Tag Archive for ebikes

Martinez resigns as council president, but not from council, after racist remarks; and Streets For All happy hour with Mike Bonin

Following up on yesterday’s lead item, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez resigned her position, but insisted on remaining on the council in the wake of racist and otherwise offensive comments on a leaked audio recording.

For now, anyway.

Also refusing to take responsibility are the other councilmembers included in the conversation, Kevin De León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo.

Although the only non-councilmember heard on the recording, LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, showed enough integrity to resign his position.

Now if the others would just follow his example, as the list of people calling for their resignations keeps growing.

Here’s a short sample posted by the LA Times.

The list of political figures and organizations issuing those calls took in Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), Tony Cárdenas (D-Pacoima) and Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), an array of labor unions and two mayoral candidates — Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and developer Rick Caruso.

Not to be left out, Streets For All joined the clamor — even though the loss of Martinez and De León could threaten hard-fought wins like adoption of a modified version of the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure and the Complete Streets makeover of Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

But sometimes, integrity has to matter more.

By my count, we’ve already seen three councilmembers convicted or currently facing bribery charges, with another — CD12’s John Lee — implicated but not charged in the bribery scandal that brought down his predecessor.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s bid to become ambassador to India went down in flames amid allegations he turned a blind eye to a top aide’s open sexual harassment of male coworkers.

Now three more elected leaders have been captured engaging in a racist conversation, as well as discussion of possibly illegal racial gerrymandering, and what appears to be a violation of the Brown Act open meetings law.

So if you’ve been wondering why our city hasn’t been more responsive to the needs of bike riders, and why nothing seems to get better in what should be — but isn’t — one of the world’s leading cities, we can start with a city government that looks to be rotten from top to bottom.

Photo from Wikipedia.

………

In a very timely announcement, the next Streets For All virtual happy hour will feature a conversation with outgoing CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose Black toddler son was the subject of some of the most offensive comments from Martinez, De León and Cedillo.

………

This is what it looks like when bikes are taken seriously as transportation.

Our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards a photo of a bike repair stand next to an ebike charging stand for four bikes at his neighborhood biergarten.

Not shown, he says, is the bike tube vending machine on the restroom wall.

Photo by Ralph Durham

………

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

A pair of British men in their early 20s are facing murder charges in the death of 22-year old ebike rider; a third suspect has been released on bail, while a 30-year old woman has been arrested for helping them. Unfortunately, there’s no word on just what happened.

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

Police in South Wales are looking for a pair of men who assaulted another man as he rode his bike in broad daylight, for no apparent reason.

………

Local

The LA Times has confirmed their previous endorsement of Kenneth Mejia for city controller, saying opponent Paul Koretz has fought efforts to make it easier to build more housing and blocked bike and pedestrian safety improvements, and “seems more interested in remaining in elected office than in being the taxpayers’ watchdog or government reformer.” Full disclosure — I’ve endorsed Mejia as well

 

State 

A 75-year old Yucca Valley man was pushed off his bicycle by a neighbor, then beaten with his own bike, in retaliation for pepper spraying the neighbor’s dog when it came up behind him the previous week.

Mt. Diablo State Park has added 30 bike turnouts on the popular Bay Area riding route, allowing bike riders to pull out to allow uphill traffic to pass.

 

National

Schwinn is introducing a new energy absorbing helmet liner to compete MIPS, designed to reduce rotational injuries in a fall.

Denver bike advocates are meeting with city officials to pitch a low-stress bike network.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A popular Bozeman, Montana high school teacher was killed when he was struck by a red light-running driver while riding his bicycle to work.

An op-ed from a Buffalo NY bike advocate makes the case that everyone benefits from effective bike and pedestrian networks, even drivers. Or maybe even especially drivers.

Philly bike riders are using expensive locks, AirTags and GPS, and social media to fight back against the city’s persistent bike thieves.

Frederick, Maryland is the latest community to introduce a book bike, intended  to take the public library to those who can’t come in themselves. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

 

International

Bloomberg Philanthropies is teaming with the Global Designing Cities Initiative to create the new Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure, which will award up to $1 million each to ten cities worldwide to help develop bike lane networks.

Cycling Weekly tries out the new Raleigh e-cargo bike, and says everyone loves it. The built-in kids seats are a nice touch.

A travel website recommends five “magical” Mexican towns to ride your bike in.

Winnipeg, Manitoba bike riders marked Canada’s Thanksgiving with an indigenous-led bike jam combining biking and music with lessons about colonization and reconciliation.

The UK’s British Cycling is being roundly criticized for signing an eight-year sponsorship agreement with oil and gas giant Shell to advise the group on how to achieve net zero. After all, who understands how to get to zero emissions better than an oil company?

A British bike advocacy group is calling on the government to close a loophole that allows people who would otherwise lose their driver’s license to keep driving, by claiming that suspending their license would result in an exceptional hardship.

A new Dutch app promises to tell when you fall off your bike, with or without automotive assistance, and automatically text someone for help.

Tragic news from Italy, where a British international sailing champion was killed when he fell 33 feet down a ravine while on a package mountain biking tour.

Sydney, Australia bicyclists say riding in the city is hard enough without police cracking down on bike riders in the central business district.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made from recycled plastic.

And we might have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting chased by a couple of angry moose.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Embarrassed to be seen on an ebike, support for Venice Blvd bike lanes, and Sierra Club backs faux-environmentalist

A quick update before we get started. 

My brother has made it to Kansas a week into his latest cross-country bike ride.

So far, things are running smoothly, despite temperatures in the high 90s. 

……….

No bias here.

A writer for The Atlantic, who clearly doesn’t get it, says ebikes are monstrosities that need to develop an identity of their own, distinct from bicycles and motorbikes.

Never mind that ebikes open up this wild and wonderful world of bicycling we so love to countless people who couldn’t ride a bike before, or would love to ride one again.

Not to mention countless more who use them as a simple and efficient way to get to work or school. Or do their shopping without having to break out the family SUV.

Or own one, even.

But writer Ian Bogost doesn’t see it that way.

But I’ve been trying to live with one, and brother, I’ve got some bad news. These things are freaks. Portraying e-bikes as a simple, obvious, and inevitable evolution of transportation (or even of bicycling) doesn’t fully explain these strange contraptions. The Venicsame was said of Segways, and then of Bird scooters, and both flamed out spectacularly…

Perhaps my e-bike ambivalence comes in part from the bike’s strange social status. An e-bike isn’t cheap—the least expensive ones are about $1,000, and they go up to $5,000 or more. But the symbolic value one receives in exchange is minimal. Spending five large on a conventional bike would get you a status symbol—you’d come off as a cyclist for sure. For that matter, spending that dough on a Vespa would infuse you with an Aperol-tinged Italianate cool. You’d want to be seen arriving on your moped. But I don’t want anybody seeing me on my e-bike. It’s just kind of embarrassing.

Seriously.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but who honestly gives a rat’s rear about the social cachet of your bicycle, unless you are in fact dropping way too much on a high-end roadie designed to make you faster than your little legs and limited skills would otherwise allow?

You know, kind of like an ebike.

But wait, as they say in informercials, there’s more!

