Tag Archive for South LA

26.5 years for killer stoned driver in AZ master’s race, a damp last CicLAvia of 2022, and Orange Line bike path closure

It’s the second full week of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

I’m often humbled by the support this site receives. And never more than I was on Sunday.

Saturday I was feeling low after we didn’t receive a single donation, leaving the fund drive hundreds of dollars behind last year’s record-setting pace.

Then on Sunday the floodgates opened. Not only did the sudden outpouring of support make up the deficit, it actually left us a little ahead of last year this morning. 

I recognized a lot of the donors, whether from giving in years past, sharing links or comments on here, or from their work on bike advocacy issues. 

Each and every one touched my heart, leaving me overwhelmed with gratitude. But none more than a donation from a loved one of a fallen bicyclist, who remembered the support I gave them in their time of need. 

All of which has me feeling incredibly humbled today.

I hope you’ll join me in offering a sincere thank you to André V, Greg M, Scott G, Penny S, Samuel M, David Matsu, John H, Anthony D, Mark M and Andre C for their very generous support. 

Because they’re the ones who gave from the heart to bring all the best bike news your way today, and every day. 

So don’t wait. Just take a moment right now to join them by donating via PayPal or Zelle.

We’ll wait.

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There’s justice in Show Low, Arizona, a year and a half after a stoned driver plowed into a master’s bike race, killing one man and seriously injuring eight other people, six critically.

Shawn Michael Chock was sentenced to 26½ years behind bars for the bizarre crime. The 36-year old man received a 16-year sentence for killing 58-year old Jeremy Barrett, and 10-1/2 years for assaulting a police officer, to be served consecutively, with no time off for good behavior for the first 16 years.

A defense attorney claimed Chock was once an accomplished bike racer himself, but suffered from mental health problems. He reportedly relapsed when he received bad family news after three years of sobriety, and blacked out after failing to take his meds and inhaling aerosol fumes, crossing over several lanes of traffic to plow into the racers.

Although that doesn’t fit with earlier reports that Chock was laughing as he steered into the victims, and made a U-turn to come back at them.

Which is kind of hard to do when you’re unconscious.

It’s also worth noting that a history of mental illness and substance abuse somehow wasn’t enough for authorities to keep Chock from getting behind the wheel until it was too late.

He was only arrested after officers shot his truck engine to disable it following a standoff with police behind a hardware store.

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Sunday marked the last CicLAvia of the year, as the streets of South LA opened to welcome bike riders, walkers, skaters, rollers, cowboys, and yes, even Dodgers, of every description, despite the cool, cloudy and sometimes wet weather.

Of course, it’s always after the event that those warm feelings give way to the typical LA challenge of just getting home in one piece.

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One of LA’s busiest bikeways shut down without warning, as Streetsblog discovered an unexpected closure on the Orange Line.

And as usual, the detour leaves something to be desired, dumping riders onto surface streets to negotiate their route with impatient drivers.

How long the repairs will take, and how long the closure will last, is anyone’s guess.

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The next time you complain about the crappy bikeways you have to use, or the lack thereof, remember this.

It could be worse.

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A distracted driver calls out the risk posed to safe, law-abiding bike riders from distracted drivers just like him.

Click on the tweet if the photo of the rider is obscured.

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This is who we share the road with.

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Who needs handlebars?

Or a head tube, fork or front wheel, for that matter?

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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 Marin paper calls for “compromises” by limiting the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike path to weekend use by recreational riders — even though traffic congestion is no worse than before it was installed, and removing it on weekdays would just make traffic worse in other areas. In other words, they want bike commuters and local communities to compromise by surrendering to drivers.

No bias here, either. A Portland hotel manager complains about a parking protected bike lane in front of the hotel, as careless guests nearly collide with bike riders, and a guest’s car door “got hit by a bicyclist.” No, the guest doored the person on the bike, which is against the law.

Vancouver’s parks board is preparing to cave to angry, entitled drivers for whom one lane isn’t enough by ripping out a popular bike lane through the park, and restoring a second traffic lane so drivers can use it as a cut-through route.

A 24-year old Scottish man suffered multiple injuries after he was pushed off his bicycle by a couple men on a moped, for no apparent reason.

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

More proof ebikes are replacing car trips, as a British ebike rider conducted a carless driveby shooting, firing repeatedly into a car after riding up next to it, although he missed all the occupants.

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Local 

Metro is scheduled to start construction on the La Brea Ave bus lanes today, though the rain may have something to say about that.

Long Beach is considering lowering speed limits on 100 sections of city streets, including 23 that could drop to 15 to 20 mph.

Anyone interested in serving on your local Neighborhood Council should make plans to attend an information session hosted by Streets For All this Thursday. We need a lot more support for bikes on local councils to overcome the outsized NIMBY voices. 

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting a virtual happy hour with newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez on Wednesday, December 14th. Which would be a good opportunity to ask about his plans to improve bike safety and infrastructure in the Hollywood district.

 

State 

San Diego Magazine lists ten bike rides to meet the needs of every kind of rider.

‘Tis the season. Over 300 children in the Coachella Valley have new bikes this week, thanks to the Variety Children’s Charity of the Desert.

A Camarillo letter writer says he agrees with a driver that bike riders belong in the bike lane, if only the city had some.

They get it. The San Francisco Chronicle says instead of getting rid of Slow Streets, the city make them even better, arguing that it’s hard to view the Slow Streets experiment as anything but a wild success.

 

National

Bike counters recorded nearly 42,000 bike trips to Colorado’s Maroon Bells, fueled largely by the increasing popularity of ebikes.

‘Tis the season, too. A Boise, Idaho bike drive plans to give away 567 bicycles to kids in need over the holidays.

Sixty-seven-year old Joseph Kennedy reportedly confessed to the deaths of four men who disappeared after setting out on an Oklahoma bike ride, telling a friend he “killed the men and cut them up” because they stole from him.

Brooklyn firefighters rescued a semi-conscious man and two puppies after yet another fire allegedly started by an ebike battery.

A bill in the New Jersey legislature would make it the first state in the nation to mandate bike helmets for adults. Although similar laws have repeatedly been shown to be counterproductive, reducing bicycling rates and the safety in numbers effect, while disproportionately affecting low income riders and people of color. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link. 

Another seemingly sentient SUV, as a Philadelphia TV station reports a bike cop was hit by a Ford Explorer, whose driver apparently had nothing to do with it.

A 31-year old woman with Down’s Syndrome is able to ride a bike for the first time since she was a child, after a kindhearted stranger saw her competing for the title of Virginia’s Miss Amazing Senior Miss Queen, and gave her a new three-wheeled bike through a nonprofit organization.

 

International

A website for a drunk driving interlock ignition system reminds us that other countries have solved the problem of drunk driving, even if the US can’t seem to do it. Sort of like we can’t seem to solve traffic deaths, hit-and-runs, shooting deaths, poverty, universal healthcare…

A Spanish man touring the world by bicycle stops in Mexico’s Yucatán on his way to Argentina, accompanied by a dog he adopted in Spain, and another who adopted him in Mexico.

Mexico City’s Los Chilangos lowrider bike club is combating gang life by promoting a positive bicycle culture as an alternative to the world of drugs and gangs, although facial tatts are still welcome.

A Halifax, Nova Scotia bike shop says business is booming and employees are sticking around longer after they committed to paying a living wage, a full ten dollars above the area’s current minimum.

Over one thousand Londoners turned out for a 14-mile Black Unity Bike Ride across the city.

English police link stolen ebikes to the drug trade, robbery and other crimes, saying they’re being used to pursue criminal activity. Shocking that criminals would use stolen goods to do other crimes, I know.

A pair of British politicians call on their peers to practice what they preach by installing more “secure, accessible and sufficient” bike parking on the Parliament grounds.

A writer in the UK says a 3,427-mile ride around the coast of Britain saved his mental health during the pandemic.

France is marking the 80th anniversary of a successful suicide mission by British marines, who slipped behind German lines to destroy five ships; only two of the men survived the mission and escaped to safety, fleeing 100 miles by foot, bicycle and trains to Gibraltar.

An Islamabad, Pakistan paper makes the case for bringing the concept of carfree cities to the country.

Japan’s bicycle industry was reportedly built on the ironworking skills developed to build burial mounds dating back 1,600 years.

An Aussie designer says he doesn’t care about negative feedback, as he spends his days designing the world’s most outlandish concept bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Police have identified a 62-year-old German truck driver as a suspect in the hit-and-run death of Italian ex-pro Davide Rebellin, who died shortly after retiring from a 30-year racing career; police are still searching for the suspect.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding a bike with outstanding warrants — you, that is, not the bike — put a damn light on it already. Playing cumbias from the back a wagon pulled by a bike.

And we might have to deal with bored LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about being attacked by a wild boar while riding a bike.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Election bodes well for bikes, DUI hit-and-run driver on trial in Huntington Beach, and South LA CicLAvia route announced

Let’s start with a quick recap of Tuesday’s election.

The short version is, nobody won.

Yet.

The large number of mail-in ballots received on and dropped off on Election Day means it could be more than a week before we have final results.

However, as things currently stand, Rick Caruso and Karen Bass are in a virtual dead heat for mayor, with Caruso holding a slight lead.

Meanwhile, bike rider and corgi dad Kenneth Mejia holds a seemingly insurmountable lead over termed-out councilmember and career politician Paul Koretz to become city controller and the first person of Filipino ancestry to hold elective office in the City of Angeles.

Bike-friendly Katy Yaroslavsky, daughter-in-law of longtime LA office holder Zev Yaroslavsky, has an 11 point lead to replace Koretz in CD5, which should mark a sea change for active transportation on the Westside.

Tracy Park holds a nearly 11 point lead over bike-friendly Erin Darling to succeed retiring Councilmember Mike Bonin in CD11.

Hugo Soto-Martinez has a tighter five point lead over incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in CD13; if he can hold the lead, it could be a major win for active transportation in the district, where O’Farrell blocked nearly all bike projects, and only came around to support Sunset for All to gain support as he battled for re-election.

