Tag Archive for Los Angeles

Boing Boing doesn’t get bike helmets, California exempts bike lanes from CEQA, and racism on the South Bay bike path

How to write about bike helmets, and make it clear in the first two sentences that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

Nobody thinks they’re going to get into an accident, which is half the reason why bicycle riders often sneer at wearing a helmet. The other half of the reason is obvious — helmets usually make you look incredibly dorky.

Who knows, the rest of the article may be brilliant.

But that’s where I stopped reading.

Because from my experience, most people are painfully aware of the risks we assume every time we get on a bike.

And I’ve never known anyone who made the very nuanced choice of whether or not to wear one based on how they make you look.

As I’ve noted before, I never ride my bike without a helmet. And I credit mine with potentially saving my life during the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident.

But that’s the only time I’ve needed one in four decades of riding a bike.

The simple fact is, bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively low speed falls, not high speed impacts like car crashes.

They also do nothing to protect any other part of the body, which is why it’s often meaningless when police or the press report on whether or not a crash victim was wearing one, without indicating whether the crash would have been survivable either way.

And unless you spring for a MIPS or WaveCel model, they do absolutely nothing to prevent against traumatic brain injuries.

Which is why I got to spend a night in Intensive Care, and a couple more under observation, after getting my bell rung like a carillon in the aforementioned incident.

Some argue that bike helmets have other downsides, from encouraging risky behavior and closer passes, to making bike riding appear far more dangerous than it actually is.

Especially since no one seems to call for helmets in the shower, when climbing ladders or riding in cars, all of which have a significant rate of head injuries.

I know where I come down in the debate — and yes, there is one, despite all the overly simplistic “no brainer” comments.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a cheap form of insurance, on the off chance I ever need it. I’d much rather ride with one I’ll never need, than need one and not have it.

Besides, it gives me a good place to mount my bike cam without hogging handlebar space.

So use your own judgement.

But chances are, no one bases their decision on whether it makes them look dorky, or messes up their hair.

Except maybe Boing Boing readers.

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The California state legislature has passed a bill exempting bike lanes from air quality restrictions for the next ten years — cutting red tape and eliminating a tool opponents have long used to halt any changes to the streets, no matter how beneficial.

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Sadly, this is who we share the South Bay bike path with.

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Why let a little thing like a bike lane — or a playground — get in the way?

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How to give your bike a bath.

GCN also answers the eternal question of whether a gravel bike can keep up offroad.

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

Someone is boobytrapping bike and pedestrian trails in Victoria, British Columbia, stringing nearly transparent finishing line where it could trip someone walking or riding a bike.

An Irish man was pulled off his bicycle and repeatedly punched in the face by three other men while riding on a bike path, for no apparent reason.

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

A Texas man was stabbed in the stomach by a homeless man as he was riding home from a bar, and got into a dispute with the other man riding in the opposite direction.

Horrible story from New York, where a 15-year old boy was slashed in the face by a bike-riding man using a razor blade attacked to a pole, in an apparently random attack in Times Square.

No bias here. A Singapore driver offers a windshield perspective of a bike rider cutting in front of his car without looking, then inexplicably going ballistic over a gentle tap on the driver’s horn. Although something tells me there’s more leading up to this that got left on the cutting room floor.

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Local

Streetsblog says LA’s “already driver-permissive” Slow Streets program is being watered down even more, in the city where cars continue to come before people.

The next time you take your bike on a bus or train in LA County, the trip could be free, as Metro’s CEO wants to eliminate fares next year.

 

State

San Diego authorities have identified a pair of suspects in the hit-and-run crash that left a bike-riding man with life-threatening injuries; the couple got out of their SUV to look at the victim, then casually removed his bike from underneath the vehicle before driving away.

No bias here. According to the local paper, a Chino bike rider somehow struck a moving pickup, while somehow riding distracted. Which makes this a story that is somehow totally useless.

A 74-year old Victorville man was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver who abandoned his car after his passenger moved it, and both fled in another vehicle.

Fremont will invest $750,000 to protect ten miles of existing bike lanes.

Good question. An Orinda hit-and-run victim wants to know why police don’t enforce laws to protect bicyclists.

A Tahoe-area paper looks back to the first crossing of the Sierras by bicycle.

 

National

Outside offers a few considerations to take into account before replacing those car trips with an e-cargo bike.

Figures. A new mystery thriller revolves around a man on his way to a cycling competition. Except he turns up dead in the first few pages.

Schwinn is shifting marketing gears to ride the crest of the bike boom.

Singletrack lists 12 things mountain bike magazines need to stop doing. Including making lists like that.

Probably not the best idea to assault a cop in an Arizona ER, then ride your bike into Walmart and steal a bottle of booze after crashing into the display.

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska man was sentenced to 18 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Colorado bike rider. In California, that likely would have gotten a measly four-year sentence — if prosecutors didn’t bargain it down just to get a conviction.

A group of Wisconsin men dedicated the first 4.3 miles of a group ride to Chadwick Boseman, and call attention to health risks facing Black men.

Milwaukee firefighters rode 183 miles to honor a fallen compatriot.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customize adaptive bike from a Michigan boy with cerebral palsy.

Kindhearted Ohio cops bought a new bike for an eight-year old boy after the bike he got for his birthday was stolen.

A Massachusetts bike charity gave 200 bicycles to help children in need.

The bike boom is claiming a victim in the Philadelphia area, as an 85-year old family-owned bike shop is shutting its doors because they can’t get the bikes and parts they need to stay in business.

A Virginia nonprofit donated 23 custom-built adaptive bicycles to children with disabilities; the organization was founded by a disabled vet who personally learned the difference an adaptive bike could make in his life.

Over 130 bike riders turned out to honor a 57-year old North Carolina man who was murdered in an apparently random attack as he rode his bike on a local bike path.

No bias here, either. A New Orleans man was killed when an on-duty cop crashed into his bike with his patrol car; as always, the cops blame the victim for somehow coming into the officer’s lane.

 

International

International financial services giant Deloitte predicts the rate of bicycle commuting will double around the world over the next three years, as technological changes make riding faster, easier and safer.

One unexpected effect of the coronavirus bike boom — bike thefts in an English town are up as secondhand bike prices spike.

The Guardian offers tips on how to keep your bike from being stolen. Or maybe just how to keep your bike, period.

A British man uses himself as proof that heavier people can ride bikes, too.

Frightening story from the UK, where a man’s bike and cycling shoes were stolen after he was rammed with a van.

The bike boom has come to Finland, too

It’s not often that a story can be heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. A two-year old Polish boy rode a trike for the first time after losing both feet to sepsis when he was just an infant; he was initially given just a 0.1% chance of survival.

An Indian paper says unlike European cities, bike commuting in Delhi is fraught with danger for the poor. Meanwhile, Bengaluru is crowdsourcing routes to create the city’s first European-style cycling district.

More people are riding bicycles in Singapore, although one rider describes biking in the city as “a pain.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Since the Tour de France is available to nearly everyone on cable TV, we’re going back to our usual spoiler-free recaps, in case anyone is letting the race stagnate in their viewing queue.

Stage one of the Tour delivered a surprise winner in a rainy, crash-filled stage. Or at least it was a surprise to everyone but the eventual winner.

Sunday’s stage winner out-sprinted the peloton to claim the race, and dedicated the race to his late father, who passed away in June. Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb are already out, and a number of riders started the second stage banged up.

Monday’s stage three should be a day for the sprinters.

A 23-year old California man became the first Native American to take part in the Tour de France, and one of just three Americans in this year’s race.

CNN looks at the problems of staging what they call the world’s toughest bike race in the middle of a pandemic.

