Tag Archive for ebike rebates

Feeling suckered by CA ebike voucher program, CD4’s Raman wins re-election, and why people keep dying on the streets

Just 291 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

As of this writing, we’re up to 1,017 signatures, so let’s keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us! 

Photo by Max J from Pexels.

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Let’s start with a look at California’s virtually moribund ebike incentive program, and its ongoing failure to launch.

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

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a woman is demanding action after police determine there’s “not enough detail” to charge a hit-and-run bus driver who just drove off after knocking her off her bike.

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

London’s Telegraph complains that the city is building more floating bus stops, even though some bicyclists don’t stop for pedestrians like they’re supposed to. Seriously, don’t do that. It only takes a few seconds to observe the right-of-way, and let pedestrians pass.

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Local 

Alhambra’s city council unanimously approved a new bike and pedestrian plan, which was delayed for two months to get more community input. Although as we’ve learned the hard way, getting a plan approved is meaningless unless it’s actually funded and implemented, regardless of apparent support.

A paraplegic Palmdale man says riding a handcycle in Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon fulfills his wildest dream.

LA County will spend $250 million to widen the Old Road in Stevenson Ranch to six lanes, while adding a protected bike lane in each direction. It costs an average of $1 million a mile to build a protected bike lane, which means they could build ten miles of protected lanes on both sides of the roadway, and still return $230 million change.

Santa Monica once again learned the hard way that free parking isn’t free; it cost the city $26,000 in lost revenue to provide free parking in city lots the last three days before Christmas, which resulted in exactly no benefit to local businesses.

Speaking of SaMo, the city is encouraging bicyclists to register their bikes through Bike Index or Garage 529 before May’s National Bike Month; you can sign up for lifetime free registration with Bike Index right here, as well as report a stolen bike or check their nationwide stolen bike registry. Full disclosure, I don’t get a damn thing for hosting Bike Index on this site, aside from the satisfaction of helping thwart bike thieves.

 

State

Survivors of a fallen Bakersfield bike rider filed a claim against the county, alleging dangerous conditions on the roadway where she was killed by a driver last year, including inadequate lighting, traffic signals and signage.

San Mateo bicyclists and traffic safety advocates are demanding answers after a hit-and-run driver left a bike-riding 62-year old woman with a broken back.

 

National

A new AI-powered device promises to use “computer vision” to alert bike riders to cars and other dangers on the roadway. So they expect us to rely on the same technology that draws people with three legs, and makes up various “facts.”

He gets it. Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus says the reason more people aren’t biking is too many cars, with too many driven without regard for others.

Now this is a bike travel guide, as a Boulder CO weekly offers tips on where to stop for food and drinks on your next long-distance ride.

Denver promises to plow bike lanes, as the city prepares to get up to 20 inches of snow, though bike riders are warned they may have to share traffic lanes with motorists. And yet, we’re somehow told that no one will ride a bike during LA’s temperate winters. 

Kindhearted Indiana cops gave a new bike to a 12-year old boy whose bike was destroyed when he was hit by a bus; fortunately, he wasn’t hurt.

That’s more like it. A bill in the Vermont legislature will give bike riders priority at intersections and require a four-foot passing distance.

New York Streetsblog celebrates the new Citi Bike bikeshare dock at the former Shea Stadium, now Citi Field, allowing bikeshare users to ride to a Mets game. But then you’d have to actually watch them play, so hard pass. 

A $9.6 million federal grant will fund a nearly nine-mile bike and pedestrian path between two Mississippi towns, as part of a project to widen US 90 from four to six lanes. So call it a win-lose for the environment and induced-demand. 

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine argues there should be tax incentives to buy and ride a bicycle. There should be some on this side of the border, too.

A BBC radio host is riding the “staggering distance” of 500 km across the country — the equivalent of 310 miles — to raise funds for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day. Or as randonneurs call a distance like that, Tuesday.

Bike-riding BBC host Jeremy Vine is suing a former Man City soccer player for calling him a “bike nonce.” Which I might find offensive, too, if I knew what the hell it meant.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly tips two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar to win Saturday’s Milan-San Remo, the longest one-day race in pro cycling.

The UCI Ethics Commission fined Soudal Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere for making disparaging comments about women, including suggesting that women drink too much, and that many female pros aren’t worth pro cycling’s current minimum wage.

 

Finally…

This is what it looks like when unloved bicycles are left to die alone. Just let the billionaires pay for a pod to change out of your sweaty clothes after a bike commute.

And that feeling when you promise to ride a bike to see your friends, after getting busted for driving an uninsured vehicle with an expired driver’s license.

At 103 years old.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month today

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA Times declares overwhelming victory for Measure HLA, and yet another meeting for California ebike voucher program

Just 299 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

As of this writing, we’re up to 1,007 signatures, so let’s keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us!

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Okay, now we can celebrate.

Because yesterday afternoon, the Los Angeles Times joined KNBC-4 in declaring Measure HLA has passed.

Backers of a citizen-sponsored ballot initiative that forces Los Angeles to add hundreds of miles of bike and bus lanes — to make streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists — declared victory on Wednesday.

Measure HLA was leading by a wide margin, according to semifinal results released by the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on Wednesday.

“This says people in Los Angeles want change, they want safer streets, and they want the city to follow through on their promises,” said Michael Schneider, who has led the HLA campaign and is executive director of the advocacy group Streets for All, which conceived the measure.

The measure, otherwise known as the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal, requires the city to build out the Mobility Plan 2035, which was overwhelmingly approved by the city council in 2015 — then promptly put on the self and forgotten.

In fact, you could count the percentage of the plan that has been installed in the nearly decade since on your hands, and still have plenty of fingers left to tell the city how you feel about their decided inaction.

HLA, which goes into effect next month, will require the city to built out the mobility plan any time a one-eighth mile, or 660 feet, segment of street contained in the plan is improved or resurfaced.

The city will be required to track their progress online. And if they don’t fulfill their obligation, residents can sue to force compliance.

Backers overcame opposition from a handful of city council members, along with pro-motorist pressure group KeepLAMoving, and the city’s chief financial officer, who loaded the cost estimate with over $2 billion in barely related expenses that the city would have been required to spend anyway.

The measure was also opposed by the Los Angeles firefighters union, which took a bizarre stance against improving traffic safety while expressing fears it would somehow slow their response times — even though road diets, bus lanes and bike lanes have been shown to improve emergency responses by allowing vehicles to bypass traffic.

The Times applauded the passage of HLA, noting that it will finally spur action from City Hall to increase alternatives to driving.

People are frustrated with congestion but they don’t have great alternatives to driving. Buses get stuck in the same traffic. There aren’t enough protected bike lanes. And too many neighborhoods lack smooth sidewalks, crosswalks, shade trees, street lights and other basic amenities that make it easier for people to walk.

Measure HLA will ensure those alternatives finally get built, after too many delays by City Hall…

Opponents tried to argue that L.A. is a city of cars and nobody wants to use bike lanes or bus lanes or pedestrian amenities. But they missed the point of Measure HLA — which is that the streets today are bad for everyone, motorists included. If the Mobility Plan isn’t implemented and people don’t have safe alternatives to driving, then traffic congestion and, most likely, the number of traffic fatalities will only get worse.

Fortunately, the passage of Measure HLA means the Mobility Plan is no longer a choice for city leaders. It’s a mandate.

But not everyone was in agreement.

The conservative Southern California New Group somehow considered HLA “controversial,” despite the support of nearly two-thirds of voters in the primary election.

And cited a notorious pro-driving activist to back up that contention.

Jay Beeber, executive director for policy for the National Motorists Association and executive director for Safer Streets L.A., said the measure sounded good but would lead to “a whole host of problems for the city.”

Beeber said voters just created “a massive congestion problem in the city, and they are going to live with that decision for a long time. Most people who read the measure are expecting that it’s just simply roadway improvements and not that it’s going to be taking away car lanes, not that it’s going to be creating congestion, not that it’s going to push traffic into their neighborhoods, not that it’s going to increase (emergency) response times.”

The question now is whether opposition groups will file suit in an attempt to block the measure. And whether city leaders will seek ways to slow walk its implementation, or attempt to bypass it completely.

Which seems likely, given the city’s extensive track record of broken promises.

It seems a very long time ago that the corgi and I met Streets For All founder Michael Schneider in Pan Pacific Park to sign the Healthy Streets LA ballot petition.

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It’s now 78 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 33 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

Despite a promised launch this spring, the California Air Resources Board will hold yet another online work group next Thursday to gather input for implementing the ebike incentive program.

Because evidently, nearly three years just wasn’t enough time to work it all out.

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

London police apologized after dropping the charges against a bike rider who filmed a distracted driver using a handheld phone, just one day before he was set to go on trial for allegedly riding “without due care and attention.”

No bias here. A Dublin, Ireland city councillor strongly denies being anti-bicyclist, despite calling for mandatory registration and insurance for bike riders, which is currently required only by the North Korean dictatorship.

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Local 

The Pacific Palisades Community Council will discuss plans for a pedestrian and bike bridge crossing PCH at tonight’s public meeting; the bridge will connect Will Rogers State Beach to George Wolfberg Park, named for the longtime community and bicycle advocate.

Santa Monica police will conduct more bike and pedestrian safety operations today and tomorrow, ticketing any violation that endangers anyone in the two groups, regardless of who commits it. So as usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line, so you’re not the one who gets written up and fined. 

 

State

State Senator Scott Wiener explained his latest bill in the state legislature in an online preview of the upcoming Calbike summit; SB 960 would require Caltrans to fully implement its own Complete Streets policies, similar to Measure HLA.

