Tag Archive for San Diego

San Diego advocates call for fixing “Fatal 15” intersections, and LAist talks with the originator of the 15-minute city

Just 233 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re still stuck on 1,131 signatures, so don’t stop now! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

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Advocates from Circulate San Diego, Families for Safe Streets San Diego and the San Diego Bicycle Coalition held a press conference yesterday calling for simple, inexpensive fixes to the city’s “Fatal 15” intersections.

Their suggestions are nothing new. They’ve been calling for the same solutions to the city’s deadliest intersections for the past year, but they were left out of the mayor’s budget for the coming year.

However, the mayor is scheduled to release an updated budget today, and they’re asking for the fixes — which would cost $100,000 per intersection, or just $1.5 million total — to be included in the revised budget.

According to Streetsblog’s Melanie Currie,

“This is a high-return, low-cost budget item,” said Will Moore, Policy Counsel for Circulate San Diego. “We understand that it is difficult to run a city. There are a lot of hard decisions – so it is even more important to get the easy ones right.”

Even though the city of San Diego “committed to” Vision Zero almost ten years ago, pedestrian deaths remain high; nearly fifty pedestrians and cyclists lose their lives in traffic crashes in San Diego every year.

Katie Gordon’s husband Jason was killed at one of the “Fatal 15″ intersections. Now a member of Families for Safe Streets San Diego, she spoke of her husband and their twin daughters at today’s gathering, and urged the city to budget for these fixes. “Small improvements make a big impact,” she said. “Please don’t let the ‘Fatal 15’ take another life.”

But if it comes down to a question of money, maybe someone could remind the mayor it would cost the city a hell of a lot more than that just to settle with the survivors of the next one.

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LAist talks with Carlos Moreno, originator of the 15-minute city, about his simple plan to reduce traffic and improve the livability of cities by increasing density and placing everything you need for daily life within 15 minutes of your home.

…Picture living in a bustling neighborhood where all your friends, basic needs, and even your job are reachable by a quick walk or bike or bus ride. (Something many people experience, possibly for the first and last time, on college campuses.) In such a city, parking areas may have been reclaimed as urban greenways, chance encounters with neighbors might be more common, and small local businesses would proliferate and thrive.

This vision is sometimes referred to as “the 15-minute city,” a concept pioneered by Franco-Colombian scientist and mathematician Carlos Moreno. It means basically what it sounds like: Instead of expecting residents to get in their cars and drive long distances to work, run errands, and take part in social activities, cities should instead be designed to provide those kinds of opportunities in close proximity to where people live, reducing overdependence on cars and increasing local social cohesion.

Paris, Moreno’s home, was the first city to put this concept into practice — part of a larger strategy to reduce air pollution and the presence of cars in the city’s iconic downtown areas. Since 2011, the French capital has reportedly reduced car traffic by 45 percent and associated nitrogen oxide pollution by 40 percent.

Even if you’re familiar with the concept, it’s worth reading to get a full grasp of the plan, which conspiracy theorists are somehow twisting into unrecognizably bizarre abstractions.

Then again, it’s also worth contributing a few bucks to support the public news site, which is currently facing upcoming layoffs.

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There’s still time to provide your input on the update for the LA County Bicycle Master Plan.

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This PSA from Rovélo Creative effectively makes the point that it’s not the bicycles that make our streets dangerous.

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It’s now 144 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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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 Michigan two-way bike lane is being blamed for a collision involving a bicyclist because drivers aren’t used to the idea, rather than blaming the drivers for not grasping such a simple concept.

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

Um, okay. “Keen” bicyclist and BBC Top Gear host James May suggested that Britain doesn’t need to impose further speed restrictions on bicyclists because most bike riders aren’t fit enough to go that fast, after a court ruled that speed limits don’t apply to bicycles.

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Local 

Metrolink is marking Bike Week with fare-free rides through Friday, if you board with your bike; LA Metro will also provide free bus and train rides to bike riders on Thursday’s Bike to Work/Bike Anywhere Day, along with free Metro Bike rides.

The DA’s office removed the prosecutors who got a conviction against wealthy socialist Rebecca Grossman for the high-speed crash that killed two little kids just crossing the street with their family from the case, over a perceived conflict of interest that really isn’t, which could affect the case as she appeals her conviction. And understandably outraging the victim’s parents.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines Glendale’s new quick-build North Brand Boulevard Complete Streets Demonstration Project, complete with painted curb extensions and barrier-protected bike lanes; unfortunately, it doesn’t extend south to the street’s busy commercial corridor.

Colorado Boulevard offers a reminder about tomorrow’s Ride of Silence at the Rose Bowl.

Urbanize looks at a coming Complete Streets makeover for Eastern Ave in El Sereno, using funding that had originally been directed to the cancelled 710 Freeway extension.

Streetsblog reminds us about this Sunday’s CicLAmini in Wilmington, a more compact edition of the popular CicLAvia open streets events.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets open streets event will return this fall, after Sunday’s original date was canceled due to Metro funding changes.

 

State

Caltrans explains how to be a Complete Streets ambassador to help get the legislature to pass SB 960, aka the Complete Streets Bill, which will require Caltrans to add infrastructure for people who bike, walk and take transit whenever it repaves a state roadway.

The Orange County Register says Governor Newsom should balance the state budget by slashing climate spending, instead of say, reducing the state’s massive highway fund. After all, it’s not like there’s a climate emergency or anything. 

San Francisco public television station KQED offers advice on what to do if your bike gets stolen, including registering it with Bike Index before that happens.

 

National

Common Edge takes a deep dive into legendary pioneering urbanist Jane Jacobs and her love of bicycling.

A new study shows that people who regularly ride bicycles have a lower rate of knee trouble later in life.

The get it. Denver is reducing the city’s EV charger rebate to $200 to fund more ebike vouchers for income-qualified residents, after a study found nearly 80% of the city’s ebike vouchers have gone to well-off white people.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune offers Bike Week tips for beginning bike commuters, which apply down here, too.

Michigan’s carfree Mackinac Island bans throttle controlled ebikes, with one official describing them as basically an electric motorcycle, while making clear that ped-assist ebikes are still welcome.

Cincinnati is relaunching the city’s docked bikeshare program, despite shutting it down due to funding issues earlier in the year, after several organizations contributed nearly half a million dollars to fund it through the end of this year.

The New York Times has a new newsletter addressing the battle for space on the city’s streets and sidewalks. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to see this one without a subscription, so let me know so I’ll know whether to include it going forward. 

Discussions are underway to include a bike lane on a new Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which will replace the bridge that collapsed after it was struck by a massive freighter in March.

Sad news from Miami, where a trolley passenger was somehow run down and killed as he was he was attempting to remove his bicycle from the front rack.

 

International

London’s Royal Parks requested that Strava remove the Regent’s Park segment on the app to discourage high speed riding in the park, after an 81-year old woman was killed by a speeding rider on the wrong side of the road as he passed a slower driver. Although there has been no suggestion that the app had anything to do with the crash that killed her.

McDonald’s is launching a program to get the Philippines biking, while using the company’s drive-ins as refueling stations for bicyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

A team car was caught on video running down a French rider in the U19 women’s Championnats de Cyclisme de l’Avenir. Amandine Muller and Célia Gery were leading the race when Gery dropped back to talk to the driver of her team car; the driver bumped into Muller’s wheel, causing her to go down, where she was hit by Gery, who also hit the pavement. Another reminder that motor vehicles do not belong in the peloton. 

Cyclist ranks every UCI WorldTour race.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could be inspired by NASA tech, but without the boosters and stuff. And what has six wheels, e-assist pedals and can jackknife like a semi?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

San Diego declares war on ebike-riding seniors, and US bike deaths keep rising as planners prioritize cars over people

Just 267 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the needlessly mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re now up to 1,046 signatures, so keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us! 

Photo by Max J on Pexels

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Author Richard Fox writes that San Diego has declared war on ebike-riding seniors.

On April 7, four 78-years olds with ebikes stopped for lunch at a picnic table along the series of bike paths that surround picturesque Mission Bay in San Diego. The circuit around the bay is the main easy scenic bike ride in San Diego, enjoyed by walkers and cyclists of all ages. Suddenly, a park ranger appeared and demanded that they leave the park with their ebikes through the nearest parking lot and do the remainder of the ride on nearby busy roadways in traffic. 

While a small percentage of ebikers, usually youngsters and the occasional obnoxious adult, may terrorize multi-use trails by weaving around others at high speeds, most ebikers, especially seniors, are sensible and courteous, obeying posted speed limits.  But rather than targeting the miscreants, the City and Port of San Diego have banned all ebikes on their most scenic trails that line bodies of water such as San Diego Bay in San Diego Harbor, Mission Bay, and the Mission/Pacific Beach Boardwalk. 

