Tag Archive for Pedal Ahead

Feeling suckered by CA ebike voucher program, CD4’s Raman wins re-election, and why people keep dying on the streets

Just 291 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

As of this writing, we’re up to 1,017 signatures, so let’s keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us! 

Photo by Max J from Pexels.

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Let’s start with a look at California’s virtually moribund ebike incentive program, and its ongoing failure to launch.

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

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a woman is demanding action after police determine there’s “not enough detail” to charge a hit-and-run bus driver who just drove off after knocking her off her bike.

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

London’s Telegraph complains that the city is building more floating bus stops, even though some bicyclists don’t stop for pedestrians like they’re supposed to. Seriously, don’t do that. It only takes a few seconds to observe the right-of-way, and let pedestrians pass.

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Local 

Alhambra’s city council unanimously approved a new bike and pedestrian plan, which was delayed for two months to get more community input. Although as we’ve learned the hard way, getting a plan approved is meaningless unless it’s actually funded and implemented, regardless of apparent support.

A paraplegic Palmdale man says riding a handcycle in Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon fulfills his wildest dream.

LA County will spend $250 million to widen the Old Road in Stevenson Ranch to six lanes, while adding a protected bike lane in each direction. It costs an average of $1 million a mile to build a protected bike lane, which means they could build ten miles of protected lanes on both sides of the roadway, and still return $230 million change.

Santa Monica once again learned the hard way that free parking isn’t free; it cost the city $26,000 in lost revenue to provide free parking in city lots the last three days before Christmas, which resulted in exactly no benefit to local businesses.

Speaking of SaMo, the city is encouraging bicyclists to register their bikes through Bike Index or Garage 529 before May’s National Bike Month; you can sign up for lifetime free registration with Bike Index right here, as well as report a stolen bike or check their nationwide stolen bike registry. Full disclosure, I don’t get a damn thing for hosting Bike Index on this site, aside from the satisfaction of helping thwart bike thieves.

 

State

Survivors of a fallen Bakersfield bike rider filed a claim against the county, alleging dangerous conditions on the roadway where she was killed by a driver last year, including inadequate lighting, traffic signals and signage.

San Mateo bicyclists and traffic safety advocates are demanding answers after a hit-and-run driver left a bike-riding 62-year old woman with a broken back.

 

National

A new AI-powered device promises to use “computer vision” to alert bike riders to cars and other dangers on the roadway. So they expect us to rely on the same technology that draws people with three legs, and makes up various “facts.”

He gets it. Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus says the reason more people aren’t biking is too many cars, with too many driven without regard for others.

Now this is a bike travel guide, as a Boulder CO weekly offers tips on where to stop for food and drinks on your next long-distance ride.

Denver promises to plow bike lanes, as the city prepares to get up to 20 inches of snow, though bike riders are warned they may have to share traffic lanes with motorists. And yet, we’re somehow told that no one will ride a bike during LA’s temperate winters. 

Kindhearted Indiana cops gave a new bike to a 12-year old boy whose bike was destroyed when he was hit by a bus; fortunately, he wasn’t hurt.

That’s more like it. A bill in the Vermont legislature will give bike riders priority at intersections and require a four-foot passing distance.

New York Streetsblog celebrates the new Citi Bike bikeshare dock at the former Shea Stadium, now Citi Field, allowing bikeshare users to ride to a Mets game. But then you’d have to actually watch them play, so hard pass. 

A $9.6 million federal grant will fund a nearly nine-mile bike and pedestrian path between two Mississippi towns, as part of a project to widen US 90 from four to six lanes. So call it a win-lose for the environment and induced-demand. 

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine argues there should be tax incentives to buy and ride a bicycle. There should be some on this side of the border, too.

A BBC radio host is riding the “staggering distance” of 500 km across the country — the equivalent of 310 miles — to raise funds for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day. Or as randonneurs call a distance like that, Tuesday.

Bike-riding BBC host Jeremy Vine is suing a former Man City soccer player for calling him a “bike nonce.” Which I might find offensive, too, if I knew what the hell it meant.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly tips two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar to win Saturday’s Milan-San Remo, the longest one-day race in pro cycling.

The UCI Ethics Commission fined Soudal Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere for making disparaging comments about women, including suggesting that women drink too much, and that many female pros aren’t worth pro cycling’s current minimum wage.

 

Finally…

This is what it looks like when unloved bicycles are left to die alone. Just let the billionaires pay for a pod to change out of your sweaty clothes after a bike commute.

And that feeling when you promise to ride a bike to see your friends, after getting busted for driving an uninsured vehicle with an expired driver’s license.

At 103 years old.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month today

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

CA ebike voucher program sets next failure to launch deadline, and Times calls out fear-mongering over Measure HLA

Just 312 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. Only 19 signatures to go to reach 1,000! 

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Good news, maybe.

But don’t hold your breath.

San Diego’s inewsource reports that the next soon-to-be-missed deadline for California’s moribund ebike rebate program is now scheduled for sometime this spring.

That comes after self-imposed deadlines of January 1st, 2023, and the significantly more vague deadlines of second quarter, 2023, then last fall, which is the most recently missed deadline.

Not that we weren’t all expecting it to launch in 2022, after it passed the state legislature and was signed into law all the way back in those heady pandemic days of 2021.

So if anyone feels like Charlie Brown trying to kick a football, you’re in good company.

The story begins with a focus on San Diego nonprofit Pedal Ahead, which has been tasked with operating the program for the California Air Resources Board.

The nonprofit plans to operate a similar program statewide under a $10 million grant it received from the California Air Resources Board, or CARB. But roughly a year after its originally planned launch date, the program has yet to officially start.

CARB spokesperson Lys Mendez told inewsource that the state’s E-Bike Incentive Project is now expected to begin in the spring, as officials need more time for “infrastructure building” — essentially, making sure Pedal Ahead runs smoothly statewide. That includes organizing with e-bike retailers and community groups that can help get the word out and educate the public about the program, she said.

In other words, the same bullshit they’ve been feeding us for the last year.

The only real news in the story is that the soft launch that was supposed to take place last year actually did happen, despite the complete and total news blackout up to this point.

But as inewsource previously reported, Pedal Ahead suffered from low participation when it launched its San Diego program in 2020, with just a fraction of local participants logging enough miles to keep their bikes — and some reporting far fewer miles than what’s required, or none at all. The program also didn’t use an income requirement, allowing people who didn’t qualify as low income to receive a bike.

Despite that, Pedal Ahead beat two other applicants to administer the state program, with CARB citing the nonprofit’s “proven, on-the-ground experience” in San Diego.

Some money has been spent ahead of the program officially opening statewide. A preliminary “soft launch” is already happening in San Diego, the East Bay in Northern California, Fresno and in tribal communities, Mendez said. In those locations, she said the state is “currently testing key aspects” of the program.

Some, as in a quarter of the original $10 million in state funding has already gone to overhead, leaving just $7.5 million available for rebates.

Of that, $5 million is reserved for the lowest income applicants, with just $2.5 million for everyone else who qualifies with an income less than 300% of the federal poverty level.

Never mind that I would have qualified if the program had launched on time a year ago, and won’t now.

So I hope someone enjoys riding my ebike.

Maybe I can get Tern to sponsor me with one of these, instead. It could happen.

