Tag Archive for LADOT

A breakup letter with 6th Street Viaduct, CalBike ED moves to People For Bikes, and CA ebike rebates fail to launch

He gets it.

Well, of course he does.

Michael Schneider, founder of the transformational transportation Political Action Committee Streets For All, is the latest to accuse Caltrans and LADOT failing to protect bike riders on the new $588 million 6th Street Viaduct.

Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering, LADOT, and Caltrans have sent a “love letter” that is actually a breakup letter to people on bikes. Whether intentional or not, it signals that the city doesn’t really care about the safety for people on bikes (or they do, unless the space is needed for cars). Spending $600M of our taxpayer dollars on a substandard multi modal bridge in 2022 isn’t acceptable. The striping should be changed ASAP to accommodate broken down cars and emergency vehicles in the center while physically protecting people on bikes with concrete and extending the lane for the full length of the bridge.

We’ve already discussed that failure several times in recent days. So take a moment to read Schneider’s Medium piece.

Then get mad.

Damn mad.

Because as much as we want to love the new bridge, city and state officials have made it clear that your life and safety is worth less to them than a broken-down car.

And it should come as no surprise to anyone that drivers on the bridge are already behaving badly.

Rendering from From 6th Street Viaduct Twitter account.

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CalBike Executive Director Dave Snyder is leaving the statewide bicycle advocacy group.

Snyder has led the California Bicycle Coalition, better known as Calbike, nearly half of its existence, joining the 26-year old organization in 2010.

According to a press release posted by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News,

Under Snyder’s leadership, CalBike’s tenacious, hardworking team has passed model e-bike legislation, pushed through Complete Streets reform at Caltrans, defeated a helmet mandate, legalized protected bike lanes, and gotten several bills passed to protect bicyclists, including the Three Feet for Safety Law requiring motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet of space when passing. They have gotten more funding for bicycling as well, securing an increase in state-level funding for biking and walking from around $100M to over $1 billion, and winning $10M for e-bike purchase incentives.

CalBike has helped to coordinate more than twenty local advocacy organizations with a combined membership of over 100,000, influencing elections for the California State Assembly and Senate and building support for ballot measures such as the successful defeat in 2018 of a proposed repeal of the gas tax.

He’s leaving to take a position as Senior Director of Local Innovation with Colorado-based People For Bikes.

He’ll be missed.

Current CalBike Operations Manager Kevin Claxton will step in as Interim Director while the group conducts a search for new leadership.

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Streetsblog continues to stay on top of California’s continued failure to launch a promised and fully funded ebike rebate program.

Despite the overwhelming success of Denver’s ebike rebate program, California’s minimally funded $10 million program, which was supposed to launch this month, has been dead on arrival, apparently due to the state’s inability to select anyone to administer it.

Putting off a decision adds delay to an already slow-moving process, and could push the program start date out until after the end of the year. Other sources of e-bike incentives, including under the Clean Cars for All program being handled by regional air districts, have been just as slow to get going.

It almost feels as if CARB is more than reluctant to offer these incentives, even though it is increasingly clear that e-bikes can be excellent replacements for private cars. Their carbon footprints, costs, parking requirements, and the space they take up on roads is also considerably less than that of electric cars, and CARB doesn’t seem to have much trouble pushing EVs as a climate solution.

Never mind that California provides $425 million to purchasers of electric vehicles, which offer far fewer public benefits than electric bicycles.

You’d think that a cost of just 2.3% of the EV program while getting more cars off the road would be enough of an incentive for the state to get its shit together.

But apparently, you’d be wrong.

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Just 136,000 of the reasons I’m a fan of the East Side Riders.

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The LA area’s biggest bike race of the year is coming to the South Bay on Sunday.

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This is what can happen when a country’s leaders actually give a damn about ending traffic deaths.

Unlike a certain North American country we could name.

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

A Rhode Island man faces multiple charges for intentionally backing his car into a 12-year old boy’s bike, then following the kid and knocking him off his bike, all because he took offense at comments the boy made to his friends.

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Local

You see a lot of things riding a bike.  Like a cackling arsonist starting a brush fire, and a bike rider with a bleeding head injury who insists on riding off rather than waiting for paramedics. Seriously, if someone insists you need medical help, listen to them.

 

State 

Bad news from Oxnard, where a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was struck by a 19-year old van driver while riding his bike.

The writer of a Santa Barbara op-ed, who apparently doesn’t know the difference between a Class 1 bike path and Class 2 bike lanes, opposes the former because it could mean the loss of trees on a street that already has the latter.

Santa Rosa bike riders are complaining about the unexpected closure of a bike path due to a small homeless encampment that officials said was “impeding safe public use of the trail.”

 

National

Bicycling offers expert advice on how to lead a group ride, in an article that’s exclusive to subscribers. And apparently anyone who has access to Yahoo.

A writer for The Oregonian suggests leaving your car at home, and taking your bike on an Amtrak train if you’re headed to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

Sheriff’s deputies in Pocatello, Idaho are increasing bike and foot patrols to cope with high gas prices.

A kindhearted stranger stepped up to buy a nine-year old Michigan boy a new bicycle, after the bike he got for his birthday was stolen the first night he had it.

Political pranksters have added a faux historical marker denoting Brandon Falls, the coastal Delaware location where Joe Biden fell off his bike last month; the name is a play on the “Let’s go Brandon” chant that stands in for a much cruder epithet. Meanwhile, the former Mayor Pete — now Transportation Secretary Pete — says he’s just “glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle.”

 

International

A British Columbia farm region is offering a free bicycle lending program, allowing local residents, refugees and migrant workers to simply take one when they need it and return in good working order it when they’re done.

South London is being plagued by knife-armed bike thieves on motorcycles.

London’s Independent tries out the Brompton’s nee $4,400 ebike foldie for a month, and likes it.

This is who we share the road with. An English police commissioner was caught speeding five times in just three months, after vowing to crack down on heavy-footed drivers.

UK bike riders argue that slowing down due to the country’s extreme heat leads to more aggressive passing from overheated and sleep deprived drivers; it was a record-setting 104° in London yesterday.

Swedish mobility company Vässla is switching to e-cargo bikes to deliver their mopeds through crushing Parisian traffic.

Taiwan is now allowing bicyclists and scooter riders to forgo their face masks.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada’s Hugo Houle captured the biggest win of his career yesterday, topping the podium as the Tour de France entered the Pyrenees for the final week of racing; Houle dedicated the win to his little brother, who was murdered by a hit-and-run driver ten years ago.

NBC offers a beginner’s guide to the Tour’s various leaders jerseys.

Twenty-four-year old Italian pro Marta Cavalli hopes to build on her second place finish in the Giro d’Italia Donne, as the inaugural eight-stage Tour de France Femmes prepares to rollout on Sunday.

L39ion of Los Angeles pulled its men’s and women’s teams out of Sunday’s Salt Lake Criterium after an incident of the final lap led to an exchange of blows following Saturday’s race; US pro crit champ Kendall Ryan says she’s astonished by the disrespect she gets as a member of the team.

 

Finally…

How to carry three on a tandem. Few things suck more than getting your new ebike stolen just an hour after you bought it.

And that feeling when you walk away from a promising cycling career to run the local post office.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Koretz gas ban called election gimmick, 6th Street Viaduct values cars above people, and Metro Bike wants your opinion

My apologies once again for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

I’m still dealing with bouts of disabling dizziness and queasiness that can stop me in my tracks, as it did Wednesday night. 

My doctors continue to assure me that it’s a form of migraine. Even if it hasn’t responded to diet, medication or any of the other treatments they were just darn sure would work. 

Which means this probably won’t be the last time it happens. 

And the next time won’t, either. 

Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels.

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He gets it.

Rick Cole has lead a handful of SoCal cities, including Ventura and Santa Monica, as well as serving as a deputy mayor in Los Angeles.

Which is to say, he knows what he’s talking about. And can spot a cheap political stunt a mile away.

Sorry, Paul Koretz.

The tweet may be hidden behind a sensitive content warning, for reasons that will forever escape me. Just click the View link to display it, or you can read it here

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More proof that the designers of the new 6th Street Viaduct put cars ahead of people.

Especially people on two wheels.

Speaking of which, the Bicycle Advisory Committee’s Planning and Bikeways Engineering Subcommittees will discuss the bridge’s “bikeway shortcomings” at Tuesday’s Virtual meeting.

