Tag Archive for group rides

LA Times voter guides for CD4, CD6 and Healthy Streets LA; SGV bike ride Sunday; and Weiner talks speed governors

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

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

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles Times offers a detailed voter guide to the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, including a look at what it does and doesn’t do, as well as who supports and opposes it.

And there’s a lot more of the former than there is the latter.

The paper also provides election guides for the six-way race for the CD6 seat currently held by Imelda Padilla on an interim basis, as well as the two men challenging Nithya Raman in the reconfigured CD4.

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Update: This ride has been postponed until next Sunday due to risk of rain.

Safe Streets For SGV is hosting a moderately paced, nine-mile bike ride on Sunday to call for safer streets and promote better connections between Alhambra and South Pasadena.

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State Senator Scott Weiner describes his bill that would require speed governors in all new cars, which would “only” allow drivers to break the law by 10 mph.

Which sounds perfectly damn reasonable to me.

Thanks to MYVOTECD1 for the heads-up.

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The latest episode of Bike Talk is available online now.

A listener, Reese, speaks for connected, protected bike lanes in Utah. 2:00

News: With pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Los Angeles at an 8-year high, the departing Los Angeles Police Chief blames their reckless biking and walking habits. In California, SB 961 calls for all new cars to have speed governors. A Die-in against traffic violence at LA City Hall. 7:12

When a 14 year old on his bike was hit by an uninsured motorist in Chicago, personal injury lawyer Jonel Metaj took the case all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. Now, people in Illinois with uninsured motorist coverage will be protected when biking and walking, too. 18:57

Alison Cohen is the founder of Bicycle Transit Systems, which operates bikeshare in cities throughout the US. She explains how BTS came to be threatened with replacement by Lyft in Los Angeles. 33:00

A Bike Thought by Stacey. 52:23

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Not only was Farrah Fawcett one of us, but she could clearly do “Look Ma! No hands!” with the best of them.

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It’s now 43 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A couple of young Frenchmen walked without a single day behind bars for an eight-month series of attacks in which they leaned out of a moving car to push at least a dozen bike riders off their bikes and into ditches, and hit at least one man repeatedly with a small truncheon; they were both sentenced to two-year suspended sentences after telling the judge they were really, really sorry. No, really.

No surprise here. A pair of Australian teenagers were arrested for intentionally running down two Melbourne bicyclists in a stolen car last week, leaving the men with serious, potentially life-changing injuries, and posting video of the attack online. They joined a now worldwide social media-inspired trend of teens stealing cars and intentionally attacking people on bicycles — including recent attacks in Huntington Beach and Las Vegas — for no other reason than they can.

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Local 

Metro announced plans to improve streets, bus stops and bike lanes along the 710 Freeway corridor, after cancelling plans to widen the freeway in the face of public opposition.

Seven Culver City cops will join the Police Unity Tour, riding 300 miles to honor fallen officers.

 

State

San Diego and Imperial counties will share $12 million in state infrastructure funding, including for bike and pedestrian projects.

The atmospheric river that poured through California yesterday left a Santa Barbara bike lane closed due to flooding, with no projected opening date.

 

National

Bike Rumor picks the year’s best bike handlebar bags.

SRAM issued a recall for all aftermarket 12-speed eTap AXS Red, Force, Rival and Apex shift-brake levers produced before July 2023 that were not installed by a bicycle dealer, telling owners to stop using them immediately.

Forbes recommends fat biking as one of “three winter adventurers (sic) you can’t afford to miss in Anchorage.” Especially since they finally have snow this year.

A kindhearted Maine high school resource cop called on a local bike shop to donate a refurbished bike for a kid who was struggling with attendance, leading to a new program accepting donated bikes for students.

A Baltimore letter writer says traffic calming doesn’t work, and new bike lanes will never lure people out of their motor vehicles, because cars.

After losing his own vision, a New Orleans man created a tandem bicycling group to allow blind people to keep riding.

 

International

Momentum offers seven “examples of stunning and inspiring bicycle infrastructure around the world.” None of which are in Los Angeles. Or North America, for that matter. 

A longstanding worker-owned bike shop in London’s Brixton neighborhood is begging for donations to help it withstand the worst year in its two decade history.

Singer Harry Styles is one of us, spending the last day before he turned 30 riding through London in a quilted orange puffer jacket.

A new London study suggests male Sikh bike riders might not benefit from bike helmets, because the style and thickness of their turbans could already provide the best possible head protection.

British ebike brand Gocycle is introducing a futuristic take on the family e-cargo bike — as long as you have at least seven grand burning a hole in your bank account.

Unbelievable. A road raging Jersey teenage was acquitted of manslaughter for killing a bike rider with a single punch to the face, claiming he was frightened by the victim, despite repeatedly honking at him and getting out of his car to confront him after the man deservedly flipped him off.

This is who we share the road with. Italian saboteurs are cutting down speed cams, and ripping out speed humps to fight for their God-given right to speed.

The Jerusalem Post highlights the best selling bike phone mounts. One of which I already own. 

A pair of Aussie researchers say e-scooter injuries are rising, but there’s not enough data yet to say if they’re more dangerous than other micromobility methods, such as bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

The first win of the 2024 cycling season goes to Belgian Soudal Quick-Step sprinter Tim Merlier.

 

Finally…

Why you shouldn’t trust your bike to the cheapest lock you can find at CVS. What happens when you let a Magic 8-Ball write your bike lane headlines.

And when the mayor’s office says just kidding about scrapping the city’s annual bike ride.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

NYT blames dangerous drivers for spiking road deaths, and LA & Ventura County rides for the release of Israeli hostages

If you haven’t already, stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA.

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

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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Today’s must read is a deep dive from the New York Times into the culture of driving to explain why traffic deaths are once again surging, thanks largely to dangerous drivers.

The relationship between car size and injury rates is still being studied, but early research on the American appetite for horizon-blotting machinery points in precisely the direction you’d expect: The bigger the vehicle, the less visibility it affords, and the more destruction it can wreak. In a report published in November, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit, concluded that S.U.V.s or vans with a hood height greater than 40 inches — standard-issue specs for an American truck in 2023 — are 45 percent more likely to kill pedestrians than smaller cars.

Above all, though, the problem seems to be us — the American public, the American driver. “It’s not an exaggeration to say behavior on the road today is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Capt. Michael Brown, a state police district commander in Michigan, told me. “It’s not just the volume. It’s the variety. There’s impaired driving, which constituted 40 percent of our fatalities last year. There are people going twice the legal limit on surface streets. There’s road rage,” Brown went on. “There’s impatience — right before we started talking, I got an email from a woman who was driving along in traffic and saw some guy fly by her off the roadway, on the shoulder, at 80, 90 miles an hour.” Brown stressed it was rare to receive such a message: “It’s got so bad, so extremely typical,” he said, “that people aren’t going to alert us unless it’s super egregious…”

Then there’s the problem all of us seem to encounter sooner or later, as drivers cut traffic law corners for their convenience, and take their anger out on the most convenient targets.

And aggressive driving, defined by AAA as “tailgating, erratic lane changing or illegal passing,” factors into 56 percent of crashes resulting in a fatality. (Distressingly, this statistic does not cover the tens of thousands of people injured, often critically, by aggressive drivers, or the 550 people shot annually after or during road-rage incidents — or the growing number of pedestrians and cyclists deliberately targeted by incensed motorists.)…

Every year for the past decade and a half, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has published something called the Traffic Safety Culture Index — a kind of State of the Union of American roads. I had thought the 2022 edition was bleak (the headline from AAA’s news release: “Going in Reverse: Dangerous Driving Behaviors Rise”), but the 2023 report was equally grim. Of the 2,500 licensed drivers who responded to the AAA survey, 22 percent admitted to switching lanes at high speeds or tailgating, 25 percent admitted to running a red light, 40 percent admitted to holding an active phone while driving and 50 percent admitted to exceeding posted speed limits by 15 miles per hour or more — all within the last calendar month.

Worse, a sizable number of respondents said they knew that people important to them would somewhat or completely disapprove of much of the behavior. They did it anyway, despite the risk of opprobrium and despite the fact that, as the AAA dryly noted in an accompanying news release, “a motorist’s need for speed consistently fails to deliver shorter travel times. It would take driving 100 miles at 80 m.p.h. instead of 75 m.p.h. to shave just five minutes off a trip.”

