Tag Archive for speeding drivers

PR plug for killer socialite, transportation ideas for CD13, and ex-Tour de France champ discussed in racist recording

Forget Black Friday. It’s just three more days to the official start of the 8th Annual BikinginLA holiday fund drive!

Thanks to our longtime friend Jim L for getting us off to an early start with his generous donation!

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The pre-trial PR campaign is kicking into high gear.

Wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Center, wants us to know that she is just so very misunderstood, and isolated from all her rich friends.

Just because she killed two innocent little kids while speeding along on surface streets at what police investigators have estimated as up to 80 mph in a 45 mph zone.

No, she says, she wasn’t drunk or street racing with her friend, former Dodger Scott Erickson, even though they were reportedly zig zagging and leap frogging one another’s cars.

And no, I don’t remember him, either.

I do, however, recall her victims, 11-year old Mark Iskander and his 8-year old brother Jacob, who were violently run down as they were crossing the street with their family.

She faces 34 to life if she’s convicted on both murder counts, and is walking free on $2 million bail pending a March trial.

Hopefully she’ll show up for that one, unlike five previous hearings.

Seriously, LA Magazine should be ashamed for allowing themselves to be used like this.

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Today’s must-read comes from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, who has 11 transportation suggestions for newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez.

The ideas range from implementing the Sunset4All Complete Streets project, and the Temple Street lane reduction and bike lanes blocked by outgoing Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, to capping the 101 Freeway with a public park.

It’s more than worth the eight minutes it will take to read.

Let alone turning all the ideas into action.

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The LA Times has compiled an annotated transcript of the racist and otherwise offensive recording that lead to the resignation of former City Council president Nury Martinez and LA County Federation of Labor chief Ron Herrera.

The recording has also lead to repeated calls for councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo to resign, although the latter will be leaving next month anyway, after losing his bid for re-election, while the former refuses to do the right thing.

The conversation also bizarrely featured disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Kevin de León
Over the weekend, I called a buddy of mine who is a former U.S. attorney.

Nury Martinez
I have one of those, too. It’s good to have one of those.

Kevin de León
Cool. We’re very close. And he, he had the Lance Armstrong case too, when they were going to indict Lance Armstrong.

Nury Martinez
The cyclist?

Kevin de León
The cyclist. Yeah.

Nury Martinez
What did he do? Doping. Is it doping

Kevin de León
Yeah. And the case was coming out of the L.A. office of the U.S. attorney’s office here…

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Enter this number in your phone. And take it with you when you ride.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is considering following New York’s lead by offering a bounty on drivers who block bike lanes.

Maybe our new councilmembers could consider something like that here.

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This is who we share the internet with.

That was followed by this comment, from someone who apparently fails to grasp the concept of a protected bike lane.
Car drivers have to move over in the lane for obstructions all the time (mail trucks, trash trucks, etc.). How hard is it for a biker to move over? What happening to sharing the road?

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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 regional transportation group has put a Des Moines, Iowa model bike safety on hold, somehow fearing a backlash over the common sense reforms.

A British driver was caught on video speeding down a protected bike lane, either oblivious to or not caring about the oncoming bike riders who were forced out of the lane.

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

A 20-year old man in the UK was sentenced to six-months time served for rebelling against his parents attempt to have him committed by brandishing a machete while riding with a group of other bike riders, even though the only injury anyone suffered was a dog bite after the group was chased by a small pack.

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Local

Babe star James Cromwell added his voice to a campaign to halt plans to restore the ecologically degraded Los Angeles Ballona Wetland Ecological Reserve, which includes plans for a ten-mile bike and pedestrian path; no word on what the pig had to say.

Ride hailing and micromobility provider Lyft has pulled all of their bikeshare bikes and e-scooters out of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, after failing to secure a longterm contract from city officials.

Glendale has received a $6 million state grant for the Verdugo Wash Visioning Project, which will create a 9.4-mile-long linear park and nature trail for walking and cycling, courtesy of Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

 

State 

A mountain biker used his bike as a shield when he was charged by a mountain lion on a San Luis Obispo trail, leading to a brief standoff before the big cat retreated. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

The $20 million bike and pedestrian path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is entering the final year of its four-year pilot program, as impatient motorists chomp at the bit to get it back.

The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bike in North Highlands earlier this month.

 

National

Fortune says the four-year old e-scooter industry is finally getting around to being as green and sustainable as they claimed, after quietly polluting for years.

No irony here. A Portland bike rider was lucky to escape serious injury when he was run down by a red light-running hit-and-run driver in a crash caught on video, while he was riding to an event to mark the World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

A Kansas City business owner says his business is suffering because Missouri drivers are apparently incapable of figuring out a parking-protected bike lane.

A decades old Fayetteville, Arkansas bicycle charity is shutting down after giving away tens of thousands of bikes to kids in need; the 76-year old wife of the man known locally as the Bicycle Man continued the program for nine years after his death, and hopes to give away another 1,000 bicycles before shutting down after the holidays.

‘Tis the season. A Louisville country music station has collected over 1,500 bicycles, as well as monetary donations for Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army, to ensure that every local kid has a gift for the holidays.

The rich get richer, as New York announced plans to expand the city’s bike lane network next year.

A 60-year old New Jersey man is on his 14th bike trip across the US; he’s covered over 39,000 miles since he first hit the road on his ‘bent five years ago, after recovering from getting hit by a drunk driver.

‘Tis the season, too. A kindhearted Baton Rouge, Louisiana lawyer is giving away over 450 new bikes to local kids.

 

International

In honor of the World Cup, Road.cc creates their own all-star team of bike-riding soccer stars.

British residents say they want a bike with an ABS anti-lock braking system.

An Irish paper is up in arms after local officials “wasted” the equivalent of nearly $12,000 building a 600-foot separated bike lane, complaining it’s an “embarrassment” that even bike riders don’t want.

Pink Bike features seven weird and wonderful bikes currently for sale on the platform.

Hanoi, Vietnam is considering establishing a public bikeshare service to to reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution, with 1,000 bikes at 94 stations.

 

Finally…

Your new fixie could be a Wu-Tang Clan bike. That feeling when the kids are riding on thin ice. No, literally.

And bike riding while blind and blind drunk.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

13 previous car crashes for nurse who killed six people in Windsor Hills, and women and retirees fastest ebike adopters

Talk about keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 37-year old, Texas-based traveling nurse Nicole Lorraine Linton was involved in 13 prior crashes before she killed six people and injured eight others after allegedly blowing through a red light at up to 90 mph on Thursday.

Yes, you read that right.

Thirteen previous crashes, including a 2020 crash that totaled both vehicles. And yet she was somehow allowed to keep driving, despite demonstrating a clear inability to do so safely.

Either that, or she was plagued by some of the worst luck in the history of driving.

Linton was formally charged with six counts of murder — one for each victim — along with five counts of vehicular homicide. The unborn child of the pregnant woman killed in the crash accounts for the discrepancy; the death of the eight-and-a-half month unborn baby is eligible for a murder charge, but not vehicular homicide.

LA County DA George Gascón concluded her prior crash record indicated she was aware of the risks of driving in a dangerous manner, making her eligible for the murder charges.

Linton faces up to life behind bars upon conviction. She’s currently being held without bail after the previous $9 million bond was revoked.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

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Meanwhile, the news is not good for Anne Heche.

The actress, who was seriously burned crashing her car into a Mar Vista home at high speed on Friday, is reportedly in extremely critical condition after slipping into a coma.

Police investigators are trying to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the fiery crash.

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I once made the mistake of telling a bikemaker I didn’t see a market for ebikes, because I assumed everyone would want the exercise and health benefits of a standard bike.

Turns out I was wrong about that, too, since studies show ebikes offer the same health benefits as any other bike.

