Tag Archive for Los Angeles

Commission approves Wolfberg park, NIMBYs fight Culver City Complete Streets, and racist road rage murder

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s proposal to name the new Potrero Canyon Park for longtime bike and community advocate George Wolfberg, who fought for its creation before his death last year.

This update came from his son, David Wolfberg, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a bike advocate and longtime member of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, in a comment to yesterday’s post.

Thank you Ted for the highlight. It appears to be a go for the park naming. The Parks Commission was wonderful and importantly now includes one of the city’s greatest bike and community advocates, Tarafai Bayne. Many people and agencies have contributed mightily to the development of the park, notably David Card of the Pacific Palisades Community Council and the Bureau of Engineering. Commissioner Nicole Chase expressed a desire for the parks named after engaged citizens like my father George to have detailed reliefs that tell us more about that community member. All of L.A.’s parks are accessible via bicycle though some require more effort than others. My father envisioned connecting the park to the historic Marvin Braude bike path via a bridge over PCH. That is a big spend and they are working to locate funding for it. In the meantime I’ve suggested waypoint signs and/or safety warnings as we definitely don’t want to see anyone trying to cross PCH to get to the park. There are two tunnels south of the park and a crossing signal at Temescal for safe crossing. They are aiming for a park opening in 2021.

He also added this note about the TikTok video of the Peloton instructor that concluded yesterday’s post.

Regarding the hilarious and disturbing Peloton instructor, that is Caitlin Reilly who also recently lost her father, actor John Reilly of General Hospital. Caitlin has several characters developed in lockdown who are poignantly funny reminders of the time in which we’re living. She is an incisive observer and many of these clips are unmistakably “L.A.” https://www.tiktok.com/@itscaitlinhello?

George Wolfberg photo from Pacific Palisades Community Council.

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That didn’t take long.

Just days after Culver City’s new Complete Streets plan went online, some people are already gearing up to fight against livable streets and a healthier business community.

In other words, exactly the same sort of streets people fly to other cities to enjoy, but fight like hell to keep out of their own neighborhoods.

But if they bothered to get informed, like the flier calls for, it would only take a simple Google search to learn that bikeable, walkable Complete Streets can reduce congestion by getting people out of their cars, significantly boost retail and restaurant sales, and bring new life to car-choked streets.

And that any increase in traffic to neighborhoods can be easily mitigated with simple traffic control measures.

They might also learn that once a project like this goes in, the same people who once fought it will often fight to keep it.

Instead, Culver City is seeing the same knee-jerk opposition to change that we’ve seen repeated throughout the LA area, with varying degrees of success.

Which mans it’s probably only a matter of time before we see a new Keep Culver City Moving chapter.

Flier photo courtesy of Zennon Ulyate-Crow.

This is who we share the road with.

A Boston area man was killed in a racially charged road rage attack when the Black and Latino victim and his white attacker got out of their cars to argue.

Then the killer got back in his car and deliberately slammed into the victim.

And yes, the accused killer driver, 54-year old Dean Kapsalis, was arrested after turning himself in half an hour later.

Although the current charges don’t begin the meet the seriousness of the crime, because anything less than second degree murder would be a travesty.

As if the racist murder wasn’t bad enough, though, Henry Tapia, better known as Henny, a 35-year old father of three, was also one of us.

In a reflection if just how tragic this death is, that crowdfunding page mentioned above has raised nearly $75,000 in just the first day, far exceeding the modest $10,000 goal.

But no matter how much money it raises, it won’t bring Henny back.

And in yet another example of government officials keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, the killer had an extensive record of crashes and traffic violations.

It’s just too bad drivers don’t have to pass a test to root out racism before we trust them multi-ton weapons.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Sadly, this tweet from Oklahoma speaks for itself.

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More proof that bikes are good for business.

It’s worth the click to read the brief thread about how an interest in bicycles helped turn around a dying business.

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

No bias here. A San Clemente ebike rider says the city needs to clamp down on everyone else, insisting ebike-riding “kids and elders” are going to kill someone.

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

The New York SUV driver who was terrorized by a group of teen bicyclists after allegedly brake checking one of them — intentionally or otherwise — says nothing has been done by the city and he’s still too afraid to drive his car, despite charges against one of the boys.

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Local

According to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Northwest Pasadena deserves better than the recently released proposal to remake North Lake Avenue, which the organization says would remain an incomplete street that violates the city’s commitment to Vision Zero.

 

State

Momentum is finally building for a 24-acre bike park in Alpine in East San Diego County.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Bakersfield man was allowed to plead no contest to a single hit-and-run charge in the death of a bike rider, despite driving with a suspended license — and despite changing his appearance and pushing his SUV into a ravine to cover up the crime.

Sad news from Merced, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Monday night; police busted the driver after tracking down his heavily damaged car.

He gets it. A bike-riding Manteca columnist says instead of calling wheelie-popping teen bicyclists hoodlums who a terrorizing the populace, be glad they’re taking up bicycling and burning off a little energy.

 

National

Yet another kit promises to convert your bicycle to an ebike.

A Minnesota town proposes a road diet and roundabouts to improve safety, but after a 13-year old boy was killed riding his bike to school last year. Maybe cities could make safety changes they know are necessary before it’s too late for a change.

Seriously? A Cape Cod community wants to make sure they don’t sacrifice the town’s character to Complete Streets. Because apparently, its character is somehow tied to car-clogged streets.

A secret government report shows New York never had any intention to put bike lanes on the Verrazzano Bridge, despite holding several public meetings, and only floated an expensive, impracticable plan in order to kill it.

In an effort to become one of the safest states for bicycling, Virginia moves forward with a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle, allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and let bicyclists ride two abreast.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The family of a North Carolina man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike last year say the arrest of the driver brings them little comfort because it can’t bring the victim back.

A North Carolina school bus driver could use remedial training after nearly hitting an SUV head on while passing a bike rider with full load of kids.

 

International

Just weeks after officials tore out a protected bike lane in London’s tony Kensington and Chelsea boroughs, a bike rider was injured hitting one car in an effort to avoid another.

The UK’s rash of violent strong-arm bike thefts goes on, after an 18-year old bike rider was knocked off his bicycle by a thief who rode off with his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. Longtime pro André Greipel says he feels privileged to race in the middle of a pandemic, and the other riders in the pro peloton should, too.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a little blood and guts to get your kid to wear a helmet. Always look under your saddle before you ride.

And this has got to be the best bikeshare ad ever.

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We have another person who prefers to remain anonymous to thank for yet another generous donation to help bring SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy to your screen every morning. And yes, even though our annual fund drive is over, donations are always welcome and appreciated!

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

Park could be named for longtime advocate George Wolfberg, Biden is one of us, and more Valley Village vandalism

Sorry for the late notice.

It’s been almost a year since bike and community advocate George Wolfberg died at age 82, after a life of working to make this a better and more livable city for all of us.

One of those battles was the creation of Potrero Canyon Park in Pacific Palisades, due to open later this year. Now there’s a proposal before the LA Recreation and Parks Commission to name it after him.

