Tag Archive for stolen bicycle

Morning Links: Charges increased in Frederick “Woon” Frazier death, and WeHo drag queen run down on purpose

Maybe there will be justice for Woon after all.

I received the following email from an anonymous correspondent at yesterday’s scheduled prelim for Mariah Kandise Banks, charged with the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier and the attempted coverup that followed.

The People have filed an amended complaint against Ms. Banks in which the charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence has been upgraded to felony.

Judge Lynne Hobbs thanked Ms. Banks for being on time this morning. Alas, the prelim was trailed yet again.

The judge inquired about the prosecution’s previous request for an increase in bail due to the accused’s alleged harassment of the victim’s family (and frankly, she seemed willing and prepared to grant it). The prosecutor stated that she had spoken to the victim’s family two days ago and had received no further reports of harassment, so the bail stands as-is.

Ms. Banks was her usual muttery self as she exited the courtroom.

The increased charges mean Banks now faces six years for felony vehicular manslaughter, rather than one year for the misdemeanor count.

That’s in addition to a possible four years for felony hit-and-run.

However, it’s unlikely she’ll serve anywhere near that. The LA district attorney’s office has a well-deserved reputation for bargaining charges down to avoid a trial.

If Banks is smart, she’ll drop the attitude and cop a plea. And maybe get out in a couple years, rather than risk serving the full dime behind bars.

Photo of Frederick “Woon” Frazier taken from his original crowdfunding page.

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This is who we share the road with.

A popular West Hollywood drag queen says a driver fled the scene after apparently running him down on purpose as he was leaving a bar with friends two weeks ago.

The victim, Sasha Markgraf, says he was the only member of the group dressed in an effeminate manner.

In addition to being a drag performer and singer, Markgraf is also a costume designer. When he left the bar with his friends to cross Larrabee Street after 2 a.m. he was wearing high heels and suspects the driver may have intentionally hit him.

“It’s sad to say but I think he was coming straight for us. He didn’t have to go right. He didn’t have to veer to the right,” Markgraf says.

A crowdfunding page says the driver turned on his car as Markgraf stepped off the curb and revved his engine before plowing into him. So far, it’s raised just $2,100 of the $50,000 goal.

Unfortunately, the only description of the car is a silver Honda Civic. There’s no description available for the driver.

Lets hope they catch this jerk before he or she tries to kill someone else.

And maybe succeeds next time.

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Another crowdfunding page is raising money to buy a new bike for an Active SGV staff member whose bike was stolen, along with her panniers, wallet and clothes, at last Sunday’s CicLAvia.

So far it’s raised nearly $300 of the modest $500 goal.

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There’s no shortage of bighearted people in today’s news.

When the bike a Salem, Oregon man used as his primary form of transportation was stolen, his friends in the trading card community pitched in to buy him a new one.

The bike an Ohio man used as transpiration for himself and his one-year old daughter was stolen just two days into his new job, so his Walmart coworkers dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike and trailer for someone they barely knew, and most had never met.

A Pennsylvania man rode his bike across the US, raising $11,000 for a pair of small-town animal rescues.

Great piece about a British Columbia bike shop owner and inventor who earned the Lanterne Rouge in the 1955 Tour de France, joining another rider as the first British cyclists to finish the tour; after moving to Canada, he built the wheelchair used on an around-the-world journey, as well as refurbishing bicycles to give to those in need. Sadly, he died of cancer on Saturday.

Then again, some people would rather help themselves. After a thief stole the bicycle a nine-year old English boy got for his birthday, he set out to do odd jobs around town until he earned enough to buy a new one.

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Local

As we noted yesterday, LADOT is looking for volunteers for the city’s first-ever official bike and pedestrian count later this month, as well as using traffic cameras for part of the count. Volunteers are needed to count bicycles in Long Beach, too.

A pair of LA Times readers shake a metaphorical fist at the paper for celebrating the death of the High Desert Corridor through the Antelope Valley.

