Tag Archive for Kevin de León

PR plug for killer socialite, transportation ideas for CD13, and ex-Tour de France champ discussed in racist recording

Forget Black Friday. It’s just three more days to the official start of the 8th Annual BikinginLA holiday fund drive!

Thanks to our longtime friend Jim L for getting us off to an early start with his generous donation!

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The pre-trial PR campaign is kicking into high gear.

Wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Center, wants us to know that she is just so very misunderstood, and isolated from all her rich friends.

Just because she killed two innocent little kids while speeding along on surface streets at what police investigators have estimated as up to 80 mph in a 45 mph zone.

No, she says, she wasn’t drunk or street racing with her friend, former Dodger Scott Erickson, even though they were reportedly zig zagging and leap frogging one another’s cars.

And no, I don’t remember him, either.

I do, however, recall her victims, 11-year old Mark Iskander and his 8-year old brother Jacob, who were violently run down as they were crossing the street with their family.

She faces 34 to life if she’s convicted on both murder counts, and is walking free on $2 million bail pending a March trial.

Hopefully she’ll show up for that one, unlike five previous hearings.

Seriously, LA Magazine should be ashamed for allowing themselves to be used like this.

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Today’s must-read comes from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, who has 11 transportation suggestions for newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez.

The ideas range from implementing the Sunset4All Complete Streets project, and the Temple Street lane reduction and bike lanes blocked by outgoing Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, to capping the 101 Freeway with a public park.

It’s more than worth the eight minutes it will take to read.

Let alone turning all the ideas into action.

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The LA Times has compiled an annotated transcript of the racist and otherwise offensive recording that lead to the resignation of former City Council president Nury Martinez and LA County Federation of Labor chief Ron Herrera.

The recording has also lead to repeated calls for councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo to resign, although the latter will be leaving next month anyway, after losing his bid for re-election, while the former refuses to do the right thing.

The conversation also bizarrely featured disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Kevin de León
Over the weekend, I called a buddy of mine who is a former U.S. attorney.

Nury Martinez
I have one of those, too. It’s good to have one of those.

Kevin de León
Cool. We’re very close. And he, he had the Lance Armstrong case too, when they were going to indict Lance Armstrong.

Nury Martinez
The cyclist?

Kevin de León
The cyclist. Yeah.

Nury Martinez
What did he do? Doping. Is it doping

Kevin de León
Yeah. And the case was coming out of the L.A. office of the U.S. attorney’s office here…

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Enter this number in your phone. And take it with you when you ride.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is considering following New York’s lead by offering a bounty on drivers who block bike lanes.

Maybe our new councilmembers could consider something like that here.

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This is who we share the internet with.

That was followed by this comment, from someone who apparently fails to grasp the concept of a protected bike lane.
Car drivers have to move over in the lane for obstructions all the time (mail trucks, trash trucks, etc.). How hard is it for a biker to move over? What happening to sharing the road?

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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 regional transportation group has put a Des Moines, Iowa model bike safety on hold, somehow fearing a backlash over the common sense reforms.

A British driver was caught on video speeding down a protected bike lane, either oblivious to or not caring about the oncoming bike riders who were forced out of the lane.

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

A 20-year old man in the UK was sentenced to six-months time served for rebelling against his parents attempt to have him committed by brandishing a machete while riding with a group of other bike riders, even though the only injury anyone suffered was a dog bite after the group was chased by a small pack.

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Local

Babe star James Cromwell added his voice to a campaign to halt plans to restore the ecologically degraded Los Angeles Ballona Wetland Ecological Reserve, which includes plans for a ten-mile bike and pedestrian path; no word on what the pig had to say.

Ride hailing and micromobility provider Lyft has pulled all of their bikeshare bikes and e-scooters out of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, after failing to secure a longterm contract from city officials.

Glendale has received a $6 million state grant for the Verdugo Wash Visioning Project, which will create a 9.4-mile-long linear park and nature trail for walking and cycling, courtesy of Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

 

State 

A mountain biker used his bike as a shield when he was charged by a mountain lion on a San Luis Obispo trail, leading to a brief standoff before the big cat retreated. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

The $20 million bike and pedestrian path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is entering the final year of its four-year pilot program, as impatient motorists chomp at the bit to get it back.

The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bike in North Highlands earlier this month.

 

National

Fortune says the four-year old e-scooter industry is finally getting around to being as green and sustainable as they claimed, after quietly polluting for years.

No irony here. A Portland bike rider was lucky to escape serious injury when he was run down by a red light-running hit-and-run driver in a crash caught on video, while he was riding to an event to mark the World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

A Kansas City business owner says his business is suffering because Missouri drivers are apparently incapable of figuring out a parking-protected bike lane.

A decades old Fayetteville, Arkansas bicycle charity is shutting down after giving away tens of thousands of bikes to kids in need; the 76-year old wife of the man known locally as the Bicycle Man continued the program for nine years after his death, and hopes to give away another 1,000 bicycles before shutting down after the holidays.

‘Tis the season. A Louisville country music station has collected over 1,500 bicycles, as well as monetary donations for Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army, to ensure that every local kid has a gift for the holidays.

The rich get richer, as New York announced plans to expand the city’s bike lane network next year.

A 60-year old New Jersey man is on his 14th bike trip across the US; he’s covered over 39,000 miles since he first hit the road on his ‘bent five years ago, after recovering from getting hit by a drunk driver.

‘Tis the season, too. A kindhearted Baton Rouge, Louisiana lawyer is giving away over 450 new bikes to local kids.

 

International

In honor of the World Cup, Road.cc creates their own all-star team of bike-riding soccer stars.

British residents say they want a bike with an ABS anti-lock braking system.

An Irish paper is up in arms after local officials “wasted” the equivalent of nearly $12,000 building a 600-foot separated bike lane, complaining it’s an “embarrassment” that even bike riders don’t want.

Pink Bike features seven weird and wonderful bikes currently for sale on the platform.

Hanoi, Vietnam is considering establishing a public bikeshare service to to reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution, with 1,000 bikes at 94 stations.

 

Finally…

Your new fixie could be a Wu-Tang Clan bike. That feeling when the kids are riding on thin ice. No, literally.

And bike riding while blind and blind drunk.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

De León: hell no, he won’t go; advocacy groups call for ebike libraries; and what happens when officials give a damn

Talk about misreading the room.

In an announcement that was almost universally condemned, CD14 City Councilmember Kevin de León says hell no, he won’t go.

De León is refusing to resign in the wake of a racist and otherwise offensive recording in which he was heard actively participating, along with outgoing CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, former Council President Nury Martinez and ex-LA County Federation of Labor Ron Herrera, the latter two of whom at least had the decency to resign.

His announcement was immediately condemned by newly elected Council President Paul Krekorian.

Yes, the same Krekorian who singlehandedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready lane reductions and protected bike lanes planned for Lankershim Blvd in one of his first official acts on the council.

Apparently thinking he can somehow survive this, de León said “I’m not going to mince words. I’m not going to deflect blame. I’m not going to defend the defenseless,” before attempting to do exactly that, adding he’ll be “spending the coming weeks and months personally asking for your forgiveness.”

Forgiveness that is not likely to be given, after failing to condemn Martinez’ open racism, while himself comparing fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin’s toddler son to the Luis Vuitton purse favored by Martinez.

Bonin is clearly in no mood for de León’s weakass mea culpa.

As we’ve noted before, this whole city hall soap opera matters, because we’re never going to get action on safer streets with dysfunctional city leadership, particularly with the council’s draft of the Healthy Streets LA initiative due back at the council in a few weeks.

Speaking of which, the LA Times has opened a web portal to help you find how to contact the right city agencies and officials to address various issues.

You know, in case you want to advocate for safer streets. Or complain about corrupt city officials.

Photo from Wikipedia

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And speaking of Bonin, Streets For All has posted video of Wednesday’s virtual Happy Hour with the outgoing councilmember.

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Yesterday we mentioned Metro’s confusing proposal to reform management of the Metro Bike bikeshare system.

The leaders of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, ActiveSGV and People for Mobility Justice teamed to release an open letter to the Metro board, suggesting that opening ebike libraries and investing in safer infrastructure might be a better approach.

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It looks like LADOT is finally getting serious about counting bikes, at least on 7th Street.

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This is what happens when city officials actually give a damn.

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CNN recognizes the Dutch city of Utrecht for the world bicycling capital it is.

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

An Ottawa, Canada mayoral candidate is politely taken to task after declaring he won’t declare a war on cars by investing bike lanes, preferring a “balanced approach” that’s balanced heavily in favor of motor vehicles.

