Tag Archive for Mike Bonin

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

………

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

………

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.

………

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

………

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

………

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

………

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.

………

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?

 

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Martinez resigns as council president, but not from council, after racist remarks; and Streets For All happy hour with Mike Bonin

Following up on yesterday’s lead item, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez resigned her position, but insisted on remaining on the council in the wake of racist and otherwise offensive comments on a leaked audio recording.

For now, anyway.

Also refusing to take responsibility are the other councilmembers included in the conversation, Kevin De León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo.

Although the only non-councilmember heard on the recording, LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, showed enough integrity to resign his position.

Now if the others would just follow his example, as the list of people calling for their resignations keeps growing.

Here’s a short sample posted by the LA Times.

The list of political figures and organizations issuing those calls took in Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), Tony Cárdenas (D-Pacoima) and Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), an array of labor unions and two mayoral candidates — Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and developer Rick Caruso.

Not to be left out, Streets For All joined the clamor — even though the loss of Martinez and De León could threaten hard-fought wins like adoption of a modified version of the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure and the Complete Streets makeover of Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

But sometimes, integrity has to matter more.

By my count, we’ve already seen three councilmembers convicted or currently facing bribery charges, with another — CD12’s John Lee — implicated but not charged in the bribery scandal that brought down his predecessor.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s bid to become ambassador to India went down in flames amid allegations he turned a blind eye to a top aide’s open sexual harassment of male coworkers.

Now three more elected leaders have been captured engaging in a racist conversation, as well as discussion of possibly illegal racial gerrymandering, and what appears to be a violation of the Brown Act open meetings law.

So if you’ve been wondering why our city hasn’t been more responsive to the needs of bike riders, and why nothing seems to get better in what should be — but isn’t — one of the world’s leading cities, we can start with a city government that looks to be rotten from top to bottom.

Photo from Wikipedia.

………

In a very timely announcement, the next Streets For All virtual happy hour will feature a conversation with outgoing CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose Black toddler son was the subject of some of the most offensive comments from Martinez, De León and Cedillo.

………

This is what it looks like when bikes are taken seriously as transportation.

Our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards a photo of a bike repair stand next to an ebike charging stand for four bikes at his neighborhood biergarten.

Not shown, he says, is the bike tube vending machine on the restroom wall.

Photo by Ralph Durham

………

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

A pair of British men in their early 20s are facing murder charges in the death of 22-year old ebike rider; a third suspect has been released on bail, while a 30-year old woman has been arrested for helping them. Unfortunately, there’s no word on just what happened.

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

Police in South Wales are looking for a pair of men who assaulted another man as he rode his bike in broad daylight, for no apparent reason.

………

Local

The LA Times has confirmed their previous endorsement of Kenneth Mejia for city controller, saying opponent Paul Koretz has fought efforts to make it easier to build more housing and blocked bike and pedestrian safety improvements, and “seems more interested in remaining in elected office than in being the taxpayers’ watchdog or government reformer.” Full disclosure — I’ve endorsed Mejia as well

 

State 

A 75-year old Yucca Valley man was pushed off his bicycle by a neighbor, then beaten with his own bike, in retaliation for pepper spraying the neighbor’s dog when it came up behind him the previous week.

Mt. Diablo State Park has added 30 bike turnouts on the popular Bay Area riding route, allowing bike riders to pull out to allow uphill traffic to pass.

 

National

Schwinn is introducing a new energy absorbing helmet liner to compete MIPS, designed to reduce rotational injuries in a fall.

Denver bike advocates are meeting with city officials to pitch a low-stress bike network.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A popular Bozeman, Montana high school teacher was killed when he was struck by a red light-running driver while riding his bicycle to work.

An op-ed from a Buffalo NY bike advocate makes the case that everyone benefits from effective bike and pedestrian networks, even drivers. Or maybe even especially drivers.

Philly bike riders are using expensive locks, AirTags and GPS, and social media to fight back against the city’s persistent bike thieves.

Frederick, Maryland is the latest community to introduce a book bike, intended  to take the public library to those who can’t come in themselves. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

 

International

Bloomberg Philanthropies is teaming with the Global Designing Cities Initiative to create the new Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure, which will award up to $1 million each to ten cities worldwide to help develop bike lane networks.

Cycling Weekly tries out the new Raleigh e-cargo bike, and says everyone loves it. The built-in kids seats are a nice touch.

A travel website recommends five “magical” Mexican towns to ride your bike in.

Winnipeg, Manitoba bike riders marked Canada’s Thanksgiving with an indigenous-led bike jam combining biking and music with lessons about colonization and reconciliation.

The UK’s British Cycling is being roundly criticized for signing an eight-year sponsorship agreement with oil and gas giant Shell to advise the group on how to achieve net zero. After all, who understands how to get to zero emissions better than an oil company?

A British bike advocacy group is calling on the government to close a loophole that allows people who would otherwise lose their driver’s license to keep driving, by claiming that suspending their license would result in an exceptional hardship.

A new Dutch app promises to tell when you fall off your bike, with or without automotive assistance, and automatically text someone for help.

Tragic news from Italy, where a British international sailing champion was killed when he fell 33 feet down a ravine while on a package mountain biking tour.

Sydney, Australia bicyclists say riding in the city is hard enough without police cracking down on bike riders in the central business district.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made from recycled plastic.

And we might have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting chased by a couple of angry moose.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Transportation chair Mike Bonin to step down in CD11, and LADOT officer permits parking in DTLA protected bike lane

If it looks like I lost my best friend, it’s because I have.

Or rather, we have.

Embattled CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, the best friend the bicycling community currently has on the LA City Council, announced yesterday that he won’t seek a third and final term, and will leave the council when his current term expires next year.

Which will put the leadership of the city council’s Transportation Committee in play, as well as his coastal Los Angeles district, which encompasses Venice, Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Bonin has received an incredible amount of abuse in recent years from drivers angered by lane reductions in Playa and Mar Vista, and wealthy NIMBY gentrifiers angered by homeless encampments while actively blocking efforts to build housing and shelters to get them off the streets.

Not to mention dealing with at least three failed recall attempts in recent years, as opponents attempted to undo his overwhelming victory in the general election.

And apparently, it’s taken a toll.

He vows to remain active and keep fighting the good fight in his final year in office, as well as after he leaves.

The problem now is that anyone who isn’t already campaigning to replace him now have just 16 days to file their candidacy with the city clerk’s office. Which could leave the race to the handful of less progressive, decidedly un-bike-friendly candidates who had lined up to challenge Bonin.

They would likely have had little chance of beating Bonin. But now they face a wide open race where anything could happen, and anyone could win.

And not necessarily someone who will support safer streets.

So let’s all give our thanks to Mike Bonin, and offer our best wishes for healing for him and his family as they recover from the challenges of holding office in today’s abusive environment.

And hope we can find someone to take his place who will continue his fight, and have the courage to stand up to angry drivers and reactionary local residents and business owners.

I’ll leave you with this final thought from Alissa Walker.

………

That feeling when even the people responsible for enforcing the law seem to have no idea what it actually is.

https://twitter.com/seanmeredith/status/1486427970323443713

Not only are drivers not permitted to park in bike lanes, it’s a violation of the California Vehicle Code 21211(b), which specifically prohibits parking in any bikeway.

(b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.

And yes, LADOT agrees.

Maybe something like this would finally get drivers to stop parking there.

