Tag Archive for ebikes

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.

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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.

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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.

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Now this is what real bike infrastructure looks like.

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

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Your Brompton ebike could be out to get you.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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Who needs helmets when the peloton has such stylish hats?

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

73-year old Laguna Beach homebuilder and nonprofit founder killed in apparent solo ebike crash

Sad news from Laguna Beach, where a prominent local resident was killed while riding his ebike.

According to the Laguna Beach Independent, 73-year old Norman Rest was found lying in the roadway bleeding profusely Monday evening, after apparently crashing his ebike into a dumpster.

The collision took place sometime before 5:44 pm near Canyon View Drive and Buena Vista Way. Rest reportedly went into full cardiac arrest as he was being treated by paramedics, and died after being taken to a nearby hospital.

The story notes that he was riding without a light, but it’s not clear at this time how long he may have been lying there after crashing his bike.

Canyon View appears to have a steep hill; if he was riding downhill, he could have picked up considerable speed before slamming into the dumpster.

It’s also possible that he could have been crowded off the roadway by a passing car, or that the dumpster could rolled into the street or been hidden behind a curve or some other obstacle.

Rest embarked on a career as a builder after building his own three-story home in Laguna Beach when he was just 21-years old. He went on to found a local sailing club with his father, and was co-owner of Lido Paddle Sports.

That led to co-founding a nonprofit organization with his wife last year dedicated to using paddle boarding to promote mental health for military vets and first responders.

This is at least the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Orange County.

The last bicycling death in the county was also a solo crash, after a young mother of two crashed her ebike while riding with her family on the San Juan Creek Trail in San Juan Capistrano.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Norman Rest and all his family and loved ones. 

 

Likely 60% boost to CA Active Trans funding, a call for universal free ebikes, and Wisconsin attack ruled intentional

Calbike breaks down how California can expect to benefit from the new federal infrastructure plan.

According to Streetsblog, that includes a 60% boost in the Active Transportation Program, which provides most of the funding for bike and pedestrian projects in the state.

It also contains $1 billion to mitigate the damage caused to communities affected by the too-often racist legacy of freeway building. Although that’s 300 times less than the funding in the bill to build freeways.

And while the it contains language requiring planners to “consider the needs of all road users” in designing new projects, California’s existing Complete Streets policies already carry a similar requirement.

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He gets it.

A writer for the New York Times says the 30% rebate on ebike purchases doesn’t go far enough to address climate change.

So he says give everyone a free ebike, instead. Along with safe streets to ride them on.

According to Jay Caspian Kang,

City governments should purchase an electronic bicycle for every resident over the age of 15 who wants one. They should also shut down a significant number of streets to be used only by bicycles and a small number of speed-regulated, municipal electric vehicles.

The Biden administration’s Build Back Better Act includes a $4.1 billion tax break for e-bike purchases. It would let you save 30 percent via a refundable tax credit capped at $900. That may help with some e-bike adoption, but tax credits can feel a bit abstract, and even with the discount, e-bikes, which typically run between $1,500 and $4,500, will still be out of the budgets of most Americans.

He’s not totally giving up on cars, though.

By the way, I am not envisioning a world without cars. People will still need to go on longer trips, disabled people will still need to get around, and goods will still need to be delivered. Cars will be channeled through a few routes in each city. In keeping with Schimmelpennink’s vision, transportation within the bicycles-only areas will be handled by a fleet of electronic taxis that will travel at speeds below 25 miles per hour. As for deliveries, many package deliveries in the United States can be handled by cargo e-bikes, which can transport hundreds of pounds at a time.

Shutting down some streets for bikes is key not only for safety, but also because the more inconvenient driving becomes, the more people will start to consider other options. Available to them is a free-of-charge mode of transportation that will often be faster than sitting in traffic and having to find a parking spot.

The only place he misses the mark is when it comes to people with disabilities, failing to recognize that for many, an ebike can be an effective mobility device, giving them more freedom to get around than they can by other means.

As he points out, however, the biggest obstacle to implementing a plan like that is the political pushback leaders would face from people who can’t even imagine a world with fewer cars.

Let alone none.

