Tag Archive for San Diego

San Diego riders fight theft with Bike Index, bike-friendly Raman wins LA’s CD4, and Pendleton path closed this weekend

A San Diego weekly says bicycle riders are taking bike theft into their own hands by registering them with Bike Index, the world’s “most widely used and successful bicycle registration service.”

“There’s a large uptick in apartment building break-ins,” Bryan Hance of BikeIndex.org said to me. “So many new apartment buildings make residents park in their ‘secure’ bike parking areas, which aren’t that secure, and we are seeing so many instances of thieves forcing their way into these at night and then just robbing them blind. Often the bike anchors and racks in these spaces are quite weak, so once they’re inside, it’s like a bike buffet for these thieves. There’s an uptick in bike shop break-ins. With covid-19, job loss, and a pullback by law enforcement, we’ve seen enormous numbers of bike shops get robbed.”

You can get free lifetime registration for your bike right here, as well as report stolen bikes and check the nonprofit organization’s nationwide stolen bike database.

And no, I don’t get a dime for hosting them on this site.

Except for the satisfaction of giving you a fighting chance against bike thieves.

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After opposing bike and pedestrian safety projects for most of his first term — and apparently only — term, it looks like you can now append ex-LA City Councilmember to David Ryu’s resume.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog offers a round of where the LA-area vote stands the day after.

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Things are moving forward in Pasadena.

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Once again, bike riders will face a temporary ban on riding through Camp Pendleton.

Please note that a portion of the bike route within the San Onofre Beach State Park (see attached photo) will be closed for military training during the night/early morning. This closure will only interrupt bicycle travel at night time or early morning (prior to 7 AM). During the time of the bike path closure, cyclists may ride on the I-5 shoulder if needed.

Closure Date and Time

Date: November 7 to November 8

Time: 7 PM from November 8 to 8 7 AM on November 8

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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More proof that cars weren’t SoCal’s first love.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the forward.

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

An English man faces charges for beating another man to death, then wheeling him on his bike before dumping and burning his body.

A Dublin, Ireland man used his bike as a weapon by throwing it at a man who was being attacked by several other men in a running battle between gangs.

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Local

Urbanize looks at the new pedestrian bridge over busy La Cienega Blvd that was the final link in the 13-mile Park to Playa Trail.

Hats off to the students of Culver City Middle School, who have collectively walked and biked over 450 miles — more than the distance from Culver City to Sacramento.

Pasadena police wrote 118 tickets for traffic violations that could endanger bicyclists and pedestrians during their latest crackdown; 88 went to drivers, while only 11 bike riders were ticketed. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

A writer for the Argonaut complains that the one thing missing from Santa Monica’s al fresco social distancing efforts on Main Street is the distance itself, after shrinking the size of dining parklets, as well as bike lanes.

 

State

San Marcos is beginning work on a new bike and pedestrian pathway, along with a number of other safety improvements.

Heartbreaking news from San Diego, where a three-year old boy had both legs amputated despite several attempts to save them, after developing a MRSA staff infection when he fell off his bike and scraped his knee; now doctor’s are just hoping to save his hands and arms.

Burlingame cops bust a bicycle fencing operation, recovering 18 hot bikes in the process.

Sad news from NorCal, where a Florida man was killed after riding off a steep trail near Downieville in Sierra County. Rescuers initially were unable to reach him in the rough terrain; he died before they could return by helicopter the next day. Thanks to Phillip Young for the tip.

 

National

Transportation issues won big in Tuesday’s election across the US.

Bicycling readers share their most embarrassing rookie mistakes. As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if you’re blocked by the magazine’s paywall.

Data from Lime’s Seattle operations suggests that e-scooters can give a boost to bikeshare usage.

The husband of the Las Vegas woman killed when she was pushed off her bike decried the senseless and unnecessary tragedy that also took the life of the van passenger who pushed her.

Here’s your chance to become the executive director of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association.

A Buffalo NY judge suspended the license of a pizza driver who plowed into a bike-riding protester, then kept driving as she fled the scene before calling 911; she faces up to seven years behind bars if she’s convicted.

A bike-riding man in New York state was fatally right hooked by a school bus driver after allegedly running a stop sign in the bike lane; unfortunately, the victim isn’t around anymore to give his side of the story.

The New York Times considers the best bike gear for foul weather commuting. Something even SoCal riders have to contend with from time to time.

She gets it. The NYPD’s new street safety chief opposes licensing bike riders, saying bicycling “is the American way,” and licensing riders would make it less accessible.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a Maryland writer recommends exploring the historic Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge by bicycle, with ties to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Unless maybe you’d rather go mountain biking in Iceland.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The victim in a Louisiana collision that took the life of a bike rider was the 28-year old head coach of the waterskiing team at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

A kindhearted Georgia cop gave a total stranger his own barely used bicycle after learning the man was walking to work because someone had stolen his bike.

Camilla Cabello is one of us, as is her boyfriend Shawn Mendes and their wonder dog Thunder.

Some things you’d rather not find, like the Florida bike rider who found human remains while looking for a spot to relieve himself in the woods.

 

International

The pandemic bike boom isn’t just making bikes harder to find, it’s also making them more expensive.

Road.cc recommends holiday gifts for people who bike for $65 or less.

A new Canadian study suggests that face masks don’t inhibit breathing during vigorous exercise. So stop making excuses and put your damn mask on, already.

Working with the 529 Garage bicycle registration program, police in Ottawa, Canada shut down five bike shop shops, recovering 44 bicycles in the process.

English E-scooters will be required to emit artificial noise to warn pedestrians of their approach. Sort of like putting a bell on a cat.

A writer for The Guardian says she just wants to learn how to ride a bike during the lockdown.

A British man gets a well-deserved 27 months behind bars for seriously injuring a man on a bicycle while driving distracted — then tossing his phone into some bushes and returning to the scene to blame the victim.

Bike shops in the UK are once again being allowed to stay open as essential businesses as the country enters a new lockdown.

Mumbai’s mayor calls for limiting certain roads to bicycle-only once a week in an effort to reduce the city’s crushing smog.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a distracted driver got a lousy six months community detention for killing a man riding a bicycle — or what Americans would call home arrest.

Bikes are booming Down Under thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

Another American is making a statement in this year’s Grand Tours, as 24-year old Idaho native Will Barta came within one second of winning Tuesday’s Vuelta time trial.

Good news, as Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen is preparing to get back on his bike, just a month after suffering major facial injuries in a horrifying crash at the Tour de Pologne. Cycling Tips Angry Asian questions whether road racers should wear helmets with full face protection to prevent facial injuries like Jakobsen’s.

French cyclist Yoann Offredo reluctantly confronts the question of who he is if he can’t race bikes, after a lingering ankle injury forces him into retirement.

Bike Radar looks at the “humble” custom time trial bike that set a new record for a sub-three hour century.

 

Finally…

A 93-year old man rides around the world without actually going anywhere. Probably not the best idea to tell a cop to suck your dick when getting busted for biking while drunk — especially if you have two previous DUIs.

