Tag Archive for Phil Gaimon

LA’s Gaimon sets Everesting record, Ryu flips on sustainable transportation, and BOLO alert for Downs adaptive bike

He did it.

LA-based former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon set a new world record for Everesting, riding the height of Mount Everest in less than eight hours.

Riding on LA’s steep Mountaingate Drive, Gaimon climbed a total of 29,029 feet in a time of 7:52:12, shaving 33 minutes off the previous record.

It took him over 60 laps, and nearly 100 miles of riding distance to do it.

Not to mention finishing with a little vomit in his beard. Which is a detail I’m sure none of us really needed.

Gaimon explains below he he picked the road for his record setting attempt.

Meanwhile, the LA Times reveals this isn’t the first time that road has been the scene of a hillclimb. Even if you do have to go back 35 years.

Photo by Raniery Costa Pelissari from Pexels.

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CD4 Councilmember David Ryu must be feeling the heat as he runs for reelection in a tight race with challenger Nithya Raman.

Or else he’s had a sudden change of heart after four years of fighting road diets, bike lanes and any other kind of mobility improvements in the district.

Personally, I’d bet on the former.

But either way, it’s good to see him finally come around.

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There’s a special place in hell for the three people who stole a custom-made adaptive bike from a 15-year old Sherman Oaks boy with Down syndrome.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Mountain biker Ben Travis takes full advantage of his one outing allowed under the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, with some pretty cool stunts on the empty streets, plazas and freight yards of his Scottish hometown.

Unless you’d rather watch Belgian mountain biker Thomas Genon prove that bikes can fly.

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Moses Sumney goes for a relaxing bike ride on his latest video.

With no hands, even.

Usher says hold my beer, not only riding through Los Feliz with no hands, while holding his not-so-little dog.

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

A Reddit user posted video of a jerk in a pickup rolling coal, forcing them to ride through a thick fog of black exhaust; no word on where that happened, unfortunately. Thanks to Michael for the tip.

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

Or in this case, a kid, as Alabama police tracked down bike-riding boy in connection with a series of arson fires.

And a Washington man is behind bars after allegedly using a meat cleaver to rob people while riding his bike.

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Local

You still can’t ride a bike at the beach in LA County, but as of today, you can ride your bike on a closed-to-cars Rose Bowl Loop in Pasadena; social distancing required, with masks in parking lots and high density areas, and no group rides allowed.

Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson is one of us, riding through Los Angeles with his longtime girlfriend.

For fans of The Bachelor, Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan went for a casual tandem ride through the streets of LA. For the rest of us, carry on.

 

State

There won’t be any Bike to Work Day in San Diego this Thursday, after the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, cancelled this year’s event due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Never mind that there are hardly any jobs left to bike to these days, anyway.

San Diego is taking advantage of the light traffic by repaving a three-mile section of North Harbor Drive leading to the airport, including new buffered bike lanes.

A San Raphael homeowner collared the thief who tried to steal a bike from his garage, chasing him down and holding him in a headlock until police arrived.

The Humboldt County Planning Commission approved a $1.5 million, Class 1 multi-use path paralleling State Route 255 through the tiny town of Manila, answering a decades-long call to improve safety for people on bicycles.

 

National

The New York Times says the coronavirus crisis presents a unique opportunity to reimagine our cities, creating more and better public spaces to weather this pandemic and provide greater opportunity for decades to come. Scroll slowly through the initial graphic for the full effect.

WaPo says the coronavirus isn’t the only crisis America faces right now, as speeding drivers have taken over the country’s empty roadways. Thanks to Misha Dworsky for the link.

Nice piece from Cycling Tips, as a father discovers that life rolls on even now, when his young daughter learns to ride a bike for the first time.

A new study shows distracted pedestrians aren’t the problem drivers think they are. But distracted drivers are.

Specialized has released a new transport ebike they promise is 40% lighter than traditional ebikes.

Lifehacker offers tips on how to tune your bike, while the Chicago Tribune recommends their favorite road tires.

A writer for Chicago Streetsblog says the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery illustrates the problem with calling for open streets, because they aren’t always safe for people of color, even without cars on them.

A Chicago woman pens an open letter to the hit-and-run scumbag driver who ran down her bike and left her sprawled in the street.

An Illinois town shelves plans to require helmets for bike riders, skateboarders and skaters, saying it’s not the right time because of the pandemic. It’s never the right time, because helmet laws have been repeatedly shown to depress bicycling rates, rather than improving safety.

A St. Paul MN writer maps the top gaps in the city’s bikeway network. You couldn’t do the same thing here in Los Angeles, because what passes for our nominal network is more gaps than bikeways.

Nice move from the maker of Minnesota’s Honeycomb cereal, which is donating 600 bicycles to tweens and teens in foster care.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that new ebike from General Motors; the Detroit automaker pulled the plug after a trial European release last year.

 

International

A Mexican bikemaker is in hot water after attempting to skirt the country’s lockdown rules by hiding over 350 employees at its Mexico City factory.

The Guardian calls for more space on the roads for pedestrians and people on bicycles, saying we need room to move around safely, not a culture war.

Road.cc picks the year’s best touring bikes, starting at the equivalent of under $700.

York, England wants to become the UK’s first zero-emissions city center, with only bikes and electric vehicles allowed.

It takes a real pair of jerks to refuse to get out of the way of a little girl riding her bike on a British trail — then swear and kick her bike after she falls off.

Paris is installing 31 miles of bike lanes in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus on public transit. Meanwhile, a New York writer begs bike-friendly Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to come be his mayor instead of the current occupant of Gotham’s city hall. Maybe she could come take over for LA’s ostensible climate mayor, instead.

French bike part maker Mavic is struggling under France’s version of bankruptcy.

Germany sees a big jump in ebike sales after the country’s bike shops are allowed to reopen.

Voice of America reports on Rome’s efforts to build more bike lanes to steer residents away from transit during the pandemic.

Italy will pay 70% of the cost of a new bicycle or e-scooter during the coronavirus crisis, up to the equivalent of $540.

The former elections commissioner of the Philippines says it’s time to promote a cycling culture in the country to improve public health during the coronavirus crisis.

 

Finally…

Evidently, your bike shorts are going to be trendy for awhile.

And it’s scary as hell when I agree with LA’s conservative shock jocks for the first time.

This must be what the Upside Down feels like.

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

Guest commentary from the South Bay, LA and OC closed this weekend, and give a lot more distance when you walk or ride

Our anonymous South Bay correspondent has a lot on her mind today.

And all of it worth reading, which is why I’m reposting her email. There’s a lot to unpack here, so I hope you’ll give it a good read.

Including a couple reminders of the problems women face on their bikes that men don’t, especially at night.

Yesterday afternoon I rode to Carla Becerra’s ghost bike, with the intention of posting a little sign to remind the world that she was a registered nurse who we should have on the front lines right now, and also with a little P.S. (piece of smacktalk) addressed to the skunk who stole her jewelry.

There was a necklace hanging on the ghost bike. Just a piece of costume jewelry that the rain hasn’t been kind to. It was the bike’s only ornamentation.

It appears to have an olive green beveled stone pendant in a bronze setting, and several smaller, opaque chartreuse stones, clear glass beads, and pale blue gems on a tarnished silver or bronze alloy chain. I took it.

Can you contact the family and ask if it might be hers? If it is, they should have it. If not, I have to return it to the ghost bike.

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I am cranky not knowing how court cases are proceeding, especially the Banks and Lindsley cases.

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The speeding drivers lately are less worrisome than the speeding drivers in the rightmost lane. I swear, close calls lately have been a lot closer.

Why the f are drivers with two completely free lanes to their left still trying to share my lane, a substandard width lane that’s already occupied, at 45mph???

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On Saturday night, on a stretch of my commute through an area between the freeway and a commercial/business park, a car slowed wayyy down as it came up from behind. It had barely passed as I hit the brakes and did a track stand at its 5 o’clock. Its driver yelled, “WANT SOME CASH?”

Are.you.fucking.kidding.me.jpeg.

I bellowed my standard response, which is a loud, stern, unambiguous, “Get away from me and stay away from me.” And then swerved behind him to flood his rearview with 1100 lumens. He took off.

For the record, since it’s pertinent information, I was wearing knee-high Dr Martens with cargo pants tucked in, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a reflective jacket, and a provocatively sexy giant lump of a 45L-capacity Chrome bag. And no make-up.

The bars are closed. The strip clubs are closed. The corners & bus stops are empty of trafficked girls.

The lonely and the predatory are still out there, though.

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Much closer to home, I’ve taken to cutting through the empty parking lots of another commercial park in the past few weeks, mainly because there are cameras that can be accessed if I turn up missing.

