Tag Archive for dangerous drivers

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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Why too-close passes matter, Cyber Monday bike deals near and far, and the ever-expanding world of ebikes

We’re of to an amazing start for the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, with our best ever opening weekend!

Thankfully, that led to my first haircut in three months, before I was forced to  become a hermit and move to a shack in Montana. 

Which doesn’t sound all that bad, given the year we’ve all had. 

So thanks to everyone who opened their hearts and wallets to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite device every morning.

Now let’s keep it going!

Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

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This is why close passes matter.

An Aussie driver clips a bicyclist riding in a double pace line, sending him flying into the riders around him — even though all of the riders were outside the traffic lane.

Naturally, social media users blamed the victims for riding too close to the white line, instead of blaming the driver for crossing it and breaking the country’s one-meter passing law — the equivalent of a three-foot passing law.

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It’s Cyber Monday, which is sort of like Black Friday, except online and a few days later.

Business Wire recommends their picks for the best bike deals of the day, as well as the best ebike deals online.

And Cycling Weekly offers UK-centric choices for the best deals for gravel grinders, along with other bicycling deals.

But before you buy anything online, check with your local bike shop to see if maybe they can give you something just as good, or better.

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Today’s common theme is the ever expanding world of ebikes, and the many uses for them.

Arnold is back on his ebike, riding through Santa Monica with his adult kids just a month after heart surgery.

Robin Wright is one of us, too, riding ebikes with her husband through the streets LA.

A Streetsblog writer says she tried an e-cargo bike for 30 days, and didn’t need to touch her car the whole time.

Canadian parcel delivery firms are shifting from trucks to e-cargo bikes in some cities.

Smart move. An anti-bike lane Parliament member had an epiphany after a bike dealer lent him an ebike to get around during the pandemic.

The Netherlands is turning old outdoor ashtrays into ebike charging stations.

A Parisian tech firm unveiled a new e-bicycle ambulance designed to efficiently slice through traffic to arrive at crash scenes and other rescue situations faster than a traditional ambulance. Meanwhile, Clean Technica considers how bike ambulances can save lives by reaching urban victims faster.

And the Bike League offers a recorded webinar discussing how ebikes can replace car trips in your community.

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

In what may be the grossest attack ever, a bicyclist out for a walk spotted a parked bicycle with a used condom stretched over the nose of the saddle.

A 60-something Irish ebike rider says he’s all in favor of bike lanes, but those damn “pseudo-racing cyclists (are) a complete menace.”

Angry British drivers are vandalizing traffic cams and new bike lanes less than a day after they’re installed.

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

A bike-riding UK teen gets seven and a half years for being a one-man crime wave, including robbery and sexual assault, even though his lawyer argued he was just a nice, well-adjusted boy.

Another British teen was shot in the leg by another bicycle rider as he was riding his bike; a 26-year old man was arrested for attempted murder.

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Local

The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled that an LAPD sergeant was justified in killing a mentally ill man holding a bike part that several witnesses had mistaken for a gun.

KCET offers a guide to LA’s best foot — and in most cases, bike — bridges.

Now that David Ryu is out in LA’s 4th Council District, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests a number of actionable transportation ideas for new councilmember Nithya Raman.

Beverly Hills will host a zoom meeting this Sunday to discuss the gilded city’s Complete Streets plan.

 

State

An Irvine couple was busted for stealing a GPS-equipped bait bike, which police tracked to the back of their car following the theft.

La Jolla considers a proposal for protected bike lanes on Gilman Drive.

There’s something seriously wrong with anyone who could steal 200 new tricycles that had been donated to a San Francisco firefighters’ toy program for underprivileged kids.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where an 81-year old man was killed by an allegedly stoned driver as he was walking his bike on the sidewalk.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on when to replace your bike helmet.

A HuffPo writer investigates Dunkin’s weird donut-branded tandem, and concludes it’s not the real bike being offered.

CleanTechnica says the pandemic is driving urban transport to micromobility.

Cycling Savvy offers advice on how to safely control the lane around blind curves.

NPR looks at how a nine-year old Nevada kid ended up with a $19,000 hospital bill for a few stitches after falling off his bike, when the insurance company unexpectedly denied the claim.

Colorado cops bust a man suspected of attacking and killing a 71-year old man riding a bike earlier this month, on unrelated charges.

After a grocery store worker’s bike was stolen while he was at work, kindhearted Illinois firefighters shopping at the store heard about it, and replaced his bicycle using union charity funds before the man’s shift ended.

A father and daughter successfully rode from their homes in Monroe County, Michigan to Monroe County, Florida on Penny Farthings.

A Long Island couple faces charges for chasing a 13-year old boy and tackling him off his bike in a case of mistaken identity.

The New York Post’s resident anti-bike curmudgeon celebrates news that the head of the city’s transportation department is stepping down, while blaming the “bullying bike lobby” for never being satisfied.

An on-duty Louisiana cop killed a man standing with his bicycle just inside the the traffic lane in a collision.

 

International

How to beat the bane of bicyclists by overcoming back pain resulting from time in the saddle.

Cycling TipsJames Huang discusses ten products he loved this year, ranging from a $5 used crockpot to a Specialized S-Works bike that costs too much to ask.

Touching story from British Columbia, where children made a small memorial for a stranger who died from a medical emergency while riding his bike, saying “…we are sure you were a great person and we hope you make it to heaven.”

Brompton is struggling to stay on track, despite being buffeted by the coronavirus pandemic and the Brexit exit from the European Union.

A local London site says the government is boosting spending on bike lanes, following a 300% jump in bicycling rates during the pandemic. However, London’s anti-bike Mail celebrates efforts to rip the bike lanes out, accusing them of clogging up “our” towns. Evidently, bike riders aren’t part of their towns, as far as they are concerned.

A 16-year old British boy will spend the next eight years behind bars for repeatedly stabbing a man in front of his kids, after the man accused him of stealing his son’s bike; the victim nearly bled to death before doctors were able to save him.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a drunk driver got a lousy 18 months behind bars for crashing into a pregnant woman riding in a bike lane, causing her to lose her baby. At least he lost his license for six years, although it should have been for life.

Life is even cheaper for the driver who walked with community service for killing a bike-riding father, after playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card of claiming the sun was in his eyes; the victim’s wife insists “picking up litter is not justice” for taking a human life.

Sticking with deadly drivers in the UK, a bike rider forgives the drunk driver who nearly killed him on a group ride.

British road rage incidents have spiked over the past three years, including attacks on people riding bicycles.

A new report from a German testing institute says cargo bikes are safe for children, but only if they’re strapped into seat belts and they should be wearing helmets.

