Tag Archive for Joe Biden

Remembering traffic victims and the failure of Vision Zero in LA, fatal hit-and-run in DTLA, and Joe Biden is one of us

Members of SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — turned out in South LA yesterday to mark the World Day of Remembrance for traffic victims.

The group demonstrated at the intersection of Slauson and Western, one of the deadliest locations in all of Los Angeles, according to the city’s High Injury Network.

And one that has yet to see any significant attempt to make it safer.

In other words, pretty much like the rest of LA’s seemingly forgotten Vision Zero program.

According to CBS2/KCAL9,

…police say there has been a staggering 29% increase in traffic-caused fatalities and injuries in South L.A. this year so far in 2020 compared to 2019.

Additionally, there have been close to 5,000 hit-and-run collisions in 2020, police said.

There are few people who haven’t been touched by traffic violence in some way.

I’ve lost two people close to me, both at the hands of drunk drivers.

A friend I’d known since kindergarten was killed just weeks before our senior year of high school when a drunk woman somehow jumped the wide median on an interstate highway, and hit his car head-on, killing him and a friend instantly.

She walked away unharmed, with just a slap on the wrist for murdering two strangers.

The other was my cousin, who was killed when she was thrown from her own father’s car, and was run over by him.

And once again, there were no real consequences. Unless you consider the guilt and self-loathing he lived with for the rest of his life.

That’s not counting the hundred of people I’ve written about here who have needlessly lost their lives on the mean streets of Southern California — most at the hands and on the bumpers of drivers.

It has to stop.

It looked, for a short time, as if the City of Los Angeles was actually going to do something about it when Vision Zero was announced with great fanfare just five years ago.

But then it got hard when the city ran into resistance from auto-centric NIMBYs. And LA’s mayor got distracted by the shiny object of national ambitions, with far too many Wormtongues whispering in his ear.

And so Vision Zero was shoved onto a cold back burner, just another page on the LADOT website, with a handful of piecemeal projects here and there, rather than the massive road safety overhaul we were promised.

Never mind the now laughable goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the city by 2025.

Less than five years from now.

Which leaves us waiting for the mayor and the city’s recalcitrant councilmembers to be termed out, so we can finally replace them with leaders who will hopefully have the courage and political will to make the hard decisions necessary to save lives.

And not just talk about it, for a change.

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LA Bike Dad offers photos from the demonstration at Slauson and Western.

Click on the tweets for more photos.

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The LAPD’s looking for the heartless coward who ran down a pedestrian in DTLA while driving on the wrong side of the road, then got out to check his own car for damage before driving away, ignoring the victim.

There’s a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Warning — The video is graphic, so be sure you really want to see it before you click the link because you can’t unsee it. 

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The new President-elect of the United States is one of us.

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This is what happens when the NIMBYs win.

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Tell your favorite LBS the news. And register your own bike if you haven’t already.

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At least one LA-area city is moving forward with safer streets.

But it ain’t Los Angeles.

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Here’s today’s stunt biking break, with a short film from Dutch BMX rider Niels Bensink, as he moves to Canada to immerse himself in mountain biking.

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

No bias here. An Edmonton columnist is outraged that the city plans to install more bike lanes to fight climate change.

No bias here, either. London’s Sunday Mail claims bike lanes and low traffic neighborhoods are delaying ambulances and paramedics; the UK’s national cycling organization responds that the paper is relying on “alternative facts.”

A lawyer in the UK says bike riders should be limited to just a small space on the side of the road, if that.

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

A Florida man was busted after attempting to flee on foot when police stopped him while riding his bike in a “known narcotics area,” and found a white rock in his pocket.

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Local

Someone using the Citizen app captured video of up to 500 people riding bikes through Chinatown in DTLA. Although they may not have thought it was a good thing.

A South Bay writer calls for better bike paths, safer streets and fewer cars after she gets right hooked by an SUV driver.

 

State

San Diego was awarded $125,000 for education programs to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Ojai received a $450,000 grant to conduct a road diet and install a quick build parking protected bike lane on a 3/4 mile stretch of Maricopa Highway, connecting a restored wetlands with an existing bike trail and a high school.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike-riding man was killed by a speeding hit-and-run driver. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A clown was caught on video stealing a little girl’s bike in Hayward. Yes, a clown.

 

National

Bicycling continues their conversation about race and equity with a rare non-paywalled piece by former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who says she won’t call herself a cyclist, even though she loves to ride her bike.