The committees will also discuss the Northvale Gap on the Expo bike path, and bike safety in Griffith Park, among other issues.

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Someone tell LADOT it would help if they put a link to the survey in their tweets.

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Metro is teaming with Active SGV to host a ride in Pomona tomorrow.

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Gravel Bike California takes a ride through the redwoods of Santa Cruz.

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

A naked Scottish couple riding a tandem were attacked by a driver, who made a U-turn to come back and hurl abuse at them — calling them prostitutes — before swerving his car into the couple; they’re continuing on their 837-mile fundraising ride despite suffering minor injuries.

British bike riders were quick to point out to a local police department why urging people to Cycle Like You Drive is a very, very bad idea.

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

Heartbreaking story from the UK, where a hit-and-run bicyclist will spend the next year behind bars for killing a 79-year old woman after rounding a corner while riding on the sidewalk.

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Local

A writer for the LA Times recommends exploring Griffith Park on your bike, particularly since Griffith Park Drive has been closed to cars through Monday. And hopefully longer.

CicLAvia is hosting a CivSalon panel discussion on Wednesday to discuss how innovation can make our streets safer and more equitable.

 

State 

Calbike joins with 17 other agencies to call for and end to freeway expansion in the Golden State.

Streetsblog says Caltran’s Complete Streets Action plan is basically a list of specific actions the agency will take to encourage a shift towards equitable and safer transportation. Let’s hope so, anyway.

Call it a win-win. San Diego’s new 2.3-mile bike lane on Pershing Drive through Balboa Park will improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, as well as including a project to replace aging stormwater lines to prevent flooding and reduce water pollution.

A 58-year Rancho Bernardo man completed a 3,300-mile ride across the US, raising over $20,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to fight type 1 diabetes.

Berkeley’s new 12-block parking and barrier protected bike lane connects the north and south sections of the city’s downtown.

Sonoma Magazine offers the ultimate guide to riding in the wine country county.

 

National

They get it. A retail business website says retailers usually fight new bike lanes, arguing they will hurt their business — but usually end up with higher sales after they’re built.

A British man completed his 4,000-mile bike ride across the US, raising nearly $30,000 for charity in the process — including the equivalent of over $2,300 from Dame Judy Dench.

The Pro’s Closet and The Radavist’s John Watson have teamed up on a special-edition gravel bike inspired by a Toyota Land Cruiser; only eight will be made, selling for just under nine grand.

Walmart is recalling a bike helmet that was a replacement for a recalled bike helmet.

It’s the 125th anniversary of the legendary Buffalo Soldier’s 41-day, 1,900 mile bike ride, proving bicycles could efficiently move troops. Until those damn cars and trucks took their place.

Pay full freight for a bike from Colorado bikemaker Alchemy Bikes, and they’ll put you up in a Golden CO hotel, and spring for beer and a breakfast burrito.

Tragic news from Colorado, whee a six-year old boy died days after he was bitten by a rattlesnake while riding bikes with his family.

Cars are still banned from the Northern entrances to Yellowstone due to flooding damage, but bikes are being allowed in for short rides; bicyclists call the carefree carfree experience “magical.”

It’s illegal to stand on the pedals while you ride your bike in Indiana.

Sad news from Missouri, where a 44-year old man was killed when a sheriff’s deputy rear-ended his bicycle; no word on why the deputy couldn’t see a grown man on a bike directly in front of him.

The alleged DUI driver who hit three pedestrians standing on an Illinois bike path, killing two young men, saw half the charges against her dismissed, but will face trial on the seven remaining counts.

A self-described “avid cyclist” says there has to be a better use for St. Paul, Minnesota’s money than removing parking spaces to build a two-way bikeway. There are no more chilling words than those that begin with “I’m an avid cyclist, but…”

There’s a special place in hell for whoever attacked a popular New York restaurant worker to steal his ebike as the man ride home from work, putting him in a coma he never recovered from.

Once again, a driver ran down a bike rider, then got out of his car to remove the victim’s bicycle from underneath before fleeing the scene, this time in North Carolina. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Florida woman was lucky to survive after a driver hit her and a friend as they were riding their bikes, dragging the woman 50 feet beneath the car as the driver fled the scene; her friend escaped with just minor injuries.

 

International

London’s Evening Standard takes a look at the city’s bikeshare tribes, with tongue placed firmly in cheek.

Police in Britain’s New Forest urge drivers to slow down so they don’t crash into the donkeys. Or the people on bicycles .

That feeling when you fly to London, but your $16,500 bike and luggage fly to Naples.

Former pro cyclist and Rwandan genocide survivor Adrien Niyonshuti beat the pro peloton to the top of France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez, despite riding a 40 pound, single speed Qhubeka bike built for use in Africa.

Bike Radar looks at the best “weird and wonderful” tech from Germany’s Eurobike trade show.

The head of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency reportedly is in intensive care after suffering multiple injuries falling off his bicycle; as usual, the country denies anything even happened. Although his injuries suggest something more serious than a simple fall off a bike.

A 36-year old Indian man has been riding throughout the country for the past three years to call attention to organic farming and the problem of single-use plastics.

CNN looks at how Abu Dhabi became the world’s hottest bicycling city. No, literally.

Hong Kong is considering requiring a helmet for anyone riding a bicycle, tricycle or multi-wheeled bike. Evidently, they have a lot of five, six and seven wheeled bikes. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Yellow jersey bearer Tadej Pogačar cracked on Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Tour de France, allowing Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard to slip into the lead.

He wasn’t the only Slovenian to crack. Primož Roglič followed suit the next day after a series of attacks by his Jumbo-Visma team, in an effort to widen Vingegaard’s lead; Vingegaard ended the day 2:22 ahead of Pogačar, who was unable to successfully attack on Thursday’s ride up Alpe d’Huez.

Twenty-two-year old Brit Tom Piddock won Thursday’s stage, besting veteran Chris Froome on the mountain top finish.

The top American is now Sepp Kuss, nearly 25 minutes behind the leader in 17th place, and one notch above Nielson Powless in 18th. Meanwhile, 21-year old Tour rookie Quinn Simmons vows to keep attacking.

Atlas Obscura dives into the chaos of the Tour’s Fast and Furious Feed Zone.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be good for 125 miles. Why stop riding at the water’s edge?

And let your bike be your tent pole on your next bikepacking trip.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

8 years for Sebastopol killer drunk driver, permanent Slow Streets in K-town and Hollywood, and WeHo bike ride tonight

That’s more like it.

A Sabastopol vintner got a well-deserved eight years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed one man, and cost a 12-year old boy his leg as they were riding their bikes.

Although he’s likely to get out in a fraction of that time. But still.

Twenty-eight-year old Ulises Valdez Jr. was nearly twice the legal alcohol limit at the time of the crash.

The victims didn’t know each other and weren’t riding together. They just had the misfortune of sharing the road with someone too drunk to drive his massive pickup.

Valdez operated the Sebastopol-based Valdez Family Winery, which was founded by his late father.

Thanks to fartyshart for the heads-up. Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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LADOT is installing permanent Slow Streets in Hollywood and Koreatown. But somehow, they can’t seem to say where.

Maybe it’s a secret.

And no, the answer isn’t in the link.

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The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition is hosting a bike ride through the city this evening.

Streetsblog says the ride will explore a pilot project to make Willoughby Ave safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from longtime bike advocate Jon Riddle, who writes looking for volunteers for a Culver City Pride Ride at the end of this month.

I’m writing to share a volunteer opportunity that BikinginLA’s readers might be willing to support. I am working with Jim Shanman and Walk ‘n Rollers, assisting Culver City Pride in producing its Pride Ride & Rally on June 26th (see Culver City Pride for more information on the event). Last year we had well over 100 turn out for Pride Ride and this year we are expecting at least 300 cyclists of all ages and skill levels. The ride is modest—about 6 miles long, through flat, quiet Culver City neighborhoods. That said, we can really use a few more experienced riders to help keep cyclists safe and rolling along. Training ride leaders, ride marshals and experienced cyclists would be perfect.

We welcome anyone willing to lend a hand to sign up at the event’s volunteer page here.

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You never know what you’ll see when you ride a bike.

Even in the middle of Los Angeles.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1531778956352888834

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Megan Lynch argues that UC Davis doesn’t deserve its platinum bike-friendly status if it can’t keep students and faculty safe.

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Even baseball mascots get it.

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GCN puts an ebike to the test on Italy’s legendary Stelvio Pass to see if it can help average bicyclists make it to the top of the 9,000-foot hors catégorie climb.

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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 petition is calling for the BBC to fire radio host Jeremy Vine for posting video showing a grocery truck driver pass within a few inches of a bike-riding cop in hi-viz, insisting the driver did nothing wrong because he didn’t leave his lane — even though the cop could have been killed.

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Local

The new home of West Hollywood’s Bike Shop LA may not be long for this world, after plans were announced for a small mixed-use tower at the location.

 

State 

Ventura announced a two-year, $5 million project to improve the Ventura River Trail.

Ojai property owners are being asked to voluntarily relinquish part of their sidewalks for new bike lanes and other safety improvements on Ojai Avenue, with the threat of eminent domain hanging over the holdouts.

Sad news from Goleta, where an 80-year old man was killed in a fall off his bike.

A 60-year old Bay Area man went carfree after trading in his minivan for a thousand dollar clean air credit, and now loves riding his cargo bike to Costco.

Road.cc suggests San Francisco should be the destination for Brits who want to ride hills.

 

National

A self-described bike expert lists the seven cycling skills you need to master. Most of which you actually don’t, though they could come in handy, depending on how you ride.

Electrek highlights nearly a dozen ebikes that got their start on Indiegogo, including Rad Power Bikes and LA’s own Cero.

Your next tandem bike could be carved from wood and stronger than steel.

Inc. says Peloton is sinking under the weight of its own exercise bikes, and needs to transform itself to focus on its affluent subscriber base.

Nice review in The Atlantic of Jody Rosen’s book Two Wheels Good: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle, saying it proves bicycles may be the one thing we all have in common.

The Salt Lake Tribune questions whether Utah can handle an influx of bike-riding tourists when the state just saw its deadliest month for bicyclists in its history.

US Marshalls have told the alleged killer of Moriah “Mo” Wilson to give herself up, saying it’s just a matter of time before they find her, while warning the rest of us that Kaitlin Armstrong should be considered armed and dangerous.

A 19-year old Chicago woman is in fair condition after she was shot by a man who had been yelling at her as she rode her bike; no word on whether they knew each other, or a motive for the shooting.

Once again, an innocent bike rider has become the victim of an elderly driver, as an eight-year old Minnesota girl riding bikes with her family was injured when an 87-year old woman failed to stop, despite the flashing lights on the crosswalk they were riding in; at last report, she was hospitalized in stable condition.

A drunk hit-and-run driver faces up to 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to running down two bike-riding teenaged boys, killing one and seriously injuring the other.

A York, Pennsylvania man remains on life-support after he was beaten with his own bike earlier this month by a man who had just been released from jail; his attacker is now facing an attempted homicide charge.

 

International

Cyclist explains the mysteries of bicycle gear ratios.

A Toronto op-ed examines the jaw-dropping negligence behind the ever-increasing size off massive SUVs and pickups, with deadly consequences.

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where police settled with the family of a woman who froze to death in a cemetery after falling off her bike, because police gave up searching for her after just ten minutes without ever getting out of their car.

A new startup has begun delivering locally made e-cargo bikes to replace delivery vans in Nigeria.

 

Competitive Cycling

While we were all watching the Giro, 22-year old Belgian star Remco Evenepoel was quietly claiming his fifth win in a week.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could come from a two-time Formula 1 champ. Ride your bike through the most haunted forest in America.

And that feeling when you bet your dad he can’t balance a bicycle on top of a ladder on his chin.

And he wins.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Justice for Woon — Banks pleads guilty in fatal hit-and-run, and LA active transport woefully understaffed and underfunded

The good news is, my migraines finally let up after about eleventy-seven hours of sleep the past few days. 

The bad news is, they haven’t gone far. 

It’s been more than a month since one of my many doctors decided the health problems I’ve been suffering since last fall were the result of vestibular migraines, necessitating a complete upending of my diet. 

No caffeine. No chocolate. No artificial sweeteners — not a good thing for a diabetic. No aged cheeses or dried fruits. Or even a number of fresh ones, along with a very long list of other newly verboten foods.

Basically, if I like it, or used it to control my diabetes, I can’t have it. 

But after five weeks of slowly adjusting the new diet, I’m feeling even worse than when I started. 

But let’s try to plow through this anyway, and see how much we can catch up on today. 

And a belated happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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It looks like we’ll finally see justice for fallen bicyclist Frederick Frazier, who was run down by a speeding driver in a Mercedes SUV on a South LA street over four long years ago.

And nearly four years since Mariah Kandise Banks was arrested for killing the young man known to everyone as Woon, and injuring Quatrell Stallings, as they rode their bikes near Manchester and Normandie in 2018.

This is what our anonymous courtroom correspondent emailed me Friday afternoon.

On a beautiful sunny day over four years ago, Mariah Kandise Banks ran down Frederick Frazier and left him to die in the arms of a stranger just a few blocks from his home. She was later apprehended and charged with hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.

This afternoon, another gloriously sunny spring day, Banks accepted a plea deal from the DA.

The count of 20001(b)(2), hit and run involving great bodily injury or death, was dropped.

With tears, Banks pleaded no contest to one count of 192(c)(1), vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

For this charge, she was sentenced to four years in state prison, restitution, fines, and three years of parole upon release from incarceration.

She had requested a surrender date in September due to significant childcare obligations, which was denied.

Sentencing will be on August 19th. Woon’s family is expected to present their impact statements on that date.

RIP Woon. Ride in peace.

Banks could have received up to six years, with another four for the felony hit-and-run count that was dropped.

Peter Flax offered this heartbreaking account of Woon’s death, and the impact his loss had on his grieving mother, fiancé and infant son, who was born months after he was killed; he didn’t know yet that he was going to be a dad. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Four years doesn’t begin to seem like enough for the heartless crime and attempted coverup.

But it will have to do.

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I’m not always a fan of CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who singlehandedly halted the fully funded and shovel-ready lane reductions and bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd through North Hollywood’s Arts District.

But he’s absolutely right in calling the chronic underfunding and understaffing at LADOT “a threat to public safety.”

Well, no shit.

As LAist points out, despite the adoption of Vision Zero seven years ago,

At the same time, the death toll on L.A. streets continues to rise. Within the first 15 weeks of 2022, 95 people were killed in crashes, according to preliminary city data. In the same period last year, the toll was 87.

The number of pedestrians killed by drivers is especially grim — up 53% citywide compared with the same period last year. The greatest share of those victims is in South L.A., where pedestrian deaths more than doubled from this time last year.

And last year was bad; 2021 marked the highest annual death toll in nearly two decades, with nearly 300 people killed in collisions. Roughly half of those victims were killed by drivers while walking or biking. Nearly 1,500 other people were seriously injured in crashes.

Yet shockingly, but unsurprising to any of us who have been paying attention, LADOT is currently working with a 21% vacancy rate — with a whopping 50% in the active transportation and Vision Zero programs.

Not to mention nearly two dozen additional positions that need to be added to meet LA’s active transportation goals.

The agency tried to address those needs by requesting 18 new active transportation positions, as well as two new Vision Zero hires.

Yet Mayor Garcetti, whose dreams of an India ambassadorship have largely gone up in smoke, responded by cutting LA’s transportation budget, while funding just the two Vision Zero hires.

That’s just two more people for a city of nearly 4 million, with 8,500 miles of streets and a rising toll from traffic violence.

Sure. That’ll fix it it.

Although, as the story notes, Vision Zero spending is up slightly over last year, if you squint hard and juggle the numbers just right.

But no matter how you slice it, it’s still just a fraction of the $80 million LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds said five years ago would be necessary to cut traffic deaths a modest 20%.

And a pittance compared to the $270 million New York invested in Vision Zero in 2019 alone.

As others have said, if you want to know a city’s priorities, look at its budget.

And ours says LA just doesn’t care.

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Today is the last day to tell the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it’s long past time to consider the safety of those outside of cars and trucks in their new vehicle safety tests.

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California’s bicycle omnibus bill — which would allow speed-limited, ped assist ebikes on bike paths statewide, permit bike riders to use leading pedestrian intervals, require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, and ban bike licensing requirements — has cleared the state assembly and is moving on to the senate.

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We’ve never had a single ride with the mayor of Los Angeles. But at least you can ride with the mayor of Glendale next Saturday.

Or ride SaMo to Venice with Metro.

