Tag Archive for dangerous drivers

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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

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

No, literally.

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Forget bike polo.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

………

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

………

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

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

………

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

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

Yes, his dog.

No word on whether it had a license.

………

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

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

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

Even if it does stick up like a periscope.

………

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

………

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

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

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

No word on whether these two incidents may be related.

………

Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

CA bike deaths set 25-year high, bicycling cop pays dangerous driver a visit, and bike video captures Kobe crash conditions

Yes, they really are killing us out there.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that California bicycling fatalities are the highest they’ve been in 25 years.

The NHTSA analyzed the data for the state, and found more bicyclists died in traffic collisions in the years from 2016 through 2018 than any other three-year period since Bill Clinton took office.

And that’s a long damn time ago.

Needless to say, LA County once again led the way for the entire state, with an average of 35 deaths per year in that same three year period, compared to a little less than 25 per year from 2006 to 2008.

Also needless to say, the best way to stop people from dying on the streets is to lower the damn speed limits.

Which would require repeal of the deadly 85th Percentile Law, and legalization of speed cams to enforce it.

And that can’t happen soon enough.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

………

A bike-riding LAPD cop describes going to visit a reckless driver who nearly ran down a pair of bicyclists at Ohio and Veteran in Westwood.*

And for a change, it has a happy ending. Well worth a short six minutes of your day.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

*Exactly where I used to ride both coming and going at least three or four times a week before we moved to Hollywood.

………

Apparently, Mr. Rynew has been a very busy boy, filming the first bike video connected to the helicopter crash that killed nine people, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter.

Then stumbling on the Coaster Bike Challenge.

………

Streetsblog is hosting a Transportation Town hall in CD12 next month; both regressive incumbent John Lee and progressive challenger Loraine Lundquist have been invited, but only Lundquist has confirmed so far.

………

Once again, the Marines have decided to some military stuff on Camp Pendleton — like helicopter operations, according to the base — which will mean shutting down the bike path for the week of February 10th.

However, people on bikes are allowed to ride I-5 through the base, while cursing the Marines for forcing them out there.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

………

Every bike event should be held in a craft brewery. And every bike path should lead to one.

Just saying.

………

Robert Leone also forwards opportunities for San Diego bike riders to get more involved, courtesy of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition.

This Tuesday, January 28th from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at our office downtown (300 15th St. San Diego, CA 92101) we will have a presentation from Susan Baldwin on Measure A. She will highlight the importance of smart growth and how crucial this is for the San Diego region. Learn more here. We invite you to join us and learn more so that you may make informed decisions when you vote.

This Wednesday, January 29th at 6pm the Draft Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the City of Chula Vista will be presented at a specially scheduled Safety Commission Meeting in the Council Chambers. Click here for the agenda. Click here for the Draft ATP. The address is 276 Fourth Ave. Chula Vista, CA 91910.

Next Monday, February 3rd, 2020 at 2pm the City Council members from the City of San Diego will vote on the Budget Priority Memos they each submitted Friday, January 10, 2020 to the Mayor’s office. Click here to see what they submitted. If you would like to attend and speak, please join us. There will be a lot of people who plan to attend with their requests. The more we can speak up for cyclists the better!

………

It may not have been easy, but Bicycling once again proves there’s no such thing as a theft-proof bike lock.

Then again, as one cop put it, all you really have to do it make easier for a potential thief to steal someone else’s bike instead.

………

The Hollywood Reporter reviews the latest Lance Armstrong documentary, which premiered at Sundance in advance of its airing on ESPN.

But this pretty well sums up what you need to know.

Every word he says in the documentary feels either lawyered to death or endlessly rehearsed over countless solitary bike rides…because he’s still halfway between victimhood and martyrdom in his own mind.

Touché.

To paraphrase an old country song, how can we miss him if he won’t go away?

………

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

A road raging New Mexico driver faces a well-deserved four and a half years behind bars after he was convicted of shifting his vehicle into reverse and backing into a group of senior bike riders he’d just passed, after exchanging words with them. Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the link.

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

A Wisconsin father hopes a $10,000 reward will lead to the two people riding bicycles who stabbed his son to death in an apparently random attack last September, then disappeared without a trace.

A Florida bike rider faces charges for pulling out a hammer and attacking a driver who almost hit him, after the driver told him he’d been watching out for cars, not people on bicycles. I’ve practiced nonviolence since I was a teenager, but I’d still be tempted to take a swing at him myself for that.