Bicyclists question a Caltrans Complete Streets plan for El Camino Real in Palo Alto, arguing that the bike lanes planned for the street are intended for roadways with speeds up to 35 mph, while speeding drivers often exceed that.

Heartbreaking news from Dublin, California, where a 10-year old boy suffered “significant injuries” when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike. But at least the driver stuck around after the crash.

The Director of Mobility for the Oakland mayor’s office says he dreams of a day when he can just stick to bicycling, and not have to worry about being stopped for Biking While Black. Read it on AOL if Bicycling blocks you.

 

National

A travel website lists 12 beautiful rail trails across the US, along with the upcoming 3,700-mile Great American Rail Trail that’s currently under construction.

Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power has introduced four new models featuring a heat-absorbing resin coating the battery to prevent corrosion and “thermal events,” like unexpectedly exploding or bursting into flames.

You now have to be at least 18 years old to ride an ebike in Phoenix, which means that ebike-riding school students are breaking the law.

A bill in the Illinois legislature would require cities specify the safety features and degree of separations between motorists and bicyclists in any maps showing bike lanes.

 

International

London has quadrupled the city’s bike lane mileage since the current mayor took office eight years ago.

A website for the “world’s urban leaders” examines how the Parisian e-scooter ban has affected the city’s mobility, as well as the booming bike use in the French capital.

After a Brisbane, Australia ghost bike was removed by city officials and reinstalled by bicyclists a half-dozen times, advocates put it on a trailer legally parked in a bike lane, instead.

The Australian Bicycle Network examines the safety in numbers effect, noting studies that show more bikes on the streets improves safety for everyone.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Iran, where rising track and road cyclist Ariana Valinejad died a week after she was injured when a gas leak in her home exploded; she was just 20 years old.

Colombian pro Santiago Buitrago soloed to a mountaintop win on stage 4 of Paris-Nice, passing Australia’s Luke Plapp to take the leader’s jersey. And no, I never heard of them, either. 

CNN says Team Visma-Lease a Bike’s “outlandish” new Giro bike helmets are under review by pro cycling’s governing body. The helmets include a full face shield, apparently to hide the embarrassment of the people wearing them. 

 

Finally…

That feeling when new bike racks nearly kill your business by preventing drivers from illegally parking in front of it. Who needs a marching band when you can pedal, instead?

And let’s hope they at least read the poor bike its rights. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the photo. 

Photo by Steven Hallett

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA-based swrve shuts down, ebike riders could face bans and restrictions, and ebike incentives costly but effective

Just 307 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We made it!

As of this writing, we’re at 1,005 signatures! So let’s keep it going, and urge your friends, family and coworkers to sign the petition until the mayor agrees to meet with us!

Photo from swrve website.

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Disappointing news, as Los Angeles-based bikewear brand swrve is set to close after 20 years of making comfortable clothing for urban bicyclists and bike commuters.

The company plans to remain in operation for the next few months as it sells off existing inventory, but won’t place any further orders with suppliers.

There is some small hope, however, with swrve’s owners putting it on the market in hopes of attracting a new buyer.

Fingers crossed.

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A new video dissects the recent ebike ban in Key Biscayne, Florida, that followed the death of an elderly woman riding a bicycle who collided with a teenaged ebike rider.

According to CleanTechnica, it demonstrates “how one thing leads to another to lead from tragedy to bigger tragedies.”

The ban also offers a stark reminder that your right to ride the bicycle of your choice could easily be taken away.

Meanwhile, an Oregon ebike bill is likely to pass following a last minute compromise, after the Bike League and PeopleForBikes came out against an earlier version of the bill.

The new version narrows the definition of a bicycle to being equipped with pedals, to prevent throttle-controlled bikes from being classified as ebikes.

Which could be a reasonable compromise to Encinitas Assembly Member Tasha Boerner’s bill to ban ebike use for kids under 12, and require online training to buy or ride an ebike for anyone without a driver’s license.

Defining an ebike as having operable pedals would continue to permit ped-assist ebikes, while reclassifying throttle-controlled bikes as subject added regulation.

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A new report from a trio of US university professors says bike incentive programs are an expensive way for state and local governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

However, they also single out the programs for promoting health, equity and cleaner air. Not to mention improving traffic congestion by reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

Something that California’s dramatically underfunded ebike voucher program could have been doing for the past two years — if the state had gotten its shit together and actually launched the damn thing.

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If you ever thought there was a lot going on in the LA area bicycling community, you’re right.

Courtesy of Mobility For Who and Trash Panda Cycling, a calendar of local bike events offers a crowded schedule of daily rides and races for anyone looking for more two-wheeled fun to fill your time.

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GCN asks the burning question of whether an ebike makes you fast enough to train with hang with the pros.

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It’s now 70 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

A new video captures a British Columbia hiker standing in the middle of a mountain biking trail to berate bikers for using it, apparently a tad confused over the concept of a bike-specific trail.

No surprise here, as video of a bike-riding Toronto traffic enforcement officer ticketing drivers blocking a protected bike lane draws exactly the kind of comments you’d expect from the typically aggrieved driving community.

@tps_bikehart

When I am assigned a special detail for bike lane enforcement. It is ZERO tolerance. Doesnt matter if you’re “only stopped for 2 mins” “but i have a pickup” “but i have a delivery” but,but,but …..no excuse. Park legally. These parking offences are zero tolerance and more restrictive for a reason. Bike lanes keep cyclist safe. This happened to be an area where there is no protection curb as its a driveway to a PARKING gargage. And a driver still shanelessly pulls in, turns their hazards. Guess whats the hazard? THE CAR. $150 tag to be served in the mail and other served to windshield #fyp #toronto #bikeTO #cycleto #cycletoronto #bikelanes #parkingticket #cyclist #parkingenforcement #parkingofficer #torontopolice #cars #biketok #downtown #parkingticket

♬ original sound – erin.urquhart

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

A bike-riding bandit has snatched at least seven cellphones from the hands of unsuspecting Manhattanites in recent weeks.

A pedalling perp was pinched by the police after a series of bike-born Virginia purse snatchings. I think “Pedaling Perp” will be the name of my new band.

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Local 

Santa Monica police will conduct yet another Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation today, ticketing any traffic violation that could endanger bike riders or pedestrians, regardless of who commits it. So once again, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line today, so you’re not the one who gets fined. 

 

State

Canyon News reports California is working to improve safety for bicyclists, but more bike safety legislation is needed. Although how hard the state is actually working on it is subject to debate. 

Laguna Nigel became the latest Orange County city to tighten ebike regulations, banning handheld cellphone use while riding a bike, prohibiting wheelies by ebike riders, and requiring a helmet for any ebike riders under 18. Even though state law already requires bike helmets for anyone under 18, and the other provisions are of questionable legality, since only the state has the authority to regulate bicycle use on public roads.

Seriously? Over 1,000 bicyclists are expected for Saturday’s annual Solvang Century Bike Ride, even if the local paper describes it as a “non-competitive race,” which is a complete contradiction of terms. Apparently, they don’t know any other words to describe multiple people on bicycles riding at the same time. 

Sad news from Fresno, where a 53-year old homeless woman was killed when she allegedly made an abrupt left turn on her bike in front of an SUV; meanwhile, the driver was arrested on the spot for DUI.

A lawsuit has been filed over another Fresno bicycling death, alleging a popular university lecturer was killed last October when at least five drivers of high-powered sports cars were racing one another, before one hit her head-on after rounding a curve on the wrong side of the road.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 38-year old woman killed in a Los Altos collision while riding her bike earlier this month was described as a having a brilliant technical mind and a compassionate, personable nature; she was engaged to be married just two months from today.

 

National

Forbes recommends the year’s best road bikes that cater to every type of bicyclist. Unless you’re one of the millions of American bike riders who’s not a roadie, of course.

A University of Washington worker puts a new spin on the term professional cyclist, delivering letters and packages by ebike for the campus mail service.

A kindhearted Oklahoma sheriff’s deputy took it on himself to put a new tube in a student’s bicycle while they were in class, after the kid apparently suffered a flat on the way to school.

In a story that shouldn’t surprise anyone, the Chicago Tribune reports that serious crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians seldom lead to charges, or even tickets, which advocates say is a sign they aren’t taken seriously enough. That same story could be written for virtually any American city, as traffic violence is usually just considered an “oopsie,” even when there’s clear evidence of reckless behavior. 

In another sign that New York’s Vision Zero still has a long way to go, a 64-year old man riding a bikeshare bike was killed when he was doored while riding on a street which has been identified as a Vision Zero corridor, but where nothing has been done.

Despite promises by New York officials to build ebike charging stations for workers after a fatal ebike battery fire last year, not one dime of the promised funding has been spent.

Tampa, Florida traffic engineers report there have been zero fatalities at intersections where bike boxes have been installed.

 

International

Who needs a bike bell when you could have a mini car horn capable of an ear-blasting 125 decibels of annoying honking, just like the people ensconced in a couple tons of glass and steel.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof took a step toward returning to life following a near-fatal bankruptcy, as the company’s new owners provided access to repair manuals, guides, and technical drawings for their ebikes built prior to 2019, which were previously available only to certified bike shops.

swrThe 16-year old boy accused of intentionally running down two Melbourne, Australia bike riders with a stolen car will have to stay behind bars until his trial, after the judge denied bail in the case; the victims continue to suffer from brain and spinal injuries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-one-year old American “crit king” Luke Lamperti made an impressive spring classics debut with a 7th place finish at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

The legendary Marianne Vos outsprinted world champ Lotte Kopecky to win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, one of the most important one-day classics on the Belgian cycling calendar.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the countryside is haunted by miles of ghost bike paths. Or when you need hip waders for your next ride.