Tim McCosker has a seemingly insurmountable 30 point lead over progressive Daniel Sandoval to replace termed-out Joe Buscaino in CD15, following Sandoval’s wage theft scandal that effectively sank her prospects. I don’t have a feel for what McCosker’s expected victory will mean for bike and pedestrian projects in a district that stretches from San Pedro to Watts.

Career politician Bob Hertzberg holds a slim 1.5% lead over West Hollywood Councilmember Lindsey Horvath for LA County Supervisor; a Hertzberg victory would represent a significant conservative shift compared outgoing Supervisor Shiela Kuehl.

Retired Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna leads incumbent Alex Villanueva for LA County Sheriff, whose department has long used pretext stops to target bicyclists for riding while Black or brown. Especially brown.

State Measure 30, which would have taxed millionaires to fund e-cars and prevent wildfires, went down to defeat by a 2-1 margin.

The next update isn’t expected until tomorrow. We’ll catch up on some of the smaller cities in LA County as official results are announced.

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

A Huntington Beach man finally went on trial in the alleged drunken, hit-and-run death of 33-year old Raymond MacDonald as he rode his bike in the city in 2019.

The collision that killed MacDonald was just one of three crashes 28-year old Victor Manuel Romero stands accused of on that March night, after getting drunk and into a fight in a bar parking lot.

Despite assuring police he would call for a ride, he instead got behind the wheel of his BMW and tore out of the parking lot, hitting the bar owner’s Caddy on the way out.

He then slammed into MacDonald, driving so fast an Uber driver waiting at the intersection felt his car rock as Romero blew by; MacDonald was like dead by the time he hit the pavement.

He then hit another car after blowing through a red light, and was arrested back near the bar after fleeing on foot.

Unbelievably, his attorney tried to blame his actions, not on being drunk or merely an asshole, but by claiming he suffered a concussion from repeated blows to the head while on the losing end of the fight, which somehow affected his decision making.

Sure. Let’s go with that.

Granted, even the worst client has a right to a defense. And his attorney can’t be blamed for throwing whatever Hail Mary he can in the face of overwhelming evidence.

But maybe he could come up with something even slightly more credible.

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In more enjoyable news, CicLAvia announced the route for the year’s last open streets event next month in South LA.

The South LA Expo Park to Watts CicLAvia will roll December 4th, on a route that will take it along Martin Luther King Blvd from Exposition Park to Historic South Central — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — then along Central Ave to Florence-Firestone and ending on 103rd Street in Watts, the home turf of the East Side Riders.

The late date means the event will be subject to the whims of what passes for winter weather in Los Angeles. However, many people who have attended previous South LA CicLAvias have ranked them among the best events in the 12-year history of CicLAvia.

And it certainly offers some of the best food you’ll find anywhere in Los Angeles.

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Nothing like getting right hooked on a protected bike lane.

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San Francisco voted overwhelmingly to keep JFK Drive permanently carfree through Golden Gate Park, while overwhelmingly defeating a measure to reopen JFK and the Great Highway to cars.

State Senator Scott Wiener credits his SB288 with exempting the projects from CEQA review, forcing opponents to take it to a vote of the people, where it was resoundingly rejected,

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Don’t worry. If a Tesla driver runs you down, they may not be texting.

They might just be on a Zoom call.

Thanks to HowTheWestWS for the heads-up.

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That feeling when the Twitter bird flees Elon Musk, and takes up residence in your bike wheel.

Which I suppose beats the hell out of a monkey in your spokes.

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Everesting — climbing the height of Mt. Everest on a bicycle — is hard enough. Imagine doing it when you can’t breathe.

An inspiring new video tells the story of South African cyclist Jason van’t Slot, who broke the record for the fastest successful Everesting attempt by someone with cystic fibrosis.

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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 San Diego letter writer says “Same road, same rules” cuts both ways, insisting that stops signs and red lights apply to people on bikes, too. Apparently, he’s never watched drivers at red lights and stop signs, either.

No bias here, either. A British Conservative politician responds to a viral clip of an oncoming driver refusing to pause for a five-year old kid on a bike by saying the child shouldn’t be riding on the street in the first place. Because there are so much better places for families to ride where they’re going, evidently. 

This is why people keep dying on the roads. A British driver walked without a single day behind bars for using his car as a weapon to ram into a man on a bike in reverse, after the man slapped his car when the driver yelled for him and another bike rider to get out of the road. Adding insult to injury, he’ll get his damn drivers license back after a lousy six-month suspension, when it should have been revoked for life.

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

Police in Carlsbad are looking for a road-raging bike rider who attacked a car driven by a pair of teens by trying to open their door and punching a window, before smashing the windshield, then allegedly lying in wait for them down the road; the altercation reportedly began when traffic bogged down as the rider was crossing the intersection, which “got him all spun up and (one of the teens) retaliated at him and got upset at him.” I assume that last quote means something, but we may need a teen-to-English translation before it makes any sense. As we’ve said many times before, though, violence is never the right answer, no matter how justified it may seem at the time. 

NYPD officers are looking for an armed “menace” riding a bikeshare bike who repeatedly pointed a gun at pedestrians, for no apparent reason.

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Local

An experimental program developed by a UCLA professor is paying people to bikepool between the Eastside and Downtown; Civic Bicycle Commuting, aka CiBiC, allows participants to earn credits worth up to $300 a month.

A fire at the El Segundo Chevron plant inevitably means Southern California gas prices will be going up. To which bike commuters seem oddly unconcerned.

 

State 

California set a record for greenhouse gas reductions in 2020, which was more than offset by the increase in greenhouse gas emissions last year, as miles driven rebounded to pre-pandemic levels; a full 40% of LA County’s greenhouse gas emissions come from motor vehicle tailpipes.

Santa Barbara county supervisors took the first step necessary to approve a proposed bike path along San Diego’s Modoc Road, helped in part by a large turnout by supporters.

Berkeley took the first step towards banning red turns on right at every intersection in the city.

The San Francisco Examiner explains California’s requirements for bike lights and reflectors. However, the law only applies if you’re riding after sunset or before sunrise, although police have been known to use daytime light checks as an illegal pretext stop.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman riding a bike was killed in a hit-and-run Wednesday afternoon.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a custom lowrider frame worth eight grand made by students at a Sacramento high school.

Finishing our Sacramento trifecta, city officials are asking people to pick which crappy plastic bendy bollard they want to offer a false sense of protection on bike lanes.

 

National

Transport for America says education, enforcement and technology — the cornerstones of American Vision Zero programs — don’t make streets safer; what does is better roadway designs.

A piece from the Congress for the New Urbanism calls ebikes essential technology for the 15 minute city.

Your next ebike could come with an automatic transmission; meanwhile, a new regenerative-braking ebike conversion kit promises to turn your existing bike into an ebike in just 30 seconds, you can buy it now on Kickstarter for half the planned $599 retail price.

Men’s Journal offers tips on winter fat tire bike riding, as well as their favorite bikes for the job, while Gear Patrol has advice on how to make your first bikepacking trip a success.

Triathlete offers a temperature-based guide to choosing bikewear.

Giro joins the LED-lighted bike helmet club.

She gets it. An op-ed in The Seattle Times says in order to improve safety for pedestrians, we need to prioritize the people who aren’t in cars. Which goes for protecting bike riders, too.

More bad news from Las Vegas, where a second bike rider has died following a drunken, serial hit-and-run that has now killed two people and injured seven others, while damaging ten vehicles.

Now that’s singletrack. A mountain bike trail stretches 567 continuous miles through the Colorado backcountry from Denver to Durango.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong will go on trial next June for the May murder of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

Authorities in Chicago have apparently concluded that parking in bike lanes isn’t such a big deal, chopping the fine in half, from $500 to $250. Which is still more than in Los Angeles.

Residents of Provincetown, Rhode Island are just the latest to get ebike rebates before California’s long-delayed program goes into effect, with qualified buyers eligible for up to $1,200.

We could use a lot more people like this. Nearly 30 years after financial problems forced a New Jersey man to drop out of Howard University, he’s raised over $100,000 through an annual bike ride to help other students live out their educational dreams at Historic Black Colleges and Universities, aka HBCUs.

 

International

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid marks the 100th anniversary of drivers running pedestrians — and bike riders — off the road, when an engineering journal article by roadbuilder Edward J. Mehren called for a radical redesign of roadways to make them the exclusive domain of motor vehicles.

Road.cc recalls bygone bike tech we’re well rid of. Although if we completely get rid of wing nuts, we’ll have to find another term for all those assorted whack jobs. Oh.

Tragic news from Tijuana, where a longtime bike advocate and scholar was crushed to death by the driver of a cargo truck while riding in the Playas de Tijuana neighborhood.

A Vancouver couple were able to recover their stolen bike, along with five of their neighbors bikes, thanks to an Apple AirTag.

New wildcat posters instruct Toronto drivers to keep parking in bike lanes, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Nurses at a London hospital are using ebikes to make patient rounds in the neighboring community.

A London TikTok user shares video of a midnight bicycle magical mystery tour through the lights of the city.

Now you, too, can own your very own Irish e-bikemaker, as the country’s High Court has forced Modmo Technologies into liquidation after a recall due to a dangerously defective battery mount crippled its finances.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Try taking a bike tour along Italy’s 2,300-year old, 373-mile Roman Appian Way.

A new Spanish ebike foldie is made from plant resin, and promises to fold in just one second.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where an Aukland prison guard walked with community service for killing a 70-year old man riding his bike on a rural road

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist goes on the road with Tour de France mechanics.

Pro cyclist Rebecca Fahringer is crossing over to gravel racing, after suffering a series of concussions racing ‘cross.

Four-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome says UCI’s points system needs an overhaul, calling the new relegation system a death sentence for many cycling teams.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be made with artificial meteorites. When you’re riding your bike with an outstanding felony warrant, maybe try riding with traffic, instead. Artistic cycling could be your next new thing.

And here’s a really nice bike themed song from Los Angeles artist Runner, not to be confused with the ’70s band.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Council votes to close Northvale Gap on Expo Line bike path, and last CicLAvia of 2021 rolls through South LA Sunday

There may be hope for closing the infamous Northvale Gap yet.

