Tag Archive for East Side Riders

Repeat hit-and-run driver gets 31 years for killing Riverside bike rider, and LA city council votes to ban outdoor bike repair

That’s more like it.

A California judge got a one-man hit-and-run crime wave off the road by sentencing a 35-year old man with a long criminal record to a whopping 31 years behind bars.

Steven Allen Watson Jr. was convicted for the Riverside hit-and-run that killed bike rider Brian Sabel, as well as another hit-and-run 21 months later that left a 56-year old woman walking with a cane.

He served time for car theft in between — just one of his 17 other felony convictions, along with three misdemeanors.

Watson will have to serve at least 85% of that sentence before he’s eligible for parole, which means he’ll be at least 61 years old when he’s released.

Hopefully, he won’t be allowed to drive once he is.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles City Council voted 10 to 4 to draft an ordinance banning bike repair or sales on city streets.

The ordinance is intended to halt the bike chop shops that have proliferated in plain view around the city, contributing to the rash of bike thefts.

However, it would also criminalize legitimate bike repair services for homeless residents, and prevent them from earning a modest income by repairing and selling abandoned bicycles.

Hopefully the city attorney’s office will find a way to split the baby that halts criminal activity without preventing other legal activities.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

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That 2.7 earthquake in Silver Lake yesterday was probably just the shock of drivers finding out LA’s Riverside Drive is getting a road diet (scroll down).

A half-mile stretch of one of the two northbound lanes between Glendale and Los Feliz Blvds will be removed to calm traffic and make room for protected bike lanes on either side.

You can only imagine the shockwaves that would have resulted if they had tried to remove parking spaces, too.

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NBC’s LX site talks with the founders of the East Side Riders Bike Club the about using bicycles to cross gang lines and stop the cycle of hunger and violence.

As a child, East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III was told there were lines he couldn’t cross in the neighborhood of Watts, Los Angeles. Today, he and his organization — co-founded by his father — regularly cross those gang lines by bicycle to deliver meals to anyone struggling with homelessness or food insecurity.

Unfortunately, I can’t embed this one.

But take a few minutes to click the link and watch the video. And see how bicycles can do so much more than just get you from here to there.

It may just be the best six minutes of your day.

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They get it.

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Take a guess how much Monterey’s leading bike advocacy organization operates on.

And no, I don’t know the answer, either. But after years of working on a low budget myself, I can take a guess.

https://twitter.com/BikeMonterey/status/1491278239918362624

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

A Canadian truck driver was fired after he was caught pushing a bike rider out of his way with the grill of his semi, as a group of riders apparently tried to stop him from joining the country’s protests over vax mandates.

No bias here. The Irish Times reviews a Czech-built Toyota SUV from the perspective that “cities are no longer that welcoming to the motor car” so you need a “rough and tumble off-roader to survive the cyclists’ scorn and snide remarks.” And the higher view puts drivers at eye-level to bike riders and pedestrians, “so you can look your abusers in the eye.” No, really.

No bias here, either. A BBC host was under fire for discussing the recent bike and pedestrian friendly changes to the country’s Highway Code by asking her guests a series of highly slanted questions about why they hated people on bicycles.

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

Police in Manchester, England stopped 30 bike riders for blowing through red lights in just 90 minutes, joining a growing list of British cities cracking down on red light jumpers.

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Local

You can now visit the previously fenced-off Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, complete with bike racks, on your next ride on the Ballona Creek bike path. For those of you outside LA — and some inside — it’s pronounced bi-yoh-na.

Pasadena Now talks with State Senator Anthony J. Portantino about his new bill to improve bike and pedestrian safety by requiring local communities to develop a High Injury Network map, and commit to fixing it within 15 years.

 

State

Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin has been appointed to lead the California State Transportation Agency, aka CalSTA, after less than two and a half years on the job; he’s credited with shifting the state transportation agency’s focus from widening highways to building Complete Streets. Which means Governor Newsom needs to appoint someone who will continue that shift.

San Marco is opening a new two-way protected bike lane in ten days.

Streets For All is teaming with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition on a new Twitter-based crash tracker, which will tweet news of San Diego bike and pedestrian crashes in real time. You can follow the one-year old Los Angeles version here

San Diego will settle a lawsuit filed by an injured bike rider for $1.3 million, to compensate for the severe facial injuries he suffered when he crashed his bike due to a broken sidewalk in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood. Just the latest in a series of multimillion dollar settlements due to the city’s damaged sidewalks.

This is who we share the road with, too. Weeks after Elon Musk questionably claimed that no Tesla using the Full Self-Driving Beta had been in a crash in two years, a San Jose YouTuber filmed his car crashing into a protected bike lane bollard, just moments after it ran a red light. Oops.

Streetsblog says Berkeley ripped out a section of a new protected bike lane in front of a hospital, alleging the medical center lied about not being able to get oxygen deliveries.

 

National

Prism says efforts to make American cities more welcoming for people on bicycles are being hindered by over policing of Black and brown bike riders, as well as poor infrastructure in lower income areas.

This is the cost of traffic violence. American Olympian Colby Stevenson took silver in the Men’s Freeski Big Air, after spending five years fighting his way back from a near-fatal car crash caused when he fell asleep behind the wheel.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to pick a kids bike helmet.

The New York Times Wirecutter asks whether it’s a bad idea to buy a Peloton right now, as the company dumps 2,800 employees in response to crashing stock prices. But at least their severance packages include free fitness classes.

Sioux City, Iowa bike riders are counting on the city expanding its bicycle network, which is currently limited to a single bike lane.

A new petition calls for an anti-dooring ordinance, after a North Carolina man was killed when a driver threw their car door open in front of his bike. And as we mentioned last week, the local press immediately blamed the victim.

A heartbreaking story gets even worse, as the Florida woman who fell to her death when a drawbridge opened while she was walking her bike across has been identified as 79-year old woman. The obvious question is why isn’t there someone or something in place to watch for people so that doesn’t happen? Thanks to Mike Burk and Edward Rubinstein for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who fled the scene after running down a Florida boy, even if he wasn’t hurt.

 

International

This is who we share the road with. After an English man drove a company van into the back of another car, his boss checked the in-cab video, and watched him swigging champagne strait from the bottle and rolling a cigarette while driving with no hands.

A British MP suffered a broken arm falling off his bike while riding to Parliament.

An Indian writer says better bicycling policies, combined with designing cities to better support the working class, could help the country pedal to a more sustainable future.

A photographer catches a Pakistani street vendor walking a bicycle loaded down with wooden stools.

You’ve got to be kidding. A New Zealand driver is appealing his sentence for injuring a bike-riding lawyer and totaling his $7,000 bicycle, because he wasn’t told the lawyer had a previous drunk driving conviction. Which has nothing to do with why he was riding his bike, or why the driver slammed into him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome now has his own bikewear line, including a $95 t-shirt and $220 hoodie. Um, I’ll pass, thanks.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin was filmed drafting a truck with a few of his teammates on a training ride, and internet commenters were not kind.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you drive F1 for a living, and would still rather ride a bike in the rain than spend 20 minutes stuck traffic. Who doesn’t need $1,100 titanium mudguards on their bike?

And see all the WorldTour team kit colors in 46 seconds.

https://twitter.com/procycletrumps/status/1491019894208753664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1491019894208753664%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-8-february-2022-290155

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

Invalid signatures sink Bonin recall, Koretz nixes expanded hours for La Brea bus lanes, and Ride4Love Super Bowl Sunday

So much for that big anti-Bonin uprising in his coastal council district.

Wealthy and conservative activists have been gunning for CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin almost since he first took office in 2013.

Especially following his bold, but poorly rolled out, attempt at installing much needed road diets in Playa del Rey in 2017, which were removed after Mayor Eric Garcetti cut the legs out from under him following an angry outcry from drivers used to using the roadways as a deadly surface-street alternative to the 405.