Angry Budapest residents want to know why the city’s bikeshare program is being closed for an overhaul in the middle of a pandemic, when more people are relying on bikes for safe transportation.

There’s a special place in hell for the Indian man who pushed a nine-year old boy off his bicycle in a strong arm robbery.

A Philippine paper says riding a bicycle is a key step towards improving your health.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yes, please. Cycling Tips’ Caley Fretz urges broadcasters to stop showing repeated replays of horrific cycling crashes until we know how the victim is.

French cyclist Mikaël Cherel was lucky to avoid serious injury when he was taken down by a loose dog that ran in front of his bike on a training ride; naturally, the owner made a quick escape with his dog while Cherel was still down on the pavement.

 

Finally…

Why rip out protected bike lanes when you can just ignore the bollards? Tesla’s  scary new ebike concept makes their awful truck look good.

And don’t run over your little brother with your bike.

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Thanks to Arthur B, Eric L, John C, Stephen T, David R, Michael S, the Muir’s , Michael F, Paul F, Andrew G, Alan C, Mike B, Andrew B, Mark J, Robert K, Glenn C, Theodore F, Domus P, Patrick J. M, Michael C, Lisa G and Michael V for their very generous support to help keep bringing SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy you way every day!

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

Hit-and-run driver crashes twice in 15 minutes, Union Station virtual open house tonight, and a relic of 1930’s planning

This is who we share the road with.

A San Luis Obispo man faces charges for a hit-and-run crash that left a bike rider with a severely broken leg. He was arrested after getting into a second crash fifteen minutes later.

Thankfully, several people stopped to help the victim as he lay unconscious on the side of the road with a major gash in his leg.

There’s no word on why the driver crashed twice in such a short period of time.

But it certainly makes a damn good argument for why he should never be allowed behind the wheel again.

Then again, just running away from the first crash should do that.

Photo by Emre Kuzu from Pexels

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Metro will host a virtual open house this evening to discuss the planned transformation of Union Station.

If Los Angeles can resist watering down it down any more.

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Grist looks at the deadly 85th Percentile Law, calling it a relic of 1930’s city planning that allows drivers to set their own speed limits.

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A new collaboration between BMC and Formula One’s Red Bull Advanced Technologies promises that it’s going to change everything — if it works.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A pair of Newport Beach women are offering free masks to people who walk or bike by. Then again, they’d probably give one to people who drive, too.

It’s a happy ending for a change, as a San Diego woman tracks down the Surly she rode across the country in honor of her late boyfriend, after a woman stole it from her porch. And gets it back from a used bike dealer who’d already bought and resold it.

 

National

A pair of Tennessee men from different backgrounds and political beliefs rode across America to find something we can all agree on.

Maybe we can learn more about building better bike lanes from smaller American cities than large Northern European ones.

Uber still sees micromobility in its future, despite unloading its Jump dockless ebikes and e-scooters on Lime earlier this year.

Speaking of micromobility, Lyft reports ridership is still down 50% from pre-pandemic levels, though that’s an improvement from the original 75% drop-off.

Consumer Reports is out with their latest ratings of the best bike helmets.

A writer for Jalopnik decides to build his own wheels to upgrade his $150 Schwinn.

Austin, Texas is closing down its Healthy Streets program to provide safe, low-traffic areas for walking, running and bicycling during the coronavirus crisis. Apparently, the pandemic must be over down there, unlike everywhere else.

A 19-year old Arkansas man will spend the next 42 years behind bars after fatally shooting a police officer during a chase that began when the killer was on his bicycle.

Chicago will now allow three-wheeled e-cargo delivery bikes to pedal city streets.

An Illinois man has been arrested for the murder of a 15-year old girl, who disappeared after riding her bicycle to an ATM in 2014.

A drama student at a Tennessee Christian college lifts spirits by singing as he rides his bike through campus.

An entrepreneurial ten-year old Massachusetts boy has gone into business for himself making coronavirus face shields for bike helmets; you can get yours for fifteen bucks.

The New York Times examines the record numbers of women on bikes in the city, where women’s bicycling rates have jumped 147% over last year as the pandemic has removed dangerous traffic from the streets.

One reason for that is reflected in a 60% drop in Gotham’s vehicular traffic during the pandemic. But despite the slowdown — or maybe because of it — bicycling injuries are up in places with the worst infrastructure.

 

International

Good point. A Canadian letter writer complains that it’s apparently wrong to hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk, but perfectly okay if that person’s on a bike. And if the law is so confusing that even a cop gets it wrong, maybe it needs to be changed.

Maybe they should hold a bake sale. The Canadian capital says they know where they need to make safety improvements to protect bike riders, but don’t have the money to do it.

A British man wants to find the Good Samaritans who cared for him when he fractured his skull falling off his bike.

Bicycling says add Spain’s “Empty Mountains” to your bike bucket list for next year. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall blocks you out.

A Philippine city is getting good reviews after installing bike lanes on two major streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Tom Pidcock is the new world men’s e-mountain bike champ. Who knew that was even a thing?

Cycling’s governing body has been asked to investigate the Giro crash that took out teammates Luca Wackermann and Etienne van Empel when downwash from a helicopter blew a course barrier across the roadway.

Who needs to watch hours of racing when you can catch up on yesterday’s stage of the Giro in just over two minutes?

 

Finally…

When is a bike not a bike? When it’s a dummy — and so is the booze. Yes, bikes are made up of a number of parts, and no, you won’t get a “quality” new one for three hundred bucks.

And that feeling when you’re an inadvertent fashion icon.

………

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

Coronado driver hits 4 bike riders, racist attack on preteen bike rider, and Velo Club La Grange talks Biking While Black

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A man in Coronado plowed into four people riding their bicycles in a bike lane after having an undisclosed “medical issue” while driving.

Three of the bike riders were taken to the hospital, with injuries described as ranging from minor to serious.

The other rider declined medical treatment — as did the driver, even though he was unresponsive when police arrived.

So his condition is serious enough that he can pass out behind the wheel, but not so serious he needs medical attention afterwards.

And presumably, he was allowed to leave on his own, without so much as a ticket, despite putting three people in the hospital.

Because, you know, a medical condition.

Hopefully, someone will stop him from driving before it happens again. But don’t count on it.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

………

In yet another sign of the times we’re living in, a San Francisco man faces hate charges after assaulting a preteen boy.

The 12-year old victim was riding his bike to Walgreens with his friends when he stopped to help a woman who was sobbing in the parking lot.

It was then that 29-year-old Brendon Kruse “ran up to him and began screaming epithets,” according to SFist.

Though the victim’s friends ran away, the boy held tight — perhaps because Kruse prevented the victim from taking his bike — while Kruse continued yelling insults at him; Kruse at one point showed his lightning bolt and skull tattoos and explained to the boy they meant he “kills [plural n-word].” Kruse allegedly also threatened to kill the boy.

