Tag Archive for DTLA

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the forward.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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

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Nothing like penning a 380-mile Pacman by bike.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Olive Street bike lane hits the street, vital bicyclists Black Lives Matter discussion, and parking in 7th Street bike lane

I give up. 

I’ve been battling low blood sugar for over four hours now, as I’ve struggled to finish today’s post. Despite my best efforts, I’ve finally reached the point where I have to throw in the towel. 

Unfortunately, I’ve only gotten about halfway through today’s news, so let’s just call this Morning Links lite.

And we’ll catch up with the rest tomorrow. 

………

In today’s photo, Patrick Pascal sends proof that DTLA’s Olive Street bike lane is becoming a reality, looking south from 8th Street.

………

This may be the most important video you see today.

Or maybe this year.

Tuesday evening, LA’s Velo Club La Grange hosted a two hour online discussion of racism, and what it’s like to be a Black bicyclist in the City of Angels.

This is how they describe it.

On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, Velo Club La Grange hosted a virtual Town Hall where a number of local Black cyclists shared their perspective and experiences and engaged in an interactive question and answer session. We invite you to watch this critically important conversation.

But that doesn’t begin to do it justice.

The panelists — a group of successful Black professionals — didn’t say anything I haven’t heard before from other people.

Yet hearing so many variations of the same hateful story, calmly told by so many people, was absolutely devastating.

Seriously, block out some time, and watch it. It may change the way you view race forever.

………

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When its a parking lot.

………

Help BikeSD raise funds for the Climate Ride this weekend.

https://twitter.com/BikeSD/status/1281066125724246016

………

Submitted without comment.

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Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique is one of us, arriving for an important La Liga match on his ebike.

https://twitter.com/MovistarFutbol/status/1280934558175821824?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1280934558175821824%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fheavy.com%2Fsports%2F2020%2F07%2Fgerard-pique-bike%2F

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, too.

………

………

Photographer Sterling Lorence discusses how to get the perfect mountain bike shots.

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

A New York driver plowed through a group of bike riders blocking an intersection for a Black Lives Matter protest, leaving a string of mangled bicycles in his wake; the driver was arrested two blocks away after being chased down by protesters.

A teenaged Pennsylvania driver faces charges for chasing down a bike rider and intentionally ramming hm with his car, for no apparent reason.

A British bicyclist was pushed into a canal by a group of thieves intent on stealing his bicycle, the latest in a string of similar attacks.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Popular San Francisco nonprofit bike shop Pedal Revolution calls it quits after years of financial loses compounded by Covid-19.

 

National

Nice piece from Popular Science explaining the differences between cheap bikes and more expensive models. Or to put it another way, between mass market Bicycle Shaped Objects, and bikes you’ll actually want to ride more than one summer.

A writer for The Next Web addresses the age old question of whether you should buy an e-bike or an e-scooter; concluding, both.

Specialized is finally making the jump to e-commerce, allowing its bikes and frames to be sold online.

Louisville KY’s bikeshare system puts its money where its bikes are, posting Black Lives Matter signs at the docking stations.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, but in a different way, as a Minneapolis bicyclist creates an organization to collect up to 100 pounds of household supplies for people in need and deliver them to community service organizations, all by bicycle.

Incoming Michigan football player RJ Moten is one of us, putting his lockdown time to good use with 50 mile bike rides. Let’s hope he keeps it up, because the chances of actually playing football this fall aren’t looking good.

A Massachusetts town gets creative with its bike racks. Although most bike riders would gladly trade artistic racks for better security. 

An Orlando newspaper recommends three outstanding bike trails for your next trip to Florida.

 

International

The European Court of Justice rules that Brompton’s unique functional shape can be copyrighted.

Bike Biz considers the role bicycles can play during the age of Covid-19.

Streetsblog says US states should copy Scotland’s E-Bike Grant program to replace car and transit trips with bike rides.

A former British firefighter discovers what it’s like to open a new bike shop in the middle of a pandemic, which counterintuitively turned out to be the perfect time.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist exults over the pending return of bike racing.

VeloNews explains how budding Canadian cycling star Michael Wood made the transition from running to bike racing.

 

Finally…

At last, a bike you ride sidesaddle. That feeling when your bike ride turns into a cheesy DIY porn shoot.

And yes, you’re actually supposed to sit on this.

………

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

Bike-friendly Councilmember Jose Huizar busted for bribery, Olive Street gets bike lanes, and Brits get £50 for bike repair

The other shoe finally dropped.