The men get 21 stages in the Tour de France, but the women get just one. Britain’s Lizzie Deignan out sprinted defending champion Marianne Vos to win La Course, a one-day, 60-mile circuit race.

In the latest cycling scandal, Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati was caught on camera removing something from the pocket of injured cyclist Remco Evenepoel and covertly slipping it into his own pocket, after Evenepoel crashed in Il Lombardia.

 

Finally…

If your girlfriend rejects your proposal, it may not be the best idea to respond by whacking her with your bike. Just what every bicyclist needs — a combination stationary bike, back scratcher and cookie dispenser.

And bike racing has been around longer than the talkies.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

12 years for Long Beach DUI hit-and-run driver, LAPD ignores apparent drunk driver, and gravel grinding Point Magu

This is who we share the roads with.

A Long Beach driver got over 12 years behind bars for a drunken hit-and-run that killed a 61-year old man and seriously injured another man; it was her second DUI causing great bodily injury within ten years.

The simple solution crimes like this is to keep people who cause serious injuries while driving drunk from ever getting behind the wheel again. Let alone within ten years.

There’s no question that everyone would be better off if she had been permanently barred from ever driving after her first DUI; her victim would still be alive, and she wouldn’t be looking at over a decade in state prison.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. And we need to start treating it that way.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

Los Feliz residents want to know why a driver who appeared to be falling down drunk wasn’t tested for DUI, despite crashing into three parked cars after failing to make a simple turn.

There are other things that could cause the behavior shown on the video, such as a head injury or extremely low blood sugar.

But there is simply no excuse for not testing him to find out. Which raises the question of why the officers just let him go, instead.

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Gravel Bike California says Point Magu may offer the best gravel riding in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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Take a short mountain biking break in spectacular Jackson, Wyoming.

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

A British bike rider was threatened by a foul-mouthed man for somehow causing a flock of sheep to get out of their enclosure; the presumed shepherd proceeded to rip the victim’s bike cam off his handlebars.

A 60-year old Indian man was beaten unconscious by a woman’s family members, then drowned in a water-filled pit because he knocked her down with his bicycle.

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Local

The LA Times rides along with long-time bike messenger and LA bike advocate Jimmy Lizama, as the paper questions whether DTLA can recover from Covid-19 with anything near the vitality it had just six months ago.

Automotive website The Drive picks up on the new Grand Ave bike lane blocked by a e-car charging station, which we mentioned here earlier this week. Fortunately, I’m told it will be corrected soon.

 

State

San Francisco belatedly gets around to adding a detour to a blocked bike lane at the city’s Embarcadero. Which should be mandatory for any construction work that blocks a bike lane on a busy street.

 

National

Cycling Savvy is now offering Zoom-based bicycle safety classes.

A new study says if you really want to ride more and leave your car at home, get an ebike.

Bicycling questions what good sharrows actually do. Short answer: Not much. Longer answer: Those arrows are only there to help drivers improve their aim. 

Colorado sheriff’s deputies still don’t have any answers, three years after a mountain biker was shot to death in an apparently random attack.

The Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer accused of shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back this past Sunday is a bike cop, and a former competitive cyclist.

Chicago Streetsblog looks at how the nifty new Mellow Chicago Bike Map came to be. Maybe someone could put one together for Los Angeles, because what passes for our existing bike network ain’t cutting it.

The Audubon Society talks with Harvard ornithologist Scott Edwards about his 76 day, 3,800-mile solo bike ride across the US to call attention to Black Lives Matter and Black Birders Week.

A Maryland bike rider is looking at to 30 years behind bars for assaulting three teenagers as they were taping up Black Lives Matter posters along a bike path, in an attack captured in a viral video. Although chances are, he’ll plead to just a fraction of that, if he gets any jail time at all.

A 54-year old man was killed when he was run down by a New Orleans police officer in a patrol car; naturally, police blamed the victim for riding his bike into the cop’s lane of traffic.

 

International

In a counterintuitive finding, a new British Columbia study suggests that neighborhoods with high walkability and bikeability scores also pose a higher crash risk.

A Montreal website is naming names in calling for a boycott of businesses that oppose bike lanes.

A stoned driver got five years and four months for killing a popular bike rider while high on coke and fiddling with the radio in a non-roadworthy van.

A new Dutch-made cycling jersey made from “bio-based” fabric debuting in this year’s Tour de France promises to prevent road rash at speeds up to 37 mph, and open wounds at even higher speeds.

Just sickening. Bike tire maker Continental has confessed to actively supporting the Nazi party in the years leading up to, and during, World War II, including the use of concentration camp inmates, forced laborers and Russian POWs. Which really makes me reconsider my use of the company’s Gatorskins on my bike; I stopped wearing Hugo Boss decades ago for the same reason. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old Japanese man is still competing in Ironman triathlons and hopes to keep racing into his 90s.

 

Competitive Cycling

NBC examines the favorites in the Tour de France kicking off tomorrow. Meanwhile, the founder of the first Australian World Tour team just hopes everyone stays safe.

Israel’s first homegrown cycling team is ready to take its turn in the Tour de France spotlight.

We should finally see a return of the Women’s Tour de France in 2022, or at least a women’s stage race from the same organizers; there were other attempts at establishing a women’s equivalent to the men’s Tour over the past 40 years, but none proved successful over the long run.

 

Finally…

This is how you look good on a bike. If you get caught breaking into a bike shop, try to find a better hiding place than a piece of cardboard.

And that feeling when the road signs direct you into the river.

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

LA shrinks All Black Lives Matter mural because cars, how Vision Zero should work, and bike thieves in action

LA had a chance to do the right thing for once.

The city had the perfect opportunity to respond to community demands and build a pedestrian plaza around the All Black Lives Matter mural at Hollywood & Highland.

Instead, the city decided to shrink the mural painted on Hollywood Blvd for the massive June March down to a single lane in the center of the roadway, so as not to take a single inch of the roadway from drivers.

So yes, all Black lives will still matter on the streets of Hollywood.

They just seem to matter more if they’re in a car.

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This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

Boston suburb Cambridge, Massachusetts is installing a quick-build separated bike lane, just weeks after a man was killed in a collision with a semi driver while riding his bike.

Needless to say, this is the exact opposite of what usually happens in Los Angeles.

In fact, I can only recall one time a bike lane was installed after a bicyclist was killed. And even then, it took over two years.

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Former UFC champ Connor McGregor is one of us, riding shirtless in the Monaco rain.

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

As we mentioned yesterday, Baltimore police are looking for a pickup driver who dangerously harassed people participating in a community bike ride, before intentionally slamming into a group of riders, seriously injuring one man.

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

Once again, a British bike rider has been charged with killing an elderly pedestrian; the 22-year old bicyclist faces a manslaughter count for knocking down a 72-year old man as he was walking home from his job with the National Health Service.

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Local

Metro wants your input on proposed first mile/last mile improvements around the Sepulveda station on the erstwhile Orange Line, to make it easier and safer to walk to and from the station.

Streets For All will host a virtual happy hour with LADOT head Seleta Reynolds on September 9th.

 

State

California state legislators amended Assembly Bill 1286, removing a poison pill provision banning liability waivers that could have forced bikeshare and e-scooter providers out of business.

No surprise here, as bike thefts are up in San Mateo.

 

National

Outside tells you what you need to know about bike lights. I can attest to the benefits of daytime lights, which dramatically reduced the rate of close calls once I started using them.

Bicycling offers everything you need to know about wearing bike shorts, but were afraid to ask. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out. But seriously, just skip the underwear. 

I’m not sure what it means when Bicycling drops its paywall to tell you “how to handle spit and snot safely” during the coronavirus pandemic. Hint: Just don’t.

