Tag Archive for racism

“Slight recovery” for Ramona’s Michelle Scott in 2019 hit-and-run, NYPD blames victim, and Tamika talks bikes & racism

The news on Ramona bike rider Michelle Scott is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

According to the Ramona Sentinel, Scott is showing slight progress towards recovery even as she remains confined to a rehab facility, seven months after she was severely injured by a hit-and-run driver while riding to work last October.

The driver who put her there, 35-year old Chase Richard, faces trial on multiple charges next month, including two felony hit-and-run counts, and remains in custody on a $2 million bond.

But even if Richard is found guilty, he likely faces just four years behind bars.

Yet another example of the failure of our society to take traffic violence seriously.

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Peter Flax examines what he calls the “infuriating” conclusion of the NYPD’s investigation into the death of Robyn Hightman, who was killed by a truck driver who claimed he never saw the victim.

And never stopped, despite witness reports that he had to know he’d hit someone.

Not surprisingly, the decidedly bike-unfriendly NYPD blamed the victim for the crash, even though the 20-year old bike messenger was an experienced bicyclist, and a New York bike lawyer says Hightman was probably doing everything right.

Which sadly doesn’t count for much in the auto-centric city.

Flax had written about Hightman’s life and needless death for Bicycling shortly after the fatal crash.

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Boston public radio station WGBH will host a webinar with former LACBC Executive Director and social justice advocate Tamika Butler, among others, to discuss “how cycling, transit, and other systems and infrastructure in our cities and neighborhoods perpetuate the excessive monitoring and policing of Black and Brown bodies in public spaces.”

But you’ll have to register in advance. And get up early, because it starts at 9:30 am Eastern Time on Friday.

That’s 6:30 am here.

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For once, the people South LA aren’t being forgotten as the city moves forward with implementing the Slow Streets program.

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Local

The LA Times says a guided multi-day bike tour could be your safest vacation bet this summer.

Gear Patrol says the new MIPS helmet from LA-based Thousand will actually make you want to wear your helmet.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader asks whether the current bike boom will outlast the pandemic.

 

State

California ski resorts are open for mountain biking, with the usual post-pandemic restrictions.

One-legged bicyclist Leo Rodgers is moving to Costa Mesa to pursue his dream of “influencing and inspiring people,” while a crowdfunding page for his new foundation has raised just over $2,300 of the $10,000 goal; Rodgers was featured on the cover of the latest issue of Bicycling.

The Daily Pilot looks at Newport Beach-based ebike maker Electric Bike Co, whose first brick-and-mortar location is opening in the city on the 4th of July.

Work is continuing on San Diego’s Rose Creek Bikeway, but no estimate was given for completion of the construction project. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Bonita’s new bike park is finally back open, but with a mask requirement to get in, and riders have to stay at least six feet apart.

Supporters of Vision Zero ask if opponents of San Jose’s plan are really that selfish. Yes, they are

 

National

Bicycling says stats on aerodynamics are great, but what really matters is how much they affect how you ride. On the other hand, Road.cc says forget wheel weight and just focus on getting more aero.

Bicycling considers just what it takes to stay safe on your bike in the age of Covid-19.

A hand and wrist physiotherapist explains the causes and treatment of cyclist palsy, the nerve irritation caused by gripping your handlebars for extended periods.

Brit+Co says we’re all riding bikes now, so you need some bike gear that’s actually cute. Assuming you’re a woman, that is; evidently, men don’t need cute bikewear.

Yahoo says this tiny folding e-scooter is the future of bicycling. Hint: It’s not.

A free Colorado e-bikeshare program is helping chronically homeless people get back on their feet.

A St. Louis man and woman were busted for riding bikes that were stolen during the looting that followed the death of George Floyd.

Document Journal examines the New York social justice cycling collective that brought 10,000 bike riders out to the streets of Gotham to support Black Lives Matter. Which is about 9,900 more than have ever turned out in Los Angeles, with the exception of Critical Mass.

A former New York transportation commissioner is proposing a new carfree bridge to connect Manhattan and Queens to accommodate the boom in bike riding; although some advocates aren’t exactly thrilled with the idea.

New York is doubling the amount of temporary protected bike lanes in the city in response to the jump in bike ridership, although that’s still just an increase from nine miles to 18. However, that’s 18 miles more than LA has installed.

Two New Jersey men were busted for mugging a bike rider, just hours following their release after getting busted as porch pirates.

Kindhearted Pennsylvania cops gave a new bike and pump to a man who was saving up to buy a bicycle, while riding multiple buses to two jobs to support his five kids.