Kruse faces well-deserved charges for “criminal threats, child endangerment and false imprisonment with hate crime enhancements.”

Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough for someone who could do that.

And something tells me we know who made the woman cry, too.

Note, I would have linked to the original story in the San Francisco Chronicle, except for their paywall. 

………

While we’re on the subject of race, Velo Club La Grange, LA’s longtime leading cycling club, is taking a big step towards understanding what it means to bike while Black in the City of Angels.

On Tuesday, July 7th at 7 pm PT, La Grange will be hosting a virtual Town Hall where a number of local Black cyclists have agreed to share their perspective and experiences and then engage in an interactive question and answer session. The Town Hall is open to all. We invite you all to attend and hope you will join us for this critically important conversation. Please feel free to share with fellow cyclists and anyone interested!

The Town Hall meeting will take place online on Tuesday, July 7 @ 7pm; click here for access to the Zoom meeting

You can read the club’s Full Anti-Racism Statement here

Thanks to Jaycee Cary for the heads-up.

………

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum takes a look at the problems faced by Black bike riders in the US, and how bicycling could help drive racial equality, saying “It is time to dissociate racialist culture and bicycle culture; cycling in itself is agnostic to any culture.”

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Seattle man faces two counts of vehicular assault for driving the wrong way up an offramp, around a road closure barrier installed by the state police, and onto a freeway that had been closed for a protest over police brutality.

He swerved around several cars that had been parked across the roadway to serve as barricades, and slammed into two of the protesters.

Twenty-four-year old Summer Taylor was killed, while another person remains in serious condition at a Seattle hospital.

No word yet on why he did it.

But we can probably all take a guess.

………

A Friday town hall will discuss SB 288, a California state senate bill that would exempt bike and pedestrian projects from CEQA requirements.

………

David Drexler forwards this opportunity to put your favorite transportation modality where your mouth is.

No, literally.

………

Forget bike polo.

………

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

Horrible story from the UK, where a woman riding a mountain bike was attacked and severely beaten by a 60-something man wielding a six-foot long stick. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

………

Local

CicLAvia is now part of the Highline Network, which credits the organization with building a “unifying social fabric,” rather than permanent infrastructure.

 

State

She gets it. A Bakersfield columnist says the Slow Street movement slowly making its way through the state could change our cities for the better, permanently.

No surprise here, as the annual Sea Otter Classic has gone virtual for 2020.

A nearly $25 million state grant will build 74 low income apartments in Modesto, as well as rail improvements and a new 1.5 mile, high-quality bike path.

Tragic news from San Raphael, where a 36-year old man was struck and killed by a train after falling on the tracks when he reportedly rode through the crossing gates. Never do that, no matter how big a hurry you’re in or how tempting it is.

 

National

Senate leader Mitch McConnell calls the bike-friendly US House infrastructure bill a “Green New Deal masquerading as a transportation bill.” Works for me.

Streetsblog looks into the bill, and offers four things they think every advocate of sustainable transportation should know. Unfortunately, the bill is likely to be dead on arrival in the Senate as long McConnell is in charge.

Dump the woodie, and strap your board to your “uncool” ebike the next time you head out to surf.

A new clip-on device promises to add turn signals to any bike helmet; you can preorder it on Kickstarter starting at the equivalent of $51 for the next few days.

A Catholic paper briefly explains how the Madonna del Ghisallo became the patron saint of bicyclists, amid a story about the patron saints of various summer activities. Never mind that many of us don’t just ride in the summertime  Still, a little devine intervention couldn’t hurt; I never ride without my helmet, or my Madonna del Ghisallo medal.

Maybe there’s hope after all. Tacoma, Washington has repealed a 26-year old ordinance requiring bike helmets for all bike riders. Which only leaves another 20 or so cities in the state to go.

About damn time. A new Colorado law gives bike riders the right of way in bike lanes, requiring drivers to yield to people on bicycles. Which seems like an obvious thing, but apparently isn’t. At least not as far as California is concerned.

A South Chicago Bike Out rolled to protest a decision to keep cops in schools, as well as another to allow a scrap metal recycler to move to the area.

The New York Times considers whether the city is finally on the road to becoming a bicycling city, while a 102-year old Queens bike shop struggles to keep up with the pandemic bike boom.

The Guardian looks at the Black-led groups that are biking against racism in New York.

The Bike League bizarrely named Florida the nation’s tenth most bike-friendly state — despite consistently being the nation’s most dangerous state for bike riders and pedestrians. Apparently, it’s a great place to ride a bike, if you survive.

 

International

CyclingTips explains why the dreaded speed wobbles happen when you’re descending. And more importantly, what to do about it.

The Business Times says bicycles are edging cars off the streets of Europe as the coronavirus accelerates a shift away from motor vehicles.

The bike boom has hit Mexico City, too, with new riders taking to a network of popup bike lanes on major arteries throughout the city, to minimize one-on-one contact on public transportation. Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles, home to the world Climate Mayor, <crickets>. 

A Winnipeg, Manitoba business is confronting Covid-19 by paying its employees $50 a month to bike to work.

After inexplicably destroying tens of thousands of Jump bikes around the world, new owner Lime is reintroducing the dockless ebike system to London.

Six years after losing her leg — and nearly her life — when she was hit by a distracted truck driver, a 28-year old London woman is riding a bike for the first time by using a three-wheeled adaptive handcycle.

An English man in his 70’s was critically injured in a collision with a bike rider. Pedestrians can be unpredictable, and very fragile. So always ride carefully anytime they’re around.

The auto-centric UK lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole accuses government officials of rushing through plans for a one-year e-scooter pilot program. Even though the country is over a year behind the rest of the world.

No bias here. A Scottish columnist tosses told water on Vision Zero, saying the only way to prevent traffic deaths is to ban cars, which he says is no more realistic than banning kitchen knives to prevent stabbings. Yet the example he uses is a 91-year old driver who killed a three-year old boy outside a toy store, as if nothing could have been done to ensure someone that old could safely drive car.

After walking out of the hospital, British BMX champ Jason Bynoe thanked the medical staff who cared for him after he somehow ended up under his car when he swerved to avoid a deer; he suffered multiple fractures, as well as horrific road rash, and feared he would never walk again, let alone compete.

It’s not just an American problem. A popular Spanish bicyclist was run down and killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver who left him to die in the street.

Turkish actor Engin Altan Duzyatan is one of us, and so is his four-year old son.

He gets it, too. The German ambassador to Pakistan urges the country to get on its bicycles.