………

Local

Bike West LA, Bike Culver City and the Central NBA/Sunset4All will host the second annual Mobility Mixer tomorrow night at the Bike Shop California on Motor Ave in West LA.

ULCA’s Daily Bruin reports Wheels sit-down scooters will soon come with an attached helmet. Somehow I doubt those hygienic liners they promise to provide will keep people from sharing their scalp critters, though.

Ride Around Pomona and Pomona Valley Bike Coalition will hop in the wayback machine for a 1950’s themed casual ride through, yes, Pomona.

 

State

Give it up, scofflaw scooterists. Lime will soon know if you’re riding on the sidewalk illegally. Now if they can just figure out how to tell when they’re parked blocking the sidewalk.

Speaking of scooters, San Diego just voted to ban them from the city’s boardwalks.

This is who we share the bike paths with. A 70-year old Santa Cruz woman was busted for her third DUI after driving the wrong way on a local bike path. Just one more example of government officials keeping dangerous drivers on the roads. Or bike paths. 

Streetsblog says the Bay Area suburb of Fremont will soon have the area’s best curb-protected bike lanes. And definitely puts to shame anything we have down here.

 

National

Bike Snob breaks down and admits that some bike do have souls.

CityLab offers its predictions for the scooter industry.

Bicycling talks bike baskets, and lists the ones they recommend. But which is the best one for toting a corgi?

Forbes says much of the initial information about the killing of bike rider Elaine Herzberg by a self-driving Uber car in Tempe AZ was wrong, including the myth that she “came out of nowhere.”

A Texas TV station corrects a letter writer, saying runners and walkers are required to face oncoming traffic, but bike riders are forbidden from riding salmon.

Seriously, what good is a bike box if the cops won’t keep drivers out of it? The Chicago Tribune wants to know.

Congratulations to New York, which came out on top with the least impact in a ranking of the climate impact of 100 metropolitan regions, followed by the Bay Area. Los Angeles ranked a surprisingly good 34, scoring high for bike use — no, really — and transit, but losing significant points for vehicle miles traveled.

Mourners released balloons on Tuesday in honor of Deondrick Rudd, the Louisiana bike rider who was killed by street racing brothers last weekend; Rudd was preparing to propose to his girlfriend on Valentines Day. Don’t do that. Mylar balloons can short power lines, causing fires and blackouts, while latex balloons pose a risk to birds and wildlife once they come back down. And they always come back down. 

 

International

Unlike some bicycling magazines and sites we could mention, Road.cc apparently recognizes that not every bike rider has wads of money falling out of their Rapha, recommending five roadies under the equivalent of $390, as well as ten of the best affordable bike shorts.

A Montreal website says the city’s Vision Zero program is revolutionizing the way people think about Montreal’s streets. That compares favorably with Los Angeles, which is revolutionizing the way a Vision Zero plan can gather dust on the shelf.

An English writer stumbles on his stolen bike, and swears his way into getting it back.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver gets off with a measly eight months behind bars for killing a woman riding a bike while talking to his wife using a handsfree cellphone, despite blinding glare from the wet road.

An Irish paper breaks down where the country’s political parties stand on bicycling issues. All of which show more support for bikes than both of America’s two major political parties.

Paris offers yet another incentive to get people out of their cars, reimbursing residents up to the equivalent of $660 for buying an ebike or cargo bike.

Damn. A Bali mob beat a man to death over an accusation that he’d stolen a bike helmet; police have been unable to confirm the theft, let alone who did it.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews tells the tale of how Primož Roglič, aka he whose name must be copied and pasted, made the unusual leap from ski jumping to the top of the cycling world.

A writer for Cycling Tips struggles to find hope in the hopeless at the Tour Down Under — or as he calls it, the brushfire tour.

Cycling’s governing body has pulled the plug on China’s Tour of Hainan next month due to fears over the new coronavirus.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to make your bank robbery getaway by bicycle, maybe try something a tad more nimble than a cruiser bike. If you want to go unnoticed after shoving 30 purloined cellphones into your pants, maybe spandex bike shorts aren’t the best choice. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for that one.

And if you think a dangerous pass is a good idea, this British cop has some advice for you.

 

Morning Links: CicLAvia returns to South LA next month, bike part leads to LAPD shooting, and Ballona Creek path closure

Great news!

CicLAvia is returning to South LA on the 23rd of next month, with a route down legendary Central Ave — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — from South Central to Watts.

