Tag Archive for Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

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

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

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

This is long, but please read to the end.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/Andalalucha/status/1357907769198862336

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

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

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

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

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

Which is exactly what should happen.

If they’re serious.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

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

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

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

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That feeling when visitors drop in without warning.

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Bicycles hardly ever…well, you know.

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

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

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

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

And who knew Thor rides an e-fat bike?

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

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

Morning Links: No, road rage is not your fault, braving sexual violence to ride a bike, and filming Tesla porn on autopilot

Evidently, road rage is your fault.

A British triathlete living in Mallorca, Spain, has put together a “guide to safe (and courteous) riding” to avoid pissing off drivers.

Despite being the victim of road rage herself — and holding herself blameless for the driver’s actions — she believes the rudeness of her fellow riders results in the anger too often directed our way.

Which is, to put it politely, bullshit.

Yes, we all have an obligation to safely share the road. As well as to show courtesy to our fellow human beings whenever practical, regardless of how they — or we — travel.

But to blame the victims of road rage for stirring up anger in motorists is no different than telling victims of domestic violence that they had it coming.

Nothing a woman — or a man, for that matter — does justifies violence from their romantic partner.

Period.

It’s up to each of us to control our anger, and never strike another human being, let alone those we profess to love.

If you can’t manage that, the problem is yours, and yours alone.

The same goes for road rage.

Yes, drivers may become angry because of the actions of those of us on two wheels. Justifiably or not.

But failing to control that anger, and taking it out on someone else, isn’t the fault of those it’s directed at any more than the black eye sported by a domestic violence victim is their fault.

So ride safely, and show a little courtesy.

But it’s up to all of us to keep our fucking tempers under control.

Especially the people in the big, dangerous machines that can too easily be turned into weapons.

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Beautiful piece from a Mexican woman, who braves sexual violence and harassment to ride her bike through the Sonoran desert and learn from the indigenous peoples.

And at the same time, learn about herself.

In Mexico it’s hard, as a woman, to travel by bike; it’s a country engaged in constant violence against women. It’s hard for us not to imagine being one of the women for which the rest of us claim justice. It’s hard for us not to imagine being the one who’s photograph is next to a Ni Una Menos (Not One [Woman] Less) banner. And this feeling is reinforced by how people ask, “Are you traveling alone?” “Aren’t you afraid?” “How do you dare to do it?” and by the expressions “What a relief to know you have company!” “How brave you are!”

What we want is not to be brave — but to be free. We know these comments and questions are not directed at men who travel by bike. Men in Mexico have liberties and privileges that the patriarchal system has granted to them.

Even so, Mexican women have dared to travel by bike and use it as a tool of autonomy.

 

She ends the piece with this thought. But it’s what’s in between that makes it worth reading.

And learning from.

So, when asked constantly whether I’m afraid of traveling by bike, the answer is yes, but the things you learn, the natural and cultural history, the social relationships that result because of it; the self-discovery of the body and mind of the resisting women, make it worth it. Traveling by bike is a political act and of resistance in Mexico and the world.

Meanwhile, the Orange County Register’s David Whiting rides along with the fabled 50-mile Rosarito-Ensenada ride on it’s 40th anniversary edition.

And credits the “friendship ride” with breaking down border barriers as families from both sides find common values.

We could all use a little of that these days.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A porn star shot her latest film while riding in a Tesla on autopilot with no one holding the wheel.

Or evidently, paying attention to anything outside it.

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Local

Riding Metro trains and buses will be free on Bike to Work Day for anyone with a bicycle or helmet this Thursday.

Speaking of Bike to Work Day, there will be a discussion and walkthrough of the photo exhibit Los Angeles Bike Rebels: The Sequel at the Caltrans museum in DTLA on Thursday. Thanks to Velocipedus for the tip.

Apparently, it’s bad luck to try to steal a bike from a Skid Row loading dock when the workers are watching. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

This is who we share the roads with too. Pasadena police wrote 639 tickets for distracted driving last month, with over half of those for texting behind the wheel. If they’d just crack down like that the other 11 months of the year, our streets might actually get a little safer.

LAist looks forward to the return of 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission open streets event on Sunday the 19th.

Santa Monica will celebrate Bike Week with a pair of bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Monday and Thursday. Meanwhile, Santa Barbara will have one tomorrow. In both cases, police will ticket traffic infractions that put bicyclists or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit lines so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

A columnist for the Santa Monica Mirror accuses officials in California of having an anti-car agenda, and says drivers won’t willingly give up on their cars. Never mind that many of us already have. Or that he takes pride in promoting an unproven, snake oil cancer “cure” while accusing the government of trying to squelch it.

Long Beach gets the okay to move some palm trees lining Marina Drive to make way for a Complete Streets makeover.

 

State

A 72-year old Huntington Beach woman accuses the DMV of discrimination against older people for making drivers over 70 take a written test and eye exam every five years, saying that should be required of anyone who has a crash or gets a ticket. Sounds like a plan to me. But let’s keep testing older drivers, too.

A survey from Lime shows that San Diego residents are taking scooters instead of driving.

San Jose’s mayor shows he’s fully recovered from the injuries he suffered in a New Year’s Day bike crash by riding to work on Thursday.

The rich get richer. San Francisco’s mayor used that city’s Bike to Work Day to announce plans to add 20 miles of protected bike lanes, and start ticketing drivers who park in bike lanes. Anyone think LA’s mayor will make a similar announcement at our Bike to Work Day next week? Me neither.

They get it. A San Francisco TV station says traffic congestion is worse than ever, in part because of double-parked ride hailing-drivers, and because the city’s dangerous streets are chasing bike riders off them.

A new study shows that Uber and Lyft are responsible for two-thirds of of the increase in San Francisco traffic over the last two years. So now maybe drivers can stop blaming bike lanes, already.

A group of Google employees bike 40 miles to work on a regular basis, riding from San Francisco to Google’s office in Mountain View. Then again, you almost have to work for Google or another tech company just to afford to live in the City by the Bay.

Good question. A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle wants to know why “a man who’s minding his own business, riding his bicycle, end(s) up dead at the hands of a police officer” who says he wanted to educate him about bike safety.

A new obelisk sculpture was installed in bike-friendly Davis; naturally, it’s made of bicycle parts and children’s bikes.

Sacramento wants to copy Los Angeles, and get their paramedics on bicycles to improve response times during large events.

 

National

By the time you read this, you’ll have to pay 25% more for your bike parts. And maybe your next bike, as well.

Streetsblog says the coast-to-coat Great American Rail-Trail is really happening, providing a 3,700 mile bike route from Washington coast to Washington DC.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker visits Seattle for the first time, and calls out glaring gaps in the city’s bike network. And says if you really want to get people out of their cars, you need to make it difficult to drive.

Nice move from the family behind Walmart, as the Walton clan decides to open up their private Colorado ranch to mountain bikers.

El Paso, Texas bike riders are complaining that a bike lane is too narrow. Which isn’t too surprising since it’s half in the gutter, and so narrow the bike lane symbol barely fits without going up on the sidewalk.

A writer for Popular Mechanics was called a cheater for riding New York’s iconic Five Boro Bike Tour on an ebike.

Once again, Atlanta Complete Streets advocates will risk road rage and the enmity of everyone else on the road by slow rolling a dangerous street during the morning rush hour.

Yes, hit-and-runs have reached epidemic proportions. But somehow, shooting a Georgia driver in the stomach to keep him from fleeing seems like a bit of an overreach.

A Florida dentist says he’s always loved his bicycle.

 

International

Fast Company says ebikes are helping to keep older people young, while alleviating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms.

Great idea. For the seventh year, Canada will host a nationwide series of Ride Don’t Hide bike rides next month to raise funds and promote mental health.

Speaking of The Guardian’s Peter Walker, he explores whether bike riders think we’re above the law — and whether it even matters. Hopefully you can get the video to play, because I couldn’t despite repeated attempts.

A British school has found the ultimate solution to bike theft on campus — just ban bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Ireland, where a man was killed during a bike race when he ran into a motorcycle parked along the course.

Cycling News offers a preview of next week’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Bay Area woman who fought for, and won, equal prize money for women surfers is now alleging a civil rights violation against the Tour of California for giving women just three stages and 177 miles of racing routes, compared to seven stages and 777 miles for the men.

In a surprise move, German pro Marcel Kittel walked away from the Katusha-Alpecin team after he was left off the roster for the Tour of California, following a dispute with team officials last month.

 

Finally…

Forget avocado toast; stick one on your bike instead. One day you’re a 10-year old in elementary school, the next you’re on tour as a BMX champ.

And your next tire pump could stick to your bike like magic.

Unless your bike is aluminum.

Or carbon fiber.

Or titanium.

 

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