Currently, e-bikes are trapped in the weird smear between pathetic, loser bicycles and pitiable, low-end motorbikes. Especially in America, where bike infrastructure is far less developed than in the small, flat nations of Northern Europe that cycling advocates like to exalt as a model, e-bikes have become kind of a nuisance. Walking the streets of New York City, it now feels just as likely that you might get mowed down by an e-bike as a taxicab. Elsewhere, the narrow protected lanes and greenway trails built for human-powered bikes—already littered with stroller-pushers and joggers—don’t quite scale to the new swiftness of e-bikes. The pathways and roads themselves, perhaps already unsafe at bike speed due to uneven pavement and poor maintenance, feel even more dangerous on a not-quite-motorcycle.

So, no one wants ebikes and there’s no market for them, yet they’re as ubiquitous as taxicabs on New York sidewalks.

Sure, that makes sense.

Never mind that ebikes already outsell electric cars and plug-in hybrids combined in the US.

That would seem to refute the argument that there’s no clear market for them. Let alone that anyone other than him is embarrassed to ride one.

Maybe someone could just tell Mr. Bogost that 2012 called, and wants its hot take back.

Then again, maybe he wouldn’t feel so embarrassed if he was riding Mercedes new $5,800 Formula E-inspired ebike.

………

The proposal to expand the protected bike lanes and bus lanes on Venice Blvd seemed to enjoy overwhelming support at yesterday’s virtual meeting, as well as on community surveys.

………

Leave it to our local Sierra Club to get it wrong.

As someone who grew up in Colorado, I’d long seen the Sierra Club as a protector of the native environment.

But it didn’t take long after moving to Los Angeles to realize that the LA/Orange County chapter was mired in form of environmental conservatism unbecoming of local politics. And unwilling to upset the automotive hegemony and single-family home applecart to actually advocate for the change we need to save our city.

Let alone the planet.

Which leads to their endorsement of everyone’s favorite faux-environmentalist and termed-out councilmember, who apparently never met a bike lane he liked, or a NIMBY he didn’t.

My old friend Dr. Michael Cahn seems to sum up the sad situation pretty well.

………

Hats off to the East Side Riders for working to bring an ebike lending library to the South LA area.

Even if a certain writer for The Atlantic would be embarrassed to be seen on one.

………

Beautiful cover art by the late, great French illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé.

………

More proof you can move anything by bike. Even if it looks like the dog is doing the steering.

………

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

Yet another cord has been strung over a Madison, Wisconsin bike path where it could clothesline an unsuspecting rider; one victim has already been seriously injured crashing into one.

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

A Welsh cabbie has been sentenced to two years behind bars for deliberately running over a road raging bike rider who slapped the hood of his car and called him a fat fuck in a dispute over the man’s driving.

………

Local

What took so long? Ever since a speeding driver blew through a red light and killed five people in Windsor Hills, along with a pregnant woman’s unborn baby, I’ve wondered when they would get around to claiming she wasn’t conscious leading up to the crash.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton expounds on yesterday’s comment about the Ventura Blvd bike lane plans, questioning why the city is touting it as a bike safety proposal instead of the parking plan it really is.

 

State 

For the second year in a row, Governor Gavin Newsom killed a bill that would have allowed bike riders to treat stop signs as yields; this time he only had to announce plans to veto the bill to get it pulled by its sponsor. Never mind that it’s safely in use in an ever-growing number of cities and states. Maybe we’ll have to call getting ticketed for rolling a stop “getting Gavined.”

Calbike is looking for a full-time executive director, as well as a part-time individual giving manager. Let me know when that last position gets filled; I know a few individuals I’d be happy to give them.

Carlsbad literally put its money where its figurative mouth is, voting to allocate $2 million to confront a bike safety emergency, after bicycle and ebike injuries doubled over the previous year, and two ebike riders were killed there just one week apart; the funding includes half a million dollars to hire four additional traffic enforcement cops. Thanks to Oceanside bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette for the heads-up; the way things our going in San Diego and Orange counties lately, they need a good bike lawyer down there. Or maybe an army of them.

 

National

Cycling Weekly offers a guide to smooth and efficient shifting, and announces their picks for the best bike bells. Wake me when somebody makes a bike bell that sounds like an old submarine klaxon.

ZDNet suggests where to hide an AirTag on your bike so thieves won’t find it. Apparently assuming that bike thieves don’t know how to Google.

A VeloNews podcast talks with mountain bike icon Gary Fisher, who has remained a force in the bike industry through two cultural revolutions.

An Orem, Utah elementary school is raising funds to teach kindergarten kids how to ride bikes, through the All Kids Bike program.

While LA bike riders struggle to get to SoFi Stadium, Houston is building a bike path to get riders safely to and from the NFL’s NRG Stadium; the city hopes to conclude work in time for the annual rodeo and livestock show in March.

A Minnesota bike rider explores John Prine’s “jungles of East St. Paul.” And makes it look pretty damn good in the process.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Michigan woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver, just moments after she ran out of her house to aid a bike rider who had just been killed by another motorist.

New York is considering an ebike rebate program that could slash prices 50%, up to a retail cost of $2,200.

The husband of an American diplomat killed riding her bike in Maryland has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support; a crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $180,000 in just two days to advocate for safer bikeways, more than tripling the original goal.

 

International

The Guardian considers how our language has been colonized by cars, while wondering whether we really want to see the world from a windshield perspective.

Seriously? The Sun questions who was in the right, after a driver plows into a rider practicing stunts on his BMX bike in the middle of a dark street. Is all of the above an option?

No need to cork intersections anymore, with a new device that will let you control the traffic signal for up to 45 seconds at a time.

Road.cc wants to know who drained the color out of road bike tires, and why.

No irony here. A mayoral candidate in Winnipeg, Manitoba had his own bicycle stolen, just 85 minutes after announcing a plan to eliminate bike theft.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a British paramedic’s bike while he was busy saving lives; the victim was riding his bike to save money after the birth of his daughter.

Bike Radar offers ten “weird and wonderful mountain bike throwbacks” from this year’s Malverns Classic in the UK.

 

Competitive Cycling

Aussie Kaden Groves won his first Grand Tour stage in Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Vuelta, while Remco Evenepoel maintained his grip the red leader’s jersey.

Cycling Weekly examines Irish pro Sam Bennett’s return to his winning ways in the opening weekend of the Vuelta.

Over 1,800 riders are expected to turn out for the tenth anniversary of The Rebecca’s Private Idaho gravel race, founded by former cycling great and Idaho native Rebecca Rusch.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to ride highways smothered in Alfredo sauce. That feeling when Google Maps directs you to bike lanes that don’t exist.

And with hair like that, who needs a helmet?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

New SoFi Stadium removes free bike lockers, ebikes beat carbon capture, and let’s hope Donald Shoup never changes

Did LA’s SoFi Stadium install bike lockers just to qualify for sustainability certification?

That’s the charge in an email I received recently, from a whistleblower who prefers to remain anonymous.

The gist of my story is basically the subject line – SoFi Stadium used to have 44 awesome free bike lockers. They are gone now, and after stirring the Reddit pot, I believe they were installed to get LEED points, and are now in the way of profitability.

Meanwhile, this was posted by Reddit user germanisette last week.

