Tag Archive for Los Angeles

$35 million lawsuit in LASD shooting of Black bike rider, driver turns brick wall into drive-thru, and Ted Lieu is one of us

No surprise here.

The family of fallen Black bike rider Dijon Kizzee has filed a $35 million lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Kizzee was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in South LA last August in what initially began as a simple traffic stop for riding on the wrong side of the roadway.

He attempted to flee on foot, allegedly dropping a gun he was carrying inside some clothes, then picking it up and continuing to flee.

Deputies alleged Kizzee pointed the gun at them, shooting him 19 times in response.

However, witness testimony and security cam video don’t support the deputies’ version of events, suggesting Kizzee was turning away from them with his hands raised when they opened fire.

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This is who we share the restaurants with.

But where’s the bike lane that caused it?

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Look who’s looking for LA’s worst intersection.

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West Hollywood Congressperson and impeachment prosecutor Ted Lieu is one of us.

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Gravel Bike California directs your attention to May Canyon.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the link.

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Luke Cryer takes a fast run on a secondhand bike.

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

A South Carolina man will spend the next 40 months behind bars after copping a plea to intentionally running a bike rider off the road and robbing him at knifepoint.

A UK driver got a well-deserved 42 months behind bars for repeatedly running over an ebike rider before threatening to stab him, for no apparent reason, just minutes after agreeing to meet him at a pub.

No bias here. A British government office warns bike riders to consider not riding because of ice, but just tells drivers to use care. Even though the people in cars have a lot more potential to do serious damage.

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

New York police are looking for a man who rode his bike up to a cab driver’s open window, punched him in the face and stole a handful of cash from a cup holder, making off with around $155.

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Local

Active SGV wants to know how you get around El Monte and South El Monte.

Redondo Beach has a city council election coming up, but only one candidate even mentions bikes or lower speed limits.

A website looks at the $5,500 fat tire ebike the former Gubernator rides around the LA area.

Rookie director Robin Wright is one of us, taking to the streets of LA with her husband on their own fat tire bikes.

 

State

No bias here. A Fresno man was detained by a cop in nearby Easton for the apparent crime of riding a bicycle while playing Arabic music.

Bad news from the Bay Area, where Alameda police are investigating a crash that left a bike rider with severe, life-threatening injuries.

 

National

Another bill by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer would restore and improve the bike commuting tax benefit.

A Chicago writer looks back at an old Schwinn factory, now the site of a hard cider maker, crediting the company with the origins of the modern bicycle.

A Michigan man who viciously attacked a couple of Black teenagers with a bike lock while drunkenly shouting racial slurs at a state park last year, fracturing one kid’s skull, has been indicted on a pair of federal hate crime charges. And deservedly so.

Confronting the environmental disaster that is Mardi Gras means fewer beads and more bike bells.

A Palm Beach paper looks at Jack the Bike Man, who donates refurbished bicycles to help struggling adults and children get their lives rolling again.

 

International

How to maintain your bike through the winter.

Road.cc considers whether you should get a new bike or stick with your old one if you’re getting back into bicycling.

A writer for Cycling Tips questions whether the bike industry should operate a lot more like car sellers. And says your bike may not be as green as you think.

Brazil’s fourth largest city has cut traffic deaths in half by reimagining its streets to safely serve all users.

A stuntman takes a heart stopping run down an abandoned French Olympic luge track.

Two-time F1 champ Fernando Alonzo has been hospitalized with suspected fractures after he was struck by a driver while riding in France.

Just two years after record-setting Scottish bicyclist Josh Quigley barely survived a horrible collision in Texas while attempting to ride across the US, he suffered a number of fractures throughout his body when a gust of wind knocked him off his bike while training in Dubai.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peloton looks back at 1960’s cycling star Franco “Crazy Heart” Bitoss. And no, I never heard of him either.

 

Finally…

When you want a stealth ebike that doesn’t look like one, and have an extra fourteen grand to spend. Call it an instant bike corral.

And a NASCAR rookie has Huffy in his corner.

As well as in the pits.

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

Anti-bike bile from Indy shock jock, study shows parking causes traffic, and DTLA transportation ideas for Kevin de León

No bias here.

An Indianapolis shock jock has apparently appointed himself as master of the roads, with the power to determine who should be on them — and who shouldn’t.

And according to him, they’re only for people with big effing engines.

Which means bike riders should stay the hell off.

It’s time for bicyclists to learn their place on the roads of Indianapolis.

Yes, we’re all very happy that you’re under the impression you’re saving the environment and “keeping healthy” while breathing exhaust fumes and increasing your odds of getting crushed by a Goodyear radial. Bravo! Also, we hate you.

Yes, bicyclists can gain access to roads. Yes, they can use them for travel if they so choose. So can a squirrel, and we all know how that story ends.

WIBC host Tony Katz was responding to the following tweet from new Transportation Secretary Mayor Pete.

In other words, Buttigieg gets it, while Katz clearly doesn’t.

And probably never will.

“Roads are for cars, trucks, busses, and the movement of people,” Katz continued. “Not [bicyclists] thinking they can make a left turn without signaling because ‘Look! I’m in spandex and I’m just like the people who compete in the Tour de France but without the hills and extraordinary athletic ability. But I’ve got the hat!’”

Of course, the entire point of putting people like that on the radio is to piss listeners off, because angry people listen longer and tune in more often, and drive the ratings up.

The problem is many of those people are listening while they drive. And they may just decide to take that anger out on the next person thet see riding on two wheels.

Fools like Katz just load and cock the gun. They let someone else pull the trigger.

And they don’t belong on the radio.

Or anywhere else.

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No surprise here.

A new study from a team of California academics shows that adding more parking really does encourage more driving.

Maybe we should try adding more bike parking and see if it holds true for us, too.

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Busted for cruising Thunder Road while wasted.

Funny how the news didn’t come out until after his Jeep Super Bowl ad aired, though.

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

Mounties in British Columbia are looking for a trio of men, including one on a bike, who sprayed bear spray into a building lobby. It must have worked, though, since there were no bears in the lobby afterwards.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers a number of good actionable transportation suggestions for new CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León, including quick-build protected and painted bike lanes, and longer term projects like adding back the protected bike lanes that were removed from plans for the new 6th Street Viaduct.

Metro is reopening the community engagement process for the proposed Rail to River Trail, after the route selected for the rail part of the project doesn’t leave room for a multi-use pathway.

 

State

A retired cop argues against adding bike lanes to Highway 67 in Ramona, insisting that bike lanes are only used by the privileged few. Never mind that even the most expensive bike costs just a fraction of a new car. Or that many people who rely on bikes cling to the lowest economic rungs. So maybe it’s the people in cars who are really privileged. 

Sad news from Fresno, where a 45-year old man riding a bicycle was killed by a speeding driver; the 20-year old driver was also killed after hitting another car and slamming into a pole. The deaths came just two days after another bike rider was killed in the city.

 

National

About damn time. A new bill in the US House, co-sponsored by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Jimmy Panetta of California, would authorize a 30% rebate on the purchase of an ebike, with a maximum rebate of $1,500.

They get it. CityLab says transitioning to electric cars won’t be enough to avert climate disaster; instead, we’ll need to dramatically cut motor vehicle use. Which is where those ebike rebates come in.

Outside’s Joe Lindsey explains what the lawsuit against Trek’s WaveCel bike helmet tech is all about.

Seattle is moving forward with building out an actual bike network, with a number of new protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways. Unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

A pilot program in Colorado is fighting climate change while helping essential workers get to their jobs, using a $560,000 grant to give out an additional 100 ebikes.

Speaking of Colorado, one hundred bucks will buy you a chance to win a hand-built Alchemy Atlas road bike, with the funds going to benefit the Bicycle Colorado advocacy group, while seven bucks will enter you to win an Electra Townie cruiser bike.

How to keep riding through a Minneapolis winter, without the inconvenience of actually, you know, going outside.