While I’m told the first South LA CicLAvia had a smaller turnout than some of the other CicLAvias, several people have said it was one of their favorites.

Unfortunately, I missed it when I was first diagnosed with diabetes and neuropathy. I don’t plan on letting that happen again.

The Ride for Love will offer a preview the CicLAvia route on February 9th, starting from the Watts Towers.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia will be hosting their annual fundraiser on the 2nd.

………

Several people reached out over the weekend, both sad and angry over the death of an apparent homeless man after a police supervisor mistook a bike part he was holding for a weapon.

I’d probably think that was a gun, too. Photo courtesy of LAPD.

The shooting occurred earlier this month when a witness spotted the man holding the Schwinn part near Sepulveda and Venice Blvds, and called police to report a man with a gun.

When the officer arrived, the man, identified by LAPD Chief Michael Moore as 31-year old Victor Valencia, reportedly pointed the part at him; already primed to find someone with a gun, the cop fired, hitting the man once.

Sadly, in this case, once was enough.

Whether this tragic shooting was justified will undoubtedly hinge on the officer’s dash cam and body cam videos, and whether they show the victim brandishing the part like a gun, or merely holding it in his hand.

Either way, it once again points to our society’s continuing failure to care for the homeless and mentally ill.

Thanks to everyone who sent this for the heads-up.

………

You might need to find another route through Culver City to the coast for the next three weeks.

During January 21 through February 14 certain bike path entrances/exits will be closed due to a site improvement project. The schedule is below:

  1. January 21 – January 24: East Sepulveda Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  2. January 27 – January 31: Overland West Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  3. February 3 – February 7: Overland East Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  4. February 10 – February 14: Duquesne Avenue Bike Path Entrance/Exit

………

Evidently, I’m a bad influence on my local neighborhood council members.

………

Once again, authorities do their best to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, as Chris Willig forwards news of a Bay Area man who was busted for drunk driving – while he was out on parole for his 11th DUI.

Yes, eleven.

………

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

Call her a bicycle serial killer. A Louisiana woman was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — seven years after she killed a bike-riding teenage boy in another hit-and-run. And on the same damn highway, no less.

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

After a man with two black eyes and a possible broken nose rode his bicycle up to a Massachusetts bar, the bartender refused to serve him. So he left for a few minutes, then came back and slashed all four tires on every car in the parking lot.

An Indian motorcyclist was killed in a road rage dispute when he was beaten to death by a bicycle rider and his friends, after they accused the victim of hitting the man’s bike with his motorcycle.

………

Local

The Red Car Bridge over the LA River is scheduled for its official ribbon cutting on this Saturday at 11:30 am; the bicycle/pedestrian bridge runs parallel to the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in Atwater Village, on pilings used by the legendary Red Car streetcars.

The New York Times interviews a woman who is happy she went carfree in the City of Angels, even if they can’t quite seem to believe it.

As we noted last week, some Pasadena residents are calling for a return to the outdated, auto-centric LOS method of measure traffic at the expense of everyone else. Even though a local website says the Rose City has to take up the slack in addressing climate change.

A Malibu website concludes that the Expo Line, which doesn’t even go to there, is somehow responsible of an uptick in crime in the wealthy coastal city. Because evidently, there are no local criminals in the ‘Bu, and bad guys are afraid to drive PCH. Like any sane people. 

A Long Beach man is on trial for murder after shooting another man in the face during an argument over a bicycle and which of them owned it. Once again, no bicycle is worth your life; if it comes down to that, just let them take it. And no bicycle is worth killing for, either. Thanks to John Damman for the tip. 

 

State

A bike rider was injured in an El Cajon hit-and-run on Sunday. Sadly, that sentence is almost longer than the entire story.

Sad news from Concord, where a 54-year old woman was killed in a collision as she was riding her bike.

Seriously? Just a few short months after opening a $20 million bike and pedestrian path over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, it will be shut down for four days — just so bridge inspectors can park their bigass truck in it while they examine the other lanes.

Sonoma County officials want to clear out a mile-long homeless encampment stradling both sides of a popular bike path. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A UC Davis student attending on a BMX scholarship asks for the public’s help after her bikes were stolen. Rase your hand if you had no idea you could even get a BMX scholarship.

Arcata city hall is now officially bike friendly.

 

National

A national group of bicycling and pedestrian professionals tells the NTSB in no uncertain terms that bike helmets may be a good idea, but mandating them isn’t.

