Tag Archive for protected bike lanes

Long Beach downgrades planned protected bike lane, de León gets bike-friendly, and biking where Black or Brown

Long Beach may be one of the most bike-friendly cities in Southern California.

But that doesn’t mean they always get it right.

Yesterday, we mentioned that Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tonight to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

But what they failed to mention is that original plans called for a protected bike lane.

Which is a pretty major downgrade to a bunch of signs and maybe a few sharrows.

West Long Beach is no exception as this type of lack of safety, particularly along bicycle corridors, has been addressed by urban planners and traffic engineers nationwide through the use of the “8-80 rule.”

It basically goes as such: Would you feel comfortable letting an eight-year-old ride down the street with an 80-year-old as their guide? If your answer is even a remote hesitation, planners feel that road requires “8-80 facilities,” or fully protected bike lanes with bollards and parking as buffers before aligning directly with traffic.

Santa Fe Avenue, according to our own city’s Master Bicycle Plan (Appendix E), is such a facility. These bike lanes are typically Class I bike paths: They do not share, in any capacity, their space with cars.

And yet, for reasons known only to city planners, this ostensibly bike and pedestrian friendly city is going out of their way to maintain the automotive hegemony on this corridor.

Not to mention keeping it dangerous, if not deadly, for anyone who isn’t in a motor vehicle.

It’s up to you to tell Long Beach that’s not good enough.

If you walk or ride in the area, or would like to if it was safer, you owe it to yourself to attend tonight’s virtual meeting.

The virtual meeting—set to be presented in English with interpreters for Khmer, Spanish, and Tagalog speakers on hand—begins at 6PM on Thursday, Oct. 7. To register for the Zoom meeting, click here. For those using phones, you may also call 213-338-8477 and enter the meeting using the following ID: 998 6180 2751. Anyone wanting more information can contact the Public Works Department at contactlbpw@longeach.gov or 562-570-6383.

Thanks to Brian Addison for the heads-up.

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CD14 Councilmember and 2022 mayoral candidate Kevin de León has fired a shot across the bow for next year’s campaign, staking out a transit, bike and pedestrian friendly position with a series of motions introduced in the LA city council on Wednesday.

Click through to read the motions.

The fifth motion not mentioned above calls for studying the purchase of more electric mini-street sweepers to keep protected bike lanes clean, as well as the possibility of buying hybrid electric street sweepers.

Although a street sweeper that could keep cars out would help a lot more.

The most interesting motion calls for closing one block segments of some Downtown Streets to car traffic, including

  • Grand Ave between 1st and 2nd
  • Broadway between 3rd and 4th
  • Traction Ave between 3rd and Hewitt

However, a far better option would be to pedestrianize the full length of Broadway, from City Hall south to at least 8th Street.

And while placing bike lanes on the uphill side of some streets and sharrows on the downhill side has some promise, the question becomes whether it would work in practice, since drivers tend to pick up speed going downhill, often far in excess of the speed limit.

Which wouldn’t exactly be comfortable, or safe.

The bigger problem is the motions don’t call for actually doing anything other than conducting yet another a study. Or rather five studies.

Which is what the city does best.

Los Angeles has a long and unproductive history of studying problems to death, without ever taking any real action.

So we’ll have to see if anything actually comes of de León’s motions.

Or if he’s just staking out a position for what promises to be a bruising mayoral campaign.

Then again, there is something he could do to show he really is serious.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1445966890539499525

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Evidently, the problem isn’t just biking where Black or Brown, but biking where Black or Brown.

A new study from a UC Davis researcher shows that eight times more traffic tickets were issued to bike riders in majority Black neighborhoods, compared to majority white areas. And three times more in majority Latinx neighborhoods.

The study also shows that most traffic tickets are written on major streets, but 85% fewer bicyclists are ticketed on streets with bike lanes. Except few communities populated primarily by people of color have bike lanes.

The study also shows there’s no apparent correlation between higher rates of ticketing people on bicycles and improvements in safety.

The obvious solution is to build more bike lanes in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, in consultation with the community to address fears that bike lanes contribute to gentrification.

Less obvious is the author’s suggestion to remove traffic enforcement from strategies for safer streets, since it doesn’t have any apparent benefit and unfairly target people of color.

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If you ride an Elliptigo bike, you could be looking at a recall to avoid the risk of your frame breaking while you ride.

Then again, why would you ride an Elliptigo in the first place?

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tweet.

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The youngest woman to cycle solo around the world narrates a guide to bikepacking in the wild.

Including where and how go to the toilet, without one.

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Pink Bike demonstrates how to choose lines on your mountain bike.

Which, for those of us who lived through the 80s, is evidently quite different from doing them.

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

A San Francisco bike rider was the victim of an apparently unprovoked attack when a motorcycle rider pulled up next to him, then tried to kick him off his bike and punched him, for no apparent reason.

No surprise here. A Houston attorney representing the six bicyclists run down by a teenage pickup driver attempting to roll coal accuses officials and residents in Waller County, where the crash took place, of bias against bike riders, suggesting that the investigation may be tainted as a result.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the New York man riding a pink girl’s bicycle, who strong-armed a little girl walking to school to steal her cellphone.

A British woman was injured when she was struck by a man riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, who then threatened her husband when he challenged him about it.

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Local

Metro is offering a self-guided bike tour of Chicanx art in DTLA.

Pasadena students mark yesterday’s National Walk and Bike to School Day.

 

State

Monterey’s four day Sea Otter Classic bike fest starts today and runs through the weekend, after last year’s pandemic hiatus. Nice to see Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch get a well-deserved shout-out.

A 57-year old Merced man was shot by a thief when he refused to give up his bicycle; no word on the victim’s condition. Seriously, if someone demands your bike, just give it to them. No bike is worth your life, no matter how attached you are to it.

Sad news from Berkeley, where an 81-year old man died of natural causes while riding on an offroad bike trail, although it’s unknown whether his death was caused by falling off his bike, or if he fell off his bike due to a medical condition.

 

National

Bike industry leaders, who too often remain silent on bicycling issues, say now is the time for the industry and the broader bicycling community to demand action on climate change.

A writer for Cosmo tried swapping her car for an ebike, and lived happily ever after as a contented convert to bicycling.

Seattle microbreweries are discovering that the Venn diagram of craft beer drinkers and bike riders is nearly a circle.

It takes a major schmuck to steal nearly $10,000 worth of bicycling equipment from a Colorado high school cycling team, just days before a race.

More on the proposed legislation that would extend Colorado’s Stop As Yield law statewide, rather than ceding authority to local jurisdictions on whether or not to allow it. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Governor Newsom to sign California’s version of the law.

Billings, Montana is building a network of neighborhood bikeways. Unfortunately, Los Angeles isn’t, even though the Mobility Plan calls for it as one of the three bike networks included in the plan.

The CBC talks with the ER doctor who was in exactly the right place at the right time, riding a Minnesota bike trail when he came upon an unconscious mountain biker on the side of the trail, and saved his life with an emergency on-site cricothyrotomy.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a ten-year old girl lost her leg and suffered life-threatening injuries when she was run over on her bicycle and dragged for over a block, after a 73-year old semi driver jumped the curb she was on while making a right turn; needless to say, no charges have been filed yet.

A kindhearted Ohio cop gave a 12-year old boy an unclaimed bike from the police property room, after the boy loaned his bike to a couple other boys, who tossed it off a bridge onto railroad tracks, while both of the boy’s parents were hospitalized with Covid-19.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea might be the wrong person to work on the city’s Vision Zero program, after admitting he’s more afraid of bicyclists and ebike riders than he is of drivers.

Philadelphia followed the national trend of fewer crashes but more fatalities, with traffic deaths up 88% last year despite a drop in collisions.

They get it. The Washington Post says children should be able to safely walk and bike to school, but four kids in crosswalks have been struck by drivers in the last four weeks.

 

International

Treehugger recommends the year’s five best bike trailers for kids.

Cyclist rides the classic Italian climb named for the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of bicyclists.

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for a ban on private motor vehicles in central Berlin, which would create the world’s largest carfree zone.

An Egyptian woman’s three-year old blog is empowering young women to get on their bikes; the blog is named Tabdeel, which appropriately translates to both pedaling and change.

Tragic news from Nigeria, where a 58-year old Lagos bike rider died five days after he was stabbed repeated by robbers, because the hospital delayed a transfusion and surgery due to a doctors’ strike.

 

Finally…

Forcibly pushing a man on a bicycle out of a grocery store probably isn’t the best way to foster peace and good will. When you’re stuck behind bars, a virtual bike race is probably the best you can hope for.

And that feeling when a stolen bike could be worth its weight in gin.

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

Motorists behaving badly, possible parking protected bike lane on San Vicente, and dealing a blow to 85th Percentile rule

A couple more notes from our anonymous correspondent.

In this week’s edition of Motorists Behaving Badly, accounting for the first thirty minutes after midnight Tuesday morning:

  • A driver rear-ended a CHP officer who’d made a traffic stop on the 105, injuring the officer and totaling a patrol vehicle.
  • On Normandie Ave, a hit-and-runner hospitalized a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk literally in front of Woon’s (fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier) mama’s home.
  • A driver smashed the guardrail at Carmelita Ave & Zaring St (house and occupants remained safe, because a guardrail was installed, probably in hindsight.)

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Random tangent: My Favorite Lawyer™ Christien Francis Petersen (who got stabby with a reporter at a freedumb rally in HB last year, and then got arrested again for bringing a bunch of unregistered assault weapons to another freedumb rally last April) was arrested recently for hit-and-run (property damage) & DUI. Thrilled to know I’m sharing the road with him!

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In personal news, my Surly was stolen Sunday morning. Probably not by someone late for church.

Also, while nothing major was lost in the Great MacBook Air Inferno of 2021, little scraps of lost info randomly irk me, like the names of the accomplices in the Chillandra Bell (hit-and-run vs ped) case, and the specifics of the altercation in the Victor Manuel Romero case. Aurgh. Also, I cannot find Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes on the CA Department of Corrections site. I lost my inmate number file, but you don’t actually need one to locate an inmate, and she wasn’t (isn’t?) up for parole until next month.

Photo of driver behaving badly by Artem Podrez from Pexels.

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Mark your calendar for the 18th, when you can sample a proposed parking protected bike lane on San Vicente Blvd.

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This could be the first, long overdue, nail in the coffin of the deadly 85th percentile rule.

Assuming Governor Newsom signs it, the bill would allow local governments to actually lower speed limits starting in 2024, and take the safety of vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians, in setting speed limits.

The bill has widespread support, passing the Senate with just five no’s and five abstentions.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1436102857510449158

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Pink Bike says pump your way to faster trail speed.

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

No bias here. A Missouri town says a badly worded law bans bikes from the city’s parks, even if it was only intended to prohibit riding on structures; even little kids banned from riding in them.