And seriously, don’t try this at home, kids.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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

Bike rider fatally rear ends city utility truck blocking bike lane in San Diego’s Black Mountain Ranch

This is why parking should never be allowed in bike lanes.

A San Diego man is dead, apparently because the driver of a city utility truck blocked a bike lane on a steep descent.

According to San Diego’s FOX 5, the victim was riding west on the 14500 block of Carmel Valley Road east of Black Mountain Road in Black Mountain Ranch just before 10 am today, when he crashed into the rear of a city storm water truck parked in the bike lane along the north curb.

An email from the San Diego Council of Bicycle Clubs reports the victim was riding ahead of a companion when he crashed into the truck, which did not have any warning cones or flashers on.

The other rider attempted to perform CPR; however, the victim, publicly identified only as a 42-year old man, was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering severe head trauma.

A photo from the scene shows his mangled bike on the other side of the sidewalk next to the parked truck. There’s no word on whether the truck was occupied, or if there was a reason why it was parked just below a no parking sign.

Unfortunately, California law allows parking in bike lanes except where specifically prohibited by local ordinances. While the street is posted no parking, the signs appear to be spaced too far apart, and it is likely there is an exception for utility workers in the performance of their duties.

Whether that was the case here, or the driver just pulled over for some reason is still unclear.

A street view shows a long, sweeping descent that could have allowed the victim to gain significant speed — although likely not the 45 to 50 mph police originally reported, which exceeds the Strava KOM for that segment.

It seems likely that the victim was descending at speed, not expecting anything blocking the bike lane, and was unable to stop once the truck came into view around a sweeping curve.

It’s also worth noting that, while there is no word on whether the victim was wearing a helmet, bike helmets aren’t designed to protect against hard impacts at relatively fast speeds. Especially one resulting from a near instantaneous stop.

It’s also worth noting that the police found the victim’s cell phone on the side of the road, and were examining it to see if he was using it at the time of the crash.

Which is a pretty good indication that the investigators have never ridden a bike downhill, let alone at high speed.

This is at least the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Alleged San Diego hit-and-run driver pleads not guilty, and more on NIMBY Koretz killing Melrose project

Twentynine-year old Mauricio Flores pled not guilty to felony hit-and-run in San Diego on Monday.

Flores is the minivan driver who allegedly slammed into a 66-year old bike rider near the city’s airport last month, leaving the victim with a life-threatening head injury.

In actions captured on video, he allegedly got out of his van, along with a passenger identified as 50-year old Jessica Bailey, examined the victim lying in the roadway, then calmly removed his bike from under their van and drove away.

They were captured in Kern County less than two weeks later.

There’s no word on whether Bailey is in custody, or if she will face any charges.

And no word on the identity or condition of the victim.

There are several stories from other news outlets, like this one, but they’re all virtually identical. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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Streets For All founder Michael Schneider lays out in painful, step-by-step detail just what went wrong with the Uplift Melrose plan to improve the iconic, if deadly, LA street.

And how the environmentally friendly project was killed by a single LA councilmember, acting on behalf of a notorious NIMBY group.

Just after the Mid City West meeting, the NIMBYs sprang into action. They viewed Uplift Melrose as a threat to the sacred space of vehicles in this city, and were outraged that a project would even be considered that would rellocate space from cars for a bike lane. Those bike lane thieves, trying to take away sacred car space! And while the project was so much more than a bike lane — it was wider sidewalks, new trees, raised crosswalks, new lighting… all they could see was the bike lane.

Jim O’Sullivan, co-founder of Fix The City — a litigious organization that sues over nearly every bike lane and high density housing project using money from questionable funding sources — started sending threatening emails to Councilmember Koretz and eventually to the entire city council. They also posted misinformation on Next Door. When NIMBYs can’t win on the merits of something, then they simply resort to the tired and true “there wasn’t enough outreach” argument.

It’s worth taking a few minutes — okay, nine, according to the article — to read the whole thing.

Because this is what we’re up against.

And what we will continue to confront — and too often, lose — as long as we continue to elect regressive leaders in environmentalist sheep’s clothing.

Speaking of which, Bike the Vote LA is encouraging you to phonebank for CD4 candidate Nithya Raman this Sunday to support an actual environmentalist.

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Something is seriously wrong when the person charged with enforcing a state’s laws doesn’t obey them himself.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg killed a man riding his bike Saturday night, then continued driving home without bothering to stop, later claiming he thought he’d hit a deer.

An excuse used by countless other hit-and-run drivers, in a usually failed attempt to avoid responsibility for their crimes.

It remains to be seen whether Ravnsborg, who has a long record of speeding and other traffic violations, will be held accountable. Or if his position will shield him from blame.

Although it doesn’t bode well that the state’s Department of Public Safety is withholding key details of the investigation.

Ravnsborg was reportedly driving home from a Republican fundraising dinner, where he swears he didn’t drink.

Even though any rational and sober person would stop to see what they hit after an impact like that.

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Still more proof you can literally carry anything on a bicycle.

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

An American marine biologist in the Philippines with a bad case of windshield bias questions why road space is being given to bike riders when motor vehicles bring in much more “revinue” for the government. He may be many things, but an environmentalist clearly ain’t one of them, regardless of what the headline says.

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Local

Bruce Willis is one of us, riding his Trek ebike through the streets of LA, even if the story somehow comes by way of Islamabad. Yippie-ki-yay, indeed.

Olympic boarder Shaun White and Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev are two of us. Or make that three, as they went for a bike ride through the ‘Bu with her dog in his arms.

 

State

A recovering Newport Beach stroke victim reached his goal of swimming 100 miles Labor Day weekend, then walked a couple miles to where he’d left his bicycle to ride back home.

A San Diego letter writer questions the city’s 42 percent increase in bike ridership, saying it’s meaningless without knowing how many riders there were before. Hate to say it, but he’s got a point.

 

National

Washington state is adopting the Idaho Stop Law next month, allowing bike riders to treat stops as yields — but not treat red lights like stop signs, as is legal in Idaho.

This is how it works in other places. Austin, Texas is going to make permanent a popup bike lane installed during the coronavirus crisis after it proved successful. Unfortunately, unlike countless other cities around the world, auto-centric Los Angeles never bothered to install any temporary bike lanes during the lockdown period to begin with.

Dozens of Louisville KY residents rode to apartment where Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police, who were looking for her former boyfriend, to see where it happened and demand justice for her.

Chicago is responding to the increase in bike riders by installing a curb and post protected bike lane on a busy street, removing 100 parking spaces to make room.

Boston is raising Austin’s ante by making an entire Downtown popup bike network permanent. Although Boston’s bike boom has also been reflected in a corresponding jump in bike thefts.

Now that’s how to campaign. A New York state assemblyman is riding his bike 116 miles across the state’s 116th Assembly District to raise funds for his campaign.

A 73-year old Franciscan friar in Pennsylvania is riding nearly 400 miles along the Erie Canal to raise funds for an outreach center serving people struggling with rural poverty; it’s the stage-4 colon cancer survivor’s tenth annual ride.

Billy Connolly is one of us, too. The Scottish comic, who suffers from Parkinsons, suffered an eye injury falling off his ebike near his home in Key West.

