Tag Archive for ebike rebates

California media ignoring problems with state’s moribund ebike voucher program, and bike bills whittled down in legislature

Just 181 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025. 

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Happy Independence Day!

There’s no better way to celebrate the 4th than with a good bike ride, whether you’re riding during the day or to the fireworks at night.

Just remember many people may have been drinking before they get behind the wheel, and many others driving distracted. Or both. And they may not be looking for someone on a bicycle.

So ride defensively this weekend. I don’t want to have to write about you or anyone else.

As for me, if past is prologue, my 4th will be spent all night huddled in a closet comforting a corgi terrified by the near constant bombardment of illegal fireworks outside our Hollywood neighborhood. 

Good times. 

We’ll see you again bright and early on Monday.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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It’s now 195 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 37 full months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

Meanwhile, Minnesota’s ebike voucher program ran out after just 18 minutes when over 10,000 people attempted to claim one. This was the program’s second attempt to launch after the website crashed from high demand a few weeks ago.

Neve mind that the launch came just one year after the program was created by the legislature.

That compares with California’s still moribund program, which still hasn’t even attempted to launch yet. And probably won’t anytime soon after serious questions were raised about program administrator Pedal Ahead.

Which oddly hasn’t been mentioned anywhere other than in the local San Diego paper, despite its status as a failed statewide program.

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Sharrows only exist to help drivers improve their aim.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry reports a bill to ban sharrows from high speed roadways is still alive in the state legislature, along with the Caltrans Complete Streets bill, but both have been whittled down to reflect the status quo.

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This has got to be one of the most evocative cycling photos I’ve seen.

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I forgot she was one of us, too.

https://twitter.com/cyclartist/status/1808199538345230525

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

No bias here. After new separated bike lanes were installed on San Diego’s Convoy Street, a local TV station focused all its attention on anecdotal reports of customers avoiding the area due to a loss of previously super convenient parking spaces.

No bias here, either. London bicyclists want to know why the Royal Parks Service won’t allow early morning time trials in the city’s Richmond Park over concerns about speeding cyclists, but is going ahead with a much larger duathlon race consisting of running and bicycling.

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Local 

The Los Angeles Times looks at California’s deadliest freeways, topped by I-15 in San Bernardino County and I-10 in Riverside County, with 48 deaths and 31 deaths in 2022, respectively. Another reminder that any transportation system that accepts death as a frequent and predictable consequence is an abject failure.

Speaking of freeways, Metro still plans to flush billions down the climate change-inducing, induced demand toilet by expanding the 605 and 5 Freeways.

 

State

A 77-year old San Diego man suffered severe, but not life-threatening injuries when he crashed his ebike into a raised curb in the Serra Mesa neighborhood.

A Santa Rosa mother joined with local bicyclists to call for the CHP to address an increase in hostility directed towards bicyclists, as well as stepping up the investigation into her son’s death after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

 

National

In a bizarre story, a Denver bicyclist was somehow killed when a driver rolled their vehicle over the center freeway divider, raising questions of just where the victim had been riding, which the local media doesn’t seem to be asking.

Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run crash that killed an 82-year old man taking part in the five-day Tour of Nebraska last weekend.

A planned overhaul of the main concourse at Chicago’s Union Station will included expanded bike parking options, after respondents overwhelmingly preferred adding secure, indoor bike storage.

New York’s congestion pricing may not be dead after all, as political leaders attempt to persuade the state’s governor to accept a revised plan with a lower fee for motorists driving into Manhattan.

An off-duty New Jersey cop has been charged with a relatively minor third-degree felony for the hit-and-run that critically injured an 18-year old man riding a bicycle; he turned himself in after giving himself time to sober up the next day.

 

International

Bike Rumor looks forward to the return of the Eurobike trade show in Frankfurt, Germany this weekend.

Megan Lynch forwards a heartbreaking Mastadon post showing the work of an Australian woman who made a quilt from her husband’s bicycling jerseys, after he was killed while riding his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tadej Pogačar climbed back into the yellow leader’s jersey on stage 4 of the Tour de France, dropping rival Jonas Vingegaard on the summit of the Col du Galibier on his way to a 45 second lead over the peloton.

Velo examines Biniam Gorman’s long journey from impoverished Eritrea to cycling stardom as the first Black African to win a stage at the Tour de France.

Greg LeMond remains the only American to officially wear the yellow jersey, after Tour de France stage and general classification wins by Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis, David Zabriskie and George Hincapie were officially erased, as if both the wins and the people who won them had never existed.

Ouch. A Utah paper asks if anyone in America even cares that the world’s premier bike race has started.