A joint city and state committee was formed to examine bicycle safety after a Brisbane, Australia woman was killed riding her bike, just feet from the hospital where she worked.

An Aussie mountain biker was lucky to survive falling over 30 feet down an unmarked mine shaft. And needless to say, he’s planning to sue.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Belgium, where 20-year old amateur cyclist Niels De Vriendt died of a heart attack, after crashing in the country’s first bike race following the coronavirus lockdown.

Disappointing news, as SoCal’s Over the Hump mountain bike racing series has been cancelled for this year.

The NTT cycling team holds the lead in the pretend Tour de France currently taking place on Zwift, as France’s Julien Bernard took the pretend second stage.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to rob a man to steal the bike he’s walking, make sure he isn’t walking it because the tire is flat. Going for a bike ride while suffering from Covid-19 may be the best argument yet to require helmets for MMA fighters.

And evidently, cars have been around a lot longer than we thought.

………

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

High speed Silver Lake crash kills scooter rider, LAPD seeks sexual assault suspects, and parking in DTLA bike lanes

This is who we share the roads with.

A scooter rider was killed by a speeding driver in Silver Lake yesterday, just before the driver lost control of his SUV and slammed into a restaurant.

Fortunately, it hadn’t opened yet.

The driver was reportedly traveling at least 75 mph — over twice the legal speed limit — while swerving around cars and onto the wrong side of the roadway in the moments leading up to the crash, and just missing a woman riding her bike.

The scooter rider, who has not been publicly identified, wasn’t so lucky; two other people were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Fortunately, the newly reopened restaurant hadn’t begun its lunch service yet, or the situation could have been much worse.

This is exactly the problem many people have been warning against for weeks, myself included, as Los Angeles has failed to take any significant action to slow traffic on streets lightened by the coronavirus pandemic.

While traffic has seen a significant uptick in recent weeks, there still aren’t enough vehicles on the streets to slow people who can’t seem to keep their foot off the gas pedal.

Other cities around the world have taken advantage of the lighter traffic to reduce road capacity, carving out additional space to walk or ride bikes in an effort to slow traffic and provide safe alternatives to driving.

Yet LA has done nothing more significant than change the timing of some traffic lights.

Now an innocent person is dead because of it.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

………

Speaking of who we share the roads with, an Eagle Rock driver can’t seem to grasp the concept of Slow Streets.

Or maybe just that they don’t belong to people in cars.

………

The LAPD is on the lookout for a pair of serial gropers who have been sexually assaulting women walking or jogging alone in Venice and Mar Vista, sometimes making their escape by bicycle.

They may be responsible for similar attacks in Culver City and Marina del Rey.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Sexual Assault Section at LAPD’s Operation West Bureau, 213/473-0447.

Because no one should have to put up with this crap.

Period.

………

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Patrick Pascal forwards a series of photos showing that the more things change, the more they stay the same on DTLA’s 7th Street, where the newly protected and buffered bike lanes are still nothing more than parking lanes for Downtown’s entitled drivers.

Photos by Patrick Pascal.

 

He also notes that the cop shown here spends a lot of time on the street. But never seems to ticket anyone on four wheels.

………

A new video prepared for the NACTO’s Bike Share and Cities for Cycling Roundtable talks with disabled people to show they ride bikes, too — and need to be taken into account when infrastructure plans are considered.

Frequent BikinginLA contributor Megan Lynch is one of the riders they talk with; you’ll find her around the three-minute mark.

She stresses that, in addition to her comments in the video, bike parking needs to accommodate less traditional bicycle designs used by handicapped riders, including recumbents, ebikes and adaptive bikes.

………

Gravel Bike California offers a video guide to one of the best climbs in Los Angeles.

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.

………

There will be a bike ride celebrating tomorrow’s Juneteenth starting in DLTA Friday evening.

The unofficial holiday marks the date the last remaining slaves in Texas learned about the Emancipation Proclamation and their newfound freedom.

In light of this year’s protests over police killings and the fight for racial justice, the celebration should be bigger than ever.

………

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

A Florida man faces charges for pulling his truck up next to a bike rider, and shooting him in the head with a crossbow for no apparent reason; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

………

Local

The Santa Monica Daily Press talks with a pickup driver who had his wallet stolen and his truck damaged when he came to the aid of a bike-riding woman who was being attacked by looters, armed with just a hockey stick.

A Santa Monica letter writer really doesn’t like plans for expanded outdoor dining on Main Street, concerned that a passing bicyclist could sneeze on his guacamole.

E-cargo bikes could play a significant role, as Santa Monica looks to create the first zero-emission delivery zone in the US.

Santa Monica-based Bird is teaming with an Israeli company to provide turn-by-turn navigation to guide scooter riders through bike lane networks; the app will launch in Paris and Tel Aviv. Which makes sense, since we don’t even have a bike lane network in Los Angeles.

KABC-7 looks at how Long Beach ebike shop Propel Bikes is fairing during the coronavirus bike boom.

Stranger Things actor Joe Keery is one of us, going for a semi-casual ride through LA in a t-shirt and bibs.

 

State

Would someone please tell the Fountain Valley Fire Department that a bike helmet isn’t the best way to prevent head injuries and death? It’s a lot better to ride safely and defensively, and avoid crashes in the first place; helmets should always been seen as the last resort when all else fails. Not the first.

Ventura is closing down a five block stretch of Main Street in the downtown area for the next month to encourage people to get out to shop or dine while maintaining social distancing; meanwhile, the LA Times describes a similar street closure in Santa Barbara as “so popular it’s scary.”

Seriously, it takes a major schmuck to steal $20,000 worth of bikes from a San Jose bike co-op. Again.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the role of bicycles in the fight against racism.

Newsy examines the risk of catching Covid-19 while on a bike ride with friends, and concludes you don’t have much to worry about. Although it’s still best to limit it to a small group.

This is who we share the roads with, part two. A Portland man faces charges after driving into a group of protesters early Wednesday morning, injuring three people, then attempting to flee while driving recklessly at a high rate of speed.

A disabled Las Vegas vet turns to a ‘bent to help get his life back on track.

A coalition of Connecticut organizations, businesses and individuals have called the state’s electric car rebate program inequitable because it only applies to electric cars, arguing it should offer rebates on more affordable ebikes, as well.

A regional planning group is calling for a 425-mile bicycle network connecting all of New York’s five boroughs. Which might be the only thing that could prevent crippling gridlock due to a surge in post-coronavirus driving.

Police in New Jersey’s Long Beach remind residents and visitors that traffic safety is a shared responsibility. Which is true, unfortunately, since no one can seem to get the people in the big, deadly machines to behave.

A Florida woman got her stolen $8,000 racing bike back after a sheriff’s deputy spotted a homeless man with it. But then somehow had to search for the owner, even though she’d filed a police report.