The other news in the story is that even after the moribund program finally crawls its way through the earth to launch, like Dracula after dark, it could take a full three months to be approved for a voucher once you apply.

Residents must also be at least 18 years old to apply for a voucher to get a free e-bike from a program-selected retailer, such as a local bike shop. Participants will need to own the e-bike for at least a year and complete surveys about the experience.

The approval process may take up to three months.

Yes, three months.

And if that’s not a sign of the sheer incompetency behind this program, I don’t know what is.

Frankly, I’m ready to give up on the whole damn thing and ask my state legislators to fire both CARB and Pedal Ahead, and start over from scratch.

Because the thing that other cities and states have seemed to find so easy to do — get ebike rebate programs up and running through multiple rounds of funding — seems to be impossible here.

Meanwhile, if Tasha Boerner’s AB 2234 passes, even adults will be required to pass an online test in order to be able to legally buy one, let alone actually ride it, if they don’t already have a driver’s license.

Because living in poverty isn’t humbling enough, evidently.

Thanks to Ellectrek for the heads-up.

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They get it.

The Los Angeles Times writes that all the fear-mongering over Measure HLA — the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure — ignores that what’s really scary is LA’s deadly streets.

According to the paper, some of the city’s most powerful officials have been trying to sabotage the measure, rather than actually doing something to reduce deaths and injuries resulting from traffic violence.

Never mind actually eliminating them, which was supposed to happen by next year. But won’t.

But even though the projects have been on the books for years, last week the city’s top budget official released a questionable new $3.1-billion estimate for the plan, while the union that represents city firefighters claimed that making the streets safer will slow emergency response times.

It’s fear-mongering designed to scare Angelenos into voting against the measure. But what’s really frightening is that L.A. leaders could have started building a more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly sustainable city years ago and perhaps averted some of the recent deaths. They had the blueprint to make streets safer but didn’t make it a priority. That’s why Measure HLA is necessary.

It’s worth reading the whole thing to see just how much your life is — or more accurately, isn’t — worth to many of those leading this city.

Let alone the people responsible for saving it.

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Bike Long Beach will host a murals and coffee ride tomorrow, to avoid conflicting with Sunday’s CicLAvia, along with a virtual monthly meeting on Monday.

Bike Long Beach Feb Meeting

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Don’t forget Saturday’s 46th Annual LA Chinatown bike ride tomorrow, and Sunday’s Melrose Ave CicLAvia.

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It’s now 64 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. Streetsblog says Oakland complains about a lack of resources to build bike lanes, but they somehow had the resources to rip one out along the city’s Embarcadero.

Britain’s CyclingMikey, scorned among the motoring crowd for recording scofflaw drivers with his bike cam, says bicyclists “are seen as the cockroaches of the road.” Well, tell us something we don’t know.

Berlin’s rightwing mayor is fulfilling a campaign promise to make more room for cars by ripping out bike lanes. Which is more proof that we’re never more than one election from losing all the gains we make.

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

Apparently, someone has our back, but not in a good way. After a 19-year old driver hit a bike rider in San Antonio, Texas, someone opened fire, riddling the car with bullets.

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Local 

The Beverly Press says Measure HLA could pave the future for mobility in Los Angeles.

 

State

Calbike calls on California to divest from wasteful, induced demand-inducing highway projects, and invest in Complete Streets and the state’s transportation future.

Calbike also introduced a slate of 16 bills they’re backing for the current legislative session, including bills that would mandate Complete Streets following Caltrans resurfacing projects, similar to Measure HLA, as well as mandating motor vehicle speed limiters and truck sideguards.

An Orange County mother has made it her mission to preach ebike safety in the face of rising ebike injury rates. Although I’ve yet to see a study that shows ebike injury rates in relation to ebike ridership, without which claims of rising or worsening injuries are merely anecdotal.

San Diego will pay nearly $3 million to the family of Hossein Samadi, who was killed in a 2020 collision with a city truck parked in a bike lane Carmel Valley Road without warning cones or flashers.

San Francisco Streetsblog attempts to cut through the latest misinformation regarding the city’s Valencia Street centerline bike lane.

Bike Magazine examines how Davis became “Bike City, USA.”

 

National

Vehicle-to-everything technology, aka V2X, rears its ugly head once again, as a writer for Streetsblog says we could improve safety for bicyclists by allowing cars and bikes to talk to one another. As long as you’re willing to wear a transponder every time you ride, or be held accountable anytime you don’t.

Velo marks Black History Month with a look at eight groups making bicycling more inclusive across the US.

NPR reports bike helmet use declined almost 6% each year for the last five years, while ebike head injuries saw a 49-fold increase, with just 44% of injured ebike riders wearing helmets. Although as noted above, those numbers are virtually meaningless without a comparison to increasing ebike ridership rates, and comparing helmet use by ebike riders who suffered head trauma with similarly injured riders of regular bikes.

An Oʻahu bike club uses two wheels to explore Honolulu’s Kalihi Valley, one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods.

This is why you let the police handle it. A Portland woman was nearly killed when she went with friends to a homeless camp to help recover a stolen bicycle, and was shot by a man with a high-powered air rifle.

Denver opened a new $14 million, 1.5-mile protected bike lane that bike riders have been waiting on for more than eight years.

Cleveland’s Vision Zero program is called into question after 550 people were struck by drivers while walking or biking in the city.

The husband of fallen US diplomat and bicyclist Sarah Debbink Langenkamp says littering can get you up to five years behind bars in Maryland, but the driver who right hooked his wife with a 50,000 pound truck walked with a traffic ticket that carried a lousy $2,000 and 150 hours of community service.

 

International

More on the “clever policing” that London cops used to bust a $165,000 bike theft ring by using a bait bike. Something that remains off-limits for the LAPD, over misplaced fears of entrapment, thanks to a singularly uninformed opinion from former City Attorney Mike Feuer, who wants to be my next Congress Person; yeah, good luck with that. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link. 

Meanwhile, bikejacking victims call for more cops around London’s Regent’s Park, where gangs of moped-riding thieves are reportedly targeting a list of high-end bicycles, including Pinarello, Bianchi, S-Works and Brompton, which are then shipped to Russia to evade sanctions.

A British letter writer says excuse me, but 1 million bicyclists a year, 2,739 cyclists every day and 114 an hour does not a low number using a bike lane make.

Paris is now officially the most bike-friendly city in France.

Over a quarter of Belgians rode an ebike last year, as electric bicycles continue to gain in popularity. That’s a figure we may never see here, as long as officials continue to drag their feet on an underfunded rebate program, and fight against safer, more livable streets.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling site looks forward to this year’s trends in bicycle fashions. Which are pretty much the same as last year, and every other year.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Adam Yates was forced to retire from the UAE Tour following a concussion protocol fail, when he continued riding after a crash, until he radioed the crew to ask what happened since he didn’t remember anything.

A writer for Cycling Weekly knows just how it feels when Phil Gaimon steals your hard-won KOM.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get hit with a bicycle during a pro wrestling street fight. Or when even an Aggie understands we’re second-class road users.

And presenting the driver psychology course for bicycling safety.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Pasadena Transportation chief to head LADOT, soft launch for CA ebike rebates, and lousy $500 ticket for AZ sideswipe

Well, I’m underwhelmed.

