Tag Archive for Dr. Martin Luther King

Fighting for civil rights on bikes, a close call caught on video, and the war on bikes keeps going on…and on

Yes, Dr. King was one of us.

We’ve seen photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on a bicycle before.

But it never occurred to me to consider the role bikes played in the Montgomery bus boycott kicked off by Rosa Parks.

Although maybe it should have, because in retrospect, it’s not surprising that Black men — and presumably women — would take to their bikes to get around town while boycotting the city’s bus system to demand an end to segregated transportation.

Just one more way bicycles have helped change the world.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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A British bike rider plays dodge the dump truck after the driver pulled out in front of him, as well as in front of cars coming from the opposite direction.

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How to tell when you’re a real bicyclist.

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

A 12-year old South Carolina boy suffered dozens of puncture wounds when he was repeatedly shot with a BB gun by a group of teenagers after passing them on his bike. This shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other random shooting. It’s a violent assault, not a prank. 

A London borough counselor says she’s finished with riding after being attacked by two men in a car for failing to get the hell out of their way. We’ll never get people out of their cars as long as driveway vigilantes can use their cars enforce their often mistaken interpretation of the law. And too often, get away with it.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Heartbreaking news from Miltipas, where a seven-year old boy was killed when an armed robbery suspect in a stolen SUV slammed into his bicycle; the woman behind the wheel was arrested, while her male partner is on the run.

The Consul General of the Netherlands gave a presentation to Bay Area officials on how to apply Dutch expertise on cycling infrastructure, pointing out that ebikes nullify the area’s famous hills.

Congratulations to Davis on retaining its status as a platinum-level bicycle friendly community.

 

National

Maybe Joe Biden can take his Peloton to the White House after all.

NBC News picks the year’s ten best ebikes.

The pandemic-induced bike boom and subsequent shortage is fueling a surge in bike theft in the Denver area.

Texas bike riders will soon be able to ride 100 miles from Austin to the Alamo in San Antonio without ever riding on the roadway.

Car choked Houston is planning a network of 1,800 miles of high comfort bike lanes. Seriously, if they can do it, why the hell can’t Los Angeles?

No bias here. A impatient New Jersey DJ somehow feels a bike-riding woman has an obligation to get the hell out of her way instead of “lollygagging” through an intersection.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Pennsylvania man pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts for killing a bike rider while driving under the influence, and with cocaine in his blood.

A woman from DC is suing a Florida city for $200,000, the maximum allowed under state law, despite having over $1 million in medical bills after a careless garbage truck driver hit her bike, leaving her with “multiple compound fractures, a crushed pelvis, eight broken ribs, a punctured lung and a traumatic brain injury.”

 

International

Road.cc announces their picks for the bike of the year, with prices starting at a surprisingly low £749 — the equivalent of $1,025.

Cycling News considers the best women’s road bike saddles.

Next City examines what American cities can learn from Chinese dockless bikeshare providers.

Christy Brinkley is one of us. Or she just knows the value of posing with a bicycle on a tropical beach.

Kids, don’t try this at home. A Costa Rican BMX rider knocked himself out landing on his un-helmeted head after riding off the roof of an ice cream parlor trying to film a video.

Life is cheap in Ontario, Canada, where an 80-year old man walks with a lousy $5,000 fine for killing a 13-year old bike-riding boy, after admitting that he wasn’t even wearing his glasses behind the wheel. At least he lost his license for four years, even though it should have been permanently.

An English man was beaten by a group of thieves armed with metal pipes who stole his bike.

A British man is riding around the world on a tandem bike after overcoming a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Kolkata, India is building a 74-mile cycle track criss-crossing the city.

The world watched in awe as paraplegic climber Lai Chi-wai fell just short of his goal of pulling himself to the top of a Hong Kong skyscraper, climbing 800 feet while raising $700,000 for charity. But what’s not mentioned is the cost of the traffic violence that left him confined to a wheelchair in the first place.

Yes, please. A new report suggests that Aussie commuters should be paid to bike to work instead of driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

Somehow we missed this news over the weekend, as an SUV driver plowed into six members of the Bora-Hansgrohe cycling team after failing to stop at an intersection during a training ride in Italy. Three members of the team were injured seriously enough to be taken to a hospital with concussions, while two of the riders, Wilco Kelderman and Andreas Schillinger, also suffered spinal fractures. But Kelderman didn’t let a little thing like a fractured vertebrae keep him from training.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a pretty picture. Chubby Batman is one of us, too.

And no, bike riders shouldn’t be allowed to use drive-thrus during the pandemic.

We should be allowed to use them any time drivers can.

