Tag Archive for coronavirus

A reminder that Covid kills, a conversation with CD4 candidate Nithya Raman, and the war on bikes just keeps going on

One quick note. 

I met with my doctor yesterday, who said he has four patients on ventilators due to Covid-19 right now — including one who’s been on it for five and a half months. 

This is a very serious disease. Yet one that’s easily defeated. 

Just wear a mask every time you leave your home. And yes, that includes when you ride your bike. 

Because you don’t want to catch it. Or be the one who spreads it to someone else. 

And if you don’t believe me, take it from Bill Nye who says wear your mask whenever you’re around other people — like riding your bike on Ventura Blvd. And only take it off when you’re not.

Today’s photo from Pixabay.

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I had the pleasure of speaking yesterday with Nithya Raman, who is running against incumbent David Ryu to represent CD4 on the LA city council.

I’ll have more about the conversation at a later date as we get a little closer to the November election.

But I can tell you I was very impressed with her, and her commitment to bring a fresh voice to a city leadership that too often seems to be stuck using the same failed approaches as they have for decades past.

And not just on the city’s auto-centric streets.

I was also struck by this comment she made, when we were discussing the progress other cities like London, New York and Paris have made in reimagining the way people get around during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We shouldn’t have to envy other cities.”

No, we shouldn’t.

But we will continue to, as long as LA city leaders continue to do little or nothing to change the current dysfunction on our streets.

And in our government.

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

What the hell is wrong with some people? A 15-year old English boy was pushed off his bike by someone in a passing car. Let’s hope they can read the license plate and put that jerk behind bars.

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

A New Jersey man faces charges for opening fire after riding his bike up to a group of people standing outside an apartment building, injuring a four-year old girl.

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Local

KCET recommends 61 self-guided tours for exploring Los Angeles on your own, including by bike, as well as on foot.

 

State

No surprise here, as wealthy La Jolla comes out against San Diego’s Complete Communities plan, which would increase density to improve quality of life around transit centers.

Good karma all around, as bikemaker Kona Bicycles chose San Jose bike co-op Good Karma Bikes to distribute a dozen new bicycles to the African-American community or others in need, starting with a man suffering from a double pulmonary edema, and a homeless vet who needed a bike to get to chemo treatments after his was stolen.

 

National

He gets it. A HuffPo writer says America’s progressive mayors have missed the chance to remake their cities during the Covid-19 lockdown, noting it will take major transformations to recover from the virus. And specifically calls out Los Angeles for doing virtually nothing.

Warner Brothers co-founders Harry and Abe Warner were two of us, running a bike repair shop before setting out to become early movie moguls.

Worth recommends 19 “must haves” every “intrepid gentleman” needs to keep active during the coronavirus crisis. Which certainly stretches the meaning of “needs” and “must haves” to the breaking point. And what about intrepid women, for that matter?

The New York Times explains the benefits, and problems, of roundabouts; a 2015 British study concluded that traffic lights are safer for people on bicycles.

A bighearted family friend crowdfunded $2,500 to buy a new adaptive bike for a five-year old Denver boy with spinal bifida.

A Chicago group is offering donated bicycles to protesters who had their bikes confiscated by police.

Tragic news from Chicago, where a 56-year old man died weeks after a head-on collision with another bike rider, who passing a slower rider on the city’s Lakefront Trail. Yet another reminder to always ride carefully on bike paths, to protect yourself and others.

Illinois bike riders have teamed with runners to hire an attorney after local authorities sided with NIMBY homeowners to block a pathway connecting two trails, forcing them to cross a dangerous highway instead.

A handwritten sign indicates a Vermont bike path has been closed by the city, which comes as a surprise to the owner of the land.

A Massachusetts man swears he wasn’t texting when he ran down an entire family with his car as they were riding their bikes, killing the father and injuring two others. Which raises the question of why the hell he did it, then, and whether his actions were intentional. Because you have to try pretty damn hard to not see three people on bikes. 

A Pennsylvania letter writer complains that, unlike George Floyd, there was no national news coverage of the murder of five-year old North Carolina bike rider Cannon Hinnant. Which is absolutely true — if you ignore coverage on CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Today, Bicycling, People, Newsweek, USA Today, New York Daily News, and countless other news outlets across the US and overseas. And never mind that Hinnant’s killer wasn’t a cop, which was kinda the point of the whole protest thing. 

Over a hundred people are planning to ride their bikes 250 miles from New York to DC to join the 57th anniversary of the first March on Washington.

DC’s coronavirus-driven bike boom is showing no signs of slowing down.

Raleigh, North Carolina authorities are trying to identify a man who died after apparently being attacked while riding his bike on a local greenway. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID that’s not likely to get lost or stolen.

 

International

A British Columbia man turned amateur gumshoe after his $9,000 ebike was stolen, tracking down and assembling a profile of the thief, before police moved in to nab the thief in a sting while he was trying to sell it.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an autistic Ontario boy’s bike and fishing tackle.

Forty of the best countryside bike trails for your next trip to the UK. Unless you already are in the UK, in which case, carry on.

Seriously? A Welsh county blocked a proposal for a bicycle cafe, because it doesn’t include enough car parking. Which kind of defeats the purpose of a bike cafe.

More proof life is cheap in the UK, as a driver got just 32 months for plowing into a group of bicyclists while high on amphetamines and driving on the wrong side of the road. But at least he lost his license — and his car.

The first recipient of a free bicycle from Philippine TV star Gretchen Ho is a teenager who was using rollerblades to fill in for his sick delivery driver dad; Ho set up the program to provides bikes to help people keep their jobs.

 

Competitive Cycling

An Israeli cyclist will compete in the Tour de France for the first time, as part of Team Israel Start-Up Nation, the first team based and owned in Israel to enter the Tour.

Cyclist wants to know why people seem to have a problem with 22-year old Columbian Tour de France winner Egan Bernal.

Tour de France organizers demonstrate once again just how far they are behind the times, responding to Covid-19 by deciding to cut back on podium girls instead of eliminating the sexist anachronisms all together.

 

Finally…

Probably not the smartest move to steal a mixed martial artist’s bike. Seriously, don’t eat the plants along the bike path.

And why buy a bike computer when you can build your own?

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

White bar owner pulls gun on Black bike rider, pre-ride bike checks in the age of Covid-19, and support Sunset4All today

Unbelievable.

When a bike-riding Black man stopped next to a Philadelphia bar to urge people on the patio to wear masks and social distance, the bar’s white owner responded by standing up and threatening him with a gun while shouting Trump campaign slogans.

A couple of women responded by quickly stepping between them and urging the owner to put the gun away, while the man on the bike armed himself with a U-lock in self defense.

Which probably wouldn’t do much to stop a bullet.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Remarkably, the police haven’t taken any action yet, despite clear video evidence of assault with a deadly weapon.

Apparently Black lives don’t matter that much in the City of Brotherly Love.

Or maybe it’s just Black bike riders.

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Lots of people still need to get their bikes ready to ride before taking them out during the pandemic.

USA Today offers tips on things to check before resurrecting your bike during the age of Covid-19.

Popular Science — yes, it’s still here — provides their own advice on how to bring your old bike back to life.

Surprisingly, they both get it right. And credit USA Today for not even mentioning helmets until the last line.

Then again, Popular Science doesn’t bring it up at all.

While you’re at it, you’re going to need some good chain lube, too.

And C|net tells you how to keep your ebike battery in top shape.

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Once again, you’re urged to support protected bike lanes on LA’s Sunset Blvd by spending your money to support a local business along the corridor; this time, it’s The Kitchen on Fountain Ave.

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

An upstate New York man faces charges for shooting at a boy riding a bicycle; fortunately, he only hit the bike.

Call it a bike hate crime. Someone used a four-wheel drive vehicle to pull down a giant bicycle sculpture on a Virginia trailhead, as well as ripping out bus benches, trash cans and porta-potties.

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

Seven young kittens had to be rescued from a UK barn, after their mother was hit and killed in a collision with a bicyclist.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Six long Bay Area rides that begin in urban centers, for your next trip to the area.

 

National

A $25 donation to the Davis Phinney Foundation could get you a $9,400 Allied Cycle Works Able road bike hand painted by former pro Taylor Phinney.

Bicycle Retailer examines what companies in the bike industry received loans as part of the federal Payroll Protection Program; the only LA-area company appears to be offroad ebike maker BM E-bikes.

Tim Blumenthal is stepping down as president of PeopleForBikes after leading the bike industry advocacy group for the past 16 years; current COO Jenn Dice was scheduled to take his place on of the first of this month.

Reviewers for Outside suffered through weeks of trail riding just to help you pick the best mountain bike helmet.

A Denver TV station says car-mounted bike racks are in short supply now, too.

The new Pikes, Peaks and Prairie Route route plotted out by the Adventure Cycling Association runs 1,300 miles from Yellowstone to Minneapolis, past the Devil’s Tower, Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills.