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Long Beach offers a very full calendar of Bike Month events.

Meanwhile, Metro offers other events around the LA area.

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They’ve got a point.

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Who needs a drivetrain when you can build your own DIY propeller-driven bicycle?

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

No bias here. Carlsbad CA uses Bike Month to actively discriminate against bicycle, ebike and e-scooter users, banning riders from sidewalks, ditches, sports courts or gyms, as well as requiring them dismount on any trails narrower than five feet or within 50 feet of a pedestrian or someone on horseback.

No bias here, either. Australia’s Daily Mail unleashed a recap of online motorist drivel and dreck, including “calling for cyclists to carry licences, criticising those on bikes for taking up ‘car lanes,’ and claiming that cyclists are ‘more dangerous’ than 4×4 drivers.”

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

Police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot a man in DTLA, after riding up to him as he walked on the sidewalk, before riding away.

When a road raging Glasgow driver got out of his car looking for a fight with a man on a bike, he probably wasn’t expecting the whooping he got.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at the installation of a permanent rainbow memorial for Venice hit-and-run victim Prynsess Brazzle, who was killed while riding her bike at the intersection of Pacific and Rose Aves last year. Of course, this being Los Angeles, permanent usually means until it breaks or someone gets tired of it.

Metrolink is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle during next week’s Bike to Work Week, along with an ebike and rail pass contest package worth $2,500.

 

State 

Newton’s third law of motion applies to politics, too. As Caltrans commits to getting out of the freeway business and refocusing on Complete Streets, the state’s massive 450,000 member building and construction workers union is pushing back.

Sad news from Paso Robles, where a 68-year old man was killed when he rode his bike off the road and ran into a culvert, throwing him off his bike.

 

National

Seriously, who wouldn’t want a solar-powered combination ebike, camper and electric boat? Perfect for riding those flooded freeways if it ever rains here again. 

Barry Morphew, the Colorado man who recently saw murder charges over his missing wife dismissed, says he just wants her to be found. Suzanne Morphew was last seen riding her bike on Mother’s Day two years ago; authorities dropped the charges after claiming they are close to finding her body. Meanwhile, Fox News examines where the case stands now.

Former Olympic gold medalist and world champ Scott Hamilton finished a 444-mile ride to raise funds to fight cancer, 25 years after his last treatment for testicular cancer.

New York is already up to 75 traffic deaths this year, after an NYU student was killed by the driver of a private waste truck.

Bloomberg says ebikes are transforming New York’s transportation future. Which could be happening here in Los Angeles, too, if the city had just bothered to fund active transportation and Vision Zero.

A feel good story turned painful when a Louisiana man was struck by a speeding truck driver, just one day after he been given a new ebike purchased through a crowdfunding campaign.

 

International

Road.cc says the promised benefits of the ebike-replacing SuperWheel sound great, but defy the laws of physics.

A Canadian man lovingly restored his brother’s rusted BMX bicycle, over 35 years after the 15-year old boy was killed in an avalanche.

This deaf, bike-riding London cat is breaking the internet.

A new study from an insurance website ranks the UK’s safest and most dangerous cities for bicycling.

An Afghan man rejected an offer of free plane tickets to ride his bike from Karachi to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage, a distance of over 2,800 miles by car.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Tanzania is now allowing bike riders to ascend Africa’s fifth highest mountain, the nearly 15,000-foot Mount Meru in Arusha National Park.

Sad news from Namibia, where 60-year old rugby legend Gerhard Mans was killed by the driver of an unlicensed BMW while he was riding his bike with a group; he was captain of the country’s first national team after gaining independence.

The closure of Beijing’s subway system due to a Covid surge is leading to a revival of the city’s legendary Bicycle Kingdom.

Authorities in New Zealand are looking for the eco-jerk who destroyed slow growing, 100-year old palms and other native trees to carve an illegal mountain bike trail through a park. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

 

Competitive Cycling

A familiar face took the Giro’s 3rd stage on Sunday, as Mark Cavendish claimed his 16th stage win in the Italian Grand Tour, although he has a way to go to catch up with Cipollini’s 42 Giro stage wins; Mathieu van der Poel kept his grip on the leader’s pink jersey.

Yes, this is what pro cycling is like every day. Four-legged fans at the Junior Peace Race in the Czech Republic kicked up their hooves ahead of the advancing peloton, apparently preparing the young riders for spectators on the WorldTour, who often behave like animals.

  

Finally…

How many miles per gallon of gas could your bike get, if by gas you meant beer? Your next bike could cost forty grand and shatter in a crash — if you can find one.

And don’t try to tell us you’ve got bike skills if you can’t do it, too.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1523014821964247041

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

SoCal bike riders suffer critical injuries, Roadkill Gil shows his windshield bias, and shiny new Riverside Drive bike lanes

It’s been a rough few days for SoCal bike riders.

In addition to a man killed by a hit-and-run driver in LA’s Cypress ParkCitizen reports a bike rider suffered “grievous” injuries when they were struck by a driver in the Pico-Union neighborhood Tuesday evening.

And a 13-year old boy suffered life-threatening injuries when he was run down by a cargo van driver as he was riding his bike in Beaumont Monday morning; needless to say, the 19-year old driver was not ticketed or charged. Although Patch says the victim was a girl.

………

Anti-bike CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo demonstrates his windshield bias, while showing he has no great love for pedestrians, either.

Thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. 

………

LADOT shows off the freshly painted — and soon to be bollard protected — bike lanes on Riverside Drive.

………

If someone loaned you a bike pump during Sunday’s Marathon Crash Ride, LA Bike Dad would like it back, please.

………

It’s no surprise when AAA gets bike safety wrong.

Or when Peter Flax calls them on it.

Speaking of which, a Tucson, Arizona driver who apparently lacked the ability to change lanes somehow felt the need to blare their horn at a parent protectively riding with a small child on an otherwise quiet side street.

……….

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

Welsh police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who intentionally ran down a man riding an ebike, sending the victim to the hospital with serious injuries.

No bias here. An Aussie columnist responds to a vicious road rage attack on a bike rider by calling for safer roads and better protection for bicyclists. But something seemingly got lost on the way to the headline.

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

A man and woman will spend the rest of their lives behind bars for the murder of a Fremont CA executive chef to cash in on his life insurance policies; a neighbor saw the man ride his bike away from the victim’s home after hearing gunshots.

………

Local

No surprise here, as Los Angeles continues to lead the nation with country’s most polluted air — and some of the highest gas prices —  as the city has failed to provide any safe and effective alternatives to driving, despite the mayor’s Green New Deal and a groundbreaking mobility plan that continues to gather dust. Although there may be hope.

Streetsblog explores Huntington Park’s new 10-block, half-mile long linear Veterans Park, complete with a paved biking and walking trail.

 

State 

California Streetsblog offers a compendium of bike and pedestrian bills in the state legislature. Although the question is less what they can pass as what can get past Gavin Newsom’s veto pen, who appears to be trying to out Jerry Brown Jerry Brown.

Time to take those baseball cards out of your spokes. The California Senate Transportation Committee has approved a bill that would allow six cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, to use automated noise monitors to ticket loud cars and motorcycles, similar to red light cams.

San Diego continues its bikeway expansion, with plans to install a protected bike lane on a one-mile section of Park Blvd in the University Heights neighborhood.

Palo Alto sacrificed a more than $900,000 federal grant to build separated bike paths and traffic-calming measures in the south part of the city, after failing to get their shit together for the past five years.

San Francisco continues their successful quick-build program, approving plans for a buffered and parking-protected bike lane on Evans Ave, despite a lack of protection in some areas. To which Los Angeles responds, “Wait. How can you build something without years of public meetings to water it down until it doesn’t offend or protect anyone?”

They get it. Davis police blame an inattentive driver for pulling out of a parking lot without looking, cutting off a seven-year old girl riding her bike with her grandmother and siblings, and dragging her under the wheel well; fortunately, she’s expected to recover after surgery to repair a broken leg.

 

National

To paraphrase a popular poster from the ’60s, free parking is not healthy for children and other living things.

Bicycling wants to tell you how to choose the best bike lights. But only if you subscribe, since this one doesn’t seem to be available on Yahoo.

More on the Fox News meltdown over Joe Biden’s bike ride on the beach, as Eric Trump questions what message it sends the world when the president is riding a beach cruiser in the middle of a weekend day. Maybe that it’s not time to panic, and it’s okay to take a breath before diving back in to save the world.

This is what we need in Los Angeles. Eight Seattle bike riders are suing the city over injuries they received while struggling to ride through an unfinished section of a popular bikeway. If every LA bike rider who was injured on one of the many unbuilt bikeways contained in the mobility plan sued the city over it, we might actually force them to build out the damn thing.

Las Vegas announced plans for a 17-acre bike park, which will finally give visitors to the city something to do after they lose all their money.

Colorado corrected a well-intentioned mistake by legalizing Stop As Yield, aka the Idaho Stop, throughout the state. A previous version of the law allowed individual jurisdictions to approve it, resulting in a patchwork where a bike rider could legally roll a stop in one city, and get ticketed for it in the next.

This is who we share the bike path with. A Montana driver was busted for his 4th DUI in 12 years when he was stopped for driving on a Kalispell biking and walking path. Just one more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road. Probably not the best idea to threaten the cop, either. 

Sad news from the DC area, where a beloved bike advocate and bike race organizer was killed when he was run down from behind by a van driver while riding in Maryland; 51-year old Shawn Blumenfeld rose from a bike courier to a respected leader in the bicycling community.

A DC driver kept apologizing after blowing through a stop sign, and hitting a father with his two-year old daughter on the back of his bike; the little girl suffered a small skull fracture, despite her father positioning his bike so he took the brunt of the impact. Maybe instead of apologizing, just don’t run stop signs and try not to crash into people on bicycles.

 

International

Apparently, recording scofflaw drivers and reporting them to the police makes you a snitch, at least in the eyes of a London columnist. I’d gladly accept that mantle if they’d just legalize video-based infraction and misdemeanor prosecutions on this side of the Atlantic. 

Bicyclists in the French city of Lyon have started a competition to find the worst parking jobs by drivers — or as they put it, “Garé comme une merde,” which loosely translates to “parked like crap.”

 

Competitive Cycling

WaPo spends a day with pro cyclist Ayesha McGowan, the first Black rider in the women’s pro peloton, as part of their series on the daily lives of working women.

Sad news from Colombia, where former pro and six-time Tour de France cyclist Samuel Cabrera was killed in a lightening strike while working on his farm; he was 61.

Italian cyclist Sonny Colbrelli was reportedly conscious and feeling okay, a day after collapsing at the finish line of Monday’s stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

Scary/funny moment in Spain’s Volta a Catalunya, where Mattias Skjelmose Jensen went over the side of the road. And rose up from the deep drop demanding a new bike before heading off to a top ten finish.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have so many stolen bikes they’re visible on Google Earth.

And everyone knows you can’t go grocery shopping on a bicycle, right?

Right?

https://twitter.com/gspeng/status/1506497277866643456

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Transportation chair Mike Bonin to step down in CD11, and LADOT officer permits parking in DTLA protected bike lane

If it looks like I lost my best friend, it’s because I have.

Or rather, we have.

Embattled CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, the best friend the bicycling community currently has on the LA City Council, announced yesterday that he won’t seek a third and final term, and will leave the council when his current term expires next year.

Which will put the leadership of the city council’s Transportation Committee in play, as well as his coastal Los Angeles district, which encompasses Venice, Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Bonin has received an incredible amount of abuse in recent years from drivers angered by lane reductions in Playa and Mar Vista, and wealthy NIMBY gentrifiers angered by homeless encampments while actively blocking efforts to build housing and shelters to get them off the streets.

Not to mention dealing with at least three failed recall attempts in recent years, as opponents attempted to undo his overwhelming victory in the general election.

And apparently, it’s taken a toll.

He vows to remain active and keep fighting the good fight in his final year in office, as well as after he leaves.

The problem now is that anyone who isn’t already campaigning to replace him now have just 16 days to file their candidacy with the city clerk’s office. Which could leave the race to the handful of less progressive, decidedly un-bike-friendly candidates who had lined up to challenge Bonin.

They would likely have had little chance of beating Bonin. But now they face a wide open race where anything could happen, and anyone could win.

And not necessarily someone who will support safer streets.

So let’s all give our thanks to Mike Bonin, and offer our best wishes for healing for him and his family as they recover from the challenges of holding office in today’s abusive environment.

And hope we can find someone to take his place who will continue his fight, and have the courage to stand up to angry drivers and reactionary local residents and business owners.

I’ll leave you with this final thought from Alissa Walker.

………

That feeling when even the people responsible for enforcing the law seem to have no idea what it actually is.

https://twitter.com/seanmeredith/status/1486427970323443713

Not only are drivers not permitted to park in bike lanes, it’s a violation of the California Vehicle Code 21211(b), which specifically prohibits parking in any bikeway.

(b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.

And yes, LADOT agrees.

Maybe something like this would finally get drivers to stop parking there.

………

Nice to see bike-riding Lakers fans turn out to remember Kobe Bryant, on the second anniversary of the helicopter crash that took his life, as well as eight other people, including his daughter Gianna.

Speaking of Kobe, he drove a hard bargain from a young age, demanding a red bicycle in exchange for his first endorsement deal.

………

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

A UK county council admits it acted illegally by ruthlessly ripping out a temporary bike lane installed on an emergency basis during the pandemic, before it could even be finished.

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

A Black Milwaukee bike rider was convicted of first-degree reckless homicide for the road rage shooting that killed a White immigration lawyer; the shooter alleged the victim had called him a racial slur.

A Spanish bike rider got the equivalent of a $1,120 fine for his drunken crash into a pedestrian, which was captured on security cam.

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Local

LADOT will host the rescheduled Central LA Neighborhood Design Lab and Tree Adoption on Saturday, February 12th, after the original date was scrubbed due to the Omicron surge.

Streets For All will host their next virtual happy hour on Wednesday, February 9th, with special guest Stephanie Wiggins, the new CEO of LA Metro.

 

State

Gravel Bike California talks with former BMX pro Andrew Jackson about his jump into gravel, as well as his family’s efforts building a pump track in Inglewood.

A longtime Santa Barbara bike rider says he crossed over to the Dark Side by buying an ebike, and doesn’t regret it a bit. Although it’s hard to imagine anything that gets people out of their cars as part of the Dark Side.

Steroids may have kept Barry bonds out of the Baseball Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t stop him from living an idyllic life riding his bicycle in Marin County. Besides, performance-enhancing drugs have a long tradition in bicycling, anyway.

Sacramento will now require people using dockless e-scooters or bicycles to leave them in drop zones or lock them up to bike racks, or face a whopping $15 fine.

 

National

The Bike League has released a new benchmarking report examining five bike-friendly cities to show the importance of safe bicycle infrastructure and connected bicycle networks, while noting that the US is 40 years behind European cities in developing bike networks for people of all ages; City Lab offers an easy to digest summary of the report.

A former Uber driver had bid farewell to fares, and is riding his bike across the US to visit all 50 state capitals; so far he’s just over the halfway point, riding through 25 state capitals and Washington DC.

Michigan finally gets around to banning distracted driving.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever keeps breaking into a Louisiana bike co-op, stealing 15 bicycles worth $4,000 in a series of burglaries.

Florida’s Seminole County is planning to add a pair of bike tunnels to help riders get past the busy intersection of two highways. While bike tunnels may seem like a good safety solution, they’re also prone to collecting debris and can be subject to flooding, as well as providing a home for the homeless. And anything that removes bike riders from public view increases the risk of violent crime, particularly for women. 

 

International

A pilot project will encourage physicians in Bristol, England to prescribe bicycling and walking to address health issues such as obesity, inactivity and loneliness.

A new British study shows more people ride bikes when they feel comfortable on the roads. And aside from a lack of hills, nothing makes bike riders feel more comfortable than speed limits under 20 mph.

The UK’s Transport Minister has proposed law change that would treat deadly bike riders just like deadly drivers, by creating a new charge of death by dangerous cycling. Although wouldn’t treating killer bicyclists like deadly drivers mean just giving them a slap on the wrist, anyway?

Over two-thirds of French people support mandatory bike helmet use, even though only 30% of bike riders currently wear them. Or maybe because only 30% wear them.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has announced the ten-race schedule for the 2022 National Criterium Series. Although we Californians will have to travel to Salt Lake City to see the nearest one.

Next year’s Tour de France will kick off in Northern Spain’s Basque Country.

The British cycling organizer behind the Women’s Tour and the Tour of Britain calls for UCI to get off its collective ass and do something to prevent serious crashes, accusing the organization of allowing dangerous crashes to happen.

Egan Bernal’s teammate Tom Pidcock says cyclists need safer ways to train for time trials in the wake of the training crash that left Bernal in intensive care.

Biography profiles legendary American cyclist Major Taylor, the fastest man on two wheels and the world’s first Black international athletic superstar.

 

Finally…

Let’s all wish a happy belated 126th birthday to the ebike. That feeling when certain drivers can’t spot the bikes in a Captcha.

And have a thought for all those poor thieves Van Moof is trying to put out of business.

………

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

KCRW fails to confront LA Vision Zero fail, volunteers needed for ballot measure, and El Monte Vision Zero meeting

Someone in the media finally paid attention to LA’s failing and forgotten Vision Zero program.

Unfortunately, the story hits about as hard as I do these days. Which is more of a polite tap than a solid gut punch.

KCRW’s Greater LA took a look at the program, using the tragic death of fallen bicyclist Branden Findley — killed a hit-and-run driver in a stolen vehicle while on his way to the Ride for Black Lives — as an entry point.

The station notes that 294 people needless lost their lives on the mean streets of Los Angeles last year, a 20% increase over the year before. And that traffic deaths have gone up nearly every year since Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the program in 2015.

“Every single one of those numbers is a tragedy,” says LA Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “If we cannot get people from A to B and guarantee that they are safe, and that when somebody leaves in the morning, they’ll come home safely at night, then we haven’t fulfilled sort of a basic responsibility.”

It’s Reynolds’ responsibility to reduce traffic deaths and injuries in LA, and her most important tool to do that is a program called Vision Zero.

Unfortunately, while the station notes the existence of critics who think the city isn’t moving fast enough, they apparently couldn’t find a single one to put on the air.

I must have been busy that day.

But then they pivot back to marshmallow journalism, allowing LADOT head Seleta Reynolds to wiggle out of the city’s responsibility for the program’s continued failure.

But Seleta Reyolds of LA’s Department of Transportation says Vision Zero is only part of the solution to reducing traffic deaths.

She points to things beyond traffic planners’ control, like America’s continuing love affair with big, heavy vehicles that make it harder for pedestrians and cyclists to survive collisions.

Then there’s the challenge of distracted driving and the development of increasingly sophisticated car infotainment systems that keep motorists’ attention focused on screens instead of the streets.

And that’s the problem.

Despite the pleading of advocates in a series of public meetings, back when public meetings could actually take place in person, the city never really adopted Vision Zero.

Instead, the city launched a toothless facsimile of the program, relying on the Four Es — engineering, education, enforcement, and evaluation — to reduce traffic deaths.

Except Vision Zero is actually predicated on one simple realization — that people will make mistakes, and it is up to government to design our streets so that those mistakes don’t have to become fatal.

They acknowledge as much on the city’s Vision Zero page, if you can find it on LADOT’s Livable Streets website.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. People will make mistakes on the road.
  2. The consequences of these mistakes should not be death or severe injury.
  3. Reducing vehicle speed is fundamental to safer streets.

Nothing there calls for education or enforcement.

That’s because Vision Zero is based on reimagining the physical reality of our streets to protect vulnerable road users, and tame aggressive and careless drivers.

But that costs money, which hasn’t been budgeted — at least not in sufficient amounts to actually make a difference.

And it requires civic leaders who possess the political courage to make the hard choices necessary to save lives. Even if it means inconveniencing drivers by removing traffic lanes or parking spots, which our currant crop of cowards clearly isn’t willing to do.

So we have to be content with excuses, and moving the goal posts.

Of course, these challenges existed when LA launched Vision Zero seven years ago. Although Reynolds acknowledges the city probably won’t meet the program’s goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, she says setting a goal with Vision Zero is still worth it.

“We’ve set a milestone. We’ve set a year. And if we don’t get there, then I hope it will invite a lot of accountability and dialogue and discussion,” says Reynolds.

But once again, Vision Zero isn’t about accountability and dialogue and discussion. It’s about ending traffic deaths.

That, we have failed to do.

And we will continue to fail until Vision Zero finally becomes the city’s one overarching priority for our streets, rather than just one program among many.

Future Indian ambassador Eric Garcetti signs Vision Zero proclamation at his massive outdoor desk. Photo from Streetsblog.

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Streets For All is looking for volunteers to circulate a petition to qualify a ballot measure calling for safe streets everywhere in LA.

Click here to volunteer.

Speaking of Streets For All, the safe streets Political Action Committee forwarded a few key findings from a recent poll in support of the ballot measure.

51.8% of people surveyed in Los Angeles would be more likely to ride a bike if there was a network of safe bike lanes

53.5% would consider taking the bus more often if it came more frequently and had its own bus-only lane

75% agree we can and should make changes to how we use street space that would improve our city

And a whopping 84% think it’s the responsibility of LA’s mayor and city council to reduce car traffic, clean the air and make our streets and sidewalks safer.

I would have liked to see more specific questions, like whether people would support removing parking spaces or traffic lanes to improve traffic safety and make room for bike lanes.

But it’s a damn good start.

And we’ll look forward to seeing the ballot measure once its released.

………

Vision Zero could soon be making its way to El Monte, starting with tomorrow’s online workshop.

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This is who we share the road with.

A USC student “did everything right” in crossing the street in a crosswalk, and was run down by a pickup driver anyway, who stepped on the gas and fled like the heartless coward they are.

Just remember that the next time someone tries to tell you bike riders would be safe on the streets if we just obeyed traffic laws.

Because you can clearly obey the letter of the law and do everything right, and still get your ass run over by some jerk.

………

We’ve seen this New Zealand ad before. But it’s definitely worth watching again.

https://twitter.com/_dmoser/status/1485891195293339651

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A homeless parolee has been busted for breaking out a window at a Santa Ana bike shop, and making off with a $2,000 bicycle.

Now this is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After two people were killed while using the bike lanes on San Diego’s Pershing Drive last year, the city responds by speeding up construction of a two-way buffered bike lane and pedestrian walkway to improve safety.

Oakland announces the coming closure of the city’s Covid-inspired Slow Streets program, even though the pandemic isn’t over. And neither is the need for safe neighborhood streets.

 

National

Arch Daily offers a guide to becoming a more bicycle-dependent city.

Singletracks recommends mountain bike tools that pay for themselves in a few uses.

Great idea. Des Moines, Iowa is holding a competition to select artworks to be displayed along the city’s bike paths.

A Minnesota writer refutes the mistaken perception that winter bicyclists are all as white as the snow they ride on.

New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Ride is back on this spring as Covid cases decline.

Curbed reports that ebike batteries are catching fire way too often, while Gotham delivery riders need safe places to recharge them so they don’t.

A North Carolina man will face the death penalty for 1st degree murder for fatally shooting a five-year old boy as he rode his bicycle outside his father’s house; the alleged killer still hasn’t said why.

South Carolina belatedly gets around to considering a bill banning handheld cellphone use while driving. Then again, it’s not like bans in other states have actually stopped drivers from using them.

 

International

Trek’s holiday fundraising efforts for World Bicycle Relief may become an annual tradition for the company, as its low-maintenance Buffalo Bike built for the nonprofit is named Bike of the Year.

Yanko Design looks forward to the bicycle accessory trends of 2022, from airless bike tires and ebike workstations, to a bike helmet with a built-in air filter. Although I’m not sure “trend” is exactly the right word.

The Week recommends their picks for the best ebikes for “effortless engineering,” ranging from the equivalent of $1,343 to $5,804.

An Indian man became an overnight success after seven years of effort when he received the equivalent of $13,000 for 40% of his company on the country’s version of Shark Tank, for modifying and adult tricycle into a low-fi pesticide sprayer for crops.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal remains in intensive care recovering from leg and spinal surgeries after suffering extensive injuries when he crashed into a bus that was parked partially blocking the roadway, while he was training in his native Colombia.

 

Finally…

If you’re already a fugitive from justice, maybe it’s not the best idea to ride your bike on the freeway. Jenny from the Block looks pretty in pink on her BMX — even if it is just an ad shoot.

And the next time it feels like you’re about to be run down by the Apocalypse, you may just be right.

………

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

Design stress-free connections in Central LA, close the DTLA gap on the LA River path, and Arthur C Clarke was one of us

Just nine days left in the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to John C for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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

………

Here’s your chance to help design stress-free connections for biking and walking in Central Los Angeles.

And score a free tree in the process.

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Metro is looking for feedback on plans to close the longstanding gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA, Vernon and Maywood.

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CD3 candidate Yasmine Pomeroy talks about the increased dangers to pedestrians on LA streets, despite the city’s Vision Zero program, and the lack of funding for Safe Routes to Schools.

She’s running to replace Bob Blumenfield in the district.

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Never put it past an impatient driver to pass at exactly the wrong time.

………

Legendary writer Arthur C. Clarke was one of us.

Even if those shorts are a little scary.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1471344337145446401

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Pink Bike demonstrates how to make jumps easier on a mountain bike.

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

A shirtless Houston jogger faces charges for attacking a bike rider with a metal pipe for no apparent reason, after the rider had already passed him once without incident.

Sad — or maybe infuriating — news from the UK, where a woman has left Twitter after complaining about the abuse she received from a group of men opposed to her efforts to support active transportation.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would put an end to freeway expansion in underserved neighborhoods. Maybe they could spend the money on transit and bikeways serving those underserved communities, instead.

San Diego’s Rouleur Brewing is hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater Ride this evening.

A columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune points out that bike lanes usually have a positive impact on local businesses, although the cost for the city’s planned 77-mile regional network has ballooned to $446 million, more than double the original estimate.

Caltrans promises to make improvements on Bakersfield’s Union Ave, including pedestrian crossings, new sidewalks and green bike lanes; the deadly corridor has seen 28 traffic-related fatalities in just the last two years. With deadly stats like that, they should be putting in protected bike lanes for the full length.

 

National

The only bike mechanic in Congress, retiring Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, talks with CityLab about the state of transit in the US, fixing existing highways before building new ones, and the need for protected bike lanes.

A pair of Seattle cops won’t face discipline over a viral video that appears to show bias against a homeless man who was struck by a driver while riding a bicycle.

The family of a man killed in the meth-fueled crash that killed five Las Vegas bike riders have filed suit against the driver, the trucking company he worked for, and the driver who was escorting the group.

A bighearted 81-year Texas man is spending his retirement refurbishing and customizing discarded bicycles to give to local kids. And sometimes not so local.

DC bike riders are worried that the city isn’t living up to the mayor’s commitment to build ten miles of protected bike lanes every year. At least they have a commitment, unlike LADOT’s vague promise to build one major active transportation project per year.

Meanwhile, DC announced plans for a people-friendly makeover of a busy commuter corridor, removing traffic lanes in favor of installing bike lanes and improving access for people on foot, as well as transit users.

Evidently, Georgia’s not the most bike-friendly state, as only Decatur managed to receive a silver-level award from the Bike League’s Bicycle Friendly Community program, with a handful of other towns garnering bronze.

 

International

CityFix calls for investing in bicycling and walking to build safe, sustainable cities.

A Toronto bike messenger has been acquitted of all charges over a viral altercation with a driver, after the judge concludes that his actions were reasonable self-defense.

This is who we share the road with. Or not, for the time being, as a Paris cab company has suspended the use of Teslas after one of the company’s cars accelerated instead of stopping when the driver hit the brakes, killing someone on a bicycle and injuring 20 other people, three of them seriously.

A German court has has sentenced a bike-riding Russian hit man to life in prison for killing a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park, after prosecutors alleged he was the commander of a special unit of the Russian FSB spy agency.

Bicycling wants to take you riding on a seven-day tour of Tuscany, for the low, low price of $7,650 if you’re willing to share a room, $8,100 if you’re not. I can’t find this one on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, as Italy plans to open a 26-mile rail-to-trail pathway along the country’s famed Adriatic coast.

Shimano has successfully gotten a fake clearance site taken down that was posing as part of the company.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay has been named African cyclist of the year for the second year running, after taking silver in the U-23 world championships.

Three days of track cycling are coming to the Carson velodrome this weekend.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike goes through someone’s windshield, without anyone riding it. If you’re pretending to be blind, maybe don’t ride your bicycle through the town square.

And we all know who’s always to blame.

Right?

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

 

Unidentified bike rider in Torrance crash, Reseda Blvd Complete Streets moves forward, and Colin Powell was one of us

Yet another tragic reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

LA County health officials are asking for help identifying a man who was injured in a collision while riding his bike in Torrance Thursday morning.

The victim is described as a man in his 50s or 60s, possibly Asian, 5’3″ and 150 pounds.

He has a muscular build, with short salt and pepper hair, possibly balding in the front, and was riding a bicycle spray-painted in a variety of colors.

While no information was given on his condition, he’s most likely unconscious and unable to identify himself.

Anyone with information is urged to call the hospital at 424/306-6310.

We’ve said it many times before.

Always carry some form of ID with you when you ride a bike, and preferably not something that’s likely to be stolen if you’re incapacitated.

And yes, that happens more than you might think.

I always wear a Road ID when I’m on my bike, and any other time I leave home, since it doubles as my diabetic alert bracelet.

I also carry a slip of paper in my seat pack with my name and emergency contact information, just in case.

Because emergency personnel need to know who you are to access your medical records.

And your loved ones deserve to know where you are if anything happens.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels.

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Here’s something to look forward to.

LADOT offers a progress report on the $19.5 million Reseda Boulevard Complete Streets Project between Parthenia St and Victory Blvd, which remains a year and a half from completion.

Progress Report 

Over the past few months, City of LA crews have been actively working on the east side of the street starting at Victory Blvd. and moving north, reconstructing portions of the sidewalk and driveways in greatest need of repair, rebuilding corner curb ramps to meet current accessibility standards, and rebuilding broken curbs and gutters. The result will be safer, smoother surfaces for people walking, rolling, and driving on Reseda Blvd.

As of October 2021, crews have completed these elements between Victory Blvd and Sherman Way, and have started on the segment between Sherman Way and Wyandotte St. Crews will return to these segments in 2022-2023 to install the other project elements such as signals, bus boarding islands, and trees. Note that at intersections where changes to the traffic signals are planned, corner curb ramps will be upgraded later, at the same time that the signal work is completed.

What’s Next?

Sidewalk construction activity on Reseda Blvd will continue progressing northward toward Parthenia St, on the east side of the street, through Fall 2022. You can continue to expect intermittent sidewalk and driveway closures and temporary parking restrictions in this area.

Please be mindful of the work crews as you travel – we appreciate your patience as we work to improve this street!

Questions or Concerns?

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There may be a reason. But there’s no effing excuse.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

The San Francisco Bike Index account was restricted on Twitter, apparently for somehow violating their rules by helping people recover their stolen bicycles.

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Always carry a spare bike in case you get a flat.

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

No bias here. A Canadian letter writer wonders when the madness will end, insisting there’s no reason to clear snow from a bike lane because no one in their right mind would ride a bike in the snow. Which is exactly why they need to clear the snow from the bike lanes, so no one has to.

Protesters vandalized planters blocking the street for one of London’s Limited Traffic Neighborhoods, or LTNs, the country’s equivalent of Slow Streets on this side of the Atlantic.

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

The New York bike rider who went on a stabbing spree on and around the Williamsburg Bridge has been charged with attempted murder, as well as assault, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance; he could face additional charges for his second victim.

Tragic news from Florida, where a Hollywood police officer was shot and killed by a bike-riding car burglar; police arrested the 18-year old suspect.

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Local

Streets Are For Everyone is hosting a Halloween Finish The Ride & Run in Santa Clarita on the 31st.

An editor for the Loyola Marymount student newspaper says it’s time to get rid of the ban on e-scooters on campus, saying it only serves to encourage more driving.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, wants your input to develop an updated county transportation plan.

The San Diego Association of Governments, better known as SANDAG, is offering grants up to $3,000 for “programs or projects that promote biking through outreach and education” during next year’s May Bike Month. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies are looking for the man who assaulted an 11-year old boy as he rode his bike to school, standing in front of his bike and grabbing the boy’s wrists to keep him from leaving.

Patagonia examines the bakers behind San Luis Obispo’s Bread Bike, who deliver freshly baked loaves by bicycle, while making new friends by pedaling their way into the community. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

In a Bay Area takeoff on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, a San Francisco comic is hosting the new web series Comedians On Bicycles Getting Bobs, a local doughnut shop.

 

National

CityLab looks at the growing trend of city-owned ebike lending libraries.

Best Reviews gets a jump on the holiday season by recommending the best gifts for bike riders, which also doubles as an ad for Amazon.

A writer for Cycling Tips offers his wish list for the bike industry, including better quality control and backward compatibility, as well as a return to “rad” alloy frames.

Bicycling says light exercise in the days after a concussion may help shorten recovery time. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Utah man was killed when a woman “accidentally” right hooked him — then drove over him after hitting him a second time, before backing up and over him again, and finally pulling forward a third time and running over his bicycle; needless to say, no charges were filed. Although anyone that confused after a crash should never be allowed to drive again.

Evidently, people are tough in Montana, where a bike rider bounced back up after a pickup driver blew through the crosswalk he was riding in and slammed into his bike. Be sure you want to watch the video in the first link; even though the rider appears to be okay, it’s still hard to watch.

The chief of the Waller Police Department in Texas admitted that his agency screwed up mishandled the investigation into the six bicyclists who were run down by 16-year old pickup driver attempting to roll coal, and failing badly. Well, no shit.

Nice story from St. Joseph, Missouri, where fellow students pitched in to buy a high school senior a new bike after his was trashed in a collision.

A student at New York State’s University of Rochester filed a lawsuit alleging she was arrested while riding her bike back to campus following a protest for Black lives, and mistakenly labelled an outside agitator by the mayor and police chief.

New York firefighters issued a warning after a rash of fires caused by lithium-ion ebike batteries.

The National Park Service will work with the DC Department of Transportation to install a two-way protected bike lane along the National Mall.

 

International

Police in Toronto are looking for the owners of an unleashed hit-and-run dog after a man was seriously injured when he collided with it while riding his bike along the beach; no word on the dog’s condition after the crash.

London’s Evening Standard examines how bicyclists became the latest targets of the city’s violent, machete-wielding gangs on mo-peds.

A Streetsblog op-ed considers Britain’s School Streets program to reduce car traffic in front of schools, while improving safety and air quality.

A bike rider in the UK was hospitalized when he fell off his bike and was impaled by his handlebars — something that happens more often than you might suspect, particularly with kids.

While we have to struggle just to get paint on the street, Brussels will improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians by building carfree underpasses at the city’s busiest canal crossings.

Your next bike could be a Mercedes-AMG — if you have a spare 16 grand laying around.

Dubai will employ artificial intelligence to detect people riding their bikes without helmets, which are mandatory in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News offers more details on the decision of the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team to take a stand by withdrawing from the USA Crits series they dominated this year, after the race director was suspended by the US Center for SafeSport for undisclosed reasons; news also broke of his previous arrests for possession of kiddie porn in 2007 and 2008.

Twenty-one-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel intends to challenge for next year’s Grand Tours, but realizes he still has a way to go before he can effectively take on riders like Tadej Pogačar, Egan Bernal and Primož Roglič.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to ride the last ten miles to the bike shop clenching your broken saddle between your butt cheeks. If you’re going for a bike ride, maybe leave the loaded shotgun at home — along with the heroin and coke.

And Colin Powell was one of us, too.

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

E-cargo bikes beat delivery vans in city centers, new and improved LA bike lanes, and who’s really in the way

Let’s talk e-cargo bikes.

A new European study shows electric cargo bikes are cleaner and less polluting than typical delivery vans, which isn’t really surprising.

But they’re also faster and more efficient — 60% faster than vans in city centers, resulting in significantly more deliveries per hour.

And they’re even cleaner than electric vans, emitting a full third less carbon — and 90% less than diesel vans.

As an added bonus, they have a far smaller impact on urban congestion.

Here’s what The Guardian had to say

Home deliveries have soared in recent years, spurred by online shopping and the coronavirus pandemic. Vans can travel along clear stretches of road at higher speeds than cargo bikes but are slowed by congestion and the search for parking. Cargo bikes bypass traffic jams, take shortcuts through streets closed to through traffic and ride to the customers door.

“Recent estimates from Europe suggest that up to 51% of all freight journeys in cities could be replaced by cargo bike,” said Ersilia Verlinghieri at the Active Travel Academy at the University of Westminster and lead author of the report. “So it’s remarkable to see that, if even just a portion of this shift were to happen in London, it would be accompanied by not only dramatic reduction of CO2 emissions, but also contribute to a considerable reduction of risks from air pollution and road traffic collisions, whilst ensuring an efficient, fast and reliable urban freight system.”

In other words, cargo bikes for the win.

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Speaking of which, our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards photos of the the wide variety of work bikes he found on a recent visit to Strasbourg, France.

Starting with a food delivery bike for a Japanese restaurant…

A postal bike…

And what appears to be a bakery bike.

Finally, he sends this photo of an electric flatbed bike towing a trailer, which was picking up food waste from a restaurant for treatment offsite.

But as drivers and NIMBYs keep reminding us, you can’t carry things on a bicycle, let alone make deliveries.

Right?

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Maybe there’s more going on that it seems.

Streetsblog reports on a number of new and improved bike lanes in the LA area, including in Downtown LA, South LA, Koreatown and the San Fernando Valley.

Then again, it seems like nothing is going on outside of DTLA, so anything is an improvement.

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Your old bike could have been a Volvo.

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This is what LA could look like in just two short years with a little more leadership.

Okay, a lot more leadership.

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They should put this on the cover of every driver’s instruction manual and owner’s manual in the country.

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

Culver City police are still looking for the bike-riding man who assaulted a young woman last month.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. Three innocent people were killed in a violent Burbank collision when a speeding driver slammed into their car on a quiet surface street; the killer driver may have been racing with the driver of another car, who also crashed.

LA City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez calls for redesigning streets to put a stop to street racing. Making them bike and pedestrian friendly helps, too.

 

State

Sad news from San Jose, where a man died a day after he was struck by a driver when he allegedly ran a red light on his bike. As usual, the question is whether anyone saw him run the light, other than the driver who hit him.

 

National

Streetsblog says the new bipartisan infrastructure bill could be better for active transportation than it seems, with hidden clauses within the bill that could benefit bike riders and pedestrians.

They get it. CityLab says if you want safer streets, get rid of dangerously aggressive language in car and truck commercials. But you may have to give up your email address if you want to read it.

Putting a bike rack on your car can significantly reduce your gas mileage. So you might as well just ride your bike in the first place.

Apparently firm believers in thinking small, Civilized Cycles thinks their new ebike could replace your second car. Because replacing your first — or only — car is just a bridge too far for them, evidently.

A 14-year old Washington boy made it all the way across the US on a fundraising bike ride to see the Statue of Liberty, accompanied by his 72-year old grandfather.

A woman in Maine put together a virtual posse and got her stolen bicycle back within days, although the ukulele she kept on the handlebars may be gone forever.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is turning Eastern Tennessee into the hub for his new bike line. And wants to turn it into what he calls “Carbon Fiber Valley.”

The Cherokee Nation is now accepting applications for next year’s 950-mile Remember the Removal bike tour retracing the infamous Trail of Tears through seven states. But you have to be Cherokee to apply.

 

International

Forget the best ebike. Treehugger considers what would be a good design for both older and beginner ebike riders.

Yes, you can put a bike rack on your car in Costa Rica. Just be sure to mount your bikes correctly.

A new London resident tries the city’s bikeshare for the first time, and it completely changes his view of the city. Let alone how fast he could get around.

You know there’s a problem when seven people have been killed riding their bikes at the same London junction in the past 13 years, where long-promised safety improvements have yet to materialize.

A pair of Bengaluru bike riders are attempting to set a new record by riding 15,000 miles through 29 Indian states and 2 territories in 200 days.

 

Competitive Cycling

More troubles for Britain’s Olympic cycling team, with reports that the radical new design of the team’s track bikes may have been stolen from a design patented by famed cycling engineer and aerodynamicist Richard McAinsh and his Dutch bike brand.

Good news from Tokyo, where BMX cyclist Connor Fields was released from the hospital just five days after a horrific crash during a preliminary heat put him in the ICU with a brain hemorrhage, collapsed lung and broken ribs.

Danish team pursuit cyclist Frederik Madsen finally apologized to the British rider he unceremoniously yelled at after slamming into him while looking down at the track.

 

Finally…

Strap one on your handlebars, and never get bit by another mosquito when you ride. If you’re going to steal a bike, return it with a note saying you’re sorry.

And sometimes, other road users just jump right out at you.

https://twitter.com/pedia/status/1421202670417715202

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

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