Tag Archive for open streets

CicLAvia and other mass bike rides near and far, ’tis the season for bike giveaways, and rescuing kitties in Azerbaijan

It’s the second full week of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to S H, Samer S, Robert H, John H, Glen S, Scott G and Ezequiel C for their generous donations this weekend! And it was great to hear from some old friends, and new. 

So take a moment to show your support for this site, and to help ensure that all the best bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day. Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated — and needed!

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com. 

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Apparently, CicLAvia wasn’t the only mass bicycling event in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Even if it’s not just for bike riders.

https://twitter.com/kennethmejiaLA/status/1467672286069096450?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

https://twitter.com/bRuc14/status/1467661708361564160

And even if the other one wasn’t on closed streets. Or even permitted.

Then again, Los Angeles didn’t have mass bike rides to itself this weekend.

Although you can see the same thing in Venice every Sunday, as long as you’re willing to give up the Hemingway vibes.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the Key West video.

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‘Tis the season.

It’s that time of year again, when holiday bike giveaways start making the news.

This time, it starts close to home, where Los Angeles Lakers legend and Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson hosted a holiday event that brought the two teams together with the LA Rams to provide 400 underserved kids with new bikes, as well as helmets and toys.

An Idaho landfill is reclaiming bicycles people toss in the trash to donate to local kids, to ensure every kid can have a bike.

A bighearted Michigan girl collects cans to buy bicycles for a local nonprofit dedicated to providing kids with their first bikes, starting with just two bikes in 2018, and increasing to 217 this year.

A pair of bike clubs in America’s largest retirement community teamed up to donate over 300 bicycles for Florida kids in need.

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Forget a BB gun. This is the real Christmas story.

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

Someone has been sabotaging a new protected bike lane in Cambridge, Massachusetts by sprinkling it with tacks and bricks, causing at least one crash.

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

A Redwood City man learns the hard way not to run a stop sign at 3 am with meth and drug paraphernalia on his bike — because they might use a CHP helicopter to track him down.

An Oklahoma man faces hit-and-run and assault with a deadly weapon charges after running down a bike thief with his car and reclaiming his bicycle, leaving his victim bleeding in the roadway.

A Singapore bike rider makes an unintended safety video by crashing into the back of a car while distracted by his phone.

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Local

It came too late to make our Friday Morning Links, but you can still check out the Militant Angeleno’s guide to yesterday’s South LA CicLAvia to see what you saw.

 

State

Oceanside has approved a route for the final link missing from San Diego County’s 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail, which will eventually connect the city with San Diego.

Business owners and residents along San Diego’s 30th Street continue to aim shots at their own feet, filing an appeal to a recently dismissed lawsuit over the new protected bike lanes along the corridor, apparently unaware that protected bike lanes result in increased retail sales and property values, despite any loss of parking. Or maybe because of it.

An alleged bike thief is on trial for murder in Oakland after shooting the victim as he chased after his stolen bicycle. Allegedly.

Emeryville has a shiny new $21.4 million bike and pedestrian bridge.

No bias here. A Marin newspaper says a 15 mph speed limit for bike riders on the Golden Gate Bridge makes sense, especially in light of ebikes capable of doing up to 28 mph. Except ebikes that fast are already prohibited from using separated cycle tracks like the one on the bridge.

 

National

A Cycling Tips forum debates whether paywalls blocking internet access to bicycling publications will will eventually hurt the bicycling community and bike industry. It’s hard to argue that it won’t hurt them, as well as the magazines themselves, in the long run. But websites and magazines also need to make profit to stay in business. So until someone comes up with a better business model, we may be stuck with them. 

Bloomberg looks at the proposed $900 ebike tax credit contained in the current draft of the Build Back Better bill, which limits it to 30% of the first $3,000 of bicycles costing up to just four grand. Never mind that drivers can claim up to $7,500 on electric cars, no matter how much they cost.

New Mexico residents are battling over whether to close trails in the environmentally fragile badlands in the northern part of the state, where the increasing popularity of mountain biking risks eroding hillsides and destroying plant life. Mountain bikes belong almost everywhere, except where they can do irreparable harm to people, plants, animals or the environment.

A Colorado man will spend the next three years behind bars for killing German pro mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag, after he was convicted of vehicular homicide; sentences on two lesser charges will be served concurrently.

Record-setting Scottish bicyclist Josh Quigley returned to a Texas medical center to thank the trauma team that saved his life two years ago, after he suffered near-fatal injuries when he was run down by a truck driver while attempting to ride around the world.

There has to be a special place in hell for any driver who could leave a 13-year old bike-riding Ohio kid to die alone in the street.

A Grubhub rider in DC doesn’t let the lack of a front wheel delay his food deliveries.

 

International

No surprise that the global ebike market is expected to exceed $120 million by 2030. More surprising is that e-mountain bikes are the fastest growing segment.

Momentum offers a guide to bicycle snow tires. Which we usually don’t get a lot of call for here in sunny Southern California.

A 70-year old Winnipeg, Manitoba woman got her missing bike back 16 years after it was stolen, thanks to registering her serial number with the police before it was taken. Which is a good reminder to register your bike now.

Damned if you do, really damned if you don’t. A London bike rider gets fined the equivalent of $99 for riding in a bike-free zone outside a tube station — which is about $66,202 less than the fine for parking it there.

Scotland’s minister for active travel caught flack for posing with bicycling school kids on his own bicycle without wearing a helmet or hi-viz, even though neither is required for adults.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver walked without a day behind bars for killing a bike rider in an unsafe pass; the driver pulled in too soon because his wing mirror had been knocked out of place, denying him a view of the side of his truck. Evidently, it was just asking too much to pull over to the side of the road and fix it before he killed someone.

When you actually care about people on bicycles, you build thing like this three-way bike bridge over a highway roundabout in Naaldwijk, Netherlands. Thanks to Rich Flanagan for the tip.

A Dutch taxi passenger will face charges for fatally dooring a little girl riding with her parents, which forced her to swerve and fall in front of a bus.

A poultry farmer in Accra, Ghana won a sprayer and a new bicycle after being named the area’s best farmer.

Your next Chinese ebike could have five shock absorbers and carry two people. And cost just $700.

The World Naked Bike Ride follows the sun to Melbourne, Australia, where spring is just coming to an end.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly ranks the best road cyclists of 2021. And no, my name isn’t in there. And probably not yours, either.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could be made from mushrooms and hay, and keep growing even if your head doesn’t. If your friend kills you and burns your body over a motorcycle, maybe he wasn’t really your friend.

And that feeling when you pick up a hitchhiker while riding across Azerbaijan.

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

Prosecutors throw book at killer Show Low AZ driver, Streets For All blasts Garcetti, and Culver City to open mobility lane

My apologies for yesterday’s server outage that knocked us offline all day. You can catch up on everything you missed here

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More mass casualty bike crashes in the news, as an Arizona website offers an update on the case against Shawn Michael Chock.

Chock is accused of deliberately slamming his massive pickup into a group of up to 50 competitors in a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona last June.

He ended up killing one man and injuring six other people when he smashed into the group, then backed his truck up and attempted to make another pass.

Prosecutors allege Chock huffed computer cleaning fluid before getting behind the wheel, whether that motivated the attack or simply gave him the courage to carry it out.

He was shot by police after fleeing the scene and engaging in a standoff with cops behind a local hardware store, and was arrested on his release from the hospital.

He continues to be held on a half million dollars bond, facing decades behind bars on charges including 2nd degree murder, aggravated assault against a peace officer and eight other counts of aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a collision involving death or serious injury, and unlawful flight from a law enforcement vehicle.

His next court hearing is on the 29th of this month. Hopefully in a courtroom full of bike riders.

The website adds that Chock is presumed by court to be innocent until proven guilty.

Thankfully, we’re under no such obligation.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Garcetti spoke with Spectrum News 1 about his climate goals following COP26. Although as we’ve seen too many times, the mayor is great at talking, not so good at following through.

Meanwhile, bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid takes the COP26 climate conference to task for inexplicably ignoring the quickest and most efficient way to decarbonize.

Bicycles.

That was the same message contained in a letter from over 80 bicycle organizations around the world, who argued that “government leaders must commit to boosting cycling levels to reduce carbon emissions and reach global climate goals quickly and effectively.”

Cycling represents one of humanity’s greatest hopes for a shift towards a zero-carbon future. New research shows that life-cycle CO₂ emissions drop by 14% per additional cycling trip and by 62% for each avoided car trip. Switching from a car to a bicycle saves 150g of CO₂ per kilometre. E-cargo bikes cut carbon emissions by 90%compared with diesel vans. Swapping the car in cities for walking and cycling even just one day a week can reduce your carbon footprint by about half a tonne of CO₂ over a year. Building synergies with other travel modes such as public transport can critically enhance this potential.

Our world is on fire. We must urgently leverage the solutions that cycling offers by radically scaling up its use. What we need now is for governments to politically and financially commit to more, safer and integrated cycling that is equitable for everyone living in our countries, cities and regions…

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Culver City is opening the city’s first mobility lane designed for scooters, bikes and ebikes on November 20th.

https://twitter.com/CulverCityBus/status/1455594901454741504

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Both San Diego and San Jose are celebrating open streets events this Sunday, with San Jose hosting Viva CalleSJ.