 

State

67-year old San Diego man was rear-ended on his bike in broad daylight, suffering what was described as a non-life-threatening brain bleed. A witness said he “came out of nowhere,” which is just another way of saying you weren’t paying attention.

The student newspaper at San Diego State University says the school made a bad decision in banning e-scooters and other micromobility devices, based on bad data and with little student input.

A Santa Barbara man was critically injured when he was hit head-on rounding a curve after allegedly drifting onto the wrong side of the road; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

 

National

Bicycling hosts a debate on whether someone on a bicycle is a cyclist or a biker. Apparently, a person riding a bicycle wasn’t an option.

A medical columnist says if you really want to avoid pain when you ride, hie thee to a bike fitter. Though he might not have phrased it quite that way.

A Hawaiian advocacy group will host a Noodle Ride, with participants using pool noodles to call attention to the three-foot passing law.

Seriously? An Oregon letter-writer says she’s fine with one bike lane, but why do bicyclists need one going the opposite direction on the other side of the street, as well?

Albuquerque paramedics are using bicycles to get through the crowds at the city’s annual hot air balloon festival.

Good advice. After surviving a serious collision while riding her bike, a Boulder CO woman says you should take published reports in the media with a massive grain of salt. Like this one, for instance.

A Houston man is dead after a cop driving at high speed — and without lights and sirens — slammed into him in a crash caught on dashboard video from a car parked nearby. In a tragic irony, the city launched a prescheduled campaign just hours later, calling on drivers to watch out for vulnerable road users.

A writer for Streetsblog Chicago says he’s willing to bury the hatchet after a city alderman backs down on his threat to ban bikes from the Riverwalk. But he wants those illegal Bicycles Must Be Walked signs taken down.

A Minnesota man just finished riding every public street in his county

A Pittsburgh man is making his third official attempt to set a new handcycle 24-hour record. The paraplegic athlete set an unofficial record of 407.7 miles in 2016, breaking the existing record of 403.8; however, the track wasn’t certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, so it didn’t count.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a 73-year old woman was killed in a left cross collision, and the driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket. There’s something seriously wrong when needlessly taking the life of another person amounts to nothing more than a simple traffic violation.

 

International

Cycling Tips says a British Columbia bikemaker is setting a new standard for environmental sustainability in the bicycle industry.

Heartbreaking story from Hamilton, Ontario, where a 14-year old boy was stabbed to death by a pair of brothers as his mother watched, after he had confronted the other boys for allegedly stealing his bicycle.

Life is cheap in Wales, too, where a woman got off with just 27 months behind bars for drunkenly driving “like a maniac” and plowing into four members of a family out for a bike ride, then fleeing the scene; one of her victims was lucky to survive. So naturally, she blamed the entire thing on her boyfriend.

A British truck driver was convicted of careless driving in the death of a bike-riding doctorhis view was obstructed by a dashboard tray full of ornaments and other items.

In news for my fellow diabetics, a new Australian study shows that while diabetics are prone to heatstroke, you can reduce your risk by training in the heat for a week in advance.

 

Competitive Cycling

Baltimore will host a one-day ProSeries race — one rung below the WorldTour — for the next three years.

Cycling’s governing body says it’s going to work with riders to improve safety in time for next year’s cycling season. If they really want to improve safety, they’ll get team cars and race motorcycles out of the peloton, and require riders to wait until someone can catch up for assistance.

 

Finally…

Nothing like circus friends to borrow a bike from. Apparently, there’s no bike lane that can’t be turned into a parking lot.

And nothing like turning a Santa Clarita bike path into your personal brass knuckle fight club.

 

Morning Links: The online war on bikes goes on, fallen rider’s bike recovered, and spotting the good guys in the TdF

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

Especially online

A British Columbia sports editor gets it, having the misfortune to moderate the online battle on Facebook and Twitter.

In most instances, though, “traffic” is not caused by bicycles. When I’m stuck in traffic, there’s nothing I want more than to be on a bicycle. That’s one of the reasons I find the hysterical rhetoric of the bike debate so strange. Cyclists, for the most part, are just trying to get around quickly, efficiently, cheaply and healthily. They aren’t the problem…

Sure, bikes can be infuriating but you just have to let it go if you’re in a car. The power difference is too great. Yes, bikers do stupid things, but so do drivers. And when it goes wrong between them, cyclists always lose.

