Tag Archive for e-scooters

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

This is what Share the Road really means.

………

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.

………

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.

……

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

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

………

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.

………

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

………

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

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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. 

Only you can prevent coronavirus, Lime pulls out of California and Washington, and Lundquist catching up to Lee in CD12

Okay, so it’s not about bicycling.

But Curbed’s Alissa Walker has penned a very good, and very important, call to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus in your own home, saying the choices we make today will help those closest to us.

And everyone else, too.

Meanwhile, a Portland writer says it’s time to make some streets mostly carfree during the pandemic, to create the space necessary to allow people to practice the social distancing that’s impossible on narrow sidewalks.

Or you could just settle for a few Zwift doodles while you cycle inside, if you prefer.

Even though Calbike says riding your bike outside is risk-free.

From Covid-19, anyway.

https://twitter.com/CalBike/status/1239975127569141761

Photo by Korhan Erdol from Pexels.

………

Those ubiquitous e-scooters could soon be a lot harder to find, as Lime is suspending service in California and Washington State to avoid spreading the coronavirus, while Bird is cutting back but not quitting.

Meanwhile, Uber faced a Sunday deadline to get their Jump bikes and e-scooters off the streets of Los Angeles after refusing to comply with the city’s requirement to provide realtime user data.

The company swears it will file suit in federal court over the requirement this week, though that could be complicated if the feds join the county in closing courthouses.

………

It looks like Loraine Lundquist is catching up in her bid to unseat City Staffer B, better known as CD12 Councilmember John Lee.

Just after the vote, it was revealed that Lee allegedly accompanied previous councilmember Mitch Englander on a $30,000-plus bribery and escort filled weekend in Las Vegas.

………

I’m not the only one concerned about the survival of local bike shops and other bike businesses during the pandemic and resulting closures and economic slowdown.

Cycling Industry News offers their help to any bike business that needs assistance, or who has a story they want to share.

Maybe they could start with San Jose bike co-op Community Cycles of California, which sent out an email saying it’s being forced to shut down, except to help those for whom riding a bike is an essential service.

And they could use your help to survive the shutdown.

With that said, as you can imagine, we have financial uncertainties ahead. Therefore, we ask for your help to endure what is going to be a difficult start to a cycling season. Since shopping with us won’t be an option for a few weeks, your tax-deductible donation can provide relief for missed revenue during that time.  Here are some ways your donation helps:

  • $50      Sponsor one bicycle for an adult in need
  • $100    Sponsor one bicycle with safety package (lock, lights, helmet) to an adult in need
  • $300   Sponsor one mechanic-in-training
  • $500   Sponsor one mobile repair clinic providing 20 free repairs
  • Or please consider making a recurring donation. Thank you.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the email.

………

Speaking of Leone, he also forwards word of the latest road closures in Camp Pendleton.

CLOSURE UPDATE as of MARCH 16, 2020:

  • Stuart Mesa Road – Northbound and Southbound lanes CLOSED from Las Flores (41 Area) to Las Pulgas Road.  *Open for Emergency Traffic only.
  • Beach Club Road – CLOSED to the public in both directions.  *No Emergency Traffic
  • Basilone Road – OPEN to the public in both directions.
  • Vandegrift Blvd – OPEN to the public in both directions.  *Right-hand eastbound lane CLOSED in Box Canyon.
  • Del Mar Gate – CLOSED inbound and outbound until further.

Please check Facebook for updates.

………

Clearly, stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill is not a weight weenie, or non-electric bike purist.

And can do the same stunts he’s famous for on a 50 pound ebike.

………

Finally found someone who shares my daily bike commute.

………

Local

If you were going to participate in May’s Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles, 5k and Bike Tour, you can start making other plans.

Santa Monica is suspending all user fees related to the city’s Breeze bikeshare.

 

State

Tragic news from San Jose, where an 82-year old woman was murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver as she was trying to cross the street. I’d like to say older people deserve better. But everyone does.

A spokesperson for San Francisco’s mayor says yes, you can still ride your bike, despite the shelter in place order for seven Bay Area counties. And bike mechanics can continue to provide an essential service.

On the other hand, no one is going to go to jail for breaking the Bay Area ban.

Redwood City police busted an alleged 18-year old perv who grabbed the breast of a 13-year old girl as he was riding his bike.

 

National

Heartbreaking news, as an Idaho woman survived for some time after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike; it’s possible she might have survived if the heartless coward had just called 911 instead of leaving her lying in a ravine until her body was discovered three days later. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone who could do that.