Numerous attempts recall him have been announced, despite the overwhelming support Bonin has enjoyed at the ballot box.

And all have fizzled.

The latest attempt got the furthest, as recall supporters actually made it to city hall this time, submitting over 39,000 signatures to the city clerk’s office, far more than needed to qualify the recall for the ballot.

Except, as it turned out, over 13,000 of those signatures were rejected as invalid. Leaving them around 1,350 short.

Now the bike-friendly and bike-riding councilmember can turn his attention to running for a third and final term in office this year, which will most likely return him to his position as chair of the city council’s Transportation Committee.

And avoid the awkward possibility that he could be removed from office amid the typically low turnout of a recall election this spring, then returned when the larger voting public turns out for the June primary election.

As the LA Times points, out, this is the third council recall attempt to fizzle out this year, after earlier failed attempts to oust Nithya Raman and Kevin de León.

Photo taken from Bonin website.

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Once again, outgoing CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz shows his true stripes, standing in the way of a much-needed bus lane on La Brea, if it happens to inconvenience anyone even a tiny bit.

Thankfully, Koretz will be termed out this September, when hopefully, someone who actually supports improving transit service to get Angelenos out of their cars can take his place.

So maybe just hold off on printing those Bus Lane No Parking signs for a few more months.

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Mark your calendar for February’s biggest outdoor event.

Wait, there’s a football game, too?

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I’m not one to talk about my religious beliefs.

But I confess to saying a prayer to the Madonna del Ghisallo every night, asking that everyone who rides a bike the next day may return home safely.

Sadly, sometimes the answer is no.

So I also pray for all those who have been injured or killed riding a bicycle, and all of their loved ones, that they may be comforted and at peace.

Because what’s the point of having our own patron saint if we don’t ask for her help?

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1483552308126437376

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

No bias here. Yet another lengthy screed from a self-proclaimed San Luis Obispo “pedestrian, bicyclist and…commercial driver” complaining that bicycling and walking safety improvements in the city are doing just the opposite — including a new two-way protected bike lane he claims is just teaching children to ride on the wrong side of the road.

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

Riverside police are looking for a bicyclist who repeatedly whacked a 60-something man over the head with a piece of wood in an apparent road rage attack on New Year’s Eve, resulting in head injuries that kept the victim hospitalized until now. Never resort to violence, as tempting as it may be — especially with a weapon, improvised or otherwise. Regardless of what the driver may have done to piss you off.

An alleged road raging bike rider pled guilty to a pair of bail jumping charges on the eve of his trial for fatally shooting a Milwaukee immigration attorney in front of his wife; the defense accuses the driver of directing a racial slur at the Black bicyclist. Which, horrible though it may be, does not justify killing the victim with a gun the shooter was not legally allowed to possess.

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Local

Streetsblog encourages you to weigh in on Metro’s budget for the upcoming year.

 

State

The HIV/AIDS fundraiser AIDS LifeCycle ride is back this year after a two-year pandemic hiatus, and looking for volunteers to help out.

Spectrum News 1 considers the soaring popularity of ebikes in San Diego.

A Corona man is ordered to stand trial for attempting to sexually assault a schoolgirl, then fleeing naked on his bicycle. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

Oakland is pulling the plug on their Slow Streets program, rather than making them permanent like some other cities have done.

 

National

Cannondale’s new Synapse is one of the first road bikes from a major manufacturer to incorporate integrated daytime running lights and a rear-facing radar to alert the rider to any approaching motor vehicles, based on Garmin’s Varia bicycle-mounted radar.

You’ve got to be kidding. South Dakota’s Supreme Court tossed a lawsuit from a woman who was paralyzed when her bike wheel got caught in a Rapid City storm grate, after the city destroyed the evidence by removing nearly 100 similar grates — including the one that left her a quadriplegic, making it impossible to prove her case.

Santa Fe bike riders call for an end to automotive supremacy in advance of a redesign of a deadly thoroughfare that was once part of the famed Route 66.

A handful of Good Samaritans pitched in to buy a new racing bike for a Colorado triathlete who lost everything in the recent Boulder County fire, including her carbon fiber Cervelo, which was turned to ash by the flames.

Your old car tires could have a new life as armadillos marking a Memphis protected bike lane. Now if they’d just recycle the rest of the cars.

The NYPD tells moped riders to stay the hell out of the bicycle/pedestrian lane on the Queensboro Bridge. Now if they could just stop their own cops from parking in bike lanes.

Nice move. New York will provide free two-month bikeshare memberships for hospital workers at the front lines in the battle against the Covid-19 Omicron surge.

A new Penn State study shows that even Bike Friendly University’s are failing to encourage members of underserved racial, gender, low-income and disabled groups to bicycle to and on college campuses.

Bicyclist and pedestrian deaths nearly doubled last year in Florida’s Pinellas County, home to Clearwater and St. Petersburg, jumping from 49 in 2020 to 85 in 2021.

 

International

Local residents are delighted that plans to segregate an English bike lane have been scrapped, so they can keep parking in it.

The Vatican now has its very own cycling team, in honor of the bike-loving pope.

A new German study shows that the country’s increase in bicycling is largely driven by highly educated urban residents, who are riding twice as much as they did when the study began in 1996. Although the study only goes through 2018, so it doesn’t include the effects of the pandemic bike boom. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

A New Zealand tour boat skipper spent the pandemic building a new 35-mile mountain bike track, opening up backcountry areas that have never been open to the public before.

Life is cheap in Adelaide, Australia, where police unexpectedly dropped all charges against a 25-year old man accused of deliberately ramming three separate bike riders while driving a stolen car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Brazil, where elite mountain biker Mariano Merlo died after a sudden illness; she was just 27 years old.

Russian cyclist and former world junior time trial champ Aigul Gareeva has been suspended after skipping not one, not two, but three doping tests over the past year, which could lead to up to a two year ban. Nope, nothing at all suspicious about blowing off three dope tests. Especially now that the Era of Doping is over, right?

Continental-level developmental team Israel Cycling Academy was victimized by bike thieves on Monday, losing 17 team bikes from a truck at the team’s Catalonia, Spain training camp.

Argentine cyclists discover the hard way that maybe they should slow down just a tad when the road is flooded out in front of the peloton.

https://twitter.com/SC_ESPN/status/1483113665188569089?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1483113665188569089%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-18-january-2022-289579

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be haute couture. Don’t stab your companion in an argument over who owns a bike — especially when you’re already on bail for a meth bust.

And it looks like LA tall bike king Richie Trimble’s 20 feet 2.5 inches Stoopid Taller is now just the world’s second tallest bike.

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

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

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

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

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

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

An LAPD press release offered this description of the suspect.

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

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

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

Suspect photo from LAPD press release.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

Consumer Reports offers tips on getting a good bike fit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

Pink Bike explores France’s secret bike parks.

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

Kids bike camp at VELO Sports Center, London shows what LA could be but isn’t, and rider attacked by ungrateful ‘roo

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is living up to its name by hosting the free USA Cycling “Let’s Ride” Camp.

The camp is being held in conjunction with the East Side Riders Bike Club and the Bahati Foundation to get more kids on bikes, and teach them to ride safely.

And who knows, maybe your precocious kid will get discovered by one of those Olympians or team reps, and set on a path to become LA’s next bicycling superstar.

It could happen.

Right?

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This is what Los Angeles could be. But isn’t.

And this is how you make the streets more efficient.

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

Bizarre crime in Brentwood CA (scroll down), where a man hopped out of a pickup and sprayed a bike rider in the face with mace outside a local brewery, in an apparently random attack, before riding off on a skateboard.

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

Police in Kuantan, Malaysia, are looking for a bike rider caught on dashcam video drafting a truck; he could face up to the equivalent an $80 fine if he’s caught, or $229 for a repeat offender.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times urges Newsom to sign AB 1238 to decriminalize jaywalking and let people cross the street when it’s safe, without having to worry about getting a ticket — especially in Black communities where jaywalking is too often used as a pretext for police stops. And a pair of writers for CityLab agree.