CNN says cargo bikes are the Swiss Army knives of bicycles, and could be the SUV of the future. Which is a hell of a lot better than saying they’re the new toilet paper.

A new Portland study shows that if just 15% of drivers switched to ebikes, it could result in a 12% reduction in carbon emissions.

This is how it’s supposed to be done, too. Portland is replacing car parking with separated bike lanes after a street gets repaved. Unfortunately, while Los Angeles has sped up repaving projects, they haven’t been installing bike lanes, even on streets that call for it in the city’s Mobility Plan.

A new Green Bay, Wisconsin coffee shop and cafe will deliver your meal by ebike.

An upstate New York man rode his bike continuously for 24 hours straight to raise funds for his grandson, who is suffering from leukemia; so far he’s raised over twice the $5,000 goal.

New York’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art is offering a free bike valet service for the next month, starting with Saturday’s official reopening.

Over 100 New Yorkers are riding south to Washington DC to raise awareness about the dangers of Biking while Black, while advocating for “safer cycling opportunities for all people of color;” the group plans to arrive in time for Friday’s March on Washington.

A DC high school teacher is asking for bicycles and helmets to help make kids currently cooped up inside by the pandemic more active and keep them off the streets. By getting them on the streets, evidently.

When a first-year student at North Carolina’s Appalachian State University shipped a new, unassembled bicycle to herself at the school, she didn’t expect kindhearted staffers at the university post office to put it together for her.

It’s a sad commentary when the life of a Florida bike rider is only worth four damn sentences in the local newspaper. And one of those is about his lack of a helmet.

 

International

Cycling Weekly thinks you need to up your sock game. And your bike-riding kids could dress better, too.

A travel site recommends the five best bike paths in Columbia for your next trip to South America.

How Rad went from box office bomb to BMX cult favorite, even if it was shot in Canada.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver walked with just a warning for the wrong-way crash that left a bike rider with a broken back.

No bias here. Sixty-four percent of Brits think people on bicycles should be forced to carry liability insurance; surprisingly, even bike riders were split on the issue.

Dubai is rapidly becoming a bike-friendly city, with plans to build over 400 miles of cycle tracks within the next five years.

 

Competitive Cycling

McLaren is taking its ball and going home, after just one year co-sponsoring the Team Bahrain McLaren cycling team.

Staffers for Britain’s Cyclist magazine offer their picks for the Tour de France, going well beyond the yellow jersey to categories like most stage wins and biggest surprise. Although I’d have to agree with the guy who doesn’t think the race will actually happen. Or finish, anyway.

A Kenyon sports site says the word impossible doesn’t exist in four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome’s cycling road of success. Maybe it should, because it’s literally impossible for him to win a fifth Tour this year, because his team didn’t even enter him in the race.

 

Finally…

Seriously, if you’re carrying meth and a pipe on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign, already. If you’re going to tell the cops you borrowed a bike from a friend after stealing it at knifepoint, make sure the victim isn’t still carrying the receipt.

And this is what bike thieves look like. Or would be, if they knew how to use their own power tools.

https://twitter.com/blogTO/status/1298616358754816001

 

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

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

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

But I just can’t put my finger on it…

Photo by Redditor u/TezzDonut

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

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

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

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Nothing like penning a 380-mile Pacman by bike.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

And who says cleats and Crocs don’t mix?

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

CA bill could effectively ban bikeshare and e-scooters, ride for Black and Indigenous mental health, and hot bikes on LetGo

An op-ed in the LA Daily News op-ed questions why the California legislature is targeting dockless bikeshare and e-scooters.

The piece, written by Santa Monica Spoke director Cynthia Rose; Circulate San Diego ED Colin Parent, Finish the Ride and Streets Are For Everyone ED amian Kevitt, and Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, says that regardless of its intent, AB 1286 would “create new rules so onerous that micromobility operators may no longer be able to operate in California.”

Which doesn’t sound like the intended outcome.

Or the right one.

This bill doesn’t just impact newer micromobility like electric bikes and scooters, but extends to traditional, city-sponsored bike share programs as well, including the long running Bay Wheels system in the Bay Area and Metro Bike Share in Los Angeles. As our state grapples with so many pressing issues, including the economic and climate crisis, why is the legislature threatening our most sustainable and lowest cost transportation options?

First and foremost, this bill prohibits micromobility operators from using waivers of liability – the same waivers everyone signs when renting a car or taking a yoga class. No other industry is subject to a waiver provision such as the one proposed by this bill. By gratuitously singling out micromobility operators, the legislature is opening the door to unnecessary litigation, and operators have made clear they will likely have to leave California if they are not able use these waivers. Our cities will be harmed in the process, as waivers shield cities from frivolous lawsuits as well. California law already holds operators accountable and responsible for faulty devices to rightfully protect consumers, so there is simply no need to pursue these changes.

It’s understandable that legislators would want to improve liability laws regulating micromobility.

But this is like using a cannon to kill a mouse in your living room.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and the legislature will give itself a timeout to work with advocates and company representatives, and consider more carefully just how to improve safety without forcing users back into their cars.

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Former international pro basketball player Damen Bell-Holter, who was with the Boston Celtics just long enough to grab a sandwich, is hoping to have a greater impact by riding to raise funds and awareness for mental healthcare for Black and Indigenous men.

The founder of Break the (Bi)Cycle, Bell-Holter will be leading a 1,500-mile ride from Bellingham, Washington to San Diego, stopping to speak with various tribes along the way.

Bell-Holter said he’d seen similar campaigns, but the topic is one he’s long held close, speaking and raising awareness of across Alaska and elsewhere. There’s a large gap in the availability and effectiveness of mental health care for Black and Indigenous men, especially in Alaska, Bell-Holter said, resulting in intergenerational trauma that can lead to some of the highest rates of death by suicide and substance misuse in the country.

“I’ve been bouncing my head off the wall about this for a few years. There’s so much violence and abuse in Alaska. What does prevention look like,” Bell-Holter said. “There’s a lot of trauma that outside people don’t understand. Non-Native and non-Indigenous people don’t understand there’s a lot of intergenerational trauma that’s not visible from the outside.”

The goal is to raise $100,000, which will be split 20 ways, resulting in just $5,000 each for the various tribes and communities.

You can contribute through the group’s crowdfunding page. So far, they’ve raised just over $3,600 in seven weeks.

Maybe we can all share this one, and get some support for a worthy cause.

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A bike theft victim calls attention to an online chop shop hawking hot bikes on LetGo. And the problem of stolen bikes being sold on the platform in general.

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This is what Share the Road really means.

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

After an 18-year old Virginia man’s bike was hit by a pickup driver while riding with a group of other riders, he responded by breaking the driver’s mirror. And the driver responded by attacking him with a stick.

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

See above.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof rode to the rescue in his Swedish hometown, tackling a bike-riding purse snatcher who’d just robbed a 90-year old woman. Although the thief probably took a dive in hopes of drawing a penalty kick.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at the new left side, parking protected bike lanes on Grand Street in DTLA, which continues to get safer and more rideable, while most of Los Angeles languishes.

That last item said “most of Los Angeles,” because of two new protected bike lanes on Broadway and Avalon Blvd in South LA, which is the other area currently seeing safety improvements in the city.

A Pasadena website offers more information on last weekend’s Black Lives Matter ride, which visited the sites of five violent police encounters in the Rose City.

 

State

A Huntington Beach real estate agent and rock drummer remembers his halcyon days as former Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rogers bike buddy.

Newport Beach Police will be focusing on bike and pedestrian safety enforcement next month. So ride to the letter of the law when you’re in the city. And maybe even put a foot down if you see a patrol car. 

Imperial Beach has approved construction of a new 6.4-mile bike path connecting the international border with San Diego County’s Bayshore Bikeway.