Nine months after Karen Bass became mayor of Los Angeles, she finally got around to naming someone to lead LADOT.

According to Streetsblog, current Pasadena Transportation head Laura Rubio-Cornejo will become the next general manager of the Los Angeles transportation department, assuming she’s approved by the city council.

Which is pretty much a given in a city where most councilmembers are loathe to rock the boat.

Rubio-Cornejo, who previously led Metro Countywide Planning, replaces underperforming former LADOT and NACTO chief Seleta Reynolds, who left for greener pastures at Metro a year ago.

Despite sky high expectations, Reynolds was largely a disappointment at LADOT, where her hands were tied by risk-averse city officials, and never appeared to have the full backing of former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Whether Rubio-Cornejo fares any better remains to be seen.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Photo from City of Pasadena, via Streetsblog.

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Still no word on when the statewide launch of the California ebike rebate program will take place.

According to Calbike, San Diego’s Pedal Ahead, which has been chosen to administer the program, announced its long-awaited soft launch.

No, really.

We are currently launching a multi-phase California E-Bike Incentive Project soft launch which includes retailer onboarding and training, community-based organization (CBO) outreach and community engagement, and the website launch. The next one to two months will be focused on retailer and CBO outreach, which will be happening concurrently leading up to the application window opening.

The soft launch will focus on four regions in California and we have already begun introducing the program to local CBOs and identifying retailers in the regions to make sure they are fully supported with the appropriate program support, trainings and resources.

So, at least another month or two before we can expect to see any action outside of a few select, unnamed areas. And before we can start seeing more ebikes replace smelly, dangerous, climate-killing cars here in the late, great Golden State.

Anyone who’s been holding their breath waiting for this is probably dead by now.

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You’ve got to be effing kidding.

Life is cheap in Arizona, where the driver who sideswiped a bicyclist taking part in a club ride, sending three people to the hospital, walked with a ticket for an unsafe pass carrying a lousy fine of up to $500.

Because evidently, knocking multiple bike riders down like so many bowling pins is just no big deal.

And pretty much legal.

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Huh?

A writer for an Aussie website calls for mandatory registration and license plates for cyclists.

But not for people riding bikes.

By his standard, if you earn money riding a bike — like delivery riders — you’re a cyclist. But if you just ride to work once a year, or ride to the park with the kids, you’re just riding a bike.

Then there’s this.

If you routinely spend every Sunday morning rolling en masse along a beachside boulevard, pumping the blood as much as you are metaphorically pumping your fist at an imaginary Le Tour stage gate, then you are a cyclist too and you should probably pay for registration.

You’re on the road. You’re using the infrastructure. You are at risk from other cyclists and you are a risk to pedestrians. Plus, I can’t be the only person to have seen riders sail through red traffic lights…

Never mind that people taking part in group rides are usually in the traffic lane, not using bicycle infrastructure.

Or that splitting hairs must be easier down there, as he somehow expects police to tell whether someone on a bike rides every weekend, or just this once.

Or whether that guy riding to the park with his kids may have just finished a fast half century with the club.

Although his primary concern — I say his, since it has a man’s byline, but is so self-contradictory it could easily have been generated by AI — appears to be forcing bicyclists to carry insurance and get some skin in the game.

As with all these adjustments in the way we live our lives, we need the powers that be to arrange a little quid pro quo. Remove vehicle lanes to encourage more bike riders, so why not extend the reach of the third-party insurance that is included with motor vehicle registration to cover you when on your bike? You’ve paid the fee, does it really matter what vehicle you are using?

After all, you can’t drive and ride at the same time…

Plus, if we want less cars and more bicycles, taxation has to come from somewhere. Surely it would be better to recognise a contribution of your bicycle registration than to just have everything else ratcheted up to account for the gap.

It’s likely this piece is nothing more than an effort to create a little controversy to drive traffic to the site, while signaling to car shoppers that they’re on their side.

But they may find out the hard way all those weekend warriors on bikes buy cars, too.

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The New York Times continues their bizarre anti-ebike campaign, arguing that parents don’t know whether to view the bikes as freedom or danger, as more teens take to them.

For the moment, the power to decide what teenagers may or may not ride falls to a nongovernmental authority: parents. Across the country, they are expressing a mix of enthusiasm, contrition and uncertainty about the trendy mode of transportation.

Some parents who initially embraced e-bikes now say their enthusiasm has waned with news of recent crashes involving teenagers.

Because apparently, no child was ever injured riding a bicycle without a battery.

The question they fail to answer, as they build their anecdotal case, is whether there have been more more, or more severe, crashes on ebikes than would have been expected on regular bicycles.

Unless and until they can provide that, their entire campaign should be seen as nothing more than anti-ebike fear mongering, with the possible exception of calling out the increased fire risk due to lithium ion batteries.

Since regular bikes hardly ever burst into flames.

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee has now been around for 50 years.

Although it continues to remain strictly advisory, instead of being given the regulatory authority of a commission it should have received years ago.

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Phil Gaimon responds to the critics, and arms bicyclists with responses to the 1% of hostile motorists who seem to make up most of the commenters online.

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

No bias here. Writing for The Spectator, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle says Jeremy Vine’s call for drivers to be banned from overtaking cyclists in major cities is “ridiculous” and “the real problem isn’t motorists but Jeremy Vine himself.” Something even Vine seems to agree with, as he says to take his comments with a grain of salt and stop overreacting to everything he says.

It turns out the Philippine driver who pulled a gun on an unarmed bicyclist is a former cop who left the force after repeated demotions, including one for grave misconduct, yet he complains he’s being depicted as a “bad person” on social media; Quezon City has offered the victim protection if he chooses to pursue a case against the former QC cop.  

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

Two Bakersfield boys saw very different outcomes when police attempted to stop them for riding against traffic; a 13-year old boy who pulled over and waited at the side of the road was released to his mother, while a 14-year old boy who kept riding and popping wheelies had the book thrown at him.

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Local 

You may now be able to rent a Tern cargo bike for as little as $99 a month, as the Aussie bike leasing firm Wombi announces plans to set up their first US operation in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles plans to implement safety improvements from the city’s “Vision Zero Safety Toolkit” along a two-mile stretch of Hollywood Blvd east of Gower, which saw 56 people killed or seriously injured over the last decade. Although what those improvements will be remains to be seen, likely depending on public feedback.

The LA Times foresees an optimistic paradise of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, ebikes and free public transit replaced gas-guzzling cars within 20 years.

 

State

Calbike calls on you to help get a slate of active transportation bills out of the Suspense File in the Senate Appropriations Committee; the bills must move forward by the first of the month or be killed for this year.

The late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was one of us, doing some of his best thinking and songwriting on a mountain bike near his Laguna Beach home.

The San Diego Reader questions whether the same man is responsible for two violent bikejackings in the city.

 

National

A Honolulu ER doc rides his bike 21 miles to work every day, rain or shine — and has for over 30 years.

A Houston writer says “there’s something heart-warming about the anarchy of 2,000 people on bikes reclaiming the roads back from cars.”

An Indianapolis woman faces charges for DUI and driving without ever having a driver’s license after she crashed into a man riding a bicycle, leaving the victim with multiple compound fractures, while driving at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part one. A “cherished” Evansville, Indiana high school music director was killed while riding his bicycle, though the details are unclear.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part two. The Boston-area bike rider killed by a UPS driver Monday afternoon was identified as a respected professor and mentor to graduate students at Tufts University School of Medicine.

