Tag Archive for e-scooters

Hit-and-run driver severely injures e-scooter rider, support Eagle Rock One Lane plan, and Nobel laureate on a bike

The LAPD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left-crossed a man on an e-scooter in Huntington Park, then fled the scene dragging the dangling rear bumper of her car behind her.

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

But be warned before you click on the video.

It clearly shows the crash from multiple angles, and could be very hard to watch.

And you can’t unsee it if you do.

Handcuff photo by Kindel Media from Pexels. Let’s help fit this driver for a pair. 

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Eagle Rock Forward needs your help to make one last push to get Metro to adopt the livable, Complete Streets option for bus rapid transit on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

Metro’s “One Lane” option is an evolution of the Beautiful Boulevard plan. It is the ONLY option that:

  • Provides a green street by preserving & enhance existing landscaped medians
  • Supports local businesses by maintaining on-street parking & space for Al Fresco dining
  • Protects school kids by providing additional & safer crosswalks
  • Makes a safer street by reducing speeding on Colorado Boulevard
  • Reduces cut-through driving on residential streets by maintaining space on Colorado for pick-up & drop-off zones
  • Upgrades existing bike lanes to be family-friendly protected bike lanes
  • Provides transit service for Eagle Rock that is attractive and dependable to support existing bus riders and attract new transit riders

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If I found out a Nobel laureate read this site, I’d probably promote the hell out of it, too.

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GCN considers how it’s possible for every new bike to be the lightest, stiffest, fastest or most aero.

Or not.

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

No bias here. A proposal before the Massachusetts legislature would “improve” bike safety by fining bike riders as much as motorists for traffic violations, even though bicycles pose a fraction of the risk to others.

No bias here, either. DC’s conservative newspaper suggests the bike lobby is running the city, and forcing anti-car tactics on the unsuspecting driving public by reducing speed limits and improving safety on high risk corridors. And insists some crashes are caused by medical emergencies rather than reckless drivers, and sometimes bike riders might even be at fault. But unlike drivers, reckless bike riders hardly ever kill anyone.

A road-raging farmer in the UK was convicted of attacking a bike rider who followed him home to confront him after a punishment pass, because the man on the bike was riding in the roadway instead of on a separated bike path next to it; he was fined the equivalent of a whopping $146I know as well as anyone how tempting it is to follow a driver who threatens your safety. But seriously, don’t. Just let it go and get on with your life.

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

London bike riders are caught on dashcam video “recklessly” jumping a red light, even though there wasn’t any cross street, and after waiting for pedestrians to cross.

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Local

LA Times columnist George Skelton’s windshield bias is showing, as he says Gov. Newsom was right to veto bills that would have legalized jaywalking and stop as yield, calling them nutty bills that would allow people to harass drivers. Nothing like demonstrating you don’t understand the problem before criticizing the solution.

 

State

Santa Maria unveiled a new $900,000 road diet project with protected bike lanes, complete with curbs and car tickler plastic bendie posts.

Bike theft continues to be a major problem at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where students have lost faith in relying on the police for help.

Tragic news from Santa Rosa, where a 47-year old man faces a slim chance of survival after he was hit head-on by an allegedly stoned driver while riding his bicycle outside town; he was already considered disabled from a previous collision 25 year earlier.

Campus police at Chico State University caught a bike thief in action and busted him as he tried to ride away, then returned the purloined bicycle to its owner. Meanwhile, a “super bike cop officer” with the Chico Police Department is on a mission to recover stolen bikes.

 

National

Great idea. An Albuquerque microbrewery is collecting bike parts for a local community bike shop by offering a discount for each part you bring in — or a free draft for a complete bike.

Several bike companies in New Mexico have joined forces to create a one-of-a-kind bicycle that will be raffled off to benefit an organization that supports transgender rights.

A Colorado bike rider describes a driver making an unsafe pass on the wrong side of the road, nearly hitting him head-on, and well within the state’s three-foot passing distance. And tells the driver to never do that again, because “We don’t need more Ghost Bikes…”

The current owner of a San Antonio, Texas bike shop once owned by a fallen bicyclist struggles to accept the slap on the wrist given the drunk driver who killed him. Cases like this send a clear message that driving drunk and killing another human being is really no big deal. And the lives of people on bicycles don’t matter.

A Dallas writer tries out an Italian robotic bike fit machine, and concludes that a real human can do a much better job.

The New York Daily News takes the outgoing mayor to task for the carnage on the streets and the failure of the city’s Vision Zero, as traffic deaths have risen to the highest level since the program was adopted in 2014.

Frank Ocean is one of us, proudly riding his Van Moof ebike through the streets of New York.

A alleged Pittsburgh bike thief died after police tased him at least five times because he kept getting up to plead that he didn’t do anything. There’s no excuse for stealing a bike. But it shouldn’t call for the death penalty.

A kindhearted Florida cop gave a 13-year old boy his first bicycle, after learning the kid had to walk miles every day to get to and from school. And his mother walked twice as far after walking each way with him, and returning home on her own.

 

International

Cycling News explains the different types of bikes, and offers advice on how to pick the right one for you.

An English man was the victim of a violent bike theft when a group of young thieves attacked him with a metal pipe as he rode along a towpath, stealing his $4,800 Trek mountain bike and leaving him with multiple injuries to his arm, wrist and back.

You’ve got to be kidding. A court in the UK absolved a driver with a long history of speeding tickets of her latest speeding charge, after accepting her claim that she had no choice but to speed to pass a nearly invisible bike rider, whose helmet was the only thing she could see. Because evidently, slowing down until it was safe to pass just wasn’t an option. Never mind waiting until you can actually see who you’re trying to pass. 

A 60-year old British man pled guilty to killing two men riding their bikes when he plowed into them on a straight road with a 60 mph speed limit; the victims owned a company that put on sportives and charity rides.

A writer in Brussels takes advantage of the pandemic to overcome his fears and start riding a bike after 20 years in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

Prosecutors call for a slap in the wrist for the woman who allegedly caused a mass crash by holding up a sign in the first stage of the Tour de France, asking the court for just a four month suspended sentence.

Podium Cafe looks back to when legendary chanteuse Josephine Baker “sprinkled her stardust” on the pre-war Tour de France. Baker also acted as an Allied spy during the Nazi occupation of France.

Thirty-year old Katie Keough unexpectedly called it a career after more than a dozen years as a pro ‘cross cyclist, most recently competing as a guest rider for LA-based L39ION of Los Angeles.

The first-ever edition of L39ION of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams’ new Into the Lion’s Den cycling race, scheduled for Sacramento at the end of this month, will feature a new format with teams competing for their home cities.

 

Finally…

Nothing like helping a stranger fix his handlebars, only to realize it’s your own stolen bike. How to make your own DIY airless bike tires.

And that feeling when you get in over your head — almost literally — and lose your bike in the process.

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

Blaming micromobility victims in New York, accusations of bias in Texas coal-roll crash, and School Streets kicks off in LA

Before we start, I hope you’ll join me in welcoming noted San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette as our newest sponsor. 

I’ve known Duquette for some time, after connecting over some particularly egregious bike cases from San Diego and Orange Counties, as well as Riverside and Imperial Counties. Along with the advice he’s shared on topics from staying safe on the road, to how to find a good lawyer if you don’t.

I’m happy to have him join our roster of Los Angeles-area sponsors, all of whom I have personally vetted, to provide access to effective legal counsel throughout the SoCal region.

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The New York Times clutches its pearls over the rise in micromobility, noting that ridership surged 130 percent to 88.5 million in 2019, from just 38.5 million the year before.

But instead of celebrating the relative safety and convenience of e-scooters and other electric mobility devices, they choose to focus on people acting like, well, people.

Along with the human cost.

Still, the e-mobility boom has brought significant safety challenges to New York’s already congested streets. At least 17 people have been killed while riding electric mobility vehicles this year, according to city officials. Revel, which operates an electric moped share program in the city, voluntarily shut it down for a month last year after three riders were killed.

E-mobility crashes have also killed three pedestrians this year, including the actress Lisa Banes, who was knocked down by a hit-and-run scooter rider on the Upper West Side.

Many pedestrians and cyclists complain about e-bike and e-scooter riders who speed, ride on sidewalks and run red lights and go the wrong way on streets.

Although if they think e-scooters pose a risk to pedestrians, just wait until they hear about cars.

But let’s be honest.

It doesn’t take a lot of observation to realize that people do stupid things, whether they are driving cars, riding bikes, walking or piloting scooters.

And while all of those can pose a risk to others, it’s the people in cars who do the most damage.

Yes, reckless riding on a scooter is stupid, and dangerous — to the rider and those around them.

But it’s far from the biggest danger on the streets.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog responded by accusing the paper of victim blaming and trying to push people back into cars.

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No surprise here.

The law firm representing six bicyclists injured by a coal-rolling teenager in Waller County, Texas while training for a triathlon says the entire investigation of the crash has been “riddled with anti-bike bias.”

Then again, that was obvious the moment police allowed the 16-year old driver to go home with his parents instead of pressing charges.

Or even issuing a damn ticket.

Meanwhile, the local DA made it clear he doesn’t want to take the heat.

“This case was not handled appropriately by the investigating agency. PERIOD,” Mathis wrote in a Facebook post. “Despite being encouraged by the Texas Department of Public Safety to treat the scene as a crime scene and to contact the D.A.‘s Office for advice on how to proceed, the investigating agency chose not to do so.”

Then there’s this, providing the first public clue as to why the kid appears to have been handled with kid gloves.

The attorneys say the 16-year-old was “coal rolling” the cyclists shortly before plowing into them, and said the teen’s connections to Waller County officials were the reason he was allowed to leave the scene after being questioned.

On Monday, Mathis acknowledged these connections, but added that investigators have yet to “see evidence of a city official directing the officer on the scene as to how to handle this particular situation.”

