Tag Archive for dangerous drivers

LA Times columnist takes on dangerous drivers and politicians, and transportation bills advance in the state legislature

Trust the Los Angeles Times’ Steve Lopez to take on LA’s dangerous drivers, and the streets that encourage that behavior.

He says that Angelenos — or at least his readers — have had it with speeding drivers in the wake of last week’s crash that killed five people, as well as an unborn baby just two weeks from full term.

They want more enforcement, stiffer penalties for offenders and better street design, and they want to know why — even as we move toward electric vehicles to save the planet — the auto industry produces gas-guzzling behemoths that easily go twice the highest speed limits, and why the media culture celebrates velocity.

While he addresses safety concerns throughout the city, what especially stands out is a group of Angelino Heights residents who are fighting to stop filming for the latest movie in the Fast & Furious franchise, over fears it will encourage still more dangerously aggressive drivers to seek out the neighborhood.

“We will not stand for them filming here,” says a letter that was emailed to City Hall, arguing that the moviemakers “do nothing to dissuade their macho fans from endangering people’s lives on public streets in Los Angeles…”

“I am sick and tired of these knucklehead street racers speeding and doing doughnuts in our neighborhood,” said Echo Park resident Alan Lee, who lives near a market featured in one of the “Fast & Furious” movies. The market draws speeders and stunt drivers, Lee said, and he saw one lose control and plow into a neighbor’s car.

Michele McKinnon said tenants in her Echo Park apartment building complain of stunt driving and the smell of burned rubber, a familiar scent on weekend evenings. The “Fast & Furious” franchise has made billions glorifying “deadly street racing,” McKinnon said in an email to city officials, promising to disrupt filming “all day and night” in honor of those who have lost their lives to reckless driving.

Speed Racer wannabe see, Speed Racer wanna be do.

Lopez also isn’t afraid to take state legislators to task for failing to earn their pay.

Some legislators have tried to do something, but several bills to control speeding have failed. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that whereas national Republican lawmakers have failed to support sensible gun control proposals despite the ongoing firearm carnage, the Democrats who dominate the California Legislature have been missing in action when it comes to cracking down on drivers who use vehicles as weapons.

Amen, brother.

Still, there’s good news on the legislative front, as we’ll see in the next section.

Artwork by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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It was a good day from transportation bills in the state legislature yesterday.

First up, Assembly Member Laura Friedman’s bill to tie state transpiration projects to California’s Climate Action Plan passed out of committee.

Streets For All notes that several transportation bills passed out of the Appropriations Committee, where good bills too often go to die.

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GCN examines five descent positions so dangerous their were banned.

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

A dermatologist and self-annointed expert on urbanism honors the founder of City Watch after Ken Draper’s death, yet devolves into complaining about “bike nazis” while adding “you know who you are.”

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

A San Francisco man will avoid anti-Asian hate crime charges after he was arrested for jumping off his bike and attacking former San Francisco commissioner-at-large Greg Chew.

A 44-year-old New York man was critically injured by a hit-and-run bike rider, who was part of a larger group of bicyclists riding through Manhattan.

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Local

LA Times readers weigh in on whether kids should be riding ebikes, after the parents of a Pacific Palisades girl files suit against Rad Power Bikes for her death.

Anne Heche was reportedly high on coke at the time of her fiery crash into a Mar Vista home; the actress suffered a catastrophic brain injury, and isn’t expected to survive.

StreetsLA has partnered with CAKE electric motorcycles to inspect 1,100 miles of bike lanes in the city.

 

State 

The San Diego community mourns Christine Hawk Embree, the mother killed riding her ebike in Carlsbad on Sunday.

East San Jose has received a $10 million grant to improve safety around Senter Road, including new street lights, bike lanes and other protective measures.

A San Francisco music club threatens that they’ll have to close if a new bike lane running in front of the venue goes in, apparently thinking their survival depends on a handful of free parking spaces, rather than happy customers.

 

National

The Biden administration released the first round of funding for federal RAISE grants — Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity — which were formerly known as BUILD grants, which were themselves formerly known as TIGER grants, releasing roughly $2.2 billion to fund 166 initiatives in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

California Representative Mike Thompson has sent a letter to the USPS urging the Postal Service to use more ebikes.

Mother Jones talks with author Jessie Singer, who says when drivers kill — not cars, thank you — it’s not an accident.

A group of volunteers is building a 5,000-mile mountain bike trail stretching from Washington state to Baja California.

Strong Towns Program Director Rachel Quednau discusses opening an ebike shop with her husband.

Bicycling considers all the best bike locks — or at least the best bike locks you can get on Amazon. Meanwhile, ZDNet says you need two locks to secure your ebike, recommending a pair of Kryptonite’s.

Check the bikeability of your next neighborhood on Zillow before you move.

Police in Vail, Colorado busted a suspected serial bike thief.

A writer for Lonely Planet explains how he rode 468 miles across Iowa for RAGBRAI with 18,000 close friends.

Chicago is installing a trio of speed cameras to calm dangerous intersections near where two bike riders were recently killed. Yet they bizarrely remain illegal here in California, where speeding evidently isn’t a problem.

An Ohio grand jury indicted a driver who fled on foot after crashing into a family riding their bicycles, killing a three-year old girl.

New York is backsliding on open streets, as residents lost 63 miles of open streets over the past year.

A Florida state attorney — the equivalent of a DA — has rescinded a policy put in place by her predecessor to address the problem of police stops that disproportionately targeted Black people, aka Biking While Black.

 

International

F1 great Lewis Hamilton expands on his recent statement that he finds driving outside of the track very stressful. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

Cycling Weekly examines whether expensive sunglasses perform any better than the cheap ones.

Um, no. A British bike delivery startup prohibits its workers from wearing bike helmets, fearing helmet use will somehow make them more aggressive.

A bike rider in the UK complains the the country’s legal system “is not fit for purpose,” recounting his struggle for justice after he was hit by a driver 18 months earlier.

Police in Graz, Austria are cracking down on drunk bicyclists, after residents respond to drunk driving laws by taking to their bikes. I still say that’s counterproductive; I’d much rather see a drunk on a bike than in a car, where they could do far more harm.

 

Competitive Cycling

Marianne Vos has made it three for three in the Tour of Scandinavia, notching stage wins in the first three stages to build a modest 22 second lead going into today’s stage.

Twenty-six-year old Flanders pro Laurens De Plus tells drivers to think twice or wait five seconds after he was knocked off his bike in a collision on a training ride.

Maybe the era of doping isn’t really over, after all, as weekend crit warrior Jackson ‘Huntley’ Nash received a lifetime ban for multiple anti-doping violations, while 23-year-old Italian pro Michele Gazzoli got a one-year ban for using a prohibited stimulant.

 

Finally…

A Portland bike rider explains how to make your next move by bike. Yes, you can get a new sofa home by bike.

And now we know what inspired Far from the Madding Crowd.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

13 previous car crashes for nurse who killed six people in Windsor Hills, and women and retirees fastest ebike adopters

Talk about keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 37-year old, Texas-based traveling nurse Nicole Lorraine Linton was involved in 13 prior crashes before she killed six people and injured eight others after allegedly blowing through a red light at up to 90 mph on Thursday.

Yes, you read that right.

Thirteen previous crashes, including a 2020 crash that totaled both vehicles. And yet she was somehow allowed to keep driving, despite demonstrating a clear inability to do so safely.

Either that, or she was plagued by some of the worst luck in the history of driving.

Linton was formally charged with six counts of murder — one for each victim — along with five counts of vehicular homicide. The unborn child of the pregnant woman killed in the crash accounts for the discrepancy; the death of the eight-and-a-half month unborn baby is eligible for a murder charge, but not vehicular homicide.

LA County DA George Gascón concluded her prior crash record indicated she was aware of the risks of driving in a dangerous manner, making her eligible for the murder charges.

Linton faces up to life behind bars upon conviction. She’s currently being held without bail after the previous $9 million bond was revoked.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

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Meanwhile, the news is not good for Anne Heche.

The actress, who was seriously burned crashing her car into a Mar Vista home at high speed on Friday, is reportedly in extremely critical condition after slipping into a coma.

Police investigators are trying to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the fiery crash.

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I once made the mistake of telling a bikemaker I didn’t see a market for ebikes, because I assumed everyone would want the exercise and health benefits of a standard bike.

Turns out I was wrong about that, too, since studies show ebikes offer the same health benefits as any other bike.

So this is a snapshot of just who is taking up ebikes.

You know, the market I somehow couldn’t picture.

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Let’s take a few moments to consider what’s possible when you register your bike with Bike Index.

You can get a free, lifetime registration in just minutes.