And the San Diego Bike Coalition co-hosting CicloSDias on the streets of Pacific Beach.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. 

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Leone also reminds us to take extra precautions as Daylight Savings ends this Sunday.

Make sure you have lights on your bike if you’ll be riding after dark, with the sun setting around 5 pm next week; I also carry lights with me anytime I ride in the late afternoon, in case a flat or mechanical problem delays my return.

And ride defensively, especially for the first few days next week, because the initial days after Daylight Savings ends are always among the worst days for traffic collisions.

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Damn, that really is a close call. If the guy on the bike hadn’t been a cop, the driver probably would have gotten away with it.

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

San Diego police are looking for a man riding a blue mountain bike with black rims and silver spokes, who is described as a person of interest after a woman was sexually assaulted in a Mission Bay restroom.

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Local

LADOT is planning to extend the bike lanes on Riverside Drive in Los Feliz from Glendale Blvd to Los Feliz Drive, after the street is resurfaced over the next year; the work will also include upgraded paint and crosswalks.

A writer for the Financial Times laments LA’s unrealized potential as a bicycling city. As do we all.

Santa Monica-based Bird is planning to go public despite a history of financial losses, merging with a Dallas-based special purpose acquisition company in hopes of raising $384 million in capital.

Opening arguments began in the civil trial against a Metro contractor for the 2017 death of 13-year old Ciara Smith on PCH in Redondo Beach; her attorney blamed poor training of the driver, while the defense placed the blame on bad road design.

A 31-year old man was fatally shot while riding a bike in Long Beach on Friday.

 

State

Santa Barbara County will take its ebike demo to Santa Maria for five days this month, allowing people to try them out and even take one home overnight.

Sad news from Oakland, where an e-scooter rider was killed by a wrong-way driver who allegedly ran a red light; Streetsblog argues that the paint on the street was insufficient to protect her, or anyone else.

More in the Santa Rosa woman who was seriously injured in Saturday’s mass casualty bike collision in Liberty County, Texas; 59-year-old Barbara Anne Ferrell was one of three bicyclists struck by the driver while on a cross-country ride.

 

National

They get it. Fast Company compares the $12,500 tax incentive to buy an electric car contained in the stalled Build Back Better bill with the relatively paltry $1,500 tax break for buying an ebike, charging that the bill continues the harmful automotive dominance in our cities.

This is who we share the road with. Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III faces up to 20 years behind bars for the fiery, high-speed crash that killed an innocent woman and her equally innocent dog; he was released from the team hours after his arrest on felony DUI and reckless driving charges. You know you’re toxic when even the Raiders won’t touch you.

The bike theft scourge has infected the entire country, even in small Midwestern towns like Iowa City.

Hundreds of people turned out to honor a fallen Chicago man at a ghost bike ceremony yesterday, while a crowdfunding campaign for the popular amateur cyclist has raised more tha $164,000 in just four days.

 

International

Canadian mountain biker Magnus Manson has started the Conquer Your Challenge crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for aspiring Canadian cyclists, as he battles stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; he’s already topped the $10,000 goal bu raising over twelve grand.

A Toronto op-ed accuses the city of falling short on efforts to stop pedestrian traffic deaths, despite its Vision Zero program.

A Scottish legal columnist explains the defense of automatism — where someone isn’t in control of their actions through no fault of their own and have no knowledge of what happened — after a driver was acquitted of killing a man on a bike because she claimed she had no memory of the crash.

A website in Scotland recommends banning cars from schools and building a walking culture in kids to improve safety and cut climate-damaging emissions. Although they should also add riding their bikes to school to that.

A South African musician is scaling up the country’s first ebike delivery service.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Alex Dowsett is in Mexico City, attempting to retake the hour record he first set in 2015.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bike, at least have the decency to leave your old one in its place. Who needs carbon fiber when you can build your own bike out of wood?

And why carry a tent on your bike when you can build your very own self-powered wooden e-camper van bike?

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

LA skips worldwide Slow Streets movement, print your own Slow Street signs, and tackling Amazon in a cargo bike

Today’s common theme is the ongoing battle for Slow Streets and Open Streets — and what will follow post-pandemic — allowing people to safely get outside during the coronavirus crisis.

Something that seems to be sweeping the world. Except for Los Angeles, which is sweeping up the rear behind virtually everyone else.

As usual.

Mayor Robert Garcia wants Long Beach to repurpose some streets to provide more space for people. Funny how much more progressive Long Beach is when it comes public spaces and transportation than its ostensibly progressive neighbor to the north.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss wonders what happens when traffic comes back to our formerly quiet streets, warning we need to be prepared to hear a much-needed new normal is a luxury we can’t afford.

Houston’s chief transportation planner says coronavirus-quiet streets can’t just be for motor vehicle commuters. Could someone please give him LA Mayor Garcetti’s phone number?

It’s a sad commentary when the people of Bentonville Arkansas, the hometown of Walmart, get Slow Streets to provide safe space to exercise outdoors, and Los Angeles can’t.

Maine’s bike advocates think a more bike-centric culture could take hold in the state as a result of the pandemic. Unfortunately, that’s just wishful thinking unless steps are taken now to actively encourage bicycling while discouraging people from getting back into their cars.

Maybe someone should explain the concept of open streets to the NYPD, after the department sent 30 cops to shut one down in Brooklyn — despite an okay from New York’s Department of Transportation.

CNN says our cities may never look the same in a post-pandemic world, as they provide more space for biking and walking, and make other adaptations to adjust to the new reality.

A Vancouver newspaper suggests paying people to bike instead of driving to keep traffic from roaring back post pandemic. Which could be much more effective than congestion pricing, without the inevitable backlash.

No bias here. A London mayoral candidate says plans to encourage people to walk and bike to work are “madness,” and people shouldn’t have to choose between crowded trains and getting crushed by a truck on a bike. At least he’s got the last part right. But the solution is to tame traffic so we can encourage active transportation without posing a risk to human life.

After a Scottish columnist demanded that bike riders “do something” in return for pop-up bike lanes, the UK’s cycling organization wants to know why people on bikes have to meet some sort of special criteria just to be kept safe.

And these brilliant street signs from New York’s Transformation Dept gets the idea across better than just about anything else.

Maybe we should just print them out and start using them, instead of waiting for the city to finally get around to it.

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London’s Pedal Me e-cargo bike delivery service warns it’s coming for the world’s biggest retailer.

If they cross the Atlantic, I’m all in.

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Local

Assisted by a truck-driving stranger, a 17-year old South Pasadena boy tackled a bike thief as he tried riding away after snatching a bike out of the hands of the boy’s sister.

Long Beach is reopening parks and the beach bike and walking paths today, even as Covid-19 cases and deaths continue; however, face masks will not be required for “physically distanced exercise.”

Long Beach is partnering with bicycle community group Pedal Movement to offer virtual bike workshops, although you already missed the first one.

What it’s like to ride 55 miles on PCH from Long Beach to Crystal Cove along PCH in today’s Covid-19 world.

Yes, that could have been the former Governator’s oldest son you saw riding an elliptical bike through LA last week.

 

State

A 53-year old Spring Valley bike rider suffered major injuries when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver in a dark sedan.

A San Jose nonprofit is using bicycles to distribute vegetable plants to people in need.

Sad news from Chico, where a 65-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver in a pickup. Note to CHP: When a bike rider gets run down by a motorist doing 55 mph, it doesn’t effing matter how fast the bike was going.

 

National

Take your dog with you on your next ride, with nine “unbiased” reviews on doggie bike trailers that just happen to link to Amazon pages where you can buy them. And only the Amazon pages.

A 68-year old lifelong bike rider says signs on Oregon mountain bike trails prohibiting ped-assist ebikes is just outright snobbery; meanwhile, Cycling Tips says ebikes are okay on gravel, but more fun in the company of other ebike riders.

The other Vancouver — no, the one in Washington— is forced to hit the pause button on a planned protected bike lane after stripping the city’s transportation budget due to the coronavirus crisis. Something we can look forward to just about everywhere in the days to come, including Los Angeles.

A 17-year old Colorado man is now a thriving triathlete, eight years after his mother made the heartrending decision to amputate his leg due to a congenital condition.

An Austin TX man faces charges for deliberately running down a man on a bike as the victim was attempting to escape following a domestic dispute.

Now that’s a real superhero. Chicago’s beer fairy is delivering craft beer by bicycle. And yes, with wings attached.

French BMX pro Matthias Dandois rides though an empty New York.

 

International

The Guardian offers ten reasons now is a great time to start riding a bike. All of which apply wherever you are.

He gets it. A writer for a sports and development website says bicycling should be considered a form of public transportation in a post Covid-19 world, once we finally get there.

Tragic news from Argentina, where soccer legend Tomás Carlovich died after slipping into a coma when he was mugged by a thief who stole his bicycle; Argentine great Maradona called Carlovich the greatest of all time, even though he never played for the national team, by choice.

A British Columbia city shows how easy it is to make a protected intersection.

Montreal residents are “desperate” for bicycles, as local shops sell out due to the coronavirus bike boom.

A London letter writer complains that “aggressive” cyclists should look out for pedestrians in bike lanes, not the other way around.

Madonna’s 19-year old son is one of us, going for a ride through London dressed like Oliver Twist.