Unbelievable. Authorities dropped aggravated assault charges against a Florida driver who aggressively drove into a crowd of protesters, then pulled a gun on them when they surrounded his car.

Police in Florida have arrested four men for the January, 2019 shooting death of a man riding his bike, who was apparently collateral damage in a shootout between the occupants of two cars.

 

International

The World Resources Institute says 80 percent of urban freight begins or ends in cities, and it’s time to take it seriously — including using e-cargo bikes to make deliveries.

A bike rider goes skitching, hanging on to a semi-truck trailer on a Toronto highway. Although someone should tell Narcity that there’s no need to pedal when you’re being pulled by a truck.

A Canadian woman explains how Covid-19 finally encouraged her to learn how to ride a bike at the ripe old age of 33.

Financial Times profiles famed British bike rider and designer Paul Smith, calling him the most loved man in fashion.

He gets it. An English cycling instructor says a new protected bike lane isn’t intended to make it easier to drive, but to improve safety for people on bicycles and in cars.

France ie encouraging more people to ride bikes by paying them the equivalent of nearly $60 to get their bikes repaired.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending Tour de France champ Egan Bernal dropped out after Sunday’s 15th stage, complaining that he just didn’t have any power.

Cyclist looks at Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogačar, calling him cycling’s newest sensation.

An excerpt from a new book examines the troubled legacy of cycling great Marco Pantani; the 1998 Tour de France winner died of a coke overdose just six years later.

Women’s cycling is still going strong, despite the media’s best efforts to ignore it, including the longest ever stage of the Giro Rosa.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the disabled parking is in the middle of the street. Your next bike could be a folding mountain ebike for just 600 bucks.

And what does it say when the streets aren’t safe enough for police to conduct a bike safety sting?

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

San Diego bike rider critically injured in hit-and-run, Sia sings a bike song, and the war on bikes escalates dramatically

San Diego police are looking for a pair of heartless cowards who ran down a 66-year old man riding his bike in the Middletown neighborhood.

They got out of their van and examined the victim, then casually removed his bike from under the van, and drove off.

The victim was riding on the sharrows near the intersection of India and West Washington streets when he was apparently run down from behind, suffering a life-threatening head injury.

The vehicle is described as a blue or gray 2005 Dodge Caravan, with Georgia license plates, number RRJ7004.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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Show this one to everyone who insists bike lanes will keep emergency vehicles from getting through.

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Sia goes riding on her bike in what may be the happiest kid’s song you’ll hear today.

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This is what it’s like to ride 100 miles after trading your high-tech racing bike for $130 secondhand junker.

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Or maybe you’d rather watch a pair of bicyclists riding coast to coast across the UK in a single day.

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

A New York man faces charges after whacking a bike rider with a baseball bat when the other man rode past his house.

A Raleigh NC man was murdered in broad daylight in an apparent random attack as he rode his bike on a local bike path.

A pair of Costa Rican men face up to six years behind bars for slowing down and reaching out to touch a woman’s butt as she was riding her bike to the gym.

A British bike rider was the victim of a robbery when a pair of teens whacked him in the head with a board, then stole his bike, wallet and phone.

Then there’s this, from right here in the LA area.

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

A Brooklyn rideshare driver was shot after exchanging words with someone on a bicycle.

Despicable is right. Police in the UK are looking for a bike rider who leaned into an ambulance and spit into the paramedic’s face, for reasons apparently known only to him.

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Local

Streets LA — nee Bureau of Street Services — will host a virtual open house to discuss the proposed Uplift Melrose project this Wednesday; the plans include expanded sidewalks, better landscaping and LA’s first dutch-style curb level protected bike lane. Take a few minutes to attend if you can, because the usual NIMBYs and bike haters undoubtedly will.

Missed this one earlier this month, as LA helmet maker Thousand profiles East Side Riders founder John Jones III.

A new Netflix short film features the filmmaker riding alone on the eerily empty streets of Hollywood.

Around 60 people turned out for a Black Lives Matter bike ride through the streets of Pasadena to protest the fatal shooting of Anthony McClain as he fled a traffic stop. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

Howie Mandel decided to aid Malibu resident Simon Cowell’s recovery from an e-motorcycle crash by giving him a new adult tricycle.

 

State

Great idea. San Diego bike riders are taking part in a scavenger hunt to promote businesses in the City Heights neighborhood. Which makes it just bizarre that local business groups would oppose it.

San Diego has started work on a long debated 4.5-mile network of protected bike lanes connecting Downtown to Hillcrest and Balboa Park. Yet another reminder that everywhere I live becomes bike-friendly long after I leave.

Thanks to Covid-19, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Pizza with Police program for kids has morphed into Cycling with the Cops. Which is better anyway.

San Francisco officials from the mayor down call on the state to legalize speed cameras, calling them the key to Vision Zero. Meanwhile, that silence you hear is LA officials, because they’re afraid of offending drivers who like to speed.

No surprise here, as Bay Area bike and pedestrian bridge crossings are up significantly as more people take to two wheels during the coronavirus crisis.

A Sacramento bike rider was lucky to walk away after riding his bike out in front of oncoming traffic and getting drilled by a car traveling at an estimated 50 mph; remarkably, his bike appeared to be relatively okay, too.

 

National

A national advice columnist — no, the other one — takes scofflaw bike riders to task, pointing out that yes, we have to follow the same laws that most drivers usually don’t. Thanks to Margaret W for the tip.

Heartbreaking news from Wyoming, where a mother who was known locally for riding to raise funds for a children’s cancer charity was killed in a collision while riding her bike on Saturday.

This is who we share the roads with. A Texas Q-Anon supporter chased and intentionally rammed a pair of cars in a drunken rampage, after somehow convincing herself there were pedophile kidnappers inside them. Hint: There weren’t.

Chicago police finally get around to returning dozens of bicycles that were confiscated during Black Lives Matter protests in July. Never mind that the seizures are of questionable legality; it’s unlikely they could confiscate a motor vehicle under the same circumstances.

A Tennessee columnist says wear your bike helmet, already, crediting a helmet for why one bike rider survived, and the lack of one for why another one died. He’s got a point. But let’s not forget that bike helmets should always be the last resort when all else fails — not the first.

Speaking of Tennessee, a man in the state lost 100 pounds riding an ebike; for readers in the UK, that’s over seven stone. Just one more reminder that ped-assist ebikes offer genuine exercise, just like regular bikes.

The bird watching Harvard ornithology professor finished his 3,200 cross-country ride to call attention to Black Lives Matter.

Massive two-wheeled Black Lives Matter protests continue to roll in New York.

New York Magazine suggests everything you need to start riding a bike. Except, you know, an actual bike or something.

A former New Jersey man is riding his ‘bent across the US looking for a place to call home, after getting fed up with being managed for a brain injury he suffered when he was stuck by a drunk driver.

He gets it. A Delaware columnist says the murder of five-year old North Carolina bike rider could have shown Americans at their best. But instead, it showed the exact opposite.