So if anything happens to your bike, you’ll have all the information you need to add your bike to Bike Index’ nationwide database of stolen bikes. And increase your chances of getting it back, wherever its found.

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Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening.

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Who needs an ebike bike when you can build your very own DIY jet-powered bicycle?

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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 new San Francisco group demanding the reopening of JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park to cars has issued their full set of demands, including parking on every street, no parking-protected bike lanes, and no bike lanes replacing parking.

A road-raging Dayton, Ohio man faces charges for intentionally running down, then running over, a man riding a bicycle, before getting out with another man and looking at the victim; the attack was apparently in retaliation for the rider throwing a small flashlight at the driver’s car, after someone in the car threw a water bottle at the victim.

A Florida driver is accused of circling back and jumping a curb to intentionally run down a pair of bike riders, then getting out and shooting one of them in the leg

British police interviewed a man accused of “furiously” pushing a man against a wall and throwing his bicycle out into the street, for the crime of riding his bike on the sidewalk.

An Irish road and cyclocross racer is back to riding just two weeks after he suffered four broken ribs and two broken vertebrae, as well as a partially collapsed lung, when someone sabotaged a mountain bike trail with a rope strung across the path; Seán Nolan warns that its only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

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

A Nebraska man was busted after fleeing from police on his bike when the cops recognized his as having outstanding warrants; he was also carrying meth and drug paraphernalia in his backpack.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man learns the hard way that if you’re going to stab a man and ride off on his bicycle, make sure it doesn’t have a flat tire first.

Police in Chicago are looking for a bike-riding man who has targeted elderly women in a string of strong-arm robberies, stealing their jewelry before riding off.

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Local

Dozens of bicyclists and other activists turned out at City Hall on Monday to protest a new ordinance banning outdoor bike chop shops, fearing the law could be used to target low-income people and people of color, rather than cracking down on bike thefts.

Streetsblog reports Venice Blvd will be getting another 4.3 miles of parking protected bike lanes connecting to the .8-mile Mar Vista Great Street project, for a total of 5.1 miles of protected bike lanes.

The LA River Greenway is getting a new Canoga Park entry pavilion designed by acclaimed architect Frank Geary, even though the river is nothing more than an open air concrete culvert at that point. Geary has also proposed hiding lower sections of the concrete channel under elevated parks, rather than returning the channel to a more natural state.

Walk Bike Glendale offers action alerts on proposed makeovers of North Brand Blvd and La Crescenta Ave, as well as plans for a feeder ride to the Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia on August 21st.

 

State 

Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 922 passed the state Assembly with almost unanimous support; the bill expedited bike, pedestrian, light rail, and rapid bus projects by exempting them from the California Environmental Quality Act, aka CEQA. It now goes back to the Senate for a final vote before going to the governor’s desk for a signature.

Encinitas-based bikemaker Electra continues to stick close to its roots, keeping its focus on cruiser bikes on the eve of its 30th birthday.

San Diego’s newly revised Climate Action Plan doubles down on efforts to get people out of their cars, including a shift to more Class IV protected bike lanes.

Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Commission approved the removal of 34 trees to build a bike path on the city’s Modoc Road, which will require moving the roadway 12 feet so the path won’t go through sensitive wildlife habitat near Arroyo Burro Creek; the project is less controversial than another one along Modoc Road in Santa Barbara County, which will require removing 40 to 61 trees.

Streetsblog calls on San Francisco officials to fix a street grate in Golden Gate Park that could grab a narrow bike tire and bring down the rider. And did. Call it Golden Gate Grate-gate. 

Oakland wants to use a $1 million state grant to buy 500 ebikes to open an ebike library for low-income neighborhoods.

After hundreds of bike-riding teens swarmed the lower deck of the San Francisco Bay Bridge Saturday afternoon, they’re accused of burglarizing businesses and throwing things at people in Oakland.

A man was sentenced to a well-deserved 17 years behind bars for trying to rape a woman on a Davis bike path.

 

National

Streetsblog offers advice on how to access federal funding from the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program, offering a cool $1 billion a year for the next five years for “meaningful, community-led Vision Zero projects.”

Even with federal incentives of up to $7,500, electric cars remain outside the reach of many Americans. Yet the new climate bill fails to mention far more affordable bicycles, let alone ebikes.

The Verge says the ebike tax credit is only mostly dead, as supporters plot the next steps to revive it.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Take a cog railway train to the summit of Colorado’s 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, then bike 13 miles and 5,000 feet back down.

A 49-year old Durango, Colorado fire fighter was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver; his death came just two weeks after a 60-year old member of the same department died of a heart condition while riding bikes with his son.

A 68-year old Sierra City, California man was killed when he was rear-ended by a semi driver and knocked into a ditch while riding in Kansas.

Great idea. While Houston is in the midst of a years-long commitment to build 1,800 miles of high-comfort bike lanes, the city is reserving 10% of the funding for smaller “strategic” projects suggested by members of the bicycling community.

Police arrested a 26-year old man for yelling and chucking rocks at people using a Madison, Wisconsin bike path.

A Detroit website says more pedestrians are getting killed as trucks and SUVs keep getting bigger, with some models now exceeding the size of a WWII tank.

The woman accused of killing two men participating in a Michigan Make-A-Wish fundraising ride while driving under the influence is due back in court for a prelim next week; the crash left nine kids without their fathers.

The bighearted employees of a Maine company pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 19-year old coworker, after the bike he used to ride to work was stolen.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is one of us, after he suffered a broken wrist falling off his bike to end his season; a Texas website offers an incomplete list of other major league bike incidents, although they include motorcycles as well as bicycles.

New York saw a 33 percent jump in weekday bicycling trips during the deepest, darkest days of the pandemic in 2020. Meanwhile, the latest official figures for Los Angeles show a 22 percent increase — in 2019, before the pandemic and subsequent bike boom.

New Yorkers want more, and more secure, bike parking. Then again, doesn’t everyone?

DC has a new bicycle awareness specialty license plate, even if it does misspell “taxation.”

New Orleans police arrested a 16-year old boy, accusing him of stealing a bicycle from an off-duty cop in a French Quarter strong-arm robbery.

 

International

A Suffolk, England woman is credited with helping save a man’s life after he rode his bike into a river; now she’s raising funds to support the medical charity that helped his rehabilitation.

British police failed to arrest a single bike thief in 87% of neighborhoods with at least one bike theft. And usually a lot more.

A German company has introduced what they call the world’s smartest bike helmet, including a full face air bag, 360° surround safety system, LED lights and a breathable, 3D-knitted liner.

NPR says many Sri Lankans have switched to bicycles due to the country’s economic crisis.

The pandemic is fueling a sports bicycling boom in China, a country more noted for utilitarian and proletarian bikes; meanwhile, the country’s surviving bikeshare companies are raising their prices in an effort to finally turn a profit. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Indianapolis Monthly takes readers to school, explaining what a crit is.

A new documentary captures Pittsburgh’s Frigid Bitch alleycat bike race.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you find driving stressful when you’re not going 186 mph. Try not to back your motorbike into a pit.

And this is who we share the road with.

https://twitter.com/ChadBlue83/status/1556435695635517440

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Nine injured when LA driver jumps curb, LA County considers cutting speed limits, and leaving drivers in your dust

Today’s common theme is the recognition that people aren’t safe from drivers anywhere.

Like the nine people who were injured in LA’s Westlake District Saturday morning when a driver jumped the curb at Wilshire and Alvarado, plowing through pedestrians and street vendors gathered on the sidewalk.

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Police discounted the driver’s claim that he lost control when someone pointed a gun at him.

Or the two people who were killed, including an eight-year old boy, and another woman injured, when a speeding motorcyclist went off the shoulder of a New York State roadway and slammed into a group of pedestrians standing on a bike path.

Seriously, something is wrong when people who aren’t even in the roadway still aren’t safe from drivers and their deadly machines.

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider a motion tomorrow to reduce speed limits on some streets.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1535466515981488128

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More proof that driving usually isn’t the best way of getting there.

Wherever there is.

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BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette offers a brief recap of Saturday’s Giro Di San Diego Grab Fondo.

IMG_2487.jpg

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Great idea from the UK. Now let’s do it here.

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

No bias here. A Scottish automotive journalist is calling for bike riders to be required to have compulsory training, licenses and insurance before being allowed on the road, apparently confusing the risk to others posed by cars for the negligible risk posed by someone on a bicycle.

No bias here, either. A gay Londoner was snubbed by his date after he arrived on a bicycle. If the guy can’t appreciate a bike, he’s better off without him.