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to use eminent domain to seize a small portion of the backyards on eight properties lining the E Line train tracks, nee Expo Line, between Motor and Overland Aves.

That will provide the space needed to extend the Expo Line bike path to close the approximately one-mile gap that resulted when Metro gave up on building the pathway through that section, in the face of heavy opposition from homeowners living on Northvale Road.

They had opposed the construction of the Expo Line, apparently believing when they bought their homes that the unused train tracks behind them would stay that way in perpetuity.

And after losing that battle, turned their attention to fighting the bike path, convinced pervy bike riders would peer into their homes, and criminals would make off with their flat screen TVs and silverware balanced on their handlebars.

No, really.

That left bike riders forced to take a circuitous route on the street in front their homes, instead of a direct one behind them. And having to climb a steep hill to ride west, instead of a flat route alongside the train.

The completed pathway is projected open in 2025 — 13 years late, and tens of millions of dollars more than it would have cost to build it along with the train line.

And that’s only if the inevitable lawsuit over eminent domain doesn’t delay the construction even longer.

Our spokesdog wants to know why you haven’t donated to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive yet. Or to thank you, if you already have.

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Maybe I’m not the only one it snuck up on.

The year’s final CicLAvia will roll this Sunday along Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvds in South LA.

The weather should be beautiful, with the forecast calling for mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the mid 60s.

Metro notes the route will have easy access with several stops along the aforementioned E is for Expo Line.

Unfortunately, I won’t be going, since I’m still suffering from the long-lingering effects of whatever the hell illness knocked me on my ass before Halloween.

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We’ve linked to this one before. But it’s worth revisiting.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1465670436184854528

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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 conservative member of the Canadian Parliament was rightfully mocked for accusing a government minister of placing a bicycle on the wall behind him in a zoom call to “make a statement about his environmental cred”.

No bias here, either. Britain’s Express cites comments from dozens of bike haters drivers opposed to narrowing lanes to create or widen bike lanes. But can’t seem to find a single person who thinks it’s a good idea.

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Local

The LA Times podcast revisits the paper’s recent investigative report revealing racial bias in bike traffic stops by sheriff’s deputies, as 70% of riders pulled over by deputies were Latinos, and 85% of bike riders stopped by deputies were searched, usually without probably cause. Unless you think that merely riding a bicycle is evidence of a crime. Which they apparently do.

He gets it. Former Azusa, Ventura and Santa Monica city manager — no, not at the same time — Rick Cole says cities can’t put off road repairs, and can’t build their way out of gridlock.

Metro lists the bicycle classes available this month — four online and one in-person at Leimert Park — as well as a BEST bike ride on the 11th.

 

State

San Diego puts its money where its mouth is — literally — by committing to divest fossil fuel funds from the city’s $2.33 billion investment portfolio, to reduce greenhouse gases and live up to its climate goals.

A San Diego scooter rider suffered a broken nose, fractured shoulder and facial cuts when he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane in the city’s Linda Vista neighborhood.

San Francisco Streetsblog editor Roger Rudick takes a spin around California to observe all the progress — and lack thereof — in creating a more equitable transportation system.

 

National

Men’s Health offers their recommendations on the best bikes to hit the road with, choosing among five separate types, from roadies to cruisers, but apparently never having heard of foldies, commuters or cargo bikes.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A longtime Houston art model was killed in a drunken hit-and-run crash when a speeding driver plowed into the back of his bike; he had credited bicycling with helping him maintain the muscular physique that made him popular with artists.

That’s more like it. A Texas woman will spend the next 15 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of a prominent local surgeon as he was riding his bicycle.

Life is cheap in Buffalo, New York, where a driver was fined a whopping $200 for hitting and injuring a bike-riding woman while forcing her pickup through a protest last year.

A Maryland study found over 95% of crashes involving bike riders occurred on roads without bicycling infrastructure. Which is what happens when the overwhelming majority of roads don’t have any.

Nice move from ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, which is funding West Virginia’s first bicycle tech lab to teach students ebike mechanics, as well as entrepreneurship and health.

Ride in the footsteps of Daniel Boone with a new bike route tracing his steps through four states, from Atlanta to Cleveland. Coonskin bike helmet optional.

No bias here, either. A local Fox News channel reports on the opposition of North Carolina residents to a lane reduction and bike lanes along a rural highway, while failing to note that the primary reason for removing traffic lanes is to slow speeding drivers and improve safety, not to to force bike lanes on people who don’t want them.

 

International

A new international guidebook attempts to improve safety for riders around the world with proven bike lane design principles.

Momentum lists their picks for the best gifts for urban bike riders. If anyone has me for their Secret Santa, I’ll take the Brompton ebike, thank you.

A London tabloid accuses the police of going soft on scooter riders, after announcing they will no longer seize e-scooters being ridden illegally.

Record-setting Scottish bike rider Josh Quigley says it’s time to finish the around-the-world bike trip that was interrupted when he was run down by a Texas driver; he credits bicycling with saving his life after months of heavy drinking and depression — even though it’s nearly killed him twice.

The death toll is rising on Britain’s rural roads, as the pandemic bike boom led to a nearly 50% increase in countryside bicycling deaths last year, and almost double the total from 2018.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider during a failed pass. Lenient sentences like that might just be another reason more people on bikes are getting killed.

Police in Kolkata, India are reimposing a ban on bicycles on 71 thoroughfares and bridges, after removing the restrictions during the pandemic. Which, it should be noted, is still going strong.

A pair of Emirati teens are on the verge of completing a four-year challenge to ride their bikes through all seven of the United Arab Emirates.

A Chinese reporter examines the health of the country’s surviving bikeshare providers in the wake of the industry’s collapse four years ago due to flooding the market with cheap bikes and stricter government regulations.

 

Competitive Cycling

French cyclist Anthony Roux has started his own initiative to fight roadside litter, encouraging people to remove trash from both sides of the road, after becoming upset over the piles of trash he sees on his training rides. We can see a lot more garbage along the roads than people who zoom by in cars do. And too often cause more than our share of it.

Rouleur celebrates eight pivotal moments in the career of the legendary Eddy Merckx.

Nineteen of the top American cycling teams have joined forces to create the National Association of Cycling Teams, following the demise of the USA CRITS series; however, the L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team isn’t participating, at least for now. Unless maybe it’s actually 22 teams instead.

 

Finally…

Honestly, who wouldn’t want to ride a bicycle at 186 mph? It’s never too early to get your kid a pseudo-Peloton.

And how to buy a balance bike for your kid. Or you, for that matter.

No judgement.

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It’s penultimate day of the first full week of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to James L, André V, Paul F, Terese E and Matthew R for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite screen every day.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. And thanks for all the kind words accompanying the donations; that means as much as any amount of cash.

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

 

Metro bikewashes 605 freeway expansion, LA council considers safety measures, and CicLAvia heads to South LA

Sometimes, the explanation stinks as much as the project.

And the location.

Anyone who ever drove the 605 Freeway through Baldwin Park and the City of Industry in years past noticed the stench of the duck farm long before it came into sight.

And it lingered long after, making you wonder if the odor was still wafting through the air, or burned into your olfactory nerve.

It’s been 20 years since work began to turn the poultry farm into a park. Although you have to wonder if even that is long enough to get the stink off the land.

But now the stench is wafting from the Metro boardroom, instead.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the board Planning Committee unanimously approved a $35 million project to widen the freeway interchange at the 605 and Valley Blvd. And is greenwashing it with supposed benefits to bike riders and pedestrians.

What’s depressing is how inexorably these small freeway expansion projects continue to advance. And the Metro gaslighting that now promotes polluting auto-focused freeway expansion as good for equity and for active transportation.

He goes on to note that Caltrans bizarrely certified that the project would have no negative environmental impact.

Because apparently, induced demand isn’t a thing anymore.

The 605/Valley Blvd project was environmentally cleared via a negative declaration (asserting the project has no adverse environmental impacts) approved by Caltrans in May 2021. The environmental documents use discredited Level of Service metrics to show that widening roadways would “reduce congestion on Valley Boulevard” and “alleviate mobility constraints.” The project would widen roads, increasing car congestion and concomitant pollution burdens on the surrounding communities.

Equally bizarre, though, is Metro’s attempts at greenwashing the project by touting its extremely limited benefits to alternative transpiration.

Again, from Linton’s Streetsblog piece —

Caltrans and Metro tout the project as benefiting alternative transportation. The environmental documents assert that the project would “enhance bicyclist and pedestrian safety” and “help reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions” by supporting alternative modes of transportation: biking and walking.

All of the non-car features of the project are:

  • Adding a sidewalk where it is currently missing on the north side of Valley Boulevard – including ADA-mandated features such as wheelchair ramps.
  • Adding “a widened shoulder to provide a future bike lane along Eastbound Valley Boulevard up to the northbound loop on-ramp.” Installing this 1,400-feet length of bike lanes does not appear to be actually included in the project, but the margin for potential future bike lanes is nonetheless noted as helping reduce GHG emissions.
  • Reducing the curve radius of the northbound loop on-ramp from eastbound Valley Boulevard; this “would be reduced to slow entering traffic to enhance safety for bicyclists and pedestrians and support use of these alternative modes.” Note that the reason the turning radius is being narrowed is to accommodate a second lane on the current one-lane on-ramp (without taking out the business next door). Caltrans asserts that an upcoming curve radius would slow Southern California drivers entering the on-ramp, and that this would encourage bicycling. Really.

All the extra bike riding this project would inspire wouldn’t begin to offset the environmental and climate damage it would cause.

Then again, it’s hard to offset anything when the bike and pedestrian side of the equation is virtually nil.

Unless you think a possible, noncommittal quarter-mile bike lane that may never be built is enough to offset what would undoubtedly be a major increase in traffic and emissions.

Or that safety for people on foot and bicycles can really be enhanced by adding a second onramp lane.

Admittedly, I’m not lawyer. But it seems like it wouldn’t take a very big cannon to shoot holes in the environmental report for this project.

Or a water pistol, for that matter.

So let’s be honest.

Every member of the Planning Committee who voted in favor of this project — which is all of them — should be ashamed.