A new survey of America’s mayors shows they’re concerned about climate change and think the country’s cities are too car oriented and unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians. Just don’t ask them to do anything about it.

No irony here. A cop assigned to Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force had his police bicycle stolen when he handcuffed it to a rack outside the courthouse after forgetting his U-lock. And when he got out of court, the cuffs were all that was left. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

About damn time. A Colorado state senator proposes a bill that would give people on bicycles the unquestioned right-of-way in a bike lane. There’s simply no excuse for making bike riders second-class citizens in our own traffic lanes. So how about doing the same thing here in California?

A bighearted Texas man bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after the bicycle the kid had won in a church raffle was stolen; the man knew the feeling, because his bike was stolen when he was ten, too.

The Scottish round-the-world cyclist who was nearly killed when he was run down by a Texas driver should finally be flying home this week, despite a fractured skull.

Saying the city hasn’t been bold when it mattered, Philadelphia hasn’t followed through on its bold Vision Zero plan, according to a local magazine.

Fat biking takes on a whole different meaning as the Washington Post talks with a pair of self-described fat cyclists who want to get more large people out on their bikes.

Newly crowned NCAA football champ LSU is now building bike lanes through the campus. Only a few decades too late to do me any good.

A kindhearted Louisiana cop bought a new bicycle for a nine-year girl just days after hers was stolen.

The nationwide rash of bicyclist shootings goes on, as someone hit a 16-year old Miami boy in a drive-by shooting as he rode with friends.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Florida, where a driver who killed a woman riding her bike in a crosswalk won’t face any charges, despite causing the crash by running a stop sign.

 

International

Road.cc rates 17 of the best bike taillights. Which is almost as many as you need to get some drivers to notice you.

Bicycling talks with a pair of women who are 13,000 miles into an 18,000-mile tandem bike ride around the world, learning that California has the most beautiful coastline while New Zealand has the angriest drivers.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a driver got just 27 months behind bars when detectives tracked her down for fleeing the scene after slamming her car into four family members riding their bikes, seriously injuring three of them — including one woman who nearly died from a pair of heart attacks while waiting for paramedics.

Scottish bicyclists took matters and rakes into their own hands to remove dangerously slick leaves from a bike path, doing in two hours what the local government couldn’t get done in four months.

After buying a $1,700 stolen bike for the equivalent of $104, a kindhearted British man set out to find the owner so he could return it.

A member of Britain’s House of Lords wants to make the penalty for bike riders who injure or kill others equivalent to the penalties for motorists, subjecting riders to up to 14 years behind bars. Never mind the much lower risk bike riders pose to other people on the roads.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Ian Boswell will be taking this year off from the WorldTour to spend more time on his tractor. Yes, tractor.

Dutch cycling star Mathieu Van der Poel will spend the year bouncing between disciplines, competing in ‘cross, road cycling and mountain biking, with an emphasis on the Olympics and Spring Classics.

Vuelta champ Primož Roglič says he should be the favorite for this year’s Tour de France. Even if no one can figure out how to pronounce his name.

Cycling Tips explains why the Tour Down Under matters.

 

Finally…

Telling police you couldn’t stop during a chase because your bike doesn’t have any brakes probably isn’t the best excuse. It’s still hit-and-run, even if you throw a wad of cash at the victim before driving off.

And if this kid can bike to school at 40 below — Celsius or Fahrenheit — never let anyone tell you it’s too cold to ride a bike in Los Angeles.

 

Morning Links: Speeding across the US at 123 mph, the once and future CicLAvia, and more post-Peloton ad hysteria

Before we start, let me take a moment to thank every who’s given to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive so far.

Since we started ten days ago, not a single day has gone by without at least one donation. And often, more than that.

So let me offer my heartfelt thanks to Mike W, Ilya G, Philippa M, Gregory S and Glen S for their generous donations to since we saw you last.

Because their open hearts, and open wallets, is what helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Which means the only question is, who’s going to join them today?

And will it be you?

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Writing for Bicycling, Joe Lindsey criticizes a culture that allows motorists to break the law with seeming impunity. And chuckle when someone gets away with it.

Like drivers in a highly modified Mercedes using every trick known to man to evade the police while speeding across the US at an average of 123 mph.

And a top speed of 193 mph.

Speeds which would be instantly fatal to anyone outside of the car in the event of a crash. And probably in it, too.