Two years after FBI agents raided the home and office of DTLA Councilmember Jose Huizar, he was charged yesterday with accepting bribes from a Chinese developer.

It had become clear in recent months that the Feds had Huizar in their sights, after a string of lower-level aides and go-betweens copped pleas that clearly implicated him.

Huizar, who was largely responsible for the bike-friendly Complete Streets makeover of Downtown Los Angeles in recent years, was charged under the RICO act for running a corrupt enterprise.

His arrest, along with the conviction of former San Fernando Valley Councilmember Mitch Englander, raises questions of whether anyone else was involved, and who else the Feds could be looking at.

Englander’s replacement, Councilmember John Lee, is believed to have been implicated in Englander’s bribery scheme, according to court documents, but hasn’t stepped down.

A number of other city officials and staffers, including South LA Councilmember Curren Price, have been subjects of search warrants.

Which means the question is whether Huizar’s alleged corruption marks the end of the investigation. Or just the tip of the iceberg.

And it serves as a reminder that those who support us don’t always deserve our support.

Although the sexual harassment case against Huizar, allegedly settled with funds from the bribery scheme, should have been a fucking clue.

The remaining city councilmembers voted unanimously to suspend Huizar from the council after his arrest; he was urged to resign before his term ends at the end of the year so Councilmember-elect Kevin de Leon can take over the seat.

Let’s hope de Leon turns out to be as much of a supporter of bicycles and Complete Streets as Huizar has been.

But less corrupt.

Allegedly.

Photo from josehuizar.com.

………

Speaking of DTLA, it looks like Olive Street is about to get an upgrade.

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You might want to avoid Laguna Niguel’s Camino Capistrano for awhile.

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Great idea.

The UK is ready to roll with a voucher plan offering every resident the equivalent of $62 to get their bikes repaired,

The idea is to help get more people on bikes and support the bike industry, while giving a boost to the economy.

All of which we could use right here. And right now.

………

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

Retired motorcycle champ Miguel Duhamel is recovering after he was shot in the head with a BB gun from passing car while riding his bike in Red Rock, Nevada.

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

Police in Indianapolis are asking for the public’s help in identifying the bike-riding jerk who pushed another man off his bicycle, resulting in a severe concussion.

An off-duty NYPD cop was in a shootout with someone on a bicycle after a dispute with a group of men, who allegedly flashed gang signs; over a dozen shots were fired, but no one was hit.

A Tokyo bike rider was busted for allegedly damaging a driver’s car in a case of bike rage, even though that technically isn’t illegal until the end of this month.

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Local

Streetsblog says it will take more than a few sandwich boards to make LA’s 4th Street Slow Street friendlier for bicyclists and walkers.

The LAPD busted one of the bike and skateboard-riding Venice/Mar Vista gropers, and is looking for the other one, as well as any other women who may have been assaulted.

A pair of former competitive cyclists in Long Beach formed a messenger service to deliver just about anything by bike.

Gerard Butler is one of us, riding his bike to Venice for an evening ride along the beach.

 

State

Coronado plans to take over a pair of state highways from Caltrans, which could lead to more bike lanes in the city where residents find them dizzying and akin to having your daughters totally tatted. And led to James Corden’s all-time best monologue.  

Santa Barbara is politely asking bike riders to dismount on a new temporary plaza formed by closing a downtown street.

San Franciscans discover the unexpected delights of bicycling while they shelter at home.

Fremont shows other Bay Area cities how protected bikeways are done. Los Angeles could take a few notes, too.

 

National

He gets it. An infectious disease physician and bicyclist says he doesn’t wear a mask because he’s scared, he wears one out of respect for others.

Go ahead and order the fries. Bicycling says saturated fat isn’t bad for your heart after all.

Ouch. Vice examines how Uber turned a promising bikeshare company into literal garbage.

Gear Patrol suggests ten bike storage racks they promise will blend seamlessly into your home.

Portlanders are encouraged to get out and ride naked, by themselves, for a solo edition of the World Naked Bike Ride this weekend. Which could get you arrested just about anywhere else.

The Seattle Times talks with a former Caltrans and Los Angeles planner, currently working in Oakland, about how transportation planners can better serve people of color.

A Chicago woman is fighting for her life after she was right hooked by the driver of a city-owned dump truck. Crashes like that could be prevented by requiring sideguards on all large trucks, and cabs offering minimum 180° views.