As the California legislature continues to appease vested driving interests in an attempt to legalize a speed cam pilot program, New York stats show a 30% drop in speeding violations after their camera program began operating 24/7.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a driver got just 11½ to 23 months behind bars for severely injuring a man riding a bicycle while driving his pickup truck with inoperable brakes and without insurance.

A new 2-mile ADA-accessible Delaware bike path was funded with $23 million from the new federal infrastructure bill.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part three. Police in Baltimore are looking for the hit-and-run driver who took the life of a “beloved” mother of two as she rode her bike home from work over the weekend.

That’s more like it. A new 42 story, 631 unit Miami residential tower will have more than twice as many bicycle parking spaces as it will spaces for cars.

 

International

Tragic news from the UK, where two men on ebikes were killed by a driver on a “very fast” 50 mph roadway; the driver was arrested on a careless driving charge.

The fiancé of the Scottish bike rider killed by a drunk driver, who then hid his body for three years with the help of the driver’s brother, lashed out at the courts for failing to impose a “proper” sentence on the two men, who received 12 years and five years and three months, respectively.

A British man has defied the odds by learning to walk and eat again, after doctors gave him just 24 hours to live after hitting an embankment on his ebike.

Momentum Magazine visits the world’s longest purpose-built bike and pedestrian tunnel in Bergen, Norway; the Fyllingsdalen is 1.8 miles long and takes approximately 10 minutes to travel by bicycle.

Bicycling reports over 45,000 people rode their bicycles to a Formula 1 race in the Netherlands after the country banned cars from the event; another 55,000 arrived by bus or train. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Workers in the Spanish town of Elche are scraping bike lanes off the roads, after the newly installed far-right government adopted a populist, pro-car policy. Which is a warning of what could happen here if we don’t vote for bike-friendly candidates. 

He gets it. A writer from Islamabad, Pakistan says bicyclists aren’t a nuisance, whether you’re talking about kids on bikes or adults riding to reduce their waistlines.

 

Competitive Cycling

His hometown newspaper celebrates James Macdonald’s victory at the recent world road cycling championships, as the 80-year old Williamsburg, Virginia resident topped the 80-84 age group in a 53-mile race earlier this month.

Remco Evenepoel raged about safety at the Vuelta, or the lack thereof, after he was bloodied in a crash with a spectator following his stage three win, saying “It’s the third day in a row and it’s breaking my balls a bit now. I’ve had enough.” Meanwhile, the peloton has finally figured out they’re just pawns in the game.

The home of 22-year old pro cyclist Michel Hessmann was searched by German authorities as part of a doping investigation, after the suspended Jumbo-Visma rider tested positive for a banned diuretic earlier this month. But the doping era is over, right?

The inaugural CRIT Championship will debut in St. Petersburg, Florida this October, the race is the multi-million dollar brainchild of L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams.

 

Finally…

The street may be open, but it will cost you nearly 85 bucks to bike it. Even stairs are nothing to the world’s fastest pizza delivery rider.

And it took me about five seconds to find the bicycle in this picture.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Ebikes aren’t motor vehicles under CA law, despite legislator’s call to license riders; and update on CA ebike rebate program

Yesterday we wrote that Encinitas State Assemblymember Tasha Boerner plans to introduce a bill in the state legislature to require a license to ride an ebike.

The restriction would apparently apply to any kind of ebike, whether ped-assist or throttle-controlled, or any combination thereof.

She announced her intention in an email directed to various people in her district, in response to the Encinitas ebike state of emergency aimed at reducing bicycling injuries, electric and otherwise, in the Northern San Diego County city.

In response, Oceanside bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette forwards a quick state law cheat sheet explaining whether an ebike can legally be considered a motor vehicle requiring a license.

Is an E bike a Motor Vehicle? No.

See CVC  24016(a) discusses “an electric bicycle described in CVC 312.5(a) “equipped w operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts”. i.e., class 1 through 3 types.

See CVC 24016(b) “A person operating an electric bicycle is NOT subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, drivers’ licenses, registration and license plate requirements and an electric bicycle is not a Motor vehicle.”

See CVC 415, which says a motor vehicle is a vehicle that is self-propelled (versus propelled by human power).

So, there’s an argument to be made that a strictly throttle-controlled ebike without operable pedals can be considered a motor vehicle, subject to licensing.

Then again, they already are under California law and require a valid driver’s license to use, though the law is inadequately enforced.

Anything else isn’t. Period.

Then again, all that has already been legislated. California was the first state to develop a classification structure for ebikes and e-scooters, which has been copied and implemented by a significant number of US states.

Click to enlarge

So consider Boerner’s proposed legislation a solution in search of a problem.

One that would create far more problems than it solves, especially at a time when we urgently need to reduce the number of motor vehicles on our streets in response to the climate emergency.

Never mind preventing our streets from grinding to a gridlocked halt due to too many, too large, vehicles.

If she wants to solve that problem, we should talk.

Ebike battery photo by Alex from Pexels.

………

We finally have an update on California’s ebike rebate program, which is still is failure to launch mode, despite earlier estimates that it would go live before this month.

San Diego’s Pedal Ahead ebike loan-to-own program, statewide administrator for the California ebike rebate program, posted this announcement yesterday, backdated to the end of last month.

Click to enlarge

So we’re still waiting, though it sounds like we’re getting closer, and still have no idea when or where the soft launches will take place.

Hopefully we’ll all learn more soon.

………

Streets For All points the finger at Metro’s wasteful highway spending under Measure M, which imposed a half-cent sales tax in Los Angeles County to fund transportation projects.

As they point out, the $10 billion allotted to the highway projects — only a handful of which would accomplish anything other than inducing creating more gridlock through induced demand — would be much better spent on providing safe and efficient alternatives to driving, considering that even so-called green cars are harmful to the environment.

………

Let’s face it.

You could buy a pretty nice bike or two for twelve grand. And you wouldn’t be stuck with an expensive, smelly and inefficient car anymore.

………

Works for me.

I mean, if you have to go, you might as well go in style.

………

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

No bias here. A writer for conservative website Reason says buy your own damn ebike, arguing that there’s nothing to show that ebike rebates increase the number of ebike riders on the streets. Even though Denver’s ebike voucher program has done exactly that

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

A bike-riding burglar broke into Bibi’s Boutique on Pico Blvd and made off with the contents of the cash register early yesterday. But at least he was wearing a hi-vis helmet.

A 42-year old Houston man was arrested two weeks after he was charged with felony criminal mischief for smashing a driver’s windshield with a bike lock during a confrontation involving a groups of bicyclists who swarmed the car; the driver has not been charged, despite repeatedly honking and driving through the group ride, as well as pulling a knife because “he felt threatened.”

………

Local 

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A San Diego bike shop owner offers advice on the best kind of bike for every type of bike rider.

A San Francisco website looks at San Francisco’s widely detested Valencia Street centerline protected bike lane pilot project, calling it a compromise that grew from behind the scenes talks, with hope for more radical change down the road.

San Francisco public radio station KQED talks with a mother and educator about the joy of biking with her two young children.