All to win an illegal, unauthorized race across the country, speeding 2,800 miles across the US in less than 27 and a half hours. And putting the lives of everyone else on the roadway at risk, in every city, county and state they drove through.

Maybe it’s here where I point out that all of this is patently insane.

It’s insane to shift-drive across the country on open roads at triple-digit speeds. It’s insane to have such arrogant disregard for the law that you heavily modify a vehicle specifically to evade the police, using technologies that are themselves illegal in many states—laser jammers are illegal in California, Colorado, and Illinois, to name three states on the route, and it’s illegal in every state not to have functioning brake and taillights. It’s insane to try to pass this off as both a bold adventure AND a paragon of driving skill and discretion. And it’s insane for the media to accept that narrative so credulously and uncritically…

Cars are the apex predator in a transportation ecosystem where menace and aggression are literally built into the grilles, and where drivers can hit and kill cyclists and pedestrians and walk away without charges, or receive laughably minimal punishment when they are brought to court. Our devotion to cars is a stuck parking brake on the economy, a pox on public health, and is killing the planet.

It’s today’s must read.

And well worth the few minutes it will take to speed through it.

………

The Los Angeles Daily News says the final CicLAvia of the year opened people’s eyes to “the sights, scenery (and) shops” in Canoga Park, Winnetka and Reseda yesterday.

But don’t worry.

CicLAvia will be back next year with a return to South LA and a first foray into Watts in February.

………

It’s worth clicking on the tweet below just to read the long list of witty responses.

………

San Diego is moving forward with the long-debated protected bike lanes in North Park, removing 450 parking spaces to make room for them.

At the same time, however, it’s also beginning work on a pipeline under the street, which could mess up your bike commutes for the next month.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

Leone also forwards news that parts of Camp Pendleton were closed due to flooding as of this past weekend.

Please be aware of the following closures due to flooding:

  1. BEACH CLUB ROAD REMAINS CLOSED
  2. RAMP TO WIRE MOUNTAIN ROAD FROM VANDEGRIFT BLVD  ENTERING FROM MAIN GATE CLOSED
  3. LAS PULGAS GATE IS NOW CLOSED
  4. STUART MESA RD, 41 AREA TO LAS PULGAS IS NOW CLOSED.

Roads and gates above will re-open once water subsides.

For additional information regarding these closures, please contact Mr. Sam Jammal.

Sam Jammal, Community Plans Liaison, Camp Pendleton

Osamah.jammal@usmc.mil

………

Nothing like a leisurely bike ride along the Nile.

No, on it.

………

Just when you thought discussion of the much-loathed Peloton ad had beaten the subject into the ground…

…actor and gin meister Ryan Reynolds takes a swing at it.

Meanwhile, a Fox News host insists the whole controversy stems from the actress’ expressive eyebrows. No, really, he’s serious.

Apparently failing to understand what actors do for a living, some very stupid people have been sending death threats to the man who plays the husband in the spots. And a writer for the Guardian says the actor’s attempts to prove he’s not sexist misses the point.

And not surprisingly, Saturday Night Live got in on the action, not once but twice. Although you have to watch the first one all the way through.

Unfortunately, the actor in the ad isn’t an SNL fan, either.

At least not in this case.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Inmates in an Iowa county jail refurbished 25 bicycles for local kids.

A western Pennsylvania bike drive resulted in 1,245 bike for Toys for Tots; the founder says he wants to make sure every kid has the chance to ride one like he did.

Twenty-six Long Island NY kids got new bikes and helmets thanks to a local nonprofit.

A Tampa Bay nonprofit built 900 bicycles for local kids in need.

………

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

No, people on bikes don’t think they own the road. But evidently, the woman in this Texas truck thinks she does.

………

Local

Los Angeles got a pair of state grants totaling $3.5 million to build 2.2 miles of multi-use pathways along the LA River in North Atwater Village, as well as improving habitat along the river.

If you’re carrying a garage door opener, crack pipe and several change purses on what’s probably a $5,000 stolen bike, stay off the sidewalk — and put a damn light on it.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists rode Friday to celebrate the completion of new bus and bike lanes along El Cajon Blvd.

Mind your turn signals and stop signs in Oxnard tomorrow, when the police conduct a bike and pedestrian safety sting, calling it an educational operation. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.

San Jose pedestrian fatalities are at an all time high, with other traffic deaths not far behind.

A somewhat incredulous Sacramento reporter follows a Christmas tree delivery in three parts to prove it can be done by bicycle.