A group of UCLA researchers have received a $1 million grant to fund a digital art project designed to encourage more people to ride a bike, by creating art projects that only come to life when someone rides past on a bicycle.

You can now give Metro Bike the Bird by using the dockless scooter app to rent one of Metro’s bikeshare bikes.

Caltrans plans three Complete Streets projects in LA County. But don’t get too excited. Only one, on Western Ave, will have a bike lane; the others — on PCH in the South Bay, and Alvarado Street and Santa Monica Blvd — will only be sort-of complete.

 

State

BikeSD is urging everyone in San Diego County to attend SANDAG’s virtual meeting on Friday, or send in a comment, to help push four regional bikeways over the finish line.

The San Francisco Chronicle says a “permanently car-free John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park” could finally become a reality after more than 50 years of effort and advocacy; city officials want the public to weigh in on whether the street closure should be permanent.

Tips are reportedly flowing in to help identify a man who lost his memory in a Sacramento collision while riding his bike, and has no idea who he is.

 

National

Seriously? A Seattle website offers tips on how to get around the city without a car. But the first two suggestions still recommend using someone else’s car, whether through carshare or a ride hailing service. Which is the exact opposite of not using a car, even if it’s not yours.

Horrible news from Utah, where a man on a bicycle was critically injured when he was struck by an older driver, who then repeatedly backed up and drove forward again and again, running over the victim twice. Yet witnesses inexplicably insisted she didn’t seem to realize she’d hit anything, despite what sounds like an intentional attack.

A Kansas woman is back behind bars where she belongs after her bail was revoked for leaving the state over the weekend; she’s charged with running down a man on a bicycle with her van, then getting out and fatally shooting him as he lay injured on the street.

Chicago announced the largest bike lane expansion in the city’s history, with a commitment to install 100 miles of new and upgraded bike lanes over the next two years at a cost of $17 million.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a retired police sergeant was found dead in a ditch nine hours after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while training for a Police Unity bike tour. The driver should be charged with murder for making a conscious decision to flee once he or she is caught, rather than getting the help that might have saved her life.

Massachusetts police respond to complaints by taking steps to stop kids on bicycles from “harassing and endangering the public” by riding their bikes erratically around drivers and pedestrians.

Life is cheap in upstate New York, where an 84-year old woman got a lousy traffic ticket for killing a bike rider. Yet another example of keeping an older driver on the road until it’s too late.

New York is set to unveil a redesigned Queens Blvd next month, including a bike lane and wider medians and pedestrian crossings, making it the centerpiece of the city’s Vision Zero program; the so-called Boulevard of Death saw 23 people killed or severely injured over a four-year period.

The DC city auditor is opening a 10-month investigation into the city’s Vision Zero program to determine why deaths have gone up every year but one since it was adopted in 2015. Maybe they can do Los Angeles next, which hasn’t fared much better. 

A Georgia man has named a state legislator and a local police chief in a wrongful death suit, accusing them of covering up a hit-and-run collision that killed the man’s bike-riding son; instead of dialing 911, the driver called his buddy the legislator, who called the police chief, neither of whom got help for the victim or charged the driver.

Brian Laundrie is one of us. The “person of interest” in the murder of his fiancée Gabby Petito was seen going for a casual bike ride with his mother after returning to his Florida home alone from an extended road trip with Petito, with no explanation.

 

International

Life is cheap in the UK, where a distracted cab driver got less than three years behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving 70 mph and using his cellphone; he tried to cover up the crime by wiping the data on his phone.

A bike advocacy group said it was shocked when the Belfast, Northern Ireland transportation agency called for removing all the city’s popup bike lanes, or converting them to use by people on four wheels, as well as on two.

The number of people commuting to work by bicycle in Brussels dropped by a third since the pandemic began, but the distance they’re riding went up; 14 percent of commuters now bike to work, compared to 21 percent pre-ppandemic. Los Angeles would have to see a nearly ten time increase to reach the current level, let alone the previous one.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great to see veteran German cyclist Tony Martin end his career on a high note by winning the mixed relay race at the world championships in his last race before retiring, after finishing sixth in Sunday’s individual time trial.

Seventeen-year old Austrian junior cyclist Leila Gschwentner was injured in a collision with a public bus in Leuven, Belgium, while training for Saturday’s junior road cycling world championship; no word on how badly she was hurt.

UCI is stepping in to tame the Wild West of gravel bike racing, metaphorically pinning on its own marshal’s badge to impose structure and a world championship on the formerly unregulated racing events.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to have a “brutal” mountain bike crash, make sure there’s an ER doc on the trail with you. That feeling when a rude ‘roo shows his lack of gratitude for being saved from drowning by attacking a passing bike rider.

And we may have to deal with aggressive LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting attacked by a rabid beaver.

………

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

Help East Side Riders fix hit-and-run damaged van, help get six critical bills passed, and CHP may have your hot bike

Let’s start with a little bad news from one of LA’s best bike clubs.

Because if you’ve got a few extra bucks lying around, Watts’ East Side Riders could use your help.

The group does invaluable work, using bicycles as a starting point to uplift and feed the community. And they give back far more than they receive.

But that work will be on hold for a least a few days, after someone crashed into their van, pushing it up the street. Best case, it was a hit-and-run driver; worst, someone vandalized their van on purpose.

They haven’t asked for help yet, but they can clearly use it. So give ’em a hand if you can. You can donate directly to them right here.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

And yes, I gave a little, too.

Photo shamelessly borrowed from the East Side Riders Bike Club website.

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Streets For All is once again asking for your help to get a half-dozen bills across the finish line in the final days of this year’s state legislative session.

We need your help to get 6 critical bills to the governor’s desk

The legislative session is about to end do it’s all-hands-on-deck for getting these final bills passed.

We need you to reach out to your state senator because time is running out.

Here are the bills that need to get to Newsom:

  • AB 917 – Cameras on buses to enforce bus-only lanes
  • AB 122 – Bicycle safety stop
  • AB 339 – Requiring local governments to have a teleconferencing option for public comment
  • AB 1238 – Decriminalize jaywalking
  • AB 1147 – Active transportation program for regional agencies
  • AB 43 – Allows cities the ability to lower hundreds of miles of speed limits

AB 43 is important for racial justice as a disproportionate amount of pedestrians killed are in black and brown neighborhoods

Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:
1) Email a comment to your state senator as soon as possible!!

If you do not know who you state senator is, don’t worry!

You can easily find out right here.

Use our email template below, but for maximum impact, personalize your message.

CLICK HERE to email your senator

2) Add your name to the I MADE A DIFFERENCE LIST

This helps us keep track of the outreach we have made and where we need to focus our efforts.

CLICK HERE to add your name

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The good news is the CHP may have recovered your stolen bikes.

The bad news is they apparently weren’t registered or reported stolen, so the state police don’t know who they belong to.

And it’s yet another reminder that registering your bike now, before something happens to it, is your best hope of getting it back if anything does.

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Kittie Knox was also one of the first women to join the League of American Wheelmen, today’s League of American Bicyclists, aka the Bike League.

She joined just a year before it changed the bylaws to Whites Only, but since the rule was not made retroactive, Knox was grandfathered in and allowed to remain.

And went on to become a trailblazer for Black women on bikes, and all women.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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We’ve often linked to stories from British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid, as well as his internationally bike touring son.

But this one hit him close to home, as his son’s girlfriend totaled her bike, but was lucky to escape with minor injuries, when she hit a massive pothole hidden by standing water.

Which is another reminder not to ride through puddles, because you never know what is — or isn’t — underneath. Like pavement, maybe.

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Today’s common theme is celebrities and their kids on bikes. And one little girl who should be one.