Apparently, jorts are socially acceptable again, as long as they’re made of technical denim and intended for mountain biking.

Wall Street thinks the bike boom is over, as bike stocks fall while automotive stocks are going up.

In a story every LA area leader should read, Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus says we’ll never have safe streets if we continue to make safe choices.

Dallas-area residents mourn yet another victim of traffic violence after a paletero was killed by a driver as he pedaled his cart, following two decades of selling ice cream and chicharrones. Thanks to John Clary for the link.

This is who we share the road with. An Oklahoma state senator faces a first-degree manslaughter charge after she skidded off a rain-slicked road while driving nearly 100 mph, and killed a man whose car was stalled on the side of the road. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Life is cheap in Ohio, where a 73-year old woman got a whole 30 days behind bars for killing a local Teacher of the Year as he was riding his bike. But at least she’ll lose her license for five years. Although at her age, that should be permanently.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Massachusetts man rode his bike 77 miles to celebrate his 77th birthday.

Another Massachusetts man reminds bike riders to warn slower riders and pedestrians before you pass. Seriously, call it out or use a bike bell. “Passing on your left” works better than “on your left,” which tends to confuse some people.

Dune star Timothee Chalamet is one of us, going for a hooded ride through NYC.

A group of Black New Jersey husbands and fathers are taking advantage of their bikes and the area’s open roadways to form a fraternal bond to cope with the struggles of 2020.

Bighearted Virginia bike riders scoured local grocery stores to deliver food donations for a local rescue mission and weekend school food program.

A North Carolina nonprofit is preparing a bike giveaway to make the holidays brighter for hundreds of kids.

 

International

A sports psychologist explains how to face down your bicycling fears and stay safe on the roads.

British Columbia’s Human Right Tribunal concludes that Victoria’s floating bus stops on a new two-way cycle track discriminates against blind and visually impaired pedestrians.

An Edmonton, Alberta bike shop owner offers advice on how to bike through winter snow. Which is seldom a problem here in Los Angeles, but we can hope.

Toronto bike riders are lighting up the night with a rolling bike rave.

Hats off to a London man who rode his bike around the city for an hour to corral a stray dog and return it to its owner.

A Scottish charity has put over 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers on two wheels, calling it the key to helping them settle into a new community, develop new friends, and access essential services.

Brit bike hero Chris Boardman calls for banning cars from residential streets for the sake of the country’s children.

A new British subscription service allows people to get a Brompton for the equivalent of less than $1.32 a day.

Bike Radar takes a deep dive into the UK’s current state of diversity in bicycling, or the lack thereof. And the importance of inclusion and representation in biking, whether for sport or transportation.

A British travel writer takes an easy ebike bikeshare tour of Jersey.

A bicycling group in Nagpur, India lights their bikes to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists.

A Mumbai man is using his indoor cycling studio to help people scarred by traffic violence rediscover the joys of bicycling.

Fifty-seven percent of the residents of the Indian city of Gurugram would rather bike to work — but only if they have safe streets and bikeways.

She gets it. Kenya’s Second Lady — the wife of the country’s 1st Deputy President — takes to her bike, and mourns the needless deaths of people riding bicycles.

Malaysia takes a step towards a greener future with the nation’s first bicycle messenger service.

Cycling Tips traces the birth and growth of Aussie bikepacking and adventure racing brand Curve Cycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

More racial and trans insensitivity from America’s young pro cyclists, as former world track champ Chloe Dygert had to apologize for liking a number of biased tweets. This is what Black cyclist Ayesha McGowan had to say about it.

Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar’s winning bike will live on at the Colnago museum in Cambiago, Italy, joining bikes ridden by the legendary Eddy Merckx and Johan Museeuw, aka The Cannibal and The Lion of Flanders.

A writer for Rouleur says the nine-month ban given Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen for his role in the crash in the final sprint at Stage 1 of this year’s Tour of Poland is cruel and unusual punishment, and sets a dangerous precedent.

Surprise Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart had to buy his brother a new car to pay off a bet that he wouldn’t end up winning the race.

 

Finally…

Anyone can ride from Canada to Key West, but not many do it on Penny Farthings. Now you, too, can own your very own Dunkin’ tandem bike.

And that feeling when your foot is run over by Albus Dumbledore.

Well, the second one, anyway.

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Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating this year. May the divine light spread into your life and bring peace, prosperity, happiness, good health and grand success.

