Tag Archive for ebikes

DA calls for review police shootings, LA hiker run over by e-mtn biker, and NBA star was sideswiped by passing driver

Way to get the story wrong.

The usually reliable My News LA reports the County Board of Supervisors will vote today on DA George Gascon’s request to appoint a special prosecutor for cases involving police misconduct.

Possibly among those is the heartbreaking case of Ricardo Zeferino, who was fatally shot by a trio of Gardena cops responding to a bike theft report.

While campaigning against Lacey, Gascon promised to review several high-profile fatal shootings involving multiple police agencies, including:

— Gardena police officers’ shooting of Ricardo Zeferino, 34, who was suspected of stealing a bicycle in June 2013;

Just one problem.

Zeferino was never suspected of stealing a bicycle, or anything else.

Zeferino was helping his brother search for his stolen bike, when police stopped two of their friends who were also assisting in the search. So Zeferino ran up, excitedly gesturing and insisting in Spanish that they had the wrong men.

Except none of the officers apparently understood Spanish. And when Zeferino  allegedly made a sudden gesture to his waist that no one else could seem to see, they blew him away.

Which means the only crime he committed was trying to tell a group of trigger happy, possibly racist, cops they were screwing up.

I don’t know if they belong in jail for an overreaction that cost an innocent man his life.

But they sure as hell don’t belong on the force, in Gardena or anywhere else.

………

Ms. Honey Bunnyman forwards a Nextdoor post describing a mountain biker behaving very badly, which we’re reposting with the victim’s permission.

Seriously, don’t be that guy.

Always ride safely around anyone on foot. Which includes keeping ebikes off trails where they’re not allowed, and riding with respect for others anywhere they are.

And if you know who this guy is, tell him hit-and-run applies on off-road trails, too.

………

We finally have an explanation for how former NBA star Shawn Bradley received the injuries that left him paralyzed as he rode his bike near his Utah home.

According to USA Today, Bradley was apparently injured when he was sideswiped by a passing driver, causing him to crash into a parked car.

Naturally, the driver who allegedly hit him denied everything, claiming she was only driving 10 mph, and crossed onto the double yellow line to give Bradley “plenty of room.”

Sure, let’s go with that.

Even though police found a fresh scratch on the passenger side of the driver’s van, apparently from Bradley’s bike.

………

America Walks is calling for you to demand stronger protections for bike riders and pedestrians in the MUTCD, aka the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, which serves as the bible for traffic engineers.

And tell the former Mayor Pete, who now heads the US Department of Transportation, to make it better.

………

A San Jose area bike rider paints a dramatic image of a bad road.

And Angeleno riders should take notes, because our streets aren’t much better.

Q: El Camino Real is so bad that I broke a bicycle spoke crossing at El Monte. It’s worse now than when it was first created back in the 1760s as a dirt road. I fear the Ghost of Father Serra will return to haunt the California highway department. It will be a well-earned haunting.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve found a decent bike-themed music video, after a rash of such songs a few years ago.

Which this may or may not be depending on your taste.

………

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

No bias here. Ralph Durham forwards a map showing that the proposed Nevada law prohibiting bikes from any highway with a speed limit of 65 mph or higher would ban bikes from virtually every major roadway in the state.

Click to enlarge

A 15-year old Oklahoma boy faces a first degree murder charge for shooting a 51-year old bike rider following some sort of altercation; he was arrested after police responded to reports of an accidental shooting that followed.

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

Police in Redwood City CA are looking for a bike-riding arsonist who set a car on fire in broad daylight.

………

Local

Pasadena-based e-scooter maker Urb-E has raised $5 million to develop same-day ebike delivery networks.

A 46-year old Canyon Country man faces an assault charge for throwing a bicycle through a glass door during an argument, injuring his son. Of the many approved uses for a bicycle, hurling one through a glass door is not one of them.

Robin Wright is one of us, as she goes for ride through Brentwood with her husband on what appears to be e-mountain bikes.

Bebe Rexha is one of us, too, riding along the beachfront bike path in Santa Monica with her boyfriend.

 

State

AB 122, which would allow California bike riders to join the nationwide trend of treating stop signs as yields, has passed its first hurdle in the Assembly Transportation Committee, as a retired Davis police chief said the bill is embraced by the vast majority of police officers. Which is a big change from previous attempts at a similar bill, which were derailed by opposition from the CHP and AAA.

Volunteers hauled around 280 pounds of trash off Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, including a slimy bicycle someone had tossed into San Juan Creek.

Over a thousand people turned out to learn about efforts to keep San Francisco’s JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park carfree. Just like every park should be.

 

National

Yes Magazine looks at the power of bicycle education to transform lives and communities.

This is who we share the road with. A Portland man faces several charges, including 2nd degree murder, for intentionally crashing into a pedestrian while driving a stolen car.

Fifty years after Oregon made a groundbreaking commitment to spend at least 1% of the state highway fund on biking and walking projects, the state legislature is considering raising that to 5%. Which compares favorably to California’s longstanding commitment to not making a commitment to fund them. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link. 

A Washington 7th grader makes a better case for skate helmets than most adults, without calling for making them mandatory.

The head track and cross country coach at North Dakota’s Minot State University suffered multiple injuries when he was run down by a 15-year old driver while riding his bike, even though the boy is too young to legally drive in the state.

Now that’s more like it. New Massachusetts road guidelines mandate sidewalks, crosswalks, bus stops and high-quality bike facilities whenever traffic engineers design upgrades to major roadways.

An op-ed from a Connecticut English teacher says protecting bicyclists and pedestrians is an idea that’s long overdue.

It takes a major jerk to leave the scene after running down an eight-year old girl riding her bike; a 47-year old woman faces charges for the Tennessee hit-and-run after a witness circled the area to find her damaged car.

A Louisiana mechanical engineering student used his pandemic downtime to design and build his own e-mountain bike.

 

International

Cyclist attempts to take the confusion out of measuring a bike frame and finding the right size bike.

Bike Radar offers a guide to selecting the right fixies and singlespeed bikes.

Vancouver residents are entertaining themselves with a lively game of bike tag.

Canadian bike shops say they’re facing the worst shortages in the 100-plus years since the bicycle was invented, while a UK expert says the country’s bike market has gone berserk.

Now that’s more like it. A trio of people who happened to be passing by stepped in to stop a group of thieves trying to steal bicycles from a London park after cutting through the locks with an axle grinder.

We recently learned that the newly svelte Rebel Wilson is one of us; today she let loose on people who let their dogs run loose, as she nursed an injured ankle from falling off her bike after riding past London’s Buckingham Palace.

After a British man shattered his thigh bone when his bike skidded on an oil-slicked road, a pair of passing riders were able to get emergency help to him in just ten minutes using the what3words app to pinpoint his location. I’ve never heard of it before, but the app might be worth looking into.

A 62-year old man hopes to represent the UK in next year’s age group world cycling championships after dropping half his bodyweight over the last two years.

A UK resident got screwed by Brexit after ordering a bike from a Polish bike shop and being told there would be no import duties on it. Except it was returned to the shop during the chaos as the county left the European Union, and when the shop reshipped it, it arrived with the equivalent of over $2,700 in taxes due upon delivery.

India’s homegrown Hero Cycles is looking to expand its ebike sales worldwide, as it opens a new international headquarters in London and expands its factory to make up to ten million bikes a year. Which only sounds like a lot because it is.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Redlands Bicycle Classic has been has been cancelled for the second consecutive year due to the pandemic; the race, the country’s oldest ongoing stage race, will be postponed until April of next year.

Cycling Weekly looks at the five legendary single-day races known as the Monuments, the first of which ran this past weekend.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new e-mountain bike costs as much as a decent used car. Or for the same price, you can get one that looks like a fancy dirt bike.

And when you’re carrying meth and a gun on your bike while wanted on an outstanding warrant, put a damn light on it, already.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

LA Time’s Lopez calls for legalizing speed cams, Bike Index helps return stolen bike 500 miles away, and LA NC talks ebikes

He gets it, all right.

Last week we quoted LA Times columnist Steve Lopez as he called out the death cult of speeding drivers enabled by the relatively empty, over-engineered streets of pandemic-era Los Angeles.

In the first month of the pandemic last spring, the California Highway Patrol reported that although traffic volume was down 35%, the number of citations for driving in excess of 100 miles an hour had increased by 87% over the same period a year earlier. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 4,851 more CHP citations were issued for speeding at 100 miles an hour or more, a 93% increase over the same period a year earlier.

This weekend, he pointed towards one major solution, with a full-throated endorsement of automated speed cams.

On Sunday, when I wrote about the perils of drivers thinking that light traffic during the pandemic is a license to try out for NASCAR, readers shared their own horror stories about speeding drivers and offered their own solutions. One was automated speed enforcement, which I’d already been looking into.