Personally, I think George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon has a great ring to it.

The proposal is scheduled to be discussed at today’s meeting of the commission, item 21-014, starting at 9:30 am.

I’m not sure it I can make it. But if you see this in time, it’s worth commenting to honor one of the unsung giants of LA bicycle community.

To join the meeting, dial 669-900-6833, then enter 830 2912 1777, followed by the # key.

Thanks to Steven Hallett for forwarding today’s photo. And yes, that’s a pedal-operated sewing machine in the middle. 

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New President Joe Biden is one of us.

He’s also the first traffic violence widower to sit in the Oval Office, so maybe we finally have someone in the White House who really gets it.

Although clearly some in the media don’t, as Biden’s Peloton somehow transforms from a fixable security risk to a “scandal” that betrays his blue collar roots.

Seriously.

On the other hand, Donald Trump lived up to his Promises Made, Promises Kept slogan by keeping his vow to never take part in a bike race.

Just like I’ve kept my word to never fly off a tall building while riding an elephant.

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Just two days ago, we mentioned that someone had stolen the Slow Streets signs in Valley Village.

But as soon as local residents put them back up, they were gone again.

But at least CiclaValley still has a sense of humor about it.

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Here’s your chance to work in bike advocacy. As long as you’re okay with moving to the UK.

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A Calgary teenager set a new world’s manual record by coasting over 2,100 feet on his back wheel without pedaling.

And no, I didn’t know the difference between a manual and a wheelie, either.

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

Apparently, English officials aren’t moving fast enough to rip out a popup bike lane, because a bike rider narrowly avoided serious injury when someone covered it with thumb tacks.

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

Lompoc police are looking for the gunman who shot and killed a man before making his escape on a bicycle. But at least he was wearing a mask, right?

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Local

A commercial property website includes the new bike-friendly replacement for the 6th Street Viaduct as one of seven projects that will transform Los Angeles. Of course, there’s no mention of the city’s mobility plan, Vision Zero or Green New Deal that were supposed to transform our streets, but haven’t.

 

State

California will once again consider adopting the Idaho Stop Law, which has been repeatedly blocked by an unholy alliance of AAA and the CHP; however, it could fare better now that Burbank Assembly Member Laura Friedman helms the Transportation Committee.

How to enjoy Palm Springs on two wheels.

Santa Barbara has started work on enhancing bike and pedestrian access along the city’s Stearns Wharf.

San Francisco advocates are despondent after officials severely watered down ambitious plans for a reimagined Market Street.

 

National

Bikes are good for business. A new report concludes recreational bicycling alone added $1.5 billion to the Oregon economy in 2019. California would undoubtedly be many times that.

Good idea. Washington State will consider waiving state sales taxes on ebikes, and up to $200 worth of accessories.

A New Jersey cycling club is using bicycling to improve the health and power of Black fathers and their families. Here’s the Yahoo version if Bicycling blocks you out

Bike advocates are applauding Biden’s choice of former New York Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg as Deputy Transportation Secretary.

A Black Baltimore bicyclist takes a hard look at what life on two wheels is like for people of color in today’s America.

Another good idea. A professor at Virginia Commonwealth University has created a naloxone ebike to distribute free doses of the opioid overdose-reversing drug Narcan to people before the need arises.

 

International

Your next Bianchi could have a battery.

Cycling Tips considers the pros and cons in comparing electronic shifting versus traditional mechanical shifting.

Not surprisingly, an absurd call to lump ebikes into the same category as motorcycles has run into opposition in Bermuda.

London proposes a road diet complete with curb-protected bike lane, promising a transformational effect on the neighborhood.

UK bicycle companies are banding together to form a marketing board to promote bike riding in the country.

You know a British tabloid is desperate for titillating material when the best they can do is a bike-riding woman exposing the top of her thong on Google’s street view.

Ouch. Britain’s high court has ruled that London’s Streetspace plan to create more space on the roads for bicycling and walking is illegal; the judge said it “took advantage of the pandemic” to “push through radical changes.”

Add this one to your bike bucket list. A new 20-mile bike path will encircle Italy’s Lago di Bracciano, connecting three towns on the lakeshore north of Rome.

A Singapore bike rider learns the hard way why metal storm grates should always run across, rather than along, the roadway.

 

Competitive Cycling

L39ION of Los Angeles founder and multi-national crit champ Justin Williams is now part of the Red Bull camp.

Cycling experts look into their crystal balls to predict this year’s pro racing season.

 

Finally…

Why buy a bike helmet when you can grow one with a fungus? If you’re carrying synthetic cannabis on your bike and riding with an outstanding warrant, put a damn light on it and don’t ride salmon.

And no wonder experts think Biden’s Peloton could be a security risk.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the video.

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Thanks to someone who prefers to remains anonymous for a generous donation to help support this site and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Even though our annual fund drive is over, donations are always welcome

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

Fighting for civil rights on bikes, a close call caught on video, and the war on bikes keeps going on…and on

Yes, Dr. King was one of us.

We’ve seen photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on a bicycle before.

But it never occurred to me to consider the role bikes played in the Montgomery bus boycott kicked off by Rosa Parks.

Although maybe it should have, because in retrospect, it’s not surprising that Black men — and presumably women — would take to their bikes to get around town while boycotting the city’s bus system to demand an end to segregated transportation.

Just one more way bicycles have helped change the world.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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A British bike rider plays dodge the dump truck after the driver pulled out in front of him, as well as in front of cars coming from the opposite direction.

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How to tell when you’re a real bicyclist.

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

A 12-year old South Carolina boy suffered dozens of puncture wounds when he was repeatedly shot with a BB gun by a group of teenagers after passing them on his bike. This shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other random shooting. It’s a violent assault, not a prank. 

A London borough counselor says she’s finished with riding after being attacked by two men in a car for failing to get the hell out of their way. We’ll never get people out of their cars as long as driveway vigilantes can use their cars enforce their often mistaken interpretation of the law. And too often, get away with it.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Heartbreaking news from Miltipas, where a seven-year old boy was killed when an armed robbery suspect in a stolen SUV slammed into his bicycle; the woman behind the wheel was arrested, while her male partner is on the run.

The Consul General of the Netherlands gave a presentation to Bay Area officials on how to apply Dutch expertise on cycling infrastructure, pointing out that ebikes nullify the area’s famous hills.

Congratulations to Davis on retaining its status as a platinum-level bicycle friendly community.

 

National

Maybe Joe Biden can take his Peloton to the White House after all.

NBC News picks the year’s ten best ebikes.

The pandemic-induced bike boom and subsequent shortage is fueling a surge in bike theft in the Denver area.

Texas bike riders will soon be able to ride 100 miles from Austin to the Alamo in San Antonio without ever riding on the roadway.

Car choked Houston is planning a network of 1,800 miles of high comfort bike lanes. Seriously, if they can do it, why the hell can’t Los Angeles?