Since many seniors, and those with physical disabilities, rely on the extra boost provided by ebikes, the city has effectively taken away their ability to ride on San Diego’s most scenic bike paths. And that includes this senior, author of enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.  In the book I sang the praises of San Diego and its world class biking opportunities, but now that is all in the past for those who ride ebikes. Not only is the Mission Bay ride off limits, but that ride is the hub for area rides to La Jolla, Ocean Beach and Old Town San Diego. The harbor ride is the connector between Liberty Station, Shelter and Harbor Islands, new protected bike lanes across downtown to Little Italy and Balboa Park, and the ferry to Coronado. Now ebiking seniors must dodge traffic and avoid the most scenic stretches that have e-bike bans, and sidewalks are no longer a safe option for them since San Diego has banned ebikes on those as well.

A better regulatory system needs to be implemented.  Seniors don’t deserve to be thrown under the bus because of the bad behavior of others, which is literally what may happen if they are forced to ride in traffic instead of the safety of bike paths in the most scenic areas of San Diego.

It’s now 110 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 34 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. The director of the Center for Energy, Climate and Environment says bike lanes are a good idea, except where they endanger bike riders, like along a truck route in beautiful Petaluma. Which suggests she may be less concerned with climate and the environment than the name of her center might suggest — especially since the piece also appears on the The Heritage Foundation website, which Wikipedia describes as an “activist conservative think tank.” 

An English woman was seriously injured when a driver pulled up next to her, and the car’s passenger pushed her off her bike and into a ditch last July; a suspect has been in jail since shortly after the attack. It takes a long time for British crime reports to percolate to the surface, due to the country’s strict privacy laws. 

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

A road-raging Singaporean bike rider was facing criticism online for not being cautious enough after dropping his bike in the roadway to confront a driver who failed to slow down and stop at a crosswalk. Because evidently, he should have somehow known the driver wasn’t going to see him right the hell in front of him, and placidly accepted the unanticipated threat to his life. 

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Local 

No news is good news, right?

 

State

You’ve got to be kidding. Police in Salinas busted three kids who fled after the cops broke up a dangerous rideout of about 25 to 30 kids accused of riding recklessly and blocking major intersections — and charged them with multiple crimes, including felony evading, and one kid with conspiracy for organizing the rideout. Nothing like overcharging for a nonviolent crime. Thanks to PeddleEd for the link. 

City council candidates weighed in on San Francisco’s controversial Valencia Street centerline bike lane, with responses ranging from “needs work” to an outright disaster.

 

National

Good idea. The National Bicycle Dealers Association, aka NBDA, is establishing a database of all certified and insured ebikes available in the US to enable consumers, retailers, local governments and ebike incentive programs to differentiate between safe and unsafe makes and models. And no, I don’t know what “insured” means in this context, either. 

Meanwhile, Electrek recommends the best ebikes you can buy right now.

A Portland advocate says women need to talk about taking back the streets of the city, and most other cities, as well.

The high school in my adventure cycling brother’s new Colorado hometown is now hosting a class creating the next generation of bike mechanics by teaching them how to break down and rebuild bikes from scratch. Thanks to my old friend Tim Rutt for the heads-up. 

Bozeman, Montana is the latest city to consider banning parking in bike lanes, which shouldn’t be legal anywhere.

Houston’s Rice University has their own version of Indiana’s iconic Little 500, complete with pre-race water balloon fights, water chugging, vehicle decorating, and face painting. So maybe they don’t take it quite as seriously as IU does.

Collisions involving bike riders surged in Houston last year, jumping a whopping 21%.

The “world-renowned” TD Five Boro Bike Tour is back on in New York next month; Forbes calls it the world’s most inclusive bike ride. Which would seem to be impossible to quantify. 

New York says ebike batteries are becoming the most dangerous objects in the city, and offers a photo essay of the fire scars caused by dangerous lithium-ion batteries.

Ghost bikes are belatedly coming to Knoxville, Tennessee.

While Los Angeles remains too afraid of angry drivers to implement most road diets, Charlotte NC is moving ahead with a $12.9 million makeover of major street, reducing a little over half a mile from “four lanes to two to slow down vehicular traffic and improve pedestrian and cyclist access.”

Sean “Diddy” Combs is one of us, asking fans to “pray for your brother” while taking a casual bike ride across Miami, following recent FBI raids of two of his homes looking for evidence of alleged sex trafficking. Okay, so maybe not.

 

International

For the second day in a row, a Canadian driver faces a murder investigation for the death of a bike rider, as an Edmonton driver is accused of the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding man he allegedly knew.

A group of London bobbies — aka cops — commandeered ebikes from passing bike riders to chase a man escaping by bicycle after allegedly stealing a bottle of Hennessy; the man was also wanted to be sent back to prison.

A reporter for the BBC corrects online critics and trolls, clarifying that her bakfiets cargo bike did in fact replace her car, saving her the equivalent of over $1,260 in fuel costs — and she paid for it herself. Meanwhile, Momentum recommends five bucket bikes that could do the same for you right now.

Talk about not getting it. Auto-centric British Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson calls bike cam-wielding CyclingMikey “the most dreadful man in Britain today,” while calling him a sneak for openly recording texting drivers — and says texting while stopped in traffic is “as dangerous as knitting.”

Switzerland is asking companies across the entire country to form teams to encourage employees to bike to work as often as possible in May and June.

 

Competitive Cycling

Women’s world champ Lotte Kopecky served as her own bike wrench, grabbing an allen wrench from the team car to tighten her stem while riding to victory in Paris-Roubaix.

Primoz Roglic shows off his bandaged butt, among other parts, following the 12-rider crash that left defending Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard with a broken collarbone and a collapsed lung.

 

Finally…

The same tech that draws five-limbed people and insisted there were Black soldiers in Nazi Germany now wants to keep you safe from approaching cars.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Las Vegas teens face life in Probst murder, bicycling up 37% in US, and SAMOCAN talks with Streets For All founder

Yesterday I found out the hard way what happens when you accidentally inject long-acting insulin directly into a vein, rather than the fat surrounding it. 

The result was a rapid fire, 300 point blood sugar swing that knocked me on my ass for the rest of the day. 

Good times. 

So if I had any sense, I’d be in bed already. 

Instead, I’m going to try to get through this, then pull a pillow over my head and sleep for the rest of the weekend. Or maybe the rest of the month. 

Which is the best way I know to face another birthday, anyway. 

So Gamar hatimah tovah to everyone observing Yom Kippur on Monday. 

Stay safe, and we’ll see you back here next week.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Two teenagers charged with the video-recorded, hit-and-run murder of former Bell, California police chief Andreas Proust as he rode a bike in Las Vegas made very brief initial appearances in adult court on Tuesday.

The two teens were held without bail on several charges, including murder and attempted murder. However, due to their ages, they won’t face the death penalty, since Nevada law imposes a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in state prison for murder committed before the age of 18.

The driver, Jesus Ayala, was 17 at the time of the crime, while Jzamir Keys, the passenger who recorded the attack, is just 16.

Their two-hour crime spree included three cars thefts, a burglary and an attempt to murder a second bicyclist, who apparently escaped without serious injuries.

Ayala’s mother was quoted as saying “I don’t know why he did this. I don’t know if God can forgive this.”

Her son, who just turned 18, told police he expected to get a slap on the wrist, and “I’ll be out in 30 days, I’ll bet you.”

I’d take that bet.

Ayala now matches his age with 18 criminal counts, including murder, and already has a lengthy record as a juvenile. So if he’s lucky, he might be out in 30 years.

But I wouldn’t count it.

Meanwhile, The Guardian observes the “firehose of hatred” unleashed on the staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after rightwing pundits linked to a photo of an outdated headline that didn’t mention the intentional attack, but was later changed to reflect the murder charge.

The Washington Post blames Elon Musk’s “itchy Twitter finger” for riling up the online mob.

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A new report from Streetlight Data indicates bicycling rates grew a whopping 37% in the US since 2019, with the top ten states showing at least a 25% increase over that time frame.

Not surprisingly, New York showed the highest growth, followed by San Diego, Bakersfield(!) and Las Vegas.

The first two have made significant investments in bicycling infrastructure; the last two, not so much, to the best of my knowledge.

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Climate Action Santa Monica offers a recording of yesterday’s SAMOCAN talk with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

Meanwhile, Streets For All is hosting a fundraiser tomorrow featuring guest speakers including Councilmember Katy Yuroslavsky, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and State Senator and Congressional candidate Anthony Portantino.

The group says pay what you can if you can’t afford the full $100 ticket price.

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

A writer for City Journal cries “E-nough,” arguing that ebike and gas-powered mopeds are “reversing more than a decade’s progress in making New York’s dense streets safer for pedestrians and traditional cyclists.” Or maybe they’re just encouraging more people to get out of cars, which pose the real risk, and onto two wheels, which don’t. Although I’d distinguish between ped-assist ebikes and any kind of throttle-controlled or gas-guzzling bikes. 

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Local 

An anonymously penned Streetsblog op-ed says Metro should treat walking and biking projects with the respect they deserve. Amen, brother. Or sister.

West Hollywood is installing a pair of bike repair stations.

The Elysian Valley Arts Collective invites you to illuminate the night on the Taylor Yard Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Cypress Park tomorrow night.

Streetsblog also provides a schedule of public meetings to discuss extending the popular Ballona Creek Bike Trail east into LA’s Mid-City neighborhood, beginning this Sunday in Culver City, with additional meetings Monday and Wednesday, and via Zoom on October 7th.

 

State

Good question. A Streetsblog op-ed asks why fare evasion is punished more severely in California than speeding, as the recently passed AB 819 gives the governor an opportunity to change that.

The Orange County Register examines Huntington Beach’s plan to begin impounding ebikes that are misused by riders. Although it’s not clear if they have that authority under state law. 

Encinitas has received a $3 million grant to make the North San Diego County city safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and bus riders

 

National

Shimano recalled over 3/4 of a million Dura-Ace and Ultegra cranks after thousands of failures that pose a crash risk to users; the recalled products include the Shimano Ultegra FC-6800, Dura-Ace FC-9000, Ultegra FC-R8000, Dura-Ace FC-R9100 and FC-R9100P 11-Speed Bonded Hollowtech II g Rts. Thanks to Al Williams for the tip. 

Electrek offers tips on how to choose the right ebike for your teenager. My take, avoid throttle-controlled ebikes, and anything with a top speed over 20 mph.

Momentum recommends idyllic settings for a bicycle-themed Thanksgiving getaway.

CNN says yes, Seattle-based Rad Power’s RadWagon 4 longtail e-cargo bike can replace a car for most trips.

Houston could soon have two docked bikeshare systems, as the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority considers opening its own bikeshare to compete with Houston’s struggling BCycle system

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a 44-year old man was killed when he was right-hooked by the driver of a school bus as he rode his bike at what residents describe as a dangerous intersection; the bus was carrying around 24 students, who will likely need counseling after witnessing the crash.

There’s not a pit deep enough for the man who man pulled a knife on a 13-year old Staten Island boy to steal his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a Mennonite man to die alone on the side of the road next to his crumpled bicycle, in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

Bicyclists could soon become second-class citizens on the popular Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches 469 miles from Shenandoah to the Smoky Mountains, as a new draft plan focuses exclusively on the Parkway being “actively managed as a traditional, self-contained, scenic recreational driving experience.”

This is who we share the road with. A Georgia man faces charges after plowing his truck into a group of motorcyclists, killing one man and injuring four others, then fleeing the scene with a motorcycle still embedded in the truck’s grill.

 

International

An East London neighborhood council has gone against public opinion and scrapped the majority of the area’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, or LTNs, despite overwhelming public support.

A new study shows over half of Swiss bicyclists wear a bike helmet, although that ranges from nearly three-quarters in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino to just 43% in German-speaking areas.

Romania is now the European Union’s second-largest producer of bicycles, behind Portugal and ahead of Italy.

Apparently, it ain’t easy being a bicyclist in India’s Goa state, either.

Australia saw its highest August traffic death toll in five years, with bicycling deaths jumping 37% over last year, while pedestrian deaths climbed 27%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling calls out pro cycling’s concussion protocol, or maybe the lack thereof, after Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng finished the European championship road cycling time trial with a busted helmet and bloodied face; Los Angeles-based former pro Phil Gaimon posted that cyclists need to respect their brains, and that there was “nothing inspiring or bad ass” about Küng’s photo. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Call it a Pashley parade through Shakespeare’s hometown. Tough love doesn’t mean shattering your spouse’s mountain bike dreams.

And you can see a lot of things riding a bike. Like the King of England, for instance.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Bicyclist killed by San Diego Coaster train Sunday afternoon; no details available

Someone riding a bike was killed by a train in San Diego over the holiday weekend, but very little information is available yet.

Which what usually what happens on holiday weekends.

San Diego’s CBS8 reports a bike rider died when they were struck by a northbound Coaster train on Washington Street around 3:25 Sunday afternoon.

The tracks were closed between the Old Town Station and Santa Fe Depot.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now.

There’s no word on the identity of the victim or how the crash occurred. However, a street view shows a full crossing gate, which suggests the victim may have ridden around it — if it was working.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and just the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which compares to nine this time last year.

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

Encinitas declares bicycling emergency, support for Pacific Beach Slow Street, and car death cult piece misses mark

About damn time.

Encinitas has joined its North San Diego County neighbor Carlsbad in declaring a state of emergency for “bicycle, e-bicycle and motorized mobility device safety” in the wake of the death of 15-year old Brodee Champlain-Kingman

Champlain-Kingman’s family announced his death on Saturday, after he was struck by the driver of a work truck on Thursday.

However, the planned state of emergency action items reported by San Diego’s NBC-7 seem a little lacking.

The local emergency allows the city quicker access to resources necessary for education and enforcement, if needed. Some actions that the city council hopes to accomplish include the rental of 10 messages boards that will be placed in high-visibility areas reminding both riders and drivers to share the road, 300 yard signs urging safety, additional work with schools to educate students on-campus and a bike safety video made in unison with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department that can be played at assemblies and meetings.

The declaration places the most of the onus for safety on the potential victims riding on two wheels, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines.

Because yard signs and message boards aren’t likely to slow drivers down, and won’t do a damn thing for the distracted drivers who don’t even see them.

Yes, it’s a start.

But if Encinitas really wants to save lives, they’ll need to lower speed limits and redesign roads to prevent speeding, as well as crack down on any form of distraction behind the wheel.

And it wouldn’t hurt to work with other North County cities to improve safety along the entire coast highway corridor.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people turned out for a candlelight vigil to honor Champlain-Kingman.

Thanks to Phillip Young and Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up.

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These days, every street project that might possibly inconvenience someone is contentious.

Usually, needlessly so.

That’s certainly the case with the Slow Street project on Diamond Street in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood, where all of four — yes, four — people rose up at a recent Town Council meeting to complain about it.

Yet the local paper still headlined it as “Pacific Beach residents express displeasure over city’s traffic plans for Diamond Street.”

Did I mention that it was just four people who complained?

Fortunately, the local representative for the City Council Mobility Board, who was also the researcher who evaluated the project, wrote to the San Diego Union-Tribune to support the project.

…The benefits are staggering. The project led to an increase in walking and biking mode share, and children and older adults using the street. Driving mode share decreased by nearly 60 percent with a smaller impact on traffic on adjacent streets.

People reported a greater sense of community and well-being. Most were using the street for transportation and half planned to visit a business during their trip. Most importantly, there was overwhelming support for making the project permanent.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but “overwhelming support” is probably more than four.

A lot more.

She goes on to say that making Diamond a permanent slow street shouldn’t even be up for debate, since it gets San Diego that much closer to meeting its Climate Action Plan and Vision Zero goals.

Let’s hope the city council is listening.

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Progressive magazine The American Prospect missed the mark.

A writer for the magazine makes the case against the “death cult of the American car,” noting the divergence between dropping traffic death rates in Europe, and rising rates in the US.

But he goes off track at the end in blaming neoliberalism of the 1980s and ’90s for the American failure, which he argues resulted in less government oversight, drawing a straight line leading to today’s massively oversized vehicles, overly wide roads and high traffic death rates.

The problem with that is traffic deaths prior to the ’80s were significantly higher than even the nearly 43,000 deaths in both 2021 and 2022, while today’s per capita deaths are just a fraction of the 1960s and 1970s.

There’s no arguing that traffic deaths are too high, and getting higher, and that poor road design and the ever-increasing size of motor vehicles are at least partly to blame, along with a dramatic increase in distracted driving.

But fondly remembering the good old days when traffic death rates were even worse doesn’t help.

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I have somehow miraculously recovered the ability to embed tweets.

Which comes in handy, with this must-read thread from People Powered Media regarding the poor conditions on the new bus and bike upgrades on Venice Blvd.

And yes, I’m including the links above in case the tweets below somehow disappear.

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I’m not sure if we shared this short film from Nimesh in Los Angeles when it came out last December.

