Tag Archive for DTLA

DTLA hit-and-run driver abandoned stolen car, US traffic deaths spike in 2021, and $1,500 federal ebike tax credit back in bill

More information on yesterday’s hit-and-run in Downtown Los Angeles.

The victim was riding an e-scooter against traffic when she was struck by the driver of a Chevy Spark; the impact threw her onto the sidewalk where she landed head-first.

She was hospitalized in the intensive care unit with severe head trauma, but is expected to survive.

And confirming yesterday’s speculation, the LAPD reports the car was stolen, which explains why the hit-and-run driver fled on foot while leaving the car behind.

An LAPD press release offered this description of the suspect.

The driver who fled was described as a 20- to 25-year-old man, 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing between 150 and 175 pounds with a tattoo of unknown writing on the right side of his chest. He was last seen wearing gray pants with a possible camouflage pattern.

Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD Central Traffic Investigator Diaz at 213/833-3713, or email 36160@lapd.online. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends can be made to 877/527-3247.

As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury in the City of Los Angeles.

Suspect photo from LAPD press release.

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Is anyone really surprised that US traffic deaths are up nearly 20% in the first six months of this year?

According to the press release below, that’s the largest six-month increase ever recorded, and the most deaths in the first six months of any year since 2006.

Meanwhile, a new AAA study shows fewer American drivers are running red lights or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contradicting fears that stoned driving would spike as more states legalize cannabis.

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At last, there’s a little good news out of Washington, as the latest version of the federal infrastructure bill restores the original $1,500 ebike tax credit, which had been cut to just $750 in a House committee.

The credit would cover 30% of the purchase price of ebikes costing up to $5,000, with a declining percentage above that for bikes up to eight grand.

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The East Side Riders are combining a little Halloween fun with Vision Zero advocacy this Sunday.

There’s also an unrelated ride later in the day for nighttime Halloween partiers.

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Speaking of the East Side Riders, if anyone wonders why I’m such a longtime fan of the bike club, and founder John Jones III, all you have to do is watch this.

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Nice to see the L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team looking beyond bike racing to give back to the community, as they attempt to raise $200,000 to get more kids on bikes, and more bikes in schools.

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Fun video from Phil Gaimon, as he goes riding where the deer and the antelope — and moose and bear — play in Wyoming’s Grand Tetons National Park, which remains one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

And yes, I’ve gone swimming in that lake he finds.

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Now we have to worry about getting buzzed from above, too.

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

No bias here. An Encinitas paper continues attempting to blame the victim in the city’s largest legal settlement, as someone who didn’t see the crash insists she was invisible to the driver who hit her bike because of her alleged lack of lights and dark clothing.

Kansas City bike lanes are facing a governmental bikelash, as a city councilmember wants control over what lanes get built — or possibly removed — in her district, despite the city’s previously passed Complete Streets policy.

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

A man on the British Island of Jersey demands action after an ebike rider knocked his 14-year old grandson off his bicycle while passing on a narrow bike path, then left him lying there with a broken wrist while insisting he was too busy to stop.

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Local

Metro’s Regional Connector is expected to open next summer, along with a 700-foot esplanade compete with 40-foot wide walkway and bidirectional bike path.

Shockingly, Los Angeles is among the 25 American cities on track to surpass climate goals set in the 2015 Paris Agreement by 2025, even without doing anything to reduce motor vehicle traffic.

 

State

Streetsblog reports the common theme in the recent California Active Transportation Symposium was the need for planners to actually listen to the bike riders and pedestrians their project will affect. Let’s hope they heard that, because they too often don’t hear us. 

Redlands installs sharrows on a narrow street, even though studies show they’re actually worse than doing nothing.

A 19-year old Davis woman was critically injured when a driver allegedly ran a red light and slammed into her bicycle.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers tips on getting a good bike fit.

An automotive website says Trek’s new 28 mph Domain+ is more like a motorcycle with pedals than an ebike.

Singletracks says you’ve got to stop and smell the ancient ferns along your way.

Seattle’s Rad Power is now the $329 million behemoth of the ebike world, after the company’s latest round of financing brought in an additional $154 million, passing VanMoof as the best-funded ebike brand.

Zion National Park opened a new 10-mile mountain bike trail developed through a public-private partnership in an effort to spread the impact on the popular park.

It takes a special kind of schmuck to run down an eight-year old Utah kid on a bicycle, then leave him lying in the street without calling for help; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured.

The family of a six-year old Michigan boy have filed a $4 million lawsuit against their neighbors, alleging that one of the men shot him when he went to get his bike off the neighbor’s lawn earlier this year.

Harlem World Magazine looks back at the New York neighborhood’s 1896 Bicycle Parade, which was sponsored by the Evening Telegram newspaper.

The NYPD reported closing nearly half of complaints about cars illegally parked in bike lanes in less than 15 minutes, and a quarter of the complaints in less that five minutes — an “implausibly fast” rate that critics say is proof they’re closing the files without responding. In other words, they just don’t care about blocked bike lanes, or the safety of people who use them. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

New York has a long way to go to encourage multimodal commutes, with a decided lack of safe bike parking near transit stations. You know they have a problem when the city is compared unfavorably to Los Angeles.

Streetsblog asks why every street doesn’t have a bike lane, after a new report from the New York Department of Transportation shows that painted bike lanes improve safety by 32%, while protected bike lanes cut the risk of injury up to 60%.

The body discovered at the New Jersey HQ of Jamis Bikes we mentioned yesterday belonged to a 43-year old mother who had worked for the company for 20 years; she was allegedly murdered in a hammer attack by a 24-year old coworker who stole her credits cards, then later turned himself into the police.

Atlanta bike cops busted a murder suspect who had been on the run for eight days after he was spotted on a local pathway.

 

International

The BBC looks back at Major Taylor, bicycling’s first Black superstar, and questions why he’s still largely unknown outside of the bike community.

London police are asking anyone who lost a bike recently to contact them after they recovered 20 hot bikes and frames when they busted an alleged bicycle fence. I’ll be happy to take one of the Bromptons if nobody claims ’em.

A Welsh government minister says the country needs to stop the “us vs them” mentality on the streets to improve safety for people on bicycles, astutely adding that some drivers have behavior problems.

Pink Bike explores France’s secret bike parks.

 

Competitive Cycling

The first ever Into The Lion’s Den bike race founded by L39ion of LA’s Williams brothers will roll through the streets of Sacramento tomorrow, with a unique format where teams will represent their home cities.

Italian cyclist Nicola Bagioli is retiring at the ripe old age of 26 to devote his time to making soapstone pottery.

 

Finally…

That feeling when there’s nowhere to park your bike at the world climate conference. Now you, too, can own your very own bespoke bamboo bicycle for the equivalent of just $668.

And why just wear headphones when you can take your piano with you?

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

Driver flees on foot after hitting salmon scooter rider in DTLA, and Long Beach teen rideout marred by shoplifting

LA’s hit-and-run plague just keeps on going.

The LAPD is looking for a shirtless driver who ran off on foot after crashing into a woman riding an e-scooter in DTLA.

The victim was riding against traffic when she was struck, which means the driver probably wouldn’t have faced any consequences if he’d just stuck around.

Instead, he abandoned his car and fled on the sidewalk, for reasons known only to him at this point. It could be that he was drunk or stoned, the car was stolen, or possibly he was in the country illegally and feared deportation.

Or any one of a number of other possible explanations.

Meanwhile, the victim was hospitalized with a head wound, which means there is an automatic $25,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

https://twitter.com/LAPDCTD24/status/1453466605518614530

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Police ordered a group of 200 to 300 mostly teenage bike riders to disperse Sunday afternoon after they were accused of stealing $300 to $400 worth of alcohol and other items from a Signal Hill Food 4 Less.

The teens were taking part in an organized rideout captured in a pair of videos.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to embed them for some reason, so you’ll have to click through to YouTube to see them. 

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Maybe this will finally get the message across.

Of course, first you need a decent protected bike lane to print it on.

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A writer for Pink Bike attempts to ride every mountain bike trail at British Columbia’s Sun Peaks Bike Park in a single weekend.

Although the bike park may have some competition from a new one in Arkansas next year.

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

An English woman is questioning whether it’s worth it to keep riding her bike after a passenger in a passing car attempted to push her off her bicycle.

A Singapore driver was fined the equivalent of over $2,000 for punching a woman riding a bicycle with her three-year old son, after she slapped his car when he nearly ran them over by forcing his way into the lane she was in.

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

A Louisiana man was busted after he robbed a business at gunpoint, then made a failed attempt at a bicycle getaway.

Police in Mad City, Wisconsin are investigating after a woman on a group ride was punched in the face by an angry man on a bike, who was apparently enraged to find the group on the trail, even though they politely moved right to give him room to pass.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers suggestions on how to improve the new Hollywood Metro Bike bikeshare, including more safe spaces to ride them and stop hiding the docks in unobtrusive locations.