The way it works is that, if you’re driving over the speed limit in a monitored area, a sensor will read your speed and license plate, and you’ll get a citation in the mail.

The problem, as we’ve noted here before, is that they’re illegal here in the late, great golden state.

Currently, the technology is prohibited in California, but 140 communities in the country have used it with impressive results.

“Washington, D.C., saw a 70% reduction in speeding,” said Seleta Reynolds, general manager of L.A.’s Department of Transportation. “New York saw huge reductions in severe and fatal crashes. That technology is going to save people’s lives for years to come.”

As Lopez notes, that’s thanks in part to pressure from police unions, who have blocked previous attempts to legalize speed cams out of fear it will cost cops jobs, rather than simply freeing more officers to focus on more important things.

There are currently two bills before the state legislature to rectify the situation.

Assembly Bill 550 would legalize speed cams on streets previously recognized as dangerous, as well as in work zones, while Senate Bill 735 would limit the cams to school zones.

Both would require giving hotfooted drivers advance notice through signs indicating they’re entering a speed enforcement zone.

Which is kind of like warning robbers the cops have the place staked out, so they can avoid getting caught.

We need them everywhere drivers speed, rather than just limited locations. And as anyone who’s spent much time on SoCal streets knows, drivers speed everywhere.

But it’s a start.

Let’s hope both pass, or they get merged into a single bill for passage.

And let’s keep on top of it, and keep pressure on our representatives to make sure they do.

………

This is a perfect example of why you should register your bike.

Even though the thieves took this bike far from the LA area, Bike Index’ free national stolen bike database helped lead to its safe return.

Or you could just count on faith to get your stolen bike back.

………

The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is talking ebikes this Thursday.

………

The case of the missing bike lane.

………

Soon you, too, will be able to wear the new volcano-inspired colors of the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team, which will be available from Rapha.

………

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

No bias here. A conservative commentator wants bike riders banned from the streets because someone on a bike complained about people blocking bike lanes, albeit in a rude and obnoxious manner. Seriously, we’ve all had to deal with people blocking bike lanes, but try to make the same point without being a total jerk about it.

And maybe Matt Walsh could try not being a jerk about it, too.

………

Local

Chris Pratt is one of us, going for a ride in LA with his eight-year old son as Katherine Schwarzenegger follows with their infant daughter.

 

State

Beaumont proposes working together with the cities of Banning and Calimesa, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Riverside County to develop multimodal transportation projects along the I-10 corridor, including bicycle routes.

A 22-year old woman suffered moderate injuries — whatever that means — when a driver failed to see her riding salmon at an Hesperia intersection.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail accuses Prince Harry of racing through LA traffic on his “expensive” ebike. Even though he was riding near his Montecito home, about 84 miles away.

A Bakersfield bike path will be closed for improvements for one day a week from tomorrow.

In a tragic irony, a Berkeley bike and pedestrian advocate suffered major injuries when she was struck by a driver while riding with her son on a street where walkers and bike riders are supposed to have priority — and just hours after meeting with city transportation officials on how to improve traffic safety.

 

National

Transportation Secretary Pete says Biden’s transportation plan represents a once in a century opportunity to remake how Americans get around, where cars and highways are no longer king. I like this guy more every time he speaks.

The EPA says the days of pickup drivers enveloping you in a cloud of dark smoke are over, as they sue the Cayman Islands maker of a conversion kit allowing drivers to roll coal. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A new study concludes that, in the absence of congestion pricing, privately-owned self-driving cars will be a disaster for downtown areas, as many owners choose to keep them circulating rather than pay for parking.

Electrek says the proposed 30% tax rebate on the purchase of a new ebike sponsored by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jimmy Panetta has a good chance of passing in the current Congressional term.

Inside Hook considers the psychology behind why drivers hate people on bicycles.

Family members say the fatal police shooting of a 17-year old Arizona boy wasn’t justified, after bodycam video showed he had thrown a gun away as he ran from his bike, and never turned to face the cop before he was shot — all for what started as a simple traffic stop for weaving between lanes on his bicycle.

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says no, former NBA star Shawn Bradley wasn’t paralyzed in a Utah bicycle accident, as much of the press termed it; he was injured in a collision when he was run down by a driver. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A reporter from Illinois is riding his bike west to Los Angeles along the famous Route 66, aka the Mother Road, to collect stories about life in the Age of Covid.

Good question. A Daytona Beach FL paper asks how many people have to be killed walking or riding a bike before the state finally says enough?

Florida sheriff’s deputies arrest the 22-year old hit-and-run driver who ran down the sheriff of Volusia County as he was riding his bike — and while she was busy shopping on Amazon. Meanwhile, the sheriff thanked the truck driver who stopped to help him after the crash.

 

International

Road.cc recommends six of the best bike locks, with prices starting at under $40.

Gear Patrol lusts after three ebikes you can only get in Europe, for now.

Parking in a bike lane in Mérida, Yucatán will now cost you the equivalent of up to $77.

The CBC says the great pandemic bike boom has created a demand, combined with supply chain disruptions, that will take the Canadian bike industry years to catch up.

Toronto police are giving fewer tickets to people on bicycles, even though more people are riding bikes.

The owner of a burger bar in Bath, England claims a new bike lane will batter his business. Because evidently, only people who drive eat hamburgers. And if drivers aren’t willing to walk a little further to do business with his shop, maybe he should try making a better burger.

Bike riders in an English county turn thumbs down on a proposed $12.5 million bicycle bridge, saying the money could be better used to improve bike infrastructure on the streets.

New projections show that, not only will ebikes start outselling cars in Europe, it will probably happen sooner than you think.

Cuban expats living in Belgium are organizing a bike ride for this coming weekend to protest the ongoing US blockade of the island.

A Manilla website tells the horrible story behind the city’s first ghost bike, installed to honor a bicyclist who was shot to death by a driver in a road rage incident following a too-close pass; his killer is now serving life behind bars. A reminder that you never know who has a gun and a short fuse. Especially here in the US. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Elisa Longo Borghini won the women’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda race, taking everyone else by surprise with an attack with a little more than 15 miles to go; Marianne Vos won the sprint for a distant second.

Belgian cyclist Jasper Stuyven claimed the biggest win of his career by edging Caleb Ewan and defending champ Wout van Aert in the the Milan-San Remo classic, the longest single-day race on the modern cycling calendar. And it was a good day for Trek-Segafredo, with both Steven and Longo Borghini riding for the team.

Former world champ and TdF, Giro and Vuelta points winner Mark Cavendish says he has nothing left to prove, after making what he termed an amateur mistake on the cobbles of Nokere Koerse.

 

Finally…

Seriously, 18 inches does not a bike lane make.  Now you, too, can own the bike Bradley Wiggins rode to victory in the 2012 Tour de France, for the low, low price of $10,400.

Unless you’d rather own the very bike Lance rode for the Motorola team in the ’90s.

Syringe and IV bag not included.

………

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

LA may not be worst bike city in US after all, bicyclist killed in FL endurance race, and LAPD says they’re not coming

This is just bizarre.

A chart started circulating on Saturday, apparently showing just how bad we have it here in Los Angeles.

Along with just how good Santa Monica does.

The chart, produced by San Diego’s Tower Electric Bikes, allegedly based on stats from PeopleForBike’s City Ratings, ranks SaMo as the best bike city in the US.

And Los Angeles, not surprising, as the worst.

But while that often feels right, something just didn’t add up.

To start, the stats for Los Angeles on this chart aren’t remotely accurate.

Yes, riding a bike in Los Angeles sucks. But we average around 15 bicycling deaths per year in the City of Los Angeles. Not over 6,200 bicycling fatalities per year, which is what the figure they cite adds up to for a city of nearly four million. 

And the other stats don’t align with the source material from PeopleForBikes.

PeopleForBikes puts Los Angeles relatively near the top of their ratings with a 3.0 rating for 2020, compared to a rating of 3.5 — out of a possible 5.0 — for the top ranked cities of San Luis Obispo and Madison, Wisconsin.  

Which would undoubtedly come as a surprise to bike riders in SLO, if not Mad City.

With literally hundreds of cities rated below Los Angeles, there is no way those stats support ranking LA as the worst city bike in the US.

Even if it feels like it sometimes.

In addition, the PeopleForBikes City Ratings bizarrely rank bike-friendly Santa Monica far behind Los Angeles with a 1.9 rating. Not, as the chart claims, first in the country.

And Long Beach, which is generally regarded as the most bike-friendly city in LA County, rates even lower at a very sad — and highly inaccurate — 1.6.

It’s possible that the undated chart may have been circulating for awhile; I recall seeing something similar, if not the same, awhile back. But the stats don’t align with the City Ratings for Los Angeles for 2018 or 2019, either.