And we may have to deal with drivers parking in bike lanes, but at least they’re not blocked by bigass bales of hay.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

CA ebike voucher program sets next failure to launch deadline, and Times calls out fear-mongering over Measure HLA

Just 312 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. Only 19 signatures to go to reach 1,000! 

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Good news, maybe.

But don’t hold your breath.

San Diego’s inewsource reports that the next soon-to-be-missed deadline for California’s moribund ebike rebate program is now scheduled for sometime this spring.

That comes after self-imposed deadlines of January 1st, 2023, and the significantly more vague deadlines of second quarter, 2023, then last fall, which is the most recently missed deadline.

Not that we weren’t all expecting it to launch in 2022, after it passed the state legislature and was signed into law all the way back in those heady pandemic days of 2021.

So if anyone feels like Charlie Brown trying to kick a football, you’re in good company.

The story begins with a focus on San Diego nonprofit Pedal Ahead, which has been tasked with operating the program for the California Air Resources Board.

The nonprofit plans to operate a similar program statewide under a $10 million grant it received from the California Air Resources Board, or CARB. But roughly a year after its originally planned launch date, the program has yet to officially start.

CARB spokesperson Lys Mendez told inewsource that the state’s E-Bike Incentive Project is now expected to begin in the spring, as officials need more time for “infrastructure building” — essentially, making sure Pedal Ahead runs smoothly statewide. That includes organizing with e-bike retailers and community groups that can help get the word out and educate the public about the program, she said.

In other words, the same bullshit they’ve been feeding us for the last year.

The only real news in the story is that the soft launch that was supposed to take place last year actually did happen, despite the complete and total news blackout up to this point.

But as inewsource previously reported, Pedal Ahead suffered from low participation when it launched its San Diego program in 2020, with just a fraction of local participants logging enough miles to keep their bikes — and some reporting far fewer miles than what’s required, or none at all. The program also didn’t use an income requirement, allowing people who didn’t qualify as low income to receive a bike.

Despite that, Pedal Ahead beat two other applicants to administer the state program, with CARB citing the nonprofit’s “proven, on-the-ground experience” in San Diego.

Some money has been spent ahead of the program officially opening statewide. A preliminary “soft launch” is already happening in San Diego, the East Bay in Northern California, Fresno and in tribal communities, Mendez said. In those locations, she said the state is “currently testing key aspects” of the program.

Some, as in a quarter of the original $10 million in state funding has already gone to overhead, leaving just $7.5 million available for rebates.

Of that, $5 million is reserved for the lowest income applicants, with just $2.5 million for everyone else who qualifies with an income less than 300% of the federal poverty level.

Never mind that I would have qualified if the program had launched on time a year ago, and won’t now.

So I hope someone enjoys riding my ebike.

Maybe I can get Tern to sponsor me with one of these, instead. It could happen.

The other news in the story is that even after the moribund program finally crawls its way through the earth to launch, like Dracula after dark, it could take a full three months to be approved for a voucher once you apply.

Residents must also be at least 18 years old to apply for a voucher to get a free e-bike from a program-selected retailer, such as a local bike shop. Participants will need to own the e-bike for at least a year and complete surveys about the experience.

The approval process may take up to three months.

Yes, three months.

And if that’s not a sign of the sheer incompetency behind this program, I don’t know what is.

Frankly, I’m ready to give up on the whole damn thing and ask my state legislators to fire both CARB and Pedal Ahead, and start over from scratch.

Because the thing that other cities and states have seemed to find so easy to do — get ebike rebate programs up and running through multiple rounds of funding — seems to be impossible here.

Meanwhile, if Tasha Boerner’s AB 2234 passes, even adults will be required to pass an online test in order to be able to legally buy one, let alone actually ride it, if they don’t already have a driver’s license.

Because living in poverty isn’t humbling enough, evidently.

Thanks to Ellectrek for the heads-up.

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They get it.

The Los Angeles Times writes that all the fear-mongering over Measure HLA — the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure — ignores that what’s really scary is LA’s deadly streets.

According to the paper, some of the city’s most powerful officials have been trying to sabotage the measure, rather than actually doing something to reduce deaths and injuries resulting from traffic violence.

Never mind actually eliminating them, which was supposed to happen by next year. But won’t.

But even though the projects have been on the books for years, last week the city’s top budget official released a questionable new $3.1-billion estimate for the plan, while the union that represents city firefighters claimed that making the streets safer will slow emergency response times.

It’s fear-mongering designed to scare Angelenos into voting against the measure. But what’s really frightening is that L.A. leaders could have started building a more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly sustainable city years ago and perhaps averted some of the recent deaths. They had the blueprint to make streets safer but didn’t make it a priority. That’s why Measure HLA is necessary.

It’s worth reading the whole thing to see just how much your life is — or more accurately, isn’t — worth to many of those leading this city.

Let alone the people responsible for saving it.

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Bike Long Beach will host a murals and coffee ride tomorrow, to avoid conflicting with Sunday’s CicLAvia, along with a virtual monthly meeting on Monday.

Bike Long Beach Feb Meeting

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Don’t forget Saturday’s 46th Annual LA Chinatown bike ride tomorrow, and Sunday’s Melrose Ave CicLAvia.

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It’s now 64 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. Streetsblog says Oakland complains about a lack of resources to build bike lanes, but they somehow had the resources to rip one out along the city’s Embarcadero.

Britain’s CyclingMikey, scorned among the motoring crowd for recording scofflaw drivers with his bike cam, says bicyclists “are seen as the cockroaches of the road.” Well, tell us something we don’t know.

Berlin’s rightwing mayor is fulfilling a campaign promise to make more room for cars by ripping out bike lanes. Which is more proof that we’re never more than one election from losing all the gains we make.

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

Apparently, someone has our back, but not in a good way. After a 19-year old driver hit a bike rider in San Antonio, Texas, someone opened fire, riddling the car with bullets.

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Local 

The Beverly Press says Measure HLA could pave the future for mobility in Los Angeles.

 

State

Calbike calls on California to divest from wasteful, induced demand-inducing highway projects, and invest in Complete Streets and the state’s transportation future.

Calbike also introduced a slate of 16 bills they’re backing for the current legislative session, including bills that would mandate Complete Streets following Caltrans resurfacing projects, similar to Measure HLA, as well as mandating motor vehicle speed limiters and truck sideguards.

An Orange County mother has made it her mission to preach ebike safety in the face of rising ebike injury rates. Although I’ve yet to see a study that shows ebike injury rates in relation to ebike ridership, without which claims of rising or worsening injuries are merely anecdotal.

San Diego will pay nearly $3 million to the family of Hossein Samadi, who was killed in a 2020 collision with a city truck parked in a bike lane Carmel Valley Road without warning cones or flashers.

San Francisco Streetsblog attempts to cut through the latest misinformation regarding the city’s Valencia Street centerline bike lane.

Bike Magazine examines how Davis became “Bike City, USA.”

 

National

Vehicle-to-everything technology, aka V2X, rears its ugly head once again, as a writer for Streetsblog says we could improve safety for bicyclists by allowing cars and bikes to talk to one another. As long as you’re willing to wear a transponder every time you ride, or be held accountable anytime you don’t.

Velo marks Black History Month with a look at eight groups making bicycling more inclusive across the US.

NPR reports bike helmet use declined almost 6% each year for the last five years, while ebike head injuries saw a 49-fold increase, with just 44% of injured ebike riders wearing helmets. Although as noted above, those numbers are virtually meaningless without a comparison to increasing ebike ridership rates, and comparing helmet use by ebike riders who suffered head trauma with similarly injured riders of regular bikes.

An Oʻahu bike club uses two wheels to explore Honolulu’s Kalihi Valley, one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods.

This is why you let the police handle it. A Portland woman was nearly killed when she went with friends to a homeless camp to help recover a stolen bicycle, and was shot by a man with a high-powered air rifle.

Denver opened a new $14 million, 1.5-mile protected bike lane that bike riders have been waiting on for more than eight years.

Cleveland’s Vision Zero program is called into question after 550 people were struck by drivers while walking or biking in the city.

The husband of fallen US diplomat and bicyclist Sarah Debbink Langenkamp says littering can get you up to five years behind bars in Maryland, but the driver who right hooked his wife with a 50,000 pound truck walked with a traffic ticket that carried a lousy $2,000 and 150 hours of community service.

 

International

More on the “clever policing” that London cops used to bust a $165,000 bike theft ring by using a bait bike. Something that remains off-limits for the LAPD, over misplaced fears of entrapment, thanks to a singularly uninformed opinion from former City Attorney Mike Feuer, who wants to be my next Congress Person; yeah, good luck with that. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link. 

Meanwhile, bikejacking victims call for more cops around London’s Regent’s Park, where gangs of moped-riding thieves are reportedly targeting a list of high-end bicycles, including Pinarello, Bianchi, S-Works and Brompton, which are then shipped to Russia to evade sanctions.

A British letter writer says excuse me, but 1 million bicyclists a year, 2,739 cyclists every day and 114 an hour does not a low number using a bike lane make.

Paris is now officially the most bike-friendly city in France.

Over a quarter of Belgians rode an ebike last year, as electric bicycles continue to gain in popularity. That’s a figure we may never see here, as long as officials continue to drag their feet on an underfunded rebate program, and fight against safer, more livable streets.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling site looks forward to this year’s trends in bicycle fashions. Which are pretty much the same as last year, and every other year.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Adam Yates was forced to retire from the UAE Tour following a concussion protocol fail, when he continued riding after a crash, until he radioed the crew to ask what happened since he didn’t remember anything.

A writer for Cycling Weekly knows just how it feels when Phil Gaimon steals your hard-won KOM.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get hit with a bicycle during a pro wrestling street fight. Or when even an Aggie understands we’re second-class road users.

