Tag Archive for LAPD

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

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

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

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

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

According to CBS2/KCAL9,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It has to stop.

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

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

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

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

Less than five years from now.

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

And not just talk about it, for a change.

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

Click on the tweets for more photos.

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

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

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

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

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This is what happens when the NIMBYs win.

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

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

But it ain’t Los Angeles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Well, the second one, anyway.

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

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

Hit-and-run driver busted behind bars for killing South LA father, LA considers civilian traffic cops, and Bike the Vote!

They didn’t have to look far to find one hit-and-run driver.

After three full months of searching, investigators identified the driver who killed a 37-year old father as he was riding with his two children in South LA.

Police identified 26-year old Los Angeles resident Moises Iscaya on October 6th as the driver who — allegedly — fled the scene after running down Jorge Guerra on July 8th; Guerra died after spending eight days in a coma.

Fortunately, his two children were uninjured, aside from the trauma of seeing their father killed in front of their eyes.

When LAPD officers searched for Iscaya, however, they found he was already being held by sheriff’s deputies on $2.2 million bail, charged with multiple counts including murder.

Maybe they should just add another murder count while they’re at it.

Unfortunately, felony hit-and-run resulting in death would only add a maximum of four years to whatever he gets if he’s convicted on the other charges.

Something that has to be changed if we ever want to stop the epidemic of hit-and-runs in this state.

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The Los Angeles City Council will consider using unarmed civilians and speed cams for traffic enforcement and collision investigations this morning.

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Calbike offers a reminder to Bike the Vote this year.

In every sense.

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Congratulations to Davis on their award-winning bike safety musical. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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New York bike cops continue to use their bicycles as shields and weapons against protesters.

And bust protestors because their bikes fall over.

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

Boston suburb rips out a new bike lane after just six days, after vocal residents choose parking spaces over people’s lives.

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Local

Los Angeles could soon be the home of the nation’s largest ebike factory; privately owed ROKiT MADE plans to open next year to build “best-in-class e-Bike models across all price points in each market segment,” in a plant designed to accommodate up to 2,000 workers.

Santa Monica is planning to add a two-way separated bike lane protected by thin plastic bollards on Ocean Ave, replacing the current painted lane.

 

State

Santa Barbara’s new e-bikeshare system continues the transformation of the city’s main street, as State Street has been reclaimed from cars to provide space for outdoor shopping and dining.

Sad news from Porterville, where a 15-year old boy was killed riding his bike in a crosswalk.

A Fresno man faces charges after he was caught on video threatening a bike rider at knifepoint to steal his backpack.

San Francisco isn’t on track to meet the Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the next four years. But at least they’re trying, unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

Davis is asking residents to take the Bike League’s Bicycle Friendly Community survey.

The City of Angels is building new bike lanes. No, the other City of Angels.

 

National

Urban planners from across the US consider repurposing traffic lanes for other uses in a post-pandemic world.

A writer for The Verge says driving the massively oversized Cadillac Escalade was one of the most stressful experiences of his life, while Outside says the new electric Hummer is the awesome pickup we’ve all been waiting for. Um, no.

A Colorado mountain biker rides the trail pioneered centuries ago by the Ute tribe.

Texas is launching a Drive Smart, Walk Smart, Bike Smart public safety campaign to combat a jump in bike and pedestrian crashes. Because everyone knows it’s better to air a few ads than do something about dangerous drivers and fix the damn streets.

A Kansas driver had his wrist slap sentence tossed out on appeal, after the court ruled the judge has exceeded her discretion by reducing his ten-year sentence for second-degree murder by over eight years; the court ordered him resentenced for running down a man with his car following a dispute.

A St. Louis nonprofit devoted to refurbishing bikes to donate to kids in need is slowly trying to rebuild after a building collapse destroyed hundreds of stored bicycles; the head of the group didn’t know the building they used for storage had been condemned seven years ago.

Good question. A Vermont paper asks if anyone can do anything about bike theft, while a bicyclist offers a tragic reminder to put your damn phone down while you ride.

Manhattan officials killed a proposal for a cargo bike corral to accommodate the bikes used for Whole Foods deliveries because it would have meant the loss of five lousy parking spaces.

DC’s Metro built bike corrals at three park and ride locations — and somehow spent $20,000 per space doing it.

Residents of a Maryland city are up in arms over groups of ill-mannered kids on bicycles swarming the streets.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, as a South Carolina man was sentenced to 20 years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider after four previous DUI convictions.

A New Orleans bike group cancels their weekly light-up bike parade after it proves too popular during the pandemic.

 

International

Travel & Leisure lists the world’s top bicycling cities. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t make the list; Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis did.

Add these to your mountain bike bucket list. Bicycling recommends a handful of bikepacking singletrack trails across the US and around the world. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

They get it. A Bogotá, Colombia website says it’s time to protect vulnerable bike riders, because riding a bicycle shouldn’t be a capital crime.

Mexico’s Merida will build a 45-mile bike lane network circling the Yucatan town.

The bighearted owner of a Toronto bike shop gave a new bike to a frontline hospital worker whose bike was stolen as he worked a 28 hour shift.

Conservative councilors in the London borough of Hackney called for removing Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the country’s Slow Streets equivalent — despite their popularity with the city’s residents.

UK car insurance claims involving bike riders have doubled this year, as more people took to two wheels during the coronavirus lockdown.

Life is cheap in Great Britain, where a careless driver who killed a bike rider got just 30 months behind bars — which included time for also stealing 16 cars worth over $250,000.

Spain plans to reduce the standard speed limit in cities from the equivalent of 31 mph to 18 mph to improve safety for people who aren’t in cars.

Forget helmet laws; an Iranian woman was busted for riding a bicycle without a hijab.

 

Competitive Cycling

English cyclist Dan Martin took the third stage of the Vuelta, while the Giro got a new leader after Thursday’s stage as João Almeida cracked climbing the iconic Stelvio.

Apparently, Colombia cyclist Fernando Gaviria thought Covid-19 was so nice, he caught it twice.

VeloNews examines Anna van der Breggen’s successful strategy to win Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

Highland could serve as a substitute if the annual Redlands Classic stage race isn’t able to roll next year.

The Cedar City, Utah edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride was the first gravel race to roll as the nation slowly continues a premature wakeup from Covid-19; VeloNews looks at the precautions that were taken to help keep everyone safe.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike to commit a burglary, maybe the fireplace isn’t the best place to hide. Your next ride could result in glowing reviews. No, literally.

And someone must think roadkill looks better in stripes.

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

Driver busted for Hawthorne hit-and-run, 16 LA-area bike riders shot by police, and bike-riding woman murders Metro worker

A couple quick notes before we start. 

Today is the last day to register to vote before next month’s presidential and city council elections, along with a number of other important federal, state and local offices. Not to mention a massive number of California state propositions. 

So take a few minutes to make sure your voice is heard.

Also, my apologies to everyone who tipped me to news stories over the weekend; with a few exceptions, I’ve somehow managed to lose track of who sent what. 

But please accept my thanks anyway. I always appreciate the help, even if my feeble brain fails me from time to time. 

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Hawthorne police have busted the driver who fled the scene after running a red light and slamming into a 14-year old boy as he rode his bike in a crosswalk on Rosecrans Avenue earlier this month.

Twenty-eight-year old Darlene Delgadillo confessed to driving the car after police traced it to a home in Gardena.

Meanwhile, the now-15 year old victim remains in a coma with major head trauma, as well as a broken leg, arm and feet, more than two weeks after the crash.

Yet despite the horrific harm she allegedly caused, Delgadillo will face a maximum of just four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run under California law.

Maybe someday we’ll get our elected leaders to take this crime seriously.

Because they sure as hell aren’t doing it now.

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Apparently, Dijon Kizzee was just the tip of the iceberg.

An investigative report from the LA Times reveals that 16 bike riders have been shot by police or sheriff’s deputies in LA County over the past 15 years for what started out as simple traffic violations.

Eleven of those were killed.

The Times identified 16 cases since 2005 where a stop for bike violations in Los Angeles County resulted in a police shooting, according to interviews and a review of public records from the district attorney, coroner and various court cases. Most of the stops occurred in communities made up largely of Black and Latino residents. In 11 incidents, including Kizzee’s, the bicyclists — all male and Black or Latino — were killed.

Among those 16 cases, violations ranged from riding on the sidewalk to biking without a light or on the wrong side of the road. In 11 cases, authorities said they found a firearm. In one shooting, deputies found an airsoft gun they said looked like a semiautomatic handgun.

It’s an important read, because constantly having to worry about getting stopped by the cops for biking while Black or brown is bad enough.

But something is seriously wrong when people of color also have to worry about getting the death penalty for a simple traffic violation.

Thanks to everyone who sent this one to my attention.

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Police are on the lookout for a bike-riding woman who fatally stabbed an 18-year Metro employee Friday night following a dispute at the 7th and Metro station in DTLA.

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The city council’s Transportation Committee will consider the fate of the city’s current Slow Streets at 1 pm today, with options ranging from making them more permanent, to removing them entirely.

Here’s how to join in.

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Public radio station KPFK is in deep financial danger, and could take the popular Bike Talk program down with it without your help.

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Bicycling and SRAM will examine the issues facing people who have been swept under the rug for far too long.

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This is who we share the road with.

There’s a special place in hell for a Montana man who was charged with a sex crime involving an 11-year old girl, after he was previously charged with intentionally running down a man on a bicycle, claiming it was his bike. Although you’d think if it was really his bike, he wouldn’t want to run it over with his car.

You don’t need to speak Spanish to get that maybe this driver should pay attention to the road instead of complaining about people on two wheels.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

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This will restore your faith in humanity.

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Now this is art.

The newest Banksy that popped up on a Nottingham, England street incorporates an actual beat-up bicycle chained to a pole in front of wall art of a girl using the missing bike tire as a hula hoop.

Seriously, he can paint that on my wall anytime.

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Speaking of art, the annual Bicycle Film Festival is back on this weekend, after going virtual due to the coronavirus crisis.

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

Police in Chico, California are looking for a woman who fled the scene after flooring her car and slamming into a woman on a bicycle in an apparently intentional attack, before continuing on to run over an employee at a gas station; police have recovered her car, but the driver is still on the run.

Someone ripped out the plastic bollards marking a popup bike lane in Glasgow, Scotland, and tossed them into a canal.

A New Zealand bike rider was the victim of a road raging driver who repeatedly honked and rammed the back of his bike, before finally knocking him off; the 65-year old driver faces a charge of dangerous driving causing injury.

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

A 19-year old New York man could face a murder charge after a group of bike-riding teens argued with a 79-year man before pushing him to the ground; the victim died later after being rushed to a hospital. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

Police in Edinburgh are looking for the masked bike-riding man who stole a woman’s watch and diamond rings as she was walking on a bike path.

A Belfast, Northern Ireland bike rider says he’s really, really sorry for stabbing two women and punching two others in a one-day assault spree, for no apparent reason; fortunately, none of the women suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 67-year old Australian man recovering from open heart surgery was left bloodied and banged up after he was hit from behind by a bike rider while walking on a pedestrian bridge. Yet another reminder to alway ride with extra caution around pedestrians. Not only are people unpredictable, but they’re the only ones out there more vulnerable than we are.

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Local

A local paper profiles 26-year old Alexandria Contreras as she runs for a seat on the Downey city council; the bike-riding candidate is a big supporter of community involvement, housing, urban safety and the environment.

Kindhearted members of the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita donated 17 bicycles to veterans in need. Although those little kids don’t look like veterans to me. But what do I know?

 

State

A 49-year old San Diego man suffered a broken leg and broken ribs when a motorcyclist slammed into a group of bike riders in the city’s Pacific Beach neighborhood; the motorcyclist walked away with road rash.

The Los Angeles Times offers more information about the 14-year old boy facing a possible hate crime charge for punching a San Diego rabbi.

More bad new from Northern California, where a 14-year old boy was killed in a crash while riding his bike in Elk Grove.

 

National

Here’s your chance to buy that really cool, but really strange hubless ebike for under two grand; the bikemaker promises it’s virtually theft proof.

Despite last spring’s lighter traffic, the rate of traffic deaths jumped nearly twenty percent, mostly because of who was driving, and how. Or rather, how fast.

A new AARP survey examines bicycling among the over 50 set, concluding that many older American’s can’t imagine not being able to ride a bike.

Cycling Savvy offers a discussion of what to look for in rear view bike mirrors. Besides cars, that is.

Apparently, soap star Susan Lucci is one of us; Katie Holmes is one of us, too.

The kindhearted members of a Utah Masonic lodge gave new bicycles to 68 elementary school students as a reward for reading.

Tragic news from Texas, where a longtime scout for the NBA’s Houston Rockets was killed after he hit an open culvert in a construction zone with his bike.

A New York bus driver who killed a bikeshare user in 2017 isn’t content with the slap on the wrist he received, going to court in an attempt to have the city’s failure to yield law invalidated — even though he only got a paltry 30 days behind bars.

The partner of a New York man has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was critically injured by falling off a defective VanMoof ebike during a test ride, because missing screws allegedly allowed the fender to come in contact with the rear wheel; the victim remains in a coma over two weeks after the crash.

Speaking of New York, the bike boom means increasing numbers of bike riders are using the city’s bridges — but avoiding the iconic, if cramped and crowded, Brooklyn Bridge.

 

International

If you’re looking for speed, roll on latex in your tires.

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 80-year old English woman celebrated her birthday with an 80-mile bike ride.

A British man set a new record for riding a bike without getting anywhere, riding a stationary bike for more than 11 days.

Seriously? Police in Dubai seized 370 bicycles in a single week because their owners violated traffic laws, in a bizarre campaign to improve traffic safety. If they were serious about improving safety, they’d seize cars from scofflaw drivers, instead.

A South African writer talks with Black and white bike riders, and concludes it’s the feeling of freedom that keeps us riding year after year.

Aussies are warned that the worldwide bike shortage means you need to do something now if you want to get a new bicycle by Christmas.

 

Competitive Cycling

An American cyclist is an unexpected hair’s breadth from the Giro podium. Twenty-two-year old Phoenix resident and former world junior time trial champ Brandon McNulty of UAE Team Emirates rode to a third place finish in the individual time trial on Saturday, leaping from 12th to 4th, with another brief time trial in the final stage.

VeloNews offers a recap of who did well, and who cracked in Saturday’s time trial.

Thirty-nine-year old Aussie Adam Hansen is throwing in the towel after 13 years and 29 grand tours, saying he’s “kind of done with it now,” and looks forward to switching to triathlons next year.

Congratulations if you had Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel in your Tour of Flanders pool.

Great French hope Julian Alaphilippe broke his hand in two places when he became just the latest cyclist to crash into a race moto in the Tour of Flanders. Once again, there is no excuse for allowing motorcycles in the peloton. Keep them in front of the cyclists or well behind, for everyone sake.

Hats off to Swiss cyclist Camille Balanche, who became the first out and proud gay woman to win the world Downhill Mountain Biking World Championship.

 

Finally…

When is a bike path not a bike path? When there’s a big frigging utility pole in the middle of it. Your next bike helmet could be soft and squishy.

And maybe people don’t really love their cars after all.

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

Clotheslining riders on new DTLA bike lane, public safety and Go Human town halls, and drawing Pacman by bike

There seems to be something wrong with this photo of the new separated bike lane on Grand Ave in DTLA.

But I just can’t put my finger on it…

Photo by Redditor u/TezzDonut

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

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Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is hosting a virtual town hall on Thursday to discuss how to reform policing in Los Angeles, which could have a major effect on traffic enforcement and criminal investigations affecting people on bicycles.

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Talk with the Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, about their newly revived Go Human campaign tomorrow.

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Nothing like penning a 380-mile Pacman by bike.

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Salsa Cycles presents a moving video as a Canadian woman attempts to ride all ten bikepacking routes pioneered by her late husband in a single year.

Thanks to Victor Bale, who suggests watching this one full screen, for forwarding the link. 

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Former professional cyclist James Lowsley-Williams offers tips on how to avoid saddle sores when you ride.

Including don’t wear underwear with your bike shorts, which you already knew, right?

Or you could just plop your ass on this padded wedge currently raising funds online.

But I’ll let you try it first, thank you.

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

Police in Albuquerque NM are looking for whoever shot and killed a man as he was walking his bicycle last week. Although someone should tell the Albuquerque Journal that the truck they were using probably isn’t a suspect in the shooting.

A Baltimore bike rider is accusing a driver of deliberately slamming his truck into four people riding their bikes as part of a large group ride. Chances are, the pickup didn’t deliberately hit anyone. The asshole driving it did, despite what the headline says.

Some people can’t see the traffic for the cars. A writer for London’s Daily Mail blames the city’s bike lanes for causing traffic congestion, while failing to recognize that it’s really just too many people like him in cars.

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

A San Diego man pled not guilty to fatally stabbing a man in an apparent random attack in a Pacific Beach public restroom, before attempting to flee on a bicycle.

A bikeshare-riding Brooklyn mugger was caught on video ripping a gold chain off a young mother’s neck.

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Local

Metro is putting out a call for bikeshare providers to replace Bicycle Transit Systems, the current Metro Bike operator, when their contract expires in two years. And hopefully find someone more willing to expand system throughout LA.

The Pasadena Police Department will be conducting yet another of their bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns this Friday; their last one resulted in 119 tickets, 28 of which went to people on bicycles. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave cross the city limits.

Brigitte Nielson and her dog nearly got cameos in Bradley Cooper’s latest film, as they rode through the LA set for the new movie by director Paul Thomas Anderson.

 

State

A Sacramento man was busted for an alleged sexual assault on a Davis bike path earlier this month. Which is yet another reminder that women face risks riding that men don’t, especially when out of public view on offroad paths.

 

National

Vice examines Traffic Demand Modeling, or TDM, the antiquated formula that predicts the need for road projects — and too often misses the mark.

NPR looks to Trek to examine what bikes can tell us about Trump’s trade wars and the changing global economy.

No surprise here, as a new study pending publication shows riding a bike can help keep you young, figuratively if not literally.

A public radio reporter has set out on a 900-mile bike ride across four Rocky Mountain states, crisscrossing the Continental Divide to listen to Americans in advance of the 2020 election. Yes, they’re actually paying him to take a bikepacking trip.

A Colorado district attorney has concluded there was no wrongdoing by five Colorado Springs cops after a popular bike fitter and former bike shop employee died when they tried to take him into custody during an apparent psychotic episode.

The mayor of Jefferson City, Missouri bought a new bike to take part in a community ride, and discovered a bicycle allows you to be social while social distancing.

When his son wanted to ride a bike with his sisters despite his cerebral palsy, a Chicago bike shop owner established a foundation to help provide others with adaptive bicycles, too.

Kindhearted community members teamed with the local Walmart to buy a new bicycle for a popular Illinois man known for riding everywhere, after his bike was stolen from a truck stop.

An Illinois columnist suggests saving money by riding a bike instead of driving.

A Massachusetts man is taking traffic violence into his own hands, protesting every day for the past two weeks to call for safer streets.

 

International

Thanks to the pandemic, ridership rates are way up on a once-controversial Toronto protected bike lane.

A new European study show the popup bikeways that sprang up across Europe in the wake of the pandemic lockdown delivered $3 billion in health benefits across the continent.

Road.cc’s ebike sister site picks eight of their favorite ebikes, starting at the equivalent of $2,759.

A group of bighearted bicyclists bought a new bike for a Filipino sapatero — shoe repairman — after someone noticed him riding a homemade bike put together from scrap metal.

 

Competitive Cycling

NBC posts a TV and streaming schedule for this year’s pandemic-delayed Tour de France, which kicks off this Saturday. Or you could try to be one of the lucky few to see it in person.

Bicycling celebrates the long overdue demise of podium girls in the Tour de France, but says it’s also time for a real women’s Tour. Here’s the Yahoo link if you’ve been banished by the magazine’s paywall.

Cycling’s governing body pinky swears they’re really going to improve safety after too many high-profile crashes during this year’s races.

Former US crit champ Travis McCabe is finally getting his chance to race with the top level WorldTour, after his rookie season was nearly derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

UCI considers putting pro mountain bikers in a bubble to resume the racing season.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike three sheets to the wind — or three times the legal limit — don’t toss your empties into the bushes. Go mountain biking with stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill without ever leaving the bike shop.

And who says cleats and Crocs don’t mix?

……

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

LA bike crashes plummet during pandemic while deaths don’t, and fight for safe streets on your neighborhood council

Yes, collisions involving bike riders really are down in Los Angeles.

According to a Crosstown analysis of LAPD crash data, the lighter traffic resulting from the coronavirus lockdown led to a nearly 71% drop during the 11-week period starting March 15th.

That’s just four days before the shutdown orders in Los Angeles and California.

Surprisingly, despite the return of motor vehicle traffic and the recent jump in SoCal bicycling fatalities, bicycle crashes remained significantly below last year as of the middle of last month.

More surprising is that LADOT is actually moving forward with bike projects outside the Downtown area.

It seems LADOT is paying attention. Despite facing a shortfall of nearly $31 million due to the coronavirus pandemic, the department has expedited multiple bike lanes and safety projects since the “Safer at Home” order was issued on March 19. According to Colin Sweeney, LADOT’s public information director, there have been nearly 28 miles of bike lanes installed or upgraded, and an additional 5.5 lane miles are under construction in the city…

In addition to Downtown, Sweeney said LADOT also implemented more than 12 miles of new bike lanes to Avalon Boulevard in South Los Angeles since May.

“In South Los Angeles, the Manchester-Broadway, Our Way project has just begun construction and will add new parking-protected bike lanes from Manchester to Century on Broadway,” he said.

So maybe there’s hope, after all.

At least if you live or ride in those areas, because there are large swaths of LA where the city doesn’t appear to be doing anything.

Thanks to Ethan Ward for the heads-up.

Illustration by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

On a related subject, the dramatic drop in SoCal bicycling deaths in March, April and May during the coronavirus shutdown, followed by a big jump in June and July as people started back to work, is a reminder that bikes aren’t dangerous.

Cars — and the people in them — are.

And streets are safer with fewer cars on them.

………

Maybe the most effective way to counter LA’s legendary NIMBYs and fight for safer streets is on the neighborhood level.

And the best way to do that is by serving on your local neighborhood council, with openings available right now throughout the LA area.

………

Maybe with more bike riders on LA’s neighborhood councils, we might see less of this crap.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1290348082681401344

………

Ted Faber says Culver City’s efforts to provide social distancing for diners is good for people on bicycles, too.

………

GCN examines whether you’re better off riding solo or as part of a group.

………

Most mountain bikers have enough sense to stay the hell away from forest fires.

………

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

Police in Orange, California are looking for a man riding a bike who sexually assaulted three women on the Santiago Creek bike path.

British authorities are looking for a mountain bike-riding man who attempted to solicit a sex act from a woman, before performing a lewd act in front of her.

……..

Local

Pasadena police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation this Friday. The usual protocol applies — be sure to ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits. Or just avoid riding in the Rose City until Saturday.

Sierra Madre and Arcadia are moving forward with bike lanes as part of an actual bicycle network in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

Costs Mesa is asking local residents, bike riders and pedestrians to reimagine what busy 19th Street can be. Although the latter two are often residents, too.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 96-year old Santa Maria man is rapidly approaching 100,000 lifetime miles on his bike, despite not taking up riding until he a relative spring chicken of 67.

A new study confirms the effectiveness of Oakland’s low-cost, quick-build protected intersections.

 

National

Streetsblog says the Covid-19 pandemic could take 14 million cars off American roads, and keep them off — but only if we move quickly to provide valid alternatives to driving.

The founding president of the American Planning Association says planners must actively confront structural racism embedded in the design of our cities.

Bike Portland asks what the city plans to do with a thousand high-mileage analog bikes from the city’s bikeshare program, which is replacing them with ebikes.

Waterloo, Wisconsin-based Trek is gearing up to meet the booming demand for bicycles, after initially preparing for the bike industry to implode as a result of Covid-19. Although one of the best ways to bankrupt any business is by chasing boom and bust cycles.

A new Chicago group is getting more Black people out on bikes while supporting Black-owned businesses.

An Indiana hit-and-run driver was sentenced to a whopping 48 years behind bars for killing a local a local coach and teacher who was riding his bike; the sentence included an additional 20 years for being an habitual offender. Even I think that might be just a tad extreme; the judge could have ordered the sentences to run concurrently, rather than consecutively.

Heartbreaking news from Massachusetts, where a 94-year old man faces a homicide charge for running down a 67-year old bike rider. Yet another example of allowing an older driver to remain behind the wheel until it’s too late.

There’s a special place in hell for the woman who drove off after running down a couple nine and twelve year old boys riding their bikes on a Long Island service road; the 31-year old driver was busted ten hours later, which could have given her plenty of time to sober up if she was under the influence.

Good point. A New York writer wants to know why the mayor is cracking down on Revel after the Vespa-style scooter-share service suffered two deaths, but not motor vehicles, which cause far more.

 

International

Road.cc gets it, recommending the best road bikes under the equivalent of $650. And yes, there are good bikes in that range these days. Although whether you’ll be able to find any at your local bike shop after the coronavirus bike boom is another matter.

Speaking of Road.cc, the bike site Investigates an “innovative new risk-management philosophy” that says it’s time to drop the “us vs them” attitude, and build a road system that accommodates people’s errors.

Cycling Weekly explains what you should look for in a commuting bike.

Treehugger offers tips on what you’ll need to bike with small kids, while The Guardian covers the same topic.

North American bike riders need more than just white lines on the street to stay safe.

A pair of British Columbia bicyclists are lucky to be alive after they were struck by a load of lumber a truck driver carelessly left overhanging his pickup bed.

One in five British residents say they’d consider riding a bike as part of their commute, but fears of bike theft and dangerous streets hold them back; meanwhile, only ten percent of Brits think the country takes road safety seriously.

An English ambulance driver, who should know better, tells a bicyclist to get off the road and ride on a parallel cycle track, even though the rider is traveling at up to 30 mph. Maybe he’s just trying to boost his business if there are any slow bike riders or pedestrians on the path.

An English blues musician was killed when he crashed his bike into a bollard that was placed on a bike and pedestrian bridge after an elderly couple drove onto it by mistake — and even though another bike rider had already been injured in the same spot.

Nice story from the UK, where an 83-year old man is looking for the racing cyclist who crashed into him, ripping off his lip, which had to be reattached — not to hold him responsible, but to thank him for staying with him and holding his hand all the way to the hospital.

A British woman says the country’s new bike-focused anti-obesity campaign will fail because it ignores the complex causes of obesity, insisting she’s neither lazy or lacking self-discipline.

German grocery chain Aldi is selling a full-featured folding bike for the equivalent of just under $400; no word on whether this offer is only available in the UK, or if they’ll ship to the US, though. Although if I had an extra four hundred bucks lying around, I’d find out.

 

Competitive Cycling

The next pro cycling star may be Remco Evenepoel, as defending Tour de France champ Egan Bernal says he’s astounded by the 20-year old Belgian rider’s “massive” talent.

After winning the Strade Bianche, Belgian cyclist Wout van Aert held onto his jersey and the winning bike for a planned museum after he retires.

USA Cycling pulled the plug on this year’s Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Finally…

Who needs a washing machine when you can ride a bike? We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about careless sheep violating the right-of-way.

And don’t hang your face mask from your car mirror.

Or anything else, for that matter.

………

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

37-year old father killed riding bike in South Los Angeles hit-and-run; once again, public not informed for weeks

Once again, a man has died following a violent hit-and-run while riding his bike in South Los Angeles.

And once again, the LAPD doesn’t seem to think the public needed to know about it.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, 37-year old South LA resident Jorge Guerra was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding home from the park with his two young children on July 8th.

Fortunately, his two-year old son Nathan and four-year old daughter Madelyn weren’t seriously injured; their father wasn’t so lucky.

Guerra was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, but lapsed into a coma after arriving; he died of organ failure on July 16th.

The LAPD places the crash on northbound Wadsworth Ave north of 88th Street at 8:40 pm, when a speeding driver slammed into the bike they were riding after turning onto the narrow residential street.

The driver continued north on Wadsworth, crashing into several parked cars before stopping just south of Manchester Blvd. He ran off, leaving the damaged car behind.

Police are still looking for the suspect, who hasn’t been identified; unsurprisingly, the car he was driving was stolen. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.

Now Guerra’s wife is faced with raising her kids as a grieving single mother while in the middle of a pandemic.

A crowdfunding campaign to help defray Guerra’s funeral expenses has raised just under $6,000, far short of the $25,000 goal.

Unfortunately, like the death of Melvin “Peanut” Frye last month, the LAPD apparently failed to inform the public at the time of the crash — or alert them to a dangerous car thief hiding in their midst. Even though both Los Angeles and California have Yellow Alert systems to get the word out as quickly as possible.

There’s no explanation for why the LAPD continually refuses to use them; evidently, they’d rather wait until the trail goes cold and people have forgotten key details before asking for their help. Which could be one reason why hit-and-run drivers continue to get away with it here.

Even though similar systems have been used successfully in other cities to bring hit-and-run drivers to justice.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. Over half of those deaths in the county have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jorge Guerra and all his family and loved ones.

Man killed riding bike in South LA hit-and-run last month; no alert or information from police for nearly 4 weeks

Note: Because of the time spent writing this piece, there will be no Morning Links today; we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.

A hit-and-run alert system doesn’t do a damn bit of good if the police won’t use it.

That was the case last month, when a man was killed while riding his bike in a South LA hit-and-run.

Yet no information about the crash was released until a press conference was finally held yesterday morning.

The LAPD reports 57-year old Melvin “Peanut” Frye was killed when he was struck by a driver around 9:05 pm on June 27th, nearly one month ago.

Frye was run down by an unknown motorist as he was crossing Main Street at 103rd Street in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood; he was riding west across Main while the driver was headed south.

He died at he scene.

The driver kept going, without stopping or identifying themself as required by law. Authorities are looking for a black or dark-colored Dodge Durango; no description was given for the driver.

No announcement appears to have been made at the time.

Then again, Frye’s family wasn’t even notified until more than a week later, after frantically calling hospitals and checking jail bookings before they were finally contacted by the coroner’s office.

The press conference was held to request the public’s help in solving the crime. The city offers a standing $50,000 award for information leading to an arrest and conviction for any fatal hit-and-run, regardless of whether the reward has been announced by the police.

According to KTLA-5, the victim’s sister is urging witnesses to come forward.

Mishy Frye said people have called her to relay information about the type of car involved, “and then nobody can give the detectives no information.”

“I’m just shocked, because you guys know him,” she said. “Everybody know him in this area. Everyone. It’s not right…”

“I want justice for him, not through you calling me, but call the detectives,” she said. “Holding onto a secret makes you no better than the person that hit him.”

In addition to LA’s citywide hit-and-run alert system, California has approved a statewide Yellow Alert system to notify the public in the event of a hit-and-run. Both are intended to alert the public as quickly as possible to watch for the suspect vehicle in the event of a hit-and-run, and encourage witnesses to come forward while the event is still fresh in their minds.

Not a month later.

Had the police released information about the crash at the time, along with announcing the standing reward, someone might have come forward by now.

And maybe Frye’s family could have been spared the pain of not knowing what had happened to him for ten long days after the crash. Let alone knowing that the heartless coward who killed him is still out there.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Keith Gonzales at 323/421-2500, or 323/421-2577 after normal business hours.

This is at least the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Half of those deaths in LA County have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Melvin “Peanut” Frye and all his loved ones.

 

LA not ticketing stay-at-home violations, but SaMo might; Dockweiler quarantine zone; and dropped by bionic runners

Despite recent rumors, the LAPD is not stopping, ticketing or arresting people for violating the LA and California stay-at-home orders.

However, Santa Monica police are now authorized to issue fines for violating the stay-at-home order, though walking and bicycling are still allowed.

For now, anyway.

Photo courtesy of LAPD Central Bike Unit.

………

You might want to think twice about riding the Marvin Braude bike path through Dockweiler Beach for the foreseeable future.

All those matching vehicles in the RV park will be used to quarantine coronavirus victims who can’t isolate themselves at home, for whatever reason.

Authorities recommend avoiding the area entirely, for reasons that should be obvious.

………

You could get dropped by a runner in the not-too-distant future.

A new paper published in the journal Science Advances suggests a mechanical exoskeleton based on bicycle mechanics could propel a runner as fast as 46 mph, just a hair below the speed where bike riders max out.

And no, I can’t ride that on my best day.

Which is long behind me, anyway.

Now if they can figure out how to apply that to a bike rider’s legs, we might be on to something.

………

Here’s your chance to weigh in on first mile-last mile connections to the coming L Line station, for the train formerly known as the Gold Line.

But at least they didn’t change it to an unpronounceable symbol.

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Newport Beach confirms that Back Bay Drive remains open to people traveling by foot or bicycle.

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The deeply tongue-in-cheek Tour de Quarantine continues with a recap of Stage 4.

………

Local

As promised, Uber has filed suit against Los Angeles over the requirement to provide realtime user data for their Jump dockless ebikes and e-scooters. The only surprise is that they managed to find a court that’s still open.

Time to find an alternative route if you ride the Burbank Blvd bridge over the 5 Freeway.

House of Cards star Robin Wright leads off the latest round of celebrity bike riders getting away from sheltering at home for awhile, as she goes out for a fat-tired ebike ride through Brentwood with her husband.

Liev Schreiber is one of us, too, as he goes for a bike ride through Venice with his girlfriend. Except lose the Yankees cap, you’re in LA now.

Hats off to former gubernator Arnold Schwarzenegger, who donated a cool million to buy medical supplies to fight Covid-19, before going for his usual ebike ride through Santa Monica. But maybe don’t split lanes while riding salmon.

Bike the Vote LA is looking for phone volunteers to support city council candidates in Culver City and Santa Monica.

A Long Beach bicycle courier service finds itself in greater demand delivering meals directly to customers’ doors.

 

State

The confusion continues, as it turns out Orange County parks and trails apparently remain open, but the parking lots serving them are closed.

San Diego triathlon manufacturer De Soto Sport has joined the tide of companies making masks and headwear for doctors and nurses.

Despite the state’s coronavirus shutdown, the Sacramento City Council moved forward with an $8.4 billion transportation plan.

Tahoe’s 29th annual America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride has been pushed from this June to September, on the hope this crap will be over by then. Let’s hope so, but don’t hold your breath.

 

National

No surprise here. America’s most prolific serial killer began his criminal career with a stint in reform school for stealing a bicycle.

The annual Filmed by Bike festival isn’t letting a little thing like a worldwide pandemic stop the fun; they’ll be hosting the Global Bike Festival on YouTube April 4th.

Bicycling offers advice on how to support local bike shops, nonprofits and ride promoters in their time of need. Meanwhile, their staff discusses whether they’re still riding during the coronavirus crisis, and why.

A woman complains about concerned bike riders asking if she’s okay when she gets off her bike, preferring they just leave her alone; Miss Manners politely says suck it up, lady. Albeit in a somewhat more mannerly way, of course.

Lyft is pitching in to help during the pandemic by offering free bikeshare passes for hospital workers, first responders and transit workers in New York, Boston and Chicago.

A Montana writer submits his updated version of a Bicyclist’s Creed.

A Minnesota woman rides along with her husband on his bike commute through streets emptied by the coronavirus crisis.

This isn’t the first global pandemic a 102-year old Queens bike shop has survived.

No surprise here, either, as speeding is out of control on New York’s newly quiet streets. We’ve seen multiple anecdotal reports of the same thing here in Los Angeles.

A writer for Streetsblog New York says instead of complaining about rude treatment from more experienced bike riders, it’s time for new riders to get radicalized.

A kindhearted Virginia firefighter raised money to buy a new three-wheeled bike for a man with Down’s syndrome after the one he relied on for transportation was stolen.

Maybe keep it to yourself next time. A South Carolina man interrupted his bike ride to take a phone call from someone who wanted to know where he was. After telling him, the acquaintance drove up and shot him in the leg.

A Florida woman was busted for a hit-and-run that left a bike rider with minor injuries when she stopped to buy a couple beers, with a BAC nearly twice the legal limit; she was already on probation for ripping off an 81-year old patient at the rehab facility where she worked.

 

International

Cities around the world are exempting bike shops and building bike lanes as the coronavirus crisis forces changes in transportation. Los Angeles, however, is not one of them, at least as far as bike lanes are concerned.

Now that’s more like it. Road.cc recommends a dozen bike upgrades under the equivalent of $60, as well as protective eyewear below $54.

Officials conclude bike shops are essential in Ontario, but not in Quebec, while a Vancouver transportation advocate says you’re better off just staying home these days, anyway.  Actually, bike shops are essential everywhere, whether or not the government wants to admit it.

Yes, Brits can still ride their bikes, despite the country’s coronavirus lockdown; Britain’s biggest bike retailer reopened its stores after bike shops were deemed an essential service.

A bicycle in a Sarajevo museum serves as a reminder of the 1,425 day siege of the city during the 1990s ethnic cleansing war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

An Indian writer complains that bicyclists are ignoring the country’s order to self-isolate, saying nobody cares about your Strava record now.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an ebike from a New Zealand ICU nurse while she was working a 15-hour shift treating Covid-19 patients. But at least she got it back after a sharp eyed person spotted it outside a store. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Alex Pavon is on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, working as a Tucson, Arizona EMT when she’s not racing. Unfortunately, though, it’s a reminder of the inequity in the pro cycling world, where women cyclists have to hold a full-time job in addition to racing.

Fellow rider Taylor Wiles offers a pro cyclist’s perspective on the coronavirus pandemic from her indoor pedaled perch during Italy’s complete lockdown.

Belgium extends the country’s cycling season through Halloween, but the cancelled Tour of Flanders is unlikely to be made up this year.

The 19-year old driver who killed professional cyclist Benjamin Sonntag in Colorado could face a vehicular manslaughter charge for driving an estimated 65 mph in a 35 mph zone. There are some pretty horrifying details here, so be prepared if you click the link.

 

Finally…

Lots of people go paddle boarding; not many pull a stolen five grand fat bike out of the water. Business is booming for smart bikes that don’t go anywhere.

And a lockdown becomes just a tad more tolerable when you can get cold craft beer delivered by cargo bike.

Unless you’d rather have meals delivered to you by a topless driver.

 

Morning Links: Teacher arrested in Silver Lake hit-and-run, Main Street bike lane opens, and LA promises zero emissions

One quick note before we get going. 

This has been a very hard year for me.

But I have a lot to be grateful for, starting with a self-made job I truly love. And the readers who make it possible. 

Because without you, all this would just be empty words in cyberspace. 

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Have a warm and loving Thanksgiving, whether you spend it with family, friends or on your own this year. And ride safely, because I want to see you back here when we return next week. 

Although you’re more than welcome to return over the weekend, when we kick off the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

And the last one that will feature the late, great Corgi as our official spokesdog.

Photo by Nikita Lyamkin from Pexels.

………

Let’s start with some good news today.

The LAPD announced yesterday they’ve made an arrest in the Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider severely injured last month.

Fifty-two-year old Silver Lake resident Molly Jane Hoene was taken into custody at a relative’s home in Palm Springs around 8 am Tuesday.

Meanwhile, her victim remains hospitalized in stable condition after enduring multiple surgeries.

No word on who, if anyone, will get the $25,000 reward.

………

Los Angeles officials celebrated the official opening of the 1.5-mile Main Street protected bike lane, a near twin of the Spring Street bike lane one block away.

The two-way lane is positioned on the left side of the roadway to avoid conflicts with bus stops and parked cars.

Although whether it will become another parking magnet for movie production trucks and delivery vans, like the lanes on Spring Street, remains to be determined.

KNX radio reporter Margaret Carrero offered a brief look at the new lane.

Although not everyone was pleased, as our anonymous correspondent makes clear.

A couple thoughts on the bike lane.

On Saturday, before the Art Crash ride, I gave the new lanes a spin, heading north.

First. The signals. The #¢&ing signals. The bike signals are short, and you will sit there, staring agog at a green pedestrian signal, while the red bike signal mocks you. The fury will be interrupted only by the terror of close left turns by motorists.

Just north of 6th Street, I paused to reflect upon my unplanned nap (and accompanying skull fracture) at the exact location that is now the buffered zone of the new bike lane.

In the northbound Main Street lane at 5th Street, as I sat at an unnecessarily long red, thinking unkind thoughts about our traffic engineers, a left-turning motorist rolled by within inches of my front wheel. Had there been a bollard there, I imagine she would’ve scraped it, and then blamed me.

Halfway to 4th Street, I parked at the curb to drag a scooter away from its repose in the northbound bike lane. The heavy, ungrateful thing beeped angrily for having its slumber disturbed.

Upon reaching 3rd Street, I whipped left, and hit the brakes, because there’s only one bike lane, and it’s contraflow! There’s no warning about this. No “NO LEFT TURN” or bike-lane specific “ONE WAY ONLY” signage. How does design this dangerous pass review?

So, once you reach 3rd, and you wish to continue westbound, you have to either share the westbound #1 lane with cars, or cross over to the #3 lane, which has a sharrow.

AAAAUUUUGHHHH. It’s like LADOT gave their interns a couple gallons of paint, a couple gallons of whiskey, and free rein.

I want an apology.

………

LA has announced a clean transportation plan designed to reduce the number of cars on the streets.

The Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0 aims to drastically cut emissions and traffic in time for the 2028 LA Olympics, through a shift to electric cars and buses, micromobility, and yes, bicycles.

L.A. has a reputation as a car-dependent city. But the city also now has the country’s most ambitious plan for cutting emissions from transportation. In less than a decade, it wants the majority of new cars to be electric and all city buses to be electric—and it wants 20% of trips that currently happen in single-occupancy cars to shift to public transportation or active transportation like biking.

Good luck with that.

According to the plan, in just nine years, Los Angeles will have a complete fleet of electric buses, and 30% of the cars on the street will be electric.

Then there’s this.

Expanding micromobility can also help; a recent report in Santa Monica found that 49% of the trips that people were taking on electric scooters and shared bikes were replacing short trips that otherwise would have happened in cars. Some projects now are working to expand access to micromobility in neighborhoods that don’t have many options. Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, for example, is running a pilot with a nonprofit building a solar-powered e-bike share project in the community of Huntington Park. (Other pilot projects are expanding access to electric car sharing in low-income neighborhoods; if residents use that option instead of owning cars themselves, they also may be likely to drive less.) Designing streets to make it safer to ride a bike—such as a two-way protected bike lane that was installed in downtown L.A. earlier this year—is also a key part of helping people shift away from cars.

As usual, the question is whether there will be any follow through this time.

Unlike, say, the city’s stagnant Vision Zero plan. Or the dust-ridden 2010 bike plan, or the equally ignored Mobility Plan 2035 it was subsumed into.

Or any number of other plans that were announced with great fanfare, and quickly forgotten because our elected leaders lacked the political will to actually implement them.

So we’ll see.

But considering they only have nine years to accomplish this massive transformation of the city’s streets, they’d damn well better get started.

………

The Bike League issued their biennial ranking of the nation’s most bicycle friendly states — with California coming in a surprising 4th, behind Washington, Oregon and Minnesota.

Although it’s clear from the state’s individual report card that there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Starting with convincing Gavin Newsom to sign the next Complete Streets bill that crosses his desk, after vetoing it this year.

………

Now that’s more like it.

Australia’s New South Wales state gets serious about distracted driving by installing new high-def cameras to catch cellphone using drivers in the act; violators will be subject to a $344 fine and five points against their license.

We desperately need these in California, where the view from a bike seat makes it seem like every other driver is holding their phones.

I was briefly in touch with the company behind these cameras, before losing their emails during my drug-addled post-surgical state earlier this year, who said they’re working to bring them to the state.

It was founded by a friend of James Rapley, the Australian man tragically killed by a stoned driver while riding a rented bike on Temescal Canyon just days before Christmas in 2013.

Personally, I can’t think of a better memorial to Rapley than legalizing them in the state where he died.

………

This is what a dooring looks like.

Watch the right side of the street just two seconds in.

To make matters worse, the police apparently ticketed the victim because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane, even though he was barely conscious.

And even though drivers or their passengers are usually at fault for dooring anyone, because they’re required to only open a car door when it’s safe to do so and doesn’t interfere anyone, and only leave it open as long as necessary to exit the vehicle.

Which this driver clearly failed to do.

………

Yes, handicapped people can ride bikes. Despite what angry NIMBYs insist at bike lane public meetings.

………

A Chinese bike rider was very lucky to survive when he was struck in the head by an overturning truck in an extremely cringe-inducing crash.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Every student at a St. Louis elementary school got a new bicycle and helmet, thanks to two men who had visited earlier in the year for a safety fair.

A pair of Florida Good Samaritans bought a new bicycle for the son of a Florida firefighter after the one he rode every day was stolen.

Lime announced they will match all donations made through their Lime Hero program between Thanksgiving and next week’s Giving Tuesday.

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Local

South Pasadena passed its $204,000 citywide bicycle parking plan.

 

State

Caltrans admits its current policies aren’t working, and commits to determining how much additional traffic new projects will generate.

Apparently, gang violence even happens in small towns, as a bike rider was the victim of a drive-by shooting in rural Sanger. And no, I didn’t know where that is, either.

Work off those Thanksgiving carbs and calories with a turkey-shaped bike route around San Francisco.

Streetsblog SF shines a light on a trench that turns into a booby trap for bike riders whenever it rains.

A Sonoma County man riding his bike with five outstanding arrest warrants learned the hard way that he can’t outrun a police dog.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for the libertarian website Reason says even though he was in a wreck while riding an e-scooter, he doesn’t want them banned, because the real danger is people in cars.

Singletracks goes behind the scenes with mountain biking Sketchy Trails artist Kristina Wayte.

A researcher says Denver kids don’t walk or bike to school because the city’s streets are so dangerous no one wants to walk or bike in them in the first place.

A self-described lifelong bicyclist in Austin TX wonders if it’s time to require licenses for bike riders. Short answer, no — for a very long list of reasons.

A bike-riding Kansas City photographer uses her Instagram account to encourage other women to take off on solo adventures.

The Second City gets New York’s seconds, as hundreds of Big Apple bikeshare ebikes were stripped of the defective electric components that caused them to randomly burst into flames, then converted to regular bikes and shipped to Chicago for their bikeshare system; both programs are operated by Lyft.

The Daily News looks at New York Mayor De Blasio’s call for bike and pedestrian mayors, otherwise known as an Office of Pedestrians and an Office of Active Transportation; Streetsblog explains why they’re necessary.

A Georgia city goes beyond state law by passing a vulnerable users ordinance that increases penalties for drivers who hit or threaten bike riders or pedestrians. Or skate boarders, motorcyclists or scooter riders, for that matter.

 

International

Mark your calendar for International Bike Shop Day on December 7th. If any SoCal bike shops are participating, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to mention it.

Bike Radar examines the best bike saddles for the coming year.

Your next handlebars could warn you when drivers are sneaking up from behind. Or barelling straight at you.

A Canadian mountain biker describes how he celebrated his 45th birthday by fighting off a grizzly bear with nothing but his bike and a tiny Buck knife.

Business is booming at Vancouver bike shops, as commuters look for alternatives in preparation for today’s transit strike.

Once again the Mounties get their man. Or men, as they bust a pair of prolific British Columbia bike thieves.

Treehugger says Toronto offers a lesson in how not to do Vision Zero. To which Los Angeles replies, hold my beer.

Business owners on a Montreal street complain about a bike lane pilot project that replaced 275 parking spaces over the summer, saying their business was down $5,000 a month, although they don’t say if that was an average of all the businesses or collectively. Instead of complaining, maybe they should do something to entice the 800 riders who pass by on the bike lanes each day to stop and come in.

British police are cleared of wrongdoing for the death of a bike rider during a high-speed pursuit after the burglar being chased backed into a 75-year old man.

The Irish Times says ebikes are still a workout and not an effortless romp.

No trademark issues here. An Aussie startup wants to get delivery workers out of their cars and onto the company’s Bolt Bikes rental ebikes. Not to be confused with Usain Bolt’s bright yellow Bolt scooters, which got here first.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News asks the burning question of whether WorldTour cyclists should use dropper seatposts to reduce the risk from high speed descents.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says receiving a Congressional Gold Medal is the biggest honor of his career.

Transgender cyclist Philippa York insists the idea that trans people are going to take over women’s sport is absolutely ridiculous.

 

Finally…

Always wear your bike helmet when you rob a bank. If you never learned to ride a bike in 84 years, a stationary cycling challenge is probably for the best.

And spreading kindness and carbs with free bike-borne bread deliveries.

 

Morning Links: $25,000 reward for heartless hit-and-run driver, LA chef dies after cycling heart attack, and Gatto gets it

Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after slamming into someone on a bicycle.

But this time, it was caught on security cam.

And yes, it’s every bit as hard to watch as you might think, so be forewarned.

Remarkably, the victim survived the crash, but is hospitalized with severe injuries.

The wreck took place around 11:45 pm in the 3000 block of Berkeley Avenue in Silver Lake as the hit-and-run driver rounded a curve, and slams into the victim head-on.

Then keeps going without even slowing down.

And this time, there’s no arguing that the driver may not have known it happened.

I’m told the victim may be a homeless man who lives in the area.

Police suspect the hit-and-run driver may live in the neighborhood; they’re looking for a late model red Mini Cooper with a white roof and sunroof, with probable damage to the front-end and windshield.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713. As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury to the victim.

Let’s find the jerk.

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A surprising number of chefs in the Los Angeles area ride bikes.

Sadly, it may have cost one his life last week, as famed LA chef Joe Miller died weeks after suffering a heart attack while riding his bike.

Family members announced the Michelin star-winning chef behind the groundbreaking Joe’s on Abbot Kinney lost his battle to survive on Wednesday, due to complications from a cardiac arrest on a September cycling trip.

This is a tragic reminder that while bicycling provides exceptional cardio-pulmonary benefits, it can also trigger underlying medical conditions.

It’s vital to see your doctor on a regular basis to make sure you’re up to the stresses you put on your body, especially those of us who like to ride hard.

It’s natural to think you’re bulletproof and avoid seeing a physician when you’re strong on a bike.

It’s also a mistake.

For nearly two decades after I started riding, the only time I saw a doctor was in the ER when they were patching me up after my latest two-wheeled wipeout.

If I had, it’s possible someone may have caught my diabetes before it did so much damage.

If you see a doctor regularly, good for you. Just push him or her to look a little harder and make sure everything’s okay under that muscular physique.

Well, muscular from the waist down, anyway.

If you don’t, what the hell are you waiting for? Stop reading, pick up the phone and make an appointment.

We’ll wait.

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Now that everyone is back, today’s must read comes from former Burbank state representative Mike Gatto, as he makes the case for establishing a walkable, shopable and carfree retail district in each of LA’s 15 council districts.

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Once again, the business community gets it wrong, insisting that plans to eliminate street parking on San Diego’s 30th street will harm businesses and won’t save the climate.

Studies have shown that business owners consistently overestimate the percentage of their business that comes from motorists, and underestimate how much comes from bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users — let alone how much more would if customers had more complete, livable streets.

Those same studies show that bike lanes are good for business, increasing sales, reducing vacancy rates and increasing property values in the surrounding area.

But who would want that?

As for the climate, we have to start somewhere.

And the best place to start is reducing the number of motor vehicles on the streets. Which means creating walkable, bikeable, transit-rich communities so people don’t have to drive.

If that also benefits businesses and residents, everyone wins.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Phoenix family is alive today because a crash saved them from a red light-running driver.

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This is the difference a single bicycle can make to someone in need.

Thanks to the One Bicycle Foundation for the link.

You can help make a difference in someone’s life for as little as $25. Or donate a bike yourself for just $170.

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And this is just a practice session.

Meanwhile, Bike Mag offers some very cool photos of death-defying aerials from the actual Red Bull Rampage on Friday.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A Victorville man faces charges for pistol whipping a 16-year old boy with a semi-automatic handgun for the crime of simply riding a bicycle in the area. Apparently he did it with the gun loaded and the safety off — and it went off while he was beating the boy with it. Let’s hope they find a very deep pit to drop him in.

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Local

The long-discussed Red Car Pedestrian Bridge is slowly taking shape over the Los Angeles River, using trusses from the old Red Cars to give bicyclists and pedestrians a less-convenient alternative to the soon-to-be-rebuilt Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

The Southern California Association of Governments’ popular Go Human safety campaign will go on, after receiving a $1 million grant from the state.

Metro wants your comments on proposals to close the DTLA-Vernon gap in the LA River bike path to create a single route from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.

Burbank is moving forward with plans to complete a protected bike lane connecting with the city’s Metrolink station, and building out a bike network that will connect with other cities in the region.

 

State

A writer for the LA Times tagged along with the eight-day, 525-mile California Coast Classic; the 195 riders raised $1.1 million to fight arthritis.

A Carlsbad street will get new bike lanes, sidewalks and landscaping for an underpass crossing I-5.

The California Public Utilities Commission signed off on plans to build a bike and pedestrian underpass to provide a safe route across a rail line in Encinitas.

A 51-year old Bonita man suffered “major but not life-threatening” injuries when he was right hooked by the driver of a cement truck while riding his bike.

San Diego streets shut down on Sunday — or rather, opened up — for that city’s CiclaSDias open streets celebration.

More bad news from Palm Desert, where an 82-year old man suffered major injuries when he was left crossed on his bike by a 77-year old driver. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Once again, the threat of a recall is enough to get city officials to rip out a protected bike lane, after residents of Grover Beach couldn’t figure out that you have to step over the curb on a new curb-protected bike lane. And can’t drive over it, either. Sort of like every other curb, anywhere else.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man on a bicycle was killed by a stoned driver who got high in her car on her lunch break.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Berkeley woman walks without a single day behind bars after she left crossed a 69-year old man on a bike, dragging him under her car for several seconds, then got out, yanked his bike out from underneath her car, and drove off as the victim and a witness tried to stop her. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Sad news from Petaluma, where someone on a bicycle was killed in a collision with a semi driver.

 

National

Fast Company questions whether SUVs should be banned, at least in cities. New York’s DOT commissioner appears to agree, blaming SUVs for the city’s alarming jump in bicycle fatalities this year.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a Portland ghost bike after twelve years.

Aspen CO resident Lance Armstrong pitched in along with a former Colorado governor to build over one hundred bicycles to offer to every second grader at a local elementary school.

Forget the bikes; check out the speaker on that Victrola in this turn of the century Colorado bike shop.

Kindhearted Colorado sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy a new bicycle for an autistic high school student who had outgrown his.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man faces a first-degree murder charge for repeatedly stabbing another man in a fight over a bicycle.

Outside says frozen Minnesota is an ideal year-round bicycling spot.

Providence RI will rip out a brand new two-way cycle track after just six weeks because the city failed to consult residents before putting it in.

New York’s senior senator, the Democratic leader in the US Senate, calls for a plan to replace all gas-powered motor vehicles with electric ones by 2040. Great idea, except that until the US achieves 100% renewable power, it just exchanges one form of carbon-burning power for another, and doesn’t take a single car or truck off the road.

Heartbreaking news from Brooklyn, where boy got a new bicycle for his eighth birthday. And was killed riding it just two years later.

New York City considers adopting a three-foot passing law to pre-empt the state’s requirement for a safe passing distance. But will only fine drivers a lousy fifty bucks for breaking it.

Good news for Gotham bike riders, as a judge tosses a lawsuit from wealthy NIMBY condo owners trying to have the popular Central Park West protected bike lanes ripped out, calling the lawsuit meritless.

They get it. An editorial in an upstate New York paper calls for a new law to penalize drivers who injure or kill another person.

The DC City Council responds to bike and pedestrian deaths with proposals to lower speed limits, ban right turns on red lights and allow private citizens to ticket drivers blocking crosswalks and bike lanes, as well as require protected bike lanes anytime a street in the bike plan gets overhauled. Maybe we could get them to come teach their LA peers what to do to make Vision Zero work.

Tampa FL police say they’re getting a handle on the problem of biking while black, saying they’re stopping and ticketing fewer African American bike riders, though black riders are still more likely to get a ticket or warning than a white person.

 

International

Road.cc offers inexpensive hacks to help keep you on your bike this winter.

A writer for Bike Radar offers five common quotes guaranteed to deflate the mood on your next group ride.

You know ebikes have officially arrived when they’re featured on a Trump-less British version of The Apprentice. And sell a combined $2.2 million worth.

An English woman in her 70s was knocked cold by a hit-and-run bike rider. Seriously, don’t be like people in cars. Just stop, already.

Always hit the back brakes first. A UK bike cop pulls a major endo in the middle of the street while chasing a suspect.

I want to be like her when I grow up, too. A 72-year old grandmother in the UK battled it out with a suspected bike thief when the man tried to reclaim it from her son’s shop after being told it was stolen.

A British woman starts her own bikeshare company after dropping out of Oxford to study design; what initially began as a school project is now available on the streets in three cities.

An Irish pedestrian group says you should have to wear an identity badge anytime you ride your bike. How about one of those convention badges that read “Hi, my name is ….”?

Egyptian women are overcoming societal restrictions to claim space on Cairo streets for them and their bicycles.

In a highly questionable Qatari study, not one single bicyclist who was admitted to a hospital with a serious head injury was wearing a helmet, and only 3% of riders admitted with any kind of traumatic injury during the six-year study had a skid lid on.

Former Aussie rugby player and current CrossFit star James Newbury is one of us, even if he won’t be riding for awhile after hitting gravel and pulling an endo, then hitting a tree and fracturing his back.

This is who we share the roads with. Five people are dead and nine injured after a Shanghai driver went on a hit-and-run rampage, starting by hitting a taxi and an ebike rider, followed by crashing into an SUV after running a red light, and wrapping it all up by slamming into three non-motorized vehicles and several pedestrians. And yet, Xinhua still calls it an accident. Let’s hope that’s just a bad translation.

What if you built a state-of-the-art automated bicycle parking garage in Singapore and nobody came?

Tokyo wants to force bicyclists to carry liability insurance when they ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forget doping. Just zap your brain, instead.

Peter Sagan announces he’ll ride both the Giro and the Tour de France next year, forgoing the Amgen Tour of California.

Rouleur selects this year’s inductees for their Cycling Hall of Fame, selecting America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as well as Marianne Vos, and Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin.

The US team finished seventh in the men’s road cycling race at the World Military Games, with the top individual finisher crossing the finish line in 11th place.

How to ride a bike at 183.9 mph. Which is very similar to my cruising speed these days, as long as you remove the one and the eight.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to tell the cops you were injured in a hit-and-run after cutting your hands breaking into a store, get rid of the damn merchandise you took, first. Apparently, we’re not even safe from golf cart drivers.

And as long as your dog has a license, might as well let him use it.

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