It’s not a quick read. But it’s worth taking the time to read the whole thing.

Because this is the most detailed examination and best explanation I’ve seen for why things continue to get worse on our streets, despite Vision Zero plans — at least in the cities that have bothered to fund and implement them, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis I could name.

And this is literally who we share the road with.

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Thanks to Mitchell Guzik for forwarding more information on the LA and Ventura County editions of Sunday’s international series of bike rides calling for the release of hostages from the October 7th Hamas attacks on Israeli settlements, which we mentioned yesterday.

And you can find information on a Dana Point ride on the link to yesterday’s post.

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South Bay Forward offers a Twitter/X thread recounting the carnage on the South Bay section of SoCal’s killer highway.

Click through for the full thread.

Meanwhile, yet another apparent high speed crash on PCH in Malibu left one person with life-threatening injuries.

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22 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

Unintelligible, “barmy” bike lane markings make British bike riders want to go back home and get in bed.

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

A 75-year old New York man died in the hospital, ten days after he was struck by an ebike rider while walking in the Jackson Heights neighborhood. But at least the bike rider did the right thing and remained at the scene following the crash.

A artist in New York’s Greenwich Village used a graphic novel format to illustrate the pain of getting hit by an ebike rider, along with a shoutout to the mayor calling for ebike licensing and registration.

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Local 

SoCal Cycling considers why bicycle crashes happen, and how you can protect yourself.

Alhambra residents will get another month to review the city’s new bike/pedestrian plan, after complaints that it was released just days before it was scheduled for a vote.

 

State

Encinitas approved a new bike safety plan, including protected bike lanes, new striping, signage, and school entrances as the first step in addressing the city’s bicycling state of emergency. Maybe if other SoCal cities would declare a bike and pedestrian safety state of emergency, we might actually get somewhere. Are you listening, Los Angeles Mayor Bass?

The CHP is now offering ebike safety instruction in the San Diego region, as ebike riders present new challenges for the state highway patrol.

Goleta is hosting an Ebike Safety Awareness Week next week, after devoting a single day to the subject last year.

 

National

Yes, you can get in shape riding an ebike.

Three US companies are teaming up to introduce a non-flammable replacement for lithium-ion ebike batteries, which have been blamed for a number of deadly fires around the world.

A Denver man has struggled to find justice after he was struck by four e-scooter riders while riding a bike, after Lime refused to release the names of the people who rented them.

Momentum profiles New York’s Cargo Bike Momma, as part of their efforts to celebrate “cyclists with sass and attitude.”

New York installed K-rails to keep drivers out of bike lanes in the Bronx, but drivers somehow manage to park in them anyway.

A Facebook page memorializes New York food delivery riders who have been killed while working, with over 40 victims just since 2020.

Florida bicyclists have responded to the recent wrong-way crash on the coast highway that injured seven bike riders, two critically, by forming a coalition of ten bike clubs to demand safety improvements. Which is exactly what we need on PCH, where it would make a huge difference if all the bike clubs who regularly ride the killer highway would start demanding a safer roadway.

 

International

Bike Radar offers their choices for the year’s best endurance, race, women’s and entry-level road bikes.

That’s more like it. A British hit-and-run driver has been sentenced to six years and nine months behind bars for downing a bottle of vodka while high on weed, ecstasy and coke prior to killing a 54-year old man riding a bike.

France is now offering residents up to 2,000 euros — the equivalent of nearly $2,200 — on the purchase of a bicycle or ebike; the incentive program also includes refurbished bicycles from a professional dealer. Meanwhile, California’s moribund ebike incentive program continues to be nothing more than vaporware.

Electrek recounts a 2019 Danish study showing just 4.9% of cyclists broke traffic laws when riding on bike paths, increasing to 14% when bike paths were not present; that compares to previous Danish studies showing 66% of drivers broke traffic laws.

More people than ever are riding a New Zealand bike trail, which is also seeing a surge in vandalism and bad behavior, including prohibited motor vehicles.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand’s Ally Wollaston won the first stage of the Women’s Tour Down Under to claim her first WorldTour win; 36-year old Aussie cyclist Matilda Raynolds led much of the race in a breakaway in just her second race at the WorldTour level, before being reeled back in by the peloton — despite riding without the aid of a cycling computer.

Former teammates remembered Melissa Hoskins ahead of the first stage of the Women’s Tour Down Under race, after she was killed falling off the hood of a pickup driven by her husband, pro cyclist Rohan Dennis.

Velo talks with the founder of the relatively rule-less LA Tourist Race.

 

Finally…

Who really needs a wheel hub, anyway? Then again, who needs a bike chain or belt drive, either?

And apparently, hover bikes and self-repairing frames are what you get when you ask AI to predict the year ahead in the bike world.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Bill banning pretext police bike stops passes state Senate, Pride Rides roll this weekend, and happy National Donut Day

Pretext stops could soon be a thing of the past.

The California Globe is reporting that SB 50, which would prevent police from issuing tickets for low-level violations, has narrowly passed the California state Senate.

The bill would ban police stops for a number of violations, such as vehicle registration or wrongly positioned license plates.

It would also prohibit stops for bicycle equipment or operations — which presumably means no more stops for failing to register a bicycle, or rolling through a stop sign or riding salmon.

While the safety effects of that can be argued, the idea is to prevent minor violations from being used as a pretext to stop motorists or bike riders to search for evidence of more serious infractions, which have unfairly targeted Black and brown bike riders in the past.

Los Angeles revoked its bike licensing law after city officials learned it was being used by the LAPD as an excuse to stop and search people of color as they rode their bikes.

And the Los Angeles Times has reported that seven out of every ten bike riders stopped by LA County Sheriff’s deputies were Latinos, who complained of police harassment that prevented some from riding their bikes.

Then there was the killing of South LA bike rider Dijon Kizzee, who was shot 15 times by sheriff’s deputies after he dropped a gun while attempting to flee from a traffic stop for riding salmon.

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A couple of Pride Rides will roll this weekend, with one in Culver City tomorrow, and and another heading to the WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday.

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Streets For All is hosting a fundraiser and community ride in Venice this Sunday.

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This is who we share the road with.

A 21-year old Florida woman was lucky to survive with serious injuries when she drove up the ramp of a tow truck stopped for another crash, then went airborne for over 100 feet before her car tumbled end-over-end.

But by all means, tell me again about that bike rider who rolled a stop sign.

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

Police in Turlock are looking for whoever is responsible for a series of drive-by paintball attacks targeting bike riders and pedestrians; the mother of one of the victims alleges the paintballs are being frozen to inflict more serious injuries.

A 39-year old Albuquerque man faces murder and hit-and-run charges, accused of intentionally running down a man riding a bicycle following an argument between the two men; he was already on pretrial release for a pair of drug charges.

A Scottish driver faces charges for allegedly flipping off a 60-year old man before pushing him off his bicycle, apparently for the crime of riding in the street, or maybe just being on the planet; the defense tried to claim the victim intentionally swerved his bike into the car, evidently assuming we all enjoy pain.

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

A London bike rider calls for the hit-and-run “MAMIL” — aka Middle Aged Man In Lycra — who left him unconscious following a bike-on-bike crash to be arrested, named and shamed.

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Local 

Streets For All reminds us to take the SCAG survey we mentioned recently — that’s the Southern California Association of Governments, representing the six SoCal counties north of San Diego County — to set priorities for regional governments.

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation safety PAC urges you to tell LADOT you’re on board with extending the LA River bike path to the edge of Griffith Park, which would provide the first legal way to exit the pathway at Forrest Lawn Drive. And presumably enter it there, as well.

 

State

The Bike League is out with their latest list of 45 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities; the only California cities on the list are Coronado, Solano Beach and Chula Vista, each of which renewed their previous status.

Santa Cruz County officials approved plans to encourage more bike riding with a voucher program offering $800 off the purchase price of an ebike, and $1,200 for a cargo or adaptive e-bike; the program also includes a $300 voucher for regular bicycles.

Police in Concord are looking for the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a 39-year old man riding a bicycle Wednesday night.

Two couples were injured when they were trapped under a construction fence while riding on a Berkeley bike path, after the fence was apparently toppled by the wind.

 

National

Outside launched their new Velo website yesterday, with a focus on roadies, gravel, ebikes, urban bicycling and the catchall, news.