A Sacramento woman talks in depth about quitting her car dependency and going down an anti-car rabbit hole after nearly getting run down by a driver while riding her bike.

 

National

A Streetsblog op-ed from the advocacy manager for America Walks offers five ways you can stand up to demand safer cars and trucks to address the increasing bloodshed on our streets.

The new 2024 Ford Mustang will come with an exit warning device to prevent doorings.

Bicycling highlights the best bike deals from today’s Amazon Prime Day, while Business Wire points out the best ebike buys.

PinkBike conducts their annual field test of “value” mountain bikes. Although they clearly define value a lot differently than I do.

AARP offers seven tips for touring on an ebike, saying don’t get on a battery-powered bicycle before reading it. Most of which you really don’t need to if you have a modicum of experience or common sense. But at least they wait until the penultimate tip before insisting you wear a helmet.

Rad Power Bikes is pulling out of Europe to focus on US sales, in the wake of ongoing problems at the Seattle-based bikemaker, financial and otherwise.

Police in Salem, Oregon sat on video evidence in the March collision that killed a 53-year old woman riding a bicycle in an apparent coverup, failing to turn it over to outside investigators for nearly three months, after earlier failing to disclose that the driver was an off-duty DEA agent.

This is who we share the road with. A 21-year old Yakima, Washington man faces charges for running down a bike rider, snapping his bike in half, before plowing through a chainlink fence and continuing on without stopping; the crash left the victim with broken bones in his thigh, shin, shoulder, arm, wrist and face.

The downside of Denver’s highly successful ebike voucher program is that it hasn’t been successful in spurring sales at local bike shops, with most of the vouchers used with out-of-state companies.

Good news from Michigan, where a 13-year old boy has made a “miraculous” recovery after a hit-and-run driver left him with a fractured neck and critical traumatic brain injury; the driver charged with hitting him remains in jail on $25,000 bond.

Kindhearted Ohio sheriff’s deputies gave a boy a new bike for his 11th birthday, just days after someone stole his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for the Memphis bike thief who stole a boy’s bike, then shot the kid several times in the foot after the victim spotted him riding his bike.

 

International

A British man was hospitalized with a brain bleed and two broken ribs after he was severely beaten by a gang of teenagers, who hit him with his own bicycle before making off with it.

Shocking news from the Netherlands, where high-flying Dutch ebike maker VanMoof called it quits, at least for now, after apparently burning through more than $200 million in venture capital funding; the company has halted sales and all operations as it tries to secure bridge funding to keep going.

An Indian newspaper says a “tribe” of bicycling tutors, including a successful urologist, is teaching older adults to pedal a path to freedom.

Speaking of India, Conde Nast Traveller directs you to eight guided bicycling tours to travel the subcontinent during the monsoon season.

Singapore ebike riders complain about dangerous drivers, as well as increasingly stringent regulations have increased their risk.

 

Competitive Cycling

The US will send a team of battle-tested Tour de France vets to the world championships next month, with a lineup including includes king of the mountain leader Neilson Powless, near-stage winner Matteo Jorgenson, as well as Lawson Craddock and US road race champion Quinn Simmons.

Road.cc examines the bicycles that have won each stage of the Tour de France so far.

The Belgian Waffle Ride gravel races are changing their entry categories after a transgender woman dominated her competitors last month; classifications will now be limited according to birth sex, with a third Open category open to anyone, regardless of sexual identification.

Cyclist talks with trans cyclist Pippa York, who was the first Brit to win a stage at the Tour de France before she transitioned.

 

Finally…

Who says your bike needs round wheels? Probably not the best idea to flee from the cops while riding under the influence, then tell them to tase you.

And that feeling when your wind tunnel graphic looks more like a bike rider with a massive farting problem.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin.

Still no word on launch of CA ebike rebate program, and active transportation bills face Tuesday state senate committee vote

Like the song says, waiting is the hardest part.

Because there’s still no word on when the California ebike tax rebate program will begin.

At last word, they were expected to launch in the second quarter of this year, which ended last Friday.

The program has already spent a quarter of the allotted $10 million for administration and overhead, leaving just $7.5 million available for ebike vouchers.

It’s being administered by San Diego’s Pedal Ahead, which operates an ebike loan-to-own program for San Diego residents.

Meanwhile, Calbike offers a slightly different version, saying the program was scheduled to have a soft opening in four undisclosed regions last month, before opening statewide in a few months.

They cite a $13 million budget, anticipating it will fund between 4,000 and 7,000 ebike vouchers.

So if the soft openings do happen and exceed anticipated demand, it’s possible there might not be anything left by the time it gets to you.

………

Calbike reports five active transportation-ish bills will come up before the state Senate Transportation Committee this Tuesday.

The bills include another attempt to get the Stop as Yield bill past Governor Newsom’s veto pen, as well as bills mandating daylighting at intersections, requiring climate-first transportation planning, and legalizing sidewalk bike riding statewide.

The fifth bill would establish a pilot program for free youth transit.

The link above includes a form to contact your state legislature to voice your support for any or all of the bills.

………

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

No bias here. After a little kid was struck by a driver in Wales, Britain’s Sky News reports the ten-year old “cyclist” suffered life-changing injuries. I believe the word they were looking for there was child. 

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

No bias here, either. New Jersey letter writers say a bike rider who is suing a councilmember for the hit-and-run crash that reportedly left him with serious injuries doesn’t deserve a red cent because he ran the red light, regardless of whether the councilwoman fled the scene. And, uh, because he was wearing flip flops.

Bike riders in Barrie, Ontario were fined $180 each for running a stop sign in a community safety zone, as officials stressed “Stop signs are for everyone, including cyclists.” While bike riders should observe the law, they have a much better view of the road and pose significantly less danger to others around them, which should be reflected in any fine, but usually isn’t. Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up. 

………

Local 

Metro has received over half of the $80 million in grants distributed across six SoCal counties by the Southern California Association of Governments Regional Council, aka SCAG; the funding represents the first local distribution of a $237 million state Regional Early Action Planning, or REAP, grant for transportation and housing efforts.

Streetsblog says the new curb-protected bike lanes on Santa Monica’s 17th Street are “amazing;” the bike/ped improvements include Southern California’s first European-style curb-protected intersections.

 

State

The California legislature restored full funding for the state’s active transportation programs, after Governor Newsom had attempted to cut it by half a billion dollars.

CleanTechnica reports fossil fuel companies are spending millions to defeat a pair of climate reporting bills in the state legislature.

Fullerton celebrated the 4th of July with their annual bike parade.

Orange County has received $13.3 million in SCAG grants to fund innovative transportation projects designed to reduce motor vehicle use, including a number of bike-friendly projects around the county.

A built-in tracker on a stolen ebike led San Diego police to a parolee illegally in possession of a stolen shotgun, illegal drugs and the purloined bicycle. Although I’m not sure you can legally posses a stolen weapon. 

A San Francisco woman who has been hit by drivers twice while riding her bike reflects on the differences between biking in the Bay Area and in Belgium, where she is visiting. Like not getting hit by motorists, for instance.

Sacramento is investing $16 million in building more protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

A Rancho Cordova bike shop is asking for the public’s help to bounce back from the challenges of the pandemic, by attempting to crowdfund a quarter of a million dollars to keep it alive until their business can stabilize.