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

A New York resident took matters into their own hands, posting DIY signs to remind scofflaw bike riders not to ride on the sidewalk. Not to mention skaters, rollerbladers, scooter and skateboard riders.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State 

Heartbreaking news from La Jolla, where a 90-year old man was killed riding an e-scooter when he was struck by an 80-year old driver. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive.

Now you can be the proud owner of 20 years worth of classic T-shirts from the Redlands Classic, with all 58 shirts for just twenty bucks.

 

National

People For Bikes’ Final Mile program proves that cities can build out bike networks faster, more efficiently and more equitably, with Austin, Texas and Denver, Colorado building over 100 miles of bike lanes in just two years.

Electrek says you can buy an ebike on Amazon for the cost of five tanks of gas if you own a truck or SUV, or seven if you own a car. Or less of you live in California. You’ll probably be happier, too.

Forbes recommends what they say may be the best ebike for under $1,400.

Portland unveiled a new bicycle ambulance based on a Tern e-cargo bike. Although the lawn chair bolted onto a wooden bike trailer to transport patients leaves something to be desired. 

The last remaining segment of Seattle’s oldest long bike path just turned 125 years old.

Good idea. A Utah law allows bike riders to sue in small claims court for up to $11,000 to force insurance companies to quickly replace bicycles damaged in collisions for their full value, without affecting the victim’s right to file a separate injury claim.

A tragic warning to use extra caution in hot weather, as a Colorado man died after running out of water while riding a mountain bike trail in 100° weather; three other riders who tried to help him had to be rescued when they ran out of water, too.

A Colorado man lovingly restored the 1982 Colnago owned by the late Breaking Away and American Flyers screenwriter Steve Tesich, who passed away in 1996.

The manhunt — or woman hunt, in this case — continues for Kaitlin Marie Armstrong in the shooting death of elite gravel cyclist Mariah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas last month.

Hundreds of bicyclists and pedestrians gathered with community leaders to demand safer streets in Chicago, after a two-year old boy was killed crossing the street on a scooter, and a three-year old girl was killed riding on the back of her mother’s bike.

A volunteer firefighter in Upstate New York was the victim of a hit-and-run driver as he rode his bike to respond to a call; fortunately, he was uninjured, but his bike, not so much.

Thirty-nine year old Semmie Williams was found competent to stand trial in the stabbing death of a 14-year old Florida boy who went missing after going out for a bike ride, despite Williams previous diagnosis of schizophrenia.

 

International

A Vancouver man is dead after an exploding ebike battery caused him to fall off a window ledge.

London’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride drew over 1,000 people riding nine different routes to call for better safety, while keeping photo editors at the tabloids busy blurring the naughty bits.

Led by a Kharkiv priest, 20 Good Samaritans are riding bikes to deliver food and medicine to 700 elderly residents of the devastated Ukrainian city.

A 44-year old South African man will spend the next 25 years behind bars for the murder of former South African cycling champion Etienne van Wyk; the brutal crime went unsolved for 15 years.

A young Indonesian man arrived in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj, following a 3,600-mile journey by bicycle to visit Islam’s Three Holy Mosques.

Three bicyclists were hospitalized, one in the ICU, when a drunk driver slammed into a group of 14 riders in Singapore; the driver was arrested for DUI.

Sad news from Thailand, where a well-known Thai bike rider was killed when he was struck by the driver of a semi, who claimed he never saw him; 53-year old Nirantra Phramthong gained famed after riding through several countries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian pro Primož Roglič set the stage for next month’s Tour de France by winning the Criterium du Dauphine stage race on Sunday.

Colombian cyclist Juan Sebastián Molano was disqualified from the Dauphine for punching another rider in the head at 43 mph, then continuing the dispute — and the punching — after crossing the finish line.

Italian road champ Elisa Longo Borghini refuses to get caught up in the hype, saying it’s great that there’s now a women’s Tour de France, but it’s just a bike race like any other anywhere else.

Thirty-two-year old Russian pro Ilnur Zakarin called it a career after his Gazprom-RusVelo team shut down following the ban on Russian cycling teams.

Former pro Peter Stetina claimed the Asheville NC Belgian Waffle Ride, while Sarah Max won the women’s race after a disappointing finish in the Unbound Gravel race.

 

Finally…

Your toddler can now ride his or her own electric Kawasaki. Maybe don’t trust someone named Scurvy to deliver your new beach cruiser.

And evidently, a bicycle is something a gorilla shouldn’t monkey with.

Although maybe he just needs a better bike fit.

https://twitter.com/IfsSamrat/status/1534384931698364416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1534384931698364416%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.firstpost.com%2Findia%2Fgorilla-rides-a-bicycle-throws-it-away-after-falling-off-video-leaves-netizens-in-splits-10783261.html

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

New book says accidents aren’t accidents, WeHo considers protected bike lanes, and keeping deadly drivers on the road

She gets it.

The New York Times’ Peter Coy talks with journalist Jessie Singer about her new book, which concludes that there are no accidents, just events that could have been prevented.

And that too often, it’s the marginalized members of society who pay the price.

On the other hand, Coy clearly doesn’t get it.

Coy: …Anyway, is it possible to go too far in preventing accidents? It wouldn’t make sense to limit cars to going 30 miles per hour.

Singer: It is our moral and ethical imperative to do everything in our power to protect human life. When people talk about the nanny state, what they’re doing is making excuses for deeply preventable, deeply racialized and class-divided causes of death.

If we look at places that do everything in their power to protect human life, from Sweden’s Vision Zero traffic safety policies to Portugal’s harm-reduction overdose prevention policies, we see that countless lives could be saved just by putting people first.

Never mind that cities across the world have successfully reduced the frequency and severity of collisions by cutting speed limits below 30 mph.

Let alone the worldwide 20 Is Plenty movement to reduce the risk of collisions as well as the risk of death or serious injury by slowing drivers to 20 mph in populated areas.

So yeah, it does make sense to lower speed limits to 30 mph, or less. Because the convenience of drivers should never outweigh the lives and safety of those around them.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

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There may be hope for WeHo bike riders yet.

Streets For All reports that a pair of studies could result in protected bike lanes on Fountain and Santa Monica Blvd, respectively.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1490794943794716674

Either one would be a game changer.

Together, they would provide the first safe bicycling route through the city, from La Brea in the east to Beverly Hills in the west.

Let’s just hope they both get the go ahead.

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Today’s common theme is the lenient courts and government officials who inexplicably keep dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone.

Like the heartbreaking news from New York, where a 99-year old Holocaust survivor was killed by a reckless driver with a long record of speeding and red light violations.

Or the Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a 70-year old man riding a bicycle, and was somehow still on the road despite five previous DUIs; he was caught after two days, which presumably gave him plenty of time to sober up before he was busted.

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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 candidate for San Diego city council says the city’s new bike lanes are death traps that go unused for weeks at a time.

A Florida city puts the entire obligation for safety on bike riders by requiring lights and bells on their bikes. But there’s not a bike bell made that will do a damn thing to stop aggressive, speeding and/or distracted drivers.

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Local

Work is proceeding on an $8.1 million, 2.8-mile extension of Pasadena’s Greenway Trail. Correction: Make that Whittier, not Pasadena. Thanks to Joe Linton for keeping me honest.

 

State

A new bill from bike-riding La Cañada Flintridge State Senator Anthony Portantino would require cities and counties to identify a High Injury Network of their most dangerous roads and intersections, and create a plan to correct them within 15 years. But do we really want to let them keep killing people for another 15 years? Cut the timeline to five years, and I’m all in.

Streetsblog offers more details on SB 922, which would permanently exempt bike lanes and other environmentally friendly transportation projects from lengthy environmental reviews. Which are too often abused to halt or delay bike, pedestrian and transit projects that would benefit the environment.

San Diego belatedly begins work on building a separated bikeway along Pershing Drive through Balboa Park, after a bike commuter and a scooter rider were killed on the existing bike lanes last year. Meanwhile, the family of noted architect Laura Shinn, who was killed by an allegedly stoned driver while riding her bike to work, have filed suit against the city. Considering the years-long delay in improving the bike lane, they might as well just back up the Brinks truck. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Bad news from Livermore, where a woman was killed when her bike was hit head-on by a driver after they both crossed the yellow line while rounding a curve from opposite directions.

A Pittsburgh CA man was sentenced to 28 years to life behind bars for fatally shooting man as he was stealing the victim’s bike; the shooter bizarrely claimed self-defense, claiming he felt threatened by the victim’s attempt to get his bike back. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

 

National

In a question that answers itself, Streetsblog asks if America needs a Mobility Bill of Rights, after a group of Washington nonprofits author one for their state. Los Angeles bike advocates created a Cyclists’ Bill of Rights over a dozen years ago, which was sort-of approved by the city council, until it wasn’t, and then promptly forgotten, which was probably the city’s intent all along.