The worldwide plague of armed bike theft reared its ugly head in Culver City, where a man on a bicycle accused another man of riding a bike that belonged to his friend, then threatened to shoot him if he didn’t give up his bike and walk away.

A man in his 30s was fatally shot while either riding or walking his bicycle in Long Beach, in what police suspect was a gang shooting.

Artist Sandra de la Loza will lead an art workshop and Dias de Los Muertos bike caravan on Saturday, November 6th (scroll down).

Floyd Mayweather is one of us, as the 44-year old boxing great took to his bicycle on the Venice bike path Tuesday evening.

 

State

San Diego announced a $2.5 million program to fix streets in the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood that were damaged by 2007’s Witch Creek Fire, where rutted pavement and potholes posed a particular danger to bike riders and pedestrians.

Now that’s more like it. Santa Cruz is offering rebates up to $400 and zero-interest loans for downtown workers who buy ebikes, as part of a program to encourage alternative modes of transportation to the area.

The director of Berkeley’s transportation department was lucky to escape with a sprained wrist when he was struck head-on by an SUV driver; Farid Javandel was stopped at a stop sign on his bike when the left-turning driver cut the corner and crashed into him.

 

National

Forbes picks their favorite bicycle child seats.

Somehow we missed this one last week, as a new induced demand calculator will help determine just how much traffic will increase when roadways are expanded.

Portland, Oregon is installing painted bicycle crossings at non-signalized intersections, backed by a university study showing the crosswalk-style crossing encourage more drivers to yield to bikes.

An Arizona driver who ran a red light and slammed into a Flagstaff bike parade last March, killing one woman and injuring several other people, now faces multiple felony charges for kiddie porn after police discovered thousands of images on his phone when they got a search warrant to determine whether he was distracted at the time of the crash.

The Waller County, Texas DA promises he’ll make a decision by November 8th whether to charge the coal-rolling teenage driver who ran down six bicyclists who were training for a triathlon last month.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Minnesota man whose license had been revoked faces a charge of criminal vehicular homicide after killing a 73-year old Catholic priest who was riding his bike on the shoulder of a highway; the 26-year old driver has 10 previous convictions for driving with a revoked license in just the last three and a half years. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the roads until it’s too late. He should have been jailed and his car confiscated after the second offense. 

More proof that bike lanes work, as the latest round of data from New York’s Department of Transportation shows painted bike lanes reduce the risk of injury to bike riders by nearly a third, while increasing ridership an average of 50%; protected bike lanes reduced injuries as much as 60%.

Talk about a rough year. A celebrity chef has filed suit against the NYPD alleging he was brutally beaten for violating a curfew when he attempted to deliver a pizza for a bicycle delivery service, after losing his restaurant when he caught Covid-19.

A suspect has been taken into custody after a body was discovered in the New Jersey headquarters of Jamis Bikes; no word yet on who was killed or how it happened.

No bias here. After a Louisiana bike rider was injured in a collision, police bent over backward to blame the victim, while the story fails to mention that the pickup that hit him even had a driver.

 

International

No surprise here, as data from around the world shows that bikeshare usage goes up with warmer temperatures until it gets too hot, and wet weather discourages people from riding. In other news, water is wet, the pope is Catholic, and bears defecate in wooded areas.

Vancouver cops are looking for a brazen bike thief who raided an apartment building bike locker by using suction cups to remove the glass door, then used bolt cutters to make off with several high-end bikes.

A 16-year old climate activist is riding a cargo bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow for the COP26 conference, to call attention to the climate emergency.

A Welsh man complains about the overly lenient sentence given the driver who killed his bike-riding father, saying she belongs in jail, rather than walking with a suspended sentence after she played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in her eyes.

A new Tokyo study proposes an algorithm to rebalance bikeshare docks more efficiently, preventing the problem of too many bikes at some docks and not enough at others.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Marianne Martin will be formally inducted into the US Bicycling Hall of Fame next week, 37 years after she won the inaugural, short lived women’s Tour de France; the race will return next year in an abbreviated eight stage format.

Cyclist profiles German ultra cyclist Ulrich ‘Uba’ Bartholmoes, who won the first two ultra cycling races he entered two years ago, and has kept winning ever since.

VeloNews talks with the owner of the Israel Start-Up Nation cycling team about the daring cloak-and-dagger rescue operation he set in motion to help Afghan cyclists escape the country.

 

Finally…

Maybe antagonizing bike riders isn’t the best way to get their business. If you think you’ve may have an outstanding warrant and could be carrying weed on your bike, put a damn light on it — and try not to crash into a briar patch.

And it’s probably not the best idea to install a bikeshare station where bikes are banned.

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

Lawsuit filed in Kizzee shooting death, World Naked Ride rolls through DTLA, and former pro Sørensen killed in crash

No surprise here.

The father of the late Dijon Kizzee has filed suit against Los Angeles County for the shooting death of his son last year.

Kizzee was shot by sheriff’s deputies as he attempted to run away after they tried to stop him for riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the street.

Deputies alleged Kizzee had dropped a gun he was carrying, then picked it back up and pointed it at the two deputies.

However, witness statements and security cam video dispute that, suggesting Kizzee was unarmed and had his hands raised when deputies shot him 15 times, then let him die in the street instead of getting him prompt medical attention.

Several protests last year suggested that Kizzee was executed for Biking While Black by deputies angling to join a violent deputy gang.

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Los Angeles helicopter traffic reporter Stu Mundel just happened to catch the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride as it rolled through DTLA on Saturday.

Time Out features full-frontal photos of the surprisingly large turnout. But you may want to take a few antibacterial wipes with you if you’re planning to rent a Metro Bike in the near future.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Tragic news from the road cycling world championships in Belgium, where former pro Chris Anker Sørensen was killed in a collision while riding his bike on the eve of the competitions.

The 37-year old Danish cyclist was struck by a van driver in Zeebrugge, where he was preparing to serve as an analyst for Danish TV.

Sørensen retired from the pro tour in 2018.

No word yet on how the crash happened, but investigators have apparently concluded that the driver was not at fault.

More proof, if we needed it, that even experienced bike riders are at risk on the streets.

Even in the most bike-friendly region of a bike-friendly country like Belgium.

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This is what Paris looks like when you take cars away for a day.

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Frightening UK bike crash caught on freeze frame, as a triathlete tumbles along the pavement with his bike flying high above him following a collision with a driver.

Fortunately, he was not seriously injured, as surprising as that seems.

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Megan Lynch forwards a pair of videos from a comedic, bike-riding ophthalmologist.

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

No bias here. Las Vegas police blame the bike-riding victim of a fatal collision for not having lights on his bike or wearing helmet — never mind that he was run down while riding in a bike lane by the driver of a high-end SUV. Police said speed and impairment weren’t factors, while apparently ignoring that driving in a bike lane was.

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Local

The LA Times says start your holiday shopping now, because many things may not be available later due to shipping problems — especially bicycles.

The attempt to recall newly elected CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman has collapsed, leaving the safe streets supporter safely in place, at least for now.

Streetsblog looks at the new two-way, curb and armadillo-protected bike lane on Elenda Street in Culver City, a Safe Routes To School Project designed to help students walking and biking to and from La Ballona Elementary School.

Speaking of Culver City, the newly bike-friendly community has started work on replacing the Higuera Street Bridge with a bike ramp connecting Higuera Street with the Ballona Creek Bike Path.

Thirteen kids and two adults with special needs received new adaptive tricycles in Long Beach last week, courtesy of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities and SoCal Trykers, allowing many to ride a bike for the first time.

 

State

Calbike is gearing up for a return of the ten-day California Dream Ride Challenge next month, their Covid-era replacement for the annual California Dream Ride.

Advocates are questioning the safety of a painted bike lane through San Diego’s Balboa Park, after a 37-year old man was killed by a 17-year old driver while riding a Link dockless e-scooter, just blocks from where Laura Shinn was killed by a driver while riding her bike two months ago; the city is still waiting for the two-way buffered bike lane that was supposed to have replaced it by now.

San Diego hired Jorge Riveros to lead the city’s new standalone Transportation Department; Riveros previously served in leadership positions in Nashville and Austin. Maybe he can light a fire under that long-delayed Balboa Park bike lane.

 

National

NPR’s Planet Money talks ebikes and their growing popularity in the US — and how carmakers are taking notice. Meanwhile, Forbes looks at Zoomo’s ebike lease program, available for as little as $20 a month in New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

Vox looks at the epidemic of car crashes in the US, calling driving the most dangerous thing most Americans do every day, killing as many people as gun violence while severely injuring millions more.

An Anchorage, Alaska woman complains of becoming invisible when she rides her bikes, calling on city residents to help make it less dangerous on the city’s shared pavements.