A six-year old English girl raised £1,000 for Britain’s National Health Service — the equivalent of $1,234 — by riding 100 miles on her bike in ten days.

Britain’s government is encouraging people to get out on their bikes as the country begins lifting its coronavirus lockdown, including a surprise announcement that it is investing £2 billion — the equivalent of nearly $2.5 billion — to “put cycling and walking at the heart” of the country’s transportation policy.

A writer for The Guardian debates whether we’re entering a golden age of bicycling, or if it’s just another empty promise. And says riding a bike does more to help the UK’s National Health Service than clapping once a week.

Once again, a Brit medical worker has been targeted by a heartless bike thief, after an intensive care nurse got off work to find all three locks on her bike had been cut.

The coronavirus bike boom has cleared British bike shops of virtually all their available bicycles, with foldie maker Brompton seeing a five-time increase in online sales.

Thousands of Slovenian bike riders took over the streets of the capital city, Ljubljana, to protest allegations of coronavirus purchasing corruption; a smaller protest was held in Maribor, the country’s next-largest city.

Once again, an Indian migrant worker has been killed by a driver while bicycling over 700 miles back home during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

Finally…

Otters help bring bike thieves to justice. How about a new Ferrari that weighs less than an unabridged dictionary?

And no. Just…no.

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

Dangerous new barrier-protected bikeway in Encinitas, giving street space to people, and gravel riding in our own backyard

Not all bicycling improvements really are.

San Diego’s Phillip Young has been kind enough to include me in a series of emails with Encinitas city leaders about the dangers of a new and apparently not-so-much improved protected bike lane along the coast highway through the city.

I asked him to explain just what the problem is, and what could be done to fix it.

The City of Encinitas has created a narrow Class 4 protected bikeway/cycletrack with too much going on in a confined space with no escape routes. This stretch of Coast Hyw 101 has recorded no bicycle accidents from 2016 until a week ago. The wheel stops / berms were added a week ago and now the accident count are 3 serious crashes requiring cyclists to be taken away by ambulances. The third accident was today. The Encinitas Mayor and officials ignored input for the public and experienced cyclists at multiple public meetings prior to final design.

Possible factors:

  • Mix flow of high and low speed cyclists
  • Many travel modes and stuff: bicycles, eBikes, walkers, runners, baby strollers, three wheelers, inline skates, skateboards, kids in tow by moms, old people, couples, surfboards, beach stuff
  • Mix of ages and abilities from world class triateletes to first time riders
  • Two-way traffic possible for all the above types. Only bicycles are allowed but the city design does not accommodate the others travelers elsewhere – no sidewalks.
  • Too narrow to accommodate the traffic as validated by 3-accidents in a week and the wheel stops / berms have only been installed for 1-week.
  • Northbound is higher speed due to a descending slope – the three accidents are northbound events
  • Signage needs improvement but that creates more road furniture to run over
  • The wheel stops / berms are the problem and offer no true protection from cars and create a maintenance problems because machinery can’t get in to clean and resurface the bikeway with more safety issues

The best solution would be to shift the Coast Hyw 101 roadway from 2-car lanes each way to 1-car lane each way. The old #2 car lane for each direction could be turned into a Class 1 Bikeway with K-rails for separation from vehicular traffic. The old Class 4 protected bikeway / cycletrack with wheel stops / berms could be turned into a sidewalk for non-bicycle use.

Second best solution is to add sharrows to the tarmac in the #2-car lane each way plus pole mounted signage.

These are just a few of my thoughts that come to mind. Riders with more experience may have some better ideas.

We are working to get the word out to the cycling community to be made aware of the new road hazards on the Coast Hwy 101 in Cardiff.

One more example of why bike riders should always be included in bikeway plans. Or at the very least, why they should turn the job over to an engineer who actually rides a bike.

Hopefully, Encinitas will get this fixed before there’s any more blood on the pavement.

Today’s photo was taken from the email chain; I’m not sure who should be credited.

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Today’s common theme is finding space on our streets for people, instead of just cars.

Alameda is just the latest Bay Area city to install slow streets, returning unused street space to the people to get outside during the coronavirus shutdown.

A Minnesota website casts a critical eye towards Oakland’s slow streets program, saying it plays great in gentrified and urbanist neighborhoods, but not so much in  areas where people are struggling to survive.

Politico says European cities are betting on pedal power for post-coronavirus mobility.

Liverpool, England’s walking and cycling commissioner is calling for a “quiet revolution” to relegate motor vehicles below the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists when the city reopens.

Paris is closing the iconic Rue de Rivoli to cars to provide more space for cyclists and pedestrians while the city reopens.

Brussels is taking street space to make room for bike riders after Belgium’s coronavirus lockdown lifts.

And Vilnius, Lithuania is turning the city into a vast open air cafe.

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Heavenly gravel biking in our own back yard.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the link.

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Now this is how you ride under lockdown.

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

A Mendocino County man faces charges for violently attacking his pregnant wife — with an effing propane tank, no less — before attempting to make his getaway by bike.

A Montana man faces multiple charges for fleeing from police and resisting arrest while high on meth, after a cop tried to stop him for riding without lights on his bike.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton deservedly takes LA city leaders to task for ignoring the already-approved Mobility Plan, locking in auto-centric streets under the city’s accelerated repaving program.

Long Beach bike shops are riding the crest of the Covid-19 wave.

Not only is Shia LaBeouf one of us, he’s now the proud owner of a kid hauler for his bike.

 

State

California belatedly releases a list of approved outdoor activities during the coronavirus shutdown, including bicycling and BMX.

A San Diego man will muster out of the Navy today, and embark on a cross-country bike ride on Saturday to raise funds for wounded vets. Which should be interesting with half the country shut down right now.

The woman killed by an alleged drunk hit-and-run driver while riding her bike in Goleta earlier this week has been identified as 59-year old Goleta resident Katherine Stewart Peden.

A San Jose website offers advice on how to buy a new bike during the pandemic. Pro tip: Always get your bike from, or at least through, a local bike shop. It may cost a little more, but it will more than pay off in service down the road.

A San Francisco nurse was overwhelmed by an outpouring of support after complaining on Facebook that her bike was stolen as she was working a 12 hour shift; she now has two bikes to choose from.

 

National

It may not seem like it, but May is still Bike Month, pandemic or not.

PeopleForBikes advises bike shops to share the good news about bicycling in these scary times, while Bike Magazine examines why bikes are booming during the coronavirus crisis.

Pink Bike rediscovers the joy of bike riding on a gravel bike.

A writer for Bicycling movingly describes finding her first real sense of home on her bike.

Five cheap upgrades to make your bike feel like new. I’d say give it a good overhaul and cleaning, slap on some better tires, and finish up with some fresh bar tape.

A health website comes up with a list of bike safety tips “you’ve definitely forgotten about since childhood,” none of which you’ve probably forgotten about. Any list that starts with “always wear a helmet” reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how to stay safe on a bike, anyway. A bike helmet should always be considered the last line of defense when all else fails, not the first.

Add Oregon’s wine country to your bike bucket list. And drinking list, for that matter.

A Utah driver turns his dash cam the wrong way, and catches the roof of his Lotus Elise sports car blowing off as he drives down the road — and naturally, it lands in the bike lane.

Minnesota is changing next week’s Bike to School Day to Bike Anywhere Day. Which can and should be celebrated 365 days a year.

Kindhearted Kentucky police bought a new bike for an autistic teen after his was stolen.

New York City’s essential workers are now eligible for a full year of free bikeshare.

 

International

Road.cc recommends the 28 best bicycle smartphone apps.

A British Columbia man describes how bicycling helped him drop 65 pounds.

London’s Evening Standard takes a look at their picks for the best bike backpacks.

Evidently, Southern California isn’t the only place where people are overwhelming beachfront trails, as police increase patrols in the Welsh coastal city of Swansea to deal with a flood of bike riders.

That’s more like it. A British driver was fined the equivalent of $150 for driving too close to a bike rider. Which was easy to prove, since he actually hit him.

Great idea. France is attempting to support local bike shops while encouraging people to ride their bikes, by making everyone in the country eligible for up to $56 worth of bike repairs.

Cyclist explores the hidden mountain roads of Valencia. No, the one in Southern Spain, not northern LA County.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, but in a different sense. Nine bighearted Mumbai bicyclists are crowdfunding meals to serve poor migrants and homeless people, delivering 5,000 meals a day.

Tel Aviv, Israel is pulling the plug on its bikeshare service, saying it’s become obsolete with the rising popularity of ebikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Redlands Classic goes virtual this weekend.

Red Bull talks with French cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prévotthe only person to hold road, ‘cross and mountain bike world titles at the same time. 

The winner of the Dirty Kanza breaks down what gear he uses and why.

A writer for Outsports explains why she loves the classic look of the 7 Eleven Cycling team jersey, and the history behind it. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind wearing one myself.

 

Finally…

It’s a lot easier to overcome a bad bike crash when you can’t remember it. Now you, too, can be the proud owner of an ’89 Colnago monocoque carbon-frame prototype built with the Ferrari Formula 1 team, for the low, low price of just 50 grand.

And beware of killer sheep.

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Thanks to Matthew Robertson for his monthly donation to help support this site, and bring you the latest bike news every morning. 