Because whatever benefits this freeway widening project may or may not offer, their efforts to bikewash it with negligible benefits to bike riders and pedestrians stinks every bit as much as the duck farm did.

And it will take years to wash that stench off them, too.

………

Nice to see an effort by LA Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz to use newly signed state laws to improve safety on our streets.

Then again, Koretz has always been in favor of safety improvements, as long as they’re in someone else’s district.

………

CicLAvia has released details on December’s 5.3 mile open streets festival in South LA, connecting the neighborhoods of South Central, Exposition Park, Leimert Park and Crenshaw.

………

Today’s must read comes from an Associated Press story that only tangentially involves bicycles.

Instead, it’s about kids as young as six years old being handcuffed and arrested by police — including brutal use-of-force incidents — the overwhelming majority of whom are Black, brown or other people of color.

Here’s just one example they cite.

About 165 miles due south, in the rural hamlet of Paris, Illinois, 15-year-old Skyler Davis was riding his bike near his house when he ran afoul of a local ordinance that prohibited biking and skateboarding in the business district — a law that was rarely enforced, if ever.

But on that day, according to Skyler’s father, Aaron Davis, police officers followed his mentally disabled son in their squad car and chased his bike up over a curb and across the grass.

Officers pursued Skyler into his house and threw him to the floor, handcuffing him and slamming him against a wall, his father said. Davis arrived to see police pulling Skyler — 5 feet tall and barely 80 pounds, with a “pure look of terror” on his face — toward the squad car.

“He’s just a happy kid, riding his bike down the road,” Davis said, “And 30 to 45 seconds later, you see him basically pedaling for his life.”

Seriously, there’s no damn excuse for targeting kids like this, unless they somehow pose a direct threat.

And that’s pretty hard to imagine for a six-year old.

Or an unarmed 15-year old just out for a bike ride.

………

More evidence that motor vehicle exhaust lowers intelligence, as a Texas driver rolls coal into a Whataburger dining room.

@jaysonmanzanares0

Only in Texas #fypシ #smoke #funny #stupid #dumbass #viral #popular #outtaline #whataburger @Whataburger

♬ original sound – Jayson Manzanares

While it may seem like an obnoxious prank, it should be treated as an assault with a deadly weapon, which could have severe consequences for anyone with allergies or breathing problems.

………

Who needs a bike car in the train when you’ve got one in front of it?

https://twitter.com/grescoe/status/1450864913396781063

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

………

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

No bias here. Instead of improving safety, Korea’s leading steel maker is banning bicycles from its mills.

Singapore is banning bicyclists from riding in groups of more than ten people riding abreast, or five riding single file.

 

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

Calabasas sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike-riding cosmetics shoplifter who raided the local Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores on at least four separate occasions.

Police in my Colorado hometown are looking for a peeping Tom who fled by bicycle after he was spotted, firing several shots at a group of people who tried to confront him.

A bike-riding Florida teenager says he was trying to kill himself to avoid going back to jail when he fatally shot a cop he was wrestling with, who was trying to arrest him for attempting to break into several cars.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The New York Times explains why Newsom vetoed a handful of bills, including California’s proposed Stop As Yield law and one legalizing jaywalking. Meanwhile, SF Gate questions why Newsom vetoed the jaywalking bill, since everyone does it.

Here’s a chance to make some money while you ride your bike. Caltrans wants to pay you up to $250 a day to clean up trash along California highways.

Santa Barbara is hosting a pair of public meetings, virtual and otherwise, to discuss a possible bike/ped bridge over the 101 Freeway.

A Santa Cruz charity ride raised over $200,000 for local nonprofits. And no, it’s not named for conservative KFI shock jocks Jon and Ken.

Good news and bad news. Bay Area bike riders are happy to learn the hard-won bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge won’t have to be closed for construction of a proposed water pipeline. But the approach leading to the bridge will be.

 

National

Seriously, who doesn’t need a limited edition Ozzy Osbourne bike jersey?

A climate website looks at the delivery riders on the front lines of the shakeup in sustainable transportation, and the price they pay with their own lives and bodies. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Outside offers advice on how to avoid low bone density, which has been linked to extensive bicycling.

Road Bike Action offers tips on how to be your own wrench.

Consumer Reports provides advice on how to keep your ebike running longer, while warning about the dangers of ebike battery fires.

A trio of Seattle physicians call on officials to reconsider a proposal to revoke the county’s mandatory bike helmet law, which has been used to unfairly target people of color.

Kindhearted Texas residents pitched in to buy a new ebike for a formerly homeless vet, after his homemade shoeshine cart and the jury-rigged ebike he built were stolen; he recovered the shoeshine cart, but his bike remains missing.

Hats off to a group of Rhode Island mountain bikers, who pitched in to scrub Nazi graffiti off state lands.

A former mountain biker from Seattle is in New York, replicating the Shadowman figures of 1980s street artist Richard Hambleton.

An op-ed from three New York teens calls on the city to develop The NYC Tube, a proposed inter-borough bicycle highway. We need something like that here in Los Angeles to connect at least some of the 88 cities in LA County. Let alone one crossing the City of LA itself.

Momentum Magazine talks with a stunt rider who calls himself Obloxkz, or O, about the Red Bull documentary NYC Bike Life and the ride-outs that continue to traumatize Long Island drivers.

Florida police are checking an abandoned bike for fingerprints, which may or may not have been the bike ridden by someone who may or may not have been Brian Laundrie, who may or may not be suspected in the death of Gabby Petito. Meanwhile, investigators are examining human remains found in a Florida nature reserve, which may or may not be Laundrie’s.

 

International

Intenet users teamed up to find a handicapped Vancouver man’s stolen handcycle, just 17 minutes after he posted a notice of the theft online.

An Italian ultracyclist is riding over 1,200 miles from Milan to Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference to spread the word about bicycling.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as India’s Relief Riders earn a nomination for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to deliver food and medicine to elderly, disabled and people isolating during the worst of the country’s pandemic.

An Indian man insists he loves his wife, despite running her down with his car as she rode her bicycle to work, then hacking her to death before attempting to cut her head off. Which makes you wonder what he would have done if he didn’t love her.

Malaysia threatens to jail people for up to three months for the crime of riding an e-scooter on public streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seems appropriate. Rising Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel will take part in the Kansas edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride, along with his Deceueninck-QuickStep teammate Mattia Cattaneo.

Seventeen top women’s teams have confirmed for next week’s inaugural Lion’s Den race in Sacramento, with a star-studded field including US Olympians Lily Williams and SoCal’s own Coryn Labecki, who was formerly known as Coryn Rivera before her recent marriage.

Cyclist looks forward to next year’s women’s Tour de France, calling it a week of brutal climbs and gravel.

A diabetes website talks with former Team Novo Nordisk cyclist Ezra Ward-Packard about the joys of competing with Type 1 diabetes. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

Cannondale is teaming with travel and language company EF Education First to sponsor new college cycling teams at one HBCU and two tribal colleges, with enough funding for three years.

Forty-seven-year old Natalie van Gogh is calling it a career after 15 years in the pro peloton, insisting she’s just Natalie, “not Natalie the transgender cyclist.”

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride your e-scooter on a highway, weaving in and out of traffic at up to 60 mph. Now you, too, can get your next bike from a haunted REI co-op.

And maybe it’s time we demanded a mandatory helmet law for deer.

Pretty impressive handspring as it tumbles offscreen, too.

………

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

CicLAvia returns with 3 dates this year, a first-hand view of traffic violence, and bike rider shoots driver in self-defense

We all have something to look forward to this year, with the return of America’s largest and most successful open streets festival.

In the best news we’ve had in a pandemic plagued year and a half, CicLAvia will return next month in Wilmington on August 10th.

That’s followed by the traditional Heart of LA route in Downtown Los Angeles on October 10th — the same date as the first CicLAvia, also in DTLA, eleven years earlier.

And last but far from least, a long-awaited return to South Los Angeles on October 5th.

Here’s what our bike-riding friend at KCBS2/KCAL9 have to say on the subject.

https://twitter.com/JeffVaughn/status/1411175401552896004

Photo of an earlier CicLAvia in DTLA by yours truly.

………

Every day as I search through the news, I find heartbreaking stories about fatal and near fatal crashes from across the US.

For every one I link to, there may be a dozen or more I don’t.

Just more collateral damage in our incessant obsession with getting from here to there as quickly and inefficiently as possible

Like this story from the very tip of the Pacific Northwest, a stone’s throw from Canada, about a 76-year-old man struck by a trailer pulled by a pickup driver while riding his bike.

Normally I’d read it, maybe mutter a quick prayer, and move on. Just another every day tragic occurrence.

Except this time, the details dovetailed with an email I received yesterday, in the form of a script, from fellow bike rider and corgi aficionado Mike Burk, who moved from SoCal to the cooler and cloudier clime a few years ago.

Fade in:

Late morning, driver’s POV.

Coming home from town this morning when we’re diverted off the highway to a side road because of a road block. At the intersection, noticed a truck towing a poorly loaded trailer carrying an old backhoe. The truck was stopped, the driver getting a ticket by a couple of sheriff’s deputies.

Finally back on the highway and two or three miles down the road. Flashing lights ahead. As we inched along I noticed a bicycle on its side and no rider around. Whatever happened is over (it had been only 90 minutes since we came that way into town).

Seeing the bike and the emergency vehicles, I got a picture.

Photo by Mike Burk

Dissolve to:

Early afternoon, POV over shoulder, sitting at computer.

Me, during a Zoom meeting with our homeowner’s association Publications Committee. Going over articles for our next month’s Kala Pointer Newsletter. One of the committee members asked, “Did you hear about Stan Cummings this morning? He was riding his bike…”

You can guess the rest. Yes, that was Stan’s bike. He was medivacced (sp) to Harborview Hospital in Seattle (40 miles… if you’re a crow). He’s in their TBI unit, not expected to recover well, if at all.

It didn’t take too long for someone following to dial 911 — and then for the sheriffs, local police, and state police to locate and stop the truck.

Stan is active in the community and on his bike. We’ll see what happens.

Fade to black.

