Tag Archive for Los Angeles Times

Vehicular homicide arrest in fatal Griffith Park crash, and man missing riding bike in Long Beach found dead of natural causes

Let’s start with Saturday’s senseless death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert.

According to a story by the LA Times’ Rachel Uranga, Jelmert was killed by a speeding, possibly drunk, driver as he rode on Griffith Park’s Crystal Springs Drive.

Jelmert was run down from behind as he neared the finish line of a training ride for this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride, which would have been his seventh time completing the weeklong San Francisco to Los Angeles fundraising ride.

He had already raised over $20,000 for the ride, which could now be lost along with his life.

Thirty-seven-year old Jairo Martinez was attempting to pass another car when he slammed into Martinez with enough force to shatter the windshield of his BMW, as well as Jelmert’s bike. The impact scattered bits of the bike across the hillside, where they were later found by Jelmert’s husband.

The only blessing is that in all probability, Jelmert literally never knew what hit him.

Martinez was arrested by sheriff’s deputies shortly after the crash, after he attempted to run away on foot. At last report, he was being held on suspicion of vehicular homicide, with more charges likely to follow pending results of his blood tests.

Meanwhile, KNBC-4 reports on the installation of Jelmert’s ghost bike Monday night.

Uranga succinctly captures the problem bike riders face riding in the park/freeway bypass.

Griffith Park, which occupies more than 4,000 acres of rolling hills, is popular with cyclists who whiz down its tree-lined roads, often crossing over from the nearby L.A. River bike path.

But the few bike lanes that exist do not have barriers separating riders from cars, according to the L.A. Department of Transportation.

Crystal Springs Drive parallels the 5 Freeway and is sometimes used as a cut-through during traffic jams. The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but many drivers go significantly faster.

Too often, drivers come off the 5 and 134 Freeways, and continue through the park at freeway speeds.

I’ve had the crap scared out of me by speeding drivers using the wide shoulder to pass slower cars on the right, while I was riding on it.

It’s also not far from where Damien Kevitt was infamously run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding on Zoo Drive, and dragged underneath the driver’s van onto the 5 Freeway, losing his leg in the process. And nearly his life.

The simple fact is, cars don’t belong in parks.

We should all demand — not ask — that city leaders move immediately to block the offramp leading into the park, as the first step in banning cars entirely from Griffith Park.

Let the park flourish as just that — a park, not a high-speed sewer for overly aggressive drivers.

Because the simple fact is, parks are for people, not cars.

And tragedies like this will inevitably keep happening if we don’t.

Photo from the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Facebook page.

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Sad news from Long Beach, where Manuel Abotye was found dead at a local hospital after disappearing while riding his bike last month.

The 73-year old man from a small village in Mexico’s Sinaloa state was in Long Beach visiting his sister when he suffered shortness of breath, and died 30 minutes after being transported to the emergency room.

However, he went unidentified for weeks because he had left his ID at home, and was considered missing until his body was discovered on Saturday.

Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

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Jim Lyle forwards a Nextdoor notice about a Palos Verdes resident targeting people on bicycles.

The male owner of this green truck has been accelerating towards people riding bikes on the street as though he’s intending to hit them with his car. And, I don’t mean the part of the street where cars belong. I mean the parking area near the gutter not in the way of vehicle traffic. He’s done this to me twice, once so close I was sure he was going to hit me. He swerves away before contact. Be aware of this truck if you ride…I don’t know his name or or know him personally. I learned from a neighbor who saw him accerlerate towards me this morning that he’s known for unsafe, aggressive behavior (I wasn’t given other examples). This info has been given to the sherrif’s department as well.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from longtime bike advocate, neighborhood council member and Bicycle Advisory Committee member Glenn Bailey, who forwards photos of Waste Management trash bins illegally blocking the heavily used bike lane on Reseda Blvd in Northridge.

He’s filed a complaint with the city’s Bureau of Sanitation, so hopefully he’ll get a response soon.

Or better yet, actually get action to keep it from happening again.

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Curses, Spectrum!

Because their service outage knocked me offline yesterday, we missed marking Bicycle Day, commemorating the 79th anniversary of the day LSD inventor Albert Hoffman discovered its psychedelic effects for the time.

Hoffman famously dropped a few tabs and attempted to ride his bike home, experiencing the first trip on a bike trip.

And inspiring both the best and worst music of the 60s.

Read the first link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

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She gets it.

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Catch up on the latest Bike Talk, as they catch up on Calbike’s recent Bike Summit.

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Join Sunset For All and the LACBC as they explore the corridor while promoting local businesses and plans for protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd.

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

Texas authorities are looking for the driver of a white jeep caught on camera swearing at a bike rider, who responds by flipping the bird; the driver then makes a U-turn and veers onto the wrong side of the road to threaten the rider, nearly sideswiping him.

Also from Texas, the owner of a car customization business is catching well-deserved flack after posting video of a pickup driver rolling coal at an unsuspecting bike rider, then claiming to be just “vaguely aware” of the video he himself posted, while suggesting that someone’s personal actions shouldn’t reflect on the business they work for. Or own, evidently.

A British bus driver avoided a fine for a punishment pass because the cops didn’t use the right form for their prosecution notice.

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Local

Metro and Metrolink will both offer free rides on Friday for Earth Day, including free Metro Bike rides.

A new poll shows Los Angeles voters want real action to address air pollution and extreme heat caused by climate change. Let’s hope our elected officials are listening, and actually do something for a change. Like building out the mobility plan and the transportation portion of the mayor’s Green New Deal. 

Los Angeles received a $5 million grant from Congress to build a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge at the Pacoima Wash to provide safer access to the planned El Dorado Park.

Streets For All calls on everyone to reach out to the Metro Board today and next Thursday to help get Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan for the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit line over the finish line.

Pomona has opened a beautiful new two-way curb-protected bike lane on Valley Boulevard.

The popular 626 Golden Streets open streets event returns to South Pasadena, San Gabriel and Alhambra on May 1st.

 

State 

Something doesn’t add up. Just days after we learned that California is the nation’s sixth most dangerous state for bicycle riders on a per-capita basis, the Bike League ranks the late, great Golden State as the 4th most bicycle-friendly state in the US. Evidently, to paraphrase Mark Twain, it’s a great place to ride. If you live.

The CHP and Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are looking for the driver of a purple Toyota Scion, who fled the scene after running down a 20-year old man riding his bike near Santa Maria, leaving the victim with major injuries.

 

National

No, bicycles don’t cause traffic congestion or slow down your commute.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to shop for a new kid’s bike.

A Utah woman is suing Seattle ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, claiming a loose stem on the bike she assembled caused her to crash, since the instructions didn’t tell her to check the tightness of the stem.

Speaking of Utah, a cute video captures an eight-year old Utah boy teaching his four-year old little sister how to ride a bike for the first time.

A Colorado judge dropped the murder case against Barry Morphew, whose wife disappeared without a trace after leaving for a Mother’s Day bike ride two years ago. However, it was dismissed without prejudice, allowing prosecutors to refile when and if they have a better case.

New York commits $11 million to sweeping streets and bike lanes.

 

International

Lebanese commuters are taking to their bikes in increasing numbers, driven — so to speak — by the a fuel crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine.

More proof that bike lanes increase property values, as rental units close to London’s cycle superhighways draw a 20% premium over similar units elsewhere.

Five-time British Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins revealed that his struggles with depression stem, at least in part, from being sexually groomed by his cycling coach when he was just 13 years old.

Justice delayed, as a Malaysian appeals court has stayed the six-year prison sentence given to the woman who killed eight teenage bike riders after plowing through the group of kids riding modified bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian world champ Elisa Balsamo was disqualified from Saturday’s Paris-Roubaix Femme, after getting a little too much assistance from the team car in returning to the peloton after suffering a flat.

VeloNews offers a photo essay from last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix, aka The Hell of the North; Cycling Tips does, too.

Once again, a bike race spectator has taken down a competitor, as a fan applauding on the side of the roadway caught the handlebars of Belgian pro Yves Lampaert during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Maybe that jersey pocket isn’t necessary after all. That feeling when your 1950’s style ebike offers a very illegal 40 mph.

And maybe put the helmet on before you try riding off on the bike you just stole.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Times editorial calls for supporting Healthy Streets LA initiative, and Oxnard man arraigned in drunken bike death

Nice to see a writer for the LA Times get behind a ballot measure safer, healthier streets.

Times Editorial Board member Kerry Cavanaugh penned an editorial published Tuesday in support of the Healthy Streets LA initiative, which we discussed here last week.

The measure would require Los Angeles to implement the ambitious, but long-forgotten, Mobility Plan 2035, building out bus and bike lanes, as well as pedestrian improvements, when city streets are repaved.

Here’s what Cavanaugh had to say about the plan, which advocates fought for years to create and pass.

But, as is so often the case in L.A., the implementation of the Mobility Plan has not matched its ambition.

Since its adoption, the city has only made bike, bus and pedestrian upgrades to 95 miles out of 3,137 miles identified in the plan — or 3% in a little more than six years. Time and again, city leaders have ignored or torpedoed bike and bus lanes outlined in the Mobility Plan. At this rate, it will take nearly 200 years — not 20 — to fulfill the plan’s vision.

As Cavanaugh points out, it’s crazy that it takes a ballot measure to force the city to do what it already agreed to do.

But that’s the city we live and ride in these days, where fear of angering anyone leads to paralysis among city leaders. Along with more and more community meetings, where the people who scream the loudest usually carry the day.

And it’s usually the people who fear and fight any kind of change who scream the loudest.

Again, here’s Cavanaugh.

The need for community engagement can’t be an excuse for doing nothing. There’s too much at stake. Last year nearly 300 people were killed in traffic collisions in Los Angeles, a roughly 20% increase over the two prior years. Nearly half of the people killed were pedestrians. Some 52% of Angelenos said that crossing the street in their neighborhood is dangerous, according to polling conducted for the Healthy Streets LA initiative.

As part of his Green New Deal sustainability plan — another aspirational document — Garcetti called for 50% of all trips in the city by 2035 to be made by walking, biking and taking transit. But that goal will be unreachable without the political will to prioritize the infrastructure and transit improvements that make it easier, safer and more pleasant for people to get around.

It’s ridiculous that we’re in this position.

