Tag Archive for Covid-19

Wrapping an anti-15-minute city rant in Catholic BS, and an “overly powerful bike lobby” gets everything it wants — or not

I guess I missed that day in catechism class.

A writer for the Catholic Herald — a publication which, unto now, I have been blissfully unaware, despite a conservative Catholic upbringing — professes to make “the Catholic argument against 15-minute cities.”

Never mind that Jesus was a pedestrian who likely lived in one.

The thesis of a 15-minute city is that everything you need for daily life should be found within a 15-minutes walk, bike or transit ride of your home.

That’s it.

And as much as I strain my memory, I can’t recall any teachings of Jesus or the disciples that so much as mention it, let alone condemn it.

But that doesn’t stop the author, who will remain unnamed here to protect the guilty.

At face value, the idea seems desirable and has much to commend it. But I can’t help smell a rat, especially following Covid lockdowns and the increasingly “nudgy” and authoritarian-lite sheen to public policies these days. I suspect the great Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc would have agreed, given what he had to say about the intractable struggle between Catholicism and socialism.

“The Catholic Church, acutely conscious as she is of the abominations of the modern industrial and capitalistic system…refuses to cure it at the expense of denying a fundamental principle of morality, the principle of private ownership, which applies quite as much to the means of production as to any other class of material objects,” Belloc wrote in his 1908 essay The Church and Socialism. 

Currently the “material object” most in the crosshairs that bureaucrats and activists are obsessing over – in terms of reducing your use of it or simply taking it away altogether- is your car.

Huh?

I don’t know of any version of the 15-minute city philosophy that involves taking away anyone’s car.

Nor is there a damn thing socialistic about the concept. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Unless maybe you don’t approve of Medicare and social security. And don’t get me started on the inherent socialism in this country’s subsidizing of motor vehicle usage.

If anything, the 15-minute city is about enabling personal freedom to move about as you choose, without forcing you into a motor vehicle just to get groceries, get to work or get healthcare.

Or even get to church, temple, mosque or wherever you choose to worship, or not.

You can walk. You can bike. You can take a bus or train. Or — tres shock! — you can even drive, if you so choose.

But wait, as they say in informercials, there’s more.

The “fundamental thesis of Socialism”, as Belloc highlights, is “that man would be better and happier were the means of production in human society, that is, land and machinery and all transport [my italics], controlled by government rather than by private persons or corporations.”

I’ve experienced transport being excessively controlled by the Taliban, and I can assure you it sucks. Their IED campaign in Afghanistan’s Helmand province was so deadly effective that the British Army lost its freedom of movement. Admittedly the use of IEDs is an extreme form of traffic fines—but the principle is the same: someone else interdicting your movement. It changes everything.

Can you say, “non sequitur?”

Sure you can.

Again, socialism has nothing to do with the 15-minute city. If anything, it enables capitalism in its purest and simplest sense, since it enables you to do business with local merchants, right where you live.

But it does nothing to prevent you from doing business across town, across the country or across the globe.

And no, it has nothing to do with IEDs or any other kind of explosives.

Yet he goes on.

Of course he does.

Thanks to the vagaries of freelancing, I’ve also experienced various prolonged periods of not owning a car and I can confirm that it is tedious, limiting and exhausting, as you set off, once again, peddling like a maniac to make it on time. Not having a car is even harder if you are coordinating a family (once again, public policy seems set on disincentivising the family unit, while punishing those who have children).

Somehow, he turns that into an argument against being able to live without a car.

Go figure.

Where, pray tell, is freedom represented in forcing people to pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every month to own and use motor vehicles, just to access the things and services they need?

And just where is the love and forgiveness of God in his supposed Catholic essay?

Because there is absolutely nothing Catholic about his arguments. Rather, what he penned was an essay about the dangers of socialism, under the mistaken belief it has anything to do with the 15-minute city, and tried to shoehorn Catholicism in.

Not faith. Not religion. Not even Christianity, because what he writes has nothing to do with it in any shape or form.

It is ironic that his essay appeared on Palm Sunday, which marks the pre-Passover entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on the back of a lowly donkey.

Because, as we noted earlier, there is no reason to believe that the biblical city was anything other than a 15-minute city, because even though it held over half a million people, most local residents were unlikely to walk outside of their own neighborhoods to meet most of their needs.