 

International

Good advice from Road.cc on eight things on your bike you should check before every ride.

Bike Radar suggests Father’s Day gifts for your bike riding dad. Or just buy them for yourself, and pretend they’re from your kids.

The CBC looks at Calgary through the eyes of bicycle riders newly minted by the coronavirus bike boom.

A London TV presenter is encouraged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proclamation of a golden age of cycling and decides to give it a try, but finds the experience terrifying.

London’s Independent says the pandemic has shown that a green urban utopia is within our grasp.

The Guardian examines one of the UK’s toughest bike rides, the 79-year old Cape Wrath Challenge, on eleven miles of single track through Scotland’s windswept moors to a craggy Victorian lighthouse.

 

Competitive Cycling

You can get Major Taylor’s autobiography The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World for less than twenty bucks on Amazon. The legendary cyclist had to fight racism and prejudice throughout his short life and career, making it surprisingly appropriate for our time, too.

The Ventura County Star profiles 27-year old Kendal Ryan, who recently made the long list for the US women’s track cycling team for the 2020 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

A German website looks back at the Cannibal, as the legendary Eddy Merckx turns 75.

Peter Sagan announces he’ll skip the rescheduled classics to race back-to-back in the Tour de France and the Giro this summer on just two weeks rest.

 

Finally…

If you’re already on parole for theft, it’s probably not the best idea to make off with a kid’s bike because you’re tired of walking. How to ride across the US without leaving your car dealership.

And it turns out riding topless is perfectly legal in Minnesota.

Even for women.

………

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

Newport Beach driver plows through demonstrators and hits bicyclist, and LAPD abandons bike after arresting rider

Apparently, bike riders aren’t even safe from drivers during a protest march.

A Newport Beach driver was apparently surprised to discover the city’s Balboa Boulevard filled with protesters demanding justice for George Floyd.

But instead of hitting the brakes, or simply turning around, like any reasonable person would, he plowed through the assembled crowd, parting people like Moses parting the seas, until finally hitting someone.

Make that someone on a bike.

Naturally.

There’s no word on whether the victim was injured.

Remarkably, though, a Newport Beach Police spokeswoman insisted it doesn’t seem to have been intentional.

Because evidently, it’s just so damn easy to plow through a couple hundred people without even slowing down by mistake.

And if that’s not enough, the cops let him keep — and use — his phone while they investigated.

Because it couldn’t possibly be evidence or anything.

………

Speaking of the protests, we have a lot to catch up on since, uh, yesterday.

An LAPD officer demonstrates that sometimes hit-and-run drivers are the ones tasked with stopping people who flee the scene after crashes.

Although his decision is a little easier to understand considering what happened just a day earlier.

Especially if any damage to the car comes out of his or her pay.

Meanwhile, nothing like responding to protists over police violence towards black people with still more police violence, this time directed towards people on bicycles.

New York officials credit pulling the plug on the city’s bikeshare and rental scooters after curfew with calming looting and violent demonstrations. On the other hand, it’s also blamed for stranding numerous peaceful demonstrators, leaving them at the mercy of violent cops (see above).

Police across the US are using their bicycles as weapons and defense shields.

And if you’re missing your bike after getting arrested on Tuesday, a kind neighbor could be holding it for you.

Even though the LAPD should be responsible for securing bicycles belonging to anyone who gets arrested, rather than just leaving them behind to be stolen or tossed out with the trash.

They’re someone’s property. And have real monetary value.

Or would they just leave someone’s car sitting unlocked with the key in the ignition?

………

Then there’s this, from off the northern Scottish coast.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Brilliant idea.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’ queen doesn’t need a car to get around. Or police and tear gas to clear a path, for that matter.

………

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

There’s a special place in hell for the jerks who found humor in filming a bike-riding woman in the UK as they sprayed her with some sort of orange condiment. Then again, the same is true for anyone who sprays or throws anything at someone on a bike. Let alone films it for their twisted entertainment.

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

Police in Mobile, Alabama are looking for a gunman who shot a man and woman in an apparently random bike-by shooting.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Congratulations to OC bike advocate and tandem aficionado Mike Wilkinson on the official unveiling of the new Tandem Classifieds website.

 

National

A new Democratic transportation bill would require Complete Streets in urban areas, and ban states from setting higher goals for traffic deaths.

Self-driving cars could just make traffic worse, not better.

Outside offers a video guide on how to change your caliper brake pads.

Gear Patrol has advice on how to buy a used bike on the internet — including to be careful on sites like Craigslist, where too many of the bike for sale don’t belong to the people selling them. Then again, it’s not the best place to look for a dog, either.

Gear Junkie rates the year’s best mountain bike helmets, while a European study rated the continent’s best bike helmets, not all of which you can find over here.

Nogales AZ border crossers are turning to bicycles to avoid the long lines waiting to cross into Mexico, and vice versa.

The New York Times says the benefits of ebikes far outweigh the disadvantages, especially during a pandemic.

 

International

An environmental website says bicycling is having a historic moment, so let’s not waste the opportunity to make it safer and more inclusive.

He gets it. The head of the UK’s equivalent of AAA says the country needs to radically rethink its approach to the street to encourage more people to walk and bike, including charging drivers for every mile over the first 3,000 — or 4,000 for people in rural areas.

British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is one of us. Although she might be regretting that right now after falling off her bike.

Scottish officials say speeding drivers are “deeply worrying” with more bike riders on the road, as the proportion of drivers exceeding the speed limit rises to one in three since the coronavirus lockdown began.

We already know Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is one of us, as he marks World Bicycle Day with a bizarre parade featuring 7,500 green-clad bicyclists.

India’s Bicycle Mayors use World Bicycle Day to promote bikes as a viable green alternative to public transport during the pandemic. Even if the celebration had to be virtual this year.

Cambodian officials confiscated the bikes of environmental advocates intending to highlight concerns over a protected island, and demanded they sign an unspecified agreement, forcing them to walk back.

Manilla nixes pop-up bike lanes, telling inexperienced riders to just stick to the side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

French track sprinter Grégory Baugé says racism exists everywhere, including the highest levels of pro cycling. Which should be evident, if only from the light hue of the pro peloton.

He gets it. Writing for Bicycling, former editor Joe Lindsey says it’s time to just let Lance go and move on, already.

Or as a wise man once put it,

 

Finally…

At last, a bike riding app designed to avoid other people. Bikes aren’t the new toilet paper, they’re the new hand sanitizer.

And if you get a ticket for riding your bike 55 mph in a 40 mph zone, just frame the damn thing, already.