SoFi Stadium removed all their free bike lockers

First time I went to SoFi, I took my bike there. I was so excited to find that they have free bike lockers! I’ve been linking to my post every time someone asked how best to get to SoFi.

Yesterday I went again, and all the bike lockers were gone as confirmed by security. There I was, with my $3 bike lock, a helmet, a safety vest, and other stuff I didn’t want to bring inside, with no place to store them safely. The security people for the concert were about as helpful as airport TSA, and they directed me to lock my bike in the (unattended) parking lot. Thankfully George Clinton fans didn’t have enough criminal energy to steal anything.

But! I am so angry that SoFi did this. I bet they were either required to provide for alternative transportation, or maybe they collected some kind of “green energy” reward. There is no way they voluntarily installed the bike lockers in the first place since SoFi obviously wants people to pay for parking.

I contacted them to let them know that I was not happy, and I am sure they will lose a great deal of sleep over my complaint form. However, I really would like to find out if they can legally do this. If they were required to install them, or there was a financial incentive for providing sustainable transportation, I want to contact the appropriate agency so that they can look into it. Any ideas who I could contact? Any cycling advocacy organizations that have more experience with these things? I realize I’m quite possibly just wasting my time, but I feel rather passionate about bike infrastructure and climate change and I’m willing to take that risk. I just want to be as effective as possible, therefore looking for who best to contact if anyone has any insight or suggestions.

EDIT: Two people mentioned sustainability/LEED certifications, and that bike lockers could possibly be used to achieve a certain standard. SoFi Stadium was just certified gold in February 2022 and my inclination is that the bike lockers were removed afterward.

The LEED certification program is internationally recognized as the gold standard for energy efficient and sustainable buildings.

However, the SoFi Stadium website doesn’t mention LEED, instead noting that it was awarded ISO 20121:2012 Event Sustainability Management System certification earlier this year, the second NFL stadium to achieve that recognition.

A YouTube video posted by hoohoohoblin confirms that the bike lockers have been removed, instead requiring bike riders to use open-air racks that aren’t even bolted to the ground.

Not exactly secure. Let alone providing no way to secure other items you might not want, or be allowed, to take into a concert or a game.

Here’s all the stadium website has to say about bike parking.

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park encourage guests attending events to take alternate modes of transportation. In order to support alternate modes of transportation SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park has bike parking locations available throughout the district. Please be sure to bring your own lock to secure your bicycle.

Unattended bicycles that impede pedestrian or vehicular circulation are subject to removal and/or relocation. SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park and/or its agents shall not be responsible for fire, theft, damage or loss to bicycles or any other articles left in or on the same.

No mention of bike lockers.

So the question is why they were removed, let alone why were they even installed if they were going to be ripped out in less than a year.

It’s possible that the Redditors’ speculation is correct, and the lockers were removed once the stadium achieved its certification.

But my guess is far more mundane.

I suspect that SoFi’s bike lockers were subject to the same vandalism and theft that plagues bike lockers everywhere. And that they were removed because it simply wasn’t cost effective to maintain them.

But it would be good to hear from someone at the stadium to explain what happened. And what they’re going to do to provide secure bike parking.

At the very least, they could offer a free bike valet. Or work with Metro or some other provider to install a new Bike Hub.

Because those loose, free-standing racks ain’t gonna cut it.

Photo by Mitchell Luo from Pexels.

………

Bad Mom Good Mom takes a deep dive into the relative carbon savings of ebikes versus Direct Air Capture.

After a lot of calculations well beyond my English major ken, she concludes that ebikes win going away. And that Denver’s modest ebike rebate program makes it the most successful existing CO2 removal program in the US.

Now that I can understand.

………

Same sweater, same beard, different bike.

………

Our old friend Zachary Rynew, aka Mr. Ciclavalley, calls this “Definitely one of the funnest sections of dirt in LA!”

And who doesn’t love fun dirt?

………

If you’re going to test drive a massive new luxury SUV, you might as well drive it like real drivers do.

………

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

A Portland TV station belatedly catches up to the news that a road raging driver flashed a gun at volunteers working at an open streets event. Something we mentioned here on Monday — and we’re a thousand miles away.

Talk about not getting it. A letter writer in the conservative Washington Times says Democrats have left themselves open to attacks for “pushing bike paths for the wealthy and ignoring the real needs of the working and middle classes,” apparently having not a clue who really rides bikes.

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

A Miami father driving home from a baseball game received a beatdown in front of his eight-year old son, when they were attacked, apparently unprovoked, by a couple dozen teenagers on a rideout; he escaped with cuts and bruises, as well as $5,000 damage to his SUV.

………

Local

Streets For All endorses Katy Yaroslavsky to replace termed out Paul Koretz in LA’s CD5, and Hugo Soto-Martinez over incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in CD13.

Streetsblog reports on yesterday’s rejection of the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, as the city council voted unanimously to place it on the 2024 ballot instead of adopting it outright.

Congratulations, Virgil Ave. Time Out says you’re the world’s 13th coolest street, even if San Francisco’s Hayes Street comes in three notches higher.

The weekly Beverly Press looks back at Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

Want to work in advocacy? The LACBC’s later newsletter includes job openings with CicLAvia, Streets Are For Everyone, and Active SGV.

 

State 

CARB, California’s statewide ebike rebate program, has finally chosen an administrator for the program that was originally supposed to begin last month, but is now expected to start next January.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says California has banned the sale of gas cars after 2035; now it needs a plan for fewer cars.

A group of Santa Barbara community activists are planning to protest plans for a new bike path that will require the removal of up to 49 trees.

An experienced San Francisco triathlete was seriously injured when he hit a bump caused by construction work; local residents say he’s far from the first.

Closing arguments are expected Monday in the DUI murder trial of a 31-year old Fairfield man, who’s charged with killing a 52-year old man riding a bike last October; his BAC was just .04% — half the legal limit — but he was required to avoid alcohol entirely while on probation for a previous conviction.

 

National

Trek has recalled their Bontrager Aeolus RSL VR-C carbon handlebars and stems, as well as the 2022 Speed Concept SLR and MY 2021-2022 Emonda SLR bicycles using them, due to a risk of cracks.

Gear Patrol looks at the “13 best ebikes you can buy today,” starting at just $899 for a Rad Power hybrid.

A Portland lawyer says yes, it’s legal to have a bicycle funeral procession in Oregon.

A pair of Seattle bike riders are suing the city after they were seriously injured on streetcar tracks in the middle of the roadway, calling them a recipe for disaster.

Denver pedicab drivers have been banned from the city’s iconic 16th Street Mall, which is getting a much-needed makeover.

An Oklahoma man is coming back to finish the ride, three years after he was run down by a semi driver while preparing for the state’s Hotter’n Hell Hundred Ride

Chicago bike riders say new painted bike lanes on a newly resurfaced street are nice, but they don’t extend far enough.

A Minnesota town is ripping out all its bike lanes and replacing them with sharrows, after discovering their streets did not meet the state minimum for lane widths. Because God forbid they should take out the parking, instead.

South Bend, Indiana police arrested a 47-year old man for the hit-and-run death of a retired parish priest as he was riding his bike Monday night.

More Boston families are ditching the SUV and turning to cargo bikes to ferry the kids to school.

