Tag Archive for protests

America bikes for racial justice, cars become weapons against protesters, and H’wood k-rails protect mural not bike riders

Not everyone was marching for racial justice this past weekend.

Some were riding and rolling, as LA bike riders took part in a solidarity ride from Echo Park to Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday.

San Diego boarders and bicyclists rolled out over the weekend to protest racism and police violence.

Things didn’t always go peacefully, however, as someone in a plateless SUV drove through a Portland Black Liberation Ride, damaging at least one bicycle.

Dozens of people took the call for racial justice to the casinos on Las Vegas Blvd in a peaceful protest organized by a retired NBA player.

Rochester NY celebrated Juneteenth with a bicycle Freedom Ride, in memory of the Freedom Riders of the 1960s.

By far the biggest ride took place in New York, where an estimated 10,000 people came out on Saturday for a New York City ride to protest police brutality and champion Black Lives Matter.

Hundreds turned out to ride in support of Black Lives Matter in the former capital of the Confederacy in Richmond VA.

Photo by Life Matters from Pexels.

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Meanwhile, NPR says at least 50 drivers have intentionally rammed protesters, as right-wing extremists turn their cars into weapons.

Like this Michigan driver, who asserted her God-given right to the road, regardless of who might be in her way, by driving through a group of protesters, injuring two people and driving over a 71-year old man’s bicycle.

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Let’s just leave this one right here for now.

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Heartbreaking news, as former F-1 and CART champ Alex Zanardi is in a medically induced coma after he was severely injured during a handcycle race in Italy.

Doctors report he is in grave neurological condition, unsure if he will suffer mental impairment.

Zanardi became a champion Paralympic cyclist after losing both his legs in a horrific CART racing crash in 2001, winning gold and silver medals in the London and Rio games.

I got in trouble with someone on Twitter over the weekend after mistakenly saying Zanardi lost his legs in a Formula 1 crash, rather that in CART, trusting nearly 20-year old memories rather than pausing to look it up.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Corona driver rear-ended a motorcyclist. Then kept driving with the motorbike stuck under his minivan.

Fortunately, the victim was not seriously hurt, and the driver has been arrested.

If there’s any justice, this will be the last time he ever drives.

Thanks to John Damman and Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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The president of Oakland’s city council is belatedly noticing that the local police are targeting kids on scraper bikes.

I’m not sure who sent this one, but thank you, whoever you are!

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BBC presenter Jeremy Vine discovers that we turn invisible on a bicycle.

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Speaking of who we share the roads with, it’s one thing to pull out in front of someone on a bicycle.

But it takes a special skill to pull out in front of a steaming locomotive.

https://twitter.com/Ogilvie_CJ/status/1274602928502956037

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The Urban Cycling Institute goes in-depth to examine the great French street reclamation, as Paris and Nice respond to the pandemic by stepping up plans to reimagine what our streets can be.

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Pink Bike says it’s time to get to know Japanese stunt rider Tomomi Nishikubo.

Meanwhile, don’t watch this downhill chase full screen on an empty stomach.

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

Last week we shared news of a horrible attack on a Florida bike rider, who was shot in the head with a crossbow by a passing driver for no apparent reason — although it’s worth noting that the driver was white, and the victim is Black. A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $64,000 of the $75,000 goal. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

A Santa Rosa nurse says she was punched in the face by a man on a bike, after she was accused of driving recklessly through a group of protesters who shattered her windshield with a skateboard and a bicycle. Seriously, don’t do that. Take video, take photos and take down the license. But don’t resort to violence. And don’t abuse your bike. 

Police in Chicago are looking for a bike-riding groper who assaulted a woman walking her dog on the city’s Lakefront Trail.

A man suffered a concussion when he was pushed off his bicycle by an aggressive bicyclist on an Indiana trail; witnesses say the attacker was swearing profusely before he intentionally elbowed the victim.

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Local

Free your schedule for tomorrow evening, when the LA Department of Engineering will host a virtual town hall to discuss plans for the LA Riverway through the San Fernando Valley, between Lankershim and Whitsett.

 

State

As we’ve noted before, it takes a major schmuck to repeatedly burglarize a San Jose bike co-op that’s given away over 3,500 bicycles to homeless people.

San Francisco will keep a pilot protected bike lane on a section of Valencia Street, after the temporary lane proved successful.

The Redding bike rider killed in a solo crash earlier this month is described as someone who “did good deeds for everyone;” he was killed when he his head on a curb while riding without a helmet. Crashes like this are exactly what bike helmets were designed for; they were never intended to protect against motor vehicles.