………

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

Small low-income bike shops on the brink, rain breaks Arroyo Seco path again, and no LA streets closed for social distancing

It ain’t necessarily so.

At least not here in Los Angeles. Or parts of it, anyway.

Despite all the talk about a coronavirus bike boom keeping bike shops across the country busy, Peter Flax writes in Bicycling that smaller shops in some of LA’s less prosperous neighborhoods are really hurting.

And yes, that means the predominantly black, Hispanic and immigrant neighborhoods mostly south of the 10 Freeway, along with other area in East LA and the San Fernando Valley.

It is the first Friday of April, 15 days after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place order. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other large cities in California—as well as in many other states—bike shops have been classified as essential businesses, a move that has been celebrated by some and derided by others. Some critics have argued that bike shops primarily cater to privileged fitness-oriented hobbyists and that putting shop staff in harm’s way (and risking community spread of disease) to serve recreational riders is unwise. But that assumption renders invisible the thousands of neighborhood shops in cities across the country that serve customers who mostly rely on bicycles to facilitate their livelihoods, customers from some of the most economically vulnerable communities in the U.S.

In LA, for example, Paisano’s and other shops in neighborhoods like Compton and South Los Angeles provide a vital service to people who depend on bicycles to get to and from work. These small businesses are perhaps 15 miles and universe away from LA’s affluent coastal suburbs where bike shops are typically stocked with $300 bib shorts and $10,000 road bikes.

Shops that many of us are familiar with, or at least heard of.

Like the aforementioned Paisano’s, subject of a Steve Lopez column in the LA Times.

And Compton’s Manny’s Bike Shop, home of the legendary Manny Silva, known as the godfather of lowrider bikes.

Along with others you may not know, like Linares Bike Shop, and Filipe’s #2 in Pico Union.

Shops where new bicycles sell for as little as $200, purchased on layaway. And where essential takes on a whole new meaning for people who have no other way to get to work.

Census data indicates that one in eight households in the city of Los Angeles don’t have a car. That figure is considerably higher in a low-income community like South LA.

Consider the neighborhood known as South Park—where Paisano’s is located, as well as another popular shop called Linares. Here the community is 79 percent Latino, 19 percent black, and zero percent white. According to data compiled by the real estate brand Trulia, households in this zip code have only 0.37 vehicles per capita, roughly half the median in LA. And according to an analysis published by the Los Angeles Times, the median household income in South Park is $29,518.

Many customers rely on their neighborhood shops because they don’t have the luxury of doing repair work themselves. “If you have a bad cut, you go to a doctor,” says Tejeda, who notes that most of his customers lack even the most basic tools like pumps and levers. “People bring their bikes here. It’s a trade for a reason.”

According to Flax, though, the owners are scared.

Scared of a virus that could come in undetected, carried in by a careless customer or some other visitor. And perhaps even more scared of losing their employees and businesses to a prolonged economic slump.

When asked how things are really going, Linares looks at his feet for a minute and bites his lower lip. “I’ve started closing the shop earlier now. I’m worried a lot about the business,” he says, pointing to the register. “What we make today is what me and the employees have for the day.”

And this.

When asked how business is going, Ambrosia gets animated as he responds in Spanish. “He says business has gone down a lot because people have no money, no jobs,” Mendoza says, translating before he adds his own commentary. “He is scared to work in the shop now, but he has no choice. He needs money for his house.”

Bike shops like these are the backbone of these neighborhoods and our communities, and need to be saved.

But the question is how.

The people in the local communities can’t do it. Too many are on the bottom rungs of society as it is, and the ones most hurt by the shutdown of so many businesses.

A crowdfunding campaign might make sense. But it would be hard to bring in enough donations to make a difference, and harder still to distribute it equitably to the many shops that so desperately need help right now.

If these businesses were more sophisticated, we could just visit their webpages and buy something, anything. Maybe pay off those layaways, or buy one of those sub-$200 bikes and give it to someone who needs one.

But few even have a website, and fewer still are set up for e-commerce.

As in, none.

So the best solution may be to take your bike in for service if you can, and maybe pick up something while you’re there.

Will that be enough to save these shops, and the countless other small local bike shops that are struggling to survive in these desperate days?

Probably not.

Maybe someone smarter than me has the answer.

Because you might never visit one of these shops. But we’re all going to miss them when they’re gone.

Whether we know it or not.

………

So much for that.

Only two short months after the Arroyo Seco bike path was finally reopened, 13 months after it was damaged by heavy rains, it’s happened again.

Let’s hope they can get it fixed a little faster this time.

………

The Guardian says cities from Berlin to Bogotá are opening new sidewalks, bike paths and bike lanes to provide safer commutes for essential workers, and allow people to exercise while maintaining social distancing.

Case in point, Oakland closed a whopping 74-miles of streets to motor vehicles; things apparently started slowly, but picked up speed as the weekend went on.

And Massachusetts is closing parts of three parkways to expand access for bicyclists and pedestrians.

On the other hand, Los Angeles is closing paths, parks and trails, and just telling bike riders and pedestrians to stay home, while allowing motor vehicles to maintain their near-exclusive hegemony over the newly nearly empty streets.

Streets for All and the LACBC are working to get street closures here. Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

America’s mostly empty highways meant a team competing in this year’s edition of the very illegal Cannonball run set a new record, making the trip from New York to Los Angeles in less than 27 hours.

At speeds averaging over 100 mph — and topping out at nearly twice that.

Which means that any collision would have been instantly fatal, both to themselves and anyone they had the misfortune of slamming into.

Never mind that the likelihood of a crash increases exponentially with each tick of the speedometer.

Needless to say, the states they pass through don’t look very kindly on the scofflaw race.

………

Today’s theme is babies and bikes.

An Indian man tried to carry his pregnant wife six miles to the hospital on his bicycle after she went into labor; unfortunately, the baby wanted out after three.

Meanwhile, an Indian doctor delivered a baby in more ways than one, rushing the newborn by bike to a nearby hospital after it developed breathing problems following a C-section.

………

Social distancing may mean staying at least six feet away from other people. But no one says you can’t go vertical, rather than horizontal.

………

In case you missed it over the weekend, Saturday Night Live offered a trio of sequestered MasterClasses, including a parody of Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin teaching bicycling.

And denying she killed her husband.

………

Local

The LACBC is maintaining a list of LA-area bike shops that are remaining open during the Covid-19 shutdown. And they’ve started a Bike Match program to connect people with extra or unused bicycles with essential workers who need safe, reliable transportation.

If you’re a lucky winner, you could get your next weed order delivered on a bicycle by Tommy “Tiny” Lister, famous for playing Deebo in the Friday movies.

No, you don’t need a mask to ride your bike in Los Angeles. And neither does your dog.