Although chances are, in a small county like that, no one had to tell the cops on the scene who the kid was.

Especially after mom and dad showed up.

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Now that’s more like it.

Los Angeles is closing a section of Westmoreland Ave to cars as part of the School Streets pilot program.

https://twitter.com/_KennyUong_/status/1447703817630322689

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Everyone knows there’s no point in reinventing the wheel.

Which may be why automakers keep insisting on reinventing the bicycle, instead.

https://twitter.com/dorfman_baruch/status/1447790128882200576

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

No bias here. A Virginia letter writer complains that the area needs more more roads for cars, not bike lanes. But he can’t seem to decide if bike riders are lawbreaking, uninsured and unlicensed scofflaws, or children pedaling on toys around their own neighborhoods.

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

An Oregon man faces an attempted murder charge for stabbing a car passenger in an apparent road rage incident, which began when he started throwing rocks at the victim’s car.

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Local

Coffee, pastries, gravel, ocean views, bbq and beer. What’s not to like?

Spectrum News 1 checks in on Sunday’s return of CicLAvia to DTLA.

Pasadena now has an extra $462,900 to spend on DUI checkpoints, distracted driving enforcement, and bike and pedestrian safety operations, courtesy of a state grant. What, they couldn’t round up and make in an even $463,000 for some reason? Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey is one of us, taking his roadie for a ride through the ‘Bu on Sunday.

 

State

California Congressman Jimmy Panetta says it’s disappointing that the proposed federal ebike tax credit was cut in half in a House committee, but it’s still a start. Disappointing doesn’t begin to describe it, especially when e-car buyers get ten times the $750 tax credit they’re planning to offer ebike buyers. 

An eight-year old Santa Maria girl was hospitalized after a truck driver crashed into her bicycle with enough force to break it in half; no word on her condition.

The New York Times’ California Today newsletter looks at San Francisco’s Clement Street commercial district as a local example of the 15-minute city, where everything you need on a daily basis is just 15 minutes away, without setting foot in a car.

 

National

Specialized is recalling all of their Tarmac SL7 road bikes due to the risk of steerer tube failure. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for Outside finds joy again on her ebike, after getting a life-changing medical diagnosis.

When you’re tired of fixing flats, just build your own airless bike tires.

Portland should have a new 475-foot bike and pedestrian bridge over I-84 next summer, named for the city’s bike-friendly Congressman Earl Blumenauer. It’s an odd choice for a name since he isn’t dead or retired, which is usually the primary requirement to get something named after you.

A member of Colorado’s Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe wants you to acknowledge the land you’re riding on, and the ancestors who were there first. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Topeka, Kansas is doing the right thing, giving away over 700 decommissioned bikes from the city’s former bikeshare program, rather than tossing them on the scrapheap, as too often happens.

Evidently, bike thieves have a heart in New Hampshire, where a woman got her stolen bike back after she posted a note asking for its return.

Tragic news from New York, where an ebike rider was killed by a wrong way driver while riding in a bike lane that had recently been downgraded from a protected lane, because drivers couldn’t resist driving over all the little car-tickler plastic bendie posts.

Hundreds of New Orleans residents Ride for their Lives to demand better safety for people on bicycles.

A Florida Good Samaritan replaced a disabled woman’s stolen adaptive trike for her birthday.

 

International

The New York Times memorializes Iohan Gueorguiev, famed as the Bike Wanderer for his six-year bikepacking quest traveling from the Arctic to Patagonia, which he documented on his YouTube channel; Gueorguiev committed suicide in August while riding out the pandemic at a friend’s home in British Columbia.

Riders on high-end bikes are being targeted in London’s Richmond Park, with at least three bike-jackings in the last six days, including pro cyclist Alexandar Richardson, who was relieved of his $13,600 bicycle.

Scotland is introducing a new campaign to promote hostels and bike tourism, inspired by the discovery of an 85-year old diary from a then 17-year old girl who toured the Highlands by bike with her two sisters.

A British man got a well-deserved year behind bars for pushing another man off his ebike after claiming it was really his, and making off with it while the victim lay unconscious in the street. Although a year seems a little light, considering he already had a 62-count rap sheet over the past 15 years.

Forbes promotes five new hosted European bike tours, starting at $3,199 for an ebike tour from Croatia to Montenegro. Or spend over five grand, and see where Slovenian cyclists Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič got their start.

French police are investigating the murder of a Spanish bikepacker, who was found in the roadway with several facial injuries, close to a popular cross-country bicycling route just south of Lyon on a trip that had started in the Netherlands.

He gets it. Volkswagen’s CEO says “Biking is fun, healthy and good for the environment” and a vital part of the urban mobility mix.

Good news from Afghanistan, where 38 people associated with the country’s women’s cycling team have reached asylum in Switzerland, with help from international cycling’s governing body.

Japan belatedly decides that sensor-operated automatic braking systems on cars should avoid killing bike riders, too. But gives carmakers three years to keep doing it.

Malaysian prosecutors aren’t giving up, filing yet another appeal to a higher court after charges were dismissed against a woman for killing eight teenage kids riding modified basikal lajak bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Prior to this year, only three cyclists had ever won Il Lombardia and the Tour de France in the same season — Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault. Now you can make that four, after 23-year old Tadej Pogačar accomplished the rare feat last weekend.

Hats off to 22-year old triathlete Chris Nikic, who became the first athlete with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman competition.

Colorado authorities belatedly identified the mountain biker who died during this year’s Leadville Trail 100, reporting he was killed by blunt force trauma to his chest, supporting the theory that he crashed at high speed.

 

Finally…

A business writer says it’s always the right time to get on your bike and think — or dictate your column while on a 426-mile fundraising ride. That feeling when you overstate the amount of your bike and pedestrian grant by a mere ten times.

And apparently, bicyclists don’t pay road tax. Or boat tax, either.

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

$10 million ebike rebate added to CA budget, onerous bikeshare insurance bill, and Beverly Hills gives up on bikeshare

This is beginning to look like a watershed year for bicycle bills in Sacramento.

Calbike writes that a proposed $10 million program to help Californians buy ebikes has made it into the latest draft of next year’s state budget.

SACRAMENTO – CalBike is thrilled to announce that legislators approved a $10 million e-bike incentive program in next year’s state budget. Funded as part of the state’s campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, the program will help thousands of Californians get access to e-bikes to replace car trips. Bikes eligible will include bikes “designed for people with disabilities; utility bicycles for carrying equipment or passengers, including children; and folding bicycles.”

It joins bills to decriminalize jaywalking (AB 1238) and allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields (AB122), which both pass out of committee in the state senate last week.

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Calbike and the LACBC are also stepping up efforts to oppose AB371, which would force bikeshare and e-scooter providers to extend insurance coverage to their customers, which could have a chilling effect on micromobility.

This is why we are frightened by a bill in the state Senate that could kill shared bike and scooter systems. It would require nonprofits, government agencies, and private companies that operate shared bike and scooter systems to extend their liability coverage to the sole negligence or reckless behavior of a rider, setting a legal precedent that no other industry is subject to. Just like a rental car company cannot be held liable for the reckless actions of their drivers (Graves Amendment), neither should shared bike and scooter operators Further, the proposed form of insurance would be highly susceptible to fraud due to the low cost and ease of staging accidents, with minimal burden of proof.

The bill would even apply to the nonprofits and government agencies that just got funded to operate bike share systems with some of the $20 million in Clean Mobility Options grants. The Air Resources Board clearly understands the potential of these systems; the legislature should also, and abandon this attempt to impose a fatally impractical requirement.

Let’s hope they get it.

While more probably can and should be done to protect bikeshare and scooter users, and those around them, this is not the time to make them financially untenable and drive micromobility users back into their cars.

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You can kiss Beverly Hills Bike Share goodbye.

The tony city is joining a growing list of SoCal cities in pulling up stakes on its docked bikeshare system at the end of this month.

I wouldn’t hold your breath on those new shared mobility options, though.

At least not as far as bikes or scooters are concerned.

Thanks to David Drexler for the forward.

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Cable news outlet Spectrum News 1 highlighted Walk ‘n Rollers bike repair hub and free bicycle distribution program.

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

No bias here. The mayor of an Iowa town is begging for lawsuits, let alone funerals, after posting a large sign telling drivers not to stop for bike riders where a popular bike trail crosses a two lane highway. Even though he insists he rides a bike himself, and only wants to improve safety by encouraging people in cars to kill people on bikes just keep going. Sure, let’s go with that.

A London school is using traffic cones to block a new bikeway, claiming bicyclist are endangering the students — never mind that they’re endangering their own students and parents who ride bikes to school.

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

An English ebike rider with defective brakes walked without a day behind bars after he was sentenced for recklessly weaving in and out of traffic before running a red light and crashing into a car; he suffered serious head injuries in the crash.

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Local

Los Angeles was ranked as the nation’s 14th most future-focused city, based in part on LA’s bike score. No, really.

KCRW considers what a post-pandemic Los Angeles will look like, as UCLA architecture and urban design professor Dana Cuff points to CicLAvia as a sign of hope.

LA Taco offers a photographic look at the annual Chief Lunes Fireworks Party Ride through DTLA and Glendale on the 3rd.

Pasadena is looking for input on the city’s proposed pedestrian plan.

KNBC4 sounds its “bulbous bike horn” over the return of CicLAvia in Wilmington next month.

 

State

There’s justice for a fallen San Diego bike rider, after Abbas Karama Shariff copped a plea in the hit-and-run death of 35-year-old Daryl Treadwell in May of last year; he’ll be sentenced to the maximum penalty of four years behind bars.

A new study from San Diego’s Juiced Bikes confirms that riding a ped-assist bike over challenging terrain burns as many calories as a game of basketball. Playing, that is, not watching.

Streetsblog San Francisco calls Oakland’s decision to keep the protected bike lanes on Telegraph Ave a “resounding win for safety.”

Bike riders in Los Altos are calling a new freeway expansion project a death zone, with riders on the Foothill Expressway now expected to cross left over double right turn lanes in order to keep going straight.

Sad news from Chico, after it turned out the bikepacker killed by a grizzly bear while camping in Montana earlier this week was a 65-year old woman from the NorCal city.

 

National

Bicycling says yes, there’s a shortage of bicycles and parts due to the pandemic bike boom, but you don’t have to be a jerk about it. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Outdoor Life rates trunk-mounted bike racks.

A pair of Nebraska nonprofits formed the state’s first all-girl mountain bike team to encourage young women to get out and ride.

There’s a special place in hell for the owner of a historic St. Louis building, who is threatening to evict a bike charity by Monday after the bicycles they’d planned to donate to disadvantaged kids were damaged in a partial building collapse last summer — even though the owner was renting them space in a building that had been condemned in 2013. They estimate it will take another $40,000 to clean and repair the bikes so they can be safely ridden.

A Houston rabbi is recovering from multiple broken bones after the bike path he was riding on ended without warning, and he crashed into some large traffic barrels that were lining the roadway.

A Virginia bike shop owner calls the state’s new law requiring drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle “a blessing,” saying most people didn’t know how to judge the previous three-foot passing requirement.

Good for them. Inspired by a five-year old amputee, a group of Lafayette, Louisiana high school students are hoping to take a product they developed for a robotics competition to market; the adaptation kit they created can be added to any bicycle in minutes to assist people with missing or compromised legs to ride a bike.

 

International

A group of young Bolivians are battling pollution by forming the first bicycle messenger and delivery service in the smog-choked city of Cochabamba.

This is the cost of traffic violence. An eleven-month old baby is dead and his father hospitalized after they were collateral damage in a collision between the drivers of a supercar and an SUV in Vancouver, when one of the vehicles slammed into a group of pedestrians.

I want to be like them when I grow up. Canada’s Royal Academy of Octogenarian Cyclists Facebook group is for people over 80 who still love to ride a bike.

When my wife and I visited London several years ago, we quickly learned walking around Parliament and Westminster Abbey meant taking your life in your hands. Now plans are in place to cut Westminster speed limits to just 20 mph to improve safety and encourage more people to walk and bike.

Call it a royal tandem, as the queen’s daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, took to two wheels to support a “new initiative to tackle rising unemployment among people who are blind or partially sighted,” with the program’s appeal manager as stoker.

A British motorcycle rider got three years behind bars for fleeing the scene after slamming into a bicycle rider when he clipped the wheel of another bicycle and sliding across the roadway. He was arrested after he returned to the site of the crash on a borrowed bicycle, and was chased down by a cop who had to borrow another bike to catch him.

A new Austrian study confirms what most of us already suspected — suburban living is the worst for carbon emissions.

Victoria, Australia will give new See.Sense smart lights that collect roadway data to 1,000 bike riders in an effort improve safety for bicyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yesterday’s Tour de France winner claimed his fourth career stage win, on the most prestigious stage of the world’s most prestigious bike race. Meanwhile, no change in the yellow jersey, even if it did crack a bit.

Germany cyclist Tony Martin was forced to abandon the Tour after crashing into a ditch.

Sadly, we don’t have to worry about spoilers in women’s cycling. Twenty-one-year old Dane Emma Norsgaard won her first stage in the Giro Donne by just edging out SoCal’s Coryn Rivera on a course that circled Lake Como. No word on whether they waved to George and Amal Clooney as they went by.

Pink Bike examines how technology pioneered in mountain bikes is making its way into pro cycling.

Flo Bikes looks forward to this weekend’s Mountain Bike Nationals. They’re being held at the Colorado resort where I learned to ski, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

A 29-year old Poway man with cerebral palsy is on his way to Tokyo to compete on the US cycling team in the Paralympic Games.

 

Finally…

Police seldom have much of a sense of humor when you blow through the barricades and nearly run over a bunch of bike cops. Los Angeles bike riders have to watch out for LA drivers; bike riders in Maine have to beware of itchy caterpillars.

And this is what the latest installment in the Fast & Furious franchise looks like to a traffic safety advocate.

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

More details on 91-year old man killed by drunken e-scooter rider; LA barely avoids bottom in ranking of American bike cities

More information on the elderly man killed by a Venice e-scooter rider we mentioned yesterday.

According to CBS2/KCAL9, 29-year old James Cody Skene was riding on the sidewalk Saturday night at Lincoln Blvd and Marco Court when he slammed into 91-year old Yin Wu.

Yin died at the scene after hitting his head on the sidewalk.

Initial reports indicated that both Skene and the woman sharing the scooter with him suffered minor injuries; it’s illegal for two people to share a scooter under California law.

Skene was arrested on a DUI charge.

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Yet another clickbait study professes to rank America’s best bike cities.

The report, from lawn care company LawnStarter, rated the 200 largest cities based on criteria ranging from bike lanes per square mile to fatalities and air quality.

For instance, LA’s crappy roads were unsurprisingly in the bottom 25% in terms of road quality, checking in at 163 nationally, while San Francisco came in two ranks lower.

Yet despite that, San Francisco just edged out Portland for number one, while my Colorado hometown checked in at number three.

Los Angeles came in at a deservedly low, low 145 overall, just beating out Bakersfield.

Yes, Bakersfield.

SoCal cities making the top 100 were

  • Orange 37
  • San Diego 48
  • Pasadena 51
  • Ontario 53
  • Long Beach 57
  • Irvine 58
  • Huntington Beach 59
  • Garden Grove 64
  • Torrance 66
  • Santa Ana 77
  • San Bernardino 89
  • Escondido 96
  • Rancho Cucamonga 98

Santa Monica is evidently too small to make the list, while all the other SoCal cities on the list joined Los Angeles in the bottom half loser’s bracket.

But at least we rank higher in their listing of America’s horniest cities.

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Writer Richard Fox, author of enCYCLEpedia Southern California: The Best Easy Scenic Bike Ridesforwards this Bike Month interview with a Palm Springs TV station discussing bike safety and where to ride in the Coachella Valley.

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Despite what the anti-bike lane crowd will tell you, bikes increase accessibility for people who might not otherwise be able to walk or drive.

But they need our support, too.

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GCN pits an ebike against a car in a commuter challenge to see who can make it through urban traffic the fastest.

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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. The California tow truck driver who slammed into a group of bicyclists after running a red light, killing a 29-year old woman and injuring several others, has been released on a single lousy misdemeanor count. Although police say more charges could be filed pending further investigation.

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

An ebike rider threatened a group of NYPD traffic cops, saying he would kill them if he was armed, before punching their van’s side mirror. Which kind of makes you wonder what they did to piss him off

Never a great idea to try skitching behind a trailer on an Aussie highway. Or anywhere else.

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Local

New e-scooters from Spin and Bird may soon be able to detect when they’re being illegally ridden on sidewalks, and issue audible and written notifications. Although a better solution would be to simply shut them down and make scofflaw sidewalk riders walk the rest of the way.

 

State

Calbike calls on everyone to sign a petition to support AB 1401, which aims to increase affordable housing by eliminating parking requirements near transit.

Construction will start next year on a bike path connecting Santa Claus Lane south of Santa Barbara to Carpinteria, closing a gap in the California Coastal Trail and providing better beach access for people on bicycles.

A driver somehow ended up on a Sacramento bike path after a crash.

A Yuba County man faces a DUI charge after running down a 56-year old woman riding her bike, leaving her with severe injuries. But at least he drove her to the hospital after the crash.

 

National

Wired examines the debate over changes to the 862-page Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices, better known as the MUTCD, calling it an arcane manual that could pave the way to more human-friendly cities.

Outside says 2021 is the year of the bike, and gathers stories from the past year to give you all the information you need to get going or take your riding to the next level.

Speaking of Outside, they consider the problem larger riders have finding a bike, saying most bicycles aren’t made for plus-size bodies. And help you find some that are.

Men’s Health offers their choices for the best bike helmets for every type of rider, with prices starting at just under $30.

The FBI is joining the search for a missing 11-year old Iowa boy who disappeared after going out for a bike ride.

Nice. A new I-74 bridge connecting Iowa and Illinois over the Mississippi River will get a 14-foot wide, fully ADA compliant protected bike and pedestrian path.

Chicago active transportation advocates renew their call for an actual protected bike lane network in the city.

Adventures in bad headlines: A Connecticut paper writes that a driver was not at fault in a collision with a bicycle. Never mind that the bike came complete with a 13-year old boy attached to it.

Tragic news from New York, where a 54-year old woman was killed in a collision with an ebike rider in Queens.

The nation’s largest annual charity cycling event will return this year, when the 32,000-rider Five Boro Bike Tour returns to the streets of New York this August.

A 61-year old New York pastor plans to hop on his bike and ride 3,000 miles across the US to raise $25,000 for the Bowery Mission, repeating a ride he first took 43 years earlier.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Reading, Pennsylvania man is still going strong on his bike.

An eight-mile Memorial Day bike ride in Tuskegee, Alabama honored the historic Tuskegee Airmen, who successfully fought the Nazis over Europe and racism in the US, both with honor.

 

International

Feel free to leave your clothes at home when the first post-Covid edition of the World Naked Bike Ride returns to Vancouver next week.

A moving piece from a Canadian writer, who celebrates the open streets and low traffic of pandemic era Toronto — despite the death of his own father, who was killed by a driver while riding his bike less than 20 minutes from his Nova Scotia home.

Heartbreaking photo from London, showing an abandoned bicycle lying in the roadway where an 18-year old boy was stabbed to death.

An English man was lucky to escape with a shattered cheekbone, courtesy of a suicidal squirrel that crossed his path while he was riding at speed on a steep descent; sadly, the squirrel did not fare as well.

Scottish cops will don plain clothes and get on their bikes to enforce the country’s safe passing laws this summer, as researchers suggest everyone who regularly rides a bike in the UK will experience a pass so close it can frighten them off their bikes. It’s no different over here, except police are more likely to insist that three-foot passing laws are unenforceable. And yes, I’m looking at you, LAPD. And LA Sheriff’s Department. And CHP. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up. 

Tragic news from the UK, where a motorcyclist collided with a bicyclist, killing both riders.

A bike ride to protest the lack of bicycle infrastructure in Luxembourg will take place as planned, despite an official denial of their permit request for the ride.

No surprise here, as the Swedish ambassador to Vietnam is making a point of exploring Hanoi by bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Colnago is unveiling the first-ever official bicycle of the Tour de France; the black and yellow limited edition bike will set you back a mere $16,999.

 

Finally…

The perfect bicycle when you can’t decide whether you want pedals, an ebike or a gas engine — and want it to look like a bespoke early motorcycle. A little inspiration when you want to permanently ink your love of bikes.

And if you’re willing to ride 20 miles through a bike-unfriendly town just to see your girlfriend, you either really love her, or love riding your bike.

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Thanks once again to Matthew R for his monthly donation help keep this site coming your way every day; donations of any size are always appreciated, no matter how large or small, whether recurring or otherwise.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

“Elderly” Venice man killed by drunken e-scooter user, white woman orders Black prof off “her” road, and ebike bias in CO

Tragic news from Venice, where an “elderly” man was killed when he was struck by an e-scooter user.

Make that an allegedly drunk scooter user.

The crash occurred around 9:45 pm Saturday on Lincoln Blvd at East Marco Court.

According to a report for KABC-7, the scooter rider was allegedly 1) illegally riding on the sidewalk, while 2) illegally carrying a woman passenger on the back, and while 3) wasted.

The victim, who was described only as elderly, or by other accounts, older — which could mean just about anything — died at the scene after hitting his head on the sidewalk.

Both people on the scooter suffered minor injuries, while the man operating it was arrested at the scene for DUI.

It’s unclear whether he can be charged under the state law prohibiting driving under the influence, or the statute prohibiting biking under the influence, which carries a much lower penalty.

This serves as yet another tragic reminder that sidewalks are intended for pedestrians.

While it’s legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in some California cities, you’re required to operated it safely, without posing an undue risk to people on foot. And basic human decency demands that you give as much space as possible and warn people before passing.

On the other hand, it is always illegal to ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk, or with a passenger.

And never while drunk or stoned.

Although I’d much rather see someone ride a bike or scooter while under the influence of anything than get behind the wheel of a car, which posses a much greater risk to everyone on the road.

But as this crash tragically shows, you can still pose a needless — and potentially fatal — risk to others.

Photo by Martin Péchy from Pexels.

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Racism, or just NIMBYism taken to the extreme?

Or more likely, both.

Black University of Washington med school professor Edwin Lindo went out for a bike ride while on vacation, and ran into a white woman — aka a “Becky” — who literally told him he couldn’t ride his bicycle on the road she paid for with her property taxes.

No, really.

https://twitter.com/EdwinLindo/status/1398870887630139397

Seriously, there is no effing excuse for that crap.

Ever.

Period.

Fortunately, Lindo didn’t let a little racism chase him off his bike.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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No bias here.

A story from the Denver Post tries to offer advice for ebike riders, particularly of the novice persuasion.

And they mostly kinda get it right.

Although this comment from an Aspen mountain bike instructor totally misses the mark.

“This is a framework of why it’s so important for e-bikers to have etiquette because they are now powered up with a weapon, really, that goes 20 miles an hour,” he said. “I say ‘weapon’ because now they can hurt themselves and others pretty easily.”

Never mind that it’s pretty easy to do 20 mph on a road bike, without a motor. And not that unusual on a mountain bike.

And while there’s no shortage of rude and/or inexperienced bike riders, no bicycle is a weapon, unless someone — like a cop, for instance — picks it up and uses it that way.

There’s there’s this bit of advice, which they apparently think is so important that it was repeated verbatim in a caption.

Though you may be tempted to ride side-by-side with your friends or family members so you can chat on your e-bikes, always ride single file and as far to the right as possible, unless you’re passing. This gives other cyclists and cars an opportunity to pass you safely.

Where do we even start?

This is sort-of decent advice for trail riders, but horrible for those riding on the road.

Yes, try to keep to the right on trails so faster riders can pass you. Unless you’re the faster rider, in which case you should pass politely.

And try not to ride abreast if it means clogging up the trail so others can’t enjoy it.

But on the road, riding like a gutter bunny puts you a greater risk of unsafe passes.

Most authorities, like the League of American Bicyclists and Cycling Savvy — and even Caltrans, for those of us in California — tell you to ride in the center of the lane, unless there’s a shoulder wide enough and clean enough to ride safely.

Riding two or more abreast in a single traffic lane can also increase your visibility and help hold the lane by forcing drivers to move into the next lane to pass you.

It’s also legal to ride abreast in many states, but check the law where you ride before trying it.

Like here in California, where police sometimes misapply the requirement ti right to the right to ticket people who ride abreast, even though there’s not one word prohibiting it under California law.

And they may not get it right where you are, either.

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Meet what may be LA County’s first protected bike lane.

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Cars don’t belong in parks. Even police cars.

That’s what bike cops are for.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1398844138775212036

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The LACBC has put together a number of training rides for this month’s LA Rivers Challenge.

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Megan Lynch forwards this video profiling the last of Ireland’s cycling posties, from 1975.

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This is what rush hour could look like in Los Angeles.

But probably won’t until we get new leadership.

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That feeling when you have a stowaway on your bike.

https://twitter.com/KathrynBertine/status/1398274331885522948

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

In what may be an act of sabotage, someone left industrial razor blades in the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd. Even if it was just an accidental spill, the blades could cause a deadly crash by slicing through a rider’s tire, spilling them into heavy high-speed traffic.

Then there’s this from the UK.

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

Police in New York are looking for an ebike-riding gunman who killed another man who was sitting in a parked car in broad daylight.

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Local

Streetsblog examines the outdated plan to widen Burbank Blvd in North Hollywood to add a third traffic lane in each direction, and make it meet “Major Highway Standards.” Which would violate the intent, if not the letter, of LA’s Vision Zero plan and the transportation portion of Mayor’s Green New Deal.

They get it. The LA Times comes out against plans to widen the 710 Freeway, calling it “a zombie project from another era.”

 

State

While the state and feds debate providing ebike rebates, ebike buyers in San Mateo County could get an $800 rebate from the local clean energy company.

Speaking of which, an op-ed from a Bay Area professor calls on the state to pass a bill providing ebike rebates for up to 10,000 buyers.

A Marin paper says a new countywide ebike bikeshare could offer a first mile/last mile solution for public transportation. However, that depends on whether they’re willing to provide safe places to ride them.

A Placer County columnist says we all accept a little risk when we ride a bike, but don’t be stupid about it.

 

National

This is what a salt and barnacle encrusted Lime bike looks like after it’s pulled out of a Seattle sound.

A new Washington transit user takes understandable pride in figuring out how to use the bike rack on the bus.

Horrible news from Tucson, Arizona, where a tow truck driver ran a red light and slammed into a group of bicyclists, killing a 29-year old woman and sending four other people to the emergency room; a sixth rider was struck, but didn’t suffer serious injuries. Meanwhile, the community is rallying to support the victimsThanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

Former NBA star Mark Eaten died after going out for a bike ride Friday night; the two-time defensive player of the year with the Utah Jazz was found unconscious on the side of the road, and died at a local hospital; authorities said there was no reason to believe a car was involved. Even though drivers can easily force riders off their bikes without ever making contact. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Kindhearted people in a tiny town in eastern Colorado raised funds to donate 150 bicycles, scooters and skateboards for local kids.

A Pittsburgh neighborhood gets tired of speeding drivers, so they ordered their own speed bump through Amazon.

In another multiple victim crash, a Pennsylvania woman suffered life-threatening injuries and another woman suffered minor injuries when they were both run down by a hit-and-run driver in Virginia, despite wearing reflective vests, with headlights and flashers on their bikes.

A group of Black women rode from Harlem to DC, covering 250 miles in 65 hours to replicate a ride taken by another group of Black women 93 years earlier, while raising funds to provide good used bikes to people in need.

Great idea. The Black Chamber of Commerce in New Orleans is installing free bike racks in front of Black-owned businesses to “help encourage safe and equitable transportation” to get there.

New Orleans NIMBYs repeat the same complaints you’ll hear anywhere bike lanes go in, arguing that bollards for the city’s first protected bike lanes are ugly, and that replacing traffic lanes with bike lanes increases congestion. At least they didn’t say the markings on the street make them dizzy, like Coronado residents did a few years ago.

 

International

Experts weigh in on what comes next for the pandemic-driven bike boom.

The kindhearted members of the Medicine Hat, Alberta Rotary Club refurbished 79 bicycles to give to people in need.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old Alberta, Canada man rides a little more than six miles around town every day, sometimes twice a day, after his grown children gave him a bike for his birthday.

A Welsh Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist tells drivers to be patient, after she was knocked off her bike by a hit-and-run driver.

A speeding, coked-up English driver got a well-deserved three years behind bars for slamming into a six-year old boy on a bicycle, leaving the kid with a dangerous brain bleed; fortunately, the boy is expected to make a full recovery. And yes, he probably deserved a hell of a lot more than that.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Irish driver walked when he was acquitted of dangerous driving for slamming into a group of bicyclists, and killing a 34-year old woman — despite coming around a blind curve at high speed on the wrong side of road — in part because the victim may have fallen off her bike before the impact. Never mind that she was probably just trying to get the hell out of his way to avoid getting killed.

Up to 10,000 bike riders turned out for Critical Mass in Zurich, Switzerland to call attention to dangers posed by motorists.

Bike riders in eleven German towns rode to protest the American blockade of Cuba.

The Spanish paracycling championships were called off after a volunteer was killed by an ambulance during the competition.

Belarus was deservedly stripped of hosting duties for next month’s European track cycling championships, after the country faked a bomb threat to hijack a plane so they could arrest a dissident journalist who had fled the country.

Sad news from India, where the father of the Bicycle Girl has died, possibly from Covid-19; she gained international fame by pedaling across the country to carry her ill father home during the country’s first lockdown.

Disgusting story from Israel, where a small child was detained at gunpoint for the crime of flying a Palestinian flag from his bicycle. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

Great idea. Dubai has installed bike counters on a 20-mile long bike path, providing users with a realtime bike count, as well as weather conditions, announcements and warnings.

The pandemic bike boom set a record for bicycle imports to Australia, coupled with a 50% increase in bike sales.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tour de France champ Egan Bernal clinched his first victory in the Giro by wearing the pink leader’s jersey into Milan’s Piazza Duomo as his Colombian countrymen celebrated.

Italy’s Damiano Caruso called himself “the happiest man in the world” after an unplanned victory in the Giro’s penultimate stage, which clinched an unexpected second-place finish for the three-week stage race.

Cycling Tips offers a behind the scenes Giro photo essay capturing the views you couldn’t get on TV. Or at all, for most of us in the US.

And this pretty well puts Bernal’s win in perspective.

It turns out the blue front tires used by the Jumbo-Visma team in this week’s Critérium du Dauphiné are just a marketing promotion for a European bicycle subscription service.

Keep an eye on 19-year old cyclist Riley Amos, who won the 2021 edition of Colorado’s Iron Horse Bicycle Classic; the road race was the launching pad for another young rider named Sepp Kuss recently. The women’s race was won by pro mountain biker and once and future Olympian Erin Huck.

The Belgian Waffle Ride offers a beginner’s clinic for California riders interested in taking part in the popular gravel race.

 

Finally…

Your new ebike could look like a very skinny Vespa. Your next cargo bike could (clumsily) charge itself.

And evidently, indoor trainers are nothing new.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

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Happy Pride Month to everyone in the LGBTQ+ community, and all their supporters. And yes, you can proudly include me in that last group. 

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Ex-NBA star Shawn Bradley paralyzed in bike crash, Lime gets colorful, and calls for all bikes to be included in Fed rebate plan

Let’s start with the bad news.

Former NBA star Shawn Bradley, one of the tallest men to play pro basketball, announced yesterday that he’s now paralyzed after he was struck by a driver while riding his bicycle.

The 7’6″ center played 11 seasons in the NBA, the last eight with the Dallas Mavericks, where he became a cornerstone of the team.

According to Bradley, he was just a block from his home in St. George, Utah, when he was run down from behind eight weeks ago.

He suffered a traumatic injury to his spinal cord and underwent surgery to fuse vertebra in his neck. There’s no word on where the paralysis starts, but it implies he may be paralyzed from the neck down.

There’s also no word on whether his condition is permanent. Doctors predict an extremely difficult recovery, while the eight week delay in announcing the injury suggests he may have waited in vain for signs of improvement before going public.

And there’s no mention made of the driver, or whether any charges will be filed.

But as many people have commented on social media, it would have been very hard not to see a seven and a half foot man on a bicycle directly in front of his or her car.

Bradley now plans to use his injury to promote bicycle safety.

And yes, this is exactly the cost of traffic violence.

Meanwhile, Slate gets it, writing that Bradley’s crash is no more a “bicycle accident” than a shark attack is a swimming accident.

Thanks to Opus the Poet and Anthony D. Morrow for the heads-up.

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Lime is unveiling colorful, new and improved e-scooters in the City of Angels.

The new Lime scooter ​features upgrades that make it slightly heavier than the current G2.5 fleet, leading to more stability and durability during rides. Larger wheels and improved suspension lend to a smoother ride, particularly when riding over bumps. The upgraded battery can support up to 18.6 miles on a single charge, versus 14 miles with the older fleet. Other features include:

  •  Dynamic brake on front wheel and drum brake on rear wheel
  • Bicycle-style brake lever on handle bars
  • Motor lock on front wheel when not in use
  • Bluetooth-enabled locking cable that can be attached
  • Folding kickstand, optimized for stability

 

The company also wants to give you a deal to check it out.

To help riders get acclimated to its new scooter fleet, Lime is running a promotion for those who spot one of the first scooters to be deployed this week. From today until Wednesday, March 24th, if riders in LA share a photo of the new scooter design on social media with #LimeisRedLA, Lime will provide the rider a promocode for a free unlock.

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C|net examines the proposal for a $1,500 federal rebate on the purchase of a ebike.

However, a couple people wisely pointed out in yesterday’s comments that any rebate should apply to regular bicycles, as well as ebikes.

Because regular bikes offer exactly the same social and economic benefits as ebikes, with less damage to the environment from power generation and discarded batteries.

Although more ebikes still represents a massive improvement compared to motor vehicles.

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This is what can be done with a little imagination.

Thanks to Shadow Teams for forwarding the tweet.

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How to ride a bike with no hands, in case you failed to master the skill in your youth.

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

No bias here. The BBC is criticized for a “one-sided” report on London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of Slow Streets in the US — that was “devoid of any fact-checking.” Meanwhile, a Parliament member claims LTNs are “more contentious than air strikes on Syria.” Scroll down if that last link doesn’t land in the right spot.

London’s Kensington and Chelsea districts deny pleas for the return of a popup bike lane that was unceremoniously ripped out after just seven weeks last December, even though the public supports it by a two-to-one margin.

A red light-running driver nearly takes out a Singapore bike rider crossing legally in a crosswalk, with the green light.

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

It takes a major schmuck to punch a 14-year old New York boy in the face, then ride off with his cellphone.

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Local

LAist looks at what legalizing speed cams would mean for Los Angeles.

Transportation PAC Streets For All unveils their public policy positions for a greener, more sustainable and equitable Los Angeles.

Long Beach community members remember longtime bike advocate Mark Bixby and four others who died in a plane crash ten years ago; credit Bixby with fighting for bike lanes on the new Gerald Desmond Bridge.

 

State

A Santa Barbara woman takes an “easy, breezy” afternoon ride on the city’s new bikeshare program.

Los Altos approves the Bay Area city’s first two-way cycle track.

Better late than never. Livermore police have belatedly decided that a fallen bike rider wasn’t at fault after all when she was fatally right hooked by a truck driver, who fled the scene following the crash; they had originally blamed her for riding in the crosswalk, which is perfectly legal under California law.

 

National

The new Kit Critic for VeloNews explains how and why she breaks all the bikewear rules.

Evidently, it’s not just Los Angeles. We’ve spent the last couple days discussing the dangers of speeding drivers; now a new study from Portland lays the blame for a rash of pedestrian deaths at the feet of drivers who can’t seem to keep their feet off the gas.

Kindhearted cops in Walla Walla, Washington gave a new bike to a high school student who needed transportation to get to his job; the Walla Walla Area Crime Watch has donated 180 bicycles to people in need in the last six years. And yes, it’s entirely possible that I included this item just for the chance to keep repeating Walla Walla.

Houston students may be learning virtually, but an elementary school book bike is proving to be a huge hit to keep students engaged and learning.

Cannondale’s new Times Square ad campaign promotes ebikes, while Brompton tackles agism.

A Philadelphia op-ed says Vision Zero is crucial to the city’s future.

Awful news from Miami, where an entertainment and technology expert and experienced bicyclist tried to beat a drawbridge on his bike and didn’t make it, falling to his death.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on how to buy a bike cam, and recommends their picks to record your rides. Seriously, a cam mounted to your bike or helmet is the best legal protection if anything happens when you’re riding — and the best way to keep from getting blamed for it.

Wisely or not, Montreal leaves Covid fears behind and makes plans to revive the city’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride this July.

Comic actress Rebel Wilson is one of us, riding a bicycle around a London hotel ballroom to promote her new role while showing off her newly svelte-ish figure.

Mark Reilly, one of the UK’s most respected framebuilders, passed away recently; he was just 53.

Apparently, bike shop burglaries are a problem in the UK, too

Three professional Kashmiri cyclists pooled their money to open a mountain bike shop.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new Aussie documentary celebrates Phil Liggett as the voice of cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when being an ex-president doesn’t spare you from your wife’s criticisms about your bike riding. That feeling when the bike boom has nothing to do with all those bike helmets flying off the shelves — maybe literally.

And if you don’t want to get caught, maybe try stealing bicycles from a different damn trailer park every now and then.

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

LASD exonerates itself in Kizzee shooting amid calls for sheriff to resign, and e-scooters just ain’t the problem

No surprise here.

Nearly three weeks after LA County Sheriff’s Deputies shot and killed Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee, the department held it’s first press conference.

Not surprisingly, it exonerated itself completely, even while multiple investigations are still ongoing.

And even as community activist Najee Ali accused the Sheriff’s Department of trying to “blame a Black man unjustly shot … for his own murder by his deputies” while speaking on behalf of family members.

According to a department spokesperson, deputies originally attempted to stop Kizzee for riding salmon, a crime that does not normally carry the death penalty.

Kizzee reportedly was carrying a gun that had been stolen in Las Vegas, which he was not legally allowed to have due to a prior felony conviction and a restraining order.

Deputies fired at least 15 shots after spotting the weapon when he dropped it, along with some clothes he’d been carrying.