No bias here, either. A professional driver and self-professed amateur cyclist says many London bike riders have to be protected against their own stupidly, claiming there’d be far more riders killed if it wasn’t for drivers like him. Just wait until someone tells him about the stupid things some drivers do.

A British truck driver will be lucky to keep his job after he was suspended for tweeting that he couldn’t wait to knock down one of those “spandex-wearing fuckers.”

A hit-and-run driver in Kuala Lumpur faces charges for driving off after intentionally crashing into a man on a bicycle, leaving the victim with minor injuries.

And call me crazy, but there just may be more to this story.

https://twitter.com/MikeyCycling/status/1435884147915075589?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1435884147915075589%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-september-2021-286197

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

WTF is wrong with some people? An Illinois college student reported a couple people on bicycles rode up and coughed on her, after claiming one had Covid.

A British Columbia letter writer complains about silent bike riders who whizz by on the sidewalks without warning. He’s got a point. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, give pedestrians the right-of-way and a wide berth, and always announce your presence before passing anyone from behind.

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Local

Take a two-hour guided bike tour of urban art and graffiti in DTLA over the weekend for $19 a person.

Santa Clarita’s Trek Bike Park is adding a number of features to its advanced trail, including an “eight-foot Whale Tail, six-foot kicker ramp, four-foot kicker ramp, 90-degree berm turn and an eight-foot flat wall ride;” it’s expected to be completed by next Friday.

 

State

You’ve got to be kidding. An impasse between the governor and his fellow Democrats in the state legislature means California will miss out on $500 million in funding for active transportation projects, as well as another $1 billion for LA transportation projects for the 2028 Olympics.

LAist examines the recently passed AB 1238, the so-called Freedom to Walk Act, which would eliminate most fines for jaywalking, as well as walking on the wrong side of the street when there’s no sidewalk, noting that the current prohibition disproportionately cracks down on people of color; the bill is sitting on Newsom’s desk waiting for his signature.

Santa Clara is looking for volunteers to serve on the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

A short two-minute film from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism explains how to make the unprotected parts of Oakland’s Telegraph Ave safer for people on bicycles.

San Francisco Streetsblog argues that highways wrecked American cities, leveling some of the country’s greatest neighborhoods. And too often, flattening thriving neighborhoods devoted to people of color.

 

National

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager explains how to avoid common bicycling injuries before they knock you off your bike. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A writer for Medium says e-scooters shouldn’t be used, because it doesn’t do any good to go green if you break your neck in the process.

Austin, Texas is halfway through building out a 400-mile connected bicycle network in just ten years. Something Los Angeles could have done by now if it had kept Villaraigosa’s promise to build 40 miles of bike lanes every year.

Another e-scooter maker is getting into the ebike business, with Texas-based GOTRAX introducing a $649 entry-level bike.

Illinois has removed the requirement for local matching funds for roadway projects, eliminating a barrier for building safer streets in poorer communities.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Skins and A Dog’s Prayer actress Kathryn Prescott is in a New York ICU after she was struck by a cement truck while crossing the street on Wednesday, narrowly avoiding paralysis after breaking her pelvis in two places, both her legs, her foot and her left hand, according to her twin sister.

It looks like New Yorkers can get their confiscated bicycles back, after city leaders said “oh no, you didn’t” to the NYPD, slapping the department for cutting the locks off non-abandoned bikes chained to traffic signs.

New York police busted a 21-year old man for assaulting and robbing a 68-year old man in a vicious attack as he was riding a bikeshare bike in Queens.

She gets it. A DC woman says it’s time to stop waging a block-by-block battle against safer streets in the era of global warming.

 

International

More on the international bike parts shortage, as Forbes says the wheels could come off the booming bike industry if it can’t keep up with demand.

Road.cc offers advice on how to build a better bike, with 23 upgrades for your roadie for under the equivalent of $68.

A new book shares the story of a researcher’s 10,201-mile journey by bicycle following the annual monarch butterfly migration from Mexico to Canada. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

An Ontario cop has been cleared of wrongdoing for using his patrol car to block a bike rider fleeing from police; the brakeless rider suffered a broken kneecap crashing into his car.

A British company has introduced combination head and tail lights and bike cams, similar to the popular Cycliq Fly 6 and Fly 12, for the equivalent of $138 for one, or $250 for both.

Bike and scooter riders get blamed for the City of Light’s mediocre walkability score, as a Parisian website argues “a Paris stroll has now become a hazardous balancing act for pedestrians trying to dodge screeching wheels and aggressive bicycle bells.”

Swedish electric vehicle maker Polestar introduced plans for a three-wheeled e-cargo bike for delivery companies, although it’s really more of an oversized scooter.

Tragic news from South Africa, where a driver faces charges of culpable homicide, drunk driving and reckless and negligent driving for running down and killing two men in their 50s as they rode their bikes.

Malaysian social media users tracked down a hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider faster than the cops could.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to England’s William Bjergfelt, who at 42 became the second-oldest cyclist to compete in the Tour of Britain — and the first paracyclist, after he was told he would never ride a bike again when his shattered leg was reconstructed with three titanium plates following a head-on by a driver in 2015.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a bike-riding kitty in dark glasses. Is it trading down to leave a stolen bike behind to take a Jeep, instead?

And that feeling when they want to name a bike path after you, but you’d rather pass.

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

Windshield-biased Ocean Beach victim blaming, PCH project back on Malibu agenda, and unsafe Venice bike lanes

This is who we share the road with.

In a truly awful piece, a writer in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood complains that bike advocates are lying about this years rash of bicycling deaths to foist an anti-car agenda on the car-driving public.

He has the shameless audacity to go through each death one by one, pointing out how the victims were, or could have been, at fault, but from his windshield-biased perspective.

Never mind that he’s relying on newspaper accounts for his information, which as we’ve seen, too often don’t contain the salient facts and leave far too many blanks to fill.

And all too often, are based on police reports, which can, and usually do, reflect the officer’s windshield bias, and a basic lack of training when it comes to bike laws.

I had intended to open today’s post with a lengthy rant dissecting his arguments. But soon discovered that Peter Flax had beaten me to the punch.

Writing for Medium, Flax took the writer — and the bike-unfriendly OB Rag, which published the shameful piece — to task for the obvious victim blaming.

Obvious to anyone but the author, anyway.

The central premise of Page’s story is that bike advocates and city leader in San Diego have dishonestly tried to leverage the spate of riders being killed there to get more bike lanes built — “to further the cycling agenda” as he puts it. In his argument, the connection between people dying and the need for better riding infrastructure is mostly fictious and totally overblown. And then to prove his hypothesis, Page does some light googling and sets out to demonstrate that nearly all the cycling deaths that have occurred in San Diego were likely the riders’ own fault. It’s an eye-opening exercise in victim blaming.

Above all, the story is inhumane and recklessly presumptive. Imagine thinking that you could spend an hour on Google, read a handful of day-one news stories, and then feel equipped to pronounce that strangers in your community have been killed because of their own errors or bad judgment. Imagine being an editor or publisher and thinking you want to publish that kind of a hot take on your site.

Then Flax did something remarkable.

He reached out to the man who penned that awful piece, and held a non-judgmental online discussion — nonjudgmental on his side, anyway — on why he wrote it.

Here’s just a brief sample of the conversation.

In your story, you state quite firmly that five of these deaths were the fault of the cyclists, and that several made “poor choices” and several more died in circumstances where blame cannot be assigned. This adds up to nearly all the deaths in San Diego. Can you see how many people felt like you were engaged in victim blaming?

I did not blame any victims. I recounted that the news stories on five of these clearly showed the cyclist was at fault, that was not me making a decision based on the facts. The facts in five more do not say who was at fault, not a conclusion I came to. I have responded to several comments asking for a specific instance of victim blaming in my article. Nothing.

It’s not victim blaming these folks are upset about. They are upset because I had the temerity to challenge the cycling narrative to the public by debunking their claim about what these 12 deaths meant. My target was dishonesty.

Unfortunately, the conversation accomplished exactly what you’d expect, with the author unbudging in his unbridled victim blaming, and accusations of some subversive cyclist agenda.

But you have to give Flax credit.

That could not have been an easy conversation to have. And he went out of his way to understand the other man, and to be fair.

But this kind of attitude is, sadly, all too common.

One where we are seen, not as ordinary people simply trying to stay safe on the streets, but as wild-eyed activists pushing a radical anti-car agenda to force the unwilling car-driving public onto bicycles.

When the truth is, we’re just trying to get from here to there in one piece.

And too often, failing.

Photo from the bike path in Santa Monica, which will have to stand in for Ocean Beach.  

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Malibu’s continually rescheduled discussion of a plan to widen the shoulder on a two-mile section of PCH, instead of building bike lanes, which will presumably put bike riders in the door zone — unless maybe they won’t — is back on the agenda for tomorrow night.

Unless it gets postponed once again.

Here’s the notice from Streets For All

Ask the City of Malibu to add safe, protected bike lanes to PCH

There is a special Planning Commission Meeting (RESCHEDULED) in Malibu this Wednesday at 630pm where they are going to discuss approving a plan to widen the shoulder on 2 miles of Pacific Coast Highway between Webb Way and Puerto Canyon Road to add MORE parking.

Their proposal really only benefits cars and puts people on bikes in the “door zone.” We need them to do better – it’s time for Caltrans and Malibu to add protected bike lanes to PCH.

EMAIL THE MALIBU PLANNING COMMISSION BY TUESDAY (9.7)

Maybe the ‘Bu is just hoping we’ll all stop paying attention if they postpone it enough times.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

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The author of this tweet sent it to my attention to point out a dangerous condition on the bike lanes on Venice Blvd.

To be honest, it’s hard for me to get too worked up about this simply because it’s been going on for so long.

Whether’s it’s RVs, illegally parked semis and construction trucks, or some other obstacle, the Venice bike lanes are frequently blocked in one place or another from one end to another, and have been for years.

Enforcement doesn’t seem to do any good. Ticketing or towing drivers for parking illegally only seems to work in the moment, until they come back a day or two later.

If not the same day.

The only solution I can see is to install protected bike lanes from Downtown to the coast. And preferably designed so drivers won’t just park in it anyway, like the LAPD and delivery drivers already do in DTLA.

Which should have been done already.

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Sunset4All held a successful celebration of LA’s first public/private partnership to transform one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

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Join Tern and New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie for a Reddit chat on the two-wheeled future of transportation.

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Here’s your reminder that the annual worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride will roll later this month.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about rides planned for Los Angeles, or anywhere in Southern California.

So let me know if you’re planning anything here.

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A Scottish driver escaped a close call when a bicycle fell off the rack of another car on the highway, and lodge in his windshield.

Maybe there really is a war on cars, and the bikes are finally striking back.

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GCN says you’re probably killing your ebike, if you have one. So stop it, already.

Meanwhile, a writer for Treehugger says she gets so many questions, she feels like a celebrity when she rides her ebike. And recommends getting one “a million times over.”