So I have no idea where Tower got their stats. But they’re not from the PeopleForBikes page, unless something got badly scrambled somewhere along the way.

And not even close to right.

Photo by Josh Kur from Pexels.

………

Tragic news from Florida, where a driver “veered to the right” and slammed into three people riding in a bike lane at 2:30 am, killing one man and seriously injuring two women.

At least one of the victims was participating in the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race.

No word on whether the driver will face charges.

But anyone who knocks down three people riding bikes — let alone kills someone — certainly should.

But given that it happened in bike-unfriendly Florida, probably won’t.

………

Don’t expect the LAPD to respond the next time you’re in a collision if no one gets badly hurt.

But you can at least report it online now.

………

Yes, the former Mayor Pete, now Secretary Pete, is one of us.

………

Somehow, I suspect the chances that Los Angeles would ever shut down a busy road and turn it over to bikes for more than a day are somewhere south of none.

………

Another success story.

Bike Index offers free, transferable lifetime registration, as well as your best chance of getting your bike back if anything happens to it. And it’s now used by the LAPD register bicycles and trace recovered bikes.

So what are you waiting for, already?

………

Let’s see your bike club try this.

………

Forget the now-banned super tuck.

Try descending backwards on one wheel.

………

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

A South Carolina man was shot by someone in a passing car as he rode his bicycle in broad daylight, for no apparent reason.

A Birmingham, England bike rider was pushed in a lake when a young man jumped up off a park bench and shoved him for no apparent reason.

A British man punched a 16-year old boy gathered outside a store with his friends, knocking off his bike, again, for no apparent reason — then tried to punch another man who came to the boy’s aid.

………

Local

Congratulations, Angelenos, apparently LA is sexy and San Francisco’s not.

Streets For All offers their endorsements for the upcoming LA Neighborhood Council Elections for Mid City West, P.I.C.O., Greater Wilshire, East Hollywood, Hollywood Hills West, and Wilshire Center-Koreatown.

Speaking of Streets For All, the bike PAC is hosting a virtual happy hour with Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin on the 10th.

A letter writer says skip the elevated parks over the Los Angeles River, and spend the money on “greening the L.A. River banks with linear parks and making the bike path safe and welcoming.”

Santa Monica is testing out the nation’s first zero-emissions delivery zone in a one-square mile downtown district, with deliveries made by everything from electric trucks to batter-powered robots and cargo bikes.

Bikeshare is back in Long Beach, with all racks full for the first time since the program was temporarily shut down last year over Covid fears.

 

State

Carlsbad’s Veterans Memorial Park will center on a family-oriented bike park, complete with a pump track and trails ranging from beginner to expert.

He’s one of us, too. A 66-year old Spanish-speaking farm worker from the Central Valley rode his bike over an hour and took his place in a long line of cars to get his Covid-19 vaccination, after having a mild case of the virus last year.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 38-year old man was killed by a truck driver while riding his bike at 3 am.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a shipping container full of donated bicycles from a Novato nonprofit that planned to send them to Africa to literally change lives.

Ebikes are booming in Sonoma County, with sales driven by older riders looking for a little boost.

 

National

Now that’s more like it. A bipartisan bill introduced in the US Senate would provide $500 million every year to connect biking and walking and biking infrastructure into active transportation networks, allowing people to travel within a community, as well as between communities, without a car.

Your next ebike could be a $7,500 Jeep.

A beginner’s guide to shifting gears, whatever kind of shifter you have.

A lesson in DIY frame repair, as a writer for Jalopnik shows how to braze a broken Schwinn steel mountain bike frame back together.

Anyone want to move to Missoula, Montana to run a mountain bike advocacy group?

Who needs warm weather when you can ride a fat bike in the snow?

Now that’s more like it. DC’s Vision Zero law has real teeth, mandating that protected bike lanes have to be included on any street when road work is done, if it calls for one in the bike plan. If we had something like that here in LA, we might actually be making progress on both the dust-covered bike plan, and the city’s long-forgotten Vision Zero.

A DC website calls for moving a vital crosstown bike lane away from the White House to avoid frequent closures in Lafayette Park.

 

International

Help suck smog out of the air while you ride your bike.

A British Columbia court says if your ebike looks and rides like a motorcycle or motor scooter, it’s not a ped-assist bike and you need a license and registration to ride it.

After the leader of Toronto’s New Democratic Party party had his bike stolen, he said he hoped whoever took it enjoys the smooth ride and creates their own memories with it.

Manchester United soccer player Roy Keene is one of us, taking to his bike while urging drivers to run him over if they ever see him in Lycra. English soccer great Michael Owen is one of us too, even if he took a dive after forgetting to unclip from his pedal.

https://twitter.com/themichaelowen/status/1365233490686480386?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1365233490686480386%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-26-february-281217

Great idea. Devon, England is attempting to keep drivers in line by passing out free helmet cams to bike riders so they can report drivers who break the law. Maybe if we passed them out to bicyclists — and pedestrians — we might finally tame the mean streets of Los Angeles.

English author and commentator Will Self complains that pedestrians stood around like zombies in a George Romero film after his third bike collision, when a hit-and-run driver left him lying in the street.

Richard Harrington is one of us. The Welsh actor, who’s appeared in The Crown, Poldark, Death in Paradise, and a number of other series, took a job as a bicycle delivery rider after screen roles dried up for seven months due to the pandemic.

A Belfast priest thanks everyone who rushed to his aid when he passed out after apparently becoming dehydrated and overheated riding his bike.

A British bike rider was killed while allegedly riding with his head down and at twice the legal alcohol limit; he was accused of running red lights before crashing into the side of a car in the equivalent of a US left cross crash.

A UK advocacy group took the unusual step of urging people not to ride their bikes after a York bridge was closed for flood work without providing a safe alternative.

Heidelberg, Germany is trying to give cars the boot, building bicycle superhighways and carfree neighborhoods to make motor vehicles unwelcome.

Hats off to a goodhearted 12-year old New Zealand girl, who rushed to help a bike rider who was injured by a hit-and-run driver, and stayed with him until paramedics arrived.

Nothing like breaking your collarbone, then getting back on your bike under brutal conditions under the Australian summer sun to finish a race, just to win a beer — while dressed like Captain America, of course.

 

Competitive Cycling

Longtime cycling announcer Phil Liggett says Lance could have won even without doping, and still have at least some of his once record-setting seven yellow jerseys.

An Iowa newspaper remembers a Black cycling champ from the 1890s — not the legendary Major Taylor, but 15-year old Leo Welker, who overcame a five minute handicap to easily win a 14-mile race. But was blacklisted by the League of American Wheelmen six years later, which banned Black cyclists, including Welker and Taylor, from competing in sanctioned races.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to swerve your bike to avoid a giant sex toy. Riding to war on a spring-wheeled single speed.

And thankfully, I wear spandex.

Wait. What do you mean it’s the same thing?

………

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

Popular Waffle Ride postponed until summer, Culver City passes bus and bike lane plan, and take an ebike laugh break

Happy Groundhog Day!

The good news is, it doesn’t matter whether the groundhog sees his shadow. Either way, there will be six more weeks of bicycling.

And a hell of a lot more after that.

Photo by Aaron J Hill from Pexels.

………

San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride has been put off until mid-summer, while the Asheville NC edition will roll in August, with a new Kansas ride ten days later.

………

It looks like Culver City’s proposal for quick build bus and bike lanes overcame NIMBY opposition to pass unanimously.

………

Trek says it’s time to take a break from driving to the market and building picnic tables for squirrels, and buy an ebike.

No, seriously, it’s worth watching.

You might get the best smile you’ll have all day.

………

This is who we used to share the road with.

Sadly, some things never change.

………

NACTO celebrates Black History Month by sharing a tweet from last year about a little-known Black inventor who helped make all those kids and adult trikes possible.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego’s bike-friendly Republican former mayor has tossed his hat in the ring to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom in a possible recall election.

Santa Barbara kicks off its new ebike bikeshare system.

San Luis Obispo plans to take advantage of a scheduled street resealing to install paired separated and protected bike lanes.

A new petition calls for a quick-build bike lane on the Bay Area’s Oakland Bay Bridge.

 

National

Rolling Stone — yes, that Rolling Stone — offers suggestions on how to store your bike inside your apartment.

Spokane WA bike riders say winter riding isn’t for the faint of heart, especially with the city’s lack of good infrastructure. Something LA bike riders can relate to, where the bike network sucks and winter daytime temperatures sometimes drop all the way to the 60s. Brrrrrrr.

Las Vegas spent $5.9 million to upgrade a boulevard. And the best they could do for bikes was paint a few sharrows to help drivers improve their aim.

Chicago has roughly half the bike lanes they were promised by now. Yet LA bike riders envy them anyway.