Because most would likely have to walk, especially the poor.

It was the Romans and the wealthy who used horses, chariots and wagons, the motor vehicles of their day, to go beyond their own communities.

Which means there’s a far greater Catholic argument for a 15-minute city than against it.

Photo of the inside of the Vatican by Photo by Luis Núñez from Pexels.

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A Chicago letter writer alleges that bike riders don’t belong in traffic, and that the city is in the throes of an overly powerful bike lobby that gets everything it wants.

Am I the only one who has noticed that building bike lanes to make cycling in city traffic safe is a lot like putting filter tips on cigarettes to make smoking tobacco safe? A cosmetic change isn’t going to change the fact that for traffic, the bicycle is a fatally flawed product from the start…

Instead of spending the taxpayers’ money to force more bike lanes down the public’s throats, perhaps the politicians could learn to ask us first if this is what we want, rather than just giving an overly powerful lobby everything they want.

Funny how only people who don’t ride bikes think there’s a powerful bicycle lobby. And those of us who ride bikes think we can’t get anyone to actually listen to us.

Never mind that the best way to get bikes out of city traffic is to build bike lanes, which most surveys tend to show are overwhelmingly popular.

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Pink Bike says two young Chilean kids probably ride better than you do.

Or better than I do, anyway.

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

San Luis Obispo’s curmudgeonly anti-bike columnist blames bike lanes for destroying the livability of the city’s neighborhoods, even though most people would likely say they do just the opposite. And he objects to rising bike path construction costs, somehow forgetting that construction costs are going up virtually everywhere, for everything.

An English man had to play dead to stop an attack by four muggers who violently assaulted him and stole his £3,500 e-mountain bike, the equivalent of over $4,300.

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

Pennsylvania state police are on the lookout for a 61-year old scofflaw cyclist who gave them a fake ID, then fled into the woods on his bike after they discovered he was wanted in two states.

An English bike rider allegedly got off his bicycle and punched a man in his 70s in the face, after startling the older man by riding past him on the sidewalk.

Police in the UK are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who seriously injured a 77-year-old woman in Leeds by crashing into her while riding on the sidewalk.

Police in Milan, Italy are looking for the bike-riding man who stabbed a pair of Egyptian brothers when they got out of their car to check on him after a wrong-way crash.

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Local 

Urbanize looks forward to the Mid-City to Pico Union CicLAvia in less than two weeks.

Avril Lavigne is one of us, and so is rapper Tyga, as the couple share an ebike on a ride on the beaches of the ‘Bu.

 

State

Bike and safety advocates press the case that San Diego isn’r doing enough to protect bicyclists and pedestrians, demanding increased funding for Vision Zero. Based on the 29 people killed in the county over the past two years, they’re right. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

The plague of ebike battery fires hit close to home after one exploded when a man poured water on a battery fire as it was being recharged in a couple’s living room in San Diego’s Barrio Logan; he was burned on his arms and legs, while their apartment was destroyed in the fire.

Completing our San Diego trifecta, a local TV station says business owners are up in arms over the loss of 300 parking spots in the Convoy District to build a pair of separated bike lanes, even though that’s at least partially offset by 171 new angled parking spaces.

The Vista city council approved $1.7 million to build a series of separated bike lanes. Even if they are just using plastic bollards. And hopefully the nice, thicks ones, rather than the flimsy car-tickler bendy posts. 

Bakersfield officials officially opened a new bike path providing a continuous loop around Lake Ming, completing a 30-mile lake-to-lake bike path. Thanks to Geri for the heads-up. 

Sad news from Redwood City, where someone riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver Friday night.

An Oakland TV station says the 100-member San Ramon Valley Mountain Bike Club, composed of middle and high school students, has doubled the membership of young woman over the past year, when the team apparently had five and a half girls.

 

National

A writer for the Wall Street Journal makes a very Shoup-ian case for why the US has too much parking, in a story that for some reason isn’t hidden behind their draconian paywall, at least for now. Unless you’re talking secure bike parking, of course, in which case there isn’t nearly enough.

AutoEvolution says bikemakers are getting very close to replacing the car with the latest bicycle cargo haulers.

Denver officials are hoping the ebike craze continues, in an effort to replace vehicle miles with cleaner bike traffic.