………

More heartbreaking news from Wisconsin, as police have confirmed that the driver who killed five people and injured over 40 more by plowing through the Waukesha Christmas parade did it on purpose.

Thirty-nine-year old Milwaukee resident Darrell E. Brooks was reportedly involved in a domestic violence incident just minutes before the attack on a parade filled with innocent victims.

He is also accused of jumping bail for a previous incident.

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Seriously, our institutions have got to do better.

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Ted Faber offers a very brief tweet essay on bicycling.

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Tons of bikes. Yet nary a bear from deepest, darkest Peru in sight.

https://twitter.com/London_Cycles/status/1462677733763334148

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But seriously, can you even be too hard on cars?

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Back in the days when every lane really was a bike lane.

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Evidently, parking in bike lanes is nothing new.

Or uniquely American.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1462871829173972995

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

A British paper accuses “abusive” cyclists of swearing at forest rangers attempting to roundup a herd of wild horses, as they carry out a 1,000-year tradition. Although Road.cc says it’s just anti-cyclist clickbait.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego plans to limit the number of ebike and e-scooter providers, with at least two of the six firms currently serving the city likely to be forced out.

 

National

Treehugger considers whether an e-cargo bike can serve as your one and only bike.

Pro cyclist Adam Myerson explains how to draft. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if Bicycling blocks you.

Bike Hacks offers advice on how to pack your bike for your next move. Or better yet, just ride it and let someone else do the driving.

Kindhearted Kansas cops replaced an overly trusting teenager’s bicycle, after the boy loaned his bike to some schmuck who promised to return it, and didn’t.

An Oklahoma City man faces charges for firing a gun inside a Walmart when a security guard tried to stop him from walking out with a bicycle without paying for it.

A Chicago artist has gone from competing on bicycles to turning old bike parts into upcycled new items, using every part of the bike.

More mass traffic violence, as a Connecticut driver allegedly aimed his car at a group of people blocking the street to protest the Rittenhouse verdict on Saturday, hitting six people and injuring four. At least two states have passed legal protections for drivers who commit that kind of vigilante action against protestors in the roadway.

The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers would choose curbside dining over free parking, especially in Manhattan. Now if they’d just make the same choice for bike lanes, too.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 77-year old agriculture professor at Louisiana State University was killed in a collision while riding his bike near campus on Saturday; as usual, there’s no mention of the driver.

 

International

A 140-decibel horn billed as “the world’s loudest bicycle horn” has now reached $4 million in international sales, six years after it was rejected on the UK’s equivalent of Shark Tank.

Traffic deaths declined an unprecedented 17% in the European Union during the pandemic last year, although that likely has more to do with traffic restrictions and lockdowns than any long-term change in driving habits.

Ankara, Turkey is proposing the city’s first bike plan, calling for 178 miles of bikeways by 2040.

A new study from the United Arab Emirates found that only two percent of local delivery riders wear helmets, and just four percent use bike lights after dark.

Injuries are up among middle-aged Aussie mountain bikers, as more men have taken to the trails during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new $250,000 race series will combine six of the top American gravel and mountain bike races, limited to the top 20 men and top 20 women.

Four-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome goes wading with the alligators on a Florida training ride.

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up for the family of rising Eritrean cyclist Desiet Kidane, who was killed by a driver while she was on a training ride earlier this month; so far it’s raised the equivalent of just $1582 of the $56,000 goal.

 

Finally…

An ebike for the balance bike set. Fighting air pollution one bike wheel at a time.

And if you’re an ex-con illegally carrying a gun on your bike, stay off the damn sidewalk, already.

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

Bike-friendly Bonin likely to face recall, opinions wanted on SGV ebikes, and kindhearted people still exist

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin could be looking at a recall, just weeks before next year’s election.

Recall supporters have submitted nearly 12,000 more signatures for validation than the required 27,317 to qualify for the ballot.

Which means he could be recalled from office in May, then returned to office the next month, when the larger turnout in the previously scheduled primary election is likely to be more favorable to him than a single-issue recall ballot.

But at least this issue isn’t Bonin’s support for bike lanes this time, unlike the last time opponents tried to recall him.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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If you live in the San Gabriel Valley, Active SGV needs your thoughts on ebikes.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1460340843668119554

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A reminder that there are still kind people in the world, regardless of how they travel.

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

A man is suing a Boca Raton resort after he was injured when a parking gate closed on him as he was riding a bicycle underneath it, claiming no one ever told him he shouldn’t do that.

Seriously, don’t draft women riders you don’t know on bike paths. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

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Local

WeHoVille looks at the proposal to install peak hour bus lanes on La Brea Ave, including the brief three-block segment that runs through West Hollywood. Bike riders are allowed to use bus lanes in Los Angeles, though I’m not sure if the same rules would apply in WeHo.

 

State

CityLab reports several American cities, including Oakland and Bakersfield, are experimenting with universal basic mobility programs that subsidize transit, bikeshare and scooters; Los Angeles may follow with a pilot program in South LA.

The Cal Berkeley student newspaper calls on students to get involved in plans to reimagine Telegraph Avenue in the city to prioritize buses, pedestrians and bikes.

 

National

Governing says the transformational new infrastructure bill Biden signed yesterday may not be so transformational after all, since most of the funds go towards highways and maintaining the carbon-intensive status quo. The site also reports UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup is winning the parking war, as more cities recognize the high cost of free parking and reduce or eliminate parking requirements.

Women’s Health picks the best balance bikes for your toddler.

A Denver bike shop is asking local riders to keep an eye out for some hot bikes, after thieves broke in and stole five display models and a couple of test bikes.

Some Texas bike riders have reportedly taken to carrying guns on their bikes for protection from “entitled, enraged” drivers. I had a friend in Louisiana who strapped a .22 to his handlebars for exactly the same reason, and reported drivers showed him a lot more courtesy on the roads afterwards. 

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. The Arkansas High Country Route offers 1,200 miles of gravel and paved rural roads, with a total 80,000 feet of climbing through the Buffalo National River corridor, Arkansas River Valley, and the Ozark and Ouachita mountains.

New York State changed the law two years ago to allow people on bikes to use leading pedestrian intervals to get a safe head start on traffic, but someone apparently neglected to tell one NYPD traffic cop, who continues to illegally ticket riders obeying the law.

The fun is over at a secret scofflaw BMX track in Virginia Beach VA that had survived under the radar for over 20 years, after the owner of the land sold it to a developer to build a car dealership.

 

International

A new study delivered to the COP26 climate conference shows that at least 40% of city dwellers worldwide will need to walk, bike or use transit by 2030 if the earth is going to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

A local couple is renting ebikes to help tourists take advantage of the 40-mile bike trail network connecting the Mexican resort cities of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo.

A pair of Edinburgh bike thieves were caught on camera tossing bikes over a tall fence to make their getaway.

More British companies are using cargo bikes to make deliveries to avoid traffic congestion and parking problems, including a London flower shop that replaced its delivery vans with Dutch-made ebikes capable of carrying up to 45 boxes of flowers at a time.

A Welsh man will spend the next six years behind bars after leaving a party “severely drunk” and plowing into a young father riding his bike, while driving over twice the speed limit; the man fled the scene, but returned an hour later pretending to be a friend of the victim, before turning himself in the next day after he sobered up.

No surprise that someone in the Netherlands is one of us, although the coach of the country’s national team may want to be more careful putting his bike up next time, after falling and breaking his hip.

A Lithuanian city halted work on a new cycle track through a forest where Jews were murdered and buried by the Nazis in WWII, after the country’s Chief Rabbi justifiably criticized the plans.

An Aussie driver was speeding, driving erratically, and high on crystal meth, amphetamines and cannabis when he ran down a bicycling grandmother last year, then abandoned his car and screaming passengers to flee the scene on foot. But swears he doesn’t remember it because he was sleeping at the time of the crash, and only fled because he panicked.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news from the French Riviera, where 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas got his stolen Pinarello back just three hours after it was taken, thanks to the quick action of the local gendarmes.

Cycling News looks at the top names retiring from the peloton this year, including Tony Martin, André Greipel and Tejay van Garderen.

 

Finally…

Lux brand icon Stella McCartney designed some new bikes, but good luck getting one. A viral photo of a bed attached to a bicycle is about 80 years too recent to be a photo of the first ambulance.

And that feeling when your bike-wheeled dinosaur goes missing, but somehow comes back

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

Update: Mother killed, two young children injured in solo ebike crash on San Juan Creek Trail in San Juan Capistrano

Sad news from San Juan Capistrano, where a woman in her 30s was killed when she crashed her ebike Saturday night.

Her two young children, who were also on her bike, were seriously injured.

The woman was riding with her husband on the San Juan Creek Trail north of Creekside Park around 8:30 pm, when she somehow lost control of her bike, and tumbled onto the rocks.

Her children, who had been riding in front and rear bike seats, were also thrown onto the rocks. However, they are expected to fully recover.

An Orange County Sheriff’s sergeant indicated that, unlike her children, Macy was not wearing a helmet, though there’s no indication at this time that she suffered a head injury.

Tragically, Macy’s husband was riding behind on his own ebike, and reportedly watched the crash that took his wife’s life, and nearly his entire family.

This is at least the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 6th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: Bike guide writer Richard Fox has this to add about the crash.

The news likes to blame e-bikes for everything, but in this case it’s not wearing a helmet that probably killed the woman, while helmets saved her two kids. They were returning from the Ohana Music Festival (Pearl Jam, Beck, etc) at the beach, and it was dark. San Juan Creek Trail there is wide and flat but is bounded by boulders lining the channelized creek below, and it seems she fell over and hit her head on them.  Ironically they had passed the most dangerous part of the path, where it dips steeply under Stonehill Dr and speeds accelerate down the hill.  I am a frequent user of that important trail, it’s a bicycle highway to Doheny State Beach for thousands of Orange County residents.  I agree there is a problem with speeding e-bikers on this trail, especially kids on their Class III speeders, but there’s also plenty of non e-bikers in their kits racing through there. There are a few posted 10 mph signs that no one pays attention to. It seems too slow for a trail like this, 15 mph would be more reasonable, including where the woman fell over.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jennifer Lee Macy and all her family and loved ones. 

Thanks to William Sellin for the heads-up.

 

WeHo gets ebike rules wrong, SCAG wants your opinion on walkable cities, and La Brea gets bus (and bike) lanes

Sometimes, I don’t even know where to start.

West Hollywood announced that sheriff’s deputies will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation throughout the month of September.

They will ticket anyone who commits a violation that could endanger someone walking or riding, regardless of who commits it.

So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Nothing unusual there.

But then the city added this highly problematic paragraph.

In addition, users of dockless mobility devices are reminded that only one person is allowed on a device at a time and e-scooters and e-bikes must be ridden on the road, never on the sidewalk – riding dockless mobility devices on the sidewalk is subject to citation. Users of e-scooters and e-bikes must have a valid driver license or instructional permit and must wear a helmet while riding. Users are advised to ride as far to the right side of traffic lane or in designated and marked bike lanes whenever possible and users must always ride in the direction of traffic. Dockless mobility devices should never be parked in a way that blocks pedestrian activity and access. Concerns about dockless mobility devices may be submitted to the City through its website or through the West Hollywood Official City App, which is available as a free download for iPhone users on the App Store and for Android users on Google Play. Feedback may be submitted by email, as well, at parkingconcerns@weho.org or by phone at (213) 247-7720.

Yes, dockless e-scooter users are required to have a driver’s license or learner’s permit, since the state somehow equates riding a tiny scooter with operating a deadly multi-ton machine.

But there is no license requirement for ebikes, dockless or otherwise, unless they are throttle controlled and capable of going up to 30 mph. And there is no helmet requirement for anyone over 18 years old.

In addition, people on bicycles are only required to ride as far to the right as practicable.

Which means you’re allowed to ride outside the door zone, and take the full lane on any street where the right lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle, while providing at least a three-foot passing distance.

It’s more than a little frightening when the people responsible for the laws don’t seem to know them.

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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SCAG wants to know what you think about walkable communities.

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Don’t hold your breath waiting for bike lanes on La Brea Ave in Los Angeles.

But newly announced plans call for a nearly 6-mile, part-time bus lane on the busy corridor from Sunset Blvd to Coliseum Street, which bike riders are free to use during the limited times they’re in operation, as long as you don’t mind a bus running up your ass.

Maybe someday Los Angeles will get serious about getting people out of their cars, and make bus lanes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just like a real city.

Or not.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Police in Yorkshire, England evidently have better things to do than deal with a teenage driver who hit a woman on a bicycle, then stole her phone to keep her from taking pictures after the crash; the cops said she should have just swapped information with him and left them out of it. And let him keep her phone, evidently.

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

Police are looking for a pair of men who rode their ebikes onto the UC San Diego campus, and shot someone multiple times with a BB gun.

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Local

South Pasadena has just over three months to institute a Slow Streets program, or lose a $420,000 Metro open streets grant that has to be spent by the end of the year.

 

State

California may be many things, but apparently, polite ain’t one of them.

More proof that bike riders are tougher than most people think, as a Goleta man rode his bicycle to the hospital after he was stabbed by another man; his would-be killer was arrested a few hours later for attempted murder.

A plan to improve safety and add bus lanes and bike lanes to a pair of Mountain View streets has hit a roadblock, after it was revealed that the project would require removing 120 trees, including 27 irreplaceable heritage trees. Maybe they should consider removing parking spaces or traffic lanes before they start chopping down trees.

 

National

New Apple watches will be able to tell when you start a bike ride, and call for help if you fall off.

Cycling News recommends their picks for the best gravel bike helmets to protect you on and off the road.

Great idea. An advocacy group in my Colorado hometown is asking the public to contribute a new bike and helmet worth $150 in an effort to give a bicycle to every second grader in the city’s six public elementary schools.

The co-founder of Better Streets Chicago describes being part of a people-protected bike lane to call attention to the need for safer streets.

Cambridge, Massachusetts is installing new flexpost-protected bike lanes on one main street, in response to a new requirement to build out the city’s bike network within five years. That compares to Los Angeles, which gave itself 25 years to build a bike network, while considering the whole thing just “aspirational.”

New York Streetsblog examines the many failures that allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the road until it was too late, despite dozens of traffic violations and a suspended driver’s license; he kept driving anyway, and killed a three-month old baby while driving the wrong way.

New bike lanes have officially opened on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge, after the city removed a traffic lane to give bike riders their own space apart from pedestrians. Meanwhile, a writer for Streetsblog wants to know why existing concrete barriers lining the city’s Addabbo Bridge can’t be moved a few feet to the left to create a protected bike lane.

Wired takes a deep dive into America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, the Tennessee company he founded to make low-cost carbon fiber, and his new ultralight carbon frame ebike.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter offers an excerpt from his new book, Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle, arguing all that’s needed for an ebike revolution is “good affordable bikes, a safe place to ride, and a secure place to park.”

Boy, does he get it. A Toronto writer says there’s not much hope for the city’s Vision Zero program when the city council’s “collective head is so far up the tailpipe of motorists.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, except here in Los Angeles, too.

An Irish walker and sometimes bicyclist says put a bell on your bike, already. I’m not a fan of bike bells, since all they tell you is a bike rider is nearby, and an angel just got its wings. Use your voice instead, and politely tell pedestrians what side you’re passing on, or ask them to move one way or the other.

An Indian man has ridden his bicycle nearly 5,000 miles across the country in what began as a tribute to his late father, but took on a life of its own, delivering him new friends and experiences while gaining 69,000 followers on YouTube — and 82,000 on Instagram.

An Aussie website offers tips on how to pick the right bicycle for beginning riders. Although the right bike when you’re starting out may not be a few months later.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador set off on a 1,000-mile ride from Madrid to Milan to celebrate his pro team’s first stage victory in the Giro, in their first year on the WorldTour; Contador is co-owner of the Spanish-based team, along with former cycling great Ivan Basso.

 

Finally…

Park your bike with the fishes without getting wet. Who needs water when you can carry hot coffee on your bike?

And the pandemic bike boom has officially reached Mongolia.

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

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