Tag Archive for Complete Streets

Death of DC bike advocate reveals LA safety failures, LADOT bike count up 22%, and arrested for Biking While Black

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words following my surgery earlier this month. 

My fumble fingers are finally functional again, even though the swollen new Frankenhand they’re attached to is still almost, sort of, not really, kind of back to normal.

But it’ll get there. And nearly two weeks after surgery, the pain is already better than it was before, so there’s that.

Meanwhile, we have a lot to catch up on.

It will take a few days to catch up on all the bike news we missed, but I’ll make sure we don’t miss out on anything important. 

So let’s get started on the first installment. 

And my apologies for the near-total lack of credits today; with one exception forwarded by multiple people yesterday, I lost track of who sent what to my attention during my extended downtime, which is going to be a problem until we get caught up. 

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels.

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Heartbreaking news from DC, where a longtime bike advocate was killed in a collision, just hours after tweeting about the dangers on the city’s streets.

Here’s how the Washington Post described it.

(Jim) Pagels was struck in a horrific chain-reaction crash along Massachusetts Avenue NW, about a mile from his home on Capitol Hill, his family said. The avid rider and self-described urbanist who was in his second year of a doctorate program in economics, died at a hospital.

Pagels’s sister, Laura Menendez, described her brother as funny, smart and passionate about many things — pursuing his postgraduate studies, playing tennis and board games, and traveling by bike.

“He had a good heart,” Menendez said. “And he was such a huge advocate for bike safety.”

The paper also quotes a friend of Pagels.

“He was so excited about working in that urban space,” said Finn Vigeland, a close friend who met Pagels while the two worked on the Columbia Daily Spectator. “He was well aware of the dangers of cycling . . . but he loved biking, and he wanted everyone to bike. He wanted everyone to feel like this was the best way to get around D.C…

I hope our city leaders hear about Jim and understand the life that was so senselessly taken away on Friday. He cared so deeply about the injustices that led to his death, and he would want us to be furious about it,” Vigeland said. “I hope that knowing that this was something Jim was working so hard to change might prompt people to take bolder action.”

Let’s hope city leaders get the message here, too.

Before it’s too late for someone else.

Meanwhile, a writer for the LA Times took the death of his friend and former college classmate personally.

And used the tragedy as a springboard to call for safer streets, and talk with Michael Schneider, founder of LA street safety PAC Streets For All.

It doesn’t take long for their conversation to get to the heart of the problems on our streets.

ME: Six years ago, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2025, part of the global Vision Zero initiative. So far, we’re not on track to meet that goal. My colleague Steve Lopez recently reported that 238 people died in car crashes in Los Angeles last year — only a tiny decrease from 2019 despite significantly reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and just 8% less than the first full year Garcetti’s policy was in effect. What is going on?

SCHNEIDER: Our city is very good at plans and goals and not very good at implementation. Can you imagine if you were a heart surgeon and people were coming in for heart surgery, and no one would let you operate? Vision Zero is a laudable goal, but until we have a City Council and a mayor who will spend the political capital to make the tough decisions and deal with NIMBY blowback to make changes to our streets, it’s never going to happen…

ME: Where has Mayor Garcetti been on safe streets?

SCHNEIDER: Absent. He says all the right stuff, and he hires great people, like Seleta Reynolds. He will never risk his neck at all for a bike lane or a bus lane.

But I think we’re on the cusp of some exciting changes, especially because the city of Los Angeles has now aligned their elections with federal elections, and the turnout is so much larger and so much more progressive. I think we are on the cusp of truly having different political leadership, where a guy like Paul Koretz, who’s termed out, couldn’t win in 2022 and beyond. And where someone like Nithya Raman, who had making the city more bikeable in her campaign messaging, can defeat an incumbent.

Then there was this about the recent failed attempt to make iconic Melrose Ave safer and more livable for everyone.

ME: Talking about blowback, I read the post you wrote about the proposed “Uplift Melrose” project, which would have added protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and shaded seating areas along a 1.3-mile stretch of Melrose Avenue. There was broad support from local businesses, but City Councilmember Paul Koretz effectively killed the proposal. Why is it so difficult politically to get changes like these approved?

SCHNEIDER: Opponents typically say the following: If you remove parking or reduce car capacity in any way, how are people going to shop or get to businesses? You’re going to kill business. They also ask, “Why would we invest in this when no one uses the bike lanes anyway?” People cite anecdotes of driving by bike lanes and seeing them empty.

If we had a beautiful six-lane paved highway that only went for one mile and then became a dirt road with potholes, how many cars would take that road? That is the equivalent of what we ask people to do when they bike around Los Angeles. If we had a network of protected bike lanes, you would see a ton of people using them. One piece of evidence is CicLAvia. Those events bring out tens of thousands of people to ride their bikes on closed streets.

What happened to Uplift Melrose was egregious even by L.A. standards. Koretz basically became a puppet for mostly white, wealthy homeowners who couldn’t see themselves riding a bike or a bus.

Pagels’ death serves as a tragic reminder of what can happen to anyone on the streets — even though the risk to any one of us at any particular time is infinitesimally small.

But if anything ever happens to me when I’m riding a bicycle, I want you to politicize the hell out of it.

Take what’s left of my body to the city council and dump it on the dais, if you have to.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Or literally, for that matter.

And if it happens on a street marked for safety improvements in city’s mobility plan, I hope those lawyers up there on the right will join together to sue the hell out of the city for failing to keep their commitment to safer streets.

Or maybe just sue over LA’s failed and forgotten Vision Zero plan to force the cowards we foolishly elected to lead us to the changes we so desperately need on our streets.

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LADOT has finally release the results of the city’s biennial walk and bike count, which for years has been done on a volunteer basis by the LACBC and later, LA Walks.

Which is something they should have been doing all along.

The result was a 22% increase in bicycle rates from the last count — in 2017.

And yes, they are just now releasing data collected that was collected two years ago, for reasons known only to them.

It also shows how easy it is to boost bicycling with a little decent infrastructure, with a 73% jump in ridership as a result of the protected and separated bike lanes on the MyFigueroa project.

MyFig also resulted the city’s most heavily-trafficked pedestrian corridor, even above the tourist-clogged sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.

And it points to how Los Angeles can increase the far too low rate of women riding bikes on city streets.

While the report found that women make up 40 percent of pedestrians on weekdays and 44 percent on weekends, women made up just 14 percent of cyclists.  However, the report also indicated a 120 percent increase in female riders on streets improved with dedicated bike paths.

In other words, all they have to do is what the city already committed to in the 2010 bike plan, and the mobility plan that subsumed it.

Not to mention LA’s nearly forgotten Vision Zero and the mayor’s Green New Deal.

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What the hell.

I’m not sure where this video is from; I can’t make out the the police patches or or the name on the patrol cars.

But something looks seriously wrong about a bunch of while cops taking a young black man into custody for the crime of…wait for it…

…riding a bicycle without lights or licenses.

In the middle of the day, no less.

And while some cities require bikes to be registered, I don’t know any place where police have the authority to seize private property over a handful of minor infractions.

Which would be illegal as hell if they tried to seize someone’s car for an expired license or failing to signal a turn.

Let alone not having their headlights on in broad daylight.

Unfortunately, there’s a term for crap like this — Biking While Black.

And regardless of their motivation, it makes the cops look racist AF.

Thanks to Jon, Megan Lynch and Stacey Kline for the heads-up. 

And if anyone knows where this happened, let me know so I’ll never make the mistake of going there.

Update: Thanks to Al Williams for identifying this as Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Which I will make a point of never visiting. 

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If you live or ride in Beverly Hills, the city needs to hear from you at today’s city council meeting, where councilmembers will consider the city’s proposed Complete Streets plan.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free parking for a tire shop.

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

A Texas bike rider bike rider was hospitalized with a brain bleed and facial fractures when he was run down by a drunk driver — while riding on an ostensibly carfree bike path.

Singaporean actor Tay Ping Hui says he’s got nothing against bicyclists, despite complaining when a small group of riders merged onto the roadway ahead of him. Because apparently, it’s asking too much to slow down or change lanes to drive safely around them.

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

No bias here, either. A Singapore motorcyclist calls for banning bicycles from the roads after watching one — count ’em, one — scofflaw bicyclist weaving through traffic. Meanwhile, the website somehow feels the need to point out that 34 bike riders were ticketed for breaking the law over the weekend. Makes you wonder how many motorcyclists got tickets the same weekend. Let alone drivers. But sure, blame everyone on bicycles.

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Local

LA Magazine highlights “cool” bike accessories to keep you riding in style. Too bad they forgot to feature that mirrored helmet in the main photo. Because who wouldn’t want to look like a human disco ball?

LA Taco takes a look at nine kinds of bad drivers you’ll meet on the streets of Los Angeles — and they include kids on scooters in that.

Keep an extra eye open if you’re riding the Arroyo Bike Path through Arroyo Seco Park, where a man walking on the pathway was shot several times by couple men who approached him around dusk Sunday evening.

A proposal for protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s North Lake Ave would keep 98% of the current parking on the street.

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies made a spectacular rescue of a mountain biker who went off the side of the road on Mt. Wilson; the victim was hanging head-first over a sheer cliff, clinging to the rock face like a cat, suspended by a thin cord around his ankle.

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant was one of us, starting his bike rides at 4:30 am and not coming home until the sun was at its peak.

 

State

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would increase the penalties for a fatal hit-and-run from 2 to 4 years to 3 to 6. It’s already been watered down from the original proposal, which would have doubled the penalties for hit-and-run that result in death or permanent serious injury.

Calbike wants your support for the proposed Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which is exactly what many riders safely do right now. And far too many drivers do unsafely.