Tragic news from Houston, where bicyclists are calling for more visible trail closure signs after a bike rider died last week when his bike apparently got tangled up in orange construction netting while riding at night.

Texas pedestrian and bicyclist traffic crash deaths increased a whopping 34% and 58%, respectively over a five-year period.

He gets it. A Portland letter writer says safe and secure bike parking does as much as good infrastructure to create more riders.

Last week we mentioned the shameful theft of a three-year old Maine kid’s Spider-Man bicycle while he was shopping with his mom. But there’s good news this time, after an anonymous Good Samaritan — in keeping with today’s Biblical theme — gave him a new one, plus matching helmet and bike lock.

Bicyclists from all over the US descended on DC over the weekend to demand ebike tax credits and road safety funding, as traffic deaths continue to rise.

Take an ebike tour of eight iconic DC monuments, memorials and museums.

Bad news from Durham, North Carolina, where the city’s budget director was killed in a collision with a speeding driver while riding his bicycle; he was also the bestselling author of Wish You Were Here: A Murdered Girl, A Brother’s Quest and the Hunt for a Canadian Serial Killer.

There’s a special place in hell for the man who attacked a Florida boy who was riding his bike to school, and stole his bicycle; fortunately, kindhearted Clearwater cops bought the 5th grader a new bike so he could ride home the same night.

 

International

Cyclist says when you’re buying a new bike, listen to your heart, not your head.

Cycling Weekly answers the burning question of whether you’re better off with a cycling computer or a smartphone app.

Tragic news from Brazil, where a 43-year old man died after he swallowed a bee while riding his bike, and went into anaphylactic shock when it stung the inside of his throat. I once swallowed something winged and fuzzy, which was when I learned to ride with my mouth closed. 

British Columbia’s Pique Newsmagazine says the pandemic bike boom is over, which means there’s never been a better time to buy a bicycle.

A blind English man was lucky to get his $2,400 adaptive tandem bike back after police recovered the stolen bike in a drug raid.

The New York Post reviews Scottish endurance bicyclist Jenny Graham’s memoir of her record-breaking ride around the world through 16 countries and four continents, covering 18,000 miles in just 124 days.

Business owners in the UK opposed to a Cornwall bikeway warn that people using it could be jeopardized by truck mirrors overhanging the bike path. Which is a better argument for keeping trucks the hell away from it.

A pair of British men plan to pedal in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia, riding 125 miles through the Jordanian desert to historic sites visited by the legendary TE Lawrence during WWI.

Turkmenistan’s annual World Health Day celebrations culminated with thousands of people in matching track suits pedaling green bicycles matching the national flag attached to each one.

Indian bikemakers say mandatory minimum standards and upgrading technology are just two of the five keys to turning around the country’s bicycle industry.

All Japanese bicyclists are now required to wear a helmet at all times, though compliance is in question, since there are no penalties for not complying.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tadej Pogačar took Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, as Mathieu van der Poel settled for second, acknowledging that he just didn’t have enough to overtake the Slovenian two-time Tour de France champ.

American Matteo Jorgenson was happy to finish in the top ten at Flanders, taking ninth place, although fellow American Neilson Powless had him beat with a fifth place finish in just his second cobblestone classic.

Poland’s Filip Maciejuk was DQ’d for causing a huge crash in the Tour of Flanders after losing control of his bike by swerving into deep grass, then cutting back onto the road and into the peloton, but at least he says he’s sorry.

Meanwhile, Belgian Lotte Kopecky won her second consecutive victory in the women’s Tour of Flanders, in a breakaway victory over Demi Vollering.

 

Finally…

Presenting a weight weenie’s worst nightmare, with the world’s heaviest rideable bicycle — or tricycle, anyway. When you’re on parole for killing a bike rider, with a revoked driver’s license, maybe try sticking to the speed limit. Or not driving to begin with.

And to paraphrase the immortal words of Richard Nixon, Paris won’t have e-scooters to kick around anymore.

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Thanks again to Matthew Robertson for his generous monthly donation to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. As always, donations are always welcome and truly appreciated, whether repeating or otherwise.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

No mask needed when you ride a bike, life behind bars for murder of bike-riding boy, and how a protected intersection works

Go ahead and leave you mask at home on your next bike ride.

If you’ve had your shots.