No bias here. A impatient New Jersey DJ somehow feels a bike-riding woman has an obligation to get the hell out of her way instead of “lollygagging” through an intersection.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Pennsylvania man pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts for killing a bike rider while driving under the influence, and with cocaine in his blood.

A woman from DC is suing a Florida city for $200,000, the maximum allowed under state law, despite having over $1 million in medical bills after a careless garbage truck driver hit her bike, leaving her with “multiple compound fractures, a crushed pelvis, eight broken ribs, a punctured lung and a traumatic brain injury.”

 

International

Road.cc announces their picks for the bike of the year, with prices starting at a surprisingly low £749 — the equivalent of $1,025.

Cycling News considers the best women’s road bike saddles.

Next City examines what American cities can learn from Chinese dockless bikeshare providers.

Christy Brinkley is one of us. Or she just knows the value of posing with a bicycle on a tropical beach.

Kids, don’t try this at home. A Costa Rican BMX rider knocked himself out landing on his un-helmeted head after riding off the roof of an ice cream parlor trying to film a video.

Life is cheap in Ontario, Canada, where an 80-year old man walks with a lousy $5,000 fine for killing a 13-year old bike-riding boy, after admitting that he wasn’t even wearing his glasses behind the wheel. At least he lost his license for four years, even though it should have been permanently.

An English man was beaten by a group of thieves armed with metal pipes who stole his bike.

A British man is riding around the world on a tandem bike after overcoming a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Kolkata, India is building a 74-mile cycle track criss-crossing the city.

The world watched in awe as paraplegic climber Lai Chi-wai fell just short of his goal of pulling himself to the top of a Hong Kong skyscraper, climbing 800 feet while raising $700,000 for charity. But what’s not mentioned is the cost of the traffic violence that left him confined to a wheelchair in the first place.

Yes, please. A new report suggests that Aussie commuters should be paid to bike to work instead of driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

Somehow we missed this news over the weekend, as an SUV driver plowed into six members of the Bora-Hansgrohe cycling team after failing to stop at an intersection during a training ride in Italy. Three members of the team were injured seriously enough to be taken to a hospital with concussions, while two of the riders, Wilco Kelderman and Andreas Schillinger, also suffered spinal fractures. But Kelderman didn’t let a little thing like a fractured vertebrae keep him from training.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a pretty picture. Chubby Batman is one of us, too.

And no, bike riders shouldn’t be allowed to use drive-thrus during the pandemic.

We should be allowed to use them any time drivers can.

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

Vandals attack Slow Street in Valley Village, GoFundMe raises $25k for Black Lives bicyclist, and blocking bike lanes in SaMo

It’s a blustery day in LA, and much of Southern California.

With makes it a great day to get that KOM, as long as you can keep the wind at your back. Otherwise, it could feel like riding with an anchor.

And as someone who used to deal with Colorado’s notorious Chinook winds, bear in mind that an ill-timed gust can literally blow you off your bike, or all the way across the roadway.

Or both.

So maybe you’re better off just staying home with a good book.

Photo by Anja from Pixabay.

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No bias here.

Someone clearly isn’t a fan of the Slow Streets movement, at least not in Valley Village.

Or maybe they’re just a fan of speeding cars and keeping the streets the deadly domain of dangerous drivers.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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The family of fallen Ride for Black Lives bicyclist Branden Finley call for help finding the carjacker who killed him in a hit-and-run crash in Downtown Los Angeles, as a crowdfunding page for his family raises over $25,000 the first day.

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What do you call a bike lane when it’s not a bike lane?

A loading zone.

I tried fighting that same battle on San Vicente nearly a decade ago.

It wasn’t hard to get FedEx and UPS to agree that parking in a bike lane violated their internal policies, and pinky swear promise they wouldn’t do it anymore.

And while the Santa Monica police couldn’t grasp the concept that a bike lane is a legal lane of traffic reserved for bicycle, or that blocking one is a clear violation of state law, the chief agreed that double parking is illegal, at least.

But that was several SaMo PD chiefs ago. And nothing ever changed.

Delivery drivers kept parking there. Cops kept ignoring it.

And bike riders continued risking their lives mixing with impatient drivers who couldn’t comprehend that blocked bike lanes mean bike riders have to merge into the traffic lane.

Clearly, adding Amazon delivery vans to the mix hasn’t helped, either.

The only solution is to make it a protected bike lane, which it should be anyway.

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

Frightening bike theft in Stockton, where a man in a car pulled a gun on a 54-year old woman and demanded the bike she was riding, tossing it in his backseat before speeding away.

A Healdsburg CA driver lays on his horn to demand a man riding with his son get the hell out of his way. And when they don’t, he rams the father from behind.

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

Police in New Jersey are looking for a man who grabbed a woman’s butt before riding off on his bicycle. And no, that’s not cute or funny — it’s sexual assault.

A Singapore food delivery rider faces charges for crashing into an eight-year old girl as she walked home from school with her mother, breaking her glasses and seriously injuring her eye.

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Local

No surprise here. Los Angeles once again has the worst traffic of any major city in the US. Yet the city still isn’t taking any significant steps to provide alternatives to driving and get people out of their cars.

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride with his wife and daughter.

 

State

Good news from behind the Orange Curtain, as Caltrans agrees to remove the ill-conceived rumble strips on PCH through Bolsa Chica that posed a needless risk along the popular riding route. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Bakersfield advocate calls for the city to establish a Vision Zero program to become a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

National

There may be hope for all those many and varied bicycle-to-vehicle communication systems that are supposed to be the salvation bike riders and pedestrians, as a consortium of bicycle and automotive companies finally agree to set a common standard that will work across platforms.

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t commute by bike.

An editor for Vice learns that riding a bicycle is just like riding a bike, even at the ripe old age of 29.

The Sierra Club offers suggestions on how to store your bike inside during the winter. Or better yet, let your bike sleep inside, and keep riding it outside, regardless of the season.

Who needs bikewear when you’ve got a $180 pair of denim overalls?

A new report shows Washington State needs to spend $5.7 billion to fix the state’s roads and improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, while advocates say the existing strategies clearly aren’t working. Which is pretty much the same story in California, and just about everywhere else.

A Boise, Idaho nonprofit hand-delivered nearly 60 bicycles to families in need to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy of service.

Even in rural Kansas, a driver can turn his or her car into a lethal weapon to deliver a punishment pass, as a bicycling trio learned firsthand.

Chicago is considering what looks like a curb-protected two way bike lane through the city’s Fulton Market.

When a Virginia pastor had trouble finding a new bike after his was stolen, he responded by starting a new ministry to repair and refurbish bicycles for people in need.

 

International

The bike industry clearly has the gravel bug, as Road.cc rates 18 of the hottest new gravel bikes from some of the most popular bike brands. And while they’re at it, they also pick the year’s best commuter bike, with prices starting at the equivalent of just $500.

Bike Radar gets a jump on next year’s holidays with a guide to the best gifts for bicyclists in 2021, starting with a five buck DVD of Breaking Away.

An Oxford University professor says forget the WHO’s guidance, and wear a mask when you run or ride a bike.