Milwaukee Brewers utility player Brock Holt is one of us, after his wife bought him a bike to ride to practice sessions during the coronavirus lockdown.

Chicago bike shops say the pandemic bike boom is leading to the best bike year in history.

Streetsblog says New York’s open streets program isn’t working for everyone, with most located in wealthier and predominantly white areas.

A Philadelphia high school football coach sadly remembers a 15-year old boy who was fatally shot while riding his bike during a violent weekend in the city.

Police in North Carolina are looking for a Charlotte man with dementia, who may be riding his bike to Statesville, roughly 41-miles away.

 

International

Cyclingnews considers the best all-around bike for commuting, riding and racing.

A Canadian woman has raised over $30,000 to fight ovarian cancer while setting a new record for bicycling across the country, covering 3,667 miles in just 20 days.

London’s police insist an officer accused of stopping a man for Biking While Black said he didn’t have any lights displayed, rather than saying he didn’t have a license plate, which isn’t required in the UK. Never mind that the stop was made in broad daylight.

An English driver got ten months behind bars for crashing into a woman who was riding her bike while driving at twice the legal alcohol limit; he’ll also lose his license for 27 months.

A new study shows a third of Scottish drivers don’t give bike riders the required five-foot passing distance, as police warn they could face fines.

The British edition of Runner’s World offers tips on how to prevent and treat knee pain from bicycling.

Police in the UK are looking for a BMX rider who shouted a racially abusive comment at a woman as she walked along a roadway.

Britain’s largest bike chain predicts the bike boom will last throughout this year.

More evidence of the pandemic bike boom, as bike sales under the UK’s Bike to Work program have doubled over last year.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a submarine. And get off the damn sidewalk, already.

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

Covid closes SoCal beaches for holiday weekend, Metro reveals recovery plans, and a visit with a bike-riding paletero

Santa Barbara became the latest SoCal county to close its beaches for the holiday weekend yesterday.

That means a nearly unbroken string of city and county beach closures stretching from north of Camp Pendleton through Santa Maria. The closures include the beachfront bike paths in LA County, but it’s not clear if it includes bike path closures in other counties, so check before you go.

State run beaches will remain open, including paths for biking and walking, but parking lots will be closed through Monday to discourage overcrowding.

All of which means San Clemente is likely to get overrun with beachgoers this weekend.

Let’s just hope they’re right about coronavirus not spreading easily outdoors.

But wherever you ride, do it safely and defensively.

I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone one else, this weekend.

Photo by David Drexler.

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Metro’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is out with plans for how the LA area can move forward as the city recovers from the coronavirus, without the seemingly inevitable gridlock as people go back to their auto-centric daily routines.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes an in-depth look at Metro’s plans, including an increase in dedicated bus lanes, and possibly taking bikeshare in house to better meet the needs of underserved communities.

Then there’s this.

Metro’s task force recommends a “quick roll-out of more bike infrastructure.” The lack of safe, convenient places to bike has long been a limiting factor inhibiting bicycling in Southern California. What is tricky for Metro is that bikeways are largely out of Metro’s jurisdiction. Metro has roles to play, but municipalities – primarily cities – are ultimately responsible for the bike-unfriendly state of local streets. The task force says Metro should “partner with cities on strategies for rapid deployment of bike improvements.”

So let’s hope Metro can give LA a much-needed push in the right direction.

Linton also goes on to quote a certain bike website writer’s reaction to the plans.

But you’ll have to read his story to see what I had to say.

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Moving piece from the LA Times, which spends a day with an immigrant paletero, or pushcart ice cream vendor, who begins and ends every day riding his bike to and from work.

Mauro Rios Parra is one of the countless Angelenos, immigrant and otherwise, who depend on their bikes for transportation and to earn a living. And who are too often ignored by city planners and elected officials.

According to the story, Rios Parra hasn’t seen his family in Oaxaca for 16 years. But his modest pushcart has helped put one child through med school, and two others through law school.

Which he probably couldn’t have done if he had a car instead of a bike.

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Bicycles allow bike cops to respond quickly and quietly to rapidly changing situations. Unfortunately, that appears to include attacking seemingly peaceful Seattle protesters.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Let’s see Peter Sagan pull this one off with the pro peloton if they ever get back to racing in real life.

https://twitter.com/engineeringvids/status/1278755531352662016

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

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WTF? Why would any family need an SUV that does one eighty? They should send this cat straight back to the hell it came from.

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Local

Somehow we missed this Streetsblog piece on family-friendly bike rides accessible by Metro transit.

Police are still looking for the second bike and skateboard-riding groper who sexually assaulted a number of women in the Venice and Culver City areas; another suspect was arrested recently.

 

State

The CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who sideswiped a bike-riding Santa Rosa woman with a trailer; the CHP politely gave the driver a built-in alibi, saying they may not even know they hit anyone.

 

National

Forbes offers advice on how to buy a new mountain bike.

Bicycling tries out the updated 2020 edition of the 1965 Schwinn Collegiate. And likes it.

How to use your water bottle to brush debris from your tires without risking stitches.

A Portland group has created a guide to corking intersections with your bike to protect social justice protests.

Back in my hometown, a university cop is pledging to ride her bike 400 miles this month to benefit Black Lives Matter, and mark the 400-plus years African Americans have been fighting for social justice.

After recovering from testicular cancer, a Texas man who grew up with the nickname Porky got serious about bicycling, which helped him drop 167 pounds while riding up to 200 miles in a day.

A Massachusetts minister suggests taking a spiritual spin on your bike. But don’t be a bicycle Bozo.

The New York Times looks at the city’s bicycle Black Lives Matter protests that have brought thousands of bike riders to the streets to demand social justice.

An off-duty New York cop faces charges for hit-and-run and assault after crashing into a man on a bike, then pushing a bystander before fleeing the scene.

A New York writer says the city’s new e-scooter pilot program is great, but all he really wants is a safe place to park his bike.

 

International

Pink Bike turns into Bicycle Vogue, with a focus on summer mountain bike fashions for men, while Refinery 29 seems more concerned with keeping you stylish on your commuter bike.

The Department of DIY struck in London once again, as climate activist group Extinction Rebellion painted their own popup bike lane through Kensington.

A Scottish program is providing the equivalent of $1.25 million to help local councils, community groups and universities buy ebikes and e-cargo bikes; a previous $2.37 million bought 875 ebikes and 41 e-cargo bikes to replace car trips. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

The BBC examines how helmets, including bike helmets, can keep your fragile brain safe.

A new study shows France is rediscovering the bicycle, with sales up 117% in the first month since the country’s pandemic lockdown was lifted.

 

Competitive Cycling

The actual Tour de France won’t take place until late next month, but a virtual version will kick off this weekend. Maybe they’ll have virtual jostling in the peloton, with virtual falls and virtual road rash. And virtual failed dope tests, too.

Speaking of virtual racing, an Indian army colonel finished fourth in this year’s virtual RAAM, becoming the fourth Indian rider to finish the grueling race, more or less.

A New Zealand navy veteran plans to compete in cycling events in next year’s Invictus Games using a 3D-printed metal pedal spacer and cleat, after injuries from a helicopter crash left one leg shorter than the other.

 

Finally…

If your friend tries to sell your bike without your permission, maybe you need to rethink your friends. Apparently, take one, leave one applies to bike thieves, too.

And nothing like going out for a bike ride and getting stuck in traffic.

Funny how they seem more willing to share the road than LA drivers, and less likely to use their horns.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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

LA County shuts down beach bike path, attempted mugging on San Gabriel River trail, and hit-and-run driver cops a plea

You can forget those plans for a 4th of July ride along the beach this weekend.

LA County officials responded to a dramatic uptick in Covid-19 cases by once again closing beaches within the county, including the iconic beachfront bike path.

As Hahn’s tweet states, the beach and bike path closures go into effect this Friday, and are scheduled to last through the following Monday, at least for now.

Although the sheriff says he won’t bother to enforce it.

As you can imagine, though not everyone is pleased. This is what one person, who asked to remain anonymous, had to say.

You don’t see me shoot profanities very often, but a re-closure of the bike path is pure bullshit!

Cyclists on a path are not the cause of increasing virus cases.

It’s bars, restaurant sit-ins, people socializing at people homes without masks, people I saw paying at parks together with no mask, people at the beach I saw often playing volleyball with no mask, it’s just stupid people who think they know better and don’t want to be told what to do along with a President that is not wearing a mask as an example of what everyone should do. Why is the President not on TV everyday with a mask telling people I wear mask and you should too.

We live in a country of A-holes and ignorants and that is why the virus is spreading.

Forgive my outburst — I can’t believe they need to punish cyclists and I needed someone to bitch to

That’s what I’m here for.

But make no mistake. The idea that Covid-19 would go away without severe restrictions has clearly revealed itself as the fairy tale it is.

