Tag Archive for Metro Bike

De León: hell no, he won’t go; advocacy groups call for ebike libraries; and what happens when officials give a damn

Talk about misreading the room.

In an announcement that was almost universally condemned, CD14 City Councilmember Kevin de León says hell no, he won’t go.

De León is refusing to resign in the wake of a racist and otherwise offensive recording in which he was heard actively participating, along with outgoing CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, former Council President Nury Martinez and ex-LA County Federation of Labor Ron Herrera, the latter two of whom at least had the decency to resign.

His announcement was immediately condemned by newly elected Council President Paul Krekorian.

Yes, the same Krekorian who singlehandedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready lane reductions and protected bike lanes planned for Lankershim Blvd in one of his first official acts on the council.

Apparently thinking he can somehow survive this, de León said “I’m not going to mince words. I’m not going to deflect blame. I’m not going to defend the defenseless,” before attempting to do exactly that, adding he’ll be “spending the coming weeks and months personally asking for your forgiveness.”

Forgiveness that is not likely to be given, after failing to condemn Martinez’ open racism, while himself comparing fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin’s toddler son to the Luis Vuitton purse favored by Martinez.

Bonin is clearly in no mood for de León’s weakass mea culpa.

As we’ve noted before, this whole city hall soap opera matters, because we’re never going to get action on safer streets with dysfunctional city leadership, particularly with the council’s draft of the Healthy Streets LA initiative due back at the council in a few weeks.

Speaking of which, the LA Times has opened a web portal to help you find how to contact the right city agencies and officials to address various issues.

You know, in case you want to advocate for safer streets. Or complain about corrupt city officials.

Photo from Wikipedia

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And speaking of Bonin, Streets For All has posted video of Wednesday’s virtual Happy Hour with the outgoing councilmember.

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Yesterday we mentioned Metro’s confusing proposal to reform management of the Metro Bike bikeshare system.

The leaders of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, ActiveSGV and People for Mobility Justice teamed to release an open letter to the Metro board, suggesting that opening ebike libraries and investing in safer infrastructure might be a better approach.

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It looks like LADOT is finally getting serious about counting bikes, at least on 7th Street.

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This is what happens when city officials actually give a damn.

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CNN recognizes the Dutch city of Utrecht for the world bicycling capital it is.

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

An Ottawa, Canada mayoral candidate is politely taken to task after declaring he won’t declare a war on cars by investing bike lanes, preferring a “balanced approach” that’s balanced heavily in favor of motor vehicles.

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

A 70-year old Fresno man insists he’s the real victim after he lay in wait and repeatedly shot and stabbed a man he accused of stealing his bicycle; Edmundo Martinez faces 50 to life if he’s convicted of killing Jose Palafox, Jr. Once again, no bike is worth a human life.

A Phoenix man faces charges after he was captured on video circling a convenience store parking lot on his bike while aiming a gun at bystanders; the man bizarrely claimed there was someone hiding in a cooler at the store to justify his actions.

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Local

The next driver who tries to run you off the road may not be one, after Google’s Waymo announced plans to bring driverless taxis to the City of Angels.

Streets For All is calling for canvassing volunteers to help elect transit advocate — and corgi dad — Kenneth Mejia as Los Angeles City Controller.

Cycling Tips reviews the second-gen Cero One cycle truck-style e-cargo bike from Los Angeles-based Cero. And likes it. I’d get one myself, with the perfect upfront corgi carrier, if I had an extra three grand laying around.

 

State 

California is offering $50,000 rewards for each of four unsolved murders, including a 16-year old boy who was shot and killed while riding his bike in Alameda County.

Great idea. The League of Women Voters is hosting a Bike Out the Vote bike caravan in Albany this weekend. Although someone should tell them that Bike the Vote is a lot less confusing.

 

National

Momentum examines bike storage solutions to help keep your bikes safe and out of the way.

Bicycling wants to know what’s the weirdest animal you’ve ever had to dodge on a bike, after a video of two angry moose charging down an Alaska bike path goes viral. In my case, it was an alligator sunning itself on a Louisiana roadway. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bike Portland profiles an adventurous leather goods peddler, who pedals a bike trailer with his merchandise to a local outdoor market every weekend.

Life is cheap in Houston, where an eight-year old boy riding a bike is dead because a driver insisted on distractedly making a left turn while she was “messing with her sandwich;” a month later, charges still have not been filed.

Kindhearted Michigan sheriff’s deputies dipped into their own funds to buy a 13-year old boy a new bike after he was struck by a driver, trashing his bike and leaving him with 100 stitches in his leg.

Travel site Condé Nast recommends the best bike routes to explore New York’s five boroughs.

A Virginia woman tells drivers that rushing is never worth the risk, after her daughter was killed and another woman seriously injured by an 18-year old drunk driver as they rode their bikes.

 

International

A British Columbia letter writer offers a brief tutorial on the differences between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, stressing that the latter might kill the first two, but the first two never kill the latter, and that separate infrastructure is the only solution to keep everyone safe.

An Indian college student faces charges for the high speed crash that killed one bike rider, before swerving onto the other side of the road and killing another.

A handmade Namibian bike brand made its international debut at the recent Bespoke bike show in London; the steel-frame Onguza bikes made by Dan Craven, a two-time Olympic road cyclist and Namibia’s only professional cyclist to ride a Grand Tour, retail for four grand for a frame, and double that for a complete bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Vuelta and world champ Alejandro Valverde called it a career after rolling across the Il Lombardia finish line one last time.

 

Finally…

No, no seat tube doesn’t mean you have to ride standing up. Introducing an ebike roadie for weight weenies.

And can you really say you ride a bike if you don’t know how to pop a proper wheelie?

 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Flawed Metro bike map & bikeshare changes, parking reform house party, and odd non-endorsement of Newsom foe

We should be so past this crap by now.

A couple stories popped up this week that expose the sort of needless problems that shouldn’t even exist after decades of advocacy.

Not to mention Metro’s repeated lip service to supporting active transportation.

First up, Streets For All sent out a notice about proposed changes to the Metro Bike bikeshare program. Changes that have virtually everyone scratching their heads, trying to figure out what the hell it all means.

Here’s what Streets For All had to say on the subject.

THIS THURSDAY, Metro’s Operations, Safety, and Customer Experience Committee has an item on its agenda to consider a staff recommendation to mostly privatize Metro Bike Share.

While we’re not against this in principle, the fact is that Metro has treated its own bike share program as the odd man out, and not like a real transportation mode.

Regardless of which model the bike share program ultimately becomes, the next phase must include:

  1. A major expansion, based on equity, starting in our most underinvested neighborhoods
  2. The ability to put bike share stations at Metro train and bus stations (right now, Metro’s employee union blocks this)
  3. Treating bike share like a real transportation mode part of Metro’s bus/rail system, not an afterthought. This means real funding and integration into the rest of the system.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

CALL INTO METRO’S COMMITTEE MEETING THURDAY AT 12:30PM

EMAIL THE COMMITTEE IN ADVANCE

The second issue came up when Metro released the interactive map we linked to yesterday showing the agency’s Draft Prioritized Active Transportation Network, which purports to show bikeways, pedestrian districts and first-last-mile station improvements prioritized by the agency.

The problem is, they can’t even get the existing infrastructure right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton was the first to call out the problem, noting a number of errors in the following Twitter thread.

It raises obvious questions of how we can count on Metro to plan future bikeway and pedestrian improvements when they don’t even know what the hell we already have.

And combined with the Metro Bike changes, makes it clear active transportation continues to be an afterthought at the county transportation agency, and the lack of seriousness with which they consider it.

Let alone address it.

And by extension, the local governments that make up the Metro board, who certainly should know better by now.

Then again, why bother with a million dollar bikeway when they can keep flushing billions down the toilet with more induced demand-inducing highway projects in the midst of a climate emergency?

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Another notice that popped up in my email yesterday was a reminder from Bike Talk’s Nick Richert about tomorrow’s parking reform house party, with special guest UCLA parking meister and The High Cost of Free Parking author Donald Shoup.

I’m reaching out to invite you to a fundraising house party for an organization that I believe is doing important work on an issue that doesn’t get enough attention … parking reform!

We’ll be gathering at the home of Lindsay Sturman, in Larchmont Village, LA on Thursday, October 20th. Drinks and Socializing at 7:00PM, with a short program at 7:30 PM

Car parking can be enormously  expensive – often costing upwards of $40K per stall to construct – and takes up so much space – an average parking space, including aisles, is 300 square feet. Because of outdated rules that ensure we’ll continue to over-build parking whether we need it or not, these costs are baked into our cities … and we are just beginning to pay the full tab.

The Parking Reform Network is a 501(c)3 non profit organization with a mission to accelerate the adoption of critical parking reforms through research, coalition-building, and direct advocacy.

