Tag Archive for coronavirus

Improve mobility and open space access during Covid-19 shutdown, CA crashes down by half, and bike shops are essential

Los Angeles leaders are focused on fighting the coronavirus.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t provide safer transportation and exercise options for LA residents during the shutdown.

That’s the case nonprofit group Streets for All has been making with city councilmembers and the mayor’s office in recent days.

Here’s what they have to say.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on Los Angeles; tens of thousands are out of work, hundreds of thousands are working from home, and millions have been ordered to only leave their homes if absolutely necessary.

Because of these changes, our road space far exceeds the required amount for vehicle traffic. At the same time, for their own physical and mental health, many Angelenos need to get to/from work if they are an essential employee, need to go to the market or a doctor’s office, or perhaps just need to go for a run, bike ride, or go play with their kids. It isn’t possible to do this and maintain 6’ of space on our current transit, sidewalk, and bike lane infrastructure.

Proposals to enhance mobility and open space access in Los Angeles during COVID-19:
  1. Pilot a temporary emergency safe streets network to slow down speeding cars and give residents a safe 6’ distanced option for active transportation while reinforcing connections to grocery stores, hospitals, LAUSD food centers, delivery services, parks, and other essential resources. View our potential network.

  2. Create an accelerated path for street closure requests to increase local access to open space, especially in neighborhoods with limited park access. Potentially using the framework studied with Play Streets. These could be hard closures block by block, or maintaining local access for parking.

    Specifically we suggest:

    • Waiving fees and insurance requirements

    • Giving Neighborhood Councils the same request exception as council offices

    • Increasing application turnaround to 10 days

    • Allowing option for LADOT to install barricades

There’s more, as they make a solid case for why it should be done. And done now.

Check it out, and get involved.

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No surprise here, as California traffic collisions — not accidents, please — have been cut in half as the entire state shuts down for the coronavirus, thanks to a 60% drop in traffic volume.

However, there’s no word on the severity of those crashes, as the lighter traffic has meant higher average speeds on the roadways.

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New Mexico finally came to its senses and joined most other states in allowing bike shops to reopen as essential businesses, in response to outrage from the local bicycling community.

But only under extremely limited circumstances.

Under the new orders, customers can’t enter the bicycle shops, retail sales are banned, payments are to be made by credit card or debit card remotely; customers must leave and pick up bicycles outside the store; and the bikes have to be disinfected before being brought inside. Staff must also wear protective equipment and the stores have to be routinely disinfected.

But despite the restrictions, it’s not the strictest regulations in the country, according to Bicycle Retailer.

In Michigan retailers are allowed to service bikes only if the bikes are used by workers to get to a job that is considered essential.

Meanwhile, bike shops got the nod as an essential business in Nebraska. And in Louisiana, too.

Hopefully with less draconian restrictions.

And advocacy groups from the US to Russia and Japan call for bike shops to be recognized as essential businesses during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Thanks to Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl for the New Mexico heads-up.

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Bike Index reports they’ve helped recover over 7,000 stolen bikes worth nearly $10 million.

Which seems like a pretty good reminder to register your bike for free right now, before you need it.

Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the tip.

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Here’s your chance to work in SoCal transportation social justice.

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This should get your heart going if you can’t get out for a ride.

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

An apparent road raging driver faces an attempted second-degree murder charge for getting out of his car and shooting several times at a group of bike riders; fortunately, he seems to be a bad shot.

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

Texas police bust a man who rode away on his bicycle after a fatal stabbing.

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Local

SoCal Cycling mourns the death of cyclist Randy Houston, who died peacefully on March 17th; no cause of death was given.

A cargo bike-riding street vendor in South LA was attacked in a shameful strong arm robbery; the attack was caught on low-res video.

It looks like the popular Rose Bowl Loop is only sort of closed right now.

A Santa Clarita man was busted for assault with a deadly bicycle rim after he was allegedly caught burglarizing a garage.

Reese Witherspoon is one of us, and so is her seven-year old son.

 

State

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says right now, while we’re all sheltering in place, is the perfect time to convince non-riding friends to give bicycling a try. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

San Francisco’s MTA head it’s time to build cities for buses, bikes and feet, not cars.

Yes, you can still walk or ride your bike in the Bay Area even after coronavirus restrictions are tightened, though you’re asked to consider if your trip is really essential.

A Roseville man describes touring the state by bike, including four trips to Yosemite and an epic Sonora Pass bonk that ended in the ER.

 

National

In case you missed it last month, Jeff Vaughn reminds us that bicycling is the best way to get around during the pandemic.

An automotive website says now is the time to take advantage of the empty streets to get into bicycling.

NPR says double your distance from others to protect yourself from coronavirus while safely exercising outside.

VeloNews picks the year’s best mountain bike gear, and offers a look at some of the best bikes from their virtual North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Streetsblog points out that no one forced scooter companies to pull them off the streets because of Covid-19.

After getting laid-off from his job as a sous chef, a Tacoma WA man channels his anger into a new business riding his bike around town and shouting messages to people sheltering inside their homes.

A Washington man builds a Victorian era safety bike for a new period drama airing on HBO. Which is as good a reason as any to tune in once the show airs.

A very sad Aspen CO girl writes a letter to the local paper asking for her stolen bicycle back.

A local magazine recommends six bike paths to try out on your next trip to Austin, Texas.

The president of an Illinois advocacy group says it’s time to get back on your bike and shift the perception of bicycling from a sport to transportation.

A Minnesota man gets his bike back six years after it was stolen, after a bike shop owner with a long memory finds it in a pawn shop when it was advertised on Craigslist.

Inspired by Stephen Colbert fixing a flat on his bike, a Cleveland columnist gets his bike tuned and starts riding again to save what’s left of his sanity.

New York state eliminates an entire criminal class by finally getting around to legalizing ebikes.

Great idea. A new DC program matches people who have an extra bicycle or two lying around with essential workers who need one for safe transportation.

Fox Racing’s enduro/ebike helmet scored the highest in the latest bike helmet ratings from Virginia Tech.

 

International

Road.cc readers explain how their bicycling habits have changed due to the pandemic.

British Columbia’s Whistler ski area is still on track to open a bike park this May despite the coronavirus crisis, though the situation remains fluid.

Where to get the best online bike deals if you live in the UK. Hint: Email or call your favorite local bike shop before you buy anything online. They need the business, and will appreciate it more.

A British triathlete defends his nine hour, 201-mile bike ride in violation of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

A 78-year old former Irish amateur cycling champ calls himself an unrepentant sinner for defying the country’s restrictions and getting out on his bike, insisting he never touches anyone when he’s riding.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says Covid-19 will deal a serious blow to pro cycling, as teams fold and the sport may never be the same. Pro cycling never recovered from the doping scandals, and many teams have for been circling the drain for years now; this will only speed the process.

 

Finally…

Surprisingly, it turns out a $550 stolen bike is worth around…$550. Which means that a $50 Craigslist Gary Fisher bike is worth…more, evidently.

And get out the crayons to pass the time until we can all ride again.

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Thanks to Matthew R for his very generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Contributions of any amount are always appreciated, especially in times like this.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

US gives up everything for Lent, tactical techniques to slow speeding drivers, and sharing the road with driving dogs

As we noted yesterday, this site will not observe April Fools Day. 

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, you need to be able to trust what you read. Especially here.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

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Catholic or not, thanks to Covid-19, we’re all giving up virtually everything for Lent.

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Streetsblog recommends tactical traffic calming measures to slow speeding drivers, newly freed from the constrictions of traffic.

The LAPD shows the tragic results of that speeding — a triple fatality crash on what looks like Highland Blvd.

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This is who we share the roads with, canine edition.

A Washington man was busted for leading police on a 109 mph chase while trying to teach his dog to drive.

Yes, his dog.

No word on whether it had a license.

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A new helmet mounted, dual lens bike cam simultaneously captures images to the front and rear as you ride. And the video quality is pretty damn good.

At the equivalent of roughly $220, the price isn’t bad, either.

And yes, this is moving to the top of my wish list.

Even if it does stick up like a periscope.

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Global Cycling Network steps you through some basic maintenance tasks you may have been putting off.

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

A 16-year old Long Beach boy suffered non-life threatening injuries when he shot by a pair of men riding bicycles Sunday night, in what police describe as an apparent gang-related shooting.

The next day, a man fleeing from police on a bicycle was injured in an officer-involved shooting after allegedly firing at police, who were responding to a reported shootout at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Long Beach.

No word on whether these two incidents may be related.

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Local

The recent rush of celebrities to take a bicycle break from the coronavirus stay-at-home order continues, as Jennifer Garner went out for a ride through Pacific Palisades.

Andy Garcia is one of us, too, taking a spin on a fat tire bike through his West Los Angeles neighborhood, while calling on people to exercise to boost their immune system.

Gubernator scion Patrick Schwarzenegger took to an elliptical bike ride through LA with his girlfriend, and mother Maria Shriver.

Canadian Cycling Magazine considers why so many Hollywood celebs are taking to ebikes, saying the bicycles are perfect for life in Los Angeles.

 

State

San Francisco has moved its annual Bike to Work Day from this May to September 24th, in hopes this mess will all be over by then.

 

National

After much dithering, the federal government has finally concluded that bike repair workers provide an essential service, and should be allowed to keep their shops open. Meanwhile, Minnesota is the latest state to designate bike shops as essential businesses during the pandemic.

VeloNews looks at performance ebikes, and says there are a lot of changes yet to come. The magazine also offers an online preview of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, which has been postponed until August.

Chicago bike riders pulled the plug on Critical Mass this month, opting instead for solo rides or riding with a friend while maintaining social distancing.

While other cities are experiencing a jump in bicycling rates due to coronavirus fears, Cincinnati shuts down its bikeshare system to slow spread of the disease.

An Ohio newspaper recommends doing your social distancing on two wheels.

A Massachusetts school superintendent has postponed a planned 400-mile ride to celebrate his town’s 400th anniversary.

Buffalo, New York’s slow roll ride has released detailed route maps so people can do their own rides while practicing proper social distancing.

A 79-year old bike rider says she’s not sure how safe New York’s parking protected bike lanes really are, after she was hit by drivers twice in just the last eight months.

New York bicycling injuries are still up for the year, despite a slowdown in the last few weeks as traffic has slowed due to the city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Philly advocates are joining the nationwide call to close some streets to cars to allow bike riders and pedestrians to get out while maintaining social distancing, rather than overwhelming popular trails.

Good idea. A New Orleans bike advocacy group is coping with social distancing by offering virtual bicycling basics workshops.

The Covid-19 bike boom has extended all the way down to Florida.

 

International

Road.cc rates the five best foldies for 2020, including the usual suspects.

Ottawa, Ontario debates whether to take space from cars on the city’s now overly wide streets to create more room for people and bike riders.

A handful of workers with Great Britain’s National Health Service will get free ebike loaners for three months to help them avoid crowded transit services; hopefully, other companies will contribute so more people can ride.

Britain’s biggest bike chain is now offering free tune-ups to NHS and emergency workers, whether they’re on two wheels or four.

Thailand’s recently installed king has rented out an entire German hotel for himself and his entourage, including a harem of 20 concubines, as he reportedly rides his bike through the roads of Bavaria.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sixty-nine-year old former Milan-San Remo winner Pierino Gavazzi is in critical condition as he battles Covid-19 (scroll down), while 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says cancelling this year’s Tour de France will cost cyclists their jobs.

 

Finally…

That feeling when surviving a mountain bike crash convinces you to make a pro wrestling comeback.

And this is probably not the best way to get a ride in without getting busted for breaking the coronavirus lockdown.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Coronavirus closures in Redondo Beach, bike thieves target frontline med workers, and China blames US cyclist for virus

If you just can’t get enough BikinginLA, I’ll be talking about bikes in the age of  the Covid-19 coronavirus with Leo Duran on KPCC’s Take Two this afternoon. 

If you’re in the LA area, tune in to 89.3 between 2 pm and 3 pm — Duran’s segment should come on around 2:45 pm — or listen live online wherever you are.

And don’t worry if you miss it, you can download the show on the show’s webpage

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The seemingly endless string of coronavirus closures just keeps on coming.

Redondo Beach is the latest city to crack down on non-social distancing crowds, shutting the Redondo Beach Pier, the International Boardwalk, Esplanade and Veterans Park for at least the next four weeks; some segments of the city’s beach bike path are closed, as well.

You can read the full announcement here.

And David Drexler sends photographic proof that the popular Santa Monica stairs are closed for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for Redondo Beach links. Photo of Redondo Beach bike path by Ted Faber.

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As we’ve said too many times already this week, there’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a bike from a medical professional anytime, let alone someone treating patients during the coronavirus crisis.

Yet there seems to be a worldwide rash of bike thieves targeting busy doctors and nurses.

Like this physician from Nottingham, England.

Fortunately, a number of kindhearted people and bikemakers reached out to offer him a replacement. Which left him with choice between a Boardman, Brompton or a Ribble identical to the one that was stolen.

Evidently, he’s not big on bikes that start with B.

Meanwhile, a 32-year old English health care assistant had the bike she relied on to get to work stolen during an eight-hour shift, as well.

But it’s not just medical professionals; teachers seem to be on the hit list, too.

Thanks to Philippa Moore for the heads-up about the Nottingham doctor, who just happens to be her brother-in-law.

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Bike business is booming throughout the US, despite the calls for social distancing.

Or maybe because of it.

People all around the country are dusting off their bikes or buying new ones, and enjoying one of the few outdoor activities still available to most people while keeping them safely separated from others.

You’ll find basically the same story concerning booming bike shop business in Arizona, Philadelphia, North Carolina and Florida. Although at least one NC bike shop decided to shut down on its own.

Yet confusion abounds, as some states rule bike shops are essential services, while others order them to close before changing their minds.

Closer to home, Los Angeles, LA County and the Bay Area classify bike shops as essential. But still no word from the state of California.

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Chinese officials and internet users are seizing on an unsupported conspiracy theory claiming a US cyclist brought the Covid-19 coronavirus to China while competing in October’s World Military Games.

Maatje Benassi led much of the women’s 50-mile road race before crashing on the last lap.