And we’re likely in for a long, deadly battle that will touch most of us in some way before it’s over.

Photo of recent bike path closure by David Drexler

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That wasn’t the only email I received from a concerned bike rider yesterday.

Another person who asked to remain anonymous said he was attacked by a stoned homeless man over the weekend.

Just a brief heads up for your readers — watch out at those underpasses on the San Gabriel bike path, especially the one at Imperial Blvd in Norwalk.  Regular riders of that bike path know Imperial Blvd because of all of the graffiti.

I was riding early Sunday morning and had a transient try to knock me off my bike as I came up from the underpass (with a kick). Presume they may have been after my bike. Not too smart as they chose someone much larger than they.

I’m fine, no worse for wear, knocked off balance but not off my bike. I reported to 911, so hopefully, the sheriff will keep an eye out, too.

Crazy times.

Attacks like that aren’t common, but they do happen. So just be careful anytime you find yourself isolated and hidden from public view.

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Thirty-five-year old Chase Edward Richard accepted a plea for the hit-and-run crash that severely injured fellow Ramona resident Michelle Scott as she was riding her bike to work in Poway last October.

Richard pled guilty to felony counts of reckless driving and vandalism in exchange for a three year and eight month sentence, with just two years of that behind bars in county jail.

Meanwhile, his victim remains in a nursing care facility, as she struggles recover from a major brain injury.

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LA’s Metro Bike bikeshare is free this weekend, with discounts on memberships, as well.

https://twitter.com/BikeMetro/status/1277783961872355329

https://twitter.com/BikeMetro/status/1277785192401448961

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Riverside’s mayor invites you to join a family friendly, socially distanced 4th of July bike ride.

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LADOT will host a webinar tomorrow to discuss what will be South LA’s first protected bike lane.

And speaking of webinars, the Vision Zero Network will host one at 11 am PDT (2 pm EDT) to discuss the myth of distracted pedestrians.

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They get it.

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Nice piece, as the director of a Canadian mountain bike camp wants to make riding easier for the kids in his charge.

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

There’s a special place in hell for whoever hurled a racial slur at a 14-year old New Mexico, then followed up by hurling a rock at his head.

No bias here. The British lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole for his ability to get dangerous drivers off the hook is back with yet another anti-bike rant. (Scroll down to second item)

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

British Columbia police are looking for a road-raging bicyclist who whacked a bystander with his U-lock after the man complained when he ran a stop sign. As we’ve said many times, violence is never the answer; just take a breath and ride away.

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Local

Advocacy group Streets For All needs your help to make LA’s Slow Streets permanent, and ensure the city follows its own mobility plan when it repaves city streets.

Isla Fisher is on of us, as a British tabloid swears that’s really her under that mask riding her bike.

 

State

The San Diego Bike Coalition is hiring a part-time Outreach Coordinator.

 

National

A new guardrail along an Oregon highway may improve safety for people in cars, but it makes the road more dangerous for people on bikes.

A pair of pro cyclists from my bike-friendly hometown offer unusually practical tips for riding a bike, including practice etiquette and find a local bike shop you love.

Sad news from Minneapolis, where a motorcycle rider was killed in a collision with a bicyclist; police say speeding and alcohol use appeared to be factors in the crash.

Up to 1,000 people rode through Manhattan in support of Black Lives Matter over the weekend.

Former New York transportation commissioner “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz, who popularized the term, is proposing a carfree bike/ped bridge connecting Queens and Manhattan to avoid exactly that.

The New York Daily News says its time to finally bring an e-scooter pilot program to the streets of Gotham, nearly three years after they swept the rest of the world.

A US Army Band member rode his bike 500 miles in 33 hours to raise funds for a startup organization to mentor high school students to get into college; it took 250 laps around a two-mile Baltimore circuit to complete the ride.

 

International

Cyclist tells you how to check your chain for wear and tear.

A man in Canada’s Prince Edward Island is giving free ice cream coupons to people wearing bike helmets, 50 years after he suffered a brain injury while riding his bike.

Edinburg and Glasgow, Scotland, are offering free bikeshare rides to encourage bike riding as the UK starts to come out of lockdown.

Once again, an English pedestrian has died in a collision with a bike rider as he was crossing a bike lane. This time, the man on the bike stayed at the scene, but probably doesn’t know the 51-year old victim died later; police were never called to the scene, so they want to talk with him.

A British paper shows how it’s done, mentioning a hit-and-run driver in the headline and again in the first line of the story, rather than just blaming a driverless van.

An Irish chef taught her kids how to ride their bikes, even though she didn’t know how to ride one herself; she used the country’s lockdown to correct that situation.

Megan Lynch forwards news that Geneva, Switzerland’s temporary popup bike lanes will get a reprieve through September; they had been scheduled to be removed next month.

 

Competitive Cycling

A sports website says WorldTour cyclists make a minimum of $2.35 million, which could come as a surprise to most of them.

CyclingTips examines what it takes to ride 174 miles a day competing in this year’s virtual Race Across America without ever leaving an Aussie car showroom.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could be a 3D-printed honeycomb dome made from caster bean oil.

And am I the only one who sees a problem here?

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

Bikes play a role in racial justice protests, bicycles and Covid-19, and Redondo police seek owner of recovered bikes

Life has been upended by Covid-19 and demands for racial justice in recent weeks.

And not too surprisingly, bicycles are playing a significant role in both.

So let’s start with the latter. Like The LA Metro Bikes at Sunday’s massive All Black Lives Matter protest march in Hollywood there on the left.

Then there’s Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who points out that bicycles have been agents of change for 200 years, saying they should be used for revolution, not police violence.

The Verge takes a similar theme, saying bicycles can be a tool of protest, as well as police brutality.

Not all the protest rides are past tense; Black bike riders in Richmond CA are holding the 2nd Annual Bike 4 Justice this Friday, aka Juneteenth.

Reno, Nevada saw one hundred bike riders take over the streets of downtown to bring awareness of racism in the bicycle community.

Denverites rode their bikes to the state capital to support Black Lives Matter.

Two hundred people in New Haven CT took to their bikes to protest police brutality.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts paper offers a photo essay of that city’s Cycle for Change protest ride intended to bring awareness to young people.

Over one thousand bike riders turned out for a Gotham bike protest (scroll down).

The NYPD is accused of illegally seizing bicycles from protesters and reporters.

Philadelphia songwriter Orion Sun says she was brutalized by police after using her bicycle as a barricade to prevent riot cops from getting to other protesters. Then went home and wrote a song inspired by the experience.

The owner of a Philly bike shop is taking getting looted in stride, saying there are far more serious things to be mad about.

Apparently unable to pick just one form of transportation, the Big Easy took a break for a gay pride and Black Lives Matters bike ride. And a motorcycle rally. And a motorcade.

Miami protesters took to “two wheels for one reason,” calling for an end to lives lost due to racial injustice.

And Slate says drivers ramming into protesters fits into a long tradition of motorized attacks celebrated by extremists. Although some drivers just seem to be impatient, entitled jerks.

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Meanwhile, the world is still responding to the coronavirus crisis, as well as the resulting bike boom.

Returning to Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, he says let’s not blow the bike boom by being critical of new riders.

Forgetting that the whole idea behind Slow Streets is that they’re temporary, a Napa letter writer says there’s no need for them in the city because they won’t be necessary when people go back to work.

The founder of Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes says the pandemic has proven bikes are essential.

A New Jersey bikemaker for Walmart says their company has never been busier, and it’s now taking minimum of three weeks to resupply stores.

British bike retailer Ribble has seen an across-the-board 300% increase in sales, from inexpensive hybrids to cutting edge time trial bikes.

Britain’s Chris Boardman says pop-up bike lanes are a form of social justice.

An Indian website questions why a bikemaker would shut down entirely in the face of booming bike ridership.

Even Bahrain is experiencing the coronavirus-inspired bike boom, as Hamad Town responds by approving plans for striped and separated bikeways across the city.

Around 30 Nigerian bicyclists rode through the streets of Lagos while observing social distancing to call attention to Covid-19 on World Bicycle Day.

As Covid-19 cases continue to climb in Indonesia, commuters are turning to their bicycles to avoid the virus.

Sydney, Australia is installing six pop-up bike lanes leading to the central business district, with bicycling up 50% and increasing numbers of people saying they’ll keep riding when they go back to work. That compares to Los Angeles, which so far has installed exactly none.

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Police in Redondo Beach are looking for the owners of what they describe as a pair of high-end bikes they suspect were stolen after detaining the suspected thief.

Which is just one more reminder to register your bicycle today. And always report the theft to the police if your bike is stolen, because those are the best ways to ensure you’ll get it back if they recover it.

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GCN offers a crash course in bunny hopping.

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

A group of bike-riding teenage boys pushed a 26-year old woman on a bicycle into a canal, apparently simply because they could.