If you need a job to tide you through the pandemic, Whole Foods in New York is hiring bicycle delivery workers.

New York’s DOT is still dithering over how to accommodate Gotham’s coronavirus bike boom, as commuters flee crowded transit in favor of bicycles.

Police in New Jersey thank a dozen or so Good Samaritans who spilled out of nearby buildings to help officers lift a car off a bike rider, who was trapped underneath after a crash. Fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

Another reminder that bike riders are far tougher than many people think, as a Pennsylvania man rode his bike several blocks to get help after he was beaten and stabbed by a pair of robbers; thankfully, he’s expected to be okay. Note to Williamsport Sun-Gazette — the past tense of ride is rode, not road.

A DC website looks at the first women’s bicycle, which was invented in the city and currently resides in the Smithsonian. Even if it does look a little worse for wear. And unlike modern bikemakers, they didn’t just pink it and shrink it.

The bike-riding backup quarterback for the New Orleans Saints is packing his bicycle and moving to Carolina, where he will presumably continue riding it to home games.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske takes a look at the recent bust of a Florida bike rider for allegedly fleeing from police and resisting arrest for the heinous crime of…wait for it…rolling a stop sign, and not responding to a police command he couldn’t hear.

 

International

Cycling Weekly recommends eleven bicycling books you can read while you shelter in place.

Road.cc offers helpful advice on how to choose the right tyre width for your bike and how you ride. The same advice should hold for tires over here, too.

Now that’s more like it. Bogota is fighting the coronavirus by expanding their bikeway network, adding 72 miles of new bike routes in an effort to reduce crowding on the city’s transit system.

The British bike industry teamed with advocates and academics to urge Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to ban bicycling in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus, and exempt bike shops from any imminent retail closures.

E-scooters may finally become legal in the UK. Just in time to be severely restricted or banned as the pandemic spreads.

 

Competitive Cycling

After an Oregon town was forced to cancel an annual mountain bike race, they responded by turning it into a virtual competition.

Organizers have pulled the plug on next month’s Paris-Roubaix classic, as well as the Tour of Yorkshire, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

 

Finally…

Your next bicycle could be a BMW, assuming you have a spare $5,500 lying around. Nothing like riding over 30,000 miles without leaving your living room — and no, I don’t want to be like him when I grow up.

And there’s more than one way to create social distance.

 

 

The good, bad and ugly from Tuesday’s election results, and drivers park 30 times worse than scooter riders

Bike the Vote LA rounded up the good, the bad and the ugly from Tuesday’s primary election results.

Like Nithya Raman forcing a runoff against David Ryu in CD4, and Kevin de León taking CD14.

Some of the other results aren’t looking as good, with Loraine Lundquist trailing incumbent John Lee in CD12.

However, it’s important to note that it could be weeks before all the results are in and the votes counted, so things could change.

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

………

So much for all those complaints about e-scooter and dockless bikeshare left all over the place.

According to a study of five cities, including Santa Monica, the real parking problem isn’t micromobility parking, it’s all those scofflaw drivers.

The study found that parking noncompliance rates across the five cities were far higher for motor vehicles (24.7% of 2,631 motor vehicles observed) than for micromobility vehicles (0.8% of 865 scooter and bike observations).

Food delivery and ride-hailing vehicles accounted for a disproportionate number of improper parking incidents impeding access or mobility for other travelers, Klein said. Most of these violations occurred while dropping off or picking up people or food, including double parking, occupying “No Parking” or restricted areas and blocking driveways.

………

It looks like the COVID-19 coronavirus may be affecting the bike world for awhile.

Moscow, Idaho is delaying the opening of its new ped-assist bikeshare due to production delays caused by the Lunar New Year celebrations and the coronavirus outbreak.

A Korean woman was attacked by a group of Dutch men who yelled “Chinese” and tried to knock her off her bicycle in a racist attack linked to fears of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus is credited with a resurgence in Chinese bikeshares as employees slowly return to work, while avoiding crowded public transportation.

Team Ineos   — the former Team Sky — has pulled the plug on all racing for most of this month due to uncertainty over the disease and the death of director sportif Nicolas Portal.

The manager of the Cofidis cycling team is threatening a hunger strike if they aren’t allowed to leave the Abu Dhabi hotel where they’ve been quarantined since the UAE Tour was cancelled after some Italian support workers tested positive for coronavirus.

………

An online briefing next Wednesday will discuss how news coverage of traffic collisions affects received blame. You know, like the tweet says.