Burk adds this final thought.

I forget that this can happen anywhere. We’re in a REALLY small town. Even after all the miles I’ve put on my bike, the thought of getting out on that highway (WA19 and WA20) up here just terrifies me. I keep to the back roads.

Sadly, that’s exactly the case.

The news stories I see come from everywhere English is spoken, and many places it’s not.

From big cities and tiny towns in every state throughout the US, as well as Canada, Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, India, Africa, New Zealand and Australia. And virtually everywhere else, on every kind of roadway.

Yet somehow, the onus for safety inevitably rests on our narrow, unprotected shoulders, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the danger to people on bikes, and everyone else.

It’s like living in a village where monsters roam the streets, dragging people off at random. And instead of doing something about them, we merely tell the villagers to be careful and lock their doors at night.

Like this rabidly auto-centric anti-Vision Zero diatribe, in other words.

Which is kind of like telling gunshot victims to dodge the bullets, rather than suggesting that maybe gun owners shouldn’t shoot them.

Frankly, I don’t have the answers anymore.

I just know I’m so damn tired of reading every day about still more innocent people dragged off by the monsters.

And worrying that one day they’ll grab me, too.

………

Bike Talk talks protected bike lanes, from every angle.

………

Speaking of which, the protected bike lane on Oakland’s Telegraph Ave has been so successful, the city wants to tear it out.

………

Apparently, Minnesota’s annual Freedom From Pants Ride went off without a…well, you get the idea.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

………

Megan Lynch forwards this piece about a man seven years into a diagnosis of dementia, yet still riding his bike across Nova Scotia to fight the disease.

………

Evidently, the Dutch city of Groningen was been a bicycle city for awhile.

………

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid explores England’s old Great North Road from London to Newcastle, traveling in style in a classic Morgan sports car, accompanied by a Brompton foldie in the passenger seat.

………

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

In a truly bizarre case, a man on a bike shot a road raging Houston driver in self-defense when the male driver told a bike-riding couple they couldn’t ride in that neighborhood, then deliberately knocked the woman off her bike; her pistol-packing partner was let go, while the driver was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

No bias here. After a driver intentionally knocks a British man off his bike, she claims to be an ex-cop, and the current cops don’t hesitate to blame the victim. And a driving instructor uses the incident for a training video.

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

A man on a bicycle remains at large after shooting an Arleta man following an argument Sunday night.

Seriously? There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 23-year old English man who was caught masturbating on his bicycle, riding one-handed as he pursued women and young girls. Yet the bike-riding perv somehow avoided jail despite doing it not once, not twice or even thrice, but four times, apparently because the judge thought he’s a “promising student.”

A Singapore bicyclist was criticized for leaving a painted bike lane to draft behind a trio of dump trucks. Although that would be perfectly legal in the US, though not necessarily smart, where most, if not all, states allow bike riders to take the lane if they’re riding the speed of traffic.

………

Local

The Gateway Cities Council of Governments will discuss the ill-advised plan to widen the 710 Freeway, displacing homeowners and fouling the air to create more induced demand. A much better option would be to spend the same amount on transit, bikeways and pedestrian improvements so people don’t have to drive the damn thing.

Brooklyn Beckham is one of us, as soccer great David Beckham’s grownup son goes for a Beverly Hills bike ride with a friend.

 

State

Just days after a woman was killed riding her bike on North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla near UC San Diego, another bike rider was injured when a suspected drunk driver drifted into the bike lane he was riding in, less than half a mile from where the first woman was run down.

The San Diego Union-Tribune considers how North Park’s new 30th Street protected bike lane will affect the community.

A Santa Barbara librarian says her new ebike was the best thing to come out of 2020.

San Jose police busted an alleged fence who specialized in high-end bicycles and construction equipment, while paying thieves a fraction of their actual value; he was caught with an estimated $100,000 of hot merch at the time of his arrest. If you’re missing an expensive bike anywhere in the Bay Area, give ’em a call, just in case.

Tragic news from South Sacramento, where a 76-year old man riding a bike was killed by a hit-and-run driver who briefly stopped following the collision, then ran over the victim to make her getaway.

For anyone up in the Sacramento area, the Davis Bicycling, Street Safety and Transportation Commission will meet on Thursday to discuss a number of proposals, including a newly funded plan to widen the I-80 corridor (bad), while possibly adding bicycling improvements (good). Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

National

Seriously? Women’s Health asks if outdoor bike riding is good for weight loss. Hint: A resounding yes!

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a California man raised $13,000 to provide running water to families in the impoverished Navajo Nation by riding his bike from California to New Mexico.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico school is tapping into federal funds to get more kids to bike and walk to school. Which is something every school should be working on.

Boulder CO police say there’s a nationwide bike shortage, so use a damn U-lock, already. Although they may not have said it quite that way.

More proof that collisions with pedestrians are just as dangerous for the person on the bike, as a 28-year old New York woman was left clinging to life after she crashed into a pedestrian walking in a Prospect Park crosswalk while she was riding in the bike lane. Seriously, ride carefully around pedestrians, who are just as unpredictable as people on bikes. And in cars.

An Atlanta bike rider flagged down paramedics after an 18-year old backup quarterback at Kennesaw State University was fatally shot near Pensacola, Florida; his 19-year old passenger suffered multiple gunshot wounds when their attackers fired over 50 rounds at their car.

 

International

TechRadar rates the “super smart” Cowboy 4 as their top ebike, saying it feels like the future of bicycling.

Mashable offers tips on what to think about before entering the ebike world. But they get the first tip wrong, suggesting that ebiking is just a seasonal thing for everyone but the most extreme bicyclists.

Offroad.cc shares their thoughts on what to look for in a used mountain bike.

Um, okay. Pink Bike looks at all the things that didn’t happen in the world of bicycling last month.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day in jail for killing an 18-year old man riding a bike. But at least he called 911 before driving off.

A young Black man plans to file a complaint against the Montreal cops who roughed him up and handcuffed him for the crime of not having a reflector on his front wheel. Or maybe because he stopped to watch them question another man.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a truck driver walked without spending a day behind bars for killing a 73-year old ebike rider, because the judge thought he showed “genuine and enduring” remorse. Which, oddly, won’t do a damn thing to bring his victim back.

A Singapore bike rider unfairly gets the blame for riding in the traffic lane when a driver slams into him from behind, throwing him onto the windshield before landing in the roadway; the victim sat up following the crash, so hopefully he’s okay. Warning: The dashcam video of the crash is absolutely horrifying, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on it.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, you should have had plenty of time to catch up on the Tour de France. So it shouldn’t come as a spoiler to reveal that last year’s winner Tadej Pogacar not only reclaimed the yellow jersey, but tightened his grip on it before Monday’s rest day.

Breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt argues the level of competition is much higher at this year’s Tour de France, thanks to a rash of young riders making their presence known.

Cavendish says he may be struggling, but don’t write off four-time Tour champ Chris Froome yet.

Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of the Tour after losing the yellow jersey to focus on winning mountain bike gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Judging by the video below, he might just have a shot.

A sports physicist considers how many calories you’d have to consume to ride like a pro in the Tour de France.

Nicholas Dlamini, the first Black South African to compete in the Tour, received a round of “rapturous” applause when he crossed the finish line on Sunday’s ninth stage of the Tour, despite failing to make the cut following a crash.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get so drunk you can’t remember stealing a $1,000 bike. That feeling when you’re glad the bear only ate your bike seat.

And John and Yoko were both one of us.

Thanks to author Richard Risemburg for the heads-up.

………

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

Man killed in South LA shooting and bike-riding 8-year old girl shot, and Bonin faces another right wing recall effort

There’s a special place in hell for whoever fatally shot a 22-year-old man in South LA Tuesday night — and also shot an eight-year old girl as she was apparently riding past on her bicycle.

Unfortunately, we seem to be going back to the bad old days when shootings were an everyday occurrence in Los Angeles, just like traffic collisions.

And just like traffic violence, innocent people are too often collateral damage. Like an eight-year old girl, who fortunately is expected to survive.

And just like traffic violence, it’s a problem that can be solved, if we all just care enough to do something about it.

Which sadly seems like a very big if these days.

………

Bike and pedestrian friendly Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin is just the latest LA official targeted by a recall petition.

And not for the first time.

https://twitter.com/DavidZahniser/status/1404858096426487814

Despite Bonin’s overwhelming popularity, winning 71% of the vote in the 11th Council District in 2017, he has been repeatedly targeted by conservatives who hate his policies, but haven’t been able to beat him at the ballot box.

Whether this latest recall attempt is a genuine effort to get him out of office, or just an attempt to harass and distract him, it seems like a remarkable waste of time and money for someone who will be up for re-election in less than a year.

………

No hypocrisy here.

Speaking at yesterday’s meeting of the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee, outgoing CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz says hardly anyone uses the bike lanes in his Westside district.

That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Koretz repeatedly blocking bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and other major streets in his district, though.

Could it?

People might be more likely to use them if they were safer and provided more separation from the Westside’s high speed traffic, legal and otherwise.

And if they connected with other safe bike lane in an actual network that could be used to travel throughout the district, rather than a handful of disconnected bike lanes that unexpectedly end, forcing riders to fight their way through heavy traffic.

A failure of planning that can be laid directly at Koretz’s feet, who is clearly all in favor of building bike lanes.

In someone else’s district.

Correction: Call it a poor word choice on my part. The failure was not one of planning, as former LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery pointed out in the comments yesterday

I’d like to take issue with your use of the word “planning” in respect to the lack of bikeways on the Westside. It is not “a failure of planning” that the Westside does not have a sufficient bikeway network. What the Westside does not have is enough political will. The planning was done, the funding was available for implementation, and the projects were all blocked by the NIMBYs and sitting elected officials.

She’s right.

I should have known better, because I remember those losing battles all too well. My apologies for unintentionally placing the blame where it doesn’t belong. 

………

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

A Michigan bike rider was the latest victim of a driveby paintball shooting, which is a lot less harmless than it might seem.