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Local

Gerrard Butler is one of us, driving to the beach to ride the bike path through Santa Monica.

 

State

An Encinitas newspaper considers complaints that the new protected bike lanes along the Coast Highway in Cardiff are making things worse. We looked at the same problem here early last month.

A 22-year old Riverside woman has been arrested for the Corona hit-and-run that took the life of a 21-year old man who was out riding his bike with a couple friends Thursday night.

A Sacramento Korean War veteran and survivor of the Japanese American internment camps marked his 92nd birthday with a bicycle parade; he rode a bike into his 80s until he had to give it up for walking, instead.

Sad news from Redding, where a man was killed in a solo fall after apparently hitting a curb.

 

National

He almost gets it. A writer for a business site calls for better infrastructure and laws to promote bicycling — but also for mandatory helmet laws and reflectorized vests.

After a ten-year old Utah girl’s adaptive tricycle was stolen, a kindhearted Good Samaritan stepped up to buy her a new one.

A writer for Forbes thinks people aren’t smart enough to figure out how to drive on streets with words painted on them, and says they’ll confuse self-driving cars, too. If that’s the case, it neither one should be on the streets. And I don’t mean the painting. 

Not everyone in Austin, Texas is on board with the city’s new Healthy Streets, which is just another — and much better — name for Slow Streets. Although the same could be said about any street change, anywhere.

Community members in an Ohio town are raising funds for a nine-year old boy who suffered a serious brain injury when he was struck by a motorcyclist while riding his bike last month.

Detroit-based ebike and Vespa-style e-scooter maker GenZe is going belly up, after its parent company decided to shut down operation within the next six months.

Seriously? There weren’t even any charges when an off-duty Rochester NY police lieutenant was killed when he was rear-ended by a 70-year old driver while riding his bike.

A ebike rider suffered life-threatening injuries after colliding with a pedestrian in Queens NY; the other victim, a man in his 60’s, was in stable condition. A tragic reminder that crashes between bicycles and pedestrians are just as dangerous for everyone involved.

Streetsblog says the NYPD is a lousy partner on Vision Zero.

A Hoboken councilmember calls for allowing people to lock their bikes up in municipal parking garages. Better yet, just kick out the cars and make the whole thing bike parking.

Philadelphia police are no longer welcome to participate in the city’s Vision Zero.

 

International

A writer for Rouleur learns the hard way what it’s like to come off your bike and break a collarbone. And how long it takes to recover.

Ottawa bike riders were ignored when they warned that painting super sharrows on a busy street would be too dangerous; now a young woman paid the price when she was seriously injured by a pickup driver.

A Montreal district ignores pleas to install more bike racks, then seizes bikes locked to trees because there wasn’t any.

A London man is nearing the finish line on his personal goal of riding 100 km — slightly more than 62 miles — a day for 100 days, and planning to ride a virtual Race Across America once he’s done.

When a man in the UK found his stolen bike for sale online, the cops told him to handle it himself. And were immediately contradicted by other cops.

An elderly British driver wrecked his $300,000 Ferrari. So naturally, a bike rider got the blame.

Just wait until they hear about Los Angeles. A European policy site says there are too many cars in Azerbaijan, where one in seven people own one, and it’s essential to switch to bicycles instead.

A developer in New Zealand is offering to build new bike path along a major highway at no cost to the city, in exchange for the rights to install digital billboards.

Melbourne is planning to remove hundreds of parking spaces to make way for 26 miles of bike lanes over the next two years.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News wants to know why Black bike riders are so underrepresented in the pro peloton, calling it a case of everyday racism.

Speaking of which, Specialized Bikes founder Mike Sinyard will donate ten million dollars to the company’s Outride Foundation to fight racism and promote diversity in cycling.

 

Finally…

Remember to always carry a spare bicycle in your trunk, just in case. No bike is complete without a Chinese-style Lucky Cat bike bell waving a paw on your handlebars.

And hang on Rigoberto Urán’s wheel  at 27 mph while earring a backpack and work boots, and he could give you a new bike (scroll down).

………

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

LA/SaMo bike shops looted in aftermath of Floyd protests, some fine bikes on both sides, and more celebs on bikes

The rumors drifted in late Saturday night, carried on the acrid smoke from burning buildings.

By morning, they were confirmed.

On a night when we could smell the smoke from the fires on TV, and social media was filled with looters in LA’s normally sedate and formerly kosher Fairfax District, fears grew that local bike shops may have been among the victims.

Along with anyone who may have left their bikes with them for service.

Because it wasn’t just the shoe stores, computer stores, Whole Foods and Nordstrom that got looted.

It was bike shops like Spokes ‘N Stuff, I. Martin and later, Santa Monica’s REI.

My Sunday with a pair of emailed photos, above and below, that hit like a punch in the gut, revealing the front gates ripped off Spokes ‘N Stuff, with anything of value gone.

The LA Times spoke with the shop’s owner.

He’s had his store on Melrose for 20 years. It stayed open during the pandemic because it was considered an essential business. But, now, he estimates his losses from one night of looting could total $100,000.

“They not only took my bikes, they took customers’ bikes as well,” he said.

The owners of I. Martin could probably cite a similar figure.

I’m told looters broke in through the back door and emptied the bike shop in a matter of minutes.

Although in their case, the shop had been closed since March, so hopefully there were no customer’s bicycles still inside.

Then Sunday afternoon, as people peacefully protested near Santa Monica’s Tongva Park, looters were busting into businesses just a few blocks away.

REI seemed to be saved when some of the legitimate protesters stood in front of the store to turn looters away.

Except the looters came back. Later images showed the store had been ransacked, with racks and shelves emptied.

Presumably, the store’s bikes went out the door, as well; it’s not clear if REI was open for service or if any bikes belonging to customers were inside.

It’s also not clear when, or if, these stores will reopen.

Just like hundreds of other businesses, owned by major corporations and individual, often immigrant, proprietors through this troubled city.

………

Needless to say, bicycling took a back seat to the protests for many people across the US this weekend.

Apparently forgetting what started the protests to begin with, a Seattle bike cop puts a protester in a chokehold after attempting, and failing, to squeeze by on his right on a sidewalk.

Turns out John Cusack is one of us, too. His bike took a beating from Chicago cops during the protests over the death of George Floyd, even if he didn’t.

And even if you can only hear it on the video.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for both of those.

When an Atlanta bike cop shoved a black woman with his bicycle during a protest, a white woman defended her by shoving him right back.

This is who we share the roads with. A Denver driver responds to a protester jumping on the hood of his car by intentionally trying to run him down. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

A Philly bike cop was injured when he was run over while attempting to stop looters.

And a concierge doctor is setting aside his practice for now, responding on his bike to triage pepper spray victims during the DC police protests.

………

LA bike clubs team up with advice to help keep you safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

………

Tobey Maguire is one of us, doing a little offroad riding in the hills above Brentwood with his girlfriend, model Tatiana Dieteman.

Aussie actress Isla Fisher is back on her bike on the streets of Los Angeles, though it’s hard to tell who’s behind that mask.

Soccer great Christiano Ronaldo is one of us, going for a family bike ride under blue Italian skies.

Turns out Crocodile Hunter scion Robert Irwin is one of us, most likely to his mother’s chagrin, after separating his shoulder in a “massive” mountain bike crash.

LeBron James took advantage of LA’s Covid-light streets to get in a bike ride, accompanied by fellow NBA stars Anthony Davis and J. R. Smith. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/ESPNNBA/status/1266839721914912769?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1266839721914912769&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbleacherreport.com%2Farticles%2F2894158-lakers-lebron-james-anthony-davis-spotted-riding-bikes-with-jr-smith-in-la

Although J.R. seemed a tad less relaxed later as he beat the crap out of someone for breaking his truck window.

………

GCN takes a long look back to a forgotten age of bicycling before Strava, GPS and power meters.

………

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

An English letter writer describes a punishment pass by a speeding driver, accompanied by a shout to get out of the way.

A 15-year old Irish boy was chased down by a BMW driver and pushed off his bike, which the driver then threw at him.

Pro cyclists have to deal with punishment-passing jerks, too.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at the slow expansion of Slow Streets throughout Southern California, as well as repurposing streets for outdoor dining and retail.

A Pasadena writer warns about increased dangers on Angeles Crest Highway as traffic increases and parking lots reopen.

Zagster has pulled the plug on Santa Clarita’s Pace bikeshare program.

The experimental app that turned traffic lights to green for Santa Clarita bike riders has proven successful, and is now being rolled out nationally.

 

State

Tragic news from Tulare, as a woman became collateral damage when a murder suspect rolled his car during a police chase, striking her as she rode her bike.

Sad news from San Francisco, where a 31-year old bike rider was killed when he was doored by one driver, then hit by another.

 

National

Vogue offers a beginner’s guide to buying the right bike for the ultimate two-wheeled fashion accessory.