The Bay Area Bike to Work Day will be changed to Bike to Wherever Days, after being moved from the usual May date to September 24th. That compares to Los Angeles County, where this year’s Bike to Work Day has apparently been postponed to when hell freezes over.

 

National

Bicycling suggests six “crazy easy” ways to welcome rookie riders into the wonderful world of bicycling; as usual, you can read the article on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall shuts you out.

A men’s website suggests hitting the road on one of the “seven best bicycles available now.” As usual, the list isn’t remotely accurate or comprehensive; on the other hand, any list that includes a fixie, a foldie and Schwinn’s reborn Krate bike can’t be all bad.

ZDNet offers advice for the ebike curious.

Apple’s new iOS14 is finally making Apple Maps useful for people on bicycles, allowing you to select the fastest route, or one using busy or less busy roads.

A brick building in St. Louis collapsed unexpectedly over the weekend, likely destroying many of the 700 children’s bikes stored there as part of a program to give kids a free bike after completing a bike safety course.

Once again, a dangerous driver managed to stay on the road until it was too late. A Chicago man was arrested for continuing to drive with his license suspended due to DUI, after killing an 83-year old man riding a bike, claiming he just didn’t see the man riding in front of him before stomping on the gas pedal. Unfortunately, he’ll likely walk away with a slap on the wrist, while his innocent victim paid with his life.

A DC woman was lucky to get her stolen bike back after she spotted the thief riding it and was able to wave down a passing patrol car; it helped that she had a photo of the bike and the serial number on her cellphone. Hint, hint.

Georgia bike riders turned out for a short 2.23 mile ride in memory of Ahmaud Arbery, six months after he was gunned down by a trio of self-appointed vigilantes.

 

International

A new study suggests that looking at happy pictures before your ride will result in less suffering during it. And unhappy pictures will have the opposite effect.

The UK’s Spectator magazine recommends 14 bicycling routes around the world they say rival the Tour de France. Which might be remotely accurate if the Tour de France was just a leisurely one-day ride around a local landmark.

London bike riders offer tips on riding a bike in the city, almost all of which apply virtually anywhere.

An Edinburgh woman calls for redesigning a floating bus stop, saying she was furious after she and her son were nearly hit by a bike rider “who came out of nowhere” as she stepped across a cycle track to get to her bus. She’s got a point. But no one ever comes out of nowhere. And nearly getting hit isn’t exactly news, especially after apparently failing to look both ways.

Berlin’s new bike lanes have failed to improve safety, as fatalities rise and advocates call for greater regulations on large trucks. Meanwhile, the city’s Green Party wants to charge SUV owners more to park their behemoth vehicles. Yes, please.

A Malaysian man is waiting for borders to reopen so he can get back on the road, two years after riding away from his law career to bike around the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

The union representing professional cyclists rejected criticism over unsafe conditions at this year’s races, after several riders questioned what good the group was if it couldn’t do something about it.

 

Finally…

If you can’t cut the lock on the bike you’re trying to steal, just take the bike rack with you. Evidently, Sgt. Preston of the Yukon would trade his dog team for an ebike these days.

And seriously, don’t ride if you have Covid-19.

Or think you might have.

Period.

……

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

San Diego bike rider critically injured in hit-and-run, Sia sings a bike song, and the war on bikes escalates dramatically

San Diego police are looking for a pair of heartless cowards who ran down a 66-year old man riding his bike in the Middletown neighborhood.

They got out of their van and examined the victim, then casually removed his bike from under the van, and drove off.

The victim was riding on the sharrows near the intersection of India and West Washington streets when he was apparently run down from behind, suffering a life-threatening head injury.

The vehicle is described as a blue or gray 2005 Dodge Caravan, with Georgia license plates, number RRJ7004.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

Show this one to everyone who insists bike lanes will keep emergency vehicles from getting through.

………

Sia goes riding on her bike in what may be the happiest kid’s song you’ll hear today.

………

This is what it’s like to ride 100 miles after trading your high-tech racing bike for $130 secondhand junker.

………

Or maybe you’d rather watch a pair of bicyclists riding coast to coast across the UK in a single day.

………

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

A New York man faces charges after whacking a bike rider with a baseball bat when the other man rode past his house.

A Raleigh NC man was murdered in broad daylight in an apparent random attack as he rode his bike on a local bike path.

A pair of Costa Rican men face up to six years behind bars for slowing down and reaching out to touch a woman’s butt as she was riding her bike to the gym.

A British bike rider was the victim of a robbery when a pair of teens whacked him in the head with a board, then stole his bike, wallet and phone.

Then there’s this, from right here in the LA area.

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

A Brooklyn rideshare driver was shot after exchanging words with someone on a bicycle.

Despicable is right. Police in the UK are looking for a bike rider who leaned into an ambulance and spit into the paramedic’s face, for reasons apparently known only to him.

………

Local

Streets LA — nee Bureau of Street Services — will host a virtual open house to discuss the proposed Uplift Melrose project this Wednesday; the plans include expanded sidewalks, better landscaping and LA’s first dutch-style curb level protected bike lane. Take a few minutes to attend if you can, because the usual NIMBYs and bike haters undoubtedly will.

Missed this one earlier this month, as LA helmet maker Thousand profiles East Side Riders founder John Jones III.

A new Netflix short film features the filmmaker riding alone on the eerily empty streets of Hollywood.

Around 60 people turned out for a Black Lives Matter bike ride through the streets of Pasadena to protest the fatal shooting of Anthony McClain as he fled a traffic stop. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

Howie Mandel decided to aid Malibu resident Simon Cowell’s recovery from an e-motorcycle crash by giving him a new adult tricycle.

 

State

Great idea. San Diego bike riders are taking part in a scavenger hunt to promote businesses in the City Heights neighborhood. Which makes it just bizarre that local business groups would oppose it.

San Diego has started work on a long debated 4.5-mile network of protected bike lanes connecting Downtown to Hillcrest and Balboa Park. Yet another reminder that everywhere I live becomes bike-friendly long after I leave.

Thanks to Covid-19, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Pizza with Police program for kids has morphed into Cycling with the Cops. Which is better anyway.

San Francisco officials from the mayor down call on the state to legalize speed cameras, calling them the key to Vision Zero. Meanwhile, that silence you hear is LA officials, because they’re afraid of offending drivers who like to speed.

No surprise here, as Bay Area bike and pedestrian bridge crossings are up significantly as more people take to two wheels during the coronavirus crisis.

A Sacramento bike rider was lucky to walk away after riding his bike out in front of oncoming traffic and getting drilled by a car traveling at an estimated 50 mph; remarkably, his bike appeared to be relatively okay, too.

 

National

A national advice columnist — no, the other one — takes scofflaw bike riders to task, pointing out that yes, we have to follow the same laws that most drivers usually don’t. Thanks to Margaret W for the tip.

Heartbreaking news from Wyoming, where a mother who was known locally for riding to raise funds for a children’s cancer charity was killed in a collision while riding her bike on Saturday.

This is who we share the roads with. A Texas Q-Anon supporter chased and intentionally rammed a pair of cars in a drunken rampage, after somehow convincing herself there were pedophile kidnappers inside them. Hint: There weren’t.

Chicago police finally get around to returning dozens of bicycles that were confiscated during Black Lives Matter protests in July. Never mind that the seizures are of questionable legality; it’s unlikely they could confiscate a motor vehicle under the same circumstances.

A Tennessee columnist says wear your bike helmet, already, crediting a helmet for why one bike rider survived, and the lack of one for why another one died. He’s got a point. But let’s not forget that bike helmets should always be the last resort when all else fails — not the first.

Speaking of Tennessee, a man in the state lost 100 pounds riding an ebike; for readers in the UK, that’s over seven stone. Just one more reminder that ped-assist ebikes offer genuine exercise, just like regular bikes.

The bird watching Harvard ornithology professor finished his 3,200 cross-country ride to call attention to Black Lives Matter.

Massive two-wheeled Black Lives Matter protests continue to roll in New York.

New York Magazine suggests everything you need to start riding a bike. Except, you know, an actual bike or something.

A former New Jersey man is riding his ‘bent across the US looking for a place to call home, after getting fed up with being managed for a brain injury he suffered when he was stuck by a drunk driver.

He gets it. A Delaware columnist says the murder of five-year old North Carolina bike rider could have shown Americans at their best. But instead, it showed the exact opposite.

Just as he did when John Kerry was injured in a bicycling crash, Donald Trump vows to never ride a bicycle, after Fox News shows video of Joe Biden riding a bike. To which bicycles everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

Sometimes, good news just keeps getting better. After a Louisiana boy gave the bicycle he’d saved up to buy for himself to a man who’s house had burned and his truck was stolen, a Good Samaritan saw the story on TV and gave him a new bike.

 

International

Um, no. Cycling Weekly tells you what to wear for year-round bike commutes. Spandex is fine if that’s what you want to wear. But despite what they show, bike riders around the world somehow manage to get to work and back without a stitch of bikewear.

Cycling News takes a deep look at deeper bike wheels.

After an adaptive bike belonging to an Edmonton, Canada girl with cystic fibrosis was stolen, the manufacturer gave them a replacement, which was assembled by a local bike shop. Hats off to urban bikemaker Opus Bikes and the Redbike bike shop for doing more than just the right thing.

A Toronto writer overcomes his concerns over riding a bike in the big city and learns to embrace bike commuting, while accepting that fear is your friend.

He gets it, too. A Canadian letter writer says if you want to know about bike lanes, ask someone who actually rides a bike.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a British man is rebuilding his life after a bike-riding stranger talked him out of jumping off a bridge. His name wasn’t Clarence by any chance, was it?

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A driver in the UK was allowed to keep his license despite racking up 68 points in traffic violations in just four years, over five times the standard suspension level of 12 points.

A Hungarian writer says it takes more than paint to transform a city, complaining that Budapest officials had bike lanes striped on city streets, without considering with it really takes to build a bike-friendly city.

Six years after losing his leg at 17, a Mumbai man is looking at competing internationally in professional paracycling, inspired by a chance meeting with an Indian paracycling champ during rehab.

Several African cities could transform for the better if they rebuild with non-vehicular mobility in mind in the aftermath of the coronavirus.

Everything you need to know about bicycling in the United Arab Emirates, in case you’re planning to go sometime.

Nice story from The Guardian, as they profile an Aussie couple who’ve been riding tandem across the country for 41 years.

 

Competitive Cycling

The fine art of cycling commentary.

American cyclist Sepp Kuss says he can’t imagine being a Grand Tour contender, saying he’ll always be a work in progress. Which probably isn’t what his team and sponsors want to hear.

There’s finally some good news about paracycling champ and former Formula 1 race car driver Alex Zanardi, who has shown significant improvement and been moved out of intensive care for the first time since he was struck by a driver during a race in June.

 

Finally…

Always sing Disney songs to your dogs when they ride on your bike. When the faithful are feeling down, buy some refrigerated cargo bikes and give out free ice cream.

And maybe I should be glad the new corgi puppy is chewing on everything but my bike.

……

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

A reminder that Covid kills, a conversation with CD4 candidate Nithya Raman, and the war on bikes just keeps going on

One quick note. 

I met with my doctor yesterday, who said he has four patients on ventilators due to Covid-19 right now — including one who’s been on it for five and a half months. 

This is a very serious disease. Yet one that’s easily defeated. 

Just wear a mask every time you leave your home. And yes, that includes when you ride your bike. 

Because you don’t want to catch it. Or be the one who spreads it to someone else. 

And if you don’t believe me, take it from Bill Nye who says wear your mask whenever you’re around other people — like riding your bike on Ventura Blvd. And only take it off when you’re not.

Today’s photo from Pixabay.

………

I had the pleasure of speaking yesterday with Nithya Raman, who is running against incumbent David Ryu to represent CD4 on the LA city council.

I’ll have more about the conversation at a later date as we get a little closer to the November election.

But I can tell you I was very impressed with her, and her commitment to bring a fresh voice to a city leadership that too often seems to be stuck using the same failed approaches as they have for decades past.

And not just on the city’s auto-centric streets.

I was also struck by this comment she made, when we were discussing the progress other cities like London, New York and Paris have made in reimagining the way people get around during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We shouldn’t have to envy other cities.”

No, we shouldn’t.

But we will continue to, as long as LA city leaders continue to do little or nothing to change the current dysfunction on our streets.

And in our government.

………

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

What the hell is wrong with some people? A 15-year old English boy was pushed off his bike by someone in a passing car. Let’s hope they can read the license plate and put that jerk behind bars.

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

A New Jersey man faces charges for opening fire after riding his bike up to a group of people standing outside an apartment building, injuring a four-year old girl.

………

Local

KCET recommends 61 self-guided tours for exploring Los Angeles on your own, including by bike, as well as on foot.

 

State

No surprise here, as wealthy La Jolla comes out against San Diego’s Complete Communities plan, which would increase density to improve quality of life around transit centers.

Good karma all around, as bikemaker Kona Bicycles chose San Jose bike co-op Good Karma Bikes to distribute a dozen new bicycles to the African-American community or others in need, starting with a man suffering from a double pulmonary edema, and a homeless vet who needed a bike to get to chemo treatments after his was stolen.

 

National

He gets it. A HuffPo writer says America’s progressive mayors have missed the chance to remake their cities during the Covid-19 lockdown, noting it will take major transformations to recover from the virus. And specifically calls out Los Angeles for doing virtually nothing.

Warner Brothers co-founders Harry and Abe Warner were two of us, running a bike repair shop before setting out to become early movie moguls.

Worth recommends 19 “must haves” every “intrepid gentleman” needs to keep active during the coronavirus crisis. Which certainly stretches the meaning of “needs” and “must haves” to the breaking point. And what about intrepid women, for that matter?

The New York Times explains the benefits, and problems, of roundabouts; a 2015 British study concluded that traffic lights are safer for people on bicycles.

A bighearted family friend crowdfunded $2,500 to buy a new adaptive bike for a five-year old Denver boy with spinal bifida.

A Chicago group is offering donated bicycles to protesters who had their bikes confiscated by police.

Tragic news from Chicago, where a 56-year old man died weeks after a head-on collision with another bike rider, who passing a slower rider on the city’s Lakefront Trail. Yet another reminder to always ride carefully on bike paths, to protect yourself and others.

Illinois bike riders have teamed with runners to hire an attorney after local authorities sided with NIMBY homeowners to block a pathway connecting two trails, forcing them to cross a dangerous highway instead.

A handwritten sign indicates a Vermont bike path has been closed by the city, which comes as a surprise to the owner of the land.

A Massachusetts man swears he wasn’t texting when he ran down an entire family with his car as they were riding their bikes, killing the father and injuring two others. Which raises the question of why the hell he did it, then, and whether his actions were intentional. Because you have to try pretty damn hard to not see three people on bikes. 

A Pennsylvania letter writer complains that, unlike George Floyd, there was no national news coverage of the murder of five-year old North Carolina bike rider Cannon Hinnant. Which is absolutely true — if you ignore coverage on CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Today, Bicycling, People, Newsweek, USA Today, New York Daily News, and countless other news outlets across the US and overseas. And never mind that Hinnant’s killer wasn’t a cop, which was kinda the point of the whole protest thing. 

Over a hundred people are planning to ride their bikes 250 miles from New York to DC to join the 57th anniversary of the first March on Washington.

DC’s coronavirus-driven bike boom is showing no signs of slowing down.

Raleigh, North Carolina authorities are trying to identify a man who died after apparently being attacked while riding his bike on a local greenway. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID that’s not likely to get lost or stolen.

 

International

A British Columbia man turned amateur gumshoe after his $9,000 ebike was stolen, tracking down and assembling a profile of the thief, before police moved in to nab the thief in a sting while he was trying to sell it.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an autistic Ontario boy’s bike and fishing tackle.

Forty of the best countryside bike trails for your next trip to the UK. Unless you already are in the UK, in which case, carry on.

Seriously? A Welsh county blocked a proposal for a bicycle cafe, because it doesn’t include enough car parking. Which kind of defeats the purpose of a bike cafe.

More proof life is cheap in the UK, as a driver got just 32 months for plowing into a group of bicyclists while high on amphetamines and driving on the wrong side of the road. But at least he lost his license — and his car.

The first recipient of a free bicycle from Philippine TV star Gretchen Ho is a teenager who was using rollerblades to fill in for his sick delivery driver dad; Ho set up the program to provides bikes to help people keep their jobs.

 

Competitive Cycling

An Israeli cyclist will compete in the Tour de France for the first time, as part of Team Israel Start-Up Nation, the first team based and owned in Israel to enter the Tour.

Cyclist wants to know why people seem to have a problem with 22-year old Columbian Tour de France winner Egan Bernal.

Tour de France organizers demonstrate once again just how far they are behind the times, responding to Covid-19 by deciding to cut back on podium girls instead of eliminating the sexist anachronisms all together.

 

Finally…

Probably not the smartest move to steal a mixed martial artist’s bike. Seriously, don’t eat the plants along the bike path.

And why buy a bike computer when you can build your own?

……

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

Watch for dangerous smoke and closed roads in SGV, Shoup on parking minimums, and Bahati gets star treatment

My apologies for yet another unexcused absence yesterday.

Which seems like it’s starting to be a habit.

I spent most of Tuesday night being tormented by demons when I should have been working.

Either that, or my neuropathy, which is mostly managed, if not controlled, most of the time, flared up to a devastatingly painful level.

I’m leaning towards the first explanation, myself.

Then last night, I lost a few crucial hours to an extended internet outage, thanks to a certain cable provider who shall remain nameless. Which means we still have more to catch up on tomorrow.

Assuming there’s not some other minor disaster waiting in the wings. Just part of this annus horribilis we’re all dealing with this year.

And yes, that’s two n’s, thank you.

……….

Be careful breathing in the San Gabriel Valley for the next several days, after officials issued a warning about smoke from the Ranch2 fire.

Smoke from wildfires can cause serious health and breathing problems, both short and long term. Especially when you’re sucking it in on a bike.

A simple rule of thumb is, if you can smell smoke, stay inside and don’t ride. But if you have to, wear a good quality mask to filter as much of the smoke as possible.

Trust me on this one.

Meanwhile, several road closures remain in effect:

  • San Gabriel Canyon Road/Highway 39: closed at Northbound Hwy 39 at Sierra Madre Avenue (southbound Highway 39 is closed at East Fork roRoad)
  • Glendora Mountain Road: closed from Big Dalton to East Fork
  • Glendora Ridge Road: closed from Glendora Mountain Road to Mt. Baldy Road
  • Santa Anita Canyon Road: closed from Arno Drive to Chantry Flats Road

………

UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup explains the problems with parking minimums.

………

South LA’s own Rahsaan Bahati gets the star treatment from Peloton.

View this post on Instagram

Excited to see this come to life with @pelotonmagazine. Shout out to @truecomms for the hard work getting this together. I was able to finally work with @jordan_clark_haggard he took some sick photos in downtown Los Angeles. A lot of people are inquisitive about my bike. The bike is a paint job done by my good friend and bad ass dude @mphpaint. Crazy talented dude who is a jack of all trades and master of many. The bike is one-of-a-kind and will not be made again. I have played with the idea of doing something similar that I could produce for the public but that's at least 12-months out. With that said, check out the link as the Bahati Foundation 10th Anniversary kit is for sale. All proceeds go to the Bahati Foundation.

A post shared by Rahsaan Bahati (@bahatiracing) on

 

………

Another edition of celebs on bikes.

Country singer Luke Bryan is one of us.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of of us, going for a solo ride in the Hamptons.

Halle Berry might be one of us, posing on a bicycle for a photo shoot, though not actually riding it.

Semi-presidential candidate Kanye West is sort of one of us, too, preferring to do his riding indoors by crashing an Atlanta cycling class.

………

The Department of DIY strikes in Guadalajara, using a three-wheeled cargo bike to paint their own bike lane.

………

Don’t let anyone tell you there’s not enough room on the street.

………

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

This one would fit in the section below, as well. A ten-year old British boy was traumatized when a group of older boys on bikes dumped a carton of milk over him as he was riding his bike.

A British amateur bike racer was pushed off his bike by someone in a passing car, describing it as more terrifying than coming under enemy fire when he was in the military.

Then there’s this.

https://twitter.com/krebscycling/status/1295813416649666562

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

Sticking with the UK, authorities are looking for an apparently crazed bicyclist who refused to let a driver pass, then spit on his car and dented it with his bike. As always, there’s undoubtedly another side to the story. But bad behavior is never the right solution.

………

Local

Now that’s more like it. A killer drunk driver got 15 years for the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian in Pasadena last year.

 

State

San Diego is launching a new bike blog to get more commuters out on their bikes.

 

National

Cycling News offers tips for weight weenies, with five ways to quickly cut the weight of your bike. Although one of the best ways to improve your bike’s performance is to reduce the weight of the person on it.

A pair of studies show riding an ebike provides good exercise, and is as safe as any other bike.

One more way our laws keep dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late. A legal loophole allows drivers who’ve lost their license in one state to keep driving in another.

A recall has been issued for the Ripper Jr., Ripper MIPS Jr., and Ripper MIPS bicycle helmets because they don’t comply with federal safety standards.

A pediatric ER doctor suggests tips on how to get your kid to wear a bike helmet.

Portland’s Department of Transportation is responding to the Black Lives Matter movement by working to become an actively anti-racist organization.

Nice. A couple hundred Chicago bike riders turned out to show the streets some peace and love.

Kindhearted Minnesota cops gave a new bike to a young girl after hers was damaged when she was hit by a driver; the bike was one of 12 donated by local Shriners for deserving kids.

A Flint, Michigan bike rider was critically injured when he was run down by a cop responding to an emergency call. As usual, the person on the bike gets the blame, especially since he’s not around to give his side of the story.

An Indianapolis man got his custom-made twin-chain-drive bicycle back five years after it was stolen when someone dropped it off at a bike co-op.

That’s one way to solve the problem. The NYPD has inexplicably eliminated bicycling injuries from their Traffic Stat portal, making the problem disappear overnight.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Delaware judge ruled that a driver who struck and killed two men as they were standing with their bikes outside a restaurant couldn’t have foreseen that he would have the seizure that caused the wreck, even though he had a history of seizures and hadn’t always followed his doctor’s orders or treatment plans.

A crowdfunding page has raised over $800,000 for the family of Connor Hinnant, the five-year old North Carolina boy who was fatally shot point blank by a neighbor, apparently for the crime of riding a bike on his lawn.

A Myrtle Beach SC bike rider is suing the city, alleging he was right hooked by a cop in a marked patrol car while he was riding in a marked bike lane. At the very least, he wants his bike replaced.

 

International

Cycling Weekly patiently explains the difference between gravel and ‘cross bikes.

An English town somehow equates dangerous bicycling with illegally feeding sea gulls, fining people the equivalent of $130 for either one.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a distracted driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike-riding Royal Air Force officer while on the phone with his daughter. Meanwhile, a 78-year old driver walked with a suspended sentence for killing a bike rider ten years his senior.

Bike friendly Amsterdam is deteriorating, and at risk of collapsing back into the sea. Although all the bikes in that photo will make you forget everything else.

Talk about a close call. A Turkish boy was lucky to avoid serious injury when he rode his bike out from a side street and into the side of a passing car.

Now that’s a good dad. An Indian man rode his bike 65 miles to take his son for an education test, hoping to get him into a better school.

A Russian website remembers the first Russian to ride a bike around the world, in 1911, before dying when his plane was shot down in WWI.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch pro Jos van Emden figuratively nailed his thesis to the church door, listing ten proposals to improve safety in the peloton, including air bags along the rails near the finish, and a system of yellow and red cards to punish dangerous riders.

In a shocking move, Team Ineos has dropped former Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas from their Tour roster, denying Froome a shot at a record-tying fifth win.

 

Finally…

Gotham bike riders want to know where to stick it. The best truck for backing over your kids.

And who needs a bike lock when you’ve got fake bird poop?

……

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

Meet CD4 candidate Nithya Raman tonight, fire closes LA County roads, and misogyny alive and well in bike industry

Meet CD4 candidate Nithya Raman virtually tonight, as she discusses her race against incumbent Councilmember David Ryu.

And listen to her stances on transportation in the the City of Angels, and the 4th Council District in particular, including bicycles.

As we’ve mentioned before, Raman has earned the endorsement of both Bike the Vote LA and Streets For All. And has my unqualified support, as well.

She’s already made a difference in the district, as Ryu has co-opted many of her urbanist and safe streets policies after opposing them for most of his first term.

RSVP for the Zoom conference here.

……….

Road closures remain in effect from the weekend’s Ranch 2 Fire.

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Gravel Bike California rides through SoCal’s abandoned Cold War-era tunnels to nowhere.

………

A Pasadena survey is heavily weighted towards parking. But take a few minute to answer it anyway.

………

How to change an inner tube without tire levers.

………

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

It takes a major schmuck to destroy an artistic fence made of bicycles surrounding a Dayton, Ohio nonprofit.

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

San Diego police arrested a stabbing suspect as he fled by bicycle following a knifing in a Pacific Beach public restroom Sunday night.

A pair of Texas men are under arrest after hitting a passing bike rider with a baseball bat in a failed attempt to steal his bike.

Then there’s this, from mountain bikewear Where The Trail Begins, proving misogyny is alive and well in the bike industry. Even if the company only seems to have two lousy products.

………

Local

Great idea. A new petition calls for a protected bike lane on Franklin Ave between Highland and Los Feliz, which would be the first safe east-west bike route across Hollywood. Or any other direction, for that matter. And yes, I signed it.

 

State

Former Santa Ana Councilmember and SCAG President Michele Martinez is replacing OC real estate developer and sprawl advocate Lucy Dunn on the California Transportation Commission; Martinez is credited as a driving force behind SCAG’s popular Go Human campaign.

A Bakersfield columnist describes how his father-in-law just decided to take up bicycling and bought a new bike — his 92-year old father-in-law.

More tragic news from Northern California, where sheriff’s deputies in Cupertino discovered the body of an apparent hit-and-run victim lying next to his bike early Sunday morning.

Smart idea, as the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition teamed with a local water district to document Valley Water signs along roads and trails. Which beats the hell out of sending staffers out in trucks to look for them. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

 

National

Black Girls Do Bike is teaming with USA Cycling to make bicycling more accessible to women of color.

A tech site says the boom, bust and boom cycles resulting from the coronavirus have tossed bikeshare systems proven rebalancing algorithms over the handlebars.

A writer for the Daily Beast says ebikes are wondrous machines that can take you further than you ought to go if anything goes wrong.

A Las Vegas paper gets it, editorializing that higher speeds and heavier vehicles are literally killing us.

Bicycling belatedly catches up with the decision of the Lance Armstrong-founded Mellow Johnny’s bike shop to stop selling bikes to the Austin, Texas police department, in support of the Black Lives Matter protests. Which we mentioned here a couple weeks ago.

A Chicago writer offers a primer on trail riding courtesy.

An op-ed in the New York Daily News calls on the city to recommit to creating streets that benefit all of us.

A bighearted eight-year old Baltimore boy just learned how to ride a bike after the pandemic hit. But he’s already planning a 50-mile ride to raise funds to help pave sections of the C&O Canal Towpath; as of this writing, he was just $124 short of his $2,500 goal.

Police in Virginia are looking for a driver who allegedly smashed into three police bikes while attempting to run down the officers on them.

Now that’s a good kid. When a bighearted 10-year old boy in Monroe, Louisiana learned a handicapped man wished he had a bike after his truck was stolen and his home caught fire, he insisted on giving the man the new bike he had saved up to buy for himself.

 

International

Cyclist considers the best e-cargo bikes.

London’s conservative Sunday Times says the reason fewer bike riders are getting ticketed in the city is because bicyclists are getting away with breaking the law. Not, say, the well-established principle that better bike infrastructure encourages better behavior.

Surprisingly, there’s no historic marker in the English town where John Kemp Starley developed the Rover Safety bicycle, revolutionizing the world of big wheeled, direct-drive bikes and making it possible for anyone to ride a bicycle.

Heartbreaking story from Rwanda, where a teenage member of the country’s women’s national cycling team says she was raped and impregnated by a team coach; she’s still waiting for justice eight months after the body of her baby was exhumed, after he died under mysterious circumstances just days after birth.

Not even the world’s biggest bike maker in Taiwan can build their way out of the current bike boom-inspired bicycle shortage.

 

Competitive Cycling

SB Nation posted video of the crash that seriously injured 20-year old Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel, as he went over a bridge while descending in the Il Lombardia stage race; he’ll be off his bike for the next two months. The video is hard to watch, and lingers a little too much on Evenepoel as he writhes in pain at the bottom of a ravine. So be sure that’s something you really want to see before clicking through. 

Pot, meet kettle. Former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel, who headed it when ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, and most of the other team members, were winning by loading up on EPO, now says UCI isn’t doing anything about doping because all they care about is money.

 

Finally…

When you’re already wanted for a probation violation, as well as a fugitive from another state, maybe riding erratically all over the highway isn’t the best idea.

And that feeling when you’re about to be attacked by a sea creature on dry land.

……

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

Car-centric LA weakens plans for bike/ped friendly Union Station, Mulholland Hwy closed by fire, and cars cost everyone

Is it really any surprise that Los Angeles is watering down plans to make the entrance to Union Station more walkable and bikeable?

Writing for Streetsblog, Joe Linton spells out in detail how Metro’s longstanding plans to re-envision the station’s forecourt area and surrounding streets have run into the city’s typical auto-centric roadblock.

For the past half-decade, Metro has been planning upgrades to Union Station to make the site easier and safer to access on foot and by bike. The L.A. Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade Improvements project includes upgrades on the Union Station grounds, which Metro owns, as well as upgrades to nearby streets, which are controlled by the city of Los Angeles.

The latest version of the project plan removes and waters down some core pedestrian aspects of the project. Why? Because, even in its most transit-accessible and most heavily walked core downtown areas, Los Angeles city departments are unwilling to prioritize the safety and convenience of people walking – instead they are insisting on car-centric standards that foster more driving.

Then there’s this.

What is perhaps most sad about the new design is that it ignores the significance of connecting Union Station and El Pueblo. If the city of L.A. won’t prioritize walkability at the front door of the region’s most heavily-used transit hub and at in its historic walkable core, is there anywhere where Angelenos can expect safe and convenient places to walk? Continuing to apply outdated late-20th-Century one-size-fits-all standards erodes what already works in these precious historic places.

As Linton points out, it takes leadership to fight for safer, more walkable and bikeable streets.

And that’s exactly what’s missing right now.

Former CD14 Councilmember José Huizar was an advocate for Complete Streets, and might have fought some of these changes. But with a federal indictment for bribery hanging over his head, he was effectively out of the picture long before his fellow councilmembers kicked him out.

And don’t get me started on LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, who should be stepping up to fight for the original Metro plan as part of his LA Green New Deal plan to reimagine the way we get around this city.

But in typical Garcetti fashion, has been largely missing in action.

You have until Wednesday the 26th to offer your comments.

And politely suggest that LA get its collective head out of its piston-driven ass, and return to the original plan.

………

Calbike is urging you to reach out to your state representative to support SB 288.

New bike lanes and improved public transit are critical to California’s recovery. Now is the time to fast-track key sustainable transportation projects, but environmental regulations more appropriate for oil refineries than bike lanes can delay such projects by years. We don’t have years. 

Senate Bill 288 would make it easier to build bike lanes, bus lanes, and light rail lines by eliminating unnecessary review regulations, while preserving important opportunities for public involvement.

Contact your Assembly Member today and tell them to vote Yes on SB 288.

………

If your planned riding route takes you on Mulholland Hwy, check to make sure the road is open after a fire closure on Sunday.

………

The next time someone says bicyclists should have to pay for the streets we ride, show them this.

And tell them maybe we aren’t the ones being subsidized.

………

Advocates continue to call on bikemakers and retailers to stop selling to police departments, accusing police of using their bikes as weapons and shields.

Like this confrontation in Chicago Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately though, that prediction about police not getting any bikes this time was wrong.

I’m of two minds when it comes halting the sale of police bikes.

While we’ve all been shocked at the way they’ve been used by some departments — and continue to be used — I believe bike cops are a net benefit to the community under normal conditions, getting officers out of their cars and closer to the public they’re supposed to serve.

The question is how to limit the use of those bikes to those normal conditions.

………

Good point.

………

Megan Lynch also forwards word that the director general of the Mexico City mayor’s office is actively destroying the commercial bikes people rely on to earn a living.

For those for are Español challenged, like me, that translates to

AMAZING! The General Director of Government of the Mayor’s Office Miguel Hidalgo, presumes more than 140 confiscated tricycles, which means that more than 140 families this man “Hegel Cortés Miranda” took away the livelihood that they bring to their families every day.

Another tweet describes the owners as men and women who perform a service to the community by selling “water, sweet potatoes and bananas, coffee and bread…tamales or atole.”

Call me crazy, but maybe the middle of a worldwide pandemic isn’t the right time to put struggling merchants out of business.

………

That feeling when you invite your friends over to the world-class bike park you built in your backyard.

………

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

A British man was left “a bloody mess” after a passenger in a passing car pushed him off his bike as he was riding home after working a night shift, and forcing him through the rear windshield of a parked car; he suffered muscle damage to his arm and leg, as well as cuts and bruising to his face. His attackers reportedly drove off laughing. Really funny, alright.

………

Local

The Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council will discuss a proposal for a roundabout at 4th Street and New Hampshire at tonight’s virtual meeting.

Urbanize LA offers more information about the proposal for a Complete Streets makeover of iconic Melrose Ave, part of the city’s High Injury Network, which could be a model for how we can re-envision the entire city.

Glendale is holding a virtual public hearing tonight to discuss plans to repave La Crescenta from Honolulu to Verdugo — including adding sharrows to the lightly travelled four lane street, where drivers routinely exceed the 40 mph speed limit.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was apparently injured in a collision Sunday afternoon. Although it’s hard to tell from an article that just says a “patient” was sent to the hospital, fails to mention if the car had a driver, identifies the rider as a pedestrian on a bike, and somehow blames the bike rider for “accidentally” running into the car — yet with enough force to shatter the windshield.

Malibu will replace the failing 96-year old bridge over Trancas Creek on PCH with a new, wider bridge with bike lanes and shoulders in each direction.

Disappointing news from Santa Monica, where the city has pulled the plug on the popular Breeze bikeshare, after concluding that there’s no way to make it work under the current conditions. That comes on the heels of UCLA, Pasadena and West Hollywood also cancelling their docked bikeshare systems, raising the question of whether LA’s Metro Bike can survive in its current form.

 

State

Encinitas approves a $13 million pedestrian and bike railroad undercrossing to connect residents with the beach and restaurants.

After a ten-year old Lafayette boy was killed when a delivery driver ran into his bike, his parents started the Live Like Leo Memorial Foundation in his memory; it’s raised over $200,000 in less than three weeks.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 41-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

Guess? founder Maurice Marciano is one of us, as he faces an extend period of rehabilitation and therapy for undisclosed injuries following a bike crash near his Napa home.

 

National

Nice piece from the New York Times, as they follow along with a small group of teenagers riding across a divided country in the middle of a pandemic.

The last surviving Denver newspaper says the popularity of ebikes is skyrocketing, with one user observing that “you don’t realize how fabulous they are” until you try one.

A 65-year old South Dakota man has written a book about his bicycling journey from Pierre SD to North Pole, Alaska, completing his 2998-mile journey in just 42 days.

NPR says bicycling is on fire right now, as the pandemic changes the way people get around.

The Chicago Tribune says the coronavirus bike boom is beyond what anyone expected.

A New York State assembly member with horrible taste in sport coats will bike 116 miles to campaign for re-election in the state’s 116th district. God forbid that’s actually a suit.

A New York bike rider was killed during a crash-filled rampage by a utility truck driver who slammed through a number of vehicles “as if they were toy cars.”

Philly bike riders will have to keep their pants on for another year, after Covid-19 cancels the city’s annual Naked Bike Ride.

Nearly $600,000 has poured in for the family of five-year old North Carolina resident Cannon Hinnant, who was shot point blank by a neighbor as he was riding his bike, apparently executed for the crime of riding on his lawn.

A pair of kindhearted Florida deputies bought a new bike for a waitress so she wouldn’t have to keep walking to work after hers was stolen.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers an absolute beginner’s guide to ebikes, including answering the eternal question of whether you have to, you know, pedal them.

A five-year old English girl is kicking off her training wheels and riding in a 5k charity ride, raising the equivalent of nearly $200 for struggling families so far.

Heartbreaking story, as a British coroner ruled that the death of a 51-year old man was the direct result of getting hit by a driver as he was riding his bike 36-years earlier.

Traffic violations for bicycling infractions fell dramatically in London as the city expanded its bikeway network, despite the increase in ridership inspired by the coronavirus bike boom.

The president of Estonia is one of us, joining in on a 621-mile NATO bike ride.

Mumbai’s 24 new bicycle councilors took the the streets on India’s Independence Day to call for making the city a bicycling destination.

Heartbreaking story from India, where the relatives of a 71-year old man suspected of dying from Covid-19 were forced to carry his body to the graveyard by bicycle after local authorities refused to send an ambulance.

Once again bike riders are heroes, as a group of disabled bike riders rode 155 miles across Cambodia to deliver food to people starving as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. So much for the myth that disabled people can’t ride bikes.

 

That feeling when you cancel the race, and everyone shows up anyway. Clearly, baseball skills don’t go away just because you’re on a bicycle.

And a little light bike reading for the young adult in your life.

Or maybe you.

We won’t tell.

……

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

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