A security guard in a bulletproof vest reportedly tackled a Black teenaged girl riding a Jump bike in Providence, Rhode Island, after Uber hired guards to recover their stolen bikes; naturally, the company denies it ever happened.

Sienna Miller is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride through New York.

Rayshard Brooks, the Black man who was recently shot by an Atlanta cop, was one of us, riding his bike to work when he lived in Ohio.

 

International

Road.cc picks the best front and rear daytime bike lights, and considers whether you should use them. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, hell yes. I’ve had far fewer close calls since I started riding with them at the urging of Mark Goodley.

Road.cc also suggests the best commuting upgrades for your bike. And for you.

Pez Cycling News picks the three best bike movies of all time, starting with everyone’s favorite. Okay, maybe just mine. And theirs.

Nothing strange here. A Northern Irish boy is missing after falling off his bike and striking his head, then taking off his all clothes and riding a little more, before abandoning his bike and walking away naked.

Tennis star Andy Murray is one of us, biking the famed Box hill climb while he shelters in Surrey, England.

Add the French Riviera to your bike bucket list. Assuming we can all travel again someday, and the Europeans let us back in.

A new Belgian study says bike riders in the country face no more risk than drivers do. On the other hand, Luxembourg is lagging badly.

Italy is enjoying a bike boom, too. Meanwhile, the European Public Health Alliance says the country can’t drive its way out of the coronavirus crisis with polluting vehicles.

A high ranking Manilla cop tell drivers to stay the hell out of the new bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Retired Belarusian pro Kanstantsin Siutsou got a four year ban for doping; the former Giro stage winner failed a test for EPO two years ago. Like that ban will really sting since he doesn’t compete anymore; it’s like firing someone two years after he quit. But hey, the doping era is over, right?

VeloNews spends a day with California-based women’s pro cyclist Tayler Wiles before the racing season theoretically gears back up.

 

Finally…

How to race halfway across the US without leaving Down Under. This is what a “suboptimal” bike lane looks like.

And your next roadie could set you back nearly $8,500.

But damn is it pretty.

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I continue to be surprised by the unexpected donations that have been coming in to support this site lately. Thanks to Carlos A and Bernard B for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

And note to Bernard — You’re welcome!

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

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

This is who we share the roads with.

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

Fortunately, it hadn’t opened yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now an innocent person is dead because of it.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Period.

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

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

Photos by Patrick Pascal.

 

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Even for women.

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

LADOT drops DTLA bike lanes in favor of parking, Pomona thinks bike lanes are for kids, and LAFD on bikes

One quick note.

I renewed my annual membership in the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition last night.

With the LACBC facing financial difficulties stemming from the coronavirus crisis, as well as major financial mismanagement by the previous executive director, who shall forevermore go unnamed here, it’s more important than ever to join or renew your membership

Or just make a donation to keep the LACBC fighting for your right to ride safely on our streets. 

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I have a confession to make.

Ever since the company my wife works for — correction, worked for — shut down for the coronavirus lockdown, never to return, I haven’t been able to dig into the details on bike projects the way I’d like.

As much as I enjoy having her around, I miss those nine hours or so to myself everyday to gets things done.

Fortunately, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is here to take up the slack.

Because one of those projects, which I mentioned here last week, would install bus lanes, along with left-side protected bike lanes, on one-way 5th and 6th Streets in DTLA.

But what I didn’t realize was that those bike lanes are only planned for just over half of the 1.3 mile project.

As Joe explains it,

Overall this is a good project. It’s a worthwhile improvement over what is out there today.

I did get a little frustrated about bike lanes on these streets. The city is adding left-side bike lanes (a one-way street best practice – like bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets) but only on about 0.7-mile of the overall 1.3-mile project – just over half the project. The issue is parking – there are two blocks of on-street parking that would need to be removed. While I personally would favor removing that parking, I understand it’s not easy politically.

I am still frustrated though that the city is basically throwing out 7 blocks of bike lanes because just 2 blocks are difficult. I wrote a letter to try to get the city to do the remaining 5 easy blocks of bike lane – which would connect Pershing Square with the downtown library.

That’s right.

LADOT, which is supposedly tasked with implementing the mobility plan, bike plan, Vision Zero, and the mayor’s Green New Deal plan to dramatically reduce driving in the city, is skipping a full seven blocks of bike lanes in favor of two lousy blocks of car parking.

