Tag Archive for racism

PR plug for killer socialite, transportation ideas for CD13, and ex-Tour de France champ discussed in racist recording

Forget Black Friday. It’s just three more days to the official start of the 8th Annual BikinginLA holiday fund drive!

Thanks to our longtime friend Jim L for getting us off to an early start with his generous donation!

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The pre-trial PR campaign is kicking into high gear.

Wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Center, wants us to know that she is just so very misunderstood, and isolated from all her rich friends.

Just because she killed two innocent little kids while speeding along on surface streets at what police investigators have estimated as up to 80 mph in a 45 mph zone.

No, she says, she wasn’t drunk or street racing with her friend, former Dodger Scott Erickson, even though they were reportedly zig zagging and leap frogging one another’s cars.

And no, I don’t remember him, either.

I do, however, recall her victims, 11-year old Mark Iskander and his 8-year old brother Jacob, who were violently run down as they were crossing the street with their family.

She faces 34 to life if she’s convicted on both murder counts, and is walking free on $2 million bail pending a March trial.

Hopefully she’ll show up for that one, unlike five previous hearings.

Seriously, LA Magazine should be ashamed for allowing themselves to be used like this.

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Today’s must-read comes from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, who has 11 transportation suggestions for newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez.

The ideas range from implementing the Sunset4All Complete Streets project, and the Temple Street lane reduction and bike lanes blocked by outgoing Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, to capping the 101 Freeway with a public park.

It’s more than worth the eight minutes it will take to read.

Let alone turning all the ideas into action.

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The LA Times has compiled an annotated transcript of the racist and otherwise offensive recording that lead to the resignation of former City Council president Nury Martinez and LA County Federation of Labor chief Ron Herrera.

The recording has also lead to repeated calls for councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo to resign, although the latter will be leaving next month anyway, after losing his bid for re-election, while the former refuses to do the right thing.

The conversation also bizarrely featured disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Kevin de León
Over the weekend, I called a buddy of mine who is a former U.S. attorney.

Nury Martinez
I have one of those, too. It’s good to have one of those.

Kevin de León
Cool. We’re very close. And he, he had the Lance Armstrong case too, when they were going to indict Lance Armstrong.

Nury Martinez
The cyclist?

Kevin de León
The cyclist. Yeah.

Nury Martinez
What did he do? Doping. Is it doping

Kevin de León
Yeah. And the case was coming out of the L.A. office of the U.S. attorney’s office here…

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Enter this number in your phone. And take it with you when you ride.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is considering following New York’s lead by offering a bounty on drivers who block bike lanes.

Maybe our new councilmembers could consider something like that here.

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This is who we share the internet with.

That was followed by this comment, from someone who apparently fails to grasp the concept of a protected bike lane.
Car drivers have to move over in the lane for obstructions all the time (mail trucks, trash trucks, etc.). How hard is it for a biker to move over? What happening to sharing the road?

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

No bias here. A regional transportation group has put a Des Moines, Iowa model bike safety on hold, somehow fearing a backlash over the common sense reforms.

A British driver was caught on video speeding down a protected bike lane, either oblivious to or not caring about the oncoming bike riders who were forced out of the lane.

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

A 20-year old man in the UK was sentenced to six-months time served for rebelling against his parents attempt to have him committed by brandishing a machete while riding with a group of other bike riders, even though the only injury anyone suffered was a dog bite after the group was chased by a small pack.

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Local

Babe star James Cromwell added his voice to a campaign to halt plans to restore the ecologically degraded Los Angeles Ballona Wetland Ecological Reserve, which includes plans for a ten-mile bike and pedestrian path; no word on what the pig had to say.

Ride hailing and micromobility provider Lyft has pulled all of their bikeshare bikes and e-scooters out of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, after failing to secure a longterm contract from city officials.

Glendale has received a $6 million state grant for the Verdugo Wash Visioning Project, which will create a 9.4-mile-long linear park and nature trail for walking and cycling, courtesy of Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

 

State 

A mountain biker used his bike as a shield when he was charged by a mountain lion on a San Luis Obispo trail, leading to a brief standoff before the big cat retreated. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

The $20 million bike and pedestrian path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is entering the final year of its four-year pilot program, as impatient motorists chomp at the bit to get it back.

The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bike in North Highlands earlier this month.

 

National

Fortune says the four-year old e-scooter industry is finally getting around to being as green and sustainable as they claimed, after quietly polluting for years.

No irony here. A Portland bike rider was lucky to escape serious injury when he was run down by a red light-running hit-and-run driver in a crash caught on video, while he was riding to an event to mark the World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

A Kansas City business owner says his business is suffering because Missouri drivers are apparently incapable of figuring out a parking-protected bike lane.

A decades old Fayetteville, Arkansas bicycle charity is shutting down after giving away tens of thousands of bikes to kids in need; the 76-year old wife of the man known locally as the Bicycle Man continued the program for nine years after his death, and hopes to give away another 1,000 bicycles before shutting down after the holidays.

‘Tis the season. A Louisville country music station has collected over 1,500 bicycles, as well as monetary donations for Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army, to ensure that every local kid has a gift for the holidays.

The rich get richer, as New York announced plans to expand the city’s bike lane network next year.

A 60-year old New Jersey man is on his 14th bike trip across the US; he’s covered over 39,000 miles since he first hit the road on his ‘bent five years ago, after recovering from getting hit by a drunk driver.

‘Tis the season, too. A kindhearted Baton Rouge, Louisiana lawyer is giving away over 450 new bikes to local kids.

 

International

In honor of the World Cup, Road.cc creates their own all-star team of bike-riding soccer stars.

British residents say they want a bike with an ABS anti-lock braking system.

An Irish paper is up in arms after local officials “wasted” the equivalent of nearly $12,000 building a 600-foot separated bike lane, complaining it’s an “embarrassment” that even bike riders don’t want.

Pink Bike features seven weird and wonderful bikes currently for sale on the platform.

Hanoi, Vietnam is considering establishing a public bikeshare service to to reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution, with 1,000 bikes at 94 stations.

 

Finally…

Your new fixie could be a Wu-Tang Clan bike. That feeling when the kids are riding on thin ice. No, literally.

And bike riding while blind and blind drunk.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

South Pasadena plans car-centric remake of Fair Oaks Ave, and anti-growth email scandal in car-centric Redondo Beach

It looks like South Pasadena is going the wrong way.

The town of just 26,000 people sandwiched between Los Angeles and Pasadena is proposing a plan to remove bulb-outs on Fair Oaks Ave, optimizing the street for motor vehicles while making it less safe for everyone else — particularly bike riders and pedestrians.

Here’s what Streets For All had to say.

THIS TUESDAY (today), the City of South Pasadena’s Mobility and Transportation Infrastructure Commission has an item on its agenda(item #3 – staff report here) to consider how to implement over $11M in federal funds for road safety improvements. Unbelievably, city staff seem to think that removing pedestrian bulb outs are a safety improvement (for whom!?). Additionally, the vast majority goes to car infrastructure – new signals, new lanes, and new cameras to monitor congestion.

It’s 2022 and we know the cost of traffic violence all too well in the Los Angeles area. There is no room for 1990s thinking using 2022 dollars. Make your voice heard.

BEST: MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT LIVE 11.15 at 6:30PM

EMAIL PUBLIC COMMENT BEFORE NOON ON 11.15

Meanwhile, Dr. Grace Peng offered her thoughts, including sharing her open letter to the South Pasadena city council.

Dear South Pasadena Mobility and Transportation Infrastructure Commission –

I oppose your staff’s recommendation to use federal dollars to make Fair Oaks Ave less safe.

Fair Oaks is a very wide and busy street. Crossing it within the allotted pedestrian signal time is already difficult for the mobility-impaired. Bulb outs reduce the distance, and make vulnerable road users safer.

The proof is right in front of us. I looked up South Pasadena in the Transportation Injury Mapping System.

The bulb outs were installed around 2010. Between 2011 and 2021, Fair Oaks Ave has seen fewer pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths than the narrower Mission St. This is a good indication that traffic calming elements on Fair Oaks are working. Stay the course.

Since Covid, there has been an increase in injuries on Fair Oaks, and in the whole region.  Do not allow cars to pick up speed while making right turns. This only increases the severity of injury and the risk of death to pedestrians. 