However, after giving the deputies over two weeks to get their stories straight talk to investigators, the gun somehow went from the ground, as the sheriff’s department originally stated, into Kizzee’s hand as claimed in the new report.

Never mind that security video appears to show the deputies shooting at Kizzee as he ran away.

Unfortunately, we may never know for sure what happened, since LA County Sheriff’s Deputies aren’t currently required to wear body cams.

But the shooting does raise questions, especially in a department where gang-like groups wear matching tattoos and call themselves names like the Executioners.

It doesn’t matter who Kizzee was, or whether he had a record. It also doesn’t matter that he ran from the deputies, or briefly tussled with one when they tried to tackle him.

For the crime of riding on the wrong side of the street.

What matters is whether the deputies had a legitimate reason to fear for their own lives, or that of the public, before opening fire.

Let alone whether the department can, or will, conduct an honest investigation of its own deputies. Especially under the current administration.

Because this one doesn’t begin to pass the smell test.

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On a closely related subject, the LA Times says LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has repeatedly ignored subpoenas and attempted to dodge civilian oversight, is the best advisement for the need for “muscular” oversight.

In addition, several city and county officials are calling on Villanueva to resign, including LA Councilmember David Ryu and county supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl.

Yeah, that’ll happen.

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CBS News says micromobility is proving increasingly deadly, citing 41 deaths linked to e-scooters, ebikes and hoverboards over a three-year period.

Which compares to roughly 112,500 people killed in motor vehicle collisions over the same period.

Admittedly, I’ve never been very good at math, but I’m pretty sure 41 is less that 112,500.

A lot less.

So which one is really the problem on our streets?

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Something is seriously wrong when you’re not even safe from cars and their drivers in your own home.

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Here’s one for weight weenies, as GCN investigates whether bike weight really matters in the Tour de France.

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

Police in San Diego busted a bike-riding arsonist who used “molotov cocktail-like devices” to repeatedly set shrubs on fire outside a police station.

Chicago authorities are on the lookout for a masked bike-riding groper who has assaulted several women.

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Local

The LA Times catches up with the founder of the magical Venice Electric Light Parade weekly bike ride.

A former LA city planner accuses Los Angeles officials of being closet climate change deniers in environmentalist clothing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a temporary halt to the Long Beach State Cycling Club, which is unable to keep riding under current university restrictions

 

State

Seriously? San Diego washed away a series of children’s chalk drawings supporting Black Lives Matter on a La Jolla bike path just days after they were finished, citing complaints that they were “hate speech.”

Santa Barbara is looking for a way for bike riders to coexist with pedestrians after the city closed a popular street to make room for shopping and dining while social distancing, which was also the spine of the city’s bike network.

 

National

The Idaho Stop Law is slowly spreading across the US, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

A writer for Bicycling says never mind the cliche about never forgetting to ride a bike, because the truth is, you never forget how good it feels to ride one. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out

Good question. Wired wonders why Uber wasn’t charged in the death of an Arizona bike rider who was killed by one of their driverless cars, instead of the admittedly distracted human behind the wheel.

A new study from Portland’s Alta Planning and Design says don’t cut corners on corner design to prevent unsafe turns by drivers.

A kindhearted Texas cop replaced a nine-year old boy’s bike after it was stolen.

An Arlington Texas police detective was released from the hospital following a crash that killed a fellow bicyclist when a driver plowed into the group they were riding with. But since the driver remained at the scene, it’s evidently okay.

A Houston reverend will bike 500 mies through Michigan to raise funds to fight hunger in Guatemala.

Martha Stewart is one of us, enjoying the coronavirus quarantine while popping her new line of CBD-infused fruit pate and riding her ebike around her 153-acre New York state farm.

He gets it. A New York assembly member says the state should subsidize ebike purchases to wean people off of cars. We need to start hearing that from California officials, too.

 

International

A Scottish bicyclist who was nearly killed in a Texas collision while riding across the US will attempt to set a new record for riding nonstop over 500 miles through the Scottish Highlands, taking aim at the existing record of 31 hours and 23 minutes.

Paris is the latest major city to announce that 31 miles of popup bike lanes that were installed at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown will be made permanent. That compares favorably to Los Angeles, which will make zero lanes permanent, out of the zero popup bike lanes that were installed. 

Here’s something you won’t see in the US. The king and queen of the Netherlands took a casual bike ride while meeting with local officials, wearing a suit, gown and practical pumps.

A Singapore letter writer says licensing drivers doesn’t seem to make them any safer, so maybe it’s not the answer for bike riders, either.

 

Competitive Cycling

The 600 pound gorilla that is Team Ineos finally performs as expected in the Tour de France, at least for one stage.

The president of Slovenia is pretty pumped that two of his countrymen could be standing on the final podium when the Tour gets to Paris.

The director for leading team Jumbo-Visma got the boot from the Tour after losing his cool when inspectors allegedly damaged leader Primož Roglič’s bike checking for signs of motor doping.

Defending champ Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands is out of next week’s worlds after crashing while leading the Giro Rosa

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made of wood. Seriously, don’t bite the guy whose bike you just stole.

And don’t put dog poop in Trump supporters mailboxes.

On a bike or otherwise.

………

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

CA bill could effectively ban bikeshare and e-scooters, ride for Black and Indigenous mental health, and hot bikes on LetGo

An op-ed in the LA Daily News op-ed questions why the California legislature is targeting dockless bikeshare and e-scooters.

The piece, written by Santa Monica Spoke director Cynthia Rose; Circulate San Diego ED Colin Parent, Finish the Ride and Streets Are For Everyone ED amian Kevitt, and Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, says that regardless of its intent, AB 1286 would “create new rules so onerous that micromobility operators may no longer be able to operate in California.”

Which doesn’t sound like the intended outcome.

Or the right one.

This bill doesn’t just impact newer micromobility like electric bikes and scooters, but extends to traditional, city-sponsored bike share programs as well, including the long running Bay Wheels system in the Bay Area and Metro Bike Share in Los Angeles. As our state grapples with so many pressing issues, including the economic and climate crisis, why is the legislature threatening our most sustainable and lowest cost transportation options?

First and foremost, this bill prohibits micromobility operators from using waivers of liability – the same waivers everyone signs when renting a car or taking a yoga class. No other industry is subject to a waiver provision such as the one proposed by this bill. By gratuitously singling out micromobility operators, the legislature is opening the door to unnecessary litigation, and operators have made clear they will likely have to leave California if they are not able use these waivers. Our cities will be harmed in the process, as waivers shield cities from frivolous lawsuits as well. California law already holds operators accountable and responsible for faulty devices to rightfully protect consumers, so there is simply no need to pursue these changes.

It’s understandable that legislators would want to improve liability laws regulating micromobility.

But this is like using a cannon to kill a mouse in your living room.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and the legislature will give itself a timeout to work with advocates and company representatives, and consider more carefully just how to improve safety without forcing users back into their cars.

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Former international pro basketball player Damen Bell-Holter, who was with the Boston Celtics just long enough to grab a sandwich, is hoping to have a greater impact by riding to raise funds and awareness for mental healthcare for Black and Indigenous men.

The founder of Break the (Bi)Cycle, Bell-Holter will be leading a 1,500-mile ride from Bellingham, Washington to San Diego, stopping to speak with various tribes along the way.

Bell-Holter said he’d seen similar campaigns, but the topic is one he’s long held close, speaking and raising awareness of across Alaska and elsewhere. There’s a large gap in the availability and effectiveness of mental health care for Black and Indigenous men, especially in Alaska, Bell-Holter said, resulting in intergenerational trauma that can lead to some of the highest rates of death by suicide and substance misuse in the country.

“I’ve been bouncing my head off the wall about this for a few years. There’s so much violence and abuse in Alaska. What does prevention look like,” Bell-Holter said. “There’s a lot of trauma that outside people don’t understand. Non-Native and non-Indigenous people don’t understand there’s a lot of intergenerational trauma that’s not visible from the outside.”

The goal is to raise $100,000, which will be split 20 ways, resulting in just $5,000 each for the various tribes and communities.

You can contribute through the group’s crowdfunding page. So far, they’ve raised just over $3,600 in seven weeks.

Maybe we can all share this one, and get some support for a worthy cause.

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A bike theft victim calls attention to an online chop shop hawking hot bikes on LetGo. And the problem of stolen bikes being sold on the platform in general.

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This is what Share the Road really means.

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

After an 18-year old Virginia man’s bike was hit by a pickup driver while riding with a group of other riders, he responded by breaking the driver’s mirror. And the driver responded by attacking him with a stick.

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

See above.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof rode to the rescue in his Swedish hometown, tackling a bike-riding purse snatcher who’d just robbed a 90-year old woman. Although the thief probably took a dive in hopes of drawing a penalty kick.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at the new left side, parking protected bike lanes on Grand Street in DTLA, which continues to get safer and more rideable, while most of Los Angeles languishes.

That last item said “most of Los Angeles,” because of two new protected bike lanes on Broadway and Avalon Blvd in South LA, which is the other area currently seeing safety improvements in the city.

A Pasadena website offers more information on last weekend’s Black Lives Matter ride, which visited the sites of five violent police encounters in the Rose City.

 

State

A Huntington Beach real estate agent and rock drummer remembers his halcyon days as former Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rogers bike buddy.

Newport Beach Police will be focusing on bike and pedestrian safety enforcement next month. So ride to the letter of the law when you’re in the city. And maybe even put a foot down if you see a patrol car. 

Imperial Beach has approved construction of a new 6.4-mile bike path connecting the international border with San Diego County’s Bayshore Bikeway.

The Bay Area Bike to Work Day will be changed to Bike to Wherever Days, after being moved from the usual May date to September 24th. That compares to Los Angeles County, where this year’s Bike to Work Day has apparently been postponed to when hell freezes over.

