Tag Archive for Mike Bonin

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Calbike offers a reminder to Bike the Vote this year.

In every sense.

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

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

And bust protestors because their bikes fall over.

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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.

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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. 

LA pulls plug hours after approving Del Rey Slow Streets, San Diego shows how it’s done, and proof bikes mean business

My apologies if you got a premature draft of today’s post. Evidently, I somehow inadvertently posted this while I was still working on it.

Either that, or I’ve got a bad case of cyber gremlins. 

………

In a dramatic reversal, Los Angeles approved plans to install the city’s first Slow Streets on several streets in the Del Rey neighborhood, which would have allowed people to get out to walk or bike while maintaining a safe social distance.

Then the city changed its mind, pulling the approval just hours before it was supposed to go into effect.

Never mind that any delay defeats the entire purpose of the program, which is intended to help people get out now for fresh air and exercise when they need it most to maintain their mental and physical health.

But even if it hadn’t been cancelled, this is exactly what’s wrong with Los Angeles.

One small area would have gotten desperately needed slow streets to allow for social distancing. But only because one neighborhood council asked for them, and one councilmember cared enough to — almost — get it done.

We need citywide leadership in a time of crisis, not 15 fiefdoms with widely varying commitments to safer streets.

As in, none at all in some cases.

Let’s hope LA city leaders get their figurative heads out of their collective asses, and start giving Angelenos safe places to get outside and move around, like the World Health Organization calls for.

Not in one small neighborhood, but in all of them.

And if it sounds like I’m pissed off, that’s only because I am.

Especially after Portland committed to 100 miles of slow streets.

Meanwhile, BIKAS — Bicycle Infrastructure Knowledge Activism and Safety — calls for an email campaign to demand quick-build safety improvements on LA’s Fourth Street during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And Streetsblog say LA’s new program to accelerate repaving during the coronavirus slowdown is ignoring the city’s previously approved Mobility Plan.

Photo by Athena from Pexels.

……..

San Diego continues to show LA how it’s done, closing part of four streets to motor vehicles to provide space to walk or bike while maintaining social distancing.

Meanwhile, San Diego County has reopened the SR-56 commuter bikeway between Solana Beach and Rancho Bernardo to pedestrians and bike riders.

As Robert Leone points out, it’s true that the pathway gets a lot of recreational use. But no one is stopping drivers to ask if their trips are necessary.

………

Yet another study shows that bikes are good for business.

Researchers from Portland State University studied fourteen economic corridors in six cities with and without bike lanes.

And discovered that most businesses saw improvements in sales and employment as a result of bike lanes, with restaurants showing the greatest growth.

………

PeopleForBikes is hosting a virtual Draft Meetup for San Diego-area bike riders this evening; you can RSVP here.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

When you absolutely, positively have to pass the person on the bike, road dividers be damned.

Note: I missed the date on this before posting it. Not the date of the tweet, but the May 14, 2015 on the video itself. So either the bicyclist didn’t set the date properly, or I need to apologize for posting a five year old video. Thanks to Aurelio Jose Barrera for the catch.

………

Phillip Young forwards a full-length film about the glory days of Detroit’s Wolverine Sports Club, dedicated, as their site says, to promoting cycling, speedskating and cross-country skiing at all levels.

And no, I haven’t had a chance to see it myself yet, so let us know what you think.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Police in the UK are looking for the motorcycle-riding schmuck who pushed a bicyclist off his bike for no apparent reason.

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

An Alabama man with an outstanding warrant for domestic abuse faces additional charges after leading police on a slow speed bike pursuit.

An “extremely intoxicated” Florida man faces multiple charges for attacking his former roommates while demanding to know where his bicycle was.

………

Local

The LA County Sheriff’s Department says even though we’re all under safer at home orders, May is still Bicycle and Motorcycle Safety Month.

According to a new plan, LA County beaches could reopen on the 18th, but the beach bike path will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Good idea. An LA Times op-ed calls for turning streets in front of restaurants into expanded seating areas, allowing them to reopen while maintaining social distancing.

The owners of Pure Cycles have sold the Burbank-based bikemaker to Florida bicycle distributor J&B Importers; however, founders Michael Fishman and Jordan Schau will continue to operate it as a standalone company.

Against all evidence, Pasadena somehow decides yellow “traffic calming’ signs will get drivers to take their foot off the gas pedal, while a Pasadena writer explains why red lights don’t prioritize people and still make you push a button to cross. Hint: Older red lights are hard to reprogram, and cars matter more than people in the Rose City.

Lime has pulled up stakes and ridden their scooters out of Santa Monica for the last time.

After Ocean Drive was flooded with people exercising when the beachfront Strand pathway was closed, Manhattan Beach residents call for banning bikes and skateboards, and restricting it to residents only. Which is only slightly illegal, since bikes are legally allowed on any street cars are allowed on. 

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a mountain bike ride through the ‘Bu, while Ryan Phillppe rides his mountain bike in LA.

Prodigal Son actress Bellamy Young is one of us now, after she had two weeks to learn how to ride a racing bike for a part on Criminal Minds. And had to film the scene with a chipped a tooth from grinding her teeth out of fear of falling off.

 

State

Once again, the CHP accuses a bike rider of a SWSS,* insisting the victim swerved in front of a Fresno County driver and suffered “moderate to major” injuries. *For the uninitiated, SWSS refers to a single witness suicide swerve, which is a bike meme referring to the fact that bike riders usually get blamed for riding in front of drivers in the absence of independent witnesses, when it’s often the driver who doesn’t hold his or her lane.

Palo Alto transportation planners say we need to plan for more bicycling and walking after the pandemic, expecting both to be in greater demand.

Great idea. A UC Berkeley grad student is analyzing San Francisco blocked bike reports to determine where protected bike lanes should be installed.

A Stockton man was busted for violating his probation by towing a rifle hidden in a guitar case on his bike trailer.

 

National

Gear Patrol complains that Canyon’s new roadie ebike isn’t available in the US; service isn’t available here for the bike’s Fazua motor. They kinda like Rapha’s new lightweight summer jersey, too.

Pink Bike rates riding glasses. My personal recommendation remains giving San Diego’s Sport RX a call, and let them fix you up with prescription bike glasses, including progressive lenses.

A local website asks whether Denver has what it takes to be a great bike city.

Burglars stole over $35,000 worth of bicycles from a Colorado bike shop.

Chicago finally gets around to repainting faded bike lanes, six months too late to save the life of a bike-riding woman.

Michigan bike shops reopened Tuesday after the governor lifted the state’s strict coronavirus lockdown.

A kindhearted Niagara Falls nurse bought a 12-year old boy a new bike after reading about his stolen bike on Facebook.

A Brooklyn thief faces charges for punching a man in the face to steal his bicycle, then attacking him with it.

A writer for Forbes says ebikes are cooler than you think, praising a chunky looking 30 mph bike from a Boston startup. Even though the article says it’s suited for bike lanes, its speed makes it illegal to ride in one in many states, including California. And you’ll need a helmet and a driver’s license.

DC bike riders stage a rolling protest with a musical soundtrack to highlight inequality exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

A North Carolina high school principal is honoring her school’s graduating seniors by riding her bike around the campus ten times every day this week.

Take a virtual bike ride through the streets of Atlanta, without the inconvenience of actually going there.

Atlanta is getting serious about Vision Zero, cutting speed limits on most city streets to 25 mph.

 

International

Road.cc recounts ten brilliant inventions that changed the bicycle forever, including, yes, pedals.

Cyclist has advice on how to buy a gravel bike.

Regina, Saskatchewan city leaders overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to require bike helmets for all riders, instead opting for an education program to make them less needed.

An Ontario man set a new world record by riding 626 miles in 24 hours on his Zwift stationary bike.

The BBC questions whether we’re witnessing the death of the car, as cities around the world hope to keep many motor vehicles off the road long after the lockdowns end. Except in Los Angeles, of course, where city leaders seem committed to doing nothing.

Apparently, Los Angeles drivers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of empty streets by gluing their feet to the gas pedal. London has seen an eight fold increase in speeding compared to this time last year.

No bias here. A London writer describes bicyclists as irritating little wasps that you can’t run down without fear of maiming one, yet gives riding a try anyway, on an ebike the size of a small motorcycle. However, most of the article is hidden behind the damn paywall.

It’s two years behind bars for a pair of bike thieves who targeted workers at a Nottingham, England medical center.

The British tabloids clearly have celebrity chef and reality TV star Gordon Ramsey in their sights, accusing him of running a red light and nearly causing a crash on his latest ride from his Welsh home.

A Belgian bike path across a huge pond creates the illusion of riding through water.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 79-year old Dutch man chased down a bike thief on his ebike — with a passenger on the back.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite being rescheduled for August, the Tour de France is once again in jeopardy after the French prime minister extends a ban on sporting events through September. Am I the only one who says just pull the plug on 2020 and try again next year?

The Vuelta has nixed its planned Dutch start, and will cut back to just 18 stages this year. Assuming the race happens at all, of course.

The cancellation of the pro tour has put a crimp in anti-doping labs and testing. Not that anyone would take advantage of that, of course.

VeloNews talks with women’s cyclist Kasia Niewiadoma and recently retired cycling scion Taylor Phinney, who got stuck in Girona, Spain while on a bikepacking trip after the pro tours were cancelled.

Kiwi cyclist Ella Harris is spending her lockdown time baking bread and working on her degree in food marketing.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t ride your bike past a store and spit on the window — let alone five times. Yes, you’ll probably want a seat on your bike for long distance rides.

And watch out for gators on the bike path.

………

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

Bonin calls for opening streets for social distancing, what to look for in a bike, and free NACTO healthy streets webinar

It’s no surprise that Mike Bonin gets it.

The Westside councilmember became the first — and so far, only — Los Angeles councilmember to call for taking advantage of the city’s newly traffic-free streets to provide more space for people to walk, bike and run while maintaining social distancing.

Responding to an increasing number of requests from residents — especially seniors, families with children, and people with disabilities — Bonin, who serves as Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee, wrote a letter to LADOT general manager Seleta Reynolds, asking her to consider proposals and make recommendations to temporarily repurpose space on some city streets to give Angelenos more opportunities to get outside while still honoring social distancing protocols and remaining in their neighborhoods.

“During the past month, we have all experienced the ways in which our neighborhood infrastructure does not support new patterns of local essential travel, and does not provide sufficient space for local recreation,” Bonin wrote to Reynolds. “Our sidewalks are too narrow, our streets continue to be unsafe for biking, and some motorists are taking advantage of congestion-free streets to speed recklessly even as more people are moving around on foot and bike…”

“As the father of a 6-year-old, I know firsthand that being able to spend time outside is a matter of physical and emotional well-being – for children and adults. We have the opportunity right now to make our streets more family-friendly,” Bonin added.

We’ll see if anyone else on the council or in the mayor’s office joins him. Particularly since city hall is distracted by the ongoing corruption allegations, which appear to be coming to a head in the near future.

You can read Bonin’s full letter here.

Meanwhile, a writer for Bicycling calls on more cities to follow Oakland’s lead in closing 74-miles of streets to most cars.

New York advocates are calling for more safe routes through Central Park as healthcare workers take to their bikes.

Germany is busy redrawing road markings to make more space for social distancing people.

And New Zealand became the first country to fund popup bike lanes and wider sidewalks on a nationwide basis during the coronavirus lockdown.

On the other hand, DC residents are joining the Department of DIY and doing it for themselves.

GIF from Streets for All showing what’s possible here in Los Angeles, right here and right now.

………

Speaking of which, David Drexler sends word that even without closing traffic lanes, Santa Monica’s San Vicente Blvd, usually home to speeding distracted drivers and double-parked FedEx vans, was so packed with socially distancing bicyclists, runners, walkers and other assorted people that it looked like a mini-CicLAvia.

And what few drivers there were had to avoid them, for a change.

………

Seems like it was only yesterday we quoted heavily from Peter Flax’s article about the struggle of small local bike shops to survive in the age of Covid-19.

Oh wait, it was.

Today he’s back, talking with some of the world’s leading experts, from the legendary Ernesto Colnago to America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, about what to look for in a great bicycle.

………

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for forwarding news of tomorrow’s free NACTO webinar on how to build safe and healthy streets in a time of social distancing, with nationally recognized epidemiologist Dr. Keshia Pollack Porter and former NYDOT director Janette Sadik-Khan, now with Bloomberg Associates.

It will also be live-streamed on the NACTO Facebook and YouTube pages if you can’t set up a Zoom account. Or don’t want to.

It’s not like we’ve all got anything better to do these days.

Right?

………

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

A Davis man faces charges after he was busted while biking for allegedly stealing a completed Covid-19 test sample. No, really.

And it takes a real schmuck to steal from a food bank.

………

Local

KCET remembers longtime LA civil rights and environmental justice advocate — and bicyclist — Robert García, who passed away earlier this month at age 67.

Beverly Hills is joining cities across the US in taking advantage of the quieter streets by speeding work on the former Purple Line subway, while Los Angeles fixes potholes.

Rapper and actor Ice-T used to be one of us, sort of. After his own bicycle was stolen while growing up in Los Angeles, he stole bike parts to build his own Frankenbikes.

 

State

San Francisco police bust a hit-and-run driver who left a bike rider lying injured in the streets on Saturday.

An Oakland news blogger watches a Bay Area bike rider’s hour long video showing a ride through the city’s nearly carfree streets, but can only see the blown stop signs and traffic signals. Worst part is, he — or maybe she — has got a point.

Sad news from Napa County, where a 67-year old man was killed when he somehow fell off his bike into a 15-foot deep culvert.

 

National

Specialized is giving away 500 bicycles to key essential workers in the US on a first come, first served basis.

Bicycling looks at the best gravel bikes you can buy right now, ranging from under a grand to well over ten times that amount. And talks with some of the nation’s best bike photographers.

The coronavirus means fewer cars on the streets of Portland, and the city wants to keep it that way.

A two-time cancer survivor passes through Arizona on the penultimate leg of his eight-year bike ride around the US to call attention to the disease.

A Holland MI writer calls on everyone to be more aware on the streets, while citing a study showing scofflaw bicyclists are at fault for just 6.5% of bike collisions. Unfortunately, he doesn’t cite the study, which we’d all like to see.

A suspected stoned driver faces a half dozen charges for the hit-and-run crash that severely injured a 29-year old Indiana bike rider. Thanks to Melissa for the heads-up.

After beating breast cancer, a Virginia Beach VA woman took up bike racing and quickly rose to become a newly minted Cat 2 racer. Even if she can’t race during the shutdown.

Heartbreaking news from Georgia, where a 14-year old girl was chased down on her bike and stabbed to death, allegedly by a teenage boy as part of an MS-13 gang initiation.

Tiger King’s Carole Baskin says she’s had to give up her daily Florida bike rides due to harassment and threats from fans of the Netflix docuseries, who accuse her of killing her former husband, even though the local sheriff says she’s not a suspect.

 

International

Santiago, Chile is making its bikeshare system free for healthcare workers. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Sign up for free online bike webinars to pass the time under house arrest, uh, social distancing, including Canadian yoga for bicyclists.

Urbanist and former Vancouver city planner Brent Toderian offers tips on how to make cities more livable during the pandemic lockdown. And hopefully keep them that way.

A pair of UK expats try to weather the storm of Covid-19, five years after moving to the Spanish coast to open a bike touring company.

British world heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua flouts the country’s lockdown rules to go for a 30-mile bike ride with friends.

Bicycling rates have jumped across Scotland, including two and three times previous rates in some locations.

A bighearted Philippine boy gives up the money he’d been saving for a new bike to help frontline workers fighting the coronavirus.

Australia’s Smart Company asks if Covid-19 means the end of bikeshare.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now you can own the scuffed-up bike that was handmade for the legendary Gino Bartali, which he rode to a second-place finish in the 1947 Tour de France — assuming you have nearly a hundred grand to invest. Put it somewhere safe, because you could end up being a holy relic if the Catholic Church finally gets around to making him a saint. Or beatifies him, anyway.

Turkey pulls the plug on all bike races through next month.

An Indian newspaper predicts a financial meltdown in pro cycling if the Tour de France is cancelled. Although for now, it looks like it’s merely being rescheduled.

 

Finally…

No one says you can’t do your household chores while you ride your bike. Nothing like building a bike lane on a bridge, while banning bikes from the roads leading to it.

And Dear Abbey says get her a bike, already.

………

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

Bonin promises actual implementation, biking & walking mean happy commuters, and expensive cars mean bigger jerks

This could be good news, for a change.

The LA City Council’s Transportation Committee approved a motion calling on LADOT to come up with a plan to implement the city’s Green New Deal and the mayor’s recent Climate Directive.

In addition to calling for a 30% improvement in bus speeds, it calls for the development of active transportation corridors for walking, bicycling and micromobility, with “at least one major regional project and one neighborhood-oriented network per year.”

It now goes before the full council, and if approved, will require LADOT to respond with an implementation plan this July.

So what we basically have is a motion for a plan.

And as we’ve learned the hard way, Los Angeles is very good at coming up with plans, but not so good at actually putting them on the pavement.

Like the 2010 bike plan. Or the more recent halfhearted non-embrace of Vision Zero.

Perhaps sensing the growing frustration, Transportation Chair Mike Bonin had this to say.

Let’s hope he means it.

………

In what may be one of the most telling surveys ever, a Utah university finds that, given the choice, three-quarters of drivers and car passengers would rather teleport to work, along with two-thirds of transit riders.

But only 35 percent of bike riders and 28 percent of people who walk to work concurred. Which tells you that the overwhelming majority of people who walk or bike to work actually like it.

As opposed to the overwhelming majority of people stuck in traffic who don’t.

………

Once again, science confirms what most of us have already figured out.

The more expensive a driver’s car is, the more likely he or she is to act like an entitled jerk behind the wheel.

………

Not only did a driver in Lincoln CA fail to stop after crashing into a man on a bike, he kept going for another quarter mile with the badly injured victim lodged on the roof of his SUV.

According to The Sacramento Bee, the 85-year old driver said he didn’t know he’d even hit anyone.

Which seems a little odd, given the crumpled hood and shattered windshield directly in front of his steering wheel.

………

A San Diego TV station tells the tale of how nine-year old Connor Stitt of San Marcos rocketed to internet fame when ESPN featured a video of his arial acrobatics.

We showed the clip back in December, but it’s worth seeing again.

And again.

………

Presenting the world’s lightest balance bike, for all those three and four-year old weight weenies in your life.

………

Local

The 13-mile Park to Playa Trail connecting Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area to Playa del Rey is nearly complete; all that’s missing is a soon-to-be-built bridge allowing people and small animals to cross busy La Cienega Blvd.

Curbed quizzes LA council candidates on the bike issues currently facing the city, including housing, homelessness and cars.

More on the near-fatal crash that sent renowned LA chef Walter Manzke of Republique fame to the ER with several broken bones; he was getting out of his car near his upcoming new bistro Bicyclette when he was run down by the driver, who stopped, for a change.

Bike the Vote LA endorses Trisha Keane in Pasadena’s 2nd Council District, while Streets For All reminds us they endorsed Sarah Kate Levy in CD4 and Loraine Lundquist in CD12. I cast my vote for SKL yesterday, in case you’re wondering. And it was so much fun, I’m thinking about going back and doing it again tomorrow. 

 

State

Pink Bike raves about a mountain biker’s perfectly sculpted jumps on a California trail. Call me crazy, but a split scrotum does not suggest a successful landing in my book.

A reminder to never leave your bike on a car rack. A would be Seal Beach bike thief was interrupted by the owner as he tried to make off with a $3,500 bicycle.

An Oceanside bike rider was severely injured when he was struck by an SUV driver after allegedly running a stop light.

A San Diego man is suing the city, claiming its new pump track is too dangerous because it allows bike riders and skateboarders to use it at the same time — even though the injuries he’s claiming came in a “brutal attack” by a boarder, rather than a crash.

Palo Alto is resuming work on building a network of bike boulevards, which was halted two years ago because some residents couldn’t figure out how a roundabout works.

No bias here. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, if you’re not white, male and earn $250,000, the city’s bike lanes aren’t for you. Except, of course, for the 75% of regular bike lane users who earn less than that, and the 33% that are female. Or who don’t otherwise fit with their highly skewed premise, based on notoriously unreliable census data.

A Bay Area woman got drunk, and apparently decided driving in the new barrier protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was the perfect way to bypass all that car traffic in the other lanes.

 

National

A writer for Gear Patrol explains why good bikes are so expensive. Except there are a lot of good bikes out there that aren’t.

Meanwhile, the apparently unrelated Gear Junkie offers tips on how to build up your own mountain bike.

A bike-riding Oregon teenager was very lucky to escape with just minor injuries when he was struck by a driver doing 55 mph.

A New Mexico City councilor doesn’t like the census, early childhood education, the state’s red flag law or the Democratic primary. But he does like bike lanes, so he can’t be all bad.

An eleven-year old South Dakota boy has ridden his bike to school every day for six years — nearly 1,000 days in a row, rain or shine. Or snow.

Kindhearted Kansas business owners gave a new top-of-the-line gravel bike to a woman battling colorectal cancer.

Got to give him points for persistence. A Brooklyn bike thief broke through the roof of a building to steal a bike, then walked it out the front door.

Anti-safety vigilantes are tying yellow ribbons around trees on New York’s Staten Island to warn drivers about speed enforcement cameras.

 

International

A British ebike rider faces charges for killing a pedestrian by plowing into her at 30 mph — ten miles faster than legally allowed.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is testing a system to electronically slow the fastest pedelec bikes down to the speed of regular bikes. Now try it on cars, please.

A Berlin firm is hosting the first-ever virtual world bicycle conference.

Mumbai is working to become bike-friendlier with bike mayors for each of the city’s 24 districts, along with two junior bike mayors. Which is about 26 more than you’ll find in Los Angeles.

An Australian city votes to spend $2 million to rip out part of an $8 million protected bike lane network that was only finished two year ago, claiming it’s causing too much traffic congestion. No, it’s all those cars causing that traffic; take more of those off the road and the congestion goes away.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four American women are working together to win three spots in the mountain biking events at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding your bike with a stolen handgun, a sock full of meth, ten fake or stolen IDs, a criminal record and an outstanding warrant, maybe try riding a little closer to the curb. Ramming your bike into a police car is not likely to hurt it — or help you get away.

And you only wish this was your commute.

Guest post: Los Angeles finally moves forward to support two national bike routes

A few years ago, longtime SoCal bike advocate Bill Sellin started copying me on emails in his fight to get various local leaders to support a pair of US Bicycle Routes across the region. 

It was, clearly, a hard battle. 

First one city, then another came on board. Santa Monica was no surprise; Beverly Hills was. 

But the holdout, for reasons that never really became clear, was the 800 pound gorilla in the process, the City of Los Angeles. 

Apparently, that’s changed. 

Let’s let Bill tell the story. 

………

Some time ago you asked about getting an update on the USBR progress and I had nothing — the City of LA was holding out and DOT staff made it clear they were being told to not designate any more streets for any kind of route designation.

But…

I want to let you know that after years of effort, the City of LA is being prodded to move forward on supporting the USBR (US Bicycle Route) designation of 2 national bike routes across the City.

Adventure Cycling Volunteers have been getting local jurisdictions to simply send a letter of support to CalTrans, so that CalTrans can apply to AASHTO for route designation.

I have been working on portions of USBR 66 from Needles to Santa Monica. Bike friendly cities like Santa Monica, West Hollywood, South Pasadena and Pasadena jumped right in. Even hold outs like Beverly Hills and Alhambra signed on support. The County has given support to USBR 95 around Marina del Rey and USBR 66 across East Pasadena.

The City of Los Angeles, facing law suits from cyclists crashing on our city streets, as well as political backlash for improving cycling infrastructure, has been resistant to doing anything toward the USBR support for fear of being blamed for designating a street as part of a route, if the pavement is in disrepair, until every street is cataloged for hazards.

Even though CalTrans previously established the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route along the older Bicentennial Route, along our coast from Oregon to Mexico across the City.

That existing route is proposed for National designation as USBR 95 across Washington, Oregon and California. To get it supported by the City of Los Angeles and a few other ‘hold outs’ is required to complete the process.

Segments of proposed USBR 95 in Los Angeles connect Malibu & Santa Monica, Santa Monica to Marina del Rey, Marina del Rey to El Segundo, Torrance to Carson and Carson to Long Beach. I have been working with the County, Santa Monica and El Segundo along with the City for those segments of USBR 95 as well as USBR 66.

The Proposed USBR 66 rolls west from the San Gabriel Valley on its way from Needles. It drops out of South Pasadena / Alhambra on Mission, then crosses LA on Historic Route 66 along Cesar Chavez / Sunset to Fountain and enters West Hollywood on Willoughby. It resumes on Santa Monica Blvd (historic Rt 66) from Beverly Hills across West LA to Ohio into Santa Monica on Broadway.

Every day cyclists ride these segments of roadways, and all are on the City of Los Angeles’ Neighborhood enhanced route plan from 2016.

Many adventure cyclists continue touring these epic routes by bicycle, the best way to be a tourist in Los Angeles for cyclists from all over the world.

Both of these routes are proposed and adjusted with local agency input prior to support, based on the existing Adventure Cycling route system. These maps and guides have helped cyclo-tourists find their way across our country since the 1970’s when it started as BikeCentennial.

These routes include everything from Freeway shoulders, un-improved streets, Class III on-street Bike Routes & bike boulevards — some with narrow lanes marked with sharrows and BMUFL (Bikes May Use Full Lane) signs, Class II on-street Bike Lanes, off-street Class I Bike Paths and shared use paths, and separated Class IV Cyclotracks where they exist (I don’t call them protected bike lanes because they are not lanes in California law!).

Now we have some strong political movement to resume talks stalled since 1916 to secure support from the City DOT.

Mike Bonin, Councilmember from District 11, submitted a motion on January 17th to direct the DOT to support both routes to CalTrans, install sharrows & BMUFL signs on streets not already designated or with bike lanes or cycle tracks, install USBR wayfinding signs and report back with options to further enhance bicycle tourism along the designated routes.

This Tuesday night, at the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, attended by Laura Crawford, U.S. Bicycle Route System Coordinator for the Adventure Cycling Association, there was unanimous support of a motion to City Staff —

Whereas, the segments of US Bike Routes (USBR) numbers 66 and 95 that pass through the City of Los Angeles are critical to completing these two important national bike routes, and

Whereas hundreds of touring cyclists need to navigate the city each year and have difficulty finding safe, convenient routes, exactly the guidance that the USBR network is intended to provide, and

Whereas the proposed USBR alignments make maximum use of existing approved bikeways in the city, and

Whereas if the USBRs are designated, the city will always have the opportunity to change and update the route with CalTans if better cycling infrastructure is added or better alignments present themselves over time, and

Whereas, despite years of engagement with the city, little progress has been made to approve alignments for the proposed US Bike Routes,

Therefore, the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee encourages the city to move forward with providing a letter of support to CalTrans for the proposed USBR 66 and 95 alignments in Los Angeles, identifying alternative alignments if needed, to achieve submission for approval of these USBRs as soon as possible.

Given these powerful motions to support, we trust the LA City staff will promptly resume discussions to identify the best available alignment of the proposed route and support them to CalTrans, completing a missing link of these statewide projects to connect out the national network of bikeways.

Once Adventure Cycling volunteers get every city along the routes to support the route to CalTrans, CalTrans will submit it to AASHTO and, if approved, the designation will go into effect and we will see new USBR signs go up!

Interested cyclists can keep up-to-date on the USBRS by subscribing to Adventure Cycling’s quarterly eNews.

A few notes of appreciation to Mike Bonin and the Los Angeles BAC from the cycling community will also reinforce their good will.

Morning Links: Vision Zero motion held over to next week, LA Fountain Ave road rage assault caught on video

Good piece from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton on last week’s Vision Zero motion at the LA City Council Transportation Committee.

Despite the fears created by traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving, the anticipated ambush didn’t occur.

In fact, I was told by someone from committee Chair Mike Bonin’s office that the motion is a benign attempt to make people feel more comfortable with the data used for LA’s Vision Zero.

And no one seems to know why Keep LA Moving felt such urgency to support it.