The husband of Suzanne Morphew with face trial for her murder after pleading not guilty to killing the Colorado woman, who went out for a Mother’s Day bike ride and never returned; her body has still not been found.

A writer for Curbed takes a contrary stand, saying she wishes she liked the new bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge more than she does, calling it a symbolic victory.

Writing for the Daily News, a former Streetsblog editor says New York’s recent spate of fatal crashes — too many involving kids — show’s the city’s Vision Zero is stalled, and the streets must be reimagined now.

Another Daily News op-ed says automated speed and red light cams are the answer to the city’s traffic enforcement problems. Speed cams remain illegal in California after two bills failed in the legislature, while red light cams were all removed in Los Angeles because drivers didn’t like getting caught breaking the law.

A man in York, Pennsylvania took up bicycling to stave off boredom during the pandemic lockdown, he’s now put over 6,500 miles on his bike in the past 17 months, leads groups rides and served as a cover model for Bicycling.

Fox News seems none too pleased that Biden took a bike ride along a Delaware beach on Sunday, apparently convinced that meant he was ignoring multiple national crisis. Just wait until someone tells them how often the last guy spent the weekend playing golf.

DC residents were infuriated by a short video showing a driver swerve onto the wrong side of the road to pass another car, then blow through a stop sign and crosswalk, right next to a memorial for a five-year old girl killed riding her bike there the day before.

 

International

Mexico welcomed four Afghan women, honoring them as part of Mexico City’s weekly Sunday ciclovia representing the 391 Afghan refugees in the country.

A pair of British bicyclists also welcomed refugees, riding over 1,300 miles to spell out Refugees Welcome across southern England in the world’s largest GPS artwork. Although I fear some of their Brexiteer countrymen and women may not share the sentiment.

Police are looking for an 81-year old Ontario man who went out for a bike ride and never returned home.

An Edinburgh paper offers extensive photos of the city’s Fancy Women Bike Ride, one of 150 such rides around the globe on World Car Free Day. Unfortunately, Los Angeles doesn’t seem to have been one of them this year.

An English ebike conversion kit-maker walked away from the Brit equivalent of Shark Tank with lots of praise but no money, after refusing to move production to China.

After a UK driver was sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding man, a Yorkshire paper reveals his “shocking” history as one of the area’s most notorious criminals.

The world may finally catch to Dutch cyclists in a few hundred years or so, after the country gradually loses its height advantage.

A new German wheel reflector promises to give you 360° visibility on your bike; you can pre-order on Kickstarter for around $18.

A writer for a travel website relates how bicycling along a dusty Moroccan road helped save her marriage.

The Tehran Times highlights the eight most beautiful bicycling routes in Iran, in case you’re planning to visit the country any time soon.

Great article on the urban planner who is bringing a bigger focus on bicycling in Uganda, and changing the streets of Kampala, the country’s capital. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the heads-up.

There may be hope for ending the worldwide bike shortage, as Vietnamese factory workers return after the country lifted its Covid lockdown, although it may take half a year or more to catch up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers five takeaways from the world championship time trial, with Italy’s Filippo Ganna leaving second place finisher Wout van Aert six seconds behind; the championships will continue through this week.

Longtime German pro Tony Martin is calling it a career, deciding to retire after the mixed team relay at this week’s worlds.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a vintage motorcycle-inspired Harley. You can do lots of things while on a bike ride — like delivering a baby, for instance.

And why use ebikes to save the world, when you can turn them into weapons of war, complete with gun mounts.

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

CicLAvia returns with 3 dates this year, a first-hand view of traffic violence, and bike rider shoots driver in self-defense

We all have something to look forward to this year, with the return of America’s largest and most successful open streets festival.

In the best news we’ve had in a pandemic plagued year and a half, CicLAvia will return next month in Wilmington on August 10th.

That’s followed by the traditional Heart of LA route in Downtown Los Angeles on October 10th — the same date as the first CicLAvia, also in DTLA, eleven years earlier.

And last but far from least, a long-awaited return to South Los Angeles on October 5th.

Here’s what our bike-riding friend at KCBS2/KCAL9 have to say on the subject.

https://twitter.com/JeffVaughn/status/1411175401552896004

Photo of an earlier CicLAvia in DTLA by yours truly.

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Every day as I search through the news, I find heartbreaking stories about fatal and near fatal crashes from across the US.

For every one I link to, there may be a dozen or more I don’t.

Just more collateral damage in our incessant obsession with getting from here to there as quickly and inefficiently as possible

Like this story from the very tip of the Pacific Northwest, a stone’s throw from Canada, about a 76-year-old man struck by a trailer pulled by a pickup driver while riding his bike.

Normally I’d read it, maybe mutter a quick prayer, and move on. Just another every day tragic occurrence.

Except this time, the details dovetailed with an email I received yesterday, in the form of a script, from fellow bike rider and corgi aficionado Mike Burk, who moved from SoCal to the cooler and cloudier clime a few years ago.

Fade in:

Late morning, driver’s POV.

Coming home from town this morning when we’re diverted off the highway to a side road because of a road block. At the intersection, noticed a truck towing a poorly loaded trailer carrying an old backhoe. The truck was stopped, the driver getting a ticket by a couple of sheriff’s deputies.

Finally back on the highway and two or three miles down the road. Flashing lights ahead. As we inched along I noticed a bicycle on its side and no rider around. Whatever happened is over (it had been only 90 minutes since we came that way into town).

Seeing the bike and the emergency vehicles, I got a picture.

Photo by Mike Burk

Dissolve to:

Early afternoon, POV over shoulder, sitting at computer.

Me, during a Zoom meeting with our homeowner’s association Publications Committee. Going over articles for our next month’s Kala Pointer Newsletter. One of the committee members asked, “Did you hear about Stan Cummings this morning? He was riding his bike…”

You can guess the rest. Yes, that was Stan’s bike. He was medivacced (sp) to Harborview Hospital in Seattle (40 miles… if you’re a crow). He’s in their TBI unit, not expected to recover well, if at all.

It didn’t take too long for someone following to dial 911 — and then for the sheriffs, local police, and state police to locate and stop the truck.

Stan is active in the community and on his bike. We’ll see what happens.

Fade to black.

Burk adds this final thought.

I forget that this can happen anywhere. We’re in a REALLY small town. Even after all the miles I’ve put on my bike, the thought of getting out on that highway (WA19 and WA20) up here just terrifies me. I keep to the back roads.

Sadly, that’s exactly the case.

The news stories I see come from everywhere English is spoken, and many places it’s not.

From big cities and tiny towns in every state throughout the US, as well as Canada, Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, India, Africa, New Zealand and Australia. And virtually everywhere else, on every kind of roadway.

Yet somehow, the onus for safety inevitably rests on our narrow, unprotected shoulders, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the danger to people on bikes, and everyone else.

It’s like living in a village where monsters roam the streets, dragging people off at random. And instead of doing something about them, we merely tell the villagers to be careful and lock their doors at night.

Like this rabidly auto-centric anti-Vision Zero diatribe, in other words.

Which is kind of like telling gunshot victims to dodge the bullets, rather than suggesting that maybe gun owners shouldn’t shoot them.

Frankly, I don’t have the answers anymore.

I just know I’m so damn tired of reading every day about still more innocent people dragged off by the monsters.

And worrying that one day they’ll grab me, too.

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Bike Talk talks protected bike lanes, from every angle.

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Speaking of which, the protected bike lane on Oakland’s Telegraph Ave has been so successful, the city wants to tear it out.

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Apparently, Minnesota’s annual Freedom From Pants Ride went off without a…well, you get the idea.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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Megan Lynch forwards this piece about a man seven years into a diagnosis of dementia, yet still riding his bike across Nova Scotia to fight the disease.

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Evidently, the Dutch city of Groningen was been a bicycle city for awhile.

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British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid explores England’s old Great North Road from London to Newcastle, traveling in style in a classic Morgan sports car, accompanied by a Brompton foldie in the passenger seat.

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

In a truly bizarre case, a man on a bike shot a road raging Houston driver in self-defense when the male driver told a bike-riding couple they couldn’t ride in that neighborhood, then deliberately knocked the woman off her bike; her pistol-packing partner was let go, while the driver was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

No bias here. After a driver intentionally knocks a British man off his bike, she claims to be an ex-cop, and the current cops don’t hesitate to blame the victim. And a driving instructor uses the incident for a training video.

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

A man on a bicycle remains at large after shooting an Arleta man following an argument Sunday night.

Seriously? There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 23-year old English man who was caught masturbating on his bicycle, riding one-handed as he pursued women and young girls. Yet the bike-riding perv somehow avoided jail despite doing it not once, not twice or even thrice, but four times, apparently because the judge thought he’s a “promising student.”