I live in Redondo Beach, where the death of a 13 year old girl at an unsafe intersection cost our city $33 Million in a wrongful death lawsuit. No amount of money will make that family whole again. And our city coffers suffer as well due to sharply increased insurance premiums. As a mother and daughter (to a mobility-impaired senior), I am begging you to improve, not remove pedestrian safety infrastructure. 

The $11 M in Caltrans funding could pay for pedestrian scramble signal timing changes. This would temporally separate vulnerable road users and cars/trucks in the intersections.  This would facilitate vehicle turns and improve safety.  Do this instead.

Grace Peng, PhD

PS I concur with the Streets For All recommendations below:

The ~$11M is coming from the canceled 710 North project; instead, the funds should be used to improve transportation for all modes in South Pasadena.

The vast majority of funds are proposed to be spent on cars – new signals, new turn lanes, new traffic monitoring cameras – none of these expensive items will help the residents of South Pasadena get out of cars, which are the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California!

Most egregiously, staff is proposing to REMOVE pedestrian bulb outs on Fair Oaks Ave – pedestrian bulb outs are a proven safety element that help save lives by enabling pedestrians to spend less time in the street when crossing. Removing them is contrary to every possible best safety practice.

I ask that you throw out these staff recommendations and start over. Build a true multi modal street. Add protected bike lanes (implement your own bike plan!) and more pedestrian improvements. Consider bus-only lanes in the city. With an average trip of only 3 miles, if you build safe alternatives to the car, many residents will use them, improving traffic, air quality, safety, and helping fight climate change.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

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At least it’s not as bad as the recently released recording of racist and otherwise offensive comments by three LA city councilmembers, two of whom still refuse to do the right thing and resign.

But emails between the mayor of Redondo Beach and various councilmembers and supporters sure as hell ain’t pretty.

The emails center on the majority-white city’s efforts to block housing projects, particularly those offering housing for low-income residents, as well as offensive racial “banter” in private conversations.

The emails were released as part of a freedom of information request filed by attorneys for a developer looking to redevelop the city’s pier, which was blocked by a public vote.

Redondo resident Dr. Peng says officials purposely undermine transit and active transportation projects to create anti-housing furor.

It’s also worth noting that local officials are insisting that ebike riders obey the law; drivers, not so much.

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Streets For All continues a strong run in this election cycle, as two more candidates endorsed by the transportation PAC claimed victory, including new LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath; a click on the lower right panel reveals 15 candidates and propositions who’ve won with their endorsements, with no losses — yet.

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

Ann Arbor, Michigan goes back to the drawing board after local residents insist on keeping their on-street parking instead of a new bike lane, even though the homes appear to have fully functional driveways. And bizarrely argue that street parking improves safety, while bike lanes don’t — exactly the opposite of the actual effects.

An English bike rider suffered a broken leg after he was knocked off his bike by a road raging pedestrian following an argument between the two men.

It was evidently a bad weekend for people on bikes in the UK, as a second bike rider was hospitalized with serious head injuries when he was viciously attacked by a road raging driver.

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

Police in the UK are looking for a pair of hooded teenagers who rode up on bikes before demanding money and belongings from two 17-year old boys, but ended up riding off empty handed.

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Local

No surprise here. The Los Angeles Daily News reports Metro’s proposal to “simplify” it’s fare structure, which masks a dramatic fare increase, came in for overwhelming criticism during yesterday’s problem-plagued virtual meeting.

Santa Monica collected over $5 million in Development Impact Fees in 2022, adding to a pot of $11.4 million set aside for transportation projects, including $3.4 million for bikeways in 2024; the city spent nearly $1 million of the fund for active transportation projects this year.

 

State 

Petaluma announced plans for a bicycle boulevard on the city’s west side.

San Francisco safe streets advocates celebrate after last week’s election resulted in a victory to keep JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park permanently carfree.

A Tulare County woman faces up to four years behind bars for the hit-and-run that killed a man walking his bicycle earlier this month; Shay Dejonge is being held without bail after entering a not guilty plea.

 

National

The Bike League is now offering an online Bicycle Friendly Drive Training course. Which most drivers will undoubtedly rush to take.

No surprise here, either. A new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health shows that bike lanes may be the most cost-effective way to improve public health.

Bicycling reports on the Bike League’s latest list of Bicycle Friendly Universities; congratulations to SoCal’s Santa Monica College, UC San Diego and the University of San Diego. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Wired reports that the pandemic bike boom is still going strong in cities that invested in bike infrastructure, but faltering in those that didn’t — like Los Angeles, for instance. Meanwhile, the magazine also recommends the best ebikes for elderly riders, only one of which is an adult tricycle.

Cycling Weekly says it’s been a rough year for Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes, after the company has faced lawsuits, layoffs and a recent recall.

A 67-year old Washington woman has set a Guinness world record as the oldest woman to ride across the US from coast-to-coast.

Three men face charges for recklessly riding their bikes in Salem, New Hampshire, after they were stopped as part of a rideout group weaving in and out of traffic.

The Guardian reports “everyone is scared” after ebike batteries are alleged to have caused 200 fires in New York, resulting in six deaths. Although other reports suggest that the problem stems from delivery riders using low-cost refurbished lithium ion batteries with mismatched chargers. 

New York could get another large pedestrian plaza before Los Angeles gets its first, as the city starts the process of removing cars from Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, after previously making Times Square carfree.

You can now ride your bike between Hoboken and Jersey City on a new curb and plastic bendy post-protected two-way bike lane.

 

International

A Vancouver writer calls on the city to keep the bike lanes through the city’s Stanley Park, which the city council recently voted to remove.

Tesla insists a crash that killed a Chinese motorcyclist and a high school student on a bicycle wasn’t its fault, despite data taken from the vehicle that failed to show the Model Y SUV applied its brakes before the crash.

Melbourne, Australia officials were urged to rip out a series of popup bike lanes, after an independent review found they either offered limited benefit, or actually increased the risk to bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to American Hannah Roberts, as the 21-year old Olympic silver medalist won her third consecutive BMX Freestyle world title.

A 31-year old former pro cyclist from the Isle of Man will spend four years behind bars after he was busted for dealing coke; Christopher Whorrall blamed his downfall on hitting rock-bottom after an injury ended his career.

 

Finally…

Apparently, its against the law to fix an illegally obscured license plate. When you’re already the most wanted man in town, put some damn lights on your bike.

And when is a bike lane not a bike lane? When horn-honking drivers use it to bypass traffic, while insisting people on bikes get the hell out of their way.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

De León: hell no, he won’t go; advocacy groups call for ebike libraries; and what happens when officials give a damn

Talk about misreading the room.

In an announcement that was almost universally condemned, CD14 City Councilmember Kevin de León says hell no, he won’t go.

De León is refusing to resign in the wake of a racist and otherwise offensive recording in which he was heard actively participating, along with outgoing CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, former Council President Nury Martinez and ex-LA County Federation of Labor Ron Herrera, the latter two of whom at least had the decency to resign.

His announcement was immediately condemned by newly elected Council President Paul Krekorian.

Yes, the same Krekorian who singlehandedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready lane reductions and protected bike lanes planned for Lankershim Blvd in one of his first official acts on the council.

Apparently thinking he can somehow survive this, de León said “I’m not going to mince words. I’m not going to deflect blame. I’m not going to defend the defenseless,” before attempting to do exactly that, adding he’ll be “spending the coming weeks and months personally asking for your forgiveness.”

Forgiveness that is not likely to be given, after failing to condemn Martinez’ open racism, while himself comparing fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin’s toddler son to the Luis Vuitton purse favored by Martinez.

Bonin is clearly in no mood for de León’s weakass mea culpa.

As we’ve noted before, this whole city hall soap opera matters, because we’re never going to get action on safer streets with dysfunctional city leadership, particularly with the council’s draft of the Healthy Streets LA initiative due back at the council in a few weeks.

Speaking of which, the LA Times has opened a web portal to help you find how to contact the right city agencies and officials to address various issues.

You know, in case you want to advocate for safer streets. Or complain about corrupt city officials.

Photo from Wikipedia

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And speaking of Bonin, Streets For All has posted video of Wednesday’s virtual Happy Hour with the outgoing councilmember.

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Yesterday we mentioned Metro’s confusing proposal to reform management of the Metro Bike bikeshare system.

