Tag Archive for racism

Racism poses challenge for Black bike riders, Long Beach gets grant to fight racism, and who we share the road with ppl

A Boston public radio station says racism is often the first obstacle for Black bicyclists.

And talks with former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who has become a national leader on the subject of racism and equity.

The lack of bike lanes, bike shops, and even bike racks is noticeable in communities of color across the country. Tamika Butler, former head of the LA county Bicycling Coalition, says there is a misperception that Black and brown people don’t ride as much as white people. But a 2012 report from the League of American Bicyclists found bicycling was increasing more in communities of color than it is in white communities. The report found that between 2001 and 2009 there was a 100% increase in African-Americans biking, and a 50% increase in Hispanics as compared to a 22% increase for whites.

“So, this idea that Black and brown folk aren’t biking and that’s why there’s not infrastructure there because they’re not using it, just isn’t factually true,” Butler said in a recent panel discussion GBH hosted on racism in cycling. “It’s because they’re there, and they’re Black and brown that resources aren’t being invested there.”

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read.

Because this is the issue confronting the entire country right now. As well as our own two-wheeled part of it.

Then there’s this.

Photo by Life Matters from Pexels.

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Speaking of Tamika Butler, she will help mentor ten cities which received a $25,000 grant from NACTO — the National Association of City Transportation Officials — to use open streets to fight systemic racism, as well as Covid-19.

One of those grants will be given to Long Beach to “help non-white and low-income business owners thrive through outdoor dining, shopping or commerce.”

The other grants will go to Denver, Philadelphia, Portland, Detroit, Alexandria VA, New York City, Atlanta and Minneapolis.

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This is who we share the road with.

A New York driver dangerously plowed through Black Lives Matter protesters in Times Square; NYPD officials denied it was a police vehicle, despite speculation by protesters.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up, who notes auto-centric New York Bill DeBlasio can’t even manage to condemn the act.

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A 12-year old Boulder, Colorado boy was allegedly attacked by a mo-ped riding woman, who struck him several times in an effort to snatch the Trump yard sign he had attached to his bike.

Seriously, I don’t care what your politics are, some things are just wrong.

Especially when it comes to kids.

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Now this is how you ride a mountain bike.

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

Residents of a British town are up in arms over temporary orange bollards marking a new protected bike lane, calling them “eyesores” amid fears they’ll become permanent. Because obviously, esthetics matter more than the lives of people on bicycles.

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Local

Bike the Vote offers advice on how to make sure your vote is counted this November.

Santa Clarita residents, who already enjoy one of the area’s best bike trail networks, like it enough that their top priority for the streets is more multi-use trails and safer routes.

Speaking of Santa Clarita, sheriff’s deputies wrote 40 tickets for traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians during a crackdown on Wednesday, but didn’t break down just who those tickets went to.

LAist looks at the soon-to-open replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, including the first bike and walking paths across the Port of Long Beach.

 

State

Authorities in San Diego are looking for the driver of a white Honda CRV who fled the scene after running down a bike rider, who suffered undisclosed back and am injuries.

Ventura police use bait bikes to bust a homeless man who is accused of stealing over 45 bicycles; not surprisingly, he had a number of outstanding warrants for petty crimes.

San Jose is introducing a “Better Bike Plan” focusing on safety and equity, and representing a significant upgrade over the current plan.

Robert Leone forwards news that Fremont plans to spend $750,000 to upgrade ten miles of bike lanes — prompting his parents to ask, “what are bollards?”

The US Bicycle Route System continues to grow, including a new 233-mile route linking Lake Tahoe to the Bay Area.

 

National

No surprise here, as a new study confirms that angled parking reduces available road space while increasing danger, particularly for people on bicycles.

Jeep’s new all-terrain ebike is finally ready to hit the streets, eight months after Bill Murray briefly introduced it during this year’s Super Bowl.