After moving from New Hampshire, a pair of Colorado men discover the state doesn’t have a lift-served bike park dedicated solely to mountain bikers. So they’re building one that will be open half the year, less than an hours drive from Denver.

An upstate New York congressman calls for retaining part of an outdated elevated roadway scheduled to be torn down, and convert it to a bike and pedestrian pathway.

A New York bike rider complains about plans to put a bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge, saying we should stop making it harder for people to drive (scroll down). No, really.

Streetsblog says the plan for the bridge isn’t radical, but just adjusting to reality as vehicle traffic across the bridge drops and bike traffic increases.

New York’s mayor calls for bike boulevards throughout the city, but fails to make clear just what he means by that.

In yet another case of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a two-time hit-and-run driver in Florida made it three when he was arrested for leaving the scene after killing a bike rider nearly a year ago — then deliberately crashed his truck again to hide the damage from the hit-and-run.

 

International

Proving once again it’s not just an American problem, English police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who t-boned a bike-riding woman in her 50s, in a crash caught on a cringeworthy security cam video. As usual with stories like this, be sure you really want to see it before you click on the video, because you can’t unsee it.

A new survey shows a third of UK residents are riding more than they did prior to the pandemic.

Bike thieves burglarize a Scottish bike shop, making off with the equivalent of $68,000 worth of bikes and frames.

Bike use is soaring in Seoul, Korea, too.

An Aussie site examines why ebike bikeshares can succeed where others have failed.

 

Competitive Cycling

New ‘cross world champ Mathieu van der Poel says his rivalry with fellow Dutchman Wout van Aert is “getting bigger than the sport itself.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay suggests the competition between the Dutch cyclists could be the best rivalry in sports. Even if half his column is hidden behind a paywall.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a roof and look like a clown car. That feeling when a heavy foot on the gas pedal makes you what you hate most.

And no. Just…no.

Even if he is wearing bike shoes.

………

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

Why too-close passes matter, Cyber Monday bike deals near and far, and the ever-expanding world of ebikes

We’re of to an amazing start for the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, with our best ever opening weekend!

Thankfully, that led to my first haircut in three months, before I was forced to  become a hermit and move to a shack in Montana. 

Which doesn’t sound all that bad, given the year we’ve all had. 

So thanks to everyone who opened their hearts and wallets to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite device every morning.

Now let’s keep it going!

Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

………

This is why close passes matter.

An Aussie driver clips a bicyclist riding in a double pace line, sending him flying into the riders around him — even though all of the riders were outside the traffic lane.

Naturally, social media users blamed the victims for riding too close to the white line, instead of blaming the driver for crossing it and breaking the country’s one-meter passing law — the equivalent of a three-foot passing law.

………

It’s Cyber Monday, which is sort of like Black Friday, except online and a few days later.

Business Wire recommends their picks for the best bike deals of the day, as well as the best ebike deals online.

And Cycling Weekly offers UK-centric choices for the best deals for gravel grinders, along with other bicycling deals.

But before you buy anything online, check with your local bike shop to see if maybe they can give you something just as good, or better.

………

Today’s common theme is the ever expanding world of ebikes, and the many uses for them.

Arnold is back on his ebike, riding through Santa Monica with his adult kids just a month after heart surgery.

Robin Wright is one of us, too, riding ebikes with her husband through the streets LA.

A Streetsblog writer says she tried an e-cargo bike for 30 days, and didn’t need to touch her car the whole time.

Canadian parcel delivery firms are shifting from trucks to e-cargo bikes in some cities.

Smart move. An anti-bike lane Parliament member had an epiphany after a bike dealer lent him an ebike to get around during the pandemic.

The Netherlands is turning old outdoor ashtrays into ebike charging stations.

A Parisian tech firm unveiled a new e-bicycle ambulance designed to efficiently slice through traffic to arrive at crash scenes and other rescue situations faster than a traditional ambulance. Meanwhile, Clean Technica considers how bike ambulances can save lives by reaching urban victims faster.

And the Bike League offers a recorded webinar discussing how ebikes can replace car trips in your community.

………

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

In what may be the grossest attack ever, a bicyclist out for a walk spotted a parked bicycle with a used condom stretched over the nose of the saddle.

A 60-something Irish ebike rider says he’s all in favor of bike lanes, but those damn “pseudo-racing cyclists (are) a complete menace.”

Angry British drivers are vandalizing traffic cams and new bike lanes less than a day after they’re installed.

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

A bike-riding UK teen gets seven and a half years for being a one-man crime wave, including robbery and sexual assault, even though his lawyer argued he was just a nice, well-adjusted boy.

Another British teen was shot in the leg by another bicycle rider as he was riding his bike; a 26-year old man was arrested for attempted murder.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled that an LAPD sergeant was justified in killing a mentally ill man holding a bike part that several witnesses had mistaken for a gun.

KCET offers a guide to LA’s best foot — and in most cases, bike — bridges.

Now that David Ryu is out in LA’s 4th Council District, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests a number of actionable transportation ideas for new councilmember Nithya Raman.

Beverly Hills will host a zoom meeting this Sunday to discuss the gilded city’s Complete Streets plan.

 

State

An Irvine couple was busted for stealing a GPS-equipped bait bike, which police tracked to the back of their car following the theft.

La Jolla considers a proposal for protected bike lanes on Gilman Drive.

There’s something seriously wrong with anyone who could steal 200 new tricycles that had been donated to a San Francisco firefighters’ toy program for underprivileged kids.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where an 81-year old man was killed by an allegedly stoned driver as he was walking his bike on the sidewalk.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on when to replace your bike helmet.

A HuffPo writer investigates Dunkin’s weird donut-branded tandem, and concludes it’s not the real bike being offered.

CleanTechnica says the pandemic is driving urban transport to micromobility.

Cycling Savvy offers advice on how to safely control the lane around blind curves.

NPR looks at how a nine-year old Nevada kid ended up with a $19,000 hospital bill for a few stitches after falling off his bike, when the insurance company unexpectedly denied the claim.

Colorado cops bust a man suspected of attacking and killing a 71-year old man riding a bike earlier this month, on unrelated charges.

After a grocery store worker’s bike was stolen while he was at work, kindhearted Illinois firefighters shopping at the store heard about it, and replaced his bicycle using union charity funds before the man’s shift ended.

A father and daughter successfully rode from their homes in Monroe County, Michigan to Monroe County, Florida on Penny Farthings.

A Long Island couple faces charges for chasing a 13-year old boy and tackling him off his bike in a case of mistaken identity.

The New York Post’s resident anti-bike curmudgeon celebrates news that the head of the city’s transportation department is stepping down, while blaming the “bullying bike lobby” for never being satisfied.

An on-duty Louisiana cop killed a man standing with his bicycle just inside the the traffic lane in a collision.

 

International

How to beat the bane of bicyclists by overcoming back pain resulting from time in the saddle.

Cycling TipsJames Huang discusses ten products he loved this year, ranging from a $5 used crockpot to a Specialized S-Works bike that costs too much to ask.

Touching story from British Columbia, where children made a small memorial for a stranger who died from a medical emergency while riding his bike, saying “…we are sure you were a great person and we hope you make it to heaven.”

Brompton is struggling to stay on track, despite being buffeted by the coronavirus pandemic and the Brexit exit from the European Union.

A local London site says the government is boosting spending on bike lanes, following a 300% jump in bicycling rates during the pandemic. However, London’s anti-bike Mail celebrates efforts to rip the bike lanes out, accusing them of clogging up “our” towns. Evidently, bike riders aren’t part of their towns, as far as they are concerned.

A 16-year old British boy will spend the next eight years behind bars for repeatedly stabbing a man in front of his kids, after the man accused him of stealing his son’s bike; the victim nearly bled to death before doctors were able to save him.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a drunk driver got a lousy 18 months behind bars for crashing into a pregnant woman riding in a bike lane, causing her to lose her baby. At least he lost his license for six years, although it should have been for life.

Life is even cheaper for the driver who walked with community service for killing a bike-riding father, after playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card of claiming the sun was in his eyes; the victim’s wife insists “picking up litter is not justice” for taking a human life.

Sticking with deadly drivers in the UK, a bike rider forgives the drunk driver who nearly killed him on a group ride.

British road rage incidents have spiked over the past three years, including attacks on people riding bicycles.

A new report from a German testing institute says cargo bikes are safe for children, but only if they’re strapped into seat belts and they should be wearing helmets.

Angry Budapest residents want to know why the city’s bikeshare program is being closed for an overhaul in the middle of a pandemic, when more people are relying on bikes for safe transportation.

There’s a special place in hell for the Indian man who pushed a nine-year old boy off his bicycle in a strong arm robbery.

A Philippine paper says riding a bicycle is a key step towards improving your health.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yes, please. Cycling Tips’ Caley Fretz urges broadcasters to stop showing repeated replays of horrific cycling crashes until we know how the victim is.