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

Photo released in Long Beach hit-and-run, Biden endorses bike/ped infrastructure, and no end to bike shortage soon

The good news is, my new carpal tunnel wrist braces are helping with the pain. 

The bad news is, they’re really slowing down my workflow by restricting my usually flying fingers. 

But who needs sleep, anyway?

Photo by Valeriia Miller from Pexels.

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Long Beach police released a security cam photo of the semi-truck and trailer involved in the hit-and-run crash that killed 56-year old Lisa Termin last month.

However, they’re already absolving the driver of responsibility, noting he or she may be unaware they hit anyone.

That may be theoretically possible, if unlikely, depending on how and where she was struck by the truck.

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Not only is our presumptive president elect one of us, Joe Biden’s plans for his first term include better bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

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Don’t plan on getting that new bike you’re pining for anytime soon.

Bicycling reports the shortage caused by the bike boom could last into 2022.

Both retailers and manufacturers say they haven’t seen such demand for bikes in several decades. Revard said that despite manufacturers significantly ramping up production, his industry contacts estimate the pandemic-fueled bike and part shortage will continue into 2021 and—based on what brands are quietly telling their retailers—may even last until 2022.

The magazine adds the lower-end bikes are in higher demand, so you may have better luck if you’re willing to spend more. Or consider buying a used bike.

Just be sure to check with Bike Index and 529 Garage to make sure you aren’t buying someone else’s stolen wheels.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

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This is whole share the roads with.

A 67-year old man was killed when he was severely beaten by a road raging driver following a Compton crash, then run over several times with his own car.

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It takes a real bike rider to see a story like this and only notice the bike.

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Fair warning. You never know who’s on that bike.

https://twitter.com/Sir_Labz/status/1325341053382242304

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

Who’s shocked that the ultra conservative British politician behind Brexit would turn out to be a bike hater, too? Road.cc explains how and why Nigel Farage is full of merde.

No bias here. The same London paper that hosted Farage’s diatribe insists it’s time to end the bike lane madness, accusing bike infrastructure of being the cause of traffic congestion, while ignoring the role played by all those people in cars, trucks and SUVs.

No bias here, either. A Glasgow letter writer complains about inexperienced bike riders on a “rarely used” bike lane. And experienced ones, too. But how can it be rarely used if there are enough bicyclists on it to complain about?

Apparently offended that a bicyclist took offense at nearly being run off the road, an English driver gives him a needless brake check just to prove what a horse’s ass he really is.

Then there’s this.

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Local

Votes are still being counted, but nearly half of the candidates endorsed by Streets for All have won their races.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says LA Councilmember Paul Koretz must listen to his constituents or risk losing his office. While I appreciate the sentiment, if they read their own paper, they’d know Koretz will be termed out in 2022, and planning a run for city controller.

A new lawsuit accuses pair of on-duty Compton city employees of killing bike rider Jose Portillo in a high speed crash in June of last year.

No surprise here, as South Pasadena nears approval of a climate plan that will depend on reducing car usage.

 

State

Sad news from Santa Clara, where an 84-year old woman was killed in a collision while riding against traffic.

 

National

Outside recommends the best women’s gear for fall mountain biking.

Hip Hop star Swae Lee is one of us, as he celebrates bike life with his two-wheeled crewe.

A Denver man recovered his stolen Trek after seeing it on a TV news report from a homeless camp.

Chicago Streetsblog lists ways to mitigate the risk on group rides as Covid-19 explodes across the US; rates have doubled over just the past three weeks.

A Massachusetts paper catches up with former BMX champ Tony Peloquin, who now airs it out in New England skate parks just for fun.

A bike-riding New York city council candidate learns the hard way that aspiring to public office is no guarantee of protection from crappy drivers.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. New York’s 750-mile Empire State Trail is expected to open later this year, connecting the Big Apple to the Canadian border. Even though Canada isn’t letting Americans in during the Covid-19 pandemic.

No surprise when the hit-and-run driver who ran down a pair of bike riders in a Florida retirement community turns out to be an 89-year old woman. She probably shouldn’t have still been driving at that age to begin with.

 

International

Treehugger explains why we should sell Vision Zero like a car commercial.

Pink Bike offers a “cacophony of whimsical bike illustrations” courtesy of artist Cy Whitling.

When Canadian musician Adrian House’s car-based tour of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in support of his latest album was blocked by Covid-19, he bought a special pannier for his guitar and did it by bike. And no, you can’t find his music on iTunes, I tried.