They get it. The Atlantic writes that President Biden is ignoring the dangers of “Mega-EVs,” adding that environmental hype is crowding out any concern for people outside the vehicle. However, you won’t be able to read more than a few paragraphs without a subscription.

German bike tire brand Schwalbe has opened a program to recycle inner tubes at select bike shops around the US.

If you miss your childhood Beatles lunchbox, you can slake your Fab Four urge with a new line of Beatles-themed State bikes and gear — including an Abbey Roadie.

In a refreshing change, an Idaho sheriff reminds bike riders they don’t have to stop for stop signs, and don’t need to wear a helmet, even if it is a good idea.

An Iowa woman facing charges for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed two women walking on a bike path — yes, a bike path — and seriously injuring another man now faces additional charges for assaulting another woman in a jail brawl.

A Michigan court has postponed the trial of a woman accused of the drugged-driving crash that killed two people and injured three others; 43-year old Mandy Marie Benn allegedly plowed her car into a group of bicyclists participating in a charity ride last summer.

A Richmond, Kentucky woman has been hosting bikepackers riding the 4,200-mile Transamerican Bike Trail for the last nine years through the Warm Showers website.

New York apparently caved to drivers who didn’t want to be inconvenienced by a planned bike boulevard, backing off the most aggressive plan to remake the street.

A Tallahassee, Florida man who uses his bike as his only form of transportation after suffering a TBI 25 years ago has topped 405,143 other bicyclists using the Strava app by riding 5,000 miles during May’s National Bike Month.

 

International

Don’t forget that Saturday is World Bicycle Day.

Fortune cites experts warning that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ebike injuries, as riders reach speeds they wouldn’t be able to on a regular bike. Although at least some of the rise in bike injury rates can be attributed to the rapid rise in ebike use; it would be far more accurate and useful to compare ebike injury rates to injury rates on regular bikes.

Someone stole a Vancouver ghost bike, then returned it two weeks later with no explanation following a public outcry.

In an unusually intelligent move, an English active travel organization will now be consulted on any housing development consisting of more than 150 units.

He gets it. A Glasgow writer says no one owns the roads, and we all pay for them whether we walk, bike or drive.

This is who we share the road with, too. A music producer and heiress to the banking Rothschild fortune will have to find another way to get around for awhile, after being banned from driving for six months because a woman on a bicycle spotted her illegally using her phone while driving. Although she can probably afford an Uber. Or a chauffeured limo, for that matter.

Bike-friendly Amsterdam announced a winner in the city’s Tunnelvisionair competition to create ways to make the city’s “scary, drab and sinister” bike tunnels more inviting.

A Nigerian professor writes that bicycling could be a boon for densely populated Lagos, but it’s being held back by a lack of safe infrastructure, personal fears over safety, and an attitude that rich people drive and poor people ride bikes.

Australia’s Tasmania state announced a $1.2 million incentive plan to encourage people to buy ebikes, e-scooters or EVs, though they still have to determine what form it will take.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-five-year old Belgian pro Julian Mertens has been placed in an artificial coma following successful spinal surgery, after he suffered multiple injuries in a serious crash while training in Belgium Wednesday.

Bicycling says you can stream the Critérium du Dauphiné, which they term the Mini Tour de France, by subscribing to the Peacock network for $4.99 a month, or $9.99 for ad-free service. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Volunteers from a US Army base helped out with the penultimate stage of Japan’s largest international bicycle race, the Tour of Japan.

The Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame introduced its latest class of inductees, including California gravel race organizer Miguel Crawford, and former pro cyclist and TBI researcher Allison Tetrick.

Shamefully, WorldTour Team Bahrain Victorious has signed 21-year old Italian cyclist Antonio Tiberi, the former Trek-Segafredo rider who was let go after he tested his new rifle by shooting a neighbor’s cat, claiming he somehow didn’t think shooting it would kill it.

No surprise here, as fake accounts are popping up on Twitter purporting to represent bike races, attempting to scam you out of your money and personal information.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can buy your very own ebike conversion kit for the price of some ebikes. Your next bike could be painted in liquid gold — but presumably not the wood care product.

And happy National Donut Day, which should be considered a religious holiday for bicyclists.

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Thanks again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to support this site, and keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Donations of any amount are always welcome and appreciated, regardless of reason. Or frequency. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

California phasing out gas cars, monthly Lake Elsinore community ride, and Harrison Ford rides after an all-nighter

The good news is, California is planning to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

The bad news is, they’re not planning to replace them with bicycles. Or even transit.

Just more cars, powered with a plug instead of dead dinosaurs.

Which means our air may get a little cleaner, but our roadways won’t be any safer or less congested.

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Mark your calendar for a Lake Elsinore community bike ride on the last Saturday of every month, to demand a safer environment for area children.

Meanwhile, Bike Walk Lake Elsinore catches you up on biking and walking projects in the Riverside County community.

Thanks to I Like Bikes for the heads-up.

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As if any experienced bike rider doesn’t know that’s the best time to ride, no matter how old you are. Or how long you’ve been up.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the tweet.

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

No bias here. A mechanic for Jaguar’s Formula E racing team was deservedly fired after an online rant saying people on bicycles “Should be ran [sic] over in the road, dragged on to the path and pissed on by everyone!” if they dare ride in the roadway.

No bias here, either. After people complained about a street being too dangerous to ride a bike on, a British member of Parliament insisted it can’t be too bad, because she survived it. Which seems to set an awfully low bar.

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

Police in England are looking for a teenaged bike rider who reportedly smashed the wing mirror on a car, then dented the door and spit on its hood for no apparent reason. Vandalism is always wrong, tempting though it may be at times. But something tells me there’s probably another side to the story.

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Local

LAist proves it’s possible to ride a bike to Dodger Stadium, and easier than you may think.

 

State 

A Bay Area think tank concludes that exempting sustainable transportation projects from environmental review has worked as intended, as a new bill in the state legislature would make the exemption permanent.

He gets it. An op-ed by a San Diego ER nurse says the city’s streets should be safe for everyone, not just people in cars.

Residents of San Diego’s Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood make it clear they prefer a convenient place to park their cars, instead of bike lanes to help keep people safe from their big, dangerous machines.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customized adaptive therapeutic bike belonging to an 11-year old Sacramento boy with cerebral palsy.

 

National

Belgian direct-to-consumer ebike maker Cowboy is now offering on-demand home test rides in ten US cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and New York.

Electrek rates the best ebikes in every price range, from under $1,000 to over five grand. I’ll take the Tern e-cargo bike, thank you.

A Washington woman reminds her small town neighbors she’s a 68-year old grandmother on an ebike, not a terrorist dressed in Lycra.

A Salt Lake City TV station describes Whittier’s fallen Bullard brothers as legends in the cycling community, nearly a week after they were killed by an alleged DUI driver outside of St. George. Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to benefit their families has raised nearly $82,000.

The other Portland is looking to get more bike friendly, too. No, the one in Maine.

A Queens community group wants bikeshare, but only if they can put the docks on the sidewalk instead of the street. Because evidently, curbside parking is more important than people walking.

 

International

Road.cc recalls ten brilliant inventions that changed the bicycle forever.

Edinburgh officials says it’s too soon to criticize a new bike path while it’s still under construction — even though it’s being built in a bizarre zig-zag pattern, with power poles left standing in the middle of it.

Vice examines the bizarre case of a 14-year old Belfast boy who left home on his bike to meet some friends, lost his backpack, fell off his bike, and was seen riding naked through a housing estate before vanishing — all in the space of just 18 minutes. His body was found in a storm drain six days later.

Apparently, the French are no different from the rest of us, with over 80% of French drivers admit to using their cellphones while driving; on the other hand, 72% of bike riders use theirs while riding, too.

Tune in, turn on and go for a bike ride next Tuesday to mark the 79th anniversary of Bicycle Day, when LSD inventor Albert Hoffman dropped a few tabs and tripped all the way home on his bicycle in Basel, Switzerland.

Malaysians are in an uproar over the six-year prison sentence given to a young woman driver, even though she killed eight bike-riding teenagers ranging from 13 to 16; over one million people have signed a petition calling for her to be set free.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclists are riding the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix to get ready for this weekend’s 126th edition of the Monument, give or take a few war years, with the women rolling tomorrow and the men on Sunday.

Heartbreaking news, as Dutch pro Amy Pieters remains in a drug-induced coma, with “no clear picture” of recovery, four months after she was severely injured crashing on a training ride.