You know there’s a problem when South African bike riders are warned away from a particular road because the risk of getting robbed is too high.

Cyclist examines how Taiwan’s Giant became the, well, giant of the bike world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome blamed an undiagnosed strength deficit and an inexplicably painful screw resulting from his horrific 2019 crash for a disappointing comeback season in 2020. But that may be behind him, as he takes a couple KOMs on a “Super Saturday” ride through the Malibu Hills as he rehabs in Los Angeles.

Twenty-two year old Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar stands in the way of Froome’s search for a record-tying fifth Tour title, as he commits to defending his yellow jersey before tackling the Vuelta.

 

Finally…

Saying a boy’s bike is easy enough for a girl probably isn’t the best marketing idea. For 25 grand, they could at least give you more than one gear. It’s not a giant Ferris wheel, it’s a bike tire.

And since we started the day with Winnie the Pooh, we might as well end it with a little Tickety-Boo.

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

LA King Day bike ride, help ID injured Black bike rider, and cars cost more than you think — even if you don’t drive one

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

I’m old enough to remember asking my dad about a sign saying “N****r don’t let the sun set on you here!” as we passed through an Arizona town when I was a kid. 

So we may still have a long way to go to get to that promised land King spoke of.

But let’s take a moment today to appreciate how far we’ve already come. 

Photo by nbandr from Pixabay.

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In honor of King Day, the LACBC has put together a family friendly ride marking his visits to Los Angeles.

Although I’d rather do the King Day ride that starts at Little Richard’s house.

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LA County health officials are looking for the public’s help in identifying a man who was seriously injured in collision last Tuesday at Island Ave and West PCH in Wilmington.

He was riding a red and black bicycle, apparently without identification.

He’s described as around 30 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall and 156 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

Anyone with information is urged to call Harbor-UCLA Medical Center at 424/306-6310.

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Stories like the one above are why I always urge everyone to carry some form of ID with you every time you ride. And one you won’t have to worry about getting stolen if you’re incapacitated — unlike your wallet or cell phone.

I always carry my emergency contact numbers written down on a small card tucked into my seat pack.

But I also wear a Road ID, just in case. In fact, I use it as a medic alert bracelet for my diabetes any time I leave home, not just when I ride.

I took advantage of a recent sale to get an updated one, so feel free to save $5 on your next order.

Full disclosure, if you use the link, I’ll get five bucks off on a future order, too. Not that that should motivate either of us. 

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Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says the true cost of car ownership is a lot more than you think.

And you’re paying it, whether or not you even drive.

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Sadly, this is what passes for a bike lane in too many places in and around the City of Angels.

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Nope. No bias here.

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No bias here, either.

Although someone might want to mention that bikeshare providers and users pay fees for the privilege. And probably a lot more than drivers do relative to their actual costs to the city.

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What it’s like to ride a wooden bike.

And how to avoid bad habits and stay comfortable on your bike.

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

A New York delivery bike rider was savagely beaten by a group of men when he attempted to take a photo of their car after it hit him; the victim’s wife called his attackers “honestly the most ruthless, disgusting people I have ever seen.” Sadly, a crowdfunding campaign to help pay his medical expenses has raised just $715 after two days.

Apparently, disappearing cats aren’t the only thing you have to worry about in the UK’s Cheshire County, where someone has been boobytrapping a popular trail with nail-spiked boards that could result in serious injury to people on bikes, as well as people walking and their pets. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A road raging British driver chased down the star of the UK’s popular EastEnders show to berate him about just how wrong he was to ride a bike on the road.

Maybe they really are out to get us. A Dutch driver starts a major conflagration by deliberately crashing into an ebike warehouse before the bikes can make it onto the street.

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Local

Congratulations to LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman for being named one of LA County’s Impact-Makers to Watch for 2021.

Streets For All is urging you to contacted newly elected LA Councilmember Kevin De León to support the Beautiful Boulevard plan in Eagle Rock, which would keep the existing bike lanes on Eagle Rock Blvd while adding lanes for the North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit project.

Streetsblog examines a creepy new prison-style bike bridge over railroad tracks along the 5 Freeway in Burbank.

 

State

Caltrans issues new guidance calling for greater attention to bicycle and pedestrian access and safety at new developments.

Sad news from San Diego, where a 27-year old woman suffered a life-threatening brain injury when the e-scooter she was riding hit a crack in the sidewalk, throwing her head-over-heels.

Police have busted a 28-year old man for the New Year’s Day hit-and-run crash that put a 68-year old bike rider in a coma he still hasn’t recovered from.

Bad news from the Sacramento area, where a 41-year old man is facing paralysis after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver while out for an early morning bike ride with his brother and nephew.

A Santa Rosa woman gets three years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of the founder and CEO of an artificial intelligence startup as he was riding his bike last year. Although under the current conditions, she’s likely to serve far less time before she gets out.

 

National

Streetsblog calls out the National Highway Safety Administration, saying the NHTSA’s final report under the Trump administration blames everyone but agencies like themselves for America’s deadly streets.

Outside says the pandemic bike boom is here to stay, with more bicyclists on the roads than ever before.

AARP is hosting a webinar on New Insights on Biking Among Older Adults on the 27th. Personally, I’d rather learn about biking for older adults, but I suppose it’s important to learn how to ride among them, in case you ever get swarmed by senior citizens. Thanks to an anonymous source for this one, since she wasn’t sure if she was supposed to share it.

Pink Bike’s podcast features the legendary Gary Fisher discussing how he brought mountain biking to the masses.

A kindhearted Texas detective worked with a nonprofit to get a new bike for a young boy after his was destroyed by vandals.

Maybe he really does get it. As mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg reshaped the downtown area while challenging the concept that streets are for cars.

A new New Orleans nonprofit is bringing bikeshare back to the city, after Lime pulled the previous JUMP bike system off the streets during the city’s pandemic lockdown.

 

International

Cycling News looks at how ebikes are saving the bike industry.

Road.cc offers their top ten picks for road bike of the year under the equivalent of $5,400, starting at under $900 for a Specialized Allez.

Speaking of Road.cc, they also explain how the right bikewear can boost your biking, while correctly noting that you don’t always need it.

Easily confused motorists call for the removal of whimsical nautical street decorations intended to guide bike riders and pedestrians around a seaside English town, saying they’re too much of a distraction. Or they could just make drivers slow down and pay attention, which would improve safety for everyone.

Kindhearted Good Samaritans came out in force when a 14-year old Brit paperboy had his bike stolen, inundating him with seven new bikes.

No surprise here, as UK Prime Minister BoJo’s lockdown-busting bike ride has made it harder for cops to convince other people they have to stay home.

The operator of a British bike center says if anyone offers you a cheap bike, “kick em in the nuts and steal it back” after thieves ransacked his shop and stole the bicycles.

A Dublin bike advocate says focus on prevention, because chances are if your bike gets stolen, you won’t get it back. Not to beat a dead horse, but an important part of that prevention is registering your bicycle, which greatly increases your chances of getting it back if it ever is stolen.