Popular Science says don’t buy an ebike, just build one using the bike in your garage.

Cycling Utah talks with our own Peter Flax, who offers a “look at racial justice issues through the lens of his deep and nuanced understanding of the various facets of bike culture.”

The Boston Globe questions whether the city will keep up the pandemic momentum that spurred bike lane creation throughout the area. Unlike Los Angeles, which squandered the opportunity presented by light pandemic traffic by failing to build a single new bike lane that wasn’t already in the works.

A Brooklyn councilmember tries, and fails, to successfully navigate a street without leaving the bike lane, missing out on the $100 challenge due to an array of drivers blocking it.

DC intends to install another ten miles of protected bike lanes this year, adding to its existing 24-mile network, with another 20 miles coming by 2024.

 

International

Worst dad of the year award goes to British father stole his daughter’s bicycle from the trunk of her car to teach her a lesson.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a careless driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a man riding his bicycle; she was sentenced to 280 hours of community service and lost her license for a lousy 14 months.

A study from Belgian ebike brand Cowboy confirms previous studies showing ebikes offer the same fitness benefits as regular bicycles.

Amsterdam wants to give you over $2,200 for ideas on how to improve bicycle safety in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

At last, some good news about two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal, who was released from the hospital two weeks after a training crash left him critically injured; however, he still faces a very long recovery.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could come wrapped in rice and potatoes. How about an ebike can actually fly?

And ebike riders of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

No, literally.

………

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

France tells carmakers to promote biking and walking in their ads, and Argentine driver runs down 5 riders on bike path

That’s more like it.

France is promoting alternative transportation by requiring all automotive ads to include a brief mention of alternatives to driving.

Options include “Consider carpooling,” “For day-to-day use, take public transportation,” or “For short trips, opt for walking or cycling,” along with the hashtag #SeDeplacerMoinsPolluer, or “Move and Pollute Less.”

That requirement applies to all TV, print, radio and internet advertising; failure to include one of the three options could result in a fine of up to fine of up to 50,000 euros, or $56,444 at current exchange rates.

Maybe we could see that on this side of the Atlantic some day.

We can dream, right?

………

Horrifying story from Argentina, where a stoned driver doing 74 mph rammed five people riding on a bike path, before fleeing the scene with the help of four people waiting in a nearby truck.

Sadly, one of the victims died on the operating table.

Police arrested later arrested the driver, along with his accomplices. However, there’s no word on whether he lost control of his car and just caught a ride with people nearby, or if this was intentional and preplanned.

………

Turns out some bike riders aren’t fans of red light-running scofflaw bicyclists who cut them off, either.

………

I want to see this sign posted along every street in California.

https://twitter.com/VisionZeroCA/status/1478114003754774528

………

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

Clearly, not everyone is a fan of the Bay Area’s Slow Streets. But not everyone threatens to come back with a Freightliner semi-truck and run over a woman to express their displeasure.

https://twitter.com/LukeBornheimer/status/1477781176471355392

A Singapore truck driver was caught on video blowing through a red light while honking his horn at the woman legally crossing the street on her bike to get the hell out of his way.

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

The LAPD is looking for a man who stole a bicycle to make his getaway, after he murdered a homeless man in Panorama City in an unprovoked shooting.

………

Local

Urbanize LA readers chose Streets For All’s proposal to extend the Ballona Creek bike path as the city’s best transportation project of the past year.

Newly freed Britney Spears is one of us, taking a spin on a high-performance ebike that looks more like a dirt bike with pedals, with a top speed of around 28 mph.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks forward to Sunday’s annual Encinitas Cyclovia, combining open streets, live music, safety clinics and a bike rodeo for the kids.

An op-ed from the wife of a fallen San Diego bike rider killed by a wrong way driver, along with the advocacy manager for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, takes the Union-Tribune to task for an editorial cartoon showing a business owner run over by bike riders, while saying the city needs to do far more to improve safety for people on bicycles and prevent more needless deaths.

A mountain biker was airlifted to a Riverside hospital with moderate injuries after he rode off an embankment on a Jurupa Valley trail, just north of the Pomona Freeway.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition has put together a handy dandy little tool to help you calculate the benefits of any Complete Streets project, including safety, health, the environment and the economy.

A Colorado letter writer complains about the sentence given the speeding driver who killed pro mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag, calling the three-year sentence “pitiful,” especially since he could get out in just 18 months.

A Wisconsin man was able to get his stolen bike back after spotting it for sale online; police arrested the thieves when the man set up a meeting, and recovered several other purloined bicycles, as well.

That’s more like it, part two. New York-based grocery delivery service Buyk is expanding into Chicago with a commitment to deliver purchases within 15 minutes, without delivery fees, while paying their delivery riders a competitive wage starting at $17 per hour. Maybe we can talk them into coming to Los Angeles next.

Santa Monica based-Lime destroyed around 1,000 bicycles when they pulled out of South Bend, Indiana before the pandemic, despite donating 100 bikes to the city as the basis of a new community bikeshare system, and sending 200 bikes to Africa for people in need.

Unbelievable. The Allegheny County medical examiner ruled that the death of a Pittsburgh man was accidental, even after he was tased by police eight to ten times for the crime of taking an apparently abandoned bicycle around the block for a test ride. Which makes you wonder what the hell the cops would have to do to call it a homicide.

New York Streetsblog highlights five dangerous neighborhoods new Mayor Eric Adams needs to address to get the city’s failing Vision Zero back on track. There’s no way to get LA’s Vision Zero back on track, because it never was on track to begin with.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a complete guide to immersive chain waxing, calling it the gold standard for lubricating your bike chain.

A university in the Netherlands is testing out an 82-foot section of a smart bike path, complete with embedded with sensors, 3D cameras, wifi, radar and bluetooth, which can tell researchers how many people are using it, how fast they’re going and when; smart paths could ultimately be used to keep bike riders from waiting at red lights in bad weather, or direct riders to a faster route if it gets too busy.

The BBC shines a well-deserved spotlight on a 17-year old Ghanan boy who builds handmade wooden e-motorbikes to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. Even if the report is written in pidgin English. Seriously, I’ve known a number of people from Ghana, most of whom speak English at least as well I do, if not better.

Aussie researchers are looking at the worldwide trend of nonprofit bicycle kitchens that provide tools, second hand parts and bikes, and help with repairs, as well as offering a hub for community building. That’s true for several LA bike co-ops, including the Bicycle Kitchen, Bikerowave, The Bike Oven and the Ride On! Bike Shop in Leimert Park.

A Kenyon man spent three months riding the 2,700 miles from Malinda, Kenya to Durbin, South Africa to raise funds for orphans, while suffering three crashes along the way.

A Philippine website remembers a 74-year old endurance athlete and medal-winning triathlete who died recently from a stroke, competing for decades after losing his leg in a 1978 bombing that killed his 16-year old brother.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Dan Martin calls it a career after becoming just one of three Irish riders to win a stage in each of the Grand Tours, living up to his promise that he would walk away when he stopped enjoying it.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could look like a turtle and unfold with the pull of a string. Arnold has to tell his ebike “I’ll be back” after being spotted with a plastic boot on his leg.

And apparently, blue is for boys and pink is for girls — even when it comes to pro cycling kits.

………

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

25×25 plan to reshape LA’s public spaces, man killed in Texas mass casualty bike crash, and Zuckerberg’s bad bike fit

Before we get started, there’s news of a 24-year old man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike in Santa Ana early Friday morning.

However, I haven’t been able to find official confirmation of the crash, or any further details.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

………

Streets For All announced a bold plan to reshape the streets of Los Angeles on Monday.

The group’s 25×25 plan calls for devoting 25% of the city’s public space back to the people, instead of cars.

Consider this manifesto from the opening page of the 25×25 website.

For over a century, the people of Los Angeles have been forced to accept a “normal” on our streets that is anything but:

  • It is not normal for a whole city to be crippled by traffic.
  • It is not normal to breathe poisonous air.
  • It is not normal for children to lack space to play.
  • It is not normal for jobs to be rendered inaccessible, especially for low-income communities and communities of color.
  • It is not normal for sidewalks to be impassable and broken.
  • It is not normal for bus service to be unreliable and late.
  • It is not normal to fear death and serious injury when crossing the street or riding a bike.

Streets For All envisions a city where the bus is never stuck in traffic. Where children can bike themselves to school. Where green space dots every corner of the city. Where everyone can get where they’re going quickly, with dignity and joy.

Streets For All is asking candidates in next years city elections to sign on to the 25×25 plan, with half of the candidates for city offices already endorsing it.