Credit a bike ride with the success of Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum Thriller album. The gloved one took a ride on a borrowed bike to ride to a Los Angeles schoolyard to watch the kids play after concluding the recording was “crap,” then returned to the studio with a clear head to remix and fix it.

Ben Affleck’s nine-year old son Samuel is one of us, after dad upgraded him to a new Co-Op bike from REI.

Ava Fouts is one of us, too. The ten-year old Tucson girl has done over 200 rides totaling more than 2,500 miles, despite a surgically repaired congenital heart defect. Seriously, if you need a good smile, read this one.

Orlando Bloom has been one of us for a long time, as the British actor posts a photo of himself riding a bike while wearing a back brace after a dangerous fall in his 20s. Oddly, I did exactly the same thing by riding my bike wearing a back brace back in the day. But my broken back resulted from a cracked car jack.

Evidently, British paparazzi never give up, turning out to capture former comedian Lee Evans riding an ebike, seven years after he walked away from his comedy career to spend time with his family.

Luxury car marque Rolls-Royce was founded by one of us; Charles Stewart Rolls started his career as a racing cyclist at Cambridge in the 1890s. Too bad he didn’t just stick to bikes and build a luxury bicycle, instead.

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GCN has advice on how to ge the most out of riding with your family.

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

No bias here. A Kansas City man got the blame for crashing his bike into a van, even though the driver clearly violated his right-of-way by left-crossing him. Never mind that the story doesn’t mention the driver.

No bias here, either. The New York Post somehow thinks maintaining a smoggy, dangerous and traffic-choked boulevard on 5th Avenue is good for business, and returning the street to a more human scale means declaring war on cars. Right. If LA’s elected and appointed leaders had half the courage and imagination of their New York counterparts, we’d already see this on Wilshire Blvd, and a half dozen other major corridors, as well. 

A Welsh driver was fined the equivalent of over $500 for a dangerously close pass of a group of bike riders, which appeared to clear them by a matter of inches.

A British bike rider unwittingly and painfully demonstrated the dangers of overly close passes, when he suffered serious injuries after a driver ran him off the road, and head first into a set of wrought-iron gates.

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Local

West Hollywood’s massive Melrose Triangle project promised to “coordinate” designated ride share and passenger loading areas with the existing bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. Let’s hope that works better than it sounds, because it sounds like a nightmare.

Something must be in the water in Culver City, where another massive 1800-word NIMBY screed decries plans to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians at the three-way intersection of Overland, Kelmore and Ranch, fearing that a planned refuge island for bicyclists and pedestrians would require dangerous mixing of the two, and that the best solution is just to put up a sign banning street crossings entirely.

 

State

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bicycle early Saturday; police are looking for the driver of a possibly red, late model small to mid-sized SUV. Although it would have been nice if the Bakersfield Californian, which should know better, even mentioned that the car had a driver.

Speaking of Bakersfield, you can thank the local golf course and a funding shortfall for killing a “whimsical” proposal to extend the Kern River Bike Path.

A San Francisco writer decries the city’s “inability to address madness and criminality on public transit and on the streets.” And complains about what she calls “whimsical” plans to put bike lanes on the Bay Bridge, saying most would only “undertake the slog” as a last resort, while insisting that biking is a non-starter for small children, seniors, and others with mobility challenges. Clearly, she’s never heard of ebikes. Or met many older bike riders or paracyclists. And what’s with that whimsical word all of the sudden?

 

National

It was a big weekend for naked people on bicycles and chaste camera views, as the World Naked Bike Ride was marked in Mad City, Philly and even Amsterdam.

A kindhearted cop raised funds to buy a new bike and helmet for a Gloucester, Massachusetts teenager, after he was unable to recover the boy’s stolen bicycle.

Three people were injured when their bikes collided at a bottleneck in New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour, which was limited to “just” 20,000 riders as a pandemic precaution.

It takes a major schmuck to push a 74-year old Pennsylvania man down after threatening to steal his bicycle, and only making off with the man’s water bottle.

A group of Baltimore volunteers are delivering meals by bicycle to families in need during the coronavirus crisis.

A man on a cross-country bike tour tries to outrun a hurricane, scurrying just days ahead of Ida’s landfall in Louisiana on Sunday.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is celebrating his 80th birthday by riding his bicycle 80 miles a day for 10 days straight, for a total of 800 miles. Although he might have to take a break for a day or two until Hurricane Ida blows itself out.

Seriously? A Florida man faces felony charges for stealing $2.67 worth of soup and some crackers after crashing his bicycle into a patrol car while trying to flee from police; the petty theft was escalated to a felony due to his previous theft convictions. Anyone who steals something like that does it because he’s hungry, not for financial gain, regardless of his record.

 

International

Treehugger takes a look at surprising ways e-cargo bikes are being used for low-carbon commerce.

Cycling News recommends the best bidons, otherwise known as water bottles for us plain folk.

After a bighearted Saskatchewan boy got a new bike to replace his stolen bicycle, he passed it on to another kid whose bike was stolen, when a Good Samaritan found his purloined bike and returned it.

She gets it. A London physician says she should be able to ride her bike to work without worry, but that we will continue to see more people killed as long as we continue to prioritize the people in the big, dangerous machines. 

Never mind the cars, England’s Countess Sophie got a scare from big-horned stags on a tandem ride with a blind stoker.

A university lecturer in the UK asks if ebikes are ruining mountain biking.

The Dutch may ride at home, but Great Britain’s Dutch ambassador set off a firestorm by saying he doesn’t dare ride in London.

An Aussie business professor puts his expertise to work opening a bicycle-themed hotel in the heart of Belgium’s Flanders region, where “bicycling is practically a religion.”

Calcutta regresses into an auto-centric past by banning bicycles from major streets; an Indian magazine calls it a “warped idea of planning and an antipathy towards the working classes.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Pink Bike considers what’s next for Afghanistan’s growing mountain bike community, over fears of a crackdown by the Taliban; one rider complains he feels like they’ve been dragged into a black hole.

Road.cc says ongoing Covid lockdowns in Asia continue to adversely affect bicycle supplies in Europe.

 

Competitive Cycling

No change in the leader’s standings, as Rafal Majka rode a 56-mile breakaway to victory in Sunday’s 15th stage of the Vuelta.

Twenty-four-year old Evie Richards became British woman to claim the mountain bike cross-county world championship on Saturday in Val di Sole, Italy.

Openly gay Canadian cyclist Kate O’Brien took silver in the 500 meter time trial in the Paralympic Games, just five years after competing in the Rio Olympics, and four years after she was nearly killed crashing into a race moto.

Aussie cyclist Caroline Buchanan became the first woman to land a mountain bike front flip onto a dirt surface.

 

Finally…

Sharpen your pocket knife while you sharpen your riding skills. Your next bike light could be powered by the wind.

And watch out for cars when you stick your imaginary landing.

I would’ve made it if the car wasn’t there :/ from GrandTheftAutoV

………

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

NY woman complains about Black kid on bike, how to ride like a gentleman, and US Climate Change Ambassador is one of us

Please make it stop.

A white woman in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood has a meltdown over an eight-year old Black kid riding too close to her, and too recklessly, on the sidewalk.

Never mind that, as his father is quick to point out, the sidewalks are the only playground kids in the neighborhood have.

Or that the alternative is for a little kid to ride his bike in the city’s dangerous streets, in a neighborhood that hasn’t seen the city’s bike lane expansion. And probably won’t for the foreseeable future.

Let alone that the kid is just eight effing years old.

Seriously, use a little common sense.

And if you don’t want the world to think you’re a racist, stop acting like one.

Photo by Kevin Bidwell for Pexels.

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A New York actor explains how to ride your bike like a gentleman.

Hint: Don’t ride like a dick.

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Hats off to South LA’s East Side Riders, who continue to demonstrate that they’re as much about serving the community as they are about bikes.