So this is a snapshot of just who is taking up ebikes.

You know, the market I somehow couldn’t picture.

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Let’s take a few moments to consider what’s possible when you register your bike with Bike Index.

You can get a free, lifetime registration in just minutes.

So if anything happens to your bike, you’ll have all the information you need to add your bike to Bike Index’ nationwide database of stolen bikes. And increase your chances of getting it back, wherever its found.

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Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening.

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Who needs an ebike bike when you can build your very own DIY jet-powered bicycle?

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

No bias here. A new San Francisco group demanding the reopening of JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park to cars has issued their full set of demands, including parking on every street, no parking-protected bike lanes, and no bike lanes replacing parking.

A road-raging Dayton, Ohio man faces charges for intentionally running down, then running over, a man riding a bicycle, before getting out with another man and looking at the victim; the attack was apparently in retaliation for the rider throwing a small flashlight at the driver’s car, after someone in the car threw a water bottle at the victim.

A Florida driver is accused of circling back and jumping a curb to intentionally run down a pair of bike riders, then getting out and shooting one of them in the leg

British police interviewed a man accused of “furiously” pushing a man against a wall and throwing his bicycle out into the street, for the crime of riding his bike on the sidewalk.

An Irish road and cyclocross racer is back to riding just two weeks after he suffered four broken ribs and two broken vertebrae, as well as a partially collapsed lung, when someone sabotaged a mountain bike trail with a rope strung across the path; Seán Nolan warns that its only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

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

A Nebraska man was busted after fleeing from police on his bike when the cops recognized his as having outstanding warrants; he was also carrying meth and drug paraphernalia in his backpack.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man learns the hard way that if you’re going to stab a man and ride off on his bicycle, make sure it doesn’t have a flat tire first.

Police in Chicago are looking for a bike-riding man who has targeted elderly women in a string of strong-arm robberies, stealing their jewelry before riding off.

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Local

Dozens of bicyclists and other activists turned out at City Hall on Monday to protest a new ordinance banning outdoor bike chop shops, fearing the law could be used to target low-income people and people of color, rather than cracking down on bike thefts.

Streetsblog reports Venice Blvd will be getting another 4.3 miles of parking protected bike lanes connecting to the .8-mile Mar Vista Great Street project, for a total of 5.1 miles of protected bike lanes.

The LA River Greenway is getting a new Canoga Park entry pavilion designed by acclaimed architect Frank Geary, even though the river is nothing more than an open air concrete culvert at that point. Geary has also proposed hiding lower sections of the concrete channel under elevated parks, rather than returning the channel to a more natural state.

Walk Bike Glendale offers action alerts on proposed makeovers of North Brand Blvd and La Crescenta Ave, as well as plans for a feeder ride to the Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia on August 21st.

 

State 

Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 922 passed the state Assembly with almost unanimous support; the bill expedited bike, pedestrian, light rail, and rapid bus projects by exempting them from the California Environmental Quality Act, aka CEQA. It now goes back to the Senate for a final vote before going to the governor’s desk for a signature.

Encinitas-based bikemaker Electra continues to stick close to its roots, keeping its focus on cruiser bikes on the eve of its 30th birthday.

San Diego’s newly revised Climate Action Plan doubles down on efforts to get people out of their cars, including a shift to more Class IV protected bike lanes.

Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Commission approved the removal of 34 trees to build a bike path on the city’s Modoc Road, which will require moving the roadway 12 feet so the path won’t go through sensitive wildlife habitat near Arroyo Burro Creek; the project is less controversial than another one along Modoc Road in Santa Barbara County, which will require removing 40 to 61 trees.

Streetsblog calls on San Francisco officials to fix a street grate in Golden Gate Park that could grab a narrow bike tire and bring down the rider. And did. Call it Golden Gate Grate-gate. 

Oakland wants to use a $1 million state grant to buy 500 ebikes to open an ebike library for low-income neighborhoods.

After hundreds of bike-riding teens swarmed the lower deck of the San Francisco Bay Bridge Saturday afternoon, they’re accused of burglarizing businesses and throwing things at people in Oakland.

A man was sentenced to a well-deserved 17 years behind bars for trying to rape a woman on a Davis bike path.

 

National

Streetsblog offers advice on how to access federal funding from the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program, offering a cool $1 billion a year for the next five years for “meaningful, community-led Vision Zero projects.”

Even with federal incentives of up to $7,500, electric cars remain outside the reach of many Americans. Yet the new climate bill fails to mention far more affordable bicycles, let alone ebikes.

The Verge says the ebike tax credit is only mostly dead, as supporters plot the next steps to revive it.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Take a cog railway train to the summit of Colorado’s 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, then bike 13 miles and 5,000 feet back down.

A 49-year old Durango, Colorado fire fighter was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver; his death came just two weeks after a 60-year old member of the same department died of a heart condition while riding bikes with his son.

A 68-year old Sierra City, California man was killed when he was rear-ended by a semi driver and knocked into a ditch while riding in Kansas.

Great idea. While Houston is in the midst of a years-long commitment to build 1,800 miles of high-comfort bike lanes, the city is reserving 10% of the funding for smaller “strategic” projects suggested by members of the bicycling community.

Police arrested a 26-year old man for yelling and chucking rocks at people using a Madison, Wisconsin bike path.

A Detroit website says more pedestrians are getting killed as trucks and SUVs keep getting bigger, with some models now exceeding the size of a WWII tank.

The woman accused of killing two men participating in a Michigan Make-A-Wish fundraising ride while driving under the influence is due back in court for a prelim next week; the crash left nine kids without their fathers.

The bighearted employees of a Maine company pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 19-year old coworker, after the bike he used to ride to work was stolen.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is one of us, after he suffered a broken wrist falling off his bike to end his season; a Texas website offers an incomplete list of other major league bike incidents, although they include motorcycles as well as bicycles.

New York saw a 33 percent jump in weekday bicycling trips during the deepest, darkest days of the pandemic in 2020. Meanwhile, the latest official figures for Los Angeles show a 22 percent increase — in 2019, before the pandemic and subsequent bike boom.

New Yorkers want more, and more secure, bike parking. Then again, doesn’t everyone?

DC has a new bicycle awareness specialty license plate, even if it does misspell “taxation.”

New Orleans police arrested a 16-year old boy, accusing him of stealing a bicycle from an off-duty cop in a French Quarter strong-arm robbery.

 

International

A Suffolk, England woman is credited with helping save a man’s life after he rode his bike into a river; now she’s raising funds to support the medical charity that helped his rehabilitation.

British police failed to arrest a single bike thief in 87% of neighborhoods with at least one bike theft. And usually a lot more.

A German company has introduced what they call the world’s smartest bike helmet, including a full face air bag, 360° surround safety system, LED lights and a breathable, 3D-knitted liner.

NPR says many Sri Lankans have switched to bicycles due to the country’s economic crisis.

The pandemic is fueling a sports bicycling boom in China, a country more noted for utilitarian and proletarian bikes; meanwhile, the country’s surviving bikeshare companies are raising their prices in an effort to finally turn a profit. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Indianapolis Monthly takes readers to school, explaining what a crit is.

A new documentary captures Pittsburgh’s Frigid Bitch alleycat bike race.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you find driving stressful when you’re not going 186 mph. Try not to back your motorbike into a pit.

And this is who we share the road with.

https://twitter.com/ChadBlue83/status/1556435695635517440

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

More high-speed carnage on dangerous LA streets, Streets For All tallies LA traffic violence, and Rivendell reparations fail

This is the cost of traffic violence, as the carnage continues on Los Angeles streets.

Just one day after a driver traveling at an estimated 80 to 100 miles per hour ran a red light and plowed into cars crossing the busy intersection of La Brea and Slauson, killing six innocent people, a well-known actress apparently copied the act.

