ Chloe Dygert was injured after wiping out during the women’s time trial world championships. Turns out that injury was more gruesome than any of us probably imagined.
I remember thinking what if I can get my bike can I still win? The first thing I remember was asking @JimMiller_time if I was done.. Then I looked down and saw my leg.
Thank you for all the well wishes ❤️
I’ll be back pic.twitter.com/UvJ8AnfIne
— Chloé Dygert (@chloedygert30) September 25, 2020
If he really was Lucifer, why would he need to steal a bike? Two hundred miles in 32 hours is pretty good — especially when you’re doing it on your daughter’s little pink girl’s bike.
And evidently, moose don’t like cars any more than people on bikes do.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already.
G’mar Chatima Tovah!