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

A 70-year old Fresno man insists he’s the real victim after he lay in wait and repeatedly shot and stabbed a man he accused of stealing his bicycle; Edmundo Martinez faces 50 to life if he’s convicted of killing Jose Palafox, Jr. Once again, no bike is worth a human life.

A Phoenix man faces charges after he was captured on video circling a convenience store parking lot on his bike while aiming a gun at bystanders; the man bizarrely claimed there was someone hiding in a cooler at the store to justify his actions.

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Local

The next driver who tries to run you off the road may not be one, after Google’s Waymo announced plans to bring driverless taxis to the City of Angels.

Streets For All is calling for canvassing volunteers to help elect transit advocate — and corgi dad — Kenneth Mejia as Los Angeles City Controller.

Cycling Tips reviews the second-gen Cero One cycle truck-style e-cargo bike from Los Angeles-based Cero. And likes it. I’d get one myself, with the perfect upfront corgi carrier, if I had an extra three grand laying around.

 

State 

California is offering $50,000 rewards for each of four unsolved murders, including a 16-year old boy who was shot and killed while riding his bike in Alameda County.

Great idea. The League of Women Voters is hosting a Bike Out the Vote bike caravan in Albany this weekend. Although someone should tell them that Bike the Vote is a lot less confusing.

 

National

Momentum examines bike storage solutions to help keep your bikes safe and out of the way.

Bicycling wants to know what’s the weirdest animal you’ve ever had to dodge on a bike, after a video of two angry moose charging down an Alaska bike path goes viral. In my case, it was an alligator sunning itself on a Louisiana roadway. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bike Portland profiles an adventurous leather goods peddler, who pedals a bike trailer with his merchandise to a local outdoor market every weekend.

Life is cheap in Houston, where an eight-year old boy riding a bike is dead because a driver insisted on distractedly making a left turn while she was “messing with her sandwich;” a month later, charges still have not been filed.

Kindhearted Michigan sheriff’s deputies dipped into their own funds to buy a 13-year old boy a new bike after he was struck by a driver, trashing his bike and leaving him with 100 stitches in his leg.

Travel site Condé Nast recommends the best bike routes to explore New York’s five boroughs.

A Virginia woman tells drivers that rushing is never worth the risk, after her daughter was killed and another woman seriously injured by an 18-year old drunk driver as they rode their bikes.

 

International

A British Columbia letter writer offers a brief tutorial on the differences between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, stressing that the latter might kill the first two, but the first two never kill the latter, and that separate infrastructure is the only solution to keep everyone safe.

An Indian college student faces charges for the high speed crash that killed one bike rider, before swerving onto the other side of the road and killing another.

A handmade Namibian bike brand made its international debut at the recent Bespoke bike show in London; the steel-frame Onguza bikes made by Dan Craven, a two-time Olympic road cyclist and Namibia’s only professional cyclist to ride a Grand Tour, retail for four grand for a frame, and double that for a complete bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Vuelta and world champ Alejandro Valverde called it a career after rolling across the Il Lombardia finish line one last time.

 

Finally…

No, no seat tube doesn’t mean you have to ride standing up. Introducing an ebike roadie for weight weenies.

And can you really say you ride a bike if you don’t know how to pop a proper wheelie?

 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Nury Martinez resigns while de León doesn’t, ebike sexism from Sports Illustrated, and murder over bikes

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

I’d like to say I’m feeling much better today, but I promised a long time ago I’d never lie to you. 

So I won’t. 

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Continuing with the week’s theme, former LA City Council President Nury Martinez finally did the right thing and resigned from the council, in the wake of a racist rant in a secretly recorded meeting that managed to do what many thought was impossible.

She almost single-handedly united the entire city.

If only in anger over managing to offend virtually everyone.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times says it’s time for Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, her fellow councilmembers who participated in the redistricting meeting, to hit the road, as well.

Word is that Cedillo is taking some time to consider his options, but de León currently has no intention of resigning, bizarrely thinking he can somehow weather the storm.

Hint: He can’t.

The loss of Martinez and de León is likely to hurt efforts to build bikeways and safer streets, but it’s necessary if the city is going to move forward.

“Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, who already lost his run for re-election, not so much.

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Talk about not getting it.

Apparently Sports Illustrated is still stuck firmly in the last century.

The magazine followed the lead of countless other publications in recent weeks, making their picks for the best ebikes for all kinds of riders, from roadies, to seniors, to mountain bikers.

But their pick for the best women’s bike is — wait for it — a cruiser bike, apparently missing the memo that women can be serious bicyclists, too, and like to ride all kinds of bikes.

And often better, and faster, than the guys can.

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Talk about not getting the memo.

We’ve said many times before that no bike is worth a human life.

But now two men are dead, and two other men face murder charges in disputes over bicycles.

A 70-year old Parlier, California man was arrested on suspicion of murder after confronting the man he accused of stealing the bicycle he used as his only form of transportation, shooting him multiple times.

Meanwhile, a Mississippi man faces a first degree murder charge for killing his own uncle with a single shotgun blast following an argument over a bicycle; he told police he returned to the victim’s home armed with the gun to get his bike gear.

And police in Missouri are looking a pair of homeless men who got into a shootout after arguing over a bicycle; fortunately, they both appear to be bad shots.

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LADOT is holding a virtual workshop on Tuesday to discuss the 2.5-mile Connect Del Rey Corridor connecting the Ballona Creek Bike Path to the Culver Blvd Bike Path along surface streets.

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With all the crap going on in LA these days, taking an evening to celebrate UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup sounds like a great idea.

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A new video from the Israel-Premier Tech cycling tech shows the first ride of a group of Afghan women’s cyclists they helped evacuate the country.

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Be honest. You know you want one.

And that passenger jet on the front fairing is a nice touch, too.

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

Bicycling says abuse of bike lanes by drivers is killing us, and it’s getting worse. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A road raging Houston driver nearly ran down a man on a bicycle, then chased him over a mile while honking her horn — with her phone in her hand.

A car full of young men filmed themselves running down a Dublin, Ireland bike rider, apparently intentionally, as one urges the driver to flee the scene afterwards.

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

A 20-year old Philadelphia man is fighting for his life after he was shot several times by a man who fled on a bicycle.

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Local

Streetsblog rides the new, nearly complete bike lanes on San Vicente Blvd.

Burbank has put the brakes on new fast food restaurant drive-thrus in the city, even while local residents say it’s too little, too late.

 

State 

Half of the half-dozen candidates for Anaheim City Council who responded to a Voice of OC candidate survey call for better bike infrastructure to deal with traffic congestion. The rest either didn’t respond, or didn’t mention bikes.

Aliso Viejo has adopted a set of draconian ebike regulations, limiting ebike riders to 5 mph on sidewalks and 10 mph on bike paths, as well as banning ebikes from city owned or operated parking lots. Although it will be interesting to see if that conflicts with newly passed state legislation allowing ebikes on trails at speeds up to 20 mph.

Great idea. A new Palo Alto app will pay you $5 a day to commute by bike or ebike; scooters and skateboards qualify, too.

After a bike rider was killed crashing into a bollard on a Sonoma County bike path, the county responded by merely repainting them, rather than removing them.

 

National

A new study presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics purports to show that fractures suffered by children riding bicycles have steadily declined for the last 20 years; the authors credit the decline to teaching road safety and promoting helmet use. Although it’s just as likely that the decline stems from fewer kids riding bikes in recent years.

A triathlon site offers advice on how to remove rust from your bike. Although in my case, removing rust from the rider is more of a problem.

If you wonder why Portland is so much better to ride in than Los Angeles, the sheer size of this turnout for a people-protected bike lane to protest a deadly intersection should give you a clue.

A writer for Strong Towns looks at the bicycling death of a 13-year old boy in Tacoma, Washington, questioning whose child will be the next to be killed on a stroad, a dangerous mix of a local street and road.

Utah has seen the highest number of people killed in collisions with drivers while riding bicycles in more that 30 years.

There’s now a sparkling new advisory bike lane next to what used to be my alma mater in my very bike friendly Colorado hometown, which didn’t get that way until long after I left.

Bloomberg says Denver’s ebike rebate program is so hot, all the available certificates are gone within minutes, while cities like Boston are taking note.  Los Angeles, not so much. Never mind that California’s failure to get its ebike rebate program off the ground is making NASA’s new moon rocket look good.

A Kansas City street is getting a three-mile lane reduction and protected bike lanes.

Police in Oklahoma are looking for four close male friends who haven’t been seen or heard from since they left for a bike ride this past Sunday.