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

LA King Day bike ride, help ID injured Black bike rider, and cars cost more than you think — even if you don’t drive one

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

I’m old enough to remember asking my dad about a sign saying “N****r don’t let the sun set on you here!” as we passed through an Arizona town when I was a kid. 

So we may still have a long way to go to get to that promised land King spoke of.

But let’s take a moment today to appreciate how far we’ve already come. 

Photo by nbandr from Pixabay.

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In honor of King Day, the LACBC has put together a family friendly ride marking his visits to Los Angeles.

Although I’d rather do the King Day ride that starts at Little Richard’s house.

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LA County health officials are looking for the public’s help in identifying a man who was seriously injured in collision last Tuesday at Island Ave and West PCH in Wilmington.

He was riding a red and black bicycle, apparently without identification.

He’s described as around 30 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall and 156 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

Anyone with information is urged to call Harbor-UCLA Medical Center at 424/306-6310.

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Stories like the one above are why I always urge everyone to carry some form of ID with you every time you ride. And one you won’t have to worry about getting stolen if you’re incapacitated — unlike your wallet or cell phone.

I always carry my emergency contact numbers written down on a small card tucked into my seat pack.

But I also wear a Road ID, just in case. In fact, I use it as a medic alert bracelet for my diabetes any time I leave home, not just when I ride.

I took advantage of a recent sale to get an updated one, so feel free to save $5 on your next order.

Full disclosure, if you use the link, I’ll get five bucks off on a future order, too. Not that that should motivate either of us. 

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Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says the true cost of car ownership is a lot more than you think.

And you’re paying it, whether or not you even drive.

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Sadly, this is what passes for a bike lane in too many places in and around the City of Angels.

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Nope. No bias here.

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No bias here, either.

Although someone might want to mention that bikeshare providers and users pay fees for the privilege. And probably a lot more than drivers do relative to their actual costs to the city.

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What it’s like to ride a wooden bike.

And how to avoid bad habits and stay comfortable on your bike.

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

A New York delivery bike rider was savagely beaten by a group of men when he attempted to take a photo of their car after it hit him; the victim’s wife called his attackers “honestly the most ruthless, disgusting people I have ever seen.” Sadly, a crowdfunding campaign to help pay his medical expenses has raised just $715 after two days.

Apparently, disappearing cats aren’t the only thing you have to worry about in the UK’s Cheshire County, where someone has been boobytrapping a popular trail with nail-spiked boards that could result in serious injury to people on bikes, as well as people walking and their pets. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A road raging British driver chased down the star of the UK’s popular EastEnders show to berate him about just how wrong he was to ride a bike on the road.

Maybe they really are out to get us. A Dutch driver starts a major conflagration by deliberately crashing into an ebike warehouse before the bikes can make it onto the street.

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Local

Congratulations to LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman for being named one of LA County’s Impact-Makers to Watch for 2021.

Streets For All is urging you to contacted newly elected LA Councilmember Kevin De León to support the Beautiful Boulevard plan in Eagle Rock, which would keep the existing bike lanes on Eagle Rock Blvd while adding lanes for the North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit project.

Streetsblog examines a creepy new prison-style bike bridge over railroad tracks along the 5 Freeway in Burbank.

 

State

Caltrans issues new guidance calling for greater attention to bicycle and pedestrian access and safety at new developments.

Sad news from San Diego, where a 27-year old woman suffered a life-threatening brain injury when the e-scooter she was riding hit a crack in the sidewalk, throwing her head-over-heels.

Police have busted a 28-year old man for the New Year’s Day hit-and-run crash that put a 68-year old bike rider in a coma he still hasn’t recovered from.

Bad news from the Sacramento area, where a 41-year old man is facing paralysis after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver while out for an early morning bike ride with his brother and nephew.

A Santa Rosa woman gets three years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of the founder and CEO of an artificial intelligence startup as he was riding his bike last year. Although under the current conditions, she’s likely to serve far less time before she gets out.

 

National

Streetsblog calls out the National Highway Safety Administration, saying the NHTSA’s final report under the Trump administration blames everyone but agencies like themselves for America’s deadly streets.

Outside says the pandemic bike boom is here to stay, with more bicyclists on the roads than ever before.

AARP is hosting a webinar on New Insights on Biking Among Older Adults on the 27th. Personally, I’d rather learn about biking for older adults, but I suppose it’s important to learn how to ride among them, in case you ever get swarmed by senior citizens. Thanks to an anonymous source for this one, since she wasn’t sure if she was supposed to share it.

Pink Bike’s podcast features the legendary Gary Fisher discussing how he brought mountain biking to the masses.