California and LA County are going along with new directives from the CDC, which conclude that masks are no longer necessary for people who’ve received both shots when you’re outside and away from crowds.

And they specifically call out bicycling as safe to do without a mask.

So feel free to breathe freely.

But maybe keep one handy in case you decide to go inside somewhere, or find yourself around people who may not have had their shots yet.

Just to be safe.

Photo by Yaroslav Danylchenko from Pexels.

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Kenneth Rasmuson was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the cold case murders of a couple of six-year old boys in the 1980s.

Jeffrey Vargo was riding his bike near his Anaheim Hills home when he was kidnapped and strangled by then 19-year old Rasmuson in 1981.

Five years later, Miguel Antero had just stepped off the school bus when Rasmuson grabbed him, and stabbed him multiple times.

The plea deal means the 59-year old Rasmuson will die in prison.

Which couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

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This is how a protected intersection works.

And no, I can’t seem to get rid of that top tweet, so just skip to the next one.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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A modern British remake of Vittorio De Sica’s classic Bicycle Thieves will premier on streaming platforms next week.

The Guardian likes it, but says it could be better.

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This is who we share the road with.

In a rant that will sound familiar to most bike riders, a road raging British driver complains that horses don’t belong on the roads, and uses his car as a weapon to attack a woman on a horse.

Although hardly anyone complains about bike riders pooping on the streets.

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

A Visalia man faces an attempted murder charge after stabbing another man in a dispute over a bicycle; fortunately, the victim’s injury wasn’t life-threatening.

A pair of Canadian burglars demonstrate that you can carry anything with a bike. Even a stolen safe.

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Local

Cities Today celebrates LA’s pre-pandemic 22% jump in bike ridership, which is likely to be even larger when the post-pandemic numbers finally come in. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another two years to get a snapshot of current ridership, like we did last time.

Santa Clarita is hosting a self-guided community bike ride on May 15th.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Long Beach is considering a lane reduction and bike lanes on Spring Street through El Dorado Park, where five people have have been killed over the last nine years.

 

State

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria will be the keynote speaker for the San Diego Bike Coalition’s virtual Bike Month kickoff on May 1st.

The San Diego Padres popular Pedal the Cause returns in a virtual format May 8th; over 1,200 people hav already registered, raising more than $700,000.

The executive director of the high successful San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is stepping down after five years.

Police in Roseville are looking for the pickup driver who stopped briefly after running down a man on a bike, then left the victim sprawled in the road with serious injuries.

 

National

Pink Bike asks bike shops how far ahead they’re scheduling bicycle tune-ups these days. And for the most part, the news ain’t good, but it’s better than last year.

C|net reviews Brompton’s ebike foldie, and isn’t thrilled. Never mind that the bike has already been recalled over a firmware problem.

Portland has waived an $11 million fine against the US government for blocking one of the nation’s busiest bike lanes for the better part of a year with a fence surrounding the federal courthouse, to protect it from protesters.

The bike boom goes on, as bike riding is up 20% over last year in Las Vegas.

American pro cycling pioneer and US Bicycling Hall of Famer Ron Kiefel is officially out of the bike business, after selling the Denver-area bike shop that’s been in his family for nearly 50 years.

Thieves take their time cleaning out the bike storage room at a Denver apartment complex, easily walking out with six bicycles. Another reminder that most storage rooms just offer bike thieves a more convenient place to shop for your bike.

A Border Patrol agent has been charged with the hit-and-run death of a 71-year old Texas man riding a bicycle; the crash occurred while he was off duty.

A Maine man had to relearn how to talk, walk, run and ride a bike after suffering a traumatic brain injury while mountain biking in Boise, Idaho. And may never know what happened to cause it. I can attest to that last part; it’s been over 13 years since the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident, and I still have no memory whatsoever of the crash. And probably never will. 

New York police investigators have identified a suspect in the murder of a New York delivery rider, who was shot when he refused to hand over his ebike.

A Brooklyn city council candidate wanted to get to know his district, so he spent a month biking every block.

New Jersey bike advocates call for repealing laws that discourage bicycling, arguing that wheelies are not a crime, in the wake of the arrest of a Black teenager who refused to let a group of white cops confiscate his bike.

A Philadelphia mystery shopper tries out the city’s bikeshare system, concluding it’s an easy and efficient way to get around town, despite problems with maintenance.