 

International

Drivers in Merida, Mexico will face fines of up to the equivalent of $34.73 for parking in the city’s new bike lanes. Which hopefully will have a bigger impact on drivers down there than it would here.

Luxembourg is extending a program to provide residents with the equivalent of up to $722 towards the purchase of bicycle or ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Giro d’Italia and Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana won’t be riding in this year’s Giro, after his Arkéa–Samsic failed to get an invitation.

Cycling in the South Bay talks with former pro Roy Knickman about what it’s like to be one.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to abandon a car on a bike path when it’s full of stolen stuff and you’re already on parole. First rule of reporting — always blame the people on bikes.

And nothing like drafting a train at 60 mph.

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

LA scores major Canoga Park bike grant from state, frightened bull scatters bike race, and Ride for Love rolls Saturday

The California Transportation Commission has released the latest round of state funding for active transportation projects.

The CTC, which is distinct from Caltrans, selected just 49 projects statewide, out of a remarkable 454 applications, for this four-year cycle.

The good news for LA is that a major project in the San Fernando Valley made the cut.

Highlights include the largest monetary award in the ATP’s history, $31 million for “Connecting Canoga Park.” This project will make improvements within the Canoga Park neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, focusing on improving intersections and bike facilities. It will add a new Class IV bike path between the L.A. River Greenway and the Orange Line path, create enhanced crosswalks, and add urban cooling elements.

Funding was also approved for three Safe Routes to School projects in the City of Los Angeles.

Other projects in LA County include sidewalk improvements and a $7.5 million cycle track on Pacific Avenue in Long Beach, as well as projects in Maywood, Bell Gardens and South El Monte.

In addition, the commission blessed active transportation projects in San Jacinto and Perris in Riverside County, Ontario and Muscoy in San Bernardino County; San Diego, Oceanside, Imperial Beach and National City in San Diego County; and a Safe Routes to School project in Ventura County.

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The peloton suddenly rides in reverse when confronted by a frightened bull in the middle of a Spanish bike race.

https://twitter.com/stereo100xela/status/1358444112211509259

For the Español challenged, like me, that tweet translates to —

#Ciclismo| This happened during the start of the 5th stage of the Tour Por La Paz in Jalapa. A scared bull, pounced on the cyclists waiting for departure. Fortunately no one was injured. The animal continued its course and the riders managed to get out. Via Hard To Pedal.

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South LA’s annual Ride for Love rolls this Saturday.

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Metro Bike invites you to take a self-guided ride along the Westside’s Ballona Creek.

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Thirty-three minute of mountain bike fails leading up to one spectacular stunt no one has done before.

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

Police in North Carolina are looking for a man who hit a woman in the head with a bicycle while shopping in Walmart.

A Japanese man charged with bike rage may be a repeat offender; he says he did it “…because all the cars were putting pressure on me…” and he wanted to make trouble for them.

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Local

Zocalo Public Square examines how Karate Kid reboot Cobra Kai illustrates the topographic and class divides between the neighboring cities of Reseda and Encino, with an expanded bike path connected to the LA River coming to the former.

Streets For All will host a virtual happy hour with recently elected LA Councilmember Nithya Raman.

 

State

La Jolla approves plans to extend San Diego County’s Coastal Rail Trail through the exclusive city.

Solvang will get a new $12 million bridge on Highway 246 courtesy of the state, while the city will pitch in another $1.2 million to widen it enough for bike lanes and pedestrian improvements. Which is probably just another word for sidewalks. 

A Fresno man is expected to recover after he was stabbed by three men who took his bike in an early morning attack.

Sad news from South San Francisco, where a man died after crashing his ebike into a parked car in an early morning wreck, wearing a novelty helmet that offered little or no protection. And possibly after drinking.

A new proposal calls for taking advantage of lower traffic to install a bike lane on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.

 

National

Last year may have been one of the worst years on record for hit-and-runs involving people on bicycles, as unofficial figures from Outside show 26.3% of drivers who killed a bicyclist last year drove away like the heartless cowards they are. That tracks with what we see here in Los Angeles County, where roughly a quarter of all bicycling deaths involve hit-and-run drivers each year.

Gear Junkie highlights five “badass” female outdoor photographers, including three who take some pretty awesome bike photos.

A governing website offers advice on how local governments can include bicycling in their municipal codes.

Bicycling asks if you should be double masking when you ride. Short answer, maybe, but make sure you can breathe. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Ostensibly bike-friendly Portland tosses out a 24-year old plan for bike lanes on a popular commercial street in favor of maintaining parking and five lanes of motor vehicle traffic.

Chicago traffic fatalities spiked 45% last year, despite — or maybe because of — the pandemic, as average speeds increased while traffic rates declined; bicycling deaths more than doubled over the year before.

That’s more like it. An Indianapolis man with a history as a habitual drunk driver got nine years behind bars, and another three years probation, for fleeing the scene after killing a man on a bicycle.

Kindhearted local businesses and organizations pitched in to help a Massachusetts man known as the Bike Man fix his truck after he blew an engine, with a car dealer tossing in a new engine and a repair shop installing it; he uses the truck to deliver bicycles, back packs and food to people in need.

A 22-year old New York driver faces charges of assault, hit-and-run and reckless endangerment for fleeing the scene on foot after critically injuring a delivery rider.

Philadelphia will install its first curb-protected bike lane, placing it along the center median to avoid conflict points at driveways.

 

International

Bike Radar drills down to the nerdy details that should inform your decision to buy a bike.

Cycling News examines the best women’s winter bike jackets.

Your next ebike could tell you how to avoid air pollution, let alone avoid adding to it.

Bike, run, walk or swim farther than you have before, and a bike-riding English professor — the country, not the language — will plant a tree in your honor.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where an unlicensed and uninsured driver walked without a single day behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a bike rider.

Europe’s longest bike bridge just opened in the Netherlands.

Manilla bike riders are calling for the city to speed up plans to install protected bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe Fayetteville really is America’s Bike City, as the Arkansas town will host professional mountain bike, cyclocross and road races in 2021.

 

Finally…

Maybe one day you, too, can be a bicycling brewista. That feeling when you win a bike for watching a bicycling show, but don’t ride one.

And how to ride a bike at 68° below zero.

Which is probably not something you have to worry about here in Los Angeles.

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

New USDOT head wants agency to think small, just moving money around won’t cut it, and a call to keep Ojai bike lanes

Maybe there’s reason to be optimistic about federal transportation policy, for the first time in a long time, as new Transportation Secretary Mayor Pete talks with Axios.

And says it’s time to think small.

On ways the pandemic has changed transportation forever, Buttigieg said his department will be thinking more “micro”: “We think trains, planes and automobiles. But what about bikes, scooters — wheelchairs, for that matter? And getting around in a way that’s a little closer to home.”

Buttigieg goes on to add that roads aren’t just for motor vehicles, and calls out the need for pedestrians, individuals, bicycles and businesses to co-exist on the same roads.

So under the circumstances, maybe we can forgive him for the hopefully inadvertent implication that people on bikes somehow aren’t individuals.

Photo by Thomas Hobiger from Pexels.

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Speaking of USDOT, representatives from the Bike League, Safe Routes and Transportation for America say the usual approach of forming committees and shifting funds from one silo to another won’t cut it this time around.

Our organizations believe that putting advocacy efforts behind creating new agencies or interagency committees would be a cosmetic change no more meaningful than a bike sharrow painted on a four-lane 45mph road. At worst, it would take energy away from real change by creating a positive talking point when we should be creating a transformational approach to transportation. The urgency of the crises before us require more from us than “checking a box” and potentially undermining the very change we are seeking.

Instead, they say nothing less than a complete shift in emphasis to a Complete Streets approach and a radical reconsideration of how we get around will meet the moment.