The leaders of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, ActiveSGV and People for Mobility Justice teamed to release an open letter to the Metro board, suggesting that opening ebike libraries and investing in safer infrastructure might be a better approach.

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It looks like LADOT is finally getting serious about counting bikes, at least on 7th Street.

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This is what happens when city officials actually give a damn.

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CNN recognizes the Dutch city of Utrecht for the world bicycling capital it is.

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

An Ottawa, Canada mayoral candidate is politely taken to task after declaring he won’t declare a war on cars by investing bike lanes, preferring a “balanced approach” that’s balanced heavily in favor of motor vehicles.

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

A 70-year old Fresno man insists he’s the real victim after he lay in wait and repeatedly shot and stabbed a man he accused of stealing his bicycle; Edmundo Martinez faces 50 to life if he’s convicted of killing Jose Palafox, Jr. Once again, no bike is worth a human life.

A Phoenix man faces charges after he was captured on video circling a convenience store parking lot on his bike while aiming a gun at bystanders; the man bizarrely claimed there was someone hiding in a cooler at the store to justify his actions.

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Local

The next driver who tries to run you off the road may not be one, after Google’s Waymo announced plans to bring driverless taxis to the City of Angels.

Streets For All is calling for canvassing volunteers to help elect transit advocate — and corgi dad — Kenneth Mejia as Los Angeles City Controller.

Cycling Tips reviews the second-gen Cero One cycle truck-style e-cargo bike from Los Angeles-based Cero. And likes it. I’d get one myself, with the perfect upfront corgi carrier, if I had an extra three grand laying around.

 

State 

California is offering $50,000 rewards for each of four unsolved murders, including a 16-year old boy who was shot and killed while riding his bike in Alameda County.

Great idea. The League of Women Voters is hosting a Bike Out the Vote bike caravan in Albany this weekend. Although someone should tell them that Bike the Vote is a lot less confusing.

 

National

Momentum examines bike storage solutions to help keep your bikes safe and out of the way.

Bicycling wants to know what’s the weirdest animal you’ve ever had to dodge on a bike, after a video of two angry moose charging down an Alaska bike path goes viral. In my case, it was an alligator sunning itself on a Louisiana roadway. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bike Portland profiles an adventurous leather goods peddler, who pedals a bike trailer with his merchandise to a local outdoor market every weekend.

Life is cheap in Houston, where an eight-year old boy riding a bike is dead because a driver insisted on distractedly making a left turn while she was “messing with her sandwich;” a month later, charges still have not been filed.

Kindhearted Michigan sheriff’s deputies dipped into their own funds to buy a 13-year old boy a new bike after he was struck by a driver, trashing his bike and leaving him with 100 stitches in his leg.

Travel site Condé Nast recommends the best bike routes to explore New York’s five boroughs.

A Virginia woman tells drivers that rushing is never worth the risk, after her daughter was killed and another woman seriously injured by an 18-year old drunk driver as they rode their bikes.

 

International

A British Columbia letter writer offers a brief tutorial on the differences between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, stressing that the latter might kill the first two, but the first two never kill the latter, and that separate infrastructure is the only solution to keep everyone safe.

An Indian college student faces charges for the high speed crash that killed one bike rider, before swerving onto the other side of the road and killing another.

A handmade Namibian bike brand made its international debut at the recent Bespoke bike show in London; the steel-frame Onguza bikes made by Dan Craven, a two-time Olympic road cyclist and Namibia’s only professional cyclist to ride a Grand Tour, retail for four grand for a frame, and double that for a complete bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Vuelta and world champ Alejandro Valverde called it a career after rolling across the Il Lombardia finish line one last time.

 

Finally…

No, no seat tube doesn’t mean you have to ride standing up. Introducing an ebike roadie for weight weenies.

And can you really say you ride a bike if you don’t know how to pop a proper wheelie?

 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Nury Martinez resigns while de León doesn’t, ebike sexism from Sports Illustrated, and murder over bikes

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

I’d like to say I’m feeling much better today, but I promised a long time ago I’d never lie to you. 

So I won’t. 

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Continuing with the week’s theme, former LA City Council President Nury Martinez finally did the right thing and resigned from the council, in the wake of a racist rant in a secretly recorded meeting that managed to do what many thought was impossible.

She almost single-handedly united the entire city.

If only in anger over managing to offend virtually everyone.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times says it’s time for Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, her fellow councilmembers who participated in the redistricting meeting, to hit the road, as well.

Word is that Cedillo is taking some time to consider his options, but de León currently has no intention of resigning, bizarrely thinking he can somehow weather the storm.

Hint: He can’t.

The loss of Martinez and de León is likely to hurt efforts to build bikeways and safer streets, but it’s necessary if the city is going to move forward.

“Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, who already lost his run for re-election, not so much.

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Talk about not getting it.

Apparently Sports Illustrated is still stuck firmly in the last century.

The magazine followed the lead of countless other publications in recent weeks, making their picks for the best ebikes for all kinds of riders, from roadies, to seniors, to mountain bikers.

But their pick for the best women’s bike is — wait for it — a cruiser bike, apparently missing the memo that women can be serious bicyclists, too, and like to ride all kinds of bikes.

And often better, and faster, than the guys can.

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Talk about not getting the memo.

We’ve said many times before that no bike is worth a human life.

But now two men are dead, and two other men face murder charges in disputes over bicycles.

A 70-year old Parlier, California man was arrested on suspicion of murder after confronting the man he accused of stealing the bicycle he used as his only form of transportation, shooting him multiple times.

Meanwhile, a Mississippi man faces a first degree murder charge for killing his own uncle with a single shotgun blast following an argument over a bicycle; he told police he returned to the victim’s home armed with the gun to get his bike gear.

And police in Missouri are looking a pair of homeless men who got into a shootout after arguing over a bicycle; fortunately, they both appear to be bad shots.

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LADOT is holding a virtual workshop on Tuesday to discuss the 2.5-mile Connect Del Rey Corridor connecting the Ballona Creek Bike Path to the Culver Blvd Bike Path along surface streets.

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With all the crap going on in LA these days, taking an evening to celebrate UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup sounds like a great idea.

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A new video from the Israel-Premier Tech cycling tech shows the first ride of a group of Afghan women’s cyclists they helped evacuate the country.

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Be honest. You know you want one.

And that passenger jet on the front fairing is a nice touch, too.

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

Bicycling says abuse of bike lanes by drivers is killing us, and it’s getting worse. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A road raging Houston driver nearly ran down a man on a bicycle, then chased him over a mile while honking her horn — with her phone in her hand.

A car full of young men filmed themselves running down a Dublin, Ireland bike rider, apparently intentionally, as one urges the driver to flee the scene afterwards.

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

A 20-year old Philadelphia man is fighting for his life after he was shot several times by a man who fled on a bicycle.

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Local

Streetsblog rides the new, nearly complete bike lanes on San Vicente Blvd.

Burbank has put the brakes on new fast food restaurant drive-thrus in the city, even while local residents say it’s too little, too late.

 

State 

Half of the half-dozen candidates for Anaheim City Council who responded to a Voice of OC candidate survey call for better bike infrastructure to deal with traffic congestion. The rest either didn’t respond, or didn’t mention bikes.

Aliso Viejo has adopted a set of draconian ebike regulations, limiting ebike riders to 5 mph on sidewalks and 10 mph on bike paths, as well as banning ebikes from city owned or operated parking lots. Although it will be interesting to see if that conflicts with newly passed state legislation allowing ebikes on trails at speeds up to 20 mph.

Great idea. A new Palo Alto app will pay you $5 a day to commute by bike or ebike; scooters and skateboards qualify, too.

After a bike rider was killed crashing into a bollard on a Sonoma County bike path, the county responded by merely repainting them, rather than removing them.

 

National

A new study presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics purports to show that fractures suffered by children riding bicycles have steadily declined for the last 20 years; the authors credit the decline to teaching road safety and promoting helmet use. Although it’s just as likely that the decline stems from fewer kids riding bikes in recent years.

A triathlon site offers advice on how to remove rust from your bike. Although in my case, removing rust from the rider is more of a problem.

If you wonder why Portland is so much better to ride in than Los Angeles, the sheer size of this turnout for a people-protected bike lane to protest a deadly intersection should give you a clue.

A writer for Strong Towns looks at the bicycling death of a 13-year old boy in Tacoma, Washington, questioning whose child will be the next to be killed on a stroad, a dangerous mix of a local street and road.