 

National

A writer for Quartz questions why women don’t ride to work when they love bikes so much.

Life is cheap in Colorado, where a dump truck driver walks with community service for killing a new mother on her first bike ride after giving birth. And apparently gets to keep his license, too.

Conservative Texas aims to eliminate traffic deaths in the entire state by 2050. Unlike progressive California, which hasn’t even discussed Vision Zero.

A Chicago alderman (alderperson?) backed down on plans to dangerously reconfigure bike lanes to make room for more parking.

He gets it. An Illinois writer says you “meet the most interesting people, see what most drivers rarely notice, and discover places you wish you had known years ago” when you ride a bike.

No surprise here, as Pittsburg drivers make like a quarterback avoiding a blitz by using bike lanes to swerve around speed humps without slowing down.

Gothamist wants to know why ebikes are okay for Amazon and UPS deliveries in NYC, but remain illegal for immigrants delivering food. And why the governor hasn’t signed a bill to rectify that.

New York’s Port Authority makes La Guardia Airport virtually off limits to people on bikes, suggesting it’s your fault for making drivers feel bad when they have to hit you.

 

International

Stats show most Toronto bicycling and walking deaths occur during the day, suggesting the free reflective armbands offered by police won’t help very much.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver will serve less than two years behind bars for killing a bike rider when he couldn’t even see her because of the tray table he built onto his dashboard.

A British woman says she’s lucky to be alive after the brakes on her bike failed during a steep descent on a 114-mile charity ride, sending her crashing into a rock.

British Prime Minister and Captain of the H.M.S. Brexit Boris Johnson says the naughtiest thing he’s ever done was ride a bike on the sidewalk. But London’s Mirror begs to differ, insisting Boris has done much worse — like using highly offensive racial slurs, for instance.

A new Austrian inner tube offers lower rolling resistance, combined with the kind of savings weight weenies could only dream of — if you’re wiling to pay the price.

An African photographer focuses his lens on Burundi’s bicycle taxi culture.

The best way to visit the Cypriot city of Nicosia is by bicycle, according to a local paper. Then again, that’s usually the best way to visit any city.

A visually impaired Japanese man can finally live his dream of racing with his wife after friends and family hand-built a lacquered bamboo and beech wood tandem they can ride together.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist picks the cycling team of the decade; three of their eight picks are women — with Marianne Vos topping the list.

Eurosport considers the most controversial moments in the 2019 bike racing season.

Although maybe you’d prefer watching the top riders and their crazy bike handling skills seen below.

https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/1202302881224896513?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1202302881224896513&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fracing%2Fwatch-velon-recap-shows-amazing-bike-handling-skills-pro-riders-443996

 

Finally…

When your stolen bike — and subsequently stealing it back — becomes the topic of a children’s book. If you spot a tempting bicycle sitting outside the sheriff’s office, just leave it alone, already.

And if you want to avoid ripping the skin off your penis, put some damn grips on your handlebars.

Assuming you have one, of course.

………

 

 

Morning Links: A short CicLAvia thread, NYT op-ed says cars are death machines, and Keep LA Moving summit on video

I had a little different CicLAvia yesterday.

My wife, who doesn’t ride a bike, wanted to go to CicLAvia this time.

So I left my bike at home, and we walked the section through the Civic Center and Little Tokyo, then combined it with a long-planned walking tour of the Arts District, ending with lunch at Smorgasburg.

Along with a stop at Angel City Brewery on the way back for a touch of Octoberfest and a half growler of their fest martzen.

And yes, a good time was had by all. With the exception of my new knee, which has been barking at me ever since we got home.

I should have sprung for the Vibranium model.

Or maybe unobtanium.

More a few people turned out this time. Just like every CicLAvia, going back to the very first one.

Whoever scheduled a Mole fest right next to CicLAvia deserves a promotion.

Who doesn’t love the incredible craftsmanship that goes into these lowrider bikes?

Thanks to Jason for a quick rundown on Pure Cycle’s new e-cargo bike.

I’m not saying everyone went to Angel City post CicLAvia…

…but it sure as hell looked like it.

 

Meanwhile, Sam Omar-Hall offers a great thread capturing the day.

And everyone’s favorite transit advocate reminds us that the final CicLAvia of the year comes in two months.

https://twitter.com/_KennyUong_/status/1181045930595778561

………

Today’s must read comes in the form of an op-ed in the New York Times.