The 15-year old Indian girl who rode a bicycle over 750 miles to carry her ailing father back home at the start of the pandemic will be the new face of an anti-drug campaign.

A 22-year old Indian man will ride over 2,200 miles across the country from Kerala to Kashmir to call attention farmers protesting three new laws imposed by the government.

A kindhearted Good Samaritan fixed a broken kids bike he or she found abandoned along a Singapore bike path, and left the repaired bike along the trail with a note in hopes the owner would find it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eight-time BMX world champ Simon Tabron is on the slow path to recovery after suffering a heart attack and a subsequent stroke while on the front porch of his Bonsall CA home; it could take as long as a year for the 47-year old father of two to get his full speech back.

VeloNews considers how pro cycling made it through the pandemic last year.

 

Finally…

Admit it, you probablcan’t bunny hop up 33 flights of stairs. If you don’t want an expensive hot bike to look suspicious, don’t cover it in duct tape.

And yes, Captain Kirk really stole Spock’s bicycle.

And more than once.

………

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

Update: Man riding bike killed by carjacker in horrific DTLA hit-and-run crash; victim was on his way to join a group ride

This time, it really is murder.

A 46-year old bike rider is dead, the innocent victim of a speeding carjacker trying to make his escape through Downtown Los Angeles Saturday morning.

Now police are looking for the car thief and killer, who simply walked away after a second crash.

According to KABC-7, the series of events started when a passing pedestrian asked a newspaper delivery driver for a ride on the 900 block of Wilshire Blvd. When the driver refused, the man jumped into the running pickup while the man was stocking a newsstand.

A flier from the LAPD places the time of the theft as 7:50 am.

Unable to get back into the truck, the delivery driver jumped into the back as the man sped off towards DTLA, then wisely jumped out a few blocks later, tumbling to the ground.

Witnesses saw the carjacker careening through the streets, weaving from side to side at a high rate of speed while driving on the wrong side of the roadway.

After turning onto eastbound 7th Street, he slammed into a man who was riding east just before 7th and Olive Street.

However, according to the police flier, the victim riding against traffic in the westbound bike lane — which means the driver rear-ended him while all the way on wrong side of the street.

The victim landed on the hood of the truck, and was carried nearly 100 feet before being thrown off, then tumbled another 150 feet before coming to a rest at Hill Street, a full block from where he was hit.

KTLA-5 reports friends of the victim identified him as Branden Finley, a member of the Ride for Black Lives group; he was reportedly on his way to join a group ride when he was killed.

Paramedics attempted without luck to revive him, before declaring Finley dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, the driver continued east on 7th until he crashed into a pair of vehicles and took off on foot, melting away on the Downtown streets.

Bizarrely, he was walking barefoot and carrying a steering wheel, presumably from the truck he stole.

He was described as a Black man around 5 foot 6 inches tall and 150 to 160 pounds, and may have suffered a head injury from hitting his head on the windshield.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white hoodie and black pants, after removing the blue hoodie he was originally wearing.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713, or e-mail hm at 31480@lapd.online. During weekends and off-hours, call 1-877/527-3247.

This is at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County and the City of LA.

Three of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs.

Update: The LA County coroner has confirmed the victim’s identity as Branden Finley, a 46-year old father of two.

“I still don’t even think it’s real. I feel like it’s a dream. Right now, it’s a nightmare, and I feel tomorrow I’m going to wake up and this day will never exist,” his daughter, Koi Finley, told ABC7.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Branden Finley and his loved ones. 

County releases draft LA River master plan, making bike theft a tad too easy, and gravel biking to the Hollywood Sign

Thank you all for the kind words yesterday. 

I’m still riding that diabetic rollercoaster, for no apparent reason other than my body wants to do to me what rioters did to the Capital last week. 

But if you’re reading this, it means I managed to power through this time.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

………

LA County finally released a draft of the LA River bike plan.

Including, as we noted on Wednesday, starchitect Frank Gehry’s proposal to leave the ugly concrete sewer in place, at least in places, and just cover it up with elevated parks so we don’t have to look at it anymore.

Not exactly the return to a natural state we’ve been promised.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton described it.

The county river plan is trying to strike difficult delicate balance on many issues. At this morning’s press event Supervisor Sheila Kuehl mentioned the balance between an overall “coherent holistic” vision and a “great deal of local community control.” Solis touched on the need for river revitalization to serve park-poor low-income communities of color, while addressing issues of gentrification and homelessness. Historically plans for the river have struggled to find the space to address a broad range of needs in communities it flows through; these needs include parks – with both active and passive recreation – housing, schools, and much more.

The plan ends up trying to address all of these issues within a fairly limited jurisdictional corridor. The river system is a tangled jurisdictional mess. County Public Works (acting as the County Flood Control District) controls the river channel structures, but the adjacent, and in cases underlying, land is the jurisdiction of various cities. The county’s jurisdiction is constrained by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which mandates flood damage minimization standards. The county has little control over the numerous freeways and several rail lines constrain the river. Many of the complex issues that impact the river – from watershed rainwater runoff to homelessness to gentrification – are largely situated outside the waterway corridor itself.

You can watch the presentation, recorded on Zoom like everything else these day. Just ignore the first minute where everyone sits around trying to not look awkward before it gets going.

Comments will be open for the next 60 days.

Of course, what matters to a lot of us is the ongoing plan to complete the gaps in the bike path, particularly through Downtown Los Angeles and the meat packing district to the south, to create a continuous bikeway along the full 51-mile length of the river.

But speaking strictly for myself, I’d much rather ride along a park-filled natural riverbank than on a concrete river underneath a lush park.

Thanks to Fatema Baldiwala for the heads-up.

………

Seriously. At least make it hard for them.

………

Gravel Bike California invites you to take a rocky ride to the Hollywood Sign.

………

Now this is what a bikeshare system looks like.

………

Here’s your Friday mountain bike break.

………

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

No bias here. A Montreal opposition leader says bike paths are disruptive to residents and merchants, and the city must ensure “social acceptability” before building any more.

Police in England are looking for the driver who intentionally crashed into a bike rider, leaving him with elbow, knee and hand injuries, after the bicyclist complained about the driver cutting him off.

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

A 25-year old Los Angeles woman pled not guilty to fatally stabbing a Metro employee as she rode the B Line (nee Blue Line) with her “distinctive” green bicycle near DTLA.

………

Local

Metro is looking for feedback on the agency’s draft plan to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, which could present an opportunity to rethink our streets if they do it right. Or else turn it into another Covid long-hauler struggling to survive.

Speaking of the LA River, the LACBC is teaming with Metro’s BEST program to offer a tutorial on riding it next Thursday.

And speaking of the LACBC, the coalition is offering a half-off fire sale sale on merchandise with the discount code LACBC50off.

Bob Odenkirk is one of us, as the Better Call Saul star rides the streets of Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange County has officially, if virtually, opened the new Oso Parkway bridge, complete with shiny new bike lanes. 