Five Feet Apart star Cole Sprouse is one of us, riding his bike through the Hollywood Hills, sans mask and skid lid.

Santa Clarita urges everyone to maintain social distancing on the city’s trails, whether you’re walking, running or riding a bike.

 

State

You can keep your vintage bike on ice over the summer, because the Eroica California has been postponed until September.

A 20-year old Delhi man faces felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges for allegedly killing Patterson resident Frankie Sanchez as he was riding his bike in Stanislaus County.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to stay safe riding your bike when cars aren’t the only danger you face. And takes a look at how your car’s bike rack affects your gas mileage.

Bicycle Retailer questions whether the current mini bike boom will last; Specialized’s founder says yes.

A Wisconsin public radio station offers tips on how to get your bike ready to ride and what to take with you.

Chicago’s mayor says she’s not reopening the city’s lakefront bike path, even if is used by essential workers to get to their jobs.

A 13-year old Boston boy got his stolen bike back after police busted another boy with a long rap sheet riding it.

A pair of North Carolina siblings are pedaling homemade bagels to raise funds for local charities; they deliver the bagels by bike after baking them fresh every morning.

A North Carolina man made it as far as Texas on his planned cross-country ride, blissfully unaware of the coronavirus that would eventually force him to fly back home once he found out.

Former Deadliest Catch star Jerod Sechrist is one of us, attempting to make his getaway by bicycling after allegedly stealing over a thousand bucks worth of electronics from a Florida Ikea — the fifth time he had allegedly stolen from the same store. And yes, they carry electronics. Who knew?

 

International

Road.cc says unless you’re planning on road racing, a gravel bike might be the only bike you’ll need. And they take a look at 21 of the best lightweight, high-performance bike helmets. But don’t recommend which one to buy.

Bike Radar says keep riding your bike to maintain your sanity during the lockdown.

Pink Bike proves once again that pets and bikes just naturally go together.

Everton soccer manager Carlo Ancelotti is taking advantage of the English Premier League shutdown by getting on his bike to rehab his knee and get back in shape.

An English nurse is grateful to the local police, who gave her a spare bike after hers was stolen while she was working, and busted the men who allegedly took it.

Scottish mountain bikers are up in arms after the country’s top medical official tells them to stay home during the pandemic.

A British jerk on a dirt bike taunted an ebike-riding cop who was trying to stop him for violating the country’s lockdown guidelines.

Bicycling says add a trip to Mallorca to your bike bucket list.

An HIV+ Ugandan soccer coach rented a bicycle to deliver HIV and AIDS medication after the country shut down public transportation.

A Canadian cyclist finds himself on lockdown in Nepal, rather than racing in Spain as he’d planned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Just in time for the worldwide pandemic, and the resulting cancellation of virtually everything in the world of bike racing, USA Cycling is putting a new emphasis on wellness.

The Olympic Channel questions whether three-time world champ Peter Sagan can win Olympic gold in 2020That would be no, since the games have been postponed until next year, as the story makes clear.

2018 Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas wants this year’s race to go on as planned, while 2019 champ Egan Bernal is just trying not to think about it. Meanwhile, four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is taking advantage of the coronavirus shutdown to completely recover from the crash that almost ended his cycling career.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says just call off the 2020 Tour de France now, and use the time before next year’s race to create a true women’s Tour de France.

Italy’s pro cyclists remain shutdown by the country’s coronavirus lockdown until May 3rd. Although Italian pro Davide Martinelli found a way to ride and give back at the same time by delivering food and medicine to elderly people in his home village.

Riders for the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team offer their insights on the 124-year old Paris-Roubaix race. None of which will matter until next year, at the very least.

Speaking of Paris-Roubaix, GCN wonders if a gravel bike would do better on the cobbles.

 

Finally…

If you can’t bring people to the church, get on your bike and bring the church to the people. What’s more Easter than a big bunny on a blinged-out BMX bike — unless it’s Easter Bunny stealing a cargo bike?

And seriously, if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants and nearly an ounce of weed, put a damn light on it.

………

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

Guest commentary from the South Bay, LA and OC closed this weekend, and give a lot more distance when you walk or ride

Our anonymous South Bay correspondent has a lot on her mind today.

And all of it worth reading, which is why I’m reposting her email. There’s a lot to unpack here, so I hope you’ll give it a good read.

Including a couple reminders of the problems women face on their bikes that men don’t, especially at night.

Yesterday afternoon I rode to Carla Becerra’s ghost bike, with the intention of posting a little sign to remind the world that she was a registered nurse who we should have on the front lines right now, and also with a little P.S. (piece of smacktalk) addressed to the skunk who stole her jewelry.

There was a necklace hanging on the ghost bike. Just a piece of costume jewelry that the rain hasn’t been kind to. It was the bike’s only ornamentation.

It appears to have an olive green beveled stone pendant in a bronze setting, and several smaller, opaque chartreuse stones, clear glass beads, and pale blue gems on a tarnished silver or bronze alloy chain. I took it.

Can you contact the family and ask if it might be hers? If it is, they should have it. If not, I have to return it to the ghost bike.

………

I am cranky not knowing how court cases are proceeding, especially the Banks and Lindsley cases.

………

The speeding drivers lately are less worrisome than the speeding drivers in the rightmost lane. I swear, close calls lately have been a lot closer.

Why the f are drivers with two completely free lanes to their left still trying to share my lane, a substandard width lane that’s already occupied, at 45mph???

………

On Saturday night, on a stretch of my commute through an area between the freeway and a commercial/business park, a car slowed wayyy down as it came up from behind. It had barely passed as I hit the brakes and did a track stand at its 5 o’clock. Its driver yelled, “WANT SOME CASH?”

Are.you.fucking.kidding.me.jpeg.

I bellowed my standard response, which is a loud, stern, unambiguous, “Get away from me and stay away from me.” And then swerved behind him to flood his rearview with 1100 lumens. He took off.

For the record, since it’s pertinent information, I was wearing knee-high Dr Martens with cargo pants tucked in, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a reflective jacket, and a provocatively sexy giant lump of a 45L-capacity Chrome bag. And no make-up.

The bars are closed. The strip clubs are closed. The corners & bus stops are empty of trafficked girls.

The lonely and the predatory are still out there, though.

………

Much closer to home, I’ve taken to cutting through the empty parking lots of another commercial park in the past few weeks, mainly because there are cameras that can be accessed if I turn up missing.

Two nights ago, a couple of guys were vaping in front of a business, door open, lights on inside. One of them yelled at me, “Stay safe!” Last night, they were out there, so I stopped to say hi and ask them not to yell at me. The one guy is the business owner. He and his friend are sleeping inside the office with guns, just in case. They’re worried about their fledgling business and looters (and possibly saving on residential rent.) Anyway, I told them I’d alert them if I saw anything suspicious while passing through, and I expect they’ll continue to have their smoke break right about my commute time. This area is usually a ghost town but now I feel a little safer with my own personal armed bodyguards.