More bad news from Chico, where a man was killed riding his bike in a collision with an apparently driverless car; the victim was blamed for riding through a stop sign. Thanks to John McBrearty for the link.

 

National

It was nice while it lasted. Auto traffic in the US has rebounded to 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Which means time is rapidly running out to take streets back from the big, dangerous machines. Thanks to Aurelio Jose Barrera for the second link.

The new lighted smart helmet from Lumos debuted on Kickstarter over the weekend, taking just four minutes to meet the $60,000 goal — then surpassed it by roughly 2500%. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.

The Daily Beast offers advice on how to plan a long-distance bike ride in the age of Covid-19.

The New York Times offers tips on how to store a big bicycle in a small apartment.

The Today Show considers why bicycling has soared in popularity during the pandemic. Maybe because it’s good for you, with built-in social distancing, and safer when there are fewer cars on the streets. And it’s fun.

Kindhearted members of an Arizona riding club replaced a young girl’s stolen bicycle, and tossed in a lock and a gift certificate for a new helmet.

Speaking of kindhearted strangers, a trail riding group bought a new bicycle for a seven-year old Fort Worth, Texas girl after hers broke. And gave it to her just in time for her Marine father to come home on Father’s Day.

A Michigan man is riding 100 miles a week, with a goal of 1,000 miles by Labor Day, to raise $10,000 for Black Lives Matter.

Even though they’re thousands of miles apart, a father and son spent the weekend riding together in a virtual ride across Maine.

A Brooklyn woman completed a three-year project to ride every block in the New York borough, covering over 4,400 miles.

You already have the Greater Allegheny Passage-C&O Towpath bicycle trail leading 350 miles from Pittsburgh to DC on your bike bucket list, right?

You can now legally ride an ebike anywhere a bicycle is allowed in Florida, as the state rushes to catch up to the 21st Century.

A laid-off Disney World performer has ridden his bike over three thousand miles since the pandemic began in an effort to spread smiles around the area.

 

International

Great story from Brazil, where a man built an adaptive tricycle by hand for his granddaughter with cerebral palsy.

Toronto residents are taking advantage of good weather and a partially closed boulevard along the lakefront to get out on their bikes.

A local website suggests eight Montreal bike paths with incredible views for your next trip to the bicycling city.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a British priest’s bicycle.

Bikes are really booming in Great Britain, where 5% of consumers have bought a bicycle since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. Although some of those are probably healthcare workers replacing their stolen bikes.

Kate Moss is one of us, as she goes for a leisurely bike ride in the UK’s Cotswolds.

Nice. A new cross-border bike path will connect the Slovak and Czech cities of Trencin and Brumov-Bylnice.

Greek bicyclists stripped down and hopped on their bikes for this year’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, which has been cancelled virtually everywhere else due to the coronavirus.

Residents of Dhaka, Bangladesh, explain why they’re taking to their bicycles during the city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Talk about not getting it. The mayor of Manilla says he’s opposed to bike lanes in the city, because the streets are too dangerous to try to make them safer for bike riders.

Pedestrian advocates call for banning bike riders from shared pathways in Queensland, Australia, after a 93-year man was killed in a head-on collision with a man on a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Call it a fixed false alarm. Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton didn’t set a new record for Everesting after all las week. Then he did, shaving ten minutes off the existing record.

The founder of the Dirty Kanza gravel race has been fired after a social media post calling the Atlanta shooting of Rayshard Brooks justified. However, the name of the race is also problematic; Kanza is another name for the Kaw Nation and its people, which means Dirty Kanza could be read as “dirty Indian.”

A French website says there’s nothing to suggest the rescheduled Tour de France won’t start as planned this August. I wouldn’t hold your breath, though.

 

Finally…

Your next bicycle could read your mind. Your next car could be a single seat backward e-tricycle.

And when you’re carrying heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and crystal meth on your bike, with an outstanding arrest warrant, put a damn horn on it, already.

On the other hand, how the hell could a passing cop even tell if you had one? Never mind what a stupid law that is.

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

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

Bikes play a role in racial justice protests, bicycles and Covid-19, and Redondo police seek owner of recovered bikes

Life has been upended by Covid-19 and demands for racial justice in recent weeks.

And not too surprisingly, bicycles are playing a significant role in both.

So let’s start with the latter. Like The LA Metro Bikes at Sunday’s massive All Black Lives Matter protest march in Hollywood there on the left.

Then there’s Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who points out that bicycles have been agents of change for 200 years, saying they should be used for revolution, not police violence.

The Verge takes a similar theme, saying bicycles can be a tool of protest, as well as police brutality.

Not all the protest rides are past tense; Black bike riders in Richmond CA are holding the 2nd Annual Bike 4 Justice this Friday, aka Juneteenth.

Reno, Nevada saw one hundred bike riders take over the streets of downtown to bring awareness of racism in the bicycle community.

Denverites rode their bikes to the state capital to support Black Lives Matter.

Two hundred people in New Haven CT took to their bikes to protest police brutality.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts paper offers a photo essay of that city’s Cycle for Change protest ride intended to bring awareness to young people.

Over one thousand bike riders turned out for a Gotham bike protest (scroll down).

The NYPD is accused of illegally seizing bicycles from protesters and reporters.

Philadelphia songwriter Orion Sun says she was brutalized by police after using her bicycle as a barricade to prevent riot cops from getting to other protesters. Then went home and wrote a song inspired by the experience.

The owner of a Philly bike shop is taking getting looted in stride, saying there are far more serious things to be mad about.

Apparently unable to pick just one form of transportation, the Big Easy took a break for a gay pride and Black Lives Matters bike ride. And a motorcycle rally. And a motorcade.

Miami protesters took to “two wheels for one reason,” calling for an end to lives lost due to racial injustice.

And Slate says drivers ramming into protesters fits into a long tradition of motorized attacks celebrated by extremists. Although some drivers just seem to be impatient, entitled jerks.

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Meanwhile, the world is still responding to the coronavirus crisis, as well as the resulting bike boom.

Returning to Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, he says let’s not blow the bike boom by being critical of new riders.

Forgetting that the whole idea behind Slow Streets is that they’re temporary, a Napa letter writer says there’s no need for them in the city because they won’t be necessary when people go back to work.

The founder of Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes says the pandemic has proven bikes are essential.

A New Jersey bikemaker for Walmart says their company has never been busier, and it’s now taking minimum of three weeks to resupply stores.

British bike retailer Ribble has seen an across-the-board 300% increase in sales, from inexpensive hybrids to cutting edge time trial bikes.

Britain’s Chris Boardman says pop-up bike lanes are a form of social justice.

An Indian website questions why a bikemaker would shut down entirely in the face of booming bike ridership.

Even Bahrain is experiencing the coronavirus-inspired bike boom, as Hamad Town responds by approving plans for striped and separated bikeways across the city.

Around 30 Nigerian bicyclists rode through the streets of Lagos while observing social distancing to call attention to Covid-19 on World Bicycle Day.

As Covid-19 cases continue to climb in Indonesia, commuters are turning to their bicycles to avoid the virus.

Sydney, Australia is installing six pop-up bike lanes leading to the central business district, with bicycling up 50% and increasing numbers of people saying they’ll keep riding when they go back to work. That compares to Los Angeles, which so far has installed exactly none.

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Police in Redondo Beach are looking for the owners of what they describe as a pair of high-end bikes they suspect were stolen after detaining the suspected thief.

Which is just one more reminder to register your bicycle today. And always report the theft to the police if your bike is stolen, because those are the best ways to ensure you’ll get it back if they recover it.

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GCN offers a crash course in bunny hopping.

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

A group of bike-riding teenage boys pushed a 26-year old woman on a bicycle into a canal, apparently simply because they could.

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Local

Gerrard Butler is one of us, driving to the beach to ride the bike path through Santa Monica.

 

State

An Encinitas newspaper considers complaints that the new protected bike lanes along the Coast Highway in Cardiff are making things worse. We looked at the same problem here early last month.

A 22-year old Riverside woman has been arrested for the Corona hit-and-run that took the life of a 21-year old man who was out riding his bike with a couple friends Thursday night.

A Sacramento Korean War veteran and survivor of the Japanese American internment camps marked his 92nd birthday with a bicycle parade; he rode a bike into his 80s until he had to give it up for walking, instead.

Sad news from Redding, where a man was killed in a solo fall after apparently hitting a curb.

 

National

He almost gets it. A writer for a business site calls for better infrastructure and laws to promote bicycling — but also for mandatory helmet laws and reflectorized vests.

After a ten-year old Utah girl’s adaptive tricycle was stolen, a kindhearted Good Samaritan stepped up to buy her a new one.

A writer for Forbes thinks people aren’t smart enough to figure out how to drive on streets with words painted on them, and says they’ll confuse self-driving cars, too. If that’s the case, it neither one should be on the streets. And I don’t mean the painting. 

Not everyone in Austin, Texas is on board with the city’s new Healthy Streets, which is just another — and much better — name for Slow Streets. Although the same could be said about any street change, anywhere.

Community members in an Ohio town are raising funds for a nine-year old boy who suffered a serious brain injury when he was struck by a motorcyclist while riding his bike last month.

Detroit-based ebike and Vespa-style e-scooter maker GenZe is going belly up, after its parent company decided to shut down operation within the next six months.

Seriously? There weren’t even any charges when an off-duty Rochester NY police lieutenant was killed when he was rear-ended by a 70-year old driver while riding his bike.

A ebike rider suffered life-threatening injuries after colliding with a pedestrian in Queens NY; the other victim, a man in his 60’s, was in stable condition. A tragic reminder that crashes between bicycles and pedestrians are just as dangerous for everyone involved.

Streetsblog says the NYPD is a lousy partner on Vision Zero.

A Hoboken councilmember calls for allowing people to lock their bikes up in municipal parking garages. Better yet, just kick out the cars and make the whole thing bike parking.

Philadelphia police are no longer welcome to participate in the city’s Vision Zero.

 

International

A writer for Rouleur learns the hard way what it’s like to come off your bike and break a collarbone. And how long it takes to recover.

Ottawa bike riders were ignored when they warned that painting super sharrows on a busy street would be too dangerous; now a young woman paid the price when she was seriously injured by a pickup driver.

A Montreal district ignores pleas to install more bike racks, then seizes bikes locked to trees because there wasn’t any.

A London man is nearing the finish line on his personal goal of riding 100 km — slightly more than 62 miles — a day for 100 days, and planning to ride a virtual Race Across America once he’s done.

When a man in the UK found his stolen bike for sale online, the cops told him to handle it himself. And were immediately contradicted by other cops.

An elderly British driver wrecked his $300,000 Ferrari. So naturally, a bike rider got the blame.

Just wait until they hear about Los Angeles. A European policy site says there are too many cars in Azerbaijan, where one in seven people own one, and it’s essential to switch to bicycles instead.

A developer in New Zealand is offering to build new bike path along a major highway at no cost to the city, in exchange for the rights to install digital billboards.

Melbourne is planning to remove hundreds of parking spaces to make way for 26 miles of bike lanes over the next two years.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News wants to know why Black bike riders are so underrepresented in the pro peloton, calling it a case of everyday racism.

Speaking of which, Specialized Bikes founder Mike Sinyard will donate ten million dollars to the company’s Outride Foundation to fight racism and promote diversity in cycling.

 

Finally…

Remember to always carry a spare bicycle in your trunk, just in case. No bike is complete without a Chinese-style Lucky Cat bike bell waving a paw on your handlebars.

And hang on Rigoberto Urán’s wheel  at 27 mph while earring a backpack and work boots, and he could give you a new bike (scroll down).

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

Debate over weaponizing police bikes goes on, UCI honors brutal bike-riding dictator, and a mountain bike video break

Today’s common theme reprises yesterday’s discussion of bike cops using their bicycles as weapons.

Bicycling examines whether bikemakers should stop selling bicycles to police departments, after cops were accused of using them against protesters.

Meanwhile, a Michigan TV station profiles how the state police’s tactical bike team trains for crowd control, showing glimpses of the tactics people are complaining about.

And Red Kite Prayer’s Padraig really doesn’t know what to make of it all, noting bikes have been used effectively to shield riders against mountain lions, but protesters don’t pose the same kind of threat, if any.

Photo by Shane Aldendorff from Pexels.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

Cycling’s governing body has bestowed its highest honor on Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the bike-riding president of Turkmenistan.

Never mind that in this case, “president” is a euphemism for a dangerous, brutal dictator.

As Cycling Tips puts it,

Today, Berdimuhamedov presides over one of the most repressive regimes in the world. According to Human Rights Watch, the president has complete control over public life, energetically suppressing alternative political and religious expression. In the ‘elections’ since claiming power, Berdimuhamedov has enjoyed up to 98% approval, which is the kind of landslide that seems purpose-built to raise eyebrows.

In 2019, Reporters Without Borders put Turkmenistan as the worst country in the world for press freedom, behind even North Korea, and the country has the highest number of political prisoners out of all former Soviet states, against whom torture is reportedly practiced. The word ‘coronavirus’ is banned, homosexuality is illegal, child and forced marriage is still prevalent, gender inequality is entrenched, and dissidents are ‘disappeared’ into prison for indefinite sentences.

But other than that, he’s a nice guy, right?

Not to mention the one who’ll host next year’s world track cycling championships.

Now he can hang a certificate awarding him UCI’s apparently unnamed highest honor on his wall, presented unanimously by the organization’s steering committee.

Which doesn’t carry the slightest whiff of corruption, does it?

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You’ve worked hard enough this week. So take a six-minute mountain biking break today.

Or maybe you’d prefer a few tips and tricks to build out your own bike.

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NFL All-Pro defensive end Ndamukong Suh is one of us, too.

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

A 24-year old BMX rider was busted for throwing a rock through the window of a Santa Rosa bike shop during the George Floyd protests last week. You’d think a bike rider would know better, but apparently you’d be wrong.

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Local

Streetsblog details plans for new bus lanes on 5th and 6th Streets in DTLA, including protected bike lanes on the left side of the one-way streets.

The Los Angeles Fire Department rescued a mountain biker who got stranded near Oat Mountain above Chatsworth; fortunately, he wasn’t injured.

La Cañada Flintridge received a $50,000 grant for new bike racks and EV charging stations from the South Coast Air Quality Management District; the grant will pay for new 20 racks throughout the city.

 

State

A bike rider suffered serious injuries when he was t-boned in San Diego’s East Village, after allegedly running a stop sign; fortunately, his injures were not expected to be life-threatening. As always, the question is whether anyone other than the driver involved actually saw him blow the stop.

Two men face a long list of charges after being arrested for the murder of a Visalia woman, followed by the hit-and-run death of bike-riding woman in Tulare as they fled from police.

A pair of Fresno County bike riders were seriously injured when they were hit head-on by a possibly distracted driver who crossed onto the wrong side of the road; one of the victims was an off-duty police officer.

Berkeley will get two miles of Slow Streets, with lanes blocked off on one side to provide space for people to bike and walk while maintaining social distancing.

Oakland News Now continues their bizarre obsession with a Bay Area bike rider who posts video of two wheeled, stop sign-running escapades through the city. Note to Oakland News Now — I believe the word you wanted was reckless, not wreckless. Unless maybe you’re complimenting them on avoiding crashes.

The bicyclist killed in a Sonoma County hit-and-run on Sunday was identified as a Kensington man; he was unidentified at first because he wasn’t carrying any ID. Yet another reminder to always have some form of identification, including emergency contacts, with you when you ride.

 

National

Strava wants to make you a local legend.

Lawyers have released video of a Portland sheriff’s deputy slamming a drunk bicycling suspect against a wall, allegedly fracturing his skull and causing multiple brain bleeds, resulting in a 19-day hospital stay. The action doesn’t start until around the 12 minute mark of the nearly 13 minute video.

Here’s your chance to ride Colorado’s epic 14,264 foot Mt. Evans while it’s still free from cars this summer, offering more than 3,600 feet of climbing over 14 miles.

After he was ticketed for running a stop sign last week, a black Ohio man complains that he’s been stopped by police nine times; he says he was riding without lights just after dawn because he doesn’t want to have interactions with anyone while he’s riding.

Horrifying assault on free speech and freedom of the press, as Maine police officers intimidated a Streetsblog editor in his own home, in apparent retaliation for his role in a recent protest, as well as comments he made online.

The New Yorker examines the bicycle as a vehicle of protest in the 21st Century.

Bikes are still booming in DC as the district prepares to reopen, and shops sell out of lower cost bicycles.

Police seized guns and a KKK grand dragon robe from the home of the Virginia avowed racist who allegedly drove his car into a crowd of protesters on Sunday, hitting a man riding a bike.

Nice story from North Carolina, where a kindhearted bike cop let a little girl attending a protest ride her police bike, and gave her a hand to do it.

 

International

Road.cc takes a look at the best panniers and racks. Meanwhile, sister site Off Road.cc offers a beginner’s guide to bikepacking.

You, too, can ride what may be the most tech-heavy bike ever for a shade under sixteen grand.

An English county is overriding a local mayor who opposed installing pop-up bike lanes, believing they would encourage too many inexperienced bike riders. Which is kind of the point, yes.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a pair of bicycles from a 90-year old British man who rides his bike every day. Or used to, anyway.

The tiny Isle of Man, nestled between England and Northern Ireland in the Irish Sea, with a population smaller than Santa Monica, could become the first European nation to require all bike riders to wear helmets.

A pair of Aussie professors say don’t take the analogy too far, but the conflict between drivers and bicyclists has the characteristics of an ethnic conflict, with driving being the equivalent of whiteness and roadway segregation like apartheid.

 

Finally…

Presenting what may be the ugliest cycling kit ever made. Maybe more adults would obey bike laws if we got ice cream, too.

And this is what your bike would look like if you could ride at the speed of light.

You’d probably win a few Strava KOMs, too.

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

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