A Singapore bicyclist was criticized for leaving a painted bike lane to draft behind a trio of dump trucks. Although that would be perfectly legal in the US, though not necessarily smart, where most, if not all, states allow bike riders to take the lane if they’re riding the speed of traffic.

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Local

The Gateway Cities Council of Governments will discuss the ill-advised plan to widen the 710 Freeway, displacing homeowners and fouling the air to create more induced demand. A much better option would be to spend the same amount on transit, bikeways and pedestrian improvements so people don’t have to drive the damn thing.

Brooklyn Beckham is one of us, as soccer great David Beckham’s grownup son goes for a Beverly Hills bike ride with a friend.

 

State

Just days after a woman was killed riding her bike on North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla near UC San Diego, another bike rider was injured when a suspected drunk driver drifted into the bike lane he was riding in, less than half a mile from where the first woman was run down.

The San Diego Union-Tribune considers how North Park’s new 30th Street protected bike lane will affect the community.

A Santa Barbara librarian says her new ebike was the best thing to come out of 2020.

San Jose police busted an alleged fence who specialized in high-end bicycles and construction equipment, while paying thieves a fraction of their actual value; he was caught with an estimated $100,000 of hot merch at the time of his arrest. If you’re missing an expensive bike anywhere in the Bay Area, give ’em a call, just in case.

Tragic news from South Sacramento, where a 76-year old man riding a bike was killed by a hit-and-run driver who briefly stopped following the collision, then ran over the victim to make her getaway.

For anyone up in the Sacramento area, the Davis Bicycling, Street Safety and Transportation Commission will meet on Thursday to discuss a number of proposals, including a newly funded plan to widen the I-80 corridor (bad), while possibly adding bicycling improvements (good). Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

National

Seriously? Women’s Health asks if outdoor bike riding is good for weight loss. Hint: A resounding yes!

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a California man raised $13,000 to provide running water to families in the impoverished Navajo Nation by riding his bike from California to New Mexico.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico school is tapping into federal funds to get more kids to bike and walk to school. Which is something every school should be working on.

Boulder CO police say there’s a nationwide bike shortage, so use a damn U-lock, already. Although they may not have said it quite that way.

More proof that collisions with pedestrians are just as dangerous for the person on the bike, as a 28-year old New York woman was left clinging to life after she crashed into a pedestrian walking in a Prospect Park crosswalk while she was riding in the bike lane. Seriously, ride carefully around pedestrians, who are just as unpredictable as people on bikes. And in cars.

An Atlanta bike rider flagged down paramedics after an 18-year old backup quarterback at Kennesaw State University was fatally shot near Pensacola, Florida; his 19-year old passenger suffered multiple gunshot wounds when their attackers fired over 50 rounds at their car.

 

International

TechRadar rates the “super smart” Cowboy 4 as their top ebike, saying it feels like the future of bicycling.

Mashable offers tips on what to think about before entering the ebike world. But they get the first tip wrong, suggesting that ebiking is just a seasonal thing for everyone but the most extreme bicyclists.

Offroad.cc shares their thoughts on what to look for in a used mountain bike.

Um, okay. Pink Bike looks at all the things that didn’t happen in the world of bicycling last month.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day in jail for killing an 18-year old man riding a bike. But at least he called 911 before driving off.

A young Black man plans to file a complaint against the Montreal cops who roughed him up and handcuffed him for the crime of not having a reflector on his front wheel. Or maybe because he stopped to watch them question another man.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a truck driver walked without spending a day behind bars for killing a 73-year old ebike rider, because the judge thought he showed “genuine and enduring” remorse. Which, oddly, won’t do a damn thing to bring his victim back.

A Singapore bike rider unfairly gets the blame for riding in the traffic lane when a driver slams into him from behind, throwing him onto the windshield before landing in the roadway; the victim sat up following the crash, so hopefully he’s okay. Warning: The dashcam video of the crash is absolutely horrifying, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on it.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, you should have had plenty of time to catch up on the Tour de France. So it shouldn’t come as a spoiler to reveal that last year’s winner Tadej Pogacar not only reclaimed the yellow jersey, but tightened his grip on it before Monday’s rest day.

Breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt argues the level of competition is much higher at this year’s Tour de France, thanks to a rash of young riders making their presence known.

Cavendish says he may be struggling, but don’t write off four-time Tour champ Chris Froome yet.

Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of the Tour after losing the yellow jersey to focus on winning mountain bike gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Judging by the video below, he might just have a shot.

A sports physicist considers how many calories you’d have to consume to ride like a pro in the Tour de France.

Nicholas Dlamini, the first Black South African to compete in the Tour, received a round of “rapturous” applause when he crossed the finish line on Sunday’s ninth stage of the Tour, despite failing to make the cut following a crash.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get so drunk you can’t remember stealing a $1,000 bike. That feeling when you’re glad the bear only ate your bike seat.

And John and Yoko were both one of us.

Thanks to author Richard Risemburg for the heads-up.

………

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

Stripe DTLA bike lanes when fixing streets, Pomona bike rider gravely injured, and new bill ends CA’s auto-centric past

Los Angeles is finally getting around to repaving the streets of DTLA that have been torn up for five years of construction on a new subway connector line.

The problem is, they’re busy restoring them to the same failing, incomplete streets they were before.

While LADOT has made great progress building bike lanes in Downtown Los Angeles — the only neighborhood in all of LA that can claim an actual bike network — they’re still stuck in 1990s thinking, falling far short of what they could, and should, be doing.

This is what the longstanding B.I.K.A.S. — aka Bicycle Infrastructure Knowledge Activism and Safety — blog has to say on the subject.

After adding great new transit stations and new transit service – why restore streets back to the way they were in 2014? Why not upgrade them – adding first/last mile bike lanes to access the new stations?

Street restoration includes several wide streets with plenty of space for bike lanes: Flower Street, Hope Street, Alameda Street, and Temple Street. In addition, the city of L.A.’s Mobility Plan designates protected bike lanes on First Street and Second Street. Short new lanes on Third Street would connect a southbound Flower bike lane to its couplet partner northbound on Figueroa.

If Metro and the city of L.A. act now, they could implement numerous new bike lanes improving downtown’s already fairly good network of bikeways. Implementing them when post-construction streets are due for resurfacing saves the city time and money.

Make that pennies on the dollar compared to what it would cost to strip off the auto-centric painted lanes to add bike lanes at a later date.

Although no one has ever accused Los Angeles of thinking long term.

The blog calls for sending “respectful” emails to city officials, including our future ambassador to India, encouraging them to “implement a first/last mile Regional Connector bikeway network.”

Personally, I’d say demand, rather than encourage. But then, I’ve always been a pushy little son of a mother — especially when my safety and that of others who take to two wheels is concerned.

You’ll find a sample email there you can modify to make you own.

Or just use your own words.

But don’t let them get away with reverting to last century infrastructure in the only LA area where we’re actually making some real progress.

Map shows planned first/last mile bikeway network, from Metro Regional Connector street reconstruction page via B.I.K.A.S.

………

Prayers or good thoughts may be called for, whatever you’re comfortable with, after a man was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Pomona Sunday night.

The victim was reportedly in grave condition after paramedics found him unresponsive fallowing the 9:31 pm crash near Fairplex Drive and Arroyo Avenue.

No ID was provided for the victim, and no explanation given for how the crash occurred. However, the driver remained at the scene, and was not considered to be under the influence.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Pomona PD Traffic Services Bureau at 909/802-7741.

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Now here’s a bill we should all be able to get behind.

Calbike is calling for your help to support AB 1147, from Burbank legislator Laura Friedman, which would finally move California out of its auto-centric past and present to a safer and more livable future for all of us.

Imagine a separated, limited access bikeway that gives you a frictionless ride across town or commute to work. That’s not science fiction or the fever dream of a Copenhagen urbanist. Bicycle highways and 15-minute neighborhoods, where most amenities and services are within a 15-minute bike ride, are just two of the forward-thinking concepts in AB 1147.

AB 1147 reorients transportation planning away from the car-choked past and towards a climate- and human-friendly future. It’s a visionary piece of legislation authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

The bill has passed the Assembly, but it faces a tougher fight in the Senate. It needs all the help it can get. Sign the petition to show your support

AB 1147 also envisions 15-minute neighborhoods, where shops and services are an easy bike ride from homes. Please sign now to help us pass this essential legislation.

I just signed it.

So what are your waiting for?

………

A new campaign links Paris, New York and London in a data and persuasion driven effort to get their mayors to embrace car-reduction policies.

And renounce once and for all their auto-centric ways.

Car Free Megacities’s dashboard shows the striking similarities and also the differences between London, Paris and New York — the metrics the cities can use to learn rapidly from each other and take actions that will save lives, make streets healthier, pleasanter places and deliver critical progress toward urgent climate goals.