And presenting the driver psychology course for bicycling safety.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Sacramento boy fatally shot after winning bike race, memorials for Aussie cyclist Melissa Hopkins, and US ebike incentives

Well, that was unexpected.

Thanks to Robert H for a surprising January donation to last month’s 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Even though the fund drive is officially over, donations of any amount are always welcome and appreciated. And help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

………

14 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch in the fall, as promised; 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law.

………

A tragic story got even worse yesterday, when news broke that the killing of a Sacramento boy may have resulted from winning a bike race.

Ten-year old Keith “KJ” Frierson was riding the bike he got for Christmas when he was shot by another ten-year old boy, who allegedly found the gun in his father’s truck when he went to get his dad a pack of cigarettes.

Frierson’s mother alleged the other boy shot him after losing an impromptu bike race to the victim.

The alleged killer’s father, 53-year-old Arkete Davis, had the gun — which was allegedly stolen — despite being prohibited from possessing one as a convicted felon.

He reportedly dumped the gun in a trash can after the shooting to hide his son’s involvement.

The alleged shooter has been charged with murder; his identity has been withheld because of his age.

His father faces a host of charges, including illegal possession of a firearm, criminal storage of a gun, carrying a loaded weapon in a car, child endangerment and acting as an accessory after the fact.

………

The family of Olympic cyclist Melissa Hoskins announced her funeral will be held in her hometown of Perth, Australia, along with a memorial service in Adelaide after the Tour Down Under.

Her husband, former two-time world time trial champ Rohan Dennis, has been charged in the crash that killed her as she reportedly clung to the hood of their pickup while attempting to open the door.

Why she was on the hood has yet to be explained.

………

GCN offers a state-by-state guide to ebike incentive programs throughout the US, including California’s currently moribund program.

The site also alludes to a regional ebike incentive program currently operating in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. But if that exists, I’m not aware of it.

Meanwhile, a San Francisco man has teamed with a local bike shop to lower the barriers to ebike ownership by launching a new subscription service.

The program, called Friiway, allows ebike-curious people to try quality Stromer or Riese & Müller ebike for several months.

Maybe by then, the state’s incentive program will finally launch.

………

If you haven’t already, sign the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we all face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, as well as the city’s ongoing failure to actually care enough to do anything about it.

Then please share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

………

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

Seriously?  A Florida TV station reports two people were killed last week because of ebikes, then describes how both ebike riders were struck by drivers, including one in a hit-and-run. But somehow, ebikes — not cars or the people in them — are the problem.

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

An Illinois man faces drug charges after he was run down from behind while riding his bike without a light after dark, then attempted to bury the prescription pills, meth and syringes he was carrying under a nearby tree.

“Gangsters” on bicycles pelted an Indian shop with rocks after arguing with the shopkeeper, despite shaking hands after the dispute.

………

Local 

This is who we share the road with. A 21-year od woman was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon for attempting to ram her car through security barriers blocking access to the Pasadena Rose Parade on New Year’s Day; police say she was suffering from a mental health issue, and credit the barriers with saving the lives of nearby parade spectators.

 

State

Hats off to Hoodline for breaking the shocking news that California bike riders are required to adhere to traffic laws, just like drivers. And yes, that was sarcasm. 

Bike lanes have now been added to Santa Barbara’s increasingly popular State Street Promenade.

Sad news from Fremont, where someone riding a bicycle was killed in a collision with a commuter train.

 

National

A writer for Outside says bikes aren’t always the answer to life’s tragedies. But they help.

Bicycling offers expert advice on how to become a better bicyclist, according to experts. Read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you.

Cycling News says the new 2024 Trek Emonda may have been spotted in the wild.

A Minneapolis man has pled guilty to a single count of criminal vehicular homicide for killing a bike-riding Minnesota priest in 2021, but no word on whether he reached a plea deal or what his sentence might be.

Alexandria, Virginia is launching an ebike incentive program, while a bill to establish a statewide program has been introduced in the legislature. Meanwhile, California’s ebike incentive program remains moribund.

 

International

Toronto’s fire chief offered advice on how to avoid fires sparked by lithium-ion batteries after an ebike battery caught fire in a crowded subway on Sunday, filling the train with smoke.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old British man is riding and walking 100 miles on a 100-year old military bicycle, complete with decommissioned rifle and grenade, to raise funds for the hospital that saved his eyesight. Although I could maybe pass on the weaponry.

CNN recommends riding the Trans Dinarica Cycle Route, which follows quiet asphalt roads, forest trails and bike paths nearly 2,500-miles through all eight countries of the Western Balkans.

India’s most successful triathlete has established a foundation to provide bicycles to underprivileged girls, to give them freedom, fitness and access to education.

The Philippine government has committed one billion pesos to building new bike lanes. Which isn’t quite as impressive as it sounds, since that’s equal to about $18 million. But still.

 

Finally…

A pair of pedals on the floor does not a mini bike make, let alone a mini-bike.

And that feeling when a lawyer referral site reports a bicyclist was killed, but the bike turns out to be a motorcycle.

And the victim was a mule.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

CA ebike voucher program’s failure to launch, what it takes to make LA bike-friendly, and Hyperloop bites the dust

It’s the final weekend of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just three short days to open your heart and wallet, and show your support for SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy.

So thanks to Kurt G and Michael M for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news coming your way every day. 

Now it’s up to you.

We’ve got a long way to go to catch up to last year’s record-setting fund drive — let alone once again top the previous year’s total for the 9th year in a row. 

It’ll be a stretch, but we can do it with your help.

So don’t wait.

Seriously, stop what you’re doing, and donate now!

Because the time to give is rapidly running out.

………

As always, we’ll be taking the coming week between the holidays off, so I can have my annual pre-scheduled emotional collapse after making it through another year.

Okay, I’m joking. Sort of.

So please accept my best wishes for warm and wonderful holidays, whatever and however you celebrate. And a heathy, happy and prosperous year to come.

Just be careful riding over the next ten days, when the number of drunks on the road will increase exponentially, and frenzied shoppers and celebrants will be looking for anyone but you.

I want to see you back here bright and early January 2nd.

………

If you haven’t already, sign the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we all face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to actually do anything about it.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

………

Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program this fall as promised: -1

As expected, the California Air Resources Board once again missed their own self-appointed deadline begin operations this fall — in fact, all their self-appointed deadlines for two years running.

Talk about a failure to launch.

Instead, thousands of low-income Californians have continued to burn fossil fuels and clog our roads, when they could have switched to cleaner, more efficient ebikes instead — defeating the entire purpose of the program, which was the first in the nation when it passed the state legislature.

And now could end up being one of the last to launch before they finally get it going.

Or maybe if.

………

Writing for City Watch, former Los Angeles city planner Dick Platkin considers what it will take to create a bike-friendly LA.

From his perspective, the problem stems from —

Reason 1:  Despite bike plans adopted by Metro, LA County and LA City, Los Angeles has consistently underfunded the construction of a robust bicycle lane network

Reason 2:  There is little effort to follow the official plans, no constant funding to build bicycle lanes, and too much bicycle infrastructure is built to serve new commercial projects, rather than meet actual need

Reason 3:  City proposals to construct new, buffered bicycle lanes on wide boulevards often meet organized resistance by people who don’t want to lose parking or traffic lanes

Reason 4:  Too many proposals for new bikes lanes come from local boosters to build stand-alone bicycle lanes so nearby real estate projects can reduce costly parking requirements

I’d say the problem is more a lack of political will among elected leaders, who listen only to the loudest voices, combined with flushing too much money down the induced-demand toilet that could go to reducing the demand for cars.

But it’s worth taking his thoughts into consideration when we consider how to fight for safer, more complete and livable streets

………

Engage schadenfreude now.

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop project bites the dust, after failing to reinvent transit.

………

A new book intends to empower women of color to get on their bikes.

………

Gravel Bike California returns to Maverick Cycles to go deeper into the dirt around the hills of Whittier.

……….

‘Tis the season.

An Ohio bike nonprofit donated 137 bike and helmets for local kids in need, and has given away over 1,000 bicycles over the last eight years.

Also in Ohio, an automotive software company continued their six-year tradition of building bicycles to donate to children, many of whose parents are military members.

Forty-four Indiana preschoolers got new bicycles in a holiday raffle, courtesy of the Northern Indiana Hispanic Health Coalition.

A Virginia bike group cooperated with the local Jewish Family Services and a community tool bank to distribute new bikes to families in need.

………

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

A US judge declared open season on bike riders by federal agents, concluding that the case against an Oregon DEA agent could be dropped because he was performing his official duties when he ran a stop sign and killed an Oregon bike rider.

Bike riders in Queensland, Australia could be subjected to random breathalyzer tests to ferret out people biking under the influence, under a new proposal from the state government.

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

Um, okay. A Greeley, Colorado man got drunk and followed another man on his bike, while somehow swinging a 25-pound propane tank. Something tell me there’s more to this story. And chances are, we’ll never find out what it is, dammit. 

A man in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood had to seek medical attention after he was struck in the eye with a hard boiled egg hurled by a member of a bike “gang.” Although the story never actually uses the word bicycle, so the perp could have been a motorbike rider. 

………

………

Local 

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, will conduct another die-in on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall on January 27th.

Santa Monica-based Bird has gone belly-up, as the once high-flying micromobility company filed for dissolution in bankruptcy court; the filing comes just days after West Hollywood extended its contract with the company.

An unusually succinct Westlake Village letter writer says bike lanes are a start, but bike riders need protection, not paint.

 

State

Caltrans continues to flush our hard-earned money down the induced-demand toilet, with a $15.7 billion shopping list of highway projects.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike-riding man was killed when he was right hooked by a van driver turning into a parking lot; he was the 48th victim of traffic violence in the city this year.