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Back when he was running for president, Donald Trump swore he’d never ride a bike, unlike then Secretary of State John Kerry.

Promises made, promises kept.

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Yesterday we noted that someone had stolen the junked bike that was part of Banksy’s latest artwork.

Now it turns out it was never stolen at all. And a generous food delivery rider/art aficionado replaced it on his own, anyway.

………

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

Police in the UK are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who rode off after crashing into a pedestrian, leaving her unconscious and with a broken leg. And yelled at her for breaking his bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at the new two-way parking-protected bike lane on Santa Monica’s Ocean Ave.

 

State

Opponents of a bike lane on San Diego’s 30th Street accuse the city council of playing a shell game by giving less than 24 hours notice of a vote to approve the plan, which will trade 500 parking spaces for protected bike lanes, under the guise of a construction change.

The CHP actually gets bike law right for a change, telling a Fresno questioner that bicycles are allowed on highways, while banned on many limited-access freeways. Correction: They got that part right, but failed in saying bicyclists have to stick to “the rightmost portion of the roadway” and ride single file — neither of which is accurate. Thanks to Andy Stowe for the catch.

A San Jose writer explains to a letter writer what to do if a dog chases your bike. Most dogs are trained to obey commands, so I’ve had good luck giving a firm order to sit or go home. Never mind that ebikes that can go 23 mph, like the letter writer claims, aren’t allowed on California bike paths.

 

National

Bicycling considers the benefits of riding a recumbent — until you realize they’re actually talking about bikes that don’t go anywhere.  And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

Your next foldie could have direct-drive pedals that go up and down instead of around.

Denver Nuggets basketball star Jamal Murray may be sitting on a five-year, $170 million contract. But he’s still living and loving the carfree lifestyle.

We’ve seen countless stories that bike thefts have jumped during the pandemic. Yet somehow a Chicago stolen bike registry has shown a 50% spike in stolen bikes, while the Chicago PD only reports a measly 6% increase.

They get it. The Philadelphia Inquirer says Vision Zero remains vital to curbing traffic violence.

There’s a special place in hell — or at least a damn long time-out — for the Maryland kids who pushed a seven-year old boy off his bike to steal it in a strong arm robbery.

 

International

A new traffic study shows London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods — aka Slow Streets — do not cause gridlock, despite what critics insist.

English actress Michelle Keegan is sort of one of us, looking good in her Lycra bikewear while confessing she only took up bicycling for about three weeks during the pandemic.

British brand Squire has become the first bike lock maker to receive a new digital Kitemark, proof of a secure digital operating system for controlling bike locks, padlocks and cylinders via smartphones and Bluetooth.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an off-duty police worker illegally riding a bike on the sidewalk got off with a lousy £30 fine — the equivalent of $40 — for crashing into a 70-year old man suffering from terminal cancer. Although the victim doesn’t seem to have looked before exiting a store.

Italian racing motorcycle maker Ducati is moving into the high-end e-mountain bike market in the US.

Red Bull offers an extensive guide for buying a BMX or building your own on your next trip to India.

An Indian newspaper explains how bicycling can help you stay healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even car-choked Tehran is taking steps to become bike-friendlier. Unlike a similarly car-choked SoCal megalopolis we could name.

Taiwanese bike makers are gearing up to meet the demand created by the pandemic bike boom.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying meth and a machete on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. If you’re riding an illegally modified ebike while carrying brass knuckles and knives, in violation of your court-ordered release, just stop for the damn stop sign.

And if you’re going to complain about bike lanes causing gridlock, maybe you should pose with at least a few cars in the background.

………

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

Morning Links: Golden age of bike ads, LA Times endorses bike-friendly Lundquist in CD12, and the war on bikes goes on

Ad Age celebrates a classic ad for a 1970 Sears banana-seated chopper bike.

Unfortunately, while the type’s too small to read, the photo at the bottom shows the days of “pink it and shrink it” started early.

And throw in a handlebar basket while you’re at it.

Because girls, unlike boys, actually want to carry stuff, evidently.

Photo from Ad Age story; unfortunately, that it’s full size.

………

The LA Times has endorsed university professor and climate activist Loraine Lundquist in the special election for LA’s 12th Council District in the San Fernando Valley.

She won the endorsement of Bike the Vote LA, as well. Which is good enough for me.

………

Cycling in the South Bay spends a day celebrating with South LA’s East Side Riders, and discovers just how diverse the LA bicycling community is.

After almost forty years of competitive cycling, it’s eye-opening to start understanding how diverse and complex the fabric of our cycling community is, so far beyond the “race around in your underwear” scene. It’s easy to fixate on your own backyard and the Big Group Ride, but hanging out with people who are using bikes as a way to change lives is pretty danged rewarding.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

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At least she pulled over, anyway.

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CiclaValley finds a unique way to see LA.

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Most cyclists wait until after the race to sign autographs.

https://twitter.com/Peter_SagFan/status/1152938822201741312

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

Even when the riders are naked.

Evidently aroused to anger by the sight of human flesh, someone whipped out a paintball gun and started shooting at participants in the St. Louis edition of the World Naked Bike Ride.

Two young Ohio men face misdemeanor assault charges for throwing a water bottle at a bike rider, after the attack was caught on a truck driver’s dashcam video; one of the men admitted to the assault, saying they were just being stupid.

State police in Cambridge MA didn’t get the memo on that city’s naked ride, turning a peaceful afterparty into a near riot that resulted in the arrest of one person.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever shot a 13-year old New Orleans boy in the leg in a drive-by as he was riding his bike.

A British man got two years behind bars for brake checking, then deliberately driving into a man on a bike, for the crime of shaking his head at the motorist’s crappy driving.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

A bike-raging London man used his bicycle as a weapon to attack a London cab driver and the car’s occupants.

………

Local

An op-ed in the LA Times says e-scooters could just be an attempt by big tech to colonize our public spaces.

A survivor of the 2003 Santa Monica farmer’s market crash that killed 10 people and injured 63 others says cars will always be weapons, but we can and should make open spaces safer.

Jeff Goldblum is one of us, too. Maybe.

 

State

Rancho Mirage unveils its plans to improve bike and pedestrian safety.

The bizarrely contentious CV Link bikeway circling the Coachella Valley is expected to grow by another 15 miles next year.

It took Ventura firefighters 40 minutes to bring a brush fire under control after it was started by sparks from a motorized bike.

A sharp-eyed Sacramento pawn shop employee gets the credit for recovering an adaptive tandem stolen from a nonverbal special needs man.

 

National

Will ebikes save the bike industry?

Bicycling readers offer tips on surviving summer’s hottest bike rides, including bringing along a nylon stocking to fill with ice to cool off. Which would also come in handy if you decide to rob a bank on the way home.

Delta Airlines drops its $150 flat fee to fly with your bike. Sort of.

Tucson AZ tries flexible plastic delineators to keep drivers out of bike lanes. Which don’t do a lot of good when people can just drive over them.

Campus police at the University of Utah accidentally run down a woman accused of stealing a bicycle.

Arkansas’ Walton brothers, heirs to the massive Walmart fortune, want to turn Bentonville into a ski town for bicycles.

In a story that should have run over a month ago, a writer for the Daily Beast explores the area around Indianapolis and the irony of riding a bike to the Indy 500.

‘Tis the season. No, really. An Akron, Ohio group celebrates Christmas in July by giving away bicycles to kids in need.

Instead of just preaching about fire and brimstone, a Rochester NY pastor rode his bicycle over police cars and through a wall of flame. Although it helps when your previous job was with the circus.

A seven-year old Bronx girl just got a new bicycle. And a new arm to ride it with, after losing her’s to a misdiagnosed flesh eating bacteria.

A Staten Island columnist says New York Council Speaker Corey Johnson won’t get his vote for mayor as long as he keeps talking about reducing car culture and bike and pedestrian deaths, when some of those dead people might have done something to contribute to it.