But it’s sadly become clear over the last decade that we can’t count on city leaders to do what they already know has to be done. Yet clearly lack the courage and political will to do.

So we have to do it for them.

Click here to make arrangements to sign the petition, or volunteer to support the measure

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Prosecutors have thrown the book at the accused drunk driver who killed a BMX rider in Oxnard Sunday night.

Twenty-seven year old Andres Morales pled not guilty yesterday to killing the victim, who has still not been publicly identified.

He faces charges of DUI causing injury or death, and driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 percent, along with a single count of felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, combined with special enhancements for a serious felony and a crime involving great violence.

He remains in jail on $50,000 bond, which will be reviewed tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a Homeland man is expected to be arraigned today for killing 62-year old Hemet resident Glen Hysom as he rode a bike in unincorporated Winchester, just west of Hemet.

Thirty-eight-year old Carlos Arturo Acosta is expected to be charged with hit-and-run resulting in death, and driving on a suspended license.

He’s being held on $75,000 bail.

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There’s always a shortage of bike lockers, even at the Metro stations that actually have them. And high demand for them at the stations that don’t.

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You probably didn’t have this one on your 2022 bingo card — an Orlando, Florida bike cop in hot, but polite, pursuit of a very drunk woman riding a motorized suitcase.

Yes, a suitcase.

She faces up to ten years for spitting at the cops arresting her, damaging their patrol car, and taking a dump on the seat.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. An English driver walked with a suspended sentence and a lousy 250 pound fine — the equivalent of just $339 — for intentionally ramming a bike rider who may have accidentally brushed the car’s wing mirror.

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You might want to avoid the area around USC and the Coliseum this morning, unless you want to get caught up in the Ram’s victory parade.

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Local

Streets For All reminds us about the virtual public meeting tomorrow to consider plans to convert the peak hour lanes on Santa Monica Blvd west of the 405 into bus and bike lanes.

Walk Bike Glendale alerts us to public meetings this week to fight a plan to settle for sharrows on La Crescenta Ave tomorrow, and on Saturday to create a 9.4-mile linear park along the Verdugo Wash.

The Monterey Park City Council will discuss an induced demand-inducing plan at today’s meeting to widen Garvey Ave from four lanes to a ridiculous six lanes. Exactly the opposite of what should be done to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, and reduce motor vehicle use while California is literally burning. Thanks to Active SGV for the heads-up. 

Calabasas is nearing completion of a road widening project on Mulholland Highway, which appears to include a separated bikeway.

Shaun White is one of us, riding shirtless through the streets of Los Angeles after a fourth place finish in the Beijing Olympics.

 

State 

Four-time world mountain bike world champ Brian Lopes donated 50 Strider balance bikes and helmets to a Santa Ana elementary school through the All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE program, and worked with a couple dozen sixth graders to put them together.

Coronado cops are using bait bikes to bust bike thieves. But LA cops still don’t, and won’t for the foreseeable future over fears of being accused of entrapment.

Rialto police are accused of roughing up a 16-year old girl who was riding an illegal motorized bike; one cop was accused of grabbing her by the throat.

A man in his 20s was lucky to survive when his bike was clipped by a moving train as he rode across the tracks in Oxnard.

 

National

Bicycling says the fixation on bike helmets just shifts the blame to bike riders, and lets killer drivers off the hook. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available through Yahoo, so if the magazine blocks you, you’re on your own.

Forget a cycling computer. What you really need is contact lenses with a heads-up display.

Bike Portland’s podcast talks with Bike Index founder Bryan Hance about his work to bust a Mexican mountain bike theft ring operating out of Colorado.

A Nashville site says the city has a long way to go to get to zero traffic deaths. Which should sound familiar to anyone in Los Angeles. And most other American cities, for that matter.

New York’s new DOT commissioner is working to fortify half of the city’s bike lanes in his first 100 days, which are currently protected in name only by the usual flimsy white plastic, car-tickler bendy posts.

Just a year after revising Virginia law to require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, and remove the limitation on riding two abreast, the state senate is going backwards by approving a measure that would require people on bicycles to ride single file when being overtaken by someone in a car. The bill’s sponsor appeared to make up an incident to support it.

Dozens of Virginia runners turned out to honor a fellow runner who was killed in a collision while riding her bicycle last week.

 

International

A University of Toronto study confirms what you already knew. Over half of all drivers never look for bicyclists or pedestrians before making a right turn. Then again, some of them never look for us when we’re right in front of them, either.

You’ve got to be kidding, part two. An Aussie man wants permission to drive while he is accused of a hit-and-run that took the life of a 62-year old bike rider, despite having already shown he won’t stick around after a crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks forward to the “48th edition of the much-anticipated Volta ao Algarve;” the five-stage race starts today in Portugal.

Cycling News looks at memorable cases of pro cyclists getting spanked for breaking the rules.

A bike lawyer says it could be gross negligence to route an offroad bike race across a field with an ill-tempered bull, but it doesn’t help that the four Rock Cobbler riders who ended up on the wrong end of the horns had signed a waiver.

 

Finally…

As if cars blocking bike lanes isn’t bad enough, now we have to deal with robots. Meet Sigrid, the fixie-riding cat.

And meet a parrot who can ride a bike and poop on command.

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

Candidate list for June primary, Times’ Abcarian says Vision Zero “impossible,” and PCH claims another victim

Pick your ponies and place your bets.

The Los Angeles City Clerk has posted the latest list of candidates filing for the city’s June primary election.

Like most California elections, not everyone is a serious candidate. But there are some genuine choices hidden among the clowns and wannabes.

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No, Vision Zero is not “impossible.”

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian writes that eliminating traffic deaths is a worthy, but impossible, goal.

The goal is worthy, but why go out on a limb with a big, bold promise that is so obviously doomed to fail?

In Australia, at least, they call the effort “Toward Zero,” which seems more realistic…

As long as there is traffic, there will be traffic tragedy, especially in a car-centric city like ours, where you cannot drive an inch without seeing distracted drivers holding phones. How many times have you been stuck behind a car at a red light that doesn’t move when the light turns green because the driver in front is poking at a screen? At least while they aren’t moving, they aren’t killing anyone.

The obvious problem with that attitude is the question of just how many deaths are acceptable as the cost of just getting from here to there.

Graphic by tomexploresla

And if that number is anything other than zero, which of your loved ones are you willing to sacrifice to the motor vehicle gods?

Which makes it clear that one is the only acceptable answer.

Abcarian’s right that we may not get there today. But it’s up to all of us to do everything we can to make sure we get there tomorrow.

To her credit, she does identify one of the biggest problems with Vision Zero, with each of the city’s 15 councilmembers free to implement their own vision of how to end traffic deaths, or the lack thereof.

As well as the lack of alignment between the city and county, with Los Angeles aiming for 2025 — just three years from now — while the county aims to end traffic deaths a decade later.

Never mind the other 87 cities that call LA County home.

But the solution to that is to coordinate, not forget it. Then give the city and county transportation agencies the power to override individual councilmembers and supervisors to do what needs to be done to save lives.

Which also serves to shield our elected officials from blame by angry drivers, which is what some of them really care about, anyway.

And while we’re at it, someone please tell Ms. Abcarian the difference between a crash and an accident.

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Southern California’s serial killer highway has claimed yet another victim.

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Pass the word, teens can grab a quick Benjamin from Walk ‘n Rollers for customizing a bicycle.

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Remember, you always need a truck or SUV to go to the hardware store.

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Sometimes it’s not who we share the road with, but what.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1491487543455465472

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Here’s that great East Side Riders video we weren’t able to embed yesterday.

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

Someone in newly bike friendly San Diego clearly doesn’t get it, ruling that no action is necessary for a traffic signal clearly designed to thin the herd by encouraging drivers to turn left through a bike lane while bike riders still have the green. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for the couple who flipped off a bike-riding Florida boy as they passed him in their car, then whipped a U-turn and threatened him with a gun when he responded in kind, before proceeding to pistol whip and slap him repeatedly; they were arrested after the boy managed to record video of the couple, along with their car and license plate.

A 67-year old Scottish man was left shaken after a construction worker pelted him with cement when he stopped his bike to ask if they had a permit to block an Edinburgh bike lane with a cement mixer.

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

A thirsty armed robber helped himself to cash and a canned drink from a Houston convenience store before making his getaway on a baby blue bike.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman takes a hard look at mayoral candidate and current Councilmember Joe Buscaino’s motion to crack down on bike chop shops, which could also catch legitimate bike repair in its wide net. Including if you decide to fix your own bicycle outside on a sunny day, if it’s too broadly written.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton checks out the new bike lanes on Yosemite Drive in Eagle Rock.

This is who we share the road with. A Manhattan Beach man claims a driver ran him over in a grocery store parking lot, then backed up and ran over him again, in a dispute over face masks that began inside.

Camilla Cabella is one of us, taking a bikeshare ride through the streets of LA with a “mysterious” friend. Oh, and she likes ice cream, too.

Rihanna showed her generosity Sunday, stopping by the West Los Angeles VA Campus with practical, needed gifts for homeless vets, including bike locks.

 

State

The annual Tour de Palm Springs returns to the Coachella Valle this weekend, with safety measures and law enforcement in place to hopefully keep participants safe, which hasn’t always been the case.

A 55-year old Navy vet is suing Caltrans, Bakersfield and Kern County after he was injured riding his bike into an open manhole on a Bakersfield sidewalk, which was left unmarked by orange cones or other warning devices.

The US Forest Service settled a lawsuit by agreeing to allow ebikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest.

 

National

Yes, please. A quartet of Democratic congressmen urged the president to request full funding for the new Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program in the next budget, which would provide $200 million a year for five years for biking and walking projects.

US ebike sales are on their way to one million units a year in the US, and one billion worldwide.

A new lawsuit accuses Peloton of bullying competitors and entering into sham agreements to secure its market position.

In a case of real life imitating art, actor Bob Odenkirk revealed his near-fatal heart attack came as he was riding an exercise bike on the set of Better Call Saul, which may or may not have been the same make that killed Mr. Big in HBO’s Sex and the City reboot, and nearly killed Mike “Wags” Wagner on Billions.

Talk about Viking biking. Try riding an ice bike across Wisconsin’s frozen Lake Winnebago in 13° weather.