On a related note, some people have asked for an alternative to PayPal or Zelle to donate to this site. Does anyone have a favorite free or low-cost online resource you can recommend?

………

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

LA cuts budget for failing Vision Zero, fight for more space on coronavirus slowed streets, and a 7-year old gets bike safety

Los Angeles has failed on Vision Zero.

The program remains a vastly underfunded afterthought, both on LA streets and in the halls of power.

If they bother to think about it at all, that is.

Which is why it took shutting the city down for Covid-19 to make any impact on the rate of fatal traffic collisions. And which are bound to rebound as soon as the lockdown ends.

So what is the obvious next step for the City of Angels?

Cut the Vision Zero budget, of course.

LADOT says we won’t notice the 5% reduction for next year.

Which is probably true, because LA’s Vision Zero efforts haven’t been very noticeable, anyway.

………

Once again, today’s common theme is the fight for more space on the streets.

San Francisco follows Oakland’s lead and announces plans to open parts of eleven streetsor maybe twelve streets — so residents have more room to get out and walk. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

New York’s city council is looking at what other cities are doing to develop their own plan.

The Miami Herald wants to know why local governments are balking at closing streets to make room for social distancing.

London’s Guardian says the need for physical distancing means space in cities and town must be shared in new ways.

And Cycling Industry News says the case is clearly building for government intervention.

………

Nothing like developing good safety habits at a young age.

Let’s all give a round of applause to Evangelina Gatto, better known as Evie to her friends and family, for her outstanding creative skills and love of bicycling.

Her dad’s kind of a big deal, too.

………

We’ve given the Governors Highway Safety Association their share of criticism over the years.

But they get it right this time.

………

This is what a typical weekend riding bikes in San Diego looked like, pre-coronavirus.

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Apparently, drivers are trying to get a jump on things now, and crash into bicycles before they even leave the shop.

………

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

Someone sabotaged a Sheffield, England downhill mountain bike track, ripping out a number of berms and jumps.

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

Police in Wales are looking for four total jerks who buzzed an elderly woman on their bikes and spat at her, then laughed at her.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the schmuck who rode off on a bike after stealing a dog belonging to a Concord ER nurse fighting COVID-19. If you live in the Bay Area, keep an eye out for this a-hole.

………

Local

Sad news today, as Lewis MacAdams, the man who helped start the fight to restore the Los Angeles River, died yesterday of complications from Parkinson’s at age 75.

The deputy director of Climate Resolve writes that we shouldn’t squander the opportunity to reimagine LA streets provided by the coronavirus shutdown.

If you’re a fan of spring wildflowers, this is the time to ride past the Ballona wetlands on the Ballona Creek bike path. But take your hay fever medication first. Trust me.

Walk ‘n Rollers has free bicycles for kids in need during the coronavirus crisis. They can also use some kids bikes to refurbish if you have any extra lying around. Or cash helps, too.

Billions star Malin Åkerman is one of us — and no, that thing over the A isn’t a mark on your screen — as she rode through Los Feliz with her seven-year old son.

Owen Wilson was spotted riding through the streets of Venice with a friend.

Ben Affleck may not be one of us, but his eight-year old son is.

 

State

Santa Ana’s Bicycle Tree bike co-op is back in business, at least for now. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Bike sales are booming in San Diego. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Speaking of San Diego, the city is reopening all its open space parks and trails, with the exception of Cowles Mountain and the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail.

Ventura is reopening parks and trails, as long as you maintain social distancing.

 

National

Red Bull recommends 16 of the best downloadable mountain biking apps.

Pink Bike takes a video look at whether buying a used mountain bike is worth it, concluding yes. And no.

PeopleForBikes thinks we could all use a little good news right now.

VeloNews looks at Bill Walton’s virtual group ride Bike For Humanity this Saturday.

Specialized is giving you the opportunity to buy a new bike for an essential worker. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Tucson bike shops are starting to sell out of bicycles.

El Paso is opening up its trails, as Texas prepares to reopen from the Covid-19 shutdown.

The popular RAGBRAI ride across Iowa was cancelled due to coronavirus.

A Massachusetts woman with a huge heart bought a new bike for a man battling leukemia to honor her son, who died of the disease.

A bike-commuting registered physician’s assistant at New York’s Bellvue Hospital tells the mayor she risks her life every day at work, and shouldn’t have to do it on the streets, as well.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Witnesses saw a Pennsylvania driver toss a beer after running down a kid on a bike, his car smelled of weed, and he had seven convictions for driving without a license. And hadn’t had one since 2001.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 82-year old Pennsylvania man is riding laps around a parking lot to raise funds for a local food bank.

Kindhearted Florida firefighters drive up with red lights and sirens to give a boy a new bike after his was stolen.

 

International

The World Health Organization says get on your damn bicycle, already.

Canadian Cycling offers their complete guide to bicycling during Covid-19. Most of which applies wherever you ride.

Road.cc offers tips on how to carry almost anything on your bike, from using your pockets to riding a cargo bike.

Toronto bike couriers say they’re risking their lives to deliver food to wealthy people.

A London bike rider offers more proof you can carry anything on a bikelike a sofa, for instance.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike a Manchester, England drag queen was using as physical therapy under the lockdown.

Gordon Ramsey is one of us. And getting on his neighbors nerves, as he flouts the UK’s lockdown by riding his S-Works 22 miles through Cornwall, after apparently driving to get there first.

The UK is being sued over its £28.8 billion plan road expansion plan — the equivalent of over $35 billion — for violating the country’s commitment under the Paris Agreement; the same people halted a planned expansion of London’s Heathrow airport using a similar argument.

The new and improved — and significantly cheaper — ebike from Dutch bikemaker VanMoof looks like a big hit, with positive reviews from The Verge, The Next Web, and Forbes, with prices starting a couple notches below two grand.

A movie reviewer says you’ve been getting the message of the Italian classic Bicycle Thieves all wrong.

Milan is making plans to cut car use when the city reopens from Italy’s coronavirus quarantine. Which is something every other city should be doing, or we’ll be right back in the same unworkable mess.

Madrid’s bikeshare system will reopen today, as the country slowly comes back to life.

Tragic news from Nepal, where a pair of Indian laborers died after they rode off a ravine trying to bicycle back home after they got caught in the Covid-19 lockdown.

Cycling Tips profiles the Bike Scouts, a group of volunteer bike messengers in the Philippines who ride to the rescue when disaster strikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de Suisse is the latest pro stage race to go virtual.

A wrong turn in the Iditarod Trail Invitational left ultra-endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch in a life-or-death situation.

 

Finally…

Next time you ride a bike to the market, try getting off before you go in. Why waste a good ride, when you can mow your lawn at the same time?

And nothing like promoting your new fundraising face mask by riding on a Covid-19 closed beachfront bike path.

………

Thanks to Dennis E for his generous donation to help support this site. I’m truly blown away that someone would dip into their own funds to help out during the current financial crisis. 

………

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

But don’t dump it on the damn street when you’re done.

Taking streets back from cars, petition to implement Mobility Plan during LA street work, and traffic is a virus

A couple quick notes.

First, thanks to everyone for the kind words after yesterday’s meltdown. I love what I do, but sometimes it can be a lot to handle. Especially now.

Second, I ran out of time to dip into my inbox tonight. So if you sent me something this week, I’ll try to catch up tomorrow. 

And finally, my apologies if I failed to credit anyone in today’s post. I’ve lost track of who sent me what over the past couple days, but I truly appreciate your help. Even if I do have mush for brains sometimes.

Photo by Mario Cuadros from Pexels.

………

Today’s common theme is cities taking streets back from cars during the coronavirus crisis. And maybe keeping it, by making the changes permanent.

The Pasadena Star-News calls on the Rose City and the rest of the San Gabriel Valley to open up the streets, saying they’re experiencing a pandemic of walking.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is pushing for more space on the streets, while Palo Alto may ban cars entirely from some surface streets.

Streetsblog takes a look at Oakland’s new network of slow streets.

Salt Lake City is considering opening some streets to bike riders and pedestrians.

Denver may have banned cars from some streets, but others stay just as dangerous and auto-centric.

No surprise here, as bike-friendly Mad City is closing traffic lanes to make room for people.

Pressure is growing on DC to give more space for walkers, joggers and bike riders.

Toronto’s mayor won’t close streets for fear of creating induced demand among bike riders and pedestrians.

Dublin, Ireland residents are pressuring city leaders to reallocate road space to people on bikes and on foot.

………

Except in Los Angeles, of course.

Even though LA Councilmember Mike Bonin has called for opening up streets for bike riders and pedestrians during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a new petition from Streets for All calls on Los Angeles to implement the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, as the city speeds up road repairs and resurfacing most drivers are stuck at home and traffic is Covid-19 light.

Yes, I signed it. And hope you will, too.

………

Maybe Covid-19 makes you cranky.

Infected CNN host Chris Cuomo, brother of the New York governor, lashed out at a bike rider who criticized Cuomo’s lack of social distancing from his family and another woman at his Long Island estate.

The man followed up by filing a police report on Wednesday; the cops initially weren’t interested until the story started gaining traction.

But maybe he had a point, since Cuomo’s wife has now been diagnosed with the disease.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

It shouldn’t really surprise anyone to learn that traffic spreads just like a virus.