A late Buffalo NY bank president’s bicycle now hangs in the lobby of an office tower, to honor his commitment to lead by example by biking to work.

Bad news from New York, where a 67-year old man was critically injured when he was run down by a younger bike rider while standing next to his bike on a Brooklyn bike path.

A 72-year old DC area man is now devoting his retirement to fixing bikes for Afghan refugees; he’s given away nearly 300 bicycles over the years, with around 40 going to Afghan families in the past year.

 

International

Ontario, Canada bicycling deaths spiked last year, jumping to eight from just two the previous year.

A London truck driver faces charges for the crash that seriously injured the husband of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief of staff while he was riding his bike last year.

Cycling Tips looks at the ongoing efforts to rescue women’s cyclists a year after the fall of Afghanistan, as Shannon Galpin has led the resettlement of 126 Afghan women bicyclists. You can contribute to her work through a crowdfunding campaign, which has raised over $11,500 of the $50,000 goal.

Philippine bike riders are calling for improvements to the country’s National Capital Region, after a survey shows bicycle owners outnumber people with cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey changed hands for the third time in three days on Thursday, as Aussie Jay Vine won the rain-soaked stage, while Remco Evenepoel took the lead.

Three-time defending champ Primož Roglič moved to just one minute behind the Evenepoel, but American cyclists dropped out of the top 25, with the exception of Sepp Kuss in 14th.

VeloNews examines the custom carbon “Frankenleg” prothesis that allows paracyclist Meg Fisher to compete at the highest levels, including the 26 hour, 247-mile LeadBoat Challenge.

Sad news from Belgium, where 1960’s pro cyclist Herman Vanspringel died at 79. Vanspringel finished second in the ’68 Tour de France, losing the race on the final day, along with a second-place finish in the Giro and a third in the Vuelta; he was also a seven-time winner of the Bordeaux-Paris classic.

 

Finally…

Recharge your ebike with a couple solar panels. Why leave your printing press at work when you can mount it on your bike and take it with you.

And that feeling when you suddenly realize you can ride a bike outside, for free.

And have more fun doing it.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

13 previous car crashes for nurse who killed six people in Windsor Hills, and women and retirees fastest ebike adopters

Talk about keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 37-year old, Texas-based traveling nurse Nicole Lorraine Linton was involved in 13 prior crashes before she killed six people and injured eight others after allegedly blowing through a red light at up to 90 mph on Thursday.

Yes, you read that right.

Thirteen previous crashes, including a 2020 crash that totaled both vehicles. And yet she was somehow allowed to keep driving, despite demonstrating a clear inability to do so safely.

Either that, or she was plagued by some of the worst luck in the history of driving.

Linton was formally charged with six counts of murder — one for each victim — along with five counts of vehicular homicide. The unborn child of the pregnant woman killed in the crash accounts for the discrepancy; the death of the eight-and-a-half month unborn baby is eligible for a murder charge, but not vehicular homicide.

LA County DA George Gascón concluded her prior crash record indicated she was aware of the risks of driving in a dangerous manner, making her eligible for the murder charges.

Linton faces up to life behind bars upon conviction. She’s currently being held without bail after the previous $9 million bond was revoked.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

……….

Meanwhile, the news is not good for Anne Heche.

The actress, who was seriously burned crashing her car into a Mar Vista home at high speed on Friday, is reportedly in extremely critical condition after slipping into a coma.

Police investigators are trying to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the fiery crash.

………

I once made the mistake of telling a bikemaker I didn’t see a market for ebikes, because I assumed everyone would want the exercise and health benefits of a standard bike.

Turns out I was wrong about that, too, since studies show ebikes offer the same health benefits as any other bike.

So this is a snapshot of just who is taking up ebikes.

You know, the market I somehow couldn’t picture.

………

Let’s take a few moments to consider what’s possible when you register your bike with Bike Index.

You can get a free, lifetime registration in just minutes.

So if anything happens to your bike, you’ll have all the information you need to add your bike to Bike Index’ nationwide database of stolen bikes. And increase your chances of getting it back, wherever its found.

………

Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening.

………

Who needs an ebike bike when you can build your very own DIY jet-powered bicycle?

………

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

No bias here. A new San Francisco group demanding the reopening of JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park to cars has issued their full set of demands, including parking on every street, no parking-protected bike lanes, and no bike lanes replacing parking.

A road-raging Dayton, Ohio man faces charges for intentionally running down, then running over, a man riding a bicycle, before getting out with another man and looking at the victim; the attack was apparently in retaliation for the rider throwing a small flashlight at the driver’s car, after someone in the car threw a water bottle at the victim.

A Florida driver is accused of circling back and jumping a curb to intentionally run down a pair of bike riders, then getting out and shooting one of them in the leg

British police interviewed a man accused of “furiously” pushing a man against a wall and throwing his bicycle out into the street, for the crime of riding his bike on the sidewalk.

An Irish road and cyclocross racer is back to riding just two weeks after he suffered four broken ribs and two broken vertebrae, as well as a partially collapsed lung, when someone sabotaged a mountain bike trail with a rope strung across the path; Seán Nolan warns that its only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

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

A Nebraska man was busted after fleeing from police on his bike when the cops recognized his as having outstanding warrants; he was also carrying meth and drug paraphernalia in his backpack.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man learns the hard way that if you’re going to stab a man and ride off on his bicycle, make sure it doesn’t have a flat tire first.

Police in Chicago are looking for a bike-riding man who has targeted elderly women in a string of strong-arm robberies, stealing their jewelry before riding off.

………

Local

Dozens of bicyclists and other activists turned out at City Hall on Monday to protest a new ordinance banning outdoor bike chop shops, fearing the law could be used to target low-income people and people of color, rather than cracking down on bike thefts.

Streetsblog reports Venice Blvd will be getting another 4.3 miles of parking protected bike lanes connecting to the .8-mile Mar Vista Great Street project, for a total of 5.1 miles of protected bike lanes.

The LA River Greenway is getting a new Canoga Park entry pavilion designed by acclaimed architect Frank Geary, even though the river is nothing more than an open air concrete culvert at that point. Geary has also proposed hiding lower sections of the concrete channel under elevated parks, rather than returning the channel to a more natural state.

Walk Bike Glendale offers action alerts on proposed makeovers of North Brand Blvd and La Crescenta Ave, as well as plans for a feeder ride to the Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia on August 21st.

 

State 

Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 922 passed the state Assembly with almost unanimous support; the bill expedited bike, pedestrian, light rail, and rapid bus projects by exempting them from the California Environmental Quality Act, aka CEQA. It now goes back to the Senate for a final vote before going to the governor’s desk for a signature.

Encinitas-based bikemaker Electra continues to stick close to its roots, keeping its focus on cruiser bikes on the eve of its 30th birthday.

San Diego’s newly revised Climate Action Plan doubles down on efforts to get people out of their cars, including a shift to more Class IV protected bike lanes.

Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Commission approved the removal of 34 trees to build a bike path on the city’s Modoc Road, which will require moving the roadway 12 feet so the path won’t go through sensitive wildlife habitat near Arroyo Burro Creek; the project is less controversial than another one along Modoc Road in Santa Barbara County, which will require removing 40 to 61 trees.