Except Anne Heche plowed into a home in a fiery Mar Vista crash.

According to TMZ, Heche had apparently crashed into a pair of apartment building garages in the area, doing relatively minor damage to each, and may have been fleeing paparazzi and people trying to halt her as she sped up Walgrove Ave.

Security video shows her traveling at an extreme rate of speed.

Any bike rider or pedestrian unfortunate enough to be in her way would have been killed instantly.

Instead, she apparently lost control and slammed into a home less than a block from an elementary school, narrowly missing the homeowner inside.

The home and its contents were a total loss.

Heche herself somehow survived, despite suffering critical burns; as in the Windsor Hills crash, she was reportedly too badly injured and treated with too many medications to conduct a valid test for drug or alcohol use.

Although a sharp-eyed person points out what appears to be an open pint of alcohol next to the gear shift in one of the TMZ photos.

Heche reportedly faces a long and painful recovery from her injuries.

We’re only lucky that she didn’t take anyone else with her.

And once again, the crash points out the abject failure of LA’s chronically underfunded — and under-cared about — Vision Zero program, as well as the failure of the city to carry through with the transportation reforms promised in the mobility plan, in the seven years since either was approved.

Simply put, speeds like those in either crash should not be possible on surface streets. And the city should make every effort to ensure things like this can’t happen.

Let alone don’t.

Clearly, though, not everyone agrees. Take this comment in response to Friday’s post about the Windsor Hills crash.

Please.

Wow, this is one of the worst articles on this subject ever written. The ideas are without merit and the ignorance is almost frightening. I’d recommend not quitting your day job.

Never mind that this is my day job. But that, too, is who we share the road with.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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There’s no question that LA Times columnist Steve Lopez gets it, as he examines the horrifying carnage on our streets.

“People have their necks broken, they burn to death and suffer unrecoverable injuries. The onus for care drops into the laps of firefighters and paramedics … and even those guys, with all their equipment and training, can’t do anything,” (UCLA ER physician Dr. Mark) Morocco said…

It’s terrifyingly common in Los Angeles, and getting behind the wheel, or going for a walk or a bike ride, is a game of roulette.

Meanwhile, letter writers to the Times say the crash shows the city is desperate for safer streets.

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Important Twitter thread from Streets For All examining the full cost of traffic violence throughout Los Angeles, and in each individual council district, since Vision Zero and the mobility plan were adopted in 2015.

The charts also include the amount of mobility plan implementation, miles of bus and bike lanes, and how many people in the district signed the Healthy Streets LA petition to require implementation of the mobility plan when streets are resurfaced, which the organization accurately describes as massive citywide support.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1556068900584173573?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1556068900584173573%7Ctwgr%5Ee095348799edebb4e575fd8dded0c55af291669a%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikinginla.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost.php%3Fpost%3D50133action%3Dedit

You can find a downloadable pdf of the full report for each council district here.

Take a moment to check out your own district, then look at some of the others, like the 55 bike riders and pedestrians killed in Mitch O’Farrell’s CD13 in Hollywood, the 82 killed in Curren Price’s CD9, or the horrifying 105 dead in Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s CD8 in South LA.

Never mind that just one traffic death is one too many.

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Great piece from Outside, about custom bikemaker Rivendell Bicycle Works’ well intentioned, but ultimately doomed, effort to offer a 45% discount to Black customers as a form of reparations for the long history of racism in a the bike industry.

“The American bicycle industry has been racist, often overtly racist, since 1878,” the company wrote in the release. “Rivendell has been obliviously—not ‘obviously’—racist most of the time since 1994. We say this not to scold the industry, not to be publicly humble, not to scold other bicycle businesses, and not to be uncharacteristically on trend. It’s just true.”

Rivendell’s nine staff members were on board to launch the Black Reparations Pricing, or BRP. The company would not increase prices on other frames and would dedicate 10 percent of its inventory to BRP for customers who identified as Black. “We’re committed to it, and will not cave at the first heat,” said the company statement. “As for how it’ll affect business, we’ll just see. If we go broke because those who use the flag or God as an invisibility cloak for their white nationalism stop patronizing us we’ll…move on…”

The inequality started in the first bike boom of the 1890s, when cycling lessons and clubs were only available to white people, and bikes were priced out of reach for all but the most elite. The exclusion continued through the next century in ways that had a chilling effect on who rides and where—like a 1971 law in Washington, DC, that required costly bike licenses, which stopped many impoverished Black people from riding as commuters, or a 1987 bike ban in Midtown Manhattan, through which Wall Street executives sought to bar mostly Black and brown bike messengers from their lobbies and avenues, even while those same executives flocked to the mountain bike trails around their summer cabins upstate. A recent Los Angeles Times investigation reviewed 44,000 bike stops by police and found that they disproportionately targeted poorer communities with large nonwhite populations.

Unfortunately, the backlash was swift and severe.

Once Rivendell’s program hit the national media, Petersen began to receive threats by phone and email. Worried about his safety, he installed video cameras around the store. The company’s phones rang repeatedly with calls from alt-right podcasters, and their Yelp, Google, and social media sites were flooded with negative comments and one-star reviews. “Quit the political commentary BS & focus on bikes,” wrote one commenter on Instagram. “Those people, the majority of them, had never bought anything from us. They probably don’t even ride bikes,” says Will Keating, Rivendell’s general manager. “It’s like they just saw something that infuriated them on the internet and had to take the next step.” The program was shut down on the advice of Rivendell’s lawyers. “The whole thing—it was a grand plan that fizzled out,” says Petersen. “We were afraid for our physical well-being. It was really ugly around here. We were all miserable.”

“From a strictly legal perspective, we’ve been handcuffed,” Petersen wrote in a blog announcing the end of the reparations program.

It’s a good piece, and well worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because it clearly demonstrates the difficulty in trying to do the right thing, in a country so sharply divided along political and racial lines.

And it raises questions of how much more we could and should be doing to right historical wrongs that continue to manifest in the present.

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A rally will take place at Los Angeles City Hall this morning to protest the new ordinance criminalizing open air bike chop shops.

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Turns out that one of the most common aggressive maneuvers practiced by California drivers is against the law.

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On a happier note, it looks like Charlize Theron is one of us.

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Of course Marge Simpson is one of us.

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

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for getting out of his pickup to beat and strangle a man riding a bicycle, after crashing into the victim and knocking him into a pole.

Sometimes you turn to the cops for help after a road rage attack, only to discover it was a cop who did it; meanwhile, another Toronto cop crashed into a bike rider in a bike lane, later claiming the sun was in his eyes.

Police in the UK initially refused to take action after a woman deliberately drove her Range Rover into a bike rider, who called their response “victim-blaming twaddle.”

No bias here. A London writer proclaims the war on cars is a war on women. Which it wouldn’t be, even if it was real.

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

Great Britain’s transport minister is proposing a bill to reign in a “selfish minority of bike riders” by creating a bicycling equivalent to the country’s death by dangerous driving law, with a penalty up to life in prison.

A man on a bicycle is blamed for stealing a New Zealand statue of Ernest Rutherford, known as the father of nuclear physics, by rocking the statue back and forth for half an hour until it snapped off its base.

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Local

The LA Times reports on the parents of a 12-year old Pacific Palisades girl who are suing Rad Power Bikes alleging a defective design caused their daughter’s death.

The LACBC is giving donated bikes away to people in need through its Bike Match program.

 

State 

Streetsblog reports on a recent webinar explaining how to fight for bike lanes where you live.

Seriously? A Coronado newspaper says ebikes may be the future, but questions whether they’re a hazard on the island’s roadways.

Camarillo letter writers say the city needs to make itself bike-friendly now, not five years from now when a new bike path is scheduled to open.