………

Putting race numbers to good use fighting coronavirus after coronavirus cancels the races.

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A Thai zoo sparks outrage among animal rights advocates by making a chimpanzee ride a bike while wearing a mask and spraying disinfectant (the chimp comes on around 1:05).

But that chimp’s no chump. Everyone knows how much fun it is to ride a bike.

………

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

A British woman complains that she and her kids were verbally abused by a farmer while out for a family bike ride in the country, because he didn’t think they should be riding bikes during the country’s lockdown.

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

Horrible story from Santa Ana, where a man faces arson and attempted murder charges for dousing a homeless man with some sort of flammable liquid and setting him on fire, before riding off on his bicycle; the victim is in critical condition with first, second and third degree burns. Thanks to John Damman for the link. 

There’s a special place in hell for the road-raging New Jersey bike rider who allegedly punched and spat on an EMT, after nearly getting hit by allegedly riding his bike in front of the ambulance.

A British nurse says she was verbally abused and spat on by a bike rider; unfortunately, there’s no word on what led up to it. Clearly, there’s another side to that story, though.

………

Local

Metro offers tips on how to ride safely for health and essential travel.

A masked dad and kid take a family bike riding on the LA River bike path in the age of coronavirus. You probably don’t have to wear a mask when you run or bike. But it couldn’t hurt.

Streetsblog says LA-area bikeshares run the gamut of coronavirus responses, from a full shutdown to business as usual.

Despite the coronavirus lockdown, construction is moving forward on the Taylor Yard pedestrian and bike bridge.

Former NBA great and current SoCal resident Reggie Miller is doing his social distancing by riding inside and learning to Zwift.

 

State

An Apple Valley bike rider had to be airlifted to a hospital after he was critically injured in a crash with a pickup driver on Tuesday.

A Bakersfield bike rider says no to grooving on the bike path. And put down your damn phone.

A Petaluma woman was arrested on suspicion of biking under the influence — and yes, that’s a thing — after attempting to ride her bike across busy Highway 101, directly in front of a CHP officer.

A Bay Area bike rider captured a moody view from Mt. Diablo over the weekend.

San Francisco advocates are working to help get bikes to essential workers.

Apparently, that European bike-riding dinosaur has a relative in Santa Rosa.

Someone in Napa Valley is selling a new Rad Cargo bike that’s never been “rode.” Maybe you can get a bad grammar discount.

A Davis bike rider spells out the benefits of biking during the pandemic.

 

National

Cannondale’s newest ebike comes complete with a built-in rear radar system.

Good grief. An Oregon bike shop owner says he’s really sorry he offended anyone with the racist, anti-Asian things he wrote on the store’s chalkboard. Which isn’t exactly the same as being sorry for posting them.

Speaking of Oregon, the state has sent the deadly, antiquated and auto-centric 85th Percentile Law to the scrapheap of history, where it belongs. Now maybe California can learn from their example.

A Washington man got his mountain bike back six months after it was stolen, when he spotted it on Facebook and met the seller with police in tow.

Reports indicate rattlesnakes aren’t social distancing on Arizona trails.

A Boulder CO book store is surviving the pandemic by making bicycle deliveries of mystery bags filled with handpicked books and tea or coffee.

The Boston Globe catches up with former UCLA and NBA star Bill Walton’s virtual Bike for Humanity solo group ride on the 25th of this month.

After a Massachusetts grocery store staffer’s bicycle was stolen while he was working, a kindhearted customer stepped up to give him another one.

New York’s bike-riding Joker comedian is back with a new episode.

Once again, a hit-and-run driver has carried the victim home with him. A North Carolina pickup driver fled the scene after hitting a bike rider, who landed in the back of his truck; the driver’s girlfriend found the victim an hour after the crash, seriously injured with multiple broken bones and no idea how he got there.

Horrible news from North Carolina, where two teenage boys sharing a bicycle were killed when they were struck by a driver; police were quick to blame the victims for wearing dark clothing and not having lights or reflectors on their bike. Evidently, the car must not have had headlights, either.

Finishing out our North Carolina trifecta, a father surprised his son by using a crane to hoist a new bike outside the boy’s hospital window, where he was spending his tenth birthday being treated for leukemia.

 

International

Cyclist recommends the 12 best bicycling documentaries.

London World Naked Bike riders will have to keep their clothes on this year, after the annual June event was cancelled. Although that doesn’t seem to have stopped everyone.

A British neighborhood plays pandemic bingo, as a man rides his bike through the streets calling out numbers. Thanks again to Jeff Vaughn.

Horrible freak accident in the UK, where a mountain biker was impaled with a tree branch through the neck after falling off a short cliff.

Bike thieves continue to target medical workers during the coronavirus pandemic, snatching the bike a Glasgow physiotherapist’s father had given her while she was busy treating Covid-19 patients in the ICU. And British bike hero Sir Chris Boardman offered to replace a $2,000 bicycle stolen from a London doctor while he was working.

Good idea. A new quick-release seatpost designed by an Italian cyclist allows you to remove your seat to prevent theft, then easily reposition it when you return.

Bad news from Down Under, where two bicyclists were critically injured when an SUV driver turned into a driveway in front of a group of riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling talks with pro cyclists about how the coronavirus and the ensuing lockdown have affected their relationship with the sport.

Bad timing. Bianchi has been named the official bicycle of the postponed, if not cancelled, Giro d’Italia.

As we noted Tuesday, this year’s Tour de France has been postponed for the first time since 1946, while organizers released the updated stage list.

Spanish cyclist Enric Mas says the riding may be virtual, but the sunburn is all too real. And looks like the Danish flag.

Pez Cycling News talks with Brent Emery, the American track cyclist behind the design for the world’s first super bike at the ’84 LA Olympics.

 

Finally…

Nothing like biking naked after getting tased while fighting with police. Or riding cyclocross through your own garden.

And here’s the soundtrack for anyone who wants to get naughty on their bike.

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Thanks to John Hall for his very generous, very timely, and very appreciated contribution to help keep this site coming your way every day, which helped lift my spirits after a very rough few days.

………

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.

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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. 

Small low-income bike shops on the brink, rain breaks Arroyo Seco path again, and no LA streets closed for social distancing

It ain’t necessarily so.

At least not here in Los Angeles. Or parts of it, anyway.

Despite all the talk about a coronavirus bike boom keeping bike shops across the country busy, Peter Flax writes in Bicycling that smaller shops in some of LA’s less prosperous neighborhoods are really hurting.

And yes, that means the predominantly black, Hispanic and immigrant neighborhoods mostly south of the 10 Freeway, along with other area in East LA and the San Fernando Valley.

It is the first Friday of April, 15 days after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place order. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other large cities in California—as well as in many other states—bike shops have been classified as essential businesses, a move that has been celebrated by some and derided by others. Some critics have argued that bike shops primarily cater to privileged fitness-oriented hobbyists and that putting shop staff in harm’s way (and risking community spread of disease) to serve recreational riders is unwise. But that assumption renders invisible the thousands of neighborhood shops in cities across the country that serve customers who mostly rely on bicycles to facilitate their livelihoods, customers from some of the most economically vulnerable communities in the U.S.

In LA, for example, Paisano’s and other shops in neighborhoods like Compton and South Los Angeles provide a vital service to people who depend on bicycles to get to and from work. These small businesses are perhaps 15 miles and universe away from LA’s affluent coastal suburbs where bike shops are typically stocked with $300 bib shorts and $10,000 road bikes.

Shops that many of us are familiar with, or at least heard of.

Like the aforementioned Paisano’s, subject of a Steve Lopez column in the LA Times.

And Compton’s Manny’s Bike Shop, home of the legendary Manny Silva, known as the godfather of lowrider bikes.

Along with others you may not know, like Linares Bike Shop, and Filipe’s #2 in Pico Union.

Shops where new bicycles sell for as little as $200, purchased on layaway. And where essential takes on a whole new meaning for people who have no other way to get to work.

Census data indicates that one in eight households in the city of Los Angeles don’t have a car. That figure is considerably higher in a low-income community like South LA.

Consider the neighborhood known as South Park—where Paisano’s is located, as well as another popular shop called Linares. Here the community is 79 percent Latino, 19 percent black, and zero percent white. According to data compiled by the real estate brand Trulia, households in this zip code have only 0.37 vehicles per capita, roughly half the median in LA. And according to an analysis published by the Los Angeles Times, the median household income in South Park is $29,518.

Many customers rely on their neighborhood shops because they don’t have the luxury of doing repair work themselves. “If you have a bad cut, you go to a doctor,” says Tejeda, who notes that most of his customers lack even the most basic tools like pumps and levers. “People bring their bikes here. It’s a trade for a reason.”

According to Flax, though, the owners are scared.

Scared of a virus that could come in undetected, carried in by a careless customer or some other visitor. And perhaps even more scared of losing their employees and businesses to a prolonged economic slump.

When asked how things are really going, Linares looks at his feet for a minute and bites his lower lip. “I’ve started closing the shop earlier now. I’m worried a lot about the business,” he says, pointing to the register. “What we make today is what me and the employees have for the day.”

And this.

When asked how business is going, Ambrosia gets animated as he responds in Spanish. “He says business has gone down a lot because people have no money, no jobs,” Mendoza says, translating before he adds his own commentary. “He is scared to work in the shop now, but he has no choice. He needs money for his house.”

Bike shops like these are the backbone of these neighborhoods and our communities, and need to be saved.

But the question is how.

The people in the local communities can’t do it. Too many are on the bottom rungs of society as it is, and the ones most hurt by the shutdown of so many businesses.

A crowdfunding campaign might make sense. But it would be hard to bring in enough donations to make a difference, and harder still to distribute it equitably to the many shops that so desperately need help right now.

If these businesses were more sophisticated, we could just visit their webpages and buy something, anything. Maybe pay off those layaways, or buy one of those sub-$200 bikes and give it to someone who needs one.

But few even have a website, and fewer still are set up for e-commerce.

As in, none.

So the best solution may be to take your bike in for service if you can, and maybe pick up something while you’re there.

Will that be enough to save these shops, and the countless other small local bike shops that are struggling to survive in these desperate days?

Probably not.

Maybe someone smarter than me has the answer.

Because you might never visit one of these shops. But we’re all going to miss them when they’re gone.

Whether we know it or not.

………

So much for that.

Only two short months after the Arroyo Seco bike path was finally reopened, 13 months after it was damaged by heavy rains, it’s happened again.

Let’s hope they can get it fixed a little faster this time.

………

The Guardian says cities from Berlin to Bogotá are opening new sidewalks, bike paths and bike lanes to provide safer commutes for essential workers, and allow people to exercise while maintaining social distancing.

Case in point, Oakland closed a whopping 74-miles of streets to motor vehicles; things apparently started slowly, but picked up speed as the weekend went on.

And Massachusetts is closing parts of three parkways to expand access for bicyclists and pedestrians.

On the other hand, Los Angeles is closing paths, parks and trails, and just telling bike riders and pedestrians to stay home, while allowing motor vehicles to maintain their near-exclusive hegemony over the newly nearly empty streets.

Streets for All and the LACBC are working to get street closures here. Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

America’s mostly empty highways meant a team competing in this year’s edition of the very illegal Cannonball run set a new record, making the trip from New York to Los Angeles in less than 27 hours.

At speeds averaging over 100 mph — and topping out at nearly twice that.

Which means that any collision would have been instantly fatal, both to themselves and anyone they had the misfortune of slamming into.

Never mind that the likelihood of a crash increases exponentially with each tick of the speedometer.

Needless to say, the states they pass through don’t look very kindly on the scofflaw race.

………

Today’s theme is babies and bikes.

An Indian man tried to carry his pregnant wife six miles to the hospital on his bicycle after she went into labor; unfortunately, the baby wanted out after three.

Meanwhile, an Indian doctor delivered a baby in more ways than one, rushing the newborn by bike to a nearby hospital after it developed breathing problems following a C-section.

………

Social distancing may mean staying at least six feet away from other people. But no one says you can’t go vertical, rather than horizontal.

………

In case you missed it over the weekend, Saturday Night Live offered a trio of sequestered MasterClasses, including a parody of Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin teaching bicycling.

And denying she killed her husband.

………

Local

The LACBC is maintaining a list of LA-area bike shops that are remaining open during the Covid-19 shutdown. And they’ve started a Bike Match program to connect people with extra or unused bicycles with essential workers who need safe, reliable transportation.

If you’re a lucky winner, you could get your next weed order delivered on a bicycle by Tommy “Tiny” Lister, famous for playing Deebo in the Friday movies.

No, you don’t need a mask to ride your bike in Los Angeles. And neither does your dog.

Five Feet Apart star Cole Sprouse is one of us, riding his bike through the Hollywood Hills, sans mask and skid lid.

Santa Clarita urges everyone to maintain social distancing on the city’s trails, whether you’re walking, running or riding a bike.

 

State

You can keep your vintage bike on ice over the summer, because the Eroica California has been postponed until September.

A 20-year old Delhi man faces felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges for allegedly killing Patterson resident Frankie Sanchez as he was riding his bike in Stanislaus County.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to stay safe riding your bike when cars aren’t the only danger you face. And takes a look at how your car’s bike rack affects your gas mileage.

Bicycle Retailer questions whether the current mini bike boom will last; Specialized’s founder says yes.

A Wisconsin public radio station offers tips on how to get your bike ready to ride and what to take with you.

Chicago’s mayor says she’s not reopening the city’s lakefront bike path, even if is used by essential workers to get to their jobs.

A 13-year old Boston boy got his stolen bike back after police busted another boy with a long rap sheet riding it.

A pair of North Carolina siblings are pedaling homemade bagels to raise funds for local charities; they deliver the bagels by bike after baking them fresh every morning.

A North Carolina man made it as far as Texas on his planned cross-country ride, blissfully unaware of the coronavirus that would eventually force him to fly back home once he found out.

Former Deadliest Catch star Jerod Sechrist is one of us, attempting to make his getaway by bicycling after allegedly stealing over a thousand bucks worth of electronics from a Florida Ikea — the fifth time he had allegedly stolen from the same store. And yes, they carry electronics. Who knew?

 

International

Road.cc says unless you’re planning on road racing, a gravel bike might be the only bike you’ll need. And they take a look at 21 of the best lightweight, high-performance bike helmets. But don’t recommend which one to buy.

Bike Radar says keep riding your bike to maintain your sanity during the lockdown.

Pink Bike proves once again that pets and bikes just naturally go together.

Everton soccer manager Carlo Ancelotti is taking advantage of the English Premier League shutdown by getting on his bike to rehab his knee and get back in shape.

An English nurse is grateful to the local police, who gave her a spare bike after hers was stolen while she was working, and busted the men who allegedly took it.

Scottish mountain bikers are up in arms after the country’s top medical official tells them to stay home during the pandemic.

A British jerk on a dirt bike taunted an ebike-riding cop who was trying to stop him for violating the country’s lockdown guidelines.

Bicycling says add a trip to Mallorca to your bike bucket list.

An HIV+ Ugandan soccer coach rented a bicycle to deliver HIV and AIDS medication after the country shut down public transportation.

A Canadian cyclist finds himself on lockdown in Nepal, rather than racing in Spain as he’d planned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Just in time for the worldwide pandemic, and the resulting cancellation of virtually everything in the world of bike racing, USA Cycling is putting a new emphasis on wellness.

The Olympic Channel questions whether three-time world champ Peter Sagan can win Olympic gold in 2020That would be no, since the games have been postponed until next year, as the story makes clear.

2018 Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas wants this year’s race to go on as planned, while 2019 champ Egan Bernal is just trying not to think about it. Meanwhile, four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is taking advantage of the coronavirus shutdown to completely recover from the crash that almost ended his cycling career.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says just call off the 2020 Tour de France now, and use the time before next year’s race to create a true women’s Tour de France.

Italy’s pro cyclists remain shutdown by the country’s coronavirus lockdown until May 3rd. Although Italian pro Davide Martinelli found a way to ride and give back at the same time by delivering food and medicine to elderly people in his home village.

Riders for the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team offer their insights on the 124-year old Paris-Roubaix race. None of which will matter until next year, at the very least.

Speaking of Paris-Roubaix, GCN wonders if a gravel bike would do better on the cobbles.

 

Finally…

If you can’t bring people to the church, get on your bike and bring the church to the people. What’s more Easter than a big bunny on a blinged-out BMX bike — unless it’s Easter Bunny stealing a cargo bike?

And seriously, if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants and nearly an ounce of weed, put a damn light on it.

………

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

Biking responsibly in the age of Covid-19, returning streets to the people, and 1,000 days of biking to (now closed) school

Last week we brought you the bad news that two of the last remaining LACBC staffers, including coalition’s longest-service employee, were let go as the organization faces serious financial problems exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis.

Today, we’re reposting a letter sent out to members by Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, as he addresses both the state of the organization, and advice on whether to ride your bike for the time being.

Because this matters. All of it.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen, we have been listening closely to our public health officials and our community leaders about what we can do to help flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus. The health of the bicycling community and our pedestrian and transit riding friends is our top priority. So we are asking you to do your part by exercising an abundance of caution in everything you do, especially when you take to the street on your bicycle for an essential ride.

What qualifies as essential? We are hearing a range of opinions on this topic, from staying in your neighborhood within a reasonable distance from your home, to avoiding more challenging and/or longer rides with increased exposure to risk of injury, to riding in smaller groups of fewer than 5 or just with members of your household to maintain recommended social (physical) distancing of at least 6 feet. Of course, each of us is different in terms of our level of comfort and fitness on a bike so it really comes down to using common sense and following the very clear guidelines that our civic leaders and public health officials have been sharing for weeks now. At the end of the day, the last thing we want is to end up needing medical attention when our first-responders and healthcare providers are working overtime to handle the pandemic which has been made all the more challenging by the fact that medical resources they need are in such short supply. Once again we believe that all of us need to do our part for the safety of our families and our communities. The more we can avoid non-essential trips, the more we can limit the spread of the disease.

I recognize that hearing this from your Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition may feel off message from our normal advocacy in support bicycle culture and improved infrastructure but that is precisely the point. The COVID-19 pandemic is a new normal that we must adjust to by responsibly advocating for biking as one of the best ways to maintain our physical, mental and community health within our new reality.

