Tag Archive for helping others

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

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

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

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

She lost $80 to the muggers.

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

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels.

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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He gets it.

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bike shops are listed as essential businesses in Pennsylvania.

 

International

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

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

Road.cc wants to get you in a gilet.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Morning Links: Turning private tragedy into help for others, and a 3-decade old AG opinion on sidewalk riding

Donny McCluskey in better days.

Donny McCluskey in better days.

Okay, so this one made me cry.

You see, one reason I write about fallen cyclists is the hope that somehow, some good will come out of such senseless loss. Whether in the form of improved safety measures at the site of the collision, or in some other way.

Patti McCluskey Andre made sure that happened.

It was just over three years ago that her brother, Donny McCluskey, stood waiting with his bike, for a Palm Springs red light to change. He was in the right place, exactly where he was supposed to be, obeying the law so many motorists seem to think we break with abandon.

Yet in the intersection in front of him, a drunk driver was hit by a motorist running that same red light. One of the vehicles went ballistic, spinning out of control and crashing into him; with his feet planted on the ground, there was nothing he could do to avoid the impact.

In seconds, he became collateral damage to the dangers on our streets, a victim of actions beyond his control.

The remorseful driver who ran the red light was ultimately convicted and placed on three years probation and community service. This at the request of the victim’s family, who saw no benefit in putting him behind bars.

In most cases, that would have been the end of it.

They would have walked away, mourning the loss of someone so dear to them, and trying to find some way to put it all behind them.

But Patti wanted Donny’s life to mean something.

So she started a fund in his name, which this month awarded its first two scholarships.

Here’s what she had to say:

Yesterday I had the honor of awarding the first 2 in memory of Donny McCluskey scholarships. Both recipients, Lisa Ponsford and Wendi Swanson are family nurse practitioners graduating in May with their DNPs. As FNPS working in our communities — they have the power to promote change at every level. Lisa works in the ER and Wendi in college health plus both are educators at WesternU. Both recipients are physically active and dedicated to changing population health with lifestyle interventions.

Both recipients were honored and touched to be chosen for this scholarship. All I can say is that I am honored to know them and wish they had known Donny, he would have been honored to have his name associated with these two!

Just how big a heart does it take to turn your own private tragedy into something so positive? Let alone something that will not only benefit those who receive them, but everyone whose lives they touch?

Patti has thanked me more than once for the work I do here. But I am in awe of her, and what she’s done to not only channel her own grief, but make our world a better place.

She’s currently raising funds for an additional scholarship for a graduate or doctoral student of Health Science at the same university. And promises to match every donation dollar for dollar.

I can’t think of a better cause.

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In light of yesterday’s guest post about riding on crosswalks, I was forwarded this 1993 opinion from then California Attorney General Dan Lundgren, concluding that the rules of the road do indeed apply to bicyclists on the sidewalk, and that sidewalk cyclists can be required to ride with traffic.

We note that certain rules of the road concern the use of the roadway in particular rather than the highway in general (e.g., § 2165 [except in specified circumstances, a vehicle upon the highway is to be driven upon the right half of the roadway]). Although a sidewalk is a separate part of the highway from the roadway, we believe that, given the factors discussed above, the intent of the Legislature was for the operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk to be similar to vehicular travel wherever practicable. Therefore, to the extent that a vehicle must be driven on the right half of the roadway, a bicyclist riding on an adjacent sidewalk must travel in the same direction as the vehicular traffic. This interpretation of section 21200 provides pedestrians with some assurance as to the direction of bicycle riders on sidewalks at all times. Such statutory construction is consistent with the well-established principle that “[t]he courts must give statutes a reasonable construction which conforms to the apparent purpose and intention of the lawmakers.” (Clean Air Constituency v. California Air Resources Bd. (1974) 11 Cal.3d 801, 813.)

Of course, an opinion of the AG does not have the force law.

It’s up to the courts to interpret and rule on the meaning of laws guiding the use of bicycles on the sidewalk, as well as the crosswalks. And laws can be amended, and interpretations change, over three decades.

I don’t know of any California city where sidewalk riders are routinely expected to ride in the direction of traffic. However, many police departments — including the LAPD — believe bikes become vehicles once they enter the street, and so must travel in the direction of traffic when they enter a crosswalk, yesterday’s post not withstanding.

But it’s interesting to see such a different interpretation of the law from thirty years ago.

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Somehow I missed this column from an auto-centric writer in my otherwise bike friendly home state, insisting that bike riders are law breaking junior partners who deserve only a small share of the road. And of course, the usual complaints about a “subset” of arrogant, self-righteous, self-centered and condescending riders.

A cyclist responds by shouting tongue-in-cheek taunts at other riders when he’s behind the wheel.

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An article in a Boston College environmental law review makes the case for how strict liability could even the scales on our roads, improve safety and encourage more environmentally friendly forms of commuting.