………

Nice to see bike-riding Lakers fans turn out to remember Kobe Bryant, on the second anniversary of the helicopter crash that took his life, as well as eight other people, including his daughter Gianna.

Speaking of Kobe, he drove a hard bargain from a young age, demanding a red bicycle in exchange for his first endorsement deal.

………

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

A UK county council admits it acted illegally by ruthlessly ripping out a temporary bike lane installed on an emergency basis during the pandemic, before it could even be finished.

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

A Black Milwaukee bike rider was convicted of first-degree reckless homicide for the road rage shooting that killed a White immigration lawyer; the shooter alleged the victim had called him a racial slur.

A Spanish bike rider got the equivalent of a $1,120 fine for his drunken crash into a pedestrian, which was captured on security cam.

………

Local

LADOT will host the rescheduled Central LA Neighborhood Design Lab and Tree Adoption on Saturday, February 12th, after the original date was scrubbed due to the Omicron surge.

Streets For All will host their next virtual happy hour on Wednesday, February 9th, with special guest Stephanie Wiggins, the new CEO of LA Metro.

 

State

Gravel Bike California talks with former BMX pro Andrew Jackson about his jump into gravel, as well as his family’s efforts building a pump track in Inglewood.

A longtime Santa Barbara bike rider says he crossed over to the Dark Side by buying an ebike, and doesn’t regret it a bit. Although it’s hard to imagine anything that gets people out of their cars as part of the Dark Side.

Steroids may have kept Barry bonds out of the Baseball Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t stop him from living an idyllic life riding his bicycle in Marin County. Besides, performance-enhancing drugs have a long tradition in bicycling, anyway.

Sacramento will now require people using dockless e-scooters or bicycles to leave them in drop zones or lock them up to bike racks, or face a whopping $15 fine.

 

National

The Bike League has released a new benchmarking report examining five bike-friendly cities to show the importance of safe bicycle infrastructure and connected bicycle networks, while noting that the US is 40 years behind European cities in developing bike networks for people of all ages; City Lab offers an easy to digest summary of the report.

A former Uber driver had bid farewell to fares, and is riding his bike across the US to visit all 50 state capitals; so far he’s just over the halfway point, riding through 25 state capitals and Washington DC.

Michigan finally gets around to banning distracted driving.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever keeps breaking into a Louisiana bike co-op, stealing 15 bicycles worth $4,000 in a series of burglaries.

Florida’s Seminole County is planning to add a pair of bike tunnels to help riders get past the busy intersection of two highways. While bike tunnels may seem like a good safety solution, they’re also prone to collecting debris and can be subject to flooding, as well as providing a home for the homeless. And anything that removes bike riders from public view increases the risk of violent crime, particularly for women. 

 

International

A pilot project will encourage physicians in Bristol, England to prescribe bicycling and walking to address health issues such as obesity, inactivity and loneliness.

A new British study shows more people ride bikes when they feel comfortable on the roads. And aside from a lack of hills, nothing makes bike riders feel more comfortable than speed limits under 20 mph.

The UK’s Transport Minister has proposed law change that would treat deadly bike riders just like deadly drivers, by creating a new charge of death by dangerous cycling. Although wouldn’t treating killer bicyclists like deadly drivers mean just giving them a slap on the wrist, anyway?

Over two-thirds of French people support mandatory bike helmet use, even though only 30% of bike riders currently wear them. Or maybe because only 30% wear them.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has announced the ten-race schedule for the 2022 National Criterium Series. Although we Californians will have to travel to Salt Lake City to see the nearest one.

Next year’s Tour de France will kick off in Northern Spain’s Basque Country.

The British cycling organizer behind the Women’s Tour and the Tour of Britain calls for UCI to get off its collective ass and do something to prevent serious crashes, accusing the organization of allowing dangerous crashes to happen.

Egan Bernal’s teammate Tom Pidcock says cyclists need safer ways to train for time trials in the wake of the training crash that left Bernal in intensive care.

Biography profiles legendary American cyclist Major Taylor, the fastest man on two wheels and the world’s first Black international athletic superstar.

 

Finally…

Let’s all wish a happy belated 126th birthday to the ebike. That feeling when certain drivers can’t spot the bikes in a Captcha.

And have a thought for all those poor thieves Van Moof is trying to put out of business.

………

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

Invalid signatures sink Bonin recall, Koretz nixes expanded hours for La Brea bus lanes, and Ride4Love Super Bowl Sunday

So much for that big anti-Bonin uprising in his coastal council district.

Wealthy and conservative activists have been gunning for CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin almost since he first took office in 2013.

Especially following his bold, but poorly rolled out, attempt at installing much needed road diets in Playa del Rey in 2017, which were removed after Mayor Eric Garcetti cut the legs out from under him following an angry outcry from drivers used to using the roadways as a deadly surface-street alternative to the 405.

Numerous attempts recall him have been announced, despite the overwhelming support Bonin has enjoyed at the ballot box.

And all have fizzled.

The latest attempt got the furthest, as recall supporters actually made it to city hall this time, submitting over 39,000 signatures to the city clerk’s office, far more than needed to qualify the recall for the ballot.

Except, as it turned out, over 13,000 of those signatures were rejected as invalid. Leaving them around 1,350 short.

Now the bike-friendly and bike-riding councilmember can turn his attention to running for a third and final term in office this year, which will most likely return him to his position as chair of the city council’s Transportation Committee.

And avoid the awkward possibility that he could be removed from office amid the typically low turnout of a recall election this spring, then returned when the larger voting public turns out for the June primary election.

As the LA Times points, out, this is the third council recall attempt to fizzle out this year, after earlier failed attempts to oust Nithya Raman and Kevin de León.

Photo taken from Bonin website.

………

Once again, outgoing CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz shows his true stripes, standing in the way of a much-needed bus lane on La Brea, if it happens to inconvenience anyone even a tiny bit.

Thankfully, Koretz will be termed out this September, when hopefully, someone who actually supports improving transit service to get Angelenos out of their cars can take his place.

So maybe just hold off on printing those Bus Lane No Parking signs for a few more months.

………

Mark your calendar for February’s biggest outdoor event.

Wait, there’s a football game, too?

………

I’m not one to talk about my religious beliefs.

But I confess to saying a prayer to the Madonna del Ghisallo every night, asking that everyone who rides a bike the next day may return home safely.

Sadly, sometimes the answer is no.

So I also pray for all those who have been injured or killed riding a bicycle, and all of their loved ones, that they may be comforted and at peace.

Because what’s the point of having our own patron saint if we don’t ask for her help?

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1483552308126437376

………

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

No bias here. Yet another lengthy screed from a self-proclaimed San Luis Obispo “pedestrian, bicyclist and…commercial driver” complaining that bicycling and walking safety improvements in the city are doing just the opposite — including a new two-way protected bike lane he claims is just teaching children to ride on the wrong side of the road.

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

Riverside police are looking for a bicyclist who repeatedly whacked a 60-something man over the head with a piece of wood in an apparent road rage attack on New Year’s Eve, resulting in head injuries that kept the victim hospitalized until now. Never resort to violence, as tempting as it may be — especially with a weapon, improvised or otherwise. Regardless of what the driver may have done to piss you off.