Meanwhile, a Sonoma County columnist wonders why there’s so much misplaced hatred at bicyclists any time a bike story appears online. Or in real life, for that matter.

And yes, your car is 4,000 pounds and my bike is 20 pounds. But because something is bigger, stronger and faster does not give a driver of a vehicle ownership or priority on a public road. Might does not make right. It makes a bully.

Not every driver is a jerk. Not every cyclist is an angel. But let’s not lose sight of our individual humanity, however we choose to get around this beautiful county we call home.

And a Philadelphia-area paper says bicycles — and bike lanes — benefit everyone.

Biking may not be for everyone, but the health benefits to children, environmental benefits to leaving the car at home, and the economic benefit that gives those in poverty a way to get to work are reasons enough.

Share the road. We’ll all be better for it.

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One bit of good news in a very hot LA weekend, as KTLA-5 reports the bicycle belonging to falling bike rider Sebastian Montero has been recovered, five months after it was stolen.

Montero was riding a friend’s borrowed bike this past Easter Sunday when he was killed by an alleged speeding driver at Burbank and De Soto.

His own bike had been stolen two months earlier, and his mother had begged for its return to remember him.

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Sometimes it’s not hard to spot the good guys.

American Lawson Craddock went down with a bloodied eye and a broken scapula in Stage 1 of the Tour de France. And not only finished the stage, but challenged himself to finish the race.

And Compton’s own Rahsaan Bahati offered to match the amount.

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Local

LA has posted information about proposals to close the absurd Northvale Gap in the Expo bike path. Which exists only because NIMBY homeowners in the area successfully fought construction of the bike path when the Expo Line was built, after failing to halt construction of the train line itself.

The LA Times‘ Robin Abcarian decides that e-scooters are fun, but too damn dangerous after falling off one when she collided with a bike rider on the Venice bike path, and patched up another woman who skinned her knees. Both of which could have happened if they were on roller skates instead of scooters.

A Los Angeles writer says the car still reigns supreme in Southern California, where “Much of the region’s built environment is designed to accommodate the presence of private vehicles and to punish their absence.”

Pomona plans to build a Class I shared use trail along San Jose Creek; the 14-foot bikeway would provide safe access to Cal Poly Pomona, as well as four schools and a similar number of parks.

 

State

San Diego plans to install hundreds of bike racks throughout the city.

The fight over bikeshare in Santa Cruz is nearly settled, as the docked Jump ebikes are becoming ubiquitous in town, despite the objections of some residents.

 

National

Streetsblog says no, drunk walking isn’t behind the rise in pedestrian deaths, despite last week’s incredibly misguided and one-sided PBS report.

Bicycling offers eleven great bike paths to add to your bike bucket list, two of which are in California. And one of which — Colorado’s Trail Ridge Road — my brother just rode last month on his bike tour of the state.

Denver Streetsblog profiles former Boston bike advocate and bicycle rabble rouser Jonathan Fertig, who recently moved to the city.

A Dallas publication points out that some people actually make a living off all those dockless bikes and scooters. Not to mention the invaluable data being generated by them.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A five-year old Michigan boy was killed when he was struck by a food delivery driver while on his first ride without training wheels.

The FBI has gotten involved in the hit-and-run death of a Michigan woman as she rode her bike home from hearing her husband’s band perform in 2013; the bureau is offering a $25,000 reward, to go along with a $50,000 reward offered by a private group. It would be interesting to know the basis for the FBI’s involvement, since hit-and-run, fatal or otherwise, is a state crime.

No surprise here, as the bicyclist who was run down by a drunk hit-and-run driver on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway — allegedly intentionally — has filed suit for nearly $2.5 million. Driver Marshall Grant Neely will remain in rehab until he’s sentenced after violating his probation by getting drunk every day.