Forbes lists six relatively cheap bikes you can buy online right now. Actually, with a foldie starting at just $269, they can lose the “relatively” part.

A writer for HuffPo says the bike boom offers less obvious benefits for cities, including boosting business, greater efficiency and increasing sales for everyone.

Bicycling and trampoline injuries have spiked during the coronavirus crisis, as kids stay active while they’re home from school. Although hopefully not doing both at the same time, although that would explain the injuries.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay says bikes are so hot right now, you’ll probably ride one this year. If you can get past the paper’s paywall, that is.

Red Bull wants you to build mountain bike jumps like a pro.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever painted swastikas on a Lincoln, Nebraska bike path and nearby trees.

Boston experts offer advice on how to fit a big bike into a small apartment.

When a kindhearted Mississippi sheriff’s deputy and the other deacons at his church raised $250 to buy a new bike for a young boy after his bike was stolen, a bike shop owner stepped up to donate one.

 

International

The Guardian offers tips on how to make bicycling a delight.

Canadian network CTV says yes, bicycling is one of the safest things you can do outside during the pandemic.

Kindhearted officials with a Calgary towing company raised $1,000 to buy an adaptive bicycle for a special needs girl after the one she received from the local cerebral palsy association was stolen.

A new Brit rider says pop-up bike lanes aren’t so great for beginners.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a judge took pity on an unlicensed and uninsured driver, rather than the person he sent to the hospital for two weeks.

The British edition of GQ offers their list of the best helmets to keep you stylish and protected. Because all that really matters is how good you look on a bike, right?

A Scottish secondhand bike charity is changing lives by donating bicycles to employees of the National Health Service and other key workers.

The UK edition of Wired recommends their picks for the best bike helmets.

Cycle chic is reinvented Down Under as CLOB — Chic Lady on a Bike — as “cute” 1950’s inspired bikes fly out the door. Unlike LA, where bikes are flying out of doors and windows that are supposed to be locked.

Some people collect bikes. This Aussie collects cycling kits, with 250 and counting.

 

Competitive Cycling

The group that oversees the unofficial Everesting record says we almost had yet another new world’s record, but German pro Emanuel Buchmann fell just short of mountain biker Keegan Swenson’s record, which just beat Phil Gaimon’s record.

That feeling when you’re trying to outride that woman on the bike, without realizing she’s a former Olympic champ.

 

Finally…

When you get back up after falling off your bike, try to take all your fingers with you. It looks like a little mountain biking is in the cards — and on the board.

And we all have to work from home these days.

………

Thanks to Matthew R for his monthly donation to help keep this site coming your way every day.

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

Large SD ride reportedly flouts pandemic and traffic laws, Westchester auto-centrism, and tracking US bike deaths

WTF.

A large group of San Diego bicyclists appeared to ignore any hint of physical distancing on a Sunday group ride.

Without a single face mask in sight.

Let alone anything remotely resembling common sense in the middle of a pandemic.

San Diego’s ABC10 reports that, despite reports the group was well behaved earlier on their ride, their behavior had deteriorated by the time they got to San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood.

Paen told 10News that the riders in PB were unruly and rowdy. “[They were] flipping their fingers at cars [and] spitting at people,” he told 10News and added, “They were just whizzing by stop signs and past pedestrians and cars. It just seemed like they had immunity to anything on the road that was against them.”

Never mind that members of the group apparently got into a fight with a woman who had gotten out of her car to chastise them, as shown in the video above.

“[A cyclist] starts to kick on her and picks on her and it just becomes this mob mentality of bikers on this one woman who was going to yell at this [cyclist] for basically running a red light,” he said and added, “There was literally no one wearing masks or any type of gloves [and they were] all within close proximity of each other.”

According to the station, San Diego police responded to the fight, but neither side wanted to press charges.

Obviously, there’s more than one side to the story. And there’s no discounting the obvious windshield bias in the witness report.

But the optics of holding this type of ride, at a time when even small groups are prohibited — let alone hundreds of unmasked, scofflaw bike riders — is pretty devastating.

Let alone the sheer stupidity of risking the spread of an often symptomless, potentially deadly disease to their family and loved ones.

Not to mention total strangers who have the misfortune of just being nearby.

We need to do better.

All of us.

………

Once again, auto-centrism rears its ugly head in LA’s Westchester/Playa neighborhood, as a motion at tonight’s neighborhood council meeting opposes taking even an inch of space for Slow Streets.

Because cars.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1262544428213743622

………

Outside updated their record of every bicyclist killed on American roads in 2020, which is now up to 165 names.

Southern California is responsible for 20 of those so far.

Thanks to Melissa Wenzel for the heads-up.

………

GCN demonstrates how to make your own high-level camera mount out of whatever wood you happen to have lying around.

………

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

A North Dakota woman was busted for intentionally running down a man on a bike as he tried to ride away after arguing with her.

A British bus driver vows to never ride a bicycle again after he was intentionally knocked off his bike by a couple of women after warning them he was passing; he suffered a fractured pelvis and spine, a dislocated shoulder and ruptured kidneys. And they just walked away.

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

See above. No, seriously.

………

Local

Molly Shannon is one of us. And evidently, so is her daughter, as they shared a bike ride in Santa Monica.

They weren’t the only bike-riding Santa Monica celebs, though as Joe Jonas took a spin through the city, while leaving pregnant wife Sophie Turner at home.

 

State

Calbike is pushing a bill to encourage developers to provide secure bike parking in housing developments. But Megan Lynch reminds us that bike parking needs to accommodate handicapped riders, as well.

Two sections of one San Francisco roadway show how good it can be when making space for people, and how bad it is when left to motor vehicles.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss tells drivers that going the usual 5 mph over the speed limit is contributing to America’s addiction to speeding, while putting lives at risk. SoCal drivers would have to slow down from the usual 10 to 15 mph over the limit to just get down to that.

So much for those free Strava accounts. If you want access to Strava’s leaderboard, get ready to start paying. And stop using the 44,000 third-party apps they just broke.

Apparently, bicycles really are the new toilet paper. The New York Times says bike shop shelves are empty, too, with lower-end bicycles selling out and not enough new bikes in the supply chain.

Trek says there’s never been a better time to #GoByBike.

Outside offers five things they learned from this year’s bicycle tests, like gravel bikes are the new roadies, good roadies cost six grand — or more — and the recent boom in bike built specifically for women is over. And a few lessons from their favorite mountain bikes, too.

Virtually empty, casino-lined Las Vegas Blvd may now be the world’s most expensive bikeway. Or at least flashiest.

Houston residents discuss using their bikes as a form of transportation. Radical concept, I know.

A Maine bike advocate ponders what the streets of the future will look like, as Covid-19 gives us a rare opportunity to reimagine the space devoted to motor vehicles.

The New York Times considers how to have a safe bike ride with the kids, whether on Slow Streets or the usual fast ones.

New Yorkers J.Lo and A.Rod went for a Monday bike ride. Although judging from what little you can see, her bike doesn’t look like one.

Unbelievable. A 77-year old Maryland man was killed when he was right hooked by his neighbor turning into a driveway. So naturally, police blamed the victim.

One Atlanta teen is in custody, and another is wanted, after allegedly shooting a 58-year old woman in a dispute over a stolen bike.

A Georgia couple faces charges for killing a bike rider while conspiring to deal meth. Although just what slinging meth had to do with the fatal crash isn’t clear.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is one of us, too.

 

International

Road.cc offers their own take on the best new hybrid bikes.

Your new e-foldie could cost less than a grand, and come with seating for two.

No bias here. A Toronto columnist sees a not-so-secret anti-car agenda in the movement to provide street space for people during the coronavirus crisis. Because clearly, you can’t make room for anyone else on the streets without making some drivers feel threatened.

No bias here, either, as an official with London’s taxi drivers association calls the push for bike lanes a class war (scroll down). Because only elite, educated white “eco-caramel coconut latte” swilling males actually ride bicycles, evidently. 

The Department of DIY struck in the UK over the weekend, as climate change advocates Extinction Rebellion painted their own fuchsia-colored pop-up bike lanes throughout the country.

A British driver could find out the hard way if you go to holy hell for dooring a Catholic bishop.

A 15-year old Indian girl rode nearly 750 miles to bring her injured father home on the back of her bicycle.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Singapore cyclist rescued a toddler who rode his kick scooter onto a busy street.

A new report says a proposal to allow New Zealanders to ride their bikes on sidewalks, with a nine-mile an hour speed limit, could result in savings of $24 million a year — but cost $14 million in pedestrian injuries, as well as one additional death, each year.

The global bike boom has hit Down Under, where bikes have become a key social distancing tool. Sort of like everywhere else.

Aussie bike advocates say the new temporary bike paths being built in Sydney should be made permanent. Again, like everywhere else.

No surprise here. Australian researchers conclude that harsh penalties for violating the mandatory helmet law in New South Wales are extremely excessive, and arbitrarily enforced.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for Medium talks with freshly bearded, former world Eversting record holder Phil Gaimon about life during lockdown.