The rich get richer. Bike Portland goes for a ride on the city’s new neighborhood greenways.

Surprisingly, Reno NV is confronting many of the same problems as Los Angeles, as a local columnist lists ten things he’d do to improve the city, including improving bike lanes.

At the same time LA-area cities are shutting down their bikeshare programs, Fort Worth’s bikeshare is booming, with a 50% increase over this time last year.

We so need this here. A Chicago man has introduced a safe cycling app to help people find non-threatening routes to ride across the busy city.

A Chicago alderman continues to recover bicycles confiscated by police, seven weeks after they were seized during a July Black Lives Matter protest.

New York City’s controller apparently hopes to ride bikes to the mayor’s office by proposing 75 miles of protected bike lanes around 50 high schools.

An influential New York community board is calling for a crosstown protected bike lane on a busy Manhattan boulevard.

A Florida man faces charge for assaulting a bike cop escorting Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in DC last week, following the conclusion of the Republican National Convention.

Some good news, anyway. The dog that was seriously injured in a South Carolina collision that killed his owner is recovering; she suffered serious head trauma, brain swelling, lacerations and a broken jaw when they were struck while riding from New York to Florida.

No irony here. A drunk Florida driver crashed his car into a sign reading “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Thanks again to Robert Leone for the link.

 

International

Cycling Weekly attempts to answer the eternal question of balance bikes versus training wheels.

Nice move by the London Times, which is launching an online tool to help bike commuters find the safest routes. Maybe we can talk the LA Times into joining them. 

No surprise here. A new Norwegian study shows that ebike owners progressively use their car less.

The Turkish province of Konya has introduced a tram exclusively for bicyclists in an effort to encourage bicycle riding.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thursday’s Tour de France stage didn’t significantly shake up the standings, with the win going to a relative unknown and an American just missing the podium; Cycling Weekly offers five talking points about the stage.

Appropriately, an Irishman is wearing the green Points jersey, for the first time in 31 years.

Bicycling examines whether Tour de France cyclists are really healthy. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you.

GCN considers which cycling teams went cheap on their bikes for the Tour.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your Strava busts you for violating the curfew during the protests — but got away with it because you’re the mayor. Your next bike shorts could have patented 3D pouch technology.

And why let a little thing like a missing wheel stop you?

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

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

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

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

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

Or this side of the Atlantic, for that matter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Talk abut police behaving badly.

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

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

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

Not to mention stinky.

Thanks to Murph’s Tahoe for the link.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

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

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

Arizona Blvd bike lane. Photos by Aurelio Jose Barrera

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

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

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

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

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

And some stories will now be limited members only.

I get why they’re doing it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

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

Coronado driver hits 4 bike riders, racist attack on preteen bike rider, and Velo Club La Grange talks Biking While Black

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A man in Coronado plowed into four people riding their bicycles in a bike lane after having an undisclosed “medical issue” while driving.

Three of the bike riders were taken to the hospital, with injuries described as ranging from minor to serious.

The other rider declined medical treatment — as did the driver, even though he was unresponsive when police arrived.

So his condition is serious enough that he can pass out behind the wheel, but not so serious he needs medical attention afterwards.

And presumably, he was allowed to leave on his own, without so much as a ticket, despite putting three people in the hospital.

Because, you know, a medical condition.

Hopefully, someone will stop him from driving before it happens again. But don’t count on it.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

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In yet another sign of the times we’re living in, a San Francisco man faces hate charges after assaulting a preteen boy.

The 12-year old victim was riding his bike to Walgreens with his friends when he stopped to help a woman who was sobbing in the parking lot.

It was then that 29-year-old Brendon Kruse “ran up to him and began screaming epithets,” according to SFist.

Though the victim’s friends ran away, the boy held tight — perhaps because Kruse prevented the victim from taking his bike — while Kruse continued yelling insults at him; Kruse at one point showed his lightning bolt and skull tattoos and explained to the boy they meant he “kills [plural n-word].” Kruse allegedly also threatened to kill the boy.

Kruse faces well-deserved charges for “criminal threats, child endangerment and false imprisonment with hate crime enhancements.”

Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough for someone who could do that.

And something tells me we know who made the woman cry, too.

Note, I would have linked to the original story in the San Francisco Chronicle, except for their paywall. 

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While we’re on the subject of race, Velo Club La Grange, LA’s longtime leading cycling club, is taking a big step towards understanding what it means to bike while Black in the City of Angels.

On Tuesday, July 7th at 7 pm PT, La Grange will be hosting a virtual Town Hall where a number of local Black cyclists have agreed to share their perspective and experiences and then engage in an interactive question and answer session. The Town Hall is open to all. We invite you all to attend and hope you will join us for this critically important conversation. Please feel free to share with fellow cyclists and anyone interested!

The Town Hall meeting will take place online on Tuesday, July 7 @ 7pm; click here for access to the Zoom meeting

You can read the club’s Full Anti-Racism Statement here

Thanks to Jaycee Cary for the heads-up.

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Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum takes a look at the problems faced by Black bike riders in the US, and how bicycling could help drive racial equality, saying “It is time to dissociate racialist culture and bicycle culture; cycling in itself is agnostic to any culture.”

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This is who we share the road with.

A Seattle man faces two counts of vehicular assault for driving the wrong way up an offramp, around a road closure barrier installed by the state police, and onto a freeway that had been closed for a protest over police brutality.

He swerved around several cars that had been parked across the roadway to serve as barricades, and slammed into two of the protesters.

Twenty-four-year old Summer Taylor was killed, while another person remains in serious condition at a Seattle hospital.

No word yet on why he did it.

But we can probably all take a guess.

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A Friday town hall will discuss SB 288, a California state senate bill that would exempt bike and pedestrian projects from CEQA requirements.

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David Drexler forwards this opportunity to put your favorite transportation modality where your mouth is.

No, literally.

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Forget bike polo.

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

Horrible story from the UK, where a woman riding a mountain bike was attacked and severely beaten by a 60-something man wielding a six-foot long stick. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Local

CicLAvia is now part of the Highline Network, which credits the organization with building a “unifying social fabric,” rather than permanent infrastructure.

 

State

She gets it. A Bakersfield columnist says the Slow Street movement slowly making its way through the state could change our cities for the better, permanently.

No surprise here, as the annual Sea Otter Classic has gone virtual for 2020.

A nearly $25 million state grant will build 74 low income apartments in Modesto, as well as rail improvements and a new 1.5 mile, high-quality bike path.

Tragic news from San Raphael, where a 36-year old man was struck and killed by a train after falling on the tracks when he reportedly rode through the crossing gates. Never do that, no matter how big a hurry you’re in or how tempting it is.

 

National

Senate leader Mitch McConnell calls the bike-friendly US House infrastructure bill a “Green New Deal masquerading as a transportation bill.” Works for me.

Streetsblog looks into the bill, and offers four things they think every advocate of sustainable transportation should know. Unfortunately, the bill is likely to be dead on arrival in the Senate as long McConnell is in charge.

Dump the woodie, and strap your board to your “uncool” ebike the next time you head out to surf.

A new clip-on device promises to add turn signals to any bike helmet; you can preorder it on Kickstarter starting at the equivalent of $51 for the next few days.

A Catholic paper briefly explains how the Madonna del Ghisallo became the patron saint of bicyclists, amid a story about the patron saints of various summer activities. Never mind that many of us don’t just ride in the summertime  Still, a little devine intervention couldn’t hurt; I never ride without my helmet, or my Madonna del Ghisallo medal.

Maybe there’s hope after all. Tacoma, Washington has repealed a 26-year old ordinance requiring bike helmets for all bike riders. Which only leaves another 20 or so cities in the state to go.

About damn time. A new Colorado law gives bike riders the right of way in bike lanes, requiring drivers to yield to people on bicycles. Which seems like an obvious thing, but apparently isn’t. At least not as far as California is concerned.

A South Chicago Bike Out rolled to protest a decision to keep cops in schools, as well as another to allow a scrap metal recycler to move to the area.

The New York Times considers whether the city is finally on the road to becoming a bicycling city, while a 102-year old Queens bike shop struggles to keep up with the pandemic bike boom.

The Guardian looks at the Black-led groups that are biking against racism in New York.

The Bike League bizarrely named Florida the nation’s tenth most bike-friendly state — despite consistently being the nation’s most dangerous state for bike riders and pedestrians. Apparently, it’s a great place to ride a bike, if you survive.

 

International

CyclingTips explains why the dreaded speed wobbles happen when you’re descending. And more importantly, what to do about it.

The Business Times says bicycles are edging cars off the streets of Europe as the coronavirus accelerates a shift away from motor vehicles.

The bike boom has hit Mexico City, too, with new riders taking to a network of popup bike lanes on major arteries throughout the city, to minimize one-on-one contact on public transportation. Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles, home to the world Climate Mayor, <crickets>. 

A Winnipeg, Manitoba business is confronting Covid-19 by paying its employees $50 a month to bike to work.

After inexplicably destroying tens of thousands of Jump bikes around the world, new owner Lime is reintroducing the dockless ebike system to London.

Six years after losing her leg — and nearly her life — when she was hit by a distracted truck driver, a 28-year old London woman is riding a bike for the first time by using a three-wheeled adaptive handcycle.

An English man in his 70’s was critically injured in a collision with a bike rider. Pedestrians can be unpredictable, and very fragile. So always ride carefully anytime they’re around.

The auto-centric UK lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole accuses government officials of rushing through plans for a one-year e-scooter pilot program. Even though the country is over a year behind the rest of the world.

No bias here. A Scottish columnist tosses told water on Vision Zero, saying the only way to prevent traffic deaths is to ban cars, which he says is no more realistic than banning kitchen knives to prevent stabbings. Yet the example he uses is a 91-year old driver who killed a three-year old boy outside a toy store, as if nothing could have been done to ensure someone that old could safely drive car.

After walking out of the hospital, British BMX champ Jason Bynoe thanked the medical staff who cared for him after he somehow ended up under his car when he swerved to avoid a deer; he suffered multiple fractures, as well as horrific road rash, and feared he would never walk again, let alone compete.

It’s not just an American problem. A popular Spanish bicyclist was run down and killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver who left him to die in the street.

Turkish actor Engin Altan Duzyatan is one of us, and so is his four-year old son.

He gets it, too. The German ambassador to Pakistan urges the country to get on its bicycles.

A joint city and state committee was formed to examine bicycle safety after a Brisbane, Australia woman was killed riding her bike, just feet from the hospital where she worked.

An Aussie mountain biker was lucky to survive falling over 30 feet down an unmarked mine shaft. And needless to say, he’s planning to sue.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Belgium, where 20-year old amateur cyclist Niels De Vriendt died of a heart attack, after crashing in the country’s first bike race following the coronavirus lockdown.

Disappointing news, as SoCal’s Over the Hump mountain bike racing series has been cancelled for this year.

The NTT cycling team holds the lead in the pretend Tour de France currently taking place on Zwift, as France’s Julien Bernard took the pretend second stage.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to rob a man to steal the bike he’s walking, make sure he isn’t walking it because the tire is flat. Going for a bike ride while suffering from Covid-19 may be the best argument yet to require helmets for MMA fighters.

And evidently, cars have been around a lot longer than we thought.

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

“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.

………

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. 

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

This is who we share the bike lane with.

………

At least he used the crosswalk.

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

………

This one made my day, for obvious reasons.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

‘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. 

………

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.

………

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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