 

National

Ebike sales have quadrupled in the US over the past five years. No thanks to California’s moribund voucher program. 

Slate considers how American motor vehicles grew into massive killers on steroids.

Offroad.cc lists the best offroad podcasts that you must follow in 2024. No, judging by the headline, it appears to be mandatory.

Pink Bike uses AI to makes big bike tech predictions, which promptly proceeds to get much of it wrong. But at least they didn’t let the AI write it.

So much for street art. Spokane, Washington removed a guerilla sculpture depicting a woman riding a bicycle up a massive bridge support column.

More on the moron who fled the scene after running down two bicyclists riding on Colorado’s Lookout Mountain while running another rider off the road, leaving one man in the ICU with major injuries; the story makes it sound like two Mustang drivers may have been racing, without actually saying that. A crowdfunding campaign for the most seriously injured victim has raised over $41,000 of the $50,000 goal. You know, in case you have any extra money left over after donating to this site.

A Texas advocacy group speaks out about the pickup driver charged with running down and killing a couple riding their bikes earlier this year, saying “under no circumstances should anyone drive distracted.”

Illinois bicyclists are pondering their next move, after the state Supreme Court made them all second-class citizens by absurdly ruling that bikes are merely “permitted” on the streets without bike infrastructure, but not the intended users.

Streets.mn recommends being safer and more stylish on your bike at night with Reflauro, a new reflective technology devoted by 3M, and made in America by a women-owned company.

Momentum says New York needs more bike lanes like the extra-wide bike lanes on 10th Ave. Don’t we all.

Conflicting data out of New York, where bicycling deaths reached a record high, while pedestrian fatalities are reaching a historic low.

 

International

An 81-year old Brazilian man and his 19-year old son were both killed in a freak crash when the father went looking for his son on his bicycle, and crashed head-on into the son riding home on his motorbike.

The brother of a missing British man fears he may have ingested a poisonous mushroom while foraging in France, while on a long-distance bike tour from Scotland to India.

Maybe there really is a war on cars, as The Guardian says European cities are turning on the car by adopting varied approaches to reducing traffic congestion and pollution; Paris has joined London in having more bicycles than cars during rush hour.

Speaking of once high-flying companies, Swedish inflatable bike helmet maker Hövding has gone belly-up, after a Swedish consumer agency ruled the helmets are unsafe.

Japan’s National Police Agency is proposing fining scofflaw bicyclists up to 12,000 yen for violations such as running red lights or distracted bicycling. Which sounds scary, until you realize that converts to a tad over $84.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to Australia’s Amanda Reid, who became the first paracyclist and indigenous person to be named the country’s cyclist of the year.

YouTube will premier the second season of the Call of a Life Time series next month, “chronicling the highs and lows experienced by key riders in the past year’s Life Time Grand Prix circuit.”

Cycling Weekly considers the silliest cycling rules UCI should do away with. Like a ban on puppy paws, for instance.

 

Finally…

That feeling when no one uses the new bike lanes but Santa. Or when you want an ebike trailer inspired by the hideous Tesla Cybertruck.

And that feeling when you need a lowrider bike inspired by a regional cult-favorite hamburger chain.

………

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Murder charge in Cervantes hit-and-run, Major Taylor Congressional medal, and bike rider injured in Texas mass shooting

It’s Day 14 of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Sadly, there were no donations yesterday. Which means you now have just 17 days left to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

So seriously, stop what you’re doing and give now!

………

Murder.

That’s what a 16-year old boy has been charged with after allegedly intentionally running down a bike-riding man in Long Beach last summer.

The teenager, who hasn’t been publicly named due to his age, is charged with killing 29-year old Leobardo Cervantes in a high speed hit-and-run July 9th.

Cervantes was riding at at the intersection of California Ave and Harding Street in Long Beach when he was struck with the boy’s car, who reportedly used it as a weapon to attack Cervantes.

He died from his injuries two weeks later.

There’s no word on why the boy slammed his car into Cervantes bike, or what evidence led investigators to conclude the act was intentional.

However, it follows a series of similar attacks on bicyclists by teenaged drivers stretching from Huntington Beach to Las Vegas.

The driver was arrested in jail, where he was already being held on other charges.

………

Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program as promised this fall: 14

………

About damn time.

Major Taylor could finally get the recognition he deserved in his lifetime, 92 years after his death.

The Black cycling champ, who dominated the bike racing world at a time when he couldn’t dine or ride in the same train car with the white riders he’d just beaten, could be honored with a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal.

Illinois Congress member Jonathan L. Jackson will introduce a bill today to honor Taylor, which would make him only the second bicyclist to receive one, following America’s only remaining Tour de France winner.

Let’s hope it’s something our severely divided Congress can actually agree on.

………

A person riding a bicycle was lucky to survive the country’s latest mass shooting.

Or make that the second-latest, anyway.

The bike rider was wounded as part of a day-long shooting rampage through the streets of Austin, Texas on Tuesday, which resulted in the deaths of four people, and wounded two Austin police officers, in addition to the bicyclist.

Thirty-four-year old Shane James was taken into custody following a police chase after shooting the cop.

No reason was given for the shootings.

But it’s yet another reminder that cars aren’t the only things killing people on our streets.

………

Help clean up the Venice Blvd bike lanes next Saturday.

………

‘Tis the season.

Men’s Journal recommends “great gift ideas” for bicyclists, including the kind who don’t go anywhere.

For the second time in four years, a kindhearted 13-year old North Carolina boy gave up his own birthday present to buy a new bicycle for a kid’s Christmas present.

………

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

No bias here. A group of New York demonstrators gathered to demand license plates on ebikes, because someone “almost” got hit by someone riding one. Just wait until they hear about cars, which already have plates and hit a hell of a lot more people — and do far more damage when they do.

A Toronto bike lawyer complains about city officials ignoring mounting traffic violence, while prosecuting bicyclists for speeding in a public park.

A 35-year old English driver was sentenced to life in prison for the vehicular murder of a 23-year old man, after driving up on the sidewalk to kill the victim as he sat on his bike, then responding with a laughing face to a post about the victim’s injuries; he’ll have to serve at least 20 years before he’s eligible for parole. Which will be 20 years too soon.

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

An LAPD officer was reportedly injured when someone riding with a group of bicyclists allegedly shined an “industrial strength laser” at the cop near LA Live in DTLA; no word on the condition of the officer of if any arrests have been made.

A British man has been jailed for riding his bike, after he rode to a probation meeting despite being legally prohibited from using a bicycle or e-scooter, following multiple assaults against women after riding up to them; he’ll serve 11 months behind bars for violating the ban at least twice.

………

Expressionist artistic image of corgi riding a bicycle

………

Local 

Families are invited to the free Youth Mountain Bike Demo Days at Santa Clarita’s new Trek Bike Park.

A Santa Monica letter writer complains about concrete curb-protected bike lanes, arguing that the white plastic car-tickler bollards are better because they don’t trap riders and debris in the bike lane. On the other hand, they don’t keep cars out, either. 

 

State

San Diego Magazine gets right to the good stuff, with recommendations on where to grab a cold brew after a hot ride. Or a cold ride, for that matter.

The Bay Area’s BART transit system will now allow people with bicycles to carry their bikes on escalators, and use most train cars starting January 1st; bikes are currently banned from all but the last three cars, and riders are forced to carry them up and down stairs.

Oakland will pay a 57-year old man $6.5 million dollars after he suffered spinal and brain injuries when he hit a seam in the pavement as he rode downhill in a new bike lane; Oakland officials were aware of the dangerous conditions after receiving numerous complaints, but chose to ignore it.

 

National

Now that you can send direct messages on Strava, Bicycling offers advice on how to safeguard your inbox. Good advice, since this could turn out to be just another way to harass female riders, as well as others. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you. 

Cycling Weekly calls Ass Savers new clip-on mudguard the best $27 bike accessory you can buy.

If you build it, the will come. Bicycling rates increased nearly 150% on weekdays and 50% on weekends in just six months after Seattle installed a new two-way semi-protected bike lane, while walking rates nearly doubled.

A new report from a public-private partnership at the University of Washington provides a road map showing how cities can plan for large-scale adoption of cargo ebikes.

Colorado-based mountain bikemaker Guerrilla Gravity has gone out of business, and is liquidating its manufacturing equipment.

A group of Houston bike advocates turned out to urge the city’s next mayor to build more bike lanes, whoever that turns out to be following a runoff election.

That’s more like it. An Ohio man was sentenced to 12 to 17.5 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a 60-year old man as he was riding his bike on the sidewalk. Yes, the sidewalk.

New York repealed a decade-old law that created needless legal barriers to building bike paths, resulting in unnecessary delays.

After riding mountain bikes for the past 20 years, a Blue Ridge Mountain man says he prefers gravel now that he’s getting up there.

A Florida bike shop gave a 40-year old man a new bike after his was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

International

If you build it, they will come, too. London bicycling rates are up 20% compared to pre-pandemic times, after the city went on a massive bike lane binge.

A pair of Scottish craftsmen are teaming with bikewear brand Endura to recreate the world’s first pedal bicycle.

Four years of the Black Unity Bike Ride brought Brits out to ride for racial justice.

A British website examines the anatomy of the successful Stop Killing Cyclists campaign as a model for other protests.

A new German company is on a mission to make bike cargo trailers cool again.

Bike ridership rates have nearly doubled in Estonia’s capital city over the past year, with bike riders now accounting for nearly ten percent of traffic at some city intersections.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89 year old New Zealand man has put over 12,000 miles on his ebike since buying it four years ago. Another reminder of the benefits ebikes can have for elderly people, who might not be able to ride regular bikes. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner, admitted doper and successful cycling team leader Bjarne Riis is finally retired from the sport, and is now living in Switzerland and selling heat pumps imported from Lithuania.