Four hometown heroes who grew up watching the Redlands Classic will be competing in next week’s edition of the annual stage race.

Now you, too, can dress like your heroes from the the L39ion of LA cycling team, as long as you’re willing to fork out a couple hundred dollars for an aero jersey, and nearly three hundred for bib shorts. But at least you can get a hat or socks for twenty bucks.

 

Finally…

Apparently, cops think hi-viz repels drunk drivers. That feeling when recovering your stolen tandem turns into a hatchet job — literally.

And yes, we’re clearly the problem. Not all the people in the big, smelly machines.

https://twitter.com/HowTheWestWS/status/1514738016429899796

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Roadkill Gil supports bikes off the road, Metro teaches group rides, and always pay cash before you kill someone

One quick note before we get started. 

I’m scheduled to have arm and hand surgery at the end of the month. 

As you may recall, I had surgery on the right side last year, and was down for about 10 days before I was able to get back to work, however, that was a more extensive surgery than we’re expecting this time. 

So I’m not sure how long I’ll be out; hopefully, it will only be a few days. 

But if you’ve been thinking about writing a guest post, this would be a great time to send something to me. 

Standard rules apply. Write as much or as little as you want, about anything you want, as long as it’s about bicycling. Feel free to include photos (just send them separately from the text, please).

The only restrictions are to avoid insults and personal attacks, or being needlessly offensive. But I’m pretty damn hard to offend, so that should give you a lot of leeway.

No, this is not an invitation to SEO marketers, so no extraneous links unrelated to the topic at hand. 

And I’ll be the judge of what’s related. 

………

More proof Roadkill Gil supports bike infrastructure, as long as it doesn’t offend NIMBYs or inconvenience motorists just a tad.

LA’s future ambassador to India seems pretty darn pleased, too, apparently taking pride in the new bike/ped bridge.

Even though his Vision Zero program has failed, and his Green New Deal is already gathering dust.

………

Metro wants to teach you how to survive group rides.

https://twitter.com/MaverickMPA/status/1504279453605646338

………

If you’re going to murder a couple riding their bikes, remember to pay cash — and try not to be too memorable.

The man who allegedly stabbed a Daytona, Florida couple to death as they rode their bikes back home was caught when a waitress recognized his photo, and police tracked him down from the credit card he used.

Thirty-two-year old accused killer Jean Macean has been extradited from Orlando, where he was arrested.

……….

This is the kind of note you write when Costco places a bench blocking the bike racks.

If you’re more polite than I am, that is.

……….

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

It’s bad enough when a driver passes too close and ignores the painted bike lane, but even worse when it’s a cop.

………

Local

The Sheriff’s Department has declared zero tolerance for speeding and crosswalk violations on PCH in Malibu in the wake of several recent pedestrian deaths. Good luck with that. If they really want to slow drivers on LA killer highway, they need to remake PCH so the Malibu’s Main Street isn’t just a speedway for pass-through drivers.

Rancho Palos Verdes will lift a 28-year ban on bicycles and skating at three local parks, in a six-month trial starting at some yet-to-be-determined date; residents have complained that they don’t have safe place to teach their kids how to ride a bike.

 

State 

San Jose announces a $6 million plan to reduce last year’s near-record number of traffic deaths, which continue to rise even though it was one of the first US cities to adopt Vision Zero. Once again demonstrating that Vision Zero doesn’t work if you don’t actually do something.

San Francisco moved a step closer to permanently banning cars from JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park. Parks are for people, not cars.

Davis is working to reduce traffic congestion on the city’s Mace Boulevard, including installing a new protected intersection.

 

National

As Colorado expands its power transmission network with hundreds of miles of new power lines, the state’s bike advocates see a unique opportunity to build bike paths along the new power line routes.

Texas Monthly remembers the state’s own Mr. Rogers, who fixed bikes for all the neighborhood kids until his death at 93 years old in 2004, and says some of those bikes are still being ridden today.

A Michigan man faces a minimum of 25 year behind bars as a habitual offender after following a man on a bicycle in his car, then intentionally jumping a curb and swerving into him to steal his wallet.

Research shows more Tennessee drivers are obeying the state’s three-foot passing law, and passing bike riders at a safe distance.

Tampa, Florida is the latest city to adopt Vision Zero, in an effort to confront the city’s average of 44 traffic deaths each year.

It’s not just a SoCal problem. A Florida family wants answers after a 50-year old man was killed riding his bike home from work; his brother found his body after retracing his route a full two days after the crash that killed him.

 

International

Garmin has patented a new rear-view bike cam radar system, which automatically begins recording when it senses danger from behind.

Ouch. Someone broke into a shed on a Scottish property, and made off with five mountain bikes worth nearly $33,000.

After an English woman was confronted by a gang of young men while riding her bike home, she didn’t realize how close she came to being robbed — or worse — until she later watched an attacker lunge at her on her rear-facing bike cam.

Former Australian Olympic track cyclist Dean Woods brought mourners to tears by delivering his own pre-recorded eulogy at his funeral, after dying of lung cancer at 55.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark Cavendish overcame a lingering cold to continue his winning ways from last year with a victory in the one-day Milano-Torino race.

Tragic news, as 28-year old Belgian cyclist Cedric Baekeland died of a heart attack while training in Spain.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Chick-fil-A becomes a traffic hazard. And when your pedal is no longer on speaking terms with the rest of your bike.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA adopts redistricting plan, PA man dies after being tased 8 times for riding bike, and Peloton’s Big PR nightmare

Just two weeks left in the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Joseph R, Brian N and Joshua T for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your favorite screen every morning.

That makes 50 donations in just two weeks — a full week ahead of last year’s record pace!

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. 

………

The LA City Council has approved final redistricting maps that will take effect January 1st.

You can find your new district here.

At first, I thought I’d been disenfranchised by the council, who moved CD5 Councilmember Nithya Raman out of much of her old district, and away from many of the people who elected her.

Instead, it looks like I’m still there, if barely.

Meanwhile, there’s an active campaign going on in nearby CD5, where pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz has gone out of his way to block bike lanes contained in the city’s mobility plan for far too long. And who will thankfully be termed out this year.

Fortunately, there’s a long list of candidates running to replace him, most of whom appear to support bikeways and safer streets.

I’ve already endorsed Scott Epstein, who I’ve known for years as a friend, and for his work on the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee and chairing the Mid City West Community Council.

But I’m always open to hearing from other candidates.

Anyone running for office in CD5, or any other Los Angeles council district, is welcome to submit a guest post outlining their positions on bicycling, transportation and safe streets.

Then again, that same offer goes for any other LA elected office, or any other city in the LA area.

………

Unbelievable.

A Pittsburg, Pennsylvania man is dead, after being tased by cops eight times for the crime of test riding a used bike, apparently without permission.

According to a local TV station, 54-year old Jim Rogers — no relation — took a bicycle that was being sold for 50 bucks on someone’s front yard, then returned it after riding around the block.

Why that required a massive police response, let alone lethal force, I will never understand.

And any ostensibly non-lethal weapon can easily become lethal when it is used repeatedly on someone in a short period of time.

Some witnesses reported that Rogers became aggressive after police arrived, while others reported him begging them to stop.

To make matters worse, officers told arriving paramedics to go away, then loaded Rogers into a patrol car — and inexplicably drove past one hospital to reach another one further away, as he slumped unconscious in the back seat. The cops reportedly said they thought he was sleeping.

He died the next day.

Let’s hope his family has a good lawyer. Then again, even a crappy one could probably win this case.

Meanwhile, four cops now face firing for the incident, with two others staring at well-deserved demotions.

Hopefully that includes the cop who fired his taser eight times, and needed two tries to get through the police academy.

………

Spoiler alert.

Peloton discovers that feeling when their high-profile product placement unexpectedly turned into a PR nightmare.

Skip this one if you’re still planning to watch the first episode of the new Sex and the City reboot, though.

………

Finish the week with a little gravel grinding.

………

Join Active SGV for the return of their annual holiday ride on Saturday.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1469033860147077121

Meanwhile, the LACBC is hosting a family-friendly ride through Maywood and South Gate along the LA River the same day.

………

If you’re up near Santa Barbara this weekend, stop by the bike yard sale to find all the stuff you need, and probably won’t get for the holidays.

………

Here’s your chance to become a certified bike instructor.