A South Florida bike shop teamed with a local foundation to donate a new tandem bike to a blind nine-year old boy so he can ride with his father for the first time.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett is teaming with community leaders and police in his Florida hometown for a two-day bike ride to build stronger community bonds. However, the wisdom of doing that in the middle of a pandemic, in a state with surging Covid-19 cases, is highly debatable.

 

International

The Conversation considers how cities can keep the new riders create by the Covid-19 bike boom on their bicycles.

She gets it. A Canadian columnist says if a Toronto woman is convicted of DUI, while already on parole and a ten-year driving ban for the drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding man, she should never be allowed to drive again. Then again, she wasn’t supposed to be driving now, so the question is what are they willing to do to stop her.

How to fix a bent derailleur.

The BBC examines whether the coronavirus crisis has brought us any closer to tackling climate change.

A Scottish bike rider is dead because an 84-year old man with failing eyesight ignored his doctor’s instructions not to drive.

A British man convicted of stealing a nurse’s bicycle while she was at work treating Covid-19 patients gets a slap on the wrist with less than four months behind bars.

A Dutch traveler’s association is calling for lower speed limits on bike paths, as more people are taking to bicycles to avoid public transit during the coronavirus pandemic; bicyclists are currently allowed to ride up to 27 mph.

Flanders, Belgium is giving away 10,000 free bikeshare rides in an effort get more people on bicycles during the pandemic.

The bike boom is exploding across Germany, too.

Taiwan’s “Pokémon Go grandpa” now has 64 smartphones spread out like peacock feathers on his handlebars to help him play the game. Although that means he probably can’t see the road right in front of him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cycling will look different this year in the wake of Covid-19, and here won’t be any hugs or kisses on the podium at this year’s Tour de France. Which means this is the perfect opportunity to get rid of podium girls once and for all.

NPR considers the ups and downs of Everesting in the wake of Lachlan Morton’s new record, set just outside my hometown.

 

Finally…

If your life’s dream is to own a Segway, you’d better hurry. Who needs a hotel when you can tow your own RV?

And how not to wash your bike.

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

Killer drunk driver walks free after 23 days, racist bike-hater gets probation, and 1/2 mile extension for Chandler Bikeway

My thanks to everyone who sent me links over the weekend.

Because of today’s overstuffed post, and the need to sleep sometime tonight, I’ll try to catch up on the rest tomorrow. 

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

A Long Beach man got a gentle caress on the wrist — not even a slap — for killing a man in a wheelchair while driving drunk, escaping with just a one-year sentence for taking the life of another human being.

Then was let out of jail after just 23 days, thanks to overcrowding at the LA County Jail.

Yes, 23 days.

Less than one lousy month. Barely over three weeks, in fact.

Which sends a strong message to anyone else thinking of getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Just go ahead and do it, because no one will hold you accountable.

Even if you kill someone.

Photo by EVG photos from Pexels.

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Seriously, what the hell is wrong with some people?

A racist Oregon scumbag walked with just probation — and well-deserved anger management — for threatening to blow a 14-year old boy’s head off.

Why?

Because he rode his bike in front of the man’s house.

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Good news from Burbank, where officials plan to extend the popular Chandler Bikeway half a mile to connect the downtown Burbank Metrolink station with the Burbank Channel Bikeway, which is currently being built.

The bad news is, it could be over four years before anyone can ride the finished extension.

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Looks like Los Angeles may be inching closer to closing the Northvale Gap in the Expo Line Bike Path.

Which wouldn’t exist if Metro and the city hadn’t caved to a handful of NIMBY homeowners who were afraid thieves would ride bikes up to their homes to steal their flatscreen TVs.

No, really.

Because apparently, criminals don’t drive. And couldn’t accomplish the same thing by just driving up to their front doors.

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Why is it that bike safety goes out the window whenever someone wants to make a movie in Los Angeles?

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KNBC-4 says CicLAvia revealed the map for next month’s Mid City Meets Venice event.

Yet somehow, they failed to include said map in their story.

We won’t make the same mistake.

That will be followed by a return to Glendale in June, as we mentioned a few weeks ago.

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LA’s own Phil Gaimon is the topic of the latest video from GCN video, as he joins the team in an effort to win a Dixie Canyon KOM.

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This is who we share the bike lane with.

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At least he used the crosswalk.

Even though it took forever for anyone to actually stop for it.

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This one made my day, for obvious reasons.

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

A Texas man was busted for riding his bicycle through the halls of an Amarillo high school while making terroristic thefts.

A Tennessee man got 44 years without parole for murdering two teenagers by shooting them after a brief argument behind a Memphis business, then riding away on his bicycle.

Pittsburgh police are looking for a man who tried to rob a woman, then chased her on his bike as she tried to run away.

A British driver complains that a mountain biker plowed into his car as he was stopped at a red light, then brutally attacked him when he got out to see if the bike rider was okay, while a young boy begged the attacker to stop. Although something tells me there might be another side to the story in which the driver is not wholly innocent.

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Local

The Los Feliz Ledger looks at the Sunset4All campaign to add a two-way protected bike lane on Sunset Blvd; the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted unanimously to support the project, despite the possible loss of some parking.

A Highland Park man says switching to an ebike for his LA to Long Beach commute freed him from the tyranny of traffic, if not unpleasant odors.

Los Angeles-based Wheels is the latest dockless micromobility provider to lay off staff, as the industry struggles for profitability.

Food trucks are so last decade. A new eco-friendly chickpea bowl food bike will start making the rounds of the Westside, mounted on an ebike that recharges with pedaling. 

If you build it, they will come. Nothing like a new 1,500 space parking garage on the Cal State Northridge campus to encourage students and faculty to drive to the school. But at least it includes bicycle and scooter storage.

Santa Clarita is looking for input on the city’s new Non-Motorized Transportation Plan.

The replacement for the Desmond Thomas Bridge will open later next year, along with the first bike lane across the harbor; now the bridge just needs a name. How about naming it for Mark Bixby, the Long Beach community leader and bike advocate who fought for that bike lane on the bridge before he was killed in a 2011 plane crash?

 

State

Finally, a sentence even I think might be a tad excessive. A San Clemente woman got the maximum sentence, as a judge gave her 51 years to life for a collision that killed three teenagers in another car while she was driving at three times the legal limit.

San Diego will install leading pedestrian intervals at 300 intersections to improve safety. Now they just need to allow bikes to go the same time as pedestrians to improve safety for everyone. 

Cute photo of a Santa Cruz ebike rider taking his two collies for a ride along the beach.

A San Jose driver copped a plea in the death of a 62-year old bike rider last July in exchange for a four-year sentence.

More proof that permanent street closures often don’t affect traffic flows, as a new study shows that banning cars from San Francisco’s Market Street resulted in virtually no spillover traffic on nearby streets, while improving travel times for bikes and buses, which are still allowed.

City Lab questions why a San Francisco bike shop owner would protest plans for a protected bike lane in front of his shop; just wait until he learns about a proposal to shut the street down entirely.

 

National

Curbed explains how to fix America’s broken intersections.

About time. Ford has developed a warning system to alert drivers to approaching bike riders to prevent doorings. Now let’s make it mandatory for every new car and truck.

A writer for Wired explains why, after years of loving cars, he decided he just didn’t want to drive anymore, and now rides a bike everywhere.

Jeep’s new fat tire, all-terrain ebike is now on sale, if you happen to have nearly six grand lying around.

A Vancouver WA paper says bike lanes and safety are great, but they’d rather have the 400 parking spaces that would have to be removed for them; needless to say, they’re not the only ones who prefer car storage over the safety of their fellow human beings.

An off-duty Border Patrol agent is credited with saving the life of an Arizona bike rider who was hit by a driver, using his training as a certified paramedic.

They get it. A Denver magazine says focusing on whether a bike rider was wearing a helmet following a crash is a form of victim blaming, and has to stop.

Some people just don’t get it. A St. Paul letter writer says no one can commute or carry groceries on a bike, and people will stop riding when they get older. All of which is refuted by people who do it every day.

Rochester, Minnesota is giving away 100 bicycles left over from a failed bikeshare service to people in need.

It only took New York drivers 24 hours to obliterate the newly installed bollards intended to keep them out of a protected bike lane.

No surprise here. Bicycling examined crash data from New York, and discovered when drivers make mistakes, people on bicycles too often pay the price.

DC considers a proposal that would require transportation equity by forcing employers who subsidize parking to offer an equal benefit or cash payout to people who don’t drive.

A Georgia grand jury will hear evidence in a fatal hit-and-run that took the life of a man riding his bike, after the driver called a state legislator and the local police chief instead of calling 911, and no one reported the crash or looked for the victim until it was too late.

 

International

A new study confirms what most of us already know. The more expensive a car is, the less likely the driver is to stop for pedestrians. Or anyone else. Or put another way, the more likely they are to drive like self-entitled jerks.

A new report from the International Transport Forum concludes that 80% of bicycling and e-scooters fatalities involve motor vehicles and the people who drive them. And traffic safety will improve if car, truck and motorcycle trips are replaced by scooters and bikes.

Fallen mountain biker Jordie Lunn will have a Vancouver Island bike park named in his honor. Meanwhile, a new report says the city must build safer bike lanes to get more people riding. Even though it’s already head-and-shoulders beyond cities like Los Angeles.

In a story that could have come from virtually anywhere in North America, a Winnipeg student newspaper says the city is all talk and no action when it comes to preventing bike thefts.

London is dropping speed limits to 20 mph in areas of the city used most by pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Which compares to speeds of 45 mph or more on some LA streets.

When British Olympic hopeful Ashton Lambie came up short, he took a bikepacking trip across the UK in search of the soul of bicycling. Which might be better, anyway.

No surprise here. A new report says two out of three bicycling crashes involving Belgian teenagers occur on roadways with no bicycling infrastructure.

Always double check your mailing addresses. A Catalan doping ring was busted when someone shipped a package to the wrong address; police seized 1.65 million doses of performance enhancing drugs worth the equivalent of nearly $1.3 million.

After police in a village outside of Hyderabad, India sent a serial rapist to prison with a death sentence, they gave new bicycles to 15 school girls for their safety.

Life is cheap in Zimbabwe, where an unlicensed driver walked with a lousy $900 fine for killing a bike rider after losing control of his vehicle — and two-thirds of that was for the license violation, not killing another human being.

Talk about a special place in hell. Heartless Aussie scam artists set up a fake crowdfunding page claiming to raise funds for a woman who died after being thrown from her bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to the US Women’s Pursuit Team on winning the world championships in Berlin last week, making them the favorites for the Tokyo Olympics.

Call her the fastest woman on two wheels. America’s Chloe Dygert broke her own record in the individual pursuit. Then broke it again to take the gold.

Cycling’s governing body announced an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against the Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport women’s cycling team.

The COVID-19 coronavirus hit the cycling world hard on Thursday when the UAE Tour was halted with two stages still to go after two Italians tested positive for the virus; race leader Adam Yates was declared the winner. British Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish are among those being tested before being allowed to leave the country.

The Wall Street Journal considers the forthcoming effects of the new coronavirus on pro cycling, if you can get past their paywall.

Temper, temper. Italian cyclist Gianni Moscon got the boot from Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne race after throwing a temper tantrum — and a competitors bike — following a mass crash. He followed that by ripping up his number when he was DQ’d. And it was far from his first time.

 

Finally…

Who needs a dog sled when you’ve got two fat tires? When you’re riding your bike with four outstanding warrants, maybe try riding with traffic next time.

And maybe there are better hobbies than collecting 5,800 stolen bike seats.

Just saying.

Morning Links: Brits say no immunity for killer driver, Iowa racist runs over girl, and round-the-world rider nearly killed in Texas

It’s the last day of the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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The wife of an American intelligence officer has finally been charged with killing a British motorcyclist.

Even though the US and Britain can’t even decide if she has diplomatic immunity.

Anne Sacoolas allegedly fled the scene after crashing into the 19-year old motorcyclist while driving on the wrong side of the road. Then promised to cooperate with investigators before fleeing the country under cover of darkness, claiming diplomatic immunity.

And has refused to return to the UK to face charges, despite still more promises to do so.

In other words, using her questionable immunity to avoid taking responsibility for killing a young man. And making her no better than any other hit-and-run driver.

Needless to say, our president has tried to turn the whole mess into a particularly messy episode of reality TV.

And written the whole thing off by saying “American drivers often get confused because motorists in Britain drive on the left side of the road.”

Thanks to Chris Buonomo for the heads-up.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A racist Iowa woman says she drove her car up onto a sidewalk to run over 14-year old girl simply because she thought she was Mexican.

And followed that up by hurling racial epithets, as well as objets, towards a convenience store clerk and the store’s customers just 90 minutes later.

Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

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Once again, a bicycle tourist visiting the US has been brutally run down by an American driver.

This time, it’s a Scottish man whose around the world journey ended abruptly when a Texas driver smashed into him from behind at 70 mph. Remarkably, he somehow survived with a fractured skull, ankle, heel, pelvis and ribs, as well as a punctured a lung.

There’s something seriously wrong when people from other countries can’t ride a bicycle here in the US without taking their lives in their hands.

And just as wrong that the story isn’t even considered newsworthy on this side of the Atlantic.

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Robert Leone forwards news that San Diego has started work on a bikeway project which promises to mess up commutes for the next two years.

On the other hand, unlike some much larger cities to the north — okay, one in particular — they’re actually doing something to improve the streets.

And warning people in advance about the road work.

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The founder of Fairdale Bikes offers a slightly strange look at one of the great moments in BMX history.

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

A Riverside man was arrested for carrying meth and car burglary tools, along with violating his probation for car theft. But at least he was riding a bike, right?

If you’re going to ride your bike to illegally poach elk literally in Colorado residents’ backyards, at least take your backpack and phone with you when you flee from the game wardens. Schmuck.

A “nasty” bicyclist broke the arm and shoulder of a British woman in her 70s by dragging her as she fought to hold onto the purse he was trying to steal. Double schmuck.

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‘Tis the Season.

Santa brought new bicycles to 26 Redding families as part of a CHP kids’ program.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office gave more than 80 bicycles to Oroville-area children on Friday.

A Missouri church made sure 150 kids celebrated a happy Christmas with a new bicycle.

After a Virginia boy’s bike was stolen, a local cop bought him a new one. And threw in one for the boy’s sister so they could ride together.

A Hollywood women’s club teams with the local police to buy bikes and helmets for 25 kids. No, the other Hollywood.

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It’s the final day of this year’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

And you though we’d never get here. 

Thanks to John M, Tim Z, Robert L, Risers Music, John H, Anne K and Brian N for their very generous donations. In fact, we’ve already set a new record for the greatest number of donations, and we’re just a few hundred dollars short of our goal for this year. 

So don’t let this last day — and the Corgi’s last days as this site’s official spokesdog — pass by unnoticed.

Give today to help to keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day

Because the time to wait is over. 

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Local

Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward, aka Roadblock, talks with vegan dietician, LA bike scene OG and founder of the famed Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hillclimb Matt Ruscigno, as well as CD14 city council candidate Cyndi Otteson on this week’s Bike Talk podcast.

Teachers at a Pasadena school have started a crowdfunding page for a 9th grade student who was critically injured in a hit-and-run last month, as well as his father, who has been at his son’s side and unable to work for over a month.  It’s currently less than $2,000 short of the $15,000 goal.

Long Beach business owners continue to complain about the Broadway road diet, saying the protected bike lanes are driving customers away.

 

State

A new statewide nonprofit is working to build more off-road trails; founders include the head of LA-based CORBA.

The popular Buck Gully Trail in Newport Beach is now one-way, to the chagrin of some area mountain bikers.

An Oxnard man was rushed to the hospital after he was stabbed while apparently riding his bicycle; police believe he was homeless.

 

National

A new book tells the horrifying story of a Hawaiian woman who was apparently intentionally run down while riding her bike in 1991, then raped, beaten and murdered. Nearly a decade later, two men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, though some still believe they’re innocent.

An Oregon bike rider will get a $350,000 settlement after he was struck in a bike lane that passed in front of a freeway offramp.

Supporters of a Colorado velodrome are making one last push to save it before the track is sold to a developer.

Heartbreaking news from Missouri, where a pair of kids died when they somehow drowned in a pond while riding their bikes.

Brooklyn residents demand the redesign of a dangerous street where four people who weren’t in cars have been killed this year.

The New York Post calls a Bronx man a superhero for recording driver indiscretions and posting them to his Twitter feed.

 

International

Newly re-elected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a bike for Christmas. But evidently, no one likes him enough to give him one. And he hasn’t been good enough to get one from Santa Claus.

A coroner in the UK questions whether posted speed limits should apply to bicyclists, after a 79-year old man was killed when he stepped in front of a bike rider doing 38 in a 30 mph zone. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely. It’s up to you to ride safely when pedestrians are around. And your responsibility if you if you don’t. 

Parisians are keeping cool and carrying on by riding their bikes in the face of a three-week transit strike, as well as e-scooters, mopeds, walking, and yes, cars.

An Israeli strategic plan calls for getting more people on bicycles.

Nepal’s bike-riding Kung Fu Buddhist Nuns are back in the news, organizing bi-yearly bike tours to combat human trafficking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly ranks the top ten pro cyclists of the past decade. And for once, a man doesn’t come out on top.

Cycling News looks at the most dramatic moments in pro cycling this year.

 

Finally…

Evidently, you can’t get a new bike if your name is Seinfeld. Your next handlebars could spin to make parking and storage easier.

And who says it’s a happy ending when they give someone new car so he doesn’t have to bike to work anymore?

Sounds more like a curse to me.

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Hanukkah Sameach to all those celebrating the Festival of Lights this week!

I’m no expert. But I don’t think this is how it’s supposed to look on the first night.

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