A lawmaker discovers the limitations of the Oklahoma City bicycle network when he starts commuting to the state capital by ebike.

Life is cheap in Chicago, where a judge is up for re-election five years after he gave a drunk driver who killed a man a a bicycle a lousy ten days behind bars, even though he was driving twice the legal speed limit with twice the legal BAC — and even though it was his third DUI arrest. Let’s hope they send his honor to an early retirement.

Still no justice for a Pittsburgh man who died after he was repeatedly tased by police a year ago, for the crime of taking what he thought was an abandoned bicycle around the block for a joy ride.

Heartbreaking news from Long Island, where a 13-year old boy was killed after he pushed his sister out of the way of a hit-and-run driver as they walked in a bike lane.

 

International

Up to 82% of Toronto area residents want more bike lanes.

A pair of European studies show that switching just one trip each week from cars to bikes or or trains can lead to significant reductions in emissions.

The New York Times examines whether Dutch ebike brand VanMoof can help reshape urban transportation.

A new German study contradicts earlier studies showing the health benefits of ebikes is comparable to regular bicycles, revealing ebike users are 44% less likely to hit fitness goals. Although Cycling Weekly says the self-selecting study may not be as valid as it purports to be.

Chinese made Ancheer ebikes are being recalled in the US because their lithium-ion batteries “can ignite, explode or spark.” Which is probably a bad thing, especially if you’re riding one at the time.

 

Competitive Cycling

Remco Evenepoel topped Wout van Aert for the Kristallen Fiets, aka Crystal Bicycle, award for the year’s best male Belgian rider.

Now you, too, can own your very own gently used, secondhand pro bike. Or maybe not so gently used.

 

Finally…

Who says your bike needs a chain? If you’re riding your bike carrying meth and enough fentanyl to kill 4,000 people, don’t ride salmon — and put a damn light on it.

And this is who we share the road with.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CjQnLeHpQMo/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=0ab771fe-8b6d-49e6-985c-d6b3f6aa7616

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Martinez resigns as council president, but not from council, after racist remarks; and Streets For All happy hour with Mike Bonin

Following up on yesterday’s lead item, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez resigned her position, but insisted on remaining on the council in the wake of racist and otherwise offensive comments on a leaked audio recording.

For now, anyway.

Also refusing to take responsibility are the other councilmembers included in the conversation, Kevin De León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo.

Although the only non-councilmember heard on the recording, LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, showed enough integrity to resign his position.

Now if the others would just follow his example, as the list of people calling for their resignations keeps growing.

Here’s a short sample posted by the LA Times.

The list of political figures and organizations issuing those calls took in Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), Tony Cárdenas (D-Pacoima) and Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), an array of labor unions and two mayoral candidates — Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and developer Rick Caruso.

Not to be left out, Streets For All joined the clamor — even though the loss of Martinez and De León could threaten hard-fought wins like adoption of a modified version of the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure and the Complete Streets makeover of Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

But sometimes, integrity has to matter more.

By my count, we’ve already seen three councilmembers convicted or currently facing bribery charges, with another — CD12’s John Lee — implicated but not charged in the bribery scandal that brought down his predecessor.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s bid to become ambassador to India went down in flames amid allegations he turned a blind eye to a top aide’s open sexual harassment of male coworkers.

Now three more elected leaders have been captured engaging in a racist conversation, as well as discussion of possibly illegal racial gerrymandering, and what appears to be a violation of the Brown Act open meetings law.

So if you’ve been wondering why our city hasn’t been more responsive to the needs of bike riders, and why nothing seems to get better in what should be — but isn’t — one of the world’s leading cities, we can start with a city government that looks to be rotten from top to bottom.

Photo from Wikipedia.

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In a very timely announcement, the next Streets For All virtual happy hour will feature a conversation with outgoing CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose Black toddler son was the subject of some of the most offensive comments from Martinez, De León and Cedillo.

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This is what it looks like when bikes are taken seriously as transportation.

Our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards a photo of a bike repair stand next to an ebike charging stand for four bikes at his neighborhood biergarten.

Not shown, he says, is the bike tube vending machine on the restroom wall.

Photo by Ralph Durham

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

A pair of British men in their early 20s are facing murder charges in the death of 22-year old ebike rider; a third suspect has been released on bail, while a 30-year old woman has been arrested for helping them. Unfortunately, there’s no word on just what happened.

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

Police in South Wales are looking for a pair of men who assaulted another man as he rode his bike in broad daylight, for no apparent reason.

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Local

The LA Times has confirmed their previous endorsement of Kenneth Mejia for city controller, saying opponent Paul Koretz has fought efforts to make it easier to build more housing and blocked bike and pedestrian safety improvements, and “seems more interested in remaining in elected office than in being the taxpayers’ watchdog or government reformer.” Full disclosure — I’ve endorsed Mejia as well

 

State 

A 75-year old Yucca Valley man was pushed off his bicycle by a neighbor, then beaten with his own bike, in retaliation for pepper spraying the neighbor’s dog when it came up behind him the previous week.

Mt. Diablo State Park has added 30 bike turnouts on the popular Bay Area riding route, allowing bike riders to pull out to allow uphill traffic to pass.

 

National

Schwinn is introducing a new energy absorbing helmet liner to compete MIPS, designed to reduce rotational injuries in a fall.

Denver bike advocates are meeting with city officials to pitch a low-stress bike network.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A popular Bozeman, Montana high school teacher was killed when he was struck by a red light-running driver while riding his bicycle to work.

An op-ed from a Buffalo NY bike advocate makes the case that everyone benefits from effective bike and pedestrian networks, even drivers. Or maybe even especially drivers.

Philly bike riders are using expensive locks, AirTags and GPS, and social media to fight back against the city’s persistent bike thieves.

Frederick, Maryland is the latest community to introduce a book bike, intended  to take the public library to those who can’t come in themselves. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

 

International

Bloomberg Philanthropies is teaming with the Global Designing Cities Initiative to create the new Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure, which will award up to $1 million each to ten cities worldwide to help develop bike lane networks.

Cycling Weekly tries out the new Raleigh e-cargo bike, and says everyone loves it. The built-in kids seats are a nice touch.

A travel website recommends five “magical” Mexican towns to ride your bike in.

Winnipeg, Manitoba bike riders marked Canada’s Thanksgiving with an indigenous-led bike jam combining biking and music with lessons about colonization and reconciliation.

The UK’s British Cycling is being roundly criticized for signing an eight-year sponsorship agreement with oil and gas giant Shell to advise the group on how to achieve net zero. After all, who understands how to get to zero emissions better than an oil company?

A British bike advocacy group is calling on the government to close a loophole that allows people who would otherwise lose their driver’s license to keep driving, by claiming that suspending their license would result in an exceptional hardship.

A new Dutch app promises to tell when you fall off your bike, with or without automotive assistance, and automatically text someone for help.

Tragic news from Italy, where a British international sailing champion was killed when he fell 33 feet down a ravine while on a package mountain biking tour.

Sydney, Australia bicyclists say riding in the city is hard enough without police cracking down on bike riders in the central business district.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made from recycled plastic.

And we might have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting chased by a couple of angry moose.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Call for Martinez and De León to resign after racist rant, CicLAvia returns to DTLA, and vehicular murder in Griffith Park

Let’s start with a story that has nothing to do with bicycles.

And everything to do with all of us in Los Angeles.

A recording surfaced yesterday of City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, using racist language while breaking down redistricting arguments strictly along racial lines.

Never mind calling their gay fellow councilmembers a “bitch” and a “diva.” Or referring to Oaxacan immigrants as ugly little people.

I won’t get into all it. You can, and should, read it on your own. Because as ugly as I make it sound, the reality is far worse.

Suffice it to say that Martinez described the Black toddler son of fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin and his husband as a monkey and a fashion accessory, while De León compared him to a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Both Martinez and Kevin De León have supported bikes in recent years, and the bike community have supported them in kind. And both have apologized for their comments.

But that’s not good enough.

Which is why I’m joining with countless other Angelenos and LA organizations calling for their resignations.

There is no place for open racism in our government at any level. It is simply unacceptable, and beneath contempt.

And if they don’t have the integrity to quit, we’ll may have recall them to force them both out.

The only reason I’m not calling for Cedillo’s resignation is that he has already, and deservedly, lost his bid for re-election. But if he had any dignity, he’d leave on his own, right now.

Which in his case is a pretty damn big if, given what we already know about him.

Meanwhile, this is also more proof that it’s time to take redistricting entirely out of the council’s hands, and let a civilian commission have the final say.