No bias here. An op-ed in the New York Daily News says “ebike blood” is on the hands of New York’s progressive city council for the crime of finally making it legal to ride an ebike or e-scooter in the city. Then goes on to lump both together, without noting that the injuries and deaths he cites could just as easily have happened with regular bikes or skateboards.

Speaking of which, there’s tragic news from New York, where 65-year old actress Lisa Banes died over a week after she was struck by a hit-and-run rider on an e-scooter.

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

A San Francisco man rode his bicycle into a drugstore, dumped a shelf-full of merchandise into a garbage bag, then casually rode his bike out the door.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego’s Coast News Group visits North County’s bicycle-themed Rouleur Brewing Company.

SF Gate recommends everything you need to start commuting by bike. Except for the actual, you know, bicycle.

Once again, the bike rider gets the blame, after a 69-year old Sonoma woman suffered major injuries when she allegedly rode her bicycle into the path of a motorist. Which is hard to imagine, since she was riding west and was struck by a driver headed east on the same road; as always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses to corroborate the driver’s story.

Another tempting road bike route from Sacramento Magazine.

 

National

How to stop that dreaded tubular tire shimmy. Besides riding clinchers, that is.

Don’t ask me to explain the science. But studies confirm that wider road bike tires are faster than skinnier tires. Thanks to Austin Brown, aka Power Lama, for the link.

Cycling News offers advice on where to buy ebikes, which are in unexpectedly short supply these days.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of self-described old fogies, whose ages match the mid-70° Kansas weather, has been meeting for weekly rides for the last ten years, rain, snow or shine.

Twenty-year old Dutch IndyCar racer Rinus VeeKay will miss this weekend’s race in Wisconsin after breaking his clavicle crashing his bicycle on a training ride.

A Cape Cod woman says she may not have a view of the water, but she’s just as happy living next to a bike path.

Good news for Sheldon Brown fans, as the popular bicycle repair website penned by the late bike mechanic will live on, despite the closure of the Boston bike shop where he worked.

Once again, a driver is somehow unable to avoid crashing into a group of bike riders, as one person was killed and another wounded when the driver smashed into a group of four people riding bicycles in Syracuse NY. And once again, fled the scene, leaving his or her victims bleeding in the street.

A helmetless woman died after falling off her bike on a bike path in a Bronx park. Yet another tragic reminder that slow speed falls are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Bikes are still booming in Gotham, where ridership on bridges over the East River are still above pre-pandemic levels.

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah is one of us, riding his bike to a New York comedy club where he wasn’t planning to perform. But did anyway.

A New Orleans letter writer says he’s never seen a single bike rider obey basic traffic laws in 30 years. Which likely says a lot more about his powers of observation than it does the people on bikes.

No pun here, as a Miami paper says the city is driving to become more bicycle friendly, when it’s all that driving that made and keeps it unfriendly. But it’s interesting that they included Santa Monica, along with Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm, as their examples of bike and pedestrian friendly cities.

A grateful Florida man gets to thank the Florida paramedics who saved his life, despite suffering 47 broken bones when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike.

 

International

Your next bike helmet could warn you in advance about a pending dooring.

A tech website says the world’s obsession with e-cars is impeding the race to net zero, and that more active transportation is needed, instead. Which is pretty much what we’ve been saying all along.

An Edinburgh, Scotland man says buying an adult tricycle was the best move he made during the pandemic.

Presenting the first belt-drive ebike capable of going 28 mph, from Dutch bikemaker Gazelle. A speed that requires a helmet here in the late, great Golden State, and can’t be legally ridden on a bike path.

The shortage or bikes and parts driven by the pandemic bike boom isn’t likely to be helped by a two week closure of Shimano’s Malaysia plant due to a government shutdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News suggests ten riders to watch in the men’s 2021 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee this weekend. Then tops that with eleven riders to watch on the women’s side.

Popular American cyclist Tejay van Garderen is calling it a career after this weekend’s nationals.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me — If you’re carrying meth and weed on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Valet your bike at the College World Series.

And that feeling when there’s no sensible way to mount a bike rack on your supercar.

………

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

Another bike unfriendly ranking for Los Angeles, more on South LA’s RideWitUs LA shop, and a mea culpa from, uh, me

Another day, another ranking of the best — and worst — bike cities.

PeopleForBikes released their annual city ratings, adding 107 international cities in 12 countries to the 660 American cities.

Evidently, to show just how badly we’re doing on this side of the Atlantic, and how far we have to go.

Shockingly, one American city — Provincetown, Massachusetts — interrupted the expected list of cities from the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain and Belgium in the top ten.

As usual, though, the ratings often make little sense, like faux Dutch Solvang coming in ahead of more noteworthy bike cities like Davis CA and Boulder CO.

Santa Monica is the highest rated SoCal city with a score of 52; Los Angeles comes in at a lowly 33, tied with San Diego, Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks.

And bizarrely, one point above bike-friendly Long Beach.

But be prepared to be frustrated if you check out the site. The design is confusing, the search function is hidden in the upper right corner, and the links seem to freeze at random.

Or at least they did for me, regardless of browser.

As part of their survey, PeopleForBikes also examines how to build a bike city.

………

A few weeks back, we told you about South LA’s Kellie Hart, and how the RideWitUs LA bike club she formed during the pandemic lockdown morphed into a brick and mortar bike shop.

Now the LA Times picks up the story, viewing it through the rising entrepreneurship in the Black community.

Researchers found that 440,000 Black business owners nationally shuttered their businesses between February and April 2020 — a 41% plunge. Those numbers represent a tremendous loss for Black communities, but they don’t paint the full picture. New data show there’s also been a surge in new businesses despite the pandemic, with Black communities experiencing the greatest increase in business registrations.

The paper explains how the club grew organically from a single woman out for a ride to a fixed schedule serving well over one hundred riders.

The rides became more frequent, and one by one, Hart’s crew got bigger. Friends brought friends, and sometimes people out biking alone saw the group of young, mostly Black and Latino cyclists and joined them. By April 2020, the informal bike rides had a schedule and the group had evolved into a club…

Members of the RideWitUs bike club are mostly in their 30s and 40s. Most are Black or Latino and hail from South L.A. neighborhoods. They number about 150 strong and ride between 12 and 25 miles three times a week including to Santa Monica, Redondo Beach and downtown L.A. Most did not see themselves becoming cyclists when they took their first rides, but they came back for the sense of community.

Then from that, to a thriving informal bike business.

Early on, Hart used her savings to buy three bikes and sold them within 24 hours. The next day, she bought five bikes and those sold immediately too.

“I haven’t stopped since that first day and the business has been booming,” she said.

From there, Hart grew into an actual bike shop.

And a Black-owned business was born, successfully riding the wave of the pandemic bike boom — one with big plans for future expansion into other services and events.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole story.

Then taking a few more to join the ride.

And shop the shop.

………

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

A few weeks back, I included a short link back to a group criticizing a code of conduct for a London Park to help bike riders and motorists get along.

Not that cars belong in parks to begin with, but still.

In doing so, I picked up Road.cc’s characterization of a bike group’s critical characterization of the code, writing ““A London park’s code of conduct tells bike riders not to scare the people in the big, dangerous machinesNo, really.”

Okay, I added the part about the big, dangerous machines. Because they are.

But Bryan Dotson wrote from Houston to tell me I missed the mark.

I followed the link and read the Code of Conduct.  It was on the website of a cycling group that had pushed for removing motor vehicles from the park.  It was 180 degrees from your short summary.

I tried to comment but it didn’t appear to go through.

Since then, there has been a fuller discussion of this on Road.cc:

Richmond Park Cyclists’ co-founder responds to critics of controversial Code of Conduct | road.cc

As I said, my read of their Code of Conduct is that it probably pretty reasonable.  (I’m not there and don’t know local conditions, so I would give them the benefit of the doubt on some items..)  Others may disagree on points,

I’m inclined more favorably to those who light a candle in the dark…

After following Bryan’s example and clicking through to the link he provided, I had to agree that the code of conduct does seem like a relatively reasonable attempt to keep the peace on sometimes contentious streets, and comes from the right place.

I’m the first to admit that I can be pretty flip, and quick with the snark; it’s both a reflection of my own personality, and a conscious effort to keep things light when I can, when so many of the stories we have to discuss can be so dark.

But sometimes I get it wrong.

And when I do, I count on you to help keep me honest.

Thanks to Bryan Dotson for doing exactly that.

………

It was just a week ago that we learned about the death of Utah Jazz legend Mark Eaton, the 7’4″ shot blocking specialist who was found lying unresponsive in the roadway next to his bicycle, and died after being taken to a local hospital.

We still don’t know what caused Eaton’s death.

But Phillip Young writes to suggest that we all brush up on CPR in case a riding companion should suffer a similar collapse, or is involved in a crash during a ride.

Doctors with the University of Arizona have made a short, six-minute video explaining Continuous Chest Compression CPR, aka Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. 

It’s worth taking a few minutes out of your day to watch it, and take notes.

As Young reminds us, heart attacks can be induced by exercise, even in seemingly healthy people.

And you might be called on to save a fellow bike rider’s life on some future ride.

………

Apparently, LA drivers already know how to use protected bike lanes.

………

Okay, so it feels good to have a president and first lady who celebrate her 70th birthday with a bike ride.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

This is the New York edition of the dreaded Bike Life that is apparently terrorizing drivers in the Northeast.

No, really.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the video.

………

Here’s something else to worry about.

When your bike breaks, you may not be able to fix it.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the forward.

………

Streets For All is hosting another in their series of online virtual happy hours next week.

………

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

Two men intentionally crashed a motor scooter into a 63-year old bike-riding New York man for no apparent reason, as well as kicking him while he was down, in what appears to be a totally random attack.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who punched a British teenager in the face, and rode off with his bicycle.

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

Santa Maria cops busted a man for a fatal shooting, as well as trying — and failing — twice to kill another man, while he was riding a bicycle in the city.

………

Local

The wife of fallen bicyclist Branden Findley wants the residents of their St. Andrews Square neighborhood — and the rest of us — to know about this past Tuesday’s arraignment of Ronald Earl Kenebrew, Jr, accused of killing Findley as he made his getaway in a carjacked van in DTLA, then simply walking away from the crash. Meanwhile, the gofundme for Findley’s daughters remains a little over a thousand dollars short of the $45,000 goal. Thanks again to Keith Johnson.