 

National

Bloomberg’s CityLab writes that businesses are learning to love bike lanes as downtown areas continue to struggle, saying the need to rethink urban cores is encouraging business improvement districts to reconsider the wisdom of prioritizing motor vehicles.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission is recalling 84,000 woom ORIGINAL balance and pedal bikes due to a problem with the stem and handlebars, which can detach and cause a fall.

Washington US Congressman Rick Larsen is one of us, riding his bike as part of a bicycle town hall for a local community.

A Colorado man is recovering after two weeks in the hospital with a broken collarbone, shoulder and damaged skull, as well as “really bad road rash all over his body” after falling off his bike during a fundraising ride to fight human trafficking.

A Minnesota man faces charges for running over and dragging a bike-riding bystander, following a drunken road rage argument with another driver at a Wisconsin riverfront boat launch, while his own young kids were in the car.

Disappointing ruling from a Minnesota appeals court, which dismissed a lawsuit from the father of a 13-year old boy who was killed by a driver while riding his bike to school, ruling that the city, county and school district can’t be held accountable for dangerous conditions on the roadway.

A Youngstown, Ohio company donated 120 bicycles to kids during National Bike Month, part of a promotion promising to donated a bike to a child in need for every sale.

Columbus, Ohio is the latest city to offer residents ebike rebates, with up to 150 vouchers ranging from $500 to $1,200, depending on household income. Meanwhile, Californians continue to wait for what was the nation’s first ebike rebate program when it was originally approved 19 months ago. 

A 47-year old Burlington, Vermont man faces charges after chasing bike riders and pedestrians on a waterfront bike path, and threatening them with a box cutter.

A New Jersey man learns the hard way not to snatch an unattended kid’s bike.

Community members in Covington, Louisiana are asking for prayers for a 17-year old boy who collapsed while riding his bike, and was found unconscious in the roadway.

 

International

More proof life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding, distracted student driver who ran down a Manchester, England milkman riding his bike to work got a lousy 14 months behind bars; the victim was just weeks from retirement when he was killed by the driver, who couldn’t be bothered to slow down or hang up his phone, and shouldn’t have been driving alone in the first place.

A Scottish man has set a new record for riding 250 miles coast-to-coast across the country in 23 hours and 8 minutes.

Thousands of people lined the funeral route for a pair of Welsh teenagers who were laid to rest together, after they were killed in an ebike crash while being closely followed, if not pursued, by the cops.

A new documentary follows the inner and outer journeys of a pair of Indian women as they take part in the London-Edinburgh-London endurance cycling race.

 

Competitive Cycling

After getting dropped yesterday, Tadej Pogacar bounced back to win Thursday’s stage 6, putting himself back in contention at 25 seconds behind the leader.

Like Adam Yates before him, 2022 Giro champ Jai Hindley’s time in yellow lasted just a single day, as last year’s Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard slipped it on at the end of stage 6.

American Neilson Powless is back in polka dots as the Tour’s best climber.

Velo explains the Tour’s confusing team tactics.

USA Cycling has announced their team for the track cycling worlds before they even held the US track championships at Carson’s Velo Sports Center this weekend. Which means whoever wins the nationals risks being left off the worlds team entirely, despite being crowned as the US track champ. Thanks to Steve Fujinaka for calling out what’s been bugging me since learning about the US worlds team.

A Vancouver paper says questions are being raised about safety and oversight in the wake of a teenage mountain biker’s death during a downhill race in British Columbia last weekend.

Bicycling reports that track and gravel champ Ashton Lambie’s latest challenge is taking on sailing’s iconic America’s Cup. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Don’t wink at a woman while riding a bike in Ottumwa, Iowa. Now you, too, can join a pot-smoking bicycle club.

And your bike may soon be able to talk to cars.

Although I’m sure many of us would prefer to share a few choice words with their drivers, instead.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin.

CA ebike rebate becoming reality, teen bike riders beat driver in DTLA, and Bixby bike path opens on Long Beach bridge

Let’s start with a little good news.

It looks like the California E-bike Incentive Program is finally happening, and on the verge of moving from its long-delayed vaporware status into something that could actually put a new ebike in your garage.

Or not.

Because the program is limited to low income households with gross incomes 300% or less of the federal poverty level.

And that’s just for the first $2.5 million.

Once that’s gone, the remaining $5 million will be reserved for people with a gross income of 225% of the federal poverty level, or who live in a disadvantaged or low-income community, or participate in at least one of these public assistance programs.

Which adds up to just $7.5 million, because the first $2.5 million of the $10 million budgeted by the state legislature is going to administration, and just getting us to this place.

So let’s hope the legislature listens to Calbike’s call to increase the rebate budget by another $50 million to meet the anticipated demand.

As we’ve discussed before, the rebates will be for $1000, with another $250 for low income applicants, and an additional $750 for buyers of e-cargo bikes or e-adaptive bicycles.

You’ll be able apply through an online portal which is projected to launch in the second quarter of this year, which means by the end of next month, though that could change.

If you’re approved, you’ll receive a voucher good for 30 days on the purchase of an ebike that meets the following requirements. The voucher will be applied towards the full purchase price, including taxes, up to but not exceeding the total amount.

One more bit of good news — besides the fact that it looks like I may qualify, if I can get my application in fast enough.

The program will be administered by people who actually know what they’re doing.

The state has selected San Diego’s Pedal Ahead to run the program. That’s good news because they’ve managed San Diego’s loan-to-own ebike program for the last three years.

So they should, hopefully, be able to assume management of this one.

Although there are no guarantees when the state is involved.

You can read more about the California E-bike Incentive Program on Pedal Ahead’s FAQs page.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

………

Horrifying video emerged over the weekend showing a group of what looked to be five teenage bike riders attacking a pickup driver in DTLA’s Jewelry District on Thursday, which was Bike Day in LA County.

The driver exited the vehicle after one of the boys smashed his windshield with a bicycle before they set upon him; the attack continued until bystanders intervened.

It’s unclear what precipitated the assault.

Witness reports alternately said the driver honked at the bike riders as they were weaving across the roadway, or that the driver had fled the scene after striking one of the boys with his truck.

Either way, the violent assault was wrong. And a crime.

………

Frequent contributor David Drexler went to the grand opening of the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path on the new Long Beach International Gateway Bridge on Saturday, and forwarded a few notes.

Thank you for letting me know about the Ceremony and bike ride yesterday in Long Beach. If I did not read about it on your report—I would not have known.

It was a well organized, unique and extraordinary bike event.

A Congresswoman from that area, DOT, Caltrans, and Bixby family were all there and spoke.

I went back to the bridge at 3 PM and road it again alone with hardly anyone else there.

Highly recommend a bridge path visit ride or walk if in the area—the climbs are great and so is the downhill—easy 25 mph with no pedaling.

Three observation areas on the bridge to stop and hang out.

Note: Does not go all the way to San Pedro—dead ends at the base of the North side of the bridge with the gate locked closed.

All photos by David Drexler

………

Alhambra is considering a proposal to put more cars and speeding drivers directly in front of an elementary school.

You have until 6 pm today to tell them where they can put that offramp.

Politely, of course.

………

Nice to see my councilmember sharing the progress that’s been made to improve bike infrastructure in her district.

Even if there’s still a lot of work to do.

………

Mark your calendar for this year’s celebration of all things bike from BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

………

Go Safely wants to know what you think are the problems on our streets. Unfortunately, hit-and-run isn’t one of the options.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A 27-year old man was sentenced to 30 years behind bars for the drunken Irvine crash that killed two passengers in his car, while driving at speeds up to 138 mph moments before the collision; however, there are questions about his mental competency, despite being examined by psychological experts nine times. This link would have gone to the Orange County Register, but they’d rather block access with a paywall than drive internet traffic. 

A 24-year old Kern County man faces a 1st degree murder charge for intentionally slamming his car into another vehicle while driving under the influence, killing a beloved 79-year old former educator.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a convicted pedophile who faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and hate crime enhancements after repeatedly shouting racist epithets and attempting to swerve his car into another car with at least one Black passenger; in 2001 he was convicted of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, and investigated for making obscene phone calls to a 19-year old woman.

A British woman decided she wasn’t going to be inconvenienced by a marathon race, and simply moved the orange cones blocking the road, and drove right through the runners. Then tried to justify it to the people trying to stop her.

………

Bizarre shoving match at the Cannes Film Festival, where the head of the festival, who was eschewing limos and riding a bike to cut his carbon footprint, got into a shoving match with a cop, apparently for riding on the sidewalk.

Here’s a Google translation of the tweet.

A policeman asked you twice to stop. When he catches up with you in front of the Carlton you accuse him of assaulting you. I tell you again here, Thierry Frémaux, you were wrong and you are not above the law! We are several witnesses of what happened. This municipal police officer has our full support.

Thanks to J. Steve Mayo for the tweet.

………

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

Residents of Santa Monica’s 17th Street got out the torches and pitchforks over the new curb-protected bike lanes, saying they were caught off guard by the construction. Which is strange, since I saw the notifications months ago.

A Houston man participating in the city’s Bike to Work Day was flipped off and nearly struck by a driver cutting into a parking garage, who became angry after police held up traffic to let people on bikes pass.

An Irish woman was subjected to a torrent of abuse when she calmly told a driver he was blocking the bike lane and she couldn’t get past him.

………

Local 

Tragic news from South Los Angeles, where a 62-year old man was shot and killed in a drive-by as he was getting on his bike for a ride yesterday morning.

Culver City has reopened the Higuera Street Bridge after a year of reconstruction, along with a new ramp leading to the Ballona Creek bike path.

 

State

Governor Gavin Newsom called for a series of laws to speed construction of transportation, environmental and other infrastructure projects by reducing the time for lawsuits alleging CEQA violations.

Huntington Beach has installed a pair of radar-activated traffic signs that display the speed of bike riders on the path paralleling PCH to encourage bicyclists to obey the 10 mph speed limit.

After a 17-year old San Diego ebike rider suffered a broken pelvis when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, his family sprung into action as citizen detectives to track down the 32-year old driver, who now faces charges. But even if he’s convicted, he’ll be out in less than two years, thanks to California’s lenient hit-and-run laws. 

A pair of Simi Valley kids sharing an ebike suffered significant injuries when they were struck a driver after allegedly running a stop sign; thankfully, they’re expected to recover.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 50-year old man was killed riding a bike.

 

National

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a passing bicyclist ran to the rescue and pulled a man out of his burning home, then left before firefighters arrived without giving his name.

They get it. Seattle students say better bike parking could remove a major barrier to biking to school.

A Las Vegas website recommends riding through the soaring rock wall of Zion National Park.

Experts in Utah call for using bike helmets after the state experienced its deadliest year for bike crashes. Although that only matters if the victims weren’t wearing helmets, and their injuries to other parts of their bodies were survivable.

No more free ride for EV owners in the Lone Star State, after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that will charge owners of electric vehicles $400 for the first year, and $200 for each subsequent year to make up for not paying gas taxes, although critics say the charges don’t add up. Just one more argument for buying an ebike, instead. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $100,000 for the pregnant hospital worker captured on a viral video trying to wrest a bikeshare bike from a Black teenager, who insisted he’d paid for it; the founder of the campaign says she been unfairly painted as a “racist Karen.” Although we still haven’t heard from the man she was trying to take the bike from.

A new study from New Jersey shows that fatal crashes involving pedestrians or bike riders are more likely to occur in low income neighborhoods and communities of color, which are less likely to have adequate sidewalks, crosswalks or bicycle infrastructure.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown was nearly hit by a driver while broadcasting live on Instagram as he took part in a fundraising ride — even if his tumbling phone makes it appear like he was.

Sign me up for the next one. A Mobile, Alabama bike ride took participants on a tour of Underground Railroad sites in the city.

 

International

Your next bike helmet could be a partial full-face helmet with a built-in taillight.

Cities around the world want the millions of people who rode their bikes during the pandemic to keep pedaling.

Protesters turned out to object to the removal of a bike lane through a Vancouver park, so drivers could have another lane to cut through on their way to work. Cars don’t belong in parks. Period. 

More on the Vancouver, British Columbia man who crashed his bike into a black bear that darted across the roadway, saying he “pretty much kissed him’ before flying through the air.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old retired Ontario, Canada legislator plans to take part in a 46-mile fundraising ride next month.

An Edinburgh city counselor called for raising parking rates to fund secure bike hangers, but opponents said it would just pit drivers against bicyclists.

In just 20 years, Spain cut serious traffic crashes by 80%, now ranking as one of the safest places to drive in the European Union — even if they still have work to do.

An estimated 50,000 people took part in Russia’s annual Moscow Spring Bicycle Festival.

Tragic news from Kolkata, where a 29-year old actress was killed when she fell off e bikeshare bike, and was run over by a truck drive. Although Indian media use the same terms for bicycles, motor scooters and mo-peds, so it’s hard to say for certain exactly what she was riding. 

Japanese cops cut bike theft by 80% simply by placing tags on bike handlebars reading “subject to theft tracking,” “theft prevention verification in progress” and other phrases; inside, they had a message saying locking your bike will bring very good luck.

Australia’s New South Wales is giving suburbs of Sydney $39 million in an effort to turn drivers into bike riders.

An Australian motorcyclist has been sentenced to nine years behind bars for the crash that killed an 89-year old man who was standing next to his bicycle, as he illegally rode his motorcycle on a bike path.

 

Competitive Cycling

Surprising outcome in the Giro, where 24-year old American Brandon McNulty won Sunday’s stage 15 in a breakaway; France’s Bruno Armirail retained the pink leader’s jersey.

Australia’s Michael Matthews unexpectedly rose from the figurative ashes to win the 3rd stage go the Giro earlier this month, just a month after suffering quadriceps tear, torn knee and sprained ankle that forced him into a wheelchair, and saw him collapse in front of his wife.

Less than a week after withdrawing from the Giro due to Covid, it was announced the Remco Evenepoel won’t race in the Tour de France or the Vuelta as he recuperates from the illness. Which sounds like BS, since it should only take a few days to recover unless he suffered major health problems. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

American actor Ben Stiller is a big fan of Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas.

 

Finally…

Ignore that old advice about reinventing the wheel, and you could end up with triangular ones. Your next Colnago could be diamond studded and coated in gold leaf.

And the late, great Jim Brown was one of us.