Now that’s more like it. A Connecticut car dealer will give you a loaner when you have your vehicle serviced. But it will have two less wheels than the one you brought in.

A New York website looks at the city’s fight over ebikes through the eyes of two bike riders on opposite sides of the issue.

The Vision Zero Network looks at the efforts to end traffic fatalities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

International

The CBC offers advice on how to avoid a right hook. Moving left and taking the right lane just before an intersection greatly reduces the risk, but some idiots may still try to go around; I’ve been right-hooked by drivers turning from the left lane.

A new European study shows bicycling is great for reducing obesity — unless you ride an ebike. Of course, the question is whether the study was based on ped-assist bikes, which still require the rider to pedal, or throttle-controlled bikes, which don’t.

A London man develops a friendship with the bike-riding woman who comforted him after he was struck by a truck driver as part of last year’s terrorist attack on the Westminster Bridge.

Vice infiltrates a London ride out to see what it’s like to pop wheelies in traffic with hundreds of mostly teenage riders.

Caught on video: A pair of Irish bicyclists get left hooked — the equivalent of our right hook — by a cab driver while riding in a narrow bike lane; remarkably, both men were unhurt.

A Change.org petition calls on Google and Apple to do more to fight cellphone addiction after an Australian man is left a paraplegic by a crash with a distracted driver while riding his bike.

The former Thai Navy SEAL who died during the attempt to rescue a teen soccer team trapped in an underground cave was one of us; 38-year old Samarn Kunan’s Instagram account reportedly contained several pictures of him mountain biking

 

Competitive Cycling

An Irish writer mourns the death of anti-doping after four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is exonerated in his asthma inhaler doping case. Froome was soundly booed by spectators at the start of the Tour’s second stage.

Speaking of Froome, he started the Tour by riding off the road and losing 51 seconds. Which inspired a look back at the unwritten rules of crashing in the race.

Cycling Tips recaps stage 1, while Peter Sagan had to take of his rainbow jersey and slip into yellow after stage 2.

A writer for Outside says yes, there are cheaters in pro cycling, but we should watch it anyway to support the ones who don’t. The problem with that is we have no way of knowing who they are. Or aren’t.

Ten books to feed your Tour de France fever when you’re done watching the day’s stage.

Lest we forget, there’s another top-level WorldTour stage race going on, with the women’s Giro Rosa.

Phil Gaimon has posted video of his grudge match victory over Fabian Cancellara.

Very sad news from Kansas, where 64-year old John Egbers died three weeks after he was hit by a car while competing in the 4,300-mile Trans Am Bike Race. A second rider struck in a separate collision remains hospitalized.

 

Finally…

Riders in the Tour de France hardly ever get attacked by elephants. Maybe you should put your helmet over your kidneys if you ride indoors.

And your next Pashley could be a Morgan.

Just in case anyone gets me on their secret Santa list this year.

 

Morning Links: Specialized ebike recovered in Hollywood, and dangerous left cross caught on cam

The LAPD Hollywood Division is looking for the owner of a black Specialized Turbo X ebike.

Another reminder to register your bike now. And if it’s ever stolen, report it to the police right away, then list it with Bike Index’s free stolen bike database.

The police can’t press charges if they can’t prove it’s stolen.

And they can’t return it t the owner if they don’t know who it belongs to.

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Something that’s familiar to way too many bike riders, as CiclaValley caught a close call on his bike cam, courtesy of a left crossing driver.

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The 168-mile road cycling course for 2020 Tokyo Olympics will pass by the base of iconic Mt. Fuji.

A British website talks post-retirement life with Fabian Cancellara.

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Local

KNBC-4 reports on the new ofo bikeshare available in Griffith Park for one dollar an hour. The question is whether the bikes will remain in the park as intended, which seems pretty unlikely.

The Santa Monica Mirror looks back at the city’s Halloween-themed Kidical Mass.

The Taste of South Pasadena bike ride rolls on Thursday.

Heal the Bay is hosting an Explore Ballona! bike ride along the Ballona Creek bike path this Saturday.