Frightening story from New York, where a man called the NYPD to report a parked truck illegally blocking a bus stop, and immediately started getting death threats from the truck’s owner — even though his call should have been confidential.

 

International

Treehugger recommends their picks for the best bike cargo bags.

Towing your kids in a bike trailer may not be good for their lungs, as a new British study shows the lower position exposes them to more pollution that someone on a bike seat.

No bias here. And no surprise, either, as a new study from the UK shows that drivers and bike riders are treated differently by the press following a crash.

British bicyclists rode to protest a “discriminatory” daytime ban from the Bedford town center, which resulted in 3,200 fines for the equivalent of $107 — including one issued to a man on the second week of his around-the-world bike tour.

Now bike thieves aren’t even waiting until the bikes are assembled. Thieves hijacked 10,000 Shimano ebike parts by gassing the driver at a German service station.

Pakistan’s Associated Press captures a photo of an old man selling bundles of traditional handmade brooms from his bicycle.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai is one of us, riding with a group to check out a new beachfront bike path. And yes, I included that one just so I could use his full title.

 

Competitive Cycling

Black cycling legend Major Taylor’s 119-year old wood-rimmed Peugeot bike is returning for an exhibit at the Indiana State Museum in his Indianapolis home town.

Tadej Pogačar is back on his bike after testing positive for Covid.

We Love Cycling looks at inter-generational cycling dynasties.

In a scene straight out of Breaking Away, a local Colombian kid falls in and holds his own alongside Rigoberto Urán and Tom Dumoulin on a training ride. Except they don’t put a tire pump through his spokes.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying meth on your bike with several outstanding felony warrants, maybe try not to make your escape through a snow-covered field.

And enough said.

https://twitter.com/schmangee/status/1491506749794361345

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

$32.1 million award in Metro crash, LA Times calls for bike lanes and sheriff’s oversight, and Mar Vista bike chop shops

Thank you all for your support and kind words last week.

I’m not even close to a hundred percent yet, but at least I can write again without tossing my cookies. Not that I should be having cookies, anyway.

Now buckle in, ’cause we have a lot to catch up on. 

And please forgive me for not crediting people who sent me links this time; it was just too hard to keep up with while I was under the weather.

But thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who did. 

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A jury awarded $21.6 million to the parents of Ciara Smith, the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus operated by a subcontractor four years ago when she rode her bike off a Redondo Beach sidewalk.

Combined with earlier settlements from Caltrans and Redondo Beach, they’ve now been awarded a total of $32.1 million, though the latest judgement will undoubtedly be appealed.

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The Los Angeles Times responds to their recent investigative report that uncovered bias in traffic stops of Latino bike riders by sheriff deputies in LA County, by calling for legalizing sidewalk riding and building desperately needed infrastructure.

Instead of finding support for their carbon-free travel, cyclists in some communities face unsafe and unjust conditions. In East Los Angeles, only 1% of streets have bike lanes, meaning cyclists are expected to navigate crowded and often poorly maintained streets. Of course people are going to ride on the sidewalk, even if it’s prohibited, because it’s safer.

Yet that rational decision makes cyclists a target for law enforcement. Nearly a quarter of bike stops in East L.A. were for sidewalk violations, The Times reported. In Lynwood, where there are no bike lanes at all, sidewalk violations account for 16% of stops. In West Hollywood, which is predominantly white, more streets have bike lanes and the city allows bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk in areas with no bike lanes. Less than 1% of bike stops were initiated because of sidewalk violations.

The paper also said the biased traffic stops and searches of bike riders call for stronger oversight of the sheriff’s department, which so far has attempted to avoid virtually any oversight.

Meanwhile, Streets For All urges your support for a motion at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to legalize sidewalk riding in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

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As long as we’re talking about the Times, opinion columnist Robin Abcarian joins a Mar Vista man searching local homeless camps and outdoor bicycle chop shops for his stolen bicycles.

And somehow managed, against all odds, to get them all back.

Never mind that the LAPD told her they don’t bother to look for stolen bikes.

Or the Catch-22 clownshow below when he tried to report the theft to the cops.

Weitz had tried to file a police report online. Because his garage was broken into, he was told, he would have to file in person. But his local LAPD outpost in West Los Angeles is not allowing walk-ins because of COVID-19. So he went to the Pacific Division station on Culver Boulevard but was told he had to file it in West L.A.

“My local lead officer said he would get in touch after I file my police report,” said Weitz, “but I can’t file my police report, so he can’t call.”

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The teenaged pickup driver who mowed down a half dozen Texas bike riders while attempting to roll coal has been identified in court papers.

The well-connected son of prominent local sheep and goat breeders faces six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after initially being allowed to walk free when mommy and daddy reportedly showed up at the crash site.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa woman injured in the other recent Texas crash, where a pickup driver ran down three people on a cross-country bike tour and killed a Massachusetts man, is still waiting to fly home.

Doctors says she’s too fragile to leave the Houston hospital where she’s being treated for a collapsed lung, facial fracture, broken back, five broken ribs and a broken arm.

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Streets For All will talk mobility with the candidates for CD13 this Wednesday, presumably including incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

The street safety PAC also calls for supporting a 5.9-mile peak hour bus lane on La Brea Blvd from Sunset to Coliseum at or before tomorrow’s public meeting.

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Metro announced the top-scoring picks for open streets events throughout the county over the next two years, including likely funding for CicLAvia and 626 Golden Streets.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1459484455362457605

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One more reason to love the East Side Riders, as they continue to support, and feed, the Compton community.

And to contribute if you can, financially or otherwise.

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If you’re reading this early enough, you may still have time to join a Twitter town hall calling for zero traffic deaths, in advance of this Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance.

Meanwhile, Finish the Ride will host a march for safer roads on Saturday, in an early observance of the World Day of Remembrance.

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More proof that bike lanes are more efficient than regular traffic lanes. Regardless of drivers who claim no one ever uses them.

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Taking a tiny approach to urban density in Denver.

And yes, there’s an itty bitty bike involved.

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It’s a pity everyone seemed to forget the hard-earned lessons learned in the first major gas crisis back in the ’70s.

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

Late is better than never, apparently, as Bicycling belatedly catches up with the story of the white Texas man who severely beat a Black man who paused while riding a bicycle through the neighborhood they both share last month. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

DC drivers are using a new buffered bike lane for free parking.

An Orlando, Florida bike shop owner sounds the alarm on drivers using the bike path in front of his shop as a traffic bypass.

A London man suffered a broken collarbone when a driver deliberately ran him off his bike in the city’s Richmond Park — then fled the scene afterwards, of course.

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

Police in San Antonio, Texas released video of the fatal shooting of a man who fled when officers tried to stop him on his bike; he allegedly tried to pull a gun out of his waistband after one of the cops doored him and wrestled with him on the ground.

A British Columbia man faces charges for whacking a 65-year old woman with his bicycle, causing her to hit her head on the pavement, after she apparently confronted him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

The award for the world’s biggest jerk — okay, one of many — goes to the Belgium bike rider who crashed into a five-year old girl last Christmas, and is suing the girl’s father for posting the viral video of it.

………

Local

A man was shot in the chest earlier this month while riding on a Culver City bike path, then was kicked in the face and punched by two or more men, for no apparent reason. Or at least, no reason the police have mentioned.

There’s still time to take a survey on how to transform deadly Western Ave between MLK to Century Blvd in South LA. Hint: fewer traffic lanes and more protected bike lanes.

A San Fernando group has called for the removal of CD12 Councilmember John Lee from the Los Angeles City Council Planning Committee; Lee was implicated in the Mitch Englander bribery scandal.

Streetsblog looks at the new raised, protected bike lanes on Burbank’s Hollywood Way.

A Claremont nonprofit is looking donations of usable bicycles in good condition, as well as “helmets, padding and locks” to help recent Afghan refugees. And no, I have no idea what padding means, either.

AARP hosts a virtual chat with CicLAvia this Thursday, including 65-year old longboarder and CicLAvia icon Swee (Ool) Woo.

 

State

Santa Ana will host a meeting tonight to discuss a proposed protected bike lane and bicycle boulevard on McFadden Avenue.

Orange County hikers complained about “hard-charging” mountain bikers at last week’s meeting of the Coastal Greenbelt Authority.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city needs to focus on the action part of its climate action plan, rather than patting itself on the back based on outdated statistics.

Streetsblog credits the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, with having a lot to like in their draft 2021 transportation plan, despite questionable funding plans.

Santa Barbara County is loaning local residents free ebikes for up to five days to experience an alternative to driving.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike from a ten-year old Santa Cruz girl in a strong-arm robbery.

 

National

Do we really need to be told yet again that more highways mean more cars, more congestion and more environment and climate harming emissions?

One more reason to do your riding outside, as a 23-year old woman nearly lost her leg after developing a potentially fatal breakdown of muscle tissue following a high-intensity spin class.

Seriously? What kind of cash flow does this Oregon bike shop have when the theft of $100,000 worth of bicycles isn’t a major setback?

The Nevada state stoppers who investigated the crash that killed five bike riders outside Las Vegas eleven months ago never suspected semi-truck driver Jordan Alexander Barson was under the influence, even though he tested positive for meth hours later — an oversight that led to a plea bargain on reduced charges.

Congratulations to Austin, Texas, on being named home to the worst bike lane in the world.

Sad news from Iowa, where John Karras, the former newspaper man who co-founded RAGBRAI with another reporter, passed away last week at 91; the popular ride across Iowa was founded by the Des Moines Register nearly 50 years ago.

Hats off to a six-year old Ohio boy, who set a new record as the youngest rider to complete a backflip during a California BMX competition.

Once again, the death of a bike rider is no big deal, as a US postal worker faces just a misdemeanor charge and a traffic ticket for killing a 71-year old New York man riding a bike.

Curbed offers a detailed primer on perfecting New York streets, while embracing public spaces. All of which would apply here in Los Angeles, too.

A fallen bicyclist’s mother will finish the last 1,900 miles of his planned New Hampshire to San Diego bike tour, three years after he was run down by a driver shortly after leaving Hattiesburg, Mississippi; a crowdfunding page has raised just $330 of the $10,000 he was trying to collect for a children’s hospital.

A 22-year old Florida man has been charged with manslaughter after he failed to swerve his e-scooter out of the way of a woman riding a bicycle; the victim died of her injuries several days later.

 

International

No surprise here, as climate experts say electric cars won’t save the planet. But more active transportation will help.

Virgin founder Richard Branson showed off his injuries after his bike’s brakes failed and he crashed into another bicyclist while riding in the Virgin Islands; he credits his helmet with saving his life from the “colossal” crash. Seriously, I’ve had worse.

Glasgow, Scotland is joining the international trend of banning cars from urban centers.

The Smithsonian talks with the teenage girl who rode her bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate conference.

London’s iconic Westminster Bridge is getting bollard-protected cycle tracks, which might have helped prevent the 2017 vehicular terrorism attack.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 61-year old business exec walked with a suspended sentence for killing two men on bikes when he plowed his car into both as they rode together last year; adding insult to injury, he was fined a whole £475 — the equivalent of just $637 — in court costs.

A 21-year old British man was sentenced to life behind bars for strangling his 17-year old “friend” and leaving him to drown in a dispute over a bicycle. Seriously, if someone bullies you for months, let alone tries to kill you, maybe he’s not really your friend.

A new sensor developed by a Dutch company allows you to monitor the air quality as you rides. But do you really want to know what kind of crap you’re sucking into your lungs?

Cycling Tips alleges bullying and blackmail in the convoy that carried members of the Afghan cycling team to freedom.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an Indian soldier was one of seven people gunned down by ethnic rebels, just two days after promising his eight-year old daughter he’d bring her a bicycle as a belated birthday gift when he came home in February.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Eritrea, where rising 21-year old cyclist Desiet Kidane was killed by a driver while training in the country; she was part of UCI’s World Cycling Center training program.

Apparently, even winning the Tour de France isn’t enough to protect against bike thieves, as Geraint Thomas learned the hard way when he popped into a coffee shop while training on the French Riviera.

A new book claims to be the first written by a Black bike racer about Black bike racers in one hundred years.

The EF Education-Nippo cycling team fired Columbian cyclist Sergio Higuita for riding a Specialized bike instead of team sponsor Cannondale, but quickly took him back after he apologized. His American teammate Lawson Craddock got fired and quickly unfired, for the same reason.

It takes some serious bike skills to get back in your shoe while it’s still clipped in the pedal.

https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/1458483340537962496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1458483340537962496%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.essentiallysports.com%2Fwatch-french-cyclist-pulls-off-insane-bike-adjustment-while-cycling-to-prevent-crash-us-sports-news-cycling%2F

 

Finally…

The top 10 reasons drivers don’t like us. Now they aren’t even waiting until the bikes leave the shop to run them over.

And SNL has good news and bad news on the ebike front.

 

………

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

Bike riders Gavined by governor’s veto pen, rude writer confronts rude rider, and bad Claremont proposal threatens bikes

We’ve been Gavined.

We’re only a few years removed from when Jerry Brown became a verb meaning a too close pass, after he vetoed legislation establishing a three-foot passing law.

Twice.

It took a third try, and a vastly weakened law, to get it past Brown’s overactive veto pen.

Now Gavin Newsom is trying to take his place by irrationally vetoing bike and pedestrian safety laws.

Consider this statement that accompanied his veto of the Safety Stop Bill, otherwise known as the Idaho Stop or Stop as Yield, which has gone into effect in several other states without an accompanying jump in carnage.

And note, there’s no bike in carnage, but there’s sure all hell a car.

While I share the author’s intent to increase bicyclist safety, I am concerned this bill will have the opposite effect. The approach in AB 122 may be especially concerning for children, who may not know how to judge vehicle speeds or exercise the necessary caution to yield to traffic when appropriate.

Fatalities and serious injuries have been on the rise on the state’s roads since 2010. The Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System shows that, since 2015, there were 3,059 crashes involving bicycles at an intersection in which the primary collision factor was failure to stop at a stop sign. The data indicates bicyclists were determined to be at fault for 88 percent of the collisions resulting in fatalities and 63 percent of those involving injuries.

So let’s be clear.

Few, if any, legitimate sources use that 88% figure; most researchers find fault either evenly divided, or drivers at fault for most crashes involving bike riders.

While it’s a useful tool, the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, better knows as SWITRS, is hardly the most reliable source. SWITRS depends on voluntary self-reporting by law enforcement agencies, which results in most, but not all, serious collisions being reported.

It is also dependent on the CHP and other law enforcement agencies with their infamous windshield bias and lack of adequate training in bike law.

And never mind that of those 3,059 collisions at intersections where someone failed to stop at a stop sign, it wasn’t necessarily the person on the bike who failed to stop.

Drivers blow through stop signs at least as frequently as people on bikes, and with far more deadly results.

And as we’ve said many times before, even the most reckless bike rider is primarily a danger to him or herself, while a reckless driver is a danger to everyone around them.

Not to mention Gavin also killed a very good law decriminalizing crossing the damn street, for similarly specious reasons — despite clear evidence that it has resulted in biased police enforcement against people of color.

Although to his credit, he did sign a bill that allows the first small steps towards weakening the deadly 85th Percentile Rule and lowering speed limits.

So maybe Gavined should be the new term for irrationally rejecting bike and pedestrian safety rules.

Or maybe that’s what we’ll call it when someone gets a ticket for otherwise safely rolling a stop sign or crossing the street mid-block, which would have been legal under the laws he rejected.

Or both.

Because we had high hopes that California would finally take a long-delayed rational step forward to make it safer and easier to get around without a car.

But instead, we got Gavined.

In today’s photo, a family takes a break on the front plaza of LAPD headquarters during yesterday’s CicLAvia in Downtown Los Angeles.

And my apologies for the lack of attribution for the people who sent me links for today’s post. Too be honest, it’s nearly 5:30 am as I finish this, and I’m just too damn tired to go back and see who sent what. But I thank you, and truly appreciate the help!

……..

A worker with a homeless organization complains about a rude bike rider on the LA River bike path, in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

He was standing on the pathway, comforting a homeless man who’s longtime partner had just died, when a man on a bike yelled at them to get out of the path.

These were the circumstances when you, spandex-clad and biking south along the river, yelled at the three of us to get out of the path, to which I responded with a predictable vulgarity.

I was surprised when you returned to insist that I apologize for my foul language and for forcing you to shift lanes. You seemed genuinely certain you were the injured party, and I imagined you carrying that for the rest of the day — telling your friends about the confrontation, using it as an example of our ongoing civilizational decline…

Things shouldn’t be like this. I took your behavior as evidence that you, like many of my neighbors, view unhoused people exclusively as nuisances, similar to bad traffic on the 5 or our most recent oat milk shortage.

As usual, though, we’re only hearing one side of the story.

Undoubtedly, the man on the bicycle would see things differently; he had no way of knowing about the death of the homeless man’s partner.

But based on what we’ve been told by the author of the piece, it would seem like they were both wrong.

He could, and should, have moved the homeless man off the pathway to avoid blocking a path used by countless people every day. It’s likely that the two people comforting a homeless man blocked more of the path than he realized.

The bike rider could have also held his tongue as he rode past, assuming there was enough room to get by. Yes, it’s annoying when people stand on a bike path. But that’s what people do.

And sometimes, as in this case, there’s a reason for it.

The author also could have responded without swearing at the bike rider, which seems uncalled for under the circumstances.

So what we’re left with is two people behaving badly, and one whining about it in the pages of the Times.

Neither of whom seem very sympathetic in the retelling.

………

Eric Griswold calls our attention to a very badly worded motion before the Claremont city council that could ban bikes from one or more surface streets, in violation of state law.

So just to be clear, under California state law, bike riders have all the rights and responsibilities of motorists, and must be allowed on any public street where cars are allowed, with the exception of some limited access highways.

While some cities have tried to ban bikes from certain roadways, it’s questionable whether it can be legally enforced. Although fighting it could mean taking it to the state appeals courts, which is a slow and costly process.

So let’s hope Claremont takes another look at this wording, and sends it back for a rewrite.

And maybe gets a new law firm for the next draft.

………

Sunday marked the return of CicLAvia to DTLA, exactly 11 years to the day after the first one.

And yes, a good time was had by all.

Even our very own BikinginLA intern, who not only experienced her first CicLAvia, but also took her first pedicab ride.

Not to mention her second. And loved every minute of it, thanks to our very kind and friendly driver.

We also had a chance to talk corgis, bikes and city finances with the man who may just be LA’s next city controller.

Maybe he could put his own corgis to work sniffing out financial irregularities at city hall.

https://twitter.com/kennethmejiaLA/status/1447365863363923969

………

Show this tweet the next time someone complains about bike lanes in front of businesses.

Then wait for the inevitable “Yeah, but this isn’t Madrid.”

………

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

An editor with Esquire wants us to feel sorry for him for getting his first traffic ticket in 30 years for right-hooking a bike rider who came off the sidewalk “out of nowhere.” Evidently, though, the cops understood that no one ever comes out of nowhere if drivers are paying attention, even if he doesn’t.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the man who brutally attacked an 18-year old woman in South Los Angeles as she was walking with her young brother, stealing about 30 bucks before making off on a bicycle.

New York police are looking for a bike-riding man who shouted a racist comment at an Asian woman before bumping her with his bike.

………

Local

All five candidates to replace pseudo-environmentalist, bike lane-blocking, thankfully termed out CD5 City Councilmember Paul Koretz will participate in an online debate on mobility on October 25th, sponsored by Streets for All.

Congratulations to LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood, which is officially the world’s 14th coolest neighborhood.

This is who we share the road with. A man was beaten to death by bystanders after using his car as a weapon to intentionally crash into several people on a sidewalk when he was tossed from a Hawthorne business, then crashed into a building as he tried to get away, only to be pulled from his car and killed by members of the crowd he attacked

Not everyone turned out for CicLAvia on Sunday, as some people took part in the return of the bike ride on the course of the Long Beach Marathon. Although I suspect some people did both.

 

State

An Orange County woman got her stolen bike back a day later, after cruising the neighborhood with her dog until she spotted a man riding it, and the police in Santa Ana recovered it for her.

Cycling Tips looks at Day Two of this year’s Sea Otter Classic.

Moving piece from a Berkeley publicly funded paper about the 81-year old retired firefighter who died of a heart attack while riding his bike last week.