A pair of 14-year old Camarillo boys were injured, one seriously, when they were run down on their bikes by a 68-year old driver at the Camarillo outlet mall.

The LA Times says the best SoCal bike trail is the Ojai Valley Trail, describing it as an “incredibly scenic path (running) 15 miles from the Ventura shoreline to the charming town of Ojai.”

Kindhearted cops in Arroyo Grande got a new bike for a 15-year old boy after the one he rode to his summer job was stolen.

A 23-year old man was arrested for robbing a Palo Alto bike shop near Stanford University, after the shop’s workers refused to buy an ebike he’d brought in.

A rideout took over the eastbound lanes of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge on Saturday, as the CHP did their best to herd them onto a bike path.

A San Francisco bike hater belatedly becomes the Bike Guy after rediscovering riding in middle age.

 

National

A new study explains why most people never forget how to ride a bike, no matter how long it has been.

Bikeshare can play a role in helping older Americans age in place.

US Weekly considers the best ebikes for women of any height.

Still more traffic violence in New Mexico, where an alleged drunk driver without a valid license barreled through a Gallup parade celebrating Native American culture, injuring at least 15 people, including two cops who tried to stop him.

He gets it. A columnist for the Minnesota Post explains why driving is bad for America, saying other than extending our ability to move at high speed, it comes at the cost of almost every other kind of action.

More mass carnage, as five Minnesota bike riders were injured when they were run down from behind by a driver, who plowed into the group of seven bike-riding kids led by one adult; fortunately, none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Sad news from Ohio, where an Ohio State University student died of a “heart-related medical issue” just two miles from the end of a 102-mile fundraising ride.

Good news from Nashville, where Gospel singer Amy Grant is reportedly improving every day, after she was knocked unconscious for over ten minutes in a fall off her bicycle.

A New York ebike rider was the victim of a strong-arm robbery when he was punched in the head by a stranger who stole his bike in Central Park Saturday afternoon.

New York Magazine reports on their picks for the best bike helmets, while the New York Times picks the best handlebar bags.

The Washington Post examines the inevitable ebike bikelash, saying everyone loves ebikes, except for some who share the road, or the bike lane, or the sidewalk, with them.

Over 100 South Florida kids rode their bikes to call for an end to gun violence.

Life is cheap in Florida, where a man walked without a single day behind bars — or even being charged with a crime — for killing a bike-riding man when he somehow veered off the road last year.

 

International

We Love Cycling offers tips on how to go the beach with your bike.

A Calgary, Alberta man is back to gravel racing, ‘cross and mountain biking, using an adaptive bike he built himself, 20 years after he broke his back snowboarding.

An Ottawa, Canada organization is giving mom’s a taste of freedom by teaching women to ride a bike

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding, stoned and distracted driver gets less than two years for killing a newly married man riding a bicycle.

After he was pulled off his bicycle and beaten by men shouting anti-gay slurs, an Amsterdam man is angered by the lack of resource to mount a police response.

A writer learns the hard way not to joke about unhinged bicyclists in Amsterdam, especially if you weren’t born in the Netherlands.

Ukraine’s elderly bicyclists defy the military violence surrounding them, refusing to flee or give in to the chaos.

 

Competitive Cycling

Shades of a two-wheeled Eddie the Eagle. A 48-year old man representing Ghana in the Commonwealth Games finished 47th out of 54 competitors in the time trial, which was won by Australia’s Rohan Dennis; Chris Symonds keeps in shape by riding a hybrid bike to his job as a doorkeeper at Britain’s Houses of Parliament, where he keeps his bike safe by parking it at the House of Lords. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike tire turns invisible. Or when the road symbols suggest it’s a bike lane for dogs.

And maybe it’s just me, but it looks like he could use a larger frame.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Man on bicycle killed by speeding hit-and-run driver in LA’s Exposition Park; 5th fatal bicycling hit-and-run in the city this year

Once again, someone on a bicycle has been murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

This time, in the Exposition Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

According to KNBC-4, the victim was apparently crossing Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd on Hoover Street around 11:30 pm Monday when he was struck by a driver heading west on MLK at a high rate of speed.

He was thrown several feet into the middle of the intersection, and died after being taken to a nearby hospital.

The victim has been publicly identified only as a man in his 30s.

The driver speed off, evidently without stopping. Witnesses describe the vehicle only as a gray colored sedan.

Hopefully, we’ll get more information soon.

This is at least the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also the ninth in the City of Los Angeles.

Shamefully, 15 of those Southern California victims have been hit-and-run drivers, with six taking place in Los Angeles County, including five in the City of LA.

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

 

NHTSA considers limiting speeds on new cars, California considers $2,500 tax credit for non-car owners, and Ford finally gets it

It’s Election Day in California. 

If you live in the state, get out and bike the vote if you haven’t already. 

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

………

Yes, please.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, asked if Americans would accept GPS-based speed limiters that would prevent drivers of new cars from exceeding the speed limit, except in an emergency.

A modern take on mechanical speed governors, the electronic system, which is taking effect in the European Union this year, would slowly reduce deaths and injuries due to speeding as older cars are phased out.

It would also eliminate a leading cause of police traffic stops, reducing racial profiling while improving safety for both police and the vehicle occupants, especially people of color.

Although it’s questionable how well it would be received here in the US, where too many drivers consider speeding their God-given right. And it would drive an inevitable black market industry to disable them.

……….

Great idea.

Streets For All is working with State Senator Anthony Portantino to sponsor SB 457, which would provide a $2,500 tax rebate for any adults that who don’t own a car.

The goal is to reward people making the socially conscious choice not to drive, while providing a financial incentive for people to go carfree.

Especially in light of a new study shows that the lifetime cost of owning an average small car comes to $689,000, of which society pays $275,000, while owning a Mercedes SUV carries a lifetime burden of over a million dollars.

Which is about as good an argument as you can make for passing a rebate to give up your car for good.

………

On further reflection, even Ford gets that their ad was despicable.

Or at least, when social media is against them.

………

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

No bias here. A writer for City Watch blames road diets for the failure of Vision Zero in Los Angeles, as well as increasing traffic congestion and rising road rage, and all the other ills on our streets. Maybe someone should remind her that most road diets planned for Los Angeles never happened, after cowardly councilmembers cancelled them. 

An 18-year old Georgia woman faces an attempted murder charge after intentionally running down a woman she knew as the victim was riding her bicycle.

Also in Georgia, a man faces charges for intentionally running down a 15-year old boy on a bike with his ATV, after the boy tossed a banana peel on the side of the road next to the man’s property.

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

A Singapore delivery rider was sentenced to three days in jail for crashing his speeding ebike into a 71-year old man, breaking his wrist.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold its monthly virtual meeting starting at 6:30 this evening.

The one-woman play California Coast Classic currently being staged in North Hollywood comedically retells the author’s experience with the annual ride from San Fransisco to Malibu to benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

 

State 

About damn time. Caltrans has received $35 million in funding from the California Transportation Commission to upgrade traffic lights and install Class II painted bike lanes along a 20 mile stretch of PCH in Orange County.

San Francisco is planning a half million dollar pilot program to give free ebikes to 35 delivery drivers to get them out of their cars and cut their carbon footprint.

Maybe he really is lucky. The San Francisco Warriors fan hosted the nine-year old fan whose lucky lowrider bike was stolen for game two of the NBA championship. And won the game.

Yosemite’s bikeshare system gives you up to two hours to visit park attractions by bike, for free.

 

National

People for Bikes suggests three keys to rapidly building out extensive bike networks fast, from getting everyone to the table, to not waiting for policy to catch up.

Condé Nast Traveler talks with the plus-sized founders of All Bodies on Bikes, which works to make cycling more size-inclusive, and eliminate anti-fat bias in society as a whole.