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

No ebike rebates in federal spending bill, San Diego ebike loan-to-own program goes statewide, and reading the signs

It’s the last two days of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just 48 short hours — or less, depending on when you read this — to get your donation in before we wrap things up, toss out the party hats, change the sheets, and get back to work after the 1st. 

As things stand right now, we’re just $62 off last year’s record total — and less than $200 from breaking the seemingly impenetrable $5,000 barrier, after getting tantalizingly close last year.

So thanks to James S, Alexander H and James Z for their generous donations yesterday keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

I can’t begin to express my gratitude to them, and everyone who has given so much to support this site this year. 

If you haven’t donated yet, take a moment to give right now via PayPal or Zelle. Every contribution, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

And please accept my sincere hope that you and all your loved ones find peace and joy this holiday season, with a very healthy, happy and prosperous year to come. 

And one filled with bikes.

Lots of bikes. 

………

Today’s common theme is ebike rebate programs, or the lack thereof.

The $1.7 trillion federal new federal spending bill includes $45 million for active transportation projects, including funding for the new Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program established under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. But not the ebike rebates we were promised last year, which were cut from the earlier bill to appease a certain West Virginia senator.

Bend, Oregon will offer ebike rebates up to two grand to 75 low-income households.

Banff, Alberta is removing the budget cap on that city’s rebate program to allow more people to participate, with rebates up to $750 on ebikes costing up to five grand.

………

San Diego’s Pedal Ahead ebike loan-to-own program is set to see a $10 million statewide expansion in the coming year.

The program loans ebikes to lower income residents on the condition that they commit to riding a minimum of 150 miles a month for two years, at the end of which they can own the bike.

However, inewsource reports only 50 of the original 400 participants met the conditions to keep the bike, with 35% exceeding the program’s $50,000 maximum income.

………

Okay, I seem to see a problem here.

………

The LAPD reminds you that if you’re going to street race, do it on a bicycle.

Okay, so maybe I added that last part.

………

‘Tis the season.

LA’s Bahati Foundation, founded by ten-time national cycling champ Rahsaan Bahati, held their 5th Annual Motion Equals Healthy Bike Giveaway at Carson’s Dignity Health Stadium Sports Park last Saturday.

The Pechanga tribe teamed with the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles to distribute 150 bike to second and third grade students at Mayo Elementary School.

A Las Vegas county commissioner hosted a giveaway that saw 200 kids from ten elementary schools receive new bikes and toys.

Rapper A$AP Ferg demonstrated his bike-building skills by personally assembling the new bikes he donated to a Harlem toy giveaway.

………

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

Horrific story from Puerto Rico, where a police officer was convicted of assaulting a juvenile, as well as the resulting coverup, after shooting the victim in the back as he fled from police on his bike, then pistol whipping the boy while he lay with his hands bound after surrendering, and repeatedly punching the boy in the face as he sat handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.

There’s not a pit deep enough for the English man who yanked a 14-year old boy off his bike before stomping on it for the crime of coming too close to him while riding salmon.

Small hearted Brits take glee in an apparent bikepacker taking a spill after he took the full lane, calling it instant karma. Although it wouldn’t hurt if he learned to ride in a straight line.

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

Police in Cambridge

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Local 

Los Angeles has secured funding for the $47.5-million Skid Row Connectivity & Safety Project along San Pedro Street in DTLA, between Temple Street in the north and the I-10 Freeway to the south, including 2.4 miles of buffered and protected bike lanes. Although whether the project serves the current residents of Skid Row, or ends up pushing them out and gentrifying the community, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman — not Suleiman, as I mistakenly wrote it yesterday — critiques disgraced councilmember Kevin de León’s video giving himself credit for securing the funding. Hint: It did not go over well.

Bicycle-themed 10 Speed Coffee is opening a new location on Sawtelle Blvd in West LA, following previous locations in Santa Monica and Calabasas.

Pasadena’s latest crackdown on traffic violations that could endanger bike riders and pedestrians resulted in 63 drivers receiving citations, along with seven pedestrians and four people on bicycles. Which means at least four bicyclists didn’t follow our advice to ride to the letter of the law during the crackdown.

Urbanize wants you to vote on LA County’s best “small” transportation project. Although I wouldn’t call starchitect Frank Gehry’s plan to cap the Los Angeles River small, in any sense.

 

State

Streestblog’s Joe Linton explores tiny Arcata on the NorCal coast by bike, which looks surprisingly welcoming to people on bicycles.

Like Linton, Streetsblog California’s Melanie Curry has just returned from a trip, though this one took her a little further afield, as she observes the bicycle culture in Zimbabwe and Rwanda, saying their tenacity makes Californians look like wimps.

California Conservation Corps crews are nearing completion of a new biking and walking trail through San Diego’s Balboa Park.

This is who we share the road with. A 39-year old Fresno driver faces a murder charge for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a high school student as he was crossing the street in front of the school; she had been given a Watson notice indicating she could be charged with murder if she killed someone while driving under the influence, following a 2008 DUI conviction.

The San Francisco Chronicle examines why New York is making more progress on its Vision Zero program than the fabled City by the Bay. Although any New York bike rider is likely to tell you the city isn’t making enough progress, let alone fast enough.

 

National

Make Use Of examines ebike automatic shifting, and whether you really want it. Meanwhile, Electrek considers the year’s weirdest and wildest ebikes and other EVs.

More on the Tucson bike rider killed by an ambulance driver yesterday; the victim was on a gas-powered bike without functioning brakes, and allegedly cut off the ambulance after cutting through a hospital parking lot.

Curbed hangs out with New York’s Citi Bike Boyz, performing jumps and stunts on clunky 45-pound bikeshare bikes.

 

International

Bike Rumor finds out what international bike mechanics really think about internal cable headsets. Hint: Not much.

Police in Bristol, England are looking for three armed men who attacked a man with machetes in an effort to steal his bicycle; fortunately, he was not seriously injured, but the thieves got away with his bike. Just to be clear, that’s three armed men, not three-armed men, which would be something completely different.

Men’s Journal says the ultimate way to explore Norway’s fjords is by bicycle. Read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

The booming popularity of ebikes is demonstrated in the Netherland’s crime statistics, as thieves pilfered three times as many ebike batteries this year, compared to 2021, jumping from 1,500 to 4,500.

Two separate Indian bike riders recount the “horror” of Hyderabad hit-and-runs.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former American junior, U23 and elite ‘cross champ Gage Hecht reflects on his first European cycling campaign, which didn’t go as planned, and finding a purpose outside of cycling.

The National Cycling League introduced the Miami Nights and Denver Disruptors, the first two teams to join the fledgling crit series.

 

Finally…

When you build your one millionth foldie, you naturally take it on a world tour. The difference between scofflaw bicyclists and recalcitrant Amish buggy drivers.

And why let the pros have all the fun, when you can rig your very own DIY cargo bike snowplow?

Although it would take a helluva storm before we’re likely to need one here.

Thanks to Eric C. Lewis for the link.

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As usual, we’ll be off next week for our regularly scheduled end-of-year mental, physical and emotional collapse. 

But I’ll be around if there’s any breaking news that can’t wait until we get back. So sign up for email alerts up there on the right to make sure you don’t miss anything, if you haven’t already.

And stay safe over the holidays. 

I want to see you back here bright and early when we return on the 3rd. 

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Happy Chanukah to everyone celebrating today.

Chag Urim Sameach!

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.