Pink Bike and Scott profile four-time National Champ and 2021 Olympic mountain biker Erin Huck, who manages to combine professional cycling with being mother to a young toddler.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re banned for doping from seniors tandem racing. If you’re delivering meth on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign, already.

And now we’re getting somewhere. Grand Theft Auto, the video game dedicated to glorifying vehicular violence, now has bike lanes.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

New report calls traffic cams “underutilized resource,” and just 15 days left to launch CA ebike incentives by fall deadline

It’s lucky Day 13 of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Which means there are just 18 days left to show your support for SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy.

So thanks to John L and James B for their generous donations to keep all the freshest bike news coming your way every day. 

So what are you waiting for?

Take a moment and give now!

………

They get it.

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, in association with State Farm, calls automated traffic cams an “underutilized tool in the fight to reduce dangerous driving behaviors that contribute to more than 100 people dying on U.S. roads every day.”

That’s a lot of associating.

The GHSA offers a list of guidelines for effective automated camera programs, including,

  • Focus on safety: Revenue generated by safety cameras should be used to support program start-up and maintenance costs, with any excess revenue dedicated to traffic safety initiatives such as infrastructure enhancements or increased education.
  • Proper site selection: Cameras should be installed in locations that have crash, injury or fatality data justifying their use, particularly if these incidences involve vulnerable road users. Determining if other countermeasures, such speed calming, could be deployed to address the traffic safety problem should also be considered.
  • Community participation and engagement: Members of the community where the safety cameras will be deployed must be part of the planning and implementation process. Meaningful public engagement that begins early can help bolster public acceptance and trust.
  • Equity: Research has repeatedly confirmed that people of color are disproportionately impacted by traffic crashes and deaths. All decisions about safety camera programs – including public engagement during the planning process, where cameras are placed and how fines are structured – should be viewed through an equity lens.
  • Transparency and accessibility: Jurisdictions should share the data used to inform the decision-making process when considering whether to create an automated enforcement program. Where and when the cameras will be deployed should be highly publicized, so drivers are not caught by surprise.
  • Reciprocity agreements: Jurisdictions should create reciprocity agreements with neighboring states that address out-of-state violators who fail to pay traffic safety camera fines.

A speed cam pilot program was recently approved by the state legislature to enable speed cams in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, as well as three cities in Northern California.

Meanwhile, Metro recently approved the use of cameras mounted in Metro buses to detect drivers illegally blocking bus lanes.

However, at least in Los Angeles, red light cameras are a no go, after the city council banned them over a decade ago, in response to drivers who didn’t like getting caught breaking the law.

We’ll see how they like speed cams.

And maybe one day Los Angeles will get its collective head out of its metaphorical ass long enough to accept that saving lives is just a tad more important than enabling people to get away with driving dangerously through red lights.

We can hope, anyway.

………

After a seemingly endless series of delays, we were promised that California’s seemingly moribund ebike incentive program would finally launch, with a vague deadline of sometime this fall.

But with the holidays rapidly approaching — hello, Chanukah! — time is rapidly running out on the latest promised launch time.

So today we’re launching our own countdown counter marking the days left before the state misses this deadline, too.

Days left to launch California ebike rebate program this fall: 15

………

‘Tis the season.

The San Diego Padres gave away over 120 new bikes to third graders at San Diego’s Porter Elementary School.

Police in St. Petersburg, Florida gave away hundreds of bicycles to young kids to spread the holiday cheer.

………

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

No bias here. A Los Angeles letter writer responds to LA Times letters editor Paul Thornton’s call for better bike infrastructure for his 46-mile round trip ebike commute by complaining about taking traffic lanes “away from the many who need them for the benefit of the few who consider cars evil,” even though Thornton never expressed any negative comments about cars, or the people who drive them.

No bias here, either. A self-described bike-riding English farmer describes a conflict with a “profusely red-faced, slightly rotund middle-aged man, dressed from head to toe in figure-hugging fluorescent Lycra and a bike helmet, windmilling his arms and frothing at the mouth with rage” while trying in vain not to tip his bicycle, in what Road.cc calls a clearly fictional, or at least exaggerated, account.

………

………

Local 

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition will host their Holiday Lights Ride on Saturday, taking a festive bike ride to Christmas Tree Lane’s 103rd Annual Lighting Ceremony and Winter Festival.

The new Puente Creek Bikeway will provide a safer alternative to busy Amar Road through La Puente, Valinda and City of Industry.

Surprising news from REI, which announced plans to close its very busy Santa Monica store due to rising operational costs; the store will shutter on Leap Year Day next year.

Like Malibu, Long Beach’s efforts to reduce traffic deaths is complicated by the fact that one of the city’s deadliest roadways is a state highway, as the city tries to work with Caltrans to improve safety on PCH.

Speaking of Long Beach, the city has started work to install bike lanes on a section of Alamitos Ave, from Ocean Blvd to Seventh Street.

 

State

San Francisco’s director of transportation says people just need more time to adjust to the new, much maligned centerline protected bike lane on Valencia Street, as business owners reacted to complaints about new parking restrictions by demanding the dismantling of the city transportation agency; Streetsblog says the problems stem from design compromises made in an effort to appease everyone.

The San Francisco Standard asks if the city has killed its most important business corridor through significantly scaled back plans for a pedestrianized street that has resulted in no car traffic, but no foot traffic, either.

San Francisco received a $600,000 grant from the US Dept. of Energy to provide ebikes and safety training to food delivery workers, as well as collecting data on food delivery; the funding is in addition to a $2.4 million state grant.

Streetsblog says it’s hard to take promises from Oakland’s mayor to improve safety seriously when one off-street bike path is in such a state of disrepair that it’s unusable.

 

National

A pair of Rutgers University studies show bicycling habits may have permanently changed as a result of Covid, with more people using free time gained from working at home to ride recreationally — although an 11% bump in people riding to work ain’t nothing. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Grand Junction, Colorado will distribute 40 free ebikes to residents earning at or below 80% of the area’s median income, equal to $46,050 per year or less, in an effort to collect detailed trip travel data to share with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

A 52-year old former competitive cyclist stopped in Laredo, Texas on his bike tour from Alaska to the tip of Argentina, with a mission to plant 5,000 trees along the way.

The Army Corps of Engineers is backing off plans to ban bike riders from a popular Fort Worth, Texas trail after the first of the year, and will now look at ways to minimize conflicts between bicyclists and campers.

Continuing our journey through Texas, bicycle advocates in Houston are urging the city to make safety a priority, as it nears a record number of bicycling deaths this year.

NPR discusses Milwaukee’s annual Santa Cycle Rampage, as over a thousand bike riders  rode through downtown dressed as Santa Claus for the 20th anniversary celebration.

A Chicago newspaper recommends three books recounting the writers’ cross-country and global bike rides for your holiday giving. Even if you’re just giving one to yourself. 

You know you have a problem when three bicyclists have been killed at the same Indianapolis intersection in just three years, as the city tops last year’s total for bicycling and pedestrian deaths.

A Harpursville, New York man will serve consecutive sentences of one and a third to four years behind bars after pleading guilty to hit-and-run and gun charges following the death of a 13-year old boy riding his bike on New Year’s Day.

A pair of North Carolina towns are going car-optional, as new bike networks in Carrboro and Chapel Hill encourage residents to get on their bicycles instead of driving.

 

International

The home of the traditional Christmas Coventry Carol is making like the Grinch this holiday season by banning ebikes and e-scooters from sections of the city center.

Newly released video shows a Northampton, England cop jump out of a police van to commandeer a bystander’s bicycle to chase down a fleeing drug dealer.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a drunk and stoned driver got 11 months of home vacation detention for killing a 61-year old bike-riding grandfather, while driving an unregistered car at over five times the legal alcohol limit; but at least he’ll have to pass the victim’s ghost bike every day as he bikes to work, after losing his license for three years.

A Queensland, Australia coroner has opened a cold-case inquest into the hit-and-run death of a 21-year old man riding a bicycle, using a new state law that allows coroners to force witnesses to answer questions, though the answers can’t be used against them in a criminal trial.

 

Competitive Cycling

American pro Neilson Powless says he remains focused on one-day classics, but doesn’t rule out competing for a Grand Tour win one day.

Pro cyclist Tim Merlier rallied to win a beach race in a photo finish after nearly being taken out by the operator of a quad bike.

The family of fallen cyclist Magnus White is creating a nonprofit foundation in his honor, using crowdfunded contributions raised after 17-year old rider was killed by a driver while training for the Junior Mountain Bike World Championships in Scotland.

Conservative media is once again in a transgender panic, after a pair of trans women took first and second at the Illinois State Cyclocross Championships.

 

Finally…

Nothing like mountain biking on a gravel bike. Your next bike could be a 3D-printed Aston Martin.

And there’s something seriously wrong when Santa’s elves aren’t even safe from traffic violence.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Elderly alleged DUI driver finally charged with killing national Masters champ Ethan Boyes, and Calbike talks ebike incentives

It’s Day 7 of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Kathryn R, Kathleen S, Bryan B and Kent S for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

So stop what you’re doing, and join them by giving now!

Besides, how can anyone resist this much AI-created bike-riding corgi cuteness?

………

The alleged drunk driver who killed San Francisco cycling champ Ethan Boyes has finally been charged by federal officials.

The 44-year old national masters cycling champ was riding in the Presidio National Park when he was run down by 81-year old Arnold Kinman Low this past April.

Low is set to be arraigned Wednesday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence.

In addition to being an age-group national champ, Boyes held the national record for the “flying start” 500-meter time trial.

His death led to demands for protected bike lanes on Arguello Blvd in the park, where officials have recently narrowed traffic lanes and installed guard rails protecting bike lanes in response.