Austin, Texas has invested $23.3 million in new bike infrastructure since 2016, but still has a long way to go to make the city safe enough to encourage people to use bicycles as their primary form of transportation.

Chicago will give away 5,000 bicycles to city resident this year, along with helmets, locks and beginner’s bicycling classes.

Yesterday we mentioned an Indianapolis hit-and-run victim who told police the license number of the car that hit her before she died; now it turns out she was intentionally run down by her ex-boyfriend as she rode her bike, who had been stalking her and their daughter.

Bicyclists in Maine could soon see a $160 million offroad bike trail connecting all of the states 25 largest cities. “Largest” being a relative term, with Brewer checking in at the 25th spot with just 9026 residents.

The jealous girlfriend who allegedly killed gravel cycling star Moriah “Mo” Wilson was reportedly last seen at the Newark, New Jersey airport three weeks ago, the day after Austin, Texas authorities issued a warrant for her arrest.

DC’s 150 miles of bike lanes still leaves significant gaps in the network, leaving riders on their own to confront “eight lanes of death.”

 

International

Milan, Italy announced plans to build 466 miles of protected bike lanes to create one of Europe’s largest and most comprehensive bike networks, with a concentric spoke and hub system connecting every part of the city.

A Ghanian website looks at the the very cool, but very strange wooden bicycles made by a local artist.

Australia’s new prime minister is one of us, taking a diplomatic ride on bamboo bikes with the Indonesian president on a state visit to West Java.

 

Competitive Cycling

French pro Clara Copponi survived a mass crash less than a thousand feet before the finish to win the first stage of the women’s Tour of Britain; the race was delayed over an hour after a driver crashed into a motorcycle cop leading the race.

No bias here. British tabloids went on the attack after a pair of trans women won a gender inclusive fixed-gear crit, with a young mother finishing third; the race was open to “trans men and women whose physical performance aligns most closely with cis-women.”

Scary moment in the Vuelta a Colombia, when stage three winner Luis Carlos Chia crashed into his own wife, who was taking photos of the race, seconds after crossing the finish line.

Bicycling profiles transgender women’s cyclist Molly Cameron, who has faced that same bias herself. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner announced he’s suffering from Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, a slow-progressing and treatable form of blood cancer; Greg LeMond says he hopes to be in remission in a few months.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have built-in Bluetooth and a wireless 4G connection. Do your pedaling on the road, not under your desk.

And that feeling when your bike gets charged by a zebra.

No, right here in California.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Canoga Park bike rider wanted for fatally shooting driver, and accused Oceanside hit-and-run driver pleads not guilty

LAPD detectives are looking for a bike-riding man who murdered a driver in Canoga Park on Monday afternoon.

The shooting took place around 2:18 pm, when the man on the bike shot into the driver’s car following some sort of dispute near the 6400 block of DeSoto Ave.

Forty-three-year old Glendale resident Mkher Alaverdian was pronounced dead after he was taken to a local hospital.

There’s no description of the shooter or his bicycle, and no word on whether this was a road rage dispute or some other kind of argument.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide at 818/374-9550, or 1-877/LAPD-24-7 after business hours.

………

Twenty-four-year old Bailey Tennery pled not guilty to a single felony count of hit-and-run causing death yesterday.

Tennery is accused of being the driver who sped away after killing Jackson Williams as he rode his bike in Oceanside on July 15th.

She remains in custody on $150,000 bail.

………

This is why protected bike lanes are necessary.

………

Like more of this, please. And not just in Willowbrook.

https://twitter.com/multimodalLA/status/1420217792062582797

………

The cycling fuckups continue at the Tokyo Olympics.

World time trial champ Anna van der Breggen was abruptly threatened and pulled off her bike while doing a recon ride on the time trial course, by a security guard who didn’t recognize her as an Olympic competitor.

It also doesn’t help when an official walks across the track while you’re training.

………

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

A pair of Wisconsin men face charges for allegedly shouting at a bike-riding couple from their car and telling them to ride on the sidewalk, then getting out to confront the victims and steal their phones, keys and IDs.

………

Local

Los Angels Magazine says LA and California stand to lose big if the proposed bipartisan Senate infrastructure plan fails, which is looking more likely every day.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition says it’s fine with restaurants taking over parking spaces, as long as they play by the rules, and replace any bikeways they might block.

Twelve young women stopped in Lompoc on their way down the West Coast on a 1,700-mile bike ride from Seattle to San Diego to call attention to human trafficking.

Bay Area bike riders will get a new protected cycle track near UC Berkeley.

Kindhearted Richmond cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a 12-year old boy, after his new bike was stolen just two days after his birthday.

An Oakland bikemaker who works out of his garage gets tasked with building a custom bike for 6’6″ Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson.

 

National

A federal ebike rebate bill has been introduced in the US Senate; like a previous House bill, it would provide a 30% refundable tax credit on the purchase of ebikes up to $1,500.

Outside recommends their favorite bicycling base camps, including one in California.

Colorado mountain bikers are joining with residents to fight a proposed 63-acre expansion of a Salida gravel mine that would force the realignment of a popular bike trail.

An Illinois bike shop was collateral damage in a police shooting, when a 19-year old woman was shot and killed by police after waving a gun while complaining about a closed drive-thru, then attempting to speed off with a cop hanging inside her window; she crashed into the shop after she was shot while allegedly aiming her car at the cop who opened fire.

Not even a slap on the wrist for a Moline, Illinois cop who killed a 13-year old boy while responding to an emergency call, even though she slammed into his bike while driving well over the speed limit without lights and siren activated.

After the story of a Michigan boy’s stolen bike was shared on Facebook, a Good Samaritan stepped up to buy him a new one.

A pair of Ohio brothers decide to shut down the bike shop they grew up in, opened by their parents 67 years ago.

A New York man is planning to bike 8,000 miles through ten states to get more kids on bicycles, raising funds to donate new bikes to underprivileged children around the country; the Black bike rider who grew up in the city’s low-income Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood says if he can do it, most people can.

The New Jersey legislature has passed a bill requiring drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders; it now goes to the governor, who is expected to sign it.

Evidently, the bicycling death of former Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi is about the only thing that can bring about a bipartisan agreement in DC.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a ten-year old Florida boy lying in the street after slamming into the bike he was riding. And no, turning yourself in later does not make it all better.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at five petite handlebar bags for riding around town. I’d go for the last one, myself. But I’ve always been a sucker for that classic look.

A Toronto architect wants to transform a “car sewer” with scary bike lanes into an “inhabited bridge” for people, as well as cars.

An English man was sprayed with bleach by an attacker who attempted to steal the bike he was riding; the victim was treated and released at the scene. Police later arrested a 28-year old man for the attack.

Add this one to your bike bucket list — a five-day Coast and Castle ride through England and Scotland.

 

Competitive Cycling

Switzerland stands alone atop women’s Olympic mountain biking, as the country swept the gold, silver and bronze medals, led by winner Jolanda Neff.

VeloNews offers a photo essay of the men’s Olympic cross-country mountain bike race won by Tom Pidcock of Great Britain.

The inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale got the green light for this August; the 233-mile, four stage gravel grind will roll through the indigenous Ktunaxa Nation in the Canadian Rockies, featuring around 23,000 feet of climbing.

 

Finally…

The LEGO bicycle of your dreams may finally be here — if you can read German. Now you, too, can own a pair of weird-looking, 3D-printed carbon bike shoes, for the low, low price of just $1,900.

And who needs energy bars when you can just tape pizza and potatoes to your top tube?

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graphics by tomexploresla

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

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

………

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

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

He died of his injuries on Monday.

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

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

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

And he was one of us.

………

They get it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

………

Local

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Or maybe ever.

………

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

LA Time’s Lopez calls for legalizing speed cams, Bike Index helps return stolen bike 500 miles away, and LA NC talks ebikes

He gets it, all right.

Last week we quoted LA Times columnist Steve Lopez as he called out the death cult of speeding drivers enabled by the relatively empty, over-engineered streets of pandemic-era Los Angeles.

In the first month of the pandemic last spring, the California Highway Patrol reported that although traffic volume was down 35%, the number of citations for driving in excess of 100 miles an hour had increased by 87% over the same period a year earlier. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 4,851 more CHP citations were issued for speeding at 100 miles an hour or more, a 93% increase over the same period a year earlier.

This weekend, he pointed towards one major solution, with a full-throated endorsement of automated speed cams.

On Sunday, when I wrote about the perils of drivers thinking that light traffic during the pandemic is a license to try out for NASCAR, readers shared their own horror stories about speeding drivers and offered their own solutions. One was automated speed enforcement, which I’d already been looking into.

The way it works is that, if you’re driving over the speed limit in a monitored area, a sensor will read your speed and license plate, and you’ll get a citation in the mail.

The problem, as we’ve noted here before, is that they’re illegal here in the late, great golden state.

Currently, the technology is prohibited in California, but 140 communities in the country have used it with impressive results.

“Washington, D.C., saw a 70% reduction in speeding,” said Seleta Reynolds, general manager of L.A.’s Department of Transportation. “New York saw huge reductions in severe and fatal crashes. That technology is going to save people’s lives for years to come.”

As Lopez notes, that’s thanks in part to pressure from police unions, who have blocked previous attempts to legalize speed cams out of fear it will cost cops jobs, rather than simply freeing more officers to focus on more important things.

There are currently two bills before the state legislature to rectify the situation.

Assembly Bill 550 would legalize speed cams on streets previously recognized as dangerous, as well as in work zones, while Senate Bill 735 would limit the cams to school zones.

Both would require giving hotfooted drivers advance notice through signs indicating they’re entering a speed enforcement zone.

Which is kind of like warning robbers the cops have the place staked out, so they can avoid getting caught.

We need them everywhere drivers speed, rather than just limited locations. And as anyone who’s spent much time on SoCal streets knows, drivers speed everywhere.

But it’s a start.

Let’s hope both pass, or they get merged into a single bill for passage.

And let’s keep on top of it, and keep pressure on our representatives to make sure they do.

………

This is a perfect example of why you should register your bike.

Even though the thieves took this bike far from the LA area, Bike Index’ free national stolen bike database helped lead to its safe return.

Or you could just count on faith to get your stolen bike back.

………

The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is talking ebikes this Thursday.

………

The case of the missing bike lane.

………

Soon you, too, will be able to wear the new volcano-inspired colors of the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team, which will be available from Rapha.

………

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

No bias here. A conservative commentator wants bike riders banned from the streets because someone on a bike complained about people blocking bike lanes, albeit in a rude and obnoxious manner. Seriously, we’ve all had to deal with people blocking bike lanes, but try to make the same point without being a total jerk about it.

And maybe Matt Walsh could try not being a jerk about it, too.

………

Local

Chris Pratt is one of us, going for a ride in LA with his eight-year old son as Katherine Schwarzenegger follows with their infant daughter.

 

State

Beaumont proposes working together with the cities of Banning and Calimesa, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Riverside County to develop multimodal transportation projects along the I-10 corridor, including bicycle routes.

A 22-year old woman suffered moderate injuries — whatever that means — when a driver failed to see her riding salmon at an Hesperia intersection.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail accuses Prince Harry of racing through LA traffic on his “expensive” ebike. Even though he was riding near his Montecito home, about 84 miles away.

A Bakersfield bike path will be closed for improvements for one day a week from tomorrow.

In a tragic irony, a Berkeley bike and pedestrian advocate suffered major injuries when she was struck by a driver while riding with her son on a street where walkers and bike riders are supposed to have priority — and just hours after meeting with city transportation officials on how to improve traffic safety.

 

National

Transportation Secretary Pete says Biden’s transportation plan represents a once in a century opportunity to remake how Americans get around, where cars and highways are no longer king. I like this guy more every time he speaks.

The EPA says the days of pickup drivers enveloping you in a cloud of dark smoke are over, as they sue the Cayman Islands maker of a conversion kit allowing drivers to roll coal. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A new study concludes that, in the absence of congestion pricing, privately-owned self-driving cars will be a disaster for downtown areas, as many owners choose to keep them circulating rather than pay for parking.

Electrek says the proposed 30% tax rebate on the purchase of a new ebike sponsored by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jimmy Panetta has a good chance of passing in the current Congressional term.

Inside Hook considers the psychology behind why drivers hate people on bicycles.

Family members say the fatal police shooting of a 17-year old Arizona boy wasn’t justified, after bodycam video showed he had thrown a gun away as he ran from his bike, and never turned to face the cop before he was shot — all for what started as a simple traffic stop for weaving between lanes on his bicycle.

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says no, former NBA star Shawn Bradley wasn’t paralyzed in a Utah bicycle accident, as much of the press termed it; he was injured in a collision when he was run down by a driver. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A reporter from Illinois is riding his bike west to Los Angeles along the famous Route 66, aka the Mother Road, to collect stories about life in the Age of Covid.

Good question. A Daytona Beach FL paper asks how many people have to be killed walking or riding a bike before the state finally says enough?

Florida sheriff’s deputies arrest the 22-year old hit-and-run driver who ran down the sheriff of Volusia County as he was riding his bike — and while she was busy shopping on Amazon. Meanwhile, the sheriff thanked the truck driver who stopped to help him after the crash.

 

International

Road.cc recommends six of the best bike locks, with prices starting at under $40.

Gear Patrol lusts after three ebikes you can only get in Europe, for now.

Parking in a bike lane in Mérida, Yucatán will now cost you the equivalent of up to $77.

The CBC says the great pandemic bike boom has created a demand, combined with supply chain disruptions, that will take the Canadian bike industry years to catch up.

Toronto police are giving fewer tickets to people on bicycles, even though more people are riding bikes.

The owner of a burger bar in Bath, England claims a new bike lane will batter his business. Because evidently, only people who drive eat hamburgers. And if drivers aren’t willing to walk a little further to do business with his shop, maybe he should try making a better burger.

Bike riders in an English county turn thumbs down on a proposed $12.5 million bicycle bridge, saying the money could be better used to improve bike infrastructure on the streets.

New projections show that, not only will ebikes start outselling cars in Europe, it will probably happen sooner than you think.

Cuban expats living in Belgium are organizing a bike ride for this coming weekend to protest the ongoing US blockade of the island.

A Manilla website tells the horrible story behind the city’s first ghost bike, installed to honor a bicyclist who was shot to death by a driver in a road rage incident following a too-close pass; his killer is now serving life behind bars. A reminder that you never know who has a gun and a short fuse. Especially here in the US. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Elisa Longo Borghini won the women’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda race, taking everyone else by surprise with an attack with a little more than 15 miles to go; Marianne Vos won the sprint for a distant second.

Belgian cyclist Jasper Stuyven claimed the biggest win of his career by edging Caleb Ewan and defending champ Wout van Aert in the the Milan-San Remo classic, the longest single-day race on the modern cycling calendar. And it was a good day for Trek-Segafredo, with both Steven and Longo Borghini riding for the team.

Former world champ and TdF, Giro and Vuelta points winner Mark Cavendish says he has nothing left to prove, after making what he termed an amateur mistake on the cobbles of Nokere Koerse.

 

Finally…

Seriously, 18 inches does not a bike lane make.  Now you, too, can own the bike Bradley Wiggins rode to victory in the 2012 Tour de France, for the low, low price of $10,400.

Unless you’d rather own the very bike Lance rode for the Motorola team in the ’90s.