So far, more than 50% of viable candidates running in 2022 have already signed on:

Mayor: Jessica Lall
Controller: David Vahedi, Kenneth Mejia
City Attorney: Kevin James, Marina Torres
CD1: Eunisses Hernandez
CD3: Yasmine Pomeroy
CD5: Molly Basler, Jimmy Biblarz, Sam Yebri, Scott Epstein, Katy Yaroslavsky
CD9: Curren Price, Dulce Vasquez
CD13: Al Corado, Dylan Kendall, Hugo Soto-Martinez, Kate Pynoos
CD15: Bryant Odega

It’s worth noting that one candidate for city controller hasn’t signed on.

Then again, it’s no surprise that bike-unfriendly pseudo-environmentalist career politician Paul Koretz would oppose it.

However, it’s hard to imagine LA’s glacial bureaucracy moving fast enough to build out the plan’s long list of measures in just the next four years.

  • 1,550 miles of additional Slow Streets
  • 60,000 safer crossings at all intersections
  • 615 miles of dedicated bus lanes on Tier 1 Metro bus routes
  • 30.5 million square feet of public plazas and open space for people
  • 26.1 million square feet of wider sidewalks
  • 600 miles of new protected bike lanes
  • 200,000 additional trees
  • 6,000 new bus shelters
  • 2,500 new public restrooms
  • 10,000 new benches
  • 20,000 new trash cans
  • 7,500 additional Al Fresco outdoor dining implementations
  • 10,000 new loading zones

Meanwhile, this is what they say the plan would achieve, if implemented.

  • Likely reach zero annual traffic deaths on city streets (achieve “Vision Zero”)
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live a 10 minute walk from a park or plaza from 65% → 100%
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live within a 10 minute walk from a bus-only lane from 11% → 55%
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live a 10 minute walk from a protected bike lane from 10% → 65%
  • Ensure every school and park is directly connected to a neighborhood greenway or slow street
  • Reduce VMT in LA by at least 13% per the LA Green New Deal
  • Increase the percentage of all trips made by walking, biking, or transit 35% per the LA Green New Deal

Of course, the key to all of that is the phrase, if implemented.

Which is always the problem in Los Angeles, where it’s one thing to get a plan passed, and another for city officials to actually carry it out.

But it has the potential to be truly transformational.

So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Photo from LA25x25.com.

………

Sad news from Texas, where a man has died after a driver slammed into a group six bike riders in Liberty County, northeast of Houston.

And as usual, the speeding driver has been released without so much as a ticket.

The victim was identified as 51-year-old Kent Joshua Wosepka from South Hamilton, Massachusetts, one of six riders participating in an annual cross-country ride from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida.

He was a talented artist, who chaired the board of trustees for Boston’s Montserrat College of Art.

A 54-year old woman, also from South Hamilton, and a 59-year old woman from Santa Rosa were also hospitalized in serious condition; the other three riders were uninjured.

Investigators allowed the 66-year old driver to walk without charges, despite police concluding he “failed to maintain his speed.”

At least this time the investigation is being conducted by the state police, rather than the local sheriff, as was the case in nearby Waller County in late September, when a teenaged driver plowed into another six riders while attempting to envelop them in a cloud of exhaust fumes, known as rolling coal.

Let’s hope the drivers are held accountable in both cases. But I wouldn’t count on it.

It’s Texas, after all.

………

Maybe we can talk KCBS/KCAL9 bike riding news anchor Jeff Vaughn into trade his news desk for a bicycle seat.

………

That feeling when you’ve got $69 billion, but can’t manage to get a decent bike fit.

………

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

A Houston-area bike rider was severely beaten by a neighbor, who ordered him to leave the corner he was stopped at because he was “making everyone nervous,” apparently just for being a Black man on a bicycle.

………

Local

The LA school district is participating in a pilot project for the All Kids Bike program, ensuring every kindergarten kid at two elementary schools will have a chance to learn how to ride a bike during PE classes.

A Koreatown website examines Bicycle Meals, the volunteer group delivering food to homeless people by bicycle three times a week.

CD11 Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Mike Bonin is asking for public endorsements as he faces re-election next year, as well as a right-wing recall attempt; Bonin has long been one of the most bike and pedestrian friendly members on the council.

This is who we share the road with. A 27-year old Long Beach man faces charges for an allegedly deliberate hit-and-run attack in which he drove onto a crowded sidewalk outside a Halloween party early Sunday morning, injuring six people, following what was described as a domestic violence incident.

 

State

Phillip Young forwards news of a support group for people who have been injured in bicycle crashes, courtesy of the San Diego County Bike Coalition. (Scroll down. No, keep scrolling.)

Police in Pacifica are looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider from behind, leaving him or her with serious injuries.

Legendary Sausalito bike shop owner Anthony “Tony” Tom died last week; he was around 65-years old.

A Davis letter writer says the city is no more the nation’s bicycle capital than any other college town, and that a bicycle capital “should do more than rest on its laurels for establishing bike lanes in the 1960s.” Ouch.

 

National

Seattle introduces a simplified plan to close a 1.4-mile gap in the city’s Burke-Gilman Trail, which has defied solutions for over two decades.

In an unusual twist, gambling giant Ceasar’s Entertainment may shoot down plans for a bike lane through Downtown Reno, because it doesn’t go in front of their casinos.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Ohio, where a hit-and-run driver who nearly killed a bike-riding mother of three walked without a single day behind bars when she was sentenced to one lousy year of probation, and lost her driver’s license for a whole six months. Anyone who leaves the scene of a crash without stopping should lose their license for life, at a bare minimum.

A New York State man faces up to seven years behind bars for killing a bike-riding woman while he was high on weed, which is legal in the state — but not for drivers.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks forward to the best Black Friday deals on kids bikes and balance bikes, both in the UK and the US.

A group of English pediatricians and other health professionals rode their bikes 800 miles to the COP26 climate summit to call attention to the dangers of pollution and climate change for kids.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a terrified 10-year old British boy’s bicycle at knifepoint.

An Indian man launches the first bike brand in Chhattisgarh state, employing traditional art and craft forms to make a handcrafted bamboo bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

American ultracyclist Amanda Coker shattered the women’s 24-hour record, becoming the first woman to ride more than 500 miles in a single day.

Oleg Tinkov, the former owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team, has been convicted of tax fraud in the US and fined $500 million — less than a quarter of his estimated wealth — on top of a one-year suspended sentence.

 

Finally…

Seriously, what kind of lowlife steals an ice cream bike from a gelato shop? If you have to steal a bike, don’t visit grandma until she turns off her security cam.

And I would have thought Daniel Boone was more of a horse guy, myself.

………

Thanks once again for Matthew R’s generous monthly donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

Meanwhile, our seventh annual Holiday Fund Drive is coming at the end of this month. So start saving your spare change. 

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

More mass casualty bicycling wrecks, LA considers safe streets proposals, and NJ whitewashes Biking While Black bust

Mass casualty crashes involving bikes just keep piling up on American roads.

For the second time in a month, six bike riders have been injured in a collision on a Texas highway.

This time, the crash occurred in Liberty County northeast Houston when a driver slammed his car into a group of people taking part in an annual ride across the US from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida.

Two of the victims were airlifted to a hospital, while at least one more was transported ambulance.

No word yet on the condition of the victims or just how the crash occurred.

That follows last month’s crash that injured another six bike riders when a 16-year old driver injured six people riding their bikes while training for a triathlon in nearby Waller County, Texas , after he tried and failed to roll coal with his pickup.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts reported his own wife was in the ICU after a driver ran a stop sign and plowed into a 60-mile ride hosted by the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen, striking three riders; she suffered 12 broken bones, two broken collarbones and punctured lungs. Unfortunately, there’s no word on the other victims.

Maybe it’s time we classified cars as weapons of mass destruction.

Because clearly, they are.

………

Streets For All is raising the alarm about tomorrow’s Los Angeles City Council Meeting, which will take up a trio of proposals to take advantage of new state laws to improve safety on the streets.

The first (Council File 21-1222) supports a Permanent Slow Streets program. It would expand existing slow streets to many more communities, and provide a framework for outreach and money for implementation.

The second (Council File 21-1223) begins the process of lowering speed limits on hundreds of miles of previously raised streets in Los Angeles. This is possible thanks to a recently passed state bill, AB-43, which Streets For All enthusiastically supported.

The third (Council File 21-1224) begins the process of installing cameras on buses (made possible by AB-917, a bill that Streets For All enthusiastically supported). These cameras will automatically send tickets to cars that are illegally parked in bus lanes. Cars illegally using the bus lane are the single biggest source of delays to buses, and this solves the problem without using police enforcement.