……….

‘Tis the season.

A Boise, Idaho public radio station talks with the executive director of the Boise Bicycle Project, which is planning to give 500 bicycles to local kids.

A bike shop owner in Iowa is donating 14 upcycled bicycles to a local Christmas club for kids in need.

An Illinois bike shop owner is donating 60 refurbished bikes to a state children’s home.

……….

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

A North Dakota man managed to slip the cops as he fled a traffic stop on his bike. But was busted anyway, after he kicked in the door of a random apartment and barricaded himself in the bathroom.

Oakland is repairing a public Christmas tree in Jack London Square that was torched by a bike-riding arsonist.

 

………

Local

This site’s not the only one begging for money this month. If you have anything left over after donating to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, give a little to LA Streeetsblog, too.

 

State

SANDAG’s proposed 70-mile regional bike lane system will now cost more than double the original estimate, cover 10% fewer miles and take longer to finish.

The Voice of San Diego says forget the debate over proposed road usage fees, and focus on making the transportation changes we need to save the planet, and ourselves.

 

National

A new report surprisingly suggests it would only take a minimal investment to restore American bicycle manufacturing, despite losing over 97% of bike building to overseas factories.

The Adventure Cycling Association is looking for a Safety Manager to join their advocacy team to work for better safety on US Bicycle Route System.

WaPo talks with the former chief of strategy and innovation for Seattle’s DOT; Benjie de la Peña predicts shared micromobility will continue to grow as an alternative to traffic-choked commutes.

Las Vegas hosts a police-escorted ghost bike ride along the Las Vegas strip this morning on the anniversary of the meth-fueled massacre that took the lives of five people riding their bikes last year. Which got the stoned truck driver who killed them a well-deserved 16 to 40 years behind bars.

Police in New York are on the lookout for a pair of strong-arm robbers on a two-month crime spree targeting low-income, often immigrant, delivery riders for their ebikes.

That’s more like it. A New York community board says don’t bother arguing against the need for bike lanes, just tell them where the lanes should go.

A proposed remake of a Brooklyn street would create New York’s first bicycle superhighway. Which is one more than Los Angeles, which has exactly none on the drawing board.

A Maryland TV station talks with DC’s one-wheeled Grubhub delivery rider.

 

International

Bike Radar recommends the best winter-weight mountain bike jerseys to keep you warm on the trails, while Cycling News considers the best truck-mounted bike racks for your car.

A tiny new automotive-style shifter could allow you to bang through the gears on your electronic derailleur.

No surprise here, as plans to expand ebike access in Canada’s Banff National Park are drawing fire.

London is banning e-scooters from all forms of public transit after one burst into flames on a train last month.

Twelve percent of Brits want to find a new bike under the tree this year.

Germany’s new food and agriculture minister is one of us, eschewing the standard black limo to arrive at the country’s presidential palace on a bicycle.

A 25-year old, visually impaired Indian man is riding 4,660 miles across 12 of the country’s states to prepare for his ultimate goal of climbing Mt. Everest.

That’s more like it, too. An Aussie man was sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars for killing a 60-year old woman who was riding her bike in a bike lane, while he was still stoned from a multi-day drug binge. He abandoned his car and passengers after the crash and called an Uber to take him home; he still had ice, amphetamines and cannabis in his system when he was arrested hours later. The judge described his attitude after the crash as “superficial, glib and self-centered.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclocross could become the next new Winter Olympic sport. But you’ll have to wait until 2030 at the earliest.

The careless spectator who got her 15 minutes of fame by causing a massive crash with her cardboard shoutout to her grandparents in the first stage of this year’s Tour de France was lucky to escape with the equivalent of a $1,353 fine.

Twenty-one-year old Australian cyclist Sarah Gigante is angling for a spot in next year’s inaugural Women’s Tour de France.

Fifty-year old, three-time Fleche Wallonne winner Davide Rebellin will enter a remarkable 30th year as a pro cyclist next year.

 

Finally…

People thinks you need a bigass bike seat. If Santa’s not around, maybe a bike-riding Ms. Christmas will do.

And when you care enough to send your worst.

Then again, it beats the hell out of these Share the Road stickers.

https://twitter.com/YPLAC/status/1468944049629503498?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1468944049629503498%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-december-2021-288495

………

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

Prison for racist bike lock attack, slap on wrist for hit-and-run coverup, and LACBC Bikes & Botany Ride this weekend

Once quick note. 

This Saturday, my 73-year old, former Iditarod mushing brother is leaving to ride up through the Tetons and Yellowstone to the Canadian border, then down the Continental Divide Trail to Mexico, and back up to Colorado.

And no, I’m not the least bit jealous. No, really.

Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

………

A pair of high-profile legal cases finally came to a conclusion this week, with less than satisfying results in one.

In Michigan, a 43-year old man got a well-deserved five years behind bars for beating a Black teenager with a bike lock.

Lou Mouat confessed to shouting racist slurs while telling the Black teens they weren’t allowed on the public beach in last year’s hate crime.

Meanwhile, the owner of a Virginia landscaping company got off with a caress on the wrist for conspiring to cover up the 2018 fatal hit-and-run committed by one of his employees in a company truck.

Instead of just picking up the damn phone to report what happened after his driver killed a 50-year old man riding home from a group ride, 64-year old Robert Lee Strickland Jr. fired the worker and ordered him to get away. Then he had the truck towed to a bodyshop for repairs, and told workers to say the fired staffer had just hit a deer.

Due to what the DA termed a total lack of remorse, Strickland was sentenced to a year behind bars for his role in the cover up — a stiff penalty under state sentencing guidelines, which call for no more than six months in jail.

But shamefully light given the heinousness of the crime.

………

The LACBC invites you to join their free Bikes and Botany Ride this Sunday, now open to everyone, rather than just LA Rivers Challenge participants, and starting at a top secret location somewhere near Griffith Park.

………

Glendale wants your input on a proposal to build a safe active transportation greenway on along the Verdugo Wash.

And no, that’s not a Glendale laundromat.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1413206014946549763

………

Gravel Bikes California takes a cruise through Gold Country, to visit Yankee Jims & the Auburn State Recreation Area.

………

Pink Bike offers a beginner’s guide to setting up your mountain bike.

………

Your periodic reminder that lowering speed limits remains illegal in California, thanks to the deadly 85th Percentile Law that allows drivers to keep pushing speed limits ever higher.

And for reference, 30 kmh works out to just 18 over mph.

………

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

No bias here. Delaware state police went out of their way to blame the victims after a 70-year old man ran down two girls riding their bikes in a crosswalk, leaving one in critical condition; troopers said the teen girls were supposed to walk their bikes in the crosswalk — which would put them at greater risk while crossing — and said the driver was somehow “unable to avoid them” despite a flashing warning beacon.

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

Authorities in Buffalo, New York are looking for a bike-riding gunman — or gunwoman — who shot two men in an early morning bike-by.

………

Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, awarded over $275,000 in Go Human mini grants to 31 LA and Orange County area organizations to help improve traffic safety, including Active SGV, Bicycle Kitchen, Los Angeles Walks, LACBC, Santa Ana Active Streets, Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE), and Streets For All.

 

State

A 15-year old cancer survivor has completed a 363-mile fundraising ride through all nine of California’s National Parks in 13 days; he’s raised $690 of his modest $1,000 goal for bicycling charities Team California Juniors and VeloYouth.

Rialto is opening a 16-dock, 100-bike e-bikeshare system, using a $1 million state grant.

A mountain biker is in good condition following a difficult rescue off a ledge, after he rode off a cliff in Nevada County, northeast of Sacramento.

The Montana mountain town where a Northern California woman on a bikepacking trip was dragged out of her tent and killed by a grizzly bear is popular with bikepackers riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Which may or may not be the same as the Continental Divide Trail my brother will be riding.

 

National

NBC News picks the six best bikes for kids.

Road Bike Action says you really need to carry a chain breaker with you when you ride.

There is something very wrong with America’s educational system when an Oregon university professor has to ride 1,600 miles to all of the state’s 17 community colleges just to raise funds to buy textbooks.

Breaking Bad fans can add this one to your bike bucket list — a guided bike tour through 12 Albuquerque shooting locations for the Emmy winning show.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old Michigan man has ridden a total of 35,000 miles over the last ten years.

An Iowa woman has written a new book about her 26-year odyssey to travel every US state by bicycle, along with her husband.