 

Finally…

Apparently, following influencers to win a quarantine Peloton is a thing now. If you’re going to ride a hot high-end mountain bike at 4:14 am, put a damn light on it — and don’t pedal past a cop who used to manage a bike shop.

And who needs an agility course when you’ve got a bike corral?

………

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

Slow Streets finally coming to Los Angeles, face masks now required in LA, and YouTubers injured in hit-and-run

Finally.

Los Angeles County has given a long-overdue blessing to the concept of Slow Streets.

And LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has suggested the city may give them a try.

According to a story from Time Out,

On Wednesday, the county announced that as part of an update to its “safer at home” order, it would allow cities to close off streets to car traffic and temporarily turn them into pedestrian-only areas.

“Local public entities may, if they want to, temporarily close certain streets or areas to automobile traffic and this would allow for increased space for persons to engage in recreational activity that’s permitted by the health officer orders,” said Department of Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer in her daily briefing.

Slow Streets, a term that was virtually unheard of before the concept spread rapidly across a world afflicted by Covid-19 and the resulting lockdowns, are fully or partially closed to motor vehicles to allow people to get outside for a little fresh air and exercise, while providing enough space to allow for social distancing.

Without having to worry about getting run down by a speeding, distracted driver. Or having to leave their own neighborhood.

But as usual, LA appears to be wrapping the concept in needless red tape.

Instead of simply choosing several streets to close down across the city, as countless other cities have done, Los Angeles will make residents apply if they want one near them.

https://twitter.com/laura_nelson/status/1260735078168064000

Which may or may not be approved, depending on whatever criteria will be used to vet the request.

Most likely, though, it will depend on whether the local councilmember wants them, in a city where they are virtual kings and queens in their own districts, with the power to bless or kill any street proposal.

So we may be able to get out for a little air soon. But I wouldn’t hold your breath just yet.

As usual, though, this comes because bike and pedestrian advocates fought for it.

………

You’re now going to have to wear a face mask anytime you go outside in the City of Angels.

Although whether that would apply if you’re riding your bike, and not around other people, remains to be explained.

But just like deciding to ride without a helmet, you can expect to be harassed and publicly shamed by self-appointed safety vigilantes if you’re not wearing one.

………

YouTube stars and influencers Marcus and Kristin Johns were both injured by a hit-and-run driver, who they say swerved directly at them in an intentional attempt to run them down as they were riding their bikes.

The driver was apparently fleeing from police following a burglary.

Neither one suffered major injuries, though they were both hospitalized. Unfortunately, however, they don’t give any date or location for the crash.

But it could explain why this story about Monday’s Toluca hit-and-run has unexpectedly blown up, with over 10,000 page views in the last two days.

………

ESPN has released the trailer for their upcoming documentary about Lance Armstrong, titled simply Lance.

Which reminds me of this old classic.

………

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

A pair of “respected” retired woman are suspected of sabotaging a British bike trail by building traps using rocks and branches to stop unsuspecting bike riders.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says there are new bike lanes on two sections of York Blvd in NELA, with a two-block gap on a narrow section in between.

Streetsblog looks at the opening of the Rose Bowl loop to people, not cars. Meanwhile, a Pasadena writer suggests repurposing Old Town’s Colorado Blvd for outdoor dining.

Watchmen actress Malin Akerman celebrated her birthday with an unmasked ride with friends and family through the streets of Venice.

Final Destination star Ali Larter is one of us, riding through Pacific Palisades with her five-year old daughter.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, too, riding with his with wife in Pasadena, with the family dog in tow.

 

State

San Diego is trying to pump new life into May’s moribund Bike Month by encouraging people to try bike commuting. There may never be a better time to give it a shot, with motor vehicle use at a historic low.

He gets it. Writing for a Yucaipa paper, a veteran bike cop says the far to the right law is widely misunderstood, and you’re not expected to be a gutter bunny. Although he may not have used that exact term. But still.

An allegedly intoxicated Fresno teenager hit the trifecta, crashing into a parked car, a bike rider and an apartment complex while fleeing from police; no word on the rider’s condition.

Vallejo’s annual tongue-in-cheek Obtanium Cup bike festival has been cancelled.

 

National

Time to start hoarding bicycles. The Guardian says bike usage is soaring across the US, while Bike says we’re running out of bikes, and it’s not just due to the coronavirus.

Lifehacker offers tips on learning to ride a bicycle, even if you’re an adult. Although once you actually get on a bike, you won’t feel like one.

The Verge says something better may emerge from the ashes of the scooter-sharing industry, which has ground to a halt over coronavirus fears.

A pair of Seattle bike cops are suing the city, alleging they were injured due to poorly maintained bicycles.

Los Angeles isn’t the only city enjoying cleaner air during the coronavirus lockdown. Denver is getting long-overdue relief from the city’s notorious brown cloud.

Evidently, that flawed study that incorrectly asserted that bike helmets reduce head injuries up to 85% will never die, rearing its head once again in an editorial from a Kansas paper. More accurate studies suggest helmets can reduce the risk of head injury 48%, and serious head injury 60%.

An Illinois letter writer complains that bike riders are discriminated against at drive-up windows. Just another example of windshield bias and the hegemony of motor vehicles.

Boston is considering four options to allow residents to get outside while maintaining social distancing, including Slow Streets and pop-up bike lanes.

New York is opening another 12 miles of Slow Streets now to allow for social distancing outside, along with another nine miles of protected bike lanes later this month.

An Alabama man was killed by his neighbor in a shooting that began with a dispute over the victim’s son, who was riding his bike down the street with a slingshot.

That’s more like it. A Florida city is building a new visitor’s center to attract people on bicycles.

 

International

The World Economic Forum suggests the Covid-19 pandemic could usher in a golden age of bicycling.

Cycling News looks at how ebikes are powering a worldwide revolution in post-lockdown transportation.

Road.cc lists their picks for the best road bikes priced from roughly $1,222 to $1,833. Which makes a lot more sense when you consider that translates to a nice, round £1,000 to £1,500 in the UK.

London’s historic Square Mile financial district will block some streets to motor vehicles as the city comes back to life, encouraging people to walk and ride bikes instead of driving.

The Standard says this is a chance for a more bike-friendly London.

A suspected British bike thief experiences instant karma, falling off the bike into a patch of nettles and breaking his ankle as he tried to make his escape.

The Sea Otter Classic is pulling the plug on the inaugural Australian edition of the annual Monterey bike fest.

 

Competitive Cycling

Covid-19 claims another major event with the cancellation of Colorado’s iconic Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race.

If Oregon gives the okay to resume bike racing, it will be up to promoters to prove the race is safe from the coronavirus.

Cycling News looks back at the first American to ride in the Giro d’Italia, nearly 50 years before the first American team made its debut.

 

Finally…

When protesters try to disrupt your bike shop opening, just give them a deal. Your next ebike could be a balloon that fits in a backpack. No, really.

And this is what happens when someone who’s apparently never ridden a bike tries to design facilities for them.

………

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

Anti-urbanist writer insists LA sprawl prevents Covid-19, and cure your coronavirus blues with a simple bike ride

What a load of crap.

In a Sunday op-ed in the LA Times, longtime anti-urbanist Joel Kotkin insists once again that Angelenos love single-family sprawl.

And that spread of the coronavirus proves they’re right.

No, really.

Let’s ignore for now his bizarre belief that Los Angeles residents love living in far-flung communities — and the resulting hours long commutes that come with it, rather than being forced to move to distant suburbs in order to find somewhere, anywhere, they can actually afford to live.

It’s his equally strange insistence that LA’s relatively low rate of Covid-19 infections compared to New York that proves sprawl is better that density.

For nearly a century, Los Angeles’ urban form has infuriated urbanists who prefer a more concentrated model built around a single central core.

Yet, in the COVID-19 pandemic, our much-maligned dispersed urban pattern has proven a major asset. Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs have had a considerable number of cases, but overall this highly diverse, globally engaged region has managed to keep rates of infection well below that of dense, transit-dependent New York City.

As of April 24, Los Angeles County, with nearly 2 million more residents than the five boroughs, had 850 coronavirus-related deaths compared with 16,646 in New York City.

I’d say someone should remind him that correlation does not equal causation, but that would destroy his entire argument.

In Kotkin’s blindered view of the world, the virus spread rapidly through New York merely because people live close to each other and share transit systems.

And was slowed in its deadly progression through the City of Angels because we hide out in our hermetically sealed SUVs on the way to our single-family homes in socially distant communities.

Never mind that Los Angeles shut down at the first reports of Covid-19 infections and deaths, followed quickly by California, while New York waited until the virus was already widespread within the city and neighboring New Jersey.

He also conveniently ignores the fact that parts of Los Angeles are among the densest communities in the US — and by some reports, the densest. And that over half of LA residents are renters, most of those in multi-family buildings.