Like bicycling, for instance.

Strict liability is based on the assumption that motorists, as the operators of the more dangerous vehicles, have a greater responsibility for avoiding collisions, and so are presumed to be at fault in a collision unless it can be shown otherwise.

Adopting it here is probably the biggest step we could take to reduce reckless behavior behind the wheel and stop the carnage on our streets.

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Local

Thieves made off with nine bikes in DTLA in a one week period this month; eight of the purloined bicycles had their locks cut.

Turns out there’s already bike share in Century City, while nearby Westwood’s new bike corral is being put to good use.

Fear of a more user-friendly future on our streets rears its ugly head, as the president of the Miracle Mile Residential Associations waves a red flag and LADOT’s senior planner appears to backpedal on the city’s draft mobility plan.

The first bike lane in the ‘Bu finally opens, but it’s just a tad shorter than earlier reports. Instead of seven miles long, it’s two miles, along with an improved seven-mile bike route.

Glendale police held a fundraiser for next week’s 300-mile Police Unity Tour to honor fallen officers.

 

State

Irvine police make their second bust in two days of thieves stealing copper wire from the lights along a bike path next to the 405 Freeway. But at least the crooks were on bikes, right?

No bias here, as the Press-Enterprise says a bike rider was badly hurt when he ran into a car; never mind that he was actually right-hooked. Note to the P-E: The victim was cut off, not passing on the right; thanks to sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the link.

No bias here, either. A Hollister newspaper reports a bike-riding child hit a car and fell over, but fails to mention if the car was even moving at the time. And in more Hollister news, if you’re a known gang member carrying a concealed weapon, ride to the right, damn it.

San Francisco police arrest the unlicensed hit-and-run driver who plowed into three bicyclists earlier this month; she’s scheduled to appear in court today.

In an exercise in sheer stupidity, a San Francisco man is arrested for stabbing another man to death in a dispute over a bicycle.

Police in Menlo Park are looking for a bike rider who whacked a driver in the head with his bike lock after throwing something at his car. Seriously, no matter how much you think someone might deserve it, don’t resort to violence. Ever. Period.

 

National

Bikes hardly ever catch on fire. Unless maybe you’re on a Pedego e-bike; the company just recalled their batteries due to a fire hazard.

A new study says bike shares are more successful when the stations are close together. Are you listening, Metro?

A website lists the three best American cities to tour by bike. No, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

Here’s that full report on bike helmets from Consumer Reports.

A Portland website asks if bike locks of the future could end 120 years of thieving bastards. Their words, not mine, but I like the way they think.

An Oregon judge gives a repeat drunk driver yet another second chance, despite already spending time in prison for killing a cyclist in 2004. The driver, not the judge. This is how we keep drunks on the road until they kill someone. Or in this case, kill again.

Yuma AZ changes the city ordinance to require cyclists to ride with traffic, after two-thirds of bicycling collision victims in the town were riding salmon. Which makes you wonder what the hell the law was there before.

Mad City cyclists will get a new $3 million bike and ped bridge this September.

A off-duty Cleveland cop is punched in the arm by an 81-year old man for riding his bike on a multi-use bike path.

Residents of a New York neighborhood complain about scofflaw salmon cyclists, unlike all those law abiding drivers on Gotham streets. Evidently, New York moms don’t teach their kids to look both ways before crossing the street, either.

LA may be the mecca for food trucks, but Pittsburgh is about to get the Porkrind Bike, delivering 15-flavors of free-range chicharróns.

A three-time DUI loser is sentenced to over 10 years behind bars for the death of a Virginia bike rider, after a BAC two-and-a-half times the legal limit — then has eight years suspended. See above about why we can’t get drunks off the roads before they kill. Or kill again.

 

International

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, a sociologist explains that Europeans are more likely to be injured riding a bike, though we Americans are more likely to wear a helmet. And says he doesn’t, even though he thinks he probably should.

Quebec’s Transport Minister is leaning against a mandatory helmet law, saying it would be hard to enforce.

An amateur Brit bike racer spends the equivalent of nearly $40,000 competing in a single year. Many amateur racers would like to just have that much money, let alone spend it on racing.

That’s one way to get the streets fixed, as a UK graffiti artist draws attention to potholes by drawing a penis around them. Thanks to Topher Mathers for heads-up.

The Wall Street Journal offers five things to know about riding in Amsterdam.

At least we only have to worry about LA drivers, as a South African cyclist was apparently killed by a giraffe.

 

Finally…

Slowtwitch offers advice on group riding for triathletes attempting to infiltrate the peloton. Advice on how to tell another rider his ass is showing through his spandex shorts.

And an off-duty Houston cop with crappy aim shot at a man stealing a bike from his porch twelve times — yes, 12 — because he “thought” the thief was armed. Apparently without hitting anyone, though police briefly followed a trail of dried paint or tomato juice.

Seriously, you can’t make this crap up.

 

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