UK Olympic cycling legend Chris Boardman argues that it’s safer not to wear a bike helmet for casual riding.

Now that’s more like it. A Scottish pizza parlor is honored for refusing to serve drivers who parked in the bike lane, as well as offering a ten percent discount for customers who come by bike.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A heartbroken British father offers an emotional tribute to his 11-year old son, who was killed by a driver as he was riding his bike with his best friend, who was also killed.

UK auto parts and bike dealer Halfords stepped in to give a 12-year old heart transplant recipient a new bike after thieves stole the rear wheel of his bike, damaging the brakes and chain in the process.

The Netherlands is exploring technology to automatically cut power to ebikes entering residential and built-up areas in an effort to reduce deaths.

A pair of mountain bikers take a mostly singletrack tour on the Stoneman Taurista trail through the Austrian Alps. The photos alone are worth the click.

Munich, Germany pulls the plug on the city’s coronavirus-inspired pop-up bike lanes, apparently assuming Germans aren’t into winter biking.

The bikeshare system in Panchkula is proving far more successful than other Indian cities, despite being less than half the size.

 

Competitive Cycling

Just weeks after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the Tour de France, former Slovenian ski jumper Primož Roglič bounced back to secure the top of the podium in the Vuelta.

Thirty-eight-year old Australian Rory Sutherland calls it a career after 18 years in the pro peloton.

Chris Froome pulled the plug on his career with Team Ineos, nee Team Sky, after 11 years and four Tour de France titles; he’ll ride for Israel Start-Up Nation as he seeks a record-tying fifth win next year. Even though He Who Must Not Be Named won seven, but everyone is pretending he didn’t. So there’s that.

Hats off to Florida’s Chris Nikic, who became the first person with Down Syndrome to compete in an Ironman triathlon.

 

Finally…

Evidently, hot wax is good for bike chains, as well as bikini lines. Fall off your bike looking for mushrooms, and find a stash of rare coins, instead.

And who needs a horse to rob a train when you’ve got a bicycle?

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

Streets For All talks with CD4 challenger Nithya Raman; and bike riding celebs — possibly including the next president

Streets For All is hosting an online conversation with CD4 candidate Nithya Raman, who’s challenging first term incumbent David Ryu in November.

While the coronavirus has taken a lot of the energy out of this year’s election, it remains one of the most important elections in memory.

And this race is no different.

Ryu spent most of his first term blocking progress on street safety projects, before becoming a fair weather convert to urbanism in the past year, as he faced a pair of urbanists and homeless advocates in the primary election.

One of those was Raman, who forced him into a runoff this November. And whose election could be a game changer for the City of Angels

And yes, she’s got my vote as soon as my ballot arrives.

 

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Today’s common theme is bike-riding celebs. And one that maybe won’t be for awhile.

America’s Got Talent and former American Idol judge Simon Cowell fractured his back in several places after crashing his new ebike in front of family members in the courtyard of his massive Malibu mansion; he should make a full recovery after a six-hour surgery to install a metal rod to stabilize his spine. Although someone should tell People that a broken back does not a “minor accident” make.

The new Batchelor is one of us, taking a ride in Florida as he waits for the show to resume filming.

Bohemian Rhapsody and Mr. Robot star Ramy Malik is one of us, as he goes for a casually dressed ride in London.

Former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher is one of us, saying he goes offroad riding four times a week. Even if he’s not a fan of wearing his “fucking helmet.”

And presidential frontrunner Joe Biden is one of us, too.

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Anyone see the problem here?

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1292652497538936832

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Keep your eyes peeled for a purloined cargo bike.

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Bikes are the means of protest in Belarus, as citizens took to the streets to demand an end to the country’s corrupt government in advance of Sunday’s election.

Although someone should tell the cops there that it’s kind of hard to catch bike riders when you’re on foot.

Or better yet, don’t tell them.

Not that it did any good; experts say it was rigged from the start.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. An editorial in the conservative Santa Barbara News Press calls for licensing and taxing bike riders, while complaining about traffic lanes being taken from those poor, suffering drivers and given to people in bicycles, as well as a long, long list of other grievances.

Residents of Bristol, England, are accused of moving construction barricades and posting signs to keep bike riders out of their neighborhood.

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

Life is cheap in Britain, where a wrong-way bicyclist got just six months for slamming into a pair of pedestrians while riding drunk and without working front brakes; one of the victims, an 81-year old woman, died from her injuries five months later.