A Culver City man got his stolen ebikes back when police busted a serial burglar who was riding one of them, and had the other with him.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Seth Davidson’s Cycling in the South Bay; today he announced he’s throwing in the towel and shutting down the popular bike blog after more than ten years and one highly entertaining book. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

 

State

A San Jose bike rider says traffic is no worse after a recent road diet and didn’t spill over into side streets, as the local NIMBYs had predicted.

You’ve got to be kidding. Oakland is proposing ripping out one of the Bay Area’s first and most successful protected bike lanes, on iconic Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, and replacing the barriers with buffers.

Sacramento Magazine recommends what looks like a very pleasant and placid 42-mile loop ride from Maidu Park to Flower Farm.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride bikes with kids. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Cycling News offers a quick primer on the different classes of ebikes.

Um, no. Best Reviews recommends the best commuter bikes, with a very short list that is oddly heavy on Schwinns and all available on Amazon.

Portland’s citizen police review board says yes, twerking in a bike lane a protest is grounds for arrest.

After an Oregon man died of ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease, his wife is fulfilling his bucket list wish to ride a bike through all 50 states.

The bighearted owner of a Tucson burger stand donated 100% of their sales on Tuesday to support the bike-riding victims of a red light-running tow truck driver who killed one woman, and seriously injured four others.

Engineers at the University of Minnesota have developed a smart, if somewhat awkward, ebike that can calculate a car’s trajectory, and honk to warn drivers who pose a treat. Then again, I can do that myself. And add some choice words and a gesture or two to go with it.

A Harvard professor may have still won a Nobel Prize even if he wasn’t “a bicyclist of quite an extreme kind.” But it probably didn’t hurt.

A New York prosecutor says victims of a terrorist who used a rental truck as a weapon as he sped along a Hudson River bike path are agonizing over the infinite trial delays in the case.

No surprise here, as a New York report found 70% of the city’s drivers exceeded the speed limit. Although chances are, Los Angeles drivers could easily leave that figure in their rear view mirror.

The annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride is set to roll from Georgia through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, as six young members of the Cherokee Nation retrace the route their ancestors took in the infamous Trail of Tears, one of the most shameful events in American history.

Attorneys for the Georgia State House Whip are working to quash an indictment the Republican legislator earned for helping a friend cover up a hit-and-run by failing to report it to the authorities, in a test of political power versus any semblance of justice.

 

International

The UK’s Cyclist profiles America’s last remaining Tour de France winner.

A new bike taillight incorporates an alarm to keep your bike from being stolen, and a GPS to help find it if it is.

In an effort to boost ebike adoption, the UK is considering a plan to allow people to try out ebikes at various events and popular holiday locations.

Never ride without full body armor, as a Paris startup introduces an inflatable flack jacket that turns into a full torso airbag if it senses you come off your bike.

Portugal is expanding bicycle factories and hiring new workers as they work to meet the sudden increase in demand caused by the worldwide bike boom.

Thanks to a bad day with my diabetes on Wednesday, we missed the observance of yesterday’s World Bicycle Day, as Entrepreneur looks at four Indian bike startups that are changing the way the country commutes.

Gulf News offers a photographic look at World Bicycle Day in the Mid East.

Aussie university researchers took a look at speeding drivers. And found they usually just keep speeding, regardless of tickets, fines or crashes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Something to look forward to. An eight stage women’s Tour de France will return next year, kicking off on the last day of the men’s Tour; the women’s Giro will also return to the WorldTour calendar after being downgraded.

If you’re in the mood for a European cycling vacation next summer, the 2022 European cycling championships scheduled for Munich in August is looking for English speaking volunteers. And nothing says you can’t stick around for Octoberfest the following month. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the link.

 

Finally…

That feeling when n+1 = 1, at least when it comes to a combination road and gravel bike. Your next bike could be more vegan than you are — and yes, that’s really a thing.

And learn how to ride a bike with rapper A$AP Ferg.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Bike rider critical after South LA hit-and-run, de Leόn opposes Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Blvd, and cargo bikes of old

It’s happened again.

A heartless coward fled the scene, leaving an innocent person on a bicycle seriously injured in the street.

Police are looking for the driver of a maroon Kia Optima, who was turning right onto Flower Street from Florence Ave in South LA, when he or she right hooked the victim, who was crossing Flower in the crosswalk around 6:55 Monday evening.

The driver fled south on Flower.

Paramedics transported the victim to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Ramirez of the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500, or call 877/527-3247 after hours or on weekends.

………

Disappointing news, as CD14 Councilmember Kevin de Leόn comes out against the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, choosing cars over people and livability.

Meanwhile, the Eagle Rock Association has taken the opposite stance by endorsing the plan.

Maybe de Leόn is just trying to avoid angering anyone by allowing the removal of a traffic lane before his widely expected run for mayor next year.

But he could be making the same miscalculation too many others on the council have made, mistaking the loudest and angriest voices for that of the majority — many of whom prefer safe and livable streets to sucking in exhaust fumes and playing Frogger with speeding drivers.

Former CD4 Councilmember David Ryu learned that lesson too late to save his seat.

………

Apparently, there’s nothing new about cargo bikes.

Yes, bike riders have always been cool.

………

CD7 Councilmember Monica Rodriguez calls for public participation to re-envision deadly Foothill Blvd in Lakeview Terrace.

………

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

A Redwood City man faces charges for attacking a woman riding on a beach bike path in Half Moon Bay, pushing her down a rocky slope before throwing her bicycle on top of her, then threatening a witness who tried to help.

No bias here. After New York’s outgoing mayor says he’s open to license plates on bicycles, a local news station gleefully points out all the scofflaw bike riders they can find. Never mind the ones who don’t break the law, or all those drivers who do. Or that it just doesn’t work

Unbelievable. A road raging British man will spend the next year behind bars for getting out of a car and repeatedly punching and choking a man on a bike, who had apparently offended him by swerving to avoid a cat — but then shook the victim’s hand and apologized, using his own shirt to clean up the man’s blood, when he realized a recording of the incident would be sent to the police. And later friended the frightened man on Facebook.

………

Local

No surprise here. As Los Angeles heads back to the streets and driving rates rise to pre-pandemic levels, road rage is making a big comeback, too.

LADOT will host a virtual meeting this coming Wednesday to discuss plans to close the infamous Northvale Gap on the Expo Line bike path; expect the same entitled NIMBY opposition from homeowners as we’ve seen from the beginning.

UCLA’s Transportation department calls for biking your way to better health. It makes for healthier cities, too. And universities.

West Hollywood’s carfree weekend closure of Robertson Blvd got off to a slow start on Mother’s Day weekend. Although it might help if the city got the date right.

Racism has raised its ugly head in Santa Monica, where anti-Semitic graffiti had to be painted over on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path; similar offensive messages were painted on Abbott Kinney Blvd in recent weeks, as well.

Life is cheap in Long Beach, where a speeding drunk driver who lost control of his car, killing a young woman riding with him and injuring another driver, got a lousy 50 days of community service, 18 months of DUI classes and three years probation. He also lost his license for three years, which doesn’t actually seem to stop anyone.

 

State

A planned 1,230-mile bike trail stretching from Oregon to Mexico is around 70% complete; the pathway stitches together existing bikeways to make up the longer trail.

San Diego has taken a page out of LA’s book, as the city has become even deadlier, five years after adopting Vision Zero, although deaths there have gone down the past two years.

A group of Berkeley high school students spent the past year carving an unpermitted mountain jump course into the hills above the city; now they’re fighting to keep the city from bulldozing it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A 12-year old boy and a 50-something man in Sebastopol suffered major injuries when an alleged speeding drunk driver slammed into their bikes, before smashing into a tree and suffering major injuries himself.

 

National

Far from killing business as opponents predicted, Yelp data from five cities, ranging from Boston to Burbank, shows that interest in restaurants along newly carfree streets went up.

Lifestyle website Inside Hook says between gas shortages, fuel prices, climate change and the resurgent pandemic, there’s never been a better time to ditch your car for a bike. Permanently.

Pez Cycling News offers tips for beginning bicyclists to help new riders get out on the road, while Cycling News considers the things you should think about before riding an ebike for the first time, but probably haven’t.

Seriously, you shouldn’t have to remind anyone that cemeteries are sacred ground, and not the place to train on your bike. In Portland, or anywhere else.

Kansas City adopted a Vision Zero plan, pledging to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030. Let’s hope they take it more seriously than Los Angeles has. Then again, it would be hard to do less. 

 

International

A new study of bicycling rates in 17 countries confirms what we already knew — women are the strongest indicator of a healthy bicycling environment. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

Cycling Weekly pays tribute to the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper album with a cover collage of 130 people who changed bicycling. Hopefully for the better, because we’ve had more than enough of the other kind.

Trek does the right thing, and offers a free bicycle to a British Columbia nurse after hers was stolen while she was busy giving Covid-19 shots. Seriously, it takes a real schmuck to steal a bike from someone working to save lives.

No bias here, either. After an Ontario, Canada man was hit by a cop while riding his bike, the local paper bends over backward to shift blame from the cop to an apparently sentient patrol car.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 15-year old English paperboy’s bicycle while he was making his rounds.

A British man is calling for a change in the law to require that collisions involving bike riders are treated like crashes involving drivers, five years after his wife was killed in a collision with someone on a bicycle. Actually, they already are; in either case, the person on the bicycle almost always gets the blame.

In a European study conducted by Ford, people wearing headphones were four seconds slower to identify road hazards than those without them, whether traveling on two wheels or four.

A Kiwi bike rider narrowly escaped disaster when a shortcut across a New Zealand airport runway nearly led to him being cut in half by a glider tow cable.

Amazing bike cam video, as a trio of Aussie bicyclists were lucky to escape injury when a bolt of lightening struck the roadway just behind their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Giro got its third leader in four days, as Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder won his first Grand Tour stage in Thursday’s 6th stage.

Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin is back from his six-month non-retirement to reconsider his future, apparently deciding it will include next month’s Tour de Suisse.