………

Calbike posted video of a panel discussion on How Cities Can Incentivize Electric Bikes at October’s Micromobility America in Richmond, California.

Which is yet another opportunity to mention that California’s ebike voucher program continues to suffer from a failure to launch, over a year after it was originally promised.

………

I want to be like him when I grow up.

The latest BMX star on YouTube is just 71 years old. Then again, if he was any younger, he’d probably be on TikTok.

………

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

Once again, someone riding a bicycle has been intentionally injured by a driver in a stolen car, as security cam video showed a driver in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania deliberately ram a 72-year old man riding a bicycle, who escaped without serious injuries; the driver has been identified, but no word on whether charges have been filed. This appears to be part of a troubling nationwide trend, possibly inspired by a TikTok stolen car challenge.

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

A former British news producer and regular anti-bike crank has turned the tables on BBC host Jeremy Vine, who frequently posts bike cam video of scofflaw drivers, by recording video of lawbreaking bicyclists while out walking.

………

………

Local 

Long Beach will stripe new and improved bike lanes on Alamitos Ave following a slurry sealing treatment scheduled to begin next week.

 

State

San Diego County received a $125,000 state grant to fund bicycle and pedestrian safety programs, ranging from social media campaigns to open streets events.

You can now check out ebikes from the public library in Santa Barbara for up to a week, giving borrowers a chance to try out the city’s e-bikeshare for free.

A San Francisco TV station reports on efforts to put age restrictions on throttle-controlled Class 2 ebikes, as 71% of Bay Area children who suffered bicycling injuries were hurt riding ebikes. Although that stat could just reflect the popularity of ebikes with kids under 18, and says nothing about whether the kids were on ped-assist or throttle-controlled bikes.

For a change, San Francisco Streetsblog says the Bay Area can learn from Los Angeles by imitating the recent Arroyo Fest, which shut down the Pasadena Freeway for a few hours to open it up to people on bicycles and on foot.

 

National

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines new bike infrastructure on a visit to Medford, Oregon, including the city’s first two-way protected bike lane.

A “cavernous” Salt Lake City bike shop is the new storefront for a statewide nonprofit dedicated to selling spare parts and refurbished bicycles to “provide self-reliant and independent transportation for people in need.”

The rich get richer. Long Island City in Queens, New York received three new protected bike lanes on Wednesday. Although the guy riding in icy temperatures in the photo is somehow choosing to ride in the buffer, rather than the actual bike lane. 

A New York TV station reassures viewers that ebikes are a safe holiday gift, despite the city’s well-publicized recent rash of ebike battery fires.

Doylestown PA is making a series of popup bike lanes permanent, after receiving “rave” reviews from the public.

Public schools in Florida’s Miami-Dade County are starting a pilot program to build bike lanes to help kids get to class safely in one of the nation’s deadliest counties for people on bicycles.

 

International

Road.cc says a gravel bike could be the ultimate winter bicycle.

Environmental activists in Plymouth, England are fighting plans for a proposed bike path through the center of the city that would require transplanting a half dozen trees that survived a recent “chainsaw massacre,” which saw the city chop down 100 trees earlier this year.

Momentum reports Paris is putting people — and bicycles — at the heart of the city’s ambitious new climate plan. Which is what cities that actually give a damn about the climate do, as opposed to just paying lip service to confronting the climate crisis like a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

French residents can now buy or lease a new bucket ebike from their friendly neighborhood Toyota dealer.

The Jerusalem Post offers the 23 best bike charities for 2023.

South Africa’s largest membership-based bicycling organization warned bicyclists to avoid crime hotspots and be careful when riding, as the country has seen a dramatic increase in violent crimes targeting bike riders.

Bicycling says the biggest challenge Italian ultra-adventure bicyclist Omar De Felice faces in his two month solo, unassisted bike ride across Antarctica is his own mind. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

 

Competitive Cycling

New York City will host a one-day UCI men’s pro road race next May in conjunction with a previously scheduled gran fondo. But women cyclists need not apply.

 

Finally…

Add Tadej Pogačar’s actual 2023 time trial bike to your holiday wish list. Now you, too, can improve safety by adding a seat belt to your bike saddle.

And nothing like intentionally riding a perfectly good bicycle off a cliff.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Hit-and-run Ventura County bus driver, US bicycling up — or maybe down, and LA could consider ebike rebate program

Thank you everyone for the kind words for a rough week.

Not to mention the surprising donations in honor of my birthday and/or eye problems last week (see the end of this post). 

I’m still having problems with distance vision, and struggle to see clearly up close. But my eyesight has improved enough to get back to work, so let’s get on with it. 

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover. 

………

Let’s start by catching up on some of the big stories we missed the past week.

***

A hit-and-run Ventura County bus driver faces charges after knocking down a man riding bicycle in a close pass, then running over him and continuing without stopping; the victim somehow survived, but suffered serious lower body injuries.

***

Prosecutors in Las Vegas filled additional charges against the teenagers accused of deliberately running down and killing former Bell, California police chief Andreas Probst; charges against the 18-year old driver include attempted murder, battery with a weapon, leaving the scene of a crash and possession of a stolen vehicle, while the 16-year old who filmed the crash faces murder, attempted murder, and battery with a weapon charge. They both continue to be held without bail.

***

Heartbreaking news from Colorado, where investigators finally found the remains of Suzanne Morphew, who disappeared after going for a Mother’s Day bike ride three years ago; her body was found about 40 to 50 miles from where she was reported missing. There’s no word yet on a cause of death or who may have been responsible. Her husband was originally charged with her murder, but prosecutors dropped the charges after a judge barred most of their witnesses for the DA’s failure to turn over exculpatory evidence.

***

More heartbreak, this time from New York’s Moreau State Park, where an Amber Alert was declared when a nine-year old girl disappeared without a trace while riding her bike alone in the campground, after taking a few laps with some close friends. Her bicycle was later found abandoned where she’d been riding, but there was no sign of the little girl.

***

Life is cheap in Maryland, where the driver who killed American diplomat and mother Sarah Langenkamp as she rode her bicycle shortly after returning from her post in Ukraine walked without a single day behind bars, after the judge imposed the maximum penalty under Maryland law — a lousy $2,000 fine and 150 hours of community service. Meanwhile, the painfully low sentence is putting a spotlight on the leniency of Maryland driving laws. Gee, ya think?

***

A Georgia man is accused of lying in wait for a cycling group to ride past his home and intentionally ramming his car into the bicyclists; the 66-year old driver faces charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage to property, aggressive driving, reckless conduct and terrorist threats.

***

The hit-and-run driver accused of killing 25-year old college cycling champ and Florida State University PhD student Jake Boykin as he was training for Georgia’s Six Gap Century race last month was arrested a short time later, with Boykin’s bicycle still embedded in the grill of his truck.

***

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left an 86-year old North Carolina man to die alone in the street after running him down on his bike, despite his orange safety vest. The same goes for a Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a nine-year old kid who was riding his bike to a friend’s house.

………

Bicycling is up in the US. Or maybe it’s down.

Or just getting more dangerous.

Inverse argues that the electric vehicle revolution is already here, and looks a lot like an ebike, while PBS discusses the regulatory challenges created by the soaring popularity of ebikes.

Yet despite the ebike boom, the Census Bureau reports that bike commuting rates are down nationwide from pre-pandemic levels, and down nearly 25% from the peak level of 2014.

At the same time, Bicycling cites a different report to argue that more people are riding than ever before, with every metro area of 5 million or more people seeing a 25% increase in ridership over the last four years. Don’t fret if the magazine blocks you, just read it on Yahoo instead

And the Associated Press reports that more bicyclists and pedestrians are dying on American roads than ever before, even though cars and trucks are ostensibly safer. The problem is they keep getting safer for people inside the vehicles, while getting ever deadlier for anyone outside of them.

Meanwhile, bicycling deaths fell to the lowest level on record in the UK, even as traffic deaths jumped 10%.

………

Los Angeles could, maybe, see its own ebike rebate program in the not-too-distant future.

………

CicLAvia returns to the Heart of LA a week from this coming Sunday, for the next to last CicLAvia of the year.

This year’s 7.8-mile route runs through LA’s historic core from South Park to Chinatown, then through Little Tokyo across the 6th Street Viaduct to Boyle Heights.

As Urbanize reminds us,

In case you’ve forgotten, CicLAvia is for people-powered vehicles only. That means no electric scooters, electric skateboards, hoverboards, electric unicycles, or motocycles. If you’re on a Class 1 e-bike pedal-assist or a Class 2 e-bike with the throttle powered off, you’re okay. Likewise, Class 3 e-bikes are allowed when pedal-assist is powered off, as are motorized wheelchairs. Learn more here.

Meanwhile, the Pasadena Star-News looks forward to the upcoming ArroyoFest 2.0 at the end of this month, allowing people to walk and bike on a carfree Pasadena freeway for just the second time in 20 years.

………

Camp Pendleton announced a number of roadway closures for maintenance and construction through October 20th, and will close the base bike path from the Las Pulgas Gate to the southern edge of San Onofre Beach State Park between 6 am to 6 pm from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.

They will also be blowing things up for the next week, so wear your helmet and keep your head down.

………

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

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon ran into a road raging schmuck driver while riding on Decker Canyon. Or more precisely, was lucky he didn’t.

No bias here. A columnist for the comically conservative New York Post argues that ebikes are “faster, heavier and more deadly” than other bikes, and that’s it’s time to put an end to them. Aside from the utter impossibility of shoving the genie back into the bottle, there’s currently no data to support that last statement about ebikes being any deadlier. And just wait until someone tells her about the 40,000 people killed by cars every year. 