You’ll find call-in instructions to attend the virtual meeting, a link to submit your comments in advance, and talking points to help craft your message on the link above.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Committee of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council will discuss bike lanes on Hyperion and Riverside tomorrow night.

………

Call it a New Jersey whitewash.

A county prosecutor concluded that a group of white cops were perfectly justified in seizing the bicycles of a group of Black and Brown bike riders who separated from a larger rideout.

The teens were busted for the crime of failing to have a bicycle license and registration as they rode through the upscale Perth Amboy community, with the arrest captured on a viral video.

Even though it’s highly questionable whether that requirement can be enforced against anyone who doesn’t live there.

And it’s highly questionable whether drivers would have their cars impounded for what would normally be a simple fix-it ticket.

Never mind that Black bike riders bear the brunt of enforcement in the state.

Nothing to see here. Just another case of biking while Black or Brown.

………

Yet another example of keeping an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late.

A 90-year old Florida woman could continue to drive until her license was finally suspended last month, a full year after nearly killing a woman and injuring her husband as they were riding their bikes.

She told investigators she fled the scene because she was “so scared” — but apparently not too scared to have her damaged car towed in for repairs to coverup the crime.

She remains free on bond while facing two counts of felony hit-and-run, and can look forward to getting her license back next April.

Meanwhile, her victim continues to deal with the effects of 17 broken ribs, a broken arm and wrist, a collapsed lung and paralyzed vocal cord, and torn finger tendons and ligaments.

Not to mention brain injuries.

But other than that, no reason why she shouldn’t keep driving at 91, right?

………

The San Diego Bike Coalition is looking for volunteers for next Sunday’s CicloSDias open streets festival.

………

Nothing like celebrating Halloween with a people-protected bike lane. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link. 

………

A reader who prefers to remain anonymous forwarded this video offering a short history of a 1910 firefighter’s bicycle, complete with coiled hose.

Although the story of the three-day old saint was kinda fun, too.

………

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

Chicago police are looking for the passenger in an Audi who punched out a 69-year old bike rider, after the man picked up fast food bag the passenger had dumped out of the car, and placed it on the hood of the Audi; police credit his helmet with saving his life.

A Brisbane, Australia woman faces attempted murder charges for intentionally ramming a man on a bicycle, then trying to run him over while yelling racial slurs until he jumped over a fence to get away. Meanwhile, the man’s bicycle was apparently stolen by a passerby after he was forced to abandon it.

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

A 24-year old employee of Jamis Bikes was formally charged with first degree murder for beating a co-worker to death with a sledge hammer to steal her credit cards. He then went home to shower and change clothes, before coming back to call 911 to report a woman had been injured; he confessed the crime to police when they questioned him.

………

Local

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting an afterparty and fundraiser after the CoMotion transportation conference on November 18th; a minimum $50 advance donation is required for entry.

 

State

She gets it. A Costa Mesa op-ed calls on the city to undo the dominance of cars, and make room for the exploding popularity of ebikes. Oops. I originally misread the name, and misgendered the author of this piece. Thanks to Michelle Fay for the correction. 

Accused hit-and-run driver Lucas Beau Morgans pled not guilty to killing 75-year-old retired physicist Allen Hunter II as he rode his bike on South Coast Highway 101 in Solano Beach; the 21-year old driver faces up to 16 years behind bars on felony charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run causing death and two counts of DUl. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, approved a future four cent per mile tax on motorists to fund transit projects, a possible replacement for gas taxes as more electric vehicles hit the road.

No surprise here, as San Mateo residents get out the torches and pitchforks over a plan to remove 214 parking spaces to install bike lanes and a bicycle boulevard, apparently preferring the convenience of free parking over the lives and safety of people on bicycles, including school kids.

 

National

Forbes offers five non-earthshaking reasons to buy an ebike, none of which will surprise anyone who’s been paying attention.

This is who we share the road with. The Boston Globe reports that protesters around the US have been injured by drivers ramming demonstrations, as several states are passing laws to make that legal. And yes, some of those victims have been on bikes.

Wired likes the new Apple Watch Series 7, particularly the “excellent” bike-friendly features. The battery life, not so much.

Your new e-BMX could be a Harley, complete with a milk crate front basket.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever pulled a knife on a 13-year old Queens boy to jack his bike.

 

International

Former New York Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan examines the bikelash paradox, in which any changes to the street will inevitably draw complaints from angry drivers and the accompanying media storm, yet mayors who make true transformational change get re-elected over and over, from Barcelona and Paris to New York and DC.

The indigenous Bolivian women known as Cholitas held their own bike race Saturday, weaving through car and truck traffic while riding their bicycles garbed in traditional attire, at an oxygen sucking 13,615 feet above sea level.

Former Vancouver, British Columbia chief planner Brent Toderian explains how the “trick-or-treat test” determines neighborhood walkability and design.

A contentious popup bike lane through a Vancouver park will stay after commissioners voted to keep it in place, despite complaints from drivers and local businesses. After all, parks should be for people, not cars.

Work still hasn’t been finished on upgrades to a London junction where eight bike riders have been killed in the past 13 years — including the latest just this past August — even though it was supposed to be done two years ago.

The husband of a British woman killed by a man on a bicycle five years ago says the country’s ministers are afraid of the bicycling lobby, blocking his fight for tougher penalties against bike riders who kill or maim others. Funny how so many people seem to think we’re a lot better organized and more influential than we are. 

People in the UK are complaining that a popular English forest is being ruined by mountain bikers and dog poop.

Rouleur considers the inescapable link between bicycles and coffee, while recommending the best coffees for people who bike. As long as you’re in the UK, or UK adjacent, that is; no guarantee you can find them on this side of the pond.

Romanian police have recovered nearly $700,000 worth of bikes stolen from the Italian cycling team last month, after unexpectedly discovering the 21 bicycles during a drug raid, including Filippo Ganna’s gold Pinarello.

Zimbabwe shoots the goose that laid the golden egg by imposing an annual tax on bike riders that disproportionately hits the country’s poorest workers, who turned to their bikes following a pandemic ban on public transit.

The bike boom continues in Japan, as bicycle prices rise as much as 11% due to continued demand.

He gets it. A Manilla, Philippines columnist says the city needs to get the weekend roadies to bike commute during the week in order to avoid a post-pandemic return to the city’s crippling traffic jams. Imagine what it could do for LA traffic if every spandexed weekend rider tried bike commuting to work just one day during the week.

 

Competitive Cycling

L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams proves to be an ungracious host by winning the inaugural Into the Lion’s Den race sponsored by his own team; Rally Cycling’s Olivia Ray won the women’s race.

Rouleur considers whether there remains a path to redemption for former German great and confessed doper Jan Ullrich, who has spent recent years mired in scandal, drowned in alcohol and lost to drugs.

Forty-year old German cyclist Trixi Worrack is hanging up her cleats after spending half her life in the women’s peloton.

Bike Radar examines the “wonderfully odd” world of a Swedish three-day Penny Farthing stage race.

Sad news from Chicago, where Broderick Adé Hogue of the amateur Half Acre Cycling team died three days after he suffered a severe head injury in a collision, despite wearing a helmet; witnesses say the 32-year old Hogue was in the intersection, riding in a crosswalk when the light changed.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to throw your bike off your upper floor apartment. If you’re going to carry meth, weed and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it.

And it’s the harvest season, when the trees hang heavy with fresh bicycles.

………

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

Keeping dangerous drivers driving until it’s too late, Metro neighborhood bike guides, and Brompton guests on Ted Lasso

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road and behind the wheel until it’s too late.

A 90-year Chico old man faces up to one year behind bars after pleading no contest to killing a 75-year old doctor in a dangerous pass, sideswiping his bicycle after failing to give a safe passing distance.

Shockingly, the crash came just three years after the then 84-year old man hit another bike rider on the same damn road.

Which is exactly when he should have been forced to give up his keys.

Permanently.

Admittedly, it’s difficult to know when an older person can no longer drive safely. And I know from experience just how hard it is to take the keys from a loved one.

But it’s the state’s job to do exactly that. And before they kill someone.

Which makes the DMV, police, and any prosecutors and judges who may have been involved in the earlier case just as responsible for this doctor’s death as the man who actually killed him.

And who shouldn’t have been allowed to drive in the first place.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

………

CicLAvia wants to remind you that Metro has lots of recommendations of where to ride in transit-accessible neighborhoods throughout the city.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia returns this Sunday with a short 2.25-mile route in Wilmington.

Which makes this a great one to try if you want to walk or skate the route instead of riding.

………

SCAG’s award-winning Go Human campaign is hosting an online conversation next Wednesday to discuss what works for advocacy work.