VeloNews profiles Mavi Garcia, the double-Spanish national champ and top 10 finisher, who often flies under the radar on the women’s pro tour.

More evidence that motor vehicles don’t belong in bike races, whether race motor or team support cars.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new bike hub used to be a brothel. Politicians can’t catch a break when they bike.

And nothing like hopping around on your pogo bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Man fixing bike severely injured in South LA hit-and-run, and what white allies can do to help build greater bike equity

The LAPD is looking for the driver of a glass utility truck who ran over a homeless man as he worked on a bicycle in South LA, leaving the victim with severe injuries.

The crash happened on Monday, January 4th, at the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Nevin Avenue in the Central-Alameda neighborhood.

The driver had just turned the corner when he struck the man as he knelt near the curb. He briefly stopped, then continued on without getting out of his truck.

The crash was caught on a security cam across the street.

But be warned before you click on it, because it clearly shows the innocent victim getting hit by the driver’s truck. And there’s no way to unsee it once you do.

As always, there is a $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run that results in serious injury, under LA’s standing hit-and-run reward program.

………

Good piece in Bicycling from the “People’s Bike Mayor of New York,” who explains what white allies can do to make bicycling more equitable for all riders.

Starting with this.

The biggest and most important thing an ally can do is shut up, listen, and amplify the voices of Black and brown folks, who are often silenced.

That’s an important message.

Because too often I’ve heard well-meaning white people explain to people of color what they need, instead of asking them first.

And sometimes, I’ve been one of them.

We’ve come a long way from the days when a friend told me you’d never see him or any other Black person on a bicycle, because everyone would just assume they couldn’t afford a car.

LA groups like East Side Riders, Black Kids on Bikes, Major Taylor Cycling Club and Black Girls Do Bike, as well as the Bahati Foundation Cycling Club and the Legion of Los Angeles, founded by former national champs Rahsaan Bahati and Justin Williams, respectively, have made great strides in getting more people of color out on bikes.

But clearly, we’ve still got a long way to go.

Here’s the Yahoo link if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

………

Any chance they might be willing to trade national leaders for a few days?

Thanks to W. Corylus for the heads-up.

………

Another SoCal stolen bike recovered thanks to Bike Index’ free lifetime bike registration and nationwide bike theft database.

………

This one will probably come in handy some day.

If it hasn’t already.

………

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

No bias here. A Singapore news site somehow concludes a bike rider was in the wrong for getting right hooked after stopping a few feet beyond the stop line, as if the truck driver that nearly hit him had no obligation to see or go around him. I would have flipped him off, too, under the same circumstances.

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

A bike-riding Chicago-area man was busted for allegedly committing 15 car burglaries while wearing ten different shirts and five pairs of pants; whenever he was caught on security cam he’d take off a layer to make himself less recognizable. Didn’t work, though.

………

Local

LAUnscripted invites you to customize your ebike with Newport Beach bikemaker Electric Bike Company.

 

State

A Coachella bike rider was lucky to escape with a minor head injury after being struck by a driver.

Bike shop owners in California’s Central Coast are enjoying the benefits of the lockdown-induced bike boom.

Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic bike fest will be pushed back from May to October, in hopes the coronavirus pandemic will recede by fall and allow the event to be held.

A San Francisco advocate is calling for the elimination of beg buttons, which prioritize motor vehicle traffic over pedestrians; the buttons often force bike riders to ride up onto the curb to push the button in order to get the light to change.

 

National

An Arizona preacher complains he almost became a hood ornament for a careless driver, who somehow didn’t see him on his bike directly in front of her car.

Bicycling takes a look at — and recommends — New York’s massive, 750-mile cross-state Empire State Trail, which allows you to bike across the state, from north to south and east to west. Or vice versa.

Speaking of New York, they could become the next state to adopt the Idaho Stop Law, after an upstate legislator introduced a bill calling for bike riders to be allowed to roll through stop signs and go through red lights after coming to a full stop.

 

International

Do as he says, not as he does. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was spotted riding his bicycle in London’s Olympic Park, seven miles from his home a 10 Downing Street — despite the country’s Covid lockdown orders requiring people to stay close to home. Needless to say, some people were none too pleased.

Singapore drivers are fed up with bicyclists hogging the roadway “like nobody’s business.” Which is another way of saying streets are for cars, and anyone else is just in the way. Especially when there’s another lane to go around them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist and mountain biker Lachlan Morton offers tips on how to ride during the winter. Almost none of which applies in sunny Los Angeles.

Cycling Weekly plays fashion critic, ranking which women’s WorldTour team has the best kit.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is looking forward to riding for a new team this year, saying competing for the same team year after year felt like copy and pasting. Never mind that he’d already been pushed from the leadership of what is now Team Ineos.

 

Finally…

If Zwift has gotten too boring for you, try being a bike messenger from the comfort of your own home. That feeling when your failed wheelie ends up with a swim.

And nothing like guitar legend Robert Fripp accompanying your exuberant exercise bike vocal performance.

………

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

Murder charge in stoned death of autistic bike rider, call for expanded Metro funding, and keep cars out of SaMo bike lanes

It’s Day 13 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Trinh D and David D for their generous support for SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy! 

It only takes a few clicks to donate and help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

………

Long Beach resident Richard Lavalle was charged with second-degree murder in the DUI death of 12-year old bike rider Noel Bascon in Costa Mesa Sunday evening.

The boy, who suffered from autism, was riding with his father in a crosswalk when Lavalle allegedly ran a stop sign while driving stoned.

Lavalle is being held without bail, and faces up to 30-years behind bars if he’s convicted.

He could also be charged with a third strike after robbery convictions in 2009 and 2018, which could result in a possible life sentence.

The murder charge results from a Watson Advisement following a 2013 conviction for driving under the influence in San Diego County, stating Lavalle could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence in the future. Otherwise, he would have faced a manslaughter charge.

His passenger, Lee Anna Murphy, has yet to be charged despite being found in possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia.

A crowdfunding account to help pay Bascon’s funeral expenses has raised over $17,000 in just one day, topping the original $10,000 goal.

………

Thirty LA-area organizations are calling for expanded eligibly of Metro funding currently dedicated for highways.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1336399149403541510

………

No, Santa Monica’s new two-way protected bike lane isn’t for cars.

Even if their owners assume they own all the road.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1336529892746297344

………

Here’s your chance to weigh in on transportation issues in South LA.

………

………

Local

Just say “bikes mean business” to get a discount on a deep dish pizza at Masa of Echo Park this Thursday; the last time the deal was offered, it drew over 200 bicyclists.

A new masterplan for LA’s Exposition Park calls for improved access for bike riders and pedestrians, possibly including protected bike lanes.

Tis the season. Hats off to the Pasadena Rotary for donating 146 bikes to local kidsThanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

 

State

A coalition of California advocacy groups are calling for the next chair of the state senate’s influential Transportation Committee to be a climate champion who understands the importance of investing in transit and active transportation.

It was a bad weekend in Fresno, where a 73-year old woman was killed riding her bike after allegedly veering onto the wrong side of the road.

Also from Fresno, a man riding a bicycle was stabbed several times and had his phone stolen by several people who got out of a passing car to attack him; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

And police aren’t sure why a 42-year old Fresno man was shot multiple times and killed while riding his bicycle.

 

National

They get it. CNBC reports the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a bike boom but most American cities are far from ready for it.

Gear Patrol looks at the latest bikes and accessories as proof of the unstoppable cycle of innovation.

A writer for Fast Company says joining the ebike revolution made this year a lot more tolerable.

Legendary bikemaker Gary Fisher, who literally helped invent mountain biking, is out with a new autobiography.

Road Bike Action Magazine offers tips on how to buy your next roadie.

After his stolen bike was recovered, a bighearted Washington boy gave it to a young fire victim because he’d already gotten a new one.

A Texas bike shop suffered a $10,000 loss when thieves smashed the storefront with a U-Haul and made off with five bikes.

Chicago considers the local community by ensuring a new bike bridge conforms with ancient Jewish law.

An Ohio town filed charges against a driver who killed a 7-year old boy riding his bike in a crosswalk last month, one day after a Cleveland newspaper reported they were illegally withholding details of the crash.

The pandemic forced an annual Massachusetts fundraising ride to go virtual this year, and still managed to raise $50 million for cancer treatment and research.

Horrible story from Flushing NY, where a teenager was talking with a man outside a restaurant when a second man came up from behind and slashed him in the face, before the first man ran off with his bicycle and cellphone.

‘Tis the season, too. Two hundred New Jersey kids got new Huffy bikes courtesy of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.

 

International

Heartbreaking story from Toronto, where family members mourn a 23-year old woman who was killed riding her bike home to her college apartment.

An Ontario, Canada woman is headed back to jail to serve the remainder of her sentence for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, after the admitted alcoholic violated her parole with yet another DUI conviction.

An American expat living in England was killed when the brakes failed on his ebike during a steep descent while riding with his wife.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine looks at their favorite lightweight bikes of 2020.

They get it. The authors of an op-ed in the prestigious BMJ — the former British Medical Journal — say free parking for healthcare workers just forces them to drive, instead of using healthier, and more sustainable and affordable means. 

You’ve got to be kidding. Life really is cheap in the UK, where a drunk driver walked with a suspended sentence, despite dragging a bike rider who heroically tried to stop his car, while driving at three times the legal limit.

After a Milan bookshop owner was forced to close, he took to his cargo bike to peddle his tomes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey takes a difficult in-depth look at pro cycling’s diversity problems in a nearly all-white sport. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

Former NBA All Star Reggie Miller joined the board of USA Cycling; the passionate bicyclist was one of four new members named to the board of the organization governing bike racing in the US.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera is looking forward to next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the World Championships in Flanders, as well as joining a newly formed women’s WorldTour team, after a year marred by injury and illness.

Cyclist profiles surprise Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart and his climb to pro cycling’s top ranks.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Andy Griffith holds a lifelong a grudge against you for knocking him off his bike. Traveling the world on a Penny Farthing.

And be glad you avoided the great British bicycle stock bubble of the 1890s.

………

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

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