However, there’s no evidence that she has, or ever had, the disease.

Nor is there any evidence of the disease in the US prior to spreading here from China early this year.

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Frequent contributor Megan Lynch is looking for a pannier for her Xtracycle.

https://twitter.com/may_gun/status/1242571292496154624

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Speaking of a special place in hell, there is something seriously wrong with anyone who would steal a wheelchair bike from an Oakland family.

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

A Boston cop witnesses a beating and strong-arm robbery in progress, and chases down the suspect as he tried to escape on a mountain bike.

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Local

Maybe you’ve noticed how clean the air is in Los Angeles since schools and businesses started shutting down this month, demonstrating what the city could be like if we ever get around to taming cars. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the tip.

 

State

Free bike publication Cycle California! is having problems distributing their magazine due to coronavirus closures, so they’re inviting you to sign up for a free online edition. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Apparently, not even coronavirus can stop applications for the state’s Active Transportation funding program, due on June 21st.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for Governing explains how transportation agencies know how harmful policies that prioritize single-occupancy vehicles are, yet stand in the way of much-needed changes.

Coronavirus brings surfing culture to landlocked public lands, as some areas are implementing locals-only rules of questionable legality.

VeloNews recommends the year’s best women’s road bike gear, including bib shorts from LA’s own women-owned Machines for Freedom.

A Colorado cyclist tests positive for coronavirus, despite being in peak form. And urges you to take it seriously.

Chicago’s mayor says stay at home means no more long runs or bike rides.

A Dayton, Ohio writer calls on everyone to get your bike ready, then get out and ride to stay active while socially distant.

Where to ride in the Big Apple when you need to lift your spirits and replenish your soul.

New York’s comptroller says reduce speed limits, subsidize bikeshare memberships and greatly expand pedestrian space to help frontline workers get around in the age of Covid-19.

Streetsblog New York posts an ode to speeding drivers, with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Pennsylvania driver was high on coke when he killed a bike rider last year, yet was only charged with a couple misdemeanor DUI counts and a minor non-traffic citation.

Horrible news from Pennsylvania, where three members of the same family were run down by a driver as they rode their bikes, with two of them suffering life-threatening injuries; no charges yet, and no word on how the crash happened.

Adult tricycle-riding New Orleans icon Mamie Marie Francois announces she has Covid-19.

Orlando bike shop owners offer tips for new riders looking for a coronavirus alternative.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at budget bike cams for those of us who’d love a GoPro, but have to settle for what we can get.

Road.cc digs into the numbers, and examines just what a safe distance means on a bike, like we did the other day. And explains what the hell a hybrid bike is.

Ten tips for that sad day when you finally decide to do your riding inside.

Bad news from Ireland, where bicycling deaths are up 24% over the same time last year.

Italian bike manufacturer 3T has stopped making bikes, and turned their efforts to making valves for ventilator masks. Ten other bike companies are joining the fight, as well.

Bicycling tells the unexpected tale of American and British bike riders who met by chance in a lonely teahouse in the middle of a Kazakh desert, as they were both riding around the world from opposite directions.

You won’t see Bollywood star Salman Khan zooming around the streets of India anytime soon, as he shelters under the country’s quarantine for the next three weeks.

A retired sportswriter and endurance bicyclist finds himself marooned on a remote, sub-Antarctic New Zealand island after flying in from Hong Kong, as even relatives ostracize him over coronavirus fears.

 

Competitive Cycling

Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria says he contracted coronavirus during last month’s truncated Emirates Tour, but has since recovered.

Pro cyclist Brent Bookwalter describes catching the last flight out of Spain to get back home to his wife in North Carolina to ride out the coronavirus crisis.

The Tour de France still hasn’t been cancelled, despite the rush to cancel or reschedule virtually every race leading up to the July race.

Former roadie Peter Stetina disregards the early coronavirus warnings to compete in Oklahoma’s mud-choked The Mid South gravel grinder.

What the pros are eating, drinking and rubbing on their bodies when they actually get to go outside to ride.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could respond to voice commands, and give you a lift when you need a little encouragement. Unless maybe you’d prefer a pretty awesome looking laminated bamboo bike.

And who needs skis or a snowboard when you can hit the slopes on an ebike?

LA not ticketing stay-at-home violations, but SaMo might; Dockweiler quarantine zone; and dropped by bionic runners

Despite recent rumors, the LAPD is not stopping, ticketing or arresting people for violating the LA and California stay-at-home orders.

However, Santa Monica police are now authorized to issue fines for violating the stay-at-home order, though walking and bicycling are still allowed.

For now, anyway.

Photo courtesy of LAPD Central Bike Unit.

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You might want to think twice about riding the Marvin Braude bike path through Dockweiler Beach for the foreseeable future.

All those matching vehicles in the RV park will be used to quarantine coronavirus victims who can’t isolate themselves at home, for whatever reason.

Authorities recommend avoiding the area entirely, for reasons that should be obvious.

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You could get dropped by a runner in the not-too-distant future.

A new paper published in the journal Science Advances suggests a mechanical exoskeleton based on bicycle mechanics could propel a runner as fast as 46 mph, just a hair below the speed where bike riders max out.

And no, I can’t ride that on my best day.

Which is long behind me, anyway.

Now if they can figure out how to apply that to a bike rider’s legs, we might be on to something.

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on first mile-last mile connections to the coming L Line station, for the train formerly known as the Gold Line.

But at least they didn’t change it to an unpronounceable symbol.

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Newport Beach confirms that Back Bay Drive remains open to people traveling by foot or bicycle.

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The deeply tongue-in-cheek Tour de Quarantine continues with a recap of Stage 4.

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Local

As promised, Uber has filed suit against Los Angeles over the requirement to provide realtime user data for their Jump dockless ebikes and e-scooters. The only surprise is that they managed to find a court that’s still open.

Time to find an alternative route if you ride the Burbank Blvd bridge over the 5 Freeway.

House of Cards star Robin Wright leads off the latest round of celebrity bike riders getting away from sheltering at home for awhile, as she goes out for a fat-tired ebike ride through Brentwood with her husband.

Liev Schreiber is one of us, too, as he goes for a bike ride through Venice with his girlfriend. Except lose the Yankees cap, you’re in LA now.

Hats off to former gubernator Arnold Schwarzenegger, who donated a cool million to buy medical supplies to fight Covid-19, before going for his usual ebike ride through Santa Monica. But maybe don’t split lanes while riding salmon.

Bike the Vote LA is looking for phone volunteers to support city council candidates in Culver City and Santa Monica.

A Long Beach bicycle courier service finds itself in greater demand delivering meals directly to customers’ doors.

 

State

The confusion continues, as it turns out Orange County parks and trails apparently remain open, but the parking lots serving them are closed.

San Diego triathlon manufacturer De Soto Sport has joined the tide of companies making masks and headwear for doctors and nurses.

Despite the state’s coronavirus shutdown, the Sacramento City Council moved forward with an $8.4 billion transportation plan.

Tahoe’s 29th annual America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride has been pushed from this June to September, on the hope this crap will be over by then. Let’s hope so, but don’t hold your breath.