………

You’re invited to join the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s free virtual bike summit today and tomorrow.

………

The subtitles are Spanish, but the audio is in English.

As is the Brompton that’s becoming a featured character in the Apple TV+ series.

Spotted in Ted Lasso S2.E02 from Brompton

The link above is in case the embedded Reddit video doesn’t work. Which happens a lot.

………

GCN offers a beginner’s guide to riding a bike.

………

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

The battle over whether bicyclists should ride abreast is bursting into open verbal warfare in the UK, as the founder of a motoring group warned against “fueling a war between drivers and cyclists,” even though his group fired the first shot by accusing the government of focusing transportation policy on “the privileged cycling few.”

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

The recent rash of bike-riding gropers has reared its ugly head in Palo Alto, where two women were assaulted by the same man in separate incidents.

………

Local

The Easy Reader says now you can stop in for a hot burger or pancakes at Oceans Café & Grill at Dockweiler Beach the next time you ride the South Bay stretch of the beachfront Marvin Bruade Bike Trail.

 

State

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a Solano Beach man saved the life of another bike rider who collapsed on a bike path from a sudden, massive heart attack, performing CPR, without training, for five minutes until paramedics arrived.

A San Clemente man rode his bike across the country to attend his 50th high school reunion, while raising roughly $30,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

A Bay Area panel considers whether the quick build bike and pedestrian projects that popped up in cities surrounding the San Francisco Bay will survive the pandemic. Meanwhile, a former San Francisco realtor worries about added traffic surrounding the city’s Slow Streets, even though the people who live on the streets love them.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for City Observatory says yes, we need electric cars — but with a lot less driving.

CleanTechnica offers advice on commuting by ebike in a bike lane-free suburb.

Salt Lake Magazine says there’s no bust built into Utah’s pandemic bike boom. Although a Portland weekly isn’t so sure, especially when it comes to ebikes.

Sad news from my Colorado hometown, where longtime bicycle industry veteran George Parry died at the all-too-young age of 58 earlier this month. He spent stints as a designer and engineer with GT Bicycles and Schwinn/GT, Cannondale and Niner bikes, after getting his start as a mechanic at my favorite LBS back in the day.

Must be a small company. An Oklahoma City bikeshare provider says someone stole a full third of their bicycles, then listed serial numbers for the five missing bikes. Yes, five.

They get it. A Chicago panel says the disability and bicycle communities should join forces to promote their common interests, while a Pennsylvania TV station reminds us that an adaptive bike can be life-changing for a disabled child. Or adult, for that matter.

A Minnesota art installation features 857 pinwheels and butterflies to honor John Egbers, who was killed by a distracted driver while participating in the 2018 Trans Am cross-country bike race, along with the 856 other people whose lives were stolen by traffic violence while riding their bikes that year. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The nonprofit 9/11 National Memorial Trail Alliance is hosting its 3rd annual Tour de Trail, a 24-mile ride to the Pennsylvania memorial for the victims of Flight 93 in honor of the 20th anniversary of America’s worst terrorist attack.

A Florida man will spend the next six years behind bars for stealing a $3,000 bicycle from a bike shop floor, then turning around and pawning it for $500.

 

International

British royal-in-law James Middleton introduces his new role as a bike riding, blogging dog whisperer.

No irony here. A Scottish rock band is offering free tickets and other swag to anyone who can help recover the stolen bicycle that was taken from the band’s guitarist for the group that calls itself Mark Sharp & The Bicycle Thieves.

 

Competitive Cycling

Say it ain’t so, Joe. The legendary Katie F’n Compton was banned for four years after testing positive for an undisclosed anabolic agent in an out-of-competition drug test last fall; the 42-year old, 15-time national ‘cross champ won’t be eligible to compete again until late 2024, after her suspension was backdated to the date of the failed test. But the doping era is over, right? I mean, that’s what they keep telling us.

The Los Angeles-based LA Sweat women’s cycling team is working to identify and encourage the next generation with their Junior Development Program. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

American Olympic BMX cyclist Connor Fields says he’s on the road to recovery after suffering a brain hemorrhage in a massive crash in Tokyo, but has no memory of several days, including the crash itself.

FloBikes looks forward to the upcoming mountain bike world championships in Trentino, Italy at the end of this month.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to do bike stunts on the front entrance to the local DOT office — in full view of the security cams, no less.

And that feeling when no one recognizes the random, 4-time Tour de France-winning “bicycle hiker” who rode into the shot.

Thanks to David Huntsman for forwarding the video.

………

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

Who we share the road with: Alleged road raging DUI driver kills pregnant woman; and help keep Culver Blvd partially carfree

This is who we share the road with.

A pregnant woman and her unborn baby are dead, thanks to the allegedly drunken, road-raging driver she had the misfortune of sharing a pickup cab with.

The driver was allegedly chasing another driver through several blocks in Long Beach when he lost control of his truck, and crashed into a number of other vehicles.

One more tragic reminds that getting behind the wheel brings out the worst in far too many people.

And that some people just shouldn’t drive.

………

This is who we share the road with, part two.

And speaking of people who just shouldn’t drive. Or maybe shouldn’t be allowed to drive ever again.

………

The Culver City council will consider whether to keep Culver Blvd open for people, and partially closed to cars, at tonight’s meeting.

Bike Culver City urges you to voice your support before then.

https://twitter.com/BikeCulverCity/status/1424491840326098945

Meanwhile, my old friend and longtime LA bike advocate Kent Strumpell forwards a reminder about tonight’s webinar to explain upcoming changes to restore the Ballona Wetlands, which will impact the popular Ballona Creek Bike Trail.

Reminder: WEBINAR: RE-ENVISIONING THE BALLONA CREEK TRAIL IN THE WETLANDS

An online presentation hosted by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands including a Q&A by CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the project planners.

Monday, August 9, 2021, 5:00PM
Register here:                                                  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2782870943479543820

And Streets For All is urging your comments before the LA County Board of Supervisors consider a motion addressing inequities in county infrastructure planning at tomorrow’s meeting.

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This may link to a story from last year.

But it’s a good reminder of what we’ve been saying here for some time. Bike helmets are designed to protect you from a fall off your bike. Not protect your skull — or anything else — from a motor vehicle.

Yes, you should wear one when you ride. I never get on my bike without one.

But don’t expect it to be some sort of magical hat that makes you impervious to injury, head or otherwise.

A bike helmet should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

Not the first.

………

Admit it.

Your bike club never looked this good.

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

No bias here. The founder of a Chinese American citizen’s alliance argues against planned bike lanes by insisting that only wealthy white people ride bicycles, not ordinary people like the residents of Brooklyn’s Chinatown. Yet somehow, the photo accompanying the article clearly shows two people on bikes, including a heavily loaded cargo bike.

She gets it. A Kiwi writer asks drivers to please stop trying to kill her when she’s riding her bike.

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

British police finally busted a serial groper who allegedly prowled pathways on his mountain bike looking for victims; the 19-year old man is suspected of assaulting at least 20 women.

A Spanish thief has died after he was pushed off his bicycle by a Barcelona cop, who chased him down as he was trying to make his escape after stealing a woman’s cellphone; the death is already under investigation.

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Local

SoCal Cycling considers the pro football players who’ve added bicycling to their fitness program.

Rapper T.I.’s recent arrest in Amsterdam didn’t scare him off his bike, as he and his wife went for an extended ride in Santa Monica.

 

State

California State Parks wants your input on hike and bike camping.

Tragic news from San Jose, where a young girl was killed when she struck a raised curb while riding her bike downhill and hit her head on a concrete retaining wall. And no, she wasn’t wearing a helmet, despite a California law requiring one for anyone under 18.

A hit-and-run driver turned himself in two days after allegedly killing a bike rider in Ceres last week — but walked out without being arrested, because the CHP said they still needed to build their case. I’d call a confession a pretty good case, but what do I know?

While San Francisco bike riders cheer a decision to ban cars from John F. Kennedy Drive through Golden Gate Park, museums worry the loss of motor vehicle access will halt a post-pandemic rebound. Because evidently, their collections aren’t worth seeing if you can’t park right on top of them.

 

National

Streetsblog says there’s more good news, and even better amendments, in the bipartisan Senate transportation bill. Along with one really bad and unneeded mega-highway.

Wired offers a rudimentary how-to guide for getting into BMX for anyone inspired by the events in the Tokyo Olympics. But no, it’s not everyone’s favorite event, regardless of what the magazine says.

Your next ebike could be a Schwinn-style Harley chopper complete with banana seat and raised handlebars.

An Oklahoma cowboy remembers his wannabe childhood, saying a bicycle is the next best thing when there’s not a horse ride.