Maybe if we begged them pretty please we could get them to include a certain Left Coast megalopolis that desperately needs to renounce the error of its ways.

………

Good Twitter thread from the estimable Peter Flax on the fallacies behind the usual calls for helmet laws and bike licenses, which once again raised their ugly head in NYC.

And coming soon to an anti-bike rant near you.

It’s worth clicking through on the tweets below to read the whole thing.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Claremont Cyclist Michael Wagner, author of CLR Effect, who asks “When is a bike lane not one?”

Answer, “When it is transformed into a garbage collection lane. One of many similar instances we encountered during Saturday’s Ride Around Pomona.”

Sad to see that the blight of bike lane trash bins extends so far east of East LA.

And yes, it’s my fault we don’t hear from Michael more often, since he’s always got something worthwhile to say.

So check it out.

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Don’t count on securing your own Metro bike locker anytime soon.

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These days, we all feel like refugees on SoCal streets.

Thanks to David Drexler for the photo of a proposed Beverly Hills “refuge.”

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Phillip Young calls our attention to a free exhibit of Italian steel at La Jolla’s The Museum Of __, which is apparently still trying to define just who and what they are.

But as long as they want to talk bikes, I’m okay with that.

3 Italian Steel Bicycles

From the Collection of Ron Miriello
June 5, 2021 through July 17, 2021

The Museum Of__ is pleased to present an exhibition of vintage steel bicycles handcrafted and built throughout Italy between 1978 and 1986 from the personal collection of Ron Miriello, a San Diego-based graphic designer, artist, and Italophile. For decades, Italian steel bicycles have been synonymous with finely detailed craftsmanship and storied histories, from their hand-painted lettering and unique details etched in steel, to headtube badges and wool jerseys celebrating the pride of their cities and villages.

Though once there was a bicycle maker in most every Italian town, streamlined manufacturing has shifted the bicycle world’s ethos and desire for more advanced technologies. A globalized industry has challenged the future of these family-run operations in favor of mass-production, but their stories of dedication to the craft continue through a community of devoted collectors of these steel wonders around the globe.

The exhibition is open from 11 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, at 7655 Girard Ave in La Jolla.

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

New York police are looking for a man who repeatedly punched a man in the face as he rode a Flatbush train with his bike, after they had an argument on the train.

A road raging Pennsylvania driver beat a bike-riding man with a golf club after trying, and failing, several times to swerve into him.

A 30-year old Welsh woman justifiably told off a male driver for making sexual remarks as she was riding her bike. Which is just one of the many things that can drive women off their bikes. So stop it, already. 

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 looks at the recent rankings from PeopleForBikes, which shows Los Angeles trailing far behind other large cities when it comes to bicycling.

The cable news site also examines the LACBC’s virtual LA Rivers Challenge, which is continuing throughout this month.

LA casual bikewear brand Swrve gets a well-deserved shoutout in the New York Times, as they examine the shorts staffers will be wearing in comfort this summer.

 

State

A La Jolla cardiologist probably saved his own life by promising to tell police he was injured in a mountain biking crash, rather than suffering a severe beating at the hands of his neighbor, who pled to 19-years behind bars.

That feeling when you freak out after spotting creepy cloaked men in the middle of the desert on Google Earth, including one with a bicycle. Only to discover it’s an art exhibit in the middle of Death Valley.

In a bizarre disconnect, a study from Oakland’s Department of Transportation confirms that protected bike lanes are the safest. But they want to rip out the successful protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue anyway.

 

National

Next City says Europe has taken great strides to reduce the dangers motor vehicles pose to bike riders and pedestrians, but automakers on this side of the Atlantic have yet to address America’s addiction to deadly SUVS, as well as their own insistence on making them bigger and deadlier with every passing model year.

The Manual recommends bicycling gifts for adventurous dads. But Road Bike Action thinks you’d rather have some colorful national park bike socks.

Survivors of the Kalamazoo Massacre reunite five years later to remember the five bike riders killed by an extremely intoxicated driver, who also injured four other bicyclists; Charles Pickett Jr. was eventually sentenced to 40-75 years bars for their deaths.

A three-year old Brooklyn nonprofit “builds, donates and rents adapted bikes to kids and adults with disabilities unable to use standard bikes.”

A New York state senator commuted to work by bike over the weekend — 164 miles from Queens to the state capitol in Albany.

 

International

Road.cc recommends 15 birthday presents for the bicyclist in your life, starting at the equivalent of $21. Even if the only bicyclist in your life is you.

For people who can never spend too much on bikewear, Britain’s Rapha introduces their first mountain bike collection.

The Dutch Grand Prix is asking motorsports fans to bike, rather than drive, to watch the F1 race amid the country’s coastal dunes.

A 68-year old Nigerian man vows to keep riding the bicycle he bought 40 years ago for the equivalent of less than six dollars, saying only death can separate him from his beloved bike.

BTS fans call the new song Bicycle by band member RM that we linked to yesterday a masterpiece, as a website offers an English translation of the first verse and bike-friendly chorus. Then again, their fans would probably think it’s a masterpiece if he read a box of corn flakes.

Two Philippine men were killed by a bomb blast as they were riding their bikes past a mine site, which was targeted by a rebel group.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jumbo-Visma cyclists Sepp Kuss and Jonas Vingegaard came up short during the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, but sport director Grisha Niermann insists they’re on the right track for next month’s Tour de France.

VeloNews offers a middle-of-the-action photo essay from this past Saturday’s Gravel Unbound race in Kansas, formerly known as the Dirty Kanza.

 

Finally…

James Joyce as a mediocre bike racer. Probably not the best idea to flee from the police on your bicycle after pointing a pretty damn realistic cap gun at a driver.

And now you know why there’s so many typos on here. She’s a hard worker, but can’t type worth a damn.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Pasadena driver faces murder charge, LADOT proposes bike lane-free Lincoln Blvd, and protected parking lanes in DTLA

This is who we share the road with.

Police arrested 36-year old Anthony Marcus Houston on murder and reckless driving charges for a Pasadena crash last December.

He’s accused of blowing through a red light at twice the posted speed limit, and slamming into a car driven by 49-year old Pasadena resident Juanita Lucinda Johnson, killing her and injuring three other people.

Houston, who has a lengthy criminal record dating back to his teens, had been wanted since an arrest warrant was issued last month.

He also faces charges for assaulting and threatening two people earlier this month.

It’s just too bad that’s what it seems to take to get prosecutors to take traffic crimes seriously.

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LADOT wants your opinion on proposed changes to Lincoln Blvd south of Santa Monica.

None of which involves building a bike lane.

Then again, it’s not like even a “protected” bike lane means much in the City of Angels these days.

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This is what could be happening in Los Angeles.

But isn’t.

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

A driver jumped out of his car and tried to fight a woman riding her bike in New York.

Something that happens too damned often, and for no good reason.

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Local

Los Angeles has received a $30.7 million grant for transportation projects in the Canoga Park area, including protected bike lanes on Owensmouth Avenue and Sherman Way, and a protected connection between the Orange Line and the LA River bike path.

 

State

A teenage Indio bike rider was hospitalized with moderate injuries after getting struck by a driver Wednesday evening.

The Santa Barbara city council voted unanimously to build the new crosstown Sola Street bicycle boulevard, over loud objections from the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission, who somehow felt traffic diverters would destroy the historic ambiance of the Mission District.

Northern California’s Caltrain is installing new bike lockers at most stations, available on a first come, first served basis for just five cents an hour.

This is who we share the road with, too. Police are looking for a Santa Rosa man who deliberately slammed his car into a homeless camp, injuring a man he’d been arguing with and killing nearby a woman; he’ll face murder and attempted murder charges once he’s arrested.

 

National

Men’s Journal offers their picks for the best bike helmets to keep your head in one piece, however you ride. Although you can protect your head just as well for a fraction of the cost of some of their choices.

Cycling Weekly recommends clothing and accessories for on or off your bike.

A new online bicycling community promises to bring together cycling content, resources, perks and discounts into a single resource, with annual memberships starting at just $10.

A former Portland bike shop owner is urging his erstwhile peers to band together to support an industry climate change declaration. Seriously, bicycles could — and should — be one of the most important tools in fighting climate change, yet the industry has done virtually nothing to encourage it.

In an extreme example of failing to share the trail, a Washington hiker stabbed a mountain biker who asked his group to move over so he could get by. Predictably, both sides disagree on whose fault it was.

Residents of College Station, Texas rally around an 81-year old lawyer after someone stole the beat-up cruiser bike he’d ridden to work every day for the last 12 years.

Minneapolis introduces new artistically designed bike racks. Although I suspect most bike riders are more concerned with keeping their bike safe than how whimsical the rack is.

New York is poised to make a big move by shifting responsibility for crash investigations from the NYPD to the city’s department of transportation, although the police would still be responsible for any criminal investigation that results. However, that raises questions over the need to hire and train hundreds of crash investigators for a department that has never investigated anything more serious than a parking violation.