For his argument to bear any validity, the virus would have to tear through denser neighborhoods like Maywood, Huntington Park and West Hollywood, while sparing less dense areas in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Antelope Valleys.

Not so much.

As this chart from the LA Times shows, the coronavirus is well dispersed throughout LA County, in dense areas as well as the sprawling single-family communities Kotkin seems to think are virus proof.

The only way to accurately determine what effect density has on the spread of the virus will be to wait until it’s over, and perform epidemiology studies to look at just how and where it spread.

Because it’s entirely possible that an area with lower population density could show a significantly higher rate of infection per capita than an area with two or three times the population.

And let’s not forget the role that redlining and racial convents have played in how LA’s communities formed, and the relative wealth and health of their residents.

Kotkin concludes by simultaneously making, and refuting, his own argument that people prefer sprawl.

At the same time, most Californians seem less than eager to abandon their single-family homes for the pleasures of what some call “elegant density.” Even before the pandemic, they were voting with their feet for less density and lower costs. Even as L.A. County’s population has started to decline, over 87% of all the growth in the region in this decade took place on the periphery where single-family homes and spacious apartments are still remotely affordable.

State policy, urban planners and pundits may decry this trend, but after a pandemic, dispersion may well seem a safer bet than densification. It turns out Californians are already headed in that direction.

Exactly.

Angelenos continue to move to far-flung neighborhoods, often against their own wishes, because those are the only places they can afford to live.

And no, over-reliance on cars didn’t save us, either.

Because it only takes a quick glance at those underserved communities to see the virus didn’t get there by transit.

I could go on. And on.

But Grist already dismantled Kotkin’s flimsy arguments in favor of sprawl six years ago.

Besides, the best argument against Kotkin’s love of sprawl is to just go outside and take a deep breath.

And let what has recently turned into the cleanest air of any major city remind you what life could be like without hundreds of thousands of people driving into the city every morning.

It’s just tragic that so many people had to die to get us there.

Photo by Josh Kur from Pexels.

………

Sadly, a poorly framed article from the Los Angeles Times repeats many of the same misguided arguments about density being responsible for spreading the coronavirus.

Even though they refute it themselves.

At the same time, there’s lots of evidence that shows density isn’t destiny.

Highly populated cities in Asia, including Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong, have seen a fraction of New York’s cases. The same is true for America’s next densest big city, San Francisco, which issued a shelter-in-place order nearly a week before the East Coast metropolis. As of Saturday, the Bay Area city had reported only about 1,300 confirmed cases — compared with more than 8,450 in the city of Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, they insist on following the lead of too much of the American press by presenting unsupported arguments on equal footing with demonstrable evidence to the contrary.

Because opinions aren’t facts.

No matter who has them, or how loudly they express them.

………

On the other hand, Times columnist Robin Abcarian gets it.

After what she describes as weeks of “major mood swings and a bizarre feeling of dislocation,” she found a simple solution.

She got together with her ten-year old niece, and went for a bike ride.

At this weird moment in history, with an invisible virus making life hell for so many, I daresay that getting outside and communing with nature, where it can be done safely in a socially distanced way, is one of the best ways to regain a sense of well-being and optimism.

I defy you to wander around the wetlands, or get up close to a colony of frisky sea lions, and not be thrilled to be alive.

………

I think we can all relate to this one.

https://twitter.com/chrisfroome/status/1253702076120563721?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

………

The Global Cycling Network builds a tall bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says LA city officials are slow walking requests to open up streets for pedestrians and bike riders to provide space to exercise while social distancing, as other cities around the world have done.

Pasadena is taking a half-step towards giving people more space on the streets, posting signs warning drivers that bike riders and pedestrians could be using them in hope that might encourage them to take their foot off the gas pedal. Okay, make that just a quarter-step.

A planning website interviews Santa Monica’s former bike-friendly city manager, suggesting Rick Cole’s resignation under pressure could be a warning for other cities dealing with heavy financial loses due to Covid-19.

The Long Beach bikeshare service has shut down during the coronavirus crisis, turning their attention to private’s rentals and bike repair instead.

Ryan Phillippe is one of us, going for a ride though Brentwood with his 16-year old son.

 

State

This year’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride has been cancelled, but fundraising to fight HIV/AIDS and support HIV+ people goes on.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Bill Walton’s virtual group ride Bike for Humanity raised $100,000 from over 1,500 participants around the world.

Berkeley embraced slow streets decades ago, even without a pandemic to force their hand.

They get it. A Lodi newspaper calls bicycling an ideal way to get some exercise and get around town during the coronavirus shutdown.

 

National

Writing for the Atlantic, Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt says the pandemic has finally shown people the damage cars have done to our cities, and the road space they’ve commandeered.

A Nevada woman learns that riding a mountain bike again really is just like riding a bike.

A Lawrence, Kansas bike shop is reclaiming bikes dumped in a landfill by the city’s bikeshare provider, and giving them to people in need.

Last week we shared video of a St. Louis bike rider getting run down by a hit-and-run driver. Now it turns out that what the police described as minor injuries actually were cracked ribs, a punctured lung and a broken vertebrae.

Chicago Streetsblog calls the late Effective Cycling author John Forrester a worthy adversary.

Bicycling and walking continue to boom in Minneapolis.

Indiana University’s famed Little 500 has been cancelled, costing the women’s ROTC team their first chance to compete; the race was the inspiration for Breaking Away.

A book store in New York’s East Village is staying afloat during the lockdown by delivering books to customers by bike.

So much for supporting essential workers. A roving band of armed bandits are targeting bicycle delivery riders in Upper Manhattan, pushing them off their ebikes before riding off on them.

 

International

Seriously? A writer for Cycling News says riding with earphones is pointless and selfish during the lockdown, and any other time. In California, it’s legal to ride with one earphone in your ear, but not both; it’s also smart to keep the volume down to a level that allows you to hear people and traffic around you. But it would be nice if drivers were required to keep their volume down so they can hear, too. 

People around the world are getting on their bikes and trainers to raise funds to fight Covid-19.

I like him already. The councilman who got the most votes in the Dominican Republic’s latest election arrived for his inauguration on a bicycle, his preferred form of transportation for the past several years.

Bike repair is booming in Saskatoon as people turn to “the only activity left,” but the Saskatchewan city isn’t providing more road space for riders and walkers.

She gets it. A writer for London’s Independent newspaper says bicycling is booming during the coronavirus crisis, and we need to keep it that way.

British experts say bike riders are getting a bad rap, and someone on a bike is no more likely to spread coronavirus than someone taking a leisurely walk.

Sad news from Great Britain, where bicycling fatalities are running twice as high as normal for this time of year, despite the country’s coronavirus lockdown; 14 riders have lost their lives, along with another in Northern Ireland.

Welsh bicyclists are limited to riding within a “reasonable walking distance” of their home under the country’s lockdown rules, whatever that means. That can vary from a few blocks to several miles, depending on who’s doing the walking. And the question is whether the same rules apply to people in motor vehicles, or if they’re singling out transportation riders.

A Scottish advocacy group calls for more space on the streets for people biking and walking to maintain the gains seen during the coronavirus shutdown.

If you’re tired of sitting around waiting for the US to reopen, consider moving to the UK, which has a critical need for people capable of putting bikes together to clear up a 20,000 bike backlog.

A Dublin newspaper looks at the worst places to ride a bike in Ireland.

Bikes are making a comeback as Europe prepares to reopen and people look for an alternative to mass transit.

Milan plans to rebound from the coronavirus shutdown by permanently reallocating 22 miles of streets for biking and walking.

Covid-19 forced an Italian couple to cut short their six-year bike ride around the world, after crossing the Himalayas and Australian Outback.

A ten-year old Indian girl is supporting her family by pedaling around her Uttar Pradesh city peddling the face masks they’re making.

Sad news from Iran, where a 17-year old member of the country’s national cycling team was killed in a collision.

A bighearted former teacher is volunteering to deliver medications by bicycle to HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis patients in Eastern Uganda.

A Korean company is investing $8 million to provide up to 4,000 ebikes in Thailand, along with solar-powered charging stations.

Conde Nast Traveler talks with Kiwi TV producer Jemaine Clement, who’d rather do his traveling by bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly looks back at the career of Britain’s Madam Gray, who the credit with being the godmother of women’s cycling, helping the sport become what it is today.

 

Finally…

Nothing like getting knocked off your bike — and ticketed in the ER for violating the quarantine. How to ride RAAM without actually going anywhere.

And now you, too, can own your very own steel-framed roadie used by five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain, for the low, low price of just under 60 grand.

………

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

Vehicular cycling founder John Forester has died, toxic car culture, fighting for street space, and courteous CA drivers

Sad news from San Diego.

CABO President Jim Baross writes that John Forester, author of Effective Cycling and the father of America’s vehicular cycling movement, passed away last week.

Reported to me today by his son Jeff Forester

John died April 14, 2020 at 90 years of age

He was Born Oct. 1929

I have known John primarily related to bicycling and CABO. Some things I know about him off the cuff:

Author of Effective Cycling now in a 7th edition, former League of American Bicyclists Board member (was he board chair at one time?), instrumental in the formation of CABO, certainly the Father of the concepts and trainings of vehicular cycling, an early outspoken advocate for the rights of people to use bicycles on public roads, etc. etc.

Whatever your opinion of vehicular cycling, Forester was hugely influential in the ’70s and ’80s, and throughout the past 50 years. Both in affirming the place of bicyclists on our streets, and blocking the growth of separated bikeways.

He fought for what he believed right up to the end, long after most modern advocates and planners had left his philosophies behind.

But in his day, his work was a revelation, creating the framework most road cyclists employed through the last decades of the past century.

Myself included.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

Cover image from MIT Press

………

Let’s talk about a great opinion piece from today’s LA Times.

Senior digital editor Matthew Fleischer writes that the coronavirus shutdowns are making it clear just how toxic car culture really is.

The coronavirus is making it abundantly clear that cars are their own kind of plague. And, in many ways, our lives are better when we don’t have to use them.

Some city leaders have come to this realization and are refusing to allow their automotive status quos to return after the lockdowns end. In Milan, Italy — one of the hardest-hit cities in the world by coronavirus — planners have already begun preparations to permanently transform 22 miles of streets for non-automobile use after witnessing reductions in air pollution of up to 70% during lockdowns.

Then there’s this.

Frankly, the idea that we can transport ourselves sustainably en masse in toxic 4,000-pound battering rams is just as delusional, entitled and self-destructive as the “liberate” protestors who are demanding a premature end to coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders…

There is no herd immunity from the damage caused by millions of personal automobiles roaming the streets at all hours.

Seriously, this will probably be the most insightful thing you read today. If not, it’s still a damn good way to spend the next few minutes.

Let’s hope Mayor Garcetti reads it.

Because he can let coronavirus derail his ambitious plans to reimagine our streets as part of an LA Green New Deal.

Or he can use this as a rare opportunity to actually make it happen.

………

Closing or narrowing streets for cars in response to Covid-19 continues to make news here in LA, across the US and around the world.

Los Angeles political advocacy group Streets For All has forged a powerful coalition of LA-area groups to lead the call to keep Angelenos physically and mentally healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.

And expressed that call in a strongly worded letter to leaders of the City of Angels.

The road space in Los Angeles is now dramatically overbuilt for the current vehicle traffic volume, causing vehicles to travel at dangerous speeds – average speeds are up 30% on our wide open roads according to LADOT. At the same time, the average width of our sidewalks is 4.4’, too narrow to allow people to pass each other while maintaining 6’ of distance. As a result, people are forced to be in close proximity with each other, risking proliferating the virus or walking, running, scooting, or biking in the street next to speeding cars. This isn’t just a street safety issue, but a public health issue as well…

While the top priority is limiting COVID-19 spread and saving lives and livelihoods, there must be a long term plan to sustain the mental and physical well being of Angelenos. Isolation and inactivity can lead to increases in chronic health conditions like heart disease and obesity and pose other mental and physical health risks that we may pay for as a society for years to come.

Therefore, for the critical reasons of equity, mental health, safety, and the physical well-being of Angelenos, we ask you to authorize the creation of an emergency people street network – using cones or other temporary infrastructure – to create additional sidewalk and open space for people to walk, run, scoot, and bike in, while maintaining 6’ of distancing. ​On neighborhood streets, this could be as simple as a few cones and a “slow down” sign taking up some of the street, calming traffic but still allowing local and emergency vehicle access. On major arteries, this could be redistributing a parking lane and/or single vehicle traffic lane on each side of the street, while taking care not to interfere with bus stops​. These treatments may also advance the Mayor’s goals under L.A.’s Green New Deal to “Activate Streets” and “Prioritize Land Use and the Right-of-Way” in ​Executive Directive 25​. All of this can be accomplished inexpensively and without the need of distracting our police or fire departments with enforcement during this critical time.

It’s worth taking the time to read the full letter. And voice your own support.

Meanwhile, KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks with Curbed’s Alissa Walker about closing some roads to cars so people have more space to walk, run or bike.

Salt Lake City joins the growing movement to convert streets to bike and pedestrian use.

Berlin is the latest world capital to carve out more space on the streets for active transportation in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.

And Paris trumps everyone by readying the equivalent of 400 miles of permanent and temporary bikeways for use when the city reawakens.

………

No surprise here.

The Governors Highway Safety Association says speeding is up around the country on streets emptied by the coronavirus crisis, which means crashes are more serious, too.

Case in point, the CHP reports that tickets for speeding in excess of 100 mph have jumped 87% over the past month.

Which can either mean that more drivers are speeding. Or that more are just getting caught.

Or maybe both.

………

New York City’s mayor demonstrates that he’s never been to California by bizarrely insisting that California drivers are so courteous, they stop on every block — even when they don’t have to.

https://twitter.com/laura_nelson/status/1252979892846645248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1252979892846645248&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnyc.streetsblog.org%2F2020%2F04%2F22%2Fstill-defiant-now-mayor-de-blasio-wrongly-claims-california-can-have-open-space-because-its-drivers-are-better%2F

………

The LACBC and Sunset For All are teaming up tomorrow to show that bikes mean business.

………

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

A “furious” English man demands that bike riders be banned from a multi-use path along the coast for the alleged crime of failing to maintain social distancing.

………

Local

Khloé Kardashian’s two-year old daughter is one of us.

 

State

A San Diego columnist questions whether it’s time to reopen parts of the city, arguing that the fitness of residents helped it avoid the worst of the coronavirus.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of San Diego men up to 80 years old are still taking long rides along the SoCal coast. And the coast of Normandy.

After losing his job in a San Francisco restaurant, a Venezuelan chef turns to his native cuisine, and starts a new business delivering homemade arepas by bike. Which is literally what he named it.

Once again, a Bay Area bicyclist posts a nearly one-hour video of a ride through Oakland and San Leandro. And once again, an Oakland News blogger freaks out over his scofflaw behavior.

They get it. A pair of Sacramento mayors agree this is no time to back down on climate change, coronavirus or not.

 

National

PeopleForBikes aims to support bike shops by encouraging responsible riding during the Covid-19 crisis, along with virtual cycling.

How to turn your kid into a mini mountain bike shredder.

A pair of Idaho bike commuters are credited with helping the environment by trading gas pedals for bike pedals; one was inspired to get on her bike by attending CicLAvia when she was a student at USC.

Evidently, Texas trail users don’t like being told which way to go.

Wisconsin wrenches are raising old bikes from the dead at a record pace.

Security cam video shows a St. Louis hit-and-run driver plowing into a bike rider, hurling him into the air before flooring it and fleeing the scene; despite the head-on crash, the victim only suffered minor injuries. This video is just as disturbing as it sounds, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on the link.

Three friends from Maine end up driving 2,000 miles home when their fundraising cross-country bike trip ground to a halt in Texas after the coronavirus shut down much of the country.

After an MIT researcher blamed New York’s transit system for spreading Covid-19, a researcher from George Mason University reminds him that correlation isn’t causation, noting that restaurants and bikeshare showed the same curve — and points the finger for spreading the disease at motor vehicle use, instead.

Streetsblog says the empty streets have turned New York’s Third Ave into a dangerous speedway.

A writer for Rolling Stone takes a desolate and desultory ride through the city, feeling anger towards people flaunting social distancing rules and mourning places that may not return.

A Philly radio station says bicycle couriers have had to change their strategies to avoid spreading Covid-19. Or getting exposed to it.

 

International

She gets it. A writer for Forbes says our planet needs cities to prioritize people over cars, and this is the perfect time to do it.

The Pinkbike Podcast discusses why every new bike now seems to be a trail bike.

Cycling News says you can save time and money by learning to fit your own bike chain. Meanwhile, Bike Radar offers a beginner’s guide to road bike shifting.

Bike-riding British Columbia mounties stop a man for riding without a helmet, which is against the law there. And end up busting him for stealing the bike he was riding.

Dutch model Lilly Becker is one of us, too, going for a socially distant ride through London’s Wimbledon neighborhood.

Tragic news from the Netherlands, where an 18-year old man was stabbed to death in an apparent random attack while riding his bike; police arrested a “known troublemaker” immigrant with mental health problems.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault about his 50-mile solo breakaway through a brutal snowstorm to win the 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège

 

Finally…

Who needs a BMX track when you’ve got a Tribeca apartment with an awesome view of the waterfront? Why move over when you’ve got a six-foot social distancing stick?

And no, bikes aren’t “the new toilet paper.

You can actually get a bicycle.

………

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

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