Someone appears to be targeting the owner of a Poway bike shop, after burglars broke in and vandalized the shop while stealing several high-end mountain bikes worth up to $9,000; another of his shops suffered a second high-end break-in, while a third was vandalized with swastikas and racist graffiti, causing $20,000 damage to a new shop truck.

Santa Barbara has begun work on a bike and pedestrian safety project around Stearns Wharf, and added bike infrastructure to the State Street promenade to improve safety.

An unlicensed San Mateo driver faces charges for the New Years Day hit-and-run that’s left a bike-riding 68-year old man in critical condition two weeks later.

They get it. San Leandro is considering a road diet on a major boulevard, cutting it from six lanes to four to improve safety for bike riders.

San Francisco is putting another 500 e-scooters on the streets.

 

National

They get it, too. US PIRG says it’s time to hit the reset button and take a fundamentally new approach to American transportation.

A writer for VeloNews takes a contrarian view, arguing there’s no need to increase diversity in bicycling if we’d just stop overlooking Black people who already ride bikes.

A Next City op-ed argues that the real test of whether Transportation Secretary nominee Mayor Pete really cares about cities will be what he does to protect pedestrians from self-driving cars.

Ford is continuing work on a project to allow bicycles and motor vehicles to electronically communicate with each other to improve safety.

No surprise here, as cars, and the drivers in them, remain the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, even as millions of Americans were theoretically confined to their homes. As Streetsblog notes, if a global pandemic can’t get Americans out of their cars, what will?

A new public safety campaign developed after the death of five Las Vegas bike riders reminds drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bike; the state is one of five that requires drivers to change lanes, rather than merely give a minimum passing distance. Then again, they could just as well remind drivers not to use meth before getting behind the wheel, like the alleged killer allegedly did.

Police in Austin, Texas have a new bicycle supplier, after Lance’s Mellow Johnny’s bike shop refused to sell to them any more in the wake of the George Floyd protests and the weaponization of police bikes by the cops.

New York police have identified a suspect in the shooting of a bike shop employee last summer after arguing with the man minutes earlier.

No bias here, either. A Virginia bike rider gets the blame for hitting a car after his brakes locked up crossing an intersection. But no word on what the driver may have done to make him brake so hard.

A Baton Rouge LA advocacy group is calling for an end to the city’s ban on riding bikes through drive-thrus.

A New Orleans woman awaiting trial for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider last January is back in jail for choking her drunk fiancé to death; she has a history of domestic violence arrests, despite blaming her late boyfriend for attacking her. On the other hand, she apparently only kills in January, so we should all be safe the other eleven months.

 

International

That’s more like it. Toronto is installing more secure bike lockers at a new transit station.

Cambridge, England is considering allowing electric vehicles to share bus lanes with buses and bike riders; one rider said at least you won’t have to smell any nasty fumes when you go over their hood.

Scottish authorities have finally found the body of man who disappeared while on a charity bike ride over three years ago; two men were recently arrested in connection with his disappearance.

British bike thieves continue to target frontline medical workers, as a doctor who hadn’t taken a day off since the pandemic started had his bike stolen — but kindhearted strangers crowdfunded a replacement within hours.

If anyone wants to move to the UK, Brompton is hiring.

An Irish court case hinges on whether a bike with a gas engine is still a bicycle.

A 36-year old Japanese company specializing in unique panda, dinosaur, cucumber and eggplant shaped bicycles is struggling to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Sort of like everyone else these days.

An Aussie writer says he won’t be jumping on the gravel bandwagon because he’d love it too much, and doesn’t have room for another bike beyond the ten he already owns. Meanwhile, off-road.cc picks the gravel bike of the year and the best gravel gear and accessories.

 

Competitive Cycling

Women’s cycling great Anna van der Breggen will don double rainbow jerseys reflecting world titles in last year’s road cycling and time trial championships as she enters her final year in the pro peloton.

Sad news from Australia, where 1956 Olympian and Aussie cycling great Cliff Burvill died after falling off his bike riding a new crit circuit; he was 83 years old.

At last, there’s some good news about former CART and F1 driver Alex Zanardi, as the paracycling champ spoke with his family for the first time since his crash in an Italian paracycling race last summer, following a series of brain surgeries.

How to train your brain for bike racing.

 

Finally…

Calling the pun police. That feeling when a family stroll on a bike trail could make you lunch for a hungry kitty.

And when your Peloton bike is a national cybersecurity risk.

………

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

Gehry wants to put a lid on the LA River, riding more is better for your heart, and Houston bike deaths spike while LA drops

When it comes to the LA River, Los Angeles starchitect Frank Gehry want put a lid on it.

Literally.

While environmental and advocacy groups have been working for years to restore the river to a more natural state, Gehry, who was invited to reimagine the river by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, wants to cover it up instead.

Gehry proposes addressing decades of social injustice by leaving the concrete river channel alone, while building a continuous park on platforms stretching above the river.

What that would mean for long-time plans to finally complete the LA River bike path along the full 51-mile length of the river isn’t clear.

There’s no word on whether it would be left where it is along the banks of the river, moved onto the new platforms, or buried beneath them.

Or just forgotten entirely as yet another inconvenience in the path of progress.

But the simple fact is, Los Angeles has turned its back on the river at its heart for far too long.

And burying it, when we have a chance to finally revive it, isn’t any better.

Thanks to Fatema Baldiwala for the heads-up.

Photo shows the 4th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River during CicLAvia.

………

Keep riding if you want to live.

A new Oxford University study shows that every physical movement counts when it comes to improving cardiovascular health.

But people who exercise the most have the lowest risk of heart disease, with no upper limit to how much is beneficial.

Which means that a simple walk around the block helps, but a five-mile bike ride helps more.

And a 50 miler is better yet.

………

Heartbreaking news from Houston, where a record 34 bike riders lost their lives last year as more people took up bicycling as part of the pandemic bike boom.

That compares to Los Angeles County, with over four times the population, where bicycling deaths inexplicably dropped from 34 in 2019 to just 16 last year.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

………

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where a man walked without a day behind bars for leaning out of the car he was riding in to pull a bike rider off his bicycle, while bizarrely claiming he was acting in self defense.

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

A San Diego man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for riding his bike to conduct a series of brutal, gruesome attacks on homeless people, killing four and injuring several others.

………

Local

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Long Beach mother and military vet was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she slept on a sidewalk; Stephanie Jackson became homeless after watching her fiancé die of liver cancer, but wouldn’t admit it even to her daughter.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Three-hundred miles were just added to the US Bicycle Route System, bringing the network to nearly 15,000 rideable miles.

VeloNews explains the tech behind the new crash-resistant bikewear.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner introduces a head-turning carbon fiber electric city bike that doesn’t look a bit like a typical ebike. Although the $4,500 price tag is kind of head-turning, too.

Kansas City’s bikeshare system is going dockless.

Your new Waco, Texas home could be a TV star, complete with a vintage bicycle attached to the wall.

The Chicago Tribune considers how to choose the right mountain bike helmet.

A Michigan town approves spending $115,000 to rip out a three-year old bike lane.