 

National

Bicycling suggests six “crazy easy” ways to welcome rookie riders into the wonderful world of bicycling; as usual, you can read the article on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall shuts you out.

A men’s website suggests hitting the road on one of the “seven best bicycles available now.” As usual, the list isn’t remotely accurate or comprehensive; on the other hand, any list that includes a fixie, a foldie and Schwinn’s reborn Krate bike can’t be all bad.

ZDNet offers advice for the ebike curious.

Apple’s new iOS14 is finally making Apple Maps useful for people on bicycles, allowing you to select the fastest route, or one using busy or less busy roads.

A brick building in St. Louis collapsed unexpectedly over the weekend, likely destroying many of the 700 children’s bikes stored there as part of a program to give kids a free bike after completing a bike safety course.

Once again, a dangerous driver managed to stay on the road until it was too late. A Chicago man was arrested for continuing to drive with his license suspended due to DUI, after killing an 83-year old man riding a bike, claiming he just didn’t see the man riding in front of him before stomping on the gas pedal. Unfortunately, he’ll likely walk away with a slap on the wrist, while his innocent victim paid with his life.

A DC woman was lucky to get her stolen bike back after she spotted the thief riding it and was able to wave down a passing patrol car; it helped that she had a photo of the bike and the serial number on her cellphone. Hint, hint.

Georgia bike riders turned out for a short 2.23 mile ride in memory of Ahmaud Arbery, six months after he was gunned down by a trio of self-appointed vigilantes.

 

International

A new study suggests that looking at happy pictures before your ride will result in less suffering during it. And unhappy pictures will have the opposite effect.

The UK’s Spectator magazine recommends 14 bicycling routes around the world they say rival the Tour de France. Which might be remotely accurate if the Tour de France was just a leisurely one-day ride around a local landmark.

London bike riders offer tips on riding a bike in the city, almost all of which apply virtually anywhere.

An Edinburgh woman calls for redesigning a floating bus stop, saying she was furious after she and her son were nearly hit by a bike rider “who came out of nowhere” as she stepped across a cycle track to get to her bus. She’s got a point. But no one ever comes out of nowhere. And nearly getting hit isn’t exactly news, especially after apparently failing to look both ways.

Berlin’s new bike lanes have failed to improve safety, as fatalities rise and advocates call for greater regulations on large trucks. Meanwhile, the city’s Green Party wants to charge SUV owners more to park their behemoth vehicles. Yes, please.

A Malaysian man is waiting for borders to reopen so he can get back on the road, two years after riding away from his law career to bike around the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

The union representing professional cyclists rejected criticism over unsafe conditions at this year’s races, after several riders questioned what good the group was if it couldn’t do something about it.

 

Finally…

If you can’t cut the lock on the bike you’re trying to steal, just take the bike rack with you. Evidently, Sgt. Preston of the Yukon would trade his dog team for an ebike these days.

And seriously, don’t ride if you have Covid-19.

Or think you might have.

Period.

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

Lime supports local bike advocacy, Bicycling calls for racial diversity on bikes, and dogs (and a monkey) on bikes

E-scooter riders have come to appreciate the value of bike lanes as much as anyone.

Now Lime is trying to channel that energy into safer streets for all of us.

The company is launching their new Lime Action program in partnership with a number of advocacy groups across the US, including the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

“As people around the world are taking action to support racial justice, safer streets and cleaner air, we are excited to provide a platform for our millions of riders to turn their passion into action,” said Katie Stevens, Head of Global Policy at Lime. “Lime Action connects our riders with local grassroots organizations making meaningful change in their communities. We’re proud to help riders strengthen their hometowns by getting involved in efforts to create safer, calmer streets, reduce congestion and harmful emissions from car traffic, and fight systemic racism and injustice.”

Lime will provide their partner organizations with access to a number of advocacy tools, as well as directing their users to get involved with local organizations like the LACBC.

However, it light of today’s issues, safer streets in the traditional sense are just part of the fight.

The Lime Action partnerships and organizations will enable our riders to engage on issues that range from those directly impacting their rides, such as safer streets, to making transportation and our cities as a whole more equitable, and to helping make our world more sustainable:

  • Safer Streets: Lime riders are often encountering bike lanes for the first time on a scooter– and quickly discover how street space issues between cars and other modes of transportation can affect their safety. Lime Action will provide a way to translate this awareness into action to support campaigns for safer street infrastructure, including bike lanes, greenways, and cycle tracks.
  • Social Justice: Lime believes in strengthening our cities, and that goes beyond safe infrastructure. That’s why Lime Action partners with local organizations supporting re-entry for formerly incarcerated people, addressing institutional racism, providing career training and meaningful employment, and increasing opportunities for underprivileged youth.
  • Sustainability: The COVID-19 crisis has driven home the impact car travel has on our local air quality, with major improvements to clean air in cities when car use is minimized — but these reductions are already being erased as cities begin to recover. Lime riders already help to contribute to reductions in car use, with a quarter of all rides replacing a car trip, and all trips being powered by 100% renewable energy. Lime Action provides additional ways to support cleaner air by getting involved in local environmental and sustainability campaigns.

Lime also has a program that allows users to donate a small additional percentage to the LACBC and other organizations at the end of their rides.

Although it would be nice to see the company put its money where its mouth is, by committing to donate a few cents from every ride to the advocacy groups they partner with, which could provide a steady revenue stream for groups that desperately need it.

But this is a great start. Because scooter users need safe and fair streets as much as we do.

And we can definitely use their help to demand change from our elected leaders.

Meanwhile, a writer for Medium says the coronavirus may mark the turning point to profitability for scooter companies, by providing a safer alternative to transit.

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An editorial from Bicycling calls for support for national and local bicycling organizations working for more racial diversity.

Here in Los Angeles, they mention the Bahati Foundation, Legion of Los Angeles, and Alterra Home Loans Cycling Team in Houston and LA.

All of which are worthy of your time, money and efforts.

But I’d also include local standouts like East Side Riders Bike Club, which is feeding hundreds of people who might otherwise go hungry this summer, and South LA’s Black Kids on Bikes, just to name a few.

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He gets it.

After celebrating the newly carfree State Street pedestrian plaza, and calling for everyone to wear masks when they go there, a Santa Barbara columnist had this to say.

In all this forced solitude and isolation, people are rediscovering the simple joys of one of mankind’s greatest inventions: the bicycle. Not to state the obvious, but there are few better ways to get out and about while maintaining a safe social distance. Hazards and Bicycle Bob’s report their bike repair waiting lists longer than Trump’s Tulsa rally reservation list — only there are no K-Pop agitators and saboteurs involved. Bikes that sell for $500 flew out the door a month ago. Electric bikes are everywhere.

With so few cars on the road, the streets are safer. For a while, every day felt just like Sunday morning.

He goes on to criticize plans to ban bikes from the plaza, as we noted a few days ago.

And ends with this line.

There’s hope. Humans, after all, remain the only species that can ride a bike or snap their fingers.

So someone should tell him about this.

And this.

And this.

And yes, this.

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You’re invited to Ride Against Racism this Sunday to support Black Lives Matter and protest police brutality.

https://twitter.com/VelTheWonder/status/1276186111186853890

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Former basketball great Bill Walton is teaming with marathon champ Meb Keflezighi to host another BikeForHumanity virtual bike ride this July to benefit several charities, including No Kid Hungry.

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This is what it looks like to get run down from behind when a close pass isn’t.

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Rapper and producer DJ Mustard’s son is one of us now.

Although someone should tell him to be careful around walls.

https://twitter.com/RapCentury_/status/1275970424476663809?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1275970424476663809&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Freal923la.iheart.com%2Fcontent%2F2020-06-25-mustard-teaches-his-son-to-ride-a-bike-it-didnt-go-as-planned%2F

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Unfortunately, there are far too many bikeways like this in the US, too.

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Former pro Phil Gaimon is back with another video, explaining five common bike collisions and how to avoid them, no matter how man wheels you travel on.

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Local

Somehow we missed this ranking of America’s best and worst cities for your heart. And for a change, Los Angeles scores well on a national list, checking in at a relatively healthy 20.

The LA Times recommends nine Los Angeles trails to ride your bike. Although they take a very expansive view of LA, including anything north of San Diego and Imperial Counties. 

Speaking of The LA Times, they join a long list of news outlets asking if the pandemic-fueled bike boom will continue. Short answer: At least as long as the pandemic does.

Downey’s mayor now has a 26-year old, bike-riding, YIMBY challenger for her city council seat.

This is who we share the road with. A woman walking her dog on a Palmdale bike path was killed by a driver who lost control while fleeing from sheriff’s deputies.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission, not to be confused with Caltrans, approved $100 million in Complete Streets funding, and began a discussion of equity in transportation.

San Luis Obispo bike riders rode 8.46 miles on Wednesday to honor George Floyd and show solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

 

National

FloBikes offers advice on how to avoid common bicycling injuries. The ones that happen without falling off.

WTF. Police in Maine report a pickup truck creepily followed an eleven-year old girl as she rode her bike. But never mention that the truck may have had a driver.

Six urban rides to explore Boston for the next time you find yourself in Beantown.

A Rhode Island bike shop is celebrating its 100th anniversary; the shop was founded two years after the last pandemic, and its anniversary comes just in time for the next one.

Life is cheap in upstate New York, where even killing an off-duty cop riding a bike with his son merits nothing more than a traffic ticket.

New York advocates are making progress in efforts to remove the NYPD from traffic enforcement and return responsibility for enforcement to the city’s Department of Transportation.

After years of ticketing and confiscating bicycles from immigrant delivery workers, New York City has finally gotten around to legalizing ebikes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’ll be giving all those bikes back and refunding their money.

New York continues to lap Los Angeles, as it opens up normally congested streets so people can dine al fresco, unlike their Left Coast counterpart.