Photo of our intern and mascot on the new 6th Street Bridge during yesterday’s CicLAvia.

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In happier news, a good time was had by all at yesterday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia.

Or nearly all, anyway. A couple of firefighters indicated the day was mostly event free, despite a wave of injuries at the beginning of the day.

The route, which for the first time led to Echo Park and the new 6th Street Bridge, saw a massive turnout as Angelenos took advantage of the near perfect weather.

My wife and I, and corgi, included.

Here are a few photos to capture the day.

Nikita of the Real Rydaz poses with her bike.

Both award-winning bikes were built by Will of the Real Rydaz.

Frank Gehry’s new The Grand LA adds to the LA skyline.

………

This is who we share the road with.

What started out as yet another a hit-and-run in Griffith Park ended with a murder charge.

News broke Saturday evening that a pedestrian had been killed by a driver earlier in the day. The woman fled the scene, leaving her victim to die in the street on Fern Dell Drive.

The driver was arrested the following day, after investigators concluded that the 70-year old victim’s 32-year old girlfriend had intentionally run him over — using his own car — following an argument.

Sonia Sovereign reportedly confessed to the crime, and is being held on a murder charge on $1 million bail.

And it may not have been her first brush with the law, as a woman with the same name, and the right age, led Colorado police on a drunken chase half a decade earlier.

Just one more argument for why cars don’t belong in the park. Or any park, for that matter.

………

Michael Siegal of South Pas Active Streets forwards news of a successful first Walk and Roll at two South Pasadena elementary schools.

Local community organization South Pas Active Streets organized three “bike bus” rides to school on October 5th to Arroyo Vista and Marengo elementary schools. Coinciding with South Pasadena Walk or Bike to School Day, these chaperoned, safety-in-numbers bike rides created an active way to get to school for children who otherwise might not have the opportunity.

Over 30 children and 20 adults participated in one of three different routes to school.  With a core group of riders starting the ride at one end, participants would join the bike bus along its route as it wound its way toward school.  Besides parents, volunteers on these rides included members of DUDES South Pasadena and Mayor Michael Cacciotti.

South Pas Active Streets seeks to provide safe opportunities for active mobility, supporting our childrens’ health, independence, and well-being.  With the success of Wednesday’s first-ever South Pas Walk and Roll, the organization will be coordinating more bike buses and walking buses in the future.

More information on the event, the routes and photos are at southpasactive.org/home/south-pas-walk-and-roll

………

I’d be more impressed with the new protected bike lanes on San Vicente if they weren’t half in the gutter.

But at least the city is building something in the mobility plan, for a change.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1578168132589346816

………

As we mentioned last week, CSUN is hosting a family-friendly Bikefest in two weeks.

Thanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

………

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

A failed candidate for state legislature took credit for throwing a red plastic cup full of cider at a Chicago alderman, as he rode past on his bike with about 50 other people to examine existing bike infrastructure and brainstorm improvements. If you can call it “credit,” that is.

No bias here. Louisville KY writer complains about “militant” bicyclists, who hide their anti-car agenda “behind code words like safety, health, vibrant and even equity.” Um, sure. Let’s go with that.

Someone is sabotaging a DC bike lane by repeatedly dumping construction nails into it.

In an apparent attempt to thin the herd, a separated bike lane in Manchester, England, is shared with truck drivers headed the opposite direction to a delivery bay, resulting in a bizarre game of chicken as drivers go head-on towards people on bikes.

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

Police in Santa Barbara are looking for a blond man who allegedly fled the scene by bicycle after beating a man to death, before possible stealing a car to complete his getaway.

An English man faces charges for mowing down two bicyclists while speeding downhill and riding salmon in a London park, and barely missing another rider.

………

Local

An op-ed in the LA Times looks at the new law decriminalizing jaywalking in most circumstances, and the historic automotive hegemony that led to jaywalking laws in the first place.

A man in his 50s was critically injured in a Westminster hit-and-run while riding his bike Thursday evening.

 

State 

Camarillo approved a proposal to authorize just over $910,000 to hire engineering and environmental consultants for a planned $6 million bike lane extension on Central Ave. Although that’s a hell of a lot of money for just a third of a mile of bike lanes, so let’s hope there’s more to it than that.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man riding a bicycle was killed when he was struck by two separate motorists, one of whom fled the scene.

The Stanford student paper examines the presence of roundabouts on campus, explaining that they serve to slow drivers below 25 mph.

Just days after Alameda’s mayor killed plans for a protected bike lane, he raised it back up from the dead.

A planned 47-mile bike trail through the Napa Valley wine country could turn it into a bicycling destination to rival Provence.

 

National

A writer for an RV site recommends ebikes for the RV life.

Seventy-seven years after the end of WWII, an Italian man is riding from Seattle to Phoenix to retrace his grandfather’s journey as an Italian prisoner of war.

A Utah truck driver bought a new bike for a five year old boy because he felt bad about the crash that sent the kid to the hospital.

A Denver writer applauds the city for moving quickly to expand its bike network while listening to feedback from the community.

My bike-friendly Colorado hometown is getting its first advisory lane on a street I grew up riding. Something tells me it will go a little better than a similar street design did in San Diego.

Life is cheap in Massachusetts, where a 91-year old driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket for right-hooking a bike rider, who was seriously injured when he landed in the car’s back seat after crashing through the closed rear window. But at least the police asked to have his driver’s license revoked.

A rescue swimmer used a borrowed beach cruiser to save an elderly Florida man and woman, and their dog, following Hurricane Ian.

 

International

Engadget proclaims this the age of the cargo bike. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

The newest Roman Catholic saint was one of us. Italian Artedime Zatti was famed for riding his bicycle throughout the Argentine town of Viedma with a medical case to care for the sick.

She gets it. An op-ed by a Toronto advocate says if we want to get more people on bikes, we have to change our cultural and political deference to cars first.

Nice BBC report on an Indian man who has opened a museum to house his collection of over 150 bicycles, many of which he restored himself. And insists he’s not doing it for the money, but just wants to share them with the world. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

New Zealand’s Stuff says cycling clubs are disappearing because they can’t afford the onerous traffic management plans.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar edged Enric Mas to defend his title at Il Lombardia, the year’s final Monument; the race also marked the last competitions for former Grand Tour champs Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali, who care calling it a career.

Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert is also calling it a career after one last race in Sunday’s Paris-Tours, which was won in a sprint by defending champ Arnaud Démare.

France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot won the inaugural women’s gravel World Championship, while Belgium’s Gianni Vermeersch upset Mathieu van der Poel to take the men’s title.

Italian time trial specialist Filippo Ganna shattered the hour record, traveling 56.792 kilometers in 60 minutes — 1.2 km further than the previous record, set by Britain’s Dan Bigham less than two months ago. That works out to a whopping 35.289 miles.

Ganna not only broke the record, he unified the title by also beating Chris Boardman’s 26-year old “superman” record.

Cycling Tips offers photos from Ganna’s record-setting ride.

Five weird ways cyclists bent, if not broke, the rules.

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid profiles L39ion of Los Angeles co-founder and CEO Justin Williams.

 

Finally…

Britain’s wackiest bike race. That feeling when your competitor for a city council seat rescues your stolen ebike bike from a homeless camp, and you still have to run against him.

And now you, too, can race your own hologram.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Metro EIR blesses Eagle Rock Beautiful Blvd plan, and Taylor Yard bike bridge bountifully blessed with corgis

A quick note before we start. 

I’ve received a guest post from frequent Munich correspondent Ralph Durham for when I’m out next week following my hand surgery. 

If anyone else wants to share your thoughts next week, just send it to the email address on the About BikinginLA page above. 

Write about anything you want, as long as it’s bike related. The only restrictions are to avoid personal attacks or being needlessly offensive. 

Which means it’s okay to be necessarily offensive, evidently.

And no, this is not an invitation for SEO marketing or Native Advertising. Sorry. 

………

It looks like Metro is finally onboard with Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan.

An email from the Beautiful Boulevard Coalition reports that Metro’s final Environmental Impact Report for the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit project adopts most elements of the plan, including dedicated bus lanes on Colorado Boulevard, and new family-friendly protected bike lanes.

It also includes a lane reduction to improve safety in downtown Eagle Rock, with a single traffic lane in both directions, along with bus and bike lanes.

The next steps include working with CD12 Councilmember and mayoral candidate Kevin de León to make adjustments to the plan, such as enabling al fresco dining and keeping cut-through traffic from disrupting residential neighborhoods.

And getting de León to sign off on the plan, after he’s done significant waffling on the project since taking office.