In fact we are looking beyond the current surge in COVID-19 cases to the period of months, if not longer, when the virus is still with us but under control enough for Los Angeles County to reopen. How our region reopens is an important question, but we anticipate there will be guidelines for Angelinos to maintain the practice of social (physical) distancing. We also anticipate that during this time non-essential workers and those who can use alternative modes of transportation will be asked to help lessen the crowds on our buses and subways by walking and bicycling. Which is why we anticipate an even greater need for everyone to join us in advocating for safer, healthy, more sustainable and equitable streets for a more livable Los Angeles for everyone.

One more note about our streets during this crisis: many of our fellow riders have jobs that are at essential businesses and many more are still riding as a part of their daily commutes. To support those riders, we ask that everyone take extra care when you are out and about, especially if you are driving. Due to the reduced traffic, many drivers are finding the empty streets a temptation to speed. As many of our fellow riders are still making essential trips, including people commuting and also traveling around their own neighborhoods, we ask all of you to exercise extra caution while you are outside your homes. Whether you are in the saddle or behind the wheel, please make sure to be extra aware of your surroundings, put away the distractions, and travel at safe speeds for your own safety and the safety of others. Again the last thing we need now is more people further burdening our increasingly already strained healthcare system.

Finally, I am sure some of you have heard that LACBC has had to make the difficult decision to reduce our staff for the second year in a row and permanently close down our offices in DTLA to work remotely. The current COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a significant loss of revenue for us this year, especially as spring is one of our most important seasons for our events and education programs. I want to close with a special note of gratitude to the two staffers who we had to let go last week. Colin Bogart and Kevin Claxton have been key members of the LACBC community and larger transportation justice movement for years and in Colin’s case for decades. It has been my privilege to work alongside and learn from Kevin and Colin. They will be deeply missed.

While the current situation is among the hardest we’ve had to endure at LACBC, I firmly believe that we will make it through this crisis and come back stronger than ever. We ask you for your positive thoughts as we prepare LACBC for its next chapter.

And if you are in a position to assist financially, please take a moment to send us a donation.

I’m not exactly rolling in money these days, especially after my wife was let go when her company shut down, perhaps permanently, because of LA County’s stay at home order.

Like far too many others out there.

But I’m going to find the money to renew my membership in the LACBC in the next few weeks.

It’s not going to lift them out of their current financial difficulties.

But we all need to do what can to save an organization that does so much for us.

………

One of the few positives to come out of all this whole pandemic mess is that cities across the US are taking entire streets away from cars and giving them to people to get outside and exercise.

Denver shut down four streets to make more room for pedestrians and people on bicycles; more streets may follow soon to allow people to get out while practicing social distancing.

St. Paul, Minnesota, shut down three streets, but only through this Friday, while City Lab maps how cities are reclaiming street space for people.

On the other hand, Los Angeles, which has closed virtually all popular parks and trails, still insists on reserving every inch of asphalt reserved for the cars and drivers that often aren’t there right now.

Rather than giving a little of it back to the people to get outside for awhile.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the links.

………

We can all use a smile these days.

Bicycling provides a good one, as they check in with eleven-year old Bodhi Linde, who’s been riding his bike to school every day since kindergarten.

But like schools everywhere, his Rapid City, South Dakota shut down due to the Covid-19 outbreak — just as he was approaching his 1,000th straight day.

So he kept riding the 2.1 miles to school every day anyway. Then turned around and rode back home to take his classes online.

And yes, he hit the mark.

………

Heartless bike thieves continue to plague medical workers in the UK, despite the current coronavirus crisis. Or maybe because of it.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a British paramedic’s bicycle as she was working a 12-hour shift.

A Northern Irish pharmacist saw an outpouring of support after her bike was stolen from her car as she worked, before it was replaced by a local bike shop.

Pro cyclist Luke Rowe came to the rescue after someone stole a bike from a Welsh intensive care medic while he was treating patients; Rowe was having a new bike delivered today.

Speaking of Britain’s National Health Service, this tweet pretty much puts things in perspective.

………

On a related subject, today’s common theme is a return of the sort of kindhearted people we usually only see around the holidays.

A pair of Fontana cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a seven-year old boy after someone cut the lock to steal his.

A seven-year old Illinois girl ended up with two bicycles, after a Good Samaritan replaced her stolen bike, just hours before police recovered it.

Kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a new bike for a 12-year old British Columbia boy after the one he got for his birthday was stolen.

After a Malaysian man chased down an aid van from a non-government organization on his bicycle to beg for food for his family when the factory he worked for was shut down because of Covid-19, not only did they respond the next day, but a number of generous people reached out to help.

………

Police immediately seized the license of an 81-year old woman who nearly ran people down while speeding along a Rhode Island bike path.

Don’t get me started on the need for elderly drivers to give up their keys when they can’t drive safely anymore.

Instead of driving them everywhere, hop in the passenger seat and let your older relatives drive. And see if they’re still the safe drivers you remember.

If they ever were, that is.

………

Now that the hockey season is on hiatus, NHL players have time for the little things.

Like spending time with their kids. And teaching ’em to ride bikes.

https://twitter.com/Capitals/status/1246814061721006083?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1246814061721006083&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbcsports.com%2Fwashington%2Fcapitals%2Fwatch-tj-oshie-teach-his-daughter-lyla-how-ride-bike

………

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

Security has been tightened at a San Anselmo CA school after a group of teens on mountain bikes harassed a security guard, allegedly coughing in his face while making jokes about the pandemic.

A Columbian bike rider was shot to death after opening fire on two cops who stopped him for violating the country’s coronavirus curfew; one of the officers was wounded in the shoulder.

British police are looking for a trio of bike-riding teenagers who attacked a radiographer with the National Health Service in an apparent attempt to steal his headphones; one will need a new bike seat after using it as a weapon during the attack.

………

Local

Lyft scooters are now free for health and transit workers for the remainder of the month, here in Los Angeles and in cities around the US; the company is also bolstering their supply of e-scooters around hospitals.

The Wall Street Journal drops their paywall for a photo essay of mask-wearing Angelenos, including Midnight Wilder from Manny’s Bike Shop in Venice.

The coronavirus has given Angelenos a glimpse of what’s possible with fewer cars, as the city enjoys its cleanest air in four decades.

The rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills is one of us. And barely survived coronavirus, anyway.

Andy Garcia is one of us, too, as he takes a casual ride on his cruiser bike through the streets of LA.

Isla Fisher takes a “spirited” bike ride with husband Sacha Baron Cohen through Los Angeles.

Simon Cowell went for an ebike ride with his family through the ‘Bu.

 

State

Millennials say don’t blame them for jerks on San Jose trails.

The CHP has released a very blurry photo of the truck driven by the suspect who allegedly killed a Patterson bike rider in a hit-and-run last week.

The annual America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride scheduled for June has been pushed back, and will be combined with September’s annual Tour de Tahoe.

 

National

An industrial engineering writer says light yourself up and wear reflective clothing, because it’s better to be uncomfortably conspicuous than be a fatality statistic.

Essential workers around the US are getting to work by bike. Meanwhile, Bicycling talks with five bicyclists on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.

Shades of Burma Shave, as Kansas residents post jokes along a local bike path.

Wisconsin bike riders will have to keep their clothes on for another year, as Madison’s annual World Naked Bike Ride has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

The coronavirus bike boom seems to be having a different effect in different places; while bike shops in some areas can’t keep up with the demand, Chicago shops are seeing a big drop in business.

The Chicago Tribune recommends their top picks for the best ebike conversion kits.

A writer for the New York Times says go outside, but maintain social distancing on the sidewalk. And don’t ride your bike there.

A New York writer says things are worse than you think for the city’s food delivery riders, while bike-riding volunteers are delivering desperately needed  parts for face masks and ventilators. A Medium piece examines how you can support bicycle delivery workers right now. Here’s a tip: Tip.

Writing for the Daily News, a New York college professor says the problem isn’t the cars, it’s the coronavirus; meanwhile, an economic publication calls the pandemic a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the way we travel.

The celebrity bike craze jumps to the East Coast, as CNN’s Anderson Cooper rides through New York sans helmet and face mask while balancing an iced coffee on his handlebars.

Tragic news from Tampa Florida, where a man on a bike and a motorcycle rider were both killed in a collision as the bicycle rider was attempting to cross street a major in a crosswalk.

 

International

Road.cc considers what a fixie is good for, and whether you should get one. Unless maybe you’d prefer riding with a stoker in back.

Cyclist examines the best masks to protect urban bike riders from pollution. And hopefully, coronavirus.

Bike Radar recommends ten cheap hybrid bikes that won’t break the bank.

Quebec is just the latest province or state to conclude that bike shops provide an essential service; New York State fell in line after initially leaving bike shops off the approved list.

London’s Daily Mail visits the world’s largest bicycle garage in the Netherlands, which offers room for 12,500 bikes.

Megan Lynch forwards a great Spanish language piece about Britain’s Clarion Cycling Club, which sent members down to Spain to fight a losing battle against the fascists in the Spanish civil war. If, like me, you don’t read Spanish, just copy the text and dump the whole thing in Google Translate.

A wheelchair-bound Polish man rode his hand-bike over 371 mile across Iceland to raise money for an orphanage. In winter.