Over the last two years, PRN has released a widely cited map of US cities that eliminated parking mandates, produced a how-to guide for advocates working to create new  parking benefit districts, worked with Congressman Blumenauer’s office to introduce federal legislation introducing a parking cash-out benefit (HR 8555), and built a membership of nearly 300 practitioners, activists, and academics worldwide.

This fundraiser will support:

  • Grants and organizational support to local reform campaigns
  • Developing presentations and training speakers to educate policymakers and stakeholders about parking reforms.
  • Creating materials to advise government agencies who are in the thick of parking reforms, and need technical and/or communication support to get their plans across the finish line.

Please RSVP via this web page, or email la-party@parkingreform.org, and also let us know if you’re planning to bring a +1.

On behalf of all our party co-hosts: Lindsay Sturman, Tony Gittelson, Terence Heuston, Jennifer Levin, Eduardo Mendoza, Gerhard Mayer, Thomas Small, Abundant Housing LA, Livable Communities Initiative, Hang Out Do Good, Culver City Forward, Bike Talk, Sunset4All, and Culver City Forward

We hope to see you there!

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Um, okay.

An editorial from the Southern California News Group says nothing will change as long as Gavin Newsom is governor, citing among his many perceived flaws “diverting” funds collected for road maintenance to “perceived climate-friendlier projects such as bike lanes.”

Yet oddly, they don’t endorse the other guy running against him.

Never mind that anyone who doesn’t recognize that bike lanes are better for the climate than highway projects probably shouldn’t be writing editorials in the first place.

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Enough said.

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

A Denver bike rider was intentionally run down by a road raging driver, for the crime of accidentally brushing the maniac’s mirror.

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

An apparent homeless man riding a baby blue beach cruiser was arrested for attacking a Catholic priest in La Jolla with a box cutter and half a pair of scissors when the pastor asked him to leave the Catholic school parking lot.

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Local

Northridge-Chatsworth Patch reminds us that Cal State Northridge is hosting its first BikeFest this Sunday.

An op-ed in the Loyola Marymount University student newspaper says forget more parking, and build safe infrastructure to encourage more students to bike to campus, instead.

A Long Beach man pled not guilty in the September murder of a man outside a gay bar in the city, and the stabbing of his partner; 56-year old Michael Smalls allegedly rode up on a bicycle as the couple was trying to disarm a man with a Taser, and stabbed them both. He’s being held on $3 million bond.

 

State 

An op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune says closing the successful Diamond Street Slow Street in Pacific Beach would be a mistake, despite the calls from some residents.

San Diego and Caltrans are preparing to flush $39 million down the toilet by widening State Route 56 from four to six lanes, promising it will reduce congestion, even though both science and experience show it will just result in more induced demand. But at least the project includes a new bike bridge and extending an existing bike path.

A kindhearted Mountain View cop bought a new bicycle for a toddler who was struck by a driver, along with his father, outside the local library; fortunately, both father and son escaped with minor injuries.

A Streetsblog op-ed calls for a dedicated political action committee, aka PAC, for safe streets in San Francisco. They’ve got a point. Los Angeles street safety PAC Streets For All has made a huge difference in just a few short years.

 

National

Apparently, it’s not just the flesh and blood drivers you have to worry about.

Consumer Reports recommends their picks for the best foldies. But you’ll have to be a member if you want to see it.

A San Francisco site argues that while the city dithers on street design, Seattle is demonstrating that bikes drive local business. Meanwhile, Seattle is committing just $8.3 million to fund its Vision Zero program, despite the deadliest year for traffic deaths since 2006.

Nice move from my platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community hometown, which is raising funds to provide a free bicycle for every 2nd grade student in the local school system.

Speaking of Colorado, the state has renamed a classic bikeway as the Mestaa’Ėhehe Pass ride, replacing a racial slur for indigenous women.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a man on a ebike led a moose away from a Wyoming soccer pitch after it crashed a kids match.

The 67-year old person of interest in the gruesome murder and dismemberment of four Oklahoma friends who disappeared on a bike ride was arrested 1,200 miles away in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida; Joseph Kennedy is being held without bail on an unrelated charge pending extradition.

More on the white Milwaukee man seen on video grabbing a Black man by the neck while accusing the victim’s friends of stealing a bicycle from the white man’s friend; despite initial reports that the victim was a boy, he’s actually a 24-year old man.

In another tragic reminder to always carry ID when you ride, a missing Tennessee man’s family finally learned of his death two weeks after he was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

A compact-framed 1890’s direct-drive safety bicycle sold at auction in New York for $52,800, vastly exceeding initial estimates of $4,000 to $6,000.

A travel site highlights three “amazing” bike rides along the Great Allegheny Passage.

A Georgia teenager will spend the rest of his life behind bars for fatally shooting a 60-year old man at a bus stop, just to steal his bicycle. As we’ve said before, no bike is worth a human life.

 

International

Road.cc review’s Knog’s new bike alarm and tracker, designed to fit beneath your water bottle holder.

Cycling Weekly considers the difference between gravel and road bikes. Maybe I should start my own magazine for people who ride like I do these days; we could call it Cycling Weakly.

So much for that. A campaign by London’s mayor to keep drivers out of bike lanes has resulted in just 12 citations in three months.

A giant hedgehog on a bicycle, built with the help of local children, was crowned the winner of the national Tour of Britain’s land art competition.

Introducing a new French-made ebike apparently designed for people who really want to pretend they’re riding a motorcycle, instead. No word on whether it makes vroom! vroom! noises, or if you have to provide those yourself. 

Globalization in action, as Ukrainian ebike brand Delfast introduces their new U-frame Delfast California model; the bikemaker has managed to remain active despite the Russian invasion.

 

Competitive Cycling

A 78-year old former Santa Monica resident describes setting a record as the oldest person to complete the Kona Ironman competition.

A Welsh triathlete is being remembered as a “warrior princess” after she was killed in a crash while riding her bike last weekend.

 

Finally…

Maybe he should stick to driving spaceships. No one has ever had to draw from the strategic oil reserve to support bicycling.

And seriously, who doesn’t need pumpkin spiced, uh…chain lube?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Sunset4All, protected bike lanes at Transportation Committee; free Metro and Metro Bike for Sunday’s CicLAvia

Let’s start with some quick reminders.

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will meet at City Hall at noon tomorrow.

On the agenda are motions regarding implementing the multimodal Sunset4All Complete Streets plan, as well as installing protected bike lanes on Riverside Drive east of Fletcher Drive, and continuing onto Stadium Way in Elysian Park.

The meeting will also consider the city’s Slow Streets Program, as well as a proposal to put cameras on Metro buses to catch driver’s who illegally park in bus lanes.

Sunset4All urges you to call in to make a public comment in support of the plan, or email your support to CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s office.

And don’t forget the return of CicLAvia to the Heart of LA this Sunday; forecasts call for perfect LA weather.

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Metro’s new K Line — not to be confused with Detroit Tigers great Al Kaline — better known as the long-awaited Crenshaw Line, opens on Friday. The LA County transportation agency will celebrate with free bus, train and bikeshare rides all weekend, from Friday through Sunday.

Which will come in very handy for getting to and from Sunday’s CicLAvia, as well as for anyone who wants to use Metro Bike to explore the route.

Metro is also free today to mark California Clean Air Day.

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Take a three minute mountain bike break with French downhill pro Flo Payet.

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

A British man is using a megaphone to warn other bicyclists about sharp blocks next to a bike lane under a dark bridge, where he was injured in a recent fall; the local government responded that there’s no reason for anyone to ride a bike there — despite the bike lane.

Unbelievable. Violent assault, with and without a deadly weapon, is apparently no big deal in the UK. Because the victim was just, you know, a bicyclist.

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Local

After getting four bills they sponsored signed into law this year, Streets For All is looking for volunteers, as well as ideas for transportation and safety legislation that can be introduced in the next legislative session.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department is encouraging students and parents to take part in Walk and Roll to School Day next Wednesday.

The daughter of late TV star Michael Landon is demanding answers, after she says her 24-year old son was killed by a hit-and-run Metro bus driver while walking in a Rancho Palos Verdes bike lane nearly two months ago; the driver has escaped charges after claiming he didn’t know he’d hit anyone.

 

State 

Huntington Beach considered a half million dollar plan to build a bicycle boulevard on Utica Ave at last night’s council meeting; no word yet on how the vote went.

Encinitas says it will probably follow Carlsbad’s lead in cracking down on young ebike riders.

An Oakland bike rider was lucky to escape serious injury when he was sideswiped by a driver who managed to evade police in an hours-long high speed pursuit.

 

National

This is the cost of traffic violence. A bike-riding woman killed in a collision with the driver of a semi-truck in front of a Portland, Oregon high school was identified as a well-known, award-winning local chef.

So many kindhearted people responded to an Arizona mother’s Facebook post about her daughter’s stolen bicycle that it turned into a DIY bike drive, with over 100 bicycles donated so far.

Arizona’s State Bicycle Company is sponsoring three Arizona State University basketball players with new bicycles, under the NCAA’s new name, image and likeness, aka NIL, rules.

In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, dashcam video shows speeding Minneapolis drivers using a curb-protected bike lane to pass slower traffic. If the design allows drivers to get into a bike lane, they will. Whether they’re in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, or anywhere else.

Just heartbreaking. A Minneapolis man was driving distracted and high on meth when he ran a stop sign and killed an eight-year old girl riding her bike to the market, as her mother watched from her car.

They get it. A Schenectady NY paper says the decade-long delay in passing Complete Streets legislation in the state can be measured in thousands of needless deaths.

A New York jury awarded a man $1.6 million after he was allowed to test ride a bike in a Walmart Garden Center, and was injured when the brakes failed.

The fading coal-mining town of Confluence PA saved itself from near-certain death by embracing bike tourism, while reinventing and reviving itself as a haven for bike riders.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a couple who stole a $13,000 Cannondale Super Six by distracting the staff at a local bike shop, and rolling it out the front door.

The DC city council approved a proposal to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, while also banning right turns on red; the law will take effect in two years if it’s signed.

Police in Fort Lauderdale, Florida are looking for whoever approached a woman from behind as she rode her bicycle, and stabbed her in the back for no apparent reason.

 

International

Cycling News debates whether you really need a bike computer.

Somehow, a Chicago bikeshare bike ended up in Santa Ana Maya, Mexico, over 2,000 miles from where it should be docked.

Blame bad training. A London cop orders a bicyclist not to ride in the middle of the lane, despite the country’s new Highway Code saying that’s exactly where he should be.

Bicycling says there are more bikes than ever in Afghanistan, but women are forbidden from riding them. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A Kiwi university lecturer looks to Copenhagen to explain the difference a committed mayor can make in transforming a formerly car-centric city.

Tragic news from New Zealand, as a 70-year old man died of a heart attack while attempting to ride his bike the length of the country to raise funds for an endangered native falcon.

A Chinese bike brand found a way to skirt US and European restrictions on ebike speeds with an over-the-air software update that instantly increased speeds more than 50%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist examines why Remco Evenepoel quit soccer to focus on cycling, despite serving as captain of Belgium’s under-16 team; the 22-year old clearly made the right choice, after winning both the Vuelta and the Worlds this year.

 

Finally…

Meet the bike all the fast cool kids are riding. That feeling when you use Strava to spell out the name of Iranian martyr Mahsa Amini — in Persian.

And evidently, being a former mayK-Lor and current city councilor doesn’t mean a thing to a ebike thief.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Wealthy hit-and-run socialite faces double murder trial, Metro Bikes $1 through September, and Queen was one of us

The wealthy co-founder of the Grossman Burn Center has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the alleged DUI death of two little boys.

Fifty-nine-year old socialite Rebecca Grossman was allegedly speeding at over 70 mph in a 45 mph zone, while driving at just over the legal alcohol limit, when she plowed her SUV into the two boys in a Westlake Village crosswalk two years ago.

The judge refused to drop the murder charges, which stemmed from Grossman’s presumed knowledge that ignoring the speed limit and driving recklessly could result in the death of an innocent person, based on her previous history of speeding violations.

She brutally ran down 11-year-old Mark Iskander and his brother Jacob as they were crossing the street with their family on a skateboard and scooter, respectively, while failing to brake for the children or stop afterwards, until her car shut down a third of a mile away with the air bag deployed.

Grossman is currently free on $2 million bail, and faces 34 years to life if she’s convicted on the murder counts.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.

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Get a Metro Bike bikeshare membership for just one buck for the rest of this month.

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Metro is considering plans for bus-only lanes on Sepulveda Blvd north of Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley, which could be used by people on bicycles, as well.

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As Tolstoy makes clear, it’s never too late to learn to ride a bike.

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Who needs carbon wheels when you can ride wood, instead?

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

Oh, please. A writer for Forbes makes the case for vehicular cycling, without using the term, arguing that protected bike lanes increase risk for people on bicycles, while using Forester as her primary support. Even though the most comprehensive study to date concludes that separated and protected bike lanes are the single biggest factors in improving safety for bike riders in urban environments. 

No bias here. A Colorado TV station writes that a Ford pickup fled the scene after killing a bike rider, only mentioning in passing in the body of the story that the truck even had a driver.

No bias here, either. A South African website makes the case for requiring license plates on bicycles, arguing that “reckless cyclists have as much potential to seriously injure or even kill pedestrians” as motorists do. Which is absurd on the face of it, since motorists kill 1.3 million people worldwide each year, while people on bicycles cause a tiny fraction of that.

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

A British man beat the crap out of a neighbor in a “frenzied attack” that began with a dispute over scuffing the walls of the apartment building’s stairwell by bringing his bike up and down, spattering the victim’s blood over the newly painted hallway.

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Local

The LACBC will host a fundraising ride and party in the the Arts District November 5th, with tickets starting at $100.

Santa Monica is making Vision Zero safety improvements on a 2.5-mile section of Wilshire Blvd, as well as at Ocean Park and Lincoln, and Olympic and 14th; however, there are no bikeways planned for Wilshire. Dammit.

 

State 

Caltrans offered an update on the agency’s progress implementing its new Complete Streets policy.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Yucca Valley man for the July hit-and-run that left two men with major injuries when their tandem bike was rear-ended by the suspect’s car; David Alderson is currently being held on $100,000 bond.

 

National

Great idea. A nonprofit group repurposed Uber’s abandoned bikeshare ebikes by establishing ebike lending libraries in low-income neighborhoods.

More fallout from that horrible article in The Atlantic that called ebikes monstrosities, as a Streetsblog op-ed says it’s not the ebike that’s a monstrosity, it’s car culture.

An environmental writer makes the case for “right-sizing” delivery trucks by replacing them with cargo bikes, but bizarrely concludes most people shouldn’t get one for their personal use.

Ars Technica says the new Urtopia Carbon ebike is what you get when you try to combine an ebike with an iPad.

220 Triathlon examines the best bicycling trousers for a dry and comfortable ride, none of which are remotely suited for your next tri.

Salem, Oregon’s second attempt at a bikeshare system ended in failure, unable to overcome theft and vandalism problems.

Portland bike riders learn the hard way that a separated bike path is still technically a roadway, after a local raceway directed Indycar fans to drive head-on into the path of bicyclists using it.

Like much of the country, Washington State is going the wrong way, with traffic fatalities rising to a 20-year high in the state, including a 26% increase in bike and pedestrian deaths.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the tandem bike an Ohio special needs boy used to ride with his grandmother.

A half dozen MIT students and recent graduates rode their bikes 3,800 miles from DC to San Francisco, teaching STEM classes to kids along the way.

A columnist for the LA Times considers whether New York’s congestion pricing proposal is fair to lower-income drivers, and proposes banning cars entirely as one option that might be fairer.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips rides a 17-year old Cannondale for a month to compare how it stacks up to modern technology. Even though a 17-year old isn’t exactly an antique.

Here’s one for your bike bucket list. Or maybe 20, as a European travel insurance comparison site lists the continent’s most Instagrammable bike routes, including this one in Scotland offering challenging climbs and breathtaking scenery.

London’s bikeshare system saw record use this summer, as local residents took advantage of sunny weather to avoid transit strikes and rising fares.

The British woman who got mugged outside a police station when she tried to reclaim her stolen bicycle got it back, thanks to a bighearted scooter shop owner who returned it after buying it off the thief. But her bad luck continued when she had yet another bike stolen in the meantime.

Bianchi has a new flagship road ebike, complete with a more than $5,000 price tag.

Israel is opening a new $7.3 million, 1.3 mile bike tunnel through the Jerusalem mountains, making it the world’s fifth longest.

Incoming Kenya First Lady Racheal Ruto was among the thousands of Kenyons who turned out to pay their respects to Suleiman “Sule” Kangangi, after the influential Black cyclist died in a solo crash during Vermont’s Overland Gravel race.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel extended his lead in the Vuelta with another stage victory on Thursday, and is now leading Spain’s Enric Mas by two minutes and seven seconds; don’t waste your time looking for an American in the top 50.

However, Evenepoel raised hackles by refusing to sign a kid’s jersey following Thursday’s stage.

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini overcame a crash to finish second in Thursday’s stage two of the women’s Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, finishing two minutes after Dutch pro Annemiek Van Vleuten.

The Tour of Britain responded to the sudden death of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth by cancelling the remainder of the race, which was set to conclude Sunday on the Isle of Wight, and declaring Spain’s Gonzalo Serrano the winner.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me — if you’re carrying meth, weed and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it. That feeling when there’s no place to park your cargo bike.