Bonin wisely held the motion over to the next meeting on February 28th to give its authors a chance to review the language, and make sure there’s nothing in it that would reduce the effectiveness of Vision Zero.

My fear is that it may give Vision Zero opponents an excuse to challenge the data used for the program, possibly in court.

However, I’ve been told that it’s been reviewed by the City Attorney’s office, who didn’t find any problems with it.

Although it wouldn’t hurt to do it again.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Wes High, who recently had the pleasure of a punishment pass, followed by getting deliberately doored while riding on Fountain Ave in Los Angeles.

While riding on the sharrows.

Hopefully, he’s reported this to the LAPD, since this is clear evidence of assault with a deadly weapon — in this case, a motor vehicle.

And it’s perfect evidence for a case under LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

………

A Facebook post is circulating asking for any witnesses to last week’s death of cyclist Mark Kristofferson in the Tour of Palm Springs to contact the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.

They’re particularly looking for anyone who saw the suspect vehicle before the crash, witnessed the actual crash or had contact with the suspect afterwards.

Especially if you have video footage of the any of the above.

The link includes instructions on how to handle the footage and who to send it to.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Local

Sounds like fun. Buried among the restaurant news is word of a Long Beach Ride & Dine to a local restaurant — and possible stops for ice cream and beer — tomorrow night.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city’s goal of getting 22% of residents who live within half a mile of transit to walk, bike or take public transportation to work by 2020 is a fantasy.

San Diego opens another mile of the Bayshore Bikeway; 16 miles of the planned 24-mile route around San Diego Bay are now open.

No windshield bias here. Montclair decides to blame the victims by making it illegal to cross the street while texting, talking on your phone or listening to ear buds. And yes, that’s just as idiotic as it sounds.

 

National

The Adventure Cycling Association offers a not-so-brief history of fat bikes.

HuffPo examines the efforts to bring bike equity to bikeshare.

Streetsblog examines how Baltimore bike lane opponents used a 20-foot minimum standard street width for fire engines to block a planned protected bike lane network. Even though it’s never been a problem before, in a city where many streets don’t meet that standard.

Heartbreaking news from Austin TX, where writer Andrew Tillin was killed in a collateral damage bike crash, when two cars collided and slid into his as he was fixing a flat on the side of the road. He was a frequent contributor to Outside, and the author of The Doper Next Door.

 

International

Riding to Che’s hideout in the hills of Cuba.

An Ottawa, Canada columnist can’t imagine why anyone would object to a decision to ban bikes from the city’s new light rail line during rush hour. Apparently, he’s never heard that bikes offer a solution to the first mile/last mile problem, which helps get more people out of their cars.

Bicycling is the leading form of rush hour transportation in London, where all other forms of transportation have decreased 30%. Which goes to show what is possible when you build a safe bicycling network, as London did with their cycle superhighways. Especially in Los Angeles, where the weather is much better.

A trio of very cool looking cylindrical glass bike storage towers has made the short list in a competition to remake a London roundabout.

Caught on video: An elderly man in the UK was pushed off his bike by jerks in a passing car, who apparently thought it was funny.

Even in bike-unfriendly Mumbai, a bike barely loses a race across town.

Note to world: Not every group of people on bikes riding together is a race. Sometimes they just ride to raise funds, or call attention to a cause, or just for the hell of it. Even in Afghanistan.

Sydney, Australia is cutting parking spots and increasing bicycle facilities in an effort to reduce traffic congestion.

This is why you need a camera on your bike. An Aussie motorcyclist has lost his license for 18 months and will have to attend anger management classes after a close pass and road rage assault on a pair of cyclists.

Seriously? Bike tourists in New Zealand are told not to ride at night to avoid the summer heat because it puts those poor, vulnerable truck drivers at risk.

Dockless bikeshare has saved China $2.6 billion in reduced traffic costs in just two years.

A Swiss father and stepmom rode their bikes 10,000 miles to watch their son compete in the PyeongChang OlympicsBut Angelenos think people people won’t bike five miles to go to work.

 

Finally…

Bike shop by day, bands at night. A two-wheeled Malaysian quokka encounter.

And now you can own bike the Queen was too ashamed to let Princess Diana.

 

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