………

Nice surprise from my friend Jonathan Weiss, who forwards photos from a recent ride to check out the new Taylor Yard Bridge.

And stumbled across an apparent corgi meetup.

Better yet, my wife instantly recognized the blue merle corgi staring off into the distance as one she knows from meetups with her corgi Instagram group.

Face it. It’s a corgi world, and we just live in it.

………

Nothing like jamming on the brakes to avoid getting hit head-on by a wrong-way driver.

………

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

No bias here. Miami city commissioners voted to require developers to include more parking in their projects, with one saying “This is not a pedestrian and bicycle city.” And with that attitude, it never will be.

No bias here, either. A Twitter account claims bicyclists “injury and maim” (sic) thousands of people in the UK every year. Which comes as a surprise, since there were only a little more than 600 collisions reported between bikes and pedestrians in 2020.

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

Police in El Cajon are looking for a Hispanic man who rode off on a beach cruiser after stabbing another man in the abdomen at a Del Taco drive-thru.

Similar story in Edinburgh, Scotland, where police are looking for a pair of bike-riding men who assaulted and robbed a man walking along a bike path late at night.

………

Local

The Archinect News site says LA’s new bike and pedestrian-friendly 6th Street Viaduct is about to change common perspectives on public urban space. Although you’ll have to earn the bike crossing with a steep climb to get there.

Streetsblog is looking for a part-time journalist and podcaster to cover the San Gabriel Valley beat.

 

State 

Armed only with a baseball bat, a San Diego man stole back the bike that was stolen from him the day he bought it. Although he was successful, you’re always better off getting the police involved if you can; taking back a stolen bike can be very dangerous.

A 61-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when he was run down by an alleged drunk driver on Mountain View Drive in the city’s Adams North neighborhood on Sunday; fortunately, his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Berkeley bicyclists are backing a plan for protected bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on deadly Hopkins Street, while preserving most curbside parking in front of local businesses.

Sad news from Yuba County, where a 21-year old woman was arrested for the allegedly drunken rear-end crash that killed a 36-year old man riding a bicycle; she faces charges of DUI and 2nd degree murder, which suggests this isn’t her first DUI.

 

National

A writer for CleanTechnica offers advice on how to defend yourself from criminal attackers out to get your ebike. Even though she’s a firearms instructor who rides with a gun, she agrees with me that no bike is worth risking your life, or taking another.

Mountain Bike Action considers the pros and cons of buying an e-mountain bike.

Kindhearted Ohio cops gave a new bicycle to a man whose bike was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver; he escaped with a few minor scrapes, but the bike he used as his only form of transportation wasn’t so lucky.

 

International

Bike Biz considers the month’s hottest new bike products, including new urban cross ebikes and a new Cannondale Synapse roadie with an intelligent light and radar system.

The CEO of international insurance giant Lloyd’s of London is one of us. Although he might want to make sure he’s covered, after he was injured in a bike crash over the weekend.

Tragic story from Wales, where a factory worker was killed riding his bike home from work when he grabbed hold of a coworker’s car to talk as the other man drove alongside his bike, then was thrown from his bike after his handlebars hit the side of the car.

Drivers and motorcyclists are up in arms over a new 40 mph speed limit intended to save lives on a deadly Welsh pass, amid fears they’ll just go somewhere else where higher speeds are allowed. But bicyclists are entitled, right?

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France champ and Olympic cycling star Bradley Wiggins says the best way for Britain’s Ineos team to win the Tour is to buy the contract of two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar, and send him to the Giro, instead.

Belgium’s Alpecin-Fenix team blamed their failure at the one-day Gent-Wevelgem race on other teams not doing their part to chase down the lead group. Seriously, if your strategy relies on other teams to help you win, you’ve already lost.

 

Finally…

Build your own ebike with whatever scraps you happen to have lying around. You may never win an Olympic cycling medal, but now you can buy one.

And a rock god with a whole lotta love for riding a bike.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Leading LA mayor candidates ignore street safety, bikes fight high gas prices, and fighting SUVs one tire prick at a time

Ever get the feeling your issues are taking a backseat in local politics?

In a year where all of the leading candidates for mayor of Los Angeles are focusing their campaigns on crime and dealing with the homeless — one way or another — providing safe alternatives to driving hasn’t even been an afterthought.

Literally.

Just take a look at the websites for Karen Bass, Rick Caruso, Kevin de León, Mike Feuer and Joe Buscaino, and see if you can find a single mention of traffic safety. Let alone biking, walking or transit.

No mention of Vision Zero. Not a single word about building out the mobility plan to fix traffic congestion and fight rising gas prices. And nothing about investing in clean transportation to fight climate change.

Not. One. Damn. Word.

But at least Buscaino directed me to a nearly four year old op-ed he penned about embracing smart mobility options, after I complained about that on Twitter.

And as Barry J. Neely reminds us, Bass is one of us.

So let’s hope they all get around to addressing safe streets and alternatives to driving, however belatedly, as the campaign goes on.

Otherwise, it could be a very long four years, regardless of who wins.

Correction: Someone representing Mike Feuer reached out to me directing me to the page on Sustainability on his website, which contains one whole sentence about improving transit and building protected bike lanes, but only in the context of reducing greenhouse gases. 

Which, sadly, makes him the leader at this point.

………

Today’s photo shows Los Angeles City Hall awaiting its next, hopefully bike friendly, occupant, with a little more commitment and follow-through than the current one. 

………

Today’s common theme is people turning to bicycles to fight high gas prices, even though Los Angeles had a decade to get ready for this moment. And didn’t.

Streetsblog offers tips for new bike riders in the City of Angels.

Record gas prices are boosting ebike sales in San Diego, which are seeing exponential growth credited to prices at the pump.

The New York Times explains why California gas prices are so high. Although the best way to reduce price pressure at the pump is just not to play, and find another way to get around.

An Iowa writer says the state’s high gas prices make her want to ride a bike everywhere — even though their gas is over a buck and a half cheaper than California.

Rising gas prices are a double-edged sword for bike shops in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, driving up demand while increasing costs.

………

Seems like a good time for a reminder that many, if most, Los Angeles car trips could easily be done by bicycle.

If they had a safe way to get there, that is.

………

This might be taking things a tad too far.

An international group of climate activists are combating SUVs in an effort to drive the polluting, gas-guzzling and deadly vehicles off the road.

Thought to be an offshoot of Britain’s Extinction Rebellion, Tyre Extinguishers — the spelling points out their roots in the UK — punctures the tires on SUVs, with a goal to “make it impossible to own an SUV in the UK’s urban areas.”

And leave behind a politely worded note explaining their actions, while telling aggrieved drivers not to take it personally.

Which is kind of hard to do when someone leaves you feeling literally deflated, to put it mildly.

The group has targeted vehicles in London’s upscale Chelsea, Chiswick, Notting Hill and Belgravia neighborhoods, where they are colloquially known as Chelsea tractors.

And now the informal group has reportedly spread to Los Angeles, where someone allegedly inspired by their actions claims to have punctured SUV tires here .

I’d be the first to admit that I’d like to push every damn SUV into a pile and blow them all to hell. But I wouldn’t, even if I could.

Because vandalizing other people’s property is always wrong. Even if it is done for the right reasons.

………

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

Nothing unusual here, unfortunately. A bike rider was shot in the leg from someone in a passing car while riding on the UC Davis campus. And no, that’s not a prank, it’s a crime. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Bicyclists accuse an English county of closing a mountain pass to bikes as an anti-cyclist move “dressed up cheaply as health and safety,” two weeks after landslides closed the road to cars.

No bias here. When asked what should be done to improve safety for bicyclists in Oxford, England in the wake of recent deaths, drivers called for bicycle license plates, hi-viz and bicycling proficiency tests, rather than doing anything to drive safer.

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

A Glendale driver reported a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing into their car. Although something tells me there’s probably another side to that story.

After an 11-year old Springer Spaniel had his leg amputated when he was struck by a man “zooming” along a multi-use path on his bicycle, the dog’s angry owner called for steps to curb “arrogant” bike riders.

………

Local

The Bike League recognized 33 new or renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities, with LA’s Loyola Marymount University moving up to silver, and Pasadena’s California Institute of Technology holding stead at bronze, while Cal Poly Pomona has to settle for another honorable mention.

 

State 

Caltrans is looking for public input on its draft Active Transportation Plan for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on state highways in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

San Diego’s mayor wants the city to marginally lower speed limits, using the same new state law Los Angeles is using to lower speeds 5 mph on 177 miles of streets.