Just as he did when John Kerry was injured in a bicycling crash, Donald Trump vows to never ride a bicycle, after Fox News shows video of Joe Biden riding a bike. To which bicycles everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

Sometimes, good news just keeps getting better. After a Louisiana boy gave the bicycle he’d saved up to buy for himself to a man who’s house had burned and his truck was stolen, a Good Samaritan saw the story on TV and gave him a new bike.

 

International

Um, no. Cycling Weekly tells you what to wear for year-round bike commutes. Spandex is fine if that’s what you want to wear. But despite what they show, bike riders around the world somehow manage to get to work and back without a stitch of bikewear.

Cycling News takes a deep look at deeper bike wheels.

After an adaptive bike belonging to an Edmonton, Canada girl with cystic fibrosis was stolen, the manufacturer gave them a replacement, which was assembled by a local bike shop. Hats off to urban bikemaker Opus Bikes and the Redbike bike shop for doing more than just the right thing.

A Toronto writer overcomes his concerns over riding a bike in the big city and learns to embrace bike commuting, while accepting that fear is your friend.

He gets it, too. A Canadian letter writer says if you want to know about bike lanes, ask someone who actually rides a bike.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a British man is rebuilding his life after a bike-riding stranger talked him out of jumping off a bridge. His name wasn’t Clarence by any chance, was it?

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A driver in the UK was allowed to keep his license despite racking up 68 points in traffic violations in just four years, over five times the standard suspension level of 12 points.

A Hungarian writer says it takes more than paint to transform a city, complaining that Budapest officials had bike lanes striped on city streets, without considering with it really takes to build a bike-friendly city.

Six years after losing his leg at 17, a Mumbai man is looking at competing internationally in professional paracycling, inspired by a chance meeting with an Indian paracycling champ during rehab.

Several African cities could transform for the better if they rebuild with non-vehicular mobility in mind in the aftermath of the coronavirus.

Everything you need to know about bicycling in the United Arab Emirates, in case you’re planning to go sometime.

Nice story from The Guardian, as they profile an Aussie couple who’ve been riding tandem across the country for 41 years.

 

Competitive Cycling

The fine art of cycling commentary.

American cyclist Sepp Kuss says he can’t imagine being a Grand Tour contender, saying he’ll always be a work in progress. Which probably isn’t what his team and sponsors want to hear.

There’s finally some good news about paracycling champ and former Formula 1 race car driver Alex Zanardi, who has shown significant improvement and been moved out of intensive care for the first time since he was struck by a driver during a race in June.

 

Finally…

Always sing Disney songs to your dogs when they ride on your bike. When the faithful are feeling down, buy some refrigerated cargo bikes and give out free ice cream.

And maybe I should be glad the new corgi puppy is chewing on everything but my bike.

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

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in hit-and-run; driver moved the victim before fleeing

SoCal streets are getting more dangerous as our cities reopen from their Covid-19 slumber.

The latest example comes from San Diego, where a man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in the city’s Rolando neighborhood Tuesday evening.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim was riding west on the sidewalk near the Salvation Army Kroc Center on University Ave around 7:05 Tuesday evening, when he allegedly turned in front a westbound driver at University and Alamo Drive.

The driver then got out of his car and moved the victim back into the street, before fleeing the scene. Although why he moved him, and from where, is unclear.

It’s also not clear why the victim would have turned in front of the driver’s car when Alamo exits to the right off westbound University, rather than the left.

The victim died after being taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest; he’s described only as a man who appears to be in his late 40s.

Police eventually found the suspect’s car abandoned a little over a mile away, at El Cajon Boulevard and 68th Street.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon to help clear up the apparent discrepancies.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: Police arrested a 30-year old man later the same night, alleging he was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Somber solo Ride of Silence, bicyclist defends San Diego’s lockdown-busting ride, and protected lane parking in DTLA

You’re on your own for tonight’s annual Ride of Silence, which can be done solo or virtually.

Or maybe just join me tonight in remembering all those who have lost their lives needlessly.

Photo by Matt Tinoco.

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Seriously?

A Los Angeles bicyclist defends the actions of the bike riders on Sunday’s mass ride through San Diego, which resulted in a literal fist fight with an angry driver.

As in,

“When you have that many riders, it’s going to be unruly. I wouldn’t say rowdy,” said Vasquez.

Never mind that unruly ride violated every semblance of California’s Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Which currently prohibits groups of more than ten. Let alone the few hundred bike riders it drew from all over the state.

And never mind that they couldn’t do a better job of spreading the disease if they tried.

If only one of the riders had a symptom-free case of coronavirus without knowing it, they could have shared it with dozens of others on the ride, who would then take it home to their family and friends.

Not to mention putting innocent bystanders at risk along every inch of the ride route.

Irresponsible doesn’t begin to cover it.

According to the LA bicyclist — who I won’t name, even though the story does — the mass ride was sponsored by a group called Keep it Rolling.

Maybe they’ll think before they roll out again.

So maybe they next time we read or hear about them, it will be because they got it right.

Not for crap like this.

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No surprise here.

The new protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA have turned into one more example of free curbside parking for any drivers willing to squeeze through the bollards.

Just like what happened after every other protected bike lane in Downtown Los Angeles was opened.

Which makes you wonder why LADOT apparently hasn’t learned anything from the experience.

Thanks to Melanie Freeland for the heads-up.

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Pasadena police are warning about an increase in bike thefts, with advice on how to prevent it.

All good advice.

Although I’d add that bikes aren’t safe on balconies even if they’re secured, unless it’s too high to climb up. And it probably isn’t.

Your garage isn’t much better, unless it’s securely locked at all hours.

Also, take lots of pictures of your bike — including your bike’s serial number, which is the easiest way to make sure you always have it with you.

And register your bike for free with Bike Index right now while you’re thinking about it. Before anything happens to it.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

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Who was that masked man?

If you’ve spotted a 7-foot tall man riding a bike through Los Angeles lately with only his eyes visible, it may have been the Lakers’ JaVale McGee.

Although maybe someone should teach him how to fix a flat.

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Here’s your chance to sort-of ride with the world’s best — and only — all type 1 diabetic cycling team.

But only if you’re diabetic, too.

Speaking of which, CNN says the team has turned type 1 diabetes into its greatest strength.

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If you live or work in my neighborhood, the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council is having a virtual meeting this evening.

If you have the patience to wait until they finally get around to general comments, ask for some Slow Streets in Hollywood.

………

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

An Omaha woman was knocked off her bike by rock-throwing teenagers, just days after resuming riding for the first time since she was eight years old. Jerks.

………

Local

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin talks LA’s Slow Streets program on KPCC’s Take Two.

CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino gets it. He’s calling for allowing Los Angeles businesses to expand out into sidewalks, streets and parking lots for dining al fresco and other outdoor activities. Seriously, anything that gets Angelenos to re-envision our streets is a good thing.

You should be able to find plenty of bike parking in South Pasadena now, after the city worked with Active SGV to install 200 new lime green bike racks, including covered bike corrals.

Just weeks after buying Uber’s Jump Bikes, Lime is pulling the company’s ebikes and scooters off the not-so-mean streets of Santa Monica.

Long Beach is planning to turn currently under-used streets into outdoor dining, too.

 

State

San Francisco’s Sierra Club says we should try making Slow Streets permanent.

Sacramento is finding space on the roads for Slow Streets, too.

A bike-riding Davis columnist tells drivers to use their damn turn signals, already.

 

National

Curbed calls Slow Streets the path to a better city.

Yahoo lays out your fashion choices for every type of ride this year. Or you could just wear whatever the hell you want.

Gear Patrol says you’re wearing your bike helmet wrong, especially if it’s on backwards.

Portland business owners get it, where 60 businesses say they support a proposed protected bike lane in front of their shop.

Colorado teens are trying to defend a DIY bike park after the city moves to remove it.

If anyone wants to know what to get me for my birthday, bikemaker Detroit Bikes is remaking the 1965 edition of the iconic Schwinn Collegiate model, which will be available at Walmart for just under a grand. Or just get me a corgi.

A new public health study shows collisions involving bike riders dropped 13% in Philadelphia after the city’s bikeshare opened, despite the increase in ridership and no new infrastructure, giving more proof to the safety in numbers theory. And more people bike commute in cities with bikeshare, too.

Good news: New Jersey is allowing bike shops to reopen. Bad news: They’re reopening car dealers, too.

A Savanah, Georgia paper says the heir to the roadside Stuckey’s chain is one of us, too.

 

International

Treehugger says ebikes are eating the market, as Rad Power Bikes sees an almost 300% increase in sales during the coronavirus shutdown.

Strava defends their decision to start charging for leaderboard access and break thousands of third-party apps, saying the company isn’t profitable. And needs to start raising revenues now.

Peru is now a bicycling paradise, courtesy of the Covid-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, Americas Quarterly asks if the pandemic could mark the beginning of a biking revolution in Latin America.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a look at Supremely overpriced designer bicycles.

Analog bikes are booming, too. A UK bike shop has seen a nearly 700% jump in sales of bike over the equivalent of $600 compared to last year.

Eight ways to avoid the crowds on your next bike ride through London.

German bike shops are busier than ever.

Tel Aviv is taking a step beyond Slow Streets, converting eleven streets in the city center into pedestrian zones.

Bikes are booming in Uganda, too, where driving is prohibited under the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Nothing like adding a slightly illegal 5,000 watt, 49 mph ebike conversion kit from a Hong Kong company to your existing bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome is threatening to jump ship midseason, leaving Ineos for a rival team after being overshadowed in recent years by fellow Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal. Although it’s hard to call it midseason if there haven’t been any races.

Running a few days behind, as usual, Bicycling catches up with pro mountain biker Keegan Swenson’s new Everesting record, as he tops Phil Gaimon’s new world record by 12 minutes, just four days after Gaimon set it.

Seriously, who’s shocked that Lance started doping long before he turned proBetter question: Who still cares?

 

Finally…

Yes, Peloton, it is possible to be too white. If you’re going to use pool noodles to protest cars coming too close, maybe try keeping away from them, too.

And not bad for my first self-applied Covid haircut, if I say so myself.

………

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

Large SD ride reportedly flouts pandemic and traffic laws, Westchester auto-centrism, and tracking US bike deaths

WTF.

A large group of San Diego bicyclists appeared to ignore any hint of physical distancing on a Sunday group ride.

Without a single face mask in sight.

Let alone anything remotely resembling common sense in the middle of a pandemic.

San Diego’s ABC10 reports that, despite reports the group was well behaved earlier on their ride, their behavior had deteriorated by the time they got to San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood.

Paen told 10News that the riders in PB were unruly and rowdy. “[They were] flipping their fingers at cars [and] spitting at people,” he told 10News and added, “They were just whizzing by stop signs and past pedestrians and cars. It just seemed like they had immunity to anything on the road that was against them.”

Never mind that members of the group apparently got into a fight with a woman who had gotten out of her car to chastise them, as shown in the video above.

“[A cyclist] starts to kick on her and picks on her and it just becomes this mob mentality of bikers on this one woman who was going to yell at this [cyclist] for basically running a red light,” he said and added, “There was literally no one wearing masks or any type of gloves [and they were] all within close proximity of each other.”

According to the station, San Diego police responded to the fight, but neither side wanted to press charges.

Obviously, there’s more than one side to the story. And there’s no discounting the obvious windshield bias in the witness report.

But the optics of holding this type of ride, at a time when even small groups are prohibited — let alone hundreds of unmasked, scofflaw bike riders — is pretty devastating.

Let alone the sheer stupidity of risking the spread of an often symptomless, potentially deadly disease to their family and loved ones.

Not to mention total strangers who have the misfortune of just being nearby.

We need to do better.

All of us.

………

Once again, auto-centrism rears its ugly head in LA’s Westchester/Playa neighborhood, as a motion at tonight’s neighborhood council meeting opposes taking even an inch of space for Slow Streets.

Because cars.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1262544428213743622

………

Outside updated their record of every bicyclist killed on American roads in 2020, which is now up to 165 names.

Southern California is responsible for 20 of those so far.

Thanks to Melissa Wenzel for the heads-up.

………

GCN demonstrates how to make your own high-level camera mount out of whatever wood you happen to have lying around.

………

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

A North Dakota woman was busted for intentionally running down a man on a bike as he tried to ride away after arguing with her.

A British bus driver vows to never ride a bicycle again after he was intentionally knocked off his bike by a couple of women after warning them he was passing; he suffered a fractured pelvis and spine, a dislocated shoulder and ruptured kidneys. And they just walked away.

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

See above. No, seriously.

………

Local

Molly Shannon is one of us. And evidently, so is her daughter, as they shared a bike ride in Santa Monica.

They weren’t the only bike-riding Santa Monica celebs, though as Joe Jonas took a spin through the city, while leaving pregnant wife Sophie Turner at home.

 

State

Calbike is pushing a bill to encourage developers to provide secure bike parking in housing developments. But Megan Lynch reminds us that bike parking needs to accommodate handicapped riders, as well.

Two sections of one San Francisco roadway show how good it can be when making space for people, and how bad it is when left to motor vehicles.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss tells drivers that going the usual 5 mph over the speed limit is contributing to America’s addiction to speeding, while putting lives at risk. SoCal drivers would have to slow down from the usual 10 to 15 mph over the limit to just get down to that.

So much for those free Strava accounts. If you want access to Strava’s leaderboard, get ready to start paying. And stop using the 44,000 third-party apps they just broke.

Apparently, bicycles really are the new toilet paper. The New York Times says bike shop shelves are empty, too, with lower-end bicycles selling out and not enough new bikes in the supply chain.

Trek says there’s never been a better time to #GoByBike.

Outside offers five things they learned from this year’s bicycle tests, like gravel bikes are the new roadies, good roadies cost six grand — or more — and the recent boom in bike built specifically for women is over. And a few lessons from their favorite mountain bikes, too.

Virtually empty, casino-lined Las Vegas Blvd may now be the world’s most expensive bikeway. Or at least flashiest.

Houston residents discuss using their bikes as a form of transportation. Radical concept, I know.

A Maine bike advocate ponders what the streets of the future will look like, as Covid-19 gives us a rare opportunity to reimagine the space devoted to motor vehicles.

The New York Times considers how to have a safe bike ride with the kids, whether on Slow Streets or the usual fast ones.

New Yorkers J.Lo and A.Rod went for a Monday bike ride. Although judging from what little you can see, her bike doesn’t look like one.

Unbelievable. A 77-year old Maryland man was killed when he was right hooked by his neighbor turning into a driveway. So naturally, police blamed the victim.

One Atlanta teen is in custody, and another is wanted, after allegedly shooting a 58-year old woman in a dispute over a stolen bike.

A Georgia couple faces charges for killing a bike rider while conspiring to deal meth. Although just what slinging meth had to do with the fatal crash isn’t clear.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is one of us, too.

 

International

Road.cc offers their own take on the best new hybrid bikes.

Your new e-foldie could cost less than a grand, and come with seating for two.

No bias here. A Toronto columnist sees a not-so-secret anti-car agenda in the movement to provide street space for people during the coronavirus crisis. Because clearly, you can’t make room for anyone else on the streets without making some drivers feel threatened.

No bias here, either, as an official with London’s taxi drivers association calls the push for bike lanes a class war (scroll down). Because only elite, educated white “eco-caramel coconut latte” swilling males actually ride bicycles, evidently. 

The Department of DIY struck in the UK over the weekend, as climate change advocates Extinction Rebellion painted their own fuchsia-colored pop-up bike lanes throughout the country.

A British driver could find out the hard way if you go to holy hell for dooring a Catholic bishop.

A 15-year old Indian girl rode nearly 750 miles to bring her injured father home on the back of her bicycle.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Singapore cyclist rescued a toddler who rode his kick scooter onto a busy street.

A new report says a proposal to allow New Zealanders to ride their bikes on sidewalks, with a nine-mile an hour speed limit, could result in savings of $24 million a year — but cost $14 million in pedestrian injuries, as well as one additional death, each year.

The global bike boom has hit Down Under, where bikes have become a key social distancing tool. Sort of like everywhere else.

Aussie bike advocates say the new temporary bike paths being built in Sydney should be made permanent. Again, like everywhere else.

No surprise here. Australian researchers conclude that harsh penalties for violating the mandatory helmet law in New South Wales are extremely excessive, and arbitrarily enforced.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for Medium talks with freshly bearded, former world Eversting record holder Phil Gaimon about life during lockdown.

 

Finally…

Apparently, following influencers to win a quarantine Peloton is a thing now. If you’re going to ride a hot high-end mountain bike at 4:14 am, put a damn light on it — and don’t pedal past a cop who used to manage a bike shop.

And who needs an agility course when you’ve got a bike corral?

………

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

52-year old man killed by alleged drunk driver in San Diego’s Alta Vista neighborhood

Note: No Morning Links today, following an extended internet outage last night.

As usual, we’ll be back next week to catch up on anything we missed. 

………

Once again, a SoCal bike rider has lost his life, despite the lighter traffic caused by the coronavirus crisis.

But sadly, light traffic does nothing to stop an intoxicated driver.

According to multiple sources, the victim was riding on west on Paradise Valley Road west of Munda Road in San Diego’s Alta Vista neighborhood, when he was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver shortly before 9:15 Wednesday night.

The victim, identified only as a 52-year old man, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Twenty-eight-year old driver James L. Bumpus was arrested at the scene on suspicion of felony DUI.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights to reflectors on his bike, or if there was anything other than Bumpus’ alleged drunken state that would have kept him from avoiding the victim’s bike.

A street view shows a four lane boulevard with no shoulder, where drivers could easily exceed the 40 mph speed limit.

This is at least the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

LA pulls plug hours after approving Del Rey Slow Streets, San Diego shows how it’s done, and proof bikes mean business

My apologies if you got a premature draft of today’s post. Evidently, I somehow inadvertently posted this while I was still working on it.

Either that, or I’ve got a bad case of cyber gremlins. 

………

In a dramatic reversal, Los Angeles approved plans to install the city’s first Slow Streets on several streets in the Del Rey neighborhood, which would have allowed people to get out to walk or bike while maintaining a safe social distance.

Then the city changed its mind, pulling the approval just hours before it was supposed to go into effect.

Never mind that any delay defeats the entire purpose of the program, which is intended to help people get out now for fresh air and exercise when they need it most to maintain their mental and physical health.

But even if it hadn’t been cancelled, this is exactly what’s wrong with Los Angeles.

One small area would have gotten desperately needed slow streets to allow for social distancing. But only because one neighborhood council asked for them, and one councilmember cared enough to — almost — get it done.

We need citywide leadership in a time of crisis, not 15 fiefdoms with widely varying commitments to safer streets.

As in, none at all in some cases.

Let’s hope LA city leaders get their figurative heads out of their collective asses, and start giving Angelenos safe places to get outside and move around, like the World Health Organization calls for.

Not in one small neighborhood, but in all of them.

And if it sounds like I’m pissed off, that’s only because I am.

Especially after Portland committed to 100 miles of slow streets.

Meanwhile, BIKAS — Bicycle Infrastructure Knowledge Activism and Safety — calls for an email campaign to demand quick-build safety improvements on LA’s Fourth Street during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And Streetsblog say LA’s new program to accelerate repaving during the coronavirus slowdown is ignoring the city’s previously approved Mobility Plan.

Photo by Athena from Pexels.

……..

San Diego continues to show LA how it’s done, closing part of four streets to motor vehicles to provide space to walk or bike while maintaining social distancing.

Meanwhile, San Diego County has reopened the SR-56 commuter bikeway between Solana Beach and Rancho Bernardo to pedestrians and bike riders.

As Robert Leone points out, it’s true that the pathway gets a lot of recreational use. But no one is stopping drivers to ask if their trips are necessary.

………

Yet another study shows that bikes are good for business.

Researchers from Portland State University studied fourteen economic corridors in six cities with and without bike lanes.

And discovered that most businesses saw improvements in sales and employment as a result of bike lanes, with restaurants showing the greatest growth.

………

PeopleForBikes is hosting a virtual Draft Meetup for San Diego-area bike riders this evening; you can RSVP here.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

When you absolutely, positively have to pass the person on the bike, road dividers be damned.

Note: I missed the date on this before posting it. Not the date of the tweet, but the May 14, 2015 on the video itself. So either the bicyclist didn’t set the date properly, or I need to apologize for posting a five year old video. Thanks to Aurelio Jose Barrera for the catch.

………

Phillip Young forwards a full-length film about the glory days of Detroit’s Wolverine Sports Club, dedicated, as their site says, to promoting cycling, speedskating and cross-country skiing at all levels.

And no, I haven’t had a chance to see it myself yet, so let us know what you think.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Police in the UK are looking for the motorcycle-riding schmuck who pushed a bicyclist off his bike for no apparent reason.

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

An Alabama man with an outstanding warrant for domestic abuse faces additional charges after leading police on a slow speed bike pursuit.