The bike boom shows no sign of letting up in Memphis.

Fast action prevented a horrific crime, after a man snatched a 6-year-old Louisville, Kentucky girl off her bicycle and pulled her into his car; witnesses called 911 with a description of the vehicle, and police were able to arrest the 40-year old driver and rescue the girl within half an hour of the kidnapping.

Apple’s AirTag proves its worth, helping Boston cops recover a man’s stolen bicycle. Note to Gadget Lite: There’s no need to capitalize bicycle or bike in your story.

Momentum Magazine says New York may have hit peak bike boom with projects to add bike lanes to the iconic Brooklyn and Queensboro bridges. Although as we’ve learned from the Netherlands, no matter how bike friendly a city is, there is always room for improvement.

A Philadelphia man has been charged with knocking a Black Lives Matter protestor off his bicycle and beating him as he was on the ground; he was part of group of men armed with hatchets, baseball bats and golf clubs who confronted protestors in the city’s Fishtown neighborhood.

The wheels of justice grind slowly in North Carolina, but at least the results are worth it, as a 27-year old woman will spend up to six years and four months behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding man four years ago.

 

International

Eight thousand women and girls around the world stand to get new bicycles, after June’s Women on Wheels fundraiser collected a whopping $1 million for World Bicycle Relief.

An 83-year old British man is remembered for his record-setting achievements; Chris Davies held the record for riding 916,791 miles on his bike, the greatest distance ever officially recorded at the time. Davies passed away this week at 83-years old.

Chiang Mai, Thailand has been crowned the world’s best city for a ‘’beautiful bike ride’’ in a recent report from a British bicycle insurance company.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews profiles Austrian cyclist Michael Gogl, who swapped his cello for a bike, and now sits in fourth place in the Tour de France.

An inflamed knee has forced Peter Sagan out of the the Tour, eliminating a key competitor in Mark Cavendish’s quest to match Eddy Merckx’s record for most stage wins.

Cycling Weekly talks with British cycling fans lining the memorial to fallen British cyclist Tom Simpson on Wednesday’s climb up Mount Ventoux, where Simpson collapsed during the ’67 Tour.

The high altitude Crusher in the Tushar gravel bike race returns to Beaver, Utah tomorrow.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could use levers and pulleys instead of a chain, to move four times more efficiently. Your next bike could be a Lotus — yes, that Lotus.

And let’s hope this isn’t the most epic folding ebike video ever.

Even if it is.

 

………

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

Somber solo Ride of Silence, bicyclist defends San Diego’s lockdown-busting ride, and protected lane parking in DTLA

You’re on your own for tonight’s annual Ride of Silence, which can be done solo or virtually.

Or maybe just join me tonight in remembering all those who have lost their lives needlessly.

Photo by Matt Tinoco.

………

Seriously?

A Los Angeles bicyclist defends the actions of the bike riders on Sunday’s mass ride through San Diego, which resulted in a literal fist fight with an angry driver.

As in,

“When you have that many riders, it’s going to be unruly. I wouldn’t say rowdy,” said Vasquez.

Never mind that unruly ride violated every semblance of California’s Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Which currently prohibits groups of more than ten. Let alone the few hundred bike riders it drew from all over the state.

And never mind that they couldn’t do a better job of spreading the disease if they tried.

If only one of the riders had a symptom-free case of coronavirus without knowing it, they could have shared it with dozens of others on the ride, who would then take it home to their family and friends.

Not to mention putting innocent bystanders at risk along every inch of the ride route.

Irresponsible doesn’t begin to cover it.

According to the LA bicyclist — who I won’t name, even though the story does — the mass ride was sponsored by a group called Keep it Rolling.

Maybe they’ll think before they roll out again.

So maybe they next time we read or hear about them, it will be because they got it right.

Not for crap like this.

………

No surprise here.

The new protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA have turned into one more example of free curbside parking for any drivers willing to squeeze through the bollards.

Just like what happened after every other protected bike lane in Downtown Los Angeles was opened.

Which makes you wonder why LADOT apparently hasn’t learned anything from the experience.

Thanks to Melanie Freeland for the heads-up.

………

Pasadena police are warning about an increase in bike thefts, with advice on how to prevent it.

All good advice.

Although I’d add that bikes aren’t safe on balconies even if they’re secured, unless it’s too high to climb up. And it probably isn’t.

Your garage isn’t much better, unless it’s securely locked at all hours.

Also, take lots of pictures of your bike — including your bike’s serial number, which is the easiest way to make sure you always have it with you.

And register your bike for free with Bike Index right now while you’re thinking about it. Before anything happens to it.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

………

Who was that masked man?

If you’ve spotted a 7-foot tall man riding a bike through Los Angeles lately with only his eyes visible, it may have been the Lakers’ JaVale McGee.

Although maybe someone should teach him how to fix a flat.

………

Here’s your chance to sort-of ride with the world’s best — and only — all type 1 diabetic cycling team.

But only if you’re diabetic, too.

Speaking of which, CNN says the team has turned type 1 diabetes into its greatest strength.

………

If you live or work in my neighborhood, the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council is having a virtual meeting this evening.

If you have the patience to wait until they finally get around to general comments, ask for some Slow Streets in Hollywood.

………

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

An Omaha woman was knocked off her bike by rock-throwing teenagers, just days after resuming riding for the first time since she was eight years old. Jerks.

………

Local

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin talks LA’s Slow Streets program on KPCC’s Take Two.

CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino gets it. He’s calling for allowing Los Angeles businesses to expand out into sidewalks, streets and parking lots for dining al fresco and other outdoor activities. Seriously, anything that gets Angelenos to re-envision our streets is a good thing.

You should be able to find plenty of bike parking in South Pasadena now, after the city worked with Active SGV to install 200 new lime green bike racks, including covered bike corrals.

Just weeks after buying Uber’s Jump Bikes, Lime is pulling the company’s ebikes and scooters off the not-so-mean streets of Santa Monica.

Long Beach is planning to turn currently under-used streets into outdoor dining, too.

 

State

San Francisco’s Sierra Club says we should try making Slow Streets permanent.

Sacramento is finding space on the roads for Slow Streets, too.

A bike-riding Davis columnist tells drivers to use their damn turn signals, already.

 

National

Curbed calls Slow Streets the path to a better city.

Yahoo lays out your fashion choices for every type of ride this year. Or you could just wear whatever the hell you want.

Gear Patrol says you’re wearing your bike helmet wrong, especially if it’s on backwards.

Portland business owners get it, where 60 businesses say they support a proposed protected bike lane in front of their shop.

Colorado teens are trying to defend a DIY bike park after the city moves to remove it.

If anyone wants to know what to get me for my birthday, bikemaker Detroit Bikes is remaking the 1965 edition of the iconic Schwinn Collegiate model, which will be available at Walmart for just under a grand. Or just get me a corgi.

A new public health study shows collisions involving bike riders dropped 13% in Philadelphia after the city’s bikeshare opened, despite the increase in ridership and no new infrastructure, giving more proof to the safety in numbers theory. And more people bike commute in cities with bikeshare, too.

Good news: New Jersey is allowing bike shops to reopen. Bad news: They’re reopening car dealers, too.

A Savanah, Georgia paper says the heir to the roadside Stuckey’s chain is one of us, too.

 

International

Treehugger says ebikes are eating the market, as Rad Power Bikes sees an almost 300% increase in sales during the coronavirus shutdown.

Strava defends their decision to start charging for leaderboard access and break thousands of third-party apps, saying the company isn’t profitable. And needs to start raising revenues now.

Peru is now a bicycling paradise, courtesy of the Covid-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, Americas Quarterly asks if the pandemic could mark the beginning of a biking revolution in Latin America.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a look at Supremely overpriced designer bicycles.

Analog bikes are booming, too. A UK bike shop has seen a nearly 700% jump in sales of bike over the equivalent of $600 compared to last year.

Eight ways to avoid the crowds on your next bike ride through London.

German bike shops are busier than ever.

Tel Aviv is taking a step beyond Slow Streets, converting eleven streets in the city center into pedestrian zones.

Bikes are booming in Uganda, too, where driving is prohibited under the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Nothing like adding a slightly illegal 5,000 watt, 49 mph ebike conversion kit from a Hong Kong company to your existing bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome is threatening to jump ship midseason, leaving Ineos for a rival team after being overshadowed in recent years by fellow Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal. Although it’s hard to call it midseason if there haven’t been any races.