A Delaware letter writer says the problem isn’t people parking their bikes illegally, it’s that the city didn’t put bike racks where people need them.

Superstar Columbian singer Maluma is one of us too, going for a Miami bike ride with a friend.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on whether you should buy a tandem, and how. Hint: Only if you like to ride with someone else.

Gear Patrol says one of the best bike saddles is from a company you’ve never heard of.

Take a virtual bike ride along a London DIY pop-up bike lane.

A London paper offers advice on basic bike maintenance for new riders.

An Indian woman who couldn’t even ride a bike four years ago is now a virtual RAAM champ. And she’s not a small woman, which should give hope to people everywhere.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pope Francis has joined people around the world in expressing his support for Alex Zanardi, as the Paralympic champ fights to recover from a horrifying handcycling crash; doctors are worried that Zanardi, who already lost his legs in a car racing crash, may lose his eyesight or suffer brain damage.

The Dutch cycling federation considers how to move forward this summer after the country lifted its ban on competitive sports.

 

Finally…

Not many people can claim they sold bikes to Bruce Springsteen and Richard Nixon. Who needs a clown car when you’ve got bikes?

And Tour de France champ Egan Bernal has clearly mastered the most important bike skills.

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

“I can’t breathe”: Las Vegas bike rider killed by cops over bike light; over $110,000 raised for SoCal cycling diversity

Nine months ago, it was a needless tragedy.

Today it stands as yet another reminder why so many people of all races are taking to the streets to demand justice, and change.

It was last September when a man died in police custody after a Las Vegas cop kneeled on his back, ignoring his repeated cries of “I can’t breathe.”

Sound familiar?

This is what I had to say at the time.

Once again, a man has died at the hands of police for what began as a simple traffic stop.

When a Las Vegas man took off running after police tried to pull him over for not having a headlight on his bike, a pair of cops chased him down, then kneeled on his back as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.

Which turned out to be his last words.

He was found with drugs and a gun, and had slipped an ankle monitor, which explains why he ran.

But what it doesn’t explain is why police didn’t respond to his complaint about not being able to breathe once they had him in custody.

And why they allowed a traffic stop to escalate into a lethal use of force.

What’s missing there is any reference to the victim’s race.

In retrospect, it almost goes without saying that he was Black, although the only reference to his race was a photo from the police press conference and a news report showing the victim’s grieving family.

And he had a name.

Byron Lee Williams.

I didn’t mention it at the time; I don’t normally mention the names of people outside of Southern California, and often not then.

But in retrospect, I should have.

Because he joins a long and growing list of black people unjustly killed by police.

Names like Rayshard BrooksGeorge Floyd, Breanna Taylor and Michael Brown.

And Byron Lee Williams.

Which is not so say Williams didn’t do anything wrong. But nothing he did called for the death penalty. Or a summary execution without the benefit of a judge and jury.

And it never should have been allowed to escalate from something as minor as a simple traffic stop for a missing damn bike light.

Now Williams’ family is renewing their calls for justice, joining a loud, mournful and growing chorus of loved ones needlessly left behind.

As well they should. Especially in light of this, from a story released yesterday by NBC News.

Thompkins and Scott said the additional video showed officers dragging Williams around a corner, his body still limp, before dropping him on the ground. At one point, Thompkins said, the video showed Williams asking for an ambulance and an officer telling Williams that nobody was coming to help him.

Williams then fell silent, lying on the ground as the officers laughed and discussed weekend plans, Thompkins said.

I’ve known a lot of cops over the years, and worked with several as part of the LAPD’s bike liaison program.

With a few notable exceptions, most have struck me as caring men and women who want to do the right thing. And many want bad cops off the force as much as anyone else.

Although their union is another matter.

I’ve been quick to call the police out when they do something wrong. But I also recognize that my white skin means my experience isn’t the same as what my Black and brown friends have to go through at their hands.

And it’s entirely possible to recognize that police officers have dangerous jobs, and hope they all make it home at the end of his or her shift, while still recognizing that things have to change. Major, systemic changes.

It isn’t a matter of Black and white, liberal or conservative.

Just right and wrong.

Because we all have a right to get back home safely, and in one piece.

Regardless of skin color.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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Great news from former national road, crit and track champ Justin Williams, whose crowdfunding campaign for his Legion of Los Angeles cycling team has raised well over twice the original $50,000 goal to promote diversity in the sport.

He had this to say on his new From The Gun With L39ION podcast, as quoted by Cycling News.

“Wow, that’s been crazy,” said Williams of the fundraiser. “We set the mark at $50,000 because we thought that would be a decent number, and I want to share with you guys what we are going to put all of that toward. It’s more than doubled so we will figure out more stuff to put it toward, but for the most part we will put the money toward team infrastructure.

“The funds will allows us to do team camps and more community engagement, which is something I really like to do. We will bring back junior day camps and BBQs, and elevate what that was. We’ll break it up into three and four hours with the whole L39ION team, and then break up into groups … and it will be open to every junior team.”

Nice to see someone rewarded for doing good work.

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Authorities have identified the victim of Wednesday’s e-scooter fatality in Silver Lake as 68-year old Los Angeles resident Timothy Stirton.

He was killed when a driver speeding at least twice the posted 35 mph speed limit slammed into him before crashing into a local restaurant.

The driver, a woman in her 70s, said her car began to accelerate when she tried to slow it down, and only drove onto the wrong side of the road to avoid crashing into other vehicles.

Which sounds less like a mechanical failure than yet another argument for testing older drivers on a regular basis, before they mistake the gas pedal for the brakes.

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The latest video from GCN explores the eternal question of whether you should get a roadie or a gravel bike.

If you can even find one in this market, that is.

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

No bias here. A Vancouver woman says a decision to close a local park to cars while a bike lane is built is just an example of knee-jerk anti-car hostility, and accuses the “bike lobby” of bullying. Funny how people who oppose bike projects are just concerned citizens, but supporters always seem to be part of some shadowy bike lobby.

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

An accused Chechen hit man was apparently one of us, after he was seen throwing a wig, gun and a bicycle into a German river; prosecutors allege he murdered a Georgian man on orders from the Russian government.

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Local

The LA-area Helpful Honda Dealers teamed with the LAPD to buy a new adaptive tricycle for a Sherman Oaks boy with Down’s syndrome, after his was stolen last month.

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bike ride with her boyfriend as part of a “fun-filled” day out.

 

State

Redding has become the first place in California to be honored with a bronze medal by the International Mountain Bicycle Association for its extensive trail system.

The fight over bike lanes is usually the need to remove parking spaces. In Santa Barbara, it means removing some fully grown trees.

A Fresno woman ran inside her house and locked the door after she was approached by a stranger. So he went into her open garage and walked off with a $1,700 ebike.

 

National

The New York Times offers detailed advice on how to start riding a bike in the age of coronavirus and bike shortages. Meanwhile, HuffPo offers suggestions from experienced bike riders for new urban bicyclists; always being predictable is a good place to start.

Streetsblog says this could be micromobility’s big moment as it experiences “stratospheric jumps” in usage around the US despite, or maybe because of, the pandemic.

A college professor explains how he lost 55 pounds after he changed careers and started bike commuting.

Portland bicyclists are riding to support Black Lives Matter protests and demand changes.

Never mind bike lanes. Cincinnati has over 570 miles of bike trails in the greater metro area.

Seriously? Buffalo NY residents are demanding changes after 120 pedestrians and 41 bike riders have been hit by drivers on a single street over the past five years, including three fatalities. Yet city officials have refused to implement traffic calming measures to save lives.

New York Streetsblog looks at the role bicycles play as a means of protest and exposing racism.

A Georgetown, Delaware organization bought a new bicycle for a 17-year old boy so he can get to work and keep his job.

Kindhearted Virginia cops dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young boy whose new bicycle was stolen just four hours after he got it, then they recovered his original bike in a creek; the boy’s parents say they’ll fix it up and give it to someone who needs one.

An Alabama man takes hit-and-run to the extreme, firing a gun in the street before assaulting a bike rider and stealing his bicycle, then fleeing on foot before he was captured by police.

Miami bike riders are in the same sinking boat as we Angelenos, as city leader leaders have failed to taken steps to accommodate the boom in bicycling.

No bias here, either. A letter writer in Key Biscayne, Florida demands a vote on a proposed new bike lane, saying bicyclists “don’t pay tolls or add to the economy, and in fact are just not good neighbors.” And swears locals will never give up their golf carts for a bike.

 

International

Scotland Yard is looking for a suspected serial bike thief accused of stealing nearly $12,500 worth of bicycles throughout the London area.

A Scottish op-ed calls bicyclists a threat to mature walkers, noting that older people may not be able to hear whistles or spoken warnings. Always ride with care around pedestrians of any age, and give them as wide a berth as possible, for their safety and yours.

The bike boom is real in the UK, and so is the bike shortage. One woman learns the bike she ordered won’t arrive until next year.

A new conversion kit from a Polish company promises to turn your bike into a smart ebike in just ten minutes.

Bikes are booming big time in Bangladesh, too.

An award-winning journalist is the subject of a fatwa from an Iranian cleric calling for her death, after she called for women to be allowed to ride bikes in the conservative Islamic country.

 

Competitive Cycling

London’s Black Cycling Network has launched the UK’s first Black and ethnic minority cycling team.

Pez Cycling News talks with former Swedish cycling star Marianne Berglund, who won over a hundred races in the ’80s and ’90s.

 

Finally…

How to ride your bike nearly 300 hours and not get anywhere. No, Jeep’s new ped-assist ebike is not a threat to Harley Davidson’s new $30,000 e-hog.

And riding around an airport can be a real blast.

That’s not a good thing.

………

Happy Juneteenth, and happy Father’s Day this Sunday.

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

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