Tag Archive for Santa Monica

Secrecy in Ethan Boyes death, DEA agent killed Oregon bike rider, and dangerous conditions on new SaMo bike lanes

My apologies if you received an incomplete, premature version of this post, after I inadvertently hit the Post button.

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Two month’s later, the driver who killed Master’s cycling champ and world record holder Ethan Boyes in San Francisco’s Presidio National Park has still not been identified.

And federal officials are being unusually tight-lipped about the case.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a medical examiner’s report obtained through a public records request shows officials suspected his killer was under the influence at the time of the crash.

But there’s no word on whether the driver was tested, or whether he or she has been or will be charged with a crime.

The story also confirms that Boyes was wearing a helmet, which was shattered by the force of the impact, and that he died of multiple head and body injuries, suggesting he was hit at a high rate of speed.

Yet the ongoing secrecy raises inevitable questions of just who the driver was, and why the government is taking so long to release any information.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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Speaking of federal coverups, officials in Salem, Oregon kept in close contact with officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration after one of their agents killed Salem, Oregon woman as she rode her bike in March.

The local police went so far as to allow officials with the DEA to review a press release before it was given to the media, and secretly forwarded photographic evidence to the DEA.

Yet officials kept information about the crash from the public, despite appearing to be an open book to the feds, even though it was their own employee who was under investigation.

While there’s a case to be made for allowing the DEA to keep the identity of an agent under wraps, any further involvement in the investigation would in inappropriate under any circumstances.

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Mitchell Guzik writes to warn bike riders of dangerous conditions on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica, after he took a bad fall when he struck a newly installed curb, saying construction work that closed the bike lane means there’s no safe place to ride.

The street recently received a new curb protecting the two-way bike lane, but it doesn’t do any good if the bike lane is closed.

Although Guzik reports some people were riding in the closed bike lane anyway.

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The West Hollywood Bike Coalition will hold its monthly meeting tomorrow.

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

No bias here. A news site lists the dangers of ebikes, including a lack of licensing and registration, implying that they somehow should be.

No bias here, either. A La Jolla website suggests Encinitas residents are up in arms over the removal of parking spaces near Swami’s Beach to build bike paths and a walkway on the Coast Highway — even though the project actually adds 50 spaces a short walk away.

Australian bicyclists aren’t the least bike surprised by new research showing drivers see people wearing bike helmets and spandex as less than human. Thanks to Geri for the heads-up.

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

A London bike rider needed extensive surgery for a broken jaw after he crashed into a young girl walking in a crosswalk — not because he was injured in the crash, but because someone walked up to him afterwards and punched him in the face.

Several British bike riders were charged the equivalent of $625 in fines and fees after illegally riding their bikes through a pedestrian zone.

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Local 

Torrance has backed out of an agreement with Redondo Beach to build a network of bike paths throughout South Bay, after receiving opposition to a plan for a short connector bike path on Diamond Street, which will now stop at the city limit between the two cities.

 

State

Sadly, no surprise here, as Black residents of San Diego are four times more likely to be stopped by police while walking or biking as white people.

San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are looking forward to the arrival of over 2,000 bicyclists later this week participating in the annual AIDS/LifeCycle fundraising ride between San Francisco and Los Angeles; the ride is raising $11.7 million for HIV and AIDS services in the two cities.

This is who we share the road with. A Bay Area man faces multiple charges for a South Bay crime rampage that included a series of carjackings, stabbings and deadly collisions across several cities and neighborhoods, leaving three people dead and five others injured.

 

National

PeopleForBikes offers the second part of a three-part series on the 15 best arguments to advocate for bikes and counteract anti-bike lane activists at your next public meeting; you can read part one here, while part three will be released tomorrow.

It could be a good time to shop for a bike, as American bike shops face a glut of bicycles as demand softens, except for gravel bikes and ebikes. Meanwhile, Axios offers advice on how to pick the right ebike with your rebate, assuming you can get one.

It turns out it was kindhearted Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Terron Armstead who donated a $5,500 ebike to a 14-year old St. Louis boy who walked two hours to attend his middle school graduation; the boy’s grandfather, who is raising the boy and his five siblings after their mother died, also received a new minivan from a local car dealer.

This is who we share the road with, too. A Missouri woman faces charges for the stoned crash that killed four motorcyclists on Saturday, including a 17-year old girl, when she jumped the center line and hit a group of ten motorcycle riders head-on after taking several anti-psychotic meds just hours before the crash.

A 15-year old Chicago boy took the stand to testify against a former police sergeant accused of pinning him down after falsely accusing him of stealing a bicycle.

A 26-year old man faces charges after swerving into a group of pedestrians and bike riders in New York’s Gramercy Park while allegedly under the influence, killing a 23-year old man and injuring three other people, one critically, while destroying two ebikes; the driver had a blood alcohol level of .08, just over the legal limit.

After Raleigh, North Carolina’s self-proclaimed “No-Hands King” disappeared from the streets, a reporter discovers he was busted for selling a half ounce of crack cocaine out of the back of his SUV; he was famed locally for riding shirtless, with nor hands, on one wheel of a cruiser bike festooned with American flags.

 

International

British Columbia’s new ebike rebate program received 12,000 applications within the first 24 hours; only the first 4,000 people with get a rebate now, while the other 8,000 will be waitlisted.

Unbelievable. Life is cheap in New Brunswick, Canada, where a 25-year old woman was sentenced to one year home vacation detention for the hit-and-run death of a 62-year old man — but she can leave home for work or school, to care for her daughter or go to medical appointments, or just run errands for four hours every Saturday. Meanwhile, her victim received the death penalty for the crime of riding a bicycle.

English bicyclists planned to take over all lanes of a major highway to demand a separate bikeway between two towns, while asking participants to leave their Lycra at home to demonstrate that the purpose of the bikeway would be for transportation, not for sport.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 26-year old driver won’t spend a day behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that left a 10-year old girl with serious injuries when he jumped a red light, and slammed into her as she rode her bike home — and faced the equivalent of just over $1,100 in restitution.

Britain bikemaker and online retailer Planet X is going belly up, and will be dissolved in the country’s equivalent to bankruptcy court.

A British three-time cycling world record holder plans a 3,000-mile ride around the circumference of the country on a handmade bamboo bike to call attention to the climate crisis.

Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety agency recommended that residents of the country cope with rising gas prices by taking to their bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Danish triathlete relates what happened in the crash that killed a race moto driver during a German Ironman last weekend, explaining the victim hit a triathlete head-on in a section where competitors where riding in both directions on the roadway at speeds up to 30 mph.

The Netherland’s Mathieu van der Poel returns to racing after a two-month layoff, with plans to compete in the Tour de France, and both road and mountain biking at the world championships.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to lead cops on a bike chase when you’re already wanted to failing to appear. When you’re riding your ebike carrying a meth pipe, it may not be the best idea to lead cops on a chase after threatening people with a knife.

And it’s definitely not the best idea to lead police on a wild two-and-a-half minute bicycle chase, before dropping your bike and violently confronting officers.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Guns versus cars, NIMBYs want to ban beach bike bridge in park named for late bike advocate, and SaMo anti-bike bias

Thank you everyone for the kind comments. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me. 

I’d like to say I’m better now, but my blood sugar is still more reminiscent of a ballistic missile than a placid stream. And my mental state is still swirling around the drain, in part due to my health issues, and in part due too many stories like the ones below. 

The former should get a boost when I see my doctor this week, and impress on her the need for more urgent and aggressive action; the latter should improve once the former does.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t count on the health of our streets getting better anytime soon. Or our society, for that matter.

Now let’s catch up on a little news. 

I’ve lost track of who sent me what over the last week, so let me just apologize in advance and thank everyone who sent me something.

And I’ll try to do better next time. 

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This is who we share the road with.

On Saturday, an alleged rightwing extremist stepped out of a car in Allen, Texas armed with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing eight people and injuring at least seven others, before he was killed by a police officer.

The next day, a speeding driver plowed into a crowd of migrants standing outside a homeless shelter in Brownsville, Texas, killing eight people and injuring at least eleven others, in a crash witnesses allege was intentional.

If there is a difference between these two events, it appears to be one without distinction.

The body count is remarkably similar; the only difference is the choice of weapon, and the only question is one of intent. Which something tells me matters not one wit to the victims or their loved ones.

We will continue to fail as a nation, and a society, until we take comprehensive action to rein in guns and cars, and the out-of-control people in possession of both.

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George Wolfberg, right, talks with LA County’s Kristofor Norberg.

I received an email from a friend who lives in the Pacific Palisades area while I was out of commission last week.

She writes that a new park in Potrero Canyon has been named after our mutual friend George Wolfberg, a lifelong civic advocate and volunteer who fought for better beach bike paths, bike lanes and other safety facilities to help Angelenos bike more and drive less, both for cleaner air and to combat climate change, and just for the sheer joy of riding a bike.