For Americans to feel this change on the ground, advocates for active transportation, the environment, and equity need to look beyond retrofitting mistakes that make our roads unsafe for those outside of a car, more polluting, and less of a means of access to opportunity. While seeking a separate Active Transportation Administration (or a mobility or research agency) may sound like an innovative idea, we firmly believe that exiling non-drivers off to the jurisdiction of a separate administration will not create safe, convenient, and just mobility for people of all travel modes across the transportation system. We need to look at system-wide policy and spending changes that help address the bigger issues of safety, racial equity and climate change. We will be working with our partners to push the Biden administration and the 117th Congress to do just that.

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An Ojai bike shop calls for support for the new bike lanes on Maricopa Highway before tomorrow’s city council meeting.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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You won’t find it on SoCal bike calendars, but this Friday is International Winter Bike to Work Day.

Even though we usually have the perfect weather for it, unlike most of the places that celebrate it every year.

So mark it with your own pre-weekend ride to work, school, or wherever you have to go. Or just ride nowhere in particular, if that works better for you.

And drop a line to Metro and your local elected leaders to ask why we’re not doing more to promote year-round bike commuting right here.

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A woman from the UK writes a Twitter thread on how she went from anti-cyclist to a joyful one.

And offers some insights on how to get more women on bikes — and how not to.

It’s definitely worth the click to read the full thread.

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Here’s your chance to take a pretend virtual ride with LA’s own former national crit champ.

And by tomorrow, he means today, if you’re reading this on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Bicycling explains everything you need to know to get rolling on Zwift. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Yahoo version of the story this time. 

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The strip clubs may be closed — except, bizarrely, in San Diego. But clearly, strippers of a sort are still hard at work.

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The Department of DIY strikes again. Even if some people would prefer concrete to paint.

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

No bias here. An Aussie news host calls people on bicycles “a menace to themselves and others,” insisting bike riders should be required to pay registration fees to hold them accountable for their behavior, and banned from major roads and pathways.

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

A Kansas man faces multiple charges for allegedly attacking a police officer, who was responding to an unrelated call when the man rode past on his bike and reportedly tried to get the cop’s gun.

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Local

The Malibu Times looks at Phil Gaimon’s latest shot at Everesting, and his choice of Trancas Canyon Road to make the attempt. Unfortunately, the effort failed when unusually warm weather forced him to abandon; no word yet on whether he’ll try again.

Middle Eastern models are wanted for an outdoor photo shoot riding ebikes and scooters in Santa Monica.

Mexican actress and singer Eiza González is one of us, even if she was a little unsteady on her bike while riding in Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange resident Diana Rodriguez pled not guilty to three felony counts for allegedly using her car as a weapon to deliberately run down her boyfriend as he was riding away on his bike; she also faces a pair of sentencing enhancements, as well as misdemeanor drug charges. A neighbor had to use a jack to get the car off him. Something tells me they may not be spending Valentines Day together this year.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man was killed in a collision after allegedly riding his bike out from an alley in front of an oncoming driver.

 

National

How to choose and install bike fenders for wet weather rides. Good advice for what passes for winter in Los Angeles, where all you have to worry about is getting a little wet. You can read the story on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out. 

A Seattle bookkeeper has been charged with swindling $200,000 from an unidentified high-end mountain bike manufacturer – an amount that could easily bankrupt most bikemakers.

The bighearted employees of a Boise, Idaho gas station dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bike for their favorite customer, after noticing the bicycle belonging to the special needs man was wearing out.

A Minneapolis op-ed says bike lanes have made the city’s streets safer, as injuries have fallen despite an increase in bicycling rates.

A writer for Streetsblog New York says the solution to pedestrian injuries is to build more protected bike lanes.

A Pennsylvania bill that would legalize parking protected bike lanes in the state has been named after a pair of bike-riding women who were killed as a result of traffic violence on streets that didn’t have them.

Juli Briskman, the bike-riding woman who gained fame for flipping off Trump’s motorcade — then lost her job in retaliation — is now building bike lanes after winning election to the board of supervisors in her Virginia county.

Mardi Gras may be cancelled this year, but you can’t stop the spirit, as New Orleanians decorated their homes instead of floats to mark the day, making for an ideal self-guided bike tour.

 

International

Britain’s Independent examines eight of the best multitools to stuff in your pack for quick fixes on the road.

Munich residents will get their bike lanes back, after the city decided to make several popup bike lanes that were removed for the winter permanent, with plans to restripe them in the spring.

Looks like the Philippine’s Quezon City is serious about keeping drivers out of bike lanes, fining 616 motorists for blocking bike lanes so far this year.

A Kiwi planner offers a very brief argument for why people in her profession should just say no to Cyclist Dismount signs, because they does nothing to improve safety and most riders will just ignore them anyway.

Melbourne, Australia business owners say they’d rather have their parking spaces back and let bike riders fend for themselves on the busy street — even though just 70 spaces were taken out, and ten times that many people pass by on bikes every day.

Australian officials are searching for a Canadian man who disappeared while on a 200-mile bike ride last week; he was planning to take a mountain crossing locals insist is impassible by bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Tom Pidcock set tongues wagging with a remarkable time of 13:25 for a 5k run during an off-bike training session, just five seconds off the British record and 50 seconds off the world record; he plans to repeat the run later in the week to confirm his time after it was challenged by several runners and triathletes.

Twenty-one-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel finally got the all-clear to resume training after his horrific crash in last year’s Tour of Lombardy, where he flipped over a bridge wall on a high-speed descent and tumbled down a ravine.

UCI says keep your damn forearms off the handlebars, too. Not surprisingly, pro cyclists aren’t thrilled with the new safety restrictions, including the ban on the Super Tuck position.

USA Cycling is using grant money to build diversity and inclusion in the sport from the ground up.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from police on your bike, try not to ride into a ditch. Why change tires for gravel when you can just zip new tread on?

And this is who we share the road with.

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

Tragic reminder to always carry ID, LAPD recovers bike thanks to Bike Index, and Mexico City bike riders brutalized by cops

My wife and I spent a little time on Burbank’s Magnolia Blvd over the weekend. 

And we were struck by what a pleasant shopping street it is. 

Or more precisely, what a pleasant street it could be without the constant noise and fumes from all the cars and trucks funneling through. 

Maybe someone should explain to the merchants along the route just how much they could benefit from a Complete Street that makes room for their customers, and not just the cars they came in. 

And thanks to everyone who let me know this site was down Friday morning. I still don’t know what happened, but it seemed to resolve itself after an hour or so.

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

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Sometimes even I get tired of harping about the need to always carry some form of ID and emergency contact information with you when you ride.

And preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated, which sadly happens far too often.

But this comment, which is reposted with permission from Gravel Bikes California, offers a tragic reminder why it matters.

This is long, but please read to the end.

Yesterday I met my friend Adam Lopez for a ride. We met at Eroica California in 2018 and have ridden together a number of times since he got his gravel bike in 2019. We started in Summerland at 11am and did just a wonderful/casual/beautiful ride through Santa Barbara on fantastic pavement, dirt, and gravel. We stopped for a burger at 4pm and were headed back to the cars when he started slowing down on easy climbs. He said that his heart rate was fine but that the air felt cold in his lungs. We passed butterfly beach and stopped again right before the turn at Jameson. We were 2.5 miles from the cars. He decided to press on since we were mere minutes away. He was pacing me just a few yards behind. Every 15 seconds or so I would glance back and see his light. This happened for a about a mile, and then I glanced back and didn’t see him. I rode maybe 150 feet back and saw that he was collapsed over onto the chain link fence, still clipped in, unresponsive and staring. Myself and passers-by who stopped to help called 911. I started chest compressions until fire arrived just a few minutes later. They took over, shocked him twice, established an airway, and continued cpr for 15 minutes. Unfortunately he never revived. He was gone when he hit the ground. His mother died of a heart attack 9 months ago, and his brother died of a heart attack a few weeks ago.