………

That classic ’70s steel racing bike you’ve been dreaming of can be yours if you’ve got a mere nine grand lying around somewhere.

………

She’s one of us, too. And so is Barbie.

Thanks to Meghan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward in the unsolved death of a young father who was gunned down while riding his bike in Harbor City three years ago.

The new safety improvements on Fountain Ave in West Hollywood will be made permanent. Now if they’d just replace those damn sharrows with some decent bike infrastructure.

Hermosa Beach will test a variety of safety improvements along a 1.4-mile section of Prospect Ave to improve safety for children walking or biking to school.

CiclaValley and company continue their quest to find the perfect gravel grind.

 

State

A Los Altos writer says by all means, pull your car over to make a call. Just don’t do it in a bike lane.

He gets it. A student at UC Davis calls for finding the right balance between wide and narrow streets to calm traffic and improve safety.

Here’s one for your bike bucket list, as long as you don’t mind riding the rails on a railroad bike through the redwoods of Fort Bragg.

A 20-year old Redding man faces charges of felony vandalism and polluting a waterway for throwing a $1,300 e-scooter into a river just for laughs. He’s probably not laughing anymore.

 

National

The Oregon Department of Transportation has identified 35 problem areas to be fixed as part of a 340-mile Oregon Coast Bike Route.

A Michigan woman is charged with stealing an $8,000 racing bicycle from the hotel where she worked and held a key to the secure room it was locked in; security video shows her brother walk into the hotel, then walk out with the bike minutes later.

Gotham bike riders and pedestrians now have a new 1.4-mile separated path on the Goethals Bridge between Staten Island and Elizabeth NJ.

A Bronx teenager tried to sell his bike on Facebook. And found himself robbed at knifepoint while a thief rode off on it.

Long delayed plans for a protected bikeway on DC’s 9th Street are on hold once again, after a councilmember withdrew the proposal due to opposition from African American churches.

No surprise here, as authorities have dropped all charges against the 18-year old Florida bike rider charged with resisting arrest for the crime of running a stop sign, after he paid the traffic fine.

 

International

A British Columbia man was knocked cold when he was cold cocked by an owl while delivering newspapers on his ebike.

A city councilor in Regina, Saskatchewan wants to force all bike riders to wear helmets, whether children or adults. Which simply forces the burden of safety onto the people on bikes, rather than building safer streets so helmets aren’t needed, or making drivers put down their phones and pay attention.

Liverpool, England residents want more protected bike lanes, even if it means taking space away from cars.

London bike riders are increasingly at risk from sometimes violent bike-jackings, especially when riding alone on the city’s Quietways and towpaths.

The ex-husband of a British woman killed in a collision with an ebike rider is furious that he was acquitted of charges in the crash.

No surprise here, either. An Irish study finds that four out of every five bicycling injuries occur on city streets, and nine out of ten injured riders were hit by cars. Maybe because that’s where the most bike riders and drivers are. And because cars pose a risk to anyone who’s not in them. 

A Dutch town is building Europe’s longest bicycle bridge, which will eventually stretch the length of ten football fields across four connected lakes. And is designed to be bat friendly.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark you calendar for the track nationals in Carson this summer.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a stealth single-speed ebike for people who don’t want to look like they’re riding one. Or it could be a Harley e-hog — or maybe just look like a 1930s motorcycle.

And watch out for rogue storm drain waves when you’re riding.

 

Morning Links: Study cites bogus jump in e-scooter injuries, KCRW talks Vision Zero fail, and Danny MacAskil hits the gym

Bullshit.

An alarming new UC San Francisco study shows a very disturbing jump in e-scooter injuries, citing a 222% increase from 2014 to 2018.

Worse, nationwide hospital admissions from e-scooter injuries went up a whopping 365% over the same period.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel,

“It is a rising public health concern that needs attention,” said Nikan K. Namiri, 22, a medical student at the UCSF School of Medicine and first author of the study, published in Wednesday’s issue of JAMA Surgery. “Injuries and hospitalizations have risen significantly.”

Just one problem.

Everyone who remembers riding an e-scooter in 2014 please raise your hand.

Anyone?

That’s because the first e-scooters didn’t hit the streets mid-2017.

So yeah, if you include those two and a half years when they didn’t even exist, there probably has been a huge increase in injuries.

Something the study’s authors almost acknowledge.

The rise in injuries — from 6 per 100,000 Americans in 2014 to 19 per 100,000 in 2018 — could simply reflect scooters’ growing popularity, Namiri said. Scooters can be unlocked for $1 with a smartphone app, and then costs just 15 cents per minute to ride.