AB117, the bill that would create a $10 million fund to help lower income Californians buy ebikes, passed its first test in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Meanwhile, AB 43 unanimously passed the Assembly Transportation Committee with no opposition; the bill would retain the deadly 85th Percentile Law, but allow cities to consider factors other than drivers’ right feet in setting speed limits, such as the location as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety.

California is joining a nationwide movement to prioritize safety over speed. The question is whether the shift is real, or if the legislature will simply pass a few feel good bills before forgetting all about it and moving on to other matters, as too often happens.

Credit old school police work. Riverside police finally busted the hit-and-run driver who killed 52-year old Brian Sabel two years ago, arresting 34-year old Menifee resident Steven Allen Watson Jr. for the crime, despite the apparent lack of any witnesses or evidence at the time of the crash.

Bay Area bike riders may want to ride with a partner or group around Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills above Berkeley, where a number of solo riders have been robbed by armed bike jackers; at least five riders have been run off the road and robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint since late March.

A San Francisco ER physician calls for keeping the city’s Safe Streets, saying they’ve helped empty his emergency room.

A San Francisco woman celebrates seven years of living carfree after switching to an ebike when her car was totaled by an uninsured driver; she claims she’s saved over $50,000 over that period.

 

National

Of course she gets it. Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan teams with her Streetfight co-auther to call for cities to hold onto the street space reclaimed for people during the pandemic, saying surrendering our cities to cars would be a historic blunder.

My hometown university has now joined the Vision Zero club. Which isn’t too surprising, considering it’s surrounded by one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities. Even though it didn’t get that way until long after I left, of course.

Apparently writing with all seriousness, a New Hampshire medical worker and self-described cyclist says he worked with a state legislator on a bill that would require bicyclists to ride salmon, but the bill died when he couldn’t get time off work to attend the hearing. Because evidently, riding a bike in New Hampshire just isn’t dangerous enough already.

A Massachusetts man got his fat tire bike back two months after it was stolen, when he recognized it being ridden by a burglary suspect on a TV news story about a break-in.

The Big Apple is getting a belated start on the micromobility revolution, as the city finally gets its first e-scooters.

 

International

In a story that’s scary as hell, a writer for Bike Radar examines whether lane-keeping technology poses a risk to bike riders, after he had to wrestle a car for control to avoid running down a bike rider sharing the same lane.

T3 considers what you get with a high-end road bike that you don’t with a cheap one. Or put another way, is an expensive bike really worth 20 times more than a low-end bike?

A pair of Vancouver business owners are taking their case to the British Columbia Supreme Court to fight the re-installation of a protected bike lane through a park, arguing the decision to swap a traffic lane for a bikeway wasn’t “reasonable, rational or logical.” Seriously. It’s in a park.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole an ebike from a disabled 13-year old English girl.

A pregnant British driver will spend the next 30 months behind bars for killing an 80-year old triathlete while chatting with her sister on WhatsApp; no word on whether her baby will spend the first years of its life in prison with her.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 26-year old driver got a lousy 35 months in jail for intentionally running down a 13-year old boy riding his bike after getting into an argument with the kid in a park, and following him for 20 minutes before using his car as a weapon to attack him.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley is on his second day of a world record attempt for the greatest distance ridden on a bicycle in a single week, attempting to ride 320 miles a day in an 80-mile loop through the Scottish countryside; he’s aiming for Aussie pro Jack Thompson’s record of 2,177 miles, despite suffering multiple broken bones in a crash three months ago.

France is now allowing drivers to trade their old, smog-belching cars for a nearly $3,000 grant to buy a new ebike.

Last year was even a bad year for bike riders in the Netherlands, with the highest number of bicycling deaths in the past 25 years.

This is who we share the road with. A Kiwi driver is filmed blissfully driving on the right side of the road — which is the wrong side Down Under adjacent — until confronted head-on by a large truck. If your first thought was that it was probably just an American tourist confused about what side to drive on, join the club.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch legend Marianne Vos outsprinted the competition to win the one-day Amstel Gold Race on Sunday; Belgian Wout van Aert took the men’s race by a nose in a photo finish.

More proof cycling hasn’t kicked its doping habit yet, after 52-year old California masters racer Vahe Aivazian was banned for four years for testing positive for not one, not two, but ten different banned drugs. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

That feeling when your personal traffic bypass bridge turns out to be a pedestrian walkway. That feeling when you’re an elected official with no idea what Bicycle Day is all about.

And who needs to pick a bike lock when you can just blow it up with a hand grenade?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Commission approves Wolfberg park, NIMBYs fight Culver City Complete Streets, and racist road rage murder

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s proposal to name the new Potrero Canyon Park for longtime bike and community advocate George Wolfberg, who fought for its creation before his death last year.

This update came from his son, David Wolfberg, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a bike advocate and longtime member of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, in a comment to yesterday’s post.

Thank you Ted for the highlight. It appears to be a go for the park naming. The Parks Commission was wonderful and importantly now includes one of the city’s greatest bike and community advocates, Tarafai Bayne. Many people and agencies have contributed mightily to the development of the park, notably David Card of the Pacific Palisades Community Council and the Bureau of Engineering. Commissioner Nicole Chase expressed a desire for the parks named after engaged citizens like my father George to have detailed reliefs that tell us more about that community member. All of L.A.’s parks are accessible via bicycle though some require more effort than others. My father envisioned connecting the park to the historic Marvin Braude bike path via a bridge over PCH. That is a big spend and they are working to locate funding for it. In the meantime I’ve suggested waypoint signs and/or safety warnings as we definitely don’t want to see anyone trying to cross PCH to get to the park. There are two tunnels south of the park and a crossing signal at Temescal for safe crossing. They are aiming for a park opening in 2021.

He also added this note about the TikTok video of the Peloton instructor that concluded yesterday’s post.

Regarding the hilarious and disturbing Peloton instructor, that is Caitlin Reilly who also recently lost her father, actor John Reilly of General Hospital. Caitlin has several characters developed in lockdown who are poignantly funny reminders of the time in which we’re living. She is an incisive observer and many of these clips are unmistakably “L.A.” https://www.tiktok.com/@itscaitlinhello?

George Wolfberg photo from Pacific Palisades Community Council.

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That didn’t take long.

Just days after Culver City’s new Complete Streets plan went online, some people are already gearing up to fight against livable streets and a healthier business community.

In other words, exactly the same sort of streets people fly to other cities to enjoy, but fight like hell to keep out of their own neighborhoods.

But if they bothered to get informed, like the flier calls for, it would only take a simple Google search to learn that bikeable, walkable Complete Streets can reduce congestion by getting people out of their cars, significantly boost retail and restaurant sales, and bring new life to car-choked streets.

And that any increase in traffic to neighborhoods can be easily mitigated with simple traffic control measures.

They might also learn that once a project like this goes in, the same people who once fought it will often fight to keep it.

Instead, Culver City is seeing the same knee-jerk opposition to change that we’ve seen repeated throughout the LA area, with varying degrees of success.

Which mans it’s probably only a matter of time before we see a new Keep Culver City Moving chapter.

Flier photo courtesy of Zennon Ulyate-Crow.

This is who we share the road with.

A Boston area man was killed in a racially charged road rage attack when the Black and Latino victim and his white attacker got out of their cars to argue.

Then the killer got back in his car and deliberately slammed into the victim.

And yes, the accused killer driver, 54-year old Dean Kapsalis, was arrested after turning himself in half an hour later.

Although the current charges don’t begin the meet the seriousness of the crime, because anything less than second degree murder would be a travesty.

As if the racist murder wasn’t bad enough, though, Henry Tapia, better known as Henny, a 35-year old father of three, was also one of us.

In a reflection if just how tragic this death is, that crowdfunding page mentioned above has raised nearly $75,000 in just the first day, far exceeding the modest $10,000 goal.

But no matter how much money it raises, it won’t bring Henny back.

And in yet another example of government officials keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, the killer had an extensive record of crashes and traffic violations.

It’s just too bad drivers don’t have to pass a test to root out racism before we trust them multi-ton weapons.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Sadly, this tweet from Oklahoma speaks for itself.

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More proof that bikes are good for business.

It’s worth the click to read the brief thread about how an interest in bicycles helped turn around a dying business.

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

No bias here. A San Clemente ebike rider says the city needs to clamp down on everyone else, insisting ebike-riding “kids and elders” are going to kill someone.

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

The New York SUV driver who was terrorized by a group of teen bicyclists after allegedly brake checking one of them — intentionally or otherwise — says nothing has been done by the city and he’s still too afraid to drive his car, despite charges against one of the boys.

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Local

According to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Northwest Pasadena deserves better than the recently released proposal to remake North Lake Avenue, which the organization says would remain an incomplete street that violates the city’s commitment to Vision Zero.

 

State

Momentum is finally building for a 24-acre bike park in Alpine in East San Diego County.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Bakersfield man was allowed to plead no contest to a single hit-and-run charge in the death of a bike rider, despite driving with a suspended license — and despite changing his appearance and pushing his SUV into a ravine to cover up the crime.

Sad news from Merced, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Monday night; police busted the driver after tracking down his heavily damaged car.

He gets it. A bike-riding Manteca columnist says instead of calling wheelie-popping teen bicyclists hoodlums who a terrorizing the populace, be glad they’re taking up bicycling and burning off a little energy.

 

National

Yet another kit promises to convert your bicycle to an ebike.

A Minnesota town proposes a road diet and roundabouts to improve safety, but after a 13-year old boy was killed riding his bike to school last year. Maybe cities could make safety changes they know are necessary before it’s too late for a change.

Seriously? A Cape Cod community wants to make sure they don’t sacrifice the town’s character to Complete Streets. Because apparently, its character is somehow tied to car-clogged streets.

A secret government report shows New York never had any intention to put bike lanes on the Verrazzano Bridge, despite holding several public meetings, and only floated an expensive, impracticable plan in order to kill it.

In an effort to become one of the safest states for bicycling, Virginia moves forward with a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle, allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and let bicyclists ride two abreast.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The family of a North Carolina man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike last year say the arrest of the driver brings them little comfort because it can’t bring the victim back.

A North Carolina school bus driver could use remedial training after nearly hitting an SUV head on while passing a bike rider with full load of kids.

 

International

Just weeks after officials tore out a protected bike lane in London’s tony Kensington and Chelsea boroughs, a bike rider was injured hitting one car in an effort to avoid another.

The UK’s rash of violent strong-arm bike thefts goes on, after an 18-year old bike rider was knocked off his bicycle by a thief who rode off with his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. Longtime pro André Greipel says he feels privileged to race in the middle of a pandemic, and the other riders in the pro peloton should, too.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a little blood and guts to get your kid to wear a helmet. Always look under your saddle before you ride.

And this has got to be the best bikeshare ad ever.

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We have another person who prefers to remain anonymous to thank for yet another generous donation to help bring SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy to your screen every morning. And yes, even though our annual fund drive is over, donations are always welcome and appreciated!

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

Meet CD4 candidate Nithya Raman tonight, fire closes LA County roads, and misogyny alive and well in bike industry

Meet CD4 candidate Nithya Raman virtually tonight, as she discusses her race against incumbent Councilmember David Ryu.

And listen to her stances on transportation in the the City of Angels, and the 4th Council District in particular, including bicycles.

As we’ve mentioned before, Raman has earned the endorsement of both Bike the Vote LA and Streets For All. And has my unqualified support, as well.

She’s already made a difference in the district, as Ryu has co-opted many of her urbanist and safe streets policies after opposing them for most of his first term.

RSVP for the Zoom conference here.

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Road closures remain in effect from the weekend’s Ranch 2 Fire.

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Gravel Bike California rides through SoCal’s abandoned Cold War-era tunnels to nowhere.

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A Pasadena survey is heavily weighted towards parking. But take a few minute to answer it anyway.

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How to change an inner tube without tire levers.

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

It takes a major schmuck to destroy an artistic fence made of bicycles surrounding a Dayton, Ohio nonprofit.

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

San Diego police arrested a stabbing suspect as he fled by bicycle following a knifing in a Pacific Beach public restroom Sunday night.

A pair of Texas men are under arrest after hitting a passing bike rider with a baseball bat in a failed attempt to steal his bike.

Then there’s this, from mountain bikewear Where The Trail Begins, proving misogyny is alive and well in the bike industry. Even if the company only seems to have two lousy products.

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Local

Great idea. A new petition calls for a protected bike lane on Franklin Ave between Highland and Los Feliz, which would be the first safe east-west bike route across Hollywood. Or any other direction, for that matter. And yes, I signed it.

 

State

Former Santa Ana Councilmember and SCAG President Michele Martinez is replacing OC real estate developer and sprawl advocate Lucy Dunn on the California Transportation Commission; Martinez is credited as a driving force behind SCAG’s popular Go Human campaign.

A Bakersfield columnist describes how his father-in-law just decided to take up bicycling and bought a new bike — his 92-year old father-in-law.

More tragic news from Northern California, where sheriff’s deputies in Cupertino discovered the body of an apparent hit-and-run victim lying next to his bike early Sunday morning.

Smart idea, as the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition teamed with a local water district to document Valley Water signs along roads and trails. Which beats the hell out of sending staffers out in trucks to look for them. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

 

National

Black Girls Do Bike is teaming with USA Cycling to make bicycling more accessible to women of color.

A tech site says the boom, bust and boom cycles resulting from the coronavirus have tossed bikeshare systems proven rebalancing algorithms over the handlebars.

A writer for the Daily Beast says ebikes are wondrous machines that can take you further than you ought to go if anything goes wrong.

A Las Vegas paper gets it, editorializing that higher speeds and heavier vehicles are literally killing us.

Bicycling belatedly catches up with the decision of the Lance Armstrong-founded Mellow Johnny’s bike shop to stop selling bikes to the Austin, Texas police department, in support of the Black Lives Matter protests. Which we mentioned here a couple weeks ago.

A Chicago writer offers a primer on trail riding courtesy.

An op-ed in the New York Daily News calls on the city to recommit to creating streets that benefit all of us.

A bighearted eight-year old Baltimore boy just learned how to ride a bike after the pandemic hit. But he’s already planning a 50-mile ride to raise funds to help pave sections of the C&O Canal Towpath; as of this writing, he was just $124 short of his $2,500 goal.

Police in Virginia are looking for a driver who allegedly smashed into three police bikes while attempting to run down the officers on them.

Now that’s a good kid. When a bighearted 10-year old boy in Monroe, Louisiana learned a handicapped man wished he had a bike after his truck was stolen and his home caught fire, he insisted on giving the man the new bike he had saved up to buy for himself.

 

International

Cyclist considers the best e-cargo bikes.

London’s conservative Sunday Times says the reason fewer bike riders are getting ticketed in the city is because bicyclists are getting away with breaking the law. Not, say, the well-established principle that better bike infrastructure encourages better behavior.

Surprisingly, there’s no historic marker in the English town where John Kemp Starley developed the Rover Safety bicycle, revolutionizing the world of big wheeled, direct-drive bikes and making it possible for anyone to ride a bicycle.

Heartbreaking story from Rwanda, where a teenage member of the country’s women’s national cycling team says she was raped and impregnated by a team coach; she’s still waiting for justice eight months after the body of her baby was exhumed, after he died under mysterious circumstances just days after birth.

Not even the world’s biggest bike maker in Taiwan can build their way out of the current bike boom-inspired bicycle shortage.

 

Competitive Cycling

SB Nation posted video of the crash that seriously injured 20-year old Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel, as he went over a bridge while descending in the Il Lombardia stage race; he’ll be off his bike for the next two months. The video is hard to watch, and lingers a little too much on Evenepoel as he writhes in pain at the bottom of a ravine. So be sure that’s something you really want to see before clicking through. 

Pot, meet kettle. Former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel, who headed it when ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, and most of the other team members, were winning by loading up on EPO, now says UCI isn’t doing anything about doping because all they care about is money.

 

Finally…

When you’re already wanted for a probation violation, as well as a fugitive from another state, maybe riding erratically all over the highway isn’t the best idea.

And that feeling when you’re about to be attacked by a sea creature on dry land.

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

Climate mayors call for 15 minute cities, thief ransacks Anaheim bike room, and trade your privacy for Road ID discount

A report from the C40 Cities group promotes the new Paris model of putting all necessities within a 15 minute biking or walking distance.

The climate group, currently led by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, encourages the model as a response to municipal budgets ravaged by Covid-19.

Which makes it worth noting that the “world’s climate mayor” is doing nothing of the sort in his own city, except for encouraging greater density.

Which is problematic in itself, after a number of current and former city officials have been implicated in a bribery scheme to approve building projects.

As we’ve noted before, cities around the world have taken advantage of the lighter traffic brought on by the pandemic to make temporary, and sometimes permanent, changes to encourage more biking and walking.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, has done absolutely nothing outside of the Downtown area, where Councilmember Jose Huizar has been a driving force behind a move to Complete Streets.

He is also charged with being the ringleader behind the bribery scheme.

Which pretty much sums up the current state of the city.

………

A bike thief was caught on video ransacking an Anaheim building’s bike room. Which is exactly why I don’t recommend using them.

Bike rooms give the illusion of security while providing an enticing target for thieves. Better to find space in your home to keep your bikes inside.

And register your damn bike already.

https://twitter.com/lemusss29/status/1287897963927281664

………

Road ID is offering half off to VIP members starting tomorrow — if you’re willing to sacrifice your privacy to become one by signing up for texts.

I wear mine every time I ride my bike. And any other time I leave home.

But I also prefer to maintain a little privacy, and not get spammed with commercial messages every time I look at my phone.

………

Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley is one of us.

Orlando Bloom is one of us, too.

………

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

No surprise here, as Oregon bike riders report a rising tide of road rage incidents in recent months. Everyone is stressed because of the coronavirus and the resulting restrictions, which means too many drivers will end up taking it out on us.

Seriously? A moonlighting Arizona cop says he felt his life was threatened by a mountain biker who ignored no trespassing signs at a golf course while looking for a formerly accessible trailhead — so he tackled the rider off his bike and pulled a loaded gun on him during the scuffle, while insisting the victim somehow lunged off his bike at him.

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

Chicago police appear stumped about why a man on a bike shot and killed a Rastafarian community activist, though conservatives are quick to blame his surprising support for Donald Trump for his murder.

A New York bike rider went on a racist and homophobic obscenity-laced rant after an Asian driver honked at him, then faked an injury claiming the driver hit his “$11,000 bike.”

View this post on Instagram

“Kevin” in Brooklyn having a racist meltdown towards a Asian man #New York In the end “He brought the entire fire department and ambulance out because he was "injured" and then when they came, he proceeded to say that he was fine but wanted me arrested. To be very honest, I've never seen so many authorities roll their eyes all at once”. “Furthermore, he kept trying to harass Asian residents of 7th & 8th Ave., who came out to see what the commotion was about and were recording the entire thing in case he lied (which he did). While speaking with them, I also discovered that he apparently has a long history of doing this exact same thing to other Asian community members-unfortunately, many of his previous victims have been older Asian immigrants, unable to understand his racist language or DEFEND themselves due to the language barrier.” @kaiz4ne | | | | #pavelpaulinich #karensgoingwild #karen #kevin #racist #maga #racism #trump #equality #protest #protest #school #viral #viralpost #trending #asian #blm #karens #staywoke #car #roadrage #bike #bikers #asianamerican #usa #nyc #nycblogger #brooklyn #brooklynbridge #bikelife

A post shared by Pavel Paulinich News (@karensgoingwilds) on

……..

Local

Metro Bike is offering a bikeshare relief program through this month, with discounted passes ranging from a single $1 ride or 24-hour pass, to a $100 pass for a full year.

LA-area streets are being reimagined as outdoor dining spaces; the question is whether it will last post-pandemic. Actually, the real question is why we can find street space for restaurant patrons, but we can’t manage to find any for bike lanes.

KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks with Lex Roman, author of a guide to where to vote and how government works, about how you can become a more civically engaged Angeleno. Because most of us need to.

 

State

Encinitas has finished work on protected bike lanes and other infrastructure improvements, including mosaic art panels designed by local students and artists

Groups of wheelie-popping teens are ignoring the dismount signs on Santa Barbara’s newly pedestrianized State Street.

The Bay Area’s East Bay Times recommends more than a dozen “great, scenic bike trails” crisscrossing the region.

Yreka’s Leslie Burley-Cobb has been nominated for the BMX Hall of Fame; she was one of the first women in the sport in the late ’70s, collecting 268 trophies before she retired in 1985. Raise your hand if you knew there even was a BMX Hall of Fame. And yes, mine are firmly in my pockets. 

 

National

A Harvard professor is nearing the end of his cross-country bike ride to call attention to Black Lives Matter and Black Birders Week.

A writer for Gizmodo says riding an ebike has changed her entire perspective on how we get around.

Yahoo Life! says you don’t need bike shorts or clip-in shoes for these “cute” commuter bikes. Then again, you don’t need them for any other bikes, either.

“Beloved” international security expert and self-defense trainer Dave Acosta was killed in a Utah mountain biking crash last week.

Beloit, Wisconsin’s Bike Elves program has refurbished and given away 5,380 bicycles over the last nine years, after being founded by a man suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s.

An Illinois driver is being held on $1 million bail for reckless homicide after killing one bike rider and critically injuring another while fleeing from police.

Minnesota has found a used for abandoned mine pits by converting them to 30 miles of mountain bike trails.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A well-known Memphis minister died after being taken off life support following a bicycling collision last week.

The worldwide bike boom continues, as Boston bike shops are running out of bicycles.

Now that’s more like it. The New York Times offers tips on how to stay safe on mass transit — and includes bikeshare as a recommended alternative.

Drive-in movies are popping up all over New York; bike-in movies, not so much.

A New York novelist says riding through the pandemic has changed her perspective of the city.

 

International

Road.cc previews the bike tech trends for next year.

Rapha was justifiably criticized for water bottles printed with a message that could lead to eating disorders if anyone actually followed it.

After a London cabbie posted photos of Dutch parents riding their kids to school on cargo bikes, sarcastically asking if that’s really the kind of morning school run people want to see, the public responded with a resounding “Yes.”

A Croatian expat living in London says helmets, Lycra and flashing lights have become part of his new reality exploring the city by bike in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

Five Northern England bicycle trails to add to your bike bucket list. Unless maybe you’d rather combine beer and bikes on five trails surrounding Prague in the Czech Republic. I’ll take both, thank you. And they make some pretty decent beer in the UK, too.

The Irish Times recounts 12 reasons to start riding a bike, almost all of which apply equally well on this side of the Atlantic.

Take a nearly 1,250 mile ride over trees and beneath the water on the trails of the Belgian home of stinky cheese.

Bicyclists have been unofficially banned from the highways of Jalandhar, India, even though it’s legal to ride there; despite the law, riders are being told to stay off the roads following the death of a bike rider.

A Philippines foundation is changing lives one bicycle at a time by donating mountain bikes to people struggling to hold onto their jobs in the face of the pandemic.

Red Bull Australia picks their ten favorite gravel bike shoes, as well as eleven cycling jerseys that apparently don’t care where you wear them.

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Ellen Van Dijk won the Strade Bianche gravel race on a bike borrowed from a teammate, after her Trek-Segafredo team was struck by thieves the night before the race. Meanwhile, Wout van Aert won on the men’s side.

Former Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali suffered an injured hand in the Strade Bianche, just one of the 124 cyclists who abandoned the race in 104° temperatures out of the 166 who started; only 45 cyclists finished the women’s race.

 

Finally…

High-end bike options for people who have more dollars than sense, and are willing to part with a lot of the former.

And don’t dare ride a whole six miles below the speed limit after lunch with you mom.

………

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

That viral Covid-19 exercise study isn’t, LA approves Avalon Blvd Complete Street, and current Camp Pendleton closures

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says take that viral Belgian-Dutch Covid-19 study about social distancing while exercising outside with a grain of salt.

Or maybe a bag.

Because it’s not a study, after all.

It’s super easy to get freaked out when you’re now learning that you need to stay upwards of 32 feet away from a runner and 65 feet away from a cyclist in front of you. In some areas, this is not even possible. But take a deep, socially-distanced breath. This paper is not a vetted study nor a study on disease transmission. And it’s important to take both of those factors seriously right now before potentially spreading what could be misinformation.

She goes on to explain that it’s just a white paper, rather than a peer-reviewed  study, based on the computer simulations like the ones used to explore wind resistance and drafting.

And while airborne transmission of Covid-19 is theoretically possible, a Chinese study of more than 75,000 cases did not find a single instance of the virus spreading that way.

So while group rides are out for now, it should still be okay to take a quick solo ride. With the proper precautions, of course.

In the end, the advice still stands: Stay home as much as you can. Wash your hands often. Ride and run solo, striving for as much physical distance as you can from others—but definitely at least six feet. Wear a buff or bandana if you’re going to be in highly trafficked areas. If you feel at all sick stay home.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels.

………

The LA city council has signed off on a Complete Streets plan for a 2.2-mile segment of Avalon Blvd in South LA, along with road diet adding an additional 6.4 miles of protected or buffered bike lanes.

………

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding news of the latest road closures in Camp Pendleton.

Please see the following closure updates as of April 9, 2020:

  1. Stuart Mesa Road – Northbound and Southbound lanes CLOSED from Las Flores (41 Area) to Las Pulgas Road.  *Open for Emergency Traffic only. Bike route remains closed.
  2. Beach Club Road –  Closed. *No Emergency traffic.
  3. Vandegrift Blvd – OPEN to the public in both directions.  *Right-hand eastbound lane CLOSED in Box Canyon.
  4. Del Mar Gate – CLOSED inbound and outbound until further. *No Emergency Traffic. CLOSURE DUE TO COVID-19

Please check Facebook for updates.

………

Philly can rest easy, at least as far as coronavirus is concerned, after a handlebar surfing masked man sprayed the streets with Lysol.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-vGZNYJIXU/?utm_source=ig_embed

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 says LA bike riders are taking notice of the lighter traffic and cleaner air. Just don’t count on it staying that way.

The LA Times lists what’s open and closed in Southern California this weekend; just assume all parks and recreation areas will be closed to prevent overcrowding over the Easter weekend.

A pair of Dutch bike riders are forced to end their round-the-world bucket list trip in Los Angeles, after they’re denied entry to Japan due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Burbank is joining Los Angeles in eliminating beg buttons to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections.

CiclaValley goes gravel grinding on the Backbone Trail — before the coronavirus shut everything down.

 

State

Bikes are booming in Bakersfield, too.

 

National

Bicycling examines how bikewear companies and bike and accessory makers have made a sharp pivot to making personal protective gear for healthcare and essential workers engaged in the battle with Covid-19.

Trek’s John Burke says he thinks the bike industry’s best days are still ahead because the pandemic has shown just how important bicycles are.

Gear Patrol says this could be the ideal time to buy a new bike, while some shops and bike brands are offering coronavirus deals. Just be sure to check with your local bike shop before buying anything online; they need the business, and may match or beat whatever deals you might find.

Flagstaff AZ has cancelled all the events associated with next month’s Bike Week. That shouldn’t be a problem in Los Angeles, since nothing’s been announced for LA’s bike week, anyway.

You can now ride your ebike on paved natural area trails in my hometown, after a one-year pilot program didn’t uncover any problems.

Talk about a bad week. An Illinois woman was fired from both of her jobs because of the coronavirus shutdown, then had her bike and purse stolen when she went to apply for another one. But her luck turned when a cop recovered her bike and bag, and a kindhearted stranger gave her a check for $1,000.

This is who we share the roads with. A serial hit-and-run Ohio driver is under arrest after injuring four people in three separate crashes, each on different days and apparently intentionally, as they were walking on the sidewalk. But at least police say the victims’ dogs are okay.

Syracuse NY police have arrested one of the hit-and-run drivers who killed a popular musician as he was riding his bike. But they absolved the second driver, claiming she didn’t know she’d hit anyone.

Emptier streets result in a jump in New York traffic fatalities, as rush hour speeds are up as much as 288%.

A writer for Streetsblog complains about bike lane victim blaming in the New York Times.

New York’s Bike Match program has expanded to DC, allowing people with extra bikes to be matched with essential workers who need them.

Maryland bike riders are joining walkers and runners on the streets in the age of coronavirus, even if they are doing it alone.

 

International

A writer for Canadian Cycling Magazine says riding outside is great, but he feels far safer doing his riding inside these days.

Vancouver bike riders join the call from other North American cities to expand temporary bike lanes to accommodate people switching to bikes to avoid coronavirus.

A London writer says he’s glad to be back in the saddle again after 15 years, taking advantage of the lighter traffic to rediscover the joy of riding a bike.

London’s Evening Standard makes the case that speeding drivers are putting the safety of essential workers at risk; police have stopped drivers zooming up to 142 mph.

A UK bicyclist questions how long a ride is too long under the country’s coronavirus restrictions.

The head of Brompton explains how he plans to keep the iconic British foldie brand afloat during the coronavirus crisis.

Even in the Netherlands, bicyclists are being urged to stay home this weekend to avoid injuries that could impact already overloaded hospitals.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI, aka the International Cycling Union, is officially broke after everything was cancelled this spring and the Olympics were postponed until next year; the organization has cut executive salaries and all staff members are on full or partial furlough.