As California considers legalizing speed cams, New Yorkers voice overwhelming support for automated traffic enforcement, with 78% of New York City voters approving, along with 73% of motorists.

A New York Streetsblog op-ed argues for the role bike co-ops play in promoting equity on the city’s streets, enabling cash strapped people to get a good bike without falling into the trap of dysfunctional used bikes or low quality mass market bicycles.

Speaking of Streetsblog, they note that booming bike use means there’s now an average of just 1.9 cars for every bike on New York’s Second Avenue, yet drivers get roughly 12 times the space.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could flee the scene after killing a 10-year old boy riding his bike; a 27-year old Georgia woman faces a charge of vehicular homicide.

 

International

The bikewear market took a nosedive last year, dropping 25% despite the bike boom.

An Edinburgh bus driver is out of work after colliding with a drunken bike rider; he was fired for reckless conduct, even though police cleared him of misconduct.

An 84-year old Limerick, Ireland woman beamed when she was given a new bicycle by the kindhearted owner of a local bike shop, after he discovered the bike she rides around the city was too far gone to be repaired.

A group of around 20 Singapore bicyclists are accused of hogging the road — not to mention violating Covid protocols — even though they courteously moved out of the driver’s way after he honked.

 

Competitive Cycling

Leading French newspaper Le Parisien reports next month’s single-day Paris-Roubaix, aka the Hell of the North, has been postponed until fall due to the pandemic; it comes after last year’s race was postponed, before being cancelled.

Bicycling hops into the Wayback Machine for a look back at the pioneering women bicyclists who forced their way into the sport, paving the way for today’s women’s cyclists. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike through a closed Burger King drive-thru looking for change, with an open beer in hand, maybe leave the meth pipe at home. Florida police are looking for an electric bicycle thief; no word on whether he runs on a cord or batteries.

And yes, please.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Cost of traffic violence — 3 killed in SD crash, air better worldwide in pandemic, and bike quotes to get you riding

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Yesterday’s rains drove even more people than usual living on the streets to a San Diego underpass Sunday night, because they had nowhere else to go to seek shelter from the storm.

They paid for it with their lives the following morning when an allegedly impaired driver plowed onto the sidewalk, killing three people and injuring six others, two critically.

Seventy-one-year old Craig Voss arrested for three counts of vehicular manslaughter, as well as five counts of causing great bodily injury while committing a felony, and one count of felony DUI for driving under the influence of drugs.

Police believe Voss was the subject of a call to 911 shortly before the crash reporting a possibly intoxicated driver.

But at least he remained at the scene and attempted to aid the victims.

Beyond the sheer tragedy of three more innocent victims sacrificed on the alter to motor vehicles, it’s heartbreaking that so many people who’ve already lost everything and have to live without a roof over their heads — for whatever reason — aren’t safe along the streets they’re forced to live on.

………

One more sign of the damage done by motor vehicles.

Air quality improved in 84% of country’s worldwide when pandemic lockdowns forced many people to stop driving.

An improvement that will undoubtedly be reversed once businesses open back up and people go back to work.

Especially in places like Los Angeles, where so little was done during the closures to encourage more bike riding, walking and other forms of alternative transportation.

That compares to cities throughout Europe, which are doubling down on their successful efforts to encourage bicycling as a safe form of socially distanced transportation, with 600 miles of “cycle lanes, traffic-calming measures and car-free streets” installed over the last year.

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Parade Magazine, of all sources, dishes up 50 bicycling quotes to inspire you to get out and ride, including these —

“Everyone in their life has his own particular way of expressing life’s purpose – the lawyer his eloquence, the painter his palette, and the man of letters his pen from which the quick words of his story flow. I have my bicycle.” – Gino Bartali

“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to” – Dr. K.K. Doty

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” Elizabeth West

………

The good news is the city continues to improve safety for bicyclists in DTLA.

The bad is it seems to come at the expense of the rest of the city.

………

Invest a short 20 seconds of your life to understand the freedom a bike can give someone with a disability.

And how easy it is to take it away.

………

I want to be like him when I grow up.

A 77-year old Arizona man turned down his daughter’s offer to take him by car, and rode his bike nearly 50 miles roundtrip to get his Covid vaccine shot.

Although that might be trumped by a much shorter ride from a much older Dutch woman.

………

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver with a history of violence walked without a single lousy day behind bars when a judge gave him a suspended sentence for assaulting a young couple who had stopped to fix a flat, first punching the man before knocking the woman down and stomping on her head. Seriously, what the hell are jails for, then?

………

Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold a virtual joint meeting of the Planning and Bikeways Engineering Subcommittees starting at 1 pm this afternoon.

Spectrum News 1 looks at what’s driving pedaling the ebike boom.

 

State

Cooler heads prevail in Santa Barbara, where police reject calls to arrest young bike riders — primarily people of color — for riding bikes and performing stunts on the newly installed bike lane on the city’s State Street pedestrian plaza, with police saying they don’t want to “criminalize children for riding bikes.”

The good guys finally won one for a change, as police busted a pair of burglars who broke into a Larkspur bike shop and temporarily made off with seven bikes worth $29,000, after the owner spotted them inside his store on a live security cam.

Napa’s proposed new general plan envisions making the city’s main streets more walkable and bikeable.

 

National

Planetizen says ending traffic fatalities once and for all isn’t as farfetched as it seems.

That’s more like it. A Nogales AZ man will spend the next seven and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, while he was stoned on meth.

In an unusual move, dozens of volunteers teamed with Houston planning and public works officials to paint a new high-comfort popup bike lane. Maybe that could be a model for Los Angeles to finally end the auto-centric stasis on our streets.

Nine of the 21 candidates for a Queens city council seat took part in a bike ride through the district to examine problems and policies before the upcoming election. For years, the LACBC’s candidate surveys asked people running for city offices if they’d be willing to meet or ride with bicyclists if they were elected; even though most agreed, no one ever asked them to.

If you find yourself riding a bike in New Jersey, keep your hands on the handlebars and your feet on the pedals. And put a damn bell on it.

Biking is booming in the City of Brotherly Love, too.

A Virginia op-ed calls for lowering speed limits to 15 mph to save lives. Although here in Southern California, a 15 mph speed limit means most drivers would still do 25 to 30 mph. But at least that would be an improvement for most drivers, who currently do 35 to 45 in a 25 mph residential zone.

That’s more like it. A North Carolina man got 33 to 49 months behind bars for the November hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

Nice move from bikemaker Subrosa, which gave a new bike to a 15-year old Florida boy whose bicycle was destroyed in a hit-and-run crash; the company teamed with Adventure Cycling to give him the first bike from next year’s line, ensuring it will be a one-of-a-kind bike for the next several months.

Bike riders often spot things drivers don’t. Like a body lying near a Florida bike path, for instance.

 

International

Cyclist celebrates world bicycle speed record holder Denise Mueller-Korenek as Monday’s inspirational woman.

Gates Carbon Drive promotes a half-dozen new bikes using the company’s belt-drive products.

A neurodivergent Saskatoon, Saskatchewan kid will get a $3,500 adaptive bike back, after a bike thief was busted when he listed the unique bike for sale online.

A Mexico City woman is forging her own way in the traditionally male-dominated custom bicycle scene as the owner of the city’s only woman-run bike shop.

Damn straight. An English op-ed calls for trusting the experts when it comes to bicycling and traffic planning.

Germany’s Rose Bikes joined ranks with Commencal, Propain, Santa Cruz and other bike brands in announcing price increases due to rising costs caused by the pandemic.

Apparently, things are pretty much the same everywhere, as drivers continue to park in Philippine bike lanes, with most of the scofflaw vehicles belong to the government.

Remarkably, an Aussie bike rider was able to bounce back up when a dash cam video catches him in a frightening crash while trying to ride across a street.

 

Competitive Cycling

Writing for Red Bull, bike scribe Peter Flax profiles multi-time national champ and L39ion of Los Angeles (pronounced “legion”) founder Justin Williams, and his drive to drag cycling into the age of diversity, kicking and screaming if he has to.

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar continues to hold the lead after the penultimate stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race, with Danish cyclist Mads Würtz Schmidt claiming his first WorldTour stage win.

British barrister and time trial specialist Jonathan Parker claims to have shattered the world record for 100 miles, checking in a slant two seconds under two hours and fifty minutes, beating the existing record by eight minutes.

UCI pulled the plug on the season opening Mountain Bike World Cup downhill race after Slovenian health officials urged them to reschedule due to the ongoing pandemic.

A 16-year old Georgia boy’s only goal was to finish the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race; instead, he somehow managed to finish third.

 

Finally…

Turn your body into a mini-electric generator when you ride. Another reminder why your bike should sleep indoors, especially during a massive winter storm.