So we’ll correct that possible oversight today.

In it, he argues that LA’s flat terrain and year-round Mediterranean climate should make it the bicycle capital of the world. But it isn’t, because Los Angeles makes biking in paradise a nightmare.

Thanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

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Robert Leone forwards news that the Marines will apparently be blowing things up on Camp Pendleton again.

Which means that the popular bike path through the base will be closed from July 31st to August 4th.

So if you’re planning to ride south from Orange County, or north from San Diego County, you’ll have to use the shoulder of the freeway from the Las Pulgas Gate north to the tunnel under I-5.

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Some things don’t need translating.

Ralph Durham forwards a video for the proposed Complete Streets transformation of a Munich, Germany arterial.

Like he says, Google Translate is your friend. But I don’t make friends easily, so I’ll let him give you the shorthand.

I got a newsletter from the German Cycling Federation ADFC, and in this issue it shows a proposal to do a street makeover for a major arterial into the center of town. Next step is through the city council.

The numbers for users from 2011 to 2022 are amazing. The north end of the project runs into a nasty intersection that has been undergoing total renovation for the last 4 years. The existing situation shows 9,300 users on bikes daily. There are a couple of pictures of the existing bike lane. Unreal usage, but it is a main route direct into the city center.

It would be great if it gets through the city council.

………

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

This is who we share the world with. Even the bike-riding mayor of Emeryville has to deal with wannabe killer drivers. Unfortunately, though, this doesn’t cross the legal threshold for a threat, since it lacks a statement of intent — “I would” vs “I will.”

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

Police in Hermosa Beach are looking for a young man who rode off on a gas-powered beach cruiser after allegedly throwing fireworks into a crowd of people.

………

Local 

This is who we share the road with. The LAPD is looking for a serial hit-and-run driver in a $90,000 electric Porsche Taycan who smashed into three cars in three separate crashes while driving on Main Street in DTLA at 3 am, before disappearing into the night.

West Hollywood will keep e-scooters on the streets for now, but calls on city officials to renegotiate provider contracts while imposing a 10 mph speed limit in the city.

 

State

After a Garden Grove councilmember said he doubts there’s much demand for bike lanes in the city, a bike-riding writer responds by suggesting he try riding some of the really scary ones that separate bike riders from speeding drivers with just a thin strip of paint.

Carpenteria’s new Santa Claus Lane Bikeway will have a temporary opening this weekend in time for the 4th of July holiday; it will close again this fall for final installation of a permanent barrier rail.

Santa Barbara will keep a nine-block stretch of State Street closed to cars for at least the next three and a half years, while continuing to allow bicycles.

Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick says don’t ride on San Francisco’s new Valencia Street protected bike lane because it’s unsafe.

 

National

US Magazine rounds up the summer’s best deals on ebikes. Although with emphasis on deals rather than the actual quality of the ebikes.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus says we’re having the wrong conversation about ebikes, as people predictably point fingers at kids on bikes while calling for mandatory licensing after the death of a teenage bike rider.

A 45-year old Las Vegas man died nearly a month after he was struck by a speeding motorcyclist while riding his bicycle.

Any city can do Bike to Work Day. But my bike-friendly Colorado hometown hosts an annual Bike Prom.

Life is cheap in North Dakota, where an 88-year old driver faces a single misdemeanor hit-and-run charge for running down a pair of bike riders participating in an annual fundraising ride from Texas to Alaska, then fleeing the scene. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive. And suggesting that he may be on the wrong side of that line. 

The family of a 14-year-old boy pinned to the ground by an off-duty Chicago cop who mistakenly accused him of stealing a bike is suing the city and the police officer; Michael A. Vitellaro was acquitted of official misconduct and aggravated battery in the incident earlier this month.

New Orleans bicyclists demand change as deaths spike in the city with the highest per capita rate of bicycling deaths in the US.

Vermont relaunched what was the nation’s first statewide bike rebate program, but with just $150,000 available for ebike vouchers.

Over 1,200 people applied for ebike vouchers in just the first few hours of Connecticut’s ebike rebate program. Which offers a warning for California, which has only $7.5 million left for rebate vouchers when its program finally launches

An 84-year old Pennsylvania man faces charges for the hit-and-run death of a 64-year old bike rider, after his own dashcam turned on him. Again raising the question of how old is too old to drive. And once agains suggesting he may be on the wrong side of it. 

 

International

Momentum Magazine offers advice on how to stay cool and fresh while bike commuting in summer weather.

Off.Road.cc suggest eight tips to help motivate you to get back on your bike.

Yanko Design recommends the top ten accessories to upgrade your bike this summer, including zip-on knobby tire treads, and a face air filter that will make you look like Batman supervillain Bane.

Hundreds of Calgary residents called for keeping a popup cycle track after the city threatened to tear it out.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as Cycling Weekly rides the 100-mile off-road Trans Cambrian Way through the least populated district of Wales.

A Scottish bike messenger founded Gay’s Okay six years ago to make “simply adorable apparel” while building more inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ bike riders.

An Indian man has traveled through 180 countries on a globe-trotting, 120,000-mile bike ride to call attention to HIV/Aids, with just 11 more countries to go.

The hit-and-run epidemic has spread to Thailand, after a 47-year old man was found lying dead on the side of the road near his mangled bicycle, shortly after separating from his riding companion.

 

Competitive Cycling

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan escaped a DUI charge with a three-month suspended sentence, after he was stopped in Monaco last month riding a scooter while under the influence; the sentence will allow him to compete in what will be his final Tour de France.

British cyclist Tom Pidcock says he loves descending, but is having second thoughts after he was hit hard by the death of Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder during a steep descent on the Tour de Suisse.

We Love Cycling predicts Jonas Vingegaard will win the Tour de France – unless Tadej Pogačar does.

American cyclist Kristen Faulkner’s hopes of returning to this year’s women’s Tour de France and the Giro Donne are in jeopardy, after she suffered a “small” knee fracture when she was struck by a driver while training in California. Read the first link on AOL if Bicycling blocks you. 

 

Finally…

At last, mountain bike shorts for expectant mothers. Forget trendy dance moves, now you can watch Le Tour on Le TikTok.

And answering the burning question of whether accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong is related to Lance.

Um, no.

………

Eid Mubarak to all those celebrating today. 

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin.

53-year old San Diego father Paul Fox died from heatstroke suffered while mountain biking south of Palm Springs

Sad news from Palm Springs, where a San Diego father died from heatstroke earlier this month after mountain biking outside the city.

According to San Diego’s 10 News, Paul Fox, a 53-year old father of three from the city’s Del Cero neighborhood, met a friend at the Palm Canyon Epic Trail south of Palm Springs in late April for what was planned as a three-hour ride.

However, despite GPS, they took a wrong turn somewhere along the trail, and ran out of water as three hours turned into six in temperatures up to 105°F.

Fox reportedly stopped suddenly and stepped off his bike acting dazed and confused, before collapsing and rolling down a hill.

He died in the hospital May 9th from complications due to heatstroke.

Fox, who a friend described as kind, funny and brilliant, worked as a computer network security specialist, including a four-year stint at the White House in the mid-2000s.

He was a lifelong mountain biker.

A crowdfunding campaign to benefit his family has raised a little more than $9,300 of the whopping $1 million goal.

This is at least the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

And a reminder to always carry more water than you think you’ll need.

Bike rider seriously injured in Point Loma hit-and-run, support for MOVE Culver City, and Biking While Black in Anaheim

Let’s start with news of yet another bike rider injured by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

Steve Messer forwards news that a friend of his was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood.

It’s hard to read the small type, but the victim, a former cop and board member with the high school mountain biking league, was riding on Catalina Blvd when he was run down by the driver around 4:50 pm.

The suspect, described as a white male 35-45 years old, wearing a lighter colored baseball cap, was driving a smaller white pickup truck with a regular cab and non-tinted windows.

If you live or ride in San Diego, try to get the word out to get more eyes out on the street looking for the suspect. And if you know anyone who works in the news media, give them a push to cover this story.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

The drumbeats in support of the MOVE Culver City project are getting louder, starting with an editorial in the Los Angeles Times.

The paper notes the results of the study we mentioned on Friday demonstrating the overwhelming success of the project.

A review of the project after a year found an 18% increase in people walking and 32% more people biking through the area. At the intersection of Culver Boulevard and Main Street, the number of bikes counted nearly doubled. Bus travel became faster and ridership increased more on the corridor compared with citywide.People said they were biking, walking and taking transit more often in the area, according to the review. They felt safer, more comfortable and noticed fewer speeding cars.

As for traffic? It moved faster in the morning hours, and in the evening it took drivers about two minutes longer to pass through the area. Two minutes. That’s a minor inconvenience. It certainly seems like a fair trade-off to make the corridor safer and more convenient for alternative modes of transportation — which was the purpose of the project.

Yet remarkably, but perhaps unsurprisingly, MOVE Culver City is in danger of being unceremoniously ripped out by the new conservative majority on the council in response to the windshield bias of some motorists, many of whom may only pass through the city without stopping, on their way to somewhere else.

Yet somehow demand that the city cater to their needs, rather than that of people walking shopping, dining and biking in the downtown area, as well as those riding buses.

According to the paper,

Yet even the modest encroachment of Move Culver City may be too much for opponents of the project, who seem particularly offended by the bus lane. There is a proposal to add back a car lane and make buses and bicyclists share a lane, which would dissuade all but the most confident cyclists and slow the buses, thus making alternative modes of transportation a lot less appealing. And for what? So some drivers can get to their destination two minutes faster…

Like most communities across California, Culver City has plenty of plans detailing its commitment to bike lanes, public transit and sustainable city design as strategies to reduce greenhouse gases from vehicle pollution to help fight climate change. But those plans are meaningless if elected leaders don’t have the political backbone to see them through.

As the paper’s editorial bard makes clear, we will never have safe streets and more livable communities if elected leaders lack the backbone to stand up to opposition from motorists, which is virtually inevitable with any project.

Meanwhile, local elected leaders, both current and former, are adding their voices in support of the project.

Bike riders are encouraged to meet at 6 pm tonight at Syd Kronenthal Park to ride to tonight’s city council meeting to demand preservation of the project.

Bike Culver City has put together talking points to help you speak or email in favor of the project.

If you go, give ’em hell for me.

https://twitter.com/BikeCulverCity/status/1648361017196548100?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1648361017196548100%7Ctwgr%5E79609ed03f750156af9e99ae4bf13a2ce93020d5%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikinginla.com%2F

………

An Anaheim couple captured video of a man stopped by police for Biking While Black, as the well-informed rider cites case law in refusing to be patted down for weapons, and demanding to have a supervisor show up.

He was eventually released with a traffic ticket, which will probably get dismissed.

………

Pasadena could be the first city in the LA area to offer a rebate for ebike buyers.

Which is the best argument I’ve seen to live there.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1649850297991458816

……….

Streets For All is asking you to call for more funding for LADOT at tomorrow’s LA City Council Budget Committee, and support bike and walk-friendly motions  at Wednesday’s Transportation Committee.

Budget Committee (6:00pm, Tuesday 4/25)
The committee will take up the Mayor’s proposed budget for next fiscal year. We are asking you to:
– Advocate for 18 more positions for LADOT’s activate transportation team which is sorely under resourced and stymying our efforts
– Advocate for 4 litigation support positions for LADOT so they can focus on getting bus and bike lanes in the ground and not on lawsuits
– Public comment can be made virtually in real time or in advance
Transportation Committee (2pm, Wednesday 4/26)
– Advocate that the committee approve LADOT’s plan to revisit peak hour lanes
– Support new protected bike lanes on Lincoln over Ballona Creek
– Support a new dedicated speed hump program around schools
– Public comment can be made in advance or in person (no virtual option)We’ve put together a toolkit to help you make public comment in the easiest way possible:

The LA transportation and street safety PAC has put together a toolkit to assist you in making comments.

……….

This is how you design a hospital for people, not cars.

………

A new documentary explores how to use bicycles to change lives and build a better future.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

………

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

A “frequent cyclist” complains about “woke” members of a British Columbia city council forcing their ideology on the general public by placing a bike lane on a roadway where he says no one wants it.

No bias here. A British pseudo traffic safety group called for bike riders to pull over and let drivers pass if there’s not room to safely share the lane. Advice that is given by virtually no one else, anywhere.

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

Scottish drivers were infuriated when a man on a bicycle chose to ride in the edge of the traffic lane, rather than the “protected” bike lane next to him, never considering that there might be a reason for that even if they didn’t know what that might be.

British police used deadly force to bust a fleeing ebike rider, intentionally hitting the suspect head-on to end a “high-speed” chase before swarming him as he lay writhing in pain; he was charged with possessing a fake weapon and a “bladed article,” as well as weed. Although it’s questionable how high speed the chase could have been on an ebike.

Police in Sydney, Australia are looking for a hit-and-run ebike rider who crashed into a pregnant woman while riding a bikeshare bike with another person on the handlebars, leaving the woman hospitalized for over seven weeks; fortunately, her baby was okay.

………

Local 

The LA Times talks with people who are running and bicycling to call attention to global water issues.

A letter writer in the Times fondly remembers former LA Mayor Richard Riordan’s regular mass bike rides through the city; Riordan died last week at 92.

Another letter writer calls out Culver City drivers for complaining about the traffic congestion they cause, saying he’ll just take the whole lane if MOVE Culver City is removed, while a second argues that not everyone can ride a bike. Apparently forgetting that not everyone can drive, either. 

 

State

A California appeals court concluded that drivers don’t have a first amendment right to honk their horns, ruling that the law “prohibits all driver-initiated horn use except when such use is ‘reasonably necessary to [e]nsure safe operation’ of the vehicle.” Now if we can just find someone to enforce that.

The Orange County Tribune says new bike corridors are coming to Garden Grove.

Bike Radar looks at new mountain bikes on display at Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic, while a writer for Pink Bike visits the Sea Otter Classic but focuses more on coffee than bikes.

In a Menlo Park op-ed, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition board member Andrew Hsu calls for lowering the deadly 50 mph speed limit on one of the most dangerous roads in San Mateo County, where an experienced club rider was killed recently while reportedly doing everything right.

A Bay Area website talks with the longtime owner of San Francisco’s Valencia Cyclery.

A San Francisco ER physician calls for greater protections for bike riders, saying he’s seen — and felt — the damage cars can do to the human body. Although you’ll have to navigate past the paper’s paywall to read it.

 

National

Men’s Health rates the year’s best hybrid bikes.

A motoring website explains ghost bikes, saying the white bicycles on the side of the road have a “more touching meaning” than many drivers might think.

Even the Amish are discovering ebikes, as several Amish churches have decided that the benefits of ebikes outweigh the cost, spiritual or otherwise.

Forbes considers the top mid-size American cities for bicycling, with People For Bikes ranking Berkeley CA tops, and the Bike League going with Anchorage, Alaska.

An Idaho paper highlights the joys of bicycling through a near-empty Yellowstone National Park before it’s opened to cars.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong appeared in an Austin, Texas courtroom, charged with the murder of gravel cycling star Moriah “Mo” Wilson, as the press focused on her new face after undergoing plastic surgery in a failed effort to hide her identity before her arrest.

An African bamboo bikemaker is expanding to North America with a new HQ in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The kindhearted coworkers of an Illinois man with cognitive differences chipped in to buy him a new bicycle after his was stolen.

Surprisingly, a sizable majority of New Yorkers want the city to make streets safer for kids to bike and walk, even if it means removing parking or making it harder to drive; a new poll shows two-thirds of New Yorkers think the city should prioritize pedestrian safety over driver convenience, while nearly six in 10 support doing it even if it means removing parking, adding to traffic congestion or closing down streets.

Vice President Kamala Harris welcomed the annual Soldier Ride to the White House; the ride is part of the Wounded Warrior Project, intended to help get more veterans on bicycles. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

 

International

We Love Cycling considers how to upgrade your bike on a budget.

Toronto Blue Jay outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is one of us, riding his ebike a little less than five miles from his home to the stadium to bypass city traffic.

English e-bikemaker Quella introduced a beautiful, retro-style cafe racer that doesn’t look a bit like an ebike.

A London bike giveaway program has gone fro 50 bikes a year to 500 in less than ten years.

Thousands of Scottish bike riders took part in the annual Pedal on Parliament protest to demand safer streets, including a small group that rode the 46 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh to honor a fallen bicyclist. Imagine if we could get thousands of bike riders, if not tens of thousands, to descend on the Capitol in Washington DC at the same time.

Amsterdam plans to demolish a historic bike parking garage that’s been replaced by a new underwater garage.

A travel magazine recommends touring Venice, Italy by boat and bicycle.

Xinhau offers photos of a massive bike parade in Budapest, Hungary.

A deep dive into crash data shows the actual rate of bicycling injuries in Auckland, New Zealand is as much as seven times higher than official figures.

Chris Hemsworth is one of us, as he takes his kids mountain bike riding in Tasmania.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling offers highlights and results from Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where Dutch cyclist Demi Vollering won the women’s race as her SD Worx team offered a lesson in team strategy, while Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel won the men’s race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Slovenian Tadej Pogačar was forced to withdraw from the race after failing with a little over 52 miles to go.

Belgian cycling star Wout van Aert used a break in the spring classics to go on a 186-mile bikepacking trip with his friends.

A Bloomington, Indiana website offers photos from the men’s Little 500 at Indiana University, which was won by the Cutters of Breaking Away fame; Team Melanzana’s Grace Washburn won the women’s race, giving the team back-to-back titles.

Road.cc considers the challenges of keeping the Rás Tailteann, Ireland’s most historic and celebrated bicycle race, alive through its 68th edition next month.

 

Finally…

At last, a bike frame for people who can’t decide what color to get. Now you can own your very own San Francisco home and bike rental business for a mere $10.9 million.

And when you’re craving fish and chips, it’s usually better to park your bike and walk through the door than smash through the window on it.

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Unproven “white privilege” claim in Dr. Michael Mammone murder, and 13 years for meth-fueled death of Laura Shinn

Fox News is repeating unproven claims the Dana Point killer muttered “white privilege” while fatally stabbing Dr. Michael Mammone last Wednesday.

The network had apparently removed references to the statement from their earlier stories, but resumed claims Tuesday that 39-year old Vanroy Evan Smith had made the racist comments after brutally running Mammone down from behind as he waited at a red light on his mountain bike, then getting out of his car and stabbing the Laguna Beach emergency physician to death.

Fox based their story on a report from a Chicago ABC affiliate, which cited a “neighbor” who declined to be interviewed on camera, but who claimed to have heard the comment after running outside, following what sounded like a gunshot.

However, there is no mention of the allegation in the story from Los Angeles-based ABC affiliate KABC-7.

The Orange County DA’s office also said they were unaware of the allegations. And those closer to the incident, such as the witnesses who disarmed Smith following the stabbing, have apparently said nothing to support the allegations of racial bias in the attack.

Photo of Dr. Mammone ghost bike by Photo by Walt Arrrrr.

………

That’s more like it.

Thirty-nine-year old Adam David Milavetz was sentenced to a well-earned 13 years behind bars for the meth-fueled death of noted architect Laura Shinn as she rode her bike to work in San Diego’s Balboa Park in 2021.

Milavetz was sentenced to spend three years in county jail for an assortment of misdemeanor counts, including drug possession charges. He will then be transferred to state prison to serve another ten years for manslaughter and other felonies.

He pled guilty to running Shinn down from behind while she was riding in the painted bike lanes on Pershing Drive.

After the crash, witnesses saw Milavetz run across the street to toss a bag over a fence, which was later determined to contain several smaller bags of meth. Police also found meth, fentanyl and hypodermic needles in his car following his arrest.

Pershing Drive was slated to receive a two-way protected bike lane and pedestrian pathway before Shinn’s death; the project is expected to finally be completed in 2024.

Just a tad too late to save Shinn’s life.

And if that doesn’t piss you off, it sure as hell does me.

………

CicLAvia is partnering with Los Angeles Ale Works in Hawthorne and Culver City to kick off the 2023 season this Friday, with the launch of their new seek-la-VEE-a West Coast IPA.

The free event will be held in conjunction with the Culver City Arts District Night Market.

It serves as the prologue to eight CicLAvias this year, including two CicLAminis, starting with the curiously straight The Valley CicLAvia on Sherman Way February 26th.

But seriously, with do we really need another West Coast IPA? How about a nice dunkel, doppelbock or black lager for a change?

………

Allow me to offer a correction from yesterday’s post.

The tweet below portrays new bike lanes on Central Ave in South LA, not Alameda in DTLA as I somehow insisted, even though it says Central Ave right there in the tweet.

To further complicate matters, I thought I was writing about was this community bike ride celebrating the new bike improvements on Anaheim Street in Wilmington.

And even then I still got it all wrong.

………

Good question.

………

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

No bias here. A Santa Barbara writer complains about bicyclists “hurtling” along the State Street promenade, claiming it’s only a matter of time before someone hits “one or more unsuspecting people out for a leisurely stroll.” Never mind that a green bike lane had to be removed from the street because people wouldn’t stop walking in it. 

A Victoria, British Columbia columnist says it seems like open season on bicyclists, as drivers go out of their way to make riding more difficult. And dangerous.

No bias here, either. London’s Telegraph insists injuries have surged on a new protected bike lane, based on just three — yes, three — bicycling injuries. Which is 300% more than before, when no one rode there.

………

Local 

Streets Are For Everyone’s Damian Kevitt recaps the recent die-in at Los Angeles City Hall.

Urbanize says a decade-old Complete Streets proposal for South LA’s Broadway-Manchester corridor is still alive and kicking; the $46 million makeover would include a four-mile Class IV cycle track, pedestrian and bicyclist amenities, and hundreds of new trees. Both streets are on the city’s High Injury Network for the sadly neglected Vision Zero program.

Streetsblog reports the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies will host a Biking While Black film screening and panel discussion tonight at the James Bridges Theater.

Longtime LA-area civic leader Rick Cole calls for making Pasadena a 15-minute city by bringing back the streetcar.

Tiny South El Monte will invest a $1.6 million state grant in implementing Safe Routes to Schools, with pedestrian improvements planned for 23 sites across the city; however, it doesn’t seem to include plans for any bike infrastructure.

The Los Angeles Business Journal looks at Swiss ebike maker Thömus SA’s new Santa Monica HQ and flagship retail boutique on Montana Ave. And no, I still haven’t heard from them. 

 

State

In an apparent attempt to increase deaths and injuries among bike riders and pedestrians, while fanning the flames of the climate crisis, a San Diego state legislator has introduced a bill to legalize cruising everywhere in the state, and prevent police from enforcing local ordinances banning the practice.

A Los Olives bike rider suffered major injuries when they were struck by a driver Monday afternoon; the fire department notes the victim was wearing a helmet, which may or may not have had anything to do with the outcome.

 

National

Ebike sales have slowed for the first time in five years, as prices have climbed 25% since the start of the pandemic.

An outdoor site recommends five national parks for beginning bike riders.

Burglars targeted a Portland bike shop for the fourth time in less than a year.

A Bellingham, Washington writer makes the case for lowering the state’s DUI blood alcohol limit to .05.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Denver woman’s bike after she had ridden across four continents and 35 countries, while raising thousands of dollars for charities along the way.

A pair of bills in the Virginia legislature would allow bike riders to legally proceed on leading pedestrian intervals, as well as legalizing the Idaho Stop for stop signs and traffic signals.

Atlanta is receiving $30 million in federal funds to improve access and safety for bike riders and pedestrians, which will be matched with $10 million in funding approved by local voters.

 

International

New data shows London’s congestion pricing plan has been an unqualified success; the plan — which has outlasted two mayors, six prime ministers and one queen — has resulted in a nearly 50% drop in motor vehicle traffic since 2002.

Interesting idea. A London-based startup plans to retrofit existing freestanding bike racks with heavy-duty chains that lock and unlock with a smartphone app. Although the question would be who is responsible if your bike gets stolen anyway.

They get it. The UK’s Department for Transport says plans to boost bicycling and walking must take women’s safety into account.

France’s bicycling federation calls for urgent action to improve safety after bicycling injuries and fatalities jumped 30% last year over 2019; they blamed much of the increase on “increasingly aggressive” drivers, particularly in rural areas.

A new Dutch study shows that people who buy ebikes more than double the amount they ride — and the results are the same when people are provided one as part of a trial program.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Marta Cavalli says she’s ready to go, after a 2022 campaign that was cut short by a concussion in the Tour de France Femmes.

Organizers have cancelled Turkey’s four-stage Tour of Antalya in the wake of the devastating earthquakes that have killed thousands of people in Turkey and Syria.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you announce a new road diet to your constituents, even if you don’t know what a road diet is. Or when you need a “cute li’l mascot” just to remind drivers not to be jerks and run people over.

And sometimes the old “pull my finger” gag means something entirely different.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Alleged Mammone killer pleads not guilty to murder, and 85-year old San Diego man critically injured in crash with bike rider

Let’s begin today with a not-so-brief update on the horrific murder of ER Dr. Michael John Mammone as he rode his bike in Dana Point last week.

If you’re not interested, or the subject understandably makes you uncomfortable, you may want to skip down to the next section.

Mammone was riding his mountain bike north on PCH when he stopped at the red light at Crown Valley Parkway around 3 pm Wednesday.

That’s when a white Lexus allegedly driven by 39-year old Long Beach resident Vanroy Evan Smith slammed into him from behind, traveling fast enough to blow through the red light, despite the impact with Mammone’s bike.

Smith then got out of his car, walked back to Mammone and repeatedly stabbed him as he lay injured in the street; Mammone died less than three hours later in the same Providence Mission Hospital ER where he sometimes worked.

Smith was disarmed by a pair of witnesses who detained him until police arrived.

Frighteningly, there is no known connection between the two men, and nothing to suggest it was a case of road rage — though that remains one of the most likely explanations — making the crash appear to be totally random at this time.

Smith faces 25 to life, plus one year, after he was arraigned Friday on a charge of felony murder, with a felony enhancement for the personal use of a knife. He pled not guilty, and is currently being held on $1 million bail.

There have been some reports that Smith was armed with a gun, or possibly a BB gun, and fired several shots either before or after stabbing Mammone; however, there is no mention of a gun of any kind in the OC DA’s press release.

There is also no mention of reports that Smith shouted “White privilege!” as he stabbed Mammone, which was originally reported by Fox News, and has been repeated by a number of conservative news sources. However, Fox appears to have removed any mention of that from their story.

That does not necessarily mean those things did not happen, but there is currently nothing to confirm either accusation. Although RssRyan relates in a lengthy Twitter conversation that a neighbor heard the alleged racist statement, and will be speaking with prosecutors.

Smith did reposted a video discussing white privilege nearly three years ago on what appears to be his Facebook page.

However, Smith’s’ ex-wife denied reports than he was violent or made racist comments during their marriage, noting that the mild-mannered native Jamaican accountant was mixed race, and over half white.

We need to be careful spreading rumors that may ultimately prove to be false.

There is a danger that these reports being spread on conservative media may lead to confirmation bias among some in their audience, incorrectly confirming their false beliefs about people of color.

They could also be used as justification by someone with racist views to retaliate against the next Black or brown bike rider they see.

Also troubling is a photo on Smith’s Facebook page suggesting that he may have been one of us.

How someone who rode a bicycle, even infrequently, could commit such a horrific act against a fellow bike rider is beyond me.

Then again, how any person could do it to anyone is, too.

Photo of Dr. Mammone ghost bike by Photo by Walt Arrrrr. Thanks to Good Citizen for the Facebook information.

………

Awful news from San Diego, where an 85-year old man suffered life-threatening brain injuries when he was struck by a bike rider on North Torrey Pines Road near Torrey Pines State Beach.

The victim was reportedly standing in the bike lane when he was struck by a bicycle ridden by a 63-year-old man. He apparently hit his head on the pavement, suffering a skull fracture and brain bleed, while the bike rider suffered a cut above his left eye.

Anyone with information is urged to call the San Diego Police Department Traffic Division at 888/580-8477.

https://twitter.com/G8090Tom/status/1622141839188066304

Thanks to Steven Young for the link.

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Streetsblog looks at the newly unveiled semi-protected bike lanes on Central Ave in South LA. Correction: I originally mistakenly assumed they were on Alameda in DTLA. My apologies.

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Nice to see Jersey City NJ bicyclists aren’t taking the case of the hit-and-run councilwoman lying down.

DeGise was convicted after pleading guilty to hit-and-run for fleeing when she crashed into a bike rider last year; that alone should be an automatic disqualification for public office.

Instead, she walked with a slap on the wrist when the judge fined her five grand and suspended her license for a whole year.

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This video convincingly makes the case that if there weren’t any cars, we wouldn’t need traffic lights.

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

Bike riders in Edinburg, Scotland are ridiculing a new advisory lane that is literally narrower than a set of handlebars, calling it a “unicycle lane.”

Huh? After a London cabbie is filmed driving in a protected bike lane, rather than moving over into the taxi lane next to it, commenters claimed he’s not responsible for the lane markings. No, he’s just responsible for obeying them.

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

No, tossing a bicycle on British railroad tracks is not one of the approved uses for one.

@cycling_in_london

Definitely did that ok purpose lol #london #fyp #cyclist #cycling #londonlife #cyclepath #bikepath #cyclelane #cyclingtiktok #londonstreets #bromptonbikes #ebike #taxi #londontaxi #cabbie #londoncabbie

♬ original sound – Cycling in London

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Local 

LAist looks at last week’s mobility debate for the candidates running to replace disgraced CD6 Councilmember Nury Martinez, sponsored by Streets For All. Unfortunately, video of the event doesn’t seem to be posted online yet.

No surprise that the former Governator was involved in a Brentwood bicycle collision, since Arnold Schwarzenegger rides an ebike nearly every day. Except this time, he was driving his massive GMC SUV — making it his second injury crash behind the wheel in a year — although police concluded it was just another “oopsie.” The victim was transported to a hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries, while Arnold took her bike into a shop to have it repaired. Thanks to mcderpy87 and Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up.

VeloNews looks at LA’s Bahati Foundation, founded by former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati to help children of color succeed in life through bicycling.

 

State

A proposed bill would improve driver sightlines at crosswalks and intersections through daylighting, by removing parking next to the intersection.

Irvine-based electric truck maker Rivian could be entering the micromobility field, though it’s unclear whether they plan to build an ebike or an e-motorcycle.

San Diego has begun work on a Complete Streets makeover of Park Blvd, including painted bike and bus lanes.

A Santa Barbara writer credits her neighbor with turning a long-neglected tandem gathering dust in the garage into a remade ride for two worth $800.

San Francisco is beginning a long-planned makeover of iconic but deadly Market Street, although plans for sidewalk-level bike lanes have been axed, requiring bike riders to continue sharing the lane with taxis, paratransit and commercial vehicles.

Healdsburg is slated for a $11.8 million grant for a road diet and protected bike lanes on Healdsburg Ave.

 

National

The US Department of Transportation has issued a Call to Action campaign, asking stakeholders to commit to specific actions in the coming year to reduce serious injuries and deaths on American roadways.

Lyft plans to fight clutter by docking its bikeshare bikes and e-scooters. Which kind of eliminates the whole point of dockless mobility, doesn’t it?

CNN examines the problem of head injuries leading to suicides in female athletes, using the tragic case of US track cyclist Kelly Catlin as one example; Catlin took her own life in her Stanford dorm after suffering a dramatic personality change following a concussion.

People for Bikes ranks the best new bike lanes in the US. Guess how many are in Los Angeles. No, seriously, take a guess.

The Daily Beast says forget electric cars, ebikes are the future of transportation.

They get it. A Yakima, Washington paper says you don’t have to ride that far to catch up with the little kid inside you.

The party is over in Tempe, Arizona, where New Belgium Brewing has pulled the plug on the annual Tour de Fat fundraiser, a decade after the Fat Tire brewers halted the Los Angeles edition.

It may soon be legal to ride your bike drunk in North Dakota. Or your horse, for that matter.

Oklahoma City police released bodycam video of the arrest of a man who allegedly took his own life in jail, after he was originally stopped for riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the street.

Sad news from New York, where yet another ebike fire has left two children with critical injuries, and another child less seriously injured.

A Pennsylvania man has filed a lawsuit over a collision allegedly caused by an Ocean City police officer as both men were riding their bikes on the boardwalk, accusing the cop of riding “at a high, dangerous and unnecessary speed.”

DC now has two competing ebike rebate bills, one of which would provide up to two grand on the purchase of an e-cargo bike, or $1,500 off a standard ebike.

 

International

A website offers a questionable list of the world’s top 15 “most famous and best” bike brands, ranking Taiwan’s Merida over better know bike brands like Trek, Specialist and Schwinn.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, as the Theory Of Everything actor had to get off his bike to ask for directions in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood.

PinkBike takes a mountain bike trip through Slovenia in the new short film Road to Trieste.

Your next bike ride could be 1,000 feet in the air above a Chinese theme park. I’ll pass, thank you.

 

Competitive Cycling

As expected, Sunday’s world ‘cross championship came down to a battle between Dutch pro Mathieu van der Poel and Belgian Wout van Aert, with van der Poel prevailing in a final sprint to the finish.

 

Finally…

That feeling when it’s time to put a beloved bike down. Why ride an ebike when you could ride a 10-foot-long electric dinosaur.

And meet the very tongue-in-cheek DC Nimbee.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Drivers must change lanes to pass bike riders, and SD weekly cynically blames old business closures on new bike lanes

Welcome back!

Before we get started, let me take a moment to thank you for yet another successful BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Not only did we set a new record for the 8th year in a row, but a record 103 people donated, breaking the $5,000 barrier for the very first time.  

And I couldn’t be more grateful to each and every one of you.

So thanks to Michael W, Lisa G, Mark K, Glen S, Adrienne G, Johanna K, Liam W, Joel F, Sonia B, Michael B, David A, Teodoro C, Carol K, Neel K, Robert H, Beverly F, Matthew R and Kevin B for their generous donations since the last time we posted. And everyone else who gave from their hearts to keep all the best bike news coming your way every day. 

Thank you!

Today’s photo shows what happens when my sister and her husband send the perfect gifts.

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Celebrate the new year by jaywalking, which isn’t exactly legal now, but has been decriminalized by the State of California.

Or improve your safety by taking off from a red light with the leading pedestrian interval, which is now legal for people on bicycles in California. Correction: A closer reading of the law makes clear that it doesn’t take effect until January 1, 2024; thanks to Andrew Goldstein and Bryan J Blumberg for keeping me honest.

And drivers will now be required to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle in California if there is an open lane the driver can move into.

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No bias here.

The San Diego Reader goes off on an anti-bike lane screed, complaining about the new bike lanes on 30th Street in the North Park neighborhood, which required the removal of 460 parking spaces.

And in the process, blames every business closure in the neighborhood on them.

Never mind the effects of two years of pandemic closures, or a difficult business climate marked by rampant inflation and endemic supply chain problems.

Or that they also included businesses that closed years before the bike lanes were built.

Although by far the best one was the article’s first photo, which showed a damning image of a vacant business under the banner for a roofing company. Except they were simply installing a new roof on the building, and had never occupied the space.

Other shuttered businesses had moved to more desirable locations, or were reopening under new management or new formats in the coming months.

But all were somehow blamed on the bike lanes, which the paper claimed were seldom, if ever, used. Something that could have been easily refuted if they had bothered to check the nearby bike counter.

As noted in the first tweet above, the story appears to have been motivated by a California appellate court’s rejection of a lawsuit filed by business owners to have the bike lanes removed.

But none of that would have fit with their pre-determined pro-driving, pro-parking and anti-bike lane bias.

Thanks to everyone who responded on Twitter to point out the glaring inaccuracies in the Reader story. 

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Marlene Scott reports there will be a Celebration of Life tomorrow for 56-year old Michelle Scott, who lost her three-year battle for life over Thanksgiving weekend.

Michelle Scott was 53 when she was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike to work in Ramona in October, 2019.

She spent the next three years shuttling between longterm care facilities, as she struggled just to give a thumbs-up or say the name of her husband of 35 years.

Thirty-seven-year old Chase Edward Richard served just two years of a 44-month sentence for cruelly leaving her alone and bleeding in the street with a severe head injury.

Now he’s free, and she’s gone.

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Gravel Bike California reminds us that Los Angeles is a mountain town, offering outstanding paved and unpaved climbing.

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A Denver man is holding vigil at the intersection where his brother was killed by a hit-and-run driver nearly two weeks ago.

And plans to stay there until his killer is brought to justice.

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This is who we share the road with.

And no, the person on the bike isn’t the one at fault.

https://twitter.com/AjcheGustavo/status/1610101371507965953

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This is how fast a potentially deadly dooring — or a near miracle — can happen.

And yes, unless the person on the bike is riding against traffic, dooring is always the driver’s fault.

https://twitter.com/ReallyActivist/status/1607866017669316608

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I don’t know. I think I could pull it off.

Or cut it off, as the case may be.

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

No bias here, as Bicycling screws the pooch by wholeheartedly endorsing Ford’s massive F-150 Lightening electric pickup, with its high, flat grill seemingly designed to kill bike riders and pedestrians. As usual. read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

No bias here, either. A San Diego TV station tries to raise a public panic over the loss of parking spaces for new bike lanes on Convoy Street, despite citing a restaurant owner who says his customers don’t mind walking several blocks. And says he only knows of two customers who currently bike there. Apparently, if never occurs to him that if two people biked there before, maybe others will now that it’s safer.

A DC driver attempted to run down a bicycle delivery rider after she smacked his car mirror for pulling up too close to her and blocking her right-of-way, then got out of his car and attacked her on the sidewalk, knocking out one of her teeth.

A British driver will spend more the two years behind bars for using his car as a weapon in an effort to run down a group of bike-riding teenagers, after the kids threw French fries in his car.

A driver in the UK marked Boxing Day by trying to run down a bike rider, after becoming angry when he was stuck behind him on a country road.

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

Body cam video shows a Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy shooting a man riding a bicycle after the man waived a knife at him while calling himself the antichrist, although he had lowered the weapon before the officer shot; he was originally stopped for riding salmon, as well as an outstanding warrant. A simple traffic stop should never be allowed to escalate out of control like that; thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

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Local 

CNN includes South LA’s Destination Crenshaw among the new buildings set to reshape the world in the coming year; the 1.3-mile open air museum and cultural center will include new buffered bike lanes on Crenshaw Blvd.

Metro has completed work on the new bus lanes on Alvarado between Sunset and 7th. Which you can now share on your bike, as long as you don’t mind having a bus run up your ass.

Urbanize LA lists the Complete Streets makeovers of 7th Street in DTLA and Venice Blvd in Mar Vista as the city’s most exciting “small” transportation projects of the year.

The parents of two girls involved in a fatal ebike crash in 2021 have settled  their cross complaints against one another, freeing them to blame Rad Power Bikes for the crash.

 

State

A San Diego man was stabbed in the chest by a man who stole his bike in the city’s Balboa Park, after arguing over it with another man. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

A San Diego loan-to-own ebike program is set for a $10 million statewide expansion, despite low participation so far.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, the city’s bike riders are fighting to reclaim a portion of the streets to make room for protected bike lanes.

In another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Fairfield man was booked for the suspected drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider, despite three previous hit-and-run convictions; he was also charged with being a felon in possession of a gun.

The Yolo County DA has decided not to file charges against the UC Davis garbage truck driver who killed a 19-year old student riding her ebike to class. blaming “multiple factors” for the crash.

 

National

NPR takes a look at ebikes and their ability to replace car trips and their emissions. Or maybe replace cars, period.

CNBC looks at the problem of trying to navigate the ebike boom on America’s less-than-adequate bike infrastructure.

Bicycling questions whether bicycling has a drinking problem, as research shows that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. Although other studies show moderate drinking can offer health benefits. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. .

Pacific Cycles is recalling their kids bikes that were sold at Target, because the handlebars can come loose during use, causing falls.

This is who we share the road with, part two. Thirteen bison were killed when the herd was struck by an apparently sentient semi-truck in Montana near Yellowstone National Park, since there’s no mention of a driver anywhere in the story.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a New York pickup driver killed man riding a moped — despite the company truck being cited for 30 traffic violations over a four-year period, including 17 tickets for speeding in a school zone.

A Guatemalan man working as a delivery rider in New York complains that winter is the hardest time of year for bicycle delivery workers, while the apps they work for don’t care about their safety. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up. 

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers fifteen things about bicycling that really annoys them. Although their complaint about the high cost of bicycling is a relative thing, depending on how you ride; you can get by with spending almost nothing, and still get where you’re going.

Build your own DIY heavy duty bike trailer.

Cities from Bogotá to Stockholm are keeping their pandemic-era carfree spaces.

London ebike and e-scooter riders could be banned from a section of the Thames Path, along with reckless riders of regular bikes.

Police identify a suspect in just one in ten British bike thefts, and file charges in less than 2% of cases.

A Swiss startup is building elevated bike lanes to address space problems that limit bike lane placement on the streets. Which sounds good, except it removes bikes from the local community, and prevents bike riders from making convenient stops along their route.

Road.cc examines whether there is anywhere on earth where bike riders are required to be licensed, aside from North Korea.

No surprise here, as Singapore bike riders conclude that draconian rules limiting group rides to no more than five bikes aren’t practical in real life.

An Aussie woman teaches herself how to ride a bicycle at the ripe, old age of 49, after being shamed by a French tour guide.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-six-year old former WorldTour cyclist Sean Bennett is entering the year without a pro contract, after spending after spending last year riding at the Continental level in China.

Cyclist looks forward to 2023, including women’s great Annemiek van Vleuten going out on top, and the return of Eritrean pro Biniam Girmay, who missed much of last year after taking a champagne cork to the eye.

A seven-year old Arizona kid broke her 11-year old sister’s record for completing the Tour de Tucson, while also setting a record as the youngest person to complete the 102-mile course.

 

Finally…

Every now and then, a scofflaw bike rider gets away. Seriously, if you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant, don’t ride salmon.  That feeling when you ride the equivalent of 2,400 miles in less than 14 days just for the hell of it.

And when you need a garter to comfortably ride your bike, even if it would fit around your impossibly narrow waist.

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Before we go, I’d like to share this Twitter exchange, which offered one of the nicest compliments I’ve received in a long time. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.