………

Some nights I would catch a northbound bus to cut a few miles off my commute (especially if, for example, it rained), but that particular transit agency has cut its service hours to 6am-9pm. Us schlubby little wage slaves who man the warehouses & run the mini-marts & stock the shelves & bake the factory bread aren’t the ones who benefit from such operating hours. And the 9-to-5ers who could commute exclusively during these hours are now working remotely. So fuck you if you’re off swing shift at 11pm, or if you work graveyards. Just stop bein’ essential, lol.

………

Last Friday shortly before 11pm, a rider was hit and left for dead on El Segundo Blvd, just a half mile west of a corner where a house was hit by a drunk driver on March 29th. And Monday about 7:45pm, a driver with a previous DUI hit a cyclist in East LA. Nothing in the news. And I wonder if these drivers are simply released, despite the violent nature of their crimes.

Photo by Burst from Pexels.

………

I was going to offer a list of all the park closures in LA and Orange Counties this weekend. But it’s easier to just say wherever you’re thinking of going, assume it’s closed for the holiday weekend.

However, most bike paths appear to be open, other than those along the beach.

………

No surprise here.

A study from Belgium and the Netherlands suggests that you need to give a much greater distance to stay safe from Covid-19 while biking or walking — up to 16 feet walking single file, 33 feet for a casual bike ride, and twice that for a hard ride.

So much for those pacelines and other group rides right now.

………

Speaking of group rides, hopefully the coronavirus will let up in time for fall’s Phil’s Fondo.

And a tip of the cycling cap to Phil Gaimon for aiming for another $100,000 for No Kid Hungry.

………

Not sure why this popped up again today, but it’s worth revisiting, as South LA’s own Justin Williams, the US crit champ, discusses the lack diversity in cycling.

And how he’s addressing it with his multicultural Legion of Los Angeles cycling team.

………

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

No bias here. London bike riders are facing even more abuse from drivers than usual, because several newspapers used a telephoto lens to make bicyclists riding in parks look like they’re much closer together than they really are and breaking social distancing rules.

………

Local

New rules in Los Angeles don’t appear to require a mask or other face covering while you ride a bike, but they are required if you stop to shop or talk with anyone; Los Angeles Magazine lists apparel makers who’ve turned their attention to non-medical masks for the time being.

 

State

California advocacy groups are moving bicycle training courses online — including LA County’s ActiveSGV.

The executive director of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association offers tips on how to hit the trails while social distancing.

 

National

Inc. confirms what we’ve been seeing lately. The coronavirus has resulted in boom times for bike shops, as people turn to bicycles for social distancing-compliant exercise and self-care, as well as virus-free transportation. Although not everyone’s business is booming, evidently.

Build a simpler, if somewhat stranger, bike, and the world will beat a path to your website.

VeloNews wants you to gear up wisely on gravel gear.

Vice offers advice on how to get back into bicycling during the pandemic. Because apparently, riding a bike isn’t just like riding a bike.

A Kansas college student is working with her classmates to design and build a custom adaptive bike to help her father ride again, a decade after he suffered a near-fatal stroke. And crowdfunded five grand to pay for it.

This is what happens when people use bike trails illegally. A hearing impaired Nebraska man was injured when he was startled by a pair of miscreant dirt bike riders zooming down the non-motorized trail he was riding on.

A popular Syracuse NY musician was the victim of a double hit-and-run as he was riding his bike; he was struck by the second driver while he was sitting in the street waiting for an ambulance after the first driver fled.

Streetsblog says no one wants to take credit — or maybe blame — for banning ebikes on New York’s popular Hudson River Greenway, even though they’re now legal in the rest of the state.

The New York Times celebrates the rarified magic of empty streets, suggesting social distancing is giving us a rare opportunity to fix our cities.

Tennis star Serena Williams is one of us; the Florida gator she encountered while out on a ride, not so much.

No bias here. A Florida letter writer carefully explains when and why bike riders are allowed to take the lane. And then says stay to the right, anyway.

 

International

This is why people keep dying on the streets. An Alberta judge acquitted the driver who killed an off-duty Mountie as he rode his bike on the shoulder of a highway, blaming the sun and shadows for making the victim hard to see. Even though the driver shouldn’t have been driving on the shoulder in the first place. Never mind that he refused to take an alcohol test after an officer smelled it on his breath.

When their school was shut down due to Covid-19, a group of bighearted Montreal students devoted their time and their bikes to help seniors isolating in their homes.

Piers Morgan, host of Good Morning Britain, apologized to a Member of Parliament for the “complete moron” on a bike who kept riding through the background of their TV interview. He also blamed the bike rider for violating the county’s three-foot social distancing requirement, even though he doesn’t appear to come that close.

A London woman with cystic fibrosis will ride the equivalent of 62 miles in her garden this weekend to celebrate the third anniversary of the lung transplant that saved her life, after the country’s lockdown forced her off the streets. And despite the fact her new lungs are failing.

After a British boy spent six months saving up for a new bike, it was stolen the first time he rode it to school. So his kindhearted teachers crowdfunded the money to buy him a new one in just three hours.

A Welsh man is suing Bianchi for the equivalent of nearly $1.3 million after going over his handlebars when both sides of his front fork snapped at 20 mph.

A pair of competing bicycle organizations have set aside their differences and are working together to compile a list of UK bike shops still open under the country’s lockdown.

Parisian boulangeries are responding to the coronavirus lockdown by delivering baguettes by bicycle.

Uganda’s Covid-19 lockdown forces a couple to simplify their wedding, limiting them to just ten guests as they arrived on foot, while the pastor came by bicycle; all public and private transportation other than bikes are banned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pez Cycling News looks back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the dawn of the modern super bike.

British Cycling, the UK’s national governing body for bicycling, has cut a third of its staff, after the coronavirus leads to losing the equivalent of nearly $5 million in donations.

The Tour de France is considering a proposal to move the start of the race back nearly a full month in hopes Covid-19 will go away by then, though Spartacus is standing by with a bucket of cold water.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a fixie. Unless maybe you’re looking for an exquisite vintage men’s bike — or maybe an ex-Giro winning bike. Of course, you’ll also need some stylish shoes to go with it.

And it wouldn’t hurt to design your own helmet, too.

Personally, I’ll take the Bottecchia hands-down, in case anyone wants to get me an early birthday present. 

………

Chag Pesach samech to everyone celebrating Passover this week.

Be safe, and stay healthy.

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