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

Nothing like an LA driver intent on sending a message. Or worse.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1434327524004163588

Evidently, there’s no such thing as a carfree event where drivers are concerned. Like the schmuck who decided to weave his car around participants in Chicago’s Bike the Drive on Sunday.

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

Probably not the best idea to repeatedly fire an antique gun for no apparent reason while riding along an Iowa bike path.

A New York State man is under arrest after using his bicycle as a weapon when police attempted to take him in on a couple outstanding warrants, before pulling a knife on them after a foot chase.

A Virginia bike rider refused to exchange information and demanded money from a driver after a minor collision; the driver wisely called the police instead, and the man on the bike rode off before they arrived.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. A 22-year old Los Angeles man is dead following a road rage confrontation after a minor fender bender. He chased the other driver when she left the scene, then was thrown to the street after somehow ending up on her hood during a second confrontation.

Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with special guest LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. Which makes it the perfect opportunity to ask why the bike plan is still just “aspirational,” and why Vision Zero and the city’s Green New Deal seem to have been pushed so far onto the back burner they’re in danger of falling off entirely.

Mark your calendar for the Los Angeles edition of the World Naked Bike Ride on September 18th, where you can go as bare as you dare except for your face, which will need a mask.

 

State

Police in La Jolla busted a suspected serial burglar and bike thief who had been raiding back yards and garages for months; he’s now being held on $300,000 bond.

After talking with other people who’d done it, a San Francisco writer decides to try riding a bike up the area’s steepest hill, with grades as stiff as 30%

A pair of looters were arrested for stealing bicycles from South Lake Tahoe homes after the town was evacuated because of the Caldor Fire.

Oops. A Chico man was busted after police stopped him riding a $5,000 mountain bike, then searched his home and found several stolen bike frames and parts, along with a few grams of meth.

 

National

Your next bike helmet could come loaded with an augmented reality and artificial intelligence-enhanced heads-up display, complete with a 360-degree camera.

After walking away from his IT job, a Portland man is devoting himself full-time to cleaning up the city’s pathways, collecting trash in a trailer towed behind his bike.

Reno bike advocates are up in arms after the city calls for a $100,000 study to reroute a planned bike lane, because the casinos complained that they don’t want one in front of their businesses. Apparently failing to grasp that bike riders are used to gambling, since we have to do it on a daily basis.

Nice gesture from Denver Bronco’s general manager, the rest of the front office and the coaching staff, as they built 75 bicycles for underprivileged second grade students at a local elementary school in honor of former Bronco’s coach Greg Knapp, who was killed in a Bay Area bicycling collision in July.

Kansas police insist they’ve got the right man now, after arresting a motorist for shooting and killing a man, apparently to steal his bicycle, after they’d both visited the same business; another man was cleared of the crime after being arrested earlier, but was still being held on outstanding warrants.

Sometimes, the sound of gunfire is just a bike tire popping in an Arkansas Walmart.

A Cincinnati student newspaper calls for keeping a popup bike lane that was installed in a weekend for just fifty grand.

A Connecticut congressman is riding his bike across the state to promote all the state has to offer. Which apparently isn’t much, since his ride will be just a hair over 91 miles. 

A New York man was rescued after spending anywhere from two to eight hours trapped down a shaft in the Queens woods when he somehow fell down it during a bike ride through the park.

New Yorkers are criticized for risking the lives of bicycle delivery riders, who somehow stayed on the job despite the incredible risks posed by the recent Hurricane Ida.

Sad news from New Jersey, where nationally recognized cyclist and triathlete Arland Macasieb was fighting for his life after being run down by the driver of a classic ’59 Corvette as he was riding his bike across a freeway onramp; Macasieb is also a repeat national trial champ and national record holder in the Philippines.

A Philadelphia magazine profiles North Philly’s Bilenky Cycle Works and their high-end, handmade bicycles.

 

International

The shortage of bicycles and parts fueled by the pandemic bike boom is now expected to last through the end of next year.

Credit the Romans with the first Low Traffic Neighborhoods — or Slow Streets, as we call them on this side of the Atlantic.

He gets it. A British writer says there are no winners in the debate over cars versus bikes.

Inspiring story from a 14-year old English boy who was told he could never ride a bicycle due to his autism and hydrocephalus, and not only learned to ride, but raised the equivalent of nearly $14,000 for his scout troop by riding 1,000 mile across the length of the UK. And had to overcome the theft of his bike just days before he started.

What does it say about our streets that there’s even a need for a $1,000 German made backpack that becomes a full torso airbag in the event of a crash?

BMW wants to put you on a ped-assist ebike with a whopping 186-mile range — and a top speed of 37 mph, which would appear to make it illegal under California law. And would require a driver’s license and motorcycle helmet even if it’s not.

Gee, it’s such a relief to know there’s no suspicion of foul play in the death of a Singapore man who was dragged more than 100 feet under a bus, after he allegedly ran a red light on his bicycle and was right hooked by the driver, who claims he never saw him.

Speaking of Singapore, a woman had a far too close call when she fell off her bike and nearly landed in the path of a large truck. Although all the commenters seemed to care about is that the group of bicyclists she was with wasn’t supposed to be on that highway to begin with.

Still in Singapore, a bike delivery rider says why bother with handlebars, and builds an AI chip that can steer his bike for him.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič won the Vuelta by a whopping margin of 4 minutes and 42 seconds, after taking four stages in the process.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez apologized for giving up and quitting in the middle of the penultimate Vuelta stage, after falling off a possible podium finish when he was dropped in an attack, slipping from third to sixth before abandoning.

Pez Cycling News shares their final rant from, and about, the Vuelta.

For reasons known only to them, media outlets across the US suddenly decided to share a 2013 CNN piece offering fast facts about Lance Armstrong, as if the seven-time ex-Tour de France winner was somehow once again relevant. Which he’s not.

Sad news from Spain, where a competitor in a Córdoba mountain bike race was found dead a short distance off the road after going missing during the race; the cause of his death was unknown.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to wear spandex when you ride, but try not to look like the Michelin man. If you’re carrying a baggie full of crack on your bike — and have an outstanding warrant for murder — put a damn light on it, already.

And if drivers keep blocking the bike lane, just move it to the other side of the street to keep them out.

Right?

………

L’shanah tovah to everyone celebrating 5782 today!

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

Malibu meeting on PCH widening tonight, LAPD whiffs on crosswalk law, and warning about scam bike websites

If you ride PCH — or want to — clear your schedule for tonight.

The Malibu Planning Commission will hold a virtual meeting this evening to consider a proposal to improve the median and widen the shoulders on a two-mile section of PCH, between Webb Way and Puerco Canyon Road.

As you may recall, we sounded the alarm about this proposal last month, which is described as a plan to improve safety for people on bicycles by providing more space to ride on the shoulder, while also providing additional curbside parking.

Put another way, the proposal appears to put bikes in the door zone, instead of providing protected bike lanes.

Or maybe not.

Someone who claimed to be involved in what he described as a decade-long process to develop the plan insisted I’d gotten it all wrong and the plan wouldn’t add a single parking spot — even though it said just the opposite.

And that it would be a big safety improvement for the deadly highway, especially for people on bicycles.

Although what PCH really needs is narrower traffic lanes and far slower speeds.

Admittedly, while I used to be involved with the PCH Task Force, I haven’t been able to keep up with it since the one-two punch of diabetes and neuropathy knocked me on my ass half decade ago.

So I can’t speak to just what this plan does or doesn’t do, other than what was in the description.

But if you ride PCH, you owe it to yourself to voice your concerns and tune into the meeting to see whether it would help tame LA County’s killer highway and keep you — and everyone else — safer as you ride through the ‘Bu.

Or if this one needs to go back to the drawing board.

Okay, so it’s not PCH. But this photo of a bike-riding surfer resting on his board is the only decent shot I’ve got of Malibu.

………

Nothing like cops doing the right thing, but getting the law wrong.

They’re right that drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in painted crosswalks.

But drivers are also required to yield to pedestrians at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, per CVC 21950. And every intersection is presumed to have a crosswalk, whether marked or not, unless signage prohibits crossing.

So bottom line, drivers have to yield to pedestrians at any crosswalk, painted or otherwise.

And don’t get me started on whether people on bikes are allowed to use the crosswalk.

But like I said, at least they’re doing the right thing.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

………

Road.cc is warning about a sudden proliferation of fake websites designed to take advantage of the bike boom to scam you out of your money.

Or rather, the website is real. But the deals and companies offering them aren’t.

With bikes currently being in such strong demand globally, it has become increasingly difficult to get the bike you want when you want it, with lead times often running into several months – and in response, we’re hearing more reports of fake websites trying to part people from their cash for bicycles that don’t exist, apparently offering deals that seem to good to be true, because they are.

While that alone may set alarm bells ringing among many prospective purchasers who will quickly realise that they risk being scammed, what the operators of such sites are banking on is that human nature being what it is, others will place an order and never see the bike, or their money, again.

They also include this sage advice from Trek’s British website on how to spot scammers.

The deal is too good to be true

If an advertisement is telling you that the bike you want is now 70%-90% off, they are lying to you. Do not click on the ad. Do not give them your money or any personal information.

The contact information is suspicious

Trek and our retailers hold ourselves to a very high standard of customer service. If you cannot reach the person you are buying from, do not buy from them.

The site is relatively new

You can check to see how long a website has existed by entering it into archive.org. If the site is brand new and offering steep discounts, do not purchase anything from them.

The site does not ask you to pick a preferred retailer

All current model Trek bikes ordered online must be delivered to an authorised Trek retailer for assembly. If you are not asked to select a retailer to dispatch a bike to, do not buy from the site. Previous model year Trek bikes can be delivered directly to consumers, but only through an authorised retailer’s website or BikeExchange.com.

In other words, stick with sites you know. Or better yet, check with your local bike shop before you buy anything online.

And caveat emptor.

………

Let’s consider a few more stories to restore your faith in humanity.

A generous Texas business owner bought a young boy a new bike after his was stolen while he was playing near a church parking lot; that bicycle had replaced another one that was stolen just weeks earlier. Let’s hope they also bought him a decent lock this time.

After already giving away 80 bicycles to kids in need, a Michigan man hopes to donate another 20 bikes this weekend.

A bighearted Pennsylvania man gave a young girl a new bicycle after the bike she’d just received from a youth program was stolen days after she got it; police found the stolen bike heavily damaged in a local creek. However, you may have trouble getting past the paper’s paywall.

………

Local

Culver City Crossroads fills in the blanks on the long and tortured process that led to the city’s close decision to finally open the Jackson Ave gate to the Ballona Creek bike path.

Aussie actor Luke Hemsworth is one of us, as he goes for fat-tired ebike ride through the ‘Bu. Even if he is less famous than brothers Chris and Liam.

 

State

San Diego State University is finally lifting the school’s micromobility ban, allowing dockless bikes, e-scooters and other devices to be used and parked on campus.