Cycling News offers the best deals on bike gear inspired by the Tour.

Eight years ago, US Olympian Kristen Faulkner didn’t even know how to clip into her pedals; today, she’s a medal contender in the individual time trial at the Paris Olympics.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could come with drone DNA. Apparently, riding your bike naked with a group is okay; riding naked alone not so much.

And forget debating, make Trump and Biden race bikes.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Nonprofit overseeing CA ebike voucher program under investigation, and Gordon Ramsay says “wear your helmet”

Just 198 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.

Image by Maxfoot from Pixabay.

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And that, my friends, is when it all went to hell.

As you may know, we’ve been tracking the moribund California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which has now reached 178 days since we were promised it would open in fall of last year.

Spoiler alert — it didn’t.

It’s also a full three years since the plan was approved by the state legislature and signed into law by the governor. And counting.

And just two weeks before they’re guaranteed to miss the most recent promised launch date in the second quarter of this year, which has now been pushed back to sometime this summer.

They’re not likely to meet that one, either.

Because the program charged with operating the California ebike incentive program, San Diego nonprofit Pedal Ahead, could end up facing charges themselves.

In fact, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Pedal Ahead is currently facing not one, not two, but three ongoing investigations. (Although the paper’s newly even more draconian paywall means you’ll have to register with your email if you want to read it.)

It’s a confusing and convoluted story. But the gist of it is that Pedal Ahead is accused of being delinquent in filing the required paperwork with various government agencies, leading to investigations by San Diego County, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Department of Justice.

Yet somehow, they’re supposed to handle the increasingly complicated statewide program, which has now been funded with a still-too-small $31 million to distribute, even though that’s up from the initial $10 million fund, which was reduced to just $7.5 million after overhead.

And even though they’ve been removed as operators of the low-income ebike loan-to-own program launched by the San Diego Association of Governments two years ago.

Yet it was that “expertise” that formed the basis of their selection to operate the statewide program.

But at least that part of the story is clear.

It gets more confusing when the paper tries to explain the numerous nonprofit and for-profit companies opened by Pedal Ahead chief executive Edward Clancy in recent years, many with nearly identical names.

And many, if not most, of which either ran into problems, or apparently never got beyond the naming stage.

Then there’s the fact that Clancy wore a wire for the FBI’s probe into illegal campaign financing involving his former boss and a Mexican businessman, while skating on any possible charges himself.

Clancy was appointed as “bike czar” by former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who resigned under a torrent of sexual misconduct accusations after less than a year in office.

According to the Union-Tribune,

Clancy was later reported to have been a confidential informant in an unrelated federal investigation into illegal campaign financing in San Diego County.

The Union-Tribune reported in 2014 that he wore a wire for the FBI, recording conversations with three people who were later charged with coordinating $500,000 in donations from Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura to Filner, then-District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and two Democratic political committees.

Clancy, who received qualified immunity from federal prosecutors and was never himself charged with any wrongdoing, maintained his political connections after he stopped consulting.

No problem, then.

It’s long past time that the state legislature conducted an open, public hearing into the problems with the state ebike incentive program that have led to its ongoing failure to launch, despite the clear intent of our elected leaders.

And shine a much-needed light on a program that has been utterly opaque up to this point.

Because something tells me what we’ve learned today is just the tip of an iceberg big enough to sink the Titanic all over again.

Thanks to Oceanside bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette for the heads-up. 

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The common theme over the weekend, the one that sucked the air out of the news headlines, is Gordon’s Ramsay’s advice to wear your bike helmet.

Yes, the lovably irascible chef is one of us. Although “lovably” kind of depends on your perspective.

Ramsay revealed in a Father’s Day greeting that he had been the victim of a bad bicycling crash in Connecticut recently, lifting his traditional chef’s jacket to reveal a badly bruised torso. And crediting his shattered helmet and “those incredible trauma surgeons, doctors, nurses in the hospitals” that looked after him with saving his life.

Meanwhile, a writer for the Christian Science Monitor also says wear a helmet, and put front, and especially, rear lights on your bike, offering his own hard-won experience in Long Beach as proof.

Although he misses the mark in calling out bicyclists for riding “two, three or even four abreast.” forcing drivers to “swerve completely into the incoming traffic lane.”

Never mind that riding abreast helps prevent unsafe passing, and using the next lane to go around them is exactly what drivers are supposed to do.

Then again, even Dutch officials are calling for the country’s largely helmet averse population to change “because the brain is very vulnerable.”

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Nothing like have your bike stolen right in front of you on a Metro platform in broad daylight, as passengers look on.

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It’s not every day you actually see a positive report about new bike lanes on the local news.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. A writer for an off-road racing website blames a group of Atlanta bike riders for complaining when a cop ignored the speeding BMW driver who zoomed around them on the wrong side of the road, only to lecture them for some undisclosed reason. “We’ve all encountered entitled, difficult cyclists before,” he writes. “Maybe they’re riding three or four abreast, not letting cars get by, and acting aggressive towards any driver who does try to pass.”

A UK paper complains about the mythical war on cars over plans to fine drivers who step out into London bike lanes, as if the real problem is the penalty, and not the reason for it.

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

Bavarian police observed over 11,500 bicycling infractions over a one-month period of heightened enforcement.

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Local 

Discover Los Angeles reminds us about this Sunday’s CicLAvia on Western Ave in South LA.

Here’s your chance to tell Glendale you want a permanent calmer, safer North Brand Boulevard, after the city’s successful pilot project.

Pasadena is implementing a quick build safety improvement program on Allen Ave between Colorado Blvd and Villa Street, offering enhanced crosswalks, curb extensions and new bicycle lanes.

Active SGV offers a recap on the recent Active Streets: Mission to Mission, including an appearance by the inimitable Gabe the Sasquatch.

Malibu releases details on the upcoming safety improvements on deadly PCH. All of which only offer a downpayment on what the killer highway really needs. 

 

State

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, says three speeding bills they support are moving forward in the state legislature, including bills to allow speed cams on PCH in Malibu, and increase penalties for speeding on highways.

Motor vehicle speeds aren’t the only concern for state legislators, however, as AB 1774 would prohibit the sale of any product or device that can modify the speed of an ebike.

The California Building Standards Commission wants your input to shape bike parking standards in the new state building code.

Just days after the heartbreaking death of a 17-year old San Diego boy killed by an Amtrak train while riding his bike across the tracks, comes news that California is the deadliest state for train collisions, with 38 fatal crashes last year, compared to just 21 in Florida, the next highest state.

The Orange County Power Authority is launching its own ebike voucher program, offering up to $1,500 for income-qualified buyers.

Beach cities aren’t the only ones freaking out about ebike safety, as cities in California’s Inland Empire attempt to rein in teenagers on electric bicycles. Although they often conflate ebikes and e-motorbikes.

The latest proposal to replace San Francisco’s widely loathed Valencia Street center-running bike lane would create a slalom course as the bike lane swerves around restaurant parklets.

 

National

A writer for Bike Magazine pens a Father’s Day ode to his favorite riding companion, and the man who gave him everything.

Despite the best efforts of rightwing culture warriors, the World Naked Bike Ride returned to Mad City, Wisconsin on Saturday.

There’s not a pit deep enough for the schmuck who stole an 11-year old boy’s lowrider bike he’d customized himself from a New Mexico museum display.

Hundreds of teenaged bike riders gathered in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley to call for nationwide bike safety improvements at the 10th annual national Youth Bike Summit.

In news that should surprise absolutely no one — but probably will — a new study from New Jersey’s Rutger’s University shows bike lanes calm roadways, improving safety for everyone.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever rode off after stealing a collection jar raising funds for a premature Florida baby.

 

International

The mayor of Quebec City offers a master class in how to respond to accusations that bicyclists don’t pay for the services we receive. Although you’ll need to read the subtitles if you don’t understand French. Thanks again to Megan Lynch. 

A neighborhood in Birmingham, England is now offering an e-cargo bikeshare service to help cut pollution.

The UK’s best bicycle-friendly homes, starting at just £225,000 — the equivalent of a little over $285,000. I’ll send y’all a postcard once I get settled.

 

Competitive Cycling

That’s Sir Mark Cavendish to you, now.

Twenty-year old Norwegian pro Johannes Kulset is demanding an apology from cycling’s governing body after he was banned from the Tour of Slovenia for using the ‘super tuck’ position, denying he used his chest or forearms for support.

A pair of best buds are hoping to set a new record for the fastest duo to cross the Atlantic City finish line for the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own Van Gogh bike. Ranking the Euro 2024 soccer teams based on how bike-friendly their cities are.

And there’s actually nothing funny about using laughing gas behind the wheel.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Santa Monica offers ebike rebates, while California’s ebike voucher program goes nearly 3 years with no progress

Just 244 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 all face on the mean streets of LA.

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

We’re up to 1,129 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 Maxfoot from Pixabay.

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Well, that was fun. 

What was supposed to be the quick and easy removal of a small skin cancer on my ear turned into an excruciating five hours on the surgical table, scraping every half hour before they got the whole thing. 

All because every doctor I asked about it told me it was nothing to worry about, allowing it to spread unchecked for over a decade before anyone actually bothered to do a biopsy. 

But at least I left with my ear still attached, albeit lacking most of the skin inside, and with a bandage the size of a golf ball shoved in.

Which leads to today’s hard-earned life lesson. 

Just wear some damn sunscreen, already. 

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It’s now 133 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

Unfortunately, Washington state is following California’s lead, with no set launch date for their ebike voucher program a year after it was approved.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica will provide ebike rebates up to $2,000 for 90 low and moderate income residents.

Denver, which started it all, saw its latest round of ebike vouchers claimed in just three minutes, with over 8,200 ebike vouchers redeemed so far.

Even tiny Basalt, Colorado — population 4,062 — is offering residents a $500 ebike rebate, while Minnesota will provide rebates up to $1,500 on ebikes and accessories.

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

Even the ungulates are out to get us, after two people riding a tandem bike were taken out by a deer near the entrance to Zion National Park.

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

Adding insult to injury — literally — a 58-year old Valdosta, Georgia man will face charges for causing a traffic collision by abruptly turning directly in front of a pickup. As usual, the charges will be based strictly on the driver’s perspective, since the victim was found unresponsive and unable to give his side of the story.

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Local 

LA Progressive calls for the defeat of incumbent CD14 Councilmember Kevin de Leon, in part for cutting off communication with community leaders over the $16.3 million in funding raised by local residents for street improvements on Eagle Rock Blvd, allowing the project to go dormant for two years.

Santa Monica will conduct yet another bike & pedestrian safety enforcement operation on Friday, ticketing anyone who commits a violation that could endanger either group, regardless of who commits it. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits to ensure you’re not the one who gets ticketed. 

 

State

Streetsblog celebrates Bike Month with events throughout California.

San Diego police will are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled after striking a homeless father of five, who died nearly a month after he was run down while walking in a Balboa Park bike lane.

A Santa Maria bike club for kids now has 110 riders and more than 50 coaches, eight years after it was founded by three mothers and their kids.

The organizers of the Bay Area Bike to Wherever Days named their Bike Champions for the nine Bay Area counties, recognizing some of the area’s top bike advocates.

A Marin County Grand Jury is calling on local governments to strictly regulate ebikes and ban kids under 16 from riding throttle-controlled Class 2 bikes — even though that conflicts with existing state law.

 

National

A writer for Cnet says riding an ebike for a year not only saved him money, but changed his life.

Craig Medred takes a deep dive into the death of a 48-year old Alaska man who was reportedly among the area’s “safest and most responsible cyclists,” yet who was blamed by investigators for his own death, despite doing everything right before he was run down by a driver — because police couldn’t find the missing bike light they may not have looked for.

A Michigan man is turning his pain into advocacy, calling for a redesign of the bike lane he was riding in when he was struck by a driver leaving a Taco Bell drive-thru.

A Kentucky TV station answers the eternal question of why bicyclists don’t have to pay a road usage fee — and gets it mostly right. Although they left out a) local roads are funded primarily through the same state and local taxes we all pay, and b) most people who ride bikes also drive, and pay gas taxes and registration like anyone else.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts city council narrowly approved a plan to delay completing a 25-mile network of separated bike lanes by one year, in order to gather more data on how they will affect local businesses. Although the best way to study their effects would be to build them on a trial basis and see what happens.

 

International

Momentum rates the “seven best and most affordable” commuter bikes for spring.

It’s Bike Month in Colombia, too.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. A new 435-mile elevated, tree-top level bikeway through the Italian countryside, leading to a 16th Century UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Italy.

 

Competitive Cycling

An Egyptian woman is being accused of assault after forcing another woman to the side of the road during the final stretch of country’s Women’s National Cycling Championship, then using her bike and hands to knock her off her bike.

Twenty-three-year old Jamaican chocolate maker Llori Sharpe is honing her crit skills with LA-based L39ION of Los Angeles, the first Jamaican cyclist to ride for a UCI road team.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a four-wheeled, pedal-operated ebike capable of hauling a whopping 800 pounds. Or an ebike that can quickly convert from a cargo bike to an e-rickshaw.

And now you, too can have your very own Bob Marley One Love bike, a collaboration between State Bicycle Company and the reggae master who’s been dead for the last 43 years.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

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!

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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! 

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Engage schadenfreude now.

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

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

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

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‘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.

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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. 

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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.

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………

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Help clean up the Venice Blvd bike lanes next Saturday.

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‘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.

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

No bias here. A 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.

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Expressionist artistic image of corgi riding a bicycle

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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