French cyclist Mikaël Cherel was lucky to avoid serious injury when he was taken down by a loose dog that ran in front of his bike on a training ride; naturally, the owner made a quick escape with his dog while Cherel was still down on the pavement.

 

Finally…

Why rip out protected bike lanes when you can just ignore the bollards? Tesla’s  scary new ebike concept makes their awful truck look good.

And don’t run over your little brother with your bike.

………

Thanks to Arthur B, Eric L, John C, Stephen T, David R, Michael S, the Muir’s , Michael F, Paul F, Andrew G, Alan C, Mike B, Andrew B, Mark J, Robert K, Glenn C, Theodore F, Domus P, Patrick J. M, Michael C, Lisa G and Michael V for their very generous support to help keep bringing SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy you way every day!

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

Lyft e-bikeshare coming to Santa Monica, Arroyo Seco bike path finally patched, and new survey on bike helmet laws

E-bikeshare is back in Santa Monica, following the demise of Jump Bikes after their sale to Lime earlier this year.

Now Lyft is introducing a new ebike system in partnership with the city.

The bikes will be docked at the existing Breeze bikeshare docks, after Santa Monica’s municipal bikeshare bites the dust this November, eventually expanding to 500 bikes.

Here’s what the company has to say.

The new ebikes allow riders to travel around Santa Monica and West Los Angeles with less effort. When the rider pedals, the ebikes use a small electric motor to boost the rider’s pedal power, making longer trips easier and more accessible. Users will be able to rent ebikes in the Lyft app for $1 to unlock and $0.34 per minute – just scan the QR code and go. Riders can lock the bikes to any one of 80 Breeze stations with the attached cable, or to any public bike rack within the service area for an extra $1. For more about pricing and service area, visit the Lyft website

Lyft also offers a Community Pass for bikes and scooters in Santa Monica. The Lyft Community Pass is a reduced-fare membership program for qualifying residents of Santa Monica and LA. Membership costs $5/month and includes discounted ebike rides at $0.05/min. The Community Pass program is available to residents ages 18 and older who qualify for the Big Blue Bus Low Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program, Calfresh, Medicaid, SNAP, or the SCE Energy Savings Assistance Program and to qualifying Santa Monica Community College students.

 

Correction: I originally wrote that Jump had been acquired by Lyft, but they were actually purchased by Lime. My apologies for the error.

………

Speaking of Santa Monica, David Drexler confirms that the 5 mph speed limit signs have been removed from the newly widened beachfront Marvin Braude bike path through the city.

As we noted last week, the signs with the ridiculously low speed limit were installed temporarily as part of a construction project.

………

It looks like they’ve finally gotten around to patching that gaping hole in the Arroyo Seco Bike Path, which should be open again soon.

The lengthy delay in getting it fixed could stem from the mishmash of public agencies involved in the repair work, including, but possibly not limited to,

  • LADOT
  • Bureau of Engineering
  • Board of Public Works
  • LA County
  • Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • StreetsLA (nee Bureau of Street Services)

Maybe someone should form a single umbrella agency to manage the city and county river channel bikeways so it doesn’t take the local equivalent of a UN Security Council negotiation every time something goes wrong.

I’m told credit goes to LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member John Laue for getting this done.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads up.

………

Researchers at San Jose State University want your input on a survey exploring the relationship between mandatory helmet use regulations and adult cyclists’ behavior in California.

Scroll all the way down to agree to participate.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

………

You may remember Christopher Kidd from his days running the LADOT Bike Blog, which is about the last time the agency communicated effectively to the general public.

Since then, he’s been building a successful career as a Complete Streets planner in the Bay Area.

Which should make this an interesting talk.

………

Local

Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald has written his own progressive guide to the 2020 election in LA County.

 

State

Governor Newsom has signed SB-288, which removes CEQA oversight of bike, pedestrian, light rail and bus rapid transit projects, eliminating a tool too often abused by opponents to halt environmentally friendly projects.

La Jolla Black Lives Matter supporters say they’re going to keep drawing chalk signs on the bike path supporting the movement, no matter how many times the city washes them off.

A San Diego op-ed argues that riding a bike isn’t just good for your health, but for your career, as well, allowing you to work out work problems while you ride. I’ve done some of my best work on my bike; it’s particularly effective to get out and ride when you feel stuck.

 

National

An urban planner writes that we have an “opportunity to make a generational shift to supporting walking, cycling and public transit over vehicular” transportation, and to reclaim our neighborhoods.

WaPo offers advice on how to safely and politely travel bike trails during the Age of Coronavirus.

Outside recommends accessories to make your gravel riding smoother and more comfortable.

Singletracks offers their choices for the best bike seats to bring your toddler along on your mountain bike. But maybe avoid flying down those downhill trails until they get the hang of it.

No bias here. Time Out picks the best bike trails to view fall foliage. But somehow doesn’t manage to name anything west of Texas.

A Seattle man speaks out after a bike cop was caught on video rolling a bicycle over his head during a racial justice protest, saying he was roughed up by arresting officers after the incident, and received no medical attention during the four hours he spent behind bars.

Washington bike riders will now be able to treat stop signs as yields, as the state becomes just the latest to adopt a modified form of the Idaho Stop Law. California should join Oregon and Washington in adopting the law, making it uniform throughout the West Coast.

Denver bike riders are scouring homeless encampments looking for their stolen bicycles.

A Nebraska bike nonprofit is looking for a new home after losing their current location; the organization rescues and restores bicycles, and allows at-risk kids to work on them to earn their first bikes.

He gets it. A Houston writer explains that ghost bikes are memorials to the failure of drivers to pay attention to the road around them.

Michigan conducted a bike safety enforcement crackdown of their own earlier this month, ticketing 186 motorists and giving warnings to 116 drivers and 117 bike riders.

Usage stats for New York’s bridges show the bike boom is still going strong, with ridership up as much as 88 percent over March’s pre-pandemic levels.

 

International

How to maintain your ebike.

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to keep your bike safe at home. My best advice is to keep your bike inside your home if at all possible; if you have to use a garage, make sure it’s locked to something that’s secretly anchored.

A new bike wheel promises to literally suck the smog out of the air from all those stinky cars around you.

A new Brit bike taillight flashes brighter to warn drivers when they’re too close.

In the latest non-scandal to hit the UK, a London councilmember admits he wants to take advantage of the Covid-19 traffic slowdown to make popup bike lanes and street closures permanent. Which was kind of the idea behind the whole thing to begin with.

Stardom has changed life for the better for the 15-year old Indian girl who rode a bike over 700 miles to carry her injured father home earlier this year; she now has a new home, eight bikes, two possible movie deals and an offer to train with the national cycling team when the pandemic loses its grip.

A South African man says he barely survived a bike-jacking when a masked gunman fired at him, because the gun jammed; he was able to escape a second shot on his bike.

A Kiwi writer with a cool name discusses the humiliating yet thrilling experience of learning how to ride a bike as an adult.

A new book argues that Australian police botched the investigation into the death of endurance cyclist Mike Hall during the 2017 Indian Pacific Wheel Race across the continent; Hall was killed by a 19-year old provisional driver, who police absolved of responsibility by claiming Hall was hard to see, despite an array of ultrabright taillights.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Beemer — although I like this one better. Before you build a new bike path, maybe make sure you own the land.

And anyone can ride across the country. But how many can claim they rode from Poo Poo Point to Pee Pee Creek?

………

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

Garcetti opens new DTLA bus and bike lanes, Cowell not injured on ebike, and Richmond advocate runs for council

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the opening of the new 5th and 6th Street bus lanes and protected bike lanes in Downtown LA yesterday.

Although he seemed to forget the work of Skid Row residents and advocates in fighting for safe bikeways through the crowded city corridor most Angelenos prefer to avoid.

As well as taking credit for street improvements that don’t seem to be happening anywhere else outside of DTLA.

But let’s hope he’s serious about LA’s Green New Deal, which promises to reshape how we get around the city, while dramatically reducing the average miles driven by Angelenos.

And that he actually follows through this time.

Or am I the only one who still remembers the city’s abortive Vision Zero program?

………

Forget those reports about Simon Cowell breaking his back riding an ebike.

Not to mention the breathless reports about the supposed dangers of electric bicycles.

Because this one wasn’t. Unless by ebike, you mean something just this side of a motorcycle.

Or maybe the fastest ebike on Earth, even.

Although anything that’s throttle controlled or travels faster than 28 mph requires a driver’s license, registration and a helmet under California law.

Meanwhile, Cowell took the time to thank the medical workers who cared for him, calling them “some of the nicest people I have ever met.”

And said maybe he should have read the manual first.

………

This one made me smile.

Najari Smith, the founder of Richmond’s nonprofit Rich City Rides bike co-op, made the announcement that he’s running for the local city council this fall.