Now for the reason why I’m telling you this: he didn’t have any emergency contact info on him. Although I’ve known him for a while I only had his cell number. The sheriff was required to follow protocol and have the law enforcement agency closest to Adam’s home do an in person notification. I was absolutely helpless. I did advise the deputy that I authorized him today to give my information to Adam’s family, and his wife made contact with me today. She was happy that at least he died doing the thing he loved. She also told me that he had been feeling tired for some time but hadn’t been checked out yet.

Had he had something like a Road ID wristband we would have much more information, and his family could have been notified much sooner.

Please, I BEG YOU, get something like a Road ID so fellow riders or first responders can help. Please look after your health and get checked. And ride with buddies whenever possible. No one should see and go through what I did. I’m deeply saddened and affected.

As I’ve mentioned before, I always wear a RoadID anytime I leave home, whether or not I’m on my bike.

It serves as both my ID and contact information, and a medic alert bracelet for my diabetes.

I’ve never needed it, and I pray I never will.

But as this story so painfully illustrates, I’d much rather have it on me and not need it, than the other way around.

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Do you really need another reminder to register your bike today?

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Nothing like protesting traffic violence, only to be met by police violence.

Tired of police inaction in the wake of too many deaths and serious injuries, bike riders in Mexico City took to the streets to demand better safety and protection from the police.

In fact, while motor vehicle traffic has decreased as much as 50% in the city due to the pandemic, bicycling deaths doubled over the past year.

But instead of addressing their concerns, the protesters were brutally attacked and beaten by the same officers they were pleading with for help.

Even people who were trying to leave were stopped by multiple cops and brutalized.

A Spanish language news story Mexico City’s El Pais begins like this.

The police attacked this Friday night a group of cyclists who were demonstrating in Mexico City. The confrontation took place in the Periférico, one of the main arteries of the city, at the height of the Naples neighborhood, during a bicycle protest to demand justice for the deaths of cyclists in the capital. The head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum, described as “unacceptable” the aggression of the agents to the demonstrators and assured that the Secretariat of Citizen Security will carry out an investigation to determine responsibilities. This Saturday, the mayor reported that “about 10” agents have already been removed from their positions.

Several protesters were injured in the head and face, according to images released on social networks, when they tried to access the second floor of the Periférico. In the recordings, it is seen how several agents surround some of the participants in the shooting and attack them with blows. The group was protesting to demand justice for the death of cyclists who died in traffic accidents in Mexico City, which in 2020 were more than 16, according to the Bicitekas association.

In the videos posted on social networks, protesters are seen with swollen faces and cuts on their faces after the confrontation. “We were protesting, we were leaving, and they ran, and they grabbed me like eight policemen,” one of the injured assured one of the reporters who was at the scene. “They cut my head open, they hurt my ribs,” said another, sitting on the sidewalk, when the protest, which had gathered around fifty people, already seemed dissolved.

The paper goes on the quote officials as saying an investigation has been launched into who ordered the attack, and the officers who carried it out. And that while some riders also attacked the police, the police had an obligation to maintain the peace, and ones responsible for their actions would be fired.

Which is exactly what should happen.

If they’re serious.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

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The annual Bicycle Film Festival takes part entirely online this year; any tickets purchased this week will benefit Sacramento and Davis advocacy organizations.

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One more reason flimsy plastic bendy posts do not a protected bike lane make.

In case you’re wondering what happened to the bike lane markers on Grand St…. from jerseycity

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That feeling when visitors drop in without warning.

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Bicycles hardly ever…well, you know.

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Take a break to catch a little air at a Virginia mountain bike park.

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GCN offers a pair of videos, pitting a GPS bike computer against a rider using an old-fashioned map and compass…

….and asking if hybrids can be just as fast as roadies.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Clemente is the latest SoCal coastal town to consider restricting ebikes on trails.

A San Diego paper asks if 2020 was the year that changed bicycling in the city for good. Let’s hope so.

Coachella’s Grapefruit Blvd is set to get a Complete Streets makeover, including sidewalks, trees and bike lanes. Although it’s also set to get a couple more traffic lanes, as well.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a pair of off-duty cardiac care nurses hopped off their bikes to save the life of an Aptos mountain biker who had collapsed on the side of a trail.

 

National

Luxury site the Robb Report suggests ebikes for any kind of terrain, although most of the prices are what you’d expect for a site where money is no object. Then again, $3,200 is apparently considered entry level for an e-cargo bike these days.

Which of these is not like the others? A design website urges readers to commute in style with several outlandish-looking, planet-friendly ebikes, while a road bike and a couple foldies stand out just for not looking strange.

A Portland photographer documents a year of change as the city confronts the Covid-19 pandemic, while riding his new ebike 5,000 miles through the city.

They get it. The Las Vegas Sun reports that efforts to protect bike riders are gaining traction in the wake of the meth-fueled crash that killed five bicyclists near the city last month, while correctly noting that people on bikes pay for the road, too.

An Albuquerque NM woman got her stolen bike back just a day later after Facebook users spotted it for sale on Craigslist and OfferUp, and concerned cops posed as buyers to bust the thief.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who ran down a Texas boy and just kept going in a crash caught on security cam; fortunately, the kid only suffered a few scrapes, even though he thinks the driver hit him on purpose.

A kindhearted Good Samaritan replaced a young Arkansas boy’s stolen bicycle, just hours after it went missing.

When a teenaged Chik-fil-A employee won a new car at the company Christmas party, she immediately gave it to a coworker who was riding a bike seven miles each way to work every day through the frigid Wisconsin winter.

Nice story from Florida, where a goodhearted stranger bought a new bicycle for an autistic man she’d just met after noticing the bike he was riding to work was worn out and had no functioning brakes. Then more strangers pitched in to replace it when the new bike was stolen the next day.

 

International

Specialized promised there wouldn’t be any major interruptions in retail sales after their UK headquarters went up in flames.

Internationally known London bike shop Geoffrey Butler Cycles closed its doors without warning, shuttering the shop overnight after 60 years, while the mail order business will shut down in July.

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill could have some competition in a few years from a two-year old English stunt rider.

An independent press organization rules that Britain’s Mirror was wrong to publish a photo of identifiable bike riders apparently ignoring distancing guidelines.

Acclaimed Irish author Colum McCann learned to listen and developed his voice as a writer on a two-year bike trip across the US.

A Philippine official broke up an unsanctioned early morning bike race, even though it was taking place at 4:30 on a Saturday morning.

 

Competitive Cycling

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is reportedly doing well, after he and a pair of teammates — including his brother — tested positive for the Covid bug.

The maskless Australian Road Nationals show what’s possible when a country has the coronavirus under control.

Forget gravel, and do your racing on the white stuff without a front wheel.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride a bike to rob a couple convenience stores, maybe put a mask on first — and not just for the coronavirus. Before you steal a bike, you might want to make sure it doesn’t belong to the daughter of a mixed martial arts fighter first.

And who knew Thor rides an e-fat bike?

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Thanks to Robert L for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Our annual holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

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

Low bike goals in new LADOT strategic plan, proposed retail bike registration requirement, and new Burbank bike path

LADOT has released their updated Strategic Plan for 2021.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet. But at first glance, the section on bike planning and implementation could use some major improvement.

While it’s good news that the city is finally getting around to working on the Neighborhood Enhanced Network — one of three comprehensive bike networks in the city’s mobility plan — completing just one major active transportation project per year sets an extremely low and unambitious bar for the city.

Click to enlarge

 

At that rate, it could be decades before we’ll finally have a safe route across the city. Or through your own neighborhood, even.

And that vague term doesn’t even guarantee that the “major active transportation project” will include bikes at all.

To be fair, Los Angeles Department of Transportation continues to be dramatically understaffed and underfunded, a situation that’s not likely to improve anytime soon, given the city’s precarious financial state.

Meanwhile, biking and walking continues to take a backseat to funneling ever larger amounts of motor vehicles through our already overstrained streets.

And don’t even get me started on the largely forgotten Vision Zero program, which has been pushed so far back on the list of priorities it risks falling off entirely.

While the commitment to major active transportation projects vaguely resembles the long-promised Backbone Network of bikeways on major streets, there’s no mention of the Green Network promised in the 2010 Bike Plan, which was subsumed into the mobility plan.

The idea was to have one network leading into another, giving riders the ability to travel in their own neighborhood, through the local community, and across the city.

Instead we’re left with vague promises, as LADOT continues to set the bar so low they have to be careful not to trip over it on the way out every night.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

………

Saturday’s virtual meeting of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition will include discussion of a proposal to require retail sellers of new and used bikes to register them for the buyer with Bike Index.

Although that would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

A better option would be to offer some sort of tax benefit to encourage bike shops to do what some are already doing — register their bikes when they take them into inventory, then transfer the registration to the buyer if the customer wants.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the tip.

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Okay, so you may not get much of a workout. But who wants to be the first to ride it today?

Thanks to Chris Buonomo for the heads-up.

………

Nice.

Pastor William S. Epps of South LA’s Second Baptist Church joined with over 50 bicyclists representing the Inner City Cycling Connection on Martin Luther King Day to pray for “healing in African American communities throughout Los Angeles.”

According to a statement issued by ICCC, the group’s members “cycle through a city where the neighborhoods have changed just like the terrain, we push and pedal towards the mountain top…we have our eyes set on the promise land and every muscle we burn, we are assured and filled with hope [that] the day of equality and justice are not just a dream. We pray for the courage to continue to stand up for justice, reconciliation and truth.”

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

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

No bias here. A British city councilor says segregated bike lanes are shortsighted because they’ll get too crowded and put residents at risk, and e-scooters are dangerous to cars. No, really.

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

West Virginia police bust a bike-riding shoplifter after a circuitous chase. It seems like a straighter route would have made for a more efficient getaway. But that’s just me.

What a jerk. A bike rider in Brussels is accused of intentionally kneeing a five-year old little girl because she didn’t get the eff out of his way fast enough. And it looks even worse than it sounds.

………

Local

Congratulations to Arlo Day; the five-year old daughter of actors Leighton Meester and Adam Brody is one of us now, after her mother taught her to ride a bike.

 

State

Calbike is asking you to sign a petition calling for biking and walking to get a fair share of the federal transportation budget.

Bad news from San Diego County, where man riding in an El Cajon bike lane suffered a severe head injury when he was struck by a motorist turning into a driveway; no word yet on whether his injuries are life-threatening. Although someone should tell the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was the driver, rather than the car, who was responsible for the crash; it took them until the last paragraph to even mention that the car had one.

There’s something seriously wrong when a 14-year old Fresno boy can’t ride his bike with a friend without getting accosted and shot; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

They get it. Pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco says Slow Streets should be made permanent. And not just in San Francisco, please.

Some Modesto parents are complaining about what they consider a heavy handed response by police in crackdown on unruly teens participating in last weekend’s Ride Out.

 

National

Make your own DIY vibration-detecting bike wheel lights.

Who needs winter bike gloves when you have USB-chargeable, heated handlebar plugs?

Bicycling says hold off on that hot shower after a freezing bike ride. Read it on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall locks you out.

A Portland bike club was honored by USA Cycling as the nation’s Best Community Builder for 2020.

Utah’s version of the Idaho Stop law sailed through the state House, which voted overwhelming to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields; the bill’s sponsor said allowing riders to treat red lights as stop signs was too controversial to include it in the bill.

Bike riding has become a favored family activity in pandemic era Houston.

America’s first Bike City, joining cities like Paris and Copenhagen in receiving the designation from international cycling’s governing body, is…Fayetteville, Arkansas?

Streetsblog wants to know how New York plans to install 10,000 bike racks in two years, when they haven’t been able to consistently meet the previous goal of just 1,500 a year.

 

International

Welcome to Vancouver, the bike theft capitol of Canada.

No surprise here. The American hit-and-run driver who fled the country after killing 19-year old London motorcyclist Harry Dunn, claiming diplomatic immunity, was working for an American intelligence agency at the time of the crash.

The British government sets a goal of half of all trips in cities and towns to be done by walking or bicycling by the end of this decade.

Someone please get these people some bikes. Despite the massive increase in bicycling driven by the coronavirus bike boom, Derry residents have the lowest access to a bicycle of anywhere in Northern Ireland.

If you build it, they will come. New figures from the Paris government show that six out of every ten people using the city’s popup bike lanes are new to bicycling. Yet another example of exactly what Los Angeles is missing out on by failing to install a single popup lane during the pandemic.

Ped-assist ebike fires doubled in Singapore last year, even as the overall rate of fires declined.

That’s more like it. An Aussie truck driver got four years behind bars for killing a bike rider after he was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of a collision; the judge rejected the driver’s claim that that he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, finding it “totally lacking in credibility.”

 

Competitive Cycling

The iconic, seven-day mountain bike BC Bike Race is launching a new five-day gravel race; the inaugural race of The Gravel Explorer, or BCBR Gravel, is set to roll at the end of September.

Cycling Weekly offers a comprehensive overview of the bikes being ridden on this year men’s and women’s WorldTour.

UCI will attempt to improve safety by requiring better finish line barriers, and assessing the safety of “super tuck” descents.

 

Finally…

That is one seriously funky looking ebike. Your next ebike could have a hydraulic drive instead of a chain.

And is that enough notice for you?

………

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

LADOT sets priorities for state legislation, driver tries to run down Pasadena bike riders, and fallen DC cop was one of us

Thanks to all for the kind words after yesterday’s non-post.

My pain is back down to a more normal — and more tolerable — level, so let’s get on with it. 

………

Looks like they finally get it.

LADOT has released their legislative priorities for the coming year, which they’ll take to the state legislature if the Los Angeles City Council gives the okay.

1 – Reforming state law, allowing LA to lower speed limits (it’s crazy, but today LA doesn’t have control over its own speed limits, and even has to raise speed limits on already dangerous roads!)

2 – Automating speeding tickets using speed safety cameras. Speed is the #1 factor in determining if someone lives or dies when hit by a car, and speed cameras are a proven solution to reduce excessive speeding. Armed officers must be removed from traffic law enforcement, and this is a great way to do it. LADOT has a thoughtful proposal that takes into account privacy and makes sure the burden doesn’t fall disproportionately on communities that can least afford it.

3 – Increase legal protections for the most vulnerable road users(pedestrians and cyclists). This would increase civil fines and penalties in the event of crashes caused by carelessness or driver distraction (ex. texting).

4 – Get rid of handicap placard abuse by reforming the benefits they provide and increasing enforcement, so we can preserve handicap spots for those that truly need it.

Throw in new laws to target the hit-and-run epidemic crippling Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians — too often literally — and they might be on to something.

Streets For All is asking everyone to submit a comment to the council in support of the LADOT agenda.

You can find a sample comment template here, and use this link to submit your comments.

And if you want to call on the council to add a fifth priority to address hit-and-run, I won’t complain.

………

A report has been circulating on Nextdoor about a driver intentionally trying to run down and brake check a pair of Pasadena bike riders.

I’ve obscured the license plate number since I have no way of verifying the report.

But keep your eyes open if you ride in the area.

And let’s hope the victims reported it to the police, because this is a crime — end could have easily been much worse.

Thanks to Steve Messer for the heads-up.

………

Zachary Rynew calls out the sexism that’s been baked into the popular Belgian Waffle Ride in years past.

And which, like podium girls, doesn’t belong in cycling, period.

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That’s easy. All of them.

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Looks like fallen Officer Brian Sicknick, who gave his life defending the US Capital from insurrectionists on January 6th, was one of us.

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One hundred-year old Captain Sir Tom Moore was one of us, too.