 

National

NPR relates five ways to bounce back better from bicycle or other sports injuries.

The Today Show suggests their somewhat surprising picks for the best commuter, fitness and cruiser bikes.

A writer for Forbes says bicycle infrastructure saves lives by improving health and fitness, too.

Adventure Journal says yes, you can get a nice gravel bike for 900 bucks, albeit with a few caveats.

The Bike Portland podcast talks with local women behind the ebike revolution.

Phoenix AZ is responding to the death of a popular bicycle ambassador with plans to add more protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

Tragic news from Minneapolis, where a man died a year and a half after he was paralyzed by a driver with a revoked license while riding his bike on the sidewalk. The driver, who had two previous license suspensions, was sentenced to a lousy year in county jail in a plea bargain; if prosecutors had waited just six six weeks, the charge could have been vehicular homicide. Just one more example of allowing dangerous drivers to stay on the road until it’s too late.

A new documentary shows a man’s journey by bike from Chicago to New Jersey, riding alone to exorcise the demons of being abused by a priest as a child, and inspire other clergy abuse victims.

Bicycling profiles a proud Black Southern woman from Alabama, who encourages women to live authentically while advocating for representation in bicycling. As usual, read on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

It was Bike to Work Day in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, with the county’s leader leading the way.

 

International

Tern unveiled a new e-cargo foldie for anyone with an extra three grand lying around.

Horrible news from the Netherlands, where a 21-year old Massachusetts woman studying abroad was killed by a stalker, who placed a tracking device on her bicycle after they met on Tinder.

NatGeo wants to help you plan a bike tour through Belgium’s beer country.

German ebike subscription service Dance is expanding into more European cities, including Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and Paris. Which means the US, UK and Canada will have to wait.

Congratulations to Spanish bikemaker Orbea on being named Bike Brand of the year.

Angry New Zealand bike riders claim a teenage bicyclist didn’t have to die over the weekend, blaming local officials for turning a deaf ear to calls to make the area safer for people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great news, as NBC announced it will broadcast the first two years of the eight-stage Tour de France Femmes, aka the Women’s Tour de France, starting this July.

Bad news for the competition, as 39-year old Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s still improving after two decades as one of the top women’s cyclists.

Sad news from the UK, where 28-year old Scottish track sprinter John Paul has died; no cause of death was announced.

 

Finally…

Forget race results — what really matters is pro cyclists and their animal buddies. Your old bicycle chain could turn into spectacular nude human figures.

And who says a stationary bike has to stay that way?

https://twitter.com/AmericanFietser/status/1501228437457227776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1501228437457227776%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-march-2022-290929

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Thanks to Margaret for her generous annual contribution to support this site, and keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

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

Long Beach downgrades planned protected bike lane, de León gets bike-friendly, and biking where Black or Brown

Long Beach may be one of the most bike-friendly cities in Southern California.

But that doesn’t mean they always get it right.

Yesterday, we mentioned that Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tonight to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

But what they failed to mention is that original plans called for a protected bike lane.

Which is a pretty major downgrade to a bunch of signs and maybe a few sharrows.

West Long Beach is no exception as this type of lack of safety, particularly along bicycle corridors, has been addressed by urban planners and traffic engineers nationwide through the use of the “8-80 rule.”

It basically goes as such: Would you feel comfortable letting an eight-year-old ride down the street with an 80-year-old as their guide? If your answer is even a remote hesitation, planners feel that road requires “8-80 facilities,” or fully protected bike lanes with bollards and parking as buffers before aligning directly with traffic.

Santa Fe Avenue, according to our own city’s Master Bicycle Plan (Appendix E), is such a facility. These bike lanes are typically Class I bike paths: They do not share, in any capacity, their space with cars.

And yet, for reasons known only to city planners, this ostensibly bike and pedestrian friendly city is going out of their way to maintain the automotive hegemony on this corridor.

Not to mention keeping it dangerous, if not deadly, for anyone who isn’t in a motor vehicle.

It’s up to you to tell Long Beach that’s not good enough.

If you walk or ride in the area, or would like to if it was safer, you owe it to yourself to attend tonight’s virtual meeting.

The virtual meeting—set to be presented in English with interpreters for Khmer, Spanish, and Tagalog speakers on hand—begins at 6PM on Thursday, Oct. 7. To register for the Zoom meeting, click here. For those using phones, you may also call 213-338-8477 and enter the meeting using the following ID: 998 6180 2751. Anyone wanting more information can contact the Public Works Department at contactlbpw@longeach.gov or 562-570-6383.

Thanks to Brian Addison for the heads-up.

……..

CD14 Councilmember and 2022 mayoral candidate Kevin de León has fired a shot across the bow for next year’s campaign, staking out a transit, bike and pedestrian friendly position with a series of motions introduced in the LA city council on Wednesday.

Click through to read the motions.

The fifth motion not mentioned above calls for studying the purchase of more electric mini-street sweepers to keep protected bike lanes clean, as well as the possibility of buying hybrid electric street sweepers.

Although a street sweeper that could keep cars out would help a lot more.

The most interesting motion calls for closing one block segments of some Downtown Streets to car traffic, including

  • Grand Ave between 1st and 2nd
  • Broadway between 3rd and 4th
  • Traction Ave between 3rd and Hewitt

However, a far better option would be to pedestrianize the full length of Broadway, from City Hall south to at least 8th Street.

And while placing bike lanes on the uphill side of some streets and sharrows on the downhill side has some promise, the question becomes whether it would work in practice, since drivers tend to pick up speed going downhill, often far in excess of the speed limit.

Which wouldn’t exactly be comfortable, or safe.

The bigger problem is the motions don’t call for actually doing anything other than conducting yet another a study. Or rather five studies.

Which is what the city does best.

Los Angeles has a long and unproductive history of studying problems to death, without ever taking any real action.

So we’ll have to see if anything actually comes of de León’s motions.

Or if he’s just staking out a position for what promises to be a bruising mayoral campaign.

Then again, there is something he could do to show he really is serious.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1445966890539499525

………

Evidently, the problem isn’t just biking where Black or Brown, but biking where Black or Brown.

A new study from a UC Davis researcher shows that eight times more traffic tickets were issued to bike riders in majority Black neighborhoods, compared to majority white areas. And three times more in majority Latinx neighborhoods.

The study also shows that most traffic tickets are written on major streets, but 85% fewer bicyclists are ticketed on streets with bike lanes. Except few communities populated primarily by people of color have bike lanes.

The study also shows there’s no apparent correlation between higher rates of ticketing people on bicycles and improvements in safety.

The obvious solution is to build more bike lanes in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, in consultation with the community to address fears that bike lanes contribute to gentrification.

Less obvious is the author’s suggestion to remove traffic enforcement from strategies for safer streets, since it doesn’t have any apparent benefit and unfairly target people of color.

………

If you ride an Elliptigo bike, you could be looking at a recall to avoid the risk of your frame breaking while you ride.

Then again, why would you ride an Elliptigo in the first place?

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tweet.

………

The youngest woman to cycle solo around the world narrates a guide to bikepacking in the wild.

Including where and how go to the toilet, without one.

………

Pink Bike demonstrates how to choose lines on your mountain bike.

Which, for those of us who lived through the 80s, is evidently quite different from doing them.

………

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

A San Francisco bike rider was the victim of an apparently unprovoked attack when a motorcycle rider pulled up next to him, then tried to kick him off his bike and punched him, for no apparent reason.

No surprise here. A Houston attorney representing the six bicyclists run down by a teenage pickup driver attempting to roll coal accuses officials and residents in Waller County, where the crash took place, of bias against bike riders, suggesting that the investigation may be tainted as a result.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the New York man riding a pink girl’s bicycle, who strong-armed a little girl walking to school to steal her cellphone.

A British woman was injured when she was struck by a man riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, who then threatened her husband when he challenged him about it.

………

Local

Metro is offering a self-guided bike tour of Chicanx art in DTLA.

Pasadena students mark yesterday’s National Walk and Bike to School Day.

 

State

Monterey’s four day Sea Otter Classic bike fest starts today and runs through the weekend, after last year’s pandemic hiatus. Nice to see Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch get a well-deserved shout-out.

A 57-year old Merced man was shot by a thief when he refused to give up his bicycle; no word on the victim’s condition. Seriously, if someone demands your bike, just give it to them. No bike is worth your life, no matter how attached you are to it.

Sad news from Berkeley, where an 81-year old man died of natural causes while riding on an offroad bike trail, although it’s unknown whether his death was caused by falling off his bike, or if he fell off his bike due to a medical condition.