New York is considering an automated camera system to ticket drivers who block bike lanes, blaming them for an increase in bicycling deaths. Although they might want to start with their own police department.

A new poll shows New Yorkers are skeptical of Vision Zero, even though 70% know someone who has been injured or killed by traffic violence.

Miami Beach is expanding its Slow Streets program, which was originally scheduled to end in November after one month.

 

International

The BBC examines why some bikeshare programs work and others don’t — like the need to use ebikes in hilly cities.

Road.cc chooses their bike of the year for under £1,000, the equivalent of $1368. Meanwhile, sister site off-road.cc selects their mountain bike of the year.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s seven-mile bike ride, in apparent violation of his own lockdown rules, draws the ire of the populace — and worse, the British press. Or maybe not, as a police official says even a ride ten times longer is allowed under the rules. Either way, Johnson vows to keep riding, and do his running at Buckingham Place.

France will now require all new bikes sold in the country to be marked with a ten character registration code to help fight bike theft, with used bikes to follow starting in July.

 

Competitive Cycling

Masters ‘cross racer Lee Waldman offers lessons learned from a lifetime of bike racing to help the nation heal in the wake of last week’s insurrection in the US capitol.

Austrian cyclist Stefan Denifl ends up with a net eight month ban for six years worth of doping.

 

Finally…

Do your mountain biking at the zoo. Your next bike could be made from natural timber, metal work and vegetable tanner leather.

And your next bike could be a four-wheeled, two seat pedal-powered minicar.

………

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

Man fixing bike severely injured in South LA hit-and-run, and what white allies can do to help build greater bike equity

The LAPD is looking for the driver of a glass utility truck who ran over a homeless man as he worked on a bicycle in South LA, leaving the victim with severe injuries.

The crash happened on Monday, January 4th, at the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Nevin Avenue in the Central-Alameda neighborhood.

The driver had just turned the corner when he struck the man as he knelt near the curb. He briefly stopped, then continued on without getting out of his truck.

The crash was caught on a security cam across the street.

But be warned before you click on it, because it clearly shows the innocent victim getting hit by the driver’s truck. And there’s no way to unsee it once you do.

As always, there is a $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run that results in serious injury, under LA’s standing hit-and-run reward program.

………

Good piece in Bicycling from the “People’s Bike Mayor of New York,” who explains what white allies can do to make bicycling more equitable for all riders.

Starting with this.

The biggest and most important thing an ally can do is shut up, listen, and amplify the voices of Black and brown folks, who are often silenced.

That’s an important message.

Because too often I’ve heard well-meaning white people explain to people of color what they need, instead of asking them first.

And sometimes, I’ve been one of them.

We’ve come a long way from the days when a friend told me you’d never see him or any other Black person on a bicycle, because everyone would just assume they couldn’t afford a car.

LA groups like East Side Riders, Black Kids on Bikes, Major Taylor Cycling Club and Black Girls Do Bike, as well as the Bahati Foundation Cycling Club and the Legion of Los Angeles, founded by former national champs Rahsaan Bahati and Justin Williams, respectively, have made great strides in getting more people of color out on bikes.

But clearly, we’ve still got a long way to go.

Here’s the Yahoo link if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

………

Any chance they might be willing to trade national leaders for a few days?

Thanks to W. Corylus for the heads-up.

………

Another SoCal stolen bike recovered thanks to Bike Index’ free lifetime bike registration and nationwide bike theft database.

………

This one will probably come in handy some day.

If it hasn’t already.

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

No bias here. A Singapore news site somehow concludes a bike rider was in the wrong for getting right hooked after stopping a few feet beyond the stop line, as if the truck driver that nearly hit him had no obligation to see or go around him. I would have flipped him off, too, under the same circumstances.

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

A bike-riding Chicago-area man was busted for allegedly committing 15 car burglaries while wearing ten different shirts and five pairs of pants; whenever he was caught on security cam he’d take off a layer to make himself less recognizable. Didn’t work, though.

………

Local

LAUnscripted invites you to customize your ebike with Newport Beach bikemaker Electric Bike Company.

 

State

A Coachella bike rider was lucky to escape with a minor head injury after being struck by a driver.

Bike shop owners in California’s Central Coast are enjoying the benefits of the lockdown-induced bike boom.

Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic bike fest will be pushed back from May to October, in hopes the coronavirus pandemic will recede by fall and allow the event to be held.

A San Francisco advocate is calling for the elimination of beg buttons, which prioritize motor vehicle traffic over pedestrians; the buttons often force bike riders to ride up onto the curb to push the button in order to get the light to change.

 

National

An Arizona preacher complains he almost became a hood ornament for a careless driver, who somehow didn’t see him on his bike directly in front of her car.

Bicycling takes a look at — and recommends — New York’s massive, 750-mile cross-state Empire State Trail, which allows you to bike across the state, from north to south and east to west. Or vice versa.

Speaking of New York, they could become the next state to adopt the Idaho Stop Law, after an upstate legislator introduced a bill calling for bike riders to be allowed to roll through stop signs and go through red lights after coming to a full stop.

 

International

Do as he says, not as he does. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was spotted riding his bicycle in London’s Olympic Park, seven miles from his home a 10 Downing Street — despite the country’s Covid lockdown orders requiring people to stay close to home. Needless to say, some people were none too pleased.

Singapore drivers are fed up with bicyclists hogging the roadway “like nobody’s business.” Which is another way of saying streets are for cars, and anyone else is just in the way. Especially when there’s another lane to go around them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist and mountain biker Lachlan Morton offers tips on how to ride during the winter. Almost none of which applies in sunny Los Angeles.

Cycling Weekly plays fashion critic, ranking which women’s WorldTour team has the best kit.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is looking forward to riding for a new team this year, saying competing for the same team year after year felt like copy and pasting. Never mind that he’d already been pushed from the leadership of what is now Team Ineos.

 

Finally…

If Zwift has gotten too boring for you, try being a bike messenger from the comfort of your own home. That feeling when your failed wheelie ends up with a swim.

And nothing like guitar legend Robert Fripp accompanying your exuberant exercise bike vocal performance.

………

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

The cost of traffic violence, vehicular cyclists versus protected bike lanes, and why people keep dying on the streets

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A British woman describes firsthand what it’s like to survive — barely — a near-fatal collision with a truck driver while riding her bike to church.

I heard a loud bang. A heavy thud. A violent bump. It was me. It was the noise of my body slamming against the lorry. And then falling to the ground.

I couldn’t work out what was happening. My heart was in my throat. I was staring up at the beautiful, bright blue sky, but at the same time sinking into darkness.

I was in excruciating pain as the heavy truck’s wheels – of which there were 12 in total – ran over my leg.

It’s a powerful story.

Especially this part.

I was desperate to see my kids, but I didn’t want to scare them. After two days, I put on my bravest face and held them when they visited me.

My son said, “Mummy, you’re not ready to die. We haven’t finished our story yet.”

Fortunately, she made it. And kept her leg, thanks to five separate surgeries, including one 12 hour marathon.

But something else to consider.