Utah has seen the highest number of people killed in collisions with drivers while riding bicycles in more that 30 years.

There’s now a sparkling new advisory bike lane next to what used to be my alma mater in my very bike friendly Colorado hometown, which didn’t get that way until long after I left.

Bloomberg says Denver’s ebike rebate program is so hot, all the available certificates are gone within minutes, while cities like Boston are taking note.  Los Angeles, not so much. Never mind that California’s failure to get its ebike rebate program off the ground is making NASA’s new moon rocket look good.

A Kansas City street is getting a three-mile lane reduction and protected bike lanes.

Police in Oklahoma are looking for four close male friends who haven’t been seen or heard from since they left for a bike ride this past Sunday.

A lawmaker discovers the limitations of the Oklahoma City bicycle network when he starts commuting to the state capital by ebike.

Life is cheap in Chicago, where a judge is up for re-election five years after he gave a drunk driver who killed a man a a bicycle a lousy ten days behind bars, even though he was driving twice the legal speed limit with twice the legal BAC — and even though it was his third DUI arrest. Let’s hope they send his honor to an early retirement.

Still no justice for a Pittsburgh man who died after he was repeatedly tased by police a year ago, for the crime of taking what he thought was an abandoned bicycle around the block for a joy ride.

Heartbreaking news from Long Island, where a 13-year old boy was killed after he pushed his sister out of the way of a hit-and-run driver as they walked in a bike lane.

 

International

Up to 82% of Toronto area residents want more bike lanes.

A pair of European studies show that switching just one trip each week from cars to bikes or or trains can lead to significant reductions in emissions.

The New York Times examines whether Dutch ebike brand VanMoof can help reshape urban transportation.

A new German study contradicts earlier studies showing the health benefits of ebikes is comparable to regular bicycles, revealing ebike users are 44% less likely to hit fitness goals. Although Cycling Weekly says the self-selecting study may not be as valid as it purports to be.

Chinese made Ancheer ebikes are being recalled in the US because their lithium-ion batteries “can ignite, explode or spark.” Which is probably a bad thing, especially if you’re riding one at the time.

 

Competitive Cycling

Remco Evenepoel topped Wout van Aert for the Kristallen Fiets, aka Crystal Bicycle, award for the year’s best male Belgian rider.

Now you, too, can own your very own gently used, secondhand pro bike. Or maybe not so gently used.

 

Finally…

Who says your bike needs a chain? If you’re riding your bike carrying meth and enough fentanyl to kill 4,000 people, don’t ride salmon — and put a damn light on it.

And this is who we share the road with.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CjQnLeHpQMo/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=0ab771fe-8b6d-49e6-985c-d6b3f6aa7616

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Martinez resigns as council president, but not from council, after racist remarks; and Streets For All happy hour with Mike Bonin

Following up on yesterday’s lead item, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez resigned her position, but insisted on remaining on the council in the wake of racist and otherwise offensive comments on a leaked audio recording.

For now, anyway.

Also refusing to take responsibility are the other councilmembers included in the conversation, Kevin De León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo.

Although the only non-councilmember heard on the recording, LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, showed enough integrity to resign his position.

Now if the others would just follow his example, as the list of people calling for their resignations keeps growing.

Here’s a short sample posted by the LA Times.

The list of political figures and organizations issuing those calls took in Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), Tony Cárdenas (D-Pacoima) and Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), an array of labor unions and two mayoral candidates — Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and developer Rick Caruso.

Not to be left out, Streets For All joined the clamor — even though the loss of Martinez and De León could threaten hard-fought wins like adoption of a modified version of the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure and the Complete Streets makeover of Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

But sometimes, integrity has to matter more.

By my count, we’ve already seen three councilmembers convicted or currently facing bribery charges, with another — CD12’s John Lee — implicated but not charged in the bribery scandal that brought down his predecessor.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s bid to become ambassador to India went down in flames amid allegations he turned a blind eye to a top aide’s open sexual harassment of male coworkers.

Now three more elected leaders have been captured engaging in a racist conversation, as well as discussion of possibly illegal racial gerrymandering, and what appears to be a violation of the Brown Act open meetings law.

So if you’ve been wondering why our city hasn’t been more responsive to the needs of bike riders, and why nothing seems to get better in what should be — but isn’t — one of the world’s leading cities, we can start with a city government that looks to be rotten from top to bottom.

Photo from Wikipedia.

………

In a very timely announcement, the next Streets For All virtual happy hour will feature a conversation with outgoing CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose Black toddler son was the subject of some of the most offensive comments from Martinez, De León and Cedillo.

………

This is what it looks like when bikes are taken seriously as transportation.

Our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards a photo of a bike repair stand next to an ebike charging stand for four bikes at his neighborhood biergarten.

Not shown, he says, is the bike tube vending machine on the restroom wall.

Photo by Ralph Durham

………

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

A pair of British men in their early 20s are facing murder charges in the death of 22-year old ebike rider; a third suspect has been released on bail, while a 30-year old woman has been arrested for helping them. Unfortunately, there’s no word on just what happened.

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

Police in South Wales are looking for a pair of men who assaulted another man as he rode his bike in broad daylight, for no apparent reason.

………

Local

The LA Times has confirmed their previous endorsement of Kenneth Mejia for city controller, saying opponent Paul Koretz has fought efforts to make it easier to build more housing and blocked bike and pedestrian safety improvements, and “seems more interested in remaining in elected office than in being the taxpayers’ watchdog or government reformer.” Full disclosure — I’ve endorsed Mejia as well

 

State 

A 75-year old Yucca Valley man was pushed off his bicycle by a neighbor, then beaten with his own bike, in retaliation for pepper spraying the neighbor’s dog when it came up behind him the previous week.

Mt. Diablo State Park has added 30 bike turnouts on the popular Bay Area riding route, allowing bike riders to pull out to allow uphill traffic to pass.

 

National

Schwinn is introducing a new energy absorbing helmet liner to compete MIPS, designed to reduce rotational injuries in a fall.

Denver bike advocates are meeting with city officials to pitch a low-stress bike network.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A popular Bozeman, Montana high school teacher was killed when he was struck by a red light-running driver while riding his bicycle to work.

An op-ed from a Buffalo NY bike advocate makes the case that everyone benefits from effective bike and pedestrian networks, even drivers. Or maybe even especially drivers.

Philly bike riders are using expensive locks, AirTags and GPS, and social media to fight back against the city’s persistent bike thieves.

Frederick, Maryland is the latest community to introduce a book bike, intended  to take the public library to those who can’t come in themselves. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

 

International

Bloomberg Philanthropies is teaming with the Global Designing Cities Initiative to create the new Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure, which will award up to $1 million each to ten cities worldwide to help develop bike lane networks.

Cycling Weekly tries out the new Raleigh e-cargo bike, and says everyone loves it. The built-in kids seats are a nice touch.

A travel website recommends five “magical” Mexican towns to ride your bike in.

Winnipeg, Manitoba bike riders marked Canada’s Thanksgiving with an indigenous-led bike jam combining biking and music with lessons about colonization and reconciliation.

The UK’s British Cycling is being roundly criticized for signing an eight-year sponsorship agreement with oil and gas giant Shell to advise the group on how to achieve net zero. After all, who understands how to get to zero emissions better than an oil company?

A British bike advocacy group is calling on the government to close a loophole that allows people who would otherwise lose their driver’s license to keep driving, by claiming that suspending their license would result in an exceptional hardship.

A new Dutch app promises to tell when you fall off your bike, with or without automotive assistance, and automatically text someone for help.

Tragic news from Italy, where a British international sailing champion was killed when he fell 33 feet down a ravine while on a package mountain biking tour.

Sydney, Australia bicyclists say riding in the city is hard enough without police cracking down on bike riders in the central business district.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made from recycled plastic.

And we might have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting chased by a couple of angry moose.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Call for Martinez and De León to resign after racist rant, CicLAvia returns to DTLA, and vehicular murder in Griffith Park

Let’s start with a story that has nothing to do with bicycles.

And everything to do with all of us in Los Angeles.

A recording surfaced yesterday of City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, using racist language while breaking down redistricting arguments strictly along racial lines.

Never mind calling their gay fellow councilmembers a “bitch” and a “diva.” Or referring to Oaxacan immigrants as ugly little people.

I won’t get into all it. You can, and should, read it on your own. Because as ugly as I make it sound, the reality is far worse.

Suffice it to say that Martinez described the Black toddler son of fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin and his husband as a monkey and a fashion accessory, while De León compared him to a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Both Martinez and Kevin De León have supported bikes in recent years, and the bike community have supported them in kind. And both have apologized for their comments.

But that’s not good enough.

Which is why I’m joining with countless other Angelenos and LA organizations calling for their resignations.

There is no place for open racism in our government at any level. It is simply unacceptable, and beneath contempt.

And if they don’t have the integrity to quit, we’ll may have recall them to force them both out.

The only reason I’m not calling for Cedillo’s resignation is that he has already, and deservedly, lost his bid for re-election. But if he had any dignity, he’d leave on his own, right now.

Which in his case is a pretty damn big if, given what we already know about him.

Meanwhile, this is also more proof that it’s time to take redistricting entirely out of the council’s hands, and let a civilian commission have the final say.

Photo of our intern and mascot on the new 6th Street Bridge during yesterday’s CicLAvia.

………

In happier news, a good time was had by all at yesterday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia.

Or nearly all, anyway. A couple of firefighters indicated the day was mostly event free, despite a wave of injuries at the beginning of the day.

The route, which for the first time led to Echo Park and the new 6th Street Bridge, saw a massive turnout as Angelenos took advantage of the near perfect weather.

My wife and I, and corgi, included.

Here are a few photos to capture the day.

Nikita of the Real Rydaz poses with her bike.

Both award-winning bikes were built by Will of the Real Rydaz.

Frank Gehry’s new The Grand LA adds to the LA skyline.

………

This is who we share the road with.

What started out as yet another a hit-and-run in Griffith Park ended with a murder charge.

News broke Saturday evening that a pedestrian had been killed by a driver earlier in the day. The woman fled the scene, leaving her victim to die in the street on Fern Dell Drive.

The driver was arrested the following day, after investigators concluded that the 70-year old victim’s 32-year old girlfriend had intentionally run him over — using his own car — following an argument.

Sonia Sovereign reportedly confessed to the crime, and is being held on a murder charge on $1 million bail.

And it may not have been her first brush with the law, as a woman with the same name, and the right age, led Colorado police on a drunken chase half a decade earlier.

Just one more argument for why cars don’t belong in the park. Or any park, for that matter.

………

Michael Siegal of South Pas Active Streets forwards news of a successful first Walk and Roll at two South Pasadena elementary schools.

Local community organization South Pas Active Streets organized three “bike bus” rides to school on October 5th to Arroyo Vista and Marengo elementary schools. Coinciding with South Pasadena Walk or Bike to School Day, these chaperoned, safety-in-numbers bike rides created an active way to get to school for children who otherwise might not have the opportunity.

Over 30 children and 20 adults participated in one of three different routes to school.  With a core group of riders starting the ride at one end, participants would join the bike bus along its route as it wound its way toward school.  Besides parents, volunteers on these rides included members of DUDES South Pasadena and Mayor Michael Cacciotti.

South Pas Active Streets seeks to provide safe opportunities for active mobility, supporting our childrens’ health, independence, and well-being.  With the success of Wednesday’s first-ever South Pas Walk and Roll, the organization will be coordinating more bike buses and walking buses in the future.

More information on the event, the routes and photos are at southpasactive.org/home/south-pas-walk-and-roll

………

I’d be more impressed with the new protected bike lanes on San Vicente if they weren’t half in the gutter.

But at least the city is building something in the mobility plan, for a change.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1578168132589346816

………

As we mentioned last week, CSUN is hosting a family-friendly Bikefest in two weeks.

Thanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

………

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

A failed candidate for state legislature took credit for throwing a red plastic cup full of cider at a Chicago alderman, as he rode past on his bike with about 50 other people to examine existing bike infrastructure and brainstorm improvements. If you can call it “credit,” that is.

No bias here. Louisville KY writer complains about “militant” bicyclists, who hide their anti-car agenda “behind code words like safety, health, vibrant and even equity.” Um, sure. Let’s go with that.

Someone is sabotaging a DC bike lane by repeatedly dumping construction nails into it.

In an apparent attempt to thin the herd, a separated bike lane in Manchester, England, is shared with truck drivers headed the opposite direction to a delivery bay, resulting in a bizarre game of chicken as drivers go head-on towards people on bikes.

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

Police in Santa Barbara are looking for a blond man who allegedly fled the scene by bicycle after beating a man to death, before possible stealing a car to complete his getaway.

An English man faces charges for mowing down two bicyclists while speeding downhill and riding salmon in a London park, and barely missing another rider.

………

Local

An op-ed in the LA Times looks at the new law decriminalizing jaywalking in most circumstances, and the historic automotive hegemony that led to jaywalking laws in the first place.

A man in his 50s was critically injured in a Westminster hit-and-run while riding his bike Thursday evening.

 

State 

Camarillo approved a proposal to authorize just over $910,000 to hire engineering and environmental consultants for a planned $6 million bike lane extension on Central Ave. Although that’s a hell of a lot of money for just a third of a mile of bike lanes, so let’s hope there’s more to it than that.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man riding a bicycle was killed when he was struck by two separate motorists, one of whom fled the scene.

The Stanford student paper examines the presence of roundabouts on campus, explaining that they serve to slow drivers below 25 mph.

Just days after Alameda’s mayor killed plans for a protected bike lane, he raised it back up from the dead.

A planned 47-mile bike trail through the Napa Valley wine country could turn it into a bicycling destination to rival Provence.

 

National

A writer for an RV site recommends ebikes for the RV life.

Seventy-seven years after the end of WWII, an Italian man is riding from Seattle to Phoenix to retrace his grandfather’s journey as an Italian prisoner of war.

A Utah truck driver bought a new bike for a five year old boy because he felt bad about the crash that sent the kid to the hospital.

A Denver writer applauds the city for moving quickly to expand its bike network while listening to feedback from the community.

My bike-friendly Colorado hometown is getting its first advisory lane on a street I grew up riding. Something tells me it will go a little better than a similar street design did in San Diego.

Life is cheap in Massachusetts, where a 91-year old driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket for right-hooking a bike rider, who was seriously injured when he landed in the car’s back seat after crashing through the closed rear window. But at least the police asked to have his driver’s license revoked.

A rescue swimmer used a borrowed beach cruiser to save an elderly Florida man and woman, and their dog, following Hurricane Ian.

 

International

Engadget proclaims this the age of the cargo bike. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

The newest Roman Catholic saint was one of us. Italian Artedime Zatti was famed for riding his bicycle throughout the Argentine town of Viedma with a medical case to care for the sick.

She gets it. An op-ed by a Toronto advocate says if we want to get more people on bikes, we have to change our cultural and political deference to cars first.

Nice BBC report on an Indian man who has opened a museum to house his collection of over 150 bicycles, many of which he restored himself. And insists he’s not doing it for the money, but just wants to share them with the world. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

New Zealand’s Stuff says cycling clubs are disappearing because they can’t afford the onerous traffic management plans.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar edged Enric Mas to defend his title at Il Lombardia, the year’s final Monument; the race also marked the last competitions for former Grand Tour champs Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali, who care calling it a career.

Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert is also calling it a career after one last race in Sunday’s Paris-Tours, which was won in a sprint by defending champ Arnaud Démare.

France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot won the inaugural women’s gravel World Championship, while Belgium’s Gianni Vermeersch upset Mathieu van der Poel to take the men’s title.

Italian time trial specialist Filippo Ganna shattered the hour record, traveling 56.792 kilometers in 60 minutes — 1.2 km further than the previous record, set by Britain’s Dan Bigham less than two months ago. That works out to a whopping 35.289 miles.

Ganna not only broke the record, he unified the title by also beating Chris Boardman’s 26-year old “superman” record.

Cycling Tips offers photos from Ganna’s record-setting ride.

Five weird ways cyclists bent, if not broke, the rules.

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid profiles L39ion of Los Angeles co-founder and CEO Justin Williams.

 

Finally…

Britain’s wackiest bike race. That feeling when your competitor for a city council seat rescues your stolen ebike bike from a homeless camp, and you still have to run against him.

And now you, too, can race your own hologram.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Getting a jump on LA mobility plan, seriously injured Mtn biker rescued, and anti-semitic banner on Davis bike bridge

Good piece from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

He makes the case for the city council to get a head start on their promises to implement the Los Angeles mobility plan, rather than waiting for the inevitable drawn-out process to draft and approve an alternative to the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

Schneider recommends ten streets currently scheduled for resurfacing work that they can start work on restriping right now.

Unless the councilmembers were just saying what they think we wanted to hear, with no intention of actually following through.

Naw, they wouldn’t do that to us.

Again.

………

The Los Angeles Fire Department rescued a seriously injured mountain biker in Brentwood, hoisting the 56-year old victim to safety by helicopter after he suffered several traumatic injuries Saturday morning.

………

There’s a special place in hell for the group of people who hung a racist, anti-semitic banner from a bicycle overpass on the UC Davis Campus, for the second weekend in a row.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

………

Caltrans forwards a notice that Camp Pendleton will close the bike path through the base for five days next month, so mark your calendar. And make plans to use the shoulder of the 5 Freeway through the base if you need to ride then.

Another notification to pass: Bike path from Pulgas Gate to south entrance to the San Onofre State Park will be closed for military operations from 15 to 19 September from 6:00 AM to 6 PM daily.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

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

No bias here. A Chico letter writer complains about a new bike bridge, saying it will just give bike thieves a faster route to escape after stealing one.

No bias here, either. The New York Post calls Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine an anti-car extremist for pushing a “pie-in-the-sky bike lane plan for the West Side Highway,” despite his record of 41 traffic violations in the past decade. Although bad driving ability is a pretty damn good reason to switch to bikes.

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

There’s not a pit deep enough for the bike-riding thieves who stole a cellphone and the equivalent of over $2,000 from a homeless woman in Hong Kong. Although why she was sleeping on the street with that much cash is beyond me.

………

Local

Metro recommitted to using Randolph Street for the eastern segment of the Rail-to-River bike/walk path, after Union Pacific refused to relinquish its right-of-way for an abandoned rail line.

Congratulations, Los Angeles. We now beat the Bay Area in transit use, especially buses. The story wasn’t paywalled for me, for some reason; your results may vary.

Streets For All calls on the city to cancel plans to expand parking at the Los Angeles Zoo in the middle of a climate emergency.

LA Times readers sound off about what streets they’d like to see closed, after the city banned cars from Griffith Park Drive in the park. My first choice would be to close Hollywood Blvd to install a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood & Highland, followed by closing Broadway in DTLA, and Wilshire Blvd from Downtown to the coast.

About damn time. Los Angeles blacktop may not be black for long, as the city works to cover one million square feet of Pacoima streets and other paved surfaces with cooling reflective paint, which can lower surface temperatures up to 12° Fahrenheit. Of course, that’s just a small fraction of LA’s heat-sink paved surfaces. And something tells me they’re not building out the mobility plan when they do it. Thanks again to Robert Leone for the link. 

This is who we share the road with. Despite initial denials, the LAPD was chasing a stolen car when it crashed into multiple vehicles August 19th at Manchester Ave and Broadway, killing a couple in a hit-and-run.

This is who we share the road with, too. One person is dead and two injured, after a pair of road raging drivers traded gunfire in Long Beach, before one of the drivers crashed into a truck and home.

 

State 

A Huntington Beach cop killed a pedestrian in a predawn crash while responding to an emergency call Saturday.

San Diego bicyclists Biked the Bay, riding across the Coronado Bridge in the San Diego County Bike Coalition’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

A San Diego County man credits his Apple Watch with saving his life after a mountain biking crash that left him a quadriplegic; he was able to tell Siri to call a friend for help.

The rich get richer. Santa Barbara County is beginning work on the new Santa Claus Lane bikeway, which will create a new Class I bikeway and multipurpose path connecting the California Coastal Trail to bike lanes on Carpinteria Ave.

 

National

Former New York City transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan applauds the rise of car-free cities to combat climate change.

Cities around the US are debating whether to keep pandemic-era road changes, as drivers, pedestrians, bike riders and diners debate who the streets are for. Although you know it’s not a serious report when they quote a spokesperson for the tiny drivers rights extremist group the National Motorists Association.

A Eugene OR newspaper seems surprised to discover that bicycles can move things “just like cars,” as a group of cargo bike owners carry a live band performance along the city’s streets.

A 19-year old Durango, Colorado man faces DUI and vehicular homicide charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding local fire captain; he abandoned his car, with the victim’s bike sill under the front fender, and the victim embedded in his windshield. At his age, the legal alcohol level is zero.

Colorado residents debate allowing ebike access on offroad trails, even though the bikes can provide outdoor access to people who couldn’t otherwise ride them.

Horrible news from Texas, where a Houston-area man in his 30s was apparently mauled to death by dogs while riding his bike.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Kansas City teacher and father of ten children was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

Good idea. A Michigan writer describes how he carries pruning shears on his bike to trim bushes and trees encroaching on the bike path.

Cleveland announces a Vision Zero plan, committing to ending traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2032. Let’s hope they commit to it better than Los Angeles, which still hasn’t adequately funded the program after seven years.

Christian singer Amy Grant made her first public statement since she was seriously injured in a fall off her bike, saying she’s taking it easy at her Nashville home this fall on the advice of her doctors.

A Tennessee newspaper lists “12 perfect gifts” for bike enthusiasts. And for a change, they actually offer some pretty good suggestions. Although I’d add a gift certificate for a cleaning and overhaul at your local bike shop.

No surprise here, as Boston bike ridership jumps nearly 50% after a major train line was shut down for renovations.

Madonna is one of us, sticking her tongue out at the paparazzi as she goes for a bike ride in the Big Apple. And deservedly so.

NPR examines how Hoboken, New Jersey achieved zero traffic deaths in just four years, using quick, high-impact techniques. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. A 42-year old State Department employee was killed when she was run down by a flatbed truck driver while riding her bike in Bethesda, Maryland; the diplomat had most recently served as head of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section at the US Embassy in Kyiv.

Virginia drivers complain about the width of a new bike lane, apparently unable to figure out how to drive between the lines.

 

International

No surprise here. A new study charts bicycle ownership in various countries worldwide, concluding that high bike ownership does not necessarily correlate to high ridership. Sorry, America.

Cops in Surrey, England have added a Brompton to their crime fighting fleet, catching over 20 scofflaw motorists in the first few days.

Olympic gold medalist track cyclist Katie Archibald talks about her struggles in the week since her boyfriend, Scottish champion mountain biker Rab Wardel died of a heart attack at their Glasgow home.

Road.cc asks if anyplace requires numbered license plates for bicycles, aside from North Korea; Britain’s transport minister says they won’t be required, regardless of what he said before.

A pair of British men have been sentenced to 21 years each behind bars for using a car to deliberately murder a bike-riding father of four in a drug dispute.

A website says no, ebike batteries don’t attract lightening, in the wake of an Italian ebike rider killed by a lightening strike.

After the Russian invasion, a Ukrainian mayor rode her bike to patrol her small town and resist the occupation.

A New Zealand bike rider received a frightening punishment pass from a delivery truck driver; fortunately he was stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, or it could have been worse. Never mind that he stopped, and the truck driver didn’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel continued to hold onto to the red leader’s jersey in the Vuelta with a gap of 1:12 over Spain’s Enric Was; three-time defending champ Primož Roglič remains in striking distance at 1:53 back. All the American cyclists have dropped out of contention, with Lawson Craddock now the top US rider in 59th place, over 45 minutes back.

Pez Cycling News looks back at 1945 Vuelta winner Delio Rodríguez, who holds the record for stage wins in the Grand Tour at 39.

The LUX/CTS U19 cycling team, one of the most successful junior development teams, is shutting down at the end of this season, a victim of cycling’s failed sponsorship model.

Tragic news from Vermont, where 33-year old Kenyan cyclist Sule Kangangi was killed in a high speed fall while competing the Vermont Overland gravel race Saturday.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to try to escape through a flooded river, no matter what kind of bike you just stole. It’s hard enough riding the grueling Iron Horse Classic on two wheels; now try it on one.

And at least one NBA star is excited about cycling’s rising stars. Then again, he does hold a French passport.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Irrational bike hate on the roads, Black bike rider confronted by wealthy white SF resident, and right hooked in Los Angeles

She gets it.

A New Zealand writer perfectly captures the fear and frustration bike riders feel, where we’re blamed and threatened just for being on the road.

Or maybe on the planet.

Discrimination based on stereotypes and assumptions is unacceptable, whether it’s racism, sexism or speciesism. Hatred of bike riders is another -ism, and there’s no justification for it. It’s bullying. It incites drivers to harm or intimidate people on bikes. Whether it’s a shock jock on talk back or The Daily Blog, hating on bike riders is dangerous and can endanger peoples’ lives.

When you ride a bike, it’s like you have a target painted on your back. Every day, when I get on my bike, for fun, fitness and transport, I become a target for people who suddenly irrationally hate me– because maybe they saw someone on a bike who ran a red light once, or something. But I don’t suddenly turn into a bad person on my bike – to the contrary, I’m very happy!- I’m just someone trying to do my bit for the planet, who wants to get home alive…

It’s not rational to hate cyclists even though it seems to be a national sport, whether you’re a driver or not. So give us a break. Car drivers don’t actually own the road. People on bikes aren’t some foreign species undeserving of the right to life. We’re mums and dads, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunties. We’re loved, and we love life. But every time you hate on us, condemn us for riding, you risk us staying alive.

………

What the fuck is wrong with people these days?

Once again, a Black bike rider is confronted by an allegedly racist White man. And once again, the interaction is caught on video.

In this case, the man on the bike is delivering Narcan to a halfway house to help prevent opioid overdoses in San Francisco’s wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood, when he’s accosted by a man questioning what he’s doing there.

As if bike riders of color don’t belong in the overwhelmingly white community.

And yes, driving and biking while Black or brown is a real thing.

Or walking, for that matter.

And not just in the Bay Area.

………

This is what a right hook looks like.

And how to bail to avoid one.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1401551927062667264

………

Great video showing hundreds of Angelenos Riding for Freedom in South LA on Saturday.

https://twitter.com/bRuc14/status/1401382048363794435

………

Paris wasn’t Paris that long ago, either.

Just remember that the next time someone says Los Angeles isn’t Amsterdam. Or Copenhagen. Or New York.

Or anywhere else, for that matter.

………

Never mind the trashcan in the bike lane.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Yeah, no.

………

How to vinyl wrap your bike shoes to add a little bling, without suffering the indignity of bedazzling them.

………

Adventures in bad headlines. Something tells me the unfortunate bicyclist was more than just “involved.”

………

Here’s your Monday mountain bike break.

Although you may want to take your dramamine first.

Unless maybe you’d rather ride in Utah.

………

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

No bias here. A surfing writer admits to fantasizing about running down bike riders on PCH, and says ultra-surfer Kai Lenny reveals a sadistic side by embracing the pain that comes with surfing and his newfound love of road cycling. Apparently he’s confusing sadism — inflicting pain and suffering on others — with the self-inflicted suffering of masochism.

A New York state legislator calls for requiring helmets, operator’s licenses and registration plates for every bike and scooter rider in the state, regardless of age — because he nearly killed a bike rider “who came out of nowhere” while he was driving. Even though all of those requirements have been show to be ineffective or counterproductive, at best. And maybe he’d be better off paying more attention to the road, because no one ever comes out of nowhere.

A Kiwi hardware chain has to publicly apologize after an employee used his personal Facebook page to threaten bicyclists — while including a reference to the company he worked for. Oops.

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

Police at the University of California Sacramento, aka Sacramento State, are looking for a bodycam that was stolen from an officer after he or she was rammed with a bike when he told a group of bicyclists to stop doing stunts on a sign they tore down to use as a ramp, then was surrounded and attacked by a group of 10 to 12 riders before backup arrived; two people were arrested.

Once again, Minneapolis police are accused of using their bicycles as weapons against protesters. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Gone Girl, Six Feet Under and Nashville actor Lisa Banes is in critical condition after an apparent hit-and-run collision involving someone on a motorized bicycle or scooter in New York City’s Upper West Side.

………

Local

Nice to see LA Times columnist Nita Lelyveld profile Kenny Uong, everyone’s favorite Metro transit meister, who many of us have watched come of age on Twitter.

Learn how to fix your rear derailleur with Metro this Wednesday. Thanks again to Keith Johnson.

 

State

San Diego proposes eliminating parking requirements for businesses near mass transit or in small plazas near dense residential areas, allowing them to immediately transform parking into outdoor dining areas or extra retail space.

Team USA BMX Cycling champ Brooke Crain was censored by administrators when she was invited to talk to students at her Visalia alma mater, who refused to let her share her coming out story while calling for suicide awareness and prevention, following the death of her own father at his own hand.

 

National

Bloomberg says bike prices are up, if you can find one — and you might have to wait until the new models come out later this year.

A bighearted 29-year old Illinois man set out to ride 4,400 miles across the US to raise $4,400 for the Trevor Project to help prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. Then he just kept going, riding 17,000 miles through the US and Central and South America, raising over $11,000 in the process. Make that nearly $13,000.

A Spokane, Washington paper celebrates the state’s 700-mile Cross-Washington Mountain Bike Route. There’s no reason why California shouldn’t have a similar cross-state trail. And probably more than one.

A travel website makes the case for Tucson — yes, Tucson — as a bicycling paradise.

Nice move in Mad City, where advocates are helping to build a library of adaptive bikes for differently abled people.

Oneida NY’s Community Bike program donated over 200 refurbished bikes to children and adults who need an affordable means of transportation.

The director of a Pittsburgh advocacy group celebrates the progress they’ve made on the city streets and the likely election of the city’s first Black mayor, while noting they still have a long way to go.

Philadelphia’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride will return this August, with riders expected to wear as much or little as they’re comfortable with. Just make sure you get the date right, otherwise it’s frowned upon. Thanks once more to Keith Johnson.

 

International

A new study shows more than half of all women who ride bikes suffer some genital numbness and mild sexual dysfunction, especially on bikes with drop handlebars.

A pair of Canadian First Nation members are riding 215 kilometers for the 215 children whose bodies were found buried at a Catholic Indian school; the 135-mile ride has raised $1,110 of a modest $2,150 goal.

Londoners walked and rode bikes on a trail named for a former bike-riding mayor to commemorate her death at 92 years old; Jane Bigelow was mayor of London from 1972 to 1978.

An English writer schools himself when he discovers, despite his own biases, that the overwhelming number of bike riders use bike lanes, rather than taking to the sidewalk as he suspected. But he never bothers to find out if there’s a reason why some people ride on the sidewalk, instead.

Bike commuting rates in Britain have more than doubled over the past year, from six percent to 13 percent, making it the nation’s third most popular form of transportation behind driving and walking.

Something doesn’t add up, though, as Scottish drivers call for scrapping popup bike lanes in light of the country’s 30% drop in bicycling rates over the past year — despite the pandemic bike boom, and the overall jump in bicycling in the UK.

Toyota gets ridiculed for a British ad showing a man on a cheap ass mountain bike next to a $38,000 SUV, while calling it their “ideal adventure.”

Seventy-seven years after the D-Day landing, a Canadian museum in Normandy, France received a folding bicycle carried ashore by a Canadian soldier landing on Juno beach; when his unit shipped out to Germany, he gave the bike to a French farm boy, who rode it for school and work for another 40 years.

A Catholic website looks at people making a two-wheeled pilgrimage to worship at Italy’s shrine to the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of bicycling.

Police in Berlin shut down streets in half the city to make room for over 10,000 people on bicycles, who rode to the Brandenburg Gate to demand faster implementation of a plan to build a citywide network of protected bike lanes and safer intersections, as well as reducing the number of deadly crashes. If Los Angeles could ever turn out even half that many bicyclists we might finally see some real action here, too.

A severe storm nearly turned fatal for a 12-year old year old German girl when she was hit by a driver after a nearby lightening strike knocked her off her bike.

This is who we share the road with. After the pandemic shut down the world of dance, a Kolkata, India dancer and choreographer took a job as a food delivery rider to make ends meet — and got hit and threatened by an allegedly drunk motorcycle cop after just two days.  Although he may have been on a motor scooter, since the Indian media doesn’t usually distinguish between bicycles and motor cycles.

The head of India’s opposition Congress party promises to take care of the family of the famed Bike Girl, who pedaled across the country carrying her sick father on the back of her bicycle at the beginning of the country’s lockdown, so she can continue her studies and her passion for bicycling after her father’s death from Covid. Which is great, but what about the countless other less famous Indian families that have been left destitute by the virus?

 

Competitive Cycling

American Ian Boswell took a stand for transgender rights while winning the Unbound Gravel race in Kansas, formerly the Dirty Kanza, raising his arms in victory while wearing an armband in the colors of the trans flag.

Now that’s dedication. American cyclist Kiel Reijnen ran 18 miles in his socks after busting a wheel during Sunday’s Unbound Gravel race; he finally threw in the towel two hours later after realizing he wouldn’t make the cutoff.

Five people were seriously injured in a crash during an Australian bike race, ranging from broken ribs and collarbones to major facial injuries that required a medivac flight to the ER.

 

Finally…

Your bike helmet could have 5G before your phone does. Apparently, riding a half-century is good for your golf game, too.

And that feeling when the new song from world beating boy band BTS seems to be about a bicycle.

Although it may help if you understand Korean. Which I don’t.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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

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

Make that an allegedly drunk scooter user.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And never while drunk or stoned.

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

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

Photo by Martin Péchy from Pexels.

………

Racism, or just NIMBYism taken to the extreme?

Or more likely, both.

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

No, really.

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

Seriously, there is no effing excuse for that crap.

Ever.

Period.

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

https://twitter.com/EdwinLindo/status/1399194189531807746

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

No bias here.

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

And they mostly kinda get it right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where do we even start?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

………

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

That’s what bike cops are for.

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

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

………

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

………

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

But probably won’t until we get new leadership.

https://twitter.com/NLinSF/status/1398374190101630976

………

That feeling when you have a stowaway on your bike.

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

………

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

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

Then there’s this from the UK.

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

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

………

Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

And evidently, indoor trainers are nothing new.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

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

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

The racist history of LA’s 10 Freeway, the real cost of traffic violence, and no, bicycles aren’t the new cars

It’s Cinco de Mayo, when Americans celebrate by pretending to be Mexican by acting like drunken gabachos. 

And too often, getting behind the wheel afterwards. 

It’s also one of the few days when I refuse to ride or walk extended distances. Or even get in a car if I can avoid it. 

Which is a long-winded way of saying be careful if you’re going to ride today, and assume every driver on the road has been drinking. 

Because you probably won’t be too far off. 

Photo by Sabel Blanco from Pexels.

………

NPR offers a heartbreaking and infuriating story about the racist history of LA’s 10 Freeway, and the prosperous, tight knit Black neighborhood that was destroyed to build it.

Unfortunately, I can’t embed the audio. But take a few minutes to listen to it, or at least read the transcript.

Because it makes painfully clear just how much we’ve sacrificed on the altar of the automobile.

And it’s a story that was repeated in virtually every major city in the US, where it’s almost always communities of color that pay the price.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Minneapolis woman wrote a heartbreaking Twitter thread about the death of her husband when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike home from work.

Then there’s this.

And it’s not just her. Virtually anyone who’s lost someone like that will recognize themselves in her words.

So take a moment to click on that top tweet, and read the whole thread.

Then do whatever you can to to make sure it never happens to anyone else.

………

On a related note, Streetsblog explains what traffic violence means.

And why that’s the right term for it.

Meanwhile, in a powerful piece for The Atlantic, an Atlanta writer says despite what we may believe, we can’t control what happens on the road. And uses his personal experiences behind the wheel to explain why we should all be more afraid of driving.

If you can read it without catch in your throat and a tear in your eye, you’re a stronger person than I am.

………

A fashion, beauty and culture site asks if bicycles are the new cars, examining the sustainable reasons some people are making the switch.

Short answer, no.

Longer answer, unlike motor vehicles, bicycles cause no harm to the environment and our cities, and pose little risk to the people around them. So maybe we’d all be better off if cars aspired to be more like bicycles.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

No bias here. A grand jury is targeting an award-winning Monterey bike path project, calling it a “bike path to nowhere,” even though it was completed completed below budget and local businesses and residents were kept informed by a thorough public process.

………

Local

Metro celebrates Bike Month by offering a month of Metro Bike bikeshare for just a buck, and a chance to win a year of Metro Bike.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition is kicking off Bike Month with a month-long series of virtual rides.

The owner of West Hollywood’s Bikes and Hikes LA / Bike Shop LA complained to the sheriffs department after someone walked off with a new BMX bike without paying for it.

 

State

Streets For All asks for your support for AB 53, which would weaken the deadly 85th Percentile Law by allowing cities to lower speed limits on streets with high injury and fatality rates, and ensure they won’t have to raise speed limits in order to enforce them.

Chula Vista officially opened the new Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade on Tuesday.

Chino police have scheduled a bike and pedestrian safety crackdown for next Monday. The usual protocol applies, so ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Luis Obispo is starting work on a $2.5 million, 1.7-mile neighborhood greenway — aka bike boulevard — connecting Cal Poly SLU with Downtown.

A Turlock man faces charges of hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter for fleeing the scene after running down a 50-year old bike-riding man, who died after he was removed from life support; the coward behind the wheel was captured after crashing his truck trying to escape from witnesses who tried to stop him.

A 36-year old man was sentenced to 15 years to life after pleading guilty to murder for the drunk driving crash that killed a Modesto police officer riding his bicycle, while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit; he had a previous DUI conviction from 2014 that legally justified the murder charge.

 

National

Schwinn is sponsoring an LGBTQ+ advocate on a 363-mile bikepacking trip to promote the need for inclusivity in the outdoor industry.

Conde Nast Traveler recommends the best bike saddle bags for your next expedition.

No wonder he moved there. My bike tourist brother’s new western Colorado hometown is marking its mountain biking roots with a new housing development featuring street names like Singletrack, Yeti and Pivot.

That’s more like it. A newly signed Colorado law puts people and safety first on the state’s main streets.

An allegedly drunk 24-year old Texas woman and the bar that helped her get that way face a $20 million lawsuit for the death of a mother of two, who was killed when the driver jumped a curb and slammed into the victim’s bicycle. Sadiy, lawsuits like that are prohibited under California law, which states that a bar or host can’t be held responsible for the actions of people who got drunk there.

Tragic news from Moline, Illinois where a cop is on administrative leave after killing a 13-year old boy riding a bike while responding to a call in his squad car; no word on whether he was using lights and sirens at the time of the crash.

Police in Buffalo NY are looking for a 73-year old man who disappeared on a bike ride.

Baltimore attorney Barry Glazer successfully bid the equivalent of over $61,000 for Princess Diana’s “shame” bike so he could display it to call attention to “the British Royal Family’s basic racist roots” and colonial past. It was dubbed the “shame” bike after the royal household informed her it was not a suitable form of transport for a future member of the Royal Family. Which should have tipped her off right then to run like hell while she still could.

A Maryland man marked the pandemic by fixing donated bicycles, then giving them away for free at a local park to anyone who needs one.

Miami police busted a killer driver who fled the scene in his Maserati after fatally rear-ending a man on a bicycle.

 

International

Taking a page from the Bike League, Canada’s non-profit Share the Road Cycling Coalition and the Canadian Automobile Association are teaming to name the country’s Bicycle Friendly Communities.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. A viola soloist who played with the Paris National Opera for 36 years was killed when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike. At least we can assume there was a driver, since the story doesn’t mention one. Or a car, for that matter.

Finnish police have uncovered a thriving black market trade in secondhand bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin’s Jumbo-Visma team is unsure whether he will ever return to the sport, after walking away last year due to stress and not being sure whether he even wanted to keep riding.

Bicycling profiles Josie Fouts, who started racing on a whim despite being born with just one hand. And now is aiming for the Paralympics. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Forget fantasy football, Cycling Tips invites you to participate in a Giro fantasy competition.

 

Finally…

Throwing it at a parked car during an excuse is not one of the approved used for a bicycle. Nothing like being banned by the Duke of Devonshire.

And apparently, Trevor Noah knows nuts when he sees it.

https://twitter.com/Trevornoah/status/1389364697464557569?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1389364697464557569%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Findianexpress.com%2Farticle%2Ftrending%2Ftrending-globally%2Fno-vaccine-for-crazy-video-of-man-riding-a-bike-over-a-bridges-arch-goes-viral-7301655%2F

 

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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