The bike-riding WWII vet raised the equivalent of nearly $45 million for the UK’s National Health Service by walking laps across his backyard.

Sadly, he died Tuesday after catching Covid-19.

………

Thanks to BikeSD for today’s history lesson, and shining a light on a Black woman we should all be thankful for.

And someone I’d never heard of before.

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Zwift invites you to pedal along with top Black cyclists like Nelson Vails, Rahsaan Bahati and Ama Nsek of LA’s L39ION of Los Angeles team in a virtual ride through New York.

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

No bias here. British radio personality Nick Ferrari, a regular critic of bicycling, said London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods are a form of apartheid. Never mind that he lives on one himself.

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

A British man denied selling an ebike allegedly used in a fatal shooting to cover-up for his nephews accused of the crime.

………

Local

Hats off to LA’s Michael Park, who’s giving back to the community by leading a crew of bike riders in feeding the homeless in Koreatown twice a week. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

Metro Bike is offering a discounted bikeshare membership to essential workers for just $75 for a full year.

Good news for the San Gabriel Valley, after Metro approved $12 million for active transportation projects in South Pasadena and Monterey Park.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized with unknown injuries after getting struck by a driver; no word on the victim’s condition.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature, AB 117, would create a $10 million, five-and-a-half-year ebike rebate program for California bike riders, using money from California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. So keep your fingers crossed. Or better yet, contact your representatives in Sacramento.

San Jose police released security cam video of the crash that killed a bike rider early Sunday morning; police are looking for a black Chevrolet Silverado with a bed cover and likely front-end damage.

A San Francisco supervisor calls for kicking out Lyft’s for-profit bikeshare, and turning it into a city-owned and potentially city-operated service.

Northern California bike shop owner Dennis Uphoff died last month after he was injured in his home; he was 69.

Police in Manteca are asking for a meaningful dialog with organizers of a series of mass bike rides involving mostly tween and teen riders, after accusing the riders of being “outright rude,” “blatantly defiant to orders” and spewing profanities at officers who try to rein them in.

 

National

Staffers from the recently defunct Bike Mag are starting a new mountain bike publication, called Beta.

Good piece from Cycling Tips Angry Asian saying it’s time to cut out the cancer of criticizing other bike riders for not doing it right or arguing that one kind of bicycling is better than any other.

The Portland driver who deliberately ran down numerous bike riders and pedestrians in a wild 15-block rampage, killing one and injuring at least ten others, has been hit with a well-deserved 31-count indictment, including a second degree murder charge.

New Las Vegas billboards tell drivers to change lanes to pass people on bicycles.

A Kansas City advocacy group is calling on the city to decriminalize walking and biking by repealing laws that have been used to target Black and brown people.

New York’s Suffolk County is confronting complaints about teen bicyclists swarming the streets by banning trick riding, weaving or zig-zagging “unless necessary,” as well as requiring a horn or bell, at least one hand on the handlebars, and no more than one person per bicycle, along with a raft of other requirements.

New York’s new transportation commissioner promises to install 10,000 new bike racks across the city, leaving it only a few million short of what’s needed to accommodate the city’s bike riders.

DC’s Vision Zero program actually has some teeth, requiring that any construction work on streets “pre-identified as a candidate for a protected bike lane, bus-only lane or private-vehicle-free corridor” has to include it in the final project.

The Maryland bike rider who assaulted a group of teens and ripped up the Black Lives Matter fliers they were posting along a bike path last year has walked with probation after apologizing for his actions.

Bike riders in DC fear the security fencing installed in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th will make their commutes more dangerous.

The coronavirus bike boom — and Democrat takeover of DC — leads to the reintroduction of two bills that died in last-term’s GOP-controlled Senate, to make bikeshare programs eligible for federal transportation funding and reinstate and improve the bicycle commuter tax benefit.

Virginia’s comprehensive bike safety bill, which includes the Idaho Stop law, passed the state house and moves on to the Senate.

 

International

Cyclist explains how to clean your bike in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. A standard of measurement that may be meaningless to most people on this side of the Atlantic.

A science website says drop your car and get on your bike if you really want to cut your greenhouse gas emissions.

A Guatemalan bike rider is fighting hunger by trading donated books for food to distribute to the needy.

North Vancouver is doubling the current $100 fine for blocking a bike lane, while banning “stopping, parking or otherwise impeding a mobility lane.”

A British man has founded a charity to give bikes to cancer patients to help them recover, crediting bicycling with helping him overcome his illness.

A pair of brothers in the UK are on trial for the alleged racist murder of a Black man to steal his bicycle.

Crashes involving bike riders more than doubled in Brussels over the past decade, with 72% involving a motor vehicle last year.

A group of female journalists and activists broke with taboos to hold northeastern Syria’s first women’s bike race to encourage women to ride bicycles and promote green transportation.

A surprising three-quarters of Aussie bike riders say they’ve been the victim of road raging drivers. The only real surprise is that the number is so low.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Quinn Simmons appears to be back in the good graces of his Trek-Segafredo team; the 19-year junior world champ will make his Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders debuts after being suspended last year for an online comment in support of Donald Trump that was widely seen as racist and divisive.

Zwift has banned two more virtual cyclists for cyber doping by falsifying ride data.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a bike from the local police. Bike tattoos are forever — especially the truly cringeworthy kind.

And that’s one way to make sure drivers pass safely.

………

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

Popular Waffle Ride postponed until summer, Culver City passes bus and bike lane plan, and take an ebike laugh break

Happy Groundhog Day!

The good news is, it doesn’t matter whether the groundhog sees his shadow. Either way, there will be six more weeks of bicycling.

And a hell of a lot more after that.

Photo by Aaron J Hill from Pexels.

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San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride has been put off until mid-summer, while the Asheville NC edition will roll in August, with a new Kansas ride ten days later.

………

It looks like Culver City’s proposal for quick build bus and bike lanes overcame NIMBY opposition to pass unanimously.

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Trek says it’s time to take a break from driving to the market and building picnic tables for squirrels, and buy an ebike.

No, seriously, it’s worth watching.

You might get the best smile you’ll have all day.

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This is who we used to share the road with.

Sadly, some things never change.

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NACTO celebrates Black History Month by sharing a tweet from last year about a little-known Black inventor who helped make all those kids and adult trikes possible.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego’s bike-friendly Republican former mayor has tossed his hat in the ring to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom in a possible recall election.

Santa Barbara kicks off its new ebike bikeshare system.

San Luis Obispo plans to take advantage of a scheduled street resealing to install paired separated and protected bike lanes.

A new petition calls for a quick-build bike lane on the Bay Area’s Oakland Bay Bridge.

 

National

Rolling Stone — yes, that Rolling Stone — offers suggestions on how to store your bike inside your apartment.

Spokane WA bike riders say winter riding isn’t for the faint of heart, especially with the city’s lack of good infrastructure. Something LA bike riders can relate to, where the bike network sucks and winter daytime temperatures sometimes drop all the way to the 60s. Brrrrrrr.

Las Vegas spent $5.9 million to upgrade a boulevard. And the best they could do for bikes was paint a few sharrows to help drivers improve their aim.

Chicago has roughly half the bike lanes they were promised by now. Yet LA bike riders envy them anyway.

After moving from New Hampshire, a pair of Colorado men discover the state doesn’t have a lift-served bike park dedicated solely to mountain bikers. So they’re building one that will be open half the year, less than an hours drive from Denver.

An upstate New York congressman calls for retaining part of an outdated elevated roadway scheduled to be torn down, and convert it to a bike and pedestrian pathway.

A New York bike rider complains about plans to put a bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge, saying we should stop making it harder for people to drive (scroll down). No, really.

Streetsblog says the plan for the bridge isn’t radical, but just adjusting to reality as vehicle traffic across the bridge drops and bike traffic increases.

New York’s mayor calls for bike boulevards throughout the city, but fails to make clear just what he means by that.