Especially after her nine-year old niece was lucky to survive getting hit by an ice cream truck in Los Angeles.

Cars are death machines. Pedestrian fatalities in the United States have increased 41 percent since 2008; more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2018 alone. More than 4,000 American kids are killed in car crashes every year – I am thankful every day my niece wasn’t one of them.

Here’s the thing: Statistics clearly don’t seem to persuade anyone of the magnitude of this problem. Not policy makers or automakers, technologists or drivers.

She goes on to quote from over 500 people who responded to her request for stories of getting hit by a driver.

And says autonomous cars aren’t going to save us.

Among the safety measures proposed by car companies are encouraging pedestrians and bicyclists to use R.F.I.D. tags, which emit signals that cars can detect. This means it’s becoming the pedestrian’s responsibility to avoid getting hit. But if keeping people safe means putting the responsibility on them (or worse, criminalizing walking and biking), we need to think twice about the technology we’re developing.

This may be the worst outcome of the automobile-centered 20th century: the assumption that it’s people who need to get out of the way of these lethal machines, instead of the other way around.

And neither are SUVs.

Because the front end of an S.U.V. is higher than the average car’s front end, it is far more likely to hit a pedestrian in the chest or head and twice as likely to kill walkers, runners, cyclists and children, compared to regular cars. And yet, S.U.V. sales account for 60 percent of new vehicle sales.

One of the easiest ways to make cars safer would be to make them smaller. Another way? Figuring out how to get people to drive less by providing safer, more sustainable alternatives to the car.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read the whole thing — including the quotes from the victims.

We’ll wait.

If you have any time left, The Guardian offers this long read on why the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians.

And for us.

………

Shameful.

The wife of an American diplomat stationed in the UK is claiming diplomatic immunity to avoid responsibility for the hit-and-run that killed a British motorcycle rider.

She was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road when she slammed into the 19-year old victim while driving next to a US spy base.

After police tracked her down, she promised not to leave the country. Then did it anyway, presumably returning to the US.

His heartbroken parents have appealed to President Trump to return her to face justice.

But we’ll have to see if this administration has the integrity to do the right thing. Or will shield her from anything even resembling justice.

I know which one my money is on.

………

Keep PDR Moving has posted a nearly four-hour video of the “national summit” for Keep LA Moving, which Peter Flax says amounted to about 25 NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers gathered in a restaurant.

He also says John Forester, aka the “father of vehicular cycling,” comes on about 30 minutes in, and proceeds to bore the room

If you have the time, and the stomach, to actually watch it.

………

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

A road raging Wisconsin driver got out of his car and repeatedly punched a man on a bike, then threatened to beat up the police officers when they arrived to break it up, after the bike rider made the mistake of flipping off the driver when he revved up behind him. That’s one key lesson I learned the hard way — never flip off the driver behind you.

………

Local

The LA Times celebrates the permanent hold placed on the freeway portion of the High Desert Corridor through north LA County, saying building a highway that will increase the amount of miles driven, at a time when the state is committed to cutting driving miles, is the wrong move. But notes that the high speed rail and bike path portions of the project can still go through. And should.

A former member of the Pasadena Transportation Advisory Commission sets the record straight on Complete Streets, correcting the mistaken belief that Complete Streets only benefit of people walking or riding a bike.

This is who we share the roads with. An allegedly drunk Pasadena driver fled the scene after killing a pedestrian; the driver faces charges for vehicular manslaughter, DUI and driving without a license. More evidence just how desperately those Complete Streets are needed. And how desperately we need to do something to stop hit-and-runs.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, and Caltrans want your input on how to transform Beach Blvd between La Habra and Huntington Beach. Banning cars and turning it into a transit, bike and pedestrian corridor probably won’t fly. But it should.

An anonymous donor is offering a $25,000 reward for the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down 53-year old Michelle Scott as she rode her bike to work at her Escondido office on Wednesday, leaving her lying on the side of the road with critical injuries.

The Ventura County Star suggests riding a bike as one option for an eco-friendly commute during the county’s Rideshare Week starting today.

A bike-riding San Francisco columnist says the solution to conflicts on the road are bicycle turnout lanes that would allow bike riders to get out of the way of trailing traffic, just like the one he and his wife used to pull aside to leet a semi pass on a narrow roadway.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 24-year old man was the victim of a dooring; he was killed when someone opened the door of a parked car in front of him, knocking him into the path of a large pickup. I’m told the street had sharrows, which were due to be replaced with bike lanes. But it’s too late to save this man.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer’s GranFondo drew nearly 5,000 bike riders from 14 countries to Sonoma County for the 11th edition of the annual ride.