Also this Saturday, CICLE is sponsoring their BEST Ride: The Flowing Power Ride, while giving participants a chance to win a free Sole bike.

 

State

A San Joaquin Valley public radio station talks with a Kern County Vision Zero group about their efforts to reduce traffic fatalities in Bakersfield.

Two teenage gang members face charges for shooting a 67-year old Lenmoore man when he tried to ride his bicycle around them. And no, I’ve never heard of Lenmoore before, either.

A Templeton man is due to be sentenced at the end of this month for the death of a bicyclist while making an unsafe pass, after pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter.

San Francisco advocates pen an open letter to the mayor calling for improvements to the city’s Vision Zero program, including making immediate improvements at the site of any death.

A San Francisco supervisor tells Uber and Lyft to stay out of bike lanes.

 

National

A CNN Op-Ed says Juli Briskman shouldn’t have gotten fired for flipping off the president while riding her bike, which was unrelated to her work.

Bicycling offers drivers advice on how to safely pass bike riders, and tips for bike riders on how to ride clipless.

A Bernie Sanders — and soon Trump — biographer says last week’s New York terrorist attack is another reason why bicyclists and pedestrians must be protected from motor vehicles.

Once again, New York shows LA how it’s done, unveiling plans that would create protected bike lanes and improved intersections stretching eight miles across the city.

 

International

The parents of a fallen Canadian bicyclist are outraged that the driver won’t face serious charges, even though he hit a group of six riders head-on.

The Toronto city council votes to make a controversial protected bike lane on a major street permanent. Meanwhile, a pair of Toronto doctors write that protected bike lanes have a positive impact on public health by providing safe, healthy and accessible travel for people of all ages and abilities.

London’s former bike czar calls a proposal from the mayor to ban bikes on busy Oxford Street, which currently sees 5,000 riders a day, an unqualified disaster.

A pair of British bicyclists set a new record by riding through 14 countries in seven days.

Glasgow, Scotland is planning its first protected intersection. Which will be one more than you’ll find in Los Angeles.

Sixteen South African cyclists, including a 16-year old girl, rode 373 miles in 72 hours to raise awareness of diabetes.

 

Finally…

A cycling to English dictionary. And say it ain’t so, JuJu.

 

Morning Links: Stolen bicycle recovered, raw video of Koreatown incident, and bikeshare news

Let’s start with good news, for a change.

Last night I received word that the bicycle stolen at gunpoint from Ulises Melgar, which we discussed yesterday, has been recovered after being spotted in Hollenbeck Park.

The only things missing were the lights and a Garmin.

As a result, the crowdfunding campaign to replace Melgar’s bicycle has been frozen, and anyone who gave will be contacted about their donation.

No word on whether any progress has been made in apprehending the violent jerks who stole it.

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News service LoudLabs posted raw video of the recent Koreatown incident.

As you may recall, several people pulled an aggressive driver out of his car after he hit a bike rider while plowing through a group ride that was corking an intersection, and held him down until police arrived.

The additional footage includes the full interview with a witness, as well as showing extensive damage to the car.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Today’s common theme is bikeshare.

The Bay Area’s Ford GoBike bikeshare took a beating in its first month, with bikes stolen, tires slashed and a bike dumped in a lake.

Dueling dockless bikeshare companies are spreading throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento and Santa Cruz.

A Seattle writer watches as a homeless person tries, and fails, to steal one of the city’s dockless bikeshare bikes.

Baltimore’s bikeshare is contending with the problem of stolen bikes; the Baltimore Sun reported less than a third of the 200 bikes were available for use when they checked.

And a real estate writer says developers now consider proximity to a bikeshare dock an amenity.

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A new short movie examines the effects of Australia’s mandatory bike helmet law, while stressing that being against forcing people to wear helmets isn’t the same as being opposed to them.

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Welsh cyclist Luke Rowe will be out of action for awhile, since it’s hard to ride with a broken leg; he was injured while whitewater rafting during his brother’s bachelor party.