The San Francisco Chronicle examines the lack of equity for two San Francisco drivers who killed two bike-riding women in separate crashes on the same night; one driver got a lousy 16 days behind bars, while the other has been held in county jail for five years on $10 million bail, without ever getting a hearing.

 

National

Treehugger says US ebike sales are up a whopping 240%.

How to repurpose old wheelbarrows to build your own DIY bike trailer.

Chicago residents petition to restore a Slow Street, after the city continues its campaign to remove them.

In a major traffic collision, an eight-year old Ohio girl was riding her bicycle when she was struck by a 10-year old boy and 8-year old girl in a pony cart, spilling them all.

Two hundred Massachusetts bike riders turned out turned out to honor the sacrifices of police and firefighters who gave their lives to protect the public.

Bicycling rates continue to rise in the Big Apple, with a 33% jump in weekday ridership.

Jersey City NJ bike riders are getting the secure bike parking we all need with a Black and Brown-owned Brooklyn-based startup that provides customizable bike storage pods that can fit in a single parking space. Let’s hope they come here to SoCal soon.

Woody Harrelson is one of us, riding a bike around DC shortly after punching a drunk man at the Watergate Hotel, who allegedly lunged at him when Harrelson asked him to delete photos of him and his daughter. .

 

International

Birmingham, England announced a transformative plan to cut motor vehicle use by requiring drivers to use a ring road, rather than allowing them to drive across the city, while introducing a fleet of zero-emission cross-city buses and additional protected bike lanes.

Oh, bother. Local residents agree on protecting England’s Hundred Acre Wood, made famous by Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet et al, though there’s less agreement on whether to allow bicycles. Although something tells me Pooh would welcome bikes.

Nice story from the UK, where YouTube BMX star Zak Jones gave a young boy with autism a new bike after meeting him at a skate park, when the boy, who had never ridden a bicycle, decided to become a cycling star like Jones.

It takes a major schmuck to borrow a Kenyan boy’s bicycle, then turn around and sell it.

Life is really cheap in Malaysia, where an appeals court confirmed that a driver got a walk for killing eight — yes, eight — teenagers on the customized bikes known as basikal lajak. And she got her driver’s license back, too. I don’t care who you are, it takes major recklessness to crash into eight people on bicycles with enough force to kill them all.

Covid is delaying construction of a Sydney, Australia bikeway, as “snobbish” and “narrow minded” residents work to stop it.

Australian actor Samuel Johnson is one of us, possibly to his regret, after permanently losing his sense of smell when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar won the Il Lombardia classic, in the final race on this year’s WorldTour calendar.

Pink Bike offers a photo essay from the Red Bull Rampage, calling it the greatest show on earth.

British sprinting star Mark Cavendish turned up at the women’s Tour of Britain to speak out in support of women’s cycling.

Congratulations to SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera, who is now Coryn Labecki, after getting married and moving to a new team.

American BMX cyclist Connor Fields crash in the Tokyo Olympics left him with a serious traumatic brain injury and memory loss, raising questions about whether he can recover enough to compete again.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new low-end e-mountain bike is okay for everything, except riding mountains. Who needs the Batmobile when you’ve got a turbo-charged bicycle?

And clearly, dooring is nothing new.

………

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

SD bike riders protest deadly streets, former WY senator dies from bike crash, and LA Times says slow speeding drivers

It looks like San Diego bike riders have finally had enough.

After a horrifying 12 bicycling deaths in San Diego County so far this year — roughly double what the county might experience in a typical year — dozens of local residents held a protest ride and press conference to demand safer streets.

That bloody toll includes five people who were killed on their bikes in just the past month.

“Grief makes you angry,” San Diego Bicycle Coalition executive director Andy Hanshaw said. “If there’s not a dedicated path that’s seperate from the road, then we need a safer bike lane on the street, and your typical white stripe is not safe enough.”

Beloved bicyclist and San Diego State University administrator Laura Shinn was killed on Pershing Drive last Tuesday. Police said she was in the bike lane, wearing a helmet, when a driver hit her from behind.

Graphics by tomexploresla

“A lot of people are feeling hesitant,” bicyclist Elizabeth Mayer said. “They don’t want this freedom option of transportation taken from them because they’re afraid of cars.”

Although someone might want to tell NBC-7 that not everyone who rides a bicycle is an “athlete.”

………

Sad news from Wyoming, where former US Senator Mike Enzi has died following some sort of bicycling crash.

According to the local Gillette, Wyoming newspaper, the 77-year old politician was transported to a medical center near my Colorado hometown after he was involved in a “serious bicycle accident” Friday night.

He died of his injuries on Monday.

Newsweek reports that Enzi was found lying in the roadway next to his bicycle, about the same time his Apple Watch sent a distress call indicating a bad fall.

The magazine reports he had suffered a broken neck and broken ribs; there’s no word on whether he fell off his bike, or may have been the victim of a hit-and-run.

Regardless of whether or not you agreed with his politics, he devoted his life to serving his state and his country.

And he was one of us.

………

They get it.

The Los Angeles Times says it’s time to stop letting drivers set speed limits with their right foot.

The Los Angeles City Council was recently forced to raise speed limits on sections of Olympic and Overland boulevards in West L.A. — where a woman was killed this year by a recklessly speeding driver.

Why? Because an outdated and absurd law essentially requires cities to set street limits based on how fast people are already driving on a stretch of road — not whether that speed is safe.

This law is based on a flawed methodology, according to a report released last year. It relies on the overly optimistic assumption that most drivers will drive at a safe and reasonable speed, and that it’s safer to set speed limits that reflect the “natural” flow of traffic.

The paper calls for passage of AB 43, which would modify the deadly 85th Percentile Law to allow cities and counties to lower speed limits by a modest 5 mph on streets with injury high rates of injuries, or heavy bike and pedestrian use.

What we really need is to repeal the 85th Percentile Law entirely.

But until we can get there, this is a start.

………

This is what it looks like to ride the new bike lane on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Just don’t count on riding it yourself for the next few months.

………

Local

Bird is rolling out their next generation e-scooters in Long Beach this week.

 

State

Clean Technica says California’s new ebike rebate program is a done deal. But securing the funding is not the same as approving the program.

Former San Luis Obispo councilmember Robert “Red” Davis passed away peacefully in his home over the weekend. The 76-year old bike advocate had served as president of the SLO Bike Club, as well as chairing the Morro Bay Citizens Bike Committee and the County Bicycle Advisory Committee; a local bikeway is named in his honor.

A San Francisco TV station tries out a $5,500 ebike intended to replace a car, and capable of carrying two passengers and up to 400 pounds at 30 mph. However, that top speed means you’d be required to wear a helmet, and prohibited from using bike paths and protected bike lanes.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a pilot speed cam program may be exactly what the city needs to meet its Vision Zero goals in the next three years. On the other hand, Los Angeles has virtually zero chance of meeting its goal of ending traffic deaths by 2025, by which time the mayor who committed to it will likely be serving as ambassador to India, anyway. 

Sacramento officials identify the 76-year old man who died a month after he was run down by a drunk motorist illegally driving on a bike path.

 

National

TikTok’s Mr. Barricade discusses the benefits and practicality of quick-build bike lanes.

The New Republic says car sales and usage are on the rise, crushing hopes of reclaiming streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

A pair of Navy vets discuss their 1,300-mile bike ride to visit sites marking the 9/11 attacks to honor those who died that day.

The kindhearted staff of a Wyoming co-op dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young girl, after someone stole her bicycle and tried to fix its flat tire at their shop.

Someone please tell San Antonio, Texas that a 35 mph speed limit does not a Slow Street make.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old Kansas man is planning to ride 75 miles to celebrate his birthday, while raising funds to help former inmates reenter society.

There’s a special place in hell for the person who jumped out of a car and shot a 12-year old St. Louis boy, just missing his 11-year old companion; fortunately, the boy is expected to survive.

Olympic silver medalist Brent Emery now devotes his efforts to building custom adaptive bicycles for kids with disabilities; Emery won his medal for team pursuit in the ’84 Los Angeles games.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A legend in local television was killed when a driver ran down a 77-year old former Florida TV executive in the fog on Saturday morning; Stephen McKenney Steck had ridden his bike every day for the last seven years.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that goes double for whoever viciously beat and robbed a 68-year old New York grandfather as he rode a bikeshare bike.

 

International

Raleigh wants to replace your car, too, for the low, low price of just $6,000. Apparently, “replace your car” is code for a cargo bike that costs as much as a used car.

Toronto bike riders are complaining after police ticketed dozens of bicyclists for speeding and blowing a stop sign in a local park, setting up a speed trap on a street where the limit was 20 mph for everyone. Although, as another story that was hidden behind a paywall wondered, is it really fair to ticket bike riders who don’t have a speedometer?

The world’s longest solar power-generating bike path is now open in the Netherlands, stretching over 1,000 feet.

Hats off to Mohammad Ashraf, who is completing a 2,300-mile ride across India, despite having to ride with just one leg after the other was paralyzed in a 2017 bicycling crash, which also limited use of his right hand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Tom Pidcock took gold in men’s Olympic mountain biking in his first Olympics, after barely qualifying as U-23 rider.

Mathieu van der Poel blames a missing wooden ramp for crashing out of the mountain bike race, saying it had been there during his practice rides.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s “gutted” after falsely claiming victory in the road race after losing track of Anna Kiesenhofer, who finished over a minute ahead of her to claim the gold.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a cross-state group ride crosses paths with a police chase. Nothing like being 300 miles into a 1,200 cross-country bike ride because you lost a bet.

And don’t count on riding BMW’s compact, folding ped-assist e-cargo bike anytime soon.

Or maybe ever.

………

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

LA Time’s Lopez calls for legalizing speed cams, Bike Index helps return stolen bike 500 miles away, and LA NC talks ebikes

He gets it, all right.

Last week we quoted LA Times columnist Steve Lopez as he called out the death cult of speeding drivers enabled by the relatively empty, over-engineered streets of pandemic-era Los Angeles.

In the first month of the pandemic last spring, the California Highway Patrol reported that although traffic volume was down 35%, the number of citations for driving in excess of 100 miles an hour had increased by 87% over the same period a year earlier. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 4,851 more CHP citations were issued for speeding at 100 miles an hour or more, a 93% increase over the same period a year earlier.

This weekend, he pointed towards one major solution, with a full-throated endorsement of automated speed cams.

On Sunday, when I wrote about the perils of drivers thinking that light traffic during the pandemic is a license to try out for NASCAR, readers shared their own horror stories about speeding drivers and offered their own solutions. One was automated speed enforcement, which I’d already been looking into.

The way it works is that, if you’re driving over the speed limit in a monitored area, a sensor will read your speed and license plate, and you’ll get a citation in the mail.

The problem, as we’ve noted here before, is that they’re illegal here in the late, great golden state.

Currently, the technology is prohibited in California, but 140 communities in the country have used it with impressive results.

“Washington, D.C., saw a 70% reduction in speeding,” said Seleta Reynolds, general manager of L.A.’s Department of Transportation. “New York saw huge reductions in severe and fatal crashes. That technology is going to save people’s lives for years to come.”

As Lopez notes, that’s thanks in part to pressure from police unions, who have blocked previous attempts to legalize speed cams out of fear it will cost cops jobs, rather than simply freeing more officers to focus on more important things.

There are currently two bills before the state legislature to rectify the situation.

Assembly Bill 550 would legalize speed cams on streets previously recognized as dangerous, as well as in work zones, while Senate Bill 735 would limit the cams to school zones.

Both would require giving hotfooted drivers advance notice through signs indicating they’re entering a speed enforcement zone.

Which is kind of like warning robbers the cops have the place staked out, so they can avoid getting caught.

We need them everywhere drivers speed, rather than just limited locations. And as anyone who’s spent much time on SoCal streets knows, drivers speed everywhere.

But it’s a start.

Let’s hope both pass, or they get merged into a single bill for passage.

And let’s keep on top of it, and keep pressure on our representatives to make sure they do.

………

This is a perfect example of why you should register your bike.

Even though the thieves took this bike far from the LA area, Bike Index’ free national stolen bike database helped lead to its safe return.

Or you could just count on faith to get your stolen bike back.

………

The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is talking ebikes this Thursday.

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The case of the missing bike lane.

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Soon you, too, will be able to wear the new volcano-inspired colors of the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team, which will be available from Rapha.

………

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

No bias here. A conservative commentator wants bike riders banned from the streets because someone on a bike complained about people blocking bike lanes, albeit in a rude and obnoxious manner. Seriously, we’ve all had to deal with people blocking bike lanes, but try to make the same point without being a total jerk about it.

And maybe Matt Walsh could try not being a jerk about it, too.

………

Local

Chris Pratt is one of us, going for a ride in LA with his eight-year old son as Katherine Schwarzenegger follows with their infant daughter.

 

State

Beaumont proposes working together with the cities of Banning and Calimesa, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Riverside County to develop multimodal transportation projects along the I-10 corridor, including bicycle routes.

A 22-year old woman suffered moderate injuries — whatever that means — when a driver failed to see her riding salmon at an Hesperia intersection.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail accuses Prince Harry of racing through LA traffic on his “expensive” ebike. Even though he was riding near his Montecito home, about 84 miles away.

A Bakersfield bike path will be closed for improvements for one day a week from tomorrow.

In a tragic irony, a Berkeley bike and pedestrian advocate suffered major injuries when she was struck by a driver while riding with her son on a street where walkers and bike riders are supposed to have priority — and just hours after meeting with city transportation officials on how to improve traffic safety.

 

National

Transportation Secretary Pete says Biden’s transportation plan represents a once in a century opportunity to remake how Americans get around, where cars and highways are no longer king. I like this guy more every time he speaks.

The EPA says the days of pickup drivers enveloping you in a cloud of dark smoke are over, as they sue the Cayman Islands maker of a conversion kit allowing drivers to roll coal. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A new study concludes that, in the absence of congestion pricing, privately-owned self-driving cars will be a disaster for downtown areas, as many owners choose to keep them circulating rather than pay for parking.

Electrek says the proposed 30% tax rebate on the purchase of a new ebike sponsored by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jimmy Panetta has a good chance of passing in the current Congressional term.

Inside Hook considers the psychology behind why drivers hate people on bicycles.

Family members say the fatal police shooting of a 17-year old Arizona boy wasn’t justified, after bodycam video showed he had thrown a gun away as he ran from his bike, and never turned to face the cop before he was shot — all for what started as a simple traffic stop for weaving between lanes on his bicycle.

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says no, former NBA star Shawn Bradley wasn’t paralyzed in a Utah bicycle accident, as much of the press termed it; he was injured in a collision when he was run down by a driver. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A reporter from Illinois is riding his bike west to Los Angeles along the famous Route 66, aka the Mother Road, to collect stories about life in the Age of Covid.

Good question. A Daytona Beach FL paper asks how many people have to be killed walking or riding a bike before the state finally says enough?

Florida sheriff’s deputies arrest the 22-year old hit-and-run driver who ran down the sheriff of Volusia County as he was riding his bike — and while she was busy shopping on Amazon. Meanwhile, the sheriff thanked the truck driver who stopped to help him after the crash.

 

International

Road.cc recommends six of the best bike locks, with prices starting at under $40.

Gear Patrol lusts after three ebikes you can only get in Europe, for now.

Parking in a bike lane in Mérida, Yucatán will now cost you the equivalent of up to $77.

The CBC says the great pandemic bike boom has created a demand, combined with supply chain disruptions, that will take the Canadian bike industry years to catch up.

Toronto police are giving fewer tickets to people on bicycles, even though more people are riding bikes.

The owner of a burger bar in Bath, England claims a new bike lane will batter his business. Because evidently, only people who drive eat hamburgers. And if drivers aren’t willing to walk a little further to do business with his shop, maybe he should try making a better burger.

Bike riders in an English county turn thumbs down on a proposed $12.5 million bicycle bridge, saying the money could be better used to improve bike infrastructure on the streets.

New projections show that, not only will ebikes start outselling cars in Europe, it will probably happen sooner than you think.

Cuban expats living in Belgium are organizing a bike ride for this coming weekend to protest the ongoing US blockade of the island.

A Manilla website tells the horrible story behind the city’s first ghost bike, installed to honor a bicyclist who was shot to death by a driver in a road rage incident following a too-close pass; his killer is now serving life behind bars. A reminder that you never know who has a gun and a short fuse. Especially here in the US. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Elisa Longo Borghini won the women’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda race, taking everyone else by surprise with an attack with a little more than 15 miles to go; Marianne Vos won the sprint for a distant second.

Belgian cyclist Jasper Stuyven claimed the biggest win of his career by edging Caleb Ewan and defending champ Wout van Aert in the the Milan-San Remo classic, the longest single-day race on the modern cycling calendar. And it was a good day for Trek-Segafredo, with both Steven and Longo Borghini riding for the team.

Former world champ and TdF, Giro and Vuelta points winner Mark Cavendish says he has nothing left to prove, after making what he termed an amateur mistake on the cobbles of Nokere Koerse.

 

Finally…

Seriously, 18 inches does not a bike lane make.  Now you, too, can own the bike Bradley Wiggins rode to victory in the 2012 Tour de France, for the low, low price of $10,400.

Unless you’d rather own the very bike Lance rode for the Motorola team in the ’90s.

Syringe and IV bag not included.

………

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

Examining the carnage caused by speeding drivers, the bike boom runs on batteries, and early LA bike cops

Speed kills.

In a column for the LA Times, the paper’s Steve Lopez examines the rising carnage on our streets caused by speeding drivers.

Lopez constructs his story through the lens of the needless deaths of 68-year old Larry Brooks, killed by a driver in $280,000, 200 mph McLaren, and 32-year-old Monique Munoz, whose life was taken by a 17-year old in a $200,000-plus Lamborghini SUV.

Not that you need a high-end super car to speed. Or take an innocent life.

In fact, it seems to be a rising trend.

In the first month of the pandemic last spring, the California Highway Patrol reported that although traffic volume was down 35%, the number of citations for driving in excess of 100 miles an hour had increased by 87% over the same period a year earlier. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 4,851 more CHP citations were issued for speeding at 100 miles an hour or more, a 93% increase over the same period a year earlier.

And too often, the people who pay the price aren’t the ones with their foot glued to the gas pedal. Three years ago, speeding played a role in roughly a third of all crashes resulting in death or serious injury, according to the most recent stats from the CHP.

Not that more timely statistics would help prevent more deaths, or anything.

Then there’s the broken promise of Vision Zero, which was supposed to be well on its way to ending traffic deaths in the City of Angels by now.

Not making more of them.

The Vision Zero campaign, announced by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2015, set an ambitious goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries and making streets safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists by 2025. The progress, and the reviews, have not been sterling. In the Arts District, where Larry Brooks was killed, residents have begged for more sidewalks and crosswalks. A $15-million state grant for such improvements has yet to be put to work.

Budgets, bureaucracy, politics and competing priorities have stood in the way of safety improvements such as turn lanes, crosswalks, signage and enforcement throughout the city. But (LADOT General Manager Seleta) Reynolds said progress is being made and her department has identified 450 miles of city streets where more than two-thirds of the fatal and serious collisions have occurred, with improvements there being prioritized.

Except nibbling at the edges of traffic safety wasn’t what we were promised. And won’t bring about the wholesale changes to the city’s traffic grid necessary to make a substantial dent in the rate of traffic deaths.

Let alone end them in the next four years, as the mayor committed to in announcing the plan six years ago.

Or do much to reduce the number of speeding drivers on LA’s over-engineered streets, as evidenced by the LAPD’s own stats.

(LAPD Traffic Division Cmdr. Gerald) Woodyard ran stats for the 12 pandemic months ending Feb. 28 of this year and found that fatal collisions in which speed was a factor increased from 15% to 21% of the total. Of the 253 fatalities, 117 involved pedestrians, and 48 of the victims were identified as “homeless or transient.”

Let’s hope that the state legislature gets serious about eliminating that deadly 85th Percentile Law that allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot, and legalizing automated speed enforcement to slow them down.

And maybe Los Angeles can spend some of the $1.35 billion it will be getting in the latest Covid stimulus package to fully fund Vision Zero, and stop using that for an excuse for why nothing gets done.

Then our elected leaders will just have to grow a spine. Or at least enough of one to stand up to angry drivers who demand the right to keep going zoom zoom on our streets, unimpeded by anything that might slow them down.

Like a person, for instance.

If not, maybe we can replace them with new leaders who already have one.

Take a few minutes to read the full piece. It’s worth your time to grasp the full cost of drivers who insist on putting the pedal to the metal.

Because let’s face it, you can’t spell “carnage” without “car.”

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR from Pexels.

………

Speed kills, part two.

Two people were killed, and four seriously injured, when a speeding driver lost control on Vineland Ave in North Hollywood, slamming into two other cars and killing a man who had just stepped out of a liquor store; a passenger in one of the cars was the other person killed.

The crash occurred just blocks from the bike lanes on Vineland.

………

More proof that much of the current bike boom runs on batteries.

………

Actually, it looks like most of those “hats” are helmets on the heads of the LAPD’s first bike cops.

………

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

It takes a real lowlife to torch a Cambridge, Massachusetts ghost bike.

People are attacking a Welsh bikeshare provider, with an average of two bikes damaged each day over a five-week period; 20 people have been arrested so far for vandalizing the bikes.

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

Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter complains she almost channeled her rage-filled superhero alter ego when she was rudely hit on by a bike riding man while walking on a sidewalk.

British police bust a 19-year old, bike-riding serial groper accused of attacking 12 woman on a Cambridge bike path.

………

Local

Officials conclude that a proposed bike lane on Western Ave in Rancho Palos Verdes won’t have a negative effect on traffic.

 

State

Calbike says it’s time for California to legalize the Safety Stop, which would allow bike riders to legally treat stop signs as yields, as most bike riders — and many drivers — already do. Actually, it was time about 30 years ago; now it’s way past time to get it done.

Encinitas will host a free ebike seminar on the 26th.

No bias here, either. A Santa Barbara letter writer says the new bike lanes on State Street make no sense, and accuses leaders of kowtowing to “the minority bike lobby.”

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision Saturday evening; he was allegedly riding the wrong way when a driver hit him head-on.

Kindhearted members of a Cal Fire crew bought a new bicycle and helmet for an eight-year old Pescadero boy after his were damaged when he was hit by a driver.

No bias here. A Chico State student investigating police bias and racial profiling in campus traffic stops unexpectedly finds himself stopped by three university police officers in a pair of squad cars as he was riding his bike, long after leaving the campus. He was told he somehow looked suspicious because he rode his bike away from the cop he didn’t see, who wasn’t trying to stop him. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

City Lab examines the irrational growth in the sheer size of pickup trucks, some of which now weigh as much as 3.5 tons, posing a dramatically increased risk to everyone on the road around them. Correction: I originally wrote the pickups weigh up to 7 tons, rather than 3.5. Thanks to Andy Stow for the correction.

Washington state is moving forward with a bill to bar sales tax for ebikes.

Bodycam video appears to show a 17-year old Arizona boy reaching for a gun after fleeing from police on foot, after what originally began as a simple traffic stop for not having a headlight on his bike; he died three weeks after the shooting — and after begging the cop not to let him die. Thanks to BGD Reporters and Rafe Husain for the tip.

A Utah bike rider was stabbed in the arm in a random attack, moments after an attacker robbed another person just to smash their phone on the ground.

PeopleForBikes spends a day with a bike-borne Boulder CO food rescue.

Despite their new found legal status, ebike and scooter riders find themselves banned from New York’s Hudson River Greenway.

Once again, a driver has fled after running down multiple riders; one woman was killed and another seriously injured when they were rear-ended by the heartless, cowardly driver while on a Florida bike club’s annual member appreciation ride.

 

International

A new Cannondale ad campaign is appearing at iconic sites around the world, as the bike boom pushes the company into the mainstream.

Take a single-track excursion on a Mexican mountain bike Mecca built by a Walmart heir.

We already knew Harrison Ford was one of us, as he dons his spandex for a nearly 800-mile ride from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. Although some people can’t seem to get over his “skintight outfit.”

Canada’s Liberal government is attempting to solve the country’s first mile/last mile problem by allocating a whopping $400 million for bike paths.

Thieves are feasting on bicycles from bike shed in an English housing development certified as secure by the local police department, because of ventilation holes big enough for someone to reach in and unlock the door. Evidently, the police wanted to ensure the bikes got plenty of fresh air when they weren’t in use.

A UK prosthetics experts is back on his bike after becoming his own patient when he lost his right arm in a bicycling collision with a truck driver.

Photographic proof that the British royal family are no strangers to bicycles.

When is a bicycle not a bicycle? When you strap a gasoline engine to it in Ireland.

A man was fatally shot after threatening a Paris bike cop with a knife outside a train station.

Spanish former F1 champ Fernando Alonso will now have to race with two titanium plates patching his fractured jaw after collision while riding his bike last month.

Peshawar becomes the first city in Pakistan to open a bikeshare service.

An Israeli man who once rode 41,000 miles around the world is credited with saving seven lives by donating his organs when he was hit by a bus driver while making an Everesting attempt near Haifa.

South African bike thieves are using pepper spray to knock riders off their bicycles. But at least they haven’t put a stop to the Cape Town edition of the World Naked Bike Ride.

Business is booming for Taiwanese bikemakers, with revenues up as much as 80%, even though delivery times are down.

An Aussie woman thanks a passing driver for saving her daughter’s life when the bikes failed on the girl’s borrowed bicycle, and she crashed into a parked car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Another reminder that there’s no sure thing in bike racing. Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič lost his firm grip on the Paris-Nice podium by falling twice on the last stage and dislocating his shoulder. Germany’s Max Schachmann made up a 52-second deficit to take the win.

 

Finally…

Evidently, your body is a bicycle. Your next bike could have no crossbar, fork or seat.

And who hasn’t ridden 163 miles just to get a cup of coffee?

………

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

Covid closes SoCal beaches for holiday weekend, Metro reveals recovery plans, and a visit with a bike-riding paletero

Santa Barbara became the latest SoCal county to close its beaches for the holiday weekend yesterday.

That means a nearly unbroken string of city and county beach closures stretching from north of Camp Pendleton through Santa Maria. The closures include the beachfront bike paths in LA County, but it’s not clear if it includes bike path closures in other counties, so check before you go.

State run beaches will remain open, including paths for biking and walking, but parking lots will be closed through Monday to discourage overcrowding.

All of which means San Clemente is likely to get overrun with beachgoers this weekend.

Let’s just hope they’re right about coronavirus not spreading easily outdoors.

But wherever you ride, do it safely and defensively.

I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone one else, this weekend.

Photo by David Drexler.

………

Metro’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is out with plans for how the LA area can move forward as the city recovers from the coronavirus, without the seemingly inevitable gridlock as people go back to their auto-centric daily routines.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes an in-depth look at Metro’s plans, including an increase in dedicated bus lanes, and possibly taking bikeshare in house to better meet the needs of underserved communities.

Then there’s this.

Metro’s task force recommends a “quick roll-out of more bike infrastructure.” The lack of safe, convenient places to bike has long been a limiting factor inhibiting bicycling in Southern California. What is tricky for Metro is that bikeways are largely out of Metro’s jurisdiction. Metro has roles to play, but municipalities – primarily cities – are ultimately responsible for the bike-unfriendly state of local streets. The task force says Metro should “partner with cities on strategies for rapid deployment of bike improvements.”

So let’s hope Metro can give LA a much-needed push in the right direction.

Linton also goes on to quote a certain bike website writer’s reaction to the plans.

But you’ll have to read his story to see what I had to say.

………

Moving piece from the LA Times, which spends a day with an immigrant paletero, or pushcart ice cream vendor, who begins and ends every day riding his bike to and from work.

Mauro Rios Parra is one of the countless Angelenos, immigrant and otherwise, who depend on their bikes for transportation and to earn a living. And who are too often ignored by city planners and elected officials.

According to the story, Rios Parra hasn’t seen his family in Oaxaca for 16 years. But his modest pushcart has helped put one child through med school, and two others through law school.

Which he probably couldn’t have done if he had a car instead of a bike.

………

Bicycles allow bike cops to respond quickly and quietly to rapidly changing situations. Unfortunately, that appears to include attacking seemingly peaceful Seattle protesters.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Let’s see Peter Sagan pull this one off with the pro peloton if they ever get back to racing in real life.

https://twitter.com/engineeringvids/status/1278755531352662016

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

………

WTF? Why would any family need an SUV that does one eighty? They should send this cat straight back to the hell it came from.

………

Local

Somehow we missed this Streetsblog piece on family-friendly bike rides accessible by Metro transit.

Police are still looking for the second bike and skateboard-riding groper who sexually assaulted a number of women in the Venice and Culver City areas; another suspect was arrested recently.

 

State

The CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who sideswiped a bike-riding Santa Rosa woman with a trailer; the CHP politely gave the driver a built-in alibi, saying they may not even know they hit anyone.

 

National

Forbes offers advice on how to buy a new mountain bike.

Bicycling tries out the updated 2020 edition of the 1965 Schwinn Collegiate. And likes it.

How to use your water bottle to brush debris from your tires without risking stitches.

A Portland group has created a guide to corking intersections with your bike to protect social justice protests.

Back in my hometown, a university cop is pledging to ride her bike 400 miles this month to benefit Black Lives Matter, and mark the 400-plus years African Americans have been fighting for social justice.

After recovering from testicular cancer, a Texas man who grew up with the nickname Porky got serious about bicycling, which helped him drop 167 pounds while riding up to 200 miles in a day.

A Massachusetts minister suggests taking a spiritual spin on your bike. But don’t be a bicycle Bozo.

The New York Times looks at the city’s bicycle Black Lives Matter protests that have brought thousands of bike riders to the streets to demand social justice.

An off-duty New York cop faces charges for hit-and-run and assault after crashing into a man on a bike, then pushing a bystander before fleeing the scene.

A New York writer says the city’s new e-scooter pilot program is great, but all he really wants is a safe place to park his bike.

 

International

Pink Bike turns into Bicycle Vogue, with a focus on summer mountain bike fashions for men, while Refinery 29 seems more concerned with keeping you stylish on your commuter bike.

The Department of DIY struck in London once again, as climate activist group Extinction Rebellion painted their own popup bike lane through Kensington.

A Scottish program is providing the equivalent of $1.25 million to help local councils, community groups and universities buy ebikes and e-cargo bikes; a previous $2.37 million bought 875 ebikes and 41 e-cargo bikes to replace car trips. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

The BBC examines how helmets, including bike helmets, can keep your fragile brain safe.

A new study shows France is rediscovering the bicycle, with sales up 117% in the first month since the country’s pandemic lockdown was lifted.

 

Competitive Cycling

The actual Tour de France won’t take place until late next month, but a virtual version will kick off this weekend. Maybe they’ll have virtual jostling in the peloton, with virtual falls and virtual road rash. And virtual failed dope tests, too.

Speaking of virtual racing, an Indian army colonel finished fourth in this year’s virtual RAAM, becoming the fourth Indian rider to finish the grueling race, more or less.

A New Zealand navy veteran plans to compete in cycling events in next year’s Invictus Games using a 3D-printed metal pedal spacer and cleat, after injuries from a helicopter crash left one leg shorter than the other.

 

Finally…

If your friend tries to sell your bike without your permission, maybe you need to rethink your friends. Apparently, take one, leave one applies to bike thieves, too.

And nothing like going out for a bike ride and getting stuck in traffic.

Funny how they seem more willing to share the road than LA drivers, and less likely to use their horns.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

………

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

Vehicular cycling founder John Forester has died, toxic car culture, fighting for street space, and courteous CA drivers

Sad news from San Diego.

CABO President Jim Baross writes that John Forester, author of Effective Cycling and the father of America’s vehicular cycling movement, passed away last week.

Reported to me today by his son Jeff Forester

John died April 14, 2020 at 90 years of age

He was Born Oct. 1929

I have known John primarily related to bicycling and CABO. Some things I know about him off the cuff:

Author of Effective Cycling now in a 7th edition, former League of American Bicyclists Board member (was he board chair at one time?), instrumental in the formation of CABO, certainly the Father of the concepts and trainings of vehicular cycling, an early outspoken advocate for the rights of people to use bicycles on public roads, etc. etc.

Whatever your opinion of vehicular cycling, Forester was hugely influential in the ’70s and ’80s, and throughout the past 50 years. Both in affirming the place of bicyclists on our streets, and blocking the growth of separated bikeways.

He fought for what he believed right up to the end, long after most modern advocates and planners had left his philosophies behind.

But in his day, his work was a revelation, creating the framework most road cyclists employed through the last decades of the past century.

Myself included.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

Cover image from MIT Press

………

Let’s talk about a great opinion piece from today’s LA Times.

Senior digital editor Matthew Fleischer writes that the coronavirus shutdowns are making it clear just how toxic car culture really is.

The coronavirus is making it abundantly clear that cars are their own kind of plague. And, in many ways, our lives are better when we don’t have to use them.

Some city leaders have come to this realization and are refusing to allow their automotive status quos to return after the lockdowns end. In Milan, Italy — one of the hardest-hit cities in the world by coronavirus — planners have already begun preparations to permanently transform 22 miles of streets for non-automobile use after witnessing reductions in air pollution of up to 70% during lockdowns.

Then there’s this.

Frankly, the idea that we can transport ourselves sustainably en masse in toxic 4,000-pound battering rams is just as delusional, entitled and self-destructive as the “liberate” protestors who are demanding a premature end to coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders…

There is no herd immunity from the damage caused by millions of personal automobiles roaming the streets at all hours.

Seriously, this will probably be the most insightful thing you read today. If not, it’s still a damn good way to spend the next few minutes.

Let’s hope Mayor Garcetti reads it.

Because he can let coronavirus derail his ambitious plans to reimagine our streets as part of an LA Green New Deal.

Or he can use this as a rare opportunity to actually make it happen.

………

Closing or narrowing streets for cars in response to Covid-19 continues to make news here in LA, across the US and around the world.

Los Angeles political advocacy group Streets For All has forged a powerful coalition of LA-area groups to lead the call to keep Angelenos physically and mentally healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.

And expressed that call in a strongly worded letter to leaders of the City of Angels.

The road space in Los Angeles is now dramatically overbuilt for the current vehicle traffic volume, causing vehicles to travel at dangerous speeds – average speeds are up 30% on our wide open roads according to LADOT. At the same time, the average width of our sidewalks is 4.4’, too narrow to allow people to pass each other while maintaining 6’ of distance. As a result, people are forced to be in close proximity with each other, risking proliferating the virus or walking, running, scooting, or biking in the street next to speeding cars. This isn’t just a street safety issue, but a public health issue as well…

While the top priority is limiting COVID-19 spread and saving lives and livelihoods, there must be a long term plan to sustain the mental and physical well being of Angelenos. Isolation and inactivity can lead to increases in chronic health conditions like heart disease and obesity and pose other mental and physical health risks that we may pay for as a society for years to come.

Therefore, for the critical reasons of equity, mental health, safety, and the physical well-being of Angelenos, we ask you to authorize the creation of an emergency people street network – using cones or other temporary infrastructure – to create additional sidewalk and open space for people to walk, run, scoot, and bike in, while maintaining 6’ of distancing. ​On neighborhood streets, this could be as simple as a few cones and a “slow down” sign taking up some of the street, calming traffic but still allowing local and emergency vehicle access. On major arteries, this could be redistributing a parking lane and/or single vehicle traffic lane on each side of the street, while taking care not to interfere with bus stops​. These treatments may also advance the Mayor’s goals under L.A.’s Green New Deal to “Activate Streets” and “Prioritize Land Use and the Right-of-Way” in ​Executive Directive 25​. All of this can be accomplished inexpensively and without the need of distracting our police or fire departments with enforcement during this critical time.

It’s worth taking the time to read the full letter. And voice your own support.

Meanwhile, KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks with Curbed’s Alissa Walker about closing some roads to cars so people have more space to walk, run or bike.

Salt Lake City joins the growing movement to convert streets to bike and pedestrian use.

Berlin is the latest world capital to carve out more space on the streets for active transportation in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.

And Paris trumps everyone by readying the equivalent of 400 miles of permanent and temporary bikeways for use when the city reawakens.

………

No surprise here.

The Governors Highway Safety Association says speeding is up around the country on streets emptied by the coronavirus crisis, which means crashes are more serious, too.

Case in point, the CHP reports that tickets for speeding in excess of 100 mph have jumped 87% over the past month.

Which can either mean that more drivers are speeding. Or that more are just getting caught.

Or maybe both.

………

New York City’s mayor demonstrates that he’s never been to California by bizarrely insisting that California drivers are so courteous, they stop on every block — even when they don’t have to.

https://twitter.com/laura_nelson/status/1252979892846645248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1252979892846645248&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnyc.streetsblog.org%2F2020%2F04%2F22%2Fstill-defiant-now-mayor-de-blasio-wrongly-claims-california-can-have-open-space-because-its-drivers-are-better%2F

………

The LACBC and Sunset For All are teaming up tomorrow to show that bikes mean business.

………

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

A “furious” English man demands that bike riders be banned from a multi-use path along the coast for the alleged crime of failing to maintain social distancing.

………

Local

Khloé Kardashian’s two-year old daughter is one of us.

 

State

A San Diego columnist questions whether it’s time to reopen parts of the city, arguing that the fitness of residents helped it avoid the worst of the coronavirus.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of San Diego men up to 80 years old are still taking long rides along the SoCal coast. And the coast of Normandy.

After losing his job in a San Francisco restaurant, a Venezuelan chef turns to his native cuisine, and starts a new business delivering homemade arepas by bike. Which is literally what he named it.

Once again, a Bay Area bicyclist posts a nearly one-hour video of a ride through Oakland and San Leandro. And once again, an Oakland News blogger freaks out over his scofflaw behavior.

They get it. A pair of Sacramento mayors agree this is no time to back down on climate change, coronavirus or not.

 

National

PeopleForBikes aims to support bike shops by encouraging responsible riding during the Covid-19 crisis, along with virtual cycling.

How to turn your kid into a mini mountain bike shredder.

A pair of Idaho bike commuters are credited with helping the environment by trading gas pedals for bike pedals; one was inspired to get on her bike by attending CicLAvia when she was a student at USC.

Evidently, Texas trail users don’t like being told which way to go.

Wisconsin wrenches are raising old bikes from the dead at a record pace.

Security cam video shows a St. Louis hit-and-run driver plowing into a bike rider, hurling him into the air before flooring it and fleeing the scene; despite the head-on crash, the victim only suffered minor injuries. This video is just as disturbing as it sounds, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on the link.

Three friends from Maine end up driving 2,000 miles home when their fundraising cross-country bike trip ground to a halt in Texas after the coronavirus shut down much of the country.

After an MIT researcher blamed New York’s transit system for spreading Covid-19, a researcher from George Mason University reminds him that correlation isn’t causation, noting that restaurants and bikeshare showed the same curve — and points the finger for spreading the disease at motor vehicle use, instead.

Streetsblog says the empty streets have turned New York’s Third Ave into a dangerous speedway.

A writer for Rolling Stone takes a desolate and desultory ride through the city, feeling anger towards people flaunting social distancing rules and mourning places that may not return.

A Philly radio station says bicycle couriers have had to change their strategies to avoid spreading Covid-19. Or getting exposed to it.

 

International

She gets it. A writer for Forbes says our planet needs cities to prioritize people over cars, and this is the perfect time to do it.

The Pinkbike Podcast discusses why every new bike now seems to be a trail bike.

Cycling News says you can save time and money by learning to fit your own bike chain. Meanwhile, Bike Radar offers a beginner’s guide to road bike shifting.

Bike-riding British Columbia mounties stop a man for riding without a helmet, which is against the law there. And end up busting him for stealing the bike he was riding.

Dutch model Lilly Becker is one of us, too, going for a socially distant ride through London’s Wimbledon neighborhood.

Tragic news from the Netherlands, where an 18-year old man was stabbed to death in an apparent random attack while riding his bike; police arrested a “known troublemaker” immigrant with mental health problems.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault about his 50-mile solo breakaway through a brutal snowstorm to win the 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège

 

Finally…

Who needs a BMX track when you’ve got a Tribeca apartment with an awesome view of the waterfront? Why move over when you’ve got a six-foot social distancing stick?

And no, bikes aren’t “the new toilet paper.

You can actually get a bicycle.

………

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

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