Police in New York are looking for a man who spat in the face of a 52-year old woman, and called her a racial slur as she was attempting to dock her bikeshare bike.

Speaking of the NYPD, they’ve arrested the alleged hit-and-run scooter rider who ran down 65-year old Gone Girl actress Lisa Banes, then went directly to a bike shop to get his scooter fixed while she lay dying

A New Yorker decides he’ll have to leave the city if it replaces free curbside parking with a bike lane, because evidently, there’s no other way to get around in the American city best served by transit.

Scammers are switching QR codes on bikeshare bikes in the Big Apple, getting a free $3 ride when an unsuspecting mark scans it — and maybe even a free bike.

 

International

A Canadian writer traveling 5,000 miles as part of a cross-country group decries reckless drivers, calling them the scourge of bicyclists, and saying maybe they’d reconsider their actions if they could see the world from a bicycle seat.

A British bike rider credits a “guardian angel” with saving his life after he lost control of his bicycle and plunged 30 feet off a bridge and into the river below; he was rescued by an RAF doctor who watched the crash from her home just a few feet away.

Half of all adults in the UK are considering buying an ebike.

Reminiscing about a childhood bicycle crash, a British TV host was the living definition of oversharing, as he told about having to have his partially severed penis sewed back on afterwards.

Bicycling Australia examines the intersection of van life and bike life, living the life of a bike bum while living out of your van.

This one’s easily the story of the day. A New Zealand woman wants to thank the young man who loaned her his own “expensive” bicycle so she could make a followup exam with her cardiologist on time, after her bike suffered a flat he couldn’t fix. He then walked her bike to the office to exchange it for his, before riding off without a word.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to San Diego native Jennifer Valente on winning the women’s omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, the first ever track cycling gold medal for US women, after a massive crash took out much of the competition.

Now that the Olympics are over, the Tokyo Paralympics move in to take their place; San Diego microbiome researcher Josie Fouts went from reluctant bike commuter to elite paracycling champ representing the US in just a few months.

 

Finally…

It doesn’t matter how cool you think you look on your bike, Hollywood still thinks you’re a dork. Why should people be the only ones who get to ride, when animals might like it, tooThanks to an anonymous source for the link.

And there’s DIY, and then there’s assault with a hacksaw.

………

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

Ex-NBA star Shawn Bradley paralyzed in bike crash, Lime gets colorful, and calls for all bikes to be included in Fed rebate plan

Let’s start with the bad news.

Former NBA star Shawn Bradley, one of the tallest men to play pro basketball, announced yesterday that he’s now paralyzed after he was struck by a driver while riding his bicycle.

The 7’6″ center played 11 seasons in the NBA, the last eight with the Dallas Mavericks, where he became a cornerstone of the team.

According to Bradley, he was just a block from his home in St. George, Utah, when he was run down from behind eight weeks ago.

He suffered a traumatic injury to his spinal cord and underwent surgery to fuse vertebra in his neck. There’s no word on where the paralysis starts, but it implies he may be paralyzed from the neck down.

There’s also no word on whether his condition is permanent. Doctors predict an extremely difficult recovery, while the eight week delay in announcing the injury suggests he may have waited in vain for signs of improvement before going public.

And there’s no mention made of the driver, or whether any charges will be filed.

But as many people have commented on social media, it would have been very hard not to see a seven and a half foot man on a bicycle directly in front of his or her car.

Bradley now plans to use his injury to promote bicycle safety.

And yes, this is exactly the cost of traffic violence.

Meanwhile, Slate gets it, writing that Bradley’s crash is no more a “bicycle accident” than a shark attack is a swimming accident.

Thanks to Opus the Poet and Anthony D. Morrow for the heads-up.

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Lime is unveiling colorful, new and improved e-scooters in the City of Angels.

The new Lime scooter ​features upgrades that make it slightly heavier than the current G2.5 fleet, leading to more stability and durability during rides. Larger wheels and improved suspension lend to a smoother ride, particularly when riding over bumps. The upgraded battery can support up to 18.6 miles on a single charge, versus 14 miles with the older fleet. Other features include:

  •  Dynamic brake on front wheel and drum brake on rear wheel
  • Bicycle-style brake lever on handle bars
  • Motor lock on front wheel when not in use
  • Bluetooth-enabled locking cable that can be attached
  • Folding kickstand, optimized for stability

 

The company also wants to give you a deal to check it out.

To help riders get acclimated to its new scooter fleet, Lime is running a promotion for those who spot one of the first scooters to be deployed this week. From today until Wednesday, March 24th, if riders in LA share a photo of the new scooter design on social media with #LimeisRedLA, Lime will provide the rider a promocode for a free unlock.

………

C|net examines the proposal for a $1,500 federal rebate on the purchase of a ebike.

However, a couple people wisely pointed out in yesterday’s comments that any rebate should apply to regular bicycles, as well as ebikes.

Because regular bikes offer exactly the same social and economic benefits as ebikes, with less damage to the environment from power generation and discarded batteries.

Although more ebikes still represents a massive improvement compared to motor vehicles.

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This is what can be done with a little imagination.

Thanks to Shadow Teams for forwarding the tweet.

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How to ride a bike with no hands, in case you failed to master the skill in your youth.

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

No bias here. The BBC is criticized for a “one-sided” report on London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of Slow Streets in the US — that was “devoid of any fact-checking.” Meanwhile, a Parliament member claims LTNs are “more contentious than air strikes on Syria.” Scroll down if that last link doesn’t land in the right spot.

London’s Kensington and Chelsea districts deny pleas for the return of a popup bike lane that was unceremoniously ripped out after just seven weeks last December, even though the public supports it by a two-to-one margin.

A red light-running driver nearly takes out a Singapore bike rider crossing legally in a crosswalk, with the green light.

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

It takes a major schmuck to punch a 14-year old New York boy in the face, then ride off with his cellphone.

………

Local

LAist looks at what legalizing speed cams would mean for Los Angeles.

Transportation PAC Streets For All unveils their public policy positions for a greener, more sustainable and equitable Los Angeles.

Long Beach community members remember longtime bike advocate Mark Bixby and four others who died in a plane crash ten years ago; credit Bixby with fighting for bike lanes on the new Gerald Desmond Bridge.

 

State

A Santa Barbara woman takes an “easy, breezy” afternoon ride on the city’s new bikeshare program.

Los Altos approves the Bay Area city’s first two-way cycle track.

Better late than never. Livermore police have belatedly decided that a fallen bike rider wasn’t at fault after all when she was fatally right hooked by a truck driver, who fled the scene following the crash; they had originally blamed her for riding in the crosswalk, which is perfectly legal under California law.

 

National

The new Kit Critic for VeloNews explains how and why she breaks all the bikewear rules.

Evidently, it’s not just Los Angeles. We’ve spent the last couple days discussing the dangers of speeding drivers; now a new study from Portland lays the blame for a rash of pedestrian deaths at the feet of drivers who can’t seem to keep their feet off the gas.

Kindhearted cops in Walla Walla, Washington gave a new bike to a high school student who needed transportation to get to his job; the Walla Walla Area Crime Watch has donated 180 bicycles to people in need in the last six years. And yes, it’s entirely possible that I included this item just for the chance to keep repeating Walla Walla.

Houston students may be learning virtually, but an elementary school book bike is proving to be a huge hit to keep students engaged and learning.

Cannondale’s new Times Square ad campaign promotes ebikes, while Brompton tackles agism.

A Philadelphia op-ed says Vision Zero is crucial to the city’s future.

Awful news from Miami, where an entertainment and technology expert and experienced bicyclist tried to beat a drawbridge on his bike and didn’t make it, falling to his death.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on how to buy a bike cam, and recommends their picks to record your rides. Seriously, a cam mounted to your bike or helmet is the best legal protection if anything happens when you’re riding — and the best way to keep from getting blamed for it.

Wisely or not, Montreal leaves Covid fears behind and makes plans to revive the city’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride this July.

Comic actress Rebel Wilson is one of us, riding a bicycle around a London hotel ballroom to promote her new role while showing off her newly svelte-ish figure.

Mark Reilly, one of the UK’s most respected framebuilders, passed away recently; he was just 53.

Apparently, bike shop burglaries are a problem in the UK, too

Three professional Kashmiri cyclists pooled their money to open a mountain bike shop.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new Aussie documentary celebrates Phil Liggett as the voice of cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when being an ex-president doesn’t spare you from your wife’s criticisms about your bike riding. That feeling when the bike boom has nothing to do with all those bike helmets flying off the shelves — maybe literally.

And if you don’t want to get caught, maybe try stealing bicycles from a different damn trailer park every now and then.

………

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

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