 

National

No surprise here. America’s most prolific serial killer began his criminal career with a stint in reform school for stealing a bicycle.

The annual Filmed by Bike festival isn’t letting a little thing like a worldwide pandemic stop the fun; they’ll be hosting the Global Bike Festival on YouTube April 4th.

Bicycling offers advice on how to support local bike shops, nonprofits and ride promoters in their time of need. Meanwhile, their staff discusses whether they’re still riding during the coronavirus crisis, and why.

A woman complains about concerned bike riders asking if she’s okay when she gets off her bike, preferring they just leave her alone; Miss Manners politely says suck it up, lady. Albeit in a somewhat more mannerly way, of course.

Lyft is pitching in to help during the pandemic by offering free bikeshare passes for hospital workers, first responders and transit workers in New York, Boston and Chicago.

A Montana writer submits his updated version of a Bicyclist’s Creed.

A Minnesota woman rides along with her husband on his bike commute through streets emptied by the coronavirus crisis.

This isn’t the first global pandemic a 102-year old Queens bike shop has survived.

No surprise here, either, as speeding is out of control on New York’s newly quiet streets. We’ve seen multiple anecdotal reports of the same thing here in Los Angeles.

A writer for Streetsblog New York says instead of complaining about rude treatment from more experienced bike riders, it’s time for new riders to get radicalized.

A kindhearted Virginia firefighter raised money to buy a new three-wheeled bike for a man with Down’s syndrome after the one he relied on for transportation was stolen.

Maybe keep it to yourself next time. A South Carolina man interrupted his bike ride to take a phone call from someone who wanted to know where he was. After telling him, the acquaintance drove up and shot him in the leg.

A Florida woman was busted for a hit-and-run that left a bike rider with minor injuries when she stopped to buy a couple beers, with a BAC nearly twice the legal limit; she was already on probation for ripping off an 81-year old patient at the rehab facility where she worked.

 

International

Cities around the world are exempting bike shops and building bike lanes as the coronavirus crisis forces changes in transportation. Los Angeles, however, is not one of them, at least as far as bike lanes are concerned.

Now that’s more like it. Road.cc recommends a dozen bike upgrades under the equivalent of $60, as well as protective eyewear below $54.

Officials conclude bike shops are essential in Ontario, but not in Quebec, while a Vancouver transportation advocate says you’re better off just staying home these days, anyway.  Actually, bike shops are essential everywhere, whether or not the government wants to admit it.

Yes, Brits can still ride their bikes, despite the country’s coronavirus lockdown; Britain’s biggest bike retailer reopened its stores after bike shops were deemed an essential service.

A bicycle in a Sarajevo museum serves as a reminder of the 1,425 day siege of the city during the 1990s ethnic cleansing war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

An Indian writer complains that bicyclists are ignoring the country’s order to self-isolate, saying nobody cares about your Strava record now.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an ebike from a New Zealand ICU nurse while she was working a 15-hour shift treating Covid-19 patients. But at least she got it back after a sharp eyed person spotted it outside a store. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Alex Pavon is on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, working as a Tucson, Arizona EMT when she’s not racing. Unfortunately, though, it’s a reminder of the inequity in the pro cycling world, where women cyclists have to hold a full-time job in addition to racing.

Fellow rider Taylor Wiles offers a pro cyclist’s perspective on the coronavirus pandemic from her indoor pedaled perch during Italy’s complete lockdown.

Belgium extends the country’s cycling season through Halloween, but the cancelled Tour of Flanders is unlikely to be made up this year.

The 19-year old driver who killed professional cyclist Benjamin Sonntag in Colorado could face a vehicular manslaughter charge for driving an estimated 65 mph in a 35 mph zone. There are some pretty horrifying details here, so be prepared if you click the link.

 

Finally…

Lots of people go paddle boarding; not many pull a stolen five grand fat bike out of the water. Business is booming for smart bikes that don’t go anywhere.

And a lockdown becomes just a tad more tolerable when you can get cold craft beer delivered by cargo bike.

Unless you’d rather have meals delivered to you by a topless driver.

 

Social distancing for bike riders, anti-bike sabotage on San Gabriel River Trail, and tell the state bike shops are essential

Just how far is safe on a bike?

I got that very interesting question from reader Maruta Taube yesterday, who was wondering how to maintain social distancing from another bike rider.

As she points out, the usual advice to maintain six feet of separation between yourself and others doesn’t work on a bike.

Assuming the experts are correct that Covid-19 droplets linger in the air up for to three seconds, you’d ride right through their viral-loaded expectorations if the rider in front of you sneezes or coughs.

Unfortunately, though, algebra and I took an instant dislike to one another back in the day. And haven’t made up since.

So I put the question to the Twitterverse last night, and it didn’t take long for people much smarter than me on the subject to come back with the answers.

Since relative distance is tricky to work out when you’re stationary, let alone moving, my take would be to follow three seconds behind another rider, which is easy to gauge by counting the seconds between when you each pass a stationary point.

Then give the other person as much space as possible when passing.

Just like you wish SUV drivers would give you.

As someone else pointed out, however, some reports indicate that the virus can linger in the air for hours, rather than mere seconds.

That refers to aerosolized particles, which occur under relatively rare circumstances in public spaces, as opposed to the heavier droplets expelled when someone coughs or sneezes.

The LA Times offers a great explanation in their story on how you can catch coronavirus.

Photo by Burst from Pexels. You can easily judge the usual six-foot social distancing space by the length of a standard bicycle.

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Evidently, the fishing line strung across a Seal Beach bike path we mentioned yesterday is nothing new.

Richard Rosenthal writes to say another rider was attacked on the San Gabriel River Trail in a similar fashion last month, and forwards this comment from Nextdoor.

Again, this kind of sabotage is not just a harmless prank, but a violent assault intend to harm innocent victims, in an apparent attempt to frighten people off the path.

Like several other comments I received, Rosenthal points the finger at a nearby homeless camp.

Let’s just hope the police take this seriously.

And catch the people responsible — and hold them accountable — whoever it turns out to be.

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Calbike wants your help to tell the state that bike shops and bike repair are essential services.

We salute those essential workers who have to travel — health care workers, delivery staff, maintenance people, and everyone else who is keeping society going — and we want them to be able to bicycle for their essential trips.

Biking at a safe distance from others is also one of the outdoor activities allowed while we try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Now more than ever, a bicycle ride is important for our physical and mental health.

If biking is essential, bike shops are, too. 

That’s why we are sending a letter to the California State Public Health Officer, Dr. Sonia Angell, asking her to affirm that bike repair shops are essential services.

We need your support to deliver a strong message to Sacramento that bikes are vital in this time of social distancing. Please add your name to the letter to show your support.

………

Al Williams forwarded news that iconic parts maker Campagnolo was forced to shut down by the Italian government until at least April 6th as part of the country’s coronavirus clampdown.

So any orders received before that date won’t be processed until after they reopen.

………

Beach parking falls like dominos as people up and down the SoCal coast continue to ignore calls for social distancing.

Following the lead of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, parking lots have shut down in Long Beach and Manhattan Beach, as well as all California state parks.

Meanwhile, Orange County has closed all county parks and trails, along with parking lots for all county beaches; some OC cities are following suit.

………

After many false alarms this week, KNBC-4 reports the popular Runyon Canyon hiking trail will close before the weekend due to overcrowding.

………

Not only is Stephen Colbert one of us, he can change his own bike tube, too.

Cycling Tips mostly approves, sort of.

………

Nothing like a little urban riding through the, um, streets of Ensenada.

Unless maybe you’d prefer ripping through a British Columbia bike park.

………

Local

Reese Witherspoon’s young son is now one of us, too.

 

State

A man and woman were both critically injured in a collision while they were crossing the street in Santa Ana Monday night. One of them was either riding or walking a bike; both deserved better.

In a truly bizarre crash, a Modesto man was killed when he tried to step between the dual trailers of a moving big rig that was blocking the crosswalk, apparently intending to step over the hitch between the trailers; that corner is the site of frequent bike and pedestrian collisions.

 

National

Ebike prices continue to drop, despite the ongoing tariff war; one new ped-assist bike checks in at just $1,499.

An Ohio family took a break from home schooling for a cold weather bike ride.

Nice move. After a Syracuse NY bikeshare pulled its bikes from the streets in response to New York state’s lockdown, they handed them over to local restaurants for their delivery workers to use.

Long Island communities now have a new excuse to crack down on groups of bike riding teenagers, saying they’re putting themselves at risk of contracting coronavirus. Which may be true, but follows months of heavy-handed attempts to make the bike-riding kids go away. Even if the kids do act like jerks way too often. 

New York’s 40,000 bicycle delivery riders are heroes in the battle against Covid-19, as the risk they take allows countless others to stay safely at home.

North Carolina bicycle component maker Industry Nine says they want to make ventilator parts to confront the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, but haven’t been able to cut through the red tape. They’re not the only bicycle company rising to the challenge in the world’s time of need, though. Or trying to, anyway.

DC’s mayor shuts the city down to halt the spread of coronavirus, but makes no bones about bike shops providing an essential service.

A Georgia bike advocate contemplates the role of bicycling in our brave, new coronavirus world. Seriously, this is not the future I ordered.

A 71-year old Florida woman was killed when she was left-crossed by the driver of a landscaping tractor after allegedly running a stop sign on her bike. As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who saw her blow the stop — and whether the driver actually stopped, either.

 

International

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a London doctor’s bicycle while she’s working up to 13 hour days treating coronavirus patients.

No surprise on either count, as 80% of people in a British town say they’d ride their bikes if there were more separated cycle tracks, while two-thirds say bicycling is currently the least safe way of traveling around the city.

UK bike shops are seeing a surge in business as people buy new bikes or fix old ones as an alternative to taking public transit, though not everyone agrees they provide an essential service. Michigan bike shops are seeing a jump in sales, too.

VeloNews looks inside a new art exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Italy’s legendary Columbus steel tubing company — which is good since it’s on lockdown with the rest of the country. Probably a good thing, too, because I’m not sure I could resist the temptation to walk off with that Mario Schifano painting if no one was looking.

A Sydney, Australia bookshop turns to bikes to serve their customers after they were forced to close.

The Korea Times looks back at Seoul’s bike-riding Wind Eaters of a hundred years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will now be held on some undisclosed date in 2021, putting preparations for athletes in limbo.

 

Finally…

Clean and lube your chain with one hand. Whacking someone with a bike seat is not an approved usage for it.

And there’s more than one way to maintain social distancing.

Why we can’t have nice things — Ballona Creek, other LA area trails close because Angelenos won’t practice social distancing

Angelenos couldn’t manage to keep away from each other over the weekend.

Let alone stay home.

So now we have a lot fewer places to do it.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority has closed all the parks and trails under their authority, including the popular Ballona Creek bike path, and at least some portions of the LA River bike path.

Which exactly the wrong move when bicycling is one of the safest forms of transportation for avoiding exposure to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

And it severely limits safe options for bike riders used to using the creekside trail to bypass busy and dangerous Westside streets.

Think of it as akin to closing the nearby 10 Freeway, which would be unthinkable for most Angelenos. But is, apparently, all too easily done when it involves people on bicycles.

This comes after numerous reports of people crowding the beachside bike path in Santa Monica, which has also been shut down as of Sunday afternoon. As well as images from Runyon Canyon, which drew condemnation from across the US over the weekend.

Along with other sites in the LA area, and up and down the state.

Not to mention several sightings of spandexed idiots riding closely in pacelines, as if they and everyone they know or encounter were somehow immune to the disease.

Malibu’s Solstice Canyon is also closing effective today, after the CDC concluded that the necessary distancing couldn’t be achieved.

So let’s make it as clear as we possibly can.

Stay the fuck home.

Go out for necessities and essential services only. Which doesn’t mean shopping at Target, Costco or anywhere else because you’re bored.

Get what you need and go home. Because every stop you make, and every moment you spend out, increases the risk that you could catch Covid-19 or spread it to those you love.

Or to total strangers, some of whom may not survive it.

As a diabetic, my risk of death from coronavirus is much higher than most. And my wife, who suffers from a number of medical issues, is almost guaranteed to suffer serious complications if she is exposed.

And we’ll both lose our medical insurance at the end of next month if she can’t get back to work by then.

Our lives, and those of countless others, are literally in your hands.

So wash them, already.

Yes, you can go out to exercise and get some air. Walking and bicycling are highly recommended.

But when you do, practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from anyone you don’t live with.

If not for us, then because they’ll take that away too if you don’t.

Just ask the people of Italy and Spain.

And now, France, where jogging more than one mile from your home is prohibited, and bicycling banned entirely.

There are very few people alive today who have ever seen a pandemic like this.

And unless they’ve already caught it, no one alive has immunity to it.

No even you.

Thanks to Michael Taggart for the heads-up.

Photo of non-social distancing on the Santa Monica bike path by David Drexler.

………

Bike riders are turning out to be heroes in our nation’s hour of need.

Bike Portland says bike delivery pros are proving their value — and their mettle — in the age of coronavirus.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 94-year old rides his bike 45 miles a day delivering food for Meals on Wheels, even during the Covid-19 outbreak.

A biking Brooklyn bartender is riding door-to-door to deliver mixed spirits to lift his customers’ spirits.

New York bicyclists are volunteering to buy groceries for older people who can’t get out on their own.

Bike riders in Tampa FL are pitching in to deliver food for local restaurants after they were shut down except for takeout and delivery.

And speaking of bicycle heroes, Italian bikewear company Santini has put padded shorts on hold while they devote their efforts to making as many as 10,000 medical masks a day.

………

The mayor of Watsonville discusses a recent police crackdown as part of the city’s Vision Zero effort.

But let’s be clear.

Bike helmets aren’t Vision Zero. Bike lights aren’t Vision Zero. And neither are traffic tickets.

Yes, they all may help. But Vision Zero is recognizing that people will always make mistakes, and redesigning streets so those mistakes don’t become fatal.

………

If you have a few extra bucks lying around, you can’t ask for a better cause.

………

If you’re bored at home — and who isn’t? — get the crayons or markers out and do a little coloring.

………

That feeling when a 10-year old can ride rings around you. Or over you.

