Tag Archive for San Diego

SD bike riders protest deadly streets, former WY senator dies from bike crash, and LA Times says slow speeding drivers

It looks like San Diego bike riders have finally had enough.

After a horrifying 12 bicycling deaths in San Diego County so far this year — roughly double what the county might experience in a typical year — dozens of local residents held a protest ride and press conference to demand safer streets.

That bloody toll includes five people who were killed on their bikes in just the past month.

“Grief makes you angry,” San Diego Bicycle Coalition executive director Andy Hanshaw said. “If there’s not a dedicated path that’s seperate from the road, then we need a safer bike lane on the street, and your typical white stripe is not safe enough.”

Beloved bicyclist and San Diego State University administrator Laura Shinn was killed on Pershing Drive last Tuesday. Police said she was in the bike lane, wearing a helmet, when a driver hit her from behind.

Graphics by tomexploresla

“A lot of people are feeling hesitant,” bicyclist Elizabeth Mayer said. “They don’t want this freedom option of transportation taken from them because they’re afraid of cars.”

Although someone might want to tell NBC-7 that not everyone who rides a bicycle is an “athlete.”

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Sad news from Wyoming, where former US Senator Mike Enzi has died following some sort of bicycling crash.

According to the local Gillette, Wyoming newspaper, the 77-year old politician was transported to a medical center near my Colorado hometown after he was involved in a “serious bicycle accident” Friday night.

He died of his injuries on Monday.

Newsweek reports that Enzi was found lying in the roadway next to his bicycle, about the same time his Apple Watch sent a distress call indicating a bad fall.

The magazine reports he had suffered a broken neck and broken ribs; there’s no word on whether he fell off his bike, or may have been the victim of a hit-and-run.

Regardless of whether or not you agreed with his politics, he devoted his life to serving his state and his country.

And he was one of us.

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They get it.

The Los Angeles Times says it’s time to stop letting drivers set speed limits with their right foot.

The Los Angeles City Council was recently forced to raise speed limits on sections of Olympic and Overland boulevards in West L.A. — where a woman was killed this year by a recklessly speeding driver.

Why? Because an outdated and absurd law essentially requires cities to set street limits based on how fast people are already driving on a stretch of road — not whether that speed is safe.

This law is based on a flawed methodology, according to a report released last year. It relies on the overly optimistic assumption that most drivers will drive at a safe and reasonable speed, and that it’s safer to set speed limits that reflect the “natural” flow of traffic.

The paper calls for passage of AB 43, which would modify the deadly 85th Percentile Law to allow cities and counties to lower speed limits by a modest 5 mph on streets with injury high rates of injuries, or heavy bike and pedestrian use.

What we really need is to repeal the 85th Percentile Law entirely.

But until we can get there, this is a start.

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This is what it looks like to ride the new bike lane on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Just don’t count on riding it yourself for the next few months.

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Local

Bird is rolling out their next generation e-scooters in Long Beach this week.

 

State

Clean Technica says California’s new ebike rebate program is a done deal. But securing the funding is not the same as approving the program.

Former San Luis Obispo councilmember Robert “Red” Davis passed away peacefully in his home over the weekend. The 76-year old bike advocate had served as president of the SLO Bike Club, as well as chairing the Morro Bay Citizens Bike Committee and the County Bicycle Advisory Committee; a local bikeway is named in his honor.

A San Francisco TV station tries out a $5,500 ebike intended to replace a car, and capable of carrying two passengers and up to 400 pounds at 30 mph. However, that top speed means you’d be required to wear a helmet, and prohibited from using bike paths and protected bike lanes.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a pilot speed cam program may be exactly what the city needs to meet its Vision Zero goals in the next three years. On the other hand, Los Angeles has virtually zero chance of meeting its goal of ending traffic deaths by 2025, by which time the mayor who committed to it will likely be serving as ambassador to India, anyway. 

Sacramento officials identify the 76-year old man who died a month after he was run down by a drunk motorist illegally driving on a bike path.

 

National

TikTok’s Mr. Barricade discusses the benefits and practicality of quick-build bike lanes.

The New Republic says car sales and usage are on the rise, crushing hopes of reclaiming streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

A pair of Navy vets discuss their 1,300-mile bike ride to visit sites marking the 9/11 attacks to honor those who died that day.

The kindhearted staff of a Wyoming co-op dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young girl, after someone stole her bicycle and tried to fix its flat tire at their shop.

Someone please tell San Antonio, Texas that a 35 mph speed limit does not a Slow Street make.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old Kansas man is planning to ride 75 miles to celebrate his birthday, while raising funds to help former inmates reenter society.

There’s a special place in hell for the person who jumped out of a car and shot a 12-year old St. Louis boy, just missing his 11-year old companion; fortunately, the boy is expected to survive.

Olympic silver medalist Brent Emery now devotes his efforts to building custom adaptive bicycles for kids with disabilities; Emery won his medal for team pursuit in the ’84 Los Angeles games.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A legend in local television was killed when a driver ran down a 77-year old former Florida TV executive in the fog on Saturday morning; Stephen McKenney Steck had ridden his bike every day for the last seven years.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that goes double for whoever viciously beat and robbed a 68-year old New York grandfather as he rode a bikeshare bike.

 

International

Raleigh wants to replace your car, too, for the low, low price of just $6,000. Apparently, “replace your car” is code for a cargo bike that costs as much as a used car.

Toronto bike riders are complaining after police ticketed dozens of bicyclists for speeding and blowing a stop sign in a local park, setting up a speed trap on a street where the limit was 20 mph for everyone. Although, as another story that was hidden behind a paywall wondered, is it really fair to ticket bike riders who don’t have a speedometer?

The world’s longest solar power-generating bike path is now open in the Netherlands, stretching over 1,000 feet.

Hats off to Mohammad Ashraf, who is completing a 2,300-mile ride across India, despite having to ride with just one leg after the other was paralyzed in a 2017 bicycling crash, which also limited use of his right hand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Tom Pidcock took gold in men’s Olympic mountain biking in his first Olympics, after barely qualifying as U-23 rider.

Mathieu van der Poel blames a missing wooden ramp for crashing out of the mountain bike race, saying it had been there during his practice rides.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s “gutted” after falsely claiming victory in the road race after losing track of Anna Kiesenhofer, who finished over a minute ahead of her to claim the gold.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a cross-state group ride crosses paths with a police chase. Nothing like being 300 miles into a 1,200 cross-country bike ride because you lost a bet.

And don’t count on riding BMW’s compact, folding ped-assist e-cargo bike anytime soon.

Or maybe ever.

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

More blood on the streets of San Diego; unidentified man killed riding motorized bicycle in North Clairemont

The carnage continues on the streets of San Diego.

Just three days after 57-year old Laura Shinn was killed while riding her bike in Balboa Park, by a driver alleged to be high on meth, another bike rider has lost his life riding in the Clairemont neighborhood.

According to multiple sources, the victim, described only as a man in his 60s, was struck while riding his bike at the intersection of Genesee Ave, Chickasaw Court and Saulk Ave around 5:31 Friday evening.

He died after being transported to a local hospital.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim, who was riding some sort of motorized bicycle, had just turned right from Sauk Ave onto northbound Genesee, most likely into the bike lane on Genesee. He then allegedly swerved left in front of the driver of a high-powered Mercedes SUV.

However, that seems unlikely if he saw the car bearing down on him as he turned, unless the driver may have been exceeding the 40 mph speed limit and closed the distance faster than expected.

It’s also questionable why he would have swerved into the left lane as the paper describes, when there is nowhere to turn left on the the divided roadway.

Which is not to say it didn’t happen that way, but it does raise a number of questions.

The 30-year old driver stayed at the scene, and was reportedly cooperating with police.

The paper also reports the victim wasn’t carrying ID with him, hampering efforts to identify him.

This is at least the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County.

That’s one more than Los Angeles County, which has roughly three times the population.

If you’re not mad down there yet, maybe you should be.

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

 

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in Balboa Park collision Tuesday morning; murder charge for alleged DUI driver

The death toll continues to mount in San Diego County.

Just five days after the county saw its tenth bicycling death of the year, another rider lost their life riding in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

The victim, who has yet to be publicly identified in any way, was riding on Pershing Drive, south of the Morley Field Disc Golf Course on the northwest side of the massive park, when he or she was struck by a driver around 7:30 this morning.

The rider was found lying unresponsive in the roadway when first responders arrived, and died after being transported to a similarly unidentified hospital.

The driver reportedly remained at the scene, and was cooperating with investigators; no word on whether police suspect distraction or intoxication played a role in the crash.

Video from the scene shows a mangled road bike off to the side of the road.

A street view shows a four lane roadway with no visible bicycle infrastructure. No other information is available at this time.

This death comes three months to the day after another person was killed riding across Highway 163 through the park.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County, which seems to be rushing to keep up with Los Angeles County, with roughly three times the population.

Update: Sasha Jovanovic reminds us that the stretch of Pershing where the crash occurred was supposed to have a separated bikeway by now

Update 2: The San Diego Union-Tribune has identified the victim as 57-year old San Diego resident Laura Shinn

According to the paper, Shinn was a prominent architect and planner who regularly commuted to her work at San Diego State University, where she oversaw the planning and design of several campus facilities.

Laura Shinn worked as SDSU’s director of facilities planning and was serving as the 2021 president of the board of directors of the American Institute of Architects’ San Diego chapter. She also was a founding member of the Women in Architecture group in San Diego.

In a statement, SDSU described Shinn as “an incredibly talented architect who helped oversee much of our university’s development and growth.”

Shinn was run down from behind as she rode north on Pershing, which the paper says does have a bike lane.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam Milavetz was arrested on suspicion of DUI after allegedly drifting into the bike lane to strike Shinn. 

The paper reports he was jailed on “suspicion of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs.” The murder count suggests this was not his first DUI, and he had likely signed a Watson advisement as a condition of a previous conviction. 

He’s expected to be arraigned Thursday. 

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Laura Shinn and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for heads-up.

More anti-ebike bias from San Diego’s North County, and the new railing on the Golden Gate Bridge blows — literally

What the hell is going in San Diego’s North County?

A day after we discussed a Carlsbad GOP candidate opposing California’s proposed ebike rebate for all the wrong reasons, a San Diego TV station looks at the “controversy” over the rising popularity of ebikes in Encinitas.

According to NBC7, some people have complained on Nextdoor — as if everyone on Nextdoor doesn’t complain about something — and circulated a petition demanding that ebikes be banned from Moonlight Beach.

But the station widely misses the mark when they try to make the case that ebikes are somehow dangerous, by lumping them together with e-scooters and hoverboards to argue that 41 Americans were killed due to the devices over a three-year period.

Not that ebikes have anything in common with the other two, aside from having a battery.

And never mind that an average of 13.6 deaths a year pales in comparison to the 42,000 people killed in traffic collisions last year alone.

Yes, some people on ebikes may ride in a rude or unsafe manner. Just like some people do on regular bikes, on foot or in motor vehicles.

However, many of those scofflaw ebikers likely stem from their popularity with  new riders, and people who haven’t ridden in years, if not decades, and haven’t learned decent bicycle etiquette yet.

So just use a little common courtesy and common sense, however you get around.

But don’t try to ban ebikes just because you don’t get it.

And someone please tell North County residents to get their collective ebike-hating heads out from whence the sun don’t shine.

Ebike photo by Maxfoot from Pixabay.

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The new and improve Golden Gate Bridge railing isn’t exactly working out that way for people on bicycles.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Now that’s more like it.

Vancouver proposes a hefty pollution tax for the privilege of parking on residential city streets. Which could free up a lot of space for other uses.

Like riding a bicycle.

https://twitter.com/theBreakerNews/status/1404487514237198338

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Nothing like the feeling when a 13-year old kid can shred better than most of us.

And yes, that includes me. Even though I’d have a hard time shredding a postcard these days.

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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 UK’s Mr. Loophole, who specializes in getting dangerous drivers off the hook for traffic violations, wants to force you to wear a numbered tabard — a sleeveless pullover top — every time you ride a bike so you can be properly spanked if you do something naughty.

Seriously, lay off your damn horn when you go to pass someone on a bike.

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

In a horrible crime caught on security cam, a 53-year old New York bicycle delivery rider was stabbed in the back by another bike rider for no apparent reason as he was making a delivery. His attacker rode up from behind and stabbed him after bizarrely asking “What happened?” Fortunately, the victim is expected to recover, but the suspect remains at large.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton rides the Expo Bike Path, and complains that Culver City abandons bike riders on a short gap in the bikeway near the Culver City Metro station, forcing people to take a poorly marked half-mile detour along city streets. And offers a long list of recommended fixes.

 

State

There’s peace in the hills around San Diego, as the local San Diego Mountain Bike Association rejoins the International Mountain Bicycling Association, aka IMBA, after a three-year split.

Speaking of the SDMBA, the group is partnering with Canyon Bikes and the founders of the popular Canyon Belgian Waffle Ride for a new fundraising campaign to support local trails, with a grand prize of $4,000 towards any Canyon bike.

Watch a crane hoist the center segment into place for a new Palo Alto bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

National

Three tips on riding a bicycle with your dog. I’m okay with riding with a dog, as long as it’s willing to ride stoker and pedal for itself.

Trek is marking Pride Month with a nationwide series of Pride Rides on the last Sunday of the month, starting out from the 145 Trek stores across the US.

After someone stole the bike an Albuquerque man bought just to use for an 80-mile fundraising ride benefitting Colorado children’s hospital that saved his daughter’s life, a kindhearted local bike shop owner gave him his own bike to use for the ride.

A tandem bike helped bring a Colorado man and his 16-year old son closer together during the pandemic, battling the wind as they passed bison and bald eagles. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

San Antonio, Texas NBA legend Manu Ginobilli is one of us, bragging online about finishing a 40-mile ride in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Apparently, killer hit-and-run drivers don’t stick around in Oklahoma, either.

School kids in Indianapolis can get a new bike through a little sweat equity, as a local program guides them through building a mountain bike they can ride off on at the end of the 16-hour class.

The New York state legislature passed a bill to improve bike and pedestrian access on MTA bridges, and provide better bike parking at subway and commuter rail stations.

Madonna is one of us, too, going for a ride through the streets of New York with her 27-year old boyfriend.

 

International

A Toronto paper questions why the city of Laval has been slow to take to the city’s new bike network, despite 70 miles of new bike lanes over the past six years. Maybe the fact that there’s only 70 miles of mile lanes for a city of a half million people could have something to do with it.

He gets it. A Toronto columnist calls the city out for blocking a busy bike lane with construction pylons, forcing riders out into the traffic lane; an earlier column about another bike lane blocked with a concrete block received quick action from the mayor’s office.

London’s Express highlights the best bicycling gifts for dad.

They get it, too. A survey of Scottish children says drivers should go back to school for extra training on how to drive around people on bicycles.

A 54-year old UK man was killed when he fell off his new ebike and hit his helmetless head while riding home from the local pub, with a BAC just under three times the legal limit.

When the pandemic locked a British DJ out of the clubs where he usually performed, he bought a three-wheeled bike and outfitted it with his gear to take the party to the people.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a young boy received the equivalent of less than $14,000 after he was injured riding hie bike into an open manhole cover when he was just six years old.

The N+1 formula has worked out to forty vintage bikes for a South African man, who has represented the country three times in the UCI World Master Track Championships.

Cycling Tips wants to introduce you to Melbourne-based handmade bikemaker Mark Hester of Prova Cycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News looks forward to the US pro road cycling championships in Knoxville, Tennessee at the end of this month.

Retired Aussie cyclist Will Clarke went from competing on the WorldTour to shearing sheep in a single year.

 

Finally…

Face it, your bike doesn’t need you any more. Does riding your bike backwards give you a negative Strava KOM?

And stealing a bike is bad enough. But kicking a dog minutes later is inexcusable.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

School of Rock drummer killed in Chicago bike crash, support urged for CA ebike rebate bill, and San Diego bike path opens

Before we start, a special thanks to Bicycle Attorney Thomas Forsyth for renewing his ad on this site for the coming year. 

Remarkably, despite the pandemic, all three of our sponsors have renewed their ads for another year. 

Which matters because it’s their support, along with yours, that makes BikinginLA possible. 

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More heartbreaking news about another needless loss.

Keven Clark, who played drummer Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones in 2003’s School of Rock, was killed when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike yesterday.

The 32-year old musician was just 12 years old when he costarred with Jack Black and Joan Cusack in the hit movie, despite a lack of acting experience.

He had just formed a new band that performed live for the first time over the weekend.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times,

Clark was riding a bicycle early Wednesday when he was struck and killed at a notoriously dangerous intersection on the Northwest Side. He was hit by a Hyundai Sonata around 1:20 a.m. in the 2600 block of North Western Avenue, Chicago police said.

Paramedics found him on Logan Boulevard and took him to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 2:04 a.m., according to the Chicago Fire Department and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The driver of the Hyundai, a 20-year-old woman, was issued several citations, police said.

A report in the Chicago Tribune alleges Clark was hit after running a red light.

Maybe someday, we’ll decide that too many people have died because of motor vehicles and the people who drive them, and actually do something about it.

But like gun violence, we seem to just talk about it, and look the other way.

School of Rock poster from Wikipedia.org.

Thanks to Tim Rutt and Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Calbike is calling on everyone to contact your state assemblymember to support AB 117, the E-Bike Affordability Bill.

The bill would provide purchase incentives to increase the affordability of ebikes by through subsidies for up to 10,000 people, similar to the $7,000 subsidies the state provides to buyers of electric cars.

Combined with a proposed federal tax rebate for ebike buyers, it could dramatically cut the cost of ebikes to replace motor vehicle use.

Maybe a jump in ebikes would finally push more California cities to provide safe spaces to ride them.

And yes, I’m talking to you, Los Angeles.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

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San Diego cut the ribbon on the barrier-protected Rose Creek bike path, adding another two miles to the 44 mile Coastal Rail Trail.

I definitely could have used that when I lived down there years ago.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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A new video from Streets For All examines the true cost of LA’s freeway obsession.

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This is who we share the road with.

A road raging Maserati driver in DC got out of his car and opened fire on a woman with her two kids in the car, then apparently turned and shot at witnesses in another car.

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A bike rider was injured during a New York bicycle protest to mark the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police, after he jumped on the hood of a Volkswagen as the driver tried to push through the crowd of protesters.

Meanwhile, a second bike rider was injured by the driver as they tried to speed away.

New York police followed that up by “inadvertently” sideswiping another bike rider while pursuing the Volkswagen driver.

But at least it’s nice to know the cops didn’t do it on purpose, anyway.

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

Bike riders get just 22% of a Brooklyn street space, even though they more than equal the number of motor vehicles that use it.

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

A Catholic bishop in Oakland was robbed at gunpoint by a man who demanded his money and bishop’s ring before speeding off on a bicycle.

A Mad City woman was busted for throwing a bicycle at another person during a large disturbance. No word on whether she was actually riding it or if she just grabbed the nearest thing she could throw.

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Local

The Source offers a preview of today’s Metro Board meeting, which would finalize the route for the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line along Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, as well as consider highway funding and free bus and train fares for students and low income people.

Child soap star Scarlett Fernandez is one of us, although she may regret that right now; the 11-year old General Hospital actor had surgery on both arms after crashing her bike, as well as getting stitches on her chin and suffering four broken teeth.

 

State

A Half Moon Bay rancher and city councilmember alleges he was racially profiled as “a dirty Mexican” by a sheriff’s deputy as he rode his bike into the city; the sheriff claims the deputy knew who he was and was merely concerned that he was riding recklessly.

Sacramento may require e-scooter users to scan their driver’s licenses in an attempt to stop underage users. Although that would also block any adult without one.