The Santa Barbara Independent dives into bike life this week, with reports on the teenage Wheelie Generation, local resident and Trek CEO John Burke’s plans to save the world, and a local shop giving new life to unloved mountain bikes.

San Francisco celebrates new painted bike lanes on Anza Street, which quickly turned into a parking lot.

 

National

A new report on the economic benefits of bicycling investments recommends investing billions into bike projects to generate thousands of jobs while greening transportation in the US.

Another new study suggest bicycling can be a literal backbreaker, with a full 81% of sports-related spinal injuries among U.S. adults due to bicycle falls and crashes.

Popular Mechanics offers their picks for the best hitch-mounted bike racks. Just remember, any rack that obscures the license plate is illegal, although it’s one of those things where you’ll probably get away with it, until you don’t.

Have guitar, will travel. Colorado singer-songwriter Shanna In A Dress is touring the US by bicycle for a series of shows from Oregon to Massachusetts, while raising funds for the Pangea World Foundation.

A Salt Lake City woman with a long criminal record faces murder and gun charges for fatally shooting her girlfriend as she tried to get away, following an argument while they were riding their bikes together.

Life is cheap in South Dakota, where you can run down and kill an innocent person walking on the side of the roadway while driving home after drinking at a fundraiser, then just tell the police you thought it was a deer when they knock on your door, and end up walking away with a plea deal for a lousy misdemeanor traffic violation. Or at least you can if you’re the state attorney general.

That’s more like it. A new Illinois law requires the state to conduct a traffic study anytime a pedestrian is killed on a state roadway, including recommendations for possible design improvements, with the results to be publicly posted. Add people on bicycles to that, and that’s what should happen whenever someone is killed on any roadway.

A Rhode Island bike rider unexpectedly discovers signs for a useful, but forgotten, cross-city bike route that no one seems to know about anymore. Or care about, which could be worse.

A North Carolina paper looks back to three teenagers’ life-changing, five day, 425-mile ride through the state’s Outer Banks, which led one to devote his life to researching the region’s maritime history.

 

International

You could get a belt-drive urban ebike for just $1,300 — but only if you move fast.

CyclingTips considers that $28,000 Louis Vuitton bike with the bizarre backward suicide handbrakes. Which is a lot of money for something that will probably get you killed the first time you have to make a panic stop. Then again, if you can afford the bike, you can probably afford to pay someone to ride it for you. 

Take a tour of Colombia’s Boyacá region with native son Miguel Angel Lopez of the Movistar cycling team. Bonus points if you spell it “Colombia,” rather than “Columbia,” which I inevitably do before correcting myself.

Glasgow, Scotland has adopted a Vision Zero plan, with the goal of ending traffic fatalities and serious injuries on the roads by 2030. Although as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, it’s meaningless without the political will to make the hard choices, which we clearly lack.

Life is still cheap in the UK. Earlier this week, we mentioned the English driver who was sentenced to three years and four months behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a 15-year old boy riding a bike. But what was missing from the the original story was that the driver abandoned the borrowed car he was using, and calmly took a cab home without bothering to even mention the crash to anyone. No wonder people are calling the sentence a joke.

Industry insiders say God only knows when the Great Britain’s bike shortage will finally end.

new German-made, four-wheeled, self-propelled bike trailer promises you won’t have to work any harder to pull it, and it will easily follow your bike wherever you go, at speeds up to 19 mph. It might be just a bit pricy, though, available for rent for a tad under $600 a month.

Why let a little bad weather stop you, even if it means floating your mountain bike through neck-high Singapore flood waters.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champ Primož Roglič took Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Vuelta, reclaiming the red leader’s jersey by a whopping three seconds.

How to watch this week’s 2021 UCI mountain bike world championships.

Rouleur offers an early preview of next month’s 2021 Women’s Road Race World Championships in Flanders.

Elite British cyclist Clay Davies called out a culture of homophobia and a lack of support for LGBTQ riders in the sport, several years after he publicly came out following a near fatal collision.

The first cycling gold of the Tokyo Paralympic Games went to cyclist Paige Greco, while her fellow countrywoman Emily Petricola soon followed in the 3,000 meter individual pursuit, with American Shawn Morelli winning silver. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own hydrogen powered ebike for the low, low price of just $11,700 — or $8,800 if you clip the coupon. At last, a lightweight wooden balance bike for your eco-conscious toddler weight weenie.

And at least someone is taking crosswalk safety seriously for a change.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

………

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

CD4’s Raman rides through district to examine safety, and Sunset4All just $16,000 short of protected bike lane goal

Maybe there’s hope for my part of town yet.

CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman rode ebikes with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton and the LACBC to learn just what bike riders face on the streets of her district.

And the overwhelming lack of safe bike infrastructure that forces them to.

Due to Raman’s council predecessors, there are not a lot of bikeways in this part of CD4; the only bike lane on the ride was on Hauser Boulevard through Park La Brea. The southern part of the district does feature many fairly well-biked areas, including 4th Street, a low-traffic sharrowed bike route long preferred by cyclists and pedestrians (during COVID, parts of 4th saw more walking and bicycling than driving.) The ride also visited neighborhood traffic-calming street closures along Fairfax Avenue, and the relatively calm 8th Street – which appeared on SBLA’s list of suggested relatively easy bikeways that Raman might consider taking on. There are currently no protected bike lanes in Raman’s district…

“My dream for this district and for the city as a whole is that we can make it safer and easier for people to be able to move around outside of their cars: have it be not just possible, but a pleasant and beautiful experience to get around this city.” “We started six months ago,” noted Raman, “but we’re at the beginning of that process now. And I am really excited to get the entire community involved in thinking about that.”

Let’s hope that she can and will finally get LADOT to actually get something done around here. And repair some of the damage cause by her less-than-bike-friendly predecessors.

………

Sunset4All is now 36% of the way to their $25,000 goal to create a private/public partnership to install protected bike lanes on Sunset and Santa Monica blvds east of Hollywood, after crossing the $9,000 barrier.

………

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

A bike-riding Houston couple open up about the 4th of July incident, when the husband shot a road raging driver who shouted they didn’t belong on the street before intentionally ramming his car into the wife; police arrested the driver after concluding they shot him in self-defense.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Two scientists from opposite ends of the earth converged in San Diego to help change the world. And both lost their lives riding bicycles within 24 hours of one another.

One of those deaths was caused by an alleged drunk driver, part of a disturbing increase in DUI deaths in San Diego County.

Residents of San Diego’s Hillcrest and North Park neighborhoods are taking matters into their own hands to recover their stolen bikes by pushing the apparent thieves off their bikes and demanding them back.

A San Jose man was left for dead after a hit-and-run driver fled the scene while the victim was on a group ride with 20 other people.

Tragic news from Fremont, where a 15-year old boy suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike on the 4th of July; for a change, the 23-year old driver stuck around.

Big win in Oakland, where the city council voted unanimously to keep and improve the successful protected bike lanes on Telegraph Ave, rejecting a DOT plan to replace them with an unprotected buffered bike lane.

 

National

A trio of Utah advocacy groups are using a tandem bike as a two-wheeled metaphor to call for parents to support their LBGTQ+ kids to help keep them off drugs and alcohol.

The family of a popular Colorado Springs CO bike fitter has filed wrongful death suit, following his death in police custody while handcuffed and prone on his stomach after being tased multiple times; 49-year old Chad Burnett had allegedly threatened a neighbor with a knife while suffering a mental health crisis.

Here in Southern California, we have to worry about bearish drivers, but we seldom have to face the real thing, as a Montana bikepacker was killed by a grizzly that wandered into his campsite.

A Black Army vet used bicycling to recover from a devastating disease after receiving a stem cell transplant. Then she went on to found an annual bike race and a family bike fest to inspire others. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Michigan man began fixing discarded bikes as therapy for his depression. Now he’s fixed and given away nearly 400 bicycles to people in need.

A Streetsblog op-ed calls for the NYPD to combat the department’s windshield perspective by requiring officers to get out and bike their beats at least once a year. Although once a week would be much more effective for everyone.

The New York Daily News says the city’s 80,000 delivery riders are the unheralded heroes of the pandemic.

 

International

The owner of a bike touring company is refusing to pay damages for a bike-on-bike collision on an Edinburgh pathway, insisting she’s not to blame when the other rider was doing 20 mph around a blind corner.

An Irish newspaper calls bike fitting a 90-minute analysis that will change your bicycling life forever.

 

Competitive Cycling

The beat goes on, as Mark Cavendish, who wasn’t even expected to ride in this year’s Tour de France, is now just one win from tying The Cannibal’s once unreachable record of 34 Tour stage wins.

Defending Tour champ Tadej Pogačar says he doesn’t need to cheat since he’s leading this year’s race because he pushes “good watts.”

Today the Tour peloton with tackle the legendary Mount Ventoux, not once, but twice from different directions — 54 years after British cycling champ Tom Simpson collapsed and died on the slopes of the mountain.

By now, we’re all familiar with how the legendary Gino Bartali saved countless Jews by smuggling documents in his bike frame during WWII. But he also saved his own country a few years later when Italy was on the brink of anarchy, providing his countrymen with something to cheer for by gaining an incredible 30 minutes in just two stages to win the Tour, after being 21 minutes down in the general classification with just one week to go.

Dutch cyclist Lorena Wiebes took the fifth stage of the women’s Giro d’Italia Donne, while defending Olympic champ Anna van der Breggen held onto the pink leader’s jersey.

Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton isn’t the only rider trying to beat the Tour peloton into Paris; seven-day cycling distance record holder Jack Thompson is attempting to ride the entire Tour de France route in just 12 days.

Let’s hope you’re happy with the current direction of pro and amateur cycling, because we’re going to be stuck with it for another four years.

 

Finally…

Throwing a bicycle through a business window is not one of the recommended uses for it. And when a driver blocks the bike path, just walk your bike over it.

The car, that is.

………

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

CicLAvia returns with 3 dates this year, a first-hand view of traffic violence, and bike rider shoots driver in self-defense

We all have something to look forward to this year, with the return of America’s largest and most successful open streets festival.

In the best news we’ve had in a pandemic plagued year and a half, CicLAvia will return next month in Wilmington on August 10th.

That’s followed by the traditional Heart of LA route in Downtown Los Angeles on October 10th — the same date as the first CicLAvia, also in DTLA, eleven years earlier.

And last but far from least, a long-awaited return to South Los Angeles on October 5th.

Here’s what our bike-riding friend at KCBS2/KCAL9 have to say on the subject.

https://twitter.com/JeffVaughn/status/1411175401552896004

Photo of an earlier CicLAvia in DTLA by yours truly.

………

Every day as I search through the news, I find heartbreaking stories about fatal and near fatal crashes from across the US.

For every one I link to, there may be a dozen or more I don’t.

Just more collateral damage in our incessant obsession with getting from here to there as quickly and inefficiently as possible

Like this story from the very tip of the Pacific Northwest, a stone’s throw from Canada, about a 76-year-old man struck by a trailer pulled by a pickup driver while riding his bike.

Normally I’d read it, maybe mutter a quick prayer, and move on. Just another every day tragic occurrence.

Except this time, the details dovetailed with an email I received yesterday, in the form of a script, from fellow bike rider and corgi aficionado Mike Burk, who moved from SoCal to the cooler and cloudier clime a few years ago.

Fade in:

Late morning, driver’s POV.

Coming home from town this morning when we’re diverted off the highway to a side road because of a road block. At the intersection, noticed a truck towing a poorly loaded trailer carrying an old backhoe. The truck was stopped, the driver getting a ticket by a couple of sheriff’s deputies.

Finally back on the highway and two or three miles down the road. Flashing lights ahead. As we inched along I noticed a bicycle on its side and no rider around. Whatever happened is over (it had been only 90 minutes since we came that way into town).

Seeing the bike and the emergency vehicles, I got a picture.

Photo by Mike Burk

Dissolve to:

Early afternoon, POV over shoulder, sitting at computer.

Me, during a Zoom meeting with our homeowner’s association Publications Committee. Going over articles for our next month’s Kala Pointer Newsletter. One of the committee members asked, “Did you hear about Stan Cummings this morning? He was riding his bike…”

You can guess the rest. Yes, that was Stan’s bike. He was medivacced (sp) to Harborview Hospital in Seattle (40 miles… if you’re a crow). He’s in their TBI unit, not expected to recover well, if at all.

It didn’t take too long for someone following to dial 911 — and then for the sheriffs, local police, and state police to locate and stop the truck.

Stan is active in the community and on his bike. We’ll see what happens.

Fade to black.

Burk adds this final thought.

I forget that this can happen anywhere. We’re in a REALLY small town. Even after all the miles I’ve put on my bike, the thought of getting out on that highway (WA19 and WA20) up here just terrifies me. I keep to the back roads.

Sadly, that’s exactly the case.

The news stories I see come from everywhere English is spoken, and many places it’s not.

From big cities and tiny towns in every state throughout the US, as well as Canada, Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, India, Africa, New Zealand and Australia. And virtually everywhere else, on every kind of roadway.

Yet somehow, the onus for safety inevitably rests on our narrow, unprotected shoulders, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the danger to people on bikes, and everyone else.

It’s like living in a village where monsters roam the streets, dragging people off at random. And instead of doing something about them, we merely tell the villagers to be careful and lock their doors at night.

Like this rabidly auto-centric anti-Vision Zero diatribe, in other words.

Which is kind of like telling gunshot victims to dodge the bullets, rather than suggesting that maybe gun owners shouldn’t shoot them.

Frankly, I don’t have the answers anymore.

I just know I’m so damn tired of reading every day about still more innocent people dragged off by the monsters.

And worrying that one day they’ll grab me, too.

………

Bike Talk talks protected bike lanes, from every angle.

………

Speaking of which, the protected bike lane on Oakland’s Telegraph Ave has been so successful, the city wants to tear it out.

………

Apparently, Minnesota’s annual Freedom From Pants Ride went off without a…well, you get the idea.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

………

Megan Lynch forwards this piece about a man seven years into a diagnosis of dementia, yet still riding his bike across Nova Scotia to fight the disease.

………

Evidently, the Dutch city of Groningen was been a bicycle city for awhile.

………

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid explores England’s old Great North Road from London to Newcastle, traveling in style in a classic Morgan sports car, accompanied by a Brompton foldie in the passenger seat.

………

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

In a truly bizarre case, a man on a bike shot a road raging Houston driver in self-defense when the male driver told a bike-riding couple they couldn’t ride in that neighborhood, then deliberately knocked the woman off her bike; her pistol-packing partner was let go, while the driver was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

No bias here. After a driver intentionally knocks a British man off his bike, she claims to be an ex-cop, and the current cops don’t hesitate to blame the victim. And a driving instructor uses the incident for a training video.

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

A man on a bicycle remains at large after shooting an Arleta man following an argument Sunday night.

Seriously? There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 23-year old English man who was caught masturbating on his bicycle, riding one-handed as he pursued women and young girls. Yet the bike-riding perv somehow avoided jail despite doing it not once, not twice or even thrice, but four times, apparently because the judge thought he’s a “promising student.”

A Singapore bicyclist was criticized for leaving a painted bike lane to draft behind a trio of dump trucks. Although that would be perfectly legal in the US, though not necessarily smart, where most, if not all, states allow bike riders to take the lane if they’re riding the speed of traffic.

………

Local

The Gateway Cities Council of Governments will discuss the ill-advised plan to widen the 710 Freeway, displacing homeowners and fouling the air to create more induced demand. A much better option would be to spend the same amount on transit, bikeways and pedestrian improvements so people don’t have to drive the damn thing.

Brooklyn Beckham is one of us, as soccer great David Beckham’s grownup son goes for a Beverly Hills bike ride with a friend.

 

State

Just days after a woman was killed riding her bike on North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla near UC San Diego, another bike rider was injured when a suspected drunk driver drifted into the bike lane he was riding in, less than half a mile from where the first woman was run down.

The San Diego Union-Tribune considers how North Park’s new 30th Street protected bike lane will affect the community.

A Santa Barbara librarian says her new ebike was the best thing to come out of 2020.

San Jose police busted an alleged fence who specialized in high-end bicycles and construction equipment, while paying thieves a fraction of their actual value; he was caught with an estimated $100,000 of hot merch at the time of his arrest. If you’re missing an expensive bike anywhere in the Bay Area, give ’em a call, just in case.

Tragic news from South Sacramento, where a 76-year old man riding a bike was killed by a hit-and-run driver who briefly stopped following the collision, then ran over the victim to make her getaway.

For anyone up in the Sacramento area, the Davis Bicycling, Street Safety and Transportation Commission will meet on Thursday to discuss a number of proposals, including a newly funded plan to widen the I-80 corridor (bad), while possibly adding bicycling improvements (good). Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

National

Seriously? Women’s Health asks if outdoor bike riding is good for weight loss. Hint: A resounding yes!

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a California man raised $13,000 to provide running water to families in the impoverished Navajo Nation by riding his bike from California to New Mexico.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico school is tapping into federal funds to get more kids to bike and walk to school. Which is something every school should be working on.

Boulder CO police say there’s a nationwide bike shortage, so use a damn U-lock, already. Although they may not have said it quite that way.

More proof that collisions with pedestrians are just as dangerous for the person on the bike, as a 28-year old New York woman was left clinging to life after she crashed into a pedestrian walking in a Prospect Park crosswalk while she was riding in the bike lane. Seriously, ride carefully around pedestrians, who are just as unpredictable as people on bikes. And in cars.

An Atlanta bike rider flagged down paramedics after an 18-year old backup quarterback at Kennesaw State University was fatally shot near Pensacola, Florida; his 19-year old passenger suffered multiple gunshot wounds when their attackers fired over 50 rounds at their car.

 

International

TechRadar rates the “super smart” Cowboy 4 as their top ebike, saying it feels like the future of bicycling.

Mashable offers tips on what to think about before entering the ebike world. But they get the first tip wrong, suggesting that ebiking is just a seasonal thing for everyone but the most extreme bicyclists.

Offroad.cc shares their thoughts on what to look for in a used mountain bike.

Um, okay. Pink Bike looks at all the things that didn’t happen in the world of bicycling last month.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day in jail for killing an 18-year old man riding a bike. But at least he called 911 before driving off.

A young Black man plans to file a complaint against the Montreal cops who roughed him up and handcuffed him for the crime of not having a reflector on his front wheel. Or maybe because he stopped to watch them question another man.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a truck driver walked without spending a day behind bars for killing a 73-year old ebike rider, because the judge thought he showed “genuine and enduring” remorse. Which, oddly, won’t do a damn thing to bring his victim back.

A Singapore bike rider unfairly gets the blame for riding in the traffic lane when a driver slams into him from behind, throwing him onto the windshield before landing in the roadway; the victim sat up following the crash, so hopefully he’s okay. Warning: The dashcam video of the crash is absolutely horrifying, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on it.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, you should have had plenty of time to catch up on the Tour de France. So it shouldn’t come as a spoiler to reveal that last year’s winner Tadej Pogacar not only reclaimed the yellow jersey, but tightened his grip on it before Monday’s rest day.

Breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt argues the level of competition is much higher at this year’s Tour de France, thanks to a rash of young riders making their presence known.

Cavendish says he may be struggling, but don’t write off four-time Tour champ Chris Froome yet.

Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of the Tour after losing the yellow jersey to focus on winning mountain bike gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Judging by the video below, he might just have a shot.

A sports physicist considers how many calories you’d have to consume to ride like a pro in the Tour de France.

Nicholas Dlamini, the first Black South African to compete in the Tour, received a round of “rapturous” applause when he crossed the finish line on Sunday’s ninth stage of the Tour, despite failing to make the cut following a crash.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get so drunk you can’t remember stealing a $1,000 bike. That feeling when you’re glad the bear only ate your bike seat.

And John and Yoko were both one of us.

Thanks to author Richard Risemburg for the heads-up.

………

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

Funds pour in to improve safety on dangerous Sunset & Santa Monica, and new Burbank protected bike lane

Let’s start with an update on Thursday’s lead story.

Sunset4All has raised nearly $7,000 of the $25,000 goal towards LA’s first public/private partnership to force encourage city officials to build protected bike lanes and other safety improvements on Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards, through East Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Echo Park.

Every donation is being matched dollar for dollar this week, so that $7,000 really represents $14,000 to help keep bike riders safe on a dangerous corridor that’s way down on the city’s priority list.

So if you’ve got a few extra bucks, open your wallet and give what you can.

Because if this is successful, this kind of public/private partnership could come to your neighborhood next. And help improve safety where you ride.

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Burbank’s Hollywood Way is now graced by a new partially curb-protected bike lane.

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Video of the Nairobi Critical Mass proves that bicycling really is a worldwide phenomenon.

Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for forwarding the video.

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That feeling when a cough lozenge makes up for forgetting your bike’s front thru-axle that somehow caused a flat to your rear tire.

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Local

Streets For All is hosting another of their virtual happy hours, this time talking with UCLA distinguished professor and parking meister Donald Shoup on July 14th.

A couple dozen people turned out Saturday to ride in support of union organizing efforts for the workers who serve the Metro Bike program, which is operated for Metro by Bicycle Transit Systems.

KCRW looks at the volunteers behind Koreatown’s Bicycle Meals, who ride to feed the area’s homeless people.

 

State

A 33-year old San Diego man broke his ankle when he was right hooked by a bus driver, after coming off the sidewalk into the crosswalk.

Santa Barbara-adjacent Goleta wants to hear from you about whether they should invest in a bikeshare system. Which can and should be answered with a resounding yes.

Sad news from Hayward, where police are looking for the hit-and-run pickup driver who killed a 55-year old man riding a bike.

Legendary bike mechanic John Stein is hanging up his wrench after more than four decades serving Redding bike riders.

 

National

A new Kickstarter project promises to let you check your tire pressure with a swipe of your smartphone. As long as you don’t mind a big round bulb on your valve stems.

Even Las Cruces, New Mexico has installed popup bike lanes in an effort to get people safely outside while they study how to improve bike and pedestrian safety throughout the city. Unlike a certain megalopolis to the west, with roughly 40 times the population.

A Western Colorado bike shop just gave a $10,000 check to a shelter for homeless teens; the shop resells donated bike and gives the proceeds to the shelter, while donating some bikes to homeless kids.

An Evansville, Indiana community college partnered with a local school district to give away 280 bicycles, along with locks and helmets; the annual program has given away over 3,500 bikes over the last 15 years.

Cambridge, Massachusetts shelved plans for nearly five miles of separated bike lanes after local residents chose the convenience of streetside parking over the safety of people on two wheels.

The New York Times offers a reluctant rider’s guide to bicycling.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where an unlicensed drunk driver got just two to four years behind bars for killing the rider of a motorized bicycle in a left cross collision.

After years of watching the Tour de France together, it became more than just a bike race last year when a man’s DC-based father was dying.

After tomorrow, Virginia bike riders will finally be able to legally ride side-by-side, while drivers will be required to change lanes to pass them if the road doesn’t allow for a minimum three-foot passing distance.

An 1,186-mile bike ride from Fredericksburg, Virginia to Miami as teenagers in the ’70s helped bond three friends for 50 years.

 

International

Pink Bike looks at the year’s best mountain bike helmets.

Treehugger takes a look at the how and why of traffic calming.

An English woman is honoring her dying husband’s last wish by selling his prized bicycles to raise the equivalent of $6,200 for the cancer ward that cared for him.

Scottish bicycling deaths surged to a seven-year high as roads emptied and bicycling boomed during the pandemic.

Seoul, Korea will test child bike riders and provide a safe cycling certification, which provides a discount on the city’s bikeshare system.

A Singapore-based artist takes a zen-based look at bicycling.

Bicyclists in Hong Kong celebrate California’s lowrider bicycle culture.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, the third stage of the Tour de France was marred by crashes, which took down Caleb Ewing, Peter Sagan and Primož Roglič, who lost significant time on the leaders.

Geraint Thomas somehow finished the stage after a team doctor popped his separated shoulder back into place, while Robrt Gesink was forced to abandon the race; Mark Cavendish was lucky to avoid injury in a crash that trashed his bike.

Yet another crash may have knocked 27-year old Australian cyclist Jack Haig out of the Tokyo Olympics later this month.

A photographer for Peloton captured a gripping image of Ewing on the ground, surrounded by teammates.

The manager of French cycling team Groupama-FDJ calls for rule changes to prevent the sort of chaotic, crash-ridden stage finales seen Monday’s stage before someone gets killed.

Cyclist looks back at what may have been the Tour’s toughest stage ever, marked by a legendary ride by Lucien Buysse nearly 100 years ago.

SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera will represent the US in a grueling ride up Mt. Fuji in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Red Bull profiles French 2019 world downhill mountain bike champ Myriam Nicole.

 

Finally…

Who needs streets to evade the cops, when you can drive on a bike path? Your next retro chic ebike could do its own shifting.

And who really needs hubs, anyway?

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Thanks to Michael W for his annual donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news winging your way every morning. 

Donations are always welcome, regardless of size or reason. 

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

Donation match for LA’s 1st private/public bike lane partnership, and unconfirmed bicycling death in Solano Beach

Back in my blissfully misspent youth, there was a popular cartoon that showed a couple buzzards sitting on a fence.

One turns to the other, and says “Patience my ass. I’m going to kill something.”

It seemed funny at the time.

But that’s kind of where some LA bike advocates are right now.

Rather than wait endlessly for the city to finally get around to improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians on Sunset and Santa Monica Blvds, they’re trying to speed things up by helping pay for it through a private/public sponsorship.

And they need your help.

Here’s how Terence Heuston, the former author of LA Bike Dad, describes it.

Sunset4All, in partnership with the LACBC, is launching a crowdfunding “match” campaign to fund the initial engineering plans for protected bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards through East Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Echo Park.

If the community reaches our $25,000 goal, angel donors will MATCH THEIR DONATION. Every dollar of their tax-deductible donation will be DOUBLED if we reach our goal! Declare your independence from traffic by donating before 4th of July!

The NUMBER of donors is as important as the number of dollars. The city of LA installs safe street projects where there is broad community support. Every individual donor is an individual VOTE for this project. Even a small donation is tangible PROOF that Angelenos support safer streets and protected bike lanes.

The private/public partnership model has been used successfully in other regions to accelerate the installation of the Arapahoe bike lanes in Denver and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. We want to transfer this innovative model to Los Angeles and release a flood of protected bike lanes region wide. It all starts with Sunset4All reaching its fundraising goal.

You can learn more — and contribute — here.

And yes, I just opened my wallet and put my money where my mouth is. If every else gives the same amount, we just need another 999 people to follow suit.

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I’m still waiting on official confirmation. But sadly, it looks like another bike rider has been killed in San Diego County.

This comes follows on the heels of another tragic death just a few miles south in La Jolla, where a young mother from India was killed when she was run down by a 74-year old driver while making a lane change on her bike on Tuesday.

Assuming the victim’s death is confirmed, that will mean nine people have been killed riding their bikes on the suddenly mean streets of San Diego County in just the first six months of this year.

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Calbike calls on everyone to write your California state senator to urge their support — or in one case, opposition — for a trio of bills.

AB 371: This measure will place a large and unprecedented insurance requirement on shared mobility systems. It won’t make our streets safer but it will put every bike-share system in California, public and private, out of business. Email your senator to vote NO on AB 371 to save bike-share.

AB 122 (Boerner Horvath): The bicycle safety stop (first introduced in Idaho in 1982) makes biking safer and easier, but some California groups don’t want this commonsense, pro-bike measure to become law. Tell your senator to vote YES on AB 122, the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill.

AB 1238 (Ting): The Freedom to Walk Act puts an end to unjust jaywalking laws advanced by the auto industry a century ago.  these laws prevent people from enjoying their streets on foot safely, in the interest of making them the exclusive domain of cars. Today, jaywalking laws serve as a sometimes tragic pretext for biased policing, as a hugely disproportionate share of jaywalking tickets are issued to Black Californians.  Tell your senator to support the Freedom to Walk Act, AB 1238.

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After several years covering the transportation beat, the LA Times Laura J. Nelson is taking on a new role as a rapid-response enterprise/investigative reporter.

Over the years, Nelson developed an encyclopedic knowledge of Los Angeles transportation issues, and her insights and in-depth reporting will be missed.

On the other hand, that means that her old job is now available.

https://twitter.com/laura_nelson/status/1408110659166822405

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Ride in solidarity with the Metro Bikeshare and Donut Friend Unions tomorrow.

As the son of a union man, I only wish my slowly healing hands would let me join in on the ride.

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We’ll have to see how it ends up when they flesh out the details. But right now, it looks like active transportation may have lost out in the bipartisan compromise on the transportation bill.

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Pink Bike wants to teach you how to actually learn new bike skills.

Evidently, there’s a lot to learn, since this is just episode one of a ten part series.

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This is who we share the road with.

Apparently, bear spray has become the weapon of choice for aggrieved motorists and insurrectionists.

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

No bias here. A Laguna Beach paper compares teenage ebike riders to the Lord of the Flies. No, really.

A nine-year old English boy was the victim of anti-bike sabotage, suffering a serious neck injury when he rode his bike into a rope someone had strung across a trail at neck level. Let’s hope whoever did this faces serious charges when they catch the jerk.

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

A woman made her escape by bicycle after robbing a San Diego nail salon at gunpoint.

Prosecutors threw the book at the San Francisco thief who was recorded riding his bicycle out of a Walgreens after dumping a pharmacy shelf into a bag, filing 15 charges for robbing the same store four days in a row.

Authorities near my Colorado hometown are looking for a man who apparently took offense when a woman nearly backed over his fellow bike rider, and punched her in the face. Seriously, don’t do that. It’s only natural to feel anger and fear when someone nearly hits you or a riding companion, but violence is never the answer.

A New Jersey man faces weapons charges after he dropped a stolen handgun when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Atlantic City.

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Local

Los Angeles is finally getting around to connecting the county’s disconnected rail system to the airport, with a new station that also promises to improve bicycling connections to LAX. Meanwhile, bike advocate Michael Schneider says why wait, when you can ride to LAX right now? Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

LA County received $32 million in grants from the California Transportation Commission, including $5.6 million for a two way, 1.5-mile protected cycle track on Union Street in Pasadena.

Streets for All is hosting a Culver City Pride Ride this Sunday.

Santa Monica-based Bird is getting into the e-bikeshare business.

California’s Clean Mobility Options program, funded by the state’s cap-and-trade system, will fund a $1 million e-bikeshare system for residents of the Rancho San Pedro affordable housing community, near the Port of Los Angeles; 19 other clean energy projects around the state will receive grants up to $1 million.

 

State

Enjoy a 10-mile, no one left behind, kickoff ride for the new Over the Hump mountain bike season in Laguna Niguel on July 8th.

The manager of Costa Mesa’s Specialized bike shop shares his favorite Orange County trails.

Despite years of outreach, some businesses and residents in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood still seem to be surprised, if not angry, over the loss of 450 parking spaces to makes room for new protected bike lanes on 30th Street.

Speaking of parking, San Diego is moving forward with a proposal to remove parking minimums for many businesses. Hopefully Los Angeles will follow suit.

San Jose removed traffic lanes on two downtown streets to give bike riders new concrete barrier-protected bike lanes, replacing the previous painted bike lanes.

 

National

City Lab says open streets aren’t always open to everyone, including people with disabilities, for whom they can be closed.

Gear Junkie offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle.

All seven victims of last weekend’s Show Low AZ vehicular attack remain hospitalized, with six in Arizona and one in New Mexico; the driver who deliberately ran them over with his pickup is also hospitalized in stable condition after being shot by police.

Heartbreaking news from Denver, where an 11-year old boy in suburban Aurora has now undergone five operations in two weeks since he was run down by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bicycle, and dragged 50 feet beneath the driver’s car.

Not all Austin, Texas bike riders are thrilled about sharing their bike lanes with pizza delivery robots.

After an Oklahoma group gave a young man a new bike when they learned he had to walk 17 miles roundtrip to work and back, a crowdfunding campaign raised nearly $50,000 to buy him a new car. Which just goes to show that kind gestures can take an unexpected bad turn.

While Los Angeles continues its over-reliance on motor vehicles, Cleveland — yes, Rest Belt Cleveland — is reimagining itself as a denser, more walkable city effectively served by transit. Although it’s accused of backpedaling on plans for a sidewalk-level, two-way cycle track.

New York mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams promises that if he wins, he’ll ride his bike around town, take the subway and walk through neighborhoods like former Mayor John Lindsey in the ’60s. Which would be a big change from outgoing Mayor de Blasio, who’s infamous for being driven to the gym in a massive SUV.

A Florida man got ten years for stabbing a woman as she rode her bike in West Palm Beach, in an apparently unprovoked attack.

 

International

Yes, your ebike can get wet. But don’t try riding it through the pool.

Pink Bike questions whether mixed-wheel bikes, aka mullet bikes, with one wheel larger than the other, are here to stay.

Momentum Magazine rolls with Welsh DJ Dom Whiting and his mobile cargo bike party.

Ebikes far outsold electric cars in the UK last year, despite a government subsidy for the latter, as one ebike was sold in the country every three minutes. Meanwhile, British bicycling deaths jumped 40% last year, due at least in part to an increase in dangerous driving during the pandemic.

A stoned English driver got a well-deserved 11 years behind bars for killing two bike-riding men while speeding 30 miles over the speed limit in a stolen car.

An Indian writer says bicycling is back in vogue in the country.

People in Lebanon are taking to their bikes as the country runs out of gas. Literally.

Ebike sales have doubled in Singapore, driven by demand from food delivery workers.

 

Competitive Cycling

After a near-absence from the Tour de France in recent years, North Americans are making a strong comeback to the peloton, with four riders from the US, along with another three from Canada.

A writer for Bicycling offers a lengthy dissertation on what happens when she meets her idol, Primož Roglič. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for the AP says the Tour de France could come down to a rematch between fellow Slovenian’s Roglič and Tadej Pogačar.

French cyclist Audrey Cordon-Ragot says it’s about damn time there was a women’s Tour de France once again, as this year’s final La Course becomes the stepping stone to next year’s women’s Tour. Although she may not have put it quite that way.

Thirty-eight-year old Dutch cyclist Koen de Kort may have seen his cycling career come to an end after three fingers on his right hand were amputated following a crash in an off-road vehicle. And fellow Dutch cycling star Maurits Lammertink will miss the Tour de France after he was rushed into surgery for a brain injury caused by a collision with a scooter rider.

The director of the women’s Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus cycling team was banned for three-years after several riders accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel is proof that sometimes, greatness runs in the family.

https://twitter.com/AlpecinFenix/status/1408123568714665994

 

Finally…

Your next Mercedes Benz could have just two wheels, and a battery. Proof you can be a billionaire fashion mogul and still bike to work.

And former pro Fabian Cancellara is selling…something.

https://twitter.com/cyclingtips/status/1407734786236375044

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Thanks to David E for an unexpected donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

Okay, almost every day. 

Donations of any amount, at any time and for any reason, are always appreciated. 

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

“Elderly” Venice man killed by drunken e-scooter user, white woman orders Black prof off “her” road, and ebike bias in CO

Tragic news from Venice, where an “elderly” man was killed when he was struck by an e-scooter user.

Make that an allegedly drunk scooter user.

The crash occurred around 9:45 pm Saturday on Lincoln Blvd at East Marco Court.

According to a report for KABC-7, the scooter rider was allegedly 1) illegally riding on the sidewalk, while 2) illegally carrying a woman passenger on the back, and while 3) wasted.

The victim, who was described only as elderly, or by other accounts, older — which could mean just about anything — died at the scene after hitting his head on the sidewalk.

Both people on the scooter suffered minor injuries, while the man operating it was arrested at the scene for DUI.

It’s unclear whether he can be charged under the state law prohibiting driving under the influence, or the statute prohibiting biking under the influence, which carries a much lower penalty.

This serves as yet another tragic reminder that sidewalks are intended for pedestrians.

While it’s legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in some California cities, you’re required to operated it safely, without posing an undue risk to people on foot. And basic human decency demands that you give as much space as possible and warn people before passing.

On the other hand, it is always illegal to ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk, or with a passenger.

And never while drunk or stoned.

Although I’d much rather see someone ride a bike or scooter while under the influence of anything than get behind the wheel of a car, which posses a much greater risk to everyone on the road.

But as this crash tragically shows, you can still pose a needless — and potentially fatal — risk to others.

Photo by Martin Péchy from Pexels.

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Racism, or just NIMBYism taken to the extreme?

Or more likely, both.

Black University of Washington med school professor Edwin Lindo went out for a bike ride while on vacation, and ran into a white woman — aka a “Becky” — who literally told him he couldn’t ride his bicycle on the road she paid for with her property taxes.

No, really.

https://twitter.com/EdwinLindo/status/1398870887630139397

Seriously, there is no effing excuse for that crap.

Ever.

Period.

Fortunately, Lindo didn’t let a little racism chase him off his bike.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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No bias here.

A story from the Denver Post tries to offer advice for ebike riders, particularly of the novice persuasion.

And they mostly kinda get it right.

Although this comment from an Aspen mountain bike instructor totally misses the mark.

“This is a framework of why it’s so important for e-bikers to have etiquette because they are now powered up with a weapon, really, that goes 20 miles an hour,” he said. “I say ‘weapon’ because now they can hurt themselves and others pretty easily.”

Never mind that it’s pretty easy to do 20 mph on a road bike, without a motor. And not that unusual on a mountain bike.

And while there’s no shortage of rude and/or inexperienced bike riders, no bicycle is a weapon, unless someone — like a cop, for instance — picks it up and uses it that way.

There’s there’s this bit of advice, which they apparently think is so important that it was repeated verbatim in a caption.

Though you may be tempted to ride side-by-side with your friends or family members so you can chat on your e-bikes, always ride single file and as far to the right as possible, unless you’re passing. This gives other cyclists and cars an opportunity to pass you safely.

Where do we even start?

This is sort-of decent advice for trail riders, but horrible for those riding on the road.

Yes, try to keep to the right on trails so faster riders can pass you. Unless you’re the faster rider, in which case you should pass politely.

And try not to ride abreast if it means clogging up the trail so others can’t enjoy it.

But on the road, riding like a gutter bunny puts you a greater risk of unsafe passes.

Most authorities, like the League of American Bicyclists and Cycling Savvy — and even Caltrans, for those of us in California — tell you to ride in the center of the lane, unless there’s a shoulder wide enough and clean enough to ride safely.

Riding two or more abreast in a single traffic lane can also increase your visibility and help hold the lane by forcing drivers to move into the next lane to pass you.

It’s also legal to ride abreast in many states, but check the law where you ride before trying it.

Like here in California, where police sometimes misapply the requirement ti right to the right to ticket people who ride abreast, even though there’s not one word prohibiting it under California law.

And they may not get it right where you are, either.

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Meet what may be LA County’s first protected bike lane.

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Cars don’t belong in parks. Even police cars.

That’s what bike cops are for.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1398844138775212036

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The LACBC has put together a number of training rides for this month’s LA Rivers Challenge.

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Megan Lynch forwards this video profiling the last of Ireland’s cycling posties, from 1975.

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This is what rush hour could look like in Los Angeles.

But probably won’t until we get new leadership.

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That feeling when you have a stowaway on your bike.

https://twitter.com/KathrynBertine/status/1398274331885522948

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

In what may be an act of sabotage, someone left industrial razor blades in the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd. Even if it was just an accidental spill, the blades could cause a deadly crash by slicing through a rider’s tire, spilling them into heavy high-speed traffic.

Then there’s this from the UK.

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

Police in New York are looking for an ebike-riding gunman who killed another man who was sitting in a parked car in broad daylight.

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Local

Streetsblog examines the outdated plan to widen Burbank Blvd in North Hollywood to add a third traffic lane in each direction, and make it meet “Major Highway Standards.” Which would violate the intent, if not the letter, of LA’s Vision Zero plan and the transportation portion of Mayor’s Green New Deal.

They get it. The LA Times comes out against plans to widen the 710 Freeway, calling it “a zombie project from another era.”

 

State

While the state and feds debate providing ebike rebates, ebike buyers in San Mateo County could get an $800 rebate from the local clean energy company.

Speaking of which, an op-ed from a Bay Area professor calls on the state to pass a bill providing ebike rebates for up to 10,000 buyers.

A Marin paper says a new countywide ebike bikeshare could offer a first mile/last mile solution for public transportation. However, that depends on whether they’re willing to provide safe places to ride them.

A Placer County columnist says we all accept a little risk when we ride a bike, but don’t be stupid about it.

 

National

This is what a salt and barnacle encrusted Lime bike looks like after it’s pulled out of a Seattle sound.

A new Washington transit user takes understandable pride in figuring out how to use the bike rack on the bus.

Horrible news from Tucson, Arizona, where a tow truck driver ran a red light and slammed into a group of bicyclists, killing a 29-year old woman and sending four other people to the emergency room; a sixth rider was struck, but didn’t suffer serious injuries. Meanwhile, the community is rallying to support the victimsThanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

Former NBA star Mark Eaten died after going out for a bike ride Friday night; the two-time defensive player of the year with the Utah Jazz was found unconscious on the side of the road, and died at a local hospital; authorities said there was no reason to believe a car was involved. Even though drivers can easily force riders off their bikes without ever making contact. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Kindhearted people in a tiny town in eastern Colorado raised funds to donate 150 bicycles, scooters and skateboards for local kids.

A Pittsburgh neighborhood gets tired of speeding drivers, so they ordered their own speed bump through Amazon.

In another multiple victim crash, a Pennsylvania woman suffered life-threatening injuries and another woman suffered minor injuries when they were both run down by a hit-and-run driver in Virginia, despite wearing reflective vests, with headlights and flashers on their bikes.

A group of Black women rode from Harlem to DC, covering 250 miles in 65 hours to replicate a ride taken by another group of Black women 93 years earlier, while raising funds to provide good used bikes to people in need.

Great idea. The Black Chamber of Commerce in New Orleans is installing free bike racks in front of Black-owned businesses to “help encourage safe and equitable transportation” to get there.

New Orleans NIMBYs repeat the same complaints you’ll hear anywhere bike lanes go in, arguing that bollards for the city’s first protected bike lanes are ugly, and that replacing traffic lanes with bike lanes increases congestion. At least they didn’t say the markings on the street make them dizzy, like Coronado residents did a few years ago.

 

International

Experts weigh in on what comes next for the pandemic-driven bike boom.

The kindhearted members of the Medicine Hat, Alberta Rotary Club refurbished 79 bicycles to give to people in need.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old Alberta, Canada man rides a little more than six miles around town every day, sometimes twice a day, after his grown children gave him a bike for his birthday.

A Welsh Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist tells drivers to be patient, after she was knocked off her bike by a hit-and-run driver.

A speeding, coked-up English driver got a well-deserved three years behind bars for slamming into a six-year old boy on a bicycle, leaving the kid with a dangerous brain bleed; fortunately, the boy is expected to make a full recovery. And yes, he probably deserved a hell of a lot more than that.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Irish driver walked when he was acquitted of dangerous driving for slamming into a group of bicyclists, and killing a 34-year old woman — despite coming around a blind curve at high speed on the wrong side of road — in part because the victim may have fallen off her bike before the impact. Never mind that she was probably just trying to get the hell out of his way to avoid getting killed.

Up to 10,000 bike riders turned out for Critical Mass in Zurich, Switzerland to call attention to dangers posed by motorists.

Bike riders in eleven German towns rode to protest the American blockade of Cuba.

The Spanish paracycling championships were called off after a volunteer was killed by an ambulance during the competition.

Belarus was deservedly stripped of hosting duties for next month’s European track cycling championships, after the country faked a bomb threat to hijack a plane so they could arrest a dissident journalist who had fled the country.

Sad news from India, where the father of the Bicycle Girl has died, possibly from Covid-19; she gained international fame by pedaling across the country to carry her ill father home during the country’s first lockdown.

Disgusting story from Israel, where a small child was detained at gunpoint for the crime of flying a Palestinian flag from his bicycle. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

Great idea. Dubai has installed bike counters on a 20-mile long bike path, providing users with a realtime bike count, as well as weather conditions, announcements and warnings.

The pandemic bike boom set a record for bicycle imports to Australia, coupled with a 50% increase in bike sales.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tour de France champ Egan Bernal clinched his first victory in the Giro by wearing the pink leader’s jersey into Milan’s Piazza Duomo as his Colombian countrymen celebrated.

Italy’s Damiano Caruso called himself “the happiest man in the world” after an unplanned victory in the Giro’s penultimate stage, which clinched an unexpected second-place finish for the three-week stage race.

Cycling Tips offers a behind the scenes Giro photo essay capturing the views you couldn’t get on TV. Or at all, for most of us in the US.

And this pretty well puts Bernal’s win in perspective.

It turns out the blue front tires used by the Jumbo-Visma team in this week’s Critérium du Dauphiné are just a marketing promotion for a European bicycle subscription service.

Keep an eye on 19-year old cyclist Riley Amos, who won the 2021 edition of Colorado’s Iron Horse Bicycle Classic; the road race was the launching pad for another young rider named Sepp Kuss recently. The women’s race was won by pro mountain biker and once and future Olympian Erin Huck.

The Belgian Waffle Ride offers a beginner’s clinic for California riders interested in taking part in the popular gravel race.

 

Finally…

Your new ebike could look like a very skinny Vespa. Your next cargo bike could (clumsily) charge itself.

And evidently, indoor trainers are nothing new.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

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Happy Pride Month to everyone in the LGBTQ+ community, and all their supporters. And yes, you can proudly include me in that last group. 

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Tres shock! LA misses safest bike city list, famed ped superhero at UCLA, and San Diego builds bike lane laps around LA

Is anyone shocked that Los Angeles didn’t make the latest list of America’s safest cities for people on bicycles?

I didn’t think so.

But congratulations to Davis, Chico and Santa Barbara, the three California cities that did.

Maybe in another decade or two we might finally have a shot.

We can dream, right?

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Curbed’s Alissa Walker profiles Mexico City pedestrian superhero Peatónito, who is finishing a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at UCLA.

And wants to have pedestrian defenders in every LA neighborhood when he leaves.

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San Diego continues to build laps around Los Angeles, as they work to build out a full network of curb protected bike lanes.

Unlike a certain megalopolis to the north.

But while Los Angeles continues to rest on its non-laurels as America’s worst bike city, Glendale is installing a new curb protected lane on Los Feliz.

Even if it is just for a block.

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Gravel Bike California gets a visit from Road Bike Action’s Troy and David to discover Gold Creek, a hidden gem between Big and Little Tujunga Canyons.

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The LACBC is offering a discount for their virtual bike challenge taking place this month.

Here’s what they have to say.

Inviting you to join us in June at LACBC’s new virtual LA Rivers Challenge:  Ride, Walk or Run LA’s Historic Waterways!  A flexible and fun way to ride, walk or run our beautiful L.A. County waterways, at your own pace on days, routes and mileage of your choice.  Suggested routes will be posted on the LARiversChallenge.com website.

Please use this special Friends & Family code “FRIEND5” to register at LARiversChallenge.com and receive a cool neck gaiter/mask, coaching/encouragement emails, routes and information about the historic L.A. County waterways.  Bonus Fun: An optional personalized fundraising webpage can be set up where riders can share progress on their ride(s) online and also raise money to support LACBC’s year-round advocacy on behalf of active transportation in L.A. County.  Rewards and prizes can be earned for meeting fundraising goals too!

Thank you.

The 2021 LA River Challenge – Good for You and Good for LA! For more information and to register for the L.A. Rivers Challenge, visit LARiversChallenge.com.

Challenge Video: https://vimeo.com/545718226

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/274494824189732

Twitter: Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (@LACBC)

Instagram: @lacbc

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Bicycling author Richard Fox is back with the latest update to his comprehensive guide to SoCal bike routes.

I’m happy to announce the release of the 3rd Edition of my guidebook “enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.”  It contains 200+ scenic ride options at SoCal’s beaches, deserts, mountains, wine country, harbors, & historic city centers from San Diego to Cambria to Palm Springs, perfect for casual cyclists who enjoy beautiful scenery while avoiding car traffic and major hill climbs. The pandemic bike boom created many new casual cyclists who bought up 2017’s 2nd Edition a year earlier than anticipated. I revisited many of the rides with a Class I ebike, and added notes on how they impact rides, and where to rent or buy them near the rides. The book’s info was updated, more detail was added to many of the maps, and several new rides were added, including an option for a La La Land Griffith Park adventure on closed roads that was too hilly without an ebike for the casual cyclist before.  Other new fabulous rides were added for all in Irvine and Lake Perris, and options in other areas with new infrastructure like Santa Barbara and San Diego. The Coachella Valley, where I spent much of the pandemic lockdown cycling and working on the book update, ended up with a ton of new info and routes, including incorporation of the new CV Link regional path, now in various stages of construction. enCYCLEpedia.net contains additional rides, downloadable maps, features and updates for book owners.  The price of this edition is going up because of higher production costs in the USA vs Asia, but has started on Amazon at a lower price, available here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1638485380.

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The Oklahoma legislature has sent a bill legalizing the Idaho Stop to the governor for his signature.

And for a change, it’s the full version, allowing bike riders to treat red lights like stop signs, and treat stop signs as yields.

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This.

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Somehow we missed this one last month, as Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers a tutorial on how to politely shred on your fixie.

Meanwhile, Road.cc sings fixies praises, too.

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

Police busted a bike riding thief who robbed two women at gunpoint in New York’s Central Park.

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Local

Bikeshare is officially back on LA’s Westside, with 54 docking stations ready to go, and another 13 in the works.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a 32-year old Paramount man who was last seen April 14th; the 5’7″, 230 pound Hispanic man frequently rides his bike through the area, though it’s unclear if he was on his bike when he disappeared.

 

State

Good news, as California’s proposal for a modified Idaho Stop Law allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields continues to move through the state legislature.

A 13-year old boy suffered moderate injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Seal Beach.

A bike-riding man suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries when he was hit by two drivers in San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood in the midst of Wednesday’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations; he was left crossed by a driver trying to make a three-point turn, then hit by another when he was knocked off his bicycle.

A new survey shows Poway residents want more options to ride their bikes, among other concerns.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising funds for a Bakersfield bike rider seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver this past Saturday; another rider escaped the crash without serious injuries. The campaign has raised just $1,700 out of a goal of $5,000 in three days.

Nice gesture from the Chowchilla bicycling community, which turned out in force to accompany the body of a 45-year old man killed in a hit-and-run; the driver faces a murder charge after telling police he wanted to kill someone. Sadly, the disabled man, who rode a bike as his only form of transportation, had the misfortune of crossing the alleged killer’s path.

 

National

Lincoln, Nebraska’s Bike Kitchen may be closed during the pandemic, but that didn’t stop them from refurbishing over 200 bicycles and donating them to kids in need.

A crowdfunding campaign for a 13-year old boy killed while riding his bike by a Moline, Illinois cop responding to an emergency call has raised more than $14,000 in just 24 hours, easily topping the original $10,000 goal.

Kansas City moved to legalize jaywalking and cancel bicycle inspections, along with other local laws too often used to target people of color.

Next City suggests Fayetteville, Arkansas could be America’s next great bike city.

Now that’s more like it. A Michigan man could spend up to 80 years behind bars for the reckless, hit-and-run deaths of two women riding their bikes; he’ll have to serve a minimum of 18 years before he’s eligible for parole, and pay $250,000 restitution. None of which will bring either of the victims back, though.

New York’s Worksman Cycles traces its history back over 100 years, to the first three-wheeled bikes developed for the Good Humor Ice Cream Company.

A New York bike shop owner received $32,000 in fines for selling ped-assist ebikes, even though they were perfectly legal under city rules; fortunately, he didn’t end up paying a penny of it.

A DC clinic is helping people who’ve lost a limb regain the confidence to ride a bicycle.

 

International

A new bendable tail light raising funds on Kickstarter promises to mark off a safe passing distance; right now you can preorder one for just $35. No word on whether it will extend to a full three-foot passing distance, though.

Bikes really did boom in the UK last year, as 5 million people were “inspired” to buy a bicycle during the pandemic.

Thanks to the efforts of a Dutch fan, LEGO may finally introduce a bike lane set, complete with bikes, bike racks and people to use them.

The Namibian bicycling community is mourning the death of a Canadian man who made a difference in the lives of countless people by talking his family and friends to helping him ship bicycles to the country, before eventually founding a nonprofit to ship and sell them to create jobs, and fund more bikes.

The former model who starred in David Bowie’s China Girl video is now a Kiwi restaurant manager who’s fighting a new protected bike lane, arguing that it will block her deliveries and no one will use it, anyway. Never mind that the first photo in the story shows a delivery driver unloading his truck next to the bike lane directly behind her.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. Grateful Aussie parents are looking for the man who jumped off his bike and leapt into a chilly lake without hesitation to rescue a three-year old boy, who accidentally rode his scooter into a Canberra lake; he then slipped away quietly after saving the boy’s life. No truth to the rumor that he left a silver bullet behind. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur previews the Giro, which kicks off tomorrow in Turin.

Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen says he’ll be under a microscope in the Giro, as he makes his comeback from a suspension for causing the crash that severely injured Fabio Jakobsen at last year’s Tour de Pologne.

Never mind the stolen election and deteriorating conditions in Belarus, the European track cycling championships are staying put in Minsk, despite offers from other cities and countries to host them.

Mark your calendar for the Balance Bike World Championships this August. It’s being held in the UK, so your little competitor may need a passport.

 

Finally…

Before you can bomb down the bike trails, you’ve got to get your bike up there. No, a bike lane isn’t a good nap spot.

And next time you want to participate in a Zoom meeting while driving, maybe lose the shoulder belt first.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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