It’s entirely predictable that injuries would increase along with ridership.

In fact, according to a NACTO study, Americans took 38.5 million trips on e-scooters as the industry expanded to around 100 cities in 2018, the first year they were widely available.

So why did the study’s authors go back five years, when there’s really only one year of data?

Good question.

The authors also decry the lack of helmet use.

In 2018, California loosened safety regulation for scooters, removing the helmet requirement for riders over the age of 18.  Scooter rental company Bird, which backed the legislation and lobbied for the change, noted that adult bicyclists are not required to wear helmets – and that more people would ride scooters if helmets weren’t mandated.

“That is not helpful,” said responded Namiri. “People over 18 experience the highest number of injuries. Not wearing a helmet poses a health risk.”

It makes perfect sense that most head injuries would be suffered by people over 18, considering that California requires scooter users to be over the age of 16 and have a driver’s license.

Because there are a hell of a lot more scooter users from 18 up than there are in the two-year age range from 16-17, even if some users are under age.

Then there’s this from the Sentinel story.

According to news reports, at least two Californians have been killed while riding scooters. A 53-year-old man died in San Diego after he lost control and hit a tree. A 41-year-old man died in Santa Monica when he fell off a scooter and was hit by a car.

Never mind that the Santa Monica victim was riding a sit-down mobility scooter when he fell off and was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

Not exactly the sort of e-scooter that’s booming in popularity.

Finally, there’s this, again from the Sentinel.

Meanwhile, the tension between scooter transit and safety is playing out on many city streets. Pedestrians are frustrated by the clutter of abandoned scooters in sidewalks, street corners and doorways, as well as near-miss collisions when riders zip down crowded sidewalks. Cyclists are angered by the addition of motorized traffic to bike lanes. Scooter riders say the real problem is cars — and America’s outmoded transportation infrastructure, with not enough room for everybody.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not the least bit bothered by sharing a bike lane with e-scooters, any more than I am ebikes, skateboards or people in wheelchairs.

And it’s not just scooter users who think the real problem is America’s over-reliance on cars and a shortage of decent infrastructure for anyone who’s not surrounded by a couple tons of glass and steel.

Don’t get me wrong.

E-scooter injuries are a legitimate problem, and people have been killed using them in cities throughout the US. We need valid studies to asses how e-scooters fit into the transportation matrix, and what needs to be done to make the streets safe for everyone.

But what we don’t need is junk science and scare tactics masquerading as legitimate research intended to shape public policy.

………

Boy, does she get it.

KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks with LA Curbed editor Alissa Walker about why Los Angeles continues struggling to cut traffic deaths, despite the city’s Vision Zero program.

Why has LA struggled so much? Alissa Walker of Curbed LA points to two factors: the slow implementation of strategies that have been recommended by LA’s Department of Transportation; and resistance from public officials. LA City Councilmember Gil Cedillo has said he won’t have any road diets in his district. Councilmember John Lee is trying to take out a bike lane in his district in the Valley.

Invest seven minutes of your day and give it a listen.

………

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskil works out at the gym.

His way, of course.

………

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

San Francisco’s notorious driving advocate and his attorney are back and attempting to block plans for a new bike lane, after their farcical suit halted the city’s bike plan for several years.

………

Local

Good news and bad news from Long Beach, where the city council approved spending $127,000 to study an 8.3-mile bikeway along Orange Ave; the bad news is they want to expand parking in the city, including painting over red curbs. Not exactly the best way to increase safety and fight climate change.

 

State

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a new ebike from a San Diego man with Parkinson’s just hours after he received it.

San Diego’s Planning Commissioner releases video of the hit-and-run crash that nearly killed her as she walked out of a restaurant, saying she’ll be in pain the rest of her life.

A Palm Spring bike rider escaped without serious injuries when he was hit by a driver at N Gene Autry Trail & E Tachevah Drive yesterday evening.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that applies even more to the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down a 93-year old man riding a bike in Goleta; fortunately, he only suffered moderate injuries.

Tragic news from Fresno, where a man was killed in a 1 am hit-and-run while riding his bike on Wednesday; the driver claimed he fled because he he was “threatened by another group of bicyclists” after the crash.

Visit your San Mateo branch library to check out a few books and a bicycle.

A Modesto man and woman were injured when a hit-and-run driver smashed into the bicycle and homemade trailer they were riding; he suffered serious injuries on the bike, while she suffered minor injuries riding in the trailer. Note to CBS Sacramento — The trailer may have been makeshift, but the bike probably wasn’t.

