Tag Archive for prejudice

Hate crimes targeting — or by —  bike riders, Apple Maps adds bike directions, and a Rad restoration on demand

Sadly, today’s common theme is hate crimes, with a bicycle connection.

A white Cleveland man faces hate charges for deliberately driving onto a lawn and into a group of black teenagers, after a man at the house told him he couldn’t fix the driver’s bicycle.

A pair of Connecticut men face a raft of charges, including a hate count, for intentionally running three juvenile bike riders off the road with their car while shouting racial slurs, then jumping out and stealing one of their bikes after the kids wisely ran off.

English police are looking for a white BMX rider who shouted a racially abusive comment at a woman walking in the roadway; unlike in the US, hate speech is banned in the UK.

However, there was some good news, as over a thousand people turned out for a Milwaukee bike ride to spread the message that Black is Beautiful.

Photo by Johan Bos from Pexels

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In better news, Apple is adding turn-by-turn bicycle directions to Apple Maps in the next iOS upgrade.

Although a writer for Mashable says if the demo is any indication, the new bike route feature is off to a terrible start by sending riders on routes no one should ever use.

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A 4K restoration of 1980’s BMX classic Rad will be released on video on demand next month.

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Bolivian bus drivers get a feel for what a close pass from a bus feels like.

And it ain’t pretty.

https://twitter.com/carlosfgarciac/status/1274368229792722946

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Local

The Source looks at the upcoming project to build bus lanes and left-side protected bike lanes on 5th and 6th Streets in DTLA, though there’s no word on filling the seven block gap caused by two lousy blocks of parking.

You won’t need to worry about getting doored on Santa Monica’s Main Street anytime soon, where the city will replace street parking with al fresco dining while maintaining the existing bike lanes, with k-rails separating the two so you won’t sneeze on anyone’s food, as one letter writer insisted a week or two back.

 

State

An Oxnard bike rider suffered broken ribs and a back fracture when he was right hooked by a driver. Oddly, the Ventura County Star insists on mentioning that he wasn’t wearing a helmet, which wouldn’t have done anything to prevent his injuries.

An Orange Grove band director is riding his bike 420 miles from his UCLA alma mater back up to the city to raise funds to make up for the coronavirus crisis cancelling the school’s usual fundraising efforts.

 

National

National Geographic considers how bicycles changed the world, impacting virtually every aspect of life. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Cycling Industry News attempts to document the first chapter of the coronavirus bike boom.

Women’s Day lists nine online retailers where you can buy a bicycle, assuming they still have some left. Although you’re usually better off ordering through your local bike shop to ensure you’ll get one that meets your needs, and get hands-on service for your new bike.

Gear Patrol looks back at the birth of Oakley when founder Jim Jannard sold motorcycle gear out of the trunk of his car; the company was named after his English Setter.

Jump bikes may be disappearing from most places following their purchase by Lime, but they’re returning to Seattle as the city’s sole bikeshare provider.

Seattle-based RadPower’s newest ebike breaks the elusive $1,000 barrier for non-Chinese ebikes, at least to start.

Austin TX bike riders are about to get a popup bike lane leading to the state capitol building to aid in social distancing, in a state where it’s becoming more necessary every day.

Providence RI is launching a campaign to call attention to the city’s bike lanes.

Don’t count on bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge anytime soon, though it remains under discussion.

It’s open season on bike riders in Gotham, where three bike riders have been killed in New York City in just two weeks.

 

International

City Beat reminds us of the power of e-cargo bikes in rethinking our streets.

A Vancouver park reopened to car traffic, but with half of the roadway reserved for people on bicycles and on foot.

Once again, authorities failed to keep a deadly driver off the roads, after an Ontario woman was arrested for driving at twice the legal alcohol limit after serving less than half of a seven year sentence for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, then fleeing from police at speeds up to 124 mph; she also received a ten year ban on driving, which clearly didn’t deter her.

Bike-riding BBC host Jeremy Vine steps up when his neighbor’s bike was stolen, and Britain’s biggest bike chain stepped in to give the nurse with the National Health Service a new bicycle.

Another British bike shop chain is on the brink of going belly up, as GoOutdoors faces the equivalent of bankruptcy.

A Manilla business site says it took a pandemic for the country’s leaders to take bicycling seriously. Unfortunately, even that hasn’t done the job in the US yet.

One of the Philippines greatest national heroes had a simple wish in the final year of his life, before he was executed by Spanish colonial rulers in 1896 — a bicycle, which he never got.

Australia is urged to raise the power and speed of ebikes to get people out of their cars and ease post-pandemic congestion; the country currently limits ebike speeds to just 15 mph.

 

Competitive Cycling

Car racing and Paralympic champ Alex Zanardi in stable condition in a medically induced coma, but remains in grave neurological condition, following a horrific crash in an Italian handcycle race.

SoCal’s Tour of Flanders-winning national road champ Coryn Rivera reveals the diet that helps her cross the finish line in first place.

 

Finally…

Legendary cowboy actor Tom Mix rode more than horses. Lachlan Morton’s record-setting effort to ride the height of Mt. Everest twice in one week was overshadowed by a less than 50-mile pedal bike rideby a two-year old.

And documenting a truly Legendary bike build.

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Surprisingly, donations keep coming in to support this site. Thanks to Michael W for his generous donation to keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

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

Contemplating otherness

After the excitement of election day, I spent most of the past week trying to figure out just what it all meant.

The election of the nation’s first African-American president, followed shortly thereafter by the heart-breaking results on Prop 8. And at the same time, the meaning of bikeism, after a stomach-wrenching report of a deliberate attack on a group of Aussie cyclists.

And contemplating the confluence of these seemingly unrelated events.

It took awhile to penetrate my sluggish grey matter, but it finally sank in that what these events all had in common was the concept of otherness — the objectification of people who are, somehow, found to be different from those judging them.

Just as the people in that car down under saw themselves as somehow different from, and therefore superior to, the “wankers” on their bikes, and so decided they were deserving of death.

Just as 52% of the voters in California saw themselves as somehow different from, and therefore superior to, a minority population, and so decided they were undeserving of equality under the law.

And just as a sizable minority of the population tried to convince Americans that Barrack Obama was a closeted Muslim, and someone who would betray the U.S. to its enemies, and therefore undeserving of being elected president. A canard impressive for its sheer audacity, since it was based on two simultaneous fallacies — first that Obama was/is a Muslim, and second, that there is something inherently wrong with the Islamic faith, rather than a relative handful who profess to follow it.

Fortunately, most Americans had the intelligence to see through the lies; to see the man, rather than the fraudulent image some had tried to create.

If only the voters in California had shown the same insight.

Over the past week, the news has been full of people who said they voted against same-sex marriage because they felt homosexuality — and therefore, gay marriage — was a moral failure, rather than a civil rights issue. Never mind that by voting yes on 8, they condemned gays to second-class status under the state constitution. And no one I know ever chose to be gay, any more than I chose to be white or my next door neighbor choose to be black.

On the other hand, bicycling is a choice, yet one that is protected under the law. And certainly not one which justifies the hatred and violent vigilantism demonstrated by the Australian attack, or by the good doctor’s Mandeville brake check.

What these all have in common is the objectification of another human being. Because it’s hard — if not impossible — to attack other people, physically or otherwise, if you see them as equals. As real human beings, with needs and desires, families and emotions.

But if you can classify them in some way as different from yourself — as an Islamic terroist, a faggot or an arrogant, obnoxious cyclist — you no longer have to show them the courtesy and respect that is the birthright of every human. And then it becomes easy to attack them physically, emotionally, or legally.

Something I’ll try to remember then next time some driver cuts me off or passes too close, and I’m tempted to curse all drivers — a category that includes virtually everyone I know.

Including myself.

 

Gary and Lauren write about some of the No on 8 protests; this one made it almost impossible for me to get home last week, and kept us awake as the helicopters and sirens continued well past midnight. But if that’s why you’re protesting, you can keep me up anytime. Alex writes about last weekend’s RoboRide, while Bike Snob describes his first SoCal Critical Mass — including an unfortunate Raccoon encounter. Around here, even the famous bike — and get hurt; actor James Cromwell was hospitalized over the weekend with a broken collarbone following a weekend bike accident. A Times writer got robbed by another cyclist while riding her bike. According to the LA Creek Freak, the city is finally going to get around to closing some of the gaps in the L.A. River bikeway. Finally, a happy Veteran’s Day to all those who’ve served their country; CNN reports on a Loma Linda vet who was held in a POW camp at Buchenwald.

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