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Local

Yes, the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail is open for its full length, from Pacific Palisades to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. But the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closed for maintenance work during the day all next week.

LA Taco offers the gut-wrenching story of the aftermath of a hit-and-run that seriously injured a homeless man in LA’s Historic Filipinotown. And the inaction of police as investigators don’t have the time or staffing to follow up, even after getting the license number of the driver’s car.

The Mid City West Community Council will consider a much needed $50 million makeover of moribund and traffic-choked Melrose Avenue, including the city’s first Dutch-style curb level protected bike lanes. Fortunately, the MCWCC is one of city’s most progressive neighborhood councils; the online meeting will take place tomorrow starting at 6:30 pm.

 

State

San Diego’s $177 billion, 30-year anti-LA style transportation makeover is in jeopardy thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of mostly maskless people defied health officials and turned out for Santa Barbara’s annual Fiesta Cruiser Run informal bike ride. So if Santa Barbara Covid-19 cases spike in a couple of weeks, you’ll know why.

 

National

Bike Snob isn’t exactly onboard with bicycle shops and bikemakers boycotting police bikes.

We mentioned this one before, but it’s worth a reminder. A Portland study shows that even slow bike riders in the traffic lane don’t delay drivers more than a few seconds. So tell ’em to chill, already.

Um, no. A resident of a Washington island called police to say someone on a bicycle was trying to crash into cars.

He gets it. A Utah bike rider says bicyclists only act entitled because we are — pointing out that bikes have a right to the road under state law. That’s true in every other state, as well.

Kindhearted Arkansas cops teamed with a local motorcycle club to buy a special needs boy a bicycle trailer so he can ride with his mom.

A 22-year old man from Minneapolis is riding 84.6 miles a day for ten days to honor Black people killed by police.

 

International

The owner of a British Columbia driving school says some of his best friends may be bike riders, but he hates a trial project that restricts two-way automotive traffic to a single shared lane, while providing bike lanes in each direction.

A bighearted Calgary neighborhood organization gave out 280 refurbished kids bikes.

This is why you should register your bike. Police in Ottawa, Canada are looking for the owners of 30 bicycles recovered from bike chop shops following a month-long investigation, but only one was registered. Which means the other 29 owners may be out of luck.

Nearly one thousand people turned out for a Black Unity Bike Ride through the streets of London, in what’s planned to be an annual event.

Business is booming in a UK town after the city closed off a roadway, blocking motor vehicle access through the business district while opening the street to diners, bike riders and pedestrians.

That’s more like it. A British truck driver got a well-deserved eight years behind bars for killing two people while playing video games behind the wheel.

New protected bike lanes are popping up on Dublin’s coast.

Lots of kids ride bikes. Not many discover what may be an actual miracle while doing it.

After a young mountaineer was killed in a hit-and-run, an Indian newspaper says separated bike lanes are urgently needed, and those responsible for her death must receive appropriate punishment for the crime.

Officials in Bengaluru, India, are asking bicyclists to crowdsource the routes where they want bike lanes by using tools like Strava and Google Maps, as bicycling picks up steam in the city during the coronavirus crisis.

He gets it, too. A Bangladeshi architect challenges the callous carelessness of the country’s drivers, and a system that lets them get away with it with a wink and a smile.

Add South Central Vietnam to your bike bucket list.

The worldwide coronavirus bike boom has even reached the Pacific island nation of Guam.

A New Zealand man pled guilty to multiple DUI charges for killing a father riding bikes with his daughter last April; tests showed he was high on meth and Valium, and had tossed a handgun and ammunition out of his car following the crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

Remco Evenepoel won the Tour of Poland; the 20-year old Belgian cyclist has won all four of the stage races he’s started this year.

Evenepoel’s fellow Belgian Wout van Aert out sprinted Julian Alaphilippe to win the rescheduled one-day Milan-San Remo spring classic.

Doctors believe Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen will be able to return to racing despite suffering a crushed palate and windpipe, as well as other major facial injuries, after he was hip-checked into the road barriers by another rider as he sprinted for what would have been a likely victory in the first stage of the Tour of Poland. Meanwhile, the cyclists union is repeating their call for standard barriers at all races so this doesn’t happen again

 

Finally…

No, a red Camaro didn’t flee the scene after hitting a six-year old boy riding his bike, the unlicensed heartless coward behind the wheel did. Your next foldie could have full-size folding wheels.

And if you’re going to ride off on your bike after stealing a bottle of booze, wear a damn mask.

And some clothes, maybe.

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

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