A Lodi man learned the hard way to obey traffic laws when riding his bike while carrying heroin and a flare gun converted to fire shotgun shells.

 

National

Singletracks offers ten arguments to try to convince someone you need a new mountain bike. Add one more — as midlife crises go, it’s pretty tame.

Seriously, who doesn’t want good cup of coffee with your new bike?

Who knew he had a sense of humor? Not only is Justin Bieber one of us, his Insta feed is full of images of him falling off his bike. Sort of.

Motley Fool says Peloton stocks can go a long way even with the company selling indoor bikes for two grand.

Forget the skis and snowboards. Just take your fat bike on your next winter trip to Tahoe.

Phoenix police fatally shot a man who led two officers on a chase on his bicycle, attempting to wrestle away the man’s gun before he fired a shot during the struggle, and was shot in return.

Dang. The owner of my favorite Denver bike shop is selling the business to his managers and retiring. I know damn well Alan Fine wouldn’t remember me from when I lived there, but that was one hell of a shop he had back then.

Apparently, Omaha, Nebraska’s only bike corral was removed on a whim, with no stats or study to support the decision to replace it with a single parking space.

A 17-year old Allen TX bike rider was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was shot in the arm and leg from a passing car in an apparent random attack; an SUV was also struck by the gunfire, muddying the question of who was the intended target.

A writer for Chicago’s Streetsblog says it’s time to stop coddling drivers, and build a citywide protected bike lane network. Which applies equally well right here in Los Angeles,. If not more.

Nice story from Indianapolis, where two bighearted cops bought a new bike for a little girl after learning she didn’t get anything for Christmas because her parents couldn’t afford to buy gifts this year.

An Indiana cop was allegedly speeding and texting when she crashed into a woman riding her bicycle one five years ago; the case is just now going to the jury.

New York’s governor is calling for the legalization of throttle-controlled ebikes for delivery workers, saying it’s a social justice issue. Never mind that he just vetoed a bill to do exactly that.

A New Jersey man got a well-deserved 19 years behind bars after he was busted with the bicycle he stole from a special needs man — then threatened the victim with a hammer after spotting him with the bike a month later.

Maybe there’s hope for LA yet. After suffering the humiliation of being named the nation’s worst bike city, Memphis TN has added 270 miles of bike lanes in the last ten years. Unfortunately, Los Angeles city officials couldn’t seem to care less that the city is the current holder of that dubious title.

Now that’s more like it. A Louisiana man was sentenced to eight years behind bars for killing a man riding a bike while driving drunk and stoned. Although I always wonder if a white driver would have gotten a lighter sentence for the same crime.

 

International

Bicycling harks back to the unlamented days of Cycle Chic, with a look at how five people developed their signature bicycle fashion.

Road.cc considers that not everyone can, or wants to, spend several thousand on a new bicycle by naming their Bike of the Year for under £1000 — the equivalent of $1,3000. The winning bike sells for less than $700, while one of the runner-ups retails for just $520.

Seriously, what kind of schmuck steals 30 bicycles from a Kiwi bike co-op dedicated to refurbishing bikes to get more people riding — including a handmade mini-Penny Farthing made from recycled parts?

A New Zealand bike rider was seriously injured when he was somehow run over by another bicyclist; there may or may not have been a car involved.

Apparently suffering from a bad case of windshield bias, a Kiwi columnist says she’s got nothing against bicyclists — except that bike tourists should be banned from highways, so they won’t inconvenience people like her.

An Aussie bike rider got a whopping $915 ticket for riding on a sidewalk, not stopping for a red light and failing to wear a helmet, which is required Down Under. The good news is, that’s only $615 US.

An American bicyclist visits Japan, and raves about the people, the riding, and roads like poetry.

A Chinese website says that despite the growing popularity of bicycling in the country, there are significant roadblocks to overcome before it can reclaim its title as the Bicycle Kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

He’s back. Longtime team owner and manager Bjarn Riis is the new manager and co-owner of NTT Pro Cycling; Riis is also a former pro cyclist and the winner of the 1996 Tour de France.

The final two wildcard teams are announced, completing the lineup for this year’s Tour de France.

Time to start training to be America’s first Gran Fondo National champ.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to fight bike theft by setting up your own DIY vigilante bait bike on the front lawn. Save the squirrels from scofflaw bicyclists — and corgis.

And forget ebikes. Now you, too, can build your very own steam-powered steampunk bicycle.

 

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