And maybe this will get drivers to give you a little space.

https://twitter.com/svblxyz/status/1371401312177377280

………

Apropos of that aforementioned winter storm, I love this image from my home state, where the snow is nearly one corgi deep.

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for the laugh.

………

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

Gaimon gamely tries to regain Everest title, riding 1,000 miles across Yukon in 1900, and bike cops in 1904 DTLA

Phil gave it his best shot.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough.

After briefly holding the world Everesting record — climbing the equivalent of the height of Mt. Everest in a single ride — former pro Phil Gaimon bided his time making another attempt, before finding the perfect hill in Malibu.

Unfortunately, he was done in by an unexpected heat wave, abandoning the attempt after more than four hours as the heat climbed into the 80s.

Although something tells me he may give it another shot before the pandemic is over.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels.

………

LA may be wet and cold right now, but it could be worse.

An adventure website tells the tale of a shop owner who sold everything he owned at the turn of the last century, and bought a 45 pound, single speed safety bicycle.

Then gave himself one week to learn how to ride before tackling a nearly 1,000-mile journey across the Yukon to Nome, Alaska, hoping to get there before all the gold was gone.

In the middle of winter, with temperatures down to -45.

………

One more week to get a discount when you sign up for this year’s virtual Bike Summit.

Evidently, bike cops are nothing new in Downtown LA.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Here’s your chance to chuck it all, and live the mountain bike dream.

………

Bicycles seldom fly off highways and burst into flames. Just saying.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the forward.

………

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

No bias here. A conservative candidate for London mayor pledges to rip out all the Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of this country’s Slow Streets — if he’s elected, and get rid of congestion pricing to enter the city center.

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

Modesto streets were swarmed by people on bicycles, as hundreds of riders responded to local bike club’s call by flouting traffic laws, leading to five arrests and police impounding 19 bikes.

Police in England are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who forced a mother riding with her four-year old son on her bike face-first into a wall; she needed 20 stitches to her upper lip and the equivalent of nearly $500 in dental work.

………

Local

About damn time. Nearly 75 advocacy and safety groups, including LADOT and the LACBC, sent a letter to newly inaugurated President Biden calling for a nationwide commitment to Vision Zero to traffic deaths in 29 years.

Burbank is gearing up to open another .75 mile segment of the Burbank Wash Bikeway next month.

The bike boom isn’t just limited to riding outside, as subscriptions for Long Beach’s Zwift have doubled over the past year.

 

State

La Jolla approves plans for protected bike lanes on Gilman Drive as part of San Diego’s Coastal Rail Trail project.

San Diego letter writers epitomize what passes for debate over bike lanes, with one calling for safety, while the other would rather have parking and arguing that some bicyclists don’t want them, anyway.

A 12-year old Bakersfield boy is back on a bike despite losing his vision, riding a tandem with his nine-year old brother up front, thanks to an Idaho man who hit up his friends to raise five grand for a child-sized bike.

A homeopathic medicine company featured Santa Barbara’s famed Gibraltar Road in their series of Great Ride videos.

Sad news from the central coast, where a 57-year old Soquel man was killed when his motorized bike crashed into a roadway median at 30 mph. Although it would be interesting to know how the CHP determined his speed, since it’s almost impossible to calculate the speed of a bicycle following a crash.

A San Mateo man is cleaning up by riding his bike, after starting a group to help clean the roads they ride in the county.

 

National

Streetsblog offers highlights from last week’s confirmation hearing for Transportation Secretary-designate Pete Buttigieg, including a call for Complete Streets and long overdue recognition that it’s time for America to end its auto-centric ways. Yes, he actually used one of my favorite terms.

They get it. Time says ebikes are taking off, but America’s cities aren’t ready for them.

After 136 years, Oregon finally concludes that bicycles are for humans.

Unbelievable. A Seattle bike cop is likely to walk without charges for slowly rolling his police bike over the head of a prone protester, after the victim declines to press charges.

Las Vegas remembered the five bike riders killed by an alleged meth-using truck driver by installing a five-seat ghost bike.

A 12-year old Arizona cancer survivor won a new ebike by winning a national dance competition, despite having just one leg.

Utah’s Arches National Park is seeking public input on a proposal that would allow bike riders to safely access the park by allowing them to use an existing trail that connects to the Moab Canyon Parkway.

Nice piece from Outside, as they profile the mobile bike repair shop working to keep the Navajo Nation on their bikes.

Turning bicycling into recycling, an 82-year old former pension fund manager in Wisconsin is using his retirement to collect and recycle aluminum cans; he recently gathered his two millionth can on his bike, using the profits to benefit environmental groups.

Pittsburgh is calming streets to slow traffic, in a city where ten percent of people still walk to work, and more are riding bikes every year.

No surprise here, as over half of the bicycling deaths in New York were low income or essential workers.

 

International

Singer, reality show judge and former Dancing With the Stars champ Nicole Scherzinger is one of us, taking a maskless ride with her boyfriend while vacationing in Turks and Caicos in the middle of a pandemic.

Toronto bike riders continue to die while the city backpedals on a $100 million commitment to build bikeways.

A Toronto woman rode her bike to get through a rough year. And used the lessons she learned to keep going through marital problems and a lost job.

Road.cc says why settle for riding the length of the UK when you can ride from London to Barcelona, instead.

Britain’s Busby safety app has seen a whopping 870% increase during the pandemic, as the resulting bike boom has encouraged riders worldwide to download the app that detects unusual movement — like a fall — and calls for help if it’s not deactivated in time.

Bike Radar considers why bike prices are spiking in the UK, concluding it’s not all due to Brexit, and takes a look at the best e-roadies.

Traffic deaths are down in Germany. Except for people on bicycles, which are climbing due to a lack of quality infrastructure.

Even in winter, 12% of all trips in Oulu, Finland are made by bicycle. But no one will ride in usually sunny Los Angeles winter weather, right?

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Giro champ Tom Dumoulin is taking a gap year, in a sense; the Dutch rider walked away from his Jumbo-Visma team to reconsider his future, questioning whether he still wants to race bikes.

An aspiring pro describes life in the lower rungs of pro cycling. And it ain’t pretty.

On a related note, Explica examines the impatience of tech-oriented Spanish Gen Z cyclists to turn pro in a world where 23-year old amateurs are over the hill.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the sound of gunshots turns out to be a tree falling on your back while you ride. Who needs ice skates when you’ve got an ice bike?

And seriously, who hasn’t played the bagpipes while shoveling snow on a unicycle dressed as Darth Vader?

………

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

Clotheslining riders on new DTLA bike lane, public safety and Go Human town halls, and drawing Pacman by bike

There seems to be something wrong with this photo of the new separated bike lane on Grand Ave in DTLA.

But I just can’t put my finger on it…

Photo by Redditor u/TezzDonut

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

………

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is hosting a virtual town hall on Thursday to discuss how to reform policing in Los Angeles, which could have a major effect on traffic enforcement and criminal investigations affecting people on bicycles.

………

Talk with the Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, about their newly revived Go Human campaign tomorrow.

………

Nothing like penning a 380-mile Pacman by bike.

………

Salsa Cycles presents a moving video as a Canadian woman attempts to ride all ten bikepacking routes pioneered by her late husband in a single year.

Thanks to Victor Bale, who suggests watching this one full screen, for forwarding the link. 

………

Former professional cyclist James Lowsley-Williams offers tips on how to avoid saddle sores when you ride.

Including don’t wear underwear with your bike shorts, which you already knew, right?

Or you could just plop your ass on this padded wedge currently raising funds online.

But I’ll let you try it first, thank you.

………

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

Police in Albuquerque NM are looking for whoever shot and killed a man as he was walking his bicycle last week. Although someone should tell the Albuquerque Journal that the truck they were using probably isn’t a suspect in the shooting.

A Baltimore bike rider is accusing a driver of deliberately slamming his truck into four people riding their bikes as part of a large group ride. Chances are, the pickup didn’t deliberately hit anyone. The asshole driving it did, despite what the headline says.

Some people can’t see the traffic for the cars. A writer for London’s Daily Mail blames the city’s bike lanes for causing traffic congestion, while failing to recognize that it’s really just too many people like him in cars.

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

A San Diego man pled not guilty to fatally stabbing a man in an apparent random attack in a Pacific Beach public restroom, before attempting to flee on a bicycle.

A bikeshare-riding Brooklyn mugger was caught on video ripping a gold chain off a young mother’s neck.

………

Local

Metro is putting out a call for bikeshare providers to replace Bicycle Transit Systems, the current Metro Bike operator, when their contract expires in two years. And hopefully find someone more willing to expand system throughout LA.

The Pasadena Police Department will be conducting yet another of their bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns this Friday; their last one resulted in 119 tickets, 28 of which went to people on bicycles. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave cross the city limits.

Brigitte Nielson and her dog nearly got cameos in Bradley Cooper’s latest film, as they rode through the LA set for the new movie by director Paul Thomas Anderson.

 

State

A Sacramento man was busted for an alleged sexual assault on a Davis bike path earlier this month. Which is yet another reminder that women face risks riding that men don’t, especially when out of public view on offroad paths.

 

National

Vice examines Traffic Demand Modeling, or TDM, the antiquated formula that predicts the need for road projects — and too often misses the mark.

NPR looks to Trek to examine what bikes can tell us about Trump’s trade wars and the changing global economy.

No surprise here, as a new study pending publication shows riding a bike can help keep you young, figuratively if not literally.

A public radio reporter has set out on a 900-mile bike ride across four Rocky Mountain states, crisscrossing the Continental Divide to listen to Americans in advance of the 2020 election. Yes, they’re actually paying him to take a bikepacking trip.

A Colorado district attorney has concluded there was no wrongdoing by five Colorado Springs cops after a popular bike fitter and former bike shop employee died when they tried to take him into custody during an apparent psychotic episode.

The mayor of Jefferson City, Missouri bought a new bike to take part in a community ride, and discovered a bicycle allows you to be social while social distancing.

When his son wanted to ride a bike with his sisters despite his cerebral palsy, a Chicago bike shop owner established a foundation to help provide others with adaptive bicycles, too.

Kindhearted community members teamed with the local Walmart to buy a new bicycle for a popular Illinois man known for riding everywhere, after his bike was stolen from a truck stop.

An Illinois columnist suggests saving money by riding a bike instead of driving.

A Massachusetts man is taking traffic violence into his own hands, protesting every day for the past two weeks to call for safer streets.

 

International

Thanks to the pandemic, ridership rates are way up on a once-controversial Toronto protected bike lane.

A new European study show the popup bikeways that sprang up across Europe in the wake of the pandemic lockdown delivered $3 billion in health benefits across the continent.

Road.cc’s ebike sister site picks eight of their favorite ebikes, starting at the equivalent of $2,759.

A group of bighearted bicyclists bought a new bike for a Filipino sapatero — shoe repairman — after someone noticed him riding a homemade bike put together from scrap metal.

 

Competitive Cycling

NBC posts a TV and streaming schedule for this year’s pandemic-delayed Tour de France, which kicks off this Saturday. Or you could try to be one of the lucky few to see it in person.

Bicycling celebrates the long overdue demise of podium girls in the Tour de France, but says it’s also time for a real women’s Tour. Here’s the Yahoo link if you’ve been banished by the magazine’s paywall.

Cycling’s governing body pinky swears they’re really going to improve safety after too many high-profile crashes during this year’s races.

Former US crit champ Travis McCabe is finally getting his chance to race with the top level WorldTour, after his rookie season was nearly derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

UCI considers putting pro mountain bikers in a bubble to resume the racing season.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike three sheets to the wind — or three times the legal limit — don’t toss your empties into the bushes. Go mountain biking with stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill without ever leaving the bike shop.

And who says cleats and Crocs don’t mix?

……

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

Garcetti opens new DTLA bus and bike lanes, Cowell not injured on ebike, and Richmond advocate runs for council

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the opening of the new 5th and 6th Street bus lanes and protected bike lanes in Downtown LA yesterday.

Although he seemed to forget the work of Skid Row residents and advocates in fighting for safe bikeways through the crowded city corridor most Angelenos prefer to avoid.

As well as taking credit for street improvements that don’t seem to be happening anywhere else outside of DTLA.

But let’s hope he’s serious about LA’s Green New Deal, which promises to reshape how we get around the city, while dramatically reducing the average miles driven by Angelenos.

And that he actually follows through this time.

Or am I the only one who still remembers the city’s abortive Vision Zero program?

………

Forget those reports about Simon Cowell breaking his back riding an ebike.

Not to mention the breathless reports about the supposed dangers of electric bicycles.

Because this one wasn’t. Unless by ebike, you mean something just this side of a motorcycle.

Or maybe the fastest ebike on Earth, even.

Although anything that’s throttle controlled or travels faster than 28 mph requires a driver’s license, registration and a helmet under California law.

Meanwhile, Cowell took the time to thank the medical workers who cared for him, calling them “some of the nicest people I have ever met.”

And said maybe he should have read the manual first.

………

This one made me smile.

Najari Smith, the founder of Richmond’s nonprofit Rich City Rides bike co-op, made the announcement that he’s running for the local city council this fall.

Like LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club, Smith works through the co-op to aid local youths and uplift the community, as well as helping people get on bikes who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

And knows firsthand what it’s like to get unjustly busted for Biking While Black.

Now we just need to talk the East Side Riders John Jones III to do the same thing here in LA.

………

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

A Half Moon Bay bike rider was repeatedly stabbed in a case of sidewalk rage after getting in a dispute with a man about riding on the sidewalk; his attacker now faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Um, okay. An Iowa woman is under arrest for threatening to kill a bike rider and slapping an apparently unidentified “Hardee’s cup of liquid” out of her hand.

……..

Local

The Órale Boyle Heights podcast talks with the man behind Peatónito, Mexico’s legendary pedestrian rights superhero, now living in Los Angeles.

Another measure of how much LA traffic dropped during the coronavirus lockdown — road rage incidents were down, too.

Tafarai Bayne, chief strategist for CicLAvia, makes a pitch for the LA open streets event.

Gerrard Butler is one of us, looking good on his knobby tired ebike on a spin through the ‘Bu.

 

State

San Diego is promoting bicycling in the city with a new Better by Bike blog.

Bakersfield is starting work on a seven-mile extension of the city’s Kern River bike path, which will result in a nearly 40-mile bikeway.

 

National

They get it. NPR says now is the time to start riding a bike, while a suburban Chicago site says bicycling is one saving grace of Covid-19.

Writing for Business Insider, former Chicago and DC DOT Director Gabe Klein teams with Kay Cheng to make the case for making the country’s Covid-19 street closures permanent.

Self talks with a couple of experts to recommend the best bikes for women. Not that their experts don’t know what they’re talking about. But there are countless others — including more than just one woman — they could have spoken with who know as much or more about the particular needs of women riders.

A surprising report from Reader’s Digest visits 15 “visually stunning” pedestrian bridges across the US, many of which are open to bike riders, too. Actually, the real surprise is that Reader’s Digest is still around.

A Colorado site says gravel biking is showing real staying power.

Houston is finally getting around to banning blocking bike lanes, and allowing scofflaw drivers to have their vehicles towed.

A Kentucky newspaper trots out a long-discredited stat to argue for a mandatory bike helmet law, calling them “a cyclist’s best line of defense,” without distinguishing between adults and children. No, the best defense is avoiding crashes in the first place through safe riding techniques, defensive bicycling and better infrastructure; helmets should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails. And they’re only designed to protect against slow speed falls, not high speed impacts.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is backtracking on promises to put more ebikes on the streets, cutting the promised number from “thousands” to “hundreds.”

A frontline doctor treating Covid-19 patients in the Bronx says his daily bike rides have kept him sane, despite working 38 days straight.

Now that’s more like it. A new West Virginia insulation factory will give employees who commute by bike priority parking when it opens next year.

 

International

Bogotá, Columbia, has embarked on a bike lane building spree that could set the standard for Latin America, with 550 miles of bike lanes slated for completion within four years.

Coventry, England, is making an effort to return to its bicycling roots, despite its status as the UK’s Motor City equivalent,

London’s Evening Standard recommends all the gear you need to become a bicycle commuter. Or you could just get a bike and start riding.

Auto insurance claims for bike crashes have nearly doubled in the UK in recent months, presumably due to the increase in ridership due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Streetsblog questions whether it’s time for the US to adopt the Madrid Model of sandwiching bike lanes — or rather, slow vehicle lanes — between higher speed traffic lanes, saying it’s already showing safety improvements by moving riders from the edge of the roadway.

An Indian writer calls for a bicycle revolution to “drastically change the socio-economic and demographic distribution” of bicyclists, in a country where bike use is too often limited to the poorest households.

Singapore’s new pedestrian code of conduct calls for people on foot to use sidewalks and crosswalks instead of bikeways when they’re available. And not bury their faces in their phones.

An op-ed by a New Zealand physician says slowing speeds is a good start, but actually fixing the streets will make a bigger difference.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says Max Fennell, the first black pro triathlete, wants more black athletes to realize their potential in endurance sports.

Doctors continue to say Dutch pro Fabio Jakobsen could return to racing if he wants, while predicting a long and arduous path to recover from the injuries he suffered in the Tour of Poland; speaking and eating will be a challenge, along with “aesthetic damage” to his face.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can go bike touring while pulling your very own mini-camper trailer. And apparently, your regular bike clothes just won’t due for gravel grinding.

……

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

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