Two nights ago, a couple of guys were vaping in front of a business, door open, lights on inside. One of them yelled at me, “Stay safe!” Last night, they were out there, so I stopped to say hi and ask them not to yell at me. The one guy is the business owner. He and his friend are sleeping inside the office with guns, just in case. They’re worried about their fledgling business and looters (and possibly saving on residential rent.) Anyway, I told them I’d alert them if I saw anything suspicious while passing through, and I expect they’ll continue to have their smoke break right about my commute time. This area is usually a ghost town but now I feel a little safer with my own personal armed bodyguards.

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Some nights I would catch a northbound bus to cut a few miles off my commute (especially if, for example, it rained), but that particular transit agency has cut its service hours to 6am-9pm. Us schlubby little wage slaves who man the warehouses & run the mini-marts & stock the shelves & bake the factory bread aren’t the ones who benefit from such operating hours. And the 9-to-5ers who could commute exclusively during these hours are now working remotely. So fuck you if you’re off swing shift at 11pm, or if you work graveyards. Just stop bein’ essential, lol.

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Last Friday shortly before 11pm, a rider was hit and left for dead on El Segundo Blvd, just a half mile west of a corner where a house was hit by a drunk driver on March 29th. And Monday about 7:45pm, a driver with a previous DUI hit a cyclist in East LA. Nothing in the news. And I wonder if these drivers are simply released, despite the violent nature of their crimes.

Photo by Burst from Pexels.

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I was going to offer a list of all the park closures in LA and Orange Counties this weekend. But it’s easier to just say wherever you’re thinking of going, assume it’s closed for the holiday weekend.

However, most bike paths appear to be open, other than those along the beach.

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No surprise here.

A study from Belgium and the Netherlands suggests that you need to give a much greater distance to stay safe from Covid-19 while biking or walking — up to 16 feet walking single file, 33 feet for a casual bike ride, and twice that for a hard ride.

So much for those pacelines and other group rides right now.

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Speaking of group rides, hopefully the coronavirus will let up in time for fall’s Phil’s Fondo.

And a tip of the cycling cap to Phil Gaimon for aiming for another $100,000 for No Kid Hungry.

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Not sure why this popped up again today, but it’s worth revisiting, as South LA’s own Justin Williams, the US crit champ, discusses the lack diversity in cycling.

And how he’s addressing it with his multicultural Legion of Los Angeles cycling team.

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

No bias here. London bike riders are facing even more abuse from drivers than usual, because several newspapers used a telephoto lens to make bicyclists riding in parks look like they’re much closer together than they really are and breaking social distancing rules.

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Local

New rules in Los Angeles don’t appear to require a mask or other face covering while you ride a bike, but they are required if you stop to shop or talk with anyone; Los Angeles Magazine lists apparel makers who’ve turned their attention to non-medical masks for the time being.

 

State

California advocacy groups are moving bicycle training courses online — including LA County’s ActiveSGV.

The executive director of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association offers tips on how to hit the trails while social distancing.

 

National

Inc. confirms what we’ve been seeing lately. The coronavirus has resulted in boom times for bike shops, as people turn to bicycles for social distancing-compliant exercise and self-care, as well as virus-free transportation. Although not everyone’s business is booming, evidently.

Build a simpler, if somewhat stranger, bike, and the world will beat a path to your website.

VeloNews wants you to gear up wisely on gravel gear.

Vice offers advice on how to get back into bicycling during the pandemic. Because apparently, riding a bike isn’t just like riding a bike.

A Kansas college student is working with her classmates to design and build a custom adaptive bike to help her father ride again, a decade after he suffered a near-fatal stroke. And crowdfunded five grand to pay for it.

This is what happens when people use bike trails illegally. A hearing impaired Nebraska man was injured when he was startled by a pair of miscreant dirt bike riders zooming down the non-motorized trail he was riding on.

A popular Syracuse NY musician was the victim of a double hit-and-run as he was riding his bike; he was struck by the second driver while he was sitting in the street waiting for an ambulance after the first driver fled.

Streetsblog says no one wants to take credit — or maybe blame — for banning ebikes on New York’s popular Hudson River Greenway, even though they’re now legal in the rest of the state.

The New York Times celebrates the rarified magic of empty streets, suggesting social distancing is giving us a rare opportunity to fix our cities.

Tennis star Serena Williams is one of us; the Florida gator she encountered while out on a ride, not so much.

No bias here. A Florida letter writer carefully explains when and why bike riders are allowed to take the lane. And then says stay to the right, anyway.

 

International

This is why people keep dying on the streets. An Alberta judge acquitted the driver who killed an off-duty Mountie as he rode his bike on the shoulder of a highway, blaming the sun and shadows for making the victim hard to see. Even though the driver shouldn’t have been driving on the shoulder in the first place. Never mind that he refused to take an alcohol test after an officer smelled it on his breath.

When their school was shut down due to Covid-19, a group of bighearted Montreal students devoted their time and their bikes to help seniors isolating in their homes.

Piers Morgan, host of Good Morning Britain, apologized to a Member of Parliament for the “complete moron” on a bike who kept riding through the background of their TV interview. He also blamed the bike rider for violating the county’s three-foot social distancing requirement, even though he doesn’t appear to come that close.

A London woman with cystic fibrosis will ride the equivalent of 62 miles in her garden this weekend to celebrate the third anniversary of the lung transplant that saved her life, after the country’s lockdown forced her off the streets. And despite the fact her new lungs are failing.

After a British boy spent six months saving up for a new bike, it was stolen the first time he rode it to school. So his kindhearted teachers crowdfunded the money to buy him a new one in just three hours.

A Welsh man is suing Bianchi for the equivalent of nearly $1.3 million after going over his handlebars when both sides of his front fork snapped at 20 mph.

A pair of competing bicycle organizations have set aside their differences and are working together to compile a list of UK bike shops still open under the country’s lockdown.

Parisian boulangeries are responding to the coronavirus lockdown by delivering baguettes by bicycle.

Uganda’s Covid-19 lockdown forces a couple to simplify their wedding, limiting them to just ten guests as they arrived on foot, while the pastor came by bicycle; all public and private transportation other than bikes are banned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pez Cycling News looks back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the dawn of the modern super bike.

British Cycling, the UK’s national governing body for bicycling, has cut a third of its staff, after the coronavirus leads to losing the equivalent of nearly $5 million in donations.

The Tour de France is considering a proposal to move the start of the race back nearly a full month in hopes Covid-19 will go away by then, though Spartacus is standing by with a bucket of cold water.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a fixie. Unless maybe you’re looking for an exquisite vintage men’s bike — or maybe an ex-Giro winning bike. Of course, you’ll also need some stylish shoes to go with it.

And it wouldn’t hurt to design your own helmet, too.

Personally, I’ll take the Bottecchia hands-down, in case anyone wants to get me an early birthday present. 

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Chag Pesach samech to everyone celebrating Passover this week.

Be safe, and stay healthy.

Funds pour in to aid cargo bike mugging victim, ebike maker donates medical masks, and bikes are bliss on two wheels

Let’s start with a little good news for a change.

Because there are still a lot of very kind and generous people in this world.

Yesterday we mentioned the cargo bike-riding elotera who was mugged when a pair of thieves assaulted her in South LA, stealing her purse with the meager amount she had earned to support her family.

She lost $80 to the muggers.

But now, thanks to the generosity of over 450 kindhearted strangers, she’ll be getting more than 135 times that much back.

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels.

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Speaking of generous people, I was happy to find this announcement in my inbox yesterday.

Luis Razo, Manager of Operations at Aventon Bicycles, an Ontario, California-based E-bike manufacturer & retailer, says the community has supported the company, so now it’s time to give back four thousand surgical masks and one thousand N95 masks to Loma Linda University Medical Center and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where supplies are running short.

The company will also donate two E-bikes to Loma Linda University Medical Center. It’s a personal mission for Luis Razo. His wife Gracie is an RN at Loma Linda Hospital, on the front lines of this pandemic.

Nice to see so many members of the bike industry pitching in to help when our entire world is in crisis.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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He gets it.

An Illinois writer describes bicycling as bliss on two wheels. And doesn’t stop there.

Of all avocations, riding a bike is, almost beyond dispute, the finest. With endorphins and all, it is as much exercise for the brain as the heart, lungs or legs, a way to solve all the world’s problems while seeing the world.

Which is about as good a description as I’ve ever come up with.

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Phil Gaimon remembers what it was like to ride with other people.

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Local

He gets it, too. A writer for the LA Times says it’s time to take streets away from cars and give it to people.

The LA Times examines what’s open (hint: not much) and closed (almost everything) in LA, Orange and San Diego Counties this weekend. At last word, the Ballona Creek bike path, LA River bike path and San Gabriel River Bike Trail were still open, but that could change any time.

Evidently, it was family bike day in LA, with Kate Hudson riding with her son in her LA neighborhood, Arnold riding through West LA with his less-famous daughter, and  Adam Sandler going for a ride with his daughter in the ‘Bu.

English actress and Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is one of us, too, even if she sticks to the sidewalks of Los Angeles.

 

State

A San Jose man writes in to complain that Millennials and their dogs are ruining bike trails for everyone else. Seriously? There are just as many jerk and jackass Baby Boomer and GenXers as there are Millennials — and just as many kind and considerate people, too. It’s no more fair or accurate to blame every member of any generation for the actions of a few than it is any other social, ethnic or religious group.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says get your bike ready, and get out for a slow ride. Thanks to Robert Leone for the forward.

Tragic news from Stanislaus County, where a 51-year old single father was run down by a driver as he was riding his bike, and left to die alone on the side of the road.

 

National

VeloNews looks at more bikes from the virtual North American Handmade Bicycle Show, including one from my hometown, as well as a very cool wooden tandem. The cycling magazine also offers their take on the best women’s mountain bike gear for 2020.

Bike Mag suggests hacks you can try out on your own bicycle while you’re stuck at home.

Neil Young famously said rust never sleeps. But there are things you can do to keep it from ruining your mountain bike.

Sears waits until the entire bike industry is on the brink to try to claw back money it paid out to several bicycle companies before it went belly up two years ago.

The annual Iron Horse Classic in Southwestern Colorado has been postponed, if not cancelled.

A kindhearted Boise cop bought a bike for a homeless man so he’d have a way to get to work after he was involved in a crash.

The local paper in Lincoln, Nebraska offers tips on how to avoid collisions while maintaining social distancing on the city’s newly crowded bike trails. If that photo is any indication, crowded is a relative term.

A Milwaukee man wanted to show his support for local bike shops struggling to hold on in the coronavirus crisis, so he set out on a solo bike tour of several shops to post words of encouragement in their windows.

A Chicago letter writer says we may be keeping our distance, but people have never been friendlier.

Eight beautiful bike rides in the Chicago area. Or maybe get back to nature on Houston bike trails.

A writer for Jalopnik goes carspotting in New York, and discovers classic bikes are the real city cars. Including the first modern bike built for women.

Bike shops are listed as essential businesses in Pennsylvania.

 

International

Good question. Fast Company questions whether we can maintain the current coronavirus bike boom when the world finally comes out the other side. Which it inevitably will, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment.

Cycling Weekly examines what steps bike shops are taking to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Road.cc wants to get you in a gilet.

British Columbia advocates join their counterparts around the world in calling for more space for pedestrians and bike riders during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Brompton is crowdfunding the equivalent of nearly half a million dollars to donate 1,000 of their iconic foldies to staffers with the UK’s National Health Service; they’ve raised the equivalent of nearly $110,000 with 12 days to go.

The Next Web loves the new race bike from Germany’s direct-to-consumer bikemaker Canyon, but says it’s “hella expensive;” at the equivalent of nearly six grand, though that’s barely midrange these days. On the other hand, Gear Patrol thinks Canyon’s full-suspension mountain bike is surprisingly affordable at $2,399.

Heartbreaking story, as an Indian man is riding over 1,300 miles on a secondhand bike from Mumbai to Kashmir to see his dying father one last time, despite the country’s 21-day mandatory lockdown.

After the country went into a coronavirus lockdown, New Zealand’s Health Minister stirred up controversy by bending, if not breaking, the rules by driving to get out for a mountain bike ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta says they’re sticking with their August start date, despite the cancellation or postponement of most of the cycling season so far this year.

Covid-19 is taking a toll on pro cycling, as riders are forced to take a drastic cut in pay until racing resumes later this year — assuming it does.

 

Finally…

No, you don’t need Android Auto unless you’re actually in one. Oh, nothing much, just a casual fat bike ride through the Yukon at 44° below zero.

And keeping the team alive by riding together every morning, separately. And at home.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Morning Links: Women fight thieves for their bikes, medical insurance fail, and what a punishment pass looks like

Don’t mess with women.

Or their bikes.

A Toronto woman ran out of a store and beat up the thief who tried to make off with her unlocked bike, even kicking him when he was down. Unfortunately, the video is posted to a private account, and I haven’t managed to find a copy.

And a 72-year old British great-grandmother wrestled a stolen mountain bike away from a thief after reading about the theft on Facebook; the man had tried to sell her the $1,500 bike for the equivalent of just $200.

Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

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Retired pro Phil Gaimon somehow manages to maintain his sense of humor, even after a recent crash left him with $250,000 in medical bills.

And yes, that’s with insurance.

Just another example of how broken America’s medical and insurance system is.

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A Dublin Bus driver is under fire — and under investigation — after a frighteningly close punishment pass.

Seriously, keep watching after the first one.

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Take a break for few minutes with a video of mountain biking in Israel.

Work can wait, right?

Unless you’d prefer a ride through Madeira, Portugal.

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Pink Bike offers some clever ideas on how to stash your tools on your bike when you don’t want to use a pack.

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Local

Who knew? A Reddit post points out that LA County has a page devoted to reporting problems with bike paths, promising a pretty remarkable two-day response time.

 

State

Things are looking up for the San Diego-area man with Parkinson’s disease whose new ebike was stolen before he could even ride it; a crowdfunding campaign raised enough to buy a new bike in just four hours, while local company Juiced Bikes gave one to his wife so they can ride together. Meanwhile, police have arrested two suspects for the theft.

Clearly, drivers aren’t the only risk people on bikes face these days. A Riverside man joined the rising toll of bike riders across the US who’ve been shot in recent weeks; the victim was discovered lying in the street after several people reported hearing shots and died after being taken to a hospital.

Ventura County’s Ojai Valley Bike Trail reopens today, after construction work to repair storm damage forced it to close five months ago.

 

National

The fat bike craze is getting skinnier, with just half of the fat bike makers from 2015 still here five years later.

A Tucson letter writer says bicyclists should be required to use lights at “dusk, night and dawn,” just like the law already requires. And says those “handlebar ringydingy bells” would be nice, too.

Other cities continue to make progress while Los Angeles just keeps falling back, as the already bike-friendly Mile High City commits to building another 125 miles of bike lanes over the next three years. Unfortunately, the Denver Streetsblog won’t be around to cover it, at least not in its current form.

A Chicago bike lane remains faded, months after the city promised to repaint it following the death of a woman on her bike.

A New York community board says the lack of crosstown bike paths through Central Park are a ticking time bomb; they claim one rider has already lost his life as a result.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where a woman was fined just $1,000 for the distracted driving crash that killed two people on a club ride — which works out to just $500 for a human life. And she’ll get her license back in a lousy six months. Shameful.

Kindhearted Florida cops buy a new bike and helmet for a nine-year old boy after his was stolen, even making him an honorary junior officer.

 

International

Bike Radar continues their look at the year’s best bikes, with a ranking of the top steel framed bicycles.

Victoria, BC swears it’s not clearing snow off bike lanes before the rest of the street.

The rumored future Bond, James Bond is one of us, as James Norton rides his bike through the streets of London. But why does the press always seem to assume someone had to “settle” for riding a bicycle?

Britain’s biggest bike retailer said scooter and ebike sales nearly doubled compared to the last quarter of the previous year.

The Wall Street Journal reports bike riders are driving up real estate prices in Girona, Spain, which has seen prices go up 15% in the last year. Unfortunately, the usual WSJ paywall problems apply. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

India’s Hero Cycles develops plans to rule the bike world. Or 5% of it, anyway.

US Customs says ebikes are motorcycles, but that’s a good thing. The misclassification allows them to avoid Trump’s onerous 25% tariff.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fayetteville, Arkansas has been selected as the site of this year’s Pan-American Cyclocross Championships.

Dutch champ Anna van der Breggen looks forward to defending her Olympic road race gold metal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Indoor climbing walls are nothing new, but indoor bike park, not so much. Unless maybe you’d rather ride your bike on water.

And someone has finally developed an all-weather corgi carrier for your cargo bike.

What.

 

Morning Links: Gaimon says share this video when — not if — he gets killed, and putting risk from bikes in perspective

He gets it.

Then again, that shouldn’t come as any surprise.

In a must-watch video, former pro Phil Gaimon insists that we all get the story right when — not if — he gets killed by someone in a car.

He puts it this way in a video recently posted to his Worst Retirement Ever site.

Which is actually about the best worst retirement idea ever.

Make sure it says, ‘Some asshole was texting or going to fast and ran over Phil in his fucking car.’

Thank you.

Peter Flax offered a similar thought a few years ago, though perhaps not as amusingly.

Photo of Phil Gaimon rudely ripped from his website. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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This kind of puts things in perspective.

Although I may have to pick my cadence up a tad.

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London’s alleged Westminster Bridge terrorist is on trial, accused of deliberately steering towards bicyclists and pedestrians in an attack that killed six innocent people and injured another 49.

Which serves as yet another reminder that LA’s Hollywood Blvd is completely unprotected from a similar attack.

A risk that could be virtually eliminated with a barrier-protected bike lane on both sides of the boulevard, and converting the street in front of Hollywood & Highland and the Chinese Theater into a pedestrian plaza.

Unless city officials would rather wait until it’s too late, as usual.

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Today’s common theme is e-scooters.

A Chicago bike rider is suing the city’s e-scooter providers in an attempt to find the hit-and-run scooter rider who left him lying unresponsive in the street.

A Nashville op-ed says banning e-scooters won’t fix the city’s problems, but building infrastructure for them will.

No bias here. A Brooklyn writer calls for restrictions on ebikes and e-scooters to improve safety for pedestrians and the elderly. Even though they face far more danger from people in motor vehicles.

………

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

A road raging English man faces jail time after he was convicted of harassing a 17-year old boy, forcing him off the road, then getting out of his SUV and punching the kid in the face — all for the crime of pulling ahead of him on his mountain bike at a red light.

………

Local

Writing for CityWatch, a former LA city planner says the problem with the mayor’s plan to fight climate change is it’s not really a plan.

Metro Bike is celebrating its third birthday with an RSVP party in DTLA on July 30th.

The Órale Boyle Heights podcast talks with Areli Morales about her Oaxacan heritage, growing up in Venice, and her journey to becoming a bicycle and transportation advocate.

About damn time. Santa Monica approves plans for three miles of pathways that will separate bike riders from pedestrians along the beach. Now if we can just get Los Angeles and LA County to follow suit on their sections of the overly popular beachfront bike path.

 

State

The popular bike route through Camp Pendleton will be closed from July 15th through 19th as the Marines prepare to blow some shit up; riders will be allowed to use the shoulder of the 5 Freeway through the base, instead. Thanks to the OC Bike Coalition for the tip.

Bad news from San Diego, where a 27-year old BMX rider suffered a life-threatening brain injury after losing control on a descent.

One more reason to register your bike. Santa Cruz police are looking for the owner of a stolen Specialized mountain bike they recovered after busting a transient. But you have to be able to prove it’s yours.

Santa Clara County authorities have identified the 62-year old man who was killed in a San Jose hit-and-run while riding his bike last week; his alleged killer remains behind bars on $110,000 bail.

A San Francisco bike cop has made what friends call a miraculous recovery from a hit-and-run crash so bad paramedics initially thought he was dead, even if he’ll never return to his previous life; his near-killer is currently on trial for a lengthy list of felony charges.

 

National

Gear Patrol considers the best panniers for bike commuting.

A new online insurance plan promises to cover you for bicycling injuries or other adventure sports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Which could come in handy, since just riding to work or school feels like an adventure sport in Los Angeles.

Forget rail-to-trail conversions; Colorado bike riders enjoy irrigation canals-to-trails.

Topeka KS plans to shut down its money-losing docked bikeshare, saying it came down to a choice between bikes and buses.

A Texas bike thief got busted thanks to a doorbell video cam.

That’s more like it. A Green Bay, Wisconsin man got ten years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

A New York website says the city’s Vision Zero is failing because the city has failed to reduce the number of car on the streets.

New York bike riders are mobilizing to deliver emergency aid in the event of a disaster.

A DC advocacy group says ripping out a bike lane to restore street parking is an unprecedented bad decision.

Amazon’s second HQ planned for the DC area promises to be bike and pedestrian friendly. Although if they really want to be bike friendly, bike racks are nice, but letting staffers take bicycles into their offices or cubicles is better.

This is why we can’t have nice things. A Shreveport, Louisiana vehicular cyclist says the city should rip out its bike lanes and stop building more, insisting they make bicycling more dangerous. And that he’s the only one, in the entire city, who rides safely by taking the traffic lane next to them, instead — no matter how much it pisses drivers and cops off.

Baton Rouge LA is finally getting safer and more convenient for people on bikesAnd only three decades after I left. Seriously, it seems like the best way to ensure any city becomes bike friendly is for me to move away from it.

Police in Georgia haven’t made an arrest yet in a hit-and-run that left a woman riding in a bike lane with severe injuries, even though witnesses gave them the car’s license number.

 

International

An alleged bike-raging Toronto courier has been released on $1,000 bond for allegedly kicking a car, then whacking the driver with his bike lock after he got out of the car, in an assault partially caught on video.

Build it and they will come. London’s new network of protected bike lanes has led to more people on two wheels, resulting in a record 2.5 million bicycle trips a day.

No bias here, either. The Guardian’s Peter Walker says a new UK TV program entitled Cyclists: Scourge of the Streets? is every bit as bad as the title implies, calling it “undoubtedly the worst, most scaremongering, inaccurate, downright irresponsible program” on bicycling he’s ever seen, with “45 minutes of hatred, misinformation and outgrouping against people who just happen to sometimes use two wheels to get about.”

A stoned British hit-and-run driver gets a well-deserved eight years behind bars.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a special bicycle painted in the Tour de France colors that was going to be auctioned off for charity, as cycling stars Eddy Merckx and Peter Sagan demand its return.

Traffic-choked Paris is finally on track to become the bicycling capital envisioned by the city’s mayor. So maybe there’s hope for LA yet.

A young philanthropist in Sierra Leone is helping feed people in a region flooded by torrential rains, and working with a US-based charity to provide bicycles and riding lessons to people in need.

Seven more rides for your bike bucket list, as a Chinese website suggests seven breathtaking climbs throughout Asia.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers a blow-by-blow account of yesterday’s third stage of the Tour de France, as the yellow jersey changed hands — or torsos, even — from the virtually unknown rider who led the first two stages.

Danish pro Kasper Asgreen ended his first Tour de France prematurely when he was hospitalized following a crash that broke his bike in half — yet somehow still managed to finish the stage anyway.

Speaking of Phil Gaimon, he’s evidently had an influence on the sport, as pro cyclist Taylor Wiles says she tries to eat right, but she’ll ride for cookies. And ice cream.

 

Finally…

Copenhagen is one of the world’s friendliest cities for bicycling; e-scooting under the influence, not so much. A protected bike lane without barriers is just a parking spot by a different name.

And if you’re going to use a gun in a road rage dispute, try not to shoot your own spouse.

 

Morning Links: Gaimon badly hurt in track wreck, race rears its ugly head, and bike-riding Turkman Pres takes a few shots

Looks like Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever has hit the deck hard.

And not in a good way.

Gaimon recently announced his intention to make the US Olympic team in team pursuit for the 2020 Olympics. But his first attempt on the track has ended in a serious fall, and equally serious injuries.

The LA-based former pro cyclist was competing on the track in a Pennsylvania points race when he took a spill; he’s not even sure what happened.

Gaimon was hospitalized with multiple broken bones, including a broken scapula, collarbone and five broken ribs, as well as a partially collapsed lung.

However, in a major show of character, Gaimon said he’s got medical insurance to cover his injuries, and asked people odonate the money they might have sent his way otherwise to his Chefs Cycle campaign to raise $100,000 for No Kid Hungry to end childhood hunger.

Now that’s a big heart.

Let’s all send him our best wishes for a fast and full recovery.

Photo from Phil Gaimon’s Twitter timeline

………

Bad enough when we have to deal with conflicts with drivers. Far worse when race rears its ugly head.

In a decidedly ugly incident, a former Newark CA city councilmember and possible mayoral candidate called a bike rider an Aryan when the bicyclist repeatedly told him to move his car out of the bike lane, as well as calling him, his father, his god, and all other “Aryans” a homophobic slur.

A DC man is on trial for beating a black driver with his U-lock in what he claims is self-defense in a road rage incident that started with a too close pass; prosecutors accuse him of racial hatred, bolstered by claims that he repeatedly used the N-word, as well as an alleged pattern of racially charged incidents.

………

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

Here in SoCal, a man brutally beat a 65-year old bike rider after an argument at a Buena Park bus stop, then rode off on the victim’s bicycle.

After a San Francisco driver used his car as a weapon to repeatedly ram an ebike rider as he was attempting to pass a slower bicyclist, the police couldn’t be bothered to deal with it because he wasn’t injured badly enough. Evidently, when the SFPD gets a report of a shooting, they ask how badly the victim was injured before deciding whether to investigate, too. Thanks to WCoast for the heads-up.

Scary thought. A Brooklyn bike rider confronted a drunken, road-raging off-duty bus driver over a close pass — who may have been on his way to work.

A New Zealand bicyclist was lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries when an impatient, road raging driver intentionally knocked him off his bike.

………

Sure, why not.

The president of Turkmenistan demonstrates his prowess with firearms and bikes for the troops in a video that couldn’t possibly be fake.

No, really.

………

Rapper A$AP Ferg officially drops his new line of BMX bikes made in conjunction with Redline.

………

Local

Three month’s into LA’s pilot scooter program, city officials say scooter companies need to step up and do better, saying none of them are currently living up to expectations.

Los Angeles has broken ground on a two-block section of South Robertson in the city’s latest Great Streets project. But can any street without bike lanes ever truly be great?

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is one of us, rolling out on a mountain bike through the ‘Bu.

Complaints are continuing about Long Beach’s Broadway corridor, as some residents and business owners say the new road diet and protected bike lane have made the street more dangerous, and led to a drop in pedestrian traffic.

In a perfect example of windshield bias, a Whittier letter writer can’t seem to conceive of getting to a Metro station without driving.

 

State

New walking and biking trails opened over the weekend in the 1.5-mile Bosque and Upper Bee green areas of the Orange County Great Park.

Santa Rosa residents are pressing the city to do more to improve safety on one of the more dangerous roads for bike riders and pedestrians — one that’s already claimed five lives in the past year.

After working for other Bay Area bakeries, an Oakland man has struck out on his own, baking bread at home and making his deliveries by bicycle.

 

National

A writer for the Sierra Club says trust is stronger than a Kryptonite lock, asking strangers to keep an eye on his bike instead of using a lock. Um, sure. What could possibly go wrong?

She gets it. A writer for Bicycling tells bike shops to lose the attitude and stop treating customers like garbage.

What were you doing when you were seven years old? A Seattle boy and his father are biking across the US, as he attempts to set a record for the youngest cross-country bicyclist.

They get it too. Wichita Falls TX considers changing two local laws, including a “must-use” bike path ordinance, in pursuit of a Bicycle Friendly Community designation.

An Iowa man made his getaway to another state by bike after stabbing another man in the arm, hightailing it from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska. All of 5.5 miles and a 32-minute ride, according to Google Maps.

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are accused of open hostility to bicycles as a form of transportation, after insisting on removing nearly all references to bicycles from a transportation bill that was passed with unanimous support from all sides in the House.

A fire in a New York bodega is blamed on an exploding delivery ebike battery.

Evidently, LA Councilmember Gil Cedillo has philosophical kin in DC, as a Washington councilmember questions the need for any bike lanes in his district — despite suffering the highest number of traffic deaths in the city this year.

Over 100 bicyclists ride for peace on the streets in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

A Tallahassee FL columnist says bike riders shouldn’t feel safer riding in a big city than they do there, telling local drivers “we’re better than this.”

Horrible news from Florida, where a hit-and-run driver killed two bicyclists in a single collision; police have found the vehicle, but are still looking for the coward behind the wheel.

Mountain biking the hurricane ravaged trails of Puerto Rico.

 

International

The second Bicycle Architecture Biennale will celebrate the world’s “wow-factor” bicycling infrastructure and examine how bicycling will shape cities of the future.

A cargo bike-riding British Columbia mom says protected bike lanes are key to city transportation.

London’s cycling commissioner says someone will die after councillors from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea pulled their support for a two-way curb-protected bikeway through Notting Hill, based on complaints from a handful of people.

The father of a fallen bicyclist calls for bike riders to be banned from the English highway where he was killed; the local council agrees, saying improving safety would just encourage more people to ride there.

No bias here. Ten percent of drivers violated the 50 mph speed limit in a British village, yet they want to focus on the dangers posed by bike riders zooming by at a relatively pokey 35 mph.

No bias here, either. A Brit commuter was ordered to “get out of this fucking station now!” when he asked for a band-aid for his bleeding wrist, after falling off his bicycle on the way to the train station.

A bike rider in the UK got off with a relative slap on the wrist when he was jailed for just 16 months for fleeing the scene after crashing into a 70-year old woman as she was crossing the street, leaving her with life-threatening injuries. He pled guilty to a 150-year old law against “wanton and furious cycling,” which carries a maximum of two years behind bars.

British cycling commissioners say painted bike lanes are a waste of money, and call on the country to spend income from traffic fines on improving road safety.

An Irish political writer says he nearly became a statistic when a driver cut into the bike lane he was riding in, saying he was lucky this time, but bike riders can’t count on luck. Maybe they should start by lowering the speed limit to a more reasonable level, then try ticketing anyone who violates it, regardless of how they travel.

An Irish County is going to issue numbered license plates to bicyclists, saying it’s for their own good. No, really.

A writer for The Guardian explores the 100-mile Berliner Mauerweg bike trail tracing the route of the former Berlin Wall 30 years after its fall.

Here’s your chance to explore the countryside of lovely Transylvania by bike. But maybe replace that banana in your pocket with a few cloves of garlic just to be safe.

Bicyclists in Zagreb, Croatia will soon get a 75-mile bicycle highway.

An Indian newspaper calls ebikes the next evolution of mobility, suggesting they’re an alternative to polluting scooters and motorbikes.

A New Zealand health and parenting website talks with Julie Ann Genter, the parliament member who famously rode her bike to the hospital to give birth last year.

A Kiwi professor calls for a crackdown on ebike users on bike trails, after he suffered a serious brain injury in a head-on collision with one.

An writer in Kuala Lumpur discovers that riding on the city’s new blue bike lane loop during the evening rush hour is easier said than done.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome says he’s lucky to be alive after hitting the wall — literally — crashing into the side of a house at 37 mph when a gust of wind hit his time trial bike. Shaken friend, competitor and fellow Brit Dan Martin thought he was dead after witnessing the crash from a trailing car.

Speaking of the four-time Tour de France winner, the director of the Vuelta a España wants to hand the title for the 2011 race to first runner-up Froome if the doping violation is upheld against General Classification winner Juan José Cobo, to avoid a situation like the many vacant titles in the doping era Tour after Lance, Landis and Contador were stripped of their titles.

Danish pro Jakob Fuglsang won the eight stage Critérium du Dauphiné, finishing ahead of American Tejay van Garderen.

VeloNews attends the unveiling of a Boulder CO monument honoring the late, great Red Zinger/Coors Classic stage race, recalling why it remains a legend over 30 years after its demise. As well it should bento only providing a stage for the best riders from around the world, but also giving women racers a near-equal platform racing slightly shorter distances on the same stages.

 

Finally…

When your ride to work is great, but the ride home feels like football players have been pounding on you all day. Sometimes it’s not the drivers you have to worry about.

And who needs a marching band when you can ride bikes, instead.

Morning Links: LAPD corrals South LA Slasher, Arkansas adopts Idaho Stop, and LA isn’t the happiest place in US

Looks like they finally got him.

We hope.

After a nearly two week, bike-born crime spree that left nine men and women with severe cuts to their necks and faces, LAPD detectives announced yesterday that they have made an arrest in the South LA Slasher case.

Police identified 19-year old Len Rey Briones, a homeless man residing in South LA, as the suspect.

Briones would allegedly ride his mountain bike up to the unwary victims and slash them in the face with a knife or some other sharp object, then ride off before they had time to react.

He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

………

Call it the Arkansas Stop Law.

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill that will bring the Idaho Stop Law to the state, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs, as long as there is no conflicting traffic.

This makes Arkansas just the second state to adopt the full Idaho Stop Law, though Delaware allows riders to treat stops as yield, but not roll through red lights.

Colorado also permits riders to roll stop signs, but leaves it up to local jurisdiction whether or not to actually allow it.

You can probably guess which state was the first to adopt the law.

Meanwhile, Northwest Arkansas is attempting to promote itself as a mountain biking destination, catapulted onto the global stage by winning the 2022 world cyclocross championships.

This new law certainly won’t hurt.

And it’s proof that promoting safe bicycling isn’t a liberal or conservative issue.

Just a human one.

Can’t wait to hear the first person argue that a similar law won’t work here because “This isn’t Arkansas.”

………

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that communities with a high level of bike commuting also rank high on the list of America’s happiest cities.

Which probably explains why Los Angeles checks in at a lowly 82nd.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Colorado Springs CO bike rider suffered three broken ribs and a broken clavicle when someone booby trapped a popular bike trail, stringing a rope across the trail just half an hour after he and a companion had passed through in the opposite direction.

………

Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon is riding with this year’s Chef’s Cycle for No Kid Hungry; he has just over $1,800 to go to meet his $7,500 fundraising goal.

And hopes to raise an additional $100,000 for No Kid Hungry over the summer.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 examines the Venice Great Streets project, and the road diet that sent opponents into fits of apoplexy. Then again, they only need to see the words Vision Zero to get the pitchforks and torches out.

Keep Rowena Safe offers their endorsements for the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

LA Walks introduces new Executive Director John Yi, replacing outgoing ED Emilia Crotty.

Santa Monica will host a Repair Cafe at the Camera Obscura at Palisades Park on Saturday to fix common household items; a bike mechanic from the Santa Monica Bike Center will be on hand, as well.

You’re invited to join an exploratory ride for the upcoming Mission to Mission 626 Gold Streets open streets event this Sunday.

The LACBC hosts their rescheduled tour of historic San Fernando and environs on Sunday as this month’s Sunday Funday Ride.

CiclaValley celebrates spring with a gravel bike ride on Sulphur Spring Road.

State

California considers joining Utah in dropping the legal blood alcohol level from 0.8. to 0.5. Which is probably the most effective way to increase the number of legally drunk drivers on the road.

The 405 Freeway will be shut down overnight between Beach Blvd and Goldenwest Street in Westminster this Saturday as part of a project to replace the Bolsa Ave bridge, eventually providing new bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as two additional lanes.

Caught on video: A thief makes off with a $5,000 bicycle from a Costa Mesa bike shop after giving a fake ID and riding off during a test ride.

The San Diego bike rider seriously injured in a crash with a scooter user was reportedly riding salmon on the boardwalk near Belmont Park; he suffered several fractured vertebrae and two broken ribs.

A Pismo Beach resident filmed a bike chop shop operating openly in the Oceano Dunes Nature Preserve, along with other illegal activities common to homeless encampments.

VeloNews looks forward to next weekend’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

Cupertino is not so impressed with Apple’s proposal to pay for $9.1 million in bike and pedestrian improvements, in lieu of an employee head tax on local businesses.

San Francisco may beat Los Angeles to be the first California city to impose congestion pricing.

National

A new nationwide study shows an average of 25 children are treated in emergency rooms for bicycling injuries every hour; there was no significant difference in the rate of injuries whether or not the children were wearing bike helmets.

Outside offers their picks for the country’s best supported bike rides, including California’s Sierra to the Sea ride this June.

Salsa has issued a recall for their Warbird and Vaya bicycles due to a risk of the frame breaking.

Hundreds of Lime dockless bikeshare bikes ended up stacked in a Reno scrapyard after the company was unable to reach an agreement to continue its contact with the city. Evidently, there are no poor or homeless people up there who could have put the bikes to better use, or kids who could use a new bike.

A Texas bar is being sued for serving a man who got behind the wheel after getting extremely intoxicated and plowed into a group of bicyclists, killing one and seriously injuring another; naturally, the bar’s owners blame the victims for throwing themselves in front of a drunk. Unfortunately, California law prevents bars from being held accountable for the actions of their customers, no matter how drunk they help them get before driving home.

An 87-year old Texas man suffering from macular degeneration showed off his new bike, after a group of kindhearted people pitched in, with the help of a retired bike shop owner, to replace the one he had stolen.

Great idea. Springfield IL will install location markers on its 20 miles of bike paths to help first responders know where to go in an emergency. Docked bikeshare will return to Minneapolis this spring, though not to its twin city.

A Maine man will spend just 48 days behind bars for riding his bike up to a man in a drug store parking lot, threatening him with a knife and demanding money. Note to centralmaine.com — Seriously? Was the thief’s mode of transportation really his most important identifying feature? Would you describe a criminal who drove there as a motorist under the same circumstances?

Gothamist wants to know why the New York Department of Transportation ripped out a popular bike lane, and what happens now.

A Pennsylvania doctor is happy to be back on his bike less than a year after receiving a heart transplant, even if he can’t compete any more.

International

Here’s one more for your bike bucket list — bicycling the streets of Montevideo. I’m in.

Supporters say regular bicycles will survive, despite the competition from ebikes. If only because the growth of electric cars will put pressure on supplies of lithium, cobalt and other rare metals they both depend on for batteries.

London introduces a plan to replace commercial vans with cargo bikes, while hospitals are trying them out to deliver blood and tumor samples in anticipation of a new toxic air tax on motor vehicles to curb pollution.

Caught on video too: A pair of tag-teaming British bike thieves steal a locked bike in five seconds flat.

The Guardian examines how English workers built a 1951 bike tunnel under the Tyne River; it’s scheduled to reopen this year after an extended restoration. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

A very forgiving bike-riding woman tells an Irish court she doesn’t want the stop sign-running driver who seriously injured her when he crashed into her bike to go to jail.

Just days after an Aussie study said over half of all drivers think bike riders are less than human, a new study from the UK says over two-thirds think we’re inconsiderate. I’m not sure if that’s progress, or just typical Brit understatement.

Young South Africans use bicycles to bridge the divides left by apartheid.

Life is cheap in Japan, where a 26-year old man walked with probation following a conviction for attempted murder; he got angry during a fight with a relative, and threw a bicycle off the 12th floor of a building, striking a 76-year old woman walking in the courtyard below. Fortunately, she escaped with just a nearly six-inch gash in her forehead.

Finally…

Bike riders hardly ever engage in a one hour and 40 minute stand-off over a parking space. At least we don’t have to worry about deadly kite strings.

And if you’re riding with meth on your bike, despite being released on an earlier meth charge after your case was overturned, don’t run red lights.

And put a damn light on it.

Morning Links: Phil Gaimon pens his own obituary, balance bike parking, and Bike the Vote endorsements

Take a few moments, right now, and read this hard-hitting piece from Phil Gaimon, who narrowly avoided being turned into road kill by a salmon driver speeding around a curve on the wrong side of the road.

Just like the squirrel he passed several minutes later after he composed himself.

Of course, the squirrel did dart into traffic and he’ll get no mention in the local paper, but if I’d shared his fate I expect that would be the headline for me. I’ve made peace with the fact that this probably is how I’ll die someday and I’m choosing to still do it, but I’d like to set the record straight here. When I die on my bicycle, I didn’t do anything erratic and I didn’t make a mistake. I’m an expert at bike riding, I did it for a living among the best in the world for years, and in my retirement I ride cautiously because I had enough broken bones when it was my job. When I die it’s because of some asshole not paying attention, speeding, texting, or both, on roads where there’s no infrastructure or room for error, and most likely there won’t be much of a punishment. I’m dead, so at least they can get the story right.

I’ve long thought the same thing as Phil Gaimon describes.

Odds are, when I finally meet my maker — which hopefully will be a very long time from now — it will happen on a bike.

Not because bicycling is dangerous, but because I’ve spent far more time on my bike than I have doing anything else. And plan to continue as long as I’m able to remain upright and turn a pedal.

But now that I live it Hollywood, it seems even more likely, thanks to streets filled with aggressive and distracted drivers. Along with a near total lack of bike lanes, protected or otherwise.

And no, sharrows don’t count.

Like Gaimon, I fully expect to be blamed if that ever happens.

And like Gaimon, it won’t be true.

That’s why I use a bike cam when I ride, so I’ll have proof I didn’t run a red light or stop sign, or suddenly suicide swerve out in front of traffic.

It’s cold comfort.

But to will have to do until Los Angeles finally gets serious about Vision Zero.

And finally commits to building the bike plan its already committed to.

………

On a happier note, this tweet gave me the biggest smile I’ve had in weeks.

https://twitter.com/asausagehastwo/status/1044233989064708097

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Get ready to bike the vote this November, as Calbike offers its endorsements in the coming election.

Interesting to note that all but one of the legislative candidates they endorse supports using clean transportation financial incentives for bike purchases.

Which translates to giving rebate to encourage people to buy bicycles, ebikes or otherwise. And actually use them to replace car trips.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA has released their own voter guide for the LA area. Nice to see my own Assembly Member made the list.

………

Local

A new study ranks the 20 most congested cities in the US; for a change, Los Angeles wasn’t at the top of the list. In fact, LA ranked seventh, behind Chicago and ahead of Seattle.

It’s a busy bike weekend in DTLA this week, with CicLAvia rolling on Sunday, and the Bike! Bike! conference Thursday through Sunday at Los Angeles State Historic Park; Bike! Bike! is intended to bring bike owners, bicycle shops and bike groups together to “workshop new ideas and methods to advocate for urban bicyclists.”

Community stakeholders conducted a “slow jam” on Temple Street, where limited safety improvements are underway after Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Mitch O’Farrell combined to kill a desperately needed road diet on the dangerous street. Although the improvements might help people on foot, it’s not a Complete Street unless it safely accommodates people on two wheels, as well.

Streetsblog visits the new purple curb extensions on the Pico Blvd Great Streets project. But how great can it really be without bike lanes?

CiclaValley races his wife from Westwood to the San Fernando Valley, pitting bike against car. You can guess who won.

Santa Clarita City Councilmember Cameron Smyth explains why you should ride in the city, and explains how Santa Clarita’s Heads-Up traffic safety campaign applies to people on bicycles.

 

State

Unsafe routes to schools. A mother and her eight-year old son were lucky to escape with minor injuries when a turning driver struck their tandem bike while they were riding to school. Police said the driver couldn’t see because he had the sun in his eyes, which makes it okay, right?

The Ventura County Star says it’s time to stop the madness, and do what you can to clean the air by car-pooling, taking the bus, walking or riding a bike.

San Francisco’s new mayor called on the city to speed up Vision Zero safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians. It would be nice if LA’s mayor would say the same thing. But don’t hold your breath.

 

National

A new AAA study shows 80% of drivers overestimate the technical capabilities of their car’s safety devices, especially the ability to detect bicyclists and pedestrians. Maybe because every other car commercial shows them doing exactly that.

Uber has announced a $10 million fund to advocate for congestion pricing and charging stations for dockless ebikes near transit stations.

Bicycling offers 30 bike hacks every bicyclist should know. As long as you’re willing to put up with their annoying click-through format that only shows one item at a time.

Seattle bike commuting is down to its lowest level since 2007; just 2.8% of city residents rode to work last year, down from 3.5% the year before.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. An Iowa woman faces a 1st degree murder charge for stalking a man who accused her of stealing, and using her car as a weapon to intentionally run him down as he rode his bike in a parking lot, while driving under the influence.

Michigan’s new three-foot passing law goes into effect today.

A road raging Ohio lawyer lost his license to practice for a year — make that six months — after he brake checked a bike rider, and stomped the cellphone of a physician who stopped to record the incident. He also skipped out on the court hearing for the misdemeanor he ended up charged with, leading to his later arrest and conviction.

Seriously? It will now cost DC drivers who park in a bike lane three times as it does to door a bike rider under the city’s new Vision Zero laws; meanwhile, a bicyclist who hits a pedestrian crossing the street will be fined $150, but just $100 for hitting someone walking on a sidewalk.

A DC council member says the city has to do more to protect bike and scooter riders, including building protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, an advocacy site says it’s been just two days since a driver killed someone biking, walking or scooting in DC.

A Tampa FL columnist says a proposed transportation sale tax, which would reserve 12% of funds for bike and pedestrian projects, is a good start to change the city’s ranking as the nation’s most dangerous place for bike riders.

 

International

This is the cost of traffic violence. A promising young Canadian ballet student was killed in a collision on Sunday.

No bias here. A deputy mayor on Canada’s Prince Edward Island says requiring bike riders to attach a license plate to their bike or helmets would make the city friendlier to bicyclists. No, really.

A writer for London’s Evening Standard says bicycling must be made safer after decades of half-hearted attempts.

Members of an Oxford, England men’s choir will ride 100 miles to Wales to remember their roots as descendants of Welsh residents who moved to Oxford during the Great Depression.

This is who we share the roads with. A British motorcyclist records a road raging minicab driver running over his parked bike after he got off to confront the man. But the motorcycle rider was no angel, either, kicking and hitting the car after threatening to break the driver’s skull.

An American Vietnam vet with an Ivy League education gave up his life in this county to live as a hermit in Ireland, using his bicycle to get around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist examines the superstitions and rituals of the pro peloton, and concludes they might give riders a mental edge.

An 18-year old Belgian cyclist insists he’s not the next Eddy Merckx, as he prepares to make the leap from the junior ranks to the WorldTour next year.

Canada’s “starry girl cyclist” of the 1930’s is being inducted into the country’s Cycling Hall of Fame, after a riding career spent leaving fellow riders and stereotypes in her wake.

After years of misfortune, Australian time trial specialist Rohan Dennis claimed the world champ’s rainbow jersey in the event.

 

Finally…

Before you complain online about a bike riding mom and her child, make sure you’re right.

And when a cop right hooks a bike rider, it’s just a “momentary lapse in attention.”

Right.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to MilitantAngeleno@gmail.com. We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Santa Monica Blvd green lane, bicyclist survives fatal PCH crash, and keep your hands to yourself

Green bike lanes are finally making an appearance on the south side of Santa Monica Blvd in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Which is trying to reform while turning itself into the Scooter Black Hole.

Given how unlikely it was just a few years ago, this is a huge step forward, even if the lane does seem very cramped, offering just enough space for a single rider, with no room to pass without swerving out into traffic.

And the narrow bike lane means unless you hug the gutter, all those buses on Santa Monica Blvd will buzz by your elbow at far less than the required three foot passing distance.

I’m not sure this will bring many more riders out, but the green paint may make those who already ride Santa Monica Blvd feel more comfortable.

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A bike rider was collateral damage in yet another fatal crash on SoCal’s killer highway in Malibu on Friday.

The driver of a minivan jumped the center divider on PCH near Trancas Canyon Road and struck a pickup head-on, demolishing both vehicles.

Sadly, both drivers were killed; a passenger in one of the vehicles was slightly injured.

The bicyclist, who was not seriously injured, was struck by a wheel that flew off in the violent crash as he rode in the painted bike lane.

Needless to say, authorities suspect speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Another reminder that the deadly road most be tamed. And we’re all at risk until it us.

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Former pro and current author, fondo meister and YouTube star Phil Gaimon kicked over a hornet’s nest with this tweet over the weekend.

While most women agreed with him, some argued that they appreciate the help, especially from someone they know. And many men argued that they were just trying to help. Or something.

So instead of mansplaining, we get manpushing.

But there’s an easy solution to the problem. Just ask first. If a woman — or a man, for that matter — wants your help they’ll tell you.

And if they don’t, just nod politely and go on your way.

The same thing goes for offering advice.

Always ask for permission before you start spouting cycling tips; the other person may not want them, or may be following another program.

Although personally, I prefer to be a well, not a fountain. Most people will usually ask advice if they really want it.

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A New York bike rider shows what it’s like to ride in Gotham bike lanes. Which many LA bicyclists can relate to, as well.

Thanks to Patrick Murray for the link.

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Heartwarming story from Dayton OH, where someone left a pair of Target gift cards attached to a new bike helmet and riding gloves in a Target store, along with this message —

The note read, “Hi! Please enjoy this small, random act of kindness in honor of my father-in-law, Jeff-an avid cyclist, a lover of the outdoors, and an all-around awesome dude. The only thing that I ask is that you always wear a helmet when riding your bike, and that you send any spare good vibes and healing thoughts out his way to the Pacific Northwest.”

The woman who found it said she felt like it was meant for her, since she’d just started bicycling again after several years.

Let’s hope this sort of thing catches on.

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Local

LADOT has released a summary of the recent open house to discuss closing the ridiculous Northvale Gap in the Expo Line Bike Path, which resulted when local Cheviot Hills residents successfully fought the bike path when the Expo Line was built.

We haven’t checked in with Cycling in the South Bay for awhile, as Seth Davidson says thanks to a long list of people for their help with the first annual sixth All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards taking place this Sunday.

 

State

Southern California athletes are gearing up for the 10th Annual Gay Games, which started in Paris on Saturday, with events ranging from cycling and track and field, to dance sports and table tennis.

Bakersfield applies for funding for three safety projects, including a proposed six-mile, $8.2 million bike path along the Friant-Kern Canal.

A San Jose columnist says the road up the East Bay’s Mt. Diablo is too narrow and winding for full-size buses, after video shows a bike rider nearly hit head-on as a bus rounds a blind curve on the wrong side of the road.

Plans to expand San Francisco’s Ford GoBike docked bikeshare across the city are on hold, as city supervisors complain about process, and residents say they’d rather have the parking spaces.

Oakland is planning major safety improvements to five intersections around the Lake Merit BART station, including protected intersections.

Sad news from Pleasant Hill, where a man was killed in a collision with a big rig truck while taking a bike ride on his lunch break; local residents insist something like this was bound to happen.

 

National

Bike Snob says he’s been ensnared in Strava’s seductive web. And he likes it.

An Aspen, Colorado woman says if dirt bikes aren’t allowed to use the roads, bicycles shouldn’t either. So there. Note to world: Bike riders are expected to obey traffic signals and crosswalks, even if some don’t.

A Boulder CO newspaper profiles Spencer Powlison, the 34-year old mountain biker who plans to compete in the Leadville 100 on 1983 Stumpjumper that’s older than he is.

One more to add to your bike bucket list. A Wyoming writer sings the praises of the packed gravel Medicine Bow Trail west of Laramie, where you’re likely to see moose, elk and mule deer, and possibly a bear or two. Or maybe you’d prefer a tour of Spain’s Basque Country.

Kansas City gets its first parking protected bike lane.

A colorful Des Moines IA lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes have reduced collisions by 2%, while dropping injury collisions a whopping 58%. And contradicting claims by anti-road diet forces everywhere, it has shaved 30 seconds off response times by the fire department.

Oklahoma City’s weekly Donut Ride has been going strong since the mid-1970s, still led by the same, now 90-year old ‘bent rider.

Plans to build five miles of mountain bike trails in a Minnesota park could be on hold after the discovery of an endangered bumblebee.

Instead of just talking about homeless people, Detroit bicyclists are holding a ride to call attention to the problem and raise funds for a homeless recovery service.

This is why you don’t confront bike thieves yourself. A Cleveland man is in critical condition, and a woman injured, after they were both shot when they confronted two teens they accused of stealing their children’s bicycles. If you think you’ve found your stolen bike, call the police and let them deal with it; no bike is worth your life.

In a perfect example of automotive entitlement, a DC driver says she blocked a bike lane — and so what?

 

International

No bias here. The notoriously anti-bike owner of a Vancouver driving school says bike commuters are law-abiding, while daytime riders are a bunch of irresponsible scofflaws.

No bias here, either. A Vancouver mayoral candidate promises to rip out the city’s hugely successful bike lanes if she gets elected, and sic half the city’s parking enforcement officers on lawless bike riders and pedestrians.

No bias here, either. An Ottawa, Canada columnist says that instead of building bikeways, the city should crack down on bike riders and require riders be licensed, carry insurance and have license plates, to name a few on his long list of demands that he says would make bicyclists disappear. Which he thinks would be a good thing.

There’s a first. After an English driver buzzed a bicyclist, he stopped a little further down the road, got out and apologized. And the rider got the whole thing on video.

A Belgian bicyclist rode 7,500 miles from Lyon, France to Guangzhou, China on a solar powered ebike to win the first edition of a race intended to promote renewable energy.

A French mayor is warning about the dangers of illegally modified ebikes that can travel up to 30 mph, twice the country’s legal speed limit for ebikes.

Now that’s a bike ride. An annual night bicycle parade in Moscow drew an estimated 20,000 riders to call for better bike infrastructure, twice as many as last year.

Australia’s version of AAA says the country’s road safety strategy is failing and bicyclists are most at risk, as bicycling fatalities rise a frightening 80% in the past year.

He gets it. An Australian professor — and former UCSD prof — says it’s time to consider the needs of people above cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for VeloNews says Mexican cycling is failing at developing homegrown talent.

An elite Texas cyclist was airlifted to a Colton medical center after he was seriously injured after hitting a rock in the Tour de Big Bear; fortunately, he’ll be okay, though he’ll have to tend to an arm injury and some broken ribs.

Popular young Team Sky cyclist Egan Bernal suffered serious facial injuries in a crash with several other riders in Spain’s Clasica San Sebastian; he was later diagnosed with a nasal fracture and maxillary injury. Movistar’s Mikel Landa went to the hospital with a back injury as a result of the same crash.

The new six-part Amazon TV series Eat. Race. Win. follows Australia’s Orica-Scot team and the chefs who feed them as they compete in the Tour de France. The cyclists, that is, not the chefs.

Evidently, winning the Tour isn’t enough for newly famous Geraint Thomas, who wants to take on Eminem in an epic rap battle.

 

Finally…

If you want to see the pope, leave your car at home — but take your bike. We have to worry about crashing into cars parked in bike lanes; Colorado bike riders try to avoid crashing into mountain goats.

And you shoulda been in Bangalore in the ’70s and ’80, when bicycling was bliss.

Morning Links: Gaimon’s new Rules, distracted cop crash, Ofo kisses LA goodbye, and history of the Bike Oven

Before we get started, drop whatever you’re doing and check out today’s must-read piece, as Phil Gaimon rebuts the infamous Velominati Rules.

And completely and totally nails it.

Then again, as far as I’m concerned, he could have quit with Rule #10: “Don’t be a dick.”

Which pretty much covers every other rule. And everything else.

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Former pro Phil Gaimon with a very odd bike helmet; photo shamelessly stolen from his website.

………

Call it a Peculiar crash, indeed.

A bike rider was the victim of a seriously distracted Peculiar, Missouri cop, who turned into his bike as he was stopped at a three-way intersection.

The officer was suspended with pay after admitting on the video that he was texting at the time of the crash.

Thanks to Todd Munson, Jeff Vaughn, J. Patrick Lynch and Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo waves Los Angeles a fond farewell as the overextended company prepares to pull out of North America.

Thanks to Matthew Gomez for forwarding the email.

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A new video tells the story of LA’s groundbreaking Bike Oven.

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If you want to understand why LA City Councilmembers are able to act like little kings in their districts, and why it’s so hard to get anything done in this city, consider that we have the fewest city council districts of any major US city.

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Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an American problem.

Two American bike tourists were killed in Tajikistan when a driver slammed into the group of riders before fleeing the scene; two Dutch bike tourists were also killed, and three others injured.

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Local

Santa Monica’s city manager says SaMo is making progress dealing the the e-scooter phenomenon, calling it both a problem and an opportunity

Long Beach will host the LA area’s first nighttime open streets event with Beach Streets Twilight on August 25th.

 

State

A Bakersfield writer visits local advocacy group Bike Bakersfield, and discovers that bicycles are changing lives in the city.

A team of 11 people riding from Seattle to San Diego to raise awareness of sex trafficking pause in Santa Barbara to discuss the problem.

The speeding bicyclist who killed an elderly pedestrian in San Francisco several years ago, bringing scorn and derision on the Strava app, is now launching his own ten-part podcast to give his side of the story.

Sad news from Oakland, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run, which apparently wasn’t deemed newsworthy by the local media.

 

National

When you’re a JetBlue pilot, your mountain bike flies for free.

Who says you can’t put a bike rack on a Vespa?

Forbes says bike-friendly apartments are popular with renters.

Next City says when you imagine who is biking in American cities, you’re probably wrong.

Streetsblog talks with Lime Bike Chief Programs Officer Scott Kubly, who says e-scooters are the next big thing.

The New Yorker takes an in-depth look at the extreme cyclists of the Navajo Nation.

A former player for the Arizona Diamondbacks is creating his own cross-country triathlon, starting with a seven-mile swim across the San Francisco Bay, followed by biking 2,344 mile to Chicago, then running the rest of the way to New York.

Houston police say noted cardiac surgeon Dr. Mark Hausknecht was targeted by the bike-riding killer who shot him as he rode his bike.

People can’t seem to figure out why there are stripes in a Texas bike lane. You’d think the local DOT might want to explain that before the paint went down. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as Rhode Island residents install their own stop signs on a bike path where a six-year old boy was killed recently, rather than wait months to go through official channels; the state DOT says they can stay for now.

The Boston Globe says dockless ebikes and scooters don’t bite, so relax already.

They get it. A Virginia newspaper says the best way to reduce the severity of bike crashes is for everyone to slow the hell down. Okay, I may have added “the hell” to that, but still.

 

International

Call it urologist humor. A new study shows that a shock absorbing bike seat can help prevent erectile dysfunction in men due to uneven road surfaces, and genital numbness in both men and women. As well as helping make “cycling be less of a pain in the butt.”

The Guardian says road trips are even better by bike, and offers four more to add to your bike bucket list, including our own Route 66. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal recommends a bike tour through the “Tuscany of America,” while the Japan Times recommends the island of Kyushu.

Vancouver’s ex-city planner says streets should make people want to stick around. Not, say, drive through as quickly as possible, as with most of Los Angeles.

She gets it. A British Columbia automotive writer says drivers should be grateful that every bike rider takes a car off the road, even if the riders are doing it for their own benefit.

A Yukon mountain biker was lucky to make it back home after a stray bullet fired by a man sighting a rifle barely missed him. At least, we can all hope it was an accident.

Caught on video: After riding erratically, a Winnipeg bike rider crashes into a stopped car while fleeing from police, then takes off on foot. Watch carefully in the background, and you can see a passerby trying to roundup the rider’s stray wheel following the crash.

Montreal bicyclists are angry over getting banned from a historic cemetery due to the actions of a few riders, even though cars, electric scooters, dog walkers and picnickers are still allowed.

So much for the myth of the scofflaw cyclist. A new London study showed only a tiny fraction of bike riders rode faster than 20 mph on the city’s cycle superhighways, and the overwhelming majority obeyed traffic signals.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why London’s Conservative mayoral candidates won’t embrace the city’s bicycle infrastructure, when the free-market case for it is so clear.

Hundreds of teenage bicyclists descend on a British city, wreaking havoc by surrounding cars and frightening drivers.

The Netherland’s world-standard bikeways are melting under Northern Europe’s unrelenting heatwave.

Cycling legend Gino Bartali is getting animated in a new film.

Abu Dhabi is getting bike friendly, as it nears the halfway mark in its goal of adding 500 bike racks throughout the city.

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris is one of us; the women’s representative to the Kenyan parliament rode with the Nairobi Critical Mass last week.

Tests show ebikes could save Australian commuters up to $200 a week.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says women are the weaker sex? An international team of women’s cyclists completed the entire 2018 Tour de France route one day ahead of the official Tour to show that women can handle the rigors of a Grand Tour.

Geraint Thomas made history by becoming the first Welsh rider to win the tour, as his TV announcer wife waited for him at the finish line in Paris. Although London’s notorious tabloid press was quick to paint him as a “self-confessed booze-loving party animal.”

Houston’s Lawson Craddock made history by becoming the first American to capture the Lanterne Rouge for finishing last in the Tour de France, and the first to trail the race from start to finish. On the other hand, he rode all but the first few kilometers with a broken shoulder blade, while raising more than twice the $102,100 stretch goal for a Houston velodrome.

Ireland’s Dan Martin beat out Craddock and a handful of better known riders to win the award as the tour’s most competitive rider.

Getty Images wants to introduce you to famed Tour de France superfan El Diablo.

In a great, if somewhat surreal, interview, the Irish writer who blew the whistle on organized doping in pro cycling — and lost his job as a result — talks with ex-Tour de France winner and current cannabis entrepreneur Floyd Landis.

The Conversation asks if pro cycling has a concussion problem.

This week marks the annual Big Bear Cycling Festival and the Tour de Big Bear.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike to commit a crime, take it with you when you go. Building a bike to survive the apocalypse.

And some drivers hide their license plates to avoid getting caught on speed cameras; bicyclists can just ride naked.

 

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