Nice story from Redding, where the community got together to raise funds to buy a new ebike for a school security guard and coach who suffers from a hereditary form of neuropathy; after the fundraiser surpassed the $2,500 goal, a local organization said they would pay for the bike, and use the funds to customize it for his disability.

 

National

Writing for The Hill, a trio of top-level advocates make the case for sidewalks, trails and bike lanes are essential transportation infrastructure belonging in the new transportation bill currently being written in Congress; the bill was later amended to include $7.2 billion for infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as setting aside another $1.6 billion for vulnerable road users.

A new report from the Brookings Institute says we can’t beat climate change without rethinking land use, calling for a return to “traditional people-centered neighborhood designs” that will reduce the need to drive.

Trek is recalling over 340,00 Bontrager pedals in the US and Canada that can fall off if they’re not properly installed.

Seattle Bike Blog says the bike shortage induced by the coronavirus bike boom will probably continue into next year.

An Idaho mountain bike park finally opened after being delayed a year by wildfires that raged through the West.

An army vet stopped in Idaho to inspire students at a school for the deaf and blind; the totally blind woman is bicycling across the US, aided by sighted guides in front and behind her.

An associate professor at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University will ride across the US this summer to raise funds for public education; Dr. Chris Willis will take the Adventure Cyclists Association’s northern tier route, passing through 51 school districts he hopes to help fund at the end of the trip. You can donate to his trip here. Thanks again to Tim Rutt.

A Streetsblog op-ed calls on the State of New York to pass a bill allowing for wider e-cargo bikes; current law limits them to 36 inches, while a proposed bill would legalize cargo trikes up to 55 inches — far more than the standard 48″ width.

A Pennsylvania school built a school bike shop in honor of a 17-year old former student, who found himself through the school’s mountain biking program, but was killed in a collision while coming home from his dream job at Trek.

 

International

A new anti-theft device can set off an alarm if anyone moves your bike, and provide GPS and WiFi tracking to help recover it if it’s stolen.

Police in Victoria, British Columbia recovered a custom-built bicycle donated to a special needs kid by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, hours after putting out a call for the public’s help in finding the stolen bike.

Montreal has more Stanley Cups than Toronto. And more bike lanes, too.

Queen guitarist Brian May credits riding his bicycle with saving his life following a heart attack he believes was caused by Covid-19.

Unbelievable. A Scottish hit-and-run driver walks without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider, then taking his car to two repair shops in an effort to cover up the crime.

Italian bike maker Colnago sold a digital NFT of one of its bike frames for $8,600, which is $2,300 more than the frame itself sells for. And you can’t ride it, either.

 

Competitive Cycling

Giro GC leader Egan Bernal cracked in Wednesday’s stage 17, but ended up losing just three seconds.

Rouleur profiles today’s stage 18 of the Giro, the longest stage in the three week race at 143 miles.

History looks at nine doping scandals that changed sports; fortunately, only three involved cyclists, including our old buddy Lance.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a cellphone from a woman while riding your bike, try to avoid projectile vomiting on a parked car when the cops stop you. That feeling when being chased by chainsaw-wielding cycling fans may have inspired you to victory.

And your next bike could magically transform from a tall bike to a chopper.

But you have to build it yourself.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Tres shock! LA misses safest bike city list, famed ped superhero at UCLA, and San Diego builds bike lane laps around LA

Is anyone shocked that Los Angeles didn’t make the latest list of America’s safest cities for people on bicycles?

I didn’t think so.

But congratulations to Davis, Chico and Santa Barbara, the three California cities that did.

Maybe in another decade or two we might finally have a shot.

We can dream, right?

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Curbed’s Alissa Walker profiles Mexico City pedestrian superhero Peatónito, who is finishing a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at UCLA.

And wants to have pedestrian defenders in every LA neighborhood when he leaves.

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San Diego continues to build laps around Los Angeles, as they work to build out a full network of curb protected bike lanes.

Unlike a certain megalopolis to the north.

But while Los Angeles continues to rest on its non-laurels as America’s worst bike city, Glendale is installing a new curb protected lane on Los Feliz.

Even if it is just for a block.

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Gravel Bike California gets a visit from Road Bike Action’s Troy and David to discover Gold Creek, a hidden gem between Big and Little Tujunga Canyons.

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The LACBC is offering a discount for their virtual bike challenge taking place this month.

Here’s what they have to say.

Inviting you to join us in June at LACBC’s new virtual LA Rivers Challenge:  Ride, Walk or Run LA’s Historic Waterways!  A flexible and fun way to ride, walk or run our beautiful L.A. County waterways, at your own pace on days, routes and mileage of your choice.  Suggested routes will be posted on the LARiversChallenge.com website.

Please use this special Friends & Family code “FRIEND5” to register at LARiversChallenge.com and receive a cool neck gaiter/mask, coaching/encouragement emails, routes and information about the historic L.A. County waterways.  Bonus Fun: An optional personalized fundraising webpage can be set up where riders can share progress on their ride(s) online and also raise money to support LACBC’s year-round advocacy on behalf of active transportation in L.A. County.  Rewards and prizes can be earned for meeting fundraising goals too!

Thank you.

The 2021 LA River Challenge – Good for You and Good for LA! For more information and to register for the L.A. Rivers Challenge, visit LARiversChallenge.com.

Challenge Video: https://vimeo.com/545718226

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/274494824189732

Twitter: Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (@LACBC)

Instagram: @lacbc

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Bicycling author Richard Fox is back with the latest update to his comprehensive guide to SoCal bike routes.

I’m happy to announce the release of the 3rd Edition of my guidebook “enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.”  It contains 200+ scenic ride options at SoCal’s beaches, deserts, mountains, wine country, harbors, & historic city centers from San Diego to Cambria to Palm Springs, perfect for casual cyclists who enjoy beautiful scenery while avoiding car traffic and major hill climbs. The pandemic bike boom created many new casual cyclists who bought up 2017’s 2nd Edition a year earlier than anticipated. I revisited many of the rides with a Class I ebike, and added notes on how they impact rides, and where to rent or buy them near the rides. The book’s info was updated, more detail was added to many of the maps, and several new rides were added, including an option for a La La Land Griffith Park adventure on closed roads that was too hilly without an ebike for the casual cyclist before.  Other new fabulous rides were added for all in Irvine and Lake Perris, and options in other areas with new infrastructure like Santa Barbara and San Diego. The Coachella Valley, where I spent much of the pandemic lockdown cycling and working on the book update, ended up with a ton of new info and routes, including incorporation of the new CV Link regional path, now in various stages of construction. enCYCLEpedia.net contains additional rides, downloadable maps, features and updates for book owners.  The price of this edition is going up because of higher production costs in the USA vs Asia, but has started on Amazon at a lower price, available here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1638485380.

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The Oklahoma legislature has sent a bill legalizing the Idaho Stop to the governor for his signature.

And for a change, it’s the full version, allowing bike riders to treat red lights like stop signs, and treat stop signs as yields.

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This.

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Somehow we missed this one last month, as Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers a tutorial on how to politely shred on your fixie.

Meanwhile, Road.cc sings fixies praises, too.

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

Police busted a bike riding thief who robbed two women at gunpoint in New York’s Central Park.

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Local

Bikeshare is officially back on LA’s Westside, with 54 docking stations ready to go, and another 13 in the works.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a 32-year old Paramount man who was last seen April 14th; the 5’7″, 230 pound Hispanic man frequently rides his bike through the area, though it’s unclear if he was on his bike when he disappeared.

 

State

Good news, as California’s proposal for a modified Idaho Stop Law allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields continues to move through the state legislature.

A 13-year old boy suffered moderate injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Seal Beach.

A bike-riding man suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries when he was hit by two drivers in San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood in the midst of Wednesday’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations; he was left crossed by a driver trying to make a three-point turn, then hit by another when he was knocked off his bicycle.

A new survey shows Poway residents want more options to ride their bikes, among other concerns.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising funds for a Bakersfield bike rider seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver this past Saturday; another rider escaped the crash without serious injuries. The campaign has raised just $1,700 out of a goal of $5,000 in three days.

Nice gesture from the Chowchilla bicycling community, which turned out in force to accompany the body of a 45-year old man killed in a hit-and-run; the driver faces a murder charge after telling police he wanted to kill someone. Sadly, the disabled man, who rode a bike as his only form of transportation, had the misfortune of crossing the alleged killer’s path.

 

National

Lincoln, Nebraska’s Bike Kitchen may be closed during the pandemic, but that didn’t stop them from refurbishing over 200 bicycles and donating them to kids in need.

A crowdfunding campaign for a 13-year old boy killed while riding his bike by a Moline, Illinois cop responding to an emergency call has raised more than $14,000 in just 24 hours, easily topping the original $10,000 goal.

Kansas City moved to legalize jaywalking and cancel bicycle inspections, along with other local laws too often used to target people of color.

Next City suggests Fayetteville, Arkansas could be America’s next great bike city.

Now that’s more like it. A Michigan man could spend up to 80 years behind bars for the reckless, hit-and-run deaths of two women riding their bikes; he’ll have to serve a minimum of 18 years before he’s eligible for parole, and pay $250,000 restitution. None of which will bring either of the victims back, though.

New York’s Worksman Cycles traces its history back over 100 years, to the first three-wheeled bikes developed for the Good Humor Ice Cream Company.

A New York bike shop owner received $32,000 in fines for selling ped-assist ebikes, even though they were perfectly legal under city rules; fortunately, he didn’t end up paying a penny of it.

A DC clinic is helping people who’ve lost a limb regain the confidence to ride a bicycle.

 

International

A new bendable tail light raising funds on Kickstarter promises to mark off a safe passing distance; right now you can preorder one for just $35. No word on whether it will extend to a full three-foot passing distance, though.

Bikes really did boom in the UK last year, as 5 million people were “inspired” to buy a bicycle during the pandemic.

Thanks to the efforts of a Dutch fan, LEGO may finally introduce a bike lane set, complete with bikes, bike racks and people to use them.

The Namibian bicycling community is mourning the death of a Canadian man who made a difference in the lives of countless people by talking his family and friends to helping him ship bicycles to the country, before eventually founding a nonprofit to ship and sell them to create jobs, and fund more bikes.

The former model who starred in David Bowie’s China Girl video is now a Kiwi restaurant manager who’s fighting a new protected bike lane, arguing that it will block her deliveries and no one will use it, anyway. Never mind that the first photo in the story shows a delivery driver unloading his truck next to the bike lane directly behind her.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. Grateful Aussie parents are looking for the man who jumped off his bike and leapt into a chilly lake without hesitation to rescue a three-year old boy, who accidentally rode his scooter into a Canberra lake; he then slipped away quietly after saving the boy’s life. No truth to the rumor that he left a silver bullet behind. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur previews the Giro, which kicks off tomorrow in Turin.

Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen says he’ll be under a microscope in the Giro, as he makes his comeback from a suspension for causing the crash that severely injured Fabio Jakobsen at last year’s Tour de Pologne.

Never mind the stolen election and deteriorating conditions in Belarus, the European track cycling championships are staying put in Minsk, despite offers from other cities and countries to host them.

Mark your calendar for the Balance Bike World Championships this August. It’s being held in the UK, so your little competitor may need a passport.

 

Finally…

Before you can bomb down the bike trails, you’ve got to get your bike up there. No, a bike lane isn’t a good nap spot.

And next time you want to participate in a Zoom meeting while driving, maybe lose the shoulder belt first.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Murder charge for intentionally killing Port Hueneme teen, San Diego hit-and-run victim ID’d, and bike riders behaving badly

More on the murder of a teenage Port Hueneme boy riding his bike.

Twenty-eight-year old Samuel Matthew Rocha faces one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder for intentionally plowing his car through a group of teen bike riders.

The attack came just ten minutes after he assaulted a couple at an Oxnard laundromat, and hit an employee with his car as he fled the parking lot.

His 16-year old victim has still not been publicly identified.

Rocha is being held without bail pending a June court hearing. Hopefully he’ll spend the rest of his life there.

Sadly, that wasn’t the only murder of a bike rider last week.

A Chowchilla man faces homicide charges for the DUI hit-and-run death of a man riding a bike, after telling police investigators he “intentionally wanted to kill someone.”

Let’s hope that one goes away for a very long time, too.

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Bike Portland identifies the victim critically injured in a San Diego hit-and-run last week as a former Portland woman.

Seattle resident Lindsay Caron suffered life-threatening injuries when she was run down from behind on Ingraham Street in Pacific Beach last Monday; she’s currently in a medically induced coma.

A friend has started a Facebook support group for her.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Diego PD’s traffic division at 858-495-7805, or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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Call it a snapshot of LA bike history from 1983, apparently taken back before the city was colorized.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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A Scottish advocacy movement calls for fighting climate change by making the country bike-friendly.

Make that the world, and we might actually still be here this time next century.

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Well, that’s certainly a horse of a different color. And a couple of cranksets.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the forward.

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Good question.

GCN examines how a bicycle can cost the equivalent of nearly $14,000.

They also have advice for big and tall bike riders on how to get the most out of your bicycle.

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

No bias here. An Aussie sports talk station complains about the “absurd” reason a pop-up bike lane has been declared a success after nearly doubling the rate of women on bicycles, while a business person blames the bike lanes, not the pandemic, for business being off last year.

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

A beloved Santa Barbara street performer suffered a broken wrist and cuts on his hand when he was knocked to the ground while playing his guitar by a thief who stole his tips before fleeing on a bicycle.

An Arkansas man got five years for a pair of drug cases, as well as riding his old bike into a Walmart and riding out with a new one while claiming it was okay because he was a police officer. He isn’t, and it wasn’t.

Greensboro NC drivers complain about a bike rider who was allegedly weaving in and out of traffic, blocking and hitting cars while harassing their drivers; police were unable to find him after getting a single complaint.

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Local

In news that would have been unbelievable just a few years ago, the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills adopts Complete Streets as a “high-level concept,” though just what that will mean on the streets will need to be fleshed out. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

 

State

California police organizations teamed with the ACLU to gut proposals for automated speed enforcement to help keep our roads deadly. SB 735, which called for legalizing speed cams in school zones, was amended to death, while AB 550, which would allow speed cams in high crash zones, survives for now, albeit in a reduced form.

Grab your bike for a 13-mile self-guided scavenger hunt through Solana Beach next month.

A pair of Santa Barbara residents complain about the city’s recently approved Westside bike lane project, arguing that it will create a traffic nightmare in their Eastside neighborhood.

A Palo Alto writer says bike routes should be safe routes, but too often aren’t.

 

National

Nice to see the national GOP fighting for the rights of drivers to use their cars as weapons to run over any protesters that happen to get in their way. Because evidently, there’s just not enough traffic violence in American politics.

Brompton is recalling its ebikes in the US to fix a bug that can keep the e-assist going even when you’re not pedaling.

A writer for Outside sings the praises of the humble handlebar bag.

Road Bike Action lists nine essential skills every bike rider needs to master. Actually, some of these only apply to roadies, and only if you plan to ride in a group. Unless maybe you plan to bump cruiser bike riders on the beach bike path.

Portland takes a whimsical approach to bike lane markers.

A Billings, Montana writer discusses the joys of early season bike riding in Yellowstone National Park, as long as you dress in layers and watch out for bison, goose and elk poop.

Wannabe bike thieves drove a truck into the front of a Denver ebike shop, causing $100,000 in damages to the store and bicycles, without getting away with anything.

An op-ed from an Iowa paper says bike licensing laws are rarely enforced, but can lead to over policing, as we saw in New Jersey last week.

A Texas father complains that the drunk driver who killed his bike-riding son may escape jail time, due to a plea deal in the works.

After initially cancelling their annual Christmas bike giveaway, Fayetteville, Arkansas’ Bicycle Man organization donated 1,000 bikes to local kids; the group has given away over 27,000 bicycles since starting in a couple’s backyard 31 years ago.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Kentucky man faces a DUI charge in Wisconsin after he was found sleeping in his car with the engine running; this is his fifth DUI in four different states. The law has to be changed to make drunk and drugged driving offenses follow drivers from state to state, so they can’t escape prosecution for multiple violations.

Chicago students honored a military family by giving their kids new bicycles.

No surprise here, as a New Jersey professor says that Black and brown bike riders too often bear the brunt of police enforcement, with minor traffic violations used as a pretext to stop and interrogate them. Meanwhile, Bloomberg examines the problem of racial profiling and discriminatory enforcement of bike registration laws.

Florida clarifies its three-foot passing law to say drivers must pass at a safe distance of at least three feet, or safely follow a bike rider or pedestrian until they can.

 

International

Bicycling says Baja is a mountain biking paradise, and one of bicycling’s best kept secrets. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A folding military bicycle has come home to Canada, nearly 80 years after a Canadian soldier gave it to a French boy after landing in Normandy, who passed it down to his daughter.

Crossdressing British comedian Eddie Izzard is one of us.

Bikes can take you anywhere. Even to the cemetery of a 920-year old Northumbrian church, where the father of the UK’s National Health Service rests, along with a leading WWII-era British Nazi and, briefly, half of his best-selling author son.

An Indian man discusses watching the liberalization of Calcutta from the seat of his bike, as well as using it for collective ganja runs in college.

Bikeshare comes to Jerusalem, with 120 ebikes and 80 standard bikes at 25 stations across the city. Let’s hope that’s just a start, because 200 bike won’t go very far.

Dubai police stop a company worker for carrying the equivalent of nearly $275,000 on his bicycle in a plastic bag, insisting he put himself at risk of robbery by not transporting it in a car. Because people in cars never get robbed, right?

Even Nairobi is outstripping Los Angeles, with plans to invest 1.47 billion Kenyan shillings in new bikeways and walkways outside of the city center, although that converts to just $13.5 million. But as Stormin’ Norman points out in forwarding the story, the average Kenyan consumes just 2% of the resources of the average American, so that figure is a lot higher in context.

A writer for Outside says no, you probably can’t Everest Mt. Everest, because of that whole certain death thing.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar claimed his first one-day classic by out-sprinting world champion Julian Alaphilippe to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday. Meanwhile, Dutch cyclist Demi Vollering sprinted past Annemiek van Vleuten to win the women’s race.

Like father — and grandfather and uncle — like son, as an Irish man takes up the family tradition as an Olympic hopeful cyclist, while his brother goes his own way as a pro soccer player.

 

Finally…

As long as you’re riding across the country, might as well stop for a half-marathon along the way. Is that a pruning saw in your pocket, or are you just happy to be riding your bike?

And why walk down the aisle when you can ride in style?

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Thanks to John H and Megan L for their generous, and unexpected, donations to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Man killed in collision riding bike across Hwy 163 in San Diego’s Balboa Park Wednesday night

Let’s start with the fact that cars don’t belong in parks.

Let alone major highways bisecting one of Southern California’s most iconic public spaces.

Yet that’s the situation in San Diego, where multi-lane State Route 163 runs directly through the 1,200-acre Balboa Park.

Wednesday night, it cost a man his life.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a man was riding his bicycle across the southbound lane of the 163 just south of the Cabrillo Bridge when he was struck by a 63-year old driver around 9:05 pm.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

The victim, who was not publicly identified, was reportedly trying to cross from the center divider to the right shoulder. There’s no word on why he was crossing where he did, rather than use the nearby bridge.

This is at least the 21st 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 all his loved ones.

San Diego woman critical after hit-and-run, more on Biking While Black arrest, and CA Stop as Yield Bill up for vote tomorrow

San Diego police are looking for the heartless coward who left a 39-year old woman with life threatening injuries.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding her bike on Ingraham Street near Fortuna Avenue when the driver ran her down from behind Monday night.

The suspect was driving a dark colored, four-door SUV with front-end damage; anyone with information is urged to call the SDPD’s Traffic Division at 858/495-7805.

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More details on the video of a several white cops confiscating bikes from a group of teenage riders — all of whom were people of color — and arresting a young Black bicyclist for the crime of not having a bike license or lights.

In broad daylight, no less.

No, seriously.

A longer video show the events leading up to the arrest in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, where a group of teens were popping wheelies and riding salmon through traffic.

Officers were able to corner several riders who broke away from the main mass of riders, leading them to confiscate four bikes that didn’t have the city’s required bike license. Even though they were initially promised their bikes wouldn’t be taken.

The Black teen was arrested for refusing to turn over his bike.

Even though it’s highly questionable whether police have the right to confiscate bicycles for a simple infraction — let alone arrest someone for what amounts to a ticketable traffic offense.

Especially if the kids are from out of town, since a city’s licensing requirement can’t be enforced against nonresidents.

And even though licensing laws, like helmet laws, are too often enforced against people of color, often as a pretext for an otherwise illegal search.

Fortunately, the cops came to their senses and returned the bikes a few hours later, as well as releasing the young man who’d been arrested.

The head of the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU offered this take on the incident.

He added these thoughts in a later statement.

“The incident in Perth Amboy is an example of the kind of excessive criminalization that invites selective enforcement by police officers,” Sinha told NJ Advance Media. “Black and brown people are targeted and racially profiled for normal activities like riding bikes, walking down the street, or driving a car.”

“No one should be threatened with arrest or have their bike confiscated just for riding down the street rather than the sidewalk,” he added. “And we should be alarmed when police use their authority to brand normal behavior as crimes.”

Which pretty well sums up this whole sad affair of Biking While Black or Brown.

And yes, the whole damn thing could have been handled better.

Hopefully it will be, since a county prosecutor is looking into the complaint filed by the ACLU.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Thanks to Al Williams for his help in identifying the location of the first video yesterday.

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It’s time to weigh in on California’s proposed Safety Stop Bill, aka the Idaho Stop Law, that would allow bike riders to legally treat stop signs as yields.

Which is exactly what many, if not most, of us already do.

Bike Talk recently discussed the bill with Burbank Assembly Woman Laura Friedman.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s state senate just passed a similar bill, which will now go back to the state house for final approval.

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Also tomorrow, take a moment to voice your support for neighborhood greenways in Pasadena.

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Florida just legalized vehicular homicide if someone you disagree with politically blocks the roadway.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Megan Lynch also forwards video of Portland bike cops violently attacking a man on a bike who tried to ride through a small group of protestors, and using their bikes to push back the other people.

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

Apparently, someone in New York’s Greenpoint neighborhood doesn’t like Open Streets, using a fake Amazon van to steal several barricades and toss them in a nearby Superfund site. Fortunately, community volunteers were able to rescue them from the water.

A wealthy British corporate director will spend the next six months behind bars for pushing a man off his bicycle while walking in a park, resulting in five broken ribs, while his wife got a small fine for lying to police about who did it.

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

A San Diego man rode off on a bike after snatching a duck from a community pond and stuffing it in his backpack.

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Local

A UCLA professor is using art to promote bicycling, working with the LACBC and the school’s Luskin School of Public Affairs to create interactive, digital murals that “will simultaneously connect commuters, create safe routes around the city, and allow everyone to contribute to a work of public art.”

LA County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the shooting death of a man in Huntington Park; he was found next to a bicycle, but they aren’t sure if he or his killer was riding it.

 

State

A 15-year old Rio Lindo girl is recovering from a horrific hit-and-run after a driver dragged her under his truck; to make matters worse, they know who was driving the truck, yet he still hasn’t been charged with the crime.

The owner of a Fresno bike shop is frustrated after thieves break in for the third time in less than a year, taking three bikes worth $1,500 in the latest burglary.

A memorial service with an optional bike ride will be held next month for 86-year old Joe Shami, known as the Legend of Mount Diablo, after he was killed in a collision with an SUV driver; the much-loved Shami earned fame and fans by riding up the Bay Area mountain at least once a week for 615 consecutive weeks.

Manteca removed its bicycle licensing requirement, but is keeping a ban on sidewalk riding.

UC Davis is teaming with the city to reimagine Russel Boulevard, the busy thoroughfare that forms the northern border of the campus; the street carries 8,000 bike riders and 13,000 transit users each day, topping the daily 20,000 motorists that use the street.

 

National

The Bike League is offering 40 League Cycling Instructor scholarships for riders who are Black, Indigenous or people of color.

A Canadian Olympic cycling team hopeful wants help getting her bike back, after it was stolen from a convenience store while training in Tucson.

An Iowa public radio station talks with a student in the University of Iowa’s Medical Scientist Training Program about how he overcame a near-fatal bicycling crash.

In an unusual twist, a New York State pedestrian was ticketed for walking on the wrong side of the street after dark when a 63-year old bike rider slammed into him from behind; the pedestrian was apparently uninjured, but the woman on the bike suffered a serious head injury.

Ocean City NJ is planning to crackdown on teen “bike gangs” they accuse of menacing the city’s boardwalk.

A Savannah, Georgia woman says some of the happiest, most liberated people she knows ride bikes. No argument here.

 

International

Road.cc considers the best ti bikes, starting at a relatively low $1,700.

Cycling Tips finds what they call the silliest bike campaign on Kickstarter, a low-end carbon fiber mountain bike that appears to have been cobbled together using spare parts from Alibaba, China’s ubiquitous Amazon equivalent.

You’ve got to be kidding. An English city council member is accused of insulting overly sensitive Covid victims by saying that scrapping a temporary bike lane would be a tragedy.

Ireland’s Image magazine suggests several cute women’s outfits for your next bike ride. The outfits are cute, not necessarily the women wearing them. Although they might be, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

A trio of Ventura County TV stations offer an introduction to Ayesha McGowan, the first Black American women’s pro cyclist.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the coronavirus pandemic means you’ll have to ride naked by yourself. Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson is one of us, too.

And at last, a solution for the age old problem of never having a speed bump when and where you really need one.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Cost of traffic violence — 3 killed in SD crash, air better worldwide in pandemic, and bike quotes to get you riding

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Yesterday’s rains drove even more people than usual living on the streets to a San Diego underpass Sunday night, because they had nowhere else to go to seek shelter from the storm.

They paid for it with their lives the following morning when an allegedly impaired driver plowed onto the sidewalk, killing three people and injuring six others, two critically.

Seventy-one-year old Craig Voss arrested for three counts of vehicular manslaughter, as well as five counts of causing great bodily injury while committing a felony, and one count of felony DUI for driving under the influence of drugs.

Police believe Voss was the subject of a call to 911 shortly before the crash reporting a possibly intoxicated driver.

But at least he remained at the scene and attempted to aid the victims.

Beyond the sheer tragedy of three more innocent victims sacrificed on the alter to motor vehicles, it’s heartbreaking that so many people who’ve already lost everything and have to live without a roof over their heads — for whatever reason — aren’t safe along the streets they’re forced to live on.

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One more sign of the damage done by motor vehicles.

Air quality improved in 84% of country’s worldwide when pandemic lockdowns forced many people to stop driving.

An improvement that will undoubtedly be reversed once businesses open back up and people go back to work.

Especially in places like Los Angeles, where so little was done during the closures to encourage more bike riding, walking and other forms of alternative transportation.

That compares to cities throughout Europe, which are doubling down on their successful efforts to encourage bicycling as a safe form of socially distanced transportation, with 600 miles of “cycle lanes, traffic-calming measures and car-free streets” installed over the last year.

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Parade Magazine, of all sources, dishes up 50 bicycling quotes to inspire you to get out and ride, including these —

“Everyone in their life has his own particular way of expressing life’s purpose – the lawyer his eloquence, the painter his palette, and the man of letters his pen from which the quick words of his story flow. I have my bicycle.” – Gino Bartali

“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to” – Dr. K.K. Doty

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” Elizabeth West

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The good news is the city continues to improve safety for bicyclists in DTLA.

The bad is it seems to come at the expense of the rest of the city.

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Invest a short 20 seconds of your life to understand the freedom a bike can give someone with a disability.

And how easy it is to take it away.

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I want to be like him when I grow up.

A 77-year old Arizona man turned down his daughter’s offer to take him by car, and rode his bike nearly 50 miles roundtrip to get his Covid vaccine shot.

Although that might be trumped by a much shorter ride from a much older Dutch woman.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver with a history of violence walked without a single lousy day behind bars when a judge gave him a suspended sentence for assaulting a young couple who had stopped to fix a flat, first punching the man before knocking the woman down and stomping on her head. Seriously, what the hell are jails for, then?

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Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold a virtual joint meeting of the Planning and Bikeways Engineering Subcommittees starting at 1 pm this afternoon.

Spectrum News 1 looks at what’s driving pedaling the ebike boom.

 

State

Cooler heads prevail in Santa Barbara, where police reject calls to arrest young bike riders — primarily people of color — for riding bikes and performing stunts on the newly installed bike lane on the city’s State Street pedestrian plaza, with police saying they don’t want to “criminalize children for riding bikes.”

The good guys finally won one for a change, as police busted a pair of burglars who broke into a Larkspur bike shop and temporarily made off with seven bikes worth $29,000, after the owner spotted them inside his store on a live security cam.

Napa’s proposed new general plan envisions making the city’s main streets more walkable and bikeable.

 

National

Planetizen says ending traffic fatalities once and for all isn’t as farfetched as it seems.

That’s more like it. A Nogales AZ man will spend the next seven and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, while he was stoned on meth.

In an unusual move, dozens of volunteers teamed with Houston planning and public works officials to paint a new high-comfort popup bike lane. Maybe that could be a model for Los Angeles to finally end the auto-centric stasis on our streets.

Nine of the 21 candidates for a Queens city council seat took part in a bike ride through the district to examine problems and policies before the upcoming election. For years, the LACBC’s candidate surveys asked people running for city offices if they’d be willing to meet or ride with bicyclists if they were elected; even though most agreed, no one ever asked them to.

If you find yourself riding a bike in New Jersey, keep your hands on the handlebars and your feet on the pedals. And put a damn bell on it.

Biking is booming in the City of Brotherly Love, too.

A Virginia op-ed calls for lowering speed limits to 15 mph to save lives. Although here in Southern California, a 15 mph speed limit means most drivers would still do 25 to 30 mph. But at least that would be an improvement for most drivers, who currently do 35 to 45 in a 25 mph residential zone.

That’s more like it. A North Carolina man got 33 to 49 months behind bars for the November hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

Nice move from bikemaker Subrosa, which gave a new bike to a 15-year old Florida boy whose bicycle was destroyed in a hit-and-run crash; the company teamed with Adventure Cycling to give him the first bike from next year’s line, ensuring it will be a one-of-a-kind bike for the next several months.

Bike riders often spot things drivers don’t. Like a body lying near a Florida bike path, for instance.

 

International

Cyclist celebrates world bicycle speed record holder Denise Mueller-Korenek as Monday’s inspirational woman.

Gates Carbon Drive promotes a half-dozen new bikes using the company’s belt-drive products.

A neurodivergent Saskatoon, Saskatchewan kid will get a $3,500 adaptive bike back, after a bike thief was busted when he listed the unique bike for sale online.

A Mexico City woman is forging her own way in the traditionally male-dominated custom bicycle scene as the owner of the city’s only woman-run bike shop.

Damn straight. An English op-ed calls for trusting the experts when it comes to bicycling and traffic planning.

Germany’s Rose Bikes joined ranks with Commencal, Propain, Santa Cruz and other bike brands in announcing price increases due to rising costs caused by the pandemic.

Apparently, things are pretty much the same everywhere, as drivers continue to park in Philippine bike lanes, with most of the scofflaw vehicles belong to the government.

Remarkably, an Aussie bike rider was able to bounce back up when a dash cam video catches him in a frightening crash while trying to ride across a street.

 

Competitive Cycling

Writing for Red Bull, bike scribe Peter Flax profiles multi-time national champ and L39ion of Los Angeles (pronounced “legion”) founder Justin Williams, and his drive to drag cycling into the age of diversity, kicking and screaming if he has to.

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar continues to hold the lead after the penultimate stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race, with Danish cyclist Mads Würtz Schmidt claiming his first WorldTour stage win.

British barrister and time trial specialist Jonathan Parker claims to have shattered the world record for 100 miles, checking in a slant two seconds under two hours and fifty minutes, beating the existing record by eight minutes.

UCI pulled the plug on the season opening Mountain Bike World Cup downhill race after Slovenian health officials urged them to reschedule due to the ongoing pandemic.

A 16-year old Georgia boy’s only goal was to finish the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race; instead, he somehow managed to finish third.

 

Finally…

Turn your body into a mini-electric generator when you ride. Another reminder why your bike should sleep indoors, especially during a massive winter storm.

And maybe this will get drivers to give you a little space.

https://twitter.com/svblxyz/status/1371401312177377280

………

Apropos of that aforementioned winter storm, I love this image from my home state, where the snow is nearly one corgi deep.

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for the laugh.

………

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

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