Brooklyn readers are happy to blame the victims for New York’s rising bicycle death rates, accusing the city’s “entitled snobs” of having a vendetta against cars and trucks.

Critics accuse New York Mayor and presidential candidate Bill de Blasio of being afraid of the street fights that keep the city from achieving its Vision Zero goals.

New York bike deaths are soaring, while police are writing fewer tickets for blocking bike lanes.

A New York writer plays pinball with cars as a cab-dodging, tip-chasing Postmates delivery rider. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

Good piece from Gothamist detailing how to win the fight to get bike lanes in your neighborhood.

A Florida woman faces a DUI manslaughter charge for jumping the curb and killing a 17-month old girl as her parents rode their bikes on the sidewalk after police found cocaine, fentanyl and other drugs in her system; the child’s father remains in critical condition.

 

International

Forbes talks with an aerodynamicist who builds fatter, but faster and more aero wheels, while Wired examines the “incredible” technology behind this year’s Tour de France bikes.

A Costa Rican hit-and-run driver has been released from jail on a staycation house arrest as he appeals a seven-year sentence for killing four bike riders in a single crash.

A Toronto paper says Vancouver’s recent success shows that if you want to increase bicycling rates, you need an actual network of protected bike lanes — and the political leadership to do it. Which is where Los Angeles invariably fails.

A Toronto columnist says the city is just spinning its wheels on its bike plan, arguing that if it really is a cycling city, it’s a dysfunctional and bumpy one.

More proof evil often only stands out in retrospect, as English bicycling groups cozied up to Germany’s Hitler Youth in the years leading up to WWII.

Um, no. UK police give a DIY motorized bike rider a stern warning after discovering his gas tank was held on to the crossbar with string.

A British parliament member suffers minor injuries when she’s struck by a driver while riding her bike outside parliament.

Brussels, Belgium, described as one of the most car-choked, polluted and bike hostile cities in Europe, is putting the brakes on cars and lowering speed limits to encourage greener transportation options.

Just like Amsterdam wasn’t always Amsterdam, Dutch city Delft wasn’t always the bike-friendly city you see today. On the other hand, Los Angeles is still Los Angeles. Which isn’t necessary a good thing. 

A Philippine aboriginal tribe makes ornate, hand-carved gravity-powered wooden bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s looking like Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe will be wearing yellow in Paris next weekend, after finishing second on the legendary Tourmalet climb that many observers expected him to crack on.

Rapidly riding Dutch cyclist Wout van Aert will be out for the next two months after suffering a deep cut crashing during the in the Tour de France time trial; he’s hoping to be back on his bike in time for ‘cross season.

Cycling Weekly wonders why the yellow jersey is one of the most iconic symbols in sports on its one hundredth anniversary.

Outside says ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis still has a lot to say. The question is, given his track record, can we believe any of it?

The first American to win the Tour de France wasn’t LeMond, Lance or Landis. Or a man, for that matter.

The Los Angeles Daily News offers photos from this weekend’s 58th annual Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, won by Cory Williams on the men’s side and Coryn Rivera on the women’s.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to landscape your new bike park with poison ivy. Furnish your home in recycled bikeshare bikes.

And if you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant and a long, long list of priors, put a damn light on it.

Seriously.

 

Morning Links: New East Side Riders bike book, LA raising speed limits again, and begging to cross on MyFig

Let’s start with a new book from six young members of South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

Bikes Need Love Too is a collection of personification essays covering family, loyalty, abandonment, fun, and friendship from six amazing young authors who reside in Watts, CA, and who are members of the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) organization under the leadership of John Jones III. For seven weeks, the authors participated in a rigorous writing workshop which was facilitated by Publishing Hope and Branding A+ Behavior better known by its acronym, the PHABB 5 program. In these eye-opening and heartwarming essays, the student authors of ESRBC take readers on a fun, powerfully motivating ride. Bikes Need Love Too is engaging, sincere, and a brilliant approach to help encourage young readers to discover their voices.

It’s less than a month from Christmas, and only days from Chanukah. Which makes this the perfect gift for anyone who loves bikes.

Even if you give it to yourself.

………

Once again, Los Angeles is planning to raise speed limits beyond already dangerous levels on over 100 miles of streets, further endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.

The increase is required to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right foot.

Sort of like putting bank robbers in charge of security.

Without the increases, the LAPD will be prohibited from using radar, LIDAR and other speed guns to enforce speed limits, as they have been for years on most LA streets.

Which explains why virtually no one in LA obeys them.

But increasing speed limits, even to improve enforcement, is the exact opposite of Vision Zero, making our streets more dangerous for everyone on them.

Instead of voting to endanger even more lives, city officials should be camped out at the state capital to demand an immediate repeal of the law.

And the ability to set speeds at safer, common sense levels.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

In more WTF news from the City of Angels, the universally despised beg buttons are back on the MyFigueroa bike lanes.

After countless complaints from bike riders when the MyFigueroa project first opened, LADOT adjusted the signals to give people walking and on bikes automatic green lights.

But evidently, it was just a show for the people attending the recent NACTO national convention in DTLA.

Now that the convention is over, anyone not in a car once again has to beg just to cross the damn street.

And good luck with that.

Just another auto-centric fail on what’s supposed to be LA’s showcase Complete Street. Let alone another Vision Zero fail.

And they wonder why we’re pissed off.

………

The Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclist — released their list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities.

Congratulation to Santa Monica College, which moved up to a Silver rating on their fourth year on the list.

Among other SoCal schools, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara held their Gold rankings, while CSU Long Beach and UCLA are Silver.

Cal Poly SLO, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Pomona College ranked Bronze.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

LA-based comedian Bill Burr thinks Share the Road means we’re all supposed to get the fuck out of his way.

No, really.

Here’s that quote, in case you missed it.

…Oh and people who ride bikes in LA are morons, morons, they fucking dress up like they’re in a bike race and then they just drive out in the road. And they always yell ‘share the road’, it’s like well ’yeah, yeah you too, move over’ I allowed enough time to get there in a car, not follow you on your fucking bicycle Lance. I’m not saying it’s not a bad thing when they die, but it’s not shocking. *laughs*

In other words, just another indignorant, overly aggressive LA driver who thinks he does, in fact, own the road.

And that it’s somehow funny when someone gets killed.

Thanks to Steve S for the video.

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How to build a DIY wooden bike.

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A new video intended for motorcyclists explains how drivers can look right at you and never see you. Which applies to anyone on two wheels, with or without an engine.

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It’s Day 8 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

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Local

A new proposal from architecture firm Woods Bagot calls for repurposing LA’s surface parking lots into housing, retail and open space; their More LA plan could reclaim enough space to house an additional three million people.

Bike SGV’s annual Noche de las Luminarias awards event takes place tomorrow night; as of Thursday, some tickets were still available.

The final CicLAvia of 2018 rolls, walks, skates and scoots through the streets of DTLA and Boyle Heights this Sunday; be sure to note the earlier 3 pm ending time.

 

State

The LA Times says California talks a good game on climate change, but fails to follow through on promises for building more walkable, bike-able, transit-friendly communities.

Encinitas’ Leucadia Cyclery is closing it’s doors after 30 years. Which makes me feel old, since it was new when I lived down there.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed after walking his bike down a highway embankment, then attempting to ride across a freeway; he was hit by a car almost immediately.

San Francisco is moving forward with a pair of bike lanes to provide alternatives to deadly bike lanes on the Embarcadero, which aren’t due to be fixed until 2022.

Bay Area public radio station KQED discusses ten things to know about bike theft in San Francisco — all of which apply in Los Angeles, including the advice to register your bike. Except for the part about bike theft going down; the opposite is true in the City of Angels.

 

National

‘Tis the season. Momentum Magazine offers their 2018 gift holiday guide for city cyclists.

Lyft is now the owner of the biggest docked bikeshare provider in the US.

Ebike prices are slowly starting to come down, as Bicycling reviews a $1,649 foldie.

A Boise, Idaho bike co-op is training prison inmates to rebuild bicycles for Syrian refugees.

Colorado Springs CO residents debate bike lanes in the local newspaper’s letters column while trotting out just about every anti-bike trope, discredited and otherwise. But while they argue about whether drivers should have to give up a few feet to improve safety, the city is suffering its deadliest year ever on the streets.

The Chicago Tribune looks at those crazy people who bike in blizzards and surf Lake Michigan.

The widow of a fallen Chicago cyclist has filed suit against the parents of the 15-year old hit-and-run driver who took his life, alleging they should have kept their unlicensed, underage son from getting behind the wheel. Let alone driving on the sidewalk, where the victim may have been standing.

The one thing Michigan bike riders, pedestrians and roller skiers — yes, it’s a thinghave in common is disrespectful, dangerous drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.  And spreads to the Big Apple, where someone sabotaged a popular parking protected bike lane in Queens with dozens thumb tacks; a city councilmember gets it right, calling it an criminal act of vigilantism.

An Op-Ed by the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration says if DC is serious about being a green city, it needs to encourage dockless scooters.

A Mississippi bike site says bicyclists deserve equal protection on the roads.

Florida police track down a woman who had been missing since Monday in a Fort Meyers hospital; she had been admitted as a Jane Doe following a crash while bicycling. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

 

International

Zwift is about to get some indoor cycling competition. Which should please Strava fans, where virtual group rides are more popular than the real thing.

An Ontario, Canada popup museum celebrates the area’s bicycling history.

Bike thieves force a British bike shop out of business, following the third break-in in just seven weeks.

Police bust an Edinburgh bike thief charged with stealing over 60 bicycles worth nearly $39,000.

A British writer recommends a trip to the Scottish Borders, saying the region has been transformed with some of the best bicycling trails and infrastructure in the country.

Malta proposes a new strategy to replace bike lanes with safer, bike-friendly streets and an app that directs riders to the safest route.

A Nepalese traffic engineer calls for making Kathmandu bike friendly, saying every government agency should see bicycles as a major mode of transportation.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a writer explores Korea’s mostly flat, sea-to-sea Four Rivers Route, one of the world’s longest paved bike paths.

A former Miss Malaysia goes bikepacking from Cambodia’s 600-year old New City to Thailand’s festival of lights.

Life is cheap in Malaysia, where a dump truck driver received just four weeks behind bars for killing a 78-year old bike rider. He also lost his license for four years, which will cost him his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax tells the tale of a long-time domestique who finally came in first in his final race.

Cyclist profiles cycling scion and renaissance man Taylor Phinney.

Indiana’s Marian University has awarded what may be the first cycling team mechanic scholarship in the US.

 

Finally…

Try not to photobomb a couple’s surprise engagement, even if they are blocking the bridge. Presenting pro cycling’s Last Supper.

And now you, too, can own the coolest bike in the neighborhood, even if you missed it the first time around.

Morning Links: Help East Side Riders buy a Buddy Bike, LA proposes 12 mph scooter limit, and drivers aren’t looking

As we mentioned earlier, the East Side Riders Bike Club is working with adaptive bikemaker Buddy Bike to buy one of their bikes for special needs kids.

The company is offering a tandem Buddy Bike, which normally sells for around $1,700, to the East Side Riders for just $900.

As they describe it,

The Buddy Bike allows riders with disabilities to experience the thrill of riding a bicycle with the whole family – or in this case their community. A Buddy Bike would be helpful for any riders in the club with special needs or for some of the new riders who aren’t comfortable riding on their own yet. The Buddy Bike can help riders of all ages to learn cycling skills while keeping up with the crew.

You can contribute by calling Buddy Bike’s Shelley Patterson at 786/489.2453 or emailing 199851@email4pr.com.

You can also contribute through the ESRBC GoFundMe page by specifying that funds are for the Buddy Bike, since the club is also raising funds for their BEAST bike safety classes.

………

Apparently, the real problem on our streets are that scooters are too damn fast.

In an apparent effort to keep the city’s fastest growing form of alternative transportation from spreading, Los Angeles councilmembers seem to be attempting to regulate dockless e-scooters to death.

Including a proposal to shave a whole three miles an hour off their top speed, limiting the scooters to just 12 mph.

As if that 3 mph will make much of a difference when riding in traffic on 25 mph streets, where scooter users are currently required to ride unless the street has a bike lane.

Other that to put them at greater risk from speeding drivers, that is.

There may be some limited benefit to lowering speeds, particularly when users illegally ride on sidewalks.

But the current panic over scooters is like worrying about squirrels stealing your nuts, when there are tigers roaming the streets.

Until the city does something about LA’s notoriously dangerous streets — like slowing traffic, fully implementing Vision Zero and providing the bike lanes we were promised — slowing down scooters isn’t going to make a hell of a lot of difference.

………

A new study confirms exactly what you always suspected.

According to the study from the University of Toronto, over half of all drivers failed to look for biked riders and pedestrians before making a right turn.

Which explains why bike rider have to dodge right hooks, and pedestrians have to dart out of the way of cars, even in a crosswalk.

Confirming once again that you have to watch out for turning drivers, because they sure as hell aren’t watching for us.

………

The penultimate edition of Wolfpack Hustle: The Forsyth Cup 2018 rolls tomorrow at the Encino Velodrome, complete with free hamburgers and hot dogs courtesy of BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

………

Members of my old college fraternity are nearing the end of a 3,000-mile ride across the US; by the time they reach DC, they will have raised over $600,000 for people with disabilities.

However, that’s trumped in miles, if not dollars, by a group of riders from the University of Illinois, who’ve raised $110,000 on a 4,750-mile ride from San Francisco to New York.

………

Local

A Playa Vista developer decides to go carfree on the area’s new main shopping street.

A pair of off-duty Malibu lifeguards are being hailed as heroes after saving the life of a 76-year old man who suffered a heart attack while riding on PCH.

Los Angeles bikebuilder Montenegro Manufacturing celebrates its fifth anniversary by throwing LA County’s first Handmade Bike Show this Sunday.

 

State

Readers of the San Bernardino Sun complain that the paper, now part of the parent company behind the OC Register and LA Daily News, ignored the Redlands Bicycle Classic in favor of covering more distant beach volleyball.

The Daily Bulletin reports on Ontario’s Re-Imagine Downtown event, part of SCAG’s Go Human campaign to show what a bike and pedestrian-friendly Euclid Ave could be.

San Rafael is building a $3.3 million bike and pedestrian bridge that will connect the bisected city while improving safety for students at the local high school.

 

National

Bike Snob reviews a custom bike built four years after WWII.

City Lab looks at the history and meaning of ghost bikes.

Grist looks at the success of Lime’s Seattle ebike bikeshare system, even if they have to fish them out of the bay. Yes, it still exists, even if kids no longer have to go door-to-door selling subscriptions.

No bias here. A columnist for a Seattle talk radio station accuses a city councilman of collusion with supporters of bike lanes — no, really — saying the councilmember feels a “moral imperative to kill parking.” Even though he actually said “We have a moral imperative to decrease our carbon emissions that are causing climate change.”

A Wisconsin woman is taking on the fight for safer streets as the investigation into the collision that killed her bike-riding husband drags on.

Something is seriously wrong in Chicago, where four bike riders have been killed in right hooks by dump truck drivers in less than two years.

Indianapolis unveils a two and a half mile long protected cycle track.

A DC letter writer responds to a WaPo Op-Ed where a driver said so what if she blocks a bike lane, saying if the city wants to improve safety, they need to keep self-centered drivers like her out of the bike lanes — and off the roads.