An alleged road raging bike rider pled guilty to a pair of bail jumping charges on the eve of his trial for fatally shooting a Milwaukee immigration attorney in front of his wife; the defense accuses the driver of directing a racial slur at the Black bicyclist. Which, horrible though it may be, does not justify killing the victim with a gun the shooter was not legally allowed to possess.

………

Local

Streetsblog encourages you to weigh in on Metro’s budget for the upcoming year.

 

State

The HIV/AIDS fundraiser AIDS LifeCycle ride is back this year after a two-year pandemic hiatus, and looking for volunteers to help out.

Spectrum News 1 considers the soaring popularity of ebikes in San Diego.

A Corona man is ordered to stand trial for attempting to sexually assault a schoolgirl, then fleeing naked on his bicycle. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

Oakland is pulling the plug on their Slow Streets program, rather than making them permanent like some other cities have done.

 

National

Cannondale’s new Synapse is one of the first road bikes from a major manufacturer to incorporate integrated daytime running lights and a rear-facing radar to alert the rider to any approaching motor vehicles, based on Garmin’s Varia bicycle-mounted radar.

You’ve got to be kidding. South Dakota’s Supreme Court tossed a lawsuit from a woman who was paralyzed when her bike wheel got caught in a Rapid City storm grate, after the city destroyed the evidence by removing nearly 100 similar grates — including the one that left her a quadriplegic, making it impossible to prove her case.

Santa Fe bike riders call for an end to automotive supremacy in advance of a redesign of a deadly thoroughfare that was once part of the famed Route 66.

A handful of Good Samaritans pitched in to buy a new racing bike for a Colorado triathlete who lost everything in the recent Boulder County fire, including her carbon fiber Cervelo, which was turned to ash by the flames.

Your old car tires could have a new life as armadillos marking a Memphis protected bike lane. Now if they’d just recycle the rest of the cars.

The NYPD tells moped riders to stay the hell out of the bicycle/pedestrian lane on the Queensboro Bridge. Now if they could just stop their own cops from parking in bike lanes.

Nice move. New York will provide free two-month bikeshare memberships for hospital workers at the front lines in the battle against the Covid-19 Omicron surge.

A new Penn State study shows that even Bike Friendly University’s are failing to encourage members of underserved racial, gender, low-income and disabled groups to bicycle to and on college campuses.

Bicyclist and pedestrian deaths nearly doubled last year in Florida’s Pinellas County, home to Clearwater and St. Petersburg, jumping from 49 in 2020 to 85 in 2021.

 

International

Local residents are delighted that plans to segregate an English bike lane have been scrapped, so they can keep parking in it.

The Vatican now has its very own cycling team, in honor of the bike-loving pope.

A new German study shows that the country’s increase in bicycling is largely driven by highly educated urban residents, who are riding twice as much as they did when the study began in 1996. Although the study only goes through 2018, so it doesn’t include the effects of the pandemic bike boom. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

A New Zealand tour boat skipper spent the pandemic building a new 35-mile mountain bike track, opening up backcountry areas that have never been open to the public before.

Life is cheap in Adelaide, Australia, where police unexpectedly dropped all charges against a 25-year old man accused of deliberately ramming three separate bike riders while driving a stolen car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Brazil, where elite mountain biker Mariano Merlo died after a sudden illness; she was just 27 years old.

Russian cyclist and former world junior time trial champ Aigul Gareeva has been suspended after skipping not one, not two, but three doping tests over the past year, which could lead to up to a two year ban. Nope, nothing at all suspicious about blowing off three dope tests. Especially now that the Era of Doping is over, right?

Continental-level developmental team Israel Cycling Academy was victimized by bike thieves on Monday, losing 17 team bikes from a truck at the team’s Catalonia, Spain training camp.

Argentine cyclists discover the hard way that maybe they should slow down just a tad when the road is flooded out in front of the peloton.

https://twitter.com/SC_ESPN/status/1483113665188569089?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1483113665188569089%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-18-january-2022-289579

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be haute couture. Don’t stab your companion in an argument over who owns a bike — especially when you’re already on bail for a meth bust.

And it looks like LA tall bike king Richie Trimble’s 20 feet 2.5 inches Stoopid Taller is now just the world’s second tallest bike.

………

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

Bike-friendly Bonin likely to face recall, opinions wanted on SGV ebikes, and kindhearted people still exist

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin could be looking at a recall, just weeks before next year’s election.

Recall supporters have submitted nearly 12,000 more signatures for validation than the required 27,317 to qualify for the ballot.

Which means he could be recalled from office in May, then returned to office the next month, when the larger turnout in the previously scheduled primary election is likely to be more favorable to him than a single-issue recall ballot.

But at least this issue isn’t Bonin’s support for bike lanes this time, unlike the last time opponents tried to recall him.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

………

If you live in the San Gabriel Valley, Active SGV needs your thoughts on ebikes.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1460340843668119554

………

A reminder that there are still kind people in the world, regardless of how they travel.

………

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

A man is suing a Boca Raton resort after he was injured when a parking gate closed on him as he was riding a bicycle underneath it, claiming no one ever told him he shouldn’t do that.

Seriously, don’t draft women riders you don’t know on bike paths. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

………

Local

WeHoVille looks at the proposal to install peak hour bus lanes on La Brea Ave, including the brief three-block segment that runs through West Hollywood. Bike riders are allowed to use bus lanes in Los Angeles, though I’m not sure if the same rules would apply in WeHo.

 

State

CityLab reports several American cities, including Oakland and Bakersfield, are experimenting with universal basic mobility programs that subsidize transit, bikeshare and scooters; Los Angeles may follow with a pilot program in South LA.

The Cal Berkeley student newspaper calls on students to get involved in plans to reimagine Telegraph Avenue in the city to prioritize buses, pedestrians and bikes.

 

National

Governing says the transformational new infrastructure bill Biden signed yesterday may not be so transformational after all, since most of the funds go towards highways and maintaining the carbon-intensive status quo. The site also reports UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup is winning the parking war, as more cities recognize the high cost of free parking and reduce or eliminate parking requirements.

Women’s Health picks the best balance bikes for your toddler.

A Denver bike shop is asking local riders to keep an eye out for some hot bikes, after thieves broke in and stole five display models and a couple of test bikes.

Some Texas bike riders have reportedly taken to carrying guns on their bikes for protection from “entitled, enraged” drivers. I had a friend in Louisiana who strapped a .22 to his handlebars for exactly the same reason, and reported drivers showed him a lot more courtesy on the roads afterwards. 

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. The Arkansas High Country Route offers 1,200 miles of gravel and paved rural roads, with a total 80,000 feet of climbing through the Buffalo National River corridor, Arkansas River Valley, and the Ozark and Ouachita mountains.

New York State changed the law two years ago to allow people on bikes to use leading pedestrian intervals to get a safe head start on traffic, but someone apparently neglected to tell one NYPD traffic cop, who continues to illegally ticket riders obeying the law.

The fun is over at a secret scofflaw BMX track in Virginia Beach VA that had survived under the radar for over 20 years, after the owner of the land sold it to a developer to build a car dealership.

 

International

A new study delivered to the COP26 climate conference shows that at least 40% of city dwellers worldwide will need to walk, bike or use transit by 2030 if the earth is going to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

A local couple is renting ebikes to help tourists take advantage of the 40-mile bike trail network connecting the Mexican resort cities of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo.

A pair of Edinburgh bike thieves were caught on camera tossing bikes over a tall fence to make their getaway.