Syringe and IV bag not included.

………

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

Decrying LA’s death cult of speeding drivers, cycling without going outdoors, and proposed $1,500 US ebike rebates

They get it.

Letter writers to the Los Angeles Times respond to the recent column by Steve Lopez that we discussed here, decrying the culture of death caused by speeding drivers.

Including this from former LACBC board member and Bicycle Advisory Committee member Kent Strumpell.

To the editor: As an everyday cyclist, I have direct experience with the conditions that Lopez highlighted in his column. In recent years, I have been struck from behind by a distracted driver and have had two frightening close calls that could have ended my life.

Speeding and reckless, distracted driving are commonplace because there are rarely consequences for the offenders. Enforcement of traffic laws is spotty and therefore ineffective.

The technology of speed cameras to automatically cite violators, 24/7, is proven and readily available. It is inexcuseable that our state and local governments have not enabled this much-needed solution that could save lives.

Kent Strumpell, Los Angeles

Then there’s this one, which is exactly what I’ve been asking ever since Monique Munoz was killed in a Westwood intersection recently by a kid apparently attempting to set a new land speed record on Olympic Blvd.

To the editor: Why would anyone allow a 17-year-old to drive a Lamborghini?

Ginger Durgin, Woodland Hills

Why, indeed.

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Today’s common theme is cycling without the benefit of being outdoors.

Bicycling offers advice on how to keep riding indoors from being mind-numbingly boring, as the Yahoo version puts it.

Meanwhile, an arts critic for the New York Times says Peloton aims for nothing less than totally curating your mind.

The LA Times wonders if newly reopened cycling studios can drag people off their Pelotons.

Compete in Canada’s most grinding gravel race this year without having to hit the rocks. Or go outside, for that matter.

And a writer for a student-run UC Davis website says Peloton just displays the privileges of wealth, allowing the upper class to stay fit while reducing the risk of Covid-19.

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Write your congress person, and urged them to give ebike riders the same kind of support they’ve long given buyers of electric cars.

https://twitter.com/DavidZipper/status/1371573014689673217

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a discussion on how to revitalize LA’s aging boulevards at noon today.

Hint: Less space for cars, and more and safer space for bikes.

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The local neighborhood council is backing a proposal for much-needed bike lanes on Los Feliz Blvd.

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Utah is now the latest state to legalize a modified Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stops signs as yields.

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Here’s your chance to work for the bike industry’s biggest advocacy group.

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Pink Bike offers advice on how to buy a used mountain bike.

Pro tip, don’t buy one from anyone who rides it like you would.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton visits the newly protected bike lanes on Figueroa in DTLA, complete with new bike traffic signals. Although they can be a tad narrow in some spots.

Metro will hold a virtual public meeting this afternoon to discuss a proposed bus lane on Alvarado Street; Los Angeles allows bike riders to bus the lanes, too. As long as you don’t mind having a bus running up your ass, that is.

 

State

About damn time. A new bill introduced in the state legislature would finally get around to legalizing speed cams to rein in California’s heavy footed drivers.

The bike-friendly mayor of Encinitas announced her run for the state senate.

A 70-year old Chula Vista man thanks the Good Samaritan who helped saved his life after he wiped out riding his bike on a rain-slicked road.

A planned ten-mile bicycle superhighway connecting San Jose with Santa Clara will be the Bay Area’s first.

Clint Eastwood used to be one of us, getting the boot from Piedmont High School as a kid for destroying the football field by riding his bicycle in the wet grass.

 

National

Your next bike tires could be based on technology for NASA’s lunar and Mars rovers, without needing a bit of air; Cyclist wonders whether this represents the future of bike tires.

She gets it, too. A writer for Bicycling says it’s okay if you don’t wear a bike helmet, because while helmets can protect against certain head injuries, they’re no substitute for safer streets and drivers who actually pay attention. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Yahoo version of this one.

And so does he. A writer for a Jesuit Catholic website suggests Jesus would ride a bicycle, calling it “the only tool that can simultaneously fight climate change, pollution, segregation, poverty, illiteracy, disease and the daily slaughter of 100 Americans a day in car accident.” And fit for a literal God, evidently.

Flux Magazine says fat tire bikes aren’t as hard to ride as you might think.

The Verge recommends the best open-ear earbuds for bike riding.

E-scooter providers are pushing the Biden administration to widen roads to provide more space for their customers. Maybe instead of further reducing greenery and sidewalk space, they could take a little space from cars without expanding the streets, instead.

A Texas-based e-bakfiets startup will be pitching for dollars on Shark Tank on the 26th. Although it’s questionable whether they’ll reel in a shark, since there doesn’t seem to be anything unique or proprietary about a three-wheeled, ped-assist bucket bike.

A new Indianapolis study shows bikeshare can benefit tourists as well as locals, while the higher fees paid by visitors can help fund the program.

New York’s Suffolk County approved the state’s first three-foot passing law.

The North Carolina town of Kitty Hawk, famed for a pair of Ohio bike-making brothers, stood up to the state and rejected a $69,000 grant for a raised boardwalk that would have required giving bike riders the boot from coastal trails.

 

International

Wearable bicycle lock Litelok took advantage of the pandemic lockdown to shed weight while increasing strength, winning the top rating from a British nonprofit rating system.

Brexit is beginning to cause shockwaves in the Australian bike market, as well as in Europe and the UK.

A British financial site says while regular bikes are covered by homeowner’s insurance, ebikes may not be because they have an engine. Which is a good reminder to look into your own home or renters policy to make sure your bike is insured against theft or loss, regardless of whether it has a motor or which side of the ocean you’re on.

An alleged hit-and-run bike rider is on trial for speeding through a red light, and killing a 72-year old English man who was walking home last year.

A New Zealand town attempts to improve traffic safety by installing polka dots and speed bumps in key intersections.

A 58-year old Aussie man was lucky to survive after suffering a massive heart attack while riding his bicycle, in part because an off-duty firefighter happened to notice his feet sticking out of the bush.

 

Competitive Cycling

Reigning Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar claimed victory in the week-long Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, topping second place finisher Wout van Aert by more than a minute.

After topping the podium at Alaska’s 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational, endurance and adventure cyclist Rebecca Rusch sets her sights on becoming the first person to ride a bike across Iceland in the dead of winter.

More proof bike riders are tough. A team of Ohio cyclists prepares to tackle the  grueling Race Across America, aka RAAM, even as the team leader battles cancer.

Australia’s first female Olympic cyclist is donating her brain to science to study the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), caused by repeated concussions and blows to the head. Presumably once she doesn’t need it anymore.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to fall off your bike in front of a cop — three times. When your job is crap — no, literally — but at least you get to ride a bike.

And just call them Shaeros.

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

Examining the carnage caused by speeding drivers, the bike boom runs on batteries, and early LA bike cops

Speed kills.

In a column for the LA Times, the paper’s Steve Lopez examines the rising carnage on our streets caused by speeding drivers.

Lopez constructs his story through the lens of the needless deaths of 68-year old Larry Brooks, killed by a driver in $280,000, 200 mph McLaren, and 32-year-old Monique Munoz, whose life was taken by a 17-year old in a $200,000-plus Lamborghini SUV.

Not that you need a high-end super car to speed. Or take an innocent life.

In fact, it seems to be a rising trend.

In the first month of the pandemic last spring, the California Highway Patrol reported that although traffic volume was down 35%, the number of citations for driving in excess of 100 miles an hour had increased by 87% over the same period a year earlier. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 4,851 more CHP citations were issued for speeding at 100 miles an hour or more, a 93% increase over the same period a year earlier.

And too often, the people who pay the price aren’t the ones with their foot glued to the gas pedal. Three years ago, speeding played a role in roughly a third of all crashes resulting in death or serious injury, according to the most recent stats from the CHP.