Like LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club, Smith works through the co-op to aid local youths and uplift the community, as well as helping people get on bikes who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

And knows firsthand what it’s like to get unjustly busted for Biking While Black.

Now we just need to talk the East Side Riders John Jones III to do the same thing here in LA.

………

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

A Half Moon Bay bike rider was repeatedly stabbed in a case of sidewalk rage after getting in a dispute with a man about riding on the sidewalk; his attacker now faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Um, okay. An Iowa woman is under arrest for threatening to kill a bike rider and slapping an apparently unidentified “Hardee’s cup of liquid” out of her hand.

……..

Local

The Órale Boyle Heights podcast talks with the man behind Peatónito, Mexico’s legendary pedestrian rights superhero, now living in Los Angeles.

Another measure of how much LA traffic dropped during the coronavirus lockdown — road rage incidents were down, too.

Tafarai Bayne, chief strategist for CicLAvia, makes a pitch for the LA open streets event.

Gerrard Butler is one of us, looking good on his knobby tired ebike on a spin through the ‘Bu.

 

State

San Diego is promoting bicycling in the city with a new Better by Bike blog.

Bakersfield is starting work on a seven-mile extension of the city’s Kern River bike path, which will result in a nearly 40-mile bikeway.

 

National

They get it. NPR says now is the time to start riding a bike, while a suburban Chicago site says bicycling is one saving grace of Covid-19.

Writing for Business Insider, former Chicago and DC DOT Director Gabe Klein teams with Kay Cheng to make the case for making the country’s Covid-19 street closures permanent.

Self talks with a couple of experts to recommend the best bikes for women. Not that their experts don’t know what they’re talking about. But there are countless others — including more than just one woman — they could have spoken with who know as much or more about the particular needs of women riders.

A surprising report from Reader’s Digest visits 15 “visually stunning” pedestrian bridges across the US, many of which are open to bike riders, too. Actually, the real surprise is that Reader’s Digest is still around.

A Colorado site says gravel biking is showing real staying power.

Houston is finally getting around to banning blocking bike lanes, and allowing scofflaw drivers to have their vehicles towed.

A Kentucky newspaper trots out a long-discredited stat to argue for a mandatory bike helmet law, calling them “a cyclist’s best line of defense,” without distinguishing between adults and children. No, the best defense is avoiding crashes in the first place through safe riding techniques, defensive bicycling and better infrastructure; helmets should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails. And they’re only designed to protect against slow speed falls, not high speed impacts.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is backtracking on promises to put more ebikes on the streets, cutting the promised number from “thousands” to “hundreds.”

A frontline doctor treating Covid-19 patients in the Bronx says his daily bike rides have kept him sane, despite working 38 days straight.

Now that’s more like it. A new West Virginia insulation factory will give employees who commute by bike priority parking when it opens next year.

 

International

Bogotá, Columbia, has embarked on a bike lane building spree that could set the standard for Latin America, with 550 miles of bike lanes slated for completion within four years.

Coventry, England, is making an effort to return to its bicycling roots, despite its status as the UK’s Motor City equivalent,

London’s Evening Standard recommends all the gear you need to become a bicycle commuter. Or you could just get a bike and start riding.

Auto insurance claims for bike crashes have nearly doubled in the UK in recent months, presumably due to the increase in ridership due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Streetsblog questions whether it’s time for the US to adopt the Madrid Model of sandwiching bike lanes — or rather, slow vehicle lanes — between higher speed traffic lanes, saying it’s already showing safety improvements by moving riders from the edge of the roadway.

An Indian writer calls for a bicycle revolution to “drastically change the socio-economic and demographic distribution” of bicyclists, in a country where bike use is too often limited to the poorest households.

Singapore’s new pedestrian code of conduct calls for people on foot to use sidewalks and crosswalks instead of bikeways when they’re available. And not bury their faces in their phones.

An op-ed by a New Zealand physician says slowing speeds is a good start, but actually fixing the streets will make a bigger difference.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says Max Fennell, the first black pro triathlete, wants more black athletes to realize their potential in endurance sports.

Doctors continue to say Dutch pro Fabio Jakobsen could return to racing if he wants, while predicting a long and arduous path to recover from the injuries he suffered in the Tour of Poland; speaking and eating will be a challenge, along with “aesthetic damage” to his face.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can go bike touring while pulling your very own mini-camper trailer. And apparently, your regular bike clothes just won’t due for gravel grinding.

……

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

Speeding ebike riders put others at risk, Times equates chokeholds with scuffed shoes, and driver flashes gun at bicyclists

Let’s start with this note from frequent link contributor Victor Bale.

I needed a break from the heat of the Coachella Valley so I spent Thursday thru today at the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach. I rode the length of the boardwalk all the way to Sunset Beach and other bike trails every day and I was struck by how many ebikes I saw. They were everywhere and here’s a couple of thoughts.

I love that ebikes are bringing new blood to the sport but I was bothered by the recklessness of “some” of the cyclists.

Many were traveling at speeds totally inappropriate (the speed limit on the boardwalk is 8 MPH) to a narrow boardwalk full of families walking, cyclists on beach cruisers, very young kids cycling or on scooters and seniors out for a lesurely stroll.

I watched as a young man knocked over a woman riding a beach cruiser. No harm to her other than road rash but she was lucky. When he passed me he was using throttle only and exceeding 20 MPH. I watched as people were cut off. I watched as ebikes rode on the boardwalk paperboy style at high speeds just to show off. It was crazy. I’m surprised high profile accidents haven’t happened yet.

Nobody likes onerous regulations and enforcement but I worry about what the future will bring if something isn’t done now about regulating ebikes and ebike usage. It’s only a matter of time before an ebike rider kills a pedestrian (if it hasn’t happened already).

Take that as a warning.

Coastal cities have cracked down on bike riders exceeding the admittedly exceedingly low speed limits on the beachfront boardwalks. And will undoubtedly do it again if they think things are getting out of control.

Never mind that it takes a major jerk to zip blithely along while putting everyone else at risk.

And while I’m not aware of anyone being killed or seriously injured by an ebike rider in Southern California, it has happened in other cities.

So slow the eff down, already.

Photo by Maxfoot from Pixabay.

………

There’s something seriously wrong when a movie critic for the LA Times equates an “[expletive], entitled bicyclist who scuffs Buggin’ Out’s pristine Jordans,” with cops killing Black men with chokeholds.

Maybe someone should tell him there’s a difference between being an obnoxious jerk and, you know, actually killing someone.

Or maybe the Times should just do the right thing and remove this one.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

………

If you can’t afford to fix your bike, Pasadena wants to help.

………

The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t stopping, with at least two bike rides to honor Breonna Taylor this weekend, in Richmond VA and Grand Rapids MI.

There was a similar ride in Los Angeles over the weekend, but it doesn’t seem to be online yet.

Meanwhile, police in Ottawa, Canada apologized to a Black bike rider who stopped to rest on a bridge, only to have a white woman call 911 to demand he get off so she could pass uninhibited.

………

GCN says wheel weight doesn’t matter after all.

………

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

An ugly incident caught on video, as a couple of bicyclists confronted a Florida driver who passed too close, and told them to stay the fuck off the road — and brandished a gun as he got out of his SUV. Or maybe not; it’s possible he was just putting it in his pocket as he got out, as he claimed.

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

San Francisco authorities are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot a 44-year old man as he was walking along the street.

Bicycles seem to have become the getaway vehicle of choice, as the FBI looks for a weaponless bike rider who robbed a Chicago area bank.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee police are looking for a knife-wielding man who rode off on a bike after stealing merchandise from a pair of stores.

………

Local

The LA Galaxy is teaming with the East Side Riders for a bike ride from Watts to Dignity Health Sports Park for the Galaxy’s match with LAFC this Saturday.

El Monte officially unveiled the new San Gabriel Valley ebike bikeshare, which will eventually grow to 840 bicycles.

Caltrans and Malibu will host a Zoom meeting Wednesday evening to discuss replacing the narrow bridge over Trancas Creek on PCH, including bike lanes and shoulders in both directions, as well as a westbound right turn lane onto Trancas Canyon Road.

Gerard Butler is one of us, as is his former model and house-flipping girlfriend Morgan Brown.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is offering a number of bike education classes over the next ten days, starting with one tonight.

Speaking of San Diego, the city has ordered cafes to remove outdoor tables that were blocking a bike lane.

Hundreds of young Santa Barbara bike riders turned out for an officially unsanctioned Familia Rideout on Saturday, though masks and social distancing appeared to be largely forgotten.

A bike-riding woman in Contra Costa County suffered major head injuries in a collision with a driver, although the Mercury News appeared to blame her for colliding with the car.