………

Most people would just settle for a helmet cam.

………

No argument here. Although this was probably someone’s not-too-distant relative.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

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

As British track cyclist Lauren Bate would undoubtedly agree.

………

Local

Bike Talk talks LA bike politics this week.

Colin Hanks is one of us, taking his daughter for an ebike ride through the streets of LA.

Dennis Quaid is one of us, too, as he goes for a ride through Pacific Palisades with his fiancé.

And while we’re at it, we can’t forget Adam Sandler, who took a spin through the ‘Bu on his Pedego ebike.

 

State

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a 48-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike; he was found off the side of the road next to his mangled bicycle.

A woman takes a ride through San Francisco with her 15-year old son after the lockdown, and finds a city neither recognizes.

San Francisco rejected calls to close RFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to provide safe walking and biking space.

Sad news from Modesto, where a man died as a result of an apparent medical event while riding his bike; first responders found him down on the ground, still straddling his bike.

 

National

A writer for Outside sets his course in life with a BMX faceplant in the driveway when he was seven years old.

A Missoula, Montana newspaper talks with locals who refurbish and ride vintage steel road bikes.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Minnesota man faces charges for allegedly being under the influence when he struck and killed a 16-year old boy; he has two previous DUIs, as well as at least six convictions for driving without a valid license, and a handful of criminal convictions.

An idea who’s time has come amid the coronavirus crisis, as New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for closing some streets to cars to make more room for pedestrians for social distancing, and to declare bike shops essential businesses during the virus closures. Unfortunately, New York’s governor disagreed, ruling bicycle repair was non-essential, despite the city’s recent surge in ridership, before eventually changing his mind.

Meanwhile, New York’s mayor responded with temporary protected bike lanes on two major corridors.

New York isn’t the only city seeing a bike boom. Ridership in Philadelphia has more than doubled since the first of the month, compared to the same time last week; one corridor saw a 471% increase. Then again, it’s boom times for bikes that don’t move, too; scooters, not so much.

 

International

Experts are calling for countries to generously fund bikeways in response to a worldwide jump in bike use due to Covid-19.

Mexico City’s mayor shut down the city’s popular ciclovía on Sunday to avoid spreading coronavirus.

Good question. A Canadian paper wants to know why things aren’t getting better after so many cities have embraced Vision Zero.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says the UK should encourage bicycling during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Bike Radar tries to answer all your burning coronavirus bicycling questions.

Pretty much the definition of tragic irony, as a London bike rider was critically injured in a collision with an ambulance driver.

A British father is still on the road after quitting his job on a whim to ride 28,000 miles around the world for the last two years.

India’s biggest bikemaker has shut down to protect its workers from Covid-19.

Think you know how to harden up? Try riding a paracycle 250 miles across Kenya while steering with your chin the entire way.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has pulled the plug on American bike racing through May 3rd. But don’t be surprised if we’ve seen the last bike race for quite awhile.

Yes, the pros are on lockdown, too.

American cyclist Lawson Craddock is in self-quarantine in his Texas home after returning from the abbreviated Paris-Nice stage race, to prevent inadvertently spreading the virus to his family.

When there’s no bike racing, there’s nothing to talk about except recent cycling kerfuffles.

 

Finally…

Just want we need — a Mercedes pickup made just for bicyclists. Who says there’s no bike racing now?

And maybe there’s a reason why downhillers don’t use roadies.

View this post on Instagram

Came in way too hot. Whoops.

A post shared by Adam Blythe (@adamblythe89) on

 

California goes on lockdown while bicycling — and bike shops — get a pass, and some newly free coronavirus reading

The other shoe has finally dropped.

All 40 million Californians are now expected to remain at home except for essential activities for an unspecified time due to the coronavirus crisis, while Los Angeles residents are expected to be self-shut ins for at least the next month.

Except we’re all encouraged to get out and walk, hike, run or bike to maintain our health, mental and otherwise. As long as you maintain a six-foot distance from anyone other than the people you’re with.

And not in groups larger than ten.

Even Fox News says so.

And yes, you can still get your bike repaired, and likely get a new one. Which is the best possible way to support your local bike shop.

The same holds true in San Francisco, too.

Although LA County apparently needs to get onboard.

Thanks to Active SGV for the last tweet.

Photo by Serjj from Pexels.

………

Cycling magazine Rouleur says stay the eff home, and read their back issues for free.

………

Local

Very disappointing news, as the LA Times suggests we may have a clue why the FBI raided the offices of outgoing CD14 Councilmember José Huizar, one of the city’s most bike-friendly officials, and why his wife dropped out of the race to replace him. Because a political fundraiser pled guilty to delivering nearly a half million dollars in bribes to an unnamed member of the LA city council who seems to match Huizar’s description. Say it ain’t so, José. Say it ain’t so.

Michael Keaton is one of us, as he rides his ebike through Pacific Palisades.

CiclaValley rides the tunnels to nowhere in Shoemaker Canyon.

 

State

You could win $5,000 for claiming the KOM for the fastest woman to make it up the iconic Old La Honda climb outside Palo Alto before April 15. Somehow, Queen of the Mountain just sounds kinda sexist to me.

A Pleasanton bike club is calling on Caltrans to fix an intersection over a newly widened expressway where light cycles are too short for bike riders to get safely across, leaving them stranded in the middle of a busy street.

Bay Area mobility advocates recommend ways to build protected bike lanes that work for elderly and disabled people, as well as people on bicycles.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride safely during the coronavirus crisis. Most of which is how I usually ride anyway.

A bike industry insider says the coronavirus could result in a new bike boom, as people try bicycling and discover they like it.

Seated dockless e-scooter provider Wheels follows Lime’s lead, and suspends operations until next month — not just on the West Coast, but throughout the US.

The Cherokee Nation has announced the nine participants in this year’s Remember the Removal Bike Ride, which covers 950 miles from Georgia to Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. And remembers one of the greatest injustices and atrocities in American history.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising money to support a youth cycling education program for children on Arizona’s Yaqui and Tohono O’odham reservations.

Idaho authorities have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run death of a woman whose body was found in a ravine three days after she was hit while riding her bike.

A Boston bicyclist rides through the mostly carfree streets of downtown in the age of Covid-19. In case you’re wondering, I prefer to the non-hyphenated version carfree because it looks like carefree. Which it would is. 

Instead of the usual group ride, a Buffalo NY slow roll ride encourages people to ride together separately, while staying at least six feet apart.

No surprise here, as car crashes are down by a third in New York as people stay home from work, willingly or otherwise. And bicycling injuries are up 43% over the same week last year, with more people are taking to their bikes rather than risking the viral lottery on the city’s subways; New York’s mayor swears he’ll do something to help.

The jump in New York bikeshare ridership has ended, but is still at normal levels despite a massive drop in overall commuting rates. Meanwhile, the usually anti-bike New York Post says bikeshare is one of the safest ways to travel during the coronavirus crisis, but fails to note that riding your own bike is even safer.

Bike shops are once again considered essential as Philadelphia shuts down.

A Florida public radio commenter observes that cities are realizing that roads aren’t just for cars. And says coronavirus is a speed bump, not a stop sign.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske reports that all charges have been dropped against the 18-year old bike rider arrested for fleeing from an officer and resisting arrest for the crime of rolling a stop sign. As well they should be. And the officer should be given a little retraining. Okay, maybe a lot.

 

International

Two-year old World Bike offers paid, guided mountain bike tours in Nepal and Guatemala, with Peru and Lesotho planned for later this year, using the funds to help get women in those countries into the sport.

Mexico City may follow the lead of Bogota, Columbia by expanding the city’s bike paths virtually overnight to slow the rate of coronavirus infections. Los Angeles could take advantage of the traffic slowdown to do the same thing, so it would be ready when the city comes back to life. 

A former Canadian soldier who served in Syria, Bosnia and two tours in Afghanistan received a $1 million settlement from the city of Vancouver, after he have to leave the military due to injuries he suffered when he was forced to jump off his bicycle to avoid a driver who ran a stop sign. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t explain why the city was held liable for injuries that would seem to have been caused by the actions of the driver.

No bias here. Residents of a wealthy English town say bike riders who don’t wear hi-viz make them feel “unsafe” while they drive their expensive SUVs. Evidently confusing their safety with that of their potential victims.

France has banned bicycling entirely in an effort to fight the new coronavirus.

A German professor at an Indian University is remembered fondly as the Bicycle Lady, riding her bike across the length and breadth of the campus, while arguing that cars don’t belong there. I like her already.

A Japanese man is on trial for sneaking into a bike shop to steal the equivalent of $910, and killing a female employee when she screamed.

 

Competitive Cycling

A community paper in Highlands, CA mourns the loss of this year’s Redlands Classic, but notes there was no other choice.

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on Olympic qualifying, forcing USA Cycling to make adjustments on the fly.

Five-time Tour de France champ Bernard Hinault says we shouldn’t hesitate to cancel the race it that’s what’s called for, because life is more important than cycling.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who needs spokes?

And Merry Christmas, indeed. Even if spring just started.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the forward.

 

The upside of coronavirus, no cars; the downside, no April CicLAvia; and wear a bike helmet if you’re getting married

Let’s start with a quick note, because I’m as tired of writing about coronavirus as you probably are reading it.

Let alone sheltering at home worrying about it.

Or whether we’ll be able to keep our jobs and pay our bills because of it.

I won’t give you advice. We’ve all gotten as much as we can handle already, and you’ll find still more below.

So let me just wish you good health and good luck as we try to weather this the best we can.

And let’s all remember to be kind to everyone we encounter, online and in real life.

Because we’re all afraid right now, however we express it.

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

………

On the other hand, there is one upside to our not so brave new world, as David Drexler discovered yesterday.

Decided to take the beach cruiser out around Santa Monica today between rain days and discovered that our nation’s virus tragedy we are in right now is really a boon for cyclists.

With all the closures and people staying home it was like riding around on Xmas Day. Extremely light and polite traffic all over SM. You could take the entire right lane and no one would bother you. Ride in the green bike lanes and few worries about cars opening doors or pulling out.

What is usually danger at every turn and a stressful ride around was a relaxing day around the city.

And judging by the numbers of cyclists on the beach path today — I hope they still have their jobs and are just taking advantage of the clear weather.

It wasn’t just Santa Monica, either. And the air’s better, too.

………

No real surprise here, as CicLAvia has pulled the plug on next month’s planned Mid-City meets Venice open streets event.

The first one was even popular with drivers.

Or one, anyway.

As of now, June’s return to Glendale is still on. And hopefully will stay that way.

………

Maybe wait a few days to unbox that new bike.

………

Now this is how you self-isolate.

………

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

Oxnard police are on the lookout for a bike-riding serial butt grabber; the suspect is also accused of approaching women while masturbating. Seriously, this ain’t funny. Keep an eye out if you ride in the area.

………

Local

LAist offers a “no panic” guide to the coronavirus. Tell that to the people who ravaged my corner market.

LA County health officials say it’s safe to get out to run, hike or bike right now. Safer than usual, in fact, since most of the cars and their drivers are off the roads.

A British tabloid is worried about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s health, after he got the sniffles while riding his ebike in Los Angeles. Then again, I get that anytime I ride on a cool day. And yes, bike sniffles is a recognized medical condition. 

 

State

Lime says it’s just pausing e-scooter service in the Golden State because of the coronavirus crisis, rather than pulling out permanently.

Good news for bike riders, as Orange County blocks vehicle access to regional parks in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus. After all, everyone knows cars are carriers.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss calls bikes the ultimate pandemic contingency plan, while Bicycling’s Selene Yeager offers a guide to maintaining your physical and mental health in these stressful times.

A Colorado bike advocacy group says wash your hands and ride a bike to fight the virus.

Officials in Colorado are throwing the book at an 18-year old alleged intoxicated hit-and-run driver, who’s accused of killing a man on a bike while passing another car on the right; he’s charged with 1) vehicular homicide, 2) hit-and-run, 3) careless driving causing death, 4) DUI, 5) weaving, 6) passing on the right, 7) underage consumption of alcohol and 8) possession of marijuana.

An Iowa bike shop owner says go for a bike ride, not despite it being slower than a car, but because it’s slower than a car.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a $1,200 three-wheeled bike from an 87-year old Arkansas man, which he credits with helping him recover from a stroke he suffered 24 years ago. But thanks to an anonymous Good Samaritan, he’ll be able to keep riding.

Pittsburgh is preparing to release its first bike plan of the millennium, making their current plan the oldest of America’s 60 largest cities. But as any LA bike rider can attest, it doesn’t matter how recent a bike plan is if the city refuses to implement it.

The coronavirus bike surge is calling attention to the lack of quality bike infrastructure in Philadelphia.

A Minnesota website offers basic tips on overnight bikepacking, while a Pennsylvania paper says grab a multi-piece rod and ride to your favorite fishing hole.

Despite calls to stay home, bike shops are booming in the Big Easy, as people turn to their bikes to commute, and enjoy family time now that schools are closed.

 

International

Bike industry insiders say it’s not time to panic yet.

Cycling Weekly offers tips on how to stay sane while you self-isolate.

A British Columbia man was acquitted in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, after prosecutors were unable to prove he was behind the wheel of his truck; he was convicted in the death of another bike rider less than a decade earlier.

By the time you read this, a pair of British women should have shattered the record for riding around the world on a tandem, beating the existing record — set by a couple men — by over two weeks.

Spain tells 25,000 tourists on Mallorca to go home from the popular bicycling destination.

The Pyrenean principality of Andorra joins neighboring Spain in banning outdoor bike riding.

Not even Copenhagen gets it right all the time, as the city promises to fix Denmark’s widest bike path in response to complaints.

An Aussie newspaper reminds us that bicycling is the perfect form of social distancing, as well as commuting.

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike reports losing over 205,000 bikes to theft and vandalism last year alone.

 

Competitive Cycling

San Diego’s Belgian Waffle Ride is the latest domino to fall, after the popular event was pushed to November.

It could be a very busy fall cycling calendar, as UCI president David Lappartient hopes the Giro d’Italia and spring classics can all be rescheduled for this autumn, after all races were cancelled through the end of April. However, the Giro might have to trim itself to fit into a reduced window.

 

Finally…

At long last, an ebike for baby makers. If you’re going to steal a bike off someone’s front porch, at least smile for the camera.

And if you’re getting married at city hall, be sure to wear a helmet.

 

Only you can prevent coronavirus, Lime pulls out of California and Washington, and Lundquist catching up to Lee in CD12

Okay, so it’s not about bicycling.

But Curbed’s Alissa Walker has penned a very good, and very important, call to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus in your own home, saying the choices we make today will help those closest to us.

And everyone else, too.

Meanwhile, a Portland writer says it’s time to make some streets mostly carfree during the pandemic, to create the space necessary to allow people to practice the social distancing that’s impossible on narrow sidewalks.

Or you could just settle for a few Zwift doodles while you cycle inside, if you prefer.

Even though Calbike says riding your bike outside is risk-free.

From Covid-19, anyway.

https://twitter.com/CalBike/status/1239975127569141761

Photo by Korhan Erdol from Pexels.

………

Those ubiquitous e-scooters could soon be a lot harder to find, as Lime is suspending service in California and Washington State to avoid spreading the coronavirus, while Bird is cutting back but not quitting.

Meanwhile, Uber faced a Sunday deadline to get their Jump bikes and e-scooters off the streets of Los Angeles after refusing to comply with the city’s requirement to provide realtime user data.

The company swears it will file suit in federal court over the requirement this week, though that could be complicated if the feds join the county in closing courthouses.

………

It looks like Loraine Lundquist is catching up in her bid to unseat City Staffer B, better known as CD12 Councilmember John Lee.

Just after the vote, it was revealed that Lee allegedly accompanied previous councilmember Mitch Englander on a $30,000-plus bribery and escort filled weekend in Las Vegas.

………

I’m not the only one concerned about the survival of local bike shops and other bike businesses during the pandemic and resulting closures and economic slowdown.

Cycling Industry News offers their help to any bike business that needs assistance, or who has a story they want to share.

Maybe they could start with San Jose bike co-op Community Cycles of California, which sent out an email saying it’s being forced to shut down, except to help those for whom riding a bike is an essential service.

And they could use your help to survive the shutdown.

With that said, as you can imagine, we have financial uncertainties ahead. Therefore, we ask for your help to endure what is going to be a difficult start to a cycling season. Since shopping with us won’t be an option for a few weeks, your tax-deductible donation can provide relief for missed revenue during that time.  Here are some ways your donation helps:

  • $50      Sponsor one bicycle for an adult in need
  • $100    Sponsor one bicycle with safety package (lock, lights, helmet) to an adult in need
  • $300   Sponsor one mechanic-in-training
  • $500   Sponsor one mobile repair clinic providing 20 free repairs
  • Or please consider making a recurring donation. Thank you.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the email.

………

Speaking of Leone, he also forwards word of the latest road closures in Camp Pendleton.

CLOSURE UPDATE as of MARCH 16, 2020:

  • Stuart Mesa Road – Northbound and Southbound lanes CLOSED from Las Flores (41 Area) to Las Pulgas Road.  *Open for Emergency Traffic only.
  • Beach Club Road – CLOSED to the public in both directions.  *No Emergency Traffic
  • Basilone Road – OPEN to the public in both directions.
  • Vandegrift Blvd – OPEN to the public in both directions.  *Right-hand eastbound lane CLOSED in Box Canyon.
  • Del Mar Gate – CLOSED inbound and outbound until further.

Please check Facebook for updates.

………

Clearly, stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill is not a weight weenie, or non-electric bike purist.

And can do the same stunts he’s famous for on a 50 pound ebike.

………

Finally found someone who shares my daily bike commute.

………

Local

If you were going to participate in May’s Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles, 5k and Bike Tour, you can start making other plans.

Santa Monica is suspending all user fees related to the city’s Breeze bikeshare.

 

State

Tragic news from San Jose, where an 82-year old woman was murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver as she was trying to cross the street. I’d like to say older people deserve better. But everyone does.

A spokesperson for San Francisco’s mayor says yes, you can still ride your bike, despite the shelter in place order for seven Bay Area counties. And bike mechanics can continue to provide an essential service.

On the other hand, no one is going to go to jail for breaking the Bay Area ban.

Redwood City police busted an alleged 18-year old perv who grabbed the breast of a 13-year old girl as he was riding his bike.

 

National

Heartbreaking news, as an Idaho woman survived for some time after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike; it’s possible she might have survived if the heartless coward had just called 911 instead of leaving her lying in a ravine until her body was discovered three days later. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone who could do that.

If you need a job to tide you through the pandemic, Whole Foods in New York is hiring bicycle delivery workers.

New York’s DOT is still dithering over how to accommodate Gotham’s coronavirus bike boom, as commuters flee crowded transit in favor of bicycles.

Police in New Jersey thank a dozen or so Good Samaritans who spilled out of nearby buildings to help officers lift a car off a bike rider, who was trapped underneath after a crash. Fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

Another reminder that bike riders are far tougher than many people think, as a Pennsylvania man rode his bike several blocks to get help after he was beaten and stabbed by a pair of robbers; thankfully, he’s expected to be okay. Note to Williamsport Sun-Gazette — the past tense of ride is rode, not road.

A DC website looks at the first women’s bicycle, which was invented in the city and currently resides in the Smithsonian. Even if it does look a little worse for wear. And unlike modern bikemakers, they didn’t just pink it and shrink it.

The bike-riding backup quarterback for the New Orleans Saints is packing his bicycle and moving to Carolina, where he will presumably continue riding it to home games.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske takes a look at the recent bust of a Florida bike rider for allegedly fleeing from police and resisting arrest for the heinous crime of…wait for it…rolling a stop sign, and not responding to a police command he couldn’t hear.

 

International

Cycling Weekly recommends eleven bicycling books you can read while you shelter in place.

Road.cc offers helpful advice on how to choose the right tyre width for your bike and how you ride. The same advice should hold for tires over here, too.

Now that’s more like it. Bogota is fighting the coronavirus by expanding their bikeway network, adding 72 miles of new bike routes in an effort to reduce crowding on the city’s transit system.

The British bike industry teamed with advocates and academics to urge Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to ban bicycling in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus, and exempt bike shops from any imminent retail closures.

E-scooters may finally become legal in the UK. Just in time to be severely restricted or banned as the pandemic spreads.

 

Competitive Cycling

After an Oregon town was forced to cancel an annual mountain bike race, they responded by turning it into a virtual competition.

Organizers have pulled the plug on next month’s Paris-Roubaix classic, as well as the Tour of Yorkshire, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

 

Finally…

Your next bicycle could be a BMW, assuming you have a spare $5,500 lying around. Nothing like riding over 30,000 miles without leaving your living room — and no, I don’t want to be like him when I grow up.

And there’s more than one way to create social distance.

 

 

Bike shops threatened by coronavirus, and Solvang Century organizer spreads false coronavirus conspiracy theory

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.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

………

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.

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.

………

Local

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.

 

State

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.

 

National

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.

 

International

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.

 

Competitive Cycling

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.

 

Finally…

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.

 

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