Pennsylvania’s Bensalem Township faces intense criticism online after police announced plans to create a web portal to report scofflaw children and teens on bicycles. And deservedly so.

Someone please tell the Virginia State Police and WWBT-12 that someone can be a pedestrian, or riding a bike. But not both at once.

Orlando, Florida’s new director of the transportation department envisions giving the traditionally auto-centric city a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover. So if they can do it, why the hell can’t Los Angeles?

 

International

Presenting the five best bike paths for your net trip to Winnipeg, Canada.

Saskatoon city leaders approve plans for a bike lane, but choose to protect parking spaces over trees to make room for it.

Now you, too, can own a piece of crowdsourced European bikeshare provider Donkey Republic, which is preparing for an IPO on the Dutch stock exchange.

Germany is investing more funds in bicycling than ever before, with just under 1.5 billion euros — the equivalent of $1.81 billion — committed to bikes through 2023.

A nightmare scenario from Spain, where a bicyclist may have died of anaphylactic shock after inadvertently swallowing a bee and getting stung in the throat while on a group ride.

The container ship Ever Given may have been freed from the Suez Canal, but your new bike may still be stuck in Egypt because the ship and its cargo are being held as ransom until the company forks over $900 million in damages.

No surprise here, as children’s bike injuries shot up 42.7% in Western Australia during the pandemic, with more kids at home and on their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey argues that UCI, bike racing’s parent organization, is risking a PR nightmare by continuing to punish riders for using the supertuck position. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the headline says advocates battle Sharks over parking and safe streets, but it has nothing to with a Sharknado. That feeling when you go from rock star dreams to a real life bike lock star on Shark Tank.

And never let a little thing like a bike race get in the way of your bike commute.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

US bike sales spike during pandemic, California bill would legalize jaywalking, and thick thighs really do save lives

Looks like NPR has discovered the bike boom.

According to the public radio network, bike sales shot up 65% last year as the pandemic encouraged more people to get outside, and find safer ways to get to work, while ebikes sales jumped a whopping 145%.

Both figures would undoubtedly be higher if the unexpected boom hadn’t emptied many shops of bikes to sell — and even higher if factories could have kept up with the demand, as the pandemic affected all aspects of the supply chain.

The question is whether all those new bike buyers will keep riding once the country opens back up.

Or if bad roads, unwelcoming drivers and a lack of decent bike infrastructure will drive them back inside and into their cars.

Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting wants to toss out the law against jaywalking.

Ting has proposed a bill that would make it legal to cross a street outside of a crosswalk or against a traffic light when safe to do so, saying the current law is arbitrarily enforced and disproportionately affects people of color.

The existing, largely misunderstood statue already allows people to cross mid-block in most areas, only applying on streets controlled by a traffic signal on both ends.

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A new UCLA study shows thick thighs really do save lives, especially in women.

You can thank the higher muscle mass from bicycling for reducing your risk of death from cardiovascular disease, while higher body fat also serves to protect women, but not men.

As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you.

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Go gravel grinding back to the Cold War with Gravel Bike California.

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Give ’em a hand today. Because the streets you ride will depend on them tomorrow.

https://twitter.com/MarisaMangan/status/1375333572773507075

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Maybe it’s just me.

But this new five and a half minute “conspiratorial” short film for Specialized’s Turbo Levo e-mountain bike kind of misses the mark.

In part because it feels like it might have made a much better three minute ad.

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Help promote the country’s longest bikeway for a living.

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

No bias here. A British city councilor refuses to apologize for agreeing with an off-color tweet about cyclists “wanking off the Dutch.”

The Guardian questions whether “radical” plans to remake the streets will be shut down before the results are in, due to driver outrage and legal challenges, while a London site examines the “fire and fury” ignited by a popup protected bike lane in Kensington.

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

Nothing like nearly getting killed during a live Brazilian remote news broadcast. Fortunately, only her bike paid the price this time.

An idiot on a bike, almost dies twice – on Live TV LOL from IdiotsInCars

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Local

The LACBC’s annual River Ride is being turned into a free virtual event this year. Which won’t help them raise funds, since the River Ride usually brings in a large portion of the nonprofit organization’s operating budget. So maybe send ’em a few bucks when you’re done.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, riding his bike in Pasadena, while facing a lawsuit from his former girlfriend alleging “sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress.”