Baton Rouge LA bike advocates plan to tear down the institutional barriers that keep the city’s streets dangerous. Chances are, nothing has changed from when I lived their decades ago, when most major streets had high speeds, and no sidewalks or shoulders. And drivers weren’t willing to give an inch.

Atlanta finds a home for orphaned and abandoned Ofo dockless bikeshare bikes after the company pulled up stakes in the city.

A Florida newspaper questions how to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians in the most dangerous state for people on foot.

 

International

A newsmagazine says bikepacking, like life, is about the journey, not the destination.

Cycling Weekly looks at what doesn’t work in the rain, including white kits that turn see-through when wet.

A contributor to Bike Biz pushes bike shops to be more inclusive for customers with disabilities.

Bike riders were the victims of strong arm robberies on an English bike path for the second time in less than a week.

For once, a touch of justice from the UK, where a drunk driver gets six years for killing an 82-year old woman as she was riding her bike; he was over three times the legal alcohol limit after downing a full liter of vodka before getting behind the wheel.

Welsh police are riding bikes in plainclothes to bust drivers who don’t give riders a safe passing distance.

Chinese dockless bikeshare companies are rushing to fill the void as the wheels fall off the Paris Vélib dock share system.

Coming soon to a street near you — 30 mph moped-share, already in successful use in Spain. Unless the LA city council gets involved, of course.

Take your next bike tour through Italy and the home country of America’s first lady.

 

Competitive Cycling

Austrian cyclist Bernhard Eisel reflects on missing most of the 2018 racing season after he suffered a life-threatening subdural hematoma in a March race.

Bicycling calls back-to-back US amateur crit and road race champ Justin Williams the most important cyclist you don’t know, as the African American rider fights for more inclusion in the sport.

A Welsh website offers photos from Geraint Thomas’ wild welcome home from his victorious Tour de France campaign.

 

Finally…

An Aspen bike trail did to Lance what a number of cycling fans probably wished they could. A bike-riding rescue dog becomes an international superstar.

And when you wheelie want people to clear out of your way.

 

Morning Links: Besmirched in bikes, welcoming King James, and raising funds for kids and bikes in Watts

Now this is what a bicycling city looks like.

Patrick Pascal forwards today’s photo from Dublin, Ireland, noting the city is besmirched with bikes these days.

But in a good way.

Although women apparently don’t feel safe bicycling there, despite the safety in numbers.

Pretty much like every other major city, Los Angeles included.

………

Here’s a good suggestion from someone who prefers to remain anonymous.

Now that LeBron James is officially a Laker, the Los Angeles bike community should welcome him by riding with him from his Brentwood home to Staples Center for his first home game.

That would give a lot of LA kids a chance to ride a bike with the man known universally as King James. Something he clearly cares deeply about.

It would also give us the chance to call attention to the lack of safe infrastructure and the dismal state of LA streets.

And make sure he gets there in one piece.

So if anyone out there knows LeBron, just have him get in touch with me and we’ll put something together.

………

I’ve long been a fan of the East Side Riders Bike Club, and their mission to use bikes to change lives and improve the Watts community.

Now they’re asking for your help to raise $20,000 to support that vital work.

Here’s what their crowdfunding page has to say.

The East Side Riders Bike Club (ESR) is an all-volunteer, grassroots bicycle club working to prevent youth from joining gangs and/or taking drugs, but also engage youth to enrich the community through recreational activities, Our kids are introduced to bike safety, healthy eating and active living, the importance of giving back to the community, and are able to participate in community riding events hosted by ESR.

ESR seeks to positively impact the following community needs: Inadequate Organized Recreational Outlets for local youth in the Watts area, a community that is rife with high rates of child obesity, asthma and other respiratory challenges amongst youth; lack of Safe Passage and Travel Routes: while Watts is a very small community, there are clear gang-related boundaries and territories that limit the movement of local youth based on where they reside; Lack of Resources- families lack the resources to purchase bikes, safety gear, and/or other necessary equipment.

In turn, these kids feed the homeless, clean up neighborhood parks, and are learning to solve community problems by working together!

East Side Riders is raising money to help support our Organization, the BEAST Class and our overall continued support of ESRBC. Since 2008 ESR has provided sack lunches to the hungry, fixed kids bikes for free and provided meals for Thanksgiving, toys and food for Christmas including bikes and helmets for kids that really need them.

With your donation you would be helping our yearly budget that is partially paid for through grants. You can also donate you time to ESR by volunteering with our organization and spreading the word about our work.

If you’ve got a few extra bucks lying around, it would be hard to find a better cause to support.

……..

Local

Yes, LA Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Bob Blumenfield are considering bringing back mandatory, or possibly voluntary, bicycle licensing, though they swear it won’t be used to harass riders, unlike the city’s previous, unlamented program. You can get all the benefits of bike registration right here for free, without waiting for the city to make up its mind.

LA County is proposing an ambitious plan to make over a long-overlooked area near Harbor-UCLA Medical Center into a bike and pedestrian friendly neighborhood.

Curbed considers Pasadena’s plans to bail on its money-losing Metro Bike program.

Maybe you can be a paid brand ambassador for bike friendly New Belgium Brewing at Long Beach State, or one of 13 other campuses around the US.

 

State

An Escondido woman bought a new ebike for a man she calls her guardian angel, who meets her every day to protect her from harassment on a bike path.

Victorville wants your input on a grant application for new bike lanes.

Sad news from San Francisco, where a pedicab driver has died two weeks after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver; Bay Area bicyclists are angry over the crash on the Embarcadero, which was supposed to get a protected bike lane.

 

National

Bicycling offers more of their click-through clickbait, with six roads throughout the US you “gotta” ride. For once, a local road made the list, with Yerba Buena Road through LA and Ventura Counties.

Red Bull offers a beginner’s plan to take you from your couch to riding a 30 miler in just eight weeks.

Now that’s a group ride. Up to 10,000 bike riders are expected to turn out for the annual two-day Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.

Denver bike and pedestrian advocates tell the mayor to put the city’s money where his mouth is, and back his ambitious infrastructure plans with enough money to build it.

He gets it. In a very tongue-in-cheek letter, a Colorado man calls on the local paper to stop covering up the thousands of motorist deaths caused by reckless pedestrians and cyclists, some of whom must be members of MS-13.

A well-known Iowa oncologist is recovering from multiple broken bones after touching wheels with another rider in a paceline.

Police in Grand Rapids, Michigan are testing a new ultrasonic radar device that measures the distance between a bike rider and a passing car to look for violations of the three-foot passing law.

I like this guy already. A Massachusetts columnist complains about the roadway caste system that puts drivers above bike riders, and suggests that people should park and watch other drivers before they complain about people on bicycles.

In the wake of a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, city councilman’s death while riding in a nearby parish, local leaders form a victim-blaming committee that may try to restrict riders rather than improving safety.

 

International

Great book excerpt from the authors of the Modacity website, who discuss how ebikes can provide mobility for everyone — and not just for “the laziest demographic in history.”

The City Fix says more bike riders corresponds to a happier city, but does not guarantee you’ll be happy if you ride a bike.

It’s the battle of the Parisian bikeshares, as the city’s vaunted Vélib‘ bikeshare has fallen on hard times, and several dockless systems struggle to survive. 

Every Muslim who can is expected to perform the Hajj at least one in their life, but nothing says you can’t do it by bicycle; two Albanian men will be riding six weeks across five countries to make their pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yesterday’s fourth stage of the Tour de France ended in a three-way photo finish..

Bicycling looks at new gear at the Tour. So is anyone other Peter Sagan or Chris Froome wearing their eponymous glasses and helmet?

Yes, Americans can still compete in the top levels of pro cycling. Just not the men, apparently.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can relive the 1970s cult classic The Warriors, but on two wheels. When it comes to pro cycling, stupidity is in the pain of the beholder.

And this is what it looks like when a thief steals your bike in broad daylight.

Not to mention how fast it happens.

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