Streetsblog calls on San Francisco officials to fix a street grate in Golden Gate Park that could grab a narrow bike tire and bring down the rider. And did. Call it Golden Gate Grate-gate. 

Oakland wants to use a $1 million state grant to buy 500 ebikes to open an ebike library for low-income neighborhoods.

After hundreds of bike-riding teens swarmed the lower deck of the San Francisco Bay Bridge Saturday afternoon, they’re accused of burglarizing businesses and throwing things at people in Oakland.

A man was sentenced to a well-deserved 17 years behind bars for trying to rape a woman on a Davis bike path.

 

National

Streetsblog offers advice on how to access federal funding from the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program, offering a cool $1 billion a year for the next five years for “meaningful, community-led Vision Zero projects.”

Even with federal incentives of up to $7,500, electric cars remain outside the reach of many Americans. Yet the new climate bill fails to mention far more affordable bicycles, let alone ebikes.

The Verge says the ebike tax credit is only mostly dead, as supporters plot the next steps to revive it.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Take a cog railway train to the summit of Colorado’s 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, then bike 13 miles and 5,000 feet back down.

A 49-year old Durango, Colorado fire fighter was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver; his death came just two weeks after a 60-year old member of the same department died of a heart condition while riding bikes with his son.

A 68-year old Sierra City, California man was killed when he was rear-ended by a semi driver and knocked into a ditch while riding in Kansas.

Great idea. While Houston is in the midst of a years-long commitment to build 1,800 miles of high-comfort bike lanes, the city is reserving 10% of the funding for smaller “strategic” projects suggested by members of the bicycling community.

Police arrested a 26-year old man for yelling and chucking rocks at people using a Madison, Wisconsin bike path.

A Detroit website says more pedestrians are getting killed as trucks and SUVs keep getting bigger, with some models now exceeding the size of a WWII tank.

The woman accused of killing two men participating in a Michigan Make-A-Wish fundraising ride while driving under the influence is due back in court for a prelim next week; the crash left nine kids without their fathers.

The bighearted employees of a Maine company pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 19-year old coworker, after the bike he used to ride to work was stolen.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is one of us, after he suffered a broken wrist falling off his bike to end his season; a Texas website offers an incomplete list of other major league bike incidents, although they include motorcycles as well as bicycles.

New York saw a 33 percent jump in weekday bicycling trips during the deepest, darkest days of the pandemic in 2020. Meanwhile, the latest official figures for Los Angeles show a 22 percent increase — in 2019, before the pandemic and subsequent bike boom.

New Yorkers want more, and more secure, bike parking. Then again, doesn’t everyone?

DC has a new bicycle awareness specialty license plate, even if it does misspell “taxation.”

New Orleans police arrested a 16-year old boy, accusing him of stealing a bicycle from an off-duty cop in a French Quarter strong-arm robbery.

 

International

A Suffolk, England woman is credited with helping save a man’s life after he rode his bike into a river; now she’s raising funds to support the medical charity that helped his rehabilitation.

British police failed to arrest a single bike thief in 87% of neighborhoods with at least one bike theft. And usually a lot more.

A German company has introduced what they call the world’s smartest bike helmet, including a full face air bag, 360° surround safety system, LED lights and a breathable, 3D-knitted liner.

NPR says many Sri Lankans have switched to bicycles due to the country’s economic crisis.

The pandemic is fueling a sports bicycling boom in China, a country more noted for utilitarian and proletarian bikes; meanwhile, the country’s surviving bikeshare companies are raising their prices in an effort to finally turn a profit. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Indianapolis Monthly takes readers to school, explaining what a crit is.

A new documentary captures Pittsburgh’s Frigid Bitch alleycat bike race.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you find driving stressful when you’re not going 186 mph. Try not to back your motorbike into a pit.

And this is who we share the road with.

https://twitter.com/ChadBlue83/status/1556435695635517440

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

35-year old woman riding ebike dies after collision with SUV driver in Carlsbad; her 16-month old daughter unhurt

Because of last night’s breaking news, there will be no Morning Links today.

We’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed. 

………

Three crashes. Three deaths. Three counties. Two hit-and-runs.

All in less than 20 hours.

A horrible weekend for the bicycling community finally concluded with the last of three innocent victims, who died simply because they rode their bicycles on Southern California streets.

Multiple sources are reporting that a young mother died after she was struck by the driver of a massive SUV in Carlsbad Sunday evening.

The 35-year old woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding an ebike with her 16-month old daughter when they were struck by the driver of a Toyota 4-Runner around 5:45 pm, near Basswood Ave and Valley Street.

She was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries, and died the next afternoon. Her child appeared to be unhurt, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

At least the driver stuck around this time, unlike the other two crashes.

The 42-year old woman reportedly cooperated with police investigators, who don’t believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on how the crash may have occurred. A street view doesn’t offer any help, showing a pair of two-lane residential streets, controlled with a four-way stop.

Anyone with information is urged to call Carlsbad Police Corporal Matt Bowen at 442/339-2282.

This is at least the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for the victim and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

California ebike rebate program remains in limbo, riding bikes to fight high gas prices, and CicLAvia returns next month

Good question.

Streetsblog asks what’s going on with California’s ebike incentive programs, as few regional air quality districts have added ebikes to their clean vehicle incentive programs, and the ebike rebate program that was supposed to start this summer remains on hold.

Meanwhile, Denver’s ebike rebate program proved so popular it ran out of funds in a matter of weeks.

Clearly, the demand is there. If the state ever gets its shit together.

Photo by Alex from Pexels.

………

Meanwhile, the media can’t seem to decide whether bicycles and ebikes are a reasonable substitute for driving.

A Sacramento TV station says Californians are buying ebikes to fight high gas prices, regardless of the state’s delayed rebate program.

NewsNation Now concurs, reporting that people across the US are taking to bicycles as an alternative to driving.

But the conservative Washington Examiner says hopes that high gas prices will lead to a bicycling renaissance are probably misplaced, insisting that few people can reasonably trade their cars for bikes.

And an Alabama TV station says most people can’t fight rising gas prices by riding an ebike instead of driving.

……….

The year’s first CicLAvia is just one month away on Western Ave in South Los Angeles, with a return of the Hollywood to West Hollywood route the following month.

………

Now this is what real bike infrastructure looks like.

https://twitter.com/_dmoser/status/1534852527061180427

………

Your Brompton ebike could be out to get you.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

Who needs helmets when the peloton has such stylish hats?

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1534959267526103044

………

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

Unbelievable. A 57-year old British woman walked without a day behind bars, after a judge ruled she was unfit to stand trial for the drunken hit-and-run that left a bike-riding woman serious permanent injuries, telling police afterwards that she hates cyclists; her victim lost 90% of her vision in one eye, as well as suffering brain damage, broken bones and a nine-hour surgery to repair her shattered face.

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

A 50-year old New Jersey man was sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting one 18-year old, and injuring another, firing into their parked car as he rode by on his bike.

………

Local

A writer for City Watch points out why The Grove shopping center doesn’t work as a model for fixing Los Angeles, even if owner Rick Caruso becomes mayor — including the lack of bike lanes and the failure of Metro’s first mile/last mile connections.