Running a few days behind, as usual, Bicycling catches up with pro mountain biker Keegan Swenson’s new Everesting record, as he tops Phil Gaimon’s new world record by 12 minutes, just four days after Gaimon set it.

Seriously, who’s shocked that Lance started doping long before he turned proBetter question: Who still cares?

 

Finally…

Yes, Peloton, it is possible to be too white. If you’re going to use pool noodles to protest cars coming too close, maybe try keeping away from them, too.

And not bad for my first self-applied Covid haircut, if I say so myself.

………

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

Large SD ride reportedly flouts pandemic and traffic laws, Westchester auto-centrism, and tracking US bike deaths

WTF.

A large group of San Diego bicyclists appeared to ignore any hint of physical distancing on a Sunday group ride.

Without a single face mask in sight.

Let alone anything remotely resembling common sense in the middle of a pandemic.

San Diego’s ABC10 reports that, despite reports the group was well behaved earlier on their ride, their behavior had deteriorated by the time they got to San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood.

Paen told 10News that the riders in PB were unruly and rowdy. “[They were] flipping their fingers at cars [and] spitting at people,” he told 10News and added, “They were just whizzing by stop signs and past pedestrians and cars. It just seemed like they had immunity to anything on the road that was against them.”

Never mind that members of the group apparently got into a fight with a woman who had gotten out of her car to chastise them, as shown in the video above.

“[A cyclist] starts to kick on her and picks on her and it just becomes this mob mentality of bikers on this one woman who was going to yell at this [cyclist] for basically running a red light,” he said and added, “There was literally no one wearing masks or any type of gloves [and they were] all within close proximity of each other.”

According to the station, San Diego police responded to the fight, but neither side wanted to press charges.

Obviously, there’s more than one side to the story. And there’s no discounting the obvious windshield bias in the witness report.

But the optics of holding this type of ride, at a time when even small groups are prohibited — let alone hundreds of unmasked, scofflaw bike riders — is pretty devastating.

Let alone the sheer stupidity of risking the spread of an often symptomless, potentially deadly disease to their family and loved ones.

Not to mention total strangers who have the misfortune of just being nearby.

We need to do better.

All of us.

………

Once again, auto-centrism rears its ugly head in LA’s Westchester/Playa neighborhood, as a motion at tonight’s neighborhood council meeting opposes taking even an inch of space for Slow Streets.

Because cars.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1262544428213743622

………

Outside updated their record of every bicyclist killed on American roads in 2020, which is now up to 165 names.

Southern California is responsible for 20 of those so far.

Thanks to Melissa Wenzel for the heads-up.

………

GCN demonstrates how to make your own high-level camera mount out of whatever wood you happen to have lying around.

………

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

A North Dakota woman was busted for intentionally running down a man on a bike as he tried to ride away after arguing with her.

A British bus driver vows to never ride a bicycle again after he was intentionally knocked off his bike by a couple of women after warning them he was passing; he suffered a fractured pelvis and spine, a dislocated shoulder and ruptured kidneys. And they just walked away.

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

See above. No, seriously.

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Local

Molly Shannon is one of us. And evidently, so is her daughter, as they shared a bike ride in Santa Monica.

They weren’t the only bike-riding Santa Monica celebs, though as Joe Jonas took a spin through the city, while leaving pregnant wife Sophie Turner at home.

 

State

Calbike is pushing a bill to encourage developers to provide secure bike parking in housing developments. But Megan Lynch reminds us that bike parking needs to accommodate handicapped riders, as well.

Two sections of one San Francisco roadway show how good it can be when making space for people, and how bad it is when left to motor vehicles.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss tells drivers that going the usual 5 mph over the speed limit is contributing to America’s addiction to speeding, while putting lives at risk. SoCal drivers would have to slow down from the usual 10 to 15 mph over the limit to just get down to that.

So much for those free Strava accounts. If you want access to Strava’s leaderboard, get ready to start paying. And stop using the 44,000 third-party apps they just broke.

Apparently, bicycles really are the new toilet paper. The New York Times says bike shop shelves are empty, too, with lower-end bicycles selling out and not enough new bikes in the supply chain.

Trek says there’s never been a better time to #GoByBike.

Outside offers five things they learned from this year’s bicycle tests, like gravel bikes are the new roadies, good roadies cost six grand — or more — and the recent boom in bike built specifically for women is over. And a few lessons from their favorite mountain bikes, too.

Virtually empty, casino-lined Las Vegas Blvd may now be the world’s most expensive bikeway. Or at least flashiest.

Houston residents discuss using their bikes as a form of transportation. Radical concept, I know.

A Maine bike advocate ponders what the streets of the future will look like, as Covid-19 gives us a rare opportunity to reimagine the space devoted to motor vehicles.

The New York Times considers how to have a safe bike ride with the kids, whether on Slow Streets or the usual fast ones.

New Yorkers J.Lo and A.Rod went for a Monday bike ride. Although judging from what little you can see, her bike doesn’t look like one.

Unbelievable. A 77-year old Maryland man was killed when he was right hooked by his neighbor turning into a driveway. So naturally, police blamed the victim.

One Atlanta teen is in custody, and another is wanted, after allegedly shooting a 58-year old woman in a dispute over a stolen bike.

A Georgia couple faces charges for killing a bike rider while conspiring to deal meth. Although just what slinging meth had to do with the fatal crash isn’t clear.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is one of us, too.

 

International

Road.cc offers their own take on the best new hybrid bikes.

Your new e-foldie could cost less than a grand, and come with seating for two.

No bias here. A Toronto columnist sees a not-so-secret anti-car agenda in the movement to provide street space for people during the coronavirus crisis. Because clearly, you can’t make room for anyone else on the streets without making some drivers feel threatened.

No bias here, either, as an official with London’s taxi drivers association calls the push for bike lanes a class war (scroll down). Because only elite, educated white “eco-caramel coconut latte” swilling males actually ride bicycles, evidently. 

The Department of DIY struck in the UK over the weekend, as climate change advocates Extinction Rebellion painted their own fuchsia-colored pop-up bike lanes throughout the country.

A British driver could find out the hard way if you go to holy hell for dooring a Catholic bishop.

A 15-year old Indian girl rode nearly 750 miles to bring her injured father home on the back of her bicycle.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Singapore cyclist rescued a toddler who rode his kick scooter onto a busy street.

A new report says a proposal to allow New Zealanders to ride their bikes on sidewalks, with a nine-mile an hour speed limit, could result in savings of $24 million a year — but cost $14 million in pedestrian injuries, as well as one additional death, each year.

The global bike boom has hit Down Under, where bikes have become a key social distancing tool. Sort of like everywhere else.

Aussie bike advocates say the new temporary bike paths being built in Sydney should be made permanent. Again, like everywhere else.

No surprise here. Australian researchers conclude that harsh penalties for violating the mandatory helmet law in New South Wales are extremely excessive, and arbitrarily enforced.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for Medium talks with freshly bearded, former world Eversting record holder Phil Gaimon about life during lockdown.

 

Finally…

Apparently, following influencers to win a quarantine Peloton is a thing now. If you’re going to ride a hot high-end mountain bike at 4:14 am, put a damn light on it — and don’t pedal past a cop who used to manage a bike shop.

And who needs an agility course when you’ve got a bike corral?

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

Guest commentary from the South Bay, LA and OC closed this weekend, and give a lot more distance when you walk or ride

Our anonymous South Bay correspondent has a lot on her mind today.

And all of it worth reading, which is why I’m reposting her email. There’s a lot to unpack here, so I hope you’ll give it a good read.

Including a couple reminders of the problems women face on their bikes that men don’t, especially at night.

Yesterday afternoon I rode to Carla Becerra’s ghost bike, with the intention of posting a little sign to remind the world that she was a registered nurse who we should have on the front lines right now, and also with a little P.S. (piece of smacktalk) addressed to the skunk who stole her jewelry.

There was a necklace hanging on the ghost bike. Just a piece of costume jewelry that the rain hasn’t been kind to. It was the bike’s only ornamentation.

It appears to have an olive green beveled stone pendant in a bronze setting, and several smaller, opaque chartreuse stones, clear glass beads, and pale blue gems on a tarnished silver or bronze alloy chain. I took it.