USA Today picks up the story of the four bike-riding junior detectives who helped rescue a lost 97-year old Roseville woman with dementia.

 

National

Gear Patrol says their bike of the year is one you never heard of. For once, I have to agree.

A writer for Bicycling says ebiking has suddenly become his favorite new way to explore a city.

Bicycle-oriented development is the latest trend in housing targeting Millennials.

Seattle police appear to have abused their bait bike program, targeting poor and homeless people by leaving an unlocked bicycle outside of a Goodwill store; nine people were busted, but the only one that went to trial resulted in a not guilty verdict.

A Michigan woman pens a passionate plea dripping with windshield bias begging bike riders not to make her almost kill us.

NBA great Reggie Miller rode his first century in Indiana over the weekend to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

The carnage continues in New York, where a 10-year old boy was killed riding his bike with the light while in a crosswalk; the driver, who didn’t have a driver’s license, reportedly attempted to flee with the bicycle still jammed under his truck. The boy was the 24th bike rider killed in the city this year, compared to just 11 for all of last year.

Good idea. Some New York city buses will be outfitted with cameras pointed at the right side of the road to catch people illegally parking in bike lanes; the drivers could eventually get tickets in the mail. But who will get the tickets for all those police cars parked in them

Delaware bicyclists are looking for a private property owner willing to host a ghost bike, when they had to take down the bike honoring a fallen bike rider after just two days because the local DOT was planning to remove it from the public property it was sitting on.

Los Angeles celebrated CicLAvia just one day after bike riders in DC enjoyed the city’s first open streets event.

South Carolina bicyclists say a road widening project left them with less room, not more.

 

International

The BBC talks with people with disabilities, who say that ebikes have changed their lives.

Former Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker was one of us; the rock legend, who died on Sunday, gave up his dream of riding in the Tour de France after he was hit by a cab as a teenager.

Life is cheap in London, where a woman walked without a single day behind bars for slamming into a bikeshare rider with her Porsche and breaking his skull.

No bias here. A UK columnist says the spread of e-scooters are proof we’re doomed as a species, insisting that riders terrorize the sidewalk and look ridiculous. Yes, the way people look while riding a scooter is certainly the best argument against them.

A British man rode a BMX bike 300 miles in a monkey suit to raise funds and call attention to the problem of stillborn births, walking the last mile after breaking his chain. And learned the hard way that a plush monkey head works better than a bike helmet.

A writer for The Guardian wants to know why women bicyclists are targeted for abuse by aggressive male drivers, saying it’s “as though female cyclists are transgressing an invisible boundary in a way that some men find intolerable.”

A full 5% of Scottish commuters regularly get to work by bike, a number most American cities would envy, let alone the whole county. But that’s just half the country’s target for next year.

Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride with her boyfriend on a chilly UK autumn afternoon.

Finnish immigrants get free lessons in how to ride a bike in order to fit in with the bike-riding natives.

The Danish and Irish prime ministers went for a leisurely bike ride in Copenhagen, while the Dutch prime minister explains why he rides his bicycle to work nearly every day. Short answer, because he can.

Even Tehran is passing Los Angeles by promising to build 340 miles of cycle tracks over the next five years, although women can ride a little more comfortably here, without worrying about dressing conservatively or prohibitive fatwas. That compares favorably to LA, which “built or upgraded” just 13 lane miles of bike lanes — 6.5 miles of actual roadway — in fiscal year 2018-2019. 

 

Competitive Cycling

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 70-year old Bolivian woman became the oldest woman to compete in the country’s 37-mile Skyrace extreme bike race on the legendary Death Road.

Now you, too, can cheat in cycling from the comfort of your own home.

 

Finally…

If you’re going use a mountain bike as your getaway vehicle, at least wait until you get the money. If you’re playing hide and seek from the cops with a stolen motorbike, maybe find a better hiding place than behind a telephone pole — and put a damn shirt on for your mug shot.

And your bike can take you almost anywhere.

Like to a good piece of cake.

………

A special thanks to Linda T and Matthew R for their generous contributions to support this site. I rely on your support — emotionally and financially — to keep the best bike news coming your way every day.

And too often, the worst, too. 

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