A San Francisco man is putting his lockdown time to good use by putting discarded and unloved bicycles back on the road.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offer tips on how to stay safe riding on a bike path.

Forbes suggests the best bikewear and accessories for women, apparently based on the mistaken assumption that everyone wants to sport spandex and ride roadies. And despite what the caption says, a bicycle is all you really need to start riding. So don’t let that other crap get in your way; you can always get it later if you want.

Popular Science continues their unexpected bike theme, explaining how to carry just about anything on your bike with a rack and some bungee cords. And offers tips on how to avoid common beginner’s mistakes.

Bicycling considers how to find the best bike routes when you’re far from home.

Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown is one of us, though she’s definitely not in the spandex camp, with her bigass all-turquoise fat tire ebike.

Tragic news from Glendale AZ, where a man and woman were both killed when a driver slammed into their bikes as they rode together.

A Denver weekly examines the worst habits of pandemic drivers. Which would be all of them. Habits, that is. And drivers.

Tragic news from Laredo, Texas, where a 77-year old man died five weeks after he was beaten by two men who stole his bike after accusing him of breaking a window.

Great story about a Milwaukee bus driver who bought a ten-year old boy a new bicycle after he kept her company when her bus broke down.

Minnesota Public Radio talks with British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid about the coronavirus bike boom, as officials belatedly discover that people actually prefer clean air to heavy traffic.

For the first time, an 89-year old Ohio man opted not to ride his 1936 Shelby bicycle in the local parade, riding in a trailer instead while his grandkids rode his antique bikes.

Dockless Jump ebikes are returning to the streets of DC, just weeks after the company murdered tens of thousands of the bikes.

J.Lo is still one of us, even if she switched to an ElliptiGo for a ride through Miami this weekend.

Motocross rider Mike Alessi was lucky to escape with cuts, road rash and a cranial hematoma when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while training on his road bicycle in Florida; while he’s relatively okay, his bike was trashed.

 

International

You could soon be riding on dandelions.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, nine times over, as bicyclists around the world stepped up to make a difference during the coronavirus lockdown.

In a move that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, London is removing parking in the history City district to install bike corrals to accommodate the rising numbers of bike riders using the city’s expanding bike network. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, it seems to still be unthinkable.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver stoned on the opiate painkiller dihydrocodeine, as well as coke, weed and morphine, got just over two lousy years behind bars for killing a man riding his bike.

He gets it. Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas tells British GQ how to get started riding a bicycle, starting by suggesting a secondhand bike, without a single mention of spandex or high end gear.

An Irish writer says bring back the bicycle, suggesting we’d all be better off if we rode our bikes instead of driving whenever possible.

Bologna, Italy introduced a new campaign to get more people out on their bikes following the Covid-19 lockdown. Although the best way to do that is to provide more popup bike lanes, exactly like Los Angeles isn’t doing.

Covid-19 has brought Karachi, Pakistan back to the bicycling city it used to be before cars and security concerns chased people off the streets.

No more handheld cellphones while you ride your bike in Singapore after this month.

A New Zealand woman tells drivers an extra minute won’t kill them, but it could kill someone else — like it did her late husband, who died five days after he was run down by a truck driver. They’d been riding together ever since they met while bicycling across Canada 23 years ago; now she doesn’t know how she can ride again without him.

 

Competitive Cycling

A British semi-pro cycling champ credits an air ambulance with saving his life after he was hit by a dump truck while rounding a blind bend on a group ride.

PBS catches up with the pretend virtual Tour de France.

Cycling Weekly tracks down the virtual cyclists who virtually beat the virtually riding pros, and begs for their secrets.

 

Finally…

Political dirty tricks have seeped down to the animal kingdom, with a chipmunk attack on a bike-riding Democratic candidate. Apparently iguanas are out to get us, too.

And you don’t have to understand Italian to get the official song of the Giro.

………

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

Funds pour in to aid cargo bike mugging victim, ebike maker donates medical masks, and bikes are bliss on two wheels

Let’s start with a little good news for a change.

Because there are still a lot of very kind and generous people in this world.

Yesterday we mentioned the cargo bike-riding elotera who was mugged when a pair of thieves assaulted her in South LA, stealing her purse with the meager amount she had earned to support her family.

She lost $80 to the muggers.

But now, thanks to the generosity of over 450 kindhearted strangers, she’ll be getting more than 135 times that much back.

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels.

………

Speaking of generous people, I was happy to find this announcement in my inbox yesterday.

Luis Razo, Manager of Operations at Aventon Bicycles, an Ontario, California-based E-bike manufacturer & retailer, says the community has supported the company, so now it’s time to give back four thousand surgical masks and one thousand N95 masks to Loma Linda University Medical Center and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where supplies are running short.

The company will also donate two E-bikes to Loma Linda University Medical Center. It’s a personal mission for Luis Razo. His wife Gracie is an RN at Loma Linda Hospital, on the front lines of this pandemic.

Nice to see so many members of the bike industry pitching in to help when our entire world is in crisis.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

He gets it.

An Illinois writer describes bicycling as bliss on two wheels. And doesn’t stop there.

Of all avocations, riding a bike is, almost beyond dispute, the finest. With endorphins and all, it is as much exercise for the brain as the heart, lungs or legs, a way to solve all the world’s problems while seeing the world.

Which is about as good a description as I’ve ever come up with.

………

Phil Gaimon remembers what it was like to ride with other people.

………

Local

He gets it, too. A writer for the LA Times says it’s time to take streets away from cars and give it to people.

The LA Times examines what’s open (hint: not much) and closed (almost everything) in LA, Orange and San Diego Counties this weekend. At last word, the Ballona Creek bike path, LA River bike path and San Gabriel River Bike Trail were still open, but that could change any time.

Evidently, it was family bike day in LA, with Kate Hudson riding with her son in her LA neighborhood, Arnold riding through West LA with his less-famous daughter, and  Adam Sandler going for a ride with his daughter in the ‘Bu.

English actress and Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is one of us, too, even if she sticks to the sidewalks of Los Angeles.

 

State

A San Jose man writes in to complain that Millennials and their dogs are ruining bike trails for everyone else. Seriously? There are just as many jerk and jackass Baby Boomer and GenXers as there are Millennials — and just as many kind and considerate people, too. It’s no more fair or accurate to blame every member of any generation for the actions of a few than it is any other social, ethnic or religious group.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says get your bike ready, and get out for a slow ride. Thanks to Robert Leone for the forward.

Tragic news from Stanislaus County, where a 51-year old single father was run down by a driver as he was riding his bike, and left to die alone on the side of the road.

 

National

VeloNews looks at more bikes from the virtual North American Handmade Bicycle Show, including one from my hometown, as well as a very cool wooden tandem. The cycling magazine also offers their take on the best women’s mountain bike gear for 2020.

Bike Mag suggests hacks you can try out on your own bicycle while you’re stuck at home.

Neil Young famously said rust never sleeps. But there are things you can do to keep it from ruining your mountain bike.

Sears waits until the entire bike industry is on the brink to try to claw back money it paid out to several bicycle companies before it went belly up two years ago.

The annual Iron Horse Classic in Southwestern Colorado has been postponed, if not cancelled.

A kindhearted Boise cop bought a bike for a homeless man so he’d have a way to get to work after he was involved in a crash.

The local paper in Lincoln, Nebraska offers tips on how to avoid collisions while maintaining social distancing on the city’s newly crowded bike trails. If that photo is any indication, crowded is a relative term.

A Milwaukee man wanted to show his support for local bike shops struggling to hold on in the coronavirus crisis, so he set out on a solo bike tour of several shops to post words of encouragement in their windows.

A Chicago letter writer says we may be keeping our distance, but people have never been friendlier.

Eight beautiful bike rides in the Chicago area. Or maybe get back to nature on Houston bike trails.

A writer for Jalopnik goes carspotting in New York, and discovers classic bikes are the real city cars. Including the first modern bike built for women.

Bike shops are listed as essential businesses in Pennsylvania.

 

International

Good question. Fast Company questions whether we can maintain the current coronavirus bike boom when the world finally comes out the other side. Which it inevitably will, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment.

Cycling Weekly examines what steps bike shops are taking to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Road.cc wants to get you in a gilet.

British Columbia advocates join their counterparts around the world in calling for more space for pedestrians and bike riders during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Brompton is crowdfunding the equivalent of nearly half a million dollars to donate 1,000 of their iconic foldies to staffers with the UK’s National Health Service; they’ve raised the equivalent of nearly $110,000 with 12 days to go.

The Next Web loves the new race bike from Germany’s direct-to-consumer bikemaker Canyon, but says it’s “hella expensive;” at the equivalent of nearly six grand, though that’s barely midrange these days. On the other hand, Gear Patrol thinks Canyon’s full-suspension mountain bike is surprisingly affordable at $2,399.