 

State 

The LA Times recommends seven California state parks, including a handful in Southern California that can be visited by bicycle.

The US Forest service recommends clearing thousands of trees from the pristine north side of Big Bear Lake to reduce fire damage, and replacing them with 47-miles of new ebike trails.

 

National

Esquire recommends their picks for the best helmets for bike commuters, while Momentum offers a guide to different types of bike locks and when to use them.

REI is getting into the e-cargo bike business, with bikes ranging from $1,500 to $1,900. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Portland cargo bike users will practice riding to the rescue in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster tomorrow.

Boulder, Colorado instructs bike riders how to observe the state’s new Safety Stop law, aka Stop as Yield or the Idaho Stop Law.

Colorado is replacing its Share the Road highway signs with new signs reminding drivers about the state’s three-foot passing law, requiring them to pass bike riders by a minimum of three feet.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where a three-year old girl riding on the back of her mother’s bike was killed when they were struck by a semi-truck driver, after they had to go around a power company truck parked in the bike lane.

 

International

London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, the equivalent of American Slow Streets, were an unqualified, if not always popular, success, increasing bike use from 31% to 171% while decreasing car traffic as much as 76% — without increasing traffic on nearby streets.

Jason Cooper, the drummer for The Cure, is one of us, taking part in a 54-mile fundraising ride for the British Heart Foundation in honor of late crew member Paul ‘Ricky’ Welton.

British bicyclists can still visit Europe, but their bikes may have to stay home, as the high-speed Eurostar train service extends a post-Brexit prohibition on non-folding bicycles; that includes the popular train service between London and Paris under the English Channel.

Over two million bike riders in the UK say they’d like to ride to work, if they had a safe place to store their bikes.

A former member of Britain’s triathlon team was killed in a collision while riding her bike in Wales; 52-year old Rebecca Comins leaves behind two children.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro Wout van Aert continued his domination of the Critérium du Dauphiné, winning his second stage in five days, while losing the others by mere seconds.

Former Tour de France winner Egan Bernal posted video of his first sprint since a near fatal crash five months ago, saying “Difficult does not mean impossible. It means that you are going to have to work hard.”

Cycling News remembers 1960’s Spanish great Julio Jiménez, aka the watchmaker of Ávila, after his death in a car crash at age 87.

 

Finally…

Your next foldie could be made from flax. That feeling when you can’t get home from an overseas stag trip without a bike.

And when an impatient driver honks at you, just park it in front of him.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

31-year old man killed in solo Thousand Oaks ebike crash; 34th SoCal bike death this year

At least this time, there wasn’t a driver involved.

That we know of, anyway.

The Ventura County Star is reporting a man was killed crashing his ebike in Thousand Oaks early Sunday.

According to the paper, the victim, identified only as a 31-year old man, was riding with a friend when he crashed into a wooden fence at Borchard Road and North Los Vientos Drive around 1:30 am.

He died after being taken to Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

There’s no word on what caused him to crash into the fence. It’s possible he could have been run off the road, or could have simply lost control of the bike for some reason.

A street view shows bike lanes on Borchard, with a low wooden fence lining the sidewalk in each direction west of Los Ventos.

A Ventura County sheriff’s captain also notes the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Which only matters if he died of a head injury, or if his injuries might have been survivable with one.

This is at least the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 31-year old Lemoore resident Dustin Rodrigues. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dustin Rodrigues and his loved ones.

Read the story on Yahoo if you get blocked by the paper’s paywall. 

Crowdfunding for families of fallen Bullard brothers, ebikes booming despite short supplies, and register for coming LA rides

Following up on yesterday’s lead story, a crowdfunding campaign is raising money for the families of Adam and Matthew Bullard.

The brothers were killed Saturday by an alleged DUI driver near the finish line of the Tour of St. George, Utah. The driver infamously claimed she lost control of her car after losing control of her bowels, while failing every field sobriety test.

Adam leaves behind his wife and son, while Matt is survived by his wife and four children.

The fund has raised more than $61,000 of the $100,000 goal in just the first day.

Photo of Adam and Matthew Bullard from Adam Bullard’s Facebook page

………

The bike boom goes on, along with the concomitant supply chain problems.

Inc. calls soaring gas prices a double-edged sword for ebike and e-scooter companies, as fuel prices drive demand while raising their own transportation costs.

A Cleveland TV station says the bike boom is entering its third year, as high gas prices drive demand for gas-free transportation options.

Bloomberg looks at the supply problems faced by the world’s largest bikemaker, Taiwan’s Giant Manufacturing Group, concluding shortages may continue through this year as the company looks to diversify where its bikes are made.

………

Celebrate Easter/Passover by signing up for what may be the world’s only cookie-themed fondo.

Meanwhile, there’s just two days left to get a discount when you register for May 1st’s Finish the Ride and Finish the Run in Griffith Park; use code GP20 to register before midnight Thursday.

………

Be on the lookout for a hit-and-run driver who ran down an e-scooter rider last week.

………

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

A 50-year old Utah man faces charges for shooting a 13-year old girl with a BB gun when she confronted him about breaking her friend’s bicycle; he was already on home confinement after being sentenced for DUI and being a felon in possession of a gun.

No bias here. A 70-acre park in Oxford, England posted a sign banning bicycles “whether ridden or not,” despite being bordered by a shared use path; one bike rider justifiably called it ridiculous, discriminatory and petty.

………

Local

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that reported bike thefts are climbing in Los Angeles, up six percent over last year, following a decline the past few years from the high of 2017. Although that decline may or may not be accurate, since many people never report their stolen bikes to the police, so theft figures likely reflect a dramatic undercount.

Members of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition rallied at Pasadena City Hall last night to call for safer streets in the city.

 

State 

Road.cc takes a loving look at a bespoke bicycle famed California bikemaker Tom Ritchey built for his dad 50 years ago when he was just 17, incorporating unique features that were decades ahead of their time.

San Diego continues to demonstrate how not to roll out new bike infrastructure, as residents of the Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood complain that they weren’t notified before parking spaces were removed and bike lanes striped, while the local councilwoman says no one informed her office, either.

 

National

Not so rad news from Seattle ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, which is laying off nearly 14% of its current workforce, in what the company describes as a restructuring; the bikemaker’s in-house service department is getting the ax as it outsources its customer service operations.

Police in Boulder, Colorado recovered three stolen bikes — including two chainless prototype bikes worth $70,000 — when the thief walked into a bike shop with a hot $12,000 ebike and a pair of bolt cutters.

Chicago aldermen are working on a proposal to allow drivers who block bike lanes to be ticketed based on bike cam video. It’s also worth noting that the Windy City has 50 members on its Board of Aldermen, while Los Angeles has just 15 city councilmembers, despite 1.1 million more residents. 

A research group at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University is reinventing the traffic light, using real-time adaptive technology to improve the flow of all road users — not just cars — while reducing red light waiting times.

A 27-year old New York man has amazed his doctors by walking again, less than two years, and five surgeries, after he was paralyzed in a dooring; now his goal is to compete in fencing at the 2026 Paralympic Games.

 

International

A writer for T3 calls out three mistakes every ebike buyer makes, including buying a cheap bike, thinking ebikes are really fast, and breaking the law. Everyone being a relative term, of course, since countless people don’t do any of those things. 