More British companies are using cargo bikes to make deliveries to avoid traffic congestion and parking problems, including a London flower shop that replaced its delivery vans with Dutch-made ebikes capable of carrying up to 45 boxes of flowers at a time.

A Welsh man will spend the next six years behind bars after leaving a party “severely drunk” and plowing into a young father riding his bike, while driving over twice the speed limit; the man fled the scene, but returned an hour later pretending to be a friend of the victim, before turning himself in the next day after he sobered up.

No surprise that someone in the Netherlands is one of us, although the coach of the country’s national team may want to be more careful putting his bike up next time, after falling and breaking his hip.

A Lithuanian city halted work on a new cycle track through a forest where Jews were murdered and buried by the Nazis in WWII, after the country’s Chief Rabbi justifiably criticized the plans.

An Aussie driver was speeding, driving erratically, and high on crystal meth, amphetamines and cannabis when he ran down a bicycling grandmother last year, then abandoned his car and screaming passengers to flee the scene on foot. But swears he doesn’t remember it because he was sleeping at the time of the crash, and only fled because he panicked.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news from the French Riviera, where 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas got his stolen Pinarello back just three hours after it was taken, thanks to the quick action of the local gendarmes.

Cycling News looks at the top names retiring from the peloton this year, including Tony Martin, André Greipel and Tejay van Garderen.

 

Finally…

Lux brand icon Stella McCartney designed some new bikes, but good luck getting one. A viral photo of a bed attached to a bicycle is about 80 years too recent to be a photo of the first ambulance.

And that feeling when your bike-wheeled dinosaur goes missing, but somehow comes back

………

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

Metro bikewashes 605 freeway expansion, LA council considers safety measures, and CicLAvia heads to South LA

Sometimes, the explanation stinks as much as the project.

And the location.

Anyone who ever drove the 605 Freeway through Baldwin Park and the City of Industry in years past noticed the stench of the duck farm long before it came into sight.

And it lingered long after, making you wonder if the odor was still wafting through the air, or burned into your olfactory nerve.

It’s been 20 years since work began to turn the poultry farm into a park. Although you have to wonder if even that is long enough to get the stink off the land.

But now the stench is wafting from the Metro boardroom, instead.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the board Planning Committee unanimously approved a $35 million project to widen the freeway interchange at the 605 and Valley Blvd. And is greenwashing it with supposed benefits to bike riders and pedestrians.

What’s depressing is how inexorably these small freeway expansion projects continue to advance. And the Metro gaslighting that now promotes polluting auto-focused freeway expansion as good for equity and for active transportation.

He goes on to note that Caltrans bizarrely certified that the project would have no negative environmental impact.

Because apparently, induced demand isn’t a thing anymore.

The 605/Valley Blvd project was environmentally cleared via a negative declaration (asserting the project has no adverse environmental impacts) approved by Caltrans in May 2021. The environmental documents use discredited Level of Service metrics to show that widening roadways would “reduce congestion on Valley Boulevard” and “alleviate mobility constraints.” The project would widen roads, increasing car congestion and concomitant pollution burdens on the surrounding communities.

Equally bizarre, though, is Metro’s attempts at greenwashing the project by touting its extremely limited benefits to alternative transpiration.

Again, from Linton’s Streetsblog piece —

Caltrans and Metro tout the project as benefiting alternative transportation. The environmental documents assert that the project would “enhance bicyclist and pedestrian safety” and “help reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions” by supporting alternative modes of transportation: biking and walking.

All of the non-car features of the project are:

  • Adding a sidewalk where it is currently missing on the north side of Valley Boulevard – including ADA-mandated features such as wheelchair ramps.
  • Adding “a widened shoulder to provide a future bike lane along Eastbound Valley Boulevard up to the northbound loop on-ramp.” Installing this 1,400-feet length of bike lanes does not appear to be actually included in the project, but the margin for potential future bike lanes is nonetheless noted as helping reduce GHG emissions.
  • Reducing the curve radius of the northbound loop on-ramp from eastbound Valley Boulevard; this “would be reduced to slow entering traffic to enhance safety for bicyclists and pedestrians and support use of these alternative modes.” Note that the reason the turning radius is being narrowed is to accommodate a second lane on the current one-lane on-ramp (without taking out the business next door). Caltrans asserts that an upcoming curve radius would slow Southern California drivers entering the on-ramp, and that this would encourage bicycling. Really.

All the extra bike riding this project would inspire wouldn’t begin to offset the environmental and climate damage it would cause.

Then again, it’s hard to offset anything when the bike and pedestrian side of the equation is virtually nil.

Unless you think a possible, noncommittal quarter-mile bike lane that may never be built is enough to offset what would undoubtedly be a major increase in traffic and emissions.

Or that safety for people on foot and bicycles can really be enhanced by adding a second onramp lane.

Admittedly, I’m not lawyer. But it seems like it wouldn’t take a very big cannon to shoot holes in the environmental report for this project.

Or a water pistol, for that matter.

So let’s be honest.

Every member of the Planning Committee who voted in favor of this project — which is all of them — should be ashamed.

Because whatever benefits this freeway widening project may or may not offer, their efforts to bikewash it with negligible benefits to bike riders and pedestrians stinks every bit as much as the duck farm did.

And it will take years to wash that stench off them, too.

………

Nice to see an effort by LA Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz to use newly signed state laws to improve safety on our streets.

Then again, Koretz has always been in favor of safety improvements, as long as they’re in someone else’s district.

………

CicLAvia has released details on December’s 5.3 mile open streets festival in South LA, connecting the neighborhoods of South Central, Exposition Park, Leimert Park and Crenshaw.

………

Today’s must read comes from an Associated Press story that only tangentially involves bicycles.

Instead, it’s about kids as young as six years old being handcuffed and arrested by police — including brutal use-of-force incidents — the overwhelming majority of whom are Black, brown or other people of color.

Here’s just one example they cite.

About 165 miles due south, in the rural hamlet of Paris, Illinois, 15-year-old Skyler Davis was riding his bike near his house when he ran afoul of a local ordinance that prohibited biking and skateboarding in the business district — a law that was rarely enforced, if ever.

But on that day, according to Skyler’s father, Aaron Davis, police officers followed his mentally disabled son in their squad car and chased his bike up over a curb and across the grass.

Officers pursued Skyler into his house and threw him to the floor, handcuffing him and slamming him against a wall, his father said. Davis arrived to see police pulling Skyler — 5 feet tall and barely 80 pounds, with a “pure look of terror” on his face — toward the squad car.

“He’s just a happy kid, riding his bike down the road,” Davis said, “And 30 to 45 seconds later, you see him basically pedaling for his life.”

Seriously, there’s no damn excuse for targeting kids like this, unless they somehow pose a direct threat.

And that’s pretty hard to imagine for a six-year old.

Or an unarmed 15-year old just out for a bike ride.

………

More evidence that motor vehicle exhaust lowers intelligence, as a Texas driver rolls coal into a Whataburger dining room.

@jaysonmanzanares0

Only in Texas #fypシ #smoke #funny #stupid #dumbass #viral #popular #outtaline #whataburger @Whataburger

♬ original sound – Jayson Manzanares

While it may seem like an obnoxious prank, it should be treated as an assault with a deadly weapon, which could have severe consequences for anyone with allergies or breathing problems.

………

Who needs a bike car in the train when you’ve got one in front of it?

https://twitter.com/grescoe/status/1450864913396781063

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

………

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

No bias here. Instead of improving safety, Korea’s leading steel maker is banning bicycles from its mills.

Singapore is banning bicyclists from riding in groups of more than ten people riding abreast, or five riding single file.

 

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

Calabasas sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike-riding cosmetics shoplifter who raided the local Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores on at least four separate occasions.

Police in my Colorado hometown are looking for a peeping Tom who fled by bicycle after he was spotted, firing several shots at a group of people who tried to confront him.

A bike-riding Florida teenager says he was trying to kill himself to avoid going back to jail when he fatally shot a cop he was wrestling with, who was trying to arrest him for attempting to break into several cars.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The New York Times explains why Newsom vetoed a handful of bills, including California’s proposed Stop As Yield law and one legalizing jaywalking. Meanwhile, SF Gate questions why Newsom vetoed the jaywalking bill, since everyone does it.

Here’s a chance to make some money while you ride your bike. Caltrans wants to pay you up to $250 a day to clean up trash along California highways.

Santa Barbara is hosting a pair of public meetings, virtual and otherwise, to discuss a possible bike/ped bridge over the 101 Freeway.

A Santa Cruz charity ride raised over $200,000 for local nonprofits. And no, it’s not named for conservative KFI shock jocks Jon and Ken.

Good news and bad news. Bay Area bike riders are happy to learn the hard-won bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge won’t have to be closed for construction of a proposed water pipeline. But the approach leading to the bridge will be.

 

National

Seriously, who doesn’t need a limited edition Ozzy Osbourne bike jersey?

A climate website looks at the delivery riders on the front lines of the shakeup in sustainable transportation, and the price they pay with their own lives and bodies. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Outside offers advice on how to avoid low bone density, which has been linked to extensive bicycling.

Road Bike Action offers tips on how to be your own wrench.

Consumer Reports provides advice on how to keep your ebike running longer, while warning about the dangers of ebike battery fires.

A trio of Seattle physicians call on officials to reconsider a proposal to revoke the county’s mandatory bike helmet law, which has been used to unfairly target people of color.

Kindhearted Texas residents pitched in to buy a new ebike for a formerly homeless vet, after his homemade shoeshine cart and the jury-rigged ebike he built were stolen; he recovered the shoeshine cart, but his bike remains missing.

Hats off to a group of Rhode Island mountain bikers, who pitched in to scrub Nazi graffiti off state lands.

A former mountain biker from Seattle is in New York, replicating the Shadowman figures of 1980s street artist Richard Hambleton.

An op-ed from three New York teens calls on the city to develop The NYC Tube, a proposed inter-borough bicycle highway. We need something like that here in Los Angeles to connect at least some of the 88 cities in LA County. Let alone one crossing the City of LA itself.

Momentum Magazine talks with a stunt rider who calls himself Obloxkz, or O, about the Red Bull documentary NYC Bike Life and the ride-outs that continue to traumatize Long Island drivers.

Florida police are checking an abandoned bike for fingerprints, which may or may not have been the bike ridden by someone who may or may not have been Brian Laundrie, who may or may not be suspected in the death of Gabby Petito. Meanwhile, investigators are examining human remains found in a Florida nature reserve, which may or may not be Laundrie’s.

 

International

Intenet users teamed up to find a handicapped Vancouver man’s stolen handcycle, just 17 minutes after he posted a notice of the theft online.

An Italian ultracyclist is riding over 1,200 miles from Milan to Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference to spread the word about bicycling.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as India’s Relief Riders earn a nomination for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to deliver food and medicine to elderly, disabled and people isolating during the worst of the country’s pandemic.

An Indian man insists he loves his wife, despite running her down with his car as she rode her bicycle to work, then hacking her to death before attempting to cut her head off. Which makes you wonder what he would have done if he didn’t love her.

Malaysia threatens to jail people for up to three months for the crime of riding an e-scooter on public streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seems appropriate. Rising Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel will take part in the Kansas edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride, along with his Deceueninck-QuickStep teammate Mattia Cattaneo.

Seventeen top women’s teams have confirmed for next week’s inaugural Lion’s Den race in Sacramento, with a star-studded field including US Olympians Lily Williams and SoCal’s own Coryn Labecki, who was formerly known as Coryn Rivera before her recent marriage.

Cyclist looks forward to next year’s women’s Tour de France, calling it a week of brutal climbs and gravel.

A diabetes website talks with former Team Novo Nordisk cyclist Ezra Ward-Packard about the joys of competing with Type 1 diabetes. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

Cannondale is teaming with travel and language company EF Education First to sponsor new college cycling teams at one HBCU and two tribal colleges, with enough funding for three years.

Forty-seven-year old Natalie van Gogh is calling it a career after 15 years in the pro peloton, insisting she’s just Natalie, “not Natalie the transgender cyclist.”

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride your e-scooter on a highway, weaving in and out of traffic at up to 60 mph. Now you, too, can get your next bike from a haunted REI co-op.

And maybe it’s time we demanded a mandatory helmet law for deer.

Pretty impressive handspring as it tumbles offscreen, too.

………

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

Man killed in South LA shooting and bike-riding 8-year old girl shot, and Bonin faces another right wing recall effort

There’s a special place in hell for whoever fatally shot a 22-year-old man in South LA Tuesday night — and also shot an eight-year old girl as she was apparently riding past on her bicycle.

Unfortunately, we seem to be going back to the bad old days when shootings were an everyday occurrence in Los Angeles, just like traffic collisions.

And just like traffic violence, innocent people are too often collateral damage. Like an eight-year old girl, who fortunately is expected to survive.

And just like traffic violence, it’s a problem that can be solved, if we all just care enough to do something about it.

Which sadly seems like a very big if these days.

………

Bike and pedestrian friendly Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin is just the latest LA official targeted by a recall petition.

And not for the first time.

https://twitter.com/DavidZahniser/status/1404858096426487814

Despite Bonin’s overwhelming popularity, winning 71% of the vote in the 11th Council District in 2017, he has been repeatedly targeted by conservatives who hate his policies, but haven’t been able to beat him at the ballot box.

Whether this latest recall attempt is a genuine effort to get him out of office, or just an attempt to harass and distract him, it seems like a remarkable waste of time and money for someone who will be up for re-election in less than a year.

………

No hypocrisy here.

Speaking at yesterday’s meeting of the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee, outgoing CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz says hardly anyone uses the bike lanes in his Westside district.

That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Koretz repeatedly blocking bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and other major streets in his district, though.

Could it?

People might be more likely to use them if they were safer and provided more separation from the Westside’s high speed traffic, legal and otherwise.

And if they connected with other safe bike lane in an actual network that could be used to travel throughout the district, rather than a handful of disconnected bike lanes that unexpectedly end, forcing riders to fight their way through heavy traffic.

A failure of planning that can be laid directly at Koretz’s feet, who is clearly all in favor of building bike lanes.

In someone else’s district.

Correction: Call it a poor word choice on my part. The failure was not one of planning, as former LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery pointed out in the comments yesterday

I’d like to take issue with your use of the word “planning” in respect to the lack of bikeways on the Westside. It is not “a failure of planning” that the Westside does not have a sufficient bikeway network. What the Westside does not have is enough political will. The planning was done, the funding was available for implementation, and the projects were all blocked by the NIMBYs and sitting elected officials.

She’s right.

I should have known better, because I remember those losing battles all too well. My apologies for unintentionally placing the blame where it doesn’t belong. 

………

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

A Michigan bike rider was the latest victim of a driveby paintball shooting, which is a lot less harmless than it might seem.

No bias here. An op-ed in the New York Daily News says “ebike blood” is on the hands of New York’s progressive city council for the crime of finally making it legal to ride an ebike or e-scooter in the city. Then goes on to lump both together, without noting that the injuries and deaths he cites could just as easily have happened with regular bikes or skateboards.

Speaking of which, there’s tragic news from New York, where 65-year old actress Lisa Banes died over a week after she was struck by a hit-and-run rider on an e-scooter.

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

A San Francisco man rode his bicycle into a drugstore, dumped a shelf-full of merchandise into a garbage bag, then casually rode his bike out the door.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego’s Coast News Group visits North County’s bicycle-themed Rouleur Brewing Company.

SF Gate recommends everything you need to start commuting by bike. Except for the actual, you know, bicycle.

Once again, the bike rider gets the blame, after a 69-year old Sonoma woman suffered major injuries when she allegedly rode her bicycle into the path of a motorist. Which is hard to imagine, since she was riding west and was struck by a driver headed east on the same road; as always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses to corroborate the driver’s story.

Another tempting road bike route from Sacramento Magazine.

 

National

How to stop that dreaded tubular tire shimmy. Besides riding clinchers, that is.

Don’t ask me to explain the science. But studies confirm that wider road bike tires are faster than skinnier tires. Thanks to Austin Brown, aka Power Lama, for the link.

Cycling News offers advice on where to buy ebikes, which are in unexpectedly short supply these days.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of self-described old fogies, whose ages match the mid-70° Kansas weather, has been meeting for weekly rides for the last ten years, rain, snow or shine.

Twenty-year old Dutch IndyCar racer Rinus VeeKay will miss this weekend’s race in Wisconsin after breaking his clavicle crashing his bicycle on a training ride.

A Cape Cod woman says she may not have a view of the water, but she’s just as happy living next to a bike path.

Good news for Sheldon Brown fans, as the popular bicycle repair website penned by the late bike mechanic will live on, despite the closure of the Boston bike shop where he worked.

Once again, a driver is somehow unable to avoid crashing into a group of bike riders, as one person was killed and another wounded when the driver smashed into a group of four people riding bicycles in Syracuse NY. And once again, fled the scene, leaving his or her victims bleeding in the street.

A helmetless woman died after falling off her bike on a bike path in a Bronx park. Yet another tragic reminder that slow speed falls are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Bikes are still booming in Gotham, where ridership on bridges over the East River are still above pre-pandemic levels.

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah is one of us, riding his bike to a New York comedy club where he wasn’t planning to perform. But did anyway.

A New Orleans letter writer says he’s never seen a single bike rider obey basic traffic laws in 30 years. Which likely says a lot more about his powers of observation than it does the people on bikes.

No pun here, as a Miami paper says the city is driving to become more bicycle friendly, when it’s all that driving that made and keeps it unfriendly. But it’s interesting that they included Santa Monica, along with Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm, as their examples of bike and pedestrian friendly cities.

A grateful Florida man gets to thank the Florida paramedics who saved his life, despite suffering 47 broken bones when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike.

 

International

Your next bike helmet could warn you in advance about a pending dooring.

A tech website says the world’s obsession with e-cars is impeding the race to net zero, and that more active transportation is needed, instead. Which is pretty much what we’ve been saying all along.

An Edinburgh, Scotland man says buying an adult tricycle was the best move he made during the pandemic.

Presenting the first belt-drive ebike capable of going 28 mph, from Dutch bikemaker Gazelle. A speed that requires a helmet here in the late, great Golden State, and can’t be legally ridden on a bike path.

The shortage or bikes and parts driven by the pandemic bike boom isn’t likely to be helped by a two week closure of Shimano’s Malaysia plant due to a government shutdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News suggests ten riders to watch in the men’s 2021 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee this weekend. Then tops that with eleven riders to watch on the women’s side.

Popular American cyclist Tejay van Garderen is calling it a career after this weekend’s nationals.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me — If you’re carrying meth and weed on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Valet your bike at the College World Series.

And that feeling when there’s no sensible way to mount a bike rack on your supercar.

………

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

California slightly less dangerous for bike riders, Bonin runs for return to city council, and sabotage on a Scottish bike trail

Maybe we’re not quite so bad, after all.

A new report from transportation data analytics firm StreetLight Data creates their own ranking of the safest and dangerous states to ride a bike.

The report uses additional data points to scramble the rankings prepared by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Top 10 Riskiest States for Bicyclists
  1. Delaware (#2 on FARS* per capita report)
  2. South Carolina (#4 on FARS)
  3. Florida (#1 on FARS)
  4. Louisiana (#3 on FARS)
  5. New Mexico (#5 on FARS)
  6. Oklahoma (#9 on FARS)
  7. Mississippi (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. West Virginia (Not in the FARS top 10)
  9. Arizona (#7 on FARS)
  10. California (#6 on FARS)
Top 10 Safest States for Bicyclists
  1. Massachusetts (#1 on FARS per capita report)
  2. New York (Not in the FARS top 10)
  3. Illinois (#7 on FARS)
  4. Pennsylvania (#4 on FARS)
  5. Utah (#8 on FARS)
  6. Tennessee (#2 on FARS)
  7. Minnesota (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. Missouri (#5 on FARS)
  9. Arkansas (#3 on FARS)
  10. Washington (Not in the FARS top 10)

Which means we have just slightly less work to do to make our streets safe and inviting for everyone.

………

Councilmember Mike Bonin is tossing his hat in the ring for a third and final term representing coastal Los Angeles on the council.

One of LA’s most progressive councilmembers, Bonin, who used to bike commute to city hall when he was the top aide to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, has been one of the leading bike supporters on the council in recent years.

Which isn’t saying much.

But it was Bonin who was behind the simultaneous rollout of three much-needed lane reductions and bike lanes in Playa del Rey in 2017.

And who stood firm in the face of massive motorist opposition until he was undercut by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who disregarded his own Vision Zero program.

Not for the last time, either.

Maybe Bonin can use his last few years on the council to have as big an impact on our streets as his late mentor and predecessor.

………

Formerly staid Santa Barbara has taken a surprising turn towards becoming more bike and pedestrian friendly in recent years.

Here’s your chance to learn how, from some of the people making it happen.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1390111086985158656

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

This is who we share the parks with. When a Scottish man confronted a retired couple who had just placed a large log on a park bike trail, they confessed they were intentionally trying sabotage it to injure bike riders so they wouldn’t come there anymore.

………

Local

Supporters of Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan are asking you to reach out to Councilmember Kevin de León, and urge him to join County Supervisor Hilda Solis and other local leaders in supporting the plan to re-envision Colorado Blvd when a new Bus Rapid Transit line goes in.

Santa Clarita is challenging residents to go green by bike commuting next week.

 

State

Credit the CHP with calling on drivers to operate their vehicles safely around people on bicycles — and not considering bike helmets the beginning and end of bicycle safety. Although the idea of shared responsibility on the streets doesn’t exactly hold true when comparing a two-ton semi-ballistic weapon with a few hundred pounds of flesh and bone. Or less. 

They get it. The Orange County Transportation Authority calls on everyone to “stay active and get outdoors to safely travel by bicycle” during May’s Bike Everywhere month in the county.

’70s alto sax legend Sonny Simmons was down and out in San Francisco, busking on the streets for spare change, when a local jazz promoter happened by on his bicycle and revived his career with a sold-out gig opening for Branford Marsalis; Simmons died last month, six years after a fall left him partially paralyzed and ended his playing career. If he’d been in a car, he probably never would have heard Simmons, and that career revival might never have come.

 

National

Enough with the light bikes. Pink Bike contemplates what’s the heaviest mountain bike their could build for ten grand.

NACTO follows up on last year’s street design grants to ten cities across the US; Long Beach used theirs to create a parklet program to support restaurants in underserved communities.

Gear Junkie examines whether Apple’s new AirTag is the best anti-bike theft device, allowing you to track your bike down if anyone takes it. On the other hand, AirTag also makes it easier for someone to stalk you.

Speaking of Apple, a new iOS update will allow you to use Siri to report traffic hazards to Apple Maps, where they can be seen by other users. Although it’s questionable what it can do when the hazard is “all these damn cars and the people driving them.”

An Arizona website explains how to tour Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park and other hidden Utah gems by bicycle.

A Salt Lake City alternative paper considers the best bike bags for riding around the city.

About damn time. A Colorado man has been arrested for 1st degree murder following the disappearance of wife last year, who set out on a Mother’s Day bike ride and was never seen again; countless searches have failed to discover her body.

A retired ranger says banning bikes from Yellowstone’s south entrance until the park opens to cars is like telling people on bicycles to wait until it’s too dangerous to ride there.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Hartford, Connecticut is reducing traffic lanes and adding bike lanes and better medians on a street where a bike rider was killed last year.

Connecticut is showing California how it’s done, as a proposal to place speed cams in a limited number of school, hospital and work zones around the state sailed through a second legislative committee with bipartisan support; the bill would also prohibit dooring, among other safety provisions. A similar bill to place speed cams in school zones was gutted by California Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez of Long Beach.

Buffalo NY is marking Bike Month with a number of pop-up Complete Streets in the city’s Fillmore District. Meanwhile, Los Angeles isn’t.

 

International

London’s Independent considers the best cycling shorts for women.

Yorkshire’s historic Bolton Abbey denies using security guards to turn away people on bicycles, despite bike riders saying that’s exactly what happened over the weekend; the estate claims they were just explaining voluntary pandemic safety measures. Sure, let’s go with that. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went for a bike ride with the mayor of Stourbridge on the eve of the country’s local elections, with both looking surprisingly unsteady on their bikeshare bikes. Especially since London’s bikeshare system was popularly known as Boris Bikes when the experienced bike rider was mayor of the city.

Cycling legend Gino Bartali was honored with a Roman Catholic service on he 21st anniversary of his death; the Italian rider helped save over 800 Jews from the Nazis by smuggling papers in the frame of his bike during WWII.

A Slovenian composites company says they can build a road bike for everyday use that weighs less than nine pounds. Even if cycling’s governing body limits bikes to 15 pounds or more.

Hyderabad, India’s bicycle mayor is leading a group of volunteers fighting the country’s horrific Covid-19 crisis by using their bikes to deliver badly needed medicines to the elderly, as well as searching for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, ventilators and plasma donors.

 

Competitive Cycling

2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal says his performance in the upcoming Giro depends on how his balky back responds.

Amber Neben proves you’re never too old to go for the gold, competing against women half her age for a spot on the U.S. women’s Olympic road team at 46 years old.

The world road cycling championships will be hosted by an African nation for the first time, going to Rwanda in 2025.

 

Finally…

Your next bike might have a steering tube — or a front fork. Nothing like a tall bike to make you stand out in any field.

And now you, too, can compete in Indiana University’s iconic Little 500 bike race, without the inconvenience of attending the university.

Or leaving your home, for that matter.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Hit-and-run driver busted behind bars for killing South LA father, LA considers civilian traffic cops, and Bike the Vote!

They didn’t have to look far to find one hit-and-run driver.

After three full months of searching, investigators identified the driver who killed a 37-year old father as he was riding with his two children in South LA.

Police identified 26-year old Los Angeles resident Moises Iscaya on October 6th as the driver who — allegedly — fled the scene after running down Jorge Guerra on July 8th; Guerra died after spending eight days in a coma.

Fortunately, his two children were uninjured, aside from the trauma of seeing their father killed in front of their eyes.

When LAPD officers searched for Iscaya, however, they found he was already being held by sheriff’s deputies on $2.2 million bail, charged with multiple counts including murder.

Maybe they should just add another murder count while they’re at it.

Unfortunately, felony hit-and-run resulting in death would only add a maximum of four years to whatever he gets if he’s convicted on the other charges.

Something that has to be changed if we ever want to stop the epidemic of hit-and-runs in this state.

………

The Los Angeles City Council will consider using unarmed civilians and speed cams for traffic enforcement and collision investigations this morning.

………

Calbike offers a reminder to Bike the Vote this year.

In every sense.

………

Congratulations to Davis on their award-winning bike safety musical. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

New York bike cops continue to use their bicycles as shields and weapons against protesters.

And bust protestors because their bikes fall over.

………

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

Boston suburb rips out a new bike lane after just six days, after vocal residents choose parking spaces over people’s lives.

………

Local

Los Angeles could soon be the home of the nation’s largest ebike factory; privately owed ROKiT MADE plans to open next year to build “best-in-class e-Bike models across all price points in each market segment,” in a plant designed to accommodate up to 2,000 workers.

Santa Monica is planning to add a two-way separated bike lane protected by thin plastic bollards on Ocean Ave, replacing the current painted lane.

 

State

Santa Barbara’s new e-bikeshare system continues the transformation of the city’s main street, as State Street has been reclaimed from cars to provide space for outdoor shopping and dining.

Sad news from Porterville, where a 15-year old boy was killed riding his bike in a crosswalk.

A Fresno man faces charges after he was caught on video threatening a bike rider at knifepoint to steal his backpack.

San Francisco isn’t on track to meet the Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the next four years. But at least they’re trying, unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

Davis is asking residents to take the Bike League’s Bicycle Friendly Community survey.

The City of Angels is building new bike lanes. No, the other City of Angels.

 

National

Urban planners from across the US consider repurposing traffic lanes for other uses in a post-pandemic world.

A writer for The Verge says driving the massively oversized Cadillac Escalade was one of the most stressful experiences of his life, while Outside says the new electric Hummer is the awesome pickup we’ve all been waiting for. Um, no.

A Colorado mountain biker rides the trail pioneered centuries ago by the Ute tribe.

Texas is launching a Drive Smart, Walk Smart, Bike Smart public safety campaign to combat a jump in bike and pedestrian crashes. Because everyone knows it’s better to air a few ads than do something about dangerous drivers and fix the damn streets.

A Kansas driver had his wrist slap sentence tossed out on appeal, after the court ruled the judge has exceeded her discretion by reducing his ten-year sentence for second-degree murder by over eight years; the court ordered him resentenced for running down a man with his car following a dispute.

A St. Louis nonprofit devoted to refurbishing bikes to donate to kids in need is slowly trying to rebuild after a building collapse destroyed hundreds of stored bicycles; the head of the group didn’t know the building they used for storage had been condemned seven years ago.

Good question. A Vermont paper asks if anyone can do anything about bike theft, while a bicyclist offers a tragic reminder to put your damn phone down while you ride.

Manhattan officials killed a proposal for a cargo bike corral to accommodate the bikes used for Whole Foods deliveries because it would have meant the loss of five lousy parking spaces.

DC’s Metro built bike corrals at three park and ride locations — and somehow spent $20,000 per space doing it.

Residents of a Maryland city are up in arms over groups of ill-mannered kids on bicycles swarming the streets.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, as a South Carolina man was sentenced to 20 years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider after four previous DUI convictions.

A New Orleans bike group cancels their weekly light-up bike parade after it proves too popular during the pandemic.

 

International

Travel & Leisure lists the world’s top bicycling cities. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t make the list; Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis did.

Add these to your mountain bike bucket list. Bicycling recommends a handful of bikepacking singletrack trails across the US and around the world. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

They get it. A Bogotá, Colombia website says it’s time to protect vulnerable bike riders, because riding a bicycle shouldn’t be a capital crime.

Mexico’s Merida will build a 45-mile bike lane network circling the Yucatan town.

The bighearted owner of a Toronto bike shop gave a new bike to a frontline hospital worker whose bike was stolen as he worked a 28 hour shift.

Conservative councilors in the London borough of Hackney called for removing Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the country’s Slow Streets equivalent — despite their popularity with the city’s residents.

UK car insurance claims involving bike riders have doubled this year, as more people took to two wheels during the coronavirus lockdown.

Life is cheap in Great Britain, where a careless driver who killed a bike rider got just 30 months behind bars — which included time for also stealing 16 cars worth over $250,000.

Spain plans to reduce the standard speed limit in cities from the equivalent of 31 mph to 18 mph to improve safety for people who aren’t in cars.

Forget helmet laws; an Iranian woman was busted for riding a bicycle without a hijab.

 

Competitive Cycling

English cyclist Dan Martin took the third stage of the Vuelta, while the Giro got a new leader after Thursday’s stage as João Almeida cracked climbing the iconic Stelvio.

Apparently, Colombia cyclist Fernando Gaviria thought Covid-19 was so nice, he caught it twice.

VeloNews examines Anna van der Breggen’s successful strategy to win Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

Highland could serve as a substitute if the annual Redlands Classic stage race isn’t able to roll next year.

The Cedar City, Utah edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride was the first gravel race to roll as the nation slowly continues a premature wakeup from Covid-19; VeloNews looks at the precautions that were taken to help keep everyone safe.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike to commit a burglary, maybe the fireplace isn’t the best place to hide. Your next ride could result in glowing reviews. No, literally.

And someone must think roadkill looks better in stripes.

………

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

LADOT wants input on deadly Lincoln Blvd, Koretz recall effort announced, and wear your damn golf helmet

LADOT wants your input on a proposal to install rush hour bus lanes and other safety improvements on deadly Lincoln Blvd south of the Santa Monica border, which could be used for parking and biking at other hours.

Since this one is in Councilmember Mike Bonin’s district, it might actually happen; he’s one of the few friends traffic safety advocates have left on the city council.

Although maybe we’d be better served by a shared bus and bike lane during rush hour that converts to a floating bike lane during off hours.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

………

Anger is boiling over in LA’s fifth council district, as a new effort to recall Paul Koretz gets underway.

If I still lived in the district I called home for a quarter of a century, I’d be the first to sign the petition.

The only real question is what took so long?

………

Maybe they should wear helmets.

A new survey says you’re more likely to get hurt playing golf than you are riding a bike. (Scroll down if the story doesn’t load correctly.)

Unless, like me, you wouldn’t be caught dead on a golf course.

………

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s filled with patrol cars from cops grabbing lunch.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

………

Bike Angeles takes you riding on Latigo Canyon, calling it the most essential climb in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

………

The only thing worse than a near miss is a pass that doesn’t.

Miss, that is.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a road raging English farmer walked without a single day behind bars for intentionally slamming into a bike rider in reverse.

No bias here. British business owners insist that popup bike lanes are a pain in the backside and an accident waiting to happen.

………

Local

London and Long Beach based Zwift is now a one billion dollar company.

The replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge in the Port of Long Beach is set to open next month, including the long awaited Mark Bixby bike lanes.

 

State

San Jose develops an innovative plan to improve safety on a pair of three lane one-way streets by installing a frontage lane to keep cars out of a curb protected bike lane, along with protected intersections.

Sunnyvale is dropping the speed limit on El Camino Real to 35 mph to match the speed in other nearby cities, while considering a plan to add bike lanes.

The US Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis unveils this year’s inductees.

 

National

Next City calls freight delivery the forgotten part of Vision Zero, saying streets need to be designed so delivery vehicles can operate safely in mixed traffic. Or better yet, replace delivery trucks and vans with more efficient ebikes. Although in Los Angeles, it’s Vision Zero itself that’s been forgotten.

Spin looks at the success of Slow Streets programs around the US.

Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club maps out routes into the city from West SeattleSomething we could use here in LA to navigate the city’s fractured bikeways.

Bike riders are discovering the joys of biking on gravel in Texas, where there’s lots of it.

Busted for Biking While Black at just ten years old. Michelle Obama — yes, that Michelle Obama — tells the story of how her own brother was stopped by a pair of Chicago cops who refused to believe the bike he was riding belonged him.

Speaking of Chicago, the police are finally releasing bicycles that were seized during the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year. But not in the same condition they were in when they seized.

Bike trails to check out the fall foliage for your next trip to the Big Apple.

The brother of a Brooklyn assistant DA who was killed in a collision while riding her bike last week says the city failed her, and all new bike riders.

Nice story about a writer’s friendship with a noted Florida chef, and tracking down the bespoke bike he passed along. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if you’re blocked out by Bicycling’s paywall.

 

International

Axios traces the timeline of the coronavirus bike boom, saying it remains to be seen if it’s a long-term trend that will outlive the virus itself.

Cycling News offers advice on how to safely lock-up your bike to help ensure it’s still there when you get back.

Cycling Weekly says it’s time to up your sock game.

A 155-year old British sports publication talks with American mom Denise Mueller-Korenek, the world’s fastest assisted bicyclist, clocked at just this side of an incredible 184 mph.

A woman in the UK credits the Busby app with saving her life when she was knocked unconscious after a driver forced her bike off the road.

Dutch bikemaker Van Moof raises $40 million to further expand worldwide, as it sets its sites on an IPO.

Turkey wants to integrate bicycles into the country’s transportation network.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yesterday’s stage of the Tour de France ended with a nail-biting attack on the on the Col de la Loze.

Team USA profiles Sepp Kuss as he works to keep Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič in yellow.

Fans aren’t exactly social distancing at the Tour, as fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogačar had to push a fan out of the way as he neared the summit.

The only Black bike rider in this year’s Tour says he hasn’t seen a lot of solidarity and support on the pro tour.

Somehow, cycling is never far from doping in the news, as the leaders of a massive blood doping ring involving pro cyclists and Nordic athletes went on trial yesterday.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you design a bike that shouldn’t work, yet somehow it does. Still shaving his legs after 29 years and 1,450 twin blade cartridges.

And who doesn’t want to see a bunny on a bicycle?

Thanks to Megan Lynch for this one.

………

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

%d bloggers like this: