Tag Archive for police behaving badly

LA adopts redistricting plan, PA man dies after being tased 8 times for riding bike, and Peloton’s Big PR nightmare

Just two weeks left in the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Joseph R, Brian N and Joshua T for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your favorite screen every morning.

That makes 50 donations in just two weeks — a full week ahead of last year’s record pace!

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. 

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The LA City Council has approved final redistricting maps that will take effect January 1st.

You can find your new district here.

At first, I thought I’d been disenfranchised by the council, who moved CD5 Councilmember Nithya Raman out of much of her old district, and away from many of the people who elected her.

Instead, it looks like I’m still there, if barely.

Meanwhile, there’s an active campaign going on in nearby CD5, where pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz has gone out of his way to block bike lanes contained in the city’s mobility plan for far too long. And who will thankfully be termed out this year.

Fortunately, there’s a long list of candidates running to replace him, most of whom appear to support bikeways and safer streets.

I’ve already endorsed Scott Epstein, who I’ve known for years as a friend, and for his work on the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee and chairing the Mid City West Community Council.

But I’m always open to hearing from other candidates.

Anyone running for office in CD5, or any other Los Angeles council district, is welcome to submit a guest post outlining their positions on bicycling, transportation and safe streets.

Then again, that same offer goes for any other LA elected office, or any other city in the LA area.

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Unbelievable.

A Pittsburg, Pennsylvania man is dead, after being tased by cops eight times for the crime of test riding a used bike, apparently without permission.

According to a local TV station, 54-year old Jim Rogers — no relation — took a bicycle that was being sold for 50 bucks on someone’s front yard, then returned it after riding around the block.

Why that required a massive police response, let alone lethal force, I will never understand.

And any ostensibly non-lethal weapon can easily become lethal when it is used repeatedly on someone in a short period of time.

Some witnesses reported that Rogers became aggressive after police arrived, while others reported him begging them to stop.

To make matters worse, officers told arriving paramedics to go away, then loaded Rogers into a patrol car — and inexplicably drove past one hospital to reach another one further away, as he slumped unconscious in the back seat. The cops reportedly said they thought he was sleeping.

He died the next day.

Let’s hope his family has a good lawyer. Then again, even a crappy one could probably win this case.

Meanwhile, four cops now face firing for the incident, with two others staring at well-deserved demotions.

Hopefully that includes the cop who fired his taser eight times, and needed two tries to get through the police academy.

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Spoiler alert.

Peloton discovers that feeling when their high-profile product placement unexpectedly turned into a PR nightmare.

Skip this one if you’re still planning to watch the first episode of the new Sex and the City reboot, though.

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Finish the week with a little gravel grinding.

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Join Active SGV for the return of their annual holiday ride on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the LACBC is hosting a family-friendly ride through Maywood and South Gate along the LA River the same day.

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If you’re up near Santa Barbara this weekend, stop by the bike yard sale to find all the stuff you need, and probably won’t get for the holidays.

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Here’s your chance to become a certified bike instructor.

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‘Tis the season.

A Boise, Idaho public radio station talks with the executive director of the Boise Bicycle Project, which is planning to give 500 bicycles to local kids.

A bike shop owner in Iowa is donating 14 upcycled bicycles to a local Christmas club for kids in need.

An Illinois bike shop owner is donating 60 refurbished bikes to a state children’s home.

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

A North Dakota man managed to slip the cops as he fled a traffic stop on his bike. But was busted anyway, after he kicked in the door of a random apartment and barricaded himself in the bathroom.

Oakland is repairing a public Christmas tree in Jack London Square that was torched by a bike-riding arsonist.

 

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Local

This site’s not the only one begging for money this month. If you have anything left over after donating to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, give a little to LA Streeetsblog, too.

 

State

SANDAG’s proposed 70-mile regional bike lane system will now cost more than double the original estimate, cover 10% fewer miles and take longer to finish.

The Voice of San Diego says forget the debate over proposed road usage fees, and focus on making the transportation changes we need to save the planet, and ourselves.

 

National

A new report surprisingly suggests it would only take a minimal investment to restore American bicycle manufacturing, despite losing over 97% of bike building to overseas factories.

The Adventure Cycling Association is looking for a Safety Manager to join their advocacy team to work for better safety on US Bicycle Route System.

WaPo talks with the former chief of strategy and innovation for Seattle’s DOT; Benjie de la Peña predicts shared micromobility will continue to grow as an alternative to traffic-choked commutes.

Las Vegas hosts a police-escorted ghost bike ride along the Las Vegas strip this morning on the anniversary of the meth-fueled massacre that took the lives of five people riding their bikes last year. Which got the stoned truck driver who killed them a well-deserved 16 to 40 years behind bars.

Police in New York are on the lookout for a pair of strong-arm robbers on a two-month crime spree targeting low-income, often immigrant, delivery riders for their ebikes.

That’s more like it. A New York community board says don’t bother arguing against the need for bike lanes, just tell them where the lanes should go.

A proposed remake of a Brooklyn street would create New York’s first bicycle superhighway. Which is one more than Los Angeles, which has exactly none on the drawing board.

A Maryland TV station talks with DC’s one-wheeled Grubhub delivery rider.

 

International

Bike Radar recommends the best winter-weight mountain bike jerseys to keep you warm on the trails, while Cycling News considers the best truck-mounted bike racks for your car.

A tiny new automotive-style shifter could allow you to bang through the gears on your electronic derailleur.

No surprise here, as plans to expand ebike access in Canada’s Banff National Park are drawing fire.

London is banning e-scooters from all forms of public transit after one burst into flames on a train last month.

Twelve percent of Brits want to find a new bike under the tree this year.

Germany’s new food and agriculture minister is one of us, eschewing the standard black limo to arrive at the country’s presidential palace on a bicycle.

A 25-year old, visually impaired Indian man is riding 4,660 miles across 12 of the country’s states to prepare for his ultimate goal of climbing Mt. Everest.

That’s more like it, too. An Aussie man was sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars for killing a 60-year old woman who was riding her bike in a bike lane, while he was still stoned from a multi-day drug binge. He abandoned his car and passengers after the crash and called an Uber to take him home; he still had ice, amphetamines and cannabis in his system when he was arrested hours later. The judge described his attitude after the crash as “superficial, glib and self-centered.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclocross could become the next new Winter Olympic sport. But you’ll have to wait until 2030 at the earliest.

The careless spectator who got her 15 minutes of fame by causing a massive crash with her cardboard shoutout to her grandparents in the first stage of this year’s Tour de France was lucky to escape with the equivalent of a $1,353 fine.

Twenty-one-year old Australian cyclist Sarah Gigante is angling for a spot in next year’s inaugural Women’s Tour de France.

Fifty-year old, three-time Fleche Wallonne winner Davide Rebellin will enter a remarkable 30th year as a pro cyclist next year.

 

Finally…

People thinks you need a bigass bike seat. If Santa’s not around, maybe a bike-riding Ms. Christmas will do.

And when you care enough to send your worst.

Then again, it beats the hell out of these Share the Road stickers.

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

Bike rider brake checked and right hooked by Miami cop, and Harvard Law Review says throw out MUTCD and start over

No irony here.

A job title turned sadly prophetic when a director of high-impact experiences for the McClatchy newspaper chain had his own high-impact experience when he was brake checked and right hooked by a Miami cop.

The victim was riding with a group of bicyclists on the city’s Rickenbacker Causeway when the officer pulled the patrol car out from the shoulder ahead of the group with red lights flashing, then cut right across the bike lane without warning.

Not surprisingly, people taking part in the ride were quick to blame the cop for putting their safety at risk.

While police say the officer was trying to pull over a bike rider ahead of the group, there’s no sign of that as he turned onto the shoulder and drove back up the other way on the grass.

So here’s my take. And feel free to disagree.

The cop was careless in entering the roadway in front of the group of bike riders, and made no effort to ascertain whether it was safe to turn in front of them.

And if he knew he was going to turn off onto the shoulder, he should have driven on the bike lane, safely following any riders ahead of him, to ensure he did not endanger the riders behind him.

But the people on the bikes also bear responsibility, since they should have maintained their distance while a patrol car had its red lights flashing, rather than closing in behind it.

Now the victim is hospitalized with a broken pelvis.

And the police department is looking at a lawsuit.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

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Powerful essay from the prestigious Harvard Law Review, suggesting it’s time to throw the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, aka MUTCD, and start over.

While such provisions may sound inconsequential, some of the Manual’s provisions have far-reaching, even deadly, consequences. They prioritize vehicular speed over public safety, mobility over other uses of public space, and driving over other modes of mobility. With these car-centric priorities, the Manual has helped generate a nearly constant and fast-moving stream of vehicle traffic that renders road users like pedestrians, wheelchair users, and cyclists vulnerable. Moreover, by giving preference to driving over other modes of transportation, the Manual has indirectly facilitated a rise in transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions that are the single largest contributor to climate change

This Essay explains how the Manual biases transportation behavior in dangerous and inequitable ways. It urges the FHWA to use its emergency powers to rescind its most damaging provision — the so-called 85th Percentile Rule, which legalizes dangerously high speeds of traffic — and to undertake a complete rewrite that follows a scientifically sound, evidence-based approach; prioritizes safety, access, equity, climate action, and prosperity; and incorporates feedback from diverse stakeholders.

As you’d expect, it’s not exactly light reading.

But if you care about safety on our streets, it matters.

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Transportation conference CoMotion LA returns online and in person next month. Although the free online access is a lot cheaper than the nearly one grand in-person pass.

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More proof that there’s no such thing as a carfree space in Southern California.

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How to instantly turn one parking spot into eight.

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

Guardian Angels founder and New York mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa vows to end the city’s entirely imaginary war on vehicles by removing bike lanes and speed cams. So if there’s a war on cars, why are the only victims on the other side?

Someone appears to be boobytrapping an Alabama mountain bike trail by planting sharpened wooden stakes into the ground that could seriously injure riders, or worse. But local officials insist it ain’t necessarily so.

Riding a bicycle on a Malaysian highway could get you up to a year behind bars.

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Local

Streetsblog offers more details on the series of motions by Councilmembers Mike Bonin and the two Pauls, Koretz and Krekorian, to reduce speed limits, make some Slow Streets permanent, and allow cams on buses to enforce bus lanes, based on recently passed new state laws.

Metro is teaming with People for Mobility Justice for a taco ride through DTLA, touring taco vendors and bike infrastructure in Downtown Los Angeles.

SWAT teams surrounded a Huntington Park home after a hit-and-run driver broke in and barricaded himself inside after running down someone on a bicycle; no word on the condition of the victim.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer complains that bike lanes aren’t enough, and the city needs to consider both the quality of the lanes and the air riders are forced to breathe, while another wonders what’s taking so long.

A new report from the nonprofit Climate Action Campaign says San Diego’s ambitious regional transportation plan still isn’t enough to reduce car traffic and meet the city’s climate goals.

Woodland Hills Magazine recommends a handful of “serene” places to ride your bike in the area.

Ventura is hosting the second of two free bike rides this Saturday, as the city seeks public input on planned improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users.

San Mateo is considering lowering speed limits around schools to 15 mph.

A 31-year old driver was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a 53-year old Fairfield man riding a bicycle after the crash was captured on security cam; he faces DUI and hit-and-run charges, as well as a first degree murder count, as a result of a previous DUI conviction.

 

National

A new report from Trek says you only have to ride your bike 435 miles to offset the C02 emissions generated by making it.

Now you, too, can own a folding ebike made to fit under your desk.

While some people continue to call for mandatory helmet laws for bike riders, Seattle’s Kings County Board of Health is moving towards removing theirs over questions of effectiveness and racial disparities in enforcement.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Portland father who was killed in a Utah crash just four days into a cross-country bike tour was the founder of a nonprofit program designed to inspire children and teens to learn music.

The mayor pro tem of Dallas and a pair of councilmembers led an annual bike ride to city hall to raise awareness around bicycling, where one rider says biking in the city “feels like a death wish.

Plans for a 25 mile Maine rail trail could be on hold, as the state considers extending the rail line’s lease on the unused right-of-way.

He gets it. A Boston Globe columnist takes “cranky” Providence RI to task over complaints that bike lanes are “destroying the fabric of the city, ruining small businesses, and terrorizing innocent walkers who just want to take selfies on the pedestrian bridge without getting run over by Mayor Jorge Elorza on his Huffy.”

New Yorkers call on the state’s new bike-riding governor to sign a bill that adds bike and pedestrian advocates to ridership councils for New York City Transit, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.

No surprise here, as the person seen riding a bicycle in Florida last week was definitely not Brian Laundrie, the fiancé and prime suspect in the death of Gabby Petito. Unless it was a ghost bike in the most literal sense.

 

International

Officials will place the equivalent of $215,000 of artwork along a Welsh bikeway network, after determining they couldn’t spend it for anything else.

Cycling Weekly considers where people in the UK can buy a bike when shortages are predicted to last into 2023.

Life is cheap in Great Britain, where a speeding, sun-blinded driver walked with a suspended sentence and a six-month curfew for killing a woman who was riding a bicycle just steps from her home.

Paris has committed to spending the equivalent of $290 million to make the entire city 100% bikeable.

We may have to deal with dangerous LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about hungry lions, after a Zimbabwean woman disappeared while riding her bicycle, and was later found after apparently becoming a lion’s dinner.

Bike jerseys become wearable art, courtesy of a South African company and a local artist.

Momentum Magazine rides along with Barcelona’s popular school bicycle buses, also known as a bike train.

A Singapore cop was fined $3,000 for falsely reporting his bike had been stolen because he lost the key for the lock, and wanted the police to cut it off for him for free.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Canadian national time trial champ Rob Britton called it a career after 12 years on the pro tour.

 

Finally…

Who needs wheel hubs, anyway? Turn an empty beer keg into your own DIY bicycle sidecar.

And that feeling when your bicycle is designed to go 200 mph.

No, really.

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

LA Times calls for permanent Slow Streets and no parking minimums near transit, and bike helmets as the last line of defense

They get it.

The LA Times calls for eliminating minimum parking requirements within a half mile of a major transit stop or transit corridor; according to the paper, AB 1401 would encourage much needed housing while reducing emissions from cars.

That follows their recent call to keep the “Slow Streets, parklets, temporary bike lanes and outdoor dining areas” in a post-pandemic America.

Like all those temporary, popup bike lanes that weren’t build in Los Angeles, for instance.

But at least we have a number of Slow Streets, which could be made permanent and expanded to form a network of Bicycle Friendly Streets.

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels.

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Here we go again.

A Houston professor of pediatric medicine gets it wrong, saying the first rule of bicycle safety is to always wear a helmet, and don’t ride at night.

Yes, a bike helmet can cut your risk of a head injury if you come off your bike, though studies disagree on just how much.

But what helmet advocates seem to forget is that bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively slow speed falls. Not high speed collisions with a couple tons of semi-ballistic steel and glass.

They should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, not the first; the key to bike safety is to ride defensively so you don’t get hit in the first place.

And telling people not to ride after dark makes no more sense than telling them not to walk or leave their house.

Then again, they do that, too.

While the period from 6 pm to 9 pm is the most dangerous time of day for bike riders, you can cut your risk dramatically just by putting bright lights and reflectors on your bike. And always riding like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

And yes, wear a helmet. Just don’t count on it to save your life.

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The University of Oregon is suing a fired campus cop to recoup the settlement the university had to pay out for his off-campus stop of a Latino bike rider.

The college settled with the family of the victim for $115,000 as a result of the 2018 case, when the cop briefly chased him in his patrol car, then bizarrely pulled his gun on him, despite a total lack of probable cause.

The university alleges the officer, Troy Phillips, lied about what happened, and hid the existence of video and audio recordings of the incident, accusing Phillips of unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution and fabricating evidence.

And says he should be on the hook for the settlement, rather than the school.

In a tragic coda to the story, the victim, 40-year old Eliborio Rodrigues Jr. was shot and killed by a cop the following year, after refusing to show his ID and asking for a sergeant when he was stopped for taking a plastic bottle out of a recycling bin.

Yes, he was killed over a lousy piece of trash.

The shooting was inexplicably ruled justified, despite the flimsy probable cause, when the cop claimed Rodrigues reached for his taser.

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Nothing like criminalizing bike riding, and treating little kids like wanted terrorists or insurrectionists.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is one of us, riding his bike around New York as he pledges to fight climate change in a new campaign ad.

Even though Schumer’s wife, former New York DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall, led the fight against the bike lane in front of their home.

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So, if a heavy bollard can’t keep a car out of a building, how are those little plastic bendy posts LA uses to demarcate “protected” bike lanes supposed to do the job?

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A Toronto family insists that tall bikes will save the world, with video of their creations to back it up.

I’ll take the double-deck tandem with one rider perched above, not behind, the other.

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

A road raging British driver will have to pay the equivalent of nearly $1,250 for hiding in some bushes on the side of the road, and pushing a man off his bike as he rode by.

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

Police in the UK are looking for a bike rider who beat a man who was walking his dogs in an apparently unprovoked attack.

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Local

LA Magazine says Hollywood’s newly trendy Sycamore Ave, home to SiriusXM and the offices of Jay Z and Beyoncé, are due to get bike lanes soon. Even though they really belong one block west on busy La Brea Blvd.

Patch says two separate hikers had to be rescued in Pacific Palisades. Even if one of those hikers was traveling on a mountain bike instead of hiking boots.

 

State

For a change, there’s good news from the California legislature, where a bill to decriminalize jay walking passed passed the Assembly Transportation Committee by a ten vote margin. Put another way, AB 1238 would legalize crossing the damn street like a grownup.

San Diego considers a plan to slowly transform car-choked El Cajon Blvd into a series of people-friendly neighborhood hubs, along with a shared rapid bus and bike lane.

 

National

Cosmo wants you to pedal around in style this summer, pitching nine “cute” bike helmets to protect your noggin. Because really, the most important thing is how cute you look on your bike.

T3 offers a beginner’s guide to buying an ebike, including whether you should get one. Hint: yes.

Seattle is eliminating curbs to create people-friendly streets where vehicles are guests. Although not everyone likes the idea.

An Arkansas bike rider learned the hard way that drivers aren’t the only risk we face on the roads when he was attacked by a pack of angry dogs that came charging out of a couple’s yard; he was rushed to the hospital with a tourniquet on his leg. Never mind that the dogs should have been secured so they couldn’t rush out into the street like that, for their own safety, as well as others. 

A Wisconsin man is biking to Louisiana to raise awareness for living organ donations, a year after donating a kidney to a total stranger he met in a bar.

An Ohio man will spend the next eight months behind bars for stealing an 81-year old man’s bicycle. And pay a whopping $75 restitution to buy the victim a new bike.

A new poll conducted by PeopleForBikes shows Pittsburgh residents don’t hate bike lanes after all, with three-quarters agreeing that additional bike and pedestrian infrastructure would more it a more desirable place to live.

Philadelphia begins work on improving six bike lanes throughout the city to improve safety, just days after a woman was killed riding her bike. Why is it that cities always seem to only do the right thing after it’s too late?

A Florida driver belatedly turned himself in a year after killing an 18-year old bike rider in a hit-and-run.

 

International

Toronto bikeshare usage has surged during the pandemic, as people have turned to bikeshare in record numbers after shunning transit. Thanks to Donna Samoyloff for the tip.

It was a bad day for scofflaw Manchester drivers, as a cop in Manchester, England commandeered a bicycle from a passing rider to catch a car thief before he could flee on foot after crashing. And a pair of bike cops in a French district by the same name chased down and busted a Porsche driver for driving recklessly.

A British study shows planting the right shrubs along a roadway can cut pollution by 20%. And even more if there are bikes on that road instead of cars.

A UK air quality and emissions site examines whether the country’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods are the latest victims of the culture wars.

She gets it. A Brit letter writer says cars are destroying her town, while NIMBYs fight anything that would reduce car dependency.

Sadly, the hit-and-run pandemic has spread around the world, infecting Scotland and Japan.

Four of Singapore’s most scenic bike routes for your next trip to the island nation.

 

Competitive Cycling

Prominent German ski mountaineer Anton ‘Toni’ Palzer makes the unusual leap from pro skiing directly to pro cycling’s World Tour.

Bicycling Australia says Gen Z is taking its rightful place on the WorldTour podium.

 

Finally…

Popular bike route Topanga Canyon looked just a tad different a century ago. Presenting the world’s most polite recap of a bike protest.

And take a nine-minute trail break with a good bike, and a better dog.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

San Diego woman critical after hit-and-run, more on Biking While Black arrest, and CA Stop as Yield Bill up for vote tomorrow

San Diego police are looking for the heartless coward who left a 39-year old woman with life threatening injuries.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding her bike on Ingraham Street near Fortuna Avenue when the driver ran her down from behind Monday night.

The suspect was driving a dark colored, four-door SUV with front-end damage; anyone with information is urged to call the SDPD’s Traffic Division at 858/495-7805.

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More details on the video of a several white cops confiscating bikes from a group of teenage riders — all of whom were people of color — and arresting a young Black bicyclist for the crime of not having a bike license or lights.

In broad daylight, no less.

No, seriously.

A longer video show the events leading up to the arrest in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, where a group of teens were popping wheelies and riding salmon through traffic.

Officers were able to corner several riders who broke away from the main mass of riders, leading them to confiscate four bikes that didn’t have the city’s required bike license. Even though they were initially promised their bikes wouldn’t be taken.

The Black teen was arrested for refusing to turn over his bike.

Even though it’s highly questionable whether police have the right to confiscate bicycles for a simple infraction — let alone arrest someone for what amounts to a ticketable traffic offense.

Especially if the kids are from out of town, since a city’s licensing requirement can’t be enforced against nonresidents.

And even though licensing laws, like helmet laws, are too often enforced against people of color, often as a pretext for an otherwise illegal search.

Fortunately, the cops came to their senses and returned the bikes a few hours later, as well as releasing the young man who’d been arrested.

The head of the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU offered this take on the incident.

He added these thoughts in a later statement.

“The incident in Perth Amboy is an example of the kind of excessive criminalization that invites selective enforcement by police officers,” Sinha told NJ Advance Media. “Black and brown people are targeted and racially profiled for normal activities like riding bikes, walking down the street, or driving a car.”

“No one should be threatened with arrest or have their bike confiscated just for riding down the street rather than the sidewalk,” he added. “And we should be alarmed when police use their authority to brand normal behavior as crimes.”

Which pretty well sums up this whole sad affair of Biking While Black or Brown.

And yes, the whole damn thing could have been handled better.

Hopefully it will be, since a county prosecutor is looking into the complaint filed by the ACLU.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Thanks to Al Williams for his help in identifying the location of the first video yesterday.

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It’s time to weigh in on California’s proposed Safety Stop Bill, aka the Idaho Stop Law, that would allow bike riders to legally treat stop signs as yields.

Which is exactly what many, if not most, of us already do.

Bike Talk recently discussed the bill with Burbank Assembly Woman Laura Friedman.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s state senate just passed a similar bill, which will now go back to the state house for final approval.

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Also tomorrow, take a moment to voice your support for neighborhood greenways in Pasadena.

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Florida just legalized vehicular homicide if someone you disagree with politically blocks the roadway.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Megan Lynch also forwards video of Portland bike cops violently attacking a man on a bike who tried to ride through a small group of protestors, and using their bikes to push back the other people.

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

Apparently, someone in New York’s Greenpoint neighborhood doesn’t like Open Streets, using a fake Amazon van to steal several barricades and toss them in a nearby Superfund site. Fortunately, community volunteers were able to rescue them from the water.

A wealthy British corporate director will spend the next six months behind bars for pushing a man off his bicycle while walking in a park, resulting in five broken ribs, while his wife got a small fine for lying to police about who did it.

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

A San Diego man rode off on a bike after snatching a duck from a community pond and stuffing it in his backpack.

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Local

A UCLA professor is using art to promote bicycling, working with the LACBC and the school’s Luskin School of Public Affairs to create interactive, digital murals that “will simultaneously connect commuters, create safe routes around the city, and allow everyone to contribute to a work of public art.”

LA County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the shooting death of a man in Huntington Park; he was found next to a bicycle, but they aren’t sure if he or his killer was riding it.

 

State

A 15-year old Rio Lindo girl is recovering from a horrific hit-and-run after a driver dragged her under his truck; to make matters worse, they know who was driving the truck, yet he still hasn’t been charged with the crime.

The owner of a Fresno bike shop is frustrated after thieves break in for the third time in less than a year, taking three bikes worth $1,500 in the latest burglary.

A memorial service with an optional bike ride will be held next month for 86-year old Joe Shami, known as the Legend of Mount Diablo, after he was killed in a collision with an SUV driver; the much-loved Shami earned fame and fans by riding up the Bay Area mountain at least once a week for 615 consecutive weeks.

Manteca removed its bicycle licensing requirement, but is keeping a ban on sidewalk riding.

UC Davis is teaming with the city to reimagine Russel Boulevard, the busy thoroughfare that forms the northern border of the campus; the street carries 8,000 bike riders and 13,000 transit users each day, topping the daily 20,000 motorists that use the street.

 

National

The Bike League is offering 40 League Cycling Instructor scholarships for riders who are Black, Indigenous or people of color.

A Canadian Olympic cycling team hopeful wants help getting her bike back, after it was stolen from a convenience store while training in Tucson.

An Iowa public radio station talks with a student in the University of Iowa’s Medical Scientist Training Program about how he overcame a near-fatal bicycling crash.

In an unusual twist, a New York State pedestrian was ticketed for walking on the wrong side of the street after dark when a 63-year old bike rider slammed into him from behind; the pedestrian was apparently uninjured, but the woman on the bike suffered a serious head injury.

Ocean City NJ is planning to crackdown on teen “bike gangs” they accuse of menacing the city’s boardwalk.

A Savannah, Georgia woman says some of the happiest, most liberated people she knows ride bikes. No argument here.

 

International

Road.cc considers the best ti bikes, starting at a relatively low $1,700.

Cycling Tips finds what they call the silliest bike campaign on Kickstarter, a low-end carbon fiber mountain bike that appears to have been cobbled together using spare parts from Alibaba, China’s ubiquitous Amazon equivalent.

You’ve got to be kidding. An English city council member is accused of insulting overly sensitive Covid victims by saying that scrapping a temporary bike lane would be a tragedy.

Ireland’s Image magazine suggests several cute women’s outfits for your next bike ride. The outfits are cute, not necessarily the women wearing them. Although they might be, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

A trio of Ventura County TV stations offer an introduction to Ayesha McGowan, the first Black American women’s pro cyclist.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the coronavirus pandemic means you’ll have to ride naked by yourself. Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson is one of us, too.

And at last, a solution for the age old problem of never having a speed bump when and where you really need one.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

PA man tased and hogtied for buying bike while Black, and LADOT plans North Valley protected bike lane

As if Biking While Black wasn’t bad enough, you can add buying a bike while Black.

Pennsylvania police were caught on video tasing and hogtying a Black man who was buying a bike for his son at Walmart.

The store manager accused him of riding recklessly through the aisle and disturbing other shoppers, while some witnesses said he was just test riding the bike and telling people to have a nice day.

Police threw the book at him, filing charges of aggravated and simple assault, disarming a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, defiant trespass and disorderly conduct.

So instead of a bicycle for his birthday, his son will get to see his father behind bars.

And remarkably, it only took a single day for the DA to absolve the officers of any wrongdoing.

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LADOT appears to be waking from their coronavirus slumber.

In addition to new bike lanes in DTLA, they released videos explaining two upcoming projects, including this one in the North San Fernando Valley.

Let’s hope this is just the start of long-delayed action to make the streets safer for people on two wheels.

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CiclaValley takes you gravel riding up Mt. Lowe above Altadena.

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

A driver in Australia’s Queensland state is accused of intentionally crashing into five cars and three bike riders in eight separate incidents over a single three hour period; fortunately, no one was killed.

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

Police are looking for a bike-riding man who may have sexually assaulted two women on a Temecula bike path.

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Local

Metro Bike wants to know what you think about LA’s bikeshare system, with a chance to win a $200 gift card.

Los Angeles Magazine readers voted Helen’s Cycle’s the city’s best bike shop, although the magazine only seems to know about two of the LA area chain’s locations.

 

State

No bias here. Tomorrow Riverside police are planning yet another of the frequent safety operations targeting violations by bike riders and drivers that put bicyclists at risk. Yet My News LA, which usually does better, suggests the operation is targeting unsafe bicycling. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

The CHP blamed a bike rider for a Fresno collision, saying he shouldn’t have been riding  on the limited access highway.

A local news site has more on the death of 23-year old fixie rider Andrew Sanders, who died on Sunday following a crash with a skateboarder during last week’s Hill Bomb on San Francisco’s Dolores Street.

 

National

Google Maps is promising to up their bike game.

The newest version of the Lumos smart bike helmet set a Kickstarter record by raising nearly $3 million.

Seattle bike riders formed a line to protect marchers demanding racial, climate, economic, worker and social justice.

Denver bike shop owners say don’t count on getting a mountain bike until next year.

He gets it. An op-ed from a Colorado environmental design professor says this is the time to reinvent our roadways and how we use them while the coronavirus pandemic results in fewer cars on the streets.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike from a nonverbal autistic man in an Iowa town.

A Chicago Streetsblog editor teamed with a local weekly to publish an illustrated low-stress bicycle map of the city showing the most comfortable riding routes.

Good question. A Chicago public radio station wants to know what happened to 76 bicycles police seized from people at a recent protest.

A Champaign IL bike rider was pushed off his bike, punched in the mouth and robbed of his money by a knife-wielding man.

An Illinois hit-and-run driver turned himself in after smashing into a bike rider because he felt bad about what he’d done. Every hit-and-run driver should feel the same way. And do the same thing.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a sleepy driver got just 20 days for the fiery crash that killed a postal worker after lawmakers wiped negligent homicide off the books, which would have carried a two-year penalty. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a ghost bike installed for a Pittsburgh area man. Or any other ghost bike, for that matter.

 

International

Mexico City is expanding its bicycle network to encourage more riding during the Covid-19 crisis.

Kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a new bike for a British Columbia boy after his BMX bike was stolen.

He gets it, too. A writer for the conservative London Times calls on officials to stand up to anti-cycling NIMBYs if the “golden age of cycling” promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ever going to become a reality.

David Beckham is one of us, although Esquire seems more impressed with the former LA Galaxy and English soccer great’s shorts than anything else.

No bias here, either. A British taxi site blames an elderly man for damaging a cab with his bike and fists during a road rage incident, when the cab driver interfered in a dispute the older man was having with someone else after “purposely inconveniencing” other people on the road. Purposely inconveniencing people usually just means legally riding a bicycle in the roadway in front of impatient drivers.

The founders of music sharing platform SoundCloud are starting an all-inclusive ebike subscription service, beginning in Berlin.

Tern’s e-cargo bikes were among the first to exceed Germany’s still new safety standards.

German arts curator Hella Mewis was kidnapped by unknown assailants as she was riding her bicycle home from her office in Bagdad, Iraq Monday night.

Four Australian kids were killed by an alleged drunk and stoned in a horrifying crash as they walked on a sidewalk to get ice cream this past February; of the five cousins, only one boy who was riding a bicycle behind the others survived the brutal crash.

Despite the pandemic, bike and pedestrian deaths in Australia’s Queensland state are going the wrong way, with fatalities more than doubling compared to last year.

A road raging Singapore driver had his appeal for intentionally swerving into a bike rider denied, and will spend the next seven weeks behind bars; the rider he was arguing with got a $2,800 fine for his part in the dispute.

 

Competitive Cycling

Women’s pro cycling gets back to racing in Spain tomorrow after a four month coronavirus hiatus; the Women’s WorldTour fires up next week with the Strade Bianche.

 

Finally…

Who needs a front wheel when you’ve got a ski? Block parties are out, bike the block parties are in.

And bicycles are officially cool again.

As if they ever weren’t.

………

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

Endorsing Nithya Raman in LA’s CD4, bike riding reporter attacked by police, and this is who we share the road with

With everything going on these days, it’s easy to forget we have a city council election coming up this November in LA’s 4th Council District.

Bike the Vote LA is reminding you to get involved in any way you can to support Nithya Raman in the runoff against incumbent David Ryu, who only managed to become a belated supporter of safe streets and other urban issues after winning less than 50% of the vote in the March primary.

Which means, in any normal year, he’d be facing the worst reelection prospects of any sitting councilmember in years.

But this is anything but a normal year.

If the above hasn’t made it clear, though, Raman has my wholehearted support.

Not just because Ryu has repeatedly failed to support safer streets until his reelection was at risk, but because she’s always supported bicycling and safe streets.

And not just when it became expedient in an election year.

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

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Evidently, Portland isn’t the only place where bike riders and the press are under attack.

………

This is who we share the road with.

And a British celeb says she hates bicyclists and threatens to run them over — including her own husband.

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GCN explains why you might want to ride with a hole in your saddle.

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Looks like Martha Stewart is one of us.

Although I’d be more convinced id she’s actually throw a leg over that downtube.

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Looks like bike polo goes back a lot longer than some of us may have realized.

Okay, maybe just me.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the forwarding the tweet.

………

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

A bike-riding British woman was attacked with a stick in a “vicious and unprovoked attack” by the passenger in a passing white van.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the cruiser bike-riding man who sexually assaulted a woman on a Temecula bike path last week.

And he’ll be joined by the racist Calgary, Alberta bike rider who shouted ethnic slurs and spat on a couple.

………

Local

Forbes is favorably impressed with the body positive women’s kits from LA’s Machines for Freedom.

The West Hollywood City Council will be voting today on a much needed proposal to create a neighborhood greenway on the Willoughby, Vista and Gardner corridors; Streets For All is calling for everyone to get their comments in before 4 pm today.

Late night talk show host James Corden is one of us, as he hits the streets of Venice for a bike ride with his son.

Long Beach called on city workers to “pursue and implement” a citywide Safe Streets plan, including lane reductions, separated bike lanes, and measures to encourage more walking.

 

State

Calbike is urging you to call your state senator to support AB 3153, which would allow developers to build bike parking instead of more spaces for cars; Los Angeles has had a similar law on the books since 2013.

A Fresno bike rider was critically injured by an alleged intoxicated driver; police found a loaded syringe in the car and suspect he may have passed out behind the wheel.

You’ll have to wait another year to take part in America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride around Lake Tahoe.

 

National

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says it took a global pandemic to remind us that local bike shops are community lifelines. And just like that, I’ve already hit the new monthly limit of just four stories a month that was announced this past Thursday

Speaking of Bicycling, they recommend their favorite fat tired ebikes, with prices starting at just $1,199.

USA Today examines how the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a bike boom across the US.

Writing for Men’s Health, Peter Flax says everybody is riding gravel these days, even with just one leg.

An Anchorage AK reporter takes a ride on the 32-mile Moose Loop created by stitching together several existing bike paths; it gets its name because it sort of looks like a moose head on the map if you squint just right.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Wisconsin driver won’t face charges for running down a bike rider from behind; police blame the victim for not having lights on his bike, but the driver didn’t turn his on, either.

Ebike engine maker Bosch has teamed with Tern Bicycles, Stile Products, Inc. and Chicago’s B-Cycle bikeshare to provide dozens of ebikes and e-cargo bikes to Covid-19 aid groups in the Windy City.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a killer driver got a whole six months for taking the life of a man riding his bike — and he’ll only have to serve that on weekends. After all, they wouldn’t want to inconvenience him or anything.

The Boston Globe talks with basketball great Bill Walton about the sequel to the Bike for Humanity virtual fundraising bike ride this Saturday; the first ride raised over $100,000.

Sarah Jessica Parker is one of us, too, as the bikeshare user called on New York’s Citi Bike to move a docking station so a 101-year old restaurant could use the space for outdoor seating.

Steph and Ayesha Curry are two of us, going for a casual Orlando bike ride while they wait for the NBA season to resume.

Once again, authorities manage to keep a dangerous driver on the streets, as a drunken hit-and-run Florida driver who ran down a bike rider while driving at nearly twice the legal limit won’t spend a single day behind bars, and will lose her license for just one year.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers a beginner’s guide to buying an ebike.

Road.cc says your next bike should be a mountain bike; meanwhile, hardcore mountain bikers are heading to he hills of Mexico City.

A Canadian woman raised $40,000 to fight honor her late sister and fight ovarian cancer by riding 3,666 miles across the country in just 20 days. Which works out to an impressive average of 183 miles a day.

Ottawa bike couriers are responding to the drop off in business by making weed deliveries during the pandemic.

Sadly, it took the death of a young German scientist with “limitless potential” for a Quebec city to improve safety for bike riders.

The Paris bike boom is not a happy accident, but the result of years of planning to cut rising pollution levels.

Berlin is opening new Bicycle Streets in a pair of districts, giving people on bicycles the right-of-way and requiring drivers to adapt to their speeds. Although they could still use a little work.

One in four Japanese bike commuters began riding to avoid crowds during the coronavirus crisis.

Strangers rushed to rescue a Chinese woman after she rode her bike into a puddle, and suddenly found herself in water over her head.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could look like a very narrow shipping box with wheels and pedals. Raise your damn seat, already.

And now this is a fat bike.

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

Black Venice ebike rider alleged victim of racist attack, biking for Black Lives, and hilarious anti-bike screed

British tabloid The Sun offers a horrifying report of a grandmother who was clotheslined by a racist attacker while riding on the Venice Boardwalk.

She was allegedly pulled off her ebike with a steel cable, as her attacker yelled “That’s what you get for being black!”

While there are enough details to be credible, it’s troubling that no one appears to have reported the story in Los Angeles.

Or this side of the Atlantic, for that matter.

But assuming it’s true, there is simply no excuse. Period.

Anyone who could do something like that needs a good long stay behind bars.

………

Black Lives Matter protests and calls for police reform continue to reverberate around the country, with no sign of letting up.

The Beverly Press has a report on the bike ride and demonstration we mentioned on Monday, as over 600 people rode 14 miles from Hollywood to the Santa Monica Pier last weekend in a ride sponsored by the group Bike Rides for Black Lives.

Berkeley is removing responsibility for traffic stops from the police, and handing traffic enforcement to unarmed personnel.

Castelli officially unveils their Black Lives Matter jersey developed with bike rider and former NBA star Reggie Miler.

Bicycling talks with Grace Andersen, co-founder of a grassroots organization that fights for environmental justice and collective liberation.

Outside looks at why gravel race Dirty Kanza is changing its name, as the cycling world reckons with a racist, exclusionary past. And present, unfortunately.

New York’s largest bike education group is recommending a long list of police reforms, including more speed cams to reduce traffic stops, less biased enforcement, and better crash investigations. And for the NYPD to stop blaming victims.

After a North Carolina bike rider was hit by a driver who plowed through a group of protesters to escape a parking garage, the victim was ticketed for impeding traffic and not licensing his bike. The driver, on the other hand, was presumably given a pat on the back.

And the co-founder of a group that collects stories from Black, indigenous and people of color who ride bikes talks about what it’s like to bike while Black in today’s America. Including this line, which hits like a punch.

I wish that non-Black people understood what it’s like to never see people like you while out riding.

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Talk abut police behaving badly.

Police in Portland swarmed out from behind a van to tackle a bike rider, arresting him for disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.

Even though he doesn’t appear to be doing anything wrong.

Granted, it’s hard to say from a short 23-second clip; a longer clip shows a cop attempting to tackle him as he rode in the opposite direction.

And still not appearing to do anything to justify a violent takedown.

To make matters worse, Oregon Public Radio reported that federal officers in unmarked white vans are snatching bike riders off the streets with no warning or explanation, and stealing impounding their bicycles. And apparently without consulting the Portland police.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Stop whatever you’re doing, and spend the next two minutes watching what will probably be the funniest anti-bike screed you’ll hear today.

And be sure to watch these Bay Area parks commissioners try not to laugh.

Speaking strictly for myself, I take great pride in being “very arrogant and selfish.”

Not to mention stinky.

Thanks to Murph’s Tahoe for the link.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s trash day in East LA, evidently.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards photos of totally unrideable bike lanes on LA’s Eastside, forcing bike riders to fight it out in often unforgiving traffic.

Arizona Blvd bike lane. Photos by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Then there’s this one two hours later on Gerhart.

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Sunset for All is continuing their campaign to build support for Sunset Blvd bike lanes by showing local merchants the spending power of people who ride bikes.

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It looks like we’ll be linking to Bicycling a lot less.

The magazine is responding to the current economic climate and declining print revenues with a new $40 membership model.

The upside is a lot of new benefits. The downside, you’ll be limited just four articles a month without paying upfront.

And some stories will now be limited members only.

I get why they’re doing it.

But in the process, they’re likely to lose the beginning and casual riders who aren’t committed enough to spend $40 dollars for a bike magazine. And who we need most to keep the sport of cycling, as well as everyday riding, growing.

But at least we can still link to their stories on Yahoo.

Like this expert guide gravel grinding, and an explanation of just what the heck people mean by gravel.

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A new short film looks at a pair of bike-riding, mariachi-playing SoCal sisters.

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That feeling when your tweet is better than the PSA it promotes.

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

Sacramento police say a driver’s actions appear to be intentional, after he rammed two separate bike riders at intersections three blocks apart; both victims are expected to survive despite suffering major injuries.

A Houston bike rider was shot in the head by a road raging driver who chased him into a church parking lot, after the two argued at a service station; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

Hoboken NJ officials blamed miscommunication for ripping up a bike lane for street resurfacing, just weeks after it was painted.

No bias here. French lawmakers laughed out loud when the new prime minister heaped praise on ebike bikes, saying they’ll shorten distances and multiply the use of bicycles. Which somehow doesn’t seem that funny.

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

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a man who made his escape on a little pink bicycle after walking out of a market with nearly $700 worth of fish.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says DTLA’s new bus lanes and bike lanes are just about ready to go, even if they won’t be officially unveiled until next month.

Metro has issued their second monthly report from the Covid-19 Recovery Task Force to “get LA County back on our feet, pedals, wheels and rails.”

Long Beach became the 12th California city to adopt Vision Zero after losing a collective $1.46 billion to traffic crashes between 2013 and 2017.

 

State

San Diego residents are urged to take part in the second virtual Bike For Humanity; April’s first edition saw several thousand bike riders raise over $100,000.

Orlando Bloom is one of us, and so was his teacup poodle before it went missing in Montecito.

Sad news from Visalia, where a man was killed on Tuesday when his bike was run down by an allegedly intoxicated driver.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition will hold their Bike Summit online next month.

San Francisco’s Slow Streets program continues to grow, adding 14 more roadways to free up space for walking and biking during the pandemic.

A San Francisco reporter hops on his bike to track down a weird hum reverberating through the city, before discovering it’s coming from the new railing on the Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently, he hasn’t been reading the news.

A Bay Area writer makes the case for riding on a $119 frame and fork.

 

National

Learn how to build bike frames online with mountain bike Hall of Fame Paul Brodie.

Online retailer Planet Bike donated a total of over $22,000 to eleven bicycle organizations throughout the US.

Now you, too, can be a Strava local legend.

Bloomberg frets that Americans working and shopping from home could reduce US driving rates by up to 270 billion miles a year, with dire consequences for the auto industry. So maybe there’s hope yet.

Conde Nast Traveler says it’s the summer of the bicycle, and talks with the women it says are leading the way — including a Los Angeles actress who traded her motorcycle for a bicycle when the coronavirus lockdown hit.

Bullshit. A Utah tandem rider was was killed and his partner critically injured after a driver swears they swerved in front of him, even though he says he didn’t see them until the last second.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where a driver walked without a day behind bars for killing a seven-year old boy when he drifted across the fog line and struck the boy’s bike.

After a Colorado boy’s bike was stolen on his seventh birthday, kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy him a new one — and ended up giving him a gift card when his aunt bought him a new bike first.

Colorado Springs police release body cam video of the confrontation that resulted in the death of a poplar longtime bike shop employee.

If Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI cross-state ride has been on your bike bucket list, now you can join in from the comfort of your own home.

A legendary Houston lawyer passed away after contracting Covid-19 while he was in a rehab facility, after spending a week in a coma when his bike tire got caught in an expansion seam in the roadway; he was 79.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a driver slammed into two 14-year old boys who were riding their bikes with a friend on the shoulder of a roadway; one boy was killed at the scene and the other is in critical condition.

Schwinn bikes are about to be made in the US for the first time in decades, as production begins in Detroit on a limited reproduction of the classic 1965 Collegiate model, which will be sold through Walmart for about a grand.

An Ohio town wants to turn half of a divided highway into a walking and biking trail. Let’s do that here with the 10 Freeway. And the 405. 

She gets it. A Vanderbilt professor says Nashville’s driver-first culture must change to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

A 32-year old New York woman who grew up in Cameroon took advantage of the lockdown to learn how to ride a bike for the first time.

A Georgia driver learns the hard way that if you’re going to run down a bike rider, try not to make it someone who literally wrote the new vulnerable user law.

A sure sign you’ve got more dollars than sense — dropping a cool 25 grand on a Gucci bicycle while shopping in Miami.

 

International

In the immortal words of ZZ Top, get yourself some cheap sunglasses.

The world’s mayors call for a recovery that gets more cars off the streets.

Kindhearted English police helped replace over $3,700 worth of mountain bikes that were stolen from a local scout group.

A British bike rider was punched in the head by a thief who stole his ebike.

Welsh police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who collided with a 16-year old boy riding a bike, sending him to the hospital, and may have hit some pedestrians, as well.

Police in the UK attempted to arrest a man for stealing a bicycle. And found over 100 allegedly purloined bikes in his house.

Add a handful of Swedish mountain bike parks to your bike bucket list.

Monaco’s Princess Charlene is sort of one of us, as she trains for a marathon race across the Mediterranean. No, literally across it.

A 45-year old woman who can barely walk supports her family of seven — including her mentally ill brother — by earning up to $3 a day as the only female bike mechanic in her Indian state.

There are fears India’s bike boom could be short-lived.

Bicyclists in Australia’s Victoria state can be fined $1652 — the equivalent of $1155 US — for exercising outside their local area under the state’s lockdown rules.

A fascinating Australian study examines why drivers keep passing too close, and what you can do about it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Red Bull says two-time world ‘cross champ Evie Richards had to slow down to find enduring success.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner is nearing the launch of his new bike line, after he and his last line were unceremoniously screwed over by Trek for casting what turned out to be correct aspersions towards Lance.

 

Finally…

Try this chainless bike the next time you want to freak out the gang on the donut ride. A tisket, a tasket, take your dog in a basket.

And is it just me, or is an e-balance bike just another name for a bike-shaped scooter?

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It’s always a nice surprise to get an unexpected contribution. So thanks to John H for his very generous donation to support this site. And for the nice note to life my spirits. 

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

Newport Beach driver plows through demonstrators and hits bicyclist, and LAPD abandons bike after arresting rider

Apparently, bike riders aren’t even safe from drivers during a protest march.

A Newport Beach driver was apparently surprised to discover the city’s Balboa Boulevard filled with protesters demanding justice for George Floyd.

But instead of hitting the brakes, or simply turning around, like any reasonable person would, he plowed through the assembled crowd, parting people like Moses parting the seas, until finally hitting someone.

Make that someone on a bike.

Naturally.

There’s no word on whether the victim was injured.

Remarkably, though, a Newport Beach Police spokeswoman insisted it doesn’t seem to have been intentional.

Because evidently, it’s just so damn easy to plow through a couple hundred people without even slowing down by mistake.

And if that’s not enough, the cops let him keep — and use — his phone while they investigated.

Because it couldn’t possibly be evidence or anything.

………

Speaking of the protests, we have a lot to catch up on since, uh, yesterday.

An LAPD officer demonstrates that sometimes hit-and-run drivers are the ones tasked with stopping people who flee the scene after crashes.

Although his decision is a little easier to understand considering what happened just a day earlier.

Especially if any damage to the car comes out of his or her pay.

Meanwhile, nothing like responding to protists over police violence towards black people with still more police violence, this time directed towards people on bicycles.

New York officials credit pulling the plug on the city’s bikeshare and rental scooters after curfew with calming looting and violent demonstrations. On the other hand, it’s also blamed for stranding numerous peaceful demonstrators, leaving them at the mercy of violent cops (see above).

Police across the US are using their bicycles as weapons and defense shields.

And if you’re missing your bike after getting arrested on Tuesday, a kind neighbor could be holding it for you.

Even though the LAPD should be responsible for securing bicycles belonging to anyone who gets arrested, rather than just leaving them behind to be stolen or tossed out with the trash.

They’re someone’s property. And have real monetary value.

Or would they just leave someone’s car sitting unlocked with the key in the ignition?

………

Then there’s this, from off the northern Scottish coast.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Brilliant idea.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’ queen doesn’t need a car to get around. Or police and tear gas to clear a path, for that matter.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the jerks who found humor in filming a bike-riding woman in the UK as they sprayed her with some sort of orange condiment. Then again, the same is true for anyone who sprays or throws anything at someone on a bike. Let alone films it for their twisted entertainment.

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

Police in Mobile, Alabama are looking for a gunman who shot a man and woman in an apparently random bike-by shooting.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Congratulations to OC bike advocate and tandem aficionado Mike Wilkinson on the official unveiling of the new Tandem Classifieds website.

 

National

A new Democratic transportation bill would require Complete Streets in urban areas, and ban states from setting higher goals for traffic deaths.

Self-driving cars could just make traffic worse, not better.

Outside offers a video guide on how to change your caliper brake pads.

Gear Patrol has advice on how to buy a used bike on the internet — including to be careful on sites like Craigslist, where too many of the bike for sale don’t belong to the people selling them. Then again, it’s not the best place to look for a dog, either.

Gear Junkie rates the year’s best mountain bike helmets, while a European study rated the continent’s best bike helmets, not all of which you can find over here.

Nogales AZ border crossers are turning to bicycles to avoid the long lines waiting to cross into Mexico, and vice versa.

The New York Times says the benefits of ebikes far outweigh the disadvantages, especially during a pandemic.

 

International

An environmental website says bicycling is having a historic moment, so let’s not waste the opportunity to make it safer and more inclusive.

He gets it. The head of the UK’s equivalent of AAA says the country needs to radically rethink its approach to the street to encourage more people to walk and bike, including charging drivers for every mile over the first 3,000 — or 4,000 for people in rural areas.

British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is one of us. Although she might be regretting that right now after falling off her bike.

Scottish officials say speeding drivers are “deeply worrying” with more bike riders on the road, as the proportion of drivers exceeding the speed limit rises to one in three since the coronavirus lockdown began.

We already know Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is one of us, as he marks World Bicycle Day with a bizarre parade featuring 7,500 green-clad bicyclists.

India’s Bicycle Mayors use World Bicycle Day to promote bikes as a viable green alternative to public transport during the pandemic. Even if the celebration had to be virtual this year.

Cambodian officials confiscated the bikes of environmental advocates intending to highlight concerns over a protected island, and demanded they sign an unspecified agreement, forcing them to walk back.

Manilla nixes pop-up bike lanes, telling inexperienced riders to just stick to the side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

French track sprinter Grégory Baugé says racism exists everywhere, including the highest levels of pro cycling. Which should be evident, if only from the light hue of the pro peloton.

He gets it. Writing for Bicycling, former editor Joe Lindsey says it’s time to just let Lance go and move on, already.

Or as a wise man once put it,

 

Finally…

At last, a bike riding app designed to avoid other people. Bikes aren’t the new toilet paper, they’re the new hand sanitizer.

And if you get a ticket for riding your bike 55 mph in a 40 mph zone, just frame the damn thing, already.

………

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

Morning Links: A deep dive into fake bikes, Ford says share the Euro roads, and kid beaten by cops for no helmet

Before we get started, I hope you’ll join me in wishing a safe and happy journey to my oldest brother, who switched from Iditarod sled dog racing to dreaming of riding RAAM. And who is setting out today for a month-long bike tour through the Colorado and Wyoming high country.

No, really.

I’m only a lot jealous.

Photo by Eric Rogers, before he left the wilds of Alaska for the slightly more civilized confines of Colorado’s West Slope.

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Bike Biz takes a deep dive into the world of fake bike gear, with a 20-part series on the wide world of bicycle counterfeiting.

Here’s just a few of the highlights.

Knockoffs are nearly as old as the first bicycle.

People buy Foakleys — aka fake Oakleys — because they feel like they’re being ripped off. And not by the fakes.

Specialized’s fake fighter in chief has been running down counterfeit Specialized parts for the past 10 years, earning the Mandarin nickname “Tiger watching the Tigers.” Meanwhile, lawyers fighting Chinese fakes are just playing whack-a-mole.

How to tell which fakes are safe to use, and which will give out on you.

Your new Pinarello could be spelled a little differently.

You don’t want to count on a counterfeit when your skull is at risk.

And you really don’t want to take on the organized crime triads behind the fakes. But bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid did anyway.

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Ford says it’s time to share the roads, and see them from someone else’s perspective. At least in Europe.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

New Zealand police tackle and punch a 13-year old boy for the crime of riding a bicycle in a park without a helmet.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

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A painful read from women’s pro Molly Weaver, who confronts the depression brought on by a series of collisions with drivers, resulting in numerous broken bones and concussions, as she decides to take her leave from the sport.

At the end of the day, the reality is that the majority of us as female cyclists are riding on passion and love for the sport alone. We don’t earn anywhere near a minimum wage, and so once the joy is lost there’s not much else to carry on for.

It’s not an easy read. But it’s worth it for a rare view into the struggles of women’s cyclists.

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Let’s catch up on a few post-holiday events.

BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass will join with members of the Santa Monica Police Department to answer your questions about road safety, equity and the rights of bicyclists tomorrow night.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility and Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program are hosting a ride this Saturday to mark Pride Month and remember the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting this Saturday.

Bike SGV and Women on Wheels are holding a Dam(sel) Ride along the San Gabriel River to the Cogswell Dam on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, LA’s most popular fund raising ride rolls with the LACBC’s 18th annual River Ride along the LA River Bike Path; all the proceeds go to supporting their efforts to bring you a more bikeable LA.

Whatever you do, get out and celebrate World Bicycle Day this Sunday.

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Local

The Western Avenue Great Streets Project could be expanding in scope based on public feedback, including powder-coated bike racks. But still no safe way to get to them.

The area surrounding UCLA and Westwood Village voted to split off into a separate neighborhood council, which should provide more support for bicycling and other long-stymied activities in the area.

Metro votes to cut prices for the Metro Bike bikeshare and expand the system into Silver Lake, Koreatown and Expo Park, as well as Culver City, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey. But again, without providing safe streets to ride them on.

Streetsblog looks at the new one-block long sort-of protected bike lane on 7th Street in DTLA, which has already proven popular with Uber drivers.

Now that’s impressive. A group of cyclists somehow managed to raise $100,000 by riding 1,000 miles from Watts to Oxnard and back. Especially since the two communities are a little more than 50 miles apart.

 

State

San Francisco walking advocates call for installing a raised intersection to slow traffic and improve safety.

A San Francisco writer says the new litmus test for when you’re too old isn’t how loud the music is, but your tolerance for dockless bikeshare bikes leaned up against trees.

The Oakland bike community is in mourning over the death of the man known to most as Tall Paul, who spent decades building custom bikes and giving them away to kids with good report cards. A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little more than $1,800 of the $8,500 goal to pay for his funeral.

Where to ride on your next trip up to Sacramento and Stockton.

 

National

A new documentary tells the story of a 22-year old American who rode his bike around the world — including a 10,000 mile journey across the Arctic.

Nothing to worry about here. The self-driving Uber car that killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, spotted her before the crash but didn’t hit the brakes because the company disconnected the car’s automatic braking system.

An Arizona writer considers why some drivers hate us for no apparent reason. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

Here’s your chance to ride Colorado’s famed Tour of the Moon course, made famous in the movie American Flyers and the legendary Coors Classic stage race.

Thieves are cutting locks and stealing bicycles in downtown Denver. Which makes it pretty much like every other downtown in the US. And why you need to register your bike now

A sports columnist discovers the camaraderie inherent with any bike club, but specifically a Tulsa OK riding club where women turn to deal with health problems and other issues.

Horrible reminder that hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, as bike rider was found dead along a Texas highway, the apparent victim of a heartless coward behind the wheel. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A new exhibit at a Wisconsin art museum considers the art of designing Trek bicycles. Maybe they have a special section in the exhibit on the art of intimidating anyone who — correctly, as it turns out — accused Lance of doping.

Speaking of Wisconsin, if you want to get drunk and ride your bike, move there or one of the other 28 states that don’t have a BUI law on the books. One of which is not California.

Tragic news from Indianapolis, where a man on a bicycle was killed in a crash with a trio of motorcyclists, one of whom also died as a result; witnesses said the motorcycle riders were speeding and popping wheelies before crashing into the bicycle rider.

New York officials knew a bike path was easily accessible to drivers before last year’s Halloween terrorist attack, but did nothing to stop it until it was too late; it’s unclear what permanent changes will be made to protect riders.

Smart. Instead of ticketing kids for performing stunts on their bikes, the Patterson NJ police department hosted a Wheelie Race and Stunts competition.

I know you are but what am I? Someone hacked road signs along a North Carolina triathlon route to call bicyclists idiots and assholes on bikes.

 

International

A writer for Digital Trends says e-mountain bikes straddle the line between extravagance and necessity, while allowing riders to hit the trails without the skill to do it successfully.

The Weather Channel offers advice on how to ride in the Canadian heat. All of which applies here where it gets a lot hotter.

Another reminder to always ride carefully in a group, as an Ontario, Canada cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision with two other riders in a newly formed bike club.

You don’t need insurance to ride a bicycle in Europe, but you will to ride an ebike if it can go over 15 mph.

London’s walking and bicycling chief says the city’s cyclists are too white, too middle class and too male, with people who don’t match that description making up just 15% of London bike riders. On the other hand, at least they have a walking and bicycling chief, unlike some SoCal metropolises I could name.

Madrid will ban cars from the city center this fall, with the exception of people who actually live there and zero-emission cabs and trucks.

Rihanna is teaming with Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo to give bikes to girls in Malawi to help make education more accessible.

A South African driver gets ten years for killing two bike riders in a 5am crash as he was leaving a nightclub; the wreck reportedly scared several riders off their bikes.

New stickers applied directly to the pavement tell Seoul, Korea cyclists to get off their bikes when using crosswalks.

Great idea. Public bikeshare riders in Taipei, Taiwan will now be automatically insured whenever they rent a bike.

Beijing is about to begin work on a four-mile bicycle highway.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, it’s no spoiler to say Chris Froome won the Giro with a spectacular solo breakaway on Thursday, becoming one of a handful of cyclists to win all three grand tours.

However, Peter Flax complains that Froome should never have competed under the cloud of a failed drug test, and stirs controversy in the comments by questioning what fueled that ride.

Now Froome turns his attention to winning a record-tying fifth Tour de France, unless that doping cloud turns into a storm. And yes, Lance won seven, but we’re all pretending that never happened.

 

Finally…

Park in a bike path, get a yellow card. Your old bike tires could end up under Canadian horse hooves.

And forget a helmet; be sure to wear your app-controlled brain stimulator.

 

Morning Links: 2nd officer faulted for beating of South LA bike rider, and a sad old song about careless drivers

According to the LA Times, another LAPD officer has been found at fault in the videotaped beating of a bike rider in South LA.

Clinton Alford fled from police when they ordered him to stop as he rode his bike on the sidewalk along Avalon Blvd last October; he claimed they failed to identify themselves as police officers, and only ran when someone grabbed the wheel of his bike.

Once they caught up to him, he reportedly laid down voluntarily and put his hands behind his back, making no attempt to resist as officers restrained him.

Despite that, an officer identified as Richard Garcia allegedly began kicking and beating him, reportedly lining up to kick his head like it was a football. Garcia faces an assault charge for the attack, which was captured on a nearby security camera.

Now the Police Commission has agreed with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck that a second unidentified officer also violated the department’s use of force policies by kicking Alford and standing on his feet.

It will be up to Beck to decide if either cop should face retraining, suspension or lose their jobs.

You can guess which one I’d vote for, although, as a personnel matter, we’ll probably never know what he decides.

Not surprisingly, charges against Alford for possession and resisting arrest were dropped once news of the beating surfaced.

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Evidently, careless drivers have been a problem for a long time, as this song attests.

Maybe it’s time for a more modern remake.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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New Zealander Linda Villumsen won Tuesday’s women’s elite time trial at the world championships; American great Kristin Armstrong just missed the podium finish that would have guaranteed her a spot on the US team for next year’s Rio Olympics.

Germany’s Tony Martin looks to regain his world time trial title in Wednesday’s race, while Russia’s Artem Ovechkin pulls out due to the death of his mother. Former pro Matt Crane is content to watch from the sidelines of an event he competed in 11 years ago as a U23 rider.

Allie Dragoo was bumped from the American women’s team at the last minute in favor of her pro teammate Lauren Komanski after an arbitrator’s ruling; the explanation for the decision will come long after the championships are over. Something tells me one of them will have to find a new team for next year.

Cycling’s governing body announces reforms for the coming years; whether it is enough to stabilize the sport is TBD.

What happens when pro cyclists — and everyday riders — take a wrong turn or two. And things five pro cyclists do every day to stay on top of their game.

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Local

You’re invited to attend a press conference to support Central Avenue bike lanes and safer streets in South LA today, starting at 5 pm at the intersection of Vernon and Central Aves. This comes after recent efforts by Councilmember Curren Price to remove planned Central Avenue bike lanes from the Mobility Plan, despite the obvious need for them.

Streetsblog looks at how LA can create a more walkable Downtown, which translates into better livability and bikeability, as well.

A member of the Burbank Transportation Commission says the planned Western Channel Bikeway Phase II pathway will improve active mobility access for people walking and on bikes. They could come up with a catchier name, though.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks at the newly signed bill allowing bicycle ticket diversion classes, and notes that the LACBC has expressed an interest in conducting classes here in LA. Curbed LA takes a look, as well.

Fullerton decides to install temporary bike lanes and traffic circles to test out how they work on a city street, with a goal of eventually establishing a bike boulevard. Testing things like that prior to permanent installation provides an opportunity to overcome the inevitable bikelash by showing the sky will not, in fact, fall.

It’s war over Complete Streets in Encinitas, as one member of the city’s Traffic and Public Safety Commission is essentially blackmailed to resign by a fellow commissioner for promoting a “bicyclist agenda.” He also describes Complete Streets as a “recreational religion” that’s too radical for the city. Even though Complete Streets is the official policy of the state, and contained in the current federal transportation bill.

The Coronado Inn encourages people to enjoy a tandem bike ride in the city where residents nearly revolted recently over plans for a bike path. I’ll pass, thank you.

The battle between equestrians and mountain bikers moves up to the East Bay, as cyclists campaign for the right to ride Lamorinda trails currently reserved for horses.

Sadly, a bicyclist lost his life in a Sacramento collision Tuesday morning; no details were available as of this posting.

 

National

A Portland cyclist meets the Good Samaritan who saved his life when he collapsed with a heart attack following a ride.

An Indiana man is arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance after leaving a badly injured bike rider lying in a ditch. The schmuck driver first claimed he thought he hit a deer — even though deer seldom use a red blinkie and a reflective triangle — then changed his story to say the cyclist veered into his path while riding from the opposite direction; police determined the rider was actually run down from behind.

The rich get richer. New York hit 1,000 miles of bike lanes on Tuesday, though not everyone is happy about it.

Comcast turns to bikes to get around traffic problems caused by the pope’s visit to Philadelphia. Speaking of which, the formerly bike riding pontiff will get a new bike with angelic chain guard from Philly’s own Breezer Bikes.

North Carolina bike advocates beat down an attempt to ban road diets in the state legislature.

 

International

Now this I like. A British company has designed a bike parking system that allows members to secure their bikes with a specially treated one-inch steel bar.

London is creating three new bike and pedestrian friendly mini-Hollands it hopes will spread throughout the city. Maybe LA should try that approach; other districts might beg for road diets and walkable, bikeable streets once they see what a difference it can make for businesses and livability.

The Guardian looks at five of the best scenic bike rides in Wales. One day I hope to take the Corgi to visit to her ancestral homeland so she can watch the herds of wild Corgis roam the Welsh Serengeti.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider captures a first-person perspective of flipping over an empty wheelchair that was pushed into his path without warning; you can see the speed gauge on his Garmin go from 24 to zero within seconds as he flops onto the street.

 

Finally…

When you’re wearing body armor and carrying a concealed handgun and a broken-down shotgun on your bike, don’t stop to break into someone’s home as you travel on your way. If you’re getting low on your wife’s favorite coffee, it’s worth taking a ferry across the channel and biking along the coast of France to bring back 64 pounds of it.

And caught on video: Why carry your cross bike up the stairs when you can just bunny hop them in rapid succession?

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In case you missed it, you can find yesterday’s late arriving and extremely lengthy Morning Links here.

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