George worked on what will now be known as George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon for over 30 years, part of his larger vision of an interconnected Los Angeles.

What he envisioned was a park that would be open to all of the public, an oasis for recreation and beauty, in a fully sustainable environment of coastal native plants, while a restored riparian water capture system would protect the canyon.

Sadly, though, George didn’t live to see the park he worked for decades to build, passing away three years ago at age 82.

And taking nearly eight decades of civic pride and advocacy with him.

But more than just a park, George envisioned a bikeway that would safely allow average people to ride from downtown Pacific Palisades, through the park and across a bridge to the beach, as well as connecting to the bike path to take riders south to the Metro Expo (E) Line in Santa Monica, or even further to Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes.

The final step seemed to be when Senator Ben Allen and others earmarked $11 million for the bridge and bikeway,

But as we’ve seen too often in the past, someone always seems to step in at the last minute to throw a wrench in the whole thing.

In this case, it’s a group of wealthy NIMBY homeowners who bizarrely don’t want bikes of any kind to besmirch a park honoring a lifelong bike advocate.

Here’s how she described it.

HOWEVER, there is a group of homeowners in the Palisades with homes on or near the rim of the park who have been very vocal about not wanting any bicycles or any type or e-bikes to be allowed in the park (which goes against what the community came to agreement upon years ago). They are making a lot of noise and asking to return the funds and cancel the bridge.

  • Even though the Coastal Development Permit for the Potrero Canyon Park requires access to the beach;
  • The Recreation and Park Board of Commissioners’ approval for the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon envisions a bridge access across PCH to the beach parking lot;
  • A bridge would provide safe passage across PCH rather than the danger of people trying to cross through the traffic on foot;
  • The bridge is also something that Caltrans supports (and it does not support adding a crosswalk or light at that location).

Yes, they want to cancel an already funded, and potentially life-saving, bike project.

Where have we heard that before?

But here’s the problem.

Because it was assumed that this was moving forward and funds were set aside, elected officials are only hearing from people opposed to the project, and not from anyone advocating FOR the bridge.

To complicate matters, supporters of the project only learned about the opposition last Wednesday, while the vote is set for this Wednesday, May 10.

Which means if you want a bike path and connectivity to the beach via a safe bridge over PCH, you need to speak up now.

No, now.

Email your support to the following California state senators today —

I’m counting on you.

Because banishing bikes from a park named for one of their biggest advocates would be this city’s ultimate bike fail.

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Speaking of NIMBYs, a group of motorists are once again raising their anti-bike heads to demand the removal of a SoCal bikeway, this time Santa Monica’s new 17th Street bikeway project.

And once again, they are arguing that a Complete Streets project designed to improve safety for everyone somehow makes them less safe for people in motor vehicles.

Which is just a socially acceptable way of saying they don’t want to be inconvenienced, and are willing to risk sacrificing human lives for their God-given right to go zoom! zoom! to their hearts content.

You can sign a free petition thanking the Santa Monica City Council and Mobility Division for the project, and expressing your appreciation for their work to make our streets safer.

Meanwhile, a new video explains how Santa Monica is turning into Amsterdam. And as you’d expect, drawing more people on bikes.

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Streetsblog spots new and improved bike infrastructure in Silver Lake, after motorists managed to destructively dismantle the previous effort.

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Streets For All will host a virtual happy hour with special guest CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez on Wednesday.

After all, anyone who could get “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo off the city council deserves all the support she can get.

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Mark your calendars for SoCal’s largest Pride ride on June 3rd.

https://twitter.com/CulverCityPride/status/1653863048577445888

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Speaking of Culver City, drop in for a Bike Month Handlebar Happy Hour this Friday.

https://twitter.com/Atticuz85/status/1653991731980034049

Meanwhile, LA’s Bike Week is next week, while Bike Day — formerly known as Bike to Work Day — will be Thursday, May 18th; Streetsblog offers an overview of Bike Month in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

And Santa Clarita is hosting its annual Bike to Work Challenge next week, as well.

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Gravel Bike California grinds it out in the Cleveland National Forest. Which, oddly, is nowhere near Cleveland, thankfully.

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Count on former Talking Heads frontman and bike advocate David Byrne to make a statement in white at the Met Gala.

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God only knows how many times I’ve been tempted to do exactly this.

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Who needs bike shorts, when you can just ride naked like Aquaman star Jason Momoa?

Although most bike riders don’t have that little bottle to follow us around.

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

Good question. A Montana writer wants to know when bicycle safety became a partisan issue.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the British hit-and-run bicyclist who left a two-year old boy lying in the street, after hitting him hard enough to knock the kid out of his shoes.

A Nairobi man faces charges after he was stopped while riding the bicycle he allegedly stole during a violent robbery of the bike’s original owner; his alleged accomplices are still at large.

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Local 

LA Times Letters Editor Paul Thornton writes about the whiplash of Culver City caving to car culture, while other cities, like Alhambra, are resisting it; he also said Culver City’s ill-advised move made it a horrible week for ‘climate friendly’ cities. 

LAist explains how you can get involved in reshaping the size and structure of the Los Angeles City Council.

 

State

Calbike is asking you to email the California State Senate and the Senate Budget Committee to demand that California policymakers to “divest from regressive road-building” and invest $10 billion in Complete Streets and California’s transportation future. Works for me.

California saw a whopping 10% increase in pedestrian deaths last year, with a pedestrian fatality rate of 1.29 deaths per 100,000 people — a full 25% above the national average.

This is who we share the road with, too. A Corona man was found guilty of killing three teenagers, and critically injuring three others, when he ran their car off the road and into a tree, for the crime of playing Ding Dong Ditch and speeding off after mooning him.

The executive director of Bike SD says San Diego’s decision to widen SR-56 simply prioritizes short-term convenience over long-term sustainability.

San Diego’s Vision Zero is going the wrong way, as bicycling and pedestrian deaths spike on the city’s streets.

Arguello Boulevard in San Francisco’s Presidio will get a protected bike lane, after world masters champ Ethan Boyes was killed there last month. Although as usual, the decision to improve a dangerous street only came after it was too late. 

Hundreds of people rode their bikes in the annual Davis Loopalooza, as residents tried to reclaim their city in the wake of a serial stabber who killed two people, including one who was killed as he rode his bike through a local park.

 

National

If your favorite cyclist or bike advocate now has a blue check on Twitter, there’s a good chance they didn’t ask for it, let alone want it.

American men are three times more likely to ride a bike as American women, unlike many other countries.

Pinkbike’s editors explain what bike saddles they use on their own bikes and why.

A Spokane, Washington woman is — allegedly — a two-time hit-and-run loser, charged with killing two people after getting drunk and falling asleep behind the wheel, a decade after she was convicted of fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider. Which is precisely why drivers should lose their license for life after a single hit-and-run, because they’ve shown themselves to be unwilling to obey even the most basic requirement for driving. Let alone human decency. 

The definition of chutzpah. An Arizona driver, apparently dissatisfied with the gentle caress on the wrist he received for the hit-and-run crash that killed a bike rider, appealed his conviction and sentence of less than six months behind bars and five years probation; thankfully, the appeals court politely told him to pipe down and do his time.

A Salt Lake City TV station takes advantage of Yellowstone’s annual carfree soft-opening for a bike ride through the snowy Wyoming national park.

A Pittsburgh columnist argues the city should commit to zero traffic deaths by 2035. Although as we’ve learned the hard way, it’s one thing to commit to no traffic deaths, but it’s another to get elected leaders to actually invest the money and make the hard choices to make it happen.

If you build it they will come. No surprise here, as a controversial Staten Island lane reduction and bike lanes is seeing more two-wheel traffic as the weather warms.

There’s something wrong when a longtime advocate for bikes and improving New York’s deadly streets becomes a victim of them.

New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour brought 32,000 bike riders out for a 40-mile carfree ride through the city.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. The Washington Post looks at DC’s failure to rein in dangerous drivers, as one motorist manages to run up $186,000 in unpaid traffic fines. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until its too late.

WaPo also examines the dirty underbelly of “clean” electric vehicles, and explains why free street parking could cost you thousands more in rent.

 

International

Tragic news from the UK, where former track champ and Tour of Britain director Tony Doyle died after a brief battle with cancer; he was just 64.

An Irish columnist feels unsafe on the street after arriving at her office, then returns to find her bike missing.

They get it. France will spend the equivalent of $2.21 billion to boost bicycle use over the next five years.

More proof you can carry anything on a bicycle, as a Pakistani photographer catches a street vendor with his bike overloaded with garlic.

That’s more like it. A Johannesburg taxi driver has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, after driving nearly one thousand feet — more than three football fields — with the victim trapped under his van.

 

Competitive Cycling

The home side was victorious in Sunday’s stage 2 of the Giro, as Italy’s Jonathan Milan took the day, and reigning world champ Remco Evenepoel held onto the leader’s jersey.

Dutch cyclist Martijn Tusveld survived a dramatic crash late in Sunday’s stage 2, but his bike didn’t, snapping in two when he was sent flying into a roadside barrier.

Cycling Weekly profiles four-time world champ Annemiek van Vleuten, saying Remco Evenepoel isn’t the only former soccer player to win the cycling worlds.

Conservative media was up in arms over a “biological man” winning the women’s Tour of the Gila, saying it renewed calls to ban trans women from competitive cycling. Which would only seem to matter if you ignore all the other times a trans woman didn’t win.

An Ohio woman finished the 2022 Race Across America, aka RAAM, in 11 months and seven days, completing the final 262 miles ten months after a crash into a wooden bridge left her with a broken hip.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you visit a Marin bike museum, and find your mother’s seatless bike on display. Your next bike could have brake levers poking out of the handlebars, even before you crash it.

And fortunately, this helped mitigate the trauma caused when Britain’s new figurehead not only failed to include a regiment of royal corgis in the coronation parade, but didn’t even his loyal four-foot soldiers a shoutout.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Family looks for answers in Newport Beach crash, CicLAvia rolls at tax time, and share your thoughts on CA bicycling

Let’s start with an update on Sunday’s Newport Beach crash that appeared to leave a bike rider seriously injured.

The crash, which occurred on on the west side of Newport Coast Drive just south of San Joaquin Hills Rd, resulted in an hours long road closure as police investigated.

Yesterday I heard from a lawyer for the victim’s family, who shared that he survived the impact, but remains very seriously injured and unable to communicate.

As a result, they are desperate for any information to understand what happened to their loved one.

So if you saw the crash, or have any information about it, call Pajman Jassim of Jassim Law at 619/395-2668.

And be sure to keep the victim of this crash in your thoughts or prayers, or whatever you’re comfortable with.

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Mark your calendar for the next CicLAvia in less than three weeks.

CicLAvia — Mid City meets Pico Union rolls on Sunday, April 16th, on a four-mile route along Venice and Washington boulevards between Hoover and La Brea.

California’s multiple disaster designations means the deadline to file your federal and state taxes has been extended until October 15th, so you won’t have to rush home to get your taxes forms in order for the next day.

Let’s just hope the seemingly endless series of atmospheric rivers is over by then, so we can count on a typically sunny SoCal spring morning.

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UC Berkeley’s SafeTREK program is conducting a survey about conditions facing bicyclists in the state of California.

You are invited to participate in a UC Berkeley study about the factors that make roads more or less bicycle friendly. The survey involves answering some questions about your cycling experience and then viewing and responding to short videos of bicycling on road segments. The survey takes 15-20 minutes to complete. The closing date for the survey is Friday, April 14, 2023.

Those who complete the online survey at the link below may enter a drawing to receive one of six gift cards. One $150 card, two $75 cards, and three $50 cards are available. Please encourage your peers and colleagues to complete this survey as well. Download our flyer: English | Spanish.

Click here to take the survey in English.

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Santa Monica wants to know what you think about a proposal to allow pedicabs on the beachfront bike path through the city.

https://twitter.com/santamonicacity/status/1640422227001655308

My take is the path is just too crowded as it is, particularly on weekends and summer afternoons and evenings, and adding commercial activity would just make a bad situation worse.

But maybe they could consider offering it during off-peak hours.

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Go ahead. Make my day.

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Disconnected bike lanes that don’t go anywhere don’t really help anyone, and clearly demonstrate just how little city and state officials actually care.

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Portland officials are moving quickly to address a decline in ridership by introducing a purple cartoon frog.

Yeah, that should fix everything.

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A new scientific journal will focus on research into bicycling and micromobility.

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Lady Gaga is one of us.

Although we may not want to admit it until she loses that weird whale hat.

Or maybe it’s a dolphin. Or a shark.

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

No bias here. A Toledo, Ohio bike path already under construction is on hold in a dispute over property rights next to a local country club, as the club argues it would be unsafe because an errant shot might hit a car, and the driver could crash into people on the bike path. Or maybe a unicorn might dart out of the 7th hole and stampede into bike riders on the path, which seems almost as probable. 

The bizarre war on 15-minute cities and the UK’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of Slow Streets in the US — continues, as a successful petition drive results in an independent investigation into LTNs, and calls for a referendum on implementing 15-minute cities in the country.

A writer for Bicycling describes getting buzzed by a driver while riding two abreast in Spain, and reacting by flipping the driver off and exchanging obscenities — resulting in a road rage chase as they rode uphill, followed by threats with a tire iron, folding chair and razor blade before the driver and his passenger finally calmed down. Read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you.

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

A Florida home health aide learned the hard way that if you’re going to steal a gun from your 76-year old patient, maybe don’t ride home with the gun in plain site in your bike basket.

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Local 

Streetsblog rides the newly extended parking-protected bike lanes on eastbound Venice Blvd between McLaughlin and Overland avenues. Which at least use chunkier plastic bollards that won’t actually stop a car, but look like they might.

An op-ed by former Santa Monica city manager and Los Angeles assistant mayor Rick Cole considers a historic opportunity to reunify the heart of Pasadena by reclaiming the scars left by Caltrans for the abandoned 710 Freeway stub.

We’ve mention Long Beach teenager Liam Garner’s bike ride from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina before, but didn’t know the 17-year old didn’t even tell his dad he was going until he was already on the road.

 

State

San Diego residents took advantage of a rare opportunity to ride their bikes on the closed SR-15 Freeway.

Santa Barbara continues to extend its bike network, building a series of bike paths and bicycle friendly streets that will connect the east and west sides of the city. And unlike LA’s flimsy plastic car-ticklers, they are using actual steel bollards to protect bike riders from motorists.

This is who we share the road with. Police in San Jose arrested a suspect who allegedly fled the scene after running down a woman and her daughter as they were walking their dog; the mother and dog died at the scene, while the little girl is hospitalized.

SF Gate explains everything you need to know about the Wiggle, San Francisco’s two-mile long zig-zagging bike route that avoids the city’s infamous hills.

A Yuba County woman will spend the next ten years behind bars after accepting a plea deal in the DUI death of a 37-year old neighbor as he was riding his bike; she was trying to drive home at twice the legal limit after having multiple drinks at a local bar.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for Jalopnik says it’s not the bike lane’s fault that you’re a bad driver, and maybe people should pay attention when they drive instead of complaining about them.

Bicycling lists nine Subreddits you should follow to connect with other riders and get answers to all your bike questions. However, the article is an exclusive for Bicycling members, which doesn’t explain why it’s also available on Yahoo, as well as AOL.

The popular Colorado certified pre-owned bicycle dealership The Pro’s Closet will henceforth be known simply as TPC.

It’s a sad commentary when neighbors say crashes happen all the time at a Texas intersection where drivers ignore stop signs, leading to a motorist crashing into the bike trailer carrying a six-year old girl; fortunately, both she and her father, who was riding the bike pulling the trailer, will be okay.

A Florida man and his small dog were both killed when they were struck by a pickup driver while he was walking the dog alongside his bicycle; the dog suddenly darted into the road, pulling his bike into the traffic lane.

 

International

A Canadian website explain why mandatory bike registration and requiring bike riders to pay for our own infrastructure probably isn’t a good idea.

A Nova Scotia newspaper offers decent advice on how drivers can safely share the road with people on bicycles, although they fail to mention passing at a safe distance. But then spoil it by framing the story as “How to drive with cyclists at your bumper,” as if we all tailgate en masse.

A writer for The Guardian insists on seeing the death of a 77-year old English woman who was knocked off her bike by an angry pedestrian as nothing more than a tragic oopsie, rather than the result of a sidewalk vigilante attempting to enforce the law against sidewalk riding herself.

New bicycles, children’s bikes and ebikes are selling at discounts up to 80% in a massive online auction after a British bike distributor went belly up. But you have to live in the UK to get it.

Your next trip to Paris could feature on-demand, chauffeur-driven, covered e-pedicab service.

French composer Ernest Chausson was one of us, dying in a bicycling crash at the height of his career when he lost control of his bike on a steep hill and crashed into a brick wall in 1899.

Sad news from Italy, where famed framebuilder Ugo De Rosa passed away at the ripe old age of 89; the company will continue under his sons. Once again, read it on AOL if Bicycling blocks you

Tragic news from Bangladesh, where a man took his six-year old daughter to the hospital, and was beaten to death by ambulance drivers and Islamic militia members after he was mistaken for a bicycle thief.

A new Australian study says women just want to ride their bikes without fear or harassment, which can be addressed by building more separated bikeways.

 

Competitive Cycling

Over 1,000 high school and middle school mountain bikers will compete in the annual Granite Bay Grinder this weekend at the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area; the race returns following a three-year pandemic hiatus.

 

Finally…

It’s a lot like riding a bike on a high wire line, but a lot closer to the ground. Your next fully functional bicycle could be less than a foot high.

And that feeling when an AI bot writes a better anti-bike screed than the famed bike hater it’s imitating.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

A deep dive into an ebike tragedy, minibike rider killed in Downey hit-and-run, and driver appalled at bicyclists taking the lane

Let’s start with another deep dive from Peter Flax, who seems to specialize in finding the heart and complexities underlying our most heartrending tragedies.

Writing for Bicycling, Flax examines the solo ebike crash that took the life of 12-year old Molly Steinsapir last year, when she and a friend crashed their Rad Power bike at the bottom of a hill in Pacific Palisades, unable to stop.

The crash has led to a lawsuit by her parents against the bikemaker, Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes.

This story also begins with two preteen girls on a bicycle—to be specific, since it matters, on an electric bike made by the ascendant Rad Power Bikes. It was the final day of January 2021, on yet another balmy morning in Los Angeles. An 11-year-old named Eme Green was piloting the e-bike, and her friend Molly Steinsapir, 12, was nestled behind her on a cushioned seat intended for a second passenger. Molly and Eme were friends and neighbors, and both lived about a half mile downhill from this dramatic perch. One can imagine or at least hope that the girls felt some awe and delight up there, marveling at the expanse of earth and ocean and blue sky before them.

But then they turned that e-bike downhill and a terror unfolded. As Molly’s parents would later allege in a lawsuit, Eme could not stop the RadRunner, and the two girls crashed at high speed near the bottom of the steepest stretch of Enchanted Way. Molly, who was wearing a bike helmet, hit the pavement hard and lost consciousness.

Tragically, she would never wake up. Despite a series of increasingly desperate surgeries to address her head injuries, Molly would be pronounced dead a little more than two weeks later.

That’s the part of the story we all know, if you’ve been following the case.

But Flax uses Molly’s tragic death as a platform to examine the burgeoning ebike industry, and the boom in ebike riders of all ages.

And the seemingly inevitable crashes that follow.

This story will raise questions that don’t lend themselves to straightforward answers. Some are philosophical questions that you’ll have to ponder yourself; some are legal questions that lawyers will argue and possibly a jury will have to deliberate; and some are questions that only legislative or regulatory bodies can address. Should children be allowed to ride e-bikes? How do you balance responsibility between parents and the companies that make those bikes? Should there be significantly more proactive regulation of e-bikes by the government, given that some e-bikes may not be as safe as they should be? And in the absence of such regulation, do the companies that make and market e-bikes—particularly the companies that sell relatively inexpensive e-bikes directly to the customer—have an ethical or legal obligation to do more?

Like anything He writes, it spins an emotionally compelling tale that’s exceptionally well written. And it exposes deeper issues we all should be concerned with.

In other words, it’s well worth the few minutes of your day it will take to read it.

You can read the story on AOL if Bicycling blocks you. 

Photo by Tucă Bianca from Pexels.

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A Downey paper reports a bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run collision Sunday night.

The victim was found lying on eastbound Telegraph Road over the San Gabriel River around 10:30 pm, after multiple witnesses reported the crash.

However, according to multiple other sources, the victim was actually riding a motorized minibike, rather than a bicycle.

Which doesn’t make it one bit less tragic. Or criminal.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

………

A Santa Monica driver is unhappy to find himself behind a small group of bicyclists.

At first glance, I thought the bike riders were breaking the law by taking both lanes, before realizing that the lane to the right is actually a parking lane.  But in this case, they can legally take the full lane as long as they’re moving at the speed of traffic; otherwise they would be required to use the bike lane, which isn’t practical for a group ride.

One more reason to can California’s bike lane requirement.

Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up. 

Meanwhile, ChrisByBike offers his own example of what is unacceptable.

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The victim in Saturday’s Fullerton bike crash has been identified by family members as Robert C. Galvin.

Investigators believe he somehow rode into a the back of a parked truck with enough force to cause his death, even though a reported witness called it a hit-and-run.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little over half of the $12,000 goal.

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CicLAvia offers a reminder about the year’s first edition of what may be the country’s most popular open streets event later this month.

https://twitter.com/LADOTofficial/status/1620542911627534338

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This is what it looks like when bikes get priority, and cars are guests.

Maybe we’ll see that here someday.

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

A clearly frightened Toronto bike rider was subjected to homophobic slurs from a driver before he was run off the road; his attorney’s letter to the city’s mayor spells out what his attacker could and should have been charged with.

No bias here. A columnist on the British island of Jersey complains about a plan to encourage bicycling to cut pollution with an ebike rebate, even though he claims there’s no proof of a pollution problem. And he wants bikes to face even more stringent restrictions than cars, including a ban on bicycles in the city center.

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

An Ithaca NY bike rider learned the attempted coverup is worse than the crime when he gave cops a false name and struggled with officers after he was stropped for a traffic violation.

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Local 

No bias here. Spectrum TV’s LA Times Today discusses “the battle of ebikes on SoCal beach boardwalks.” But somehow illustrates the story with what looks like an electric motorcycle zooming along a highway.

A writer for WeHoVille wins the lottery for a free bike from the city as part of a pilot program to get more people riding. Then has second thoughts about the restrictions, including a requirement to ride a minimum of a relatively paltry 20 miles a month.

 

State

Carlsbad officials joined with the San Diego Bike Coalition to preach the mantra of bicycle safety, following the city’s two-month extension of its bicycle state of emergency.

Streetsblog talks with San Francisco bike advocate Stacey Randecker, who recently went viral — and not in a good way — after complaining about paramedics parked in a bike lane, gaining fame as the “entitled cyclist of San Francisco,” or alternately, as a bike lane Karen. And as usual, there’s another side to the story.

Sad news from the Sacramento area, where a Roseville bike rider was killed in an early morning crash after allegedly swerving in and out of the roadway in low light conditions.

 

National

Bicycling examines the eight bike skills they say every rider needs to know. Although I’d question the inclusion of drafting in that list, since only roadies who race or ride in groups really need that skill. Once again, read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you. 

Women’s Health offers ten reasons to take up cycling, though they don’t differentiate between the indoor and outdoor versions.

Houston bike advocates are raising concerns after two bike riders and a man on an e-scooter were killed in just the first month of this year.

Ohio’s Bicycle Museum of America offer three floors of bikes covering more than two centuries of history, including bicycles used by Pee Wee Herman and Robin Williams.

He gets it. A Massachusetts letter writer objects to a proposal to remove new bikes, saying the traffic congestion opponents complain about will still be there, and bike lanes meet the state’s objective to serve people with lower incomes.

A New York driver is caught on video illegally using the bus lane, and fleeing the scene after crashing into a man on a cargo bike; the cargo bike was trashed, but at least his dog is okay. Meanwhile, the UK’s Daily Mail claims he’s the same man that terrorized patrons at a New York McDonald’s with an axe last September.

That’s more like it. A Florida man will spend the next ten years behind bars after pleading no contest in the drunken death of a 73-year old woman, who lingered for eight months following the crash.

 

International

That explains a lot. Is anyone really surprised that a new British Columbia study shows sitting in traffic for “just” two hours is enough to cause brain damage?

A Toronto bike cop goes viral for ticketing a truck parked in a contraflow bike lane. Yet somehow, some people side with the truck driver.

A record-breaking Scottish bicyclist rode her bike for the first time since last September, after she had to learn to walk again when a hit-and-run driver broke her pelvis in four places; the driver who ran her down still hasn’t been found.

An English judge tells a 32-year old man to expect a very significant sentence  after he pled guilty at the last minute to the high-speed death of two boys sharing a bicycle.

An Amsterdam intersection saw so much bike traffic, it had to be redesigned to increase capacity while improving protection from motorists.

The Belgian city of Ghent is combining preservation with bicycling by converting a very cool unused medieval building into a public bike parking structure.

 

Competitive Cycling

A September mountain bike race with test the course for the Paris Olympics mountain bike events, with “breathtaking” views of the Eiffel Tower.

A petition drive is calling for pioneering Black world champion cyclist Major Taylor to be honored with a postage stamp and a Congressional Medal of Honor; a Hollywood movie about his life is also in the works.

Tadej Pogačar and Rafał Majka played Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine the winner in Tuesday’s stage of the Tour of Slovenia.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CoCjo7XrV3O/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=3e68acb0-17ea-4fed-8207-9323fb92edc5

 

Finally…

Evidently, it’s a short journey from selling pretzels from a three-wheeled bike to becoming a Food Network Star. Your next bike could be a 900-pound DIY pedal-powered VW Bug.

And who can argue that bicycling isn’t cool when Clark Gable was one of us, too?

With no hands, no less.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Bike rider injured in Santa Monica hit-and-run, a call to call it out when passing, and CicLAvia explains new CicLAminis

The good news is, my head did not explode.

Nor did I have it surgically removed, as tempting as it was. 

Thanks to the miracle of modern pharmaceuticals, my head is finally better, if not great, and I’m ready to get back to work. 

So let’s get to it. 

………

Let’s start with some troubling news from our longtime friend Dr. Michael Cahn, who shares what he saw in Santa Monica yesterday afternoon.

Ocean Park, close to the intersection with Marguerita Ave, I saw a cyclist down on the middle of the roadway today around 3:20 pm.

The cyclist was conscious and able to move his limbs it seems. A bystander tells me later that according to the victim a car was involved that left the victim in the roadway (hit and run). From what I understood both cyclist and car were going South. A bystander tells me that another driver (going North) identified the fugitive driver as a woman.

The position of the prone cyclist in the middle of the road makes it difficult to reconstruct the event. There is a bike lane on Ocean Avenue. I was walking in the park around that time.

Let’s hope the victim is okay, and the heartless coward who left him bleeding in the street is quickly brought to justice.

Then again, let’s just hope the Santa Monica police take it seriously.

………

I want to highlight a comment from Kate Johnson on Wednesday’s post.

Because she’s right.

Long time rider here, used to letting others know that I am coming up behind them (“Coming up behind you, passing on your left.”) and noticing that very few riders are doing that now. I can’t count the number of times I have been surprised by faster moving cyclists who pass without notice — they are trusting that I will stay in my lane, I suppose. Can’t we reintroduce this very simple way to avoid clashes? Please, people, call out “On your left!” before you pass someone, no matter if they are riding or walking!

 

If you’re not familiar with the practice, it’s longtime bike etiquette to announce when you’re passing someone.

I always do it, unless I can give the other persons at least the same three-foot margin I expect from motorists, and too often don’t get.

Her wording is also good. I find “passing on your left” is far more effective than the more common “on your left,” which can confuse people. And informing them you’re coming from behind can’t hurt.

So give it a shot on your next ride.

You might be surprised how much more pleasant it makes it for everyone.

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CicLAvia explains the new pedestrian-oriented CicLAminis scheduled for Watts and North Hollywood in May and September, respectively.

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Streets For All is hosting a public debate with five of the seven candidates who have qualified for the April special election to replace former Councilmember Nury Martinez in CD6; an eighth candidate is running a write-in campaign.

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Walk Bike Long Beach is hosting a ten-mile community bike ride tomorrow, with plans to ride north from downtown through Wrigley to Steelcraft and back.

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Both Metro Los Angeles and Metrolink are offering free transit on Saturday, February 4th — one week from tomorrow — in honor of Transit Equity Day and the birthday of civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

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

Tell me again about those entitled cyclists. Streetsblog reports that LA’s entitled drivers have dismantled the modest Vision Zero improvements on the connector road between Silver Lake Boulevard and Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown, where missing bollards have created a DIY slip lane, and the crosswalk is completely worn off. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

No bias here. A New York City councilmember has introduced a bill to ban ebikes and e-scooters until “they are registered, insured, licensed, and safe to operate, charge and store.” Never mind that cars and their operators are registered, insured and licensed, and they’re still a hell of a lot more dangerous than any ebike. 

An Irish judge cut a woman’s nearly $22,000 judgement against the country’s Motor Insurance Bureau for their failure to identify a hit-and-run driver by 20% because she wasn’t wearing a bike helmet. Even though most helmets wouldn’t have prevented the concussion she suffered. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

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

A Washington state man was arrested for robbing Home Depot at knifepoint, then leading police on a two hour bicycle chase, which included a bike and wardrobe change in a failed effort to throw them off his trail.

Life is cheap in New Hampshire, where a man was acquitted of killing a pedestrian after allegedly blowing through a red light, and not having a working rear brake; like many drivers, he claimed the victim darted out from between parked cars, and he just didn’t see him in time.

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Local 

This is who we share the road with. The LAPD has arrested 31-year old Taylor Lee Harris, accusing him of being the speeding driver who fled the scene on foot after the crash that killed a 13-year old boy and his 18-month old brother in South LA earlier this month.

The Los Angeles City Council Public Works Committee voted unanimously to end the bizarre practice of forcing developers to build brief street widenings in front of their buildings, on the off chance the street gets widened some day. And which end up being mistakenly blamed on, you guessed it, us.

BikeLA, the former LACBC, looks back at Saturday’s die-in at City Hall, while making the case for safer streets in the City of Angels; they also introduce their new YouTube channel, which doesn’t seem to have any active videos at the moment.

After graduating from high school, a Los Angeles teenager spent 527 days riding his bike from Alaska to Argentina along the Pan-American Highway; now he plans to ship his bike home and backpack back home from Argentina to LA with his girlfriend.

 

State

Well, that will solve the problem. Carlsbad is asking everyone, but especially young ebike riders, to make a public pledge to do their part to be safe on the streets. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

Sad news from eastern San Diego County, where someone riding a bicycle found a 55-year old man fatally injured in a motorcycle crash in the Anza-Borrego desert; the victim died despite efforts to revive him at the scene.

Palm Springs Life offers an insiders guide to the Coachella Valley bicycling scene ahead of the upcoming Tour de Palm Springs.

An Agoura Hills letter writer calls for approval of the city’s bike plan, saying that as a driver, better bike lanes would make her more comfortable sharing the road with bike riders.

The Carpinteria Creek Bike Path will remain closed for now due to debris and structural damage from the recent rains.

A Santa Barbara letter writer calls for approval of a proposed bike path next to Modoc Road, where he was struck by a driver five years ago; the person who hit him played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming he just didn’t see him because of the glare on his windshield.

The family of a Fresno university professor who was killed in a head-on collision with an Acura NSX while riding her bike last year is alleging in a lawsuit that the driver was racing, not one, not two, but four other drivers in a pair of Porsche 911s, a Lamborghini and a Ferrari at the time of the crash. There’s no word on whether the driver was charged, but if this is true, all five drivers should be charged with vehicular homicide, at the very least.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks how many broken limbs, life-altering injuries, and deaths is a parking spot worth, as an Alameda NIMBY sues block a Complete Streets project to preserve streetside parking.

 

National

CyclingSavvy discusses what the hell you should do at a stop sign. And no, they say coming to a full stop and putting your foot down usually isn’t it.

Bicycling examines the ongoing debate over bike helmets in the bicycling community. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Oregon’s proposed ebike rebate bill will get its first committee hearing next week; the current proposal calls for an instant rebate of up to $1,200 for a standard ebikes and $1,700 for a cargo bike.

Popular Seattle ebike brand Rad Power says mistakes were made, but they’re all better now that they have a new CEO.

Surly’s popular Big Dummy longtail cargo bike is getting some upgrades for its final year of production in 2023.

Heartbreaking story from Indiana, where a pet rescue used social media to find a new home for an orphaned Labrador retriever, after her owner was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

Accused terrorist Sayfullo Saipov was convicted of a long list of charges in the 2017 Halloween Day vehicular attack on a Manhattan bike path that killed eight people and seriously injured several others; Saipov will face a second phase to determine whether he will be executed. Although personally, I think life without parole in SuperMax is a far harsher punishment than death, which just seems like the easy way out.

He gets it. A Philadelphia man argues that penalties for hit-and-run won’t be stiff enough until they equal the the minimum sentences for homicide or manslaughter, saying he’ll never be the same after he was a victim himself.

No surprise here, as a DC website says a study shows ebike subsidies are more effective than subsidies for electric cars.

A 74-year old man who used his bike as his only form of transportation was killed in an Annapolis, Maryland hit-and-run, directly next to the site of a planned bike path; the side path was funded three years ago, but hasn’t even gotten out of the planning stage yet; sadly, he paid the price for the city’s slow pace.

A North Carolina man will spend up to 13 years behind bars after he was convicted of using his car as a weapon to kill a man riding a bicycle, after a dispute at a gaming establishment.

Tragic news from Georgia, where a bike rider whose injuries led to five other people getting hurt has died, two weeks after the other people ran out into the road to protect and pray for him when he was struck by a driver, then he was struck again by a second motorist, along with all five people surrounding him.

 

International

The Guardian looks at the rise of the 15 minute city, which is quickly gaining ground in urban planning circles. I live in a one hour city here in Hollywood, where I can walk to get most things I need, but have to spend an hour on the bus just to see the doctor. 

Bike Radar explains how building an electric motor into a cargo bike designed to carry heavy loads increases its usefulness. The magazine also offers advice on how to tell when your chain needs to be replaced, and how to prevent it. Hint: When it keeps dropping every time you shift, no matter how you adjust it, sort of like mine does these days.

Shimano has patented a wireless system to recharge electronic components while you ride.

Jalopnik points out that Amsterdam’s new $65 million underwater bicycle garage isn’t even the biggest in The Netherlands.

Leading Dutch ebike maker VanMoof nearly went belly up when it ran out of money to pay its bills at the end of last year.

Two-time defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand has once again hired a pair of bicyclists to power hydraulics as they prepare to compete in next year’s America’s Cup in Barcelona.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thirty-three-year old cycling savant Peter Sagan says this will be his last year in the road cycling peloton, as he plans to retire at the end of the season to focus on mountain biking at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In a story that American cycling fans should be able to relate to, Columbian cycling has hit hard times after the glory years of Bernal, Quintana and Lopez. But at least their hard times don’t stem from eight Tour de France titles getting yanked due to doping. 

Merced’s Hincapie Gran Fondo gravel race has postponed until next year because damage from the recent rains mean the course won’t be ready in time for the planned March date.

 

Finally…

As if SUVs are dangerous enough, now they come armored, armed and electrified. And even the Army says put a damn light on your bike, already.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

SoCal’s killer highway claims another victim, as 28-year old man killed riding on PCH in Santa Monica Thanksgiving Day

A man was killed riding on PCH in Santa Monica Thanksgiving afternoon.

Or maybe in early morning.

According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, the victim was struck by a driver while riding on Pacific Coast Highway around 4 pm, between Entrada and the California Incline.

Meanwhile, the Santa Monica Observer — which may not be the most credible source — places the time of the crash at 3:07 am the same day, on the 500 block of southbound PCH, with the victim’s body coming to rest on the sidewalk of the next block.

Although that isn’t too surprising, given the typical speeds on SoCal’s killer highway, especially at that hour.

The victim died at the scene.

Both reports indicate the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, and wasn’t suspected of being under the influence.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred.

A promotional site for lawyers identifies the victim as 28-year old Andrew Prenatt; that site also places the crash at 3:07 am.

This is at least the 75th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Which means a full third of people killed riding a bike in the seven county SoCal region have been killed in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andrew Prenatt and all his family and loved ones. 

New bike lane appears on North Figueroa, 16-year old critical after SaMo hit-and-run, and upper Ballona Creek bike path closure

Maybe we should check the weather forecast.

Because hell appears to have frozen over.

Streetsblog reports that a new painted bike lane has been installed on a .8 mile section of North Figueroa in Cypress Park.

Which wouldn’t be major news, except it’s located in the 1st Council District, where Councilmember Gil Cedillo has worked to block bike lanes since taking office nine long years ago, while keeping North Figueroa one of the deadliest corridors in Los Angeles.

Cedillo has gone so far as to ask the council to remove all proposed bike lanes in CD1 from the city’s mobility plan, arguing that the people in his district don’t ride bikes. And evidently forgetting that many people in the immigrant-rich district rely on bikes as their primary, if not only, form of transportation.

It’s not clear why the councilmember, whose opposition to safety projects earned him the moniker Roadkill Gill, had an apparent change of heart.

One clue comes from LADOT spokesperson Colin Sweeney, who notes that the new bike lanes wouldn’t inconvenience the people in cars.

L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) spokesperson Colin Sweeney wrote that “StreetsLA recently completed resurfacing on Figueroa after which LADOT restriped the street to bring it up to current standards. In this instance, restriping created space to add a bike lane to the existing configuration without impacting other road users (no impact on parking or number of travel lanes).” North Figueroa was repaved between Pasadena Avenue and the 110 Freeway.

Although neighborhood advocate Felicia G. has another, equally plausible explanation.

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Another day, another SoCal hit-and-run.

The Santa Monica Lookout reports a 16-year old girl is in critical condition, and a 29-year old man is behind bars following yet another hit-and-run collision.

The victim was injured around 2 a.m. Sunday, when Maximiliano Ramos Santiago allegedly slammed into her bike at Chelsea Ave and Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica.

Santiago was arrested at his home yesterday, and booked on charges of felony hit-and-run and driving without a license.

Which would have given him plenty of time to sober up, assuming he had been drinking, which is highly likely given the time of the crash.

Let’s hope she makes a full and fast recovery.

And that the driver who did this is held fully accountable for leaving a young woman bleeding in the street.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Santa Monica Police Investigator Evan Raleigh at 310/458-8954, or call the watch commander at 310/458-8426.

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It looks like the upper section of the Ballona Creek bike path will be out of commission for the next four and a half months.

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Local

A letter writer takes the LA Times’ Robin Abcarian to task for questioning the value of Vision Zero when, she said, eliminating traffic deaths is doomed to fail. Although that name of that letter writer seems sort of familiar.

 

State

Getting flowers by bike in San Diego.

Solano Beach has rejected a $10 million claim from the family of 75-year-old Allen Hunter II, who was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding in a painted bike lane on Highway 101 in the city last summer; filing a formal claim is the first step before filing a lawsuit, and usually gets rejected pro forma.

A letter from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider argues that Rancho Mirage can, and should, make convert Highway 111 into a real street that meets the needs of all users, rather than just the ones in cars. Exactly the same arguments apply to PCH in Malibu, as well, which should be the city’s Main Street, instead of a sewer for pass-through drivers and their cars.

Residents of a San Mateo neighborhood overwhelming oppose plans for a bike lane network, preferring preserving street parking over the safety of people on bicycles; however, people in the rest of the city support the project.

Santa Rosa police are looking for a suspected bike thief who used a fraudulent ID and credit card as security to take a $7,000 mountain bike out for a test ride, and never came back.

 

National

Streetsblog invites you to vote on the worst kind of bicycle infrastructure; among the choices are Orange County favorite painted bike lanes next to high speed roadways, and sharrows, which only exist to help drivers improve their aim and thin the herd.

The New York Times says pedestrian fatalities are spiking, due in part to a surge in reckless driving. Although it’s possible that the jump in reckless driving might just have a tiny bit to do with carmakers ads showing that’s exactly how you’re supposed to drive their damn cars.

Electrek marked Valentines Day with a look at the best ebikes designed to carry two people.

A new $15 steerer tube cap promises to secure an Apple AirTag out of sight to locate your bike if its ever stolen.

Fast Company says Peloton should have seen it coming.

Writer Mitch Albom, author of The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Stranger In the Lifeboat is one of us, making a call for people in Detroit to donate their underused bicycles for people who can’t afford a car.

A new documentary follows seven Boston women who ride their bikes through the city at night.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Pennsylvania man is still riding at 90 years old, although the area’s hills mean he does most of his riding inside. Which makes him an ideal candidate for a ped-assist ebike to get back on the road. 

Police in Virginia are looking for a 74-year old diabetic man who went missing Sunday morning while riding his bike to a friend’s house around eight miles away; his daughter says he may be in the early stages of dementia.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says friends don’t let friends buy bikes that seem too good to be true. And probably are.

Thieves cleaned out a Welsh family’s entire collection of nearly $30,000 worth of mountain bikes.

Now you, too, can ride the legendary cobbles of Flanders.

 

Competitive Cycling

A trio of pro cyclists explain how they keep their relationships from going off the rails while living a bike-centered life. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

If you can’t get it out, dissolve it. What it’s really like to be a pro cycling race photographer.

And I’ll take any excuse to see Sophia Loren on a bicycle, even if she is facing the wrong way.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1493299001520803843

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

Ride to letter of the law in SaMo today, police look for hit-and-run bike rider, and Beverly Hills cops accused of racial bias

Apologies for the short notice on this one.

You’ll want to ride to the letter of the law in Santa Monica today while the police are conducting another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation.

They’ll be looking for violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So just make sure it isn’t you.

And maybe the city can give us a little more notice next time.

Photo of green bike lane on Main Street in Santa Monica.

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Beverly Hills Police are looking for this man for questioning in a hit-and-run collision with a pedestrian.

If you know him — or if it’s you — contact the Beverly Hills Police Department at 310/550-4951. Right now, they just want to talk.

And yes, it’s still hit-and-run if you’re on a bicycle, and ride away from a collision that injures another person. So don’t do that.

Stick around and exchange information, or wait until the police arrive, just like you would in a car collision.

Because you would, right?

………

Speaking of Beverly Hills cops, the department is accused of harassing Black people on and around Rodeo Drive, according to a lawsuit filed by a Black couple visiting from Philadelphia, who were arrested for the heinous crime of riding scooters on the gilded street.

They were among the targets of a task force set up in the wake of last year’s George Floyd protests to address fraud in the high-end shopping district arrested 106 people — 105 of whom were Black.

The other man was identified as Latino.

Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Other Black people were arrested for walking outside of the crosswalk or roller skating, although the police noted that the task force did recover 13 loaded guns and seized $250,000 in cash and ill-gotten debit cards.

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Great idea. A new clamp-on attachment promises to convert a wheelchair to an e-tricycle.

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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 Purdue University website says people on bicycles break laws and create danger for drivers. Just wait until someone tells them about the dangers caused by lawbreaking drivers.

Police in Nottingham, England are looking for the driver caught on video calmly driving down a bike lane, as if it was his or her own personal traffic lane.

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

A student at LA’s Santee High School was shot in the leg following a fist fight with another student, who fled on a blue bicycle.

Police in Ventura are looking for a man who randomly attacked a woman walking on bike path near Kimball Park, after he rode his bike past her, then turned around and assaulted her for no apparent reason.

Someone is riding a bike around the Harvard University campus randomly punching male grad students.

………

Local

An op-ed in the LA Times examines why people of color are more likely to be the victims of traffic violence, both in Los Angeles and throughout the US, while noting that pedestrian deaths are up more than a third in the six years since the city adopted Vision Zero.

Metro Bike is offering free one-ride passes for Labor Day weekend, and a 30-day pass for just one dollar.

No bias here, either. A writer for Yo! Venice says now that the city has cleaned up the homeless encampments, it’s time to deal with the “scourge” of e-scooters, complaining they’re “out-of-control and everywhere.”

Pasadena approved spending $168,000 on a Slow Streets program by repurposing funds originally budgeted for the 626 Golden Streets open streets fest, but had to return another $162,000 in Metro grant money.

Mike Richards may have lost his short-lived job replacing Alex Trebek as host of Jeopardy, but he’s still one of us, riding with his family on an offroad trail in LA.

 

State

More on the passage of AB 122, which will allow California bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, assuming the governor signs it. And which overwhelmingly passed both houses of the legislature with rare bipartisan support.

Officers from the Westminster Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies finished a four-day, 630-mile to Sacramento to honor officers who died in the line of duty earlier this year.

If you were planning to spend the holiday weekend at the China Peak bike park outside Fresno, start making new plans, after it abruptly closed for the season due to the high fire risk.

Campus police at Chico State are urging students to secure their bikes with a U-lock, as bike theft increases on the campus.

 

National

They get it. The American Prospect says it’s time to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the pandemic by building back, not just better, but bike friendly, while noting that not many US cities have done that.

The Verge offers more on the groundbreaking new bike-by-wire system designed to power ped-assist ebikes without a chain or belt drive.

MSN ranks their picks for the best bike computers for all types of bicyclists. On a similar note, Forbes offers their choices for the best bike helmets for different types of riders.

A bike rider in Salt Lake City was lucky to escape with minor head injuries after he rear-ended a stopped van when his brakes apparently failed. A reminder to always check your brakes before you ride, and clean your rims to remove oil or other residue if you have rim brakes. 

Drivers in Texas could now see jail time for killing or injuring a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Now extend the law to bike lanes, and we can talk.

Chicago is installing new protected bike lanes on the “notoriously dangerous intersection” where School of Rock drummer Kevin Clark was killed while riding a bike last summer; 13 years after another bike rider was killed at the same spot. Although the “protection” is nothing more than the plastic car-tickler bendy posts that too often pass for protection in Los Angeles, and won’t actually protect anyone. 

A longtime Chicago community activist and bike and pedestrian advocate was critically injured when he as struck by an SUV driver, after he somehow “appeared in the street” as the driver was turning right. Yet another reminder that no one ever just appears out of nowhere; it’s just another way of drivers admitting that they weren’t paying attention behind the wheel.

Life is cheap in New York, where the operator of a limo company walked without a single day in jail for a “catastrophic brake failure” that killed 20 people; he’ll serve just five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service despite copping a plea to 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide.

After being feted by Forbes as one of their Under 30 honorees, the founder of Philadelphia-based folding bike helmer maker Kova by AnneeLondon shuttered the business for the sake of her mental health after struggling to keep it going during the pandemic.

A bill to officially designate the 1,300-mile 9/11 National Memorial Trail connecting the three sites of the terrorist attacks, stretching from Pennsylvania to DC, passed the US House by a unanimous vote and now awaits its fate in the Senate.

 

International

The Guardian says bikepacking is the best way to escape the crowds in Cornwall on a new 124-mile gravel trail.

Berlin is making their popup bike lanes permanent, after the city saw a 25% jump in bicycling rates during the pandemic. On the other hand, Los Angeles can’t make any popup bike lanes permanent, because they didn’t install any. And no one really knows if bike riding rates went up during the pandemic, because no one was counting.

They get it. Lebanon residents are fighting to make the country more bicycle friendly as a solution to congestion and rising fuel prices. Exactly why we should do the same thing here, especially if you add combating climate change to the equation.

Atlas Obscura looks back fondly to the golden age of bicycle noodle delivery, when workers would ride with one hand on the handlebars and the other balancing a massive stack of boxed soba noodles on their shoulder.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss road champ Marlen Reusser broke away from a six-woman breakaway to win the first day of the Challenge by La Vuelta, with SoCal sprinter Coryn Rivera finishing second; the four stage race serves as the severely truncated women’s counterpart to the 21 stage Vuelta.

Colombian Miguel Ángel López claimed a solo victory after riding away from the pack on the hors catégorie Altu d’El Gamoniteiru in Thursday’s 18th stage of the Vuelta, while Primož Roglič finished second to virtually his seal victory in this year’s race.

Sixty-year old Aussie Paralympic cycling great Carol Cooke was hospitalized with a punctured lung following a “nasty crash” with two other competitors on the rain slicked road cycling course; she’d won gold in the event five years ago in Rio.

Cyclist questions whether this year’s Tour de France was decided by the high number of crashes involving top riders.

 

Finally…

Why settle for a regular ebike when you can have a DIY part-time pneumatic tall bike? That feeling when your bird hates flying but loves riding on your handlebars.

And who needs an ebike when you’ve got rocket power?

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Thanks once again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to help support this site. Donations of any size or frequency are always welcome and appreciated. You can also help by telling your favorite local bike shop to advertise here.

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

Injured Encinitas bike advocate wins $11 million settlement, SaMo crashes drop 50%, and boring street racers into quitting

It’s the very definition of tragic irony.

In December of 2018, the executive director of advocacy group Cardiff 101 Main Street was run down by a driver while riding her bike on the sharrows on the North Coast Highway in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas.

Exactly where she had long fought for safety improvements, including a road diet and bike lanes.

Roberta Walker, a longtime bike and pedestrian advocate, and former professional snowboarder, suffered multiple catastrophic injuries that left her survival in doubt for some time after she was placed in a medically induced coma.

This week, she settled a lawsuit with Encinitas for a whopping $11 million to cover past and future medical expenses, as well as what will likely be years, if not a lifetime, of rehab.

Although something tells me she’d gladly give up every penny to avoid those injuries and have her old life back.

Her lawyer argued that the sharrows were a dangerous condition of public property and a direct cause of the crash, in which she was run down from behind by a pickup driver.

Which, sadly, is about as good a description as any for far too many sharrows.

Thankfully, that won’t be a problem much longer.

The long-awaited project began preliminary construction activities last month and features traffic calming measures, buffered bike lanes, raised medians, roundabouts and enhanced crosswalks.

“One profound irony of this accident is that Ms. Walker herself had advocated for a dedicated bike lane in multiple City Council meetings,” (plaintiffs’ attorney Ed) Susolik said.

There’s no word on whether the driver ever faced charges.

Or even got a ticket for nearly killing someone riding legally, exactly where she was supposed to be.

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Santa Monica saw a 50% drop in traffic collisions over the last year as more people stayed home during the pandemic, and a 70% reduction in drunk driving due to the closure of restaurants and bars.

The city also repurposed street parking for al fresco restaurant dining, and built another 18 miles of protected bike lanes — which equals half of all the bike lanes built in Los Angeles in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, despite being just a tiny fraction of LA’s size.

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Apparently, the Burbank Police Department plans to bore street racers into giving it up.

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Today’s common theme is a host of new bikes, e- and otherwise.

Who wouldn’t want an ebike inspired by the legendary Caroll Shelby?

When you need your powerful ebike camouflaged for hunting.

A 24-year old Irishman created a new ebike designed to replace your car, and turned to Vietnam for manufacturing.

Or maybe you’d rather have a cross between a teeny tiny car and a throttle controlled adult e-tricycle.

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

After London cop carelessly cut off a bike rider, the officer made a U-turn and came back — to lecture the guy on the bike.

It’s a sad commentary when even carfree British streets aren’t.