Not that more timely statistics would help prevent more deaths, or anything.

Then there’s the broken promise of Vision Zero, which was supposed to be well on its way to ending traffic deaths in the City of Angels by now.

Not making more of them.

The Vision Zero campaign, announced by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2015, set an ambitious goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries and making streets safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists by 2025. The progress, and the reviews, have not been sterling. In the Arts District, where Larry Brooks was killed, residents have begged for more sidewalks and crosswalks. A $15-million state grant for such improvements has yet to be put to work.

Budgets, bureaucracy, politics and competing priorities have stood in the way of safety improvements such as turn lanes, crosswalks, signage and enforcement throughout the city. But (LADOT General Manager Seleta) Reynolds said progress is being made and her department has identified 450 miles of city streets where more than two-thirds of the fatal and serious collisions have occurred, with improvements there being prioritized.

Except nibbling at the edges of traffic safety wasn’t what we were promised. And won’t bring about the wholesale changes to the city’s traffic grid necessary to make a substantial dent in the rate of traffic deaths.

Let alone end them in the next four years, as the mayor committed to in announcing the plan six years ago.

Or do much to reduce the number of speeding drivers on LA’s over-engineered streets, as evidenced by the LAPD’s own stats.

(LAPD Traffic Division Cmdr. Gerald) Woodyard ran stats for the 12 pandemic months ending Feb. 28 of this year and found that fatal collisions in which speed was a factor increased from 15% to 21% of the total. Of the 253 fatalities, 117 involved pedestrians, and 48 of the victims were identified as “homeless or transient.”

Let’s hope that the state legislature gets serious about eliminating that deadly 85th Percentile Law that allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot, and legalizing automated speed enforcement to slow them down.

And maybe Los Angeles can spend some of the $1.35 billion it will be getting in the latest Covid stimulus package to fully fund Vision Zero, and stop using that for an excuse for why nothing gets done.

Then our elected leaders will just have to grow a spine. Or at least enough of one to stand up to angry drivers who demand the right to keep going zoom zoom on our streets, unimpeded by anything that might slow them down.

Like a person, for instance.

If not, maybe we can replace them with new leaders who already have one.

Take a few minutes to read the full piece. It’s worth your time to grasp the full cost of drivers who insist on putting the pedal to the metal.

Because let’s face it, you can’t spell “carnage” without “car.”

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR from Pexels.

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Speed kills, part two.

Two people were killed, and four seriously injured, when a speeding driver lost control on Vineland Ave in North Hollywood, slamming into two other cars and killing a man who had just stepped out of a liquor store; a passenger in one of the cars was the other person killed.

The crash occurred just blocks from the bike lanes on Vineland.

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More proof that much of the current bike boom runs on batteries.

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Actually, it looks like most of those “hats” are helmets on the heads of the LAPD’s first bike cops.

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

It takes a real lowlife to torch a Cambridge, Massachusetts ghost bike.

People are attacking a Welsh bikeshare provider, with an average of two bikes damaged each day over a five-week period; 20 people have been arrested so far for vandalizing the bikes.

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

Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter complains she almost channeled her rage-filled superhero alter ego when she was rudely hit on by a bike riding man while walking on a sidewalk.

British police bust a 19-year old, bike-riding serial groper accused of attacking 12 woman on a Cambridge bike path.

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Local

Officials conclude that a proposed bike lane on Western Ave in Rancho Palos Verdes won’t have a negative effect on traffic.

 

State

Calbike says it’s time for California to legalize the Safety Stop, which would allow bike riders to legally treat stop signs as yields, as most bike riders — and many drivers — already do. Actually, it was time about 30 years ago; now it’s way past time to get it done.

Encinitas will host a free ebike seminar on the 26th.

No bias here, either. A Santa Barbara letter writer says the new bike lanes on State Street make no sense, and accuses leaders of kowtowing to “the minority bike lobby.”

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision Saturday evening; he was allegedly riding the wrong way when a driver hit him head-on.

Kindhearted members of a Cal Fire crew bought a new bicycle and helmet for an eight-year old Pescadero boy after his were damaged when he was hit by a driver.

No bias here. A Chico State student investigating police bias and racial profiling in campus traffic stops unexpectedly finds himself stopped by three university police officers in a pair of squad cars as he was riding his bike, long after leaving the campus. He was told he somehow looked suspicious because he rode his bike away from the cop he didn’t see, who wasn’t trying to stop him. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

City Lab examines the irrational growth in the sheer size of pickup trucks, some of which now weigh as much as 3.5 tons, posing a dramatically increased risk to everyone on the road around them. Correction: I originally wrote the pickups weigh up to 7 tons, rather than 3.5. Thanks to Andy Stow for the correction.

Washington state is moving forward with a bill to bar sales tax for ebikes.

Bodycam video appears to show a 17-year old Arizona boy reaching for a gun after fleeing from police on foot, after what originally began as a simple traffic stop for not having a headlight on his bike; he died three weeks after the shooting — and after begging the cop not to let him die. Thanks to BGD Reporters and Rafe Husain for the tip.

A Utah bike rider was stabbed in the arm in a random attack, moments after an attacker robbed another person just to smash their phone on the ground.

PeopleForBikes spends a day with a bike-borne Boulder CO food rescue.

Despite their new found legal status, ebike and scooter riders find themselves banned from New York’s Hudson River Greenway.

Once again, a driver has fled after running down multiple riders; one woman was killed and another seriously injured when they were rear-ended by the heartless, cowardly driver while on a Florida bike club’s annual member appreciation ride.

 

International

A new Cannondale ad campaign is appearing at iconic sites around the world, as the bike boom pushes the company into the mainstream.

Take a single-track excursion on a Mexican mountain bike Mecca built by a Walmart heir.

We already knew Harrison Ford was one of us, as he dons his spandex for a nearly 800-mile ride from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. Although some people can’t seem to get over his “skintight outfit.”

Canada’s Liberal government is attempting to solve the country’s first mile/last mile problem by allocating a whopping $400 million for bike paths.

Thieves are feasting on bicycles from bike shed in an English housing development certified as secure by the local police department, because of ventilation holes big enough for someone to reach in and unlock the door. Evidently, the police wanted to ensure the bikes got plenty of fresh air when they weren’t in use.

A UK prosthetics experts is back on his bike after becoming his own patient when he lost his right arm in a bicycling collision with a truck driver.

Photographic proof that the British royal family are no strangers to bicycles.

When is a bicycle not a bicycle? When you strap a gasoline engine to it in Ireland.

A man was fatally shot after threatening a Paris bike cop with a knife outside a train station.

Spanish former F1 champ Fernando Alonso will now have to race with two titanium plates patching his fractured jaw after collision while riding his bike last month.

Peshawar becomes the first city in Pakistan to open a bikeshare service.

An Israeli man who once rode 41,000 miles around the world is credited with saving seven lives by donating his organs when he was hit by a bus driver while making an Everesting attempt near Haifa.

South African bike thieves are using pepper spray to knock riders off their bicycles. But at least they haven’t put a stop to the Cape Town edition of the World Naked Bike Ride.

Business is booming for Taiwanese bikemakers, with revenues up as much as 80%, even though delivery times are down.

An Aussie woman thanks a passing driver for saving her daughter’s life when the bikes failed on the girl’s borrowed bicycle, and she crashed into a parked car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Another reminder that there’s no sure thing in bike racing. Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič lost his firm grip on the Paris-Nice podium by falling twice on the last stage and dislocating his shoulder. Germany’s Max Schachmann made up a 52-second deficit to take the win.

 

Finally…

Evidently, your body is a bicycle. Your next bike could have no crossbar, fork or seat.

And who hasn’t ridden 163 miles just to get a cup of coffee?

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

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