An Aussie new site asks if Alberto Contador is a cycling legend, flawed genius or forever tainted. Short answer, yes.

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Local

The Washington Post looks at the overwhelming success of the Expo Line, while noting that opposition to building the line centered on race and class, as well as cost. I recall someone from the Westside’s upscale Rancho Park, who said no one from that neighborhood would ever take the train, which would only be used by maids and gardeners. And that same opposition was successful in derailing plans for the Expo Line bike path through the neighborhood, resulting in the infamous Trousdale gap.

The latest edition of Bike Talk discusses Vision Zero, Road Diets, and the Backlash Against Safe Streets.

A free three-mile ride sponsored by CICLE and Metro will take you on a tour of LA’s best Filipino restaurants along Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown on the 24th; reservations are required.

Several Santa Clarita firefighters are competing bicycling events in this week’s World Police and Fire Games.

 

State

If you ride the San Juan Creek Trail in San Juan Capistrano, prepare for some extensive detours over the next few years.

The annual Bike the Bay is your chance to ride San Diego’s Coronado Bay Bridge at the end of the month, even without a $210 million bike tube.

A San Diego man is posting satirical YouTube videos exposing the mythical war on cars.

This is who we share the roads with. After a Jurupa Valley motorcycle rider is nearly sideswiped by a driver, he records the man plowing into two stopped cars, then fleeing the scene — and follows him to Moreno Valley at speeds up to 90 mph.

 

National

Now you, too, can make your very own scraper bike with a “badass” sound system.

A Hawaii man says it felt like he was hit by a truck when he was struck by a bicyclist, after spending three nights in the ICU with two broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and internal bleeding.

Alaska Air is now officially the cheapest airline to fly with your bike.

No overreaction here. Police in Evanston IL arrested two 12-year old kids for the crime of running a red light while riding on the handlebars and rear pegs of a BMX bike while someone else pedaled. Yes, they were arrested for a traffic infraction. Or maybe just riding while black.

In a field where women are seriously under represented, a Michigan woman has been repairing bicycles for 33 years; she started a mobile bike repair business after closing her bike shop in 2004.

Bighearted New Jersey cops buy a ten-year old boy a new bike after they were impressed with his positive attitude when he was injured in a collision.

Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell is one of us; Markell just finished a 3,600-mile ride across the US to raise money for kids in the state.

A Pittsburgh-area cyclist finally gets his day in court, after spending the last year in jail awaiting trial on charges of riding his bicycle in the middle of the lane, just like riders are taught to do. Apparently able to read minds, the ADA handling the case alleges David Smith’s intent was to disrupt traffic, rather than ride safely.

A Louisiana engineer makes a persuasive argument over why and how bikes should be included in the traffic plan for the state capital.

A Good Samaritan alerts Florida officials to a reckless, and likely stoned, driver, allowing deputies to arrive less than a minute after he struck a bike rider.

 

International

The UK’s version of HuffPo lists the best apps for bicycling. Not all apply for US riders, however.

Road rage is on the rise, even among those obsessively polite Canadian drivers.

A 17-year old British man was apparently sprayed with acid while riding his bike near London’s Kensington Palace. Authorities referred to it as “an unknown substance;” however, the attack follows a spate of acid attacks on the city’s streets in recent weeks.

Good idea. The father of a fallen British bicyclist says children should be taught the Dutch Reach in school.

Caught on video: An English van driver intentionally swerves into a bike rider to keep him from passing. Skip ahead to the 2:50 mark; evidently, they don’t have video editing software in the UK.

The Guardian imagines what the perfect bicycling city would look like if it could be built from the ground up for bikes.

A Portuguese company shows how a relatively flat bike network can be designed, even for a hilly city.

The 14th and final stage of the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race finishes in Vladivostok, Russia today; organizers are working on how to get more women to enter the 5,700-mile race across Russia, and how to keep them in the race longer.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have the lines of a 1920s motorcycle. Ten irredeemably uncool bike things guaranteed to piss off just about everyone.

And these guys give bike cops a whole new meaning.

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