Can you contact the family and ask if it might be hers? If it is, they should have it. If not, I have to return it to the ghost bike.

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I am cranky not knowing how court cases are proceeding, especially the Banks and Lindsley cases.

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The speeding drivers lately are less worrisome than the speeding drivers in the rightmost lane. I swear, close calls lately have been a lot closer.

Why the f are drivers with two completely free lanes to their left still trying to share my lane, a substandard width lane that’s already occupied, at 45mph???

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On Saturday night, on a stretch of my commute through an area between the freeway and a commercial/business park, a car slowed wayyy down as it came up from behind. It had barely passed as I hit the brakes and did a track stand at its 5 o’clock. Its driver yelled, “WANT SOME CASH?”

Are.you.fucking.kidding.me.jpeg.

I bellowed my standard response, which is a loud, stern, unambiguous, “Get away from me and stay away from me.” And then swerved behind him to flood his rearview with 1100 lumens. He took off.

For the record, since it’s pertinent information, I was wearing knee-high Dr Martens with cargo pants tucked in, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a reflective jacket, and a provocatively sexy giant lump of a 45L-capacity Chrome bag. And no make-up.

The bars are closed. The strip clubs are closed. The corners & bus stops are empty of trafficked girls.

The lonely and the predatory are still out there, though.

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Much closer to home, I’ve taken to cutting through the empty parking lots of another commercial park in the past few weeks, mainly because there are cameras that can be accessed if I turn up missing.

Two nights ago, a couple of guys were vaping in front of a business, door open, lights on inside. One of them yelled at me, “Stay safe!” Last night, they were out there, so I stopped to say hi and ask them not to yell at me. The one guy is the business owner. He and his friend are sleeping inside the office with guns, just in case. They’re worried about their fledgling business and looters (and possibly saving on residential rent.) Anyway, I told them I’d alert them if I saw anything suspicious while passing through, and I expect they’ll continue to have their smoke break right about my commute time. This area is usually a ghost town but now I feel a little safer with my own personal armed bodyguards.

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Some nights I would catch a northbound bus to cut a few miles off my commute (especially if, for example, it rained), but that particular transit agency has cut its service hours to 6am-9pm. Us schlubby little wage slaves who man the warehouses & run the mini-marts & stock the shelves & bake the factory bread aren’t the ones who benefit from such operating hours. And the 9-to-5ers who could commute exclusively during these hours are now working remotely. So fuck you if you’re off swing shift at 11pm, or if you work graveyards. Just stop bein’ essential, lol.

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Last Friday shortly before 11pm, a rider was hit and left for dead on El Segundo Blvd, just a half mile west of a corner where a house was hit by a drunk driver on March 29th. And Monday about 7:45pm, a driver with a previous DUI hit a cyclist in East LA. Nothing in the news. And I wonder if these drivers are simply released, despite the violent nature of their crimes.

Photo by Burst from Pexels.

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I was going to offer a list of all the park closures in LA and Orange Counties this weekend. But it’s easier to just say wherever you’re thinking of going, assume it’s closed for the holiday weekend.

However, most bike paths appear to be open, other than those along the beach.

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No surprise here.

A study from Belgium and the Netherlands suggests that you need to give a much greater distance to stay safe from Covid-19 while biking or walking — up to 16 feet walking single file, 33 feet for a casual bike ride, and twice that for a hard ride.

So much for those pacelines and other group rides right now.

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Speaking of group rides, hopefully the coronavirus will let up in time for fall’s Phil’s Fondo.

And a tip of the cycling cap to Phil Gaimon for aiming for another $100,000 for No Kid Hungry.

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Not sure why this popped up again today, but it’s worth revisiting, as South LA’s own Justin Williams, the US crit champ, discusses the lack diversity in cycling.

And how he’s addressing it with his multicultural Legion of Los Angeles cycling team.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. And on.

No bias here. London bike riders are facing even more abuse from drivers than usual, because several newspapers used a telephoto lens to make bicyclists riding in parks look like they’re much closer together than they really are and breaking social distancing rules.

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Local

New rules in Los Angeles don’t appear to require a mask or other face covering while you ride a bike, but they are required if you stop to shop or talk with anyone; Los Angeles Magazine lists apparel makers who’ve turned their attention to non-medical masks for the time being.

 

State

California advocacy groups are moving bicycle training courses online — including LA County’s ActiveSGV.

The executive director of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association offers tips on how to hit the trails while social distancing.

 

National

Inc. confirms what we’ve been seeing lately. The coronavirus has resulted in boom times for bike shops, as people turn to bicycles for social distancing-compliant exercise and self-care, as well as virus-free transportation. Although not everyone’s business is booming, evidently.

Build a simpler, if somewhat stranger, bike, and the world will beat a path to your website.

VeloNews wants you to gear up wisely on gravel gear.

Vice offers advice on how to get back into bicycling during the pandemic. Because apparently, riding a bike isn’t just like riding a bike.

A Kansas college student is working with her classmates to design and build a custom adaptive bike to help her father ride again, a decade after he suffered a near-fatal stroke. And crowdfunded five grand to pay for it.

This is what happens when people use bike trails illegally. A hearing impaired Nebraska man was injured when he was startled by a pair of miscreant dirt bike riders zooming down the non-motorized trail he was riding on.

A popular Syracuse NY musician was the victim of a double hit-and-run as he was riding his bike; he was struck by the second driver while he was sitting in the street waiting for an ambulance after the first driver fled.

Streetsblog says no one wants to take credit — or maybe blame — for banning ebikes on New York’s popular Hudson River Greenway, even though they’re now legal in the rest of the state.

The New York Times celebrates the rarified magic of empty streets, suggesting social distancing is giving us a rare opportunity to fix our cities.

Tennis star Serena Williams is one of us; the Florida gator she encountered while out on a ride, not so much.

No bias here. A Florida letter writer carefully explains when and why bike riders are allowed to take the lane. And then says stay to the right, anyway.

 

International

This is why people keep dying on the streets. An Alberta judge acquitted the driver who killed an off-duty Mountie as he rode his bike on the shoulder of a highway, blaming the sun and shadows for making the victim hard to see. Even though the driver shouldn’t have been driving on the shoulder in the first place. Never mind that he refused to take an alcohol test after an officer smelled it on his breath.

When their school was shut down due to Covid-19, a group of bighearted Montreal students devoted their time and their bikes to help seniors isolating in their homes.

Piers Morgan, host of Good Morning Britain, apologized to a Member of Parliament for the “complete moron” on a bike who kept riding through the background of their TV interview. He also blamed the bike rider for violating the county’s three-foot social distancing requirement, even though he doesn’t appear to come that close.

A London woman with cystic fibrosis will ride the equivalent of 62 miles in her garden this weekend to celebrate the third anniversary of the lung transplant that saved her life, after the country’s lockdown forced her off the streets. And despite the fact her new lungs are failing.

After a British boy spent six months saving up for a new bike, it was stolen the first time he rode it to school. So his kindhearted teachers crowdfunded the money to buy him a new one in just three hours.

A Welsh man is suing Bianchi for the equivalent of nearly $1.3 million after going over his handlebars when both sides of his front fork snapped at 20 mph.

A pair of competing bicycle organizations have set aside their differences and are working together to compile a list of UK bike shops still open under the country’s lockdown.

Parisian boulangeries are responding to the coronavirus lockdown by delivering baguettes by bicycle.

Uganda’s Covid-19 lockdown forces a couple to simplify their wedding, limiting them to just ten guests as they arrived on foot, while the pastor came by bicycle; all public and private transportation other than bikes are banned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pez Cycling News looks back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the dawn of the modern super bike.

British Cycling, the UK’s national governing body for bicycling, has cut a third of its staff, after the coronavirus leads to losing the equivalent of nearly $5 million in donations.

The Tour de France is considering a proposal to move the start of the race back nearly a full month in hopes Covid-19 will go away by then, though Spartacus is standing by with a bucket of cold water.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a fixie. Unless maybe you’re looking for an exquisite vintage men’s bike — or maybe an ex-Giro winning bike. Of course, you’ll also need some stylish shoes to go with it.

And it wouldn’t hurt to design your own helmet, too.

Personally, I’ll take the Bottecchia hands-down, in case anyone wants to get me an early birthday present. 

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Chag Pesach samech to everyone celebrating Passover this week.

Be safe, and stay healthy.