A Florida driver “reeking of alcohol” accused a bike-riding man of being in the CIA, then made several threateningly close passes before aiming his car at the bicyclist, who managed to jump out of the way just before the driver smashed his bicycle. The man also head-butted a cop as they tried to take him into custody.

No bias here, either. A new bikeway project in an English town has some residents bringing out the torches and pitchforks, with one business owner calling it “woke” and insisting that “proper cyclists don’t need cycle lanes,” while others say it’s creating “mayhem” and “chaos” that makes it difficult for rugby fans to attend matches.

A British road safety group is accused of victim blaming for a new campaign that says “Don’t be like Ted, wear a helmet on your head!”; bike advocates argued they’d be better off campaigning for safer streets. Or maybe be like Ted, because I always have one on my head when I ride; even if I doubt their efficacy in a collision, they come in handy in a fall. 

A self-professed bicyclist writing for The Spectator asks why bicyclists insist on making drivers furious, in column hidden behind the paper’s paywall. As if our mere presence on the plant doesn’t anger some motorists. 

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

Police in the UK are looking for a pair of road-raging, balaclava-wearing ebike riders who slapped and punched a driver who had stopped short to avoid another car, leaving the man with facial fractures; they also stole a cellphone belonging to the driver’s wife when she tried to take their pictures, and smashed one of the car’s windows. But other than that, they were charming chaps, right?

………

Local 

Writing for Streetsblog, Wes Reutimann argues that California’s Active Transportation Program shows the City of Los Angeles is far more successful at applying for grant funding than the county, with bike riders and pedestrians in unincorporated areas paying the price.

BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, added UCLA Transportation Planner Emily Han and Transportation and Mobility Communications Practice Manager Reed Alvarado to the nonprofit’s board of directors.

This is who we share the road with. The Santa Monica Daily Press reports a “belligerent,” allegedly drunk — and actively drinking — transient drove onto the Venice boardwalk, traveling several blocks on the ostensibly carfree walkway before striking a pedestrian.

Metro will give 200 households in Santa Monica who own multiple vehicles up to $119.80 per week for five weeks — a total of $599 per household — not to drive one of their cars.

Long Beach will begin rolling out a program to loan free ebikes to 35 local residents for up to three months at a time. The city is also looking for volunteers for its annual bike and pedestrian count.

 

State

Caltrans readies guidance on Complete Streets — as long as you don’t consider highway interchanges part of the street.

Your next ebike could have built-in AI to “enhance the riding experience,” as Taiwan’s Smalo makes its US debut here in California.

Costa Mesa cops busted a bike thief after the bicycle’s owner tracked his own ebike down, and police found it hidden in some bushes.

Despite near-constant reports in San Diego media that no one is using the city’s new bike lanes, a new report shows the city has experienced a 71% increase in bicycling rates over the past four years.

Police in Riverside are looking for the hit-and-run driver who rear-ended a 53-year old man as he was riding his bike to work, knocking him unconscious and leaving him with a fractured cheekbone, wrist injuries and numerous lacerations, including one to his head.

San Luis Obispo is looking at ways to redesign what was supposed to be a trail to the sea, after at least one home owner refused to sell a key piece of land, and a pair of county supervisors opposed using eminent domain to seize it.

The Bay Area’s BART rail system will now allow bikes on almost any car, and allow riders to take their bicycles on station escalators.

Oakland has committed to building a protected bike lane on Lakeshore Ave on the east side of Lake Merritt, though Streetsblog observes it took the dooring death of a four-year old girl to get them to act. Sadly, it usually does. Too much needed bike infrastructure only gets built after it’s already too late.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 60-year old man riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

National

Forbes reports there are now more than 1,450 Bicycle Friendly Businesses in the US.

Trek will now allow you to trade in your old Trek bicycles on the purchase of a new one, in an effort to cut the company’s carbon footprint. And you might need a trade-in to afford the company’s “pricy but feature-rich” new cargo bike.

More sad news, as longtime ABC and General Hospital promo photographer Craig Sjodin was killed by a driver while riding his bike, just one month after retiring; the soap opera ended an episode last week with a memorial slide honoring him. 

A new bike and pedestrian plan for Alaska’s fastest growing area calls for 130 miles of bike/walk paths in the Matanuska-Susitna region — if supporters can find a way to pay for it.

Portland officials backed off a plan to rip out a popular protected bike lane, even if the city’s transportation director has no idea how it was funded.

The 21-year old hit-and-run driver who killed a 63-year old Seattle man as he rode home from work on his ebike last year was sentenced to spend the next four years behind bars. Although most inmates spend considerably less time in jail than what they’re sentenced to.

Colorado Public Radio asks if drivers of larger, more dangerous vehicles should be charged more to pay for new safety projects. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, hell yes. 

There’s not a pit deep enough for the schmuck who stole an 89-year old North Dakota woman’s three-wheeled bike.

Once again, a cross-country bike rider has been killed in Texas, when a 62-year old man riding to raise money for injured bicyclists was struck by a driver after allegedly veering from the highway shoulder into the traffic lane. Even though nowhere in the entire article does it even mention that the truck that hit him even had a driver.

Minnesota’s MinnPost looks back at what’s changed in the five decades since the 1970’s oil embargo-fueled bike boom.

Bill and Hillary Clinton donated ten thousand dollars to a crowdfunding campaign for the former chief of staff to a Manhattan state senator, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a collision while riding a bikeshare bike last month. Jacob Priley had worked on Hillary’s presidential campaign in 2016; he remains in a coma nine days after the September 22nd crash.

A longtime New York bike advocate is riding an ebike towing signs calling for banning mopeds from the city’s bike lanes.

A New York Streetsblog op-ed insists bicyclists have to throw our own bad apples under the bus, while calling for the return of the city’s Give Respect/Get Respect safety campaign.

The new series The Road Less Eaten follows a pro chef and an indie pop drummer as they ride their bikes through Nashville.

The mother of a five-year old girl killed by a driver while riding her bike through a DC crosswalk with her dad has convinced thousands of people to sign a petition demanding that pedestrian deaths be included in car safety ratings.

A Georgia woman is on a one-mom crusade to build the longest continuously paved bike trail in the US, which would stretch 211 miles from Athens to Savannah.

 

International

Momentum takes a look at the world’s most unique bicycling infrastructure innovations. None of which are in Los Angeles. Or North America, for that matter. 

A writer for Bike Radar says a collision with a driver who was blocking a bike lane has left him angrier than ever about the bicycling culture wars, arguing that we need better infrastructure for bicycling because we don’t have what’s needed to keep us safe.

A Glasgow architecture firm has launched a campaign to gather near-miss data that could lead to rethinking road designs, after a French-American architecture student who worked for the firm was killed riding her bike, less than six months after moving to the city.

London bicycling rates have dropped to near pre-pandemic levels after booming during the Covid lockdowns; advocates blame a return of car traffic, poorly designed bikeways and a lack of government funding.

Former Olympic champion cyclist Sir Chris Boardman called on the government to keep its word, and stick with plans to boost walking and bicycling, after the country’s prime minister complained that drivers feel oppressed.

Bicycle thefts are so bad at one English train station, bike riders are being advised not to use bike racks at the nearly half-million dollar Bike Hub.

A “prolific” British bike thief was convicted after a mother protested outside his home for three days with signs demanding her son’s stolen bicycle back.

A 90-year old man became the oldest person to complete the 1,100-mile ride the length of Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats; he also finished the ride when he was 75, 80 and 85, so presumably he’ll do it again in another five years.

Formerly car-choked Paris is now experiencing bicycle traffic jams as the mayor’s emphasis on the 15-minute city and expanded bikeways are getting more Parisians out on bicycles. Which should be a hint to both the US and Britain. But probably won’t. 

The Netherlands redesigned a highway to make it safer and greener, including three new 3D-printed bike bridges.

A Berlin, Germany website says the city’s car-centric government has begun rolling back bike infrastructure, as bicyclists fear they’ll be driven off the roads, literally and figuratively.

Ebike sales are booming in Germany, where even automakers are embracing their role in the future of transportation.

Bike Radar looks at Germany’s StVZO bike light regulations, which require bike lights to remain steady and unblinking, and focused downward to avoid blinding other road users.

That’s more like it. Thousands of protestors shut down four key intersections in Milan, Italy, effectively bringing the city to a halt to demand safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. Meanwhile, Milan is now requiring blind spot sensors on buses and large trucks in an effort to reduce bicycling and pedestrian deaths.

Hyderabad, India has opened the country’s first solar panel-topped cycle track, with three covered bike lanes covering more than 14 miles.

Once again, the observance of Yom Kippur turned Israel’s roadways into the world’s largest open streets event.

An 84-year old Indian man built his own ebike using discarded laptop batteries, charged by solar panels on his roof, to ride the 19 miles to his parents home.

A writer for China Daily says the country is looking forward to becoming a safer, faster kingdom of bicycles, harking back to its not-too-distant bicycling past.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rumors are flying that Apple will be the next title sponsor of the Jumbo-Visma cycling team. Or maybe Amazon.

In a shameful report from the pro peloton, a quarter of female professional cyclists don’t receive any income.

 

Finally…

Apparently, royalty is no protection from dangerous drivers. That feeling when you find a bicycle carved into an ancient temple built 2,000 years before they were invented.

And when you’re riding your bike holding an open Natty Light in one hand, try to avoid hitting the side of a moving Home Depot truck.

………

A special thanks to Matthew R, Janice H, Steve F, Diane T and our anonymous correspondent for their generous donations to mark my birthday last month, and/or offer support for my vision and diabetic issues, all while helping to bring all the best bike news your way today. 

Normally, I’d add “and every day,” but considering my recent track record, we’ll let that slide for now. 

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin