Tag Archive for sexism in bicycling

Carlsbad GOP candidate gets proposed ebike bill all wrong, sexist anti-bike bias, and the high cost of traffic violence

No bias here.

A Republican candidate for the California Assembly from Carlsbad takes aim at a proposal to provide a tax rebate for part of the purchase price on a new ebike.

The proposal, AB 117, is supported by current Assembley Member Tasha Boerner Horvath, whom she hopes to unseat.

At a price-point anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, they are a noteworthy investment, but should the government be subsidizing these purchases without accountability? Absolutely not. Yet Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath wants to spend unlimited amounts of money to do just that.

Maybe someone should tell her about the massive rebates the state already gives to people who buy electric cars.

But rudeness, rather than money, seems to be her chief objection.

Worse, many of us have witnessed near collisions between e-bikes or e-scooters and vehicles. Personally, I have been almost struck while crossing the street in a crosswalk, and many people have observed near-catastrophes on a daily basis.

So, from her point of view, we should make it harder to buy ebikes, because someone almost struck her while riding one.

Because apparently, no one on a regular bicycle — or a scooter, skateboard, roller skates or running shoes — would ever do such a dastardly deed.

And she’s evidently never experienced the way rude, aggressive and/or inattentive drivers treat people in crosswalks, either.

But the most frightening part, from her bizarre perspective, is that the bill would provide up to $10 million in state tax rebates. Never mind that California currently has an $85 billion — yes billion, with a b — tax surplus.

Which, by my English major math calculations, works out to less than 0.012% of that surplus.

Now the state government wants to fund incentives for purchasing electric bicycles — atop significant out-of-control spending already happening at the state level.

Think I’m kidding? One of Boerner Horvath’s latest bills — Assembly Bill 177 — states that the purpose of her newest taxpayer-funded program is to “fund…incentives for purchasing electric bicycles” under the guise of an “air quality improvement program.”

But wait, there’s more!

Despite Horvath’s empty virtue signaling to the environmentalists, the government should not be incentivizing us to purchase electric bicycles when they are already affordable and available. That’s the job of Lime, Bird, and other companies in the San Diego region. Plus, those companies are held accountable by the cities in which they operate — not by nameless bureaucrats in Sacramento.

Maybe $1,500 to $4,000 — or a lot more, actually — is affordable to her. But it’s a major stretch for many of the constituents she hopes to represent.

And she apparently has no idea what Lime, Bird and other e-scooter providers actually do.

Or what bikeshare is, for that matter.

Then she trots out the usual bike hater screeds.

This legislation is a disaster in the making. Beyond the notion that this isn’t the role of government, there are no safety precautions, no spending limits, and no licensing requirements. Above all, there is no accountability to determine the efficacy of the program or its reduction in air pollution.

So, she wants to license ebike riders. Or maybe all bike riders.

Never mind that California already regulates ebikes into three distinct classes, with increasing levels of safety restrictions and requirements.

And did we mention that $10 million spending limit?

As for reducing air pollution, she’s got a point. Everyone knows the paltry electricity consumed by a little ebike, and its burrito eating rider, would create far more emissions than your average massive gas-guzzling SUV.

Right?

Let’s hope that, contrary to her wishes, AB 117 does see the light of day.

And the very confused and uninformed 

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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Then again, they’re blaming ebikes in New York, too.

On the other hand, Cycling Savvy discusses ebike etiquette so you won’t be one of those few ebike-riding jerks justifiably complains about.

As opposed to the overwhelming majority who aren’t.

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You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to read this hard-hitting op-ed from a New Zealand environmental sociologist and bike rider.

When white men start using a bike, I often think they experience a sort of status shock. They see what marginalisation feels like: the dehumanisation, the fear, the threat of violence. If you ride a bike and you belong to another group who already lives with this threat, there is a familiarity to it all…

Being a cyclist often reminds me of being a woman. If someone hurts me it’s my fault because I didn’t wear the right thing, I didn’t defer to them and “know my place”, and I didn’t just smile and put up with their abuse. Power imbalances foster bullying.

So, avoid them if you can, the dehumanising stereotypes. All the comparisons to vermin this past fortnight on conservative radio and social media – cockroaches, rats, lice, etc –  have been way out of line. Even the fixation with lycra. It’s something male sports cyclists usually wear. The obsession with men wearing tight revealing clothing in public so often veers into an obviously homophobic place. Just don’t.

Seriously, read the whole thing.

Because it probably matters more than you think.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Bystanders had to lift a pickup off an 11-year old boy, after an alleged drunk driver ran the kid down while he was riding in a crosswalk, then continued on dragging the boy underneath his truck for a “considerable distance,” leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

One of the top dog handlers missed out on this year’s Westminster Dog Show after his van was rear-ended in Laramie, Wyoming while driving ten canine competitors cross-country to the show; he ended up in the hospital, but fortunately, the dogs were uninjured. Which goes to show how much safer cars could be if everyone inside just rode in the human equivalent of a dog crate.

Speaking of Wyoming — Wyoming, Delaware in this case — a 74-year old man was killed in a collision when he was run down by a driver while mowing his lawn when a driver lost control of her SUV, pinning him underneath.  Naturally, no charges have been filed yet, because it was just an oopsie.

A Canadian woman complains that the drunken hit-and-run driver who fatally rear-ended her 27-year old son as he rode his bicycle could be out of prison in just one and a half years, despite a BAC over twice the legal limit after an admitted 13 drinks that day prior to getting behind the wheel — leaving a hole in her family that can never be filled.

In another form of violence due to motor vehicles, the grave of Robert Meacham, who rose from slavery to Florida state senator and helped establish the state’s public school system, is likely buried unmarked and unremembered under a Tampa parking lot, along with the bodies of hundreds of other Black people.

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Sarah Silverman is one of us now.

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GCN dives into the endless debate over roadies versus gravel bikes (gravelies?).

They also consider whether Shimano’s integrated shifters and brake levers were the greatest bike innovation of all time.

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

A road raging woman from an undisclosed location got out of her car to demand a young bike-riding woman give her “everything” in compensation for an invisible scratch to her apparently very expensive car.

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Local

Streets For All wants you to call on the city council’s Transportation Committee to support walking, bicycling, and micromobility and maximizing traffic signal priority for the Expo Line, as part of the LA’s Green New Deal, which could finally be getting long overdue traction.

A year ago, LA Times readers were asked to envision life post-pandemic, but only one lonely response addressed how nice life was with fewer cars on the streets. The simple fact is, if we go back to life as normal pre-pandemic, with cars maintaining hegemony over our streets, we will have failed. And looking outside, it appears we already have.

 

State

Two armed Orange County men were busted after blocking the path of a pair of Garden Grove bike riders with their car, robbing the woman of her bike, pack and cellphone while her male companion bravely rode away; police seized six guns from their home, was well as gun parts.

Family-owned Hesperia bike shop Hi-Desert Bikes is shuttering in August after 30 years in business, sending its owner into an unplanned early retirement.

 

National

If you still long for the little red wagon of your youth, Radio Flyer is riding to the rescue with a pair of fat tire ebikes.

Streetsblog marks Pride Week by examining how the design and planning needs of LGBTQ+ can make public spaces more inclusive.

Livestrong recommends this years best bike locks, starting at just $14.99.

An Anchorage paper says bicycling is a great way to visit different Alaskan towns, while finishing your ride with a local brew.

The Las Vegas bicycling community joined family members in remembering the five bike riders killed by a meth-fueled truck driver, six months after the fatal crash.

The popular bike repair website written by the late Sheldon Brown could be in jeopardy, as the Boston bike shop where he worked, which maintains the site, is shutting down.

More on the custom handmade bicycle President Biden got on the cheap for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from Philadelphia’s Bilenky Cycle Works at a steep presidential discount, and in record time. And no, he didn’t get a Wikipedia printout in returnThanks to k_david for the link.

Kindhearted members of a West Virginia police community group bought a new bicycle for a young boy, after the Spider-man bike he got for Christmas was stolen off his porch.

Kindhearted New Orleans cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a nine-year old boy, after his was stolen when he was pushed off it by a group of older boys.

A Florida artist makes a statement for inclusion in bicycling with a 215-foot Ocala mural depicting bike riders of all ages, genders, nationalities and abilities.

 

International

Vancouver bike riders shed their clothes for the city’s first post-pandemic edition of the World Naked Bike Ride. And in New Orleans, tooAt least, we can hope it’s post-pandemic, despite rising overseas variants and a high level of unvaxxed people in the US and Canada.

They kinda get it. An editorial in Toronto’s Globe & Mail unexpectedly emerged from behind the paper’s paywall, asking — and attempting to answer — what if cities were designed for the safety of people, instead of the convenience of cars. Although cities could go way beyond Vision Zero, and consider designing them for the convenience of people, as well. 

An Oxford, England writer complains that the way the media reports on crashes involving bike riders, including use of the word accident, just fuels the conflict between bicyclists and motorists.

A heartbroken English mother called on parents to pay more attention to their bike-riding children, after her 12-year old son was killed by a driver the first time he rode his bike on the streets, while being watched by her estranged husband.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this survey gathering responses from disabled bike riders in the UK; if you live or ride in the UK with a disability, or care for someone who does, they want to hear from you.

Advocates in Lagos, Nigeria are calling for more robust provisions. policies and affordability for non-motorized transportation, including walking and bicycling.

Bike riders in Jakarta are calling for a bicycle revolution in Indonesia’s capital city, as the governor calls for building 310 miles of bike lanes, as well as a $56,000 monument to bicycling in the city’s main thoroughfare.

An Aussie writer says riding a bicycle is sweet freedom, even if it might kill her. And it lets her eat more of her wife’s cakes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bike racing returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first time since the pandemic reared its ugly head, only to face near total domination from our hometown L39ion of Los Angles, which took all three men’s podium spots and the top two women’s spots at the Tulsa Arts District Crit. And swept the top spot on all three individual race titles and omniums on Sunday.

Congratulations to Colorado’s Riley Amos, who became the first American man to win a U23 World Cup mountain bike race.

Cycling Weekly writes that new unions for both men’s and women’s pro cyclists could be about to change the shape of top level bike racing.

 

Finally…

Your next bikepacking campsite could be a portable treehouse trailer towed behind your bike. And probably not the best idea to ride a children’s bike along the crowded train platform you’re supposed to be guarding.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

LADOT sets priorities for state legislation, driver tries to run down Pasadena bike riders, and fallen DC cop was one of us

Thanks to all for the kind words after yesterday’s non-post.

My pain is back down to a more normal — and more tolerable — level, so let’s get on with it. 

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Looks like they finally get it.

LADOT has released their legislative priorities for the coming year, which they’ll take to the state legislature if the Los Angeles City Council gives the okay.

1 – Reforming state law, allowing LA to lower speed limits (it’s crazy, but today LA doesn’t have control over its own speed limits, and even has to raise speed limits on already dangerous roads!)

2 – Automating speeding tickets using speed safety cameras. Speed is the #1 factor in determining if someone lives or dies when hit by a car, and speed cameras are a proven solution to reduce excessive speeding. Armed officers must be removed from traffic law enforcement, and this is a great way to do it. LADOT has a thoughtful proposal that takes into account privacy and makes sure the burden doesn’t fall disproportionately on communities that can least afford it.

3 – Increase legal protections for the most vulnerable road users(pedestrians and cyclists). This would increase civil fines and penalties in the event of crashes caused by carelessness or driver distraction (ex. texting).

4 – Get rid of handicap placard abuse by reforming the benefits they provide and increasing enforcement, so we can preserve handicap spots for those that truly need it.

Throw in new laws to target the hit-and-run epidemic crippling Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians — too often literally — and they might be on to something.

Streets For All is asking everyone to submit a comment to the council in support of the LADOT agenda.

You can find a sample comment template here, and use this link to submit your comments.

And if you want to call on the council to add a fifth priority to address hit-and-run, I won’t complain.

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A report has been circulating on Nextdoor about a driver intentionally trying to run down and brake check a pair of Pasadena bike riders.

I’ve obscured the license plate number since I have no way of verifying the report.

But keep your eyes open if you ride in the area.

And let’s hope the victims reported it to the police, because this is a crime — end could have easily been much worse.

Thanks to Steve Messer for the heads-up.

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Zachary Rynew calls out the sexism that’s been baked into the popular Belgian Waffle Ride in years past.

And which, like podium girls, doesn’t belong in cycling, period.

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That’s easy. All of them.

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Looks like fallen Officer Brian Sicknick, who gave his life defending the US Capital from insurrectionists on January 6th, was one of us.

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One hundred-year old Captain Sir Tom Moore was one of us, too.

The bike-riding WWII vet raised the equivalent of nearly $45 million for the UK’s National Health Service by walking laps across his backyard.

Sadly, he died Tuesday after catching Covid-19.

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Thanks to BikeSD for today’s history lesson, and shining a light on a Black woman we should all be thankful for.

And someone I’d never heard of before.

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Zwift invites you to pedal along with top Black cyclists like Nelson Vails, Rahsaan Bahati and Ama Nsek of LA’s L39ION of Los Angeles team in a virtual ride through New York.

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

No bias here. British radio personality Nick Ferrari, a regular critic of bicycling, said London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods are a form of apartheid. Never mind that he lives on one himself.

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

A British man denied selling an ebike allegedly used in a fatal shooting to cover-up for his nephews accused of the crime.

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Local

Hats off to LA’s Michael Park, who’s giving back to the community by leading a crew of bike riders in feeding the homeless in Koreatown twice a week. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

Metro Bike is offering a discounted bikeshare membership to essential workers for just $75 for a full year.

Good news for the San Gabriel Valley, after Metro approved $12 million for active transportation projects in South Pasadena and Monterey Park.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized with unknown injuries after getting struck by a driver; no word on the victim’s condition.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature, AB 117, would create a $10 million, five-and-a-half-year ebike rebate program for California bike riders, using money from California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. So keep your fingers crossed. Or better yet, contact your representatives in Sacramento.

San Jose police released security cam video of the crash that killed a bike rider early Sunday morning; police are looking for a black Chevrolet Silverado with a bed cover and likely front-end damage.

A San Francisco supervisor calls for kicking out Lyft’s for-profit bikeshare, and turning it into a city-owned and potentially city-operated service.

Northern California bike shop owner Dennis Uphoff died last month after he was injured in his home; he was 69.

Police in Manteca are asking for a meaningful dialog with organizers of a series of mass bike rides involving mostly tween and teen riders, after accusing the riders of being “outright rude,” “blatantly defiant to orders” and spewing profanities at officers who try to rein them in.

 

National

Staffers from the recently defunct Bike Mag are starting a new mountain bike publication, called Beta.

Good piece from Cycling Tips Angry Asian saying it’s time to cut out the cancer of criticizing other bike riders for not doing it right or arguing that one kind of bicycling is better than any other.

The Portland driver who deliberately ran down numerous bike riders and pedestrians in a wild 15-block rampage, killing one and injuring at least ten others, has been hit with a well-deserved 31-count indictment, including a second degree murder charge.

New Las Vegas billboards tell drivers to change lanes to pass people on bicycles.

A Kansas City advocacy group is calling on the city to decriminalize walking and biking by repealing laws that have been used to target Black and brown people.

New York’s Suffolk County is confronting complaints about teen bicyclists swarming the streets by banning trick riding, weaving or zig-zagging “unless necessary,” as well as requiring a horn or bell, at least one hand on the handlebars, and no more than one person per bicycle, along with a raft of other requirements.

New York’s new transportation commissioner promises to install 10,000 new bike racks across the city, leaving it only a few million short of what’s needed to accommodate the city’s bike riders.

DC’s Vision Zero program actually has some teeth, requiring that any construction work on streets “pre-identified as a candidate for a protected bike lane, bus-only lane or private-vehicle-free corridor” has to include it in the final project.

The Maryland bike rider who assaulted a group of teens and ripped up the Black Lives Matter fliers they were posting along a bike path last year has walked with probation after apologizing for his actions.

Bike riders in DC fear the security fencing installed in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th will make their commutes more dangerous.

The coronavirus bike boom — and Democrat takeover of DC — leads to the reintroduction of two bills that died in last-term’s GOP-controlled Senate, to make bikeshare programs eligible for federal transportation funding and reinstate and improve the bicycle commuter tax benefit.

Virginia’s comprehensive bike safety bill, which includes the Idaho Stop law, passed the state house and moves on to the Senate.

 

International

Cyclist explains how to clean your bike in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. A standard of measurement that may be meaningless to most people on this side of the Atlantic.

A science website says drop your car and get on your bike if you really want to cut your greenhouse gas emissions.

A Guatemalan bike rider is fighting hunger by trading donated books for food to distribute to the needy.

North Vancouver is doubling the current $100 fine for blocking a bike lane, while banning “stopping, parking or otherwise impeding a mobility lane.”

A British man has founded a charity to give bikes to cancer patients to help them recover, crediting bicycling with helping him overcome his illness.

A pair of brothers in the UK are on trial for the alleged racist murder of a Black man to steal his bicycle.

Crashes involving bike riders more than doubled in Brussels over the past decade, with 72% involving a motor vehicle last year.

A group of female journalists and activists broke with taboos to hold northeastern Syria’s first women’s bike race to encourage women to ride bicycles and promote green transportation.

A surprising three-quarters of Aussie bike riders say they’ve been the victim of road raging drivers. The only real surprise is that the number is so low.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Quinn Simmons appears to be back in the good graces of his Trek-Segafredo team; the 19-year junior world champ will make his Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders debuts after being suspended last year for an online comment in support of Donald Trump that was widely seen as racist and divisive.

Zwift has banned two more virtual cyclists for cyber doping by falsifying ride data.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a bike from the local police. Bike tattoos are forever — especially the truly cringeworthy kind.

And that’s one way to make sure drivers pass safely.

https://twitter.com/CyclingContessa/status/1356625738238025730

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

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