A kindhearted Texas detective worked with a nonprofit to get a new bike for a young boy after his was destroyed by vandals.

Maybe he really does get it. As mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg reshaped the downtown area while challenging the concept that streets are for cars.

A new New Orleans nonprofit is bringing bikeshare back to the city, after Lime pulled the previous JUMP bike system off the streets during the city’s pandemic lockdown.

 

International

Cycling News looks at how ebikes are saving the bike industry.

Road.cc offers their top ten picks for road bike of the year under the equivalent of $5,400, starting at under $900 for a Specialized Allez.

Speaking of Road.cc, they also explain how the right bikewear can boost your biking, while correctly noting that you don’t always need it.

Easily confused motorists call for the removal of whimsical nautical street decorations intended to guide bike riders and pedestrians around a seaside English town, saying they’re too much of a distraction. Or they could just make drivers slow down and pay attention, which would improve safety for everyone.

Kindhearted Good Samaritans came out in force when a 14-year old Brit paperboy had his bike stolen, inundating him with seven new bikes.

No surprise here, as UK Prime Minister BoJo’s lockdown-busting bike ride has made it harder for cops to convince other people they have to stay home.

The operator of a British bike center says if anyone offers you a cheap bike, “kick em in the nuts and steal it back” after thieves ransacked his shop and stole the bicycles.

A Dublin bike advocate says focus on prevention, because chances are if your bike gets stolen, you won’t get it back. Not to beat a dead horse, but an important part of that prevention is registering your bicycle, which greatly increases your chances of getting it back if it ever is stolen.

The 15-year old Indian girl who rode a bicycle over 750 miles to carry her ailing father back home at the start of the pandemic will be the new face of an anti-drug campaign.

A 22-year old Indian man will ride over 2,200 miles across the country from Kerala to Kashmir to call attention farmers protesting three new laws imposed by the government.

A kindhearted Good Samaritan fixed a broken kids bike he or she found abandoned along a Singapore bike path, and left the repaired bike along the trail with a note in hopes the owner would find it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eight-time BMX world champ Simon Tabron is on the slow path to recovery after suffering a heart attack and a subsequent stroke while on the front porch of his Bonsall CA home; it could take as long as a year for the 47-year old father of two to get his full speech back.

VeloNews considers how pro cycling made it through the pandemic last year.

 

Finally…

Admit it, you probablcan’t bunny hop up 33 flights of stairs. If you don’t want an expensive hot bike to look suspicious, don’t cover it in duct tape.

And yes, Captain Kirk really stole Spock’s bicycle.

And more than once.

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

The greatest right of all — the right of everyone to grow up, and grow old

I, too, have a dream.

Half a century later, we have only begun to live up to the future foreseen by Dr. Martin Luther King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

In the short course of my own lifespan, I have seen our country grow from separate and unequal to a land where opportunity may not always be equal, but at least exists for more than just a single class.

Where civil rights battles have gone from integrating schools and lunch counters to dreamers and diversity, equal pay and the right to be who you are and marry who you love.

We are not there yet. We still have so very far to go to be the nation Dr. King dreamed we could be.

Yet we have come so far.

I would argue that the greatest achievement of the last half century was not putting a man on the moon, but that a man of color, born when Jim Crow still roamed the earth, could be elected President of these United States.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

Yet in one civil rights issue, we have failed miserably.

And that is the right of all children to grow up. And of all people who leave home, by whatever means, to return again safely and live out their lives in peace and freedom.

Not to be stolen from us under a bloody shroud on the streets of our cities, ripping a gaping hole in the lives of their loved ones, in our society and our world.

I have a dream that we will finally take traffic violence seriously.

That our nation will conclude, once and for all, that the 93 deaths that occur on our streets every day are 93 too many. That our world will wake up to the fact that far too many children will never grow up due to our infatuation with the motor vehicle; traffic deaths are, in fact, the leading cause of death among children worldwide.

And that most, if not all, are preventable.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream that the leaders of our cities — my city, especially — our states and our nation will say, finally, enough. And call for a Vision Zero, as has recently been done in New York and San Francisco.

Instead of canceling bike lanes on Westwood and watering-down, if not fatally delaying, plans for complete streets on Figueroa — despite the deaths of 18 bike riders in Los Angeles last year, nearly four times the number of riders killed the year before.

And God only knows how many pedestrians and motorists.

Because it’s not about the mode of transportation. Or the race, creed, class, social status or orientations of the victims.

It’s about the greatest right of all. The right of everyone to grow up, and grow old.

And enjoy the freedoms that are their birthright as Americans. And human beings.

I, too, have a dream.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

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