 

National

Bike industry leaders, who too often remain silent on bicycling issues, say now is the time for the industry and the broader bicycling community to demand action on climate change.

A writer for Cosmo tried swapping her car for an ebike, and lived happily ever after as a contented convert to bicycling.

Seattle microbreweries are discovering that the Venn diagram of craft beer drinkers and bike riders is nearly a circle.

It takes a major schmuck to steal nearly $10,000 worth of bicycling equipment from a Colorado high school cycling team, just days before a race.

More on the proposed legislation that would extend Colorado’s Stop As Yield law statewide, rather than ceding authority to local jurisdictions on whether or not to allow it. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Governor Newsom to sign California’s version of the law.

Billings, Montana is building a network of neighborhood bikeways. Unfortunately, Los Angeles isn’t, even though the Mobility Plan calls for it as one of the three bike networks included in the plan.

The CBC talks with the ER doctor who was in exactly the right place at the right time, riding a Minnesota bike trail when he came upon an unconscious mountain biker on the side of the trail, and saved his life with an emergency on-site cricothyrotomy.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a ten-year old girl lost her leg and suffered life-threatening injuries when she was run over on her bicycle and dragged for over a block, after a 73-year old semi driver jumped the curb she was on while making a right turn; needless to say, no charges have been filed yet.

A kindhearted Ohio cop gave a 12-year old boy an unclaimed bike from the police property room, after the boy loaned his bike to a couple other boys, who tossed it off a bridge onto railroad tracks, while both of the boy’s parents were hospitalized with Covid-19.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea might be the wrong person to work on the city’s Vision Zero program, after admitting he’s more afraid of bicyclists and ebike riders than he is of drivers.

Philadelphia followed the national trend of fewer crashes but more fatalities, with traffic deaths up 88% last year despite a drop in collisions.

They get it. The Washington Post says children should be able to safely walk and bike to school, but four kids in crosswalks have been struck by drivers in the last four weeks.

 

International

Treehugger recommends the year’s five best bike trailers for kids.

Cyclist rides the classic Italian climb named for the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of bicyclists.

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for a ban on private motor vehicles in central Berlin, which would create the world’s largest carfree zone.

An Egyptian woman’s three-year old blog is empowering young women to get on their bikes; the blog is named Tabdeel, which appropriately translates to both pedaling and change.

Tragic news from Nigeria, where a 58-year old Lagos bike rider died five days after he was stabbed repeated by robbers, because the hospital delayed a transfusion and surgery due to a doctors’ strike.

 

Finally…

Forcibly pushing a man on a bicycle out of a grocery store probably isn’t the best way to foster peace and good will. When you’re stuck behind bars, a virtual bike race is probably the best you can hope for.

And that feeling when a stolen bike could be worth its weight in gin.

………

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

$50,000 reward in Venice hit-and-run death, man killed on 4,000 mile charity ride, and Eagle Rock wants one lane

Imagine someone you love traveling across the country to follow her faith and feed the hungry.

Now imagine getting a call from an LAPD detective telling you she’s been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

Although they probably didn’t use that word.

Then imagine that the police won’t return your calls. And you have no idea what’s going on with a case that seems to be going nowhere, and doesn’t seem to be a priority.

You’ve just put yourself in the shoes of the entire family of fallen bike rider Prynsess Di’Amond Brazzle.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize her name. I only recently learned it myself, confirmed by her relatives.

Brazzle was the woman who was killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver as she rode her bicycle around a Venice intersection this past August.

She’s one of 18 victims of hit-and-run drivers in Southern California this year. And yet another Black bike rider or pedestrian sacrificed on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where people of color die from traffic violence at a rate far disproportionate to their share of the population.

Never mind that Pacific Avenue, the street where she was killed, is on LA’s High Injury Network as one of the deadliest streets in the city. And was scheduled for bike lanes in the city’s long-forgotten mobility plan and 2010 bike plan.

Which could mean Los Angeles bears at least some legal responsibility for knowing about the dangers of the street, and failing to fix it.

Prynsess Brazzle had traveled from her family’s Pennsylvania home to Georgia, then west to Los Angeles, believing she had been called by God to feed the homeless.

Only to have her life taken by someone who didn’t have the basic human decency to stop their damn car after slamming another human being early in the morning of August 20th.

Unfortunately, since then, the trail appears to have gone cold.

The only information police have released is a blurry security cam video of a black, large-sized SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban.

That’s despite a $50,000 reward from the City of Los Angeles for information “leading to the offender’s identification, apprehension, and conviction or resolution through a civil compromise.”

So let’s be honest.

Someone out there knows something. Maybe you’ve seen an SUV with a mangled front end. Or heard someone talk about an early morning crash in Venice, or acting strange the next day.

Maybe you’ve got video or other information the police missed.

And maybe you could use a cool 50 grand. Or just want justice for a young mother taken far too soon.

And yes, you can still get the money if you contact the police anonymously.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to bring justice for Prynsess Brazzle has raised just $139 of the modest $5,000 goal.

We could easily top that today if everyone who reads this digs in to give what they can. And forwards this piece to anyone else who might be interested in helping.

And keeping their eyes open to bring her killer to justice.

……..

Sometimes I could just cry.

A Wisconsin man was killed while on a 4,000-mile ride to raise awareness of hunger on the Navajo reservation, and raise fund for a mountain biking scholarship.

Twenty-seven-year old Tyler Droeger was nearly 3,000 miles into the ride, when a driver drifted off the roadway and ran him down from behind as he rode on the shoulder of a Utah highway, knocking him into a ravine.

Chances are, he literally never knew what hit him.

It’s heartbreaking to think someone could be trying to do good for others, and still end up a needless victim of traffic violence.

Droeger wrote that, when he began his journey, he “wasn’t even aware of the inequality we have here in our homeland.” And he offered this advice:

“Be good to the strangers you meet. No matter their situation. it could just as easily have been you in those shoes.”

Needless to say, no charges have been filed.

Droeger’s crowdfunding campaign has continued to raise money despite, or maybe because, of his death.

When I first saw the news on Friday, he had raised a little more than double the $4,000 goal.  It’s now over $11,000.

If you have any extra money lying around after donating to Prynsess Brazzle, I can’t think of a better place to put it.

………

Let’s hope CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León is paying attention.

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Great ebike ad from Specialized.

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The Department of DIY strikes again, even if it’s no match for drivers’ love of parking in bike lanes.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1444081188918870020

Maybe they should have just used a more seasonal barrier, like the people below.

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It’s hard to get past the Wall Street Journal’s draconian paywall.

So you’ll have to settle for this, courtesy of Orange County bike lawyer David Huntsman.

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A British kid can’t use the bike lane during Back to School Week, because it’s full of cars lined up to get gas during the country’s crippling fuel shortage.

………

Maybe one day, we’ll finally get to the point where we don’t need ghost bikes anymore.

I only hope we all live long enough to see it.

………

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

An older Brooklyn man was knocked off his bicycle when he was sucker-punched by a young man, in what appears to be part of a series of similar attacks on elderly people.

A British driver decides if an easily-passed bike rider is going use the roadway, then he’ll drive on the separated bike lane.

Pettiness abounds from IdiotsInCars

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

Police are looking for a man on a purple bicycle who groped a woman on a University of Hawaii campus.

A valet at a Nashville hotel was shot by a bike-riding burglar; fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Scotland Yard is looking for a bike-riding man wanted for a series of East London sexual assaults, exposing himself and masturbating in public.

………

Local

Disappointing to see the weekly newsletter from CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin discuss what his office is doing to promote transit and safer streets, without a single mention of bike lanes. Let alone bicycles.

The Easy Reader says ebikes are revolutionizing transportation in the South Bay’s beach cities.

 

State

A rare genetic brain disease robbed a marathoner of her ability to run, but she will still take part in a 220-mile Santa Barbara-to-San Diego ride on her recumbent to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Million Dollar Challenge fundraising ride.

A triathlete in San Luis Obispo County recalls the red light-running driver that left her with “two shattered collarbones, two broken ribs and horrific memories of the impact,” then fled the scene, leaving her bleeding in the street.

A Fresno bike rider was critically injured after allegedly running a red light; police also blamed him for riding outside the crosswalk, as if bicycles aren’t allowed in the street. Someone should tell the Fresno Bee that the victim didn’t collide with a vehicle, he was struck by a car, which had a driver.

The San Francisco Examiner looks at California’s most significant bicyclist safety initiatives. They may not be the best source, however, since they cite LA’s dusty, nearly forgotten Vision Zero and mobility plans.