Heartbreaking story, as an Indian man is riding over 1,300 miles on a secondhand bike from Mumbai to Kashmir to see his dying father one last time, despite the country’s 21-day mandatory lockdown.

After the country went into a coronavirus lockdown, New Zealand’s Health Minister stirred up controversy by bending, if not breaking, the rules by driving to get out for a mountain bike ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta says they’re sticking with their August start date, despite the cancellation or postponement of most of the cycling season so far this year.

Covid-19 is taking a toll on pro cycling, as riders are forced to take a drastic cut in pay until racing resumes later this year — assuming it does.

 

Finally…

No, you don’t need Android Auto unless you’re actually in one. Oh, nothing much, just a casual fat bike ride through the Yukon at 44° below zero.

And keeping the team alive by riding together every morning, separately. And at home.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Morning Links: CicLAvia returns to South LA next month, bike part leads to LAPD shooting, and Ballona Creek path closure

Great news!

CicLAvia is returning to South LA on the 23rd of next month, with a route down legendary Central Ave — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — from South Central to Watts.

While I’m told the first South LA CicLAvia had a smaller turnout than some of the other CicLAvias, several people have said it was one of their favorites.

Unfortunately, I missed it when I was first diagnosed with diabetes and neuropathy. I don’t plan on letting that happen again.

The Ride for Love will offer a preview the CicLAvia route on February 9th, starting from the Watts Towers.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia will be hosting their annual fundraiser on the 2nd.

………

Several people reached out over the weekend, both sad and angry over the death of an apparent homeless man after a police supervisor mistook a bike part he was holding for a weapon.

I’d probably think that was a gun, too. Photo courtesy of LAPD.

The shooting occurred earlier this month when a witness spotted the man holding the Schwinn part near Sepulveda and Venice Blvds, and called police to report a man with a gun.

When the officer arrived, the man, identified by LAPD Chief Michael Moore as 31-year old Victor Valencia, reportedly pointed the part at him; already primed to find someone with a gun, the cop fired, hitting the man once.

Sadly, in this case, once was enough.

Whether this tragic shooting was justified will undoubtedly hinge on the officer’s dash cam and body cam videos, and whether they show the victim brandishing the part like a gun, or merely holding it in his hand.

Either way, it once again points to our society’s continuing failure to care for the homeless and mentally ill.

Thanks to everyone who sent this for the heads-up.

………

You might need to find another route through Culver City to the coast for the next three weeks.

During January 21 through February 14 certain bike path entrances/exits will be closed due to a site improvement project. The schedule is below:

  1. January 21 – January 24: East Sepulveda Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  2. January 27 – January 31: Overland West Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  3. February 3 – February 7: Overland East Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  4. February 10 – February 14: Duquesne Avenue Bike Path Entrance/Exit

………

Evidently, I’m a bad influence on my local neighborhood council members.

………

Once again, authorities do their best to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, as Chris Willig forwards news of a Bay Area man who was busted for drunk driving – while he was out on parole for his 11th DUI.

Yes, eleven.

………

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

Call her a bicycle serial killer. A Louisiana woman was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — seven years after she killed a bike-riding teenage boy in another hit-and-run. And on the same damn highway, no less.

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

After a man with two black eyes and a possible broken nose rode his bicycle up to a Massachusetts bar, the bartender refused to serve him. So he left for a few minutes, then came back and slashed all four tires on every car in the parking lot.

An Indian motorcyclist was killed in a road rage dispute when he was beaten to death by a bicycle rider and his friends, after they accused the victim of hitting the man’s bike with his motorcycle.

………

Local

The Red Car Bridge over the LA River is scheduled for its official ribbon cutting on this Saturday at 11:30 am; the bicycle/pedestrian bridge runs parallel to the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in Atwater Village, on pilings used by the legendary Red Car streetcars.

The New York Times interviews a woman who is happy she went carfree in the City of Angels, even if they can’t quite seem to believe it.

As we noted last week, some Pasadena residents are calling for a return to the outdated, auto-centric LOS method of measure traffic at the expense of everyone else. Even though a local website says the Rose City has to take up the slack in addressing climate change.

A Malibu website concludes that the Expo Line, which doesn’t even go to there, is somehow responsible of an uptick in crime in the wealthy coastal city. Because evidently, there are no local criminals in the ‘Bu, and bad guys are afraid to drive PCH. Like any sane people. 

A Long Beach man is on trial for murder after shooting another man in the face during an argument over a bicycle and which of them owned it. Once again, no bicycle is worth your life; if it comes down to that, just let them take it. And no bicycle is worth killing for, either. Thanks to John Damman for the tip. 

 

State

A bike rider was injured in an El Cajon hit-and-run on Sunday. Sadly, that sentence is almost longer than the entire story.

Sad news from Concord, where a 54-year old woman was killed in a collision as she was riding her bike.

Seriously? Just a few short months after opening a $20 million bike and pedestrian path over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, it will be shut down for four days — just so bridge inspectors can park their bigass truck in it while they examine the other lanes.

Sonoma County officials want to clear out a mile-long homeless encampment stradling both sides of a popular bike path. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A UC Davis student attending on a BMX scholarship asks for the public’s help after her bikes were stolen. Rase your hand if you had no idea you could even get a BMX scholarship.

Arcata city hall is now officially bike friendly.

 

National

A national group of bicycling and pedestrian professionals tells the NTSB in no uncertain terms that bike helmets may be a good idea, but mandating them isn’t.

A new survey of America’s mayors shows they’re concerned about climate change and think the country’s cities are too car oriented and unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians. Just don’t ask them to do anything about it.

No irony here. A cop assigned to Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force had his police bicycle stolen when he handcuffed it to a rack outside the courthouse after forgetting his U-lock. And when he got out of court, the cuffs were all that was left. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

About damn time. A Colorado state senator proposes a bill that would give people on bicycles the unquestioned right-of-way in a bike lane. There’s simply no excuse for making bike riders second-class citizens in our own traffic lanes. So how about doing the same thing here in California?

A bighearted Texas man bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after the bicycle the kid had won in a church raffle was stolen; the man knew the feeling, because his bike was stolen when he was ten, too.

The Scottish round-the-world cyclist who was nearly killed when he was run down by a Texas driver should finally be flying home this week, despite a fractured skull.

Saying the city hasn’t been bold when it mattered, Philadelphia hasn’t followed through on its bold Vision Zero plan, according to a local magazine.

Fat biking takes on a whole different meaning as the Washington Post talks with a pair of self-described fat cyclists who want to get more large people out on their bikes.

Newly crowned NCAA football champ LSU is now building bike lanes through the campus. Only a few decades too late to do me any good.

A kindhearted Louisiana cop bought a new bicycle for a nine-year girl just days after hers was stolen.

The nationwide rash of bicyclist shootings goes on, as someone hit a 16-year old Miami boy in a drive-by shooting as he rode with friends.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Florida, where a driver who killed a woman riding her bike in a crosswalk won’t face any charges, despite causing the crash by running a stop sign.

 

International

Road.cc rates 17 of the best bike taillights. Which is almost as many as you need to get some drivers to notice you.

Bicycling talks with a pair of women who are 13,000 miles into an 18,000-mile tandem bike ride around the world, learning that California has the most beautiful coastline while New Zealand has the angriest drivers.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a driver got just 27 months behind bars when detectives tracked her down for fleeing the scene after slamming her car into four family members riding their bikes, seriously injuring three of them — including one woman who nearly died from a pair of heart attacks while waiting for paramedics.

Scottish bicyclists took matters and rakes into their own hands to remove dangerously slick leaves from a bike path, doing in two hours what the local government couldn’t get done in four months.

After buying a $1,700 stolen bike for the equivalent of $104, a kindhearted British man set out to find the owner so he could return it.

A member of Britain’s House of Lords wants to make the penalty for bike riders who injure or kill others equivalent to the penalties for motorists, subjecting riders to up to 14 years behind bars. Never mind the much lower risk bike riders pose to other people on the roads.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Ian Boswell will be taking this year off from the WorldTour to spend more time on his tractor. Yes, tractor.

Dutch cycling star Mathieu Van der Poel will spend the year bouncing between disciplines, competing in ‘cross, road cycling and mountain biking, with an emphasis on the Olympics and Spring Classics.

Vuelta champ Primož Roglič says he should be the favorite for this year’s Tour de France. Even if no one can figure out how to pronounce his name.

Cycling Tips explains why the Tour Down Under matters.

 

Finally…

Telling police you couldn’t stop during a chase because your bike doesn’t have any brakes probably isn’t the best excuse. It’s still hit-and-run, even if you throw a wad of cash at the victim before driving off.

And if this kid can bike to school at 40 below — Celsius or Fahrenheit — never let anyone tell you it’s too cold to ride a bike in Los Angeles.

 

%d bloggers like this: