Before we dig into today’s news, let’s consider one group that’s been ignored among all the fears for businesses and workers harmed by the coronavirus crisis.
Virtually every independent bike shop is already on the edge financially; most are lucky to eke out enough to keep the doors open each month. And too many already don’t.
Whether they’re forced to shut down, as they have been in the Bay Area, or simply are empty because people heed the calls to stay home, losing two week’s business could threaten the continued existence of your friendly neighborhood local bike shop; losing two months could lead to a mass LBS extinction.
I don’t have a solution.
Normally, I’d tell you to go into your favorite bike shop and buy something, anything. Or go in for the service you’ve been putting off too long already.
But that advice contradicts the advice of health experts to self isolate.
So if they have a retail website, maybe you can use it to order something. Or find some other way to throw them some business in their time of need.
Or at the very least, commit to going in and spending some money once this is all over, whenever that may be.
Because we all need to do something to help out now if we want them to still be here for us later.
Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.
Evidently, there was a bizarre dustup in the California bike world over the weekend.
Last week, questions began to be raised over whether the Solvang Century scheduled for this past Saturday would be cancelled, after repeated calls from government officials to limit exposure to large crowds due to the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Yet despite the concerns, the ride director of the Solvang Century emailed that the event would go on as planned.
At least one person responded, calling the decision irresponsible.
Then Thursday night, Santa Barbara County health officials pulled the permit for the ride, as did city officials in Buellton and Solvang, over the “strong objections” of ride organizers.
Logically, that’s where it would have ended. Just another disappointment, in a weekend full of them, as the entire country braced for the pandemic.
But when he responded to someone asking about the cancellation, the ride director included an article about an MIT Ph.D who claimed the coronavirus is a deep state fraud intended to manipulate the world’s economies.
Then again, the researcher in question also claims to have invented email as a New Jersey high school student in the late 1970s, even though it was already in use nearly a decade earlier.
Unfortunately, the only link I can find to the original article included in the email appears to be corrupted.
But the same story appears on another site, with a slightly different headline. And includes the following tweet, which pretty much sums it all up.
As an MIT PhD in Biological Engineering who studies & does research nearly every day on the Immune System, the #coronavirus fear mongering by the Deep State will go down in history as one of the biggest fraud to manipulate economies, suppress dissent, & push MANDATED Medicine! https://t.co/Q5VeOqzWEp
— Dr.SHIVA Ayyadurai, MIT PhD. Inventor of Email (@va_shiva) March 9, 2020
If it is a deep state fraud, that means the CDC and World Health Organization are in on it. As are the governments of China, Italy and Spain.
And never mind the more that 182,000 people who claim to have gotten the disease around the world. Or the over 7,100 people who have died from it.
Let alone Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Idris Elba and Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, a handful of professional athletes in the US and Europe, and the wife of Canada’s prime minister.
You would think a massive worldwide fraud like that would be impossible to pull off.
And you’d be right.
Fox News doesn’t even buy that crap anymore.
As the entire world mobilizes to fight what is likely to be the worst pandemic since the 1919 Spanish flu outbreak, it doesn’t help anyone to spread false conspiracy theories, regardless of your politics.
Especially when it comes as temper tantrum because a bike ride got cancelled at the last minute to keep a killer disease from spreading uncontrollably.
Thanks to John Murphy for the tip.
No bias here.
A Fresno op-ed writer agues that California Governor Newsom is misappropriating funds from the state’s increased gas taxes by allowing them to be used for things like bike lanes and road diets.
Never mind that the law simply requires that the funds be used for transportation projects. Not just highway repairs, as he seems to insist.
Evidently, he doesn’t think bikes are a form of transportation. Or that safer streets benefit everyone who uses them.
Yes, even people in cars.
The LACBC becomes just the latest organization to close their office and cancel organized activities due to the threat from the coronavirus.
However, the San Diego County Bike Coalition wasn’t far behind. Unless maybe they did it first.
And Adventure Cycling has pulled the plug on organized tours nationwide through next month.
Thanks to Robert Leone for the last two links.
Late notice, but the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals is hosting a webinar starting at noon today to discuss how Edmonton and Bellingham quickly and successfully implemented bicycling infrastructure; the cost is $85 for nonmembers.
Maybe we can get Eric Garcetti and the good folks at LADOT to sit in on this one.
Thanks to Marvin D for the heads-up.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.
A British bike rider complains that a teenage driver used his car as a weapon to deliberately sideswipe him while one of the car’s passengers filmed the attack.
Due to coronavirus concerns, the LAPD now wants you to report most nonviolent crimes online. And yes, that includes bike theft.
Bike cam video shows bars were packed in West Hollywood on Sunday, just hours before they were shut down to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. And long after people were told to remain at least six feet apart. Although that’s clearly Santa Monica Blvd at San Vicente, rather than on San Vicente, as the story says.
Calbike wants you to write a letter supporting a bill that would require the DMV to include the Dutch Reach in their training manuals.
Bad news from Santa Maria, where a male bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.
More bad news, this time from Central CA, where a 70-year old Madera man was killed riding his bike when he was struck by two drivers yesterday morning.
The Bike League is cooperating with Uber to train their drivers to protect bike riders, and train scooter users to protect themselves.
Road Bike Action Magazine compares three bike helmets under $150. And not surprisingly, finds the more they cost, the better they like ’em.
Horrifying news from Idaho, where a woman was found dead in a ravine, three days after she was apparently struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike. Unfortunately, we don’t know how long she clung to life after the crash, or if her injuries would have been survivable if she’d gotten help right away. Which is why hit-and-run drivers should face a murder charge for making a conscious decision to let their victims die rather than calling for help.
Kanye is one of us, as he goes for a ride on his $14 million Wyoming ranch. Although that is so not a mountain bike, despite what the story says.
After researching the issue, a group of North Dakota second graders are calling on the state to require helmets for bike riders under 18. Because everyone knows grade schoolers make the best independent researchers.
It only took a deadly pandemic to get New York’s mayor to finally halt the crackdown on throttle-controlled ebikes used by bicycle delivery workers, saying they’re performing a service as people are being asked to remain at home.
The son of Georgia Congressman Tom Graves is beginning the long, hard road to recovery after suffering severe head trauma when he crashed in a crit while competing as a member of the Georgia Tech cycling team.
Cycling News rates the best shoes for gravel biking. Not all of which cost an arm and a leg.
A pair of independent English book shops are shutting down due to the pandemic, but offering free bicycle delivery service to keep their sales going.
Apparently, big chains aren’t doing so great, either. The UK’s largest bike chain is shutting down its performance bike stores, putting over two hundred jobs at risk.
A British inquest hears how a woman was killed when an ebike battery exploded inside their mobile home two years ago.
The Guardian examines how Oslo and Helsinki cut traffic deaths to zero last year.
Spanish riders risk fines up to the equivalent of over $3,300 for violating the country’s coronavirus ban on being outside, while an Italian bicyclist denies the country’s laws even apply to him.
Four-time US mountain biking champ Sonya Looney continued to ride all through her pregnancy, posting a video of her rocking the rollers at a British Columbia bike park just days before giving birth.
Note to world — if it doesn’t have any pedals, it’s a scooter. That feeling when you spot your stolen bike for sale online, and the cops tell you to just buy it back.
And your old tubes could have a sexy new life on someone’s legs.
Note: Copyright for the image that originally appeared has been called into question. It was downloaded Pixabay, and credited to photographer Michael Gaida. However, I have received a notice that copyright for the photo belongs to eBike Shed Ltd. Since I have no way of knowing who actually owns rights to the photo, I have removed it, while crediting eBike Shed here. You can see the original here.