Tag Archive for civil rights

Fighting for civil rights on bikes, a close call caught on video, and the war on bikes keeps going on…and on

Yes, Dr. King was one of us.

We’ve seen photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on a bicycle before.

But it never occurred to me to consider the role bikes played in the Montgomery bus boycott kicked off by Rosa Parks.

Although maybe it should have, because in retrospect, it’s not surprising that Black men — and presumably women — would take to their bikes to get around town while boycotting the city’s bus system to demand an end to segregated transportation.

Just one more way bicycles have helped change the world.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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A British bike rider plays dodge the dump truck after the driver pulled out in front of him, as well as in front of cars coming from the opposite direction.

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How to tell when you’re a real bicyclist.

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

A 12-year old South Carolina boy suffered dozens of puncture wounds when he was repeatedly shot with a BB gun by a group of teenagers after passing them on his bike. This shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other random shooting. It’s a violent assault, not a prank. 

A London borough counselor says she’s finished with riding after being attacked by two men in a car for failing to get the hell out of their way. We’ll never get people out of their cars as long as driveway vigilantes can use their cars enforce their often mistaken interpretation of the law. And too often, get away with it.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Heartbreaking news from Miltipas, where a seven-year old boy was killed when an armed robbery suspect in a stolen SUV slammed into his bicycle; the woman behind the wheel was arrested, while her male partner is on the run.

The Consul General of the Netherlands gave a presentation to Bay Area officials on how to apply Dutch expertise on cycling infrastructure, pointing out that ebikes nullify the area’s famous hills.

Congratulations to Davis on retaining its status as a platinum-level bicycle friendly community.

 

National

Maybe Joe Biden can take his Peloton to the White House after all.

NBC News picks the year’s ten best ebikes.

The pandemic-induced bike boom and subsequent shortage is fueling a surge in bike theft in the Denver area.

Texas bike riders will soon be able to ride 100 miles from Austin to the Alamo in San Antonio without ever riding on the roadway.

Car choked Houston is planning a network of 1,800 miles of high comfort bike lanes. Seriously, if they can do it, why the hell can’t Los Angeles?

No bias here. A impatient New Jersey DJ somehow feels a bike-riding woman has an obligation to get the hell out of her way instead of “lollygagging” through an intersection.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Pennsylvania man pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts for killing a bike rider while driving under the influence, and with cocaine in his blood.

A woman from DC is suing a Florida city for $200,000, the maximum allowed under state law, despite having over $1 million in medical bills after a careless garbage truck driver hit her bike, leaving her with “multiple compound fractures, a crushed pelvis, eight broken ribs, a punctured lung and a traumatic brain injury.”

 

International

Road.cc announces their picks for the bike of the year, with prices starting at a surprisingly low £749 — the equivalent of $1,025.

Cycling News considers the best women’s road bike saddles.

Next City examines what American cities can learn from Chinese dockless bikeshare providers.

Christy Brinkley is one of us. Or she just knows the value of posing with a bicycle on a tropical beach.

Kids, don’t try this at home. A Costa Rican BMX rider knocked himself out landing on his un-helmeted head after riding off the roof of an ice cream parlor trying to film a video.

Life is cheap in Ontario, Canada, where an 80-year old man walks with a lousy $5,000 fine for killing a 13-year old bike-riding boy, after admitting that he wasn’t even wearing his glasses behind the wheel. At least he lost his license for four years, even though it should have been permanently.

An English man was beaten by a group of thieves armed with metal pipes who stole his bike.

A British man is riding around the world on a tandem bike after overcoming a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Kolkata, India is building a 74-mile cycle track criss-crossing the city.

The world watched in awe as paraplegic climber Lai Chi-wai fell just short of his goal of pulling himself to the top of a Hong Kong skyscraper, climbing 800 feet while raising $700,000 for charity. But what’s not mentioned is the cost of the traffic violence that left him confined to a wheelchair in the first place.

Yes, please. A new report suggests that Aussie commuters should be paid to bike to work instead of driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

Somehow we missed this news over the weekend, as an SUV driver plowed into six members of the Bora-Hansgrohe cycling team after failing to stop at an intersection during a training ride in Italy. Three members of the team were injured seriously enough to be taken to a hospital with concussions, while two of the riders, Wilco Kelderman and Andreas Schillinger, also suffered spinal fractures. But Kelderman didn’t let a little thing like a fractured vertebrae keep him from training.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a pretty picture. Chubby Batman is one of us, too.

And no, bike riders shouldn’t be allowed to use drive-thrus during the pandemic.

We should be allowed to use them any time drivers can.

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

Riding tandem

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve tried to keep a narrow focus. Like the name implies, I’ve written almost exclusively about bicycling — and primarily, about cycling in Los Angeles.

Today, though, I’d like to discuss another subject, just this once. So if you’re only interested in my thoughts on cycling — and thank you for that, by the way — check back in a day or two, and I promise to be back on subject.

And I promise to never, ever do it again. Until the next time, anyway.

But as you’re undoubtedly aware, there’s an election tomorrow. I mean, I certainly hope you know that by now. And I assume you’ve studied the candidates and the issues, and you don’t need me to tell you how to vote.

I trust you to do the right thing. Really, I do Whatever that may be.

But let’s talk, for just a minute, about California’s Proposition 8, the proposition that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage in this state.

People opposed to same-sex marriage have long argued that we have to defend the traditional definition of marriage; that allowing members of the same sex to get married would somehow weaken the institution or marriage. Some have even argued that thousands of married men and women would leave their spouses. once they were able to marry someone of the same sex.

So let me reassure you, from my own personal perspective.

In the five and a half months since gay marriage has been legal in this state, it has had no apparent effect on my marriage.

None.

My wife and I are just as married as we were in April of this year, or any of the previous 11 years since we tied the knot. And to the best of my knowledge, neither of us has felt the slightest desire to leave the other for any reason, let alone to marry someone else — of any sex.

Of course, maybe it takes a little longer than that. Like 6 months, or maybe a year.

But as far as I’m concerned, an inability to keep your zipper up in the presence of someone other than your spouse poses a far greater threat to marriage than allowing anyone to share the rites. As does an apparent willingness in this society to walk away from a marriage when things get hard, or someone gets bored.

And despite our close proximity to West Hollywood, I have never seen any sign of the infamous gay agenda that so many supporters of Prop 8 refer too, though I have seen a fey Filofax or two. Nor has anyone ever tried to recruit either of us to switch sides — although my wife is endlessly amused when someone turns around to check out my bike-firmed butt.

But let’s face it. Marriage isn’t always easy; but with the right person, it’s worth it.

And who am I to deny that to anyone?

My biggest problem with Prop 8, though, is that it takes away a right that people already have, and that thousands have already taken advantage of. It makes discrimination an official part of the state constitution — just like the Jim Crow laws of the deep south — and confers a separate but unequal status on a sizable minority group.

And that can never be right, no matter how you dress it up.

I trust you to make your own decisions, for your own reason. All I ask is that you vote. And that you do the right thing, whatever that means to you.

But as for me, I’m voting no on 8.

 

Gary encourages us to Bike the Vote — I couldn’t agree more — while LAist tells you what retailers are willing to break the law by rewarding you for voting. Here’s proof that a three-foot passing limit isn’t just a figment of our imagination. Bike Girl braves that which Angelenos fear most, and describes how others can survive the rain, as well. My friends at Altadena Blog announced the 2008 edition of the Tour de Altadena for all you San Gabriel Valley riders. And Bicycle Fixation gets it’s 15 minutes of fame in USA today.

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