Lafayette considers safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists after a school crossing guard was killed in a collision last month, but not before heroically pushing school kids in a crosswalk out of the way, sacrificing himself to save them. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

 

National

Popular Mechanics recommends the best cheap bikes for beginners. The real surprise isn’t the price of the bikes. It’s that Popular Mechanics is still around.

Las Vegas Raiders fans turn out on their custom, low rider bicycles to show their love for the team.

Good news from Kansas, where searchers found a 13-year old girl who had gone missing on a bike ride.

Shades of the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident. A Nebraska man crashed his bicycle after a bee got in his bike helmet and began stinging him. Except in my case, they didn’t sting me. And I got hurt a lot worse.

Even in Oklahoma, speeding drivers get the blame for a jump in traffic fatalities.

Chicago finally gets around to installing a road diet and bike lanes on the deadly street where School of Rock drummer Kevin Clark was killed riding his bike, 13 years after another bike-riding man was killed at the same site. This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work, just not so slow.

A Columbus, Ohio newspaper recommends riding the area’s scenic bike paths.

After a man was killed in Mississippi on a cross-country fundraising bike ride from Dover, New Hampshire to San Diego three years ago, his mother is planning to finish the ride, picking up where he was killed; his ride raised over 12 times his original $10,000 goal to help children with cancer.

The New York Times examines the rising carnage on the city’s streets, despite outgoing Mayor De Blasio’s promise to reduce traffic deaths under Vision Zero.

A trio of kindhearted Florida deputies got a new bike for a man after the bike he used for his transportation was stolen.

Kindhearted Fort Lauderdale firefighters replaced a young boy’s bicycle after it was burned in a house fire.

 

International

A Welsh website says life has gotten crazy at local bike shops during the pandemic.

Sponsors are bailing from the UK’s Black Cyclists Network after allegations of bullying and harassment by the organization’s founder.

Even British drivers support a 10 mph speed limit and speed cams to improve traffic problems.

No bias here. As Paris shifts its transportation focus from cars to walking, biking and transit, all the New York Times can see is the “anarchy” of scofflaw bicyclists. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for a retired French police officer who confessed to being a serial killer and rapist in his suicide note; victims included a pair of 11-year old girls, with one victimized after being pulled off her bicycle.

An Indian paper asks if bicycling is safe for women in Chennai, concluding women on long rides face the lack of accessible and clean public toilets and the threat of harassment and discrimination as well as a lack of bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Sonny Colbrelli was the surprise winner of Sunday’s Paris-Robaix on the rain-soaked cobbles; Colbrelli didn’t even expect to finish, let alone win.

Cycling Weekly offers talking points from the race.

Britain’s Lizzie Deignan overcame bloodied hands to win the inaugural women’s Paris-Robaix race, aka Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Cycling Tips offers a photo essay revealing the “grit and glory” of the women’s Hell of the North, while Cycling News offers their conclusions from the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix, 125 years after the first men’s race.

Bicycling talks with Ayesha McGowan about her successful fight to become the first Black woman in professional cycling, and her goals to make the sport more inclusive for everyone. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Buy a kid a bike, get free tickets to Tom Brady’s homecoming game. A little skitching will get you a big fine.

And your next bike could be a two-wheel drive, hydraulic-driven, gas-powered bicycle.

………

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

Metro commits to BRT on Colorado Blvd, Gonzalez kills speed cam bill in Assembly Committee, and 20 is plenty

Today is Bike Anywhere Day in LA County. So just get on your bike and do it, already.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

………

More on the battle for the heart and soul of Eagle Rock, as Metro commits to running the NoHo to Pasadena BRT — aka, bus rapid transit — line along Colorado Blvd.

However, as we noted yesterday, the configuration of the roadway is still undetermined, after CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León threw a wrench in the resident-driven Beautiful Blvd plan, which would remove a traffic lane in some places, while retaining bike lanes, landscaping, medians and most parking.

De León insisted on studying another option, and gathering still more public input, despite months of public meetings and comments already.

………

San Diego Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez drove the final nail in the coffin of one of the two speed cam bills under consideration in the state legislature this session, blocking the pilot program in the Assembly Appropriations Committee after severely gutting it earlier.

………

The UN Global Road Safety Week calls on policymakers to reduce speed limits  to 20 mph on streets where bicyclists and pedestrians mix with motor vehicles.

Meanwhile, a British town is scrapping its 20 mph speed limit because most drivers ignore it anyway.

………

Good point.

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Local

Long Beach is officially opening a new bike path leading to Pier J along Harbor Scenic Drive this Sunday.

 

State

Bike rodeos are back, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department hosting one for kids in San Clemente on the 26th.

Menifee police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on the 24th, ticketing any violations that put either group at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law if you ride there on Monday.

Bakersfield is marking Bike to Work Day today, with bike shops and clubs offering refreshments on the Kern River Parkway throughout town, pandemic be damned.

A Clovis bike rider captures a closeup view of a hawk attacking his head on his helmet cam; the bird has a reputation for attacking people who come too close to its nest.

Danville opens a new bike and pedestrian bridge that cuts half a mile off the previous route through downtown, while allowing riders to bypass three busy intersections.

 

National

The latest bike helmet ratings are in from the testing lab at Virginia Tech, demonstrating once again that higher cost doesn’t necessarily translate to better protection.

Jalopnik asked readers to share the close calls they’ve had on a bike. And boy, did they.

A new study shows ped-assist ebikes offer nearly the same health benefits as regular bicycles.

If you’re in the market for a Giant or Liv bicycle, Colorado used bike site The Pro’s Closet is now accepting trade-ins.

A bicycle resort in Colorado Springs CO is hosting a bike-themed art show this weekend.

Riding away from a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, a football player at the University of Texas El Paso gave up his final year of eligibility for a 650-mile ride across the state with his father and brother, to raise awareness of brain cancers after his uncle died of glioblastoma.

A Cape Cod town considers blocking a bike and pedestrian path leading to the beach, closing a public access route that’s existed for more than 200 years.

A bighearted Rhode Island teenager raised funds to donate 70 bicycles to the local Boys and Girls Clubs for kids in need.

The pandemic bike boom has hit the mountain bike trails, as well; the New York Times credits more trails, better bikes and the rise of high-school mountain biking, as well as the chance to get out in the fresh air with friends.

A North Carolina man will spend the next four years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a popular bike advocate, after being sentenced to a total of 20 years with 16 years suspended. His boss faces charges as an accessory after the fact for helping coverup the crime committed in a company truck.

Even the buildings are out to get us. A New Orleans bike rider was injured when high winds blew debris off an abandoned skyscraper.

Miami police released bodycam video of the aftermath of a drunken hit-and-run collision in which a former porn star is charged with running down an ebike-riding pastor.

A Florida man escaped with serious injuries when he became collateral damage in police chase while riding his bike, as officers chased five teens in a stolen SUV; he’s currently confined to a wheelchair after being thrown 15 feet into the air by the force of the impact.

More collateral damage in Florida, where two men were indicted on first degree murder charges for the accidental shooting of a bike rider, who was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between the occupants of two cars; three other men will also face charges in the case.

 

International

An op-ed from an “avid cyclist” in Vancouver says the city’s bike lanes are unnecessary and wasteful, because they inconvenience people in cars and are primarily used during the morning and evening rush hours. You know, kind of like all those lanes drivers use. 

A 17-year old Irish boy will spend the next two years in juvenile detention for killing a bike courier after running a red light.

Sisters and Bollywood stars Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor warn a paparazzo to back off after he steps into their path to film them riding their bikes.

Manilla residents are taking to bicycles to escape the city’s notorious gridlock.

A Singapore e-scooter rider will spend 12 weeks behind bars for the death of a 64-year old woman on a bicycle after they crashed on a shared-use path; the victim’s family understandably calls the sentence too lenient.

A group of Aussie bicyclists get brake-checked by a trailer-towing pickup driver, who gets out and yells at them for having the audacity to ride on the road. You know, like they’re supposed to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian cyclist Gianluca Brambilla was booted off the podium in yesterday’s 12th stage of the Giro, relegated from third to fourth for veering wildly in front of George Bennett in a final sprint to the finish. Fellow Italian Andrea Vendrame won the stage in a breakaway with Australian Chris Hamilton.

A new gravel race will roll from Fruita, Colorado to Cisco, Utah tomorrow, with distances up to 185 miles, while the glitterati of the gravel world will be in Texas for the inaugural 155-mile Gravel Locos race.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a Penny Farthing. Is there really such a thing as a popular freeway interchange?

And I can’t offer any better advice for Bike Anywhere Day than this.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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