While she doesn’t mention it in her story, one vital aspect in getting back on her feet was the UK’s National Health Service, which meant she didn’t leave the hospital with a massive bill like she would have in the US.

In fact, chances are, she paid little or nothing, despite her month-long hospital stay.

So she was able to go home to her family and resume her life, even writing a book about her experiences.

Instead of being forced into bankruptcy like so many Americans after a similar experience.

………

The San Diego Union-Tribune takes a deep dive into the city’s new protected bike lane network, and the problems it causes for some in the spandex-clad set.

“This is to attract the all-ages and abilities groups that are just trying to go places within their communities, but if you need to go fast, the (car) lane is always open,” said Everett Hauser, a traffic engineer focusing on bicycle infrastructure for the city of San Diego.

Many new projects around the region also include bicycle-specific traffic lights at busy intersections and reconfiguring streets to encourage slower driving especially at tight turns.

Still, not everyone’s convinced.

“These protected bike lanes that have appeared in the last few years are the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened to bicycling in San Diego,” said Ralph Elliott, 70, historian of the San Diego Bicycle Club and a member for more than 50 years. “They’re unsafe. If there’s a car door in your face, somebody’s walking in the protected bike lane, skateboarding in the lane, dog in the lane all that’s dangerous because you can’t get out.”

Most studies don’t bear that out, however.

A recent 13-year study of 12 large international cities shows that separated and protected bike lanes improve safety for all road users, reducing traffic deaths by 44%.

Although a lot depends on the design and quality of the protected lanes.

But as the story points out, protected bike lanes are designed for casual bike riders who might not feel safe mixing with motorists.

Club riders and other experienced bicyclists who don’t want to slow down should be free to continue riding in the regular traffic lanes, where their speed won’t pose a danger to themselves or others.

………

Sadly, two SoCal bicycle riders lost their lives over the weekend.

On Saturday, a 75-year old man was killed by a semi-driver in an Oxnard crash.

And on Sunday, a motorcycle rider somehow slammed into the trailing rider on a group ride in East San Diego County near Jamul; both the bicyclist and the motorcyclist died at the scene.

Two more tragic reminders that our streets aren’t safe enough for people on bicycles. And our safety is still in the hands of those we share the road with.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An Iowa man who deliberately drove his car through a group of racial justice protestors because he thought they needed “an attitude adjustment” walked without a single day behind bars, despite leaving several injured people in his wake. To make matters worse, his conviction will be expunged if he stays out of trouble for three short years.

And a North Dakota woman walked away with two years probation after intentionally running down a man she’d been arguing with as he attempted to ride away on his bike.

………

Take a 59-second mountain bike break.

………

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

A 73-year old Novato, California woman blames a pair of aggressive mountain bikers for spooking her horse, resulting in a broken wrist, shattered eye socket and a broken jaw that had to be wired shut. Seriously, don’t do that.

………

Local

Former Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge died unexpectedly last week at 67; he was known for his frequent recreational rides through his district, though he also blocked a number of bike projects, including the long-planned 4th Street Bike Boulevard.

Streets For All says there’s still time to run for your neighborhood council; a Thursday webinar will discuss how you can add more bike and pedestrian voices to your council — starting with yours.

Glendora wants your input on plans to improve bicycle access to the city’s upcoming Gold Line — aka L Line – station.

 

State

A La Jolla woman ‘fesses up to being the person who installed a free trading post along a bike path in the city.

Federal authorities seized 600 girls bikes worth $84,000 that were headed to a company in San Bernardino County; the Chinese-made bikes had an excessive level of lead in their pink paint.

A Lompoc paper considers the role the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition plays in making the streets safer and more equitable for people on bicycles.

After barely surviving stage four throat cancer, a Bakersfield man took to two wheels to regain his life.

No San Francisco, a sharrow on a four-lane arterial roadway does not a safe bicyclist make.

 

National

Bicycling says the best deals are on used bikes these days, and wants to help with your shopping by listing what they consider the best buys.

Cycling Tips offers more details on the proposed class action lawsuit alleging Trek vastly overstated the effectiveness of their WaveCel technology for Bontrager bike helmets.

A young former soap opera star is one of us, as the kid who played Danny Morgan on General Hospital needed a number of stitches after doing a face plant off his bike.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a paraplegic Denver man’s three wheeled adaptive handcycle.

It’s been eight months since a Colorado woman disappeared after reportedly going for a Mother’s Day bike ride; no trace has been found, despite a massive search.

After setting out to ride 2,020 miles across the US in 2020, a South Dakota teenager overshot the mark, ending up with almost 3,000 miles.

Good news from North Carolina, where a 14-year old girl was found safe, three weeks after she had disappeared while riding her bike.

 

International

Now your bike can actively remove pollution from the air, rather than just not adding to it.

A writer for Bike Radar says it’s worth the time and research required to ride comfortably in the winter. Although in LA, that sometimes means just deciding to go with a lower SPF.

Conde Nast Traveler recommends seven bike trails from around the world, from India to Germany — including our own beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

Forget how well it protects your head; what really matters about your new bike helmet is whether it works with you ponytail.

A Vancouver man set a new world’s record by riding 7,100 miles to visit 24 European capitals in just six months.

Road.cc calls it an “unexpected outbreak of common sense” as bicyclists get a rule overturned banning bikes from a shopping district, even if they’re just being walked.

London’s city council will take another look at the knee-jerk removal of a popular bike lane after drivers complained it was causing congestion; since the removal, drivers have just used it as a parking lane. As we’ve said before, though, the only real cause of traffic congestion is too many cars.

After riding nearly 50 miles just to get there, a group of men are turned away from a Welsh bike trail for breaking the UK’s lockdown restrictions; they’re told they’ll face arrest if they come back.

British and European bike brands remain in flux as they struggle to adapt to the new Brexit trade rules.

The pandemic-fueled bike boom manifested itself in Ireland, as well, as the city of Cork saw a 35% jump in bicycling last year.

This is what LA could be doing, but isn’t. Paris has approved a $300 million plan to convert the car-choked Champs-Élysées into “an extraordinary garden” running over a mile across the city.

Record-setting 109-year old bike racer Robert Marchand wrote a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, asking that bicyclists be exempted from Covid lockdown rules that restrict biking or running to within roughly two-thirds of a mile from home.

A new Belgian ebike parking unit allows you to securely lock up your heavy bike, while recharging the battery.

Another Chinese bikeshare bicycle dumping ground swamps the city of Chengdu.

No bias here. A Singapore paper asks if bicyclists and drivers can ever get along — but only includes rules for the people on two wheels, with barely a word on how motorists can drive safely around people on bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

German doctor Mark Schmidt faces up to five and a half years behind bars, as well as losing his medical license for five years for his role in the Operation Aderlass doping scandal that took down at least six riders on the pro tour.

 

Finally…

You can’t use stadium seats for sports fans anymore, so you might as well use them to display your massive team cycling jersey collection. If you’re going to steal a tip jar from a business, don’t leave the bike you stole behind.

And yes, the royal family rides bikes, too.

………

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

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