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

Tragic news from the UK, where a bike rider is on trial for allegedly jumping a red light and slamming into a 73-year old man walking home from work; the victim died days later as a result of severe brain injuries suffered in the crash; bicyclist turned himself in after initially fleeing the scene. Yet another reminder that pedestrians are the only people on the street who are more vulnerable than we are. So ride carefully around them, dammit. And stick around after a crash. 

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Local

LADOT is planning safety improvements to a 1.2 mile segment of San Vicente Blvd east of Beverly Hills when the street is scheduled to be repaved this June; options include a separated or parking protected bike lane.

Metro is hosting a virtual bike repair and flat fixing class this Saturday.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider was lucky to survive when he swerved suddenly to avoid a garbage truck in a parking lot, and was impaled through the neck and jaw by a hook hanging from the front of a pickup.

UC Santa Barbara talks with geography professor Trisalyn Nelson, who created BikeMaps to allow bike riders to report trouble spots after yet another too-close call on her bike.

Authorities identified the victim of Saturday’s Turlock hit-and-run as a 44-year old Turlock man; police are looking for the driver of a charcoal gray Mercedes sedan with visible damage to the front and/or side.

Streetsblog is looking for freelance help in San Francisco.

A Gold Country bike columnist says unless you make a living on it, your bike is a toy, so have fun on it. Evidently, he’s never heard of bike commuting or transportation riding. Which doesn’t mean he’s not right about the fun part.

 

National

The Verge looks at the growing DIY ebike movement, citing the birth of Rad Power Bikes as a prime example.

Tragic news from Phoenix, where a 22-year old man was collateral damage when a shootout erupted between a group of people standing in a field as he was riding by on his bike.

It may be illegal to park in a Houston bike lane now, but that doesn’t mean it actually stops anyone.

Chicago’s Goose Island beer is marking the release of their new 312 Lemonade Shandy by giving away new bicycles to anyone who can find one of 50 giant lemons hidden throughout the city on — you guessed it — March 12th, aka 3-12. And they make damn good beer, too.

The bike shortage induced by the bike boom induced by the pandemic has made its way to Bowling Green KY, home to the fighting WKU Hilltoppers.

Armed robbers are targeting New York delivery riders to steal the expensive ebikes they need to do their jobs.

 

International

The family of British motorcyclist Harry Dunn say they’re offended by an offer from American spy Anne Sacoolas to do community service for the wrong way hit-and-run that took his life, after she claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the country. Although you have to wonder about American intelligence services if they can’t figure out that Brits drive on the other side of the road.

A bike chain in the UK is facing well-deserved criticism for laying off 300 workers and shifting the rest to zero guaranteed hour contracts in an effort to slash costs, despite booming business from the bike boom.

 

Competitive Cycling

Vincenzo Nibali, who should know, says turn off those bike computers and power meters during a race and ride on instinct, like Strade Bianche winner Mathieu van der Poel.

Rouleur previews the upcoming Giro, the first of the three Grand Tours.

 

Finally…

Business up front, party in the back — a DIY mountain bike with a mullet. That feeling when the cops have you dead to rights for stealing a bike from a disabled person, and you somehow think you can do better in front of a jury.

And when you want to learn how to make a bicycle, among other things.

In Japanese.

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

Vandals attack Slow Street in Valley Village, GoFundMe raises $25k for Black Lives bicyclist, and blocking bike lanes in SaMo

It’s a blustery day in LA, and much of Southern California.

With makes it a great day to get that KOM, as long as you can keep the wind at your back. Otherwise, it could feel like riding with an anchor.

And as someone who used to deal with Colorado’s notorious Chinook winds, bear in mind that an ill-timed gust can literally blow you off your bike, or all the way across the roadway.

Or both.

So maybe you’re better off just staying home with a good book.

Photo by Anja from Pixabay.

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No bias here.

Someone clearly isn’t a fan of the Slow Streets movement, at least not in Valley Village.

Or maybe they’re just a fan of speeding cars and keeping the streets the deadly domain of dangerous drivers.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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The family of fallen Ride for Black Lives bicyclist Branden Finley call for help finding the carjacker who killed him in a hit-and-run crash in Downtown Los Angeles, as a crowdfunding page for his family raises over $25,000 the first day.

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What do you call a bike lane when it’s not a bike lane?

A loading zone.

I tried fighting that same battle on San Vicente nearly a decade ago.

It wasn’t hard to get FedEx and UPS to agree that parking in a bike lane violated their internal policies, and pinky swear promise they wouldn’t do it anymore.

And while the Santa Monica police couldn’t grasp the concept that a bike lane is a legal lane of traffic reserved for bicycle, or that blocking one is a clear violation of state law, the chief agreed that double parking is illegal, at least.

But that was several SaMo PD chiefs ago. And nothing ever changed.

Delivery drivers kept parking there. Cops kept ignoring it.

And bike riders continued risking their lives mixing with impatient drivers who couldn’t comprehend that blocked bike lanes mean bike riders have to merge into the traffic lane.

Clearly, adding Amazon delivery vans to the mix hasn’t helped, either.

The only solution is to make it a protected bike lane, which it should be anyway.

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

Frightening bike theft in Stockton, where a man in a car pulled a gun on a 54-year old woman and demanded the bike she was riding, tossing it in his backseat before speeding away.

A Healdsburg CA driver lays on his horn to demand a man riding with his son get the hell out of his way. And when they don’t, he rams the father from behind.

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

Police in New Jersey are looking for a man who grabbed a woman’s butt before riding off on his bicycle. And no, that’s not cute or funny — it’s sexual assault.

A Singapore food delivery rider faces charges for crashing into an eight-year old girl as she walked home from school with her mother, breaking her glasses and seriously injuring her eye.

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Local

No surprise here. Los Angeles once again has the worst traffic of any major city in the US. Yet the city still isn’t taking any significant steps to provide alternatives to driving and get people out of their cars.

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride with his wife and daughter.

 

State

Good news from behind the Orange Curtain, as Caltrans agrees to remove the ill-conceived rumble strips on PCH through Bolsa Chica that posed a needless risk along the popular riding route. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Bakersfield advocate calls for the city to establish a Vision Zero program to become a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

National

There may be hope for all those many and varied bicycle-to-vehicle communication systems that are supposed to be the salvation bike riders and pedestrians, as a consortium of bicycle and automotive companies finally agree to set a common standard that will work across platforms.

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t commute by bike.

An editor for Vice learns that riding a bicycle is just like riding a bike, even at the ripe old age of 29.

The Sierra Club offers suggestions on how to store your bike inside during the winter. Or better yet, let your bike sleep inside, and keep riding it outside, regardless of the season.

Who needs bikewear when you’ve got a $180 pair of denim overalls?

A new report shows Washington State needs to spend $5.7 billion to fix the state’s roads and improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, while advocates say the existing strategies clearly aren’t working. Which is pretty much the same story in California, and just about everywhere else.

A Boise, Idaho nonprofit hand-delivered nearly 60 bicycles to families in need to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy of service.

Even in rural Kansas, a driver can turn his or her car into a lethal weapon to deliver a punishment pass, as a bicycling trio learned firsthand.

Chicago is considering what looks like a curb-protected two way bike lane through the city’s Fulton Market.

When a Virginia pastor had trouble finding a new bike after his was stolen, he responded by starting a new ministry to repair and refurbish bicycles for people in need.

 

International

The bike industry clearly has the gravel bug, as Road.cc rates 18 of the hottest new gravel bikes from some of the most popular bike brands. And while they’re at it, they also pick the year’s best commuter bike, with prices starting at the equivalent of just $500.

Bike Radar gets a jump on next year’s holidays with a guide to the best gifts for bicyclists in 2021, starting with a five buck DVD of Breaking Away.

An Oxford University professor says forget the WHO’s guidance, and wear a mask when you run or ride a bike.

You know there’s a problem when South African bike riders are warned away from a particular road because the risk of getting robbed is too high.

Cyclist examines how Taiwan’s Giant became the, well, giant of the bike world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome blamed an undiagnosed strength deficit and an inexplicably painful screw resulting from his horrific 2019 crash for a disappointing comeback season in 2020. But that may be behind him, as he takes a couple KOMs on a “Super Saturday” ride through the Malibu Hills as he rehabs in Los Angeles.

Twenty-two year old Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar stands in the way of Froome’s search for a record-tying fifth Tour title, as he commits to defending his yellow jersey before tackling the Vuelta.

 

Finally…

Saying a boy’s bike is easy enough for a girl probably isn’t the best marketing idea. For 25 grand, they could at least give you more than one gear. It’s not a giant Ferris wheel, it’s a bike tire.

And since we started the day with Winnie the Pooh, we might as well end it with a little Tickety-Boo.

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

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