And in case there was any doubt, yes, Queen Elizabeth was one of us.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

$2 million for homeless man killed by police while holding bike part, and free Metro Bike ride through DTLA tomorrow

A federal jury awarded more than $2 million to the family of a homeless man who was fatally shot by an LAPD sergeant last year.

Thirty-one-year old Victor Valencia was erratically waving a bike part, which witnesses had mistaken for a gun. He was shot when he reportedly pointed the object at the officer.

However, a witness to the shooting claimed Valencia had his arms over his shoulders, and never pointed towards the cop.

Although I would have thought it was a gun, too, regardless of where it was pointed.

Then again, I’m not a cop. Or trained not to shoot unless a suspect is armed or someone’s life is actually in danger.

But we’ll all get to pay for it, anyway.

Photo from LAPD.

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Metro Bike is hosting a free and easy three-mile ride through DTLA tomorrow.

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

Unbelievable. A Memphis man riding a bike was run down by a driver leaving a parking lot, then intentionally run down again as he tried to ride away — after he swung his bike at the driver’s car, who repeatedly gunned the engine and lurched the car at him. All of it caught on camera, in front of witnesses, yet somehow, no arrest has been made.

A Georgia man faces felony charges for intentionally running down a man on a bicycle, after buzzing the bike rider just minutes earlier; he then tried to fight a witness trying to calm him down as the two men argued afterwards. Note to The Newnan Times-Herald — No, the truck didn’t ram someone on a bike, the driver did. And never mind that “Dodge Ram” is a brand name, while “Dodge rams” is an action.

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

Police in Santa Rosa are looking for a bank robber who made his getaway by bike after sticking up a Chase branch; they later found the bicycle, but the thief is in the wind.

A New Hampshire man faces multiple charges after fleeing from a police traffic stop on his bicycle while carrying a backpack packed with a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, packages of suspected crack and heroin, and over $2200 in cash. His prize for his 21st arrest is getting charged as a career criminal.

The Aussie bicyclist caught on video screaming obscenities at a single mother who cut him off in traffic has been outed as a “high-flying executive” at some of Australia’s biggest financial institutions.

………

Local

Recent bicycling convert CA state Sen. Anthony Portantino says this will be his last term in the state legislature, as he moves to Burbank and explores running for state superintendent of public instruction election in 2026.

Sad news from Pasadena, where ten-year City Councilmember John J. Kennedy died unexpectedly, just one month after winning reelection with nearly 60% of the vote.

 

State 

A San Clemente surfer becomes the talk of the town when he scores a retro, non-electric bicycle, in a tale told with tongue firmly in cheek.

Neighborhood activists in Santa Barbara are fighting a proposed 14-foot wide bike path that would run through the 25-acre Modoc Road Preserve, potentially removing up to 63 mature trees in a preserve that’s home to three species of hawks, hooded orioles, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, possum and raccoons. Although most of the trees scheduled for removal are invasive, non-native palm and eucalyptus trees.

 

National

People For Bikes says the US could fight inflation and lower transportation costs by investing in bike infrastructure and ebike subsidies.

Shocking story from a Quaker pastor in The Saturday Evening Post, who says talking his wife into letting him get an ebike is an uphill battle. The shocking part is that The Saturday Evening Post is still a thing.

Bicycling recommends the best bike trailer for your four-footed best friend. Unless maybe your best friend is a cat or ferret or something, in which case you’re on your own. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Everything you need to know if you’re planning to head to Portland for their edition of the World Naked Bike Ride.

A Colorado BMX champ could be coaching younger riders on foot for awhile, after someone cut the lock securing his custom-built bike in the middle of the night.

Friends have raised a $50,000 reward to find the Austin, Texas hit-and-run driver who killed a man who was riding across the US with a dozen other people; he was also one of just 400 people who have run a marathon on every continent.

St. Paul, Minnesota residents are fighting a proposed bike path, fearing it will result in the removal of majestic trees and change the character of the historic street — even though they haven’t see any plans yet. Apparently, all those cars haven’t changed the neighborhood’s historic character at all.

Police in Detroit are still looking for the shooter who killed an innocent 18-year old girl when she got caught in a crossfire while riding her bike last year.

A grieving mother demanded that DC do more to protect bike riders after her daughter, a 40-year old State Department worker, was killed by a truck driver this week — one of three people killed riding bikes in the city this month.

 

International

Vancouver becomes the latest area to require sideguards on large trucks, in response to the death of a 28-year old bike rider.

An angry Irish bicyclist says city leaders who oppose bike lanes should be required to visit the families of fallen bicyclists.

Vienna bikemaker VELLO introduces a ebike foldie that weighs under 22 pounds, recharges by braking and folds in just eight seconds, selling for around $3.600.

Proving that bike theft is a universal problem, Kiwi bicyclists are calling for more and better bike storage amid a jump in theft. Something tells me if they have bicycles on Europa or Ganymede or Tatooine, they have the same damn problem.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time defending champ Tadej Pogačar couldn’t catch Jonas Vingegaard on the final mountain stage of the Tour de France on Thursday, losing another minute in the standings as the peloton tackled the famed Hautacam; VeloNews offers video highlights of the stage.

Vingegaard was applauded for sportsmanship when he waited for Pogačar to catch up after taking a spill in loose gravel, after almost falling himself.

Former TdF champ Geraint Thomas says he’s glad to be done with the Pyrenees, because he’s has enough with constant attacks in the battle between Vingegaard and Pogačar.

Nielson Powless is the top American in the race, 45 minutes behind the leader in 14th place.

Raise your hand if you knew it was against the rules for a pro cyclist to get a boost by pushing off race moto. And if you know that, why the hell didn’t Nairo Quintana, who was penalized 10 seconds, 200 Swiss francs and four points for the stunt in Thursday’s stage.

New Zealand cyclist Jack Bauer was shaken and angry when he was caught between a team car and a media motorbike as he tried to make his was back to the peloton, and hit the car’s rear windshield when the driver braked to avoid a fallen rider as the motorcyclist closed off the gap he was aiming for.

NBC Sports will broadcast live coverage of all eight stages of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes on the free Peacock streaming service, with some stages rebroadcast later on CNBC.

Former world mountain biking champ Kate Courtney will be in Colorado this weekend competing in the nationals for the first time since she won in 2018.

 

Finally…

If you put a stolen license plate on your bicycle, there’s a good chance the cops won’t get the joke. No, calling a lawyer probably isn’t the first thing you should do if you get hit by a car; getting out of the street first might be a better idea.

And this wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t so true.

Thanks to Jon for the tweet.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Koretz gas ban called election gimmick, 6th Street Viaduct values cars above people, and Metro Bike wants your opinion

My apologies once again for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

I’m still dealing with bouts of disabling dizziness and queasiness that can stop me in my tracks, as it did Wednesday night. 

My doctors continue to assure me that it’s a form of migraine. Even if it hasn’t responded to diet, medication or any of the other treatments they were just darn sure would work. 

Which means this probably won’t be the last time it happens. 

And the next time won’t, either. 

Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels.

………

He gets it.

Rick Cole has lead a handful of SoCal cities, including Ventura and Santa Monica, as well as serving as a deputy mayor in Los Angeles.

Which is to say, he knows what he’s talking about. And can spot a cheap political stunt a mile away.

Sorry, Paul Koretz.

The tweet may be hidden behind a sensitive content warning, for reasons that will forever escape me. Just click the View link to display it, or you can read it here

………

More proof that the designers of the new 6th Street Viaduct put cars ahead of people.

Especially people on two wheels.

Speaking of which, the Bicycle Advisory Committee’s Planning and Bikeways Engineering Subcommittees will discuss the bridge’s “bikeway shortcomings” at Tuesday’s Virtual meeting.

The committees will also discuss the Northvale Gap on the Expo bike path, and bike safety in Griffith Park, among other issues.

………

Someone tell LADOT it would help if they put a link to the survey in their tweets.

………

Metro is teaming with Active SGV to host a ride in Pomona tomorrow.

………

Gravel Bike California takes a ride through the redwoods of Santa Cruz.

………

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

A naked Scottish couple riding a tandem were attacked by a driver, who made a U-turn to come back and hurl abuse at them — calling them prostitutes — before swerving his car into the couple; they’re continuing on their 837-mile fundraising ride despite suffering minor injuries.

British bike riders were quick to point out to a local police department why urging people to Cycle Like You Drive is a very, very bad idea.

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

Heartbreaking story from the UK, where a hit-and-run bicyclist will spend the next year behind bars for killing a 79-year old woman after rounding a corner while riding on the sidewalk.

………

Local

A writer for the LA Times recommends exploring Griffith Park on your bike, particularly since Griffith Park Drive has been closed to cars through Monday. And hopefully longer.

CicLAvia is hosting a CivSalon panel discussion on Wednesday to discuss how innovation can make our streets safer and more equitable.

 

State 

Calbike joins with 17 other agencies to call for and end to freeway expansion in the Golden State.

Streetsblog says Caltran’s Complete Streets Action plan is basically a list of specific actions the agency will take to encourage a shift towards equitable and safer transportation. Let’s hope so, anyway.

Call it a win-win. San Diego’s new 2.3-mile bike lane on Pershing Drive through Balboa Park will improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, as well as including a project to replace aging stormwater lines to prevent flooding and reduce water pollution.

A 58-year Rancho Bernardo man completed a 3,300-mile ride across the US, raising over $20,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to fight type 1 diabetes.

Berkeley’s new 12-block parking and barrier protected bike lane connects the north and south sections of the city’s downtown.

Sonoma Magazine offers the ultimate guide to riding in the wine country county.

 

National

They get it. A retail business website says retailers usually fight new bike lanes, arguing they will hurt their business — but usually end up with higher sales after they’re built.

A British man completed his 4,000-mile bike ride across the US, raising nearly $30,000 for charity in the process — including the equivalent of over $2,300 from Dame Judy Dench.

The Pro’s Closet and The Radavist’s John Watson have teamed up on a special-edition gravel bike inspired by a Toyota Land Cruiser; only eight will be made, selling for just under nine grand.

Walmart is recalling a bike helmet that was a replacement for a recalled bike helmet.

It’s the 125th anniversary of the legendary Buffalo Soldier’s 41-day, 1,900 mile bike ride, proving bicycles could efficiently move troops. Until those damn cars and trucks took their place.

Pay full freight for a bike from Colorado bikemaker Alchemy Bikes, and they’ll put you up in a Golden CO hotel, and spring for beer and a breakfast burrito.

Tragic news from Colorado, whee a six-year old boy died days after he was bitten by a rattlesnake while riding bikes with his family.

Cars are still banned from the Northern entrances to Yellowstone due to flooding damage, but bikes are being allowed in for short rides; bicyclists call the carefree carfree experience “magical.”

It’s illegal to stand on the pedals while you ride your bike in Indiana.

Sad news from Missouri, where a 44-year old man was killed when a sheriff’s deputy rear-ended his bicycle; no word on why the deputy couldn’t see a grown man on a bike directly in front of him.

The alleged DUI driver who hit three pedestrians standing on an Illinois bike path, killing two young men, saw half the charges against her dismissed, but will face trial on the seven remaining counts.

A self-described “avid cyclist” says there has to be a better use for St. Paul, Minnesota’s money than removing parking spaces to build a two-way bikeway. There are no more chilling words than those that begin with “I’m an avid cyclist, but…”

There’s a special place in hell for whoever attacked a popular New York restaurant worker to steal his ebike as the man ride home from work, putting him in a coma he never recovered from.

Once again, a driver ran down a bike rider, then got out of his car to remove the victim’s bicycle from underneath before fleeing the scene, this time in North Carolina. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Florida woman was lucky to survive after a driver hit her and a friend as they were riding their bikes, dragging the woman 50 feet beneath the car as the driver fled the scene; her friend escaped with just minor injuries.

 

International

London’s Evening Standard takes a look at the city’s bikeshare tribes, with tongue placed firmly in cheek.

Police in Britain’s New Forest urge drivers to slow down so they don’t crash into the donkeys. Or the people on bicycles .

That feeling when you fly to London, but your $16,500 bike and luggage fly to Naples.

Former pro cyclist and Rwandan genocide survivor Adrien Niyonshuti beat the pro peloton to the top of France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez, despite riding a 40 pound, single speed Qhubeka bike built for use in Africa.

Bike Radar looks at the best “weird and wonderful” tech from Germany’s Eurobike trade show.

The head of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency reportedly is in intensive care after suffering multiple injuries falling off his bicycle; as usual, the country denies anything even happened. Although his injuries suggest something more serious than a simple fall off a bike.

A 36-year old Indian man has been riding throughout the country for the past three years to call attention to organic farming and the problem of single-use plastics.

CNN looks at how Abu Dhabi became the world’s hottest bicycling city. No, literally.

Hong Kong is considering requiring a helmet for anyone riding a bicycle, tricycle or multi-wheeled bike. Evidently, they have a lot of five, six and seven wheeled bikes. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Yellow jersey bearer Tadej Pogačar cracked on Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Tour de France, allowing Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard to slip into the lead.

He wasn’t the only Slovenian to crack. Primož Roglič followed suit the next day after a series of attacks by his Jumbo-Visma team, in an effort to widen Vingegaard’s lead; Vingegaard ended the day 2:22 ahead of Pogačar, who was unable to successfully attack on Thursday’s ride up Alpe d’Huez.

Twenty-two-year old Brit Tom Piddock won Thursday’s stage, besting veteran Chris Froome on the mountain top finish.

The top American is now Sepp Kuss, nearly 25 minutes behind the leader in 17th place, and one notch above Nielson Powless in 18th. Meanwhile, 21-year old Tour rookie Quinn Simmons vows to keep attacking.

Atlas Obscura dives into the chaos of the Tour’s Fast and Furious Feed Zone.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be good for 125 miles. Why stop riding at the water’s edge?

And let your bike be your tent pole on your next bikepacking trip.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Roadkill Gil supports bikes off the road, Metro teaches group rides, and always pay cash before you kill someone

One quick note before we get started. 

I’m scheduled to have arm and hand surgery at the end of the month. 

As you may recall, I had surgery on the right side last year, and was down for about 10 days before I was able to get back to work, however, that was a more extensive surgery than we’re expecting this time. 

So I’m not sure how long I’ll be out; hopefully, it will only be a few days. 

But if you’ve been thinking about writing a guest post, this would be a great time to send something to me. 

Standard rules apply. Write as much or as little as you want, about anything you want, as long as it’s about bicycling. Feel free to include photos (just send them separately from the text, please).

The only restrictions are to avoid insults and personal attacks, or being needlessly offensive. But I’m pretty damn hard to offend, so that should give you a lot of leeway.

No, this is not an invitation to SEO marketers, so no extraneous links unrelated to the topic at hand. 

And I’ll be the judge of what’s related. 

………

More proof Roadkill Gil supports bike infrastructure, as long as it doesn’t offend NIMBYs or inconvenience motorists just a tad.

LA’s future ambassador to India seems pretty darn pleased, too, apparently taking pride in the new bike/ped bridge.

Even though his Vision Zero program has failed, and his Green New Deal is already gathering dust.

………

Metro wants to teach you how to survive group rides.

https://twitter.com/MaverickMPA/status/1504279453605646338

………

If you’re going to murder a couple riding their bikes, remember to pay cash — and try not to be too memorable.

The man who allegedly stabbed a Daytona, Florida couple to death as they rode their bikes back home was caught when a waitress recognized his photo, and police tracked him down from the credit card he used.

Thirty-two-year old accused killer Jean Macean has been extradited from Orlando, where he was arrested.

……….

This is the kind of note you write when Costco places a bench blocking the bike racks.

If you’re more polite than I am, that is.

……….

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

It’s bad enough when a driver passes too close and ignores the painted bike lane, but even worse when it’s a cop.

………

Local

The Sheriff’s Department has declared zero tolerance for speeding and crosswalk violations on PCH in Malibu in the wake of several recent pedestrian deaths. Good luck with that. If they really want to slow drivers on LA killer highway, they need to remake PCH so the Malibu’s Main Street isn’t just a speedway for pass-through drivers.

Rancho Palos Verdes will lift a 28-year ban on bicycles and skating at three local parks, in a six-month trial starting at some yet-to-be-determined date; residents have complained that they don’t have safe place to teach their kids how to ride a bike.

 

State 

San Jose announces a $6 million plan to reduce last year’s near-record number of traffic deaths, which continue to rise even though it was one of the first US cities to adopt Vision Zero. Once again demonstrating that Vision Zero doesn’t work if you don’t actually do something.

San Francisco moved a step closer to permanently banning cars from JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park. Parks are for people, not cars.

Davis is working to reduce traffic congestion on the city’s Mace Boulevard, including installing a new protected intersection.

 

National

As Colorado expands its power transmission network with hundreds of miles of new power lines, the state’s bike advocates see a unique opportunity to build bike paths along the new power line routes.

Texas Monthly remembers the state’s own Mr. Rogers, who fixed bikes for all the neighborhood kids until his death at 93 years old in 2004, and says some of those bikes are still being ridden today.

A Michigan man faces a minimum of 25 year behind bars as a habitual offender after following a man on a bicycle in his car, then intentionally jumping a curb and swerving into him to steal his wallet.

Research shows more Tennessee drivers are obeying the state’s three-foot passing law, and passing bike riders at a safe distance.

Tampa, Florida is the latest city to adopt Vision Zero, in an effort to confront the city’s average of 44 traffic deaths each year.

It’s not just a SoCal problem. A Florida family wants answers after a 50-year old man was killed riding his bike home from work; his brother found his body after retracing his route a full two days after the crash that killed him.

 

International

Garmin has patented a new rear-view bike cam radar system, which automatically begins recording when it senses danger from behind.

Ouch. Someone broke into a shed on a Scottish property, and made off with five mountain bikes worth nearly $33,000.

After an English woman was confronted by a gang of young men while riding her bike home, she didn’t realize how close she came to being robbed — or worse — until she later watched an attacker lunge at her on her rear-facing bike cam.

Former Australian Olympic track cyclist Dean Woods brought mourners to tears by delivering his own pre-recorded eulogy at his funeral, after dying of lung cancer at 55.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark Cavendish overcame a lingering cold to continue his winning ways from last year with a victory in the one-day Milano-Torino race.

Tragic news, as 28-year old Belgian cyclist Cedric Baekeland died of a heart attack while training in Spain.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Chick-fil-A becomes a traffic hazard. And when your pedal is no longer on speaking terms with the rest of your bike.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Gas rebate plan excludes non-drivers, arrest in Otay Mesa hit-and-run murder, and bike helmet blamed for Ukraine war

Let’s start with a look at the soaring price of gas in the Golden State.

With the state average now well over $5 a gallon — and approaching $7 in some areas — Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a tax rebate to refund some of that pain at the pump.

The advantage of a rebate, rather than suspending the state gas tax, is that it won’t affect critical funding for road repair and improvements, according to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

However, a rebate targeting only people who own motor vehicles will miss everyone who choses not to contribute to the problem, by riding transit, riding a bike or walking. Even though everyone pays higher gas prices in the form of climbing prices for food, and everything else that’s transported by truck.

Particularly when LA Metro just made drastic cuts in bus and train service.

A tweet from David Weiskopf offers the best suggestion, recommending that the rebate take the form of a general transportation credit, which can be applied to transit, bicycles, ebikes, bikeshare, electric vehicles or just “pissed away on gasoline.”

As he suggests, it would be interesting to see just what people actually choose. And getting people out of their cars would reduce some of the demand forcing prices up.

Although I want to see who people blame for high gas prices when oil companies start reporting record profits in a few months.

Meanwhile, blame once again falls on LA’s failed leadership, or the lack thereof.

Los Angeles has had a full decade to build out the city’s bike and mobility plans, which should have been 40% complete by now if city leaders plan on meeting their self-imposed deadline of 2035.

Instead, both plans are gathering dust in some dark corner of the city servers, instead of providing the safe, convenient alternatives to driving that Angelenos were promised a decade ago.

So if you or your loved ones feel like you don’t have any practical alternative to driving, despite the rising prices, you know who to thank.

Evidently trees are out to get us, too, with today’s photo of fallen tree limbs attacking the Metro Bike dock at Runyon Canyon. And a dog, too.

………

Maybe Octavio Mendoza will see justice, after all.

The 40-year old father was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Otay Mesa this past November, in an attack that police investigators believe was intentional.

Now 51-year-old Fernando Salazar faces a murder charge, after he was arrested for the killing while coming back into the country at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Monday.

It’s not yet clear whether this was a random case of road rage, or if the men knew one another.

………

Apparently, if Obama hadn’t worn a bike helmet, Ukraine might not be under attack today.

BoingBoing looks back to the good old days of 2014, when Fox News blamed the then-president for Putin’s invasion of Crimea and the Donbas by insisting his bike helmet made him look weak.

No, really.

………

For some reason, I still can’t embed tweets on here, so we’ll have to settle for a few semi-decent descriptions.

First up, Dr. Grace Peng asks us to join her in requesting that the Redondo Beach Police not to lump mopeds and high-powered ebikes capable of traveling over 25 mph in with other bikes and ebikes, after a huge jump in bicycle citations due to bike riders exceeding the 25 mph speed limit on residential streets.

………

A Denver bike owner got their stolen bicycle back when bike shop workers checked Bike Index when someone tried to sell it to them.

Yet another reminder to register your bike, for free.

Now.

………

Really disappointing that we can’t embed this one, since it features a really cool short video of a 1956 handcycle, with the hand crank awkwardly mounted on the crossbar of a standard bicycle frame.

More modern handcycles are a tad more practical, however.

………

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

Continuing this week’s theme of dangerous drivers from across the pond, a British motorist deliberately swerved into a bike rider after shouting abuse for not riding in a bike lane.

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

Mountain View police are looking for a suspect who slapped a pair of women on the butt as he rode past them on his bike, while making suggestive comments. And for anyone unclear on the concept, that’s not flirting, it’s not a prank, and it’s definitely not funny. It’s sexual assault. Period.

………

Local

Streetsblog officially endorsed the Healthy Streets LA initiative, which would require the city to build out the mobility plan when streets in the plan get resurfaced.

The Mid City West neighborhood council is hosting a CD5 virtual candidate forum at 7 pm tonight; click here for the zoom link.

Streets For All is hosting a mobility debate on March 28th with at least four of the candidates to replace the resigning Mike Bonin in CD11.

British TV star Michelle Keegan is one of us, taking a bike ride on Venice Beach with her husband.

Your next ride along the San Gabriel River Trail could be a lot more pleasant, after the US Army Corps of Engineers removed 128 tons of trash and debris from the riverbed.

 

State 

Someone stole a teenage boy’s ebike in a strong-arm robbery on a La Jolla bike path, shoving the victim off his bike and taking off with it; police are looking for multiple high school-aged kids, including the primary suspect who rode off on the victim’s bike wearing a full motorcycle helmet and moto goggles.

 

National

Cycling Tips‘ James Huang says the new line of carbon fiber ebikes from America’s only remaining Tour de France winner looks intriguing, but he has a lot of questions. Like why the website is short on photos and specs just four months out from the projected delivery date.

Wired talks with the woman who was behind the wheel, but allegedly watching videos on her phone, when a self-driving car prototype killed a bike-riding woman in Tempe, Arizona four years ago.

Seriously disappointing news from Denver, where my former LBS is going out of business after 51 years; Turin Bike Shop was a victim of rising rents and supply chain problems, as well as the owner’s pending retirement.

A Kansas City columnist reacts to news of a 60-something couple riding a tandem across the US by suggesting that too much togetherness means a “bicycle built for doom.” There’s no better test for the strength of any relationship than riding a tandem. Let alone across the country.

Texas officials are asking for the public’s help to rename and brand a more than 60-mile bike and pedestrian trail connecting Fort Worth and Dallas. How about the Better Than Anything Here In Southern California Trail.

Cambridge, Massachusetts will intentionally miss a deadline to build out quick-build separated bike lanes by May 1st, saying they need more time to engage local stakeholders. Evidently, they don’t understand the concept of “quick-build.” And somehow couldn’t manage to engage those stakeholders in the six years since a bike rider was killed there. 

A group of 25 people riding from Florida to Texas stopped in Hammond, Louisiana to help repair homes damaged in Hurricane Ida.

Police in Daytona, Florida are searching for a person of interest in the horrific murder of a married couple, whose throats were cut while they were out riding their bikes last weekend.

 

International

Momentum offers a beginners guide to learning to ride a bike after middle age.

Next City profiles World Bicycle Relief and their work to provide inexpensive, reliable transportation for thousands of people around the world every year, calling bicycles one of the cheapest and easiest ways to lift people out of poverty. They have the same effect in this country, too.

Someone called out Oxford, England for a pair of recent bicycling deaths, crossing out “Cycling City” on the city’s welcome sign and writing in “One month, two dead cyclists.”

The British government wisely rejected a call for bike riders to be required to use a bell when they ride, saying there are other ways foe people on bicycles to make their presence known.

After thieves stole $153,000 worth of bikes and frames from a family-owned Irish bike shop, the owner has been overwhelmed by the support from the local community.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips examines the greatest rivalries in the modern women’s peloton.

In an all-too familiar story, the Colorado Classic women’s stage race is on life support, unless a sponsor steps up with $3 million to keep the race alive; otherwise, it will follow the late, lamented Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and the USA Pro Challenge into the “ever-growing graveyard of American pro cycling races.”

 

Finally…

Always use a coaster brake when riding at the beach, even if your bike doesn’t have one. Your next bike could have all-wheel drive, no hubs, a minimalist frame and wheels that run the full length of the bike.

And maybe there’s a loophole in the bicycle ban on LA’s Runyon Canyon.

Like just use one wheel instead of two.

………

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

Metro motion rethinks bikeshare system, Flax says sharrows are bullshit, and McSweeney’s says fuck you, I’m a cyclist

Metro is rethinking their bikeshare program.

Which could be a good thing.

A board motion submitted LA Councilmember Paul Krekorian, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Shiela Kuehl and Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval proposes a number of changes to the Metro Bike system, in part to address theft of the bikes.

Currently, Metro only has 38% of the total original fleet remaining in operation. Metro Bikes have been targets of theft, and rates of fleet loss ebb and flow as new methods of theft are discovered and addressed. The Metro Bike Share team has increased efforts to recover lost and stolen bicycles but this is not sustaining the fleet and the program does not have an established fleet replenishment strategy. As a result, fewer Metro Bikes are available for use, which degrades the quality of service available to the public.

Although I’d think having nearly 40 percent of the original bikes still in operation after five years is pretty damn good.

Regardless, the five are requesting that the Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins report back in 90 days on a number of proposed changes, most of which have nothing to do with addressing bike theft.

A. An action plan to stabilize the current fleet size including actions for how to identify, prioritize, and address new mechanisms of theft as they arise.

B. An action plan to address equitable access in the current program and in any future form of the program. This plan shall include recommendations on issues such as serving people who may be unbanked, addressing the digital divide, and keeping fare cost low.

C. A plan to provide uninterrupted service as the next iteration of the program is determined and executed.

D. A plan to convene an industry forum (as was performed for Metro Micro) to bring together academics, cities with existing bike share programs, community stakeholders, and industry experts to provide recommendations on advancing Metro Bike Share beyond the current contract in one of several forms including but not limited to

  • Continuing Metro Bike Share as a contracted service,
  • Operating the program In-house with Metro employees,
  • A private-sector model with financial subsidy provided by Metro.

E. Performing a market survey to identify best practices and business models among existing bike-share systems in the US, and comparable global systems (e.g., Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, and Mexico City), and to develop comparative data on subsidy cost per ride, total ridership, size of fleet, vehicle technology, theft and damage loss and prevention, and alternative financing sources like sponsorship and advertising.

F. Recommendations for continuing and evolving the Metro Bike Share program to meet the goals of the agency, with countywide stakeholder engagement and consideration of cost-sharing, with the goal of expanding service area and local participation to all subregions in the County. These recommendations should include eligible local, state, and federal funding sources for capital and operations budgets, as well as legislative opportunities to expand such funding eligibility.

All of these should be positives, if they’re carried out with a clear intention to maintain the bikeshare system and improve service.

Especially finding better ways to equitably serve low income communities.

As it stands right now, there doesn’t appear to be reason for concern. The question will be what form the response takes when Wiggins reports back in February.

That’s when we’ll want to give her recommendations a close look. And make sure the program is moving forward, not back.

Thanks to an anonymous source for the heads-up. 

………

Somehow I missed this one from our friend Peter Flax, who politely proclaims that sharrows are bullshit.

But we haven’t even gotten to the suckiest part yet. These days sharrows are deployed as a bad-faith alternative to actually making roads safer for bike riders. In recent years, sharrows have become increasingly popular as cities try to balance calls from safety advocates to install quality bike lanes — you know, so folks feel more encouraged to ride and get killed a little less often — and grumpy motorists who don’t want to relinquish driving lanes or parking spaces for bike infrastructure. To the politicians and engineers stuck in the middle, sharrows seem like a devilishly perfect compromise — a way to placate the pro-car populists while still being able to claim you did something.

In short, they are perfect for city officials who care enough about safety to do the very least. There’s only one problem: Sharrows are make believe safety infrastructure.

By now, you probably already know my take.

That sharrows are nothing more than an attempt by transportation agencies to thin the herd, with little arrows painted on the pavement to help drivers improve their aim.

The best you can say is they offer a placemaking guide for people on bicycles, while showing riders where they should position themselves to control the lane.

If they’re placed correctly, that is.

And if riders feel comfortable in the middle of the lane in front of too often impatient and angry drivers.

Instead, you usually see people riding next to them on the right, increasing the risk of unsafe passes. If you see them at all, since many riders seem to prefer other routes that place them in less risk of getting run over.

Which is probably smart. Because as Flax notes, a 2018 study found that sharrows are actually worse than nothing when it comes to safety.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because he’s right.

Sharrows really are bullshit.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip

………

Then there’s this bizarre, incomprehensible, and supposedly tongue-in-cheek screed from McSweeney’s.

It gets worse.

That was followed by this tweet from McSweeney himself, justifying the piece.

It’s a sure sign you missed the mark when you have to tell people something is funny.

Or when you have to say, no, really, we ride bikes, too.

Because it ain’t satire if it’s not funny.

………

When is a protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a parking lot for government cops.

………

Recently retired pro Tejay van Garderen had his own bikes stolen recently while moving to Denver.

So if you’re in the Denver area, keep an eye out for them. And it wouldn’t hurt to watch out wherever you are, because high-end bikes like these could turn up anywhere.

According to Jonathan Vaughters, that second bike is the one that put van Garderen in the white jersey signifying the best young rider in the 2012 Tour de France.

………

Love this photo that’s the very definition of fin de siècle style and cool.

https://twitter.com/PeterPeterbox/status/1460964802310938625

Here’s what the tweet says, for those of us who are Español challenged.

Bicycles have remained remarkably the same for over 100 years, elegant in their efficiency and simplicity; the look of the cyclists has not changed much either.

………

Another reminder of the exceptional efficiency of bike lanes.

………

Tonight would be great for a not-so-moonlit ride, with the eclipse starting around 9 pm on the West Coast, and reaching it’s peak around 1 am, if you can get away from the coastal fog and clouds.

………

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

Singapore police are looking for a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing head-on into woman on a bicycle.

………

Local

Long Beach’s multi-modal, bike-commuting captain of the annual floating Christmas tree display is retiring after 39 years on the job, without a single day driving to or from work.

 

State

A 75-year old man was seriously injured when he was run down from behind by a driver while riding his bike on Cushing Road near San Diego’s Liberty Station; fortunately, his injuries aren’t expected to be life threatening.

 

National

Talk about a misguided take. A writer for the New York Times calls out “obscure” “fringe, niche” measures and “special interest breaks” included in the Build Back Better bill currently under consideration in the US House — like the not-so-obscure $900 tax rebate program for ebike purchasers, which has been openly discussed and debated.

The hometown paper in Grand Junction, Colorado, when my former Iditarod-mushing brother lives and rides these days, says there’s plenty more the city could do to make riding a bike a safer and more enjoyable experience. Pretty much like everywhere else.

Colorado police have busted an eight man bike theft ring responsible for $1.5 million worth of stolen bicycles; they face a combination of more than 200 charges.

Chicago Streetsblog calls out a Chicago-style hot dog stand for banning bikes from its drive-through. Although another Windy City hot dog purveyor says bikes are more than welcome at theirs.

A Cleveland TV station talks with several bike commuters about their safety concerns, including better infrastructure and getting more respect from drivers.

A 22-year old hit-and-run driver will now face a murder charge after a preliminary investigation showed he was speeding on his way to work, and high on weed, when he slammed into a six-year old Detroit boy just riding his bike across the street.

The Philadelphia Inquirer joins a mounting chorus saying the recently signed infrastructure bill may be big, but it won’t change America’s misguided focus on cars.

‘Tis the season. Alabama’s 91-year old “Bicycle Man” rescued and repaired 30 discarded bicycles for a holiday giveaway program for children in need.

The mother of the 14-year old Palm Beach, Florida boy who was found dead hours after leaving for a bike ride says he lost control and flipped his bicycle, and there was no foul play involved.

 

International

Treehugger rates the best cargo bike trailers of 2021.

Cyclist offers a beginner’s guide to every part that makes up a road bike.

Smart move. Montreal is setting up an online reporting system just for pedestrian and bicycle crashes in the downtown area, where most such crashes occur. Something we could use here, where police too often don’t even want to take a report unless someone is seriously injured.

In another step backward, the Swiss government is calling for mandating bike helmets for anyone over the age of 12. Before anyone gets upset, I never ride my bike without a helmet. But helmet laws have repeatedly been shown to be counterproductive, while giving police an excuse to target people on bicycles. And too often people of color and homeless bike riders.

What to give your favorite Philippine bike rider this holiday season.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenia’s Primož Roglič says he’s not the cycling Terminator everyone thinks he is.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you rescue a bike from the trash because it has the weirdest, coolest brakes you’ve ever seen. Nothing like a casual bike ride up an 18,000 foot Peruvian peak through two feet of snow.

And what’s the underwater equivalent of Viking Biking?

………

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

Metro Bike expands to Hollywood, O’Farrell claims to support bikes, and L39ION of LA quits USA Crit series

Metro has officially gone Hollywood.

A few weeks after we spotted the new Metro Bike hub on the southwest corner of Fuller and Franklin avenues, just a couple blocks from the entrance to Runyon Canyon, Metro has officially unveiled their new bikeshare expansion into Hollywood.

The new hubs make it easier to connect with existing Metro Bike hubs in East Hollywood, Los Feliz and Silver Lake, part of the 220 hubs docking stations in DTLA, Central L.A., Exposition Park and North Hollywood.

The new network opens with a dozen stations centered primarily around Hollywood Blvd, extending down to Sunset and Santa Monica blvds.

  • Franklin and Fuller avenues
  • Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue
  • Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard
  • Hawthorne Avenue and Orange Drive
  • McCadden Place and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Cherokee Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Whitley Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Ivar Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street
  • Fountain Avenue and Vine Street
  • Yucca Street and Argyle Avenue
  • McCadden Place and Santa Monica Boulevard

The Hollywood bikeshare system should prove popular with tourists, providing an alternative to walking the Walk of Fame, as well as connecting with other popular tourist attractions.

Unfortunately, it comes with a near total lack of bicycling infrastructure in the area, forcing people who don’t know the area to contend with heavy LA traffic.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that goes better than I think it will.

………

Meanwhile, a number of people took issue with a Saturday tweet from CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell claiming to support bike infrastructure in his Hollywood-based district.

Like this one from a challenger to O’Farrell in next year’s election.

Then there’s this.

Maybe O’Farrell should try listing some of the bike lanes he claims to have supported in his district, since no one seems to know about them.

Or better yet, he could try moving forward with some of the ones he’s killed before next year’s election, if he wants to get the bike vote.

Like moving those Hollywood Blvd protected bike plans off the master plan and onto the streets, before someone gets killed out there.

And approving the shovel-ready lane reduction on deadly West Temple Street that he killed three years ago, claiming a lack of community engagement, despite overwhelming support for the project.

………

Installing bike lanes when streets are repaved should be the rule, not the exception.

Unfortunately, these only cover a fifth of a mile before dumping riders off onto sharrows.

LADOT should be required to build out bike lanes when any street in the bike plan is repaved, as some other major cities have committed to doing.

Instead, it’s common practice in Los Angeles to repave streets with little or no consideration to people on two wheels, regardless of whether the street is included in the bike plan.

But then, as we were reminded by an LADOT official shortly after the 2010 bike plan was unanimously passed by the city council, it remains merely “aspirational.”

………

This Vision Zero webinar should be interesting.

And here’s a better description.

You’ve seen it before. Commercials with cars doing donuts down dense city streets. PSAs telling pedestrians it’s on them, not drivers, to avoid being hit in a crash. Car culture shows no signs of slowing down, and has a firm grip on how the safe streets movement appears in mainstream media and marketing. Join this panel to hear from experts on just how pervasive this grip is, how we begin to relinquish it, and how to successfully frame and move the needle on Vision Zero through the media and marketing.

It’s part of the virtual 2021 Vision Zero Cities conference beginning Wednesday, intended to explore “the most pressing issues on our streets today. From street design to traffic enforcement, hear from experts and advocates devoted to safe streets and livable cities.”

………

Congratulations to everyone who participated in Saturday’s LAPD Back the Blue Ride. Nice to see the department encouraging officers to ride their bikes.

………

Megan Lynch offers a thread on the sad state of bollards that are supposed to protect people on bicycles in ostensibly bike-friendly Davis.

………

This is what bike lane enforcement looks like in a city that actually cares about safety.

https://twitter.com/GlennC1/status/1449302491506491397

To answer the question, yes, I can imagine it.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

It would be easy enough for Los Angeles to put parking enforcement officers on bikes, and charge them with enforcing illegal parking in bike lanes, like this video from Toronto.

Instead, drivers feel free to park in bike lanes throughout the city, with little risk getting a ticket — let alone towed.

And cops are often the worst offenders, especially Downtown.

Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

………

A new British ad makes the case that bikes are best for short journeys. And that when more people bike, everyone wins.

………

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

The debate over whether to allow cars on San Francisco’s Great Highway has devolved into vandalism and threats, as someone keeps vandalizing sensors intended to count road users, while local residents hold signs demanding bike riders get out of their neighborhood. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

A small group of New York residents protested against the city’s Open Streets program — aka Slow Streets — complaining about dangerous bike riders, and apparently feeling they would be safer contending with cars instead.

No bias here. A writer for a car website says the new 18 mph speed limit in Paris is just part of the war on cars, designed to force people out of them.

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

A bike-riding, 44-year old man is under arrest for stabbing a pair of men on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge and a nearby park after arguing with them in separate incidents; both victims are in critical condition.

Police are on the lookout for a Florida man who made his escape by bicycle after dashing out of a smoke shop with $178 worth of purloined cigars and cigarettes.

………

Local

This is the cost of traffic violence. Heartbreaking news from North Hills, where an 18-month old toddler was collateral damage in a hit-and-run collision when one of the cars slammed into a group of people standing by a food cart, where the boy was waiting in a stroller with his grandparents; one other woman was seriously injured. The heartless coward in the other car fled the scene after the crash. Seriously, when the hell will we finally get fed up with sacrificing our kids at the altar of the almighty motor vehicle, and demand safer streets for everyone? It’s long past time for an American Stop de Kindermoord movement. 

Crosstown LA looks at the rise in road road in post-pandemic Los Angeles, too often involving a gun.

Long Beach is looking for volunteers to conduct the city’s bike and pedestrian count. Assuming you can get past the paper’s paywall, anyway.

 

State

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. San Diego’s KPBS public radio discusses how the city is ramping up bike infrastructure in response to the dramatic increase in bicycling deaths this year.

Sad news from Merced, where someone riding a bicycle was somehow killed by a driver in some sort of truck, who may or may not have remained at the scene.

A new study from San Jose State University examines attitudes towards bike helmet use and the effects of a possible mandatory helmet law in the state. And yes, you may have answered a survey for this one awhile back.

Bay Area transportation leaders will talk bike safety on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

She gets it. A bike-riding Sonoma County columnist asks if it’s really that hard to be considerate to bike riders, while noting that the real objection to the recently vetoed Stop as Yield Law is the way bike riders are too often seen as “others,” and somehow less than human.

 

National

Parade Magazine’s Marilyn vos Savant, the columnist with the record-setting IQ, proves she really is a genius by confirming that it’s safer to ride a bicycle with traffic. Although she could have mentioned that it’s also the law everywhere in the US.

A writer for the Atlantic makes the case that the simplest way to make roads safer while reducing police violence is to reduce the amount of cars on the road, while taking traffic enforcement away from cops.

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where yet another cross-country bike rider was killed when a Portland husband and father was run down by a driver while riding through a remote section of the state. A crowdfunding campaign for his family has raised nearly $64,000 of the updated $75,000 goal. Seriously, people should be able to ride their bikes across the US without taking their lives in their hands.

Tragic news from Iowa, where the body of an 11-year old boy was found in a cornfield, five months after he disappeared while riding his bike; police consider the case “suspicious.”

The Boston Globe examines the debate over expanding bikeways in Providence, Rhode Island, pitting the environment and infrastructure against public safety and traffic concerns, while noting a similar debate over a bike path built in 1983 that’s now wildly popular.

Awful case from New York, where a man walking his bike through a crosswalk was killed by a hit-and-run driver while his wife looked on in horror, just one more death in what is turning out to be a very deadly year for people on bicycles.

More bad news from New York, where a 51-year old man was stabbed to death  by a thief who stole his bicycle; he was apparently a delivery rider for Grubhub.

The New York Post’s decidedly anti-bike columnist continues yelling at kids to get off his lawn, insisting that rerouting the city’s 5th Avenue before the holidays to install bike lanes is madness.

He gets it, too. A New York State bike advocate says bicycles can be part of the state’s green future.

 

International

A travel website recommends eleven “enchanting” places where cars aren’t allowed, including three in the US.

A 14-year old Indian girl was a finalist for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize to inspire innovative idea to fight climate change, with her design for a solar-powered, bike-based mobile ironing cart to press wrinkles out of clothes, to replace the estimated 10 million ironing carts that each burn an average of about 11 pounds of charcoal per day.

The senseless violence continues in South Africa, where a man was shot and killed by a group of robbers who stole his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a surprising move, L39ION of Los Angeles has pulled out of the USA Crits series, after the director of the race series was suspended, and implicated in a decade old child pornography case.

L39ION of LA’s announcement was quickly followed by the withdrawal of the Aevolo Cycling team, along with the Boise Twilight Criterium and Tulsa Tough, which announced they would no longer be associated with the series.

USA CRITS Managing Director Scott Morris was “temporarily suspended” by the organization for some sort of unannounced misconduct; Morris had reportedly been arrested for possession of child pornography in Virginia and Georgia in 2007 and 2008, but he apparently bargained the case down to a conviction for theft of computer services.

Conviction or not, there should be no time limit on child pornography, if it can be established that he really possessed it. One strike and you’re out. 

Period.

 

Finally…

Join the Aussie army so you, too, can ride a 50 mph ebike. When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s just road markings.

And lots of people carry their dogs on their bikes.

A cat on a fixie, not so much.

………

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

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