In Downtown Los Angeles, no less, which UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup describes as having more parking per acre than any other city.

No, anywhere.

Which pretty much tells you where people on bicycles rate in the city’s transportation hierarchy these days.

Like several steps below cars. And maybe a step or two above road kill.

Fortunately, Joe’s not one to soft pedal something like this.

He suggests emailing city officials to politely request that they install additional bike lanes, at least on the five blocks where it doesn’t require the removal of parking spaces, and wouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

And he even provides a sample letter, while stressing that you should put it in your own words.

Email addresses:

  • councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
  • mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org
  • seleta.reynolds@lacity.org
  • and bcc Joe Linton at linton.joe@gmail.com)

Sample letter:

Honorable Councilmember Huizar, Mayor Garcetti, and General Manager Reynolds –

I write to you in support of adding bus and bike lanes to the greatest extent possible on 5th and 6th Streets downtown.

BSS is repaving these streets starting June 15th. LADOT announced that bus lanes will be added from Figueroa to Central, and left-side bike lanes will be added from Spring to Central.

Thank you all for your role in bringing much needed bus lanes, which will improve transit, air quality, equity, and quality of life for Angelenos.

Thank you all for the needed bike lanes, which will improve safety and health. I urge you though to extend the bike lanes further than the current announced length. It appears that LADOT is skipping seven blocks (Figueroa to Spring) of bike lanes to preserve two blocks (Hill to Spring) of parking.

At a minimum, the city should install a left-side bike lane for the missing five blocks – from Hill to Figueroa – where there is sufficient space and no parking removal necessary. Adding this bike lane would keep cyclists safer, as well as keeping us out of the bus lane, making the bus lane more effective.

Sincerely,

[name]
[street address]

I’ll send my email later today. And I hope you will, too.

Because there’s no reason our safety should take a backseat to a parked car.

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Apparently, bike lanes are for kids in Pomona. Or at least, they now come under the Youth Services budget.

Thanks to Eric Griswold for the heads-up.

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Who needs a firetruck or paramedic unit when you’ve got bicycles?

https://twitter.com/LAFDtalk/status/1272701902229127168

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Bike Angeles takes a hi-def bike tour of the UCLA campus.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the link.

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This is exactly what Los Angeles isn’t doing right now.

But should be.

https://twitter.com/Sir_Labz/status/1272575787397505024

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Austrian mountain bikers Fabio Wibmer & Vali Höll are finally back to shredding after the country ended its lockdown and reopened the trails.

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Local

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon shares his eating habits with Bicycling. And no, it isn’t just cookies.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was sent to the hospital after getting hit by a driver at Newhall Ranch Road and Santa Clarita Parkway on Monday; no word on the victim’s condition. Although it would be nice if story mentioned that the car even had a driver.

Creed star and Black Panther antagonist Michael B. Jordan is one of us, going for an “invigorating” LA mountain bike ride on Sunday, one week after his impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter protest.

 

State

Advocacy group Bike Bakersfield is back in business 16 hours a week after shutting down for the coronavirus lockdown.

Calbike considers the planned Central Valley Bikeways Project, intended to connect several Central Valley cities with California’s high speed rail. Assuming the rail project actually gets built, that is.

The Sonoma bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run a couple weeks ago has been identified as a 35-year old Romanian entrepreneur, who was killed when a passing pickup driver struck him in the head with the truck’s wing mirror; the damaged truck was found a few miles away, but the driver still hasn’t been arrested.

 

National

The Associated Press catches up with the worldwide bike boom, saying Target and Walmart have been cleaned out of bicycles.

Thanks to kindhearted community members, a seven-year old Missouri girl with limited mobility in her legs can ride along with her dad in a custom-built sidecar attached to his bike.

This is why you don’t try to recover a stolen bike yourself. A Wisconsin man is lucky to be alive, and may still lose his arm, after he was shot while trying to reclaim his stepson’s stolen bicycle; a 17-year old teenager has been charged with the crime.

A new bike and pedestrian path has opened along a Tarrytown NY bridge, providing an iconic view made famous by the 18th Century Hudson River School of artists, as well as a grate view of the river 102 feet below. And no, that’s not a typo.

Fortune says bikes will have a new place in city life in New York, and around the world, as life rebounds from the coronavirus crisis.

 

International

Cycling News looks at the pros and cons of buying a gravel bike.