In yet another case of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a two-time hit-and-run driver in Florida made it three when he was arrested for leaving the scene after killing a bike rider nearly a year ago — then deliberately crashed his truck again to hide the damage from the hit-and-run.

 

International

Proving once again it’s not just an American problem, English police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who t-boned a bike-riding woman in her 50s, in a crash caught on a cringeworthy security cam video. As usual with stories like this, be sure you really want to see it before you click on the video, because you can’t unsee it.

A new survey shows a third of UK residents are riding more than they did prior to the pandemic.

Bike thieves burglarize a Scottish bike shop, making off with the equivalent of $68,000 worth of bikes and frames.

Bike use is soaring in Seoul, Korea, too.

An Aussie site examines why ebike bikeshares can succeed where others have failed.

 

Competitive Cycling

New ‘cross world champ Mathieu van der Poel says his rivalry with fellow Dutchman Wout van Aert is “getting bigger than the sport itself.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay suggests the competition between the Dutch cyclists could be the best rivalry in sports. Even if half his column is hidden behind a paywall.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a roof and look like a clown car. That feeling when a heavy foot on the gas pedal makes you what you hate most.

And no. Just…no.

Even if he is wearing bike shoes.

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

2nd driver charged in double hit-and-run death of two young brothers, and US bike deaths may have dropped in 2020

One quick note before we get started.

Almost a year ago, just before the world went to hell, the LA Times did a story about the foster corgi we took in to help a homeless man get back on his feet. 

This weekend they did a followup story, with an update how man and dog are doing and the ripple effect it had on everyone, my wife and I included. 

Along with the corgi puppy we adopted last summer. 

………

The other shoe finally dropped.

A full month after 57-year old Grossman Burn Foundation co-founder Rebecca Grossman was charged with murder and vehicular manslaughter for killing a pair of young brothers in an alleged drunken street race last September, the other driver has finally been arrested.

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Scott Erickson was inexplicably charged with a single count of misdemeanor reckless driving, despite allegedly contributing to the deaths of the two young boys.

And despite the allegation of street racing.

Eleven-year old Mark Iskander and his eight-year old brother Jacob were crossing the street with their parents in a marked and well-lighted crosswalk when they were run down, one on his bicycle and the other on a scooter.

It easily could have been worse. Their parents were able to jump back with the boys’ younger siblings at the last second, barely sparing the family from being wiped out entirely.

And yet the 51-year old Erickson, who had a one-year stint with the Dodgers, faces a single lousy count of misdemeanor reckless driving.

Did I mention that both drivers are in their 50s, and should have effing known better?

Maybe prosecutors can explain their charging decision in this one, because it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense to me.

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The good news is bicycling deaths may — repeat, may — have dropped last year, from an obscene 857 in 2018, and 846 in 2019, to 697 last year.

So says Outside Magazine, which tracked every bike rider killed in the US last year, much like I’ve been tracking Southern California bicycling deaths for the last decade.

Or rather, all the deaths they’re aware of; there are undoubtedly more that never crossed their radar, for whatever reason.

Of those, slightly more than 80% were men, and over a quarter of the victims were killed in hit-and-runs.

No surprise on either count. Especially not the latter, which tracks very closely with what we’ve seen here in Southern California.

And sadly, no surprise that far too many of those deaths occurred here in California.

Louisiana, New York, California, Florida, and Texas were the five deadliest states for cyclists in terms of total fatalities. The latter three have been the most deadly states for cyclists for years, and New York’s fatalities have been on the rise as well—in 2019, it reported 46 cyclist deaths, with 29 in New York City alone. While these three states are also the most populous in the country, Florida and California have among the most cycling deaths per million people, as well. And Louisiana recorded 7.3 cycling deaths per million people, the most of any state. Louisiana’s total fatal crash numbers have remained in the twenties and thirties for the past five years, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

No surprise that those deaths may have been driven in part by last year’s bike boom, either.

Though it’s too early to be certain, the cycling boom that took place after the COVID-19 lockdown orders may have contributed to the summer death rate. From January through November, $4.9 billion worth of bikes were sold in the U.S., according to the NPD Group. In Los Angeles and Houston alone, Strava found approximately a 100 percent increase in cycling trips in both cities in May 2020 compared to May 2019. More cyclists on the road seemed to correlate with more people on bikes being killed by drivers.

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Harrison Ford is one of us, as the once and future Indiana Jones star has a bike rack installed on his car for his new bicycle at the Santa Monica Helen’s.

New Bollywood sensation — and former porn star — Sunny Leone is one us, too, riding bikes with her husband and kids in Los Angeles before returning to India.

And new mother Katie Perry is still one of us, as is her fiancee Orlando Bloom, as they ride together in Santa Barbara.

………

Consider this your periodic reminder that Bike Index works.

And it’s free. So what the hell are you waiting for?

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Mountain biking though a NorCal burn zone.

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Think you’ve got mountain bike skills? Trying riding downhill on a kid’s bike.

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GCN considers how to get your confidence back after a crash.

………

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

Just days after a Portland driver killed one woman and injured at least ten others in a 15-block rampage, another driver intentionally ran down a delivery rider; fortunately, this victim was able to bounce back up.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where a road raging driver was fined the equivalent of a lousy $549 for a fist-shaking punishment pass that caused a 68-year old man to fall off his bike, suffering life-changing injuries. But hey, at least he won’t be able to drive for a whole six months.

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

Santa Cruz police are looking for a bike-riding man who allegedly battered a motorist in an unprovoked attack. Although something tells me that unprovoked attack wasn’t.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider suffered a severely lacerated face when a delivery rider cut him off, forcing him into a glass bus shelter.

………

Local

Noticing the explosive growth in ebike usage during the pandemic, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach respond by cracking down on scofflaw ebike riders who are apparently terrorizing the local populace, on and off the beachfront Strand. Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

You only have until 3 pm today to urge Culver City to approve new bus and bike lanes, over the objections of local traffic NIMBYs.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with new California Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman, including about her efforts to allow local communities to lower speed limits.

A kindhearted Santa Ana cop gives a pair of bike helmets to two young boys after they stopped her to ask if they had to wear one; she correctly noted that California law requires bike helmets for any bike riders under 18.

Carlsbad police busted a suspected drunken hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike-riding woman from Arizona; at last report, the 65-year old woman was unconscious with serious injuries.

San Diego County officials cut the ribbon on a new three-mile segment of North County’s Inland Rail Trail; the new segment means ten miles of the planned 21-mile trail is ready to ride.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed when a wrong way driver slammed into his bicycle, then drove off like the murderous coward he or she is.

A new plan promises to remake San Jose’s Eastside into a more welcoming place for bike riders and pedestrians, while reducing the need for cars. Sadly, it comes too late for the victim above.

San Francisco bike shops say if you’re in the market for a new bike, you’ve got a long wait.

 

National

An engineering website examines the aerodynamics of bicycling to keep riding from being a drag.

Pink Bike wonders when, if ever, mountain bikes will be allowed in US wilderness areas.

A writer for Bicycling explains how he finally went carfree after he job went remote during the pandemic. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

An American Sign Language professor at an Arizona college has turned his daily bike ride into a fundraising campaign for his students.

He gets it. A Salt Lake City columnist says bike riders have a right to be safe in traffic. And that’s why he supports a bill that would legalize the Idaho Stop in Utah, even if people on bicycles will still have to be alert, because too many drivers aren’t.

The full route has been released for this year’s RAGBRAI bike ride through Iowa, after last year’s ride was cancelled due to the pandemic.

A Missouri couple decide to open a bike shop. And then figures, why not sell pizza, too? Toss in some decent craft beer, and I’m all in.

A Rhode Island letter writer pleads with drivers to stop giving bicyclists the “wave of death.”

Yes, please. New Haven, Connecticut officials are pushing the state legislature to approve a bill that would allow automated traffic cams to enforce speed limits and crosswalks.

Frank Sinatra’s hometown of Hoboken NJ will add protected bike lanes to the singer’s eponymous street.

A retired Maryland man spent the pandemic providing free bike repair services for the local community; he’s fixed over 650 bicycles since last April.

No bias here. Florida cops fall over themselves to absolve a killer hit-and-run driver of responsibility, saying he knew he hit something, but didn’t know it was a person on a bicycle. Because apparently, it’s just too much to expect someone to get out of his car to see what the hell he hit hard enough to cause front end damage.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks at the clothes you’ll need to get through the coldest, wettest days on your bike. Or you could just do like most Angelenos, and stay home any day there’s a sprinkle or the temperature dips much below 70°.

Eight bicyclist-inspired songs for your bicycle playlist.

An entrepreneurial 13-year old girl in Edmonton, Canada turned her pandemic baking into a business, delivering fresh loves to customers by bike every weekend.

London’s popup bike lanes and Low Traffic Neighborhoods could be in jeopardy, after a judge rules that they could adversely affect disadvantaged groups, such as the elderly. Because apparently, older people don’t ride bikes. Or walk, for that matter.

They may have a point. A London paper questions whether a 300-foot bike lane in an English town is the country’s stupidest bike lane; the street with the contraflow bike lane — aka wrong way — is so narrow that even small vans don’t fit in the traffic lane and have to extend into the bike lane.

More on the British man who responded to the death of his brother and a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer by riding from the UK to Beijing on a tandem, sharing the other seat with people he met along the way.

I want to be like him when I grow up. After getting tired of people laughing at him, an 83-year old Pakistani man rode his bike over 1,100 miles to prove age is just a number; he’s been riding since buying his first bicycle 66 years ago.

An enterprising 15-year old Indian boy is too young to legally ride a Vespa-style scooter, so he turned his bicycle into one.

After her politician father was arrested on what she insists are trumped-up charges, an Indian teen refused to accept a free bicycle from a government-run program in protest.

A quick-thinking Indian bus driver is credited with saving the lives of two little boys after they fell off their bikes into the path of the bus.

Apparently, they take driving in a protected bike lane seriously in Qatar, as a driver has his car seized on the spot.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — a biking tour of old Taipei.

A Wellington, New Zealand bike rider says the city needs a lot more than just bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fortune favored the Dutch in this year’s cyclocross worlds, as 31-year old Lucinda Brand and 26-year old Mathieu Van der Poel took the women’s and men’s elite titles. Riders from the Netherlands took four of the top five places in the women’s race, and two of the top five on the men’s side; the only American to finish in the top five in either race was Clara Honsinger, who placed 4th in the women’s race.

The New York Times examines how the horrific crash that nearly took the life of Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen at the Tour of Poland has increased pressure on the sport’s governing body to make much needed changes to protect the riders in the peloton.

 

Finally…

Remember, kids, always pickle your bike lanes before a storm. Your next car could be an ebike. Or maybe the other way around.

And your long, dark wait for LEGO bike lanes is over.

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

Dangerous hazard on LA River path, harrowing account of Portland rampage, and Santa Monica Mtns gravel guide

Robert Karwasky forwards a photo of a dangerous situation on the LA River bike path, just north of the Colorado Street overpass, as a collapsing fence post juts out over the pathway.

Here’s how he describes the problem —

It poses a risk for very serious injury and when traveling south on the path at dusk or night, in blends in with the tunnel and is very difficult to see.

The problem comes in figuring out just who’s responsible for fixing it.

It could be the City of Los Angeles, or maybe Glendale; it could be LA County or Caltrans. Or whoever the property owner is whose fence is collapsing.

If anyone knows, let me know so we can get this fixed before someone gets hurt.

Or if you know someone who already got hurt there, I know some damn good lawyers over there on the right.

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A Portland delivery rider offers a firsthand account of the harrowing vehicular rampage that left an elderly woman dead and injured another ten people, mostly on foot or riding bikes.

Sixty-four-year old Paul Rivas pled not guilty to 14 felony counts in the 15-block rampage, while offering an ever-shifting array of motivations.

Needless to say, police suspect some form of intoxication or illness, physical or otherwise.

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Gravel Bike California is back with the ultimate Santa Monica Mountains gravel guide.

Who knew I was a trend setter back in the day, when I rode gravel farm roads through eastern Colorado on my inappropriately skinny-tired bike.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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Caltrans wants to know what intersections need help.

And while “every intersection” is indeed the correct answer, it’s probably not the one they’re looking for.

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Spend 14 minutes bikepacking in the Sierras through Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks (scroll down), and exploring the devastation after a wildfire.

Or you could spend less than half that time with Danny MacAskill’s latest insane bike video.

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

A car passenger in Yorkshire, England pushed a 70-year old man off his bicycle. Then added insult to injury — literally — by getting out and stealing the man’s bike as he lay incapacitated on the street.

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Local

The LA Times says yes, you can do bike — and hiking — tours on the cheap.

 

State

A San Clemente writer and longtime ebike rider gets a positive response to a column promoting ebikes, but reminds riders to stop for stop signs and red lights. Even if teen girls laugh at you.

An op-ed from a former San Diego bike commuter says bicycling rates are remaining flat, despite the city’s investment in a quality bike network. And offers suggestions on how to change that, including a call to subsidize ebikes for commuters.

Who knew? Former Vice President Spiro Agnew was one of us, taking to his bike to ride through the Coachella Valley after resigning in disgrace in 1973.

 

National

Bike Portland clarifies that AAA’s shift away from calling crashes accidents that we mentioned yesterday was actually from a large group of member organizations, rather than the national AAA itself.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa man got a well-deserved eleven years behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, while driving drunk and texting.

The Chicago Tribune offers advice on how to bike in the snow. A skill you’re not likely to need here in Southern California; how to ride with pontoons may be more appropriate today.

The mother of a New York State teenager is suing the owner of the car that killed her daughter, alleging he loaned it to the drunk driver who swerved into a bike lane and struck the girl as she rode her bicycle; the driver was sentenced to a well-deserved five to fifteen years behind bars.

In a huge victory for Brooklyn bike riders, the city’s eponymous bridge will finally get curb protected bike lanes on both sides of the iconic span; the somewhat less famous Queensboro Bridge will get a pair, as well.

In addition to the new bridge bike lanes, New York Mayor de Blasio pledged to build new bicycle boulevards in each of the city’s seven boroughs, calling them the key to an equitable Covid recovery. That deafening silence you hear is LA Mayor Garcetti in response.

Call it an inside job. A pair of New York bike thieves enter an apartment building with bolt cutters, and take the elevator up to steal an ebike used by food delivery rider that was locked in the hallway. Which suggests they somehow knew exactly where to find it.

A member of Gotham’s Major Taylor Iron Riders bike club celebrates the namesake that inspired similar clubs across the US.

A Florida advocacy group is highlighting 21 bike-riding women for their commitment and dedication to bicycling to serve as role models for women interested in riding.

 

International

No surprise here, as a British bike advocacy group says removing bike lanes hits young riders the hardest. Sometimes literally.

An Indian man proves you don’t have to be able to see to compete in an ultra climbing bike race.

A Singapore bikeshare rider learns the hard way that it’s probably not the best idea to bribe an enforcement officer so he won’t seize your illegally parked bike. Or maybe just offer more next time.

 

Competitive Cycling

The French bicycling calendar kicks off this weekend with the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise. And no, you probably can’t see it here.

Peloton remembers the late, great Raymond Poulidor, who made the Tour de France podium eight times in 14 appearances in the ’60s and ’70s.

 

Finally…

You know you’ve finally made the big time when there’s a sand truck named after you. Youth must be served, as a toddler kicks ass on a pump track with a pacifier in his mouth.

And this driver should be charged with bicycle cruelty.

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Apropos of nothing, here’s a little corgi action from my personal Twitter account to get you through the weekend, until we meet again.

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

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