An Indian bicycle delivery rider is covering the length and breadth of Delhi delivering food to people who can’t get out — mostly doctors busy battling Covid-19.

Seriously? After a five-year old Taiwanese kid crashed his bike into a parked Tesla, police gave him a breathalyzer test.

The worldwide lockdowns are putting the squeeze on Taiwan’s bikemakers.

New Zealanders are debating whether bike riders are abiding by the country’s lockdown rules, which limits bicyclists to local rides.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour of Utah pulls the plug.

VeloNews talks with former women’s pro cyclist Allison Tetrick, now the queen of the Dirty Kanza gravel race, which will now be held in September.

Cycling gazes into its crystal ball to predict the future of pro cycling, while French cyclists request permission to train outside during the country’s lockdown.

Now you can ride just like Lance in his prime; doping optional.

Who says there’s no bike racing this year? Pro cyclists took part in the cancelled Tour of Flanders as the race went virtual; Belgian Greg Van Avermaet won in a virtual breakaway.

The annual Race Across America, aka RAAM, has been cancelled for this year in favor of a virtual race across the country.

One advantage of virtual cycling — the crashes don’t hurt as much. On the other hand, you can’t win if your bike is unplugged.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made from used plastic bottle caps. Create a preschool indoor trainer with training wheels and a pair of shoes.

And even the Easter Bunny is practicing social distancing on his bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

US achieves road death pariah status, carfree streets and the people who love & hate them, and more open streets on tap

Good grief.

Apparently, the United States is now in favor of traffic deaths.

Or at least disagrees with the rest of the world — literally — on the urgent need to keep people from dying on our streets.

Writing in Forbes, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid points out that the United States was the only one out of more than 140 nations which refused to sign on to the Stockholm Declaration from the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety held in the city last week.

Because of the latest dissent it’s likely that road safety professionals will say the U.S. is a “road-death reduction pariah.” Pedestrian organizations, including the leading American one, have already expressed disappointment at the U.S. decision to dissent…

Among the key conference resolutions was the call to rein back speed on the world’s roads. The Stockholm Declaration wants countries to “focus on speed management,” with increased enforcement of existing speed limits and “mandate a maximum road travel speed of 30 kph (18.6 mph) in areas where vulnerable road users and [motor] vehicles mix.”

The declaration noted that speed reductions would result in improvements in air quality and could therefore help countries tackle climate change.

And that’s where they lost American support.

The U.S. delegation at the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety objected to a declaration that wants to shift “toward safer, cleaner, more energy-efficient and affordable modes of transport and promote higher levels of physical activity such as walking and cycling as well as integrating these modes with the use of public transport to achieve sustainability.”

Also, the U.S. dissociated from a declaration that aims to focus attention on the “safety needs of those road users who are the most vulnerable including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and users of public transport.”

A statement from the U.S. delegation said it “dissociates itself from references [to] climate change, gender equality, reduced inequalities, responsible consumption and production” claiming that these issues are “not directly related to road safety.”

So, in addition to the usual climate change denial from our nation’s leaders, we’re evidently now opposed to energy efficiency, walking, bicycling and public transit. Or gender equality in transportation, for that matter.

Not to mention saving the lives of vulnerable road users.

Something I would have thought no one could possibly oppose.

And yet, here we are.

The world’s only traffic safety deniers and road-death reduction pariahs.

I don’t care whether you’re liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. Or anything else in-between, above, below or beyond.

Some things are just wrong.

Then again, Lego doesn’t seem to love alternative transportation, either.

………

Today’s common theme is carfree streets.

Downtown News considers how we’ll get around on Broadway if cars are banned from the DTLA corridor.

A San Francisco bike shop owner comes out against a proposal to make Valencia Street carfree, apparently preferring the business he gets from motorists to all the additional sales he might get from people who no longer have to worry about getting hit by cars and the people in them.

An Arizona family owns two cars, but prefers to leave them parked for a bike-based, virtually carfree existence.

A Philadelphia bike advocate calls for making the city’s Chestnut Street carfree.

………

Yesterday’s CicLAvia is just the beginning.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1230947573243863041

………

Give your input on plans to improve mobility on the Westside.

………

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

A mixed race Indiana couple are accused of harassing two teenage bike riders and running them off the road because they were flying pro-Trump flags on their bikes. I’ve spent the last several months training the foster corgi to ignore dogs he disagrees with; we shouldn’t have to do the same thing for people in cars who don’t like someone else’s politics.

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

A pair of bike riders fatally stabbed a man waiting at a bus stop in East LA in what is believed to be a gang attack. Thanks to Orange House for the link.

Talk about keeping dangerous people on the streets until it’s too late. An Irish man got a well-deserved eight years behind bars for crashing a stolen bicycle into an English tourist as he was making his getaway, leaving her with life-changing injuries; he had a whopping 92 previous convictions, including several involving gratuitous violence.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton argues that LA’s plan to widen Magnolia Blvd is straight out of 1999, and ignores more modern standards adopted in the mobility plan adopted just four years ago.

Seriously? An idiot from Metro Metro’s Chief Program Management Officer tries to argue that most of the agency’s highway projects don’t make greenhouse gas emissions worse. Apparently with a straight face.

Letter writers in the LA Times come out strongly in favor of enforcing speed limits. The problem is, there aren’t enough cops in the country to catch every speeding driver. Which is why we need to legalize automated speed cameras in California.

 

State

No bias here. Only a windshield-biased motorist’s organization could find something to love in California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right feet.

A San Diego letter writer says stop pushing bike lanes as a solution to traffic, insisting the city has failed to convincingly demonstrate demand. Although as someone much smarter than me once said, you don’t demonstrate the need for a bridge by counting the people swimming across a river.

A Rancho Mirage bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when she was struck by a driver Friday morning. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A state legislator introduced legislation that would keep Bay Area bridges free for bike riders and pedestrians.

Caltrans will shut down the popular new bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge for parts of the next three weeks for inspections, even though it just opened a few months ago; the agency will provide a shuttle to ferry riders and walkers across the bridge.

 

National

A writer for Jalopnik buys a 1980s Schwinn, intending to swap it out with modern components. And finds it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Speaking of Schwinn, the newly trendy bike maker is back with a modern take on the classic Stingray Krates that’s designed to grow with your kids.

Streetsblog makes the argument that Vision Zero is missing something big — like getting more cars off the road, which will make everyone safer.

A Portland writer has his bike stolen. And uses a bluetooth tracker and plausible deniability to get it back. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Longtime Seattle-area guitarist Dave Sims makes a comeback album with his band Archer, 22 years after shattering his spine in a bicycling crash.

Washington became the latest state to require a minimum three-foot distance to pass someone on a bicycle.

Good news, as the Bureau of Land Management, aka BLM, backs off on a uniquely bad idea to lease land for oil and gas drilling that could have threatened Moab, Utah’s famed Slick Rock mountain bike trail.

Chicago’s rapid shift to become bike friendly is largely leaving people of color behind.

A new exhibit in a Boston Museum traces how two women from the same neighborhood broke bicycling barriers in the 1890s — one by riding solo around the world, and the other by competing as a black women.

A Massachusetts paper opines that masses of kids swerving and popping wheelies in traffic — and often against it — is a recipe for disaster.

No bias here, either. The New York Post’s notoriously bike-hating columnist calls out the city’s plans for a bike lane on Sixth Avenue, insisting it “raises the bar for malicious streetscape tampering.” Because evidently, no one who works in those high rise professional buildings would ever want to ride a bike to work.

Brazen bike thieves are targeting ebike delivery riders on New York’s Queensboro Bridge with violent assaults to take their bikes and personal possessions.

A North Carolina columnist performs the mental gymnastics that accompany the switch from bike-hater to one of us.

A year after the drunken Mardi Gras parade crash that killed two people and injured several others, a New Orleans paper questions whether the city is any safer for people on bicycles, as improvements suggested by the mayor continue to exist only on paper.

 

International

That feeling when your road bike just doesn’t have enough high-end bling.

An English city is offering residents the equivalent of up to $3,800 to ditch their cars in favor of bikes or transit.

After a British woman has her bike stolen, her kindhearted co-workers pitch in, raising the equivalent of $580 to buy a new one.

Afghans take to the streets — and onto their bikes — to celebrate a preliminary step towards ending the country’s decades of open warfare.

Dubai now has a 780-bike, 78-station ped-assist bikeshare system.

Kindhearted Aussie cops replace a five-year old girl’s bike after hers was stolen.

A Philippine physician makes the case that bikes are good for the country’s cities. And every other city, too.

A bike-riding American priest and Medal of Honor winner in the Korean War is being investigated for a possible pathway to sainthood.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews examines how the world’s largest women-only mountain bike race, Colorado’s Beti Bike Bash, returned from the brink of financial ruin after a ten-year run.

Tour de France, Giro and Vuelta winner Chris Froome makes his long-delayed comeback from severe injuries suffered in a training ride crash last summer, saying “it feels good to be a bike racer again.”

If you swear you saw Welsh Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas riding the mean streets of Los Angeles last month, you’d be right.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss argues that gravel grinding won’t save bike racing in the US.

 

Finally…

Nothing like celebrating four months of sobriety by getting drunk and stealing a motorcycle. Now you have to start looking for drivers falling from above, too.

And that moment when you suddenly realize you need a change of underwear.

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