The Share the Road Cycling Coalition and The Centre for Active Transportation have posted a recording of their webinar Making Space: Biking out of the pandemic online. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

A Toronto man is biking 46 kilometers — the equivalent of 28.5 miles — or running 4.6 kilometers every day for 46 days to honor George Floyd, who was 46-years old when he was killed by a Minneapolis cop. Or ex-cop, now.

A British Parliamentary advisory group has concluded that e-scooters are inherently unsafe, while a European group says the risk is no greater than riding a bicycle.

According to an English author, one bright spot in the Covid-19 pandemic is the rise of bicycles, and the role they play in art and society.

A former bike shop owner, soon to be prime minister, negotiated a huge increase in active transportation spending, committing 10% of the country’s transportation budget on bicycling and another 10% on walking; two-thirds of the remaining 80% will go to public transit.

Bikes continue to boom in Kolkata as an alternative to mass transit in the age of Covid-19.

Chinese tech giant Tencent is building a carfree city of the future on reclaimed land in Shenzhen, centered on a green corridor for buses, bikes and autonomous vehicles

Taiwanese bikemakers and parts suppliers — including Giant, the world’s largest bikemaker — are pedaling faster than ever to catch up with the booming worldwide demand.

Seoul, Korea is planning to build another 14 miles of bikeways within the next year as the city plans a bike path network to “cut congestion, fight pollution and reduce energy use.”

People caught violating Japan’s strict new bike laws just twice in three years will have to take a traffic safety course, or pay the equivalent of a $460 fine.

Jakarta, Indonesia is bringing back their weekly Car Free Day, but limiting it to bike riding and walking, with no food services or other vendors.

Horrifying Twitter thread from Australia, where an aboriginal man was allegedly beaten by police for the crime of riding without a helmet and bike lights.

 

Competitive Cycling

After beating cancer twice and surviving getting hit by a truck while riding across the US, 40-year old endurance cyclist James Golding insists he’s going to win the Race Across America, even if he has to wait another year, after this year’s RAAM was canceled.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to jack a truck, don’t leave your bike in the back once you dump it. Your next e-mountain bike could take a selfie.

And doesn’t everyone take their pet chicken riding with them?

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Thanks to Scott R for his generous donation to help keep this site coming your way every day. Donations are always welcomed, especially now.

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

Somber solo Ride of Silence, bicyclist defends San Diego’s lockdown-busting ride, and protected lane parking in DTLA

You’re on your own for tonight’s annual Ride of Silence, which can be done solo or virtually.

Or maybe just join me tonight in remembering all those who have lost their lives needlessly.

Photo by Matt Tinoco.

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Seriously?

A Los Angeles bicyclist defends the actions of the bike riders on Sunday’s mass ride through San Diego, which resulted in a literal fist fight with an angry driver.

As in,

“When you have that many riders, it’s going to be unruly. I wouldn’t say rowdy,” said Vasquez.

Never mind that unruly ride violated every semblance of California’s Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Which currently prohibits groups of more than ten. Let alone the few hundred bike riders it drew from all over the state.

And never mind that they couldn’t do a better job of spreading the disease if they tried.

If only one of the riders had a symptom-free case of coronavirus without knowing it, they could have shared it with dozens of others on the ride, who would then take it home to their family and friends.

Not to mention putting innocent bystanders at risk along every inch of the ride route.

Irresponsible doesn’t begin to cover it.

According to the LA bicyclist — who I won’t name, even though the story does — the mass ride was sponsored by a group called Keep it Rolling.

Maybe they’ll think before they roll out again.

So maybe they next time we read or hear about them, it will be because they got it right.

Not for crap like this.

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No surprise here.

The new protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA have turned into one more example of free curbside parking for any drivers willing to squeeze through the bollards.

Just like what happened after every other protected bike lane in Downtown Los Angeles was opened.

Which makes you wonder why LADOT apparently hasn’t learned anything from the experience.

Thanks to Melanie Freeland for the heads-up.

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Pasadena police are warning about an increase in bike thefts, with advice on how to prevent it.

All good advice.

Although I’d add that bikes aren’t safe on balconies even if they’re secured, unless it’s too high to climb up. And it probably isn’t.

Your garage isn’t much better, unless it’s securely locked at all hours.

Also, take lots of pictures of your bike — including your bike’s serial number, which is the easiest way to make sure you always have it with you.

And register your bike for free with Bike Index right now while you’re thinking about it. Before anything happens to it.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

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Who was that masked man?