An “extremely intoxicated” Florida man faces multiple charges for attacking his former roommates while demanding to know where his bicycle was.

………

Local

The LA County Sheriff’s Department says even though we’re all under safer at home orders, May is still Bicycle and Motorcycle Safety Month.

According to a new plan, LA County beaches could reopen on the 18th, but the beach bike path will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Good idea. An LA Times op-ed calls for turning streets in front of restaurants into expanded seating areas, allowing them to reopen while maintaining social distancing.

The owners of Pure Cycles have sold the Burbank-based bikemaker to Florida bicycle distributor J&B Importers; however, founders Michael Fishman and Jordan Schau will continue to operate it as a standalone company.

Against all evidence, Pasadena somehow decides yellow “traffic calming’ signs will get drivers to take their foot off the gas pedal, while a Pasadena writer explains why red lights don’t prioritize people and still make you push a button to cross. Hint: Older red lights are hard to reprogram, and cars matter more than people in the Rose City.

Lime has pulled up stakes and ridden their scooters out of Santa Monica for the last time.

After Ocean Drive was flooded with people exercising when the beachfront Strand pathway was closed, Manhattan Beach residents call for banning bikes and skateboards, and restricting it to residents only. Which is only slightly illegal, since bikes are legally allowed on any street cars are allowed on. 

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a mountain bike ride through the ‘Bu, while Ryan Phillppe rides his mountain bike in LA.

Prodigal Son actress Bellamy Young is one of us now, after she had two weeks to learn how to ride a racing bike for a part on Criminal Minds. And had to film the scene with a chipped a tooth from grinding her teeth out of fear of falling off.

 

State

Once again, the CHP accuses a bike rider of a SWSS,* insisting the victim swerved in front of a Fresno County driver and suffered “moderate to major” injuries. *For the uninitiated, SWSS refers to a single witness suicide swerve, which is a bike meme referring to the fact that bike riders usually get blamed for riding in front of drivers in the absence of independent witnesses, when it’s often the driver who doesn’t hold his or her lane.

Palo Alto transportation planners say we need to plan for more bicycling and walking after the pandemic, expecting both to be in greater demand.

Great idea. A UC Berkeley grad student is analyzing San Francisco blocked bike reports to determine where protected bike lanes should be installed.

A Stockton man was busted for violating his probation by towing a rifle hidden in a guitar case on his bike trailer.

 

National

Gear Patrol complains that Canyon’s new roadie ebike isn’t available in the US; service isn’t available here for the bike’s Fazua motor. They kinda like Rapha’s new lightweight summer jersey, too.

Pink Bike rates riding glasses. My personal recommendation remains giving San Diego’s Sport RX a call, and let them fix you up with prescription bike glasses, including progressive lenses.

A local website asks whether Denver has what it takes to be a great bike city.

Burglars stole over $35,000 worth of bicycles from a Colorado bike shop.

Chicago finally gets around to repainting faded bike lanes, six months too late to save the life of a bike-riding woman.

Michigan bike shops reopened Tuesday after the governor lifted the state’s strict coronavirus lockdown.

A kindhearted Niagara Falls nurse bought a 12-year old boy a new bike after reading about his stolen bike on Facebook.

A Brooklyn thief faces charges for punching a man in the face to steal his bicycle, then attacking him with it.

A writer for Forbes says ebikes are cooler than you think, praising a chunky looking 30 mph bike from a Boston startup. Even though the article says it’s suited for bike lanes, its speed makes it illegal to ride in one in many states, including California. And you’ll need a helmet and a driver’s license.

DC bike riders stage a rolling protest with a musical soundtrack to highlight inequality exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

A North Carolina high school principal is honoring her school’s graduating seniors by riding her bike around the campus ten times every day this week.

Take a virtual bike ride through the streets of Atlanta, without the inconvenience of actually going there.

Atlanta is getting serious about Vision Zero, cutting speed limits on most city streets to 25 mph.

 

International

Road.cc recounts ten brilliant inventions that changed the bicycle forever, including, yes, pedals.

Cyclist has advice on how to buy a gravel bike.

Regina, Saskatchewan city leaders overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to require bike helmets for all riders, instead opting for an education program to make them less needed.

An Ontario man set a new world record by riding 626 miles in 24 hours on his Zwift stationary bike.

The BBC questions whether we’re witnessing the death of the car, as cities around the world hope to keep many motor vehicles off the road long after the lockdowns end. Except in Los Angeles, of course, where city leaders seem committed to doing nothing.

Apparently, Los Angeles drivers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of empty streets by gluing their feet to the gas pedal. London has seen an eight fold increase in speeding compared to this time last year.

No bias here. A London writer describes bicyclists as irritating little wasps that you can’t run down without fear of maiming one, yet gives riding a try anyway, on an ebike the size of a small motorcycle. However, most of the article is hidden behind the damn paywall.

It’s two years behind bars for a pair of bike thieves who targeted workers at a Nottingham, England medical center.

The British tabloids clearly have celebrity chef and reality TV star Gordon Ramsey in their sights, accusing him of running a red light and nearly causing a crash on his latest ride from his Welsh home.

A Belgian bike path across a huge pond creates the illusion of riding through water.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 79-year old Dutch man chased down a bike thief on his ebike — with a passenger on the back.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite being rescheduled for August, the Tour de France is once again in jeopardy after the French prime minister extends a ban on sporting events through September. Am I the only one who says just pull the plug on 2020 and try again next year?

The Vuelta has nixed its planned Dutch start, and will cut back to just 18 stages this year. Assuming the race happens at all, of course.

The cancellation of the pro tour has put a crimp in anti-doping labs and testing. Not that anyone would take advantage of that, of course.

VeloNews talks with women’s cyclist Kasia Niewiadoma and recently retired cycling scion Taylor Phinney, who got stuck in Girona, Spain while on a bikepacking trip after the pro tours were cancelled.

Kiwi cyclist Ella Harris is spending her lockdown time baking bread and working on her degree in food marketing.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t ride your bike past a store and spit on the window — let alone five times. Yes, you’ll probably want a seat on your bike for long distance rides.

And watch out for gators on the bike path.

………

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

Socially responsible transportation in the age of coronavirus, Los Angeles NC meetings on hold, and Woon prelim Tues

The good news is — maybe the only good news right now — that riding a bike is perhaps the most socially responsible form of transportation in these depressingly Covid-19, coronavirus shaded days.

Unlike public transportation, ride sharing or even walking, riding on your own provides automatic social distancing, with virtually no risk of catching or transmitting the virus. And at the same time, strengthening your immune system, respiratory system and overall health.

Even riding with a friend, it’s very easy to keep your distance from one another.

The only time it becomes difficult is on a large group ride, where you’re likely to find yourself far less than six feet from others.

As for driving a car, it’s automatically self-isolating as long as you’re the only one in it.

But it’s hard to describe it as socially responsible, even in better times.

https://twitter.com/willwrite4cake/status/1239292484737544193

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

………

Speaking of which, the New York Times examines the surge in bicycling as New Yorkers turn away from transit; Salon says bikeshare use is up 67% compared to last year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has good advice — and a reading list — for riding in the age of Covid-19, including wiping the bike down with antibacterial wipes if you use bikeshare. Which goes for scooters, too.

Good advice from Bicycling on how to ride safely amid coronavirus concerns, including that you’re better off doing your riding outside right now. And keep those damn loogies and snot rockets to yourself.

Portland bike shops face the difficult question of whether to stay open or close, while Seattle alternative paper The Stranger, which is facing its own existential crisis, says at least bicycling is less stressful now.

A new study in the Lancet suggests that if you have both diabetes and high blood pressure, you’re pretty well screwed. Thanks to Mike Cane for the link.

On the other hand, the 79-year old publisher of Outside says the coronavirus is overblown to pump up media sales, and says it’s only “scary to a degree” because there’s no vaccine for it. Tell that to the 6,500 people who’ve already died from it worldwide. And their loved ones. Schmuck. 

And a writer for Psychology Today says there’s an upside to the virus going viral, because old people like him are the most likely to die, and have had good, long lives. So he looks forward to going out “listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on my iPod,” after polishing off a Napa Cabernet. Maybe someone could point out that viruses are, by definition, viral. Which is pretty much the kindest thing I’d want to say to him right now. 

Meanwhile, Calgary provides an easy to understand yardstick for what’s a safe distance.

………

Forget making your case for bicycling at your local neighborhood council anytime soon.

………

The rescheduled prelim for the woman charged with the hit-and-run death of bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier is supposed to take place tomorrow.

But don’t be surprised if it’s rescheduled once again because of the coronavirus.

………

Thanks to Robert Leone, who’s been so busy forwarding San Diego-area news this weekend that he gets his own little section.

First up is an update on road closures for Camp Pendleton riders, courtesy of the Camp Pendleton community liaison.

  1. Basilone Road and Anglim Court between commissary and San Onofre 2 and 3, housing is flooded, traffic can still go through for now.
  2. Beach Club Road closed:  People can access through state side gate per MCCS.
  3. Vandegrift Blvd, vicinity Box Canyon East bound lane closest to shoulder is closed due to falling debris. One lane is still open for travel East bound and Two lanes open for West Bound travel.
  4. Stuart Mesa Road is open.
  5. Beach club Road is closed.
  6. Las Pulgas Gate closed – Only open to emergency vehicles. Cyclists may use the I-5 shoulder to ride if access to the bike path is closed.
  7. De-Luz Road at Sequoia Road closed. De-Luz Road closed all the way before the training area by O’Neil Heights.
  8. Lake O’Neil housing can be accessed by from both direction on Santa Margarita Road and De-Luz Road.

Please check Facebook for updates.

Next comes notice that San Diego’s Bike to Work Day has at least temporarily bitten the dust due to — you guessed it — our friend Covid-19.

And the San Diego Bike Coalition has pulled the plug on many of their activities for now.

………

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

A bike-riding London man was convicted of murder for stabbing a 14-year old boy to death for his Nikes.

………

Local

Kate Hudson is one of us. Though someone might tell her bike helmets work better if you actually wear them.

The planned U.S. Bicycle Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica will likely run right through the campus of Pomona College.

 

State

Kendall Jenner is one of us, too, as she takes to an ebike in Palm Springs. And looks like she actually knows how to ride it, although her take on Covid-19 got panned.

A pair of bike lovers are opening a new brewery and taproom in Thousand Oaks tomorrow. Assuming they actually get to, under the circumstances.

This year’s edition of the Eroica California scheduled for next month in Cambria finds itself sacrificed on the Covid-19 altar.

 

National

My brother ran Alaska’s famed Iditarod sled dog race four times, finishing three. But he never rode a fat tire bike in the Iditarod Trail Invitational along the same frozen trail.

He gets it. A Minnesota columnist says drivers “learning bike-passing and road-sharing best practices” may be the best way to improve safety and encourage bike riding. Or maybe second best, after providing safe, protected and effective bikeway network.

A Providence RI site films a busy street post-road diet, and is shocked! shocked! to discover drivers outnumber bike riders in the middle of winter 191 to 1. Never mind that most road diets are conducted to improve safety and reinvigorate communities by reducing road capacity, and bike lanes are merely a very beneficial tool to do it.

Owners of a Delaware funeral home complain that a new post-protected bike lane is affecting their business by blocking them from parking in front of the funeral parlor. Or maybe they just want to force bikes back into the street to drum up more business.

He gets it. A Pasadena letter writer says don’t blame the victim in a bicycling fatality, because bicyclists have a legal right to the road. No, the Maryland Pasadena. And no, I didn’t know there was one, either.

A North Carolina columnist complains about “the elitist scourge known as ‘road diet,'” which he claims it intended to force a healthy lifestyle down their throats for the sake of a tiny minority.” So evidently, people who ride bikes — like students and the soon-to-be laid off busboys who work in the local bars and restaurants — are elitists. Good to know.

 

International

How Sidi got its swirly.

The BBC offers a detailed overview of what they call the world’s most flexible form of transport — the bicycle.

A British columnist experiences what many of us have, as a well-worn article of bikewear gets him reminiscing about his favorite rides.

A Welsh website suggests five cheap and easy bike upgrades you can do yourself while you self-isolate, including building your bike a house.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an Irish doctor’s bike while he’s covering a 13-hour shift for a colleague forced into coronavirus isolation. Or just steal someone’s bike, period.

Yes, please. The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is building a high-density residential district for 12,000 people, where cars will be banned and bikes will rule.

Bike riders get to see a lot of things most motorists miss. Like the pope taking a walk through Rome, for instance.

Rideable bikes are down 90% for a New Zealand dockless bikeshare provider since they launched three years ago, which appear to be prone to wheels collapsing; an expert says the bikes are unsafe, while the company blames their own customers.

A Kiwi website remembers the 1930s world traveling bike-rider and performer the Woman in Red.

Aussie drivers complain about bike riders on the streets. Which may be why they’re driving on the bike paths, too.

A 66-year old Singaporean secondhand bike seller was busted for his sideline of giving free massages and exorcism rituals to women, as an excuse to molest and film them.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Paris-Nice stage race came to an end on Saturday, as Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann claimed the individual title after Sunday’s final stage was cancelled.

European pros won’t be allowed to even train in Spain for the next two weeks, as the country cracks down on all activity to battle the coronavirus. Although the sport’s governing body doesn’t seem to be taking it all that seriously yet.

Speaking of UCI, they plan to backdate Olympic qualifying, which will screw anyone who hadn’t qualified for the cycling events by March 3rd.

Dutch pro Mathieu Van der Poel gets it, saying cancellation of the early cycling season is a disappointment, but there are much bigger problems in the world right now.

The organizers of next month’s Redlands Classic followed the Tour of the Gila in pulling the plug on this year’s 36th annual edition.

 

Finally

Your next Mecedes-AMG could have just two wheels — if you can afford to drop around five figures on one. The sex shops may be closing, but at least the bike shops will stay open.

And one worth repeating, as a young Frank Zappa plays a bike instead of riding it.

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