Newly crowned Tour de France champ Egan Bernal is responding to the coronavirus crisis by auctioning off his bike, along with white and yellow jerseys from the race, to raise funds for a Columbian children’s charity.

One of the first American cyclists to ride in Europe looks back at the cancelled Paris-Roubaix race, calling it “brutal and magical and the stuff of myth,” and insisting you can’t really understand it until you ride it.

 

Finally…

What it’s like to ride a tiny $261 Chinese ebike. Never let a little flood stop your ride.

And taking indoor cycling to the extreme.

https://twitter.com/MLorenaGonzalez/status/1248393806925287424

………

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

Covid-19 halts bike world, bicycle parking that comes to you, and Burbank Complete Streets plan moves to council

It’s a light day on the bike news front, as the Covid-19 coronavirus sucked all the air out of the room on Thursday.

CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield has indefinitely postponed his annual Blumenfield Bike Ride scheduled for next weekend.

San Francisco Streetsblog considers how the pandemic affects Bay Area bike and pedestrian advocacy and events.

San Francisco bike riders will have to keep their clothes on for another year, as organizers pull the plug on the city’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride scheduled for tomorrow.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus considers cycling in the age of Covid-19.

Stats from New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare show the city really is experiencing a bike boom as commuters turn from crowded trains to riding a bike.

The annual London Bike Show originally scheduled for this month has been postponed until July.

British physicians offer advice on bike riding and self-isolation in the age of coronavirus.

Britain’s Cyclist offers a running account of pro teams pulling out and races canceled., while Cycling News provides a dispiriting timeline.

Road.cc considers how Italian bicyclists and bike brands are coping in the locked down country, in what could be a taste of things to come for the rest of us.

Japan’s prime minister — an Olympic medalist himself — immediately shot down Donald Trump’s suggestion of postponing the Olympic Games for a year.

And cancel those plans to check out track cycling at the Carson velodrome this month. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

………

That’s more like it. Secure bike parking that comes to you.

………

Professional mountain biker Thomas Vanderham finds the balance between riding and being a dad.

………

Local

Burbank’s draft Complete Streets plan is headed to the city council on Tuesday for review, before moving on to the city’s Infrastructure Oversight Board on March 26th.

 

State

Need a job? The CHP is looking for a pedestrian and bicycle safety grant coordinator in their Sacramento office. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

 

National

AutoBlog considers whether the MonkeyLetric LED wheel lights are worth the price, and concludes with a resounding yes. As the proud owner of an early pre-graphics version of the lights, I concur.

A New Mexico county judge somehow avoided charges for killing a bike rider, even though she was seen driving erratically and investigators say she made no attempt to stop prior to the impact. She also failed to inform the police she had a second cellphone with her at the time of the crash, in addition to the one she handed over to the police.

A number of organizations in my home state are working to get more girls and young women on bikes.

Four different kinds of Dallas bike riders you’ll meet on the road.

Gravel grinding has moved down to the high school level in Walmart’s hometown, with the country’s first high school gravel racing team in Bentonville AR.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. An off-duty Pittsburgh police officer cops a plea to hit-and-run involving a bike rider while falling down drunk. And gets sentenced to a whopping two to four days behind bars. Yes, days.

No bias here. A Maryland letter writer says it’s no surprise a bike rider got killed and two others injured on a local roadway, since “hordes” of “strident ‘bicycle rights’ activists” seem to enjoy holding up traffic. Even though the victims were riding single file on the right edge of the roadway, and were hit by an SUV driver on the wrong side of the road.

 

International

Bike Radar explains how to measure a bike frame to determine sizing, which is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.

A British Columbia city is expanding its bike network, including closing a roadway to turn it into a greenway.

An English bike rider captures the moment she broadsided a car when the driver cut across a roadway without checking if anyone was in the bike lane.

Yesterday’s panicked headlines all focused on the greater risk facing bike commuters in a British study, but New Scientist says the real story is confirmation that the health benefits of bike commuting outweigh the risks.

Hacking an ebike to boost the speed beyond legal limits in France will now cost you the equivalent of $34,000, and up to one year in jail.

It takes a special kind of schmuck to rip out native trees in a critically endangered New Zealand snail habitat to make way for an illegal mountain biking trail.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Paris-Nice bike race goes on, as Italian Niccolo Bonifazio calls his victory in stage five a gift to his country, which is on lockdown due to the coronavirus.

With at least the early cycling season likely to be cancelled, Canadian Michael Woods should have plenty of time to recover from a broken leg suffered in a stage five crash at Paris-Nice.

American Tejay van Garderen quit the race rather than being separated from his family because of the new European travel restrictions (scroll up).

 

Finally

If someone steals your lover’s heart, don’t respond by stealing their bike. And who says you can’t bike to school with your kid?

New hope for Venice Blvd, entitled drivers and anti-bike bias, and an antidote for overly aggressive car ads

There may be hope for Venice Blvd yet.

Recently formed political advocacy group Streets For All has unveiled a new website to promote — or maybe fight for — a Complete Street plan that goes far beyond the limited lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

The group is demanding that the city live up to the promises it made in approving the city’s mobility plan, Vision Zero and Green New Deal Sustainability Plan, and implement dedicated bus lanes, protected mobility lanes and pedestrian improvements to create a safer, cleaner, and more livable Venice Blvd for everyone.

It’s a worthwhile goal.

Venice is one of the few streets that runs from DTLA all the way to the coast, making it a prime thoroughfare for anyone needing to cross the city.

It also cuts through countless neighborhoods along the way that could experience new life and improved safety for the people living nearby.

And it could — and should — provide safe and affordable mobility options for people who don’t own cars, or who choose not to drive. for whatever reasons.

But the most important thing is, all they’re asking for is what the city already promised to do.

Isn’t it time we held our elected leaders to their word?

………

No bias here.

An entitled Antioch driver says his car should somehow have priority over all those entitled bicyclists who ruined his recreational drive along the coast.

………

No bias here, either.

A Missouri writer complains that the traffic statistics bike advocates cite are just lies, and that the Complete Streets that don’t even exist in his little town cause road rage.

No, seriously.

And he goes on to blame people on bicycles for causing the injuries suffered by pedestrians.

But then concludes this way.

I hope that I’ve dispelled some concerns and encouraged others to give bicycle riding a try. Perhaps we’ll meet soon. I’ll ring my bell!

Um, sure.

I feel much better now.

………

And definitely no bias here.

A writer for a right wing Central California site goes on a tirade about bike lanes and Compete Streets, saying gas tax money is being “stolen” for bike and transit projects.

Even though that’s exactly what the state said they’d be used for.

And accusing governor Newsom of using road diets to force “California residents to reach back to the 19th Century when bicycles and trains were the only transportation, other than horses and wagons.”

Damn. That sounds wonderful.

She’s on to us, comrades.

………

That’s more like it. Or maybe not.

A Belgian bike thief got a well deserved three year sentence after a judge ruled the theft was an ecological crime, because it forced the victim to use a less-clean form of transportation.

But don’t expect him to serve that sentence anytime soon.

He’s already been sentenced to a total of nine years for a massive rap sheet that includes 44 arrests with 17 convictions.

But he hasn’t spent a single day behind bars.

Yet.

………

Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes car makers to task for relying on ads that portray their cars, trucks and SUVs being driven recklessly on the same streets where people keep dying.

But here’s an antidote to those heavy footed, over aggressive Super Bowl ads.

………

Blink and you’ll miss it.

Hidden in plain sight in Jeep’s Groundhog Day Super Bowl ad was the official reveal of their upcoming 750-watt ebike. Or maybe it’s actually twice that powerful, capable of literally ripping a bike chain to shreds.

………

Can’t find the carbon fiber mountain bike frame you want? Just build your own.

………

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

An Iowa woman got a whopping 40 years behind bars — yes, four zero — for killing a man riding a bicycle in a Cedar Rapids parking lot while driving at twice the legal blood alcohol level; she claimed she was only trying to run over his bicycle, but he just happened to be on it at the time.

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

A New Mexico man was busted after riding his bike up to an undercover cop posing as a prostitute, then asking if he could pay her later because he wouldn’t have the money until Friday. Then finally agreed to pay her with the hamburger he was carrying.

………

Local

Curbed says the proposed makeover of Hollywood Blvd would be a big improvement, but hardly radical compared to San Francisco closing Market Street to cars.

Selena Gomez used to be one of us, but now she’s unloading the bikes she used to ride with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.

A writer for the New Yorker apparently thinks you can see the air in LA most days, and just breathing here feels like smoking three cigarettes — let alone riding a bike. Maybe I’ve been privileged living on the Westside most of my time in LA, but in 30 year as an Angeleno, I can count the times I’ve experienced that on one hand with most most of the fingers closed, not counting nearby wildfires. 

Burbank is making traffic improvements around three schools to create safe routes for students who walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, though, those improvements don’t appear to include bike lanes.

 

State

San Diego’s Ocean Beach Bike Path will be closed for construction work most of this month, starting today.

The owner of The Bikesmith in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood has been wrenching bikes for 50 years, earning the sobriquet Bikesmith Bob. Correction: Somehow Pacific was autocorrected to Pacificas last night. This bike shop is in Pacific Beach, as Robert Leone pointed out.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this Sunday, bringing riders from 46 states and four countries to the roads of the Coachella Valley.

Speaking of the Coachella Valley, the planned CV Link bike path around the valley continues to move forward, thanks to a $29 million state grant; however, the once 50-mile trail has shrunk to just 40.

Streetsblog says San Francisco’s 28-year old Critical Mass movement deserves credit for banning cars from Market Street, with one of the founders saying the rides made it possible for the “tepid, wimpy bike coalition people to do their thing.” Ouch. Especially considering the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is one of the country’s most successful and progressive advocacy groups.