 

State

Riverside County received a $3.74 million grant to add bike lanes and roundabouts on a mile-long stretch of County Line Road in Calimesa.

If you’re missing a bike in the Thousand Oaks area, check in with the local police, who recovered seven apparently hot bikes when they busted a couple on drug charges; two of the bikes have already been reunited with their owners.

Bakersfield police are looking for a bike thief who was caught on video lifting a Trek from a bus station.

A mountain biker was helicoptered out of a remote location near Orcutt Hills in Santa Barbara County after suffering a possible head injury in a fall.

Central California’s Moro Bay will finally get a new beachfront bike path, on land formerly claimed by Chevron.

San Francisco unveils a new protected bike lane and other safety improvements on Second Street in the South of Market district, otherwise known as SoMa. Although as usual, the “protection” consists of just green paint and flimsy plastic bendy posts.

 

National

The physics of how to pump your bike.

The Wall Street Journal calls gravel bikes the SUVs of the bike world. Which sounds interesting, even if most of the piece is hidden behind their infamous paywall.

Fascinating story from MIT on the history of ‘bents, which date back to at least 1896.

Today picks the best bike helmets for men, women and children. And manages to keep the price tag down to a Benjamin or less.

There’s something terribly wrong when a former NBA star ends up paralyzed while riding his bike, and no one is held accountable. Then again, it would be just as wrong if it happened to anyone else, too.

The bighearted owners of a Kansas miniature golf and go cart park raised $2,500 to replace the bicycle a deaf employee relied on for transportation, after his bike was stolen while he was at work.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a killer driver got a lousy $250 fine for failing to slow down because he somehow couldn’t see two teens riding their bikes directly in front of him, slamming into one boy and sideswiping his brother. Maybe the problem is a prosecutor who thinks killing one kid and injuring the other is only worth a 25 buck fine; at least the judge disagreed.

A Montauk NY woman faces 8 to 25 years behind bars for the drunken, high speed crash that took the life of a bike rider; she was doing twice the speed limit at the time of the crash, and registered twice the legal BAC hours afterwards. Not to mention the baggies of coke cops found on the floor of her pickup.

 

International

Surprisingly, the inflatable, crash-activated airbag from Hövding outperformed more traditional bike helmets in an independent safety test.

Canada commits to spending $400 million on bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges over the next five years, although that’s just over 2.5% of the county’s $14.9 billion transportation fund. That works out to the equivalent of $318 million in US dollars.

Canada’s capitol city throws in the towel on its bikeshare system, choosing e-scooters as the favored microtransit option going forward.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a pair of men riding their bikes along a UK canal towpath rescued a woman who had attempted to kill herself by jumping into the water.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bike given to a British boy after he learned to ride again despite losing a leg to cancer; a family friend has raised the equivalent of $2,200 to replace it. The bike, that is, not his leg. Although that would be even better.

A coalition of 33 Scottish organizations have called on the police to create a system to submit dash and bike cam video to make it quicker and easier to report and prosecute traffic crimes. In most, if not all, US states — including California — the problem is it’s currently illegal to use video evidence for traffic infractions and many misdemeanors, which must be directly observed by police officers. Something that has to change to hold drivers accountable and keep up with the rapidly expanding technology.

He gets it. A Cork, Ireland columnist admits that while he doesn’t ride, “cycling benefits the entire city, not just its particular practitioners, in all sorts of ways.” And urges the city to find ways to overcome its hilly terrain to encourage more of it.

In a less desirable effect of the bike boom, serious bicycling injuries jumped 4% in Switzerland last year.

Pink Bike says the pandemic and subsequent bike boom have made it clear the bicycle supply chain is susceptible to bottlenecks. Like maybe a giant cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal, for instance.

New Zealand bike riders form their own people protected bike lane to protest the local. government’s lack of action.

 

Finally…

Who knew you could have gotten an eight-year jump on the latest ebike designs? The next time you ring your bell crashing your bike, a simple spit test could determine how hard.

And I get tired of saying it. So let’s let Streets For All have the last word on LA’s failing bike plan

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

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?

……

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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

………

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.

………

They get it.

………

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

………

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.

………

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?

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

GCN offers a crash course in bunny hopping.

………

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.

………

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).

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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.

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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.

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

Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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?

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