If you’ve spotted a 7-foot tall man riding a bike through Los Angeles lately with only his eyes visible, it may have been the Lakers’ JaVale McGee.

Although maybe someone should teach him how to fix a flat.

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Here’s your chance to sort-of ride with the world’s best — and only — all type 1 diabetic cycling team.

But only if you’re diabetic, too.

Speaking of which, CNN says the team has turned type 1 diabetes into its greatest strength.

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If you live or work in my neighborhood, the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council is having a virtual meeting this evening.

If you have the patience to wait until they finally get around to general comments, ask for some Slow Streets in Hollywood.

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

An Omaha woman was knocked off her bike by rock-throwing teenagers, just days after resuming riding for the first time since she was eight years old. Jerks.

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Local

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin talks LA’s Slow Streets program on KPCC’s Take Two.

CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino gets it. He’s calling for allowing Los Angeles businesses to expand out into sidewalks, streets and parking lots for dining al fresco and other outdoor activities. Seriously, anything that gets Angelenos to re-envision our streets is a good thing.

You should be able to find plenty of bike parking in South Pasadena now, after the city worked with Active SGV to install 200 new lime green bike racks, including covered bike corrals.

Just weeks after buying Uber’s Jump Bikes, Lime is pulling the company’s ebikes and scooters off the not-so-mean streets of Santa Monica.

Long Beach is planning to turn currently under-used streets into outdoor dining, too.

 

State

San Francisco’s Sierra Club says we should try making Slow Streets permanent.

Sacramento is finding space on the roads for Slow Streets, too.

A bike-riding Davis columnist tells drivers to use their damn turn signals, already.

 

National

Curbed calls Slow Streets the path to a better city.

Yahoo lays out your fashion choices for every type of ride this year. Or you could just wear whatever the hell you want.

Gear Patrol says you’re wearing your bike helmet wrong, especially if it’s on backwards.

Portland business owners get it, where 60 businesses say they support a proposed protected bike lane in front of their shop.

Colorado teens are trying to defend a DIY bike park after the city moves to remove it.

If anyone wants to know what to get me for my birthday, bikemaker Detroit Bikes is remaking the 1965 edition of the iconic Schwinn Collegiate model, which will be available at Walmart for just under a grand. Or just get me a corgi.

A new public health study shows collisions involving bike riders dropped 13% in Philadelphia after the city’s bikeshare opened, despite the increase in ridership and no new infrastructure, giving more proof to the safety in numbers theory. And more people bike commute in cities with bikeshare, too.

Good news: New Jersey is allowing bike shops to reopen. Bad news: They’re reopening car dealers, too.

A Savanah, Georgia paper says the heir to the roadside Stuckey’s chain is one of us, too.

 

International

Treehugger says ebikes are eating the market, as Rad Power Bikes sees an almost 300% increase in sales during the coronavirus shutdown.

Strava defends their decision to start charging for leaderboard access and break thousands of third-party apps, saying the company isn’t profitable. And needs to start raising revenues now.

Peru is now a bicycling paradise, courtesy of the Covid-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, Americas Quarterly asks if the pandemic could mark the beginning of a biking revolution in Latin America.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a look at Supremely overpriced designer bicycles.

Analog bikes are booming, too. A UK bike shop has seen a nearly 700% jump in sales of bike over the equivalent of $600 compared to last year.

Eight ways to avoid the crowds on your next bike ride through London.

German bike shops are busier than ever.

Tel Aviv is taking a step beyond Slow Streets, converting eleven streets in the city center into pedestrian zones.

Bikes are booming in Uganda, too, where driving is prohibited under the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Nothing like adding a slightly illegal 5,000 watt, 49 mph ebike conversion kit from a Hong Kong company to your existing bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome is threatening to jump ship midseason, leaving Ineos for a rival team after being overshadowed in recent years by fellow Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal. Although it’s hard to call it midseason if there haven’t been any races.

Running a few days behind, as usual, Bicycling catches up with pro mountain biker Keegan Swenson’s new Everesting record, as he tops Phil Gaimon’s new world record by 12 minutes, just four days after Gaimon set it.

Seriously, who’s shocked that Lance started doping long before he turned proBetter question: Who still cares?

 

Finally…

Yes, Peloton, it is possible to be too white. If you’re going to use pool noodles to protest cars coming too close, maybe try keeping away from them, too.

And not bad for my first self-applied Covid haircut, if I say so myself.

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

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