No bias here, either. A British paper reported a fresh call to remove a two-way bike lane — but based the entire story on the opinion of a single person, who called the lane a “white elephant.”

Bicycling injuries are spiking in the Netherlands, climbing a third over the past decade, although most aren’t the result of car crashes.

No surprise here, either, as a Norwegian study shows ebike buyers doubled their transportation riding, while quadrupling how far they ride in just six months.

 

Competitive Cycling

Subscribers to NBC’s Peacock streaming service can watch this weekend’s Paris-Roubaix, with the women’s race Saturday, and the men’s on Sunday.

Pro cyclist Hugo Hofstetter called for stricter regulations of disc brakes after he needed 35 stitches when the brake rotor sliced through his helmet in a fall.

 

Finally…

That feeling when someone is wheelie a fan of your work. Or when it takes 10 years, 8 months and 12 days to notch your second win. But who’s counting?

And who says you can’t carry a 30-foot flagpole on your bike?

Let alone for 35 miles.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Leading LA mayor candidates ignore street safety, bikes fight high gas prices, and fighting SUVs one tire prick at a time

Ever get the feeling your issues are taking a backseat in local politics?

In a year where all of the leading candidates for mayor of Los Angeles are focusing their campaigns on crime and dealing with the homeless — one way or another — providing safe alternatives to driving hasn’t even been an afterthought.

Literally.

Just take a look at the websites for Karen Bass, Rick Caruso, Kevin de León, Mike Feuer and Joe Buscaino, and see if you can find a single mention of traffic safety. Let alone biking, walking or transit.

No mention of Vision Zero. Not a single word about building out the mobility plan to fix traffic congestion and fight rising gas prices. And nothing about investing in clean transportation to fight climate change.

Not. One. Damn. Word.

But at least Buscaino directed me to a nearly four year old op-ed he penned about embracing smart mobility options, after I complained about that on Twitter.

And as Barry J. Neely reminds us, Bass is one of us.

So let’s hope they all get around to addressing safe streets and alternatives to driving, however belatedly, as the campaign goes on.

Otherwise, it could be a very long four years, regardless of who wins.

Correction: Someone representing Mike Feuer reached out to me directing me to the page on Sustainability on his website, which contains one whole sentence about improving transit and building protected bike lanes, but only in the context of reducing greenhouse gases. 

Which, sadly, makes him the leader at this point.

………

Today’s photo shows Los Angeles City Hall awaiting its next, hopefully bike friendly, occupant, with a little more commitment and follow-through than the current one. 

………

Today’s common theme is people turning to bicycles to fight high gas prices, even though Los Angeles had a decade to get ready for this moment. And didn’t.

Streetsblog offers tips for new bike riders in the City of Angels.

Record gas prices are boosting ebike sales in San Diego, which are seeing exponential growth credited to prices at the pump.

The New York Times explains why California gas prices are so high. Although the best way to reduce price pressure at the pump is just not to play, and find another way to get around.

An Iowa writer says the state’s high gas prices make her want to ride a bike everywhere — even though their gas is over a buck and a half cheaper than California.

Rising gas prices are a double-edged sword for bike shops in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, driving up demand while increasing costs.

………

Seems like a good time for a reminder that many, if most, Los Angeles car trips could easily be done by bicycle.

If they had a safe way to get there, that is.

………

This might be taking things a tad too far.

An international group of climate activists are combating SUVs in an effort to drive the polluting, gas-guzzling and deadly vehicles off the road.

Thought to be an offshoot of Britain’s Extinction Rebellion, Tyre Extinguishers — the spelling points out their roots in the UK — punctures the tires on SUVs, with a goal to “make it impossible to own an SUV in the UK’s urban areas.”

And leave behind a politely worded note explaining their actions, while telling aggrieved drivers not to take it personally.

Which is kind of hard to do when someone leaves you feeling literally deflated, to put it mildly.

The group has targeted vehicles in London’s upscale Chelsea, Chiswick, Notting Hill and Belgravia neighborhoods, where they are colloquially known as Chelsea tractors.

And now the informal group has reportedly spread to Los Angeles, where someone allegedly inspired by their actions claims to have punctured SUV tires here .

I’d be the first to admit that I’d like to push every damn SUV into a pile and blow them all to hell. But I wouldn’t, even if I could.

Because vandalizing other people’s property is always wrong. Even if it is done for the right reasons.

………

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

Nothing unusual here, unfortunately. A bike rider was shot in the leg from someone in a passing car while riding on the UC Davis campus. And no, that’s not a prank, it’s a crime. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Bicyclists accuse an English county of closing a mountain pass to bikes as an anti-cyclist move “dressed up cheaply as health and safety,” two weeks after landslides closed the road to cars.

No bias here. When asked what should be done to improve safety for bicyclists in Oxford, England in the wake of recent deaths, drivers called for bicycle license plates, hi-viz and bicycling proficiency tests, rather than doing anything to drive safer.

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

A Glendale driver reported a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing into their car. Although something tells me there’s probably another side to that story.

After an 11-year old Springer Spaniel had his leg amputated when he was struck by a man “zooming” along a multi-use path on his bicycle, the dog’s angry owner called for steps to curb “arrogant” bike riders.

………

Local

The Bike League recognized 33 new or renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities, with LA’s Loyola Marymount University moving up to silver, and Pasadena’s California Institute of Technology holding stead at bronze, while Cal Poly Pomona has to settle for another honorable mention.

 

State 

Caltrans is looking for public input on its draft Active Transportation Plan for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on state highways in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

San Diego’s mayor wants the city to marginally lower speed limits, using the same new state law Los Angeles is using to lower speeds 5 mph on 177 miles of streets.

 

National

NPR relates five ways to bounce back better from bicycle or other sports injuries.

The Today Show suggests their somewhat surprising picks for the best commuter, fitness and cruiser bikes.

A writer for Forbes says bicycle infrastructure saves lives by improving health and fitness, too.

Adventure Journal says yes, you can get a nice gravel bike for 900 bucks, albeit with a few caveats.

The Bike Portland podcast talks with local women behind the ebike revolution.

Phoenix AZ is responding to the death of a popular bicycle ambassador with plans to add more protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

Tragic news from Minneapolis, where a man died a year and a half after he was paralyzed by a driver with a revoked license while riding his bike on the sidewalk. The driver, who had two previous license suspensions, was sentenced to a lousy year in county jail in a plea bargain; if prosecutors had waited just six six weeks, the charge could have been vehicular homicide. Just one more example of allowing dangerous drivers to stay on the road until it’s too late.

A new documentary shows a man’s journey by bike from Chicago to New Jersey, riding alone to exorcise the demons of being abused by a priest as a child, and inspire other clergy abuse victims.

Bicycling profiles a proud Black Southern woman from Alabama, who encourages women to live authentically while advocating for representation in bicycling. As usual, read on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

It was Bike to Work Day in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, with the county’s leader leading the way.

 

International

Tern unveiled a new e-cargo foldie for anyone with an extra three grand lying around.

Horrible news from the Netherlands, where a 21-year old Massachusetts woman studying abroad was killed by a stalker, who placed a tracking device on her bicycle after they met on Tinder.