 

National

CNN suggests Lyft should be doing well, but it keeps shooting itself in the foot.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a possibly impaired driver walks with a ridiculous two days behind bars after copping a plea to vehicular homicide in the death of a 75-year old bike rider — about 14 months and 28 days less than the typical minimum sentence. He claimed he didn’t know his medication could cause impairment, despite being on it for the past four years.

Denver officially shutters its docked bikeshare system after ten years, but looks forward to exploring other forms of micromobility.

A solo bike crash last year left a nationally recognized spinal surgeon in Houston a quadriplegic, after he caught his front wheel while riding in a park and went over the handlebars. It’s a sad commentary on our society that even someone like him needs to crowdfund money for the things not covered by insurance.

A Good Samaritan bought new bikes for two Texas boys after theirs were stolen outside their school; the local police also pitched in some new locks.

Illustrating the difficulty in keeping dangerous drivers off the roads, a Milwaukee driver confessed to the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — even though he’s never held a driver’s license.

No bike helmet requirement for Indiana kids, after a state legislator backed off on his proposal because his peers in the legislature considered it too intrusive.

Data from Atlanta’s pop-up protected bike lane experiment confirms that sharing road space benefits everyone.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a backpack from a Baton Rouge bike rider after he was killed by a pair of street racing brothers.

A New Orleans carnival krewe teams with a local neighborhood to call attention to bike and pedestrians safety, eleven months after an extremely drunk driver plowed into a group of bike riders near a Mardi Gras parade at 80 mph, killing two; Tashoni Toney will serve 90 years hard labor after pleading guilty in the crash.

This is why you don’t just toss old tires away. A Florida manatee has been spotted once again after having a bicycle tire stuck around him for at least a month.

 

International

A Toronto writer goes on an anti-Vision Zero rampage, insisting it was created by leftists to drive traffic down to turtle-like speeds and force drivers out of their cars.

A former British soldier set a new Paralympic hour record nine years after losing a leg when he was run over by a tank.

A driver in the UK got eight weeks behind bars for calling a bicyclist wearing a pink jersey “gay boy” and spitting on him; that was his big mistake since authorities traced his DNA through the sample he deposited on the victim. Unfortunately, the original article is hidden behind a paywall, so scroll down Road.cc’s page for the story.

A writer for the Guardian predicts an epic disaster if Great Britain allows e-scooters to infest the country, both for pedestrians and the people riding them. The scooters, not the pedestrians.

You might want to rethink that dream of bicycling the Emerald Isle. Bicycling fatalities have risen an average of 8% a year over the last decade, four times the rate of the next-worse European countries, France and the Netherlands.

Paris provides a prime lesson in what a real climate mayor would do to reinvent a city before it hosts the Olympic Games. Or even just let it live up to its potential.

How about a family bike tour along the Danube from Vienna to Budapest?

 

Competitive Cycling

Those proclamations that the era of doping is over might be just a tad premature. Danish and Norwegian media are reporting that Jakob Fuglsang, the world’s number two ranked cyclist, has been spotted training with Lance’s alleged doping doc Michele Ferrari, who has been banned for life from working with athletes due to his involvement in Armstrong’s US Postal Service team doping scandal.

Bicycling offers five takeaways from this year’s Cyclocross World Championships — including a surprising medal for the US in the women’s U-23 race.

Spanish cyclist Mikel Landa became just the latest pro to have a run-in with a car bumper while training, after he and a riding parter were both run down by a hit-and-run driver last week; fortunately, neither was seriously injured.

Three time men’s ‘cross champ Mathieiu van der Poel faces a tough choice between mountain biking and competing in the Grand Tours.

Columbian cyclist Egan Bernal is going to have some nasty road rash after wiping out rounding a bend on a high-speed descent during the country’s national championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying meth and a pipe on your bike and riding with an outstanding warrant, put some damn reflectors on it, at least. Same goes for carrying heroin and a loaded gun, with a warrant from another state.

And your next ebike could look like a vintage motorcycle.

But why would you want it to?

………

Ride safe out there. If this wind gets any stronger, we may have to change the name of this site to BikinginOz.

And I don’t mean Australia.

 

Bike the Vote LA voter guide for CD10 race, your very own little pony trike, and another Peloton parody

Bike the Vote LA has posted their voting guide for LA’s 10th Council District.

Outgoing LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, considered a shoo-in by most pundits, rates a surprisingly low C+ on the survey compiled by a number of the Southside’s leading bike advocacy groups.

Meanwhile, a pair lesser known candidates, Channing Martinez and Aura Vasquez, lead the way with their support for non-automotive transportation and Complete Streets policies.

Hopefully, the other candidates will garner enough votes to deny Ridley-Thomas an outright victory in arch, and force a runoff that with get both candidates on the record, for better or worse.

Whomever that other one might end up being.

Meanwhile, the Bike the Vote LA newsletter includes opportunities to help get out the vote for Loraine Lundquist in CD12, and Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman in CD4, along with Dan Brotman in Glendale.

Full Disclosure — My personal interactions with Ridley-Thomas have all been good, which is why I’m surprised to see him score low here.

On the other hand, I’m tired of career politicians using the LA City Council as a soft place to land after getting termed out of other jobs.

Let’s hope whoever gets elected will be committed to safer streets in the long-ignored district. 

………

Here’s the ultimate proof you can carry anything on a bike — your very own two-pony semi-covered tricycle for the equivalent of just $5,900, sans ponies.

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Peloton continues to populate YouTube parodies. Like this one, for instance.

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

Someone has been booby trapping Dallas, Texas bike trails with nearly invisible twine or rope in an apparent attempt to knock riders off their bikes. Let’s get this straight. This isn’t a prank, it’s a deliberate attempt to injure innocent people and frighten them off the trails. Which makes it an act of anti-bike terrorism.

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

Still more proof you can carry anything on a bicycle. Including other people’s stolen car batteries in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Evidently, we were right. San Diego is reporting five bicycling fatalities last year, along with 24 pedestrians killed. Which is about 29 people too many.

Some San Mateo residents are looking forward to a road diet on North San Mateo Drive, but several automotive businesses see it as an attempt to drive them out of business.

The San Francisco Chronicle examines women-only night at a Bay Area bike co-op. Which should be a required feature everywhere for women tired of mansplaining mechanics.

Streetsblog says San Francisco needs a bicycle mayor. LA just needs to listen to its own already appointed, and usually ignored, Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Finishing out our San Francisco trifecta, the city’s iconic Market Street will officially be carfree starting next week. Which is kind like banning drivers from LA’s Wilshire Blvd. Which isn’t a half bad idea.

Okay, make it a quadfecta. San Francisco’s transit authority is testing out 50 special adaptive scooters from Jump, Lime, Scoot and Spin for people with disabilities. Hopefully that will prove successful and spread down here.

Alameda is asking for public input to help keep bike riders and pedestrians from getting hit by motorists.

Oakland is considering a bike and pedestrian bridge leading to a proposed A’s baseball stadium in the city’s Jack London Square.

Business owners are supporting a proposed 19-mile bike trail along the Russian River despite the $145 million price tag, saying it could bring in more business from people on two-wheels.

 

National

A writer for Best Reviews recommends the best mountain bike, which probably isn’t. If you can put up with the Chicago Tribune’s multiple popup ads.

Gear Junkie offers tips for fat bike winter fun, for anyone with access to a little snow.

Bike thieves hit a Boulder CO bike shop for the second time in weeks, making off with “tens of thousands of dollars worth of new bikes.”

Curbed makes the case for why you should ride your bike all year in frigid Chicago, even in the winter. Which LA bike riders know is unreasonable, since we get cold when the temp drops below 70°.

It was a bad year on Ohio roadways, where 23 people were killed riding their bikes in 2019.

Kindhearted Philly cops buy a new bicycle for a boy whose bike was stolen by a group of older kids just before Christmas.

Credit a West Virginia police chief with a good grasp of the obvious, as he steps out on a rock-solid limb by linking drug use and bike thefts.

Seriously? Daytona Beach police are trying to drive down bike and pedestrian deaths by focusing on the potential victims rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines, explaining that there’s no point in focusing on drivers, because they usually don’t see the victims until it’s too late. Which couldn’t possibly be a reason to slow down and pay attention to the road in front of you, could it? Or why it remains the fourth most dangerous city in the state.

Orlando, Florida’s mayor has a plan — or rather, multiple plans — to shed its reputation as the nation’s deadliest city for pedestrians. But as the story says, “…pledging something and doing something are very different, especially when it comes to the multifaceted challenge of making our streets safer.” As we in Los Angeles know all too well.

Congratulations to Tampa International Airport, which has been named the nation’s first bicycle-friendly airport by the League of American Bicyclists.

When you’re already a twice convicted Florida felon, probably not the best idea to ride your bike with a fully loaded 9mm, crack, weed and oxycodone, along with a full face mask and $644 in cash. Just saying.

 

International

Mexican authorities are feeling well-deserved international pressure to solve the murder of a young women’s rights advocate after she was shot in the back of the head while riding her bike home in downtown Juarez; the deadly border city saw 180 women murdered last year alone.

A Spanish bike rider learns the hard way that bicycles and massive storm-driven waves don’t mix.

Tragic story from India, where the wife of a major bicycle manufacturer was found hanging in an apparent suicide, though police are treating it as a suspicious death. Seriously, if you’re thinking about it, get help now by calling the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Canberra, Australia is finally showing Sikhs a little respect, dropping the ridiculous requirement to wear a helmet atop their turbans when they ride a bike. Now they just have to drop that ineffective mandatory helmet law for everyone else.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome will start what promises to be a long and difficult comeback from the massive injuries he suffered preparing for last year’s Criterium du Dauphine at the UAE Tour in the United Arab Emirates next month.

With a start like this, frenzy is the right word for this Kiwi mountain bike race. But do they really have to destroy fragile terrain by wildcatting off the trail?

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be wood. You could soon stop riding on air.

And congratulations, Critical Massers. You’re now considered a radical left-wing group that bears watching.

 

 

Morning Links: $25,000 reward for heartless hit-and-run driver, LA chef dies after cycling heart attack, and Gatto gets it

Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after slamming into someone on a bicycle.

But this time, it was caught on security cam.

And yes, it’s every bit as hard to watch as you might think, so be forewarned.

Remarkably, the victim survived the crash, but is hospitalized with severe injuries.

The wreck took place around 11:45 pm in the 3000 block of Berkeley Avenue in Silver Lake as the hit-and-run driver rounded a curve, and slams into the victim head-on.

Then keeps going without even slowing down.

And this time, there’s no arguing that the driver may not have known it happened.

I’m told the victim may be a homeless man who lives in the area.

Police suspect the hit-and-run driver may live in the neighborhood; they’re looking for a late model red Mini Cooper with a white roof and sunroof, with probable damage to the front-end and windshield.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713. As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury to the victim.

Let’s find the jerk.

………

A surprising number of chefs in the Los Angeles area ride bikes.

Sadly, it may have cost one his life last week, as famed LA chef Joe Miller died weeks after suffering a heart attack while riding his bike.

Family members announced the Michelin star-winning chef behind the groundbreaking Joe’s on Abbot Kinney lost his battle to survive on Wednesday, due to complications from a cardiac arrest on a September cycling trip.

This is a tragic reminder that while bicycling provides exceptional cardio-pulmonary benefits, it can also trigger underlying medical conditions.

It’s vital to see your doctor on a regular basis to make sure you’re up to the stresses you put on your body, especially those of us who like to ride hard.

It’s natural to think you’re bulletproof and avoid seeing a physician when you’re strong on a bike.

It’s also a mistake.

For nearly two decades after I started riding, the only time I saw a doctor was in the ER when they were patching me up after my latest two-wheeled wipeout.

If I had, it’s possible someone may have caught my diabetes before it did so much damage.

If you see a doctor regularly, good for you. Just push him or her to look a little harder and make sure everything’s okay under that muscular physique.

Well, muscular from the waist down, anyway.

If you don’t, what the hell are you waiting for? Stop reading, pick up the phone and make an appointment.

We’ll wait.

………

Now that everyone is back, today’s must read comes from former Burbank state representative Mike Gatto, as he makes the case for establishing a walkable, shopable and carfree retail district in each of LA’s 15 council districts.

………

Once again, the business community gets it wrong, insisting that plans to eliminate street parking on San Diego’s 30th street will harm businesses and won’t save the climate.

Studies have shown that business owners consistently overestimate the percentage of their business that comes from motorists, and underestimate how much comes from bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users — let alone how much more would if customers had more complete, livable streets.

Those same studies show that bike lanes are good for business, increasing sales, reducing vacancy rates and increasing property values in the surrounding area.

But who would want that?

As for the climate, we have to start somewhere.

And the best place to start is reducing the number of motor vehicles on the streets. Which means creating walkable, bikeable, transit-rich communities so people don’t have to drive.

If that also benefits businesses and residents, everyone wins.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A Phoenix family is alive today because a crash saved them from a red light-running driver.

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This is the difference a single bicycle can make to someone in need.

Thanks to the One Bicycle Foundation for the link.

You can help make a difference in someone’s life for as little as $25. Or donate a bike yourself for just $170.

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And this is just a practice session.

Meanwhile, Bike Mag offers some very cool photos of death-defying aerials from the actual Red Bull Rampage on Friday.

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

A Victorville man faces charges for pistol whipping a 16-year old boy with a semi-automatic handgun for the crime of simply riding a bicycle in the area. Apparently he did it with the gun loaded and the safety off — and it went off while he was beating the boy with it. Let’s hope they find a very deep pit to drop him in.

………

Local

The long-discussed Red Car Pedestrian Bridge is slowly taking shape over the Los Angeles River, using trusses from the old Red Cars to give bicyclists and pedestrians a less-convenient alternative to the soon-to-be-rebuilt Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

The Southern California Association of Governments’ popular Go Human safety campaign will go on, after receiving a $1 million grant from the state.

Metro wants your comments on proposals to close the DTLA-Vernon gap in the LA River bike path to create a single route from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.

Burbank is moving forward with plans to complete a protected bike lane connecting with the city’s Metrolink station, and building out a bike network that will connect with other cities in the region.

 

State

A writer for the LA Times tagged along with the eight-day, 525-mile California Coast Classic; the 195 riders raised $1.1 million to fight arthritis.

A Carlsbad street will get new bike lanes, sidewalks and landscaping for an underpass crossing I-5.

The California Public Utilities Commission signed off on plans to build a bike and pedestrian underpass to provide a safe route across a rail line in Encinitas.

A 51-year old Bonita man suffered “major but not life-threatening” injuries when he was right hooked by the driver of a cement truck while riding his bike.

San Diego streets shut down on Sunday — or rather, opened up — for that city’s CiclaSDias open streets celebration.

More bad news from Palm Desert, where an 82-year old man suffered major injuries when he was left crossed on his bike by a 77-year old driver. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Once again, the threat of a recall is enough to get city officials to rip out a protected bike lane, after residents of Grover Beach couldn’t figure out that you have to step over the curb on a new curb-protected bike lane. And can’t drive over it, either. Sort of like every other curb, anywhere else.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man on a bicycle was killed by a stoned driver who got high in her car on her lunch break.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Berkeley woman walks without a single day behind bars after she left crossed a 69-year old man on a bike, dragging him under her car for several seconds, then got out, yanked his bike out from underneath her car, and drove off as the victim and a witness tried to stop her. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Sad news from Petaluma, where someone on a bicycle was killed in a collision with a semi driver.

 

National

Fast Company questions whether SUVs should be banned, at least in cities. New York’s DOT commissioner appears to agree, blaming SUVs for the city’s alarming jump in bicycle fatalities this year.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a Portland ghost bike after twelve years.

Aspen CO resident Lance Armstrong pitched in along with a former Colorado governor to build over one hundred bicycles to offer to every second grader at a local elementary school.

Forget the bikes; check out the speaker on that Victrola in this turn of the century Colorado bike shop.

Kindhearted Colorado sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy a new bicycle for an autistic high school student who had outgrown his.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man faces a first-degree murder charge for repeatedly stabbing another man in a fight over a bicycle.

Outside says frozen Minnesota is an ideal year-round bicycling spot.

Providence RI will rip out a brand new two-way cycle track after just six weeks because the city failed to consult residents before putting it in.

New York’s senior senator, the Democratic leader in the US Senate, calls for a plan to replace all gas-powered motor vehicles with electric ones by 2040. Great idea, except that until the US achieves 100% renewable power, it just exchanges one form of carbon-burning power for another, and doesn’t take a single car or truck off the road.

Heartbreaking news from Brooklyn, where boy got a new bicycle for his eighth birthday. And was killed riding it just two years later.

New York City considers adopting a three-foot passing law to pre-empt the state’s requirement for a safe passing distance. But will only fine drivers a lousy fifty bucks for breaking it.

Good news for Gotham bike riders, as a judge tosses a lawsuit from wealthy NIMBY condo owners trying to have the popular Central Park West protected bike lanes ripped out, calling the lawsuit meritless.

They get it. An editorial in an upstate New York paper calls for a new law to penalize drivers who injure or kill another person.

The DC City Council responds to bike and pedestrian deaths with proposals to lower speed limits, ban right turns on red lights and allow private citizens to ticket drivers blocking crosswalks and bike lanes, as well as require protected bike lanes anytime a street in the bike plan gets overhauled. Maybe we could get them to come teach their LA peers what to do to make Vision Zero work.

Tampa FL police say they’re getting a handle on the problem of biking while black, saying they’re stopping and ticketing fewer African American bike riders, though black riders are still more likely to get a ticket or warning than a white person.

 

International

Road.cc offers inexpensive hacks to help keep you on your bike this winter.

A writer for Bike Radar offers five common quotes guaranteed to deflate the mood on your next group ride.

You know ebikes have officially arrived when they’re featured on a Trump-less British version of The Apprentice. And sell a combined $2.2 million worth.

An English woman in her 70s was knocked cold by a hit-and-run bike rider. Seriously, don’t be like people in cars. Just stop, already.

Always hit the back brakes first. A UK bike cop pulls a major endo in the middle of the street while chasing a suspect.

I want to be like her when I grow up, too. A 72-year old grandmother in the UK battled it out with a suspected bike thief when the man tried to reclaim it from her son’s shop after being told it was stolen.

A British woman starts her own bikeshare company after dropping out of Oxford to study design; what initially began as a school project is now available on the streets in three cities.

An Irish pedestrian group says you should have to wear an identity badge anytime you ride your bike. How about one of those convention badges that read “Hi, my name is ….”?

Egyptian women are overcoming societal restrictions to claim space on Cairo streets for them and their bicycles.

In a highly questionable Qatari study, not one single bicyclist who was admitted to a hospital with a serious head injury was wearing a helmet, and only 3% of riders admitted with any kind of traumatic injury during the six-year study had a skid lid on.

Former Aussie rugby player and current CrossFit star James Newbury is one of us, even if he won’t be riding for awhile after hitting gravel and pulling an endo, then hitting a tree and fracturing his back.

This is who we share the roads with. Five people are dead and nine injured after a Shanghai driver went on a hit-and-run rampage, starting by hitting a taxi and an ebike rider, followed by crashing into an SUV after running a red light, and wrapping it all up by slamming into three non-motorized vehicles and several pedestrians. And yet, Xinhua still calls it an accident. Let’s hope that’s just a bad translation.

What if you built a state-of-the-art automated bicycle parking garage in Singapore and nobody came?

Tokyo wants to force bicyclists to carry liability insurance when they ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forget doping. Just zap your brain, instead.

Peter Sagan announces he’ll ride both the Giro and the Tour de France next year, forgoing the Amgen Tour of California.

Rouleur selects this year’s inductees for their Cycling Hall of Fame, selecting America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as well as Marianne Vos, and Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin.

The US team finished seventh in the men’s road cycling race at the World Military Games, with the top individual finisher crossing the finish line in 11th place.

How to ride a bike at 183.9 mph. Which is very similar to my cruising speed these days, as long as you remove the one and the eight.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to tell the cops you were injured in a hit-and-run after cutting your hands breaking into a store, get rid of the damn merchandise you took, first. Apparently, we’re not even safe from golf cart drivers.

And as long as your dog has a license, might as well let him use it.

Morning Links: More of same as Newsom vetos Complete Streets bill, and Santa Ana hit-and-run gravely injures bike rider

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Evidently, not much has changed with a new, more progressive governor in Sacramento.

Former Governor Jerry Brown became famous for obstructing bicycle safety bills, to the point that “Jerry Brown” became a pseudonym for a dangerously close pass after Brown vetoed two versions of a three-foot passing law before finally agreeing to the watered-down version we have today.

And yes, I may have had something to do with popularizing that term.

Yesterday, Brown’s understudy, Governor Gavin Newsom, followed in his footsteps by vetoing SB127, the California Complete Streets bill.

The bill would have simply codified what Caltrans has already promised to do — include Complete Streets provisions whenever a roadway under state control is resurfaced or receives a major makeover.

Which is the primary reason Newsom gave for vetoing it.

But anyone who’s followed Caltrans for any length of time knows they’re notorious for promising change, then continuing with the same deadly, auto-centric policies.

Newsom’s veto message says Caltrans is already committed to Compete Streets “where reasonable and feasible.”

Which is simply another of saying if it gets hard in anyway, or anyone complains, just forget it.

And we’re left with a few minor changes to add sidewalks or bike lanes here and there — the “low hanging fruit,” as LADOT described it.

Newsom also cited Caltrans’ brazen, and successful, attempt to sabotage the bill, despite their many pledges of support for Complete Streets. The agency cited an absurdly high projected cost for the measure, claiming it would cost the state an extra $1 billion a year.

Which works out to $4.5 million per mile of blacktop. Even though the average cost of installing painted bike lanes is less that $50,000 per mile.

Usually a lot less.

Meanwhile, the average cost of building sidewalks is just $5.20 per square foot. So a full mile of concrete sidewalk five feet wide works out to $137,280.

Add that to the bike lanes, and double it for both sides of the street, and you’re looking at less that $375,000 per mile.

Just a tad less than that $4.5 million.

Maybe they were planning on some very expensive crosswalks, and a shitload of Share The Road signs.

Or maybe they just didn’t want to finally be held to account.

So once again, people who choose not to drive, for any length of time and for any reason, are left holding the bag.

Along with the communities these roads pass through. And the earth they’re built on.

And once again, we’re left with a self-proclaimed climate governor, like LA’s ineffectual climate mayor, who’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the environment and fight climate change.

As long as that doesn’t mean inconveniencing drivers in any way.

………

Yet another bike rider is barely clinging to life, thanks to yet another heartless coward behind the wheel.

KTLA-5 is reporting that a man was struck by a driver while riding his bicycle at Main Street and Warner Ave in Santa Ana early yesterday morning.

The driver fled the scene, leaving his or her victim lying in the street in “extremely grave condition” with a head injury.

No description was available for either the driver or the suspect vehicle. Although police somehow concluded that alcohol was believed to have played a role in the crash, but did not explain how.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Santa Ana Police Department’s Collision Investigation Unit at 714/245-8208.

It sounds like prayers or good thoughts for the victim are definitely in order.

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Sad news from Mexico, where longtime pro mountain biker Jordie Lunn was killed while trail riding with friends.

If the name doesn’t mean anything to you, this spectacular stunt from his self produced video series probably will.

The 36-year old British Columbia native was riding a trail in Cabo San Lucas when he fell, suffering a fatal head injury.

He started racing BMX at 11 before switching to mountain bikes at 15, rising to become the second-ranked North American rider in the 2003 World Cup standings.

He also became the first rider to land a Cork 720 a few years later. Even if he misses it here.

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It’s Firefly season again.

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This may be my new favorite song.

Then again, any song about a stolen bicycle, by a band featuring a woman on a tuba, can’t be all bad.

………

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

A San Francisco police officer is accused of lying under oath about beating the crap out of a bike rider, for the crime of riding a bike on the sidewalk.

After a close pass, a London driver tells a bike rider he “should have used the fucking bike lane.”

Sometimes the problem is just bald-faced bigotry directed to someone made more vulnerable by being on a bike. A British man intervened when a handful of teenagers surrounded a Jewish man, shouting anti-semitic slurs and threatening to take his bicycle. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with some people?

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

A Phoenix man faces charges for allegedly pulling a gun out of his waistband and shooting another man he accused of disrespecting him as he rode past on his bicycle; his bullet passed through the victim, and nearly struck a couple in the living room of their nearby home. Fortunately, the man he shot is expected to survive.

………

Local

A Burbank photographer recently completed his 17th ride down the California coast with the Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic Bike Tour.

A man was fatally stabbed in South El Monte Friday evening after three men got out of a passing car, knocked him off his bike, and repeatedly stabbed him; the victim tried to get back on his bike and ride for help, but only made it another block.

 

State

Former motocross champ Mickey Diamond is in the ICU ward of an undisclosed Orange County hospital with a subdural brain bleed after apparently catching a knee on the handlebars of his time trial bicycle.

Over 10,000 people turned out for the 7th annual Open Streets event in Santa Cruz on Sunday.

Uber and Lyft rides could be subject to a small tax if a San Francisco ballot measure passes, with the funds going to public transit and street safety; the proposal got a quick endorsement from Streetsblog SF.

A Marin newspaper attacks a pilot project to put a barrier protected bike lane on the upper span of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge; the paper says the $20 million cost should have gone to better uses, and the space used to add a third demand-inducing motor vehicle lane across the bridge. However, the $20 million is a little more than half the cost paid to add a third traffic lane on the lower span last year.

 

National

A national transportation advocacy group calls for zeroing out funding for new roads and highways.

Uber Eats teams with the Governors Highway Safety Association to provide bicycle safety tips for their delivery riders. Which aren’t bad, for a change.

No, Grit Daily. Apple doesn’t make the Lumos Matrix bike helmet; they’re just selling it through the Apple Store.

An op-ed in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News looks back at the failure of the Interbike Trade Show, while expressing hope for something to take its place.

An Anchorage AK cop is facing an assault charge for punching a man outside his home, kicking him in the nuts and pepper spraying him, then taking him into custody on a false resisting arrest charge; the cop had earlier stopped him for riding without lights, then drove to his home with a ticket after the man was abusive, refused to show his ID and simply rode off. Thanks to Eric Grisiwold for the heads-up.

Good idea. Activating the bicycle sensor at a Portland traffic light will trigger a blue signal to let you know you were successful.

Ed Zink, a Durango CO bike shop owner and co-founder of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic died of a heart attack on Friday; he was 71.

He gets it. A Missouri writer recounts the history of bicycling from the beginning to explain that most bicyclists are utilitarian riders who only need good infrastructure, and fair treatment from law enforcement to protect them from harassment and reckless drivers.

After Tulsa police recovered a disabled woman’s stolen three-wheeled bike in unusable condition, a pair of Good Samaritans gave her another one.

A Queens city official suggests that bike riders need to trade protected bike lanes for a ban on bikes in certain areas — then immediately tries to walk it back.

Things keep getting worse in New York City. A 65-year old man was killed when a driver plowed into his bicycle, after bike lanes were temporally removed for street resurfacing; local residents had been trying to get a red light on the street for years. This is the city’s 25th bicycling fatality, an increase of 250% compared to last year.

The New York Times says, despite predictions, the apocalypse didn’t come when cars were recently banned from a section of New York’s 14th Street.

Life is cheap in New York State, where authorities plea bargained a case of vehicular manslaughter in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider down to a simple hit-and-run injury case; the driver could be out in as little as 18 months. Also good to know that driving at nearly three times the legal limit is just an effing misdemeanor in the Empire State.

The University of Alabama football team has sent a football and jersey signed by star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to the family of a 12-year old boy who was recently shot and killed by another boy because he wouldn’t give his bicycle; his family plans to have him buried with both.

 

International

The director of safety policy and advocacy for Bird writes to a Toronto newspaper, arguing that shared e-scooters are as safe as bicycles.

An English bus driver was fined the equivalent of over $750 for passing a bike rider so close the rider could reach out and touch the bus, after the victim was accused of having a vendetta against the company — and told by a cop he should get a hummer, instead.

Just in time for California fire season, a British sports site rates the best bike masks to protect against pollution. They should also come in handy for your next crime spree or DIY urban activism campaign.

Over 10,000 people have been busted for distracted bicycling in the four months since a ban on cellphone use while riding went into effect in the Netherlands.

Haute couture cycling, anyone? Vogue says the best way to visit Italy’s Puglia region is by bicycle.

A Kiwi driver says two bicyclists crashed into his trailer while descending a hill at 30 mph because local officials forced him to remove the convex mirror he’d placed at the entrance to his driveway, which would have allowed him to see around the blind curve.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good question. A gaming site wants to know if digital dopers should get banned in the real world, too.

 

Finally…

Think of it as critical mass for zombies. Don’t ride around that tree, just ride through it.

And if you’re going to suffer a life-threatening heart attack, there are worse places than in front of three off-duty doctors participating in a charity ride.

 

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