NatGeo wants to help you plan a bike tour through Belgium’s beer country.

German ebike subscription service Dance is expanding into more European cities, including Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and Paris. Which means the US, UK and Canada will have to wait.

Congratulations to Spanish bikemaker Orbea on being named Bike Brand of the year.

Angry New Zealand bike riders claim a teenage bicyclist didn’t have to die over the weekend, blaming local officials for turning a deaf ear to calls to make the area safer for people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great news, as NBC announced it will broadcast the first two years of the eight-stage Tour de France Femmes, aka the Women’s Tour de France, starting this July.

Bad news for the competition, as 39-year old Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s still improving after two decades as one of the top women’s cyclists.

Sad news from the UK, where 28-year old Scottish track sprinter John Paul has died; no cause of death was announced.

 

Finally…

Forget race results — what really matters is pro cyclists and their animal buddies. Your old bicycle chain could turn into spectacular nude human figures.

And who says a stationary bike has to stay that way?

https://twitter.com/AmericanFietser/status/1501228437457227776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1501228437457227776%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-march-2022-290929

………

Thanks to Margaret for her generous annual contribution to support this site, and keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

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

Red alert for climate change, ebikes now welcome in Santa Monica Mountains, and PCH bike lane closure tomorrow

Before we start, I’m aware of the death of a well-known Upland man who was struck by a speeding motorcyclist while riding his bike last week. 

I’ve reached out for official confirmation, and just trying to avoid getting ahead of the story before family members are all notified. 

We should know more later today. 

Thanks to Claremont Cyclist Michael Wagner of CLR Effect for the heads-up. 

………

The United Nations has issued a red alert on climate change.

A new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world is facing environmental disaster, with humankind unable to keep up with the increasingly rapid pace of change.

This is what the New York Times had to say.

The report also carries a stark warning: If temperatures keep rising, many parts of the world could soon face limits in how much they can adapt to a changing environment. If nations don’t act quickly to slash fossil fuel emissions and halt global warming, more and more people will suffer unavoidable loss or be forced to flee their homes, creating dislocation on a global scale…

Many leaders, including President Biden, have vowed to limit total global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels. That’s the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of catastrophic climate impacts increases significantly.

But achieving that goal would require nations to all but eliminate their fossil-fuel emissions by 2050, and most are far off-track. The world is currently on pace to warm somewhere between 2 degrees and 3 degrees Celsius this century, experts have estimated.

That alone should be the only argument we need to ensure pedestrians, bicycles and transit are given priority, not on some streets, but on every street.

And yes, that includes removing parking to build bike lanes.

Because whether or not that inconveniences someone today, it’s a lot better than watching the world go up in flames tomorrow.

………

It’s now legal to ride an ebike on trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, which will be allowed for the next year on a trial basis.

Thanks to mountain bike advocacy group CORBA for the tip.

………

Caltrans is planning to close the bike lanes in both directions on PCH tomorrow and Thursday, between Deer Creek Road and Sycamore Canyon Road west of Malibu.

The roadway will be reduced to a single lane in both directions to restore the retaining wall between supporting the roadway over the ocean.

Bike riders are urged to avoid the area for the next two days.

………

Sign the petition to get the Healthy Streets LA measure on the ballot for the November general election on the UCLA campus tomorrow, from 2 pm to 4 pm on the Bruin Walk.

The ballot measure will improve traffic congestion and safety, while fighting climate change, by requiring Los Angeles to build out the city’s groundbreaking mobility plan whenever streets are repaved.

………

Streetsblog takes a look at the nascent progress on the new protected bike lanes on Riverside Drive near Griffith Park.

Credit goes to CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman for pushing the project through.

………

If you’re in the Bay Area, here’s your chance to start your bike advocacy modeling career.

………

Once you’ve experienced the peloton, a war zone is nothing.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1498385440008667139

………

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is the face of a new ad for bike tourism in Slovenia.

Best advice — turn off the sound and ignore the captions so you can just take in the spectacular views.

………

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

Someone is sabotaging bike lanes on a Mesa, Arizona highway by covering them with caltrops — small, multi-spiked metal tacks designed so one of the spikes always points up to puncture tires — which could cause a dangerous crash, especially if the rider fell into the roadway.

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

A 19-year old British man is on trial for the horrific murder of a 17-year old Black man, after chasing the victim into a store to stab him repeatedly with a “Rambo-style knife,” apparently at random; the entire attack took just minutes, with the accused killer leaving home on his bicycle and returning just 18 minutes later.

………

Local

Streetsblog offers more information on the abrupt departure of Metro Senior Executive Officer for Construction and Engineering Abdollah Ansari, who apparently never met a freeway project he didn’t like; Ansari leaving Metro could mean less pressure to widen and extend freeways, and more emphasis on biking, walking and transit.

Gabe the Sasquatch could be making a post-pandemic comeback as the mascot of the San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets, as the popular open streets event returns on May 1st with a five-mile Mission to Mission route stretching from San Gabriel through Alhambra to South Pasadena.

 

State 

Bad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was in stable condition after suffering life-threatening injuries in a collision with a driver Saturday night.

Berkeley is considering permanently banning cars from Telegraph Avenue, converting the iconic street into a pedestrian, bike, and transit-only plaza.

A Bay Area website recommends four relatively short wine tours you can do by bike. Just remember it can be a lot harder to make the pedals go round after sampling a few vintages. Or maybe that’s just me. 

 

National

Momentum Magazine talks with Black Girls Do Bike executive director Monica Garrison about the phenomenal growth of the the nationwide organization, which she founded as a Facebook page a decade ago looking for riding companions.

A bighearted Indianapolis coach driver is giving out free bike lights to passengers who need them, after seeing a bike rider struck and killed by a driver while getting off a bus.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts paper says local restaurants were already suffering long before the bike lanes went in that they blame for a slowdown in business. Similar to LA’s Venice Blvd, where protected bike lanes were blamed for every nearby business failure, regardless of whether the businesses were struggling before they were built.

A DC writer beat the cost and hassle of an Uber ride to the airport by investing all of $3.85 for a seven-mile bikeshare ride.

The Tampa, Florida state attorney is addressing the problem of Biking While Black by declining to prosecute bike riders arrested for non-violent acts.

 

International

An English town extends a ban on bikes in the city center during a contentious council meeting, despite a majority of the speakers wanting it removed.

Britain’s Chris Boardman says if you think bike helmets and hi-viz are the answer to bicycle safety, you’re asking the wrong question.

An Egyptian man rode over 700 miles across the country to encourage the return of tourism.

 

Competitive Cycling

The racing season is off to a fast start, with Spain’s Alejandro Valverde and Canadian Michael Woods taking the top two podium spots at the four-stage Gran Camiño.

The International Olympic Committee, aka IOC, urges cycling’s governing body and other International sports federations to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus due to the invasion of Ukraine.

A writer for Outside recommends Black cycling legend Major Taylor’s 1928 autobiography, The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.

 

Finally…

How to get banned and unbanned for cheating on Zwift. Now you, too, can build your very own pedal-free prop-driven snow bike.

And of course the president of Ukraine is one of us.

………

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

%d bloggers like this: