Tag Archive for Streets For All

Streets For All talks with CD4 challenger Nithya Raman; and bike riding celebs — possibly including the next president

Streets For All is hosting an online conversation with CD4 candidate Nithya Raman, who’s challenging first term incumbent David Ryu in November.

While the coronavirus has taken a lot of the energy out of this year’s election, it remains one of the most important elections in memory.

And this race is no different.

Ryu spent most of his first term blocking progress on street safety projects, before becoming a fair weather convert to urbanism in the past year, as he faced a pair of urbanists and homeless advocates in the primary election.

One of those was Raman, who forced him into a runoff this November. And whose election could be a game changer for the City of Angels

And yes, she’s got my vote as soon as my ballot arrives.

 

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Today’s common theme is bike-riding celebs. And one that maybe won’t be for awhile.

America’s Got Talent and former American Idol judge Simon Cowell fractured his back in several places after crashing his new ebike in front of family members in the courtyard of his massive Malibu mansion; he should make a full recovery after a six-hour surgery to install a metal rod to stabilize his spine. Although someone should tell People that a broken back does not a “minor accident” make.

The new Batchelor is one of us, taking a ride in Florida as he waits for the show to resume filming.

Bohemian Rhapsody and Mr. Robot star Ramy Malik is one of us, as he goes for a casually dressed ride in London.

Former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher is one of us, saying he goes offroad riding four times a week. Even if he’s not a fan of wearing his “fucking helmet.”

And presidential frontrunner Joe Biden is one of us, too.

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Anyone see the problem here?

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Keep your eyes peeled for a purloined cargo bike.

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Bikes are the means of protest in Belarus, as citizens took to the streets to demand an end to the country’s corrupt government in advance of Sunday’s election.

Although someone should tell the cops there that it’s kind of hard to catch bike riders when you’re on foot.

Or better yet, don’t tell them.

Not that it did any good; experts say it was rigged from the start.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. An editorial in the conservative Santa Barbara News Press calls for licensing and taxing bike riders, while complaining about traffic lanes being taken from those poor, suffering drivers and given to people in bicycles, as well as a long, long list of other grievances.

Residents of Bristol, England, are accused of moving construction barricades and posting signs to keep bike riders out of their neighborhood.

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

Life is cheap in Britain, where a wrong-way bicyclist got just six months for slamming into a pair of pedestrians while riding drunk and without working front brakes; one of the victims, an 81-year old woman, died from her injuries five months later.

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Local

Yes, the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail is open for its full length, from Pacific Palisades to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. But the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closed for maintenance work during the day all next week.

LA Taco offers the gut-wrenching story of the aftermath of a hit-and-run that seriously injured a homeless man in LA’s Historic Filipinotown. And the inaction of police as investigators don’t have the time or staffing to follow up, even after getting the license number of the driver’s car.

The Mid City West Community Council will consider a much needed $50 million makeover of moribund and traffic-choked Melrose Avenue, including the city’s first Dutch-style curb level protected bike lanes. Fortunately, the MCWCC is one of city’s most progressive neighborhood councils; the online meeting will take place tomorrow starting at 6:30 pm.

 

State

San Diego’s $177 billion, 30-year anti-LA style transportation makeover is in jeopardy thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of mostly maskless people defied health officials and turned out for Santa Barbara’s annual Fiesta Cruiser Run informal bike ride. So if Santa Barbara Covid-19 cases spike in a couple of weeks, you’ll know why.

 

National

Bike Snob isn’t exactly onboard with bicycle shops and bikemakers boycotting police bikes.

We mentioned this one before, but it’s worth a reminder. A Portland study shows that even slow bike riders in the traffic lane don’t delay drivers more than a few seconds. So tell ’em to chill, already.

Um, no. A resident of a Washington island called police to say someone on a bicycle was trying to crash into cars.

He gets it. A Utah bike rider says bicyclists only act entitled because we are — pointing out that bikes have a right to the road under state law. That’s true in every other state, as well.

Kindhearted Arkansas cops teamed with a local motorcycle club to buy a special needs boy a bicycle trailer so he can ride with his mom.

A 22-year old man from Minneapolis is riding 84.6 miles a day for ten days to honor Black people killed by police.

 

International

The owner of a British Columbia driving school says some of his best friends may be bike riders, but he hates a trial project that restricts two-way automotive traffic to a single shared lane, while providing bike lanes in each direction.

A bighearted Calgary neighborhood organization gave out 280 refurbished kids bikes.

This is why you should register your bike. Police in Ottawa, Canada are looking for the owners of 30 bicycles recovered from bike chop shops following a month-long investigation, but only one was registered. Which means the other 29 owners may be out of luck.

Nearly one thousand people turned out for a Black Unity Bike Ride through the streets of London, in what’s planned to be an annual event.

Business is booming in a UK town after the city closed off a roadway, blocking motor vehicle access through the business district while opening the street to diners, bike riders and pedestrians.

That’s more like it. A British truck driver got a well-deserved eight years behind bars for killing two people while playing video games behind the wheel.

New protected bike lanes are popping up on Dublin’s coast.

Lots of kids ride bikes. Not many discover what may be an actual miracle while doing it.

After a young mountaineer was killed in a hit-and-run, an Indian newspaper says separated bike lanes are urgently needed, and those responsible for her death must receive appropriate punishment for the crime.

Officials in Bengaluru, India, are asking bicyclists to crowdsource the routes where they want bike lanes by using tools like Strava and Google Maps, as bicycling picks up steam in the city during the coronavirus crisis.

He gets it, too. A Bangladeshi architect challenges the callous carelessness of the country’s drivers, and a system that lets them get away with it with a wink and a smile.

Add South Central Vietnam to your bike bucket list.

The worldwide coronavirus bike boom has even reached the Pacific island nation of Guam.

A New Zealand man pled guilty to multiple DUI charges for killing a father riding bikes with his daughter last April; tests showed he was high on meth and Valium, and had tossed a handgun and ammunition out of his car following the crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

Remco Evenepoel won the Tour of Poland; the 20-year old Belgian cyclist has won all four of the stage races he’s started this year.

Evenepoel’s fellow Belgian Wout van Aert out sprinted Julian Alaphilippe to win the rescheduled one-day Milan-San Remo spring classic.

Doctors believe Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen will be able to return to racing despite suffering a crushed palate and windpipe, as well as other major facial injuries, after he was hip-checked into the road barriers by another rider as he sprinted for what would have been a likely victory in the first stage of the Tour of Poland. Meanwhile, the cyclists union is repeating their call for standard barriers at all races so this doesn’t happen again

 

Finally…

No, a red Camaro didn’t flee the scene after hitting a six-year old boy riding his bike, the unlicensed heartless coward behind the wheel did. Your next foldie could have full-size folding wheels.

And if you’re going to ride off on your bike after stealing a bottle of booze, wear a damn mask.

And some clothes, maybe.

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

The case of the purloined pedal car, a call for safe & equitable streets for all, and you really can carry anything on a bike

Maybe he was just joyriding.

Or maybe the thief figured out something things are just too hard to sell.

Either way, this sort-of bike theft turned out to be very short-lived, and the purloined pedal car was swiftly recovered.

And will soon be back with owner, if it isn’t already.

No word on who took it, though.

Thanks to Lynn Ingram, Ted Faber and The Mailer Demon for the heads-up.

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Los Angeles may finally be fixing its streets.

But it’s leaving anyone who’s not in a car behind in the process.

Seriously.

Do it, already.

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Remember this the next time someone says you can’t carry anything on a bike.

Thanks to W. Corylus for the heads-up.

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Today’s common theme is improving your DIY bike repair and transport skills.

Bicycling wants to teach you how to use tire levers. They just happen to have the same ones I do, too.

Gear Junkie offers instructions on how to swap out your bike pedals in five easy steps.

An Orlando FL TV station wants to teach you how to properly carry a bike on your car. Although blocking the car’s rear license plate, like they show, is illegal in California.

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North America’s “premier conference for walking, bicycling and placemaker professionals” is going virtual this August, along with everything else.

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

A Glasgow bar owner threatened to smash a bike rider’s “fucking head in” when the bicyclist stopped to film his car blocking a bike lane, along with several other scofflaw vehicles.

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

A bike-riding Los Angeles man faces assault charges after spitting on a woman at a South Pasadena Black Lives Matter protest, then throwing a rock at her when she recognized him two days later.

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Local

Bebe Rexha is one of us, as she goes for a ride in an LA canyon. Although the British press seems more obsessed with her behind than anything else.

 

State

A San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike.

 

National

Treehugger says bike touring may be the perfect way to get around in the summer of Covid-19.

Mountain biking is benefitting from the coronavirus bike boom, with trail use up anywhere from 100% to 500% throughout the US.

Forbes recommends the best bicycling gear and accessories for women.

That tragic Glendale, Arizona crash that took the life of two people got even more tragic on Monday, when it was revealed that the victims were a father and his daughter, who was riding home on her dad’s handlebars.

Now that’s a bike ride. Three Colorado men rode 203 miles and climbed two 14,000 foot mountains — with a total elevation of 23,000 feet — in a single day to call attention to ending the stigma of depression and mental illness.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Houston woman was known for carrying extra food on her bike for stray dogs; they may go hungry now, after a driver stoned on PCP ran her down as she was riding.

Kindhearted residents in a Minnesota neighborhood pitched in to buy a new bike for a young boy after his was stolen, and another bike left in its place.

Kindhearted Punxsutawney PA police officers used raffle proceeds from a bike rodeo to buy new bicycles for six kids.

 

International

Road.cc recommends the best cheap cycling computers. “Cheap” being the operative term, with prices starting at the equivalent of just $10.

Finally, someone’s taking a page from LA’s book for a change, as Montreal decides to allow bicyclists to ride in at least some of the city’s bus only lanes.

Once again, an elderly London pedestrian has been killed by a hit-and-run bike rider. A reminder that you have just as much responsibility to stop after a crash as a driver does, no matter where you ride.

The bike boom isn’t enough to offset the driving bust for Britain’s biggest bike dealer, which has the misfortune of selling auto parts and repairs, as well as bicycles.

An Edinburg writer says the city can cut bicycle and pedestrian deaths to zero if ordinary people counter misinformation with facts, and say “Enough!”

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the ebike a Scottish doctor used to visit sick and vulnerable patients at their homes.

A Scottish letter writer says the increase in bike riders demands the adoption of presumed liability, which assumes that the driver of the larger and more dangerous vehicle is responsible for any collision, because they have a greater duty to avoid it.

When Europe shut down due to the coronavirus, a Scottish college student couldn’t get a flight back to Greece. So he bought a bike, and spent the next 48 days riding 2,175 back home.

A new Spanish conversion kit promises to change your bike into an ebike in a matter of minutes, for just $510; a crowdfunding campaign has raised 165% of the $113,471 goal with 12 days to go.

Bike ridership in Paris has doubled over the past year. And the City of Lights is just getting started reshaping the streets.

Bike riders face the same problems all over the world, as inadequate bike paths and irresponsible drivers put Turkish bicyclists at risk. Something most of us can relate to.

Sadly, it took the death of a bike-riding man for the Kuwaiti parliament to approve a plan for bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana is back on his bike just a week after he was struck by a driver on a training ride.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay says July just isn’t the same without the Tour de France. If you can get past the Journal’s paywall, that is.

CyclingNews looks back at the most memorable bike races of the past 25 years.

 

Finally…

No, seriously, who needs a seatpost anyway? Presenting the Bay Area’s first parking protected dining lanes.

And every green building needs a cycle track on the roof.

Thanks to Robert Leone for that last link.

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

New Broadway protected bike lane could be final Santa Monica bike project; DTLA 7th ST protected bike lane moves forward

A special thanks to Los Angeles Bicycle Attorneys Josh and Paul Cohen of Cohen Law Partners for renewing their sponsorship for the coming year. 

They join title sponsors Pocrass & De Los Reyes in renewing their support, despite these troubling economic times. 

It’s their sponsorship that allows me to do what I do, and bring you the latest and best bike news on a daily basis. 

Without their support — and yes, yours — this site would not be possible, at least in its present form. 

Now saddle up, because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

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Let’s start in Santa Monica, where good things are happening.

And not so good.

On the plus side, David Drexler sends word that the city has taken advantage of the slow traffic during the coronavirus shutdown to install parking protected bike lanes on a short section of Broadway.

Look at this, a gift to cyclists from Santa Monica. They took advantage of the low corona traffic to redo Broadway thus far from 20th Street west a few blocks. They moved the parking away from the curb and replaced it with a very protected bike lane on both sides. These photos were a taken at 19th and Broadway. Not sure how far they will extend it. It goes from 20th to the Santa Monica food coop right now, then the old green lane picks up there.

The picture of the G on the ground is probably where they will pain green.

It makes cycling much safer in those lanes than the ones next to traffic, I feel. Hope they do more.

On the other side of the ledger, Santa Monica is planning to make drastic cuts to city funding in response to the loss of sales tax revenue due to the lockdown.

Advocacy group Santa Monica Spoke joins with other organizations to warn that excessive cuts to the transportation department could imperil the safety of vulnerable road users, as well as any post-pandemic economic recovery.

Santa Monica’s economy depends on a functioning transportation network that safely moves people, goods and services. Current proposed budget cuts will be destructive to transportation work, will disable basic functions, and slow our safe recovery from this pandemic. Transportation staff, infrastructure and services are classified as essential government functions* and perform vital functions that literally keep our community running safely. These cuts will damage safety and the very fabric of services and programs that we depend on living in Santa Monica…

These essential life saving functions are under threat with extreme plans to cut over half of the City Transportation and Mobility Division compared to 20-40% across other departments. While we can only imagine the stress and burden of decisions weighing on City Council, this level of cuts would severely impact basic public safety and infrastructure operation functions, wounding our city’s ability to rebound fiscally from the COVID-19 crisis. It is imperative to be strategic. We must consider the holistic dynamic relationships, dependencies and functions that contribute to safety, economic stability and regrowth. While the City suffers catastrophic shortfalls, we should not use a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed to balance new budgets. Council needs to take time to cut costs strategically, while maintaining essential staff that would facilitate a safe and secure path to economic recovery and resilience.

As part of the cutbacks, Santa Monica plans to cut all bike, pedestrian and Vision Zero funding for the next year.

Which means those Broadway protected bike lanes may be the last we’ll see for awhile.

The Santa Monica City Council will hold a virtual council meeting tomorrow to discuss the proposed budget cuts.

Santa Monica Spoke urges you to contact the councilmembers to demand continued funding of the Transportation Department, and ongoing support for bicycle, pedestrian and Vision Zero projects.

Because lives depend on it.

And the proposed cuts are more than just a scratch.

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Evidently, Vision Zero isn’t completely dead in the City of Angels.

Just badly wounded.

The program is rising from a premature grave, as LADOT invites you to attend a free public workshop to discuss plans to fix 7th Street in DTLA.

And about damn time, since the existing bike lane is largely unrideable much of the time, and usually serves as nothing more than free parking in front of the Bloc shopping mall.

And the only rule governing traffic on 7th seems to be to aim for the soft, squishy people instead of the cold, hard cars.

You can learn more about the project here.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

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Meanwhile, Streets For All offers a glimpse of what could be if LA actually remembers it has an already-approved Mobility Plan.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1256351201462870017

You can see a larger, interactive version of the above map here.

And here’s the link to the petition, since the link in the tweet is broken.

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Bike Angeles examines some unexpected improvements along a two-mile stretch of Vineland Ave in North Hollywood.

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This is why we can’t have nice things.

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When a bike rider hits a pedestrian, it usually end badly for both parties.

Which is exactly what happened in Berkeley on Saturday, where a 55-year old man on a bike crashed into a 60-year old woman, leaving both victims in critical condition.

Although it’s not clear how it happened, since police say he was riding in the street and she was standing on the sidewalk; a witness says the man on the bike must have had “mental issues.”

The same thing happened in Minneapolis, where a pedestrian is in critical condition and a bicyclist seriously injured following a crash.

Anyone who’s ridden for awhile can tell you it’s not always the bike rider’s fault in a situation like that; people are unpredictable, and can step out into the street without looking for someone on a bicycle.

But it’s always our obligation to ride carefully around pedestrians, because they’re the only ones more vulnerable than we are. And be prepared to stop or swerve to avoid crashing into someone.

Especially if you’re riding on a sidewalk.

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This working from home thing might just catch on after all.

https://twitter.com/cycling_woman/status/1255909638907846659

Thanks to W Corylus for the link.

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Maybe it’s not the best idea to draft a dump truck in heavy traffic.

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

Nashville police are looking for a goateed, bike-riding miscreant who smashed a jewelry store window with a cinderblock and made off with over 200 rings. Although as someone who spent a decade in the jewelry business, I’d question why the window wasn’t shatterproof glass, and the rings in a safe after hours.

A Scottish thief made off on his bike after taking over 100 wedding rings worth more that $124,000 in a grab and run.

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Local

Streetsblog examines the massive failure of LA city officials in cancelling a Slow Streets social distancing program in the Del Rey neighborhood, just hours after it was announced.

The LA Times says city officials think closing streets for social distancing just too risky, even though other cities throughout North America are doing exactly that. Evidently, they think we’re calling for CicLAvia-style street closures that would draw people from across the city, rather than closing a few streets in every neighborhood to allow people to get outside without risking their health and safety.

Dylan McDermott is one of us, as the Hollywood star went for a bike ride through Pacific Palisades with his family.

Santa Monica residents join the chorus of voices demanding safe space on the streets for social distancing.

 

State

A Chula Vista bike rider suffered a leg injury when he or she was was right hooked while riding in a crosswalk by a truck driver, who never bothered to look the direction he was turning.

Britney Spears is one of us, posting a photo showing her riding her bike with her boyfriend near her Thousand Oaks home in happier, pre-pandemic days.

A Santa Barbara bike rider is in critical condition after he was run down by what must have been a self-driving car, since the story does’t even mention a driver.

Bay Area bike shops can’t keep up with the demand as business booms during the coronavirus pandemic.

It takes a major schmuck to steal bikes and tools from a nonprofit San Jose bike co-op as they were preparing to reopen next week.

This is why you shouldn’t try to reclaim a stolen bike by yourself. A Santa Rosa man is recovering from stab wounds to his hand after he approached a man who was riding his stolen bike.

Sacramento will block or limit motor vehicle traffic on some streets to make more room for social distancing. On the other hand, San Jose says don’t hold your breath.

 

National

Yes, May is Bike Month, even if everything has been cancelled and too many cities won’t give an inch on the streets during the coronavirus pandemic. Including Los Angeles.

Zwift wants you to ride or walk in place to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders.

Bike Snob says road cycling isn’t dead after all, even if gravel is all the rage.

An eight-year old Honolulu boy got his stolen bike back after conservation officers spotted it outside a state park.

You don’t mess with an angry dog — or a grandfather. Reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter is offering a $1,000 reward for the “scum” who stole his granddaughter’s bike from the family garage in Hawaii.

A New York nurse continues to bike to work, even after she was hit by a driver.

We already know NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is one of us. But apparently supporters of his new team are just figuring it out, as fans are shocked by his “absurd” 74-mile Florida ride.

 

International

People around the world are being encouraged to see bikes as a post coronavirus commuting option — when they’re not getting stopped by the cops for doing exactly that.

Bike historian Carlton Reid offers a warning from history despite the boom in bicycling during the Covid-19 lockdown. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Bike Radar explains what muscles are used to ride a bike, and offers advice on what to wear when you ride one. Never mind that you can ride in anything from T-shirt and shorts to a three-piece suit. But the right clothes can make it a hell of a lot more comfortable.

Road.cc says you’re not a pro, so you don’t have to ride like one.

A nine-year old Ontario boy has set out on a 621-mile bike ride to raise funds for a local health foundation, riding roughly six miles a day.

When a Nova Scotia nursing home worker went to pick up her bike after having it repaired, the shop surprised her with a new bicycle to thank her for her work on the frontlines of the Covid-19 battle.

Speaking of rising from a near grave, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns from his extended absence due to Covid-19, and calls on the country’s mayors to take action to encourage bicycling and walking, and keep cars out of city centers.

Noel Gallagher is one of us, as the former Oasis singer and guitarist rode his bike near his English home, despite the country’s lockdown.

British band Glass Animals talks about the 2018 bicycling crash that nearly took the life of the band’s drummer and left him unable to walk, talk, eat, read or write for a time.

Members of a Scottish cycling club honored one of their own, lining the street with their bikes and club kits to show respect for a member who died of Covid-19.

A Catholic priest in the UK had to deliver his daily podcast and evening prayers as he walked home, after going out for a bike ride and suffering successive flats.

Just call it Strassenverkehrsordnungnovelle. Germany announced a raft of changes to traffic laws, including banning parking in bike lanes, allowing people to ride two abreast, and prohibiting drivers from passing bike riders or motorcycles in narrow areas.

Over 3,500 Slovenians rode their bikes in defiance of the lockdown to protest a ban on bike riding, as well as government interference in procuring protective gear and ventilators.

Tragic news from India, where a couple were killed in a collision along with two other people, after a kindhearted truck driver offered them a lift after riding 250 miles because they couldn’t find any other form of transportation.

An Indian op-ed calls for more space on the roads for people walking or biking, arguing that the biggest hurdle in making making it more popular in the country is a lack of necessary infrastructure.

Tokyo commuters are taking to their bikes to avoid the risk of infection on the city’s packed trains.

 

Competitive Cycling

A UK paper looks back at what they call the toughest bike race ever ridden, a snowy seven-stage, 1,300-mile race through the battlefields of the just-ended Great War, as well as in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Apparently assuming Covid-19 will blow over by then, officials tell pro cyclists to be ready for an August 29th start for the Tour de France.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome says the race can work without spectators, but isn’t sure organizers can keep them away.

June’s mountain bike worlds was just the latest race to fall victim to the coronavirus, while September’s European road championships were put off until next year.

A British man raised the equivalent of $16,000 by riding the length of the Tour de France without ever leaving his apartment.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a seatless Penny Farthing. Or long enough to let you maintain social distance from your tandem partner.

And when you’re drunk, riding salmon, and carrying an open container, at least put some damn lights on your bike.

And don’t fight with the cops that try to stop you.

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

Vehicular cycling founder John Forester has died, toxic car culture, fighting for street space, and courteous CA drivers

Sad news from San Diego.

CABO President Jim Baross writes that John Forester, author of Effective Cycling and the father of America’s vehicular cycling movement, passed away last week.

Reported to me today by his son Jeff Forester

John died April 14, 2020 at 90 years of age

He was Born Oct. 1929

I have known John primarily related to bicycling and CABO. Some things I know about him off the cuff:

Author of Effective Cycling now in a 7th edition, former League of American Bicyclists Board member (was he board chair at one time?), instrumental in the formation of CABO, certainly the Father of the concepts and trainings of vehicular cycling, an early outspoken advocate for the rights of people to use bicycles on public roads, etc. etc.

Whatever your opinion of vehicular cycling, Forester was hugely influential in the ’70s and ’80s, and throughout the past 50 years. Both in affirming the place of bicyclists on our streets, and blocking the growth of separated bikeways.

He fought for what he believed right up to the end, long after most modern advocates and planners had left his philosophies behind.

But in his day, his work was a revelation, creating the framework most road cyclists employed through the last decades of the past century.

Myself included.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

Cover image from MIT Press

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Let’s talk about a great opinion piece from today’s LA Times.

Senior digital editor Matthew Fleischer writes that the coronavirus shutdowns are making it clear just how toxic car culture really is.

The coronavirus is making it abundantly clear that cars are their own kind of plague. And, in many ways, our lives are better when we don’t have to use them.

Some city leaders have come to this realization and are refusing to allow their automotive status quos to return after the lockdowns end. In Milan, Italy — one of the hardest-hit cities in the world by coronavirus — planners have already begun preparations to permanently transform 22 miles of streets for non-automobile use after witnessing reductions in air pollution of up to 70% during lockdowns.

Then there’s this.

Frankly, the idea that we can transport ourselves sustainably en masse in toxic 4,000-pound battering rams is just as delusional, entitled and self-destructive as the “liberate” protestors who are demanding a premature end to coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders…

There is no herd immunity from the damage caused by millions of personal automobiles roaming the streets at all hours.

Seriously, this will probably be the most insightful thing you read today. If not, it’s still a damn good way to spend the next few minutes.

Let’s hope Mayor Garcetti reads it.

Because he can let coronavirus derail his ambitious plans to reimagine our streets as part of an LA Green New Deal.

Or he can use this as a rare opportunity to actually make it happen.

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Closing or narrowing streets for cars in response to Covid-19 continues to make news here in LA, across the US and around the world.

Los Angeles political advocacy group Streets For All has forged a powerful coalition of LA-area groups to lead the call to keep Angelenos physically and mentally healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.

And expressed that call in a strongly worded letter to leaders of the City of Angels.

The road space in Los Angeles is now dramatically overbuilt for the current vehicle traffic volume, causing vehicles to travel at dangerous speeds – average speeds are up 30% on our wide open roads according to LADOT. At the same time, the average width of our sidewalks is 4.4’, too narrow to allow people to pass each other while maintaining 6’ of distance. As a result, people are forced to be in close proximity with each other, risking proliferating the virus or walking, running, scooting, or biking in the street next to speeding cars. This isn’t just a street safety issue, but a public health issue as well…

While the top priority is limiting COVID-19 spread and saving lives and livelihoods, there must be a long term plan to sustain the mental and physical well being of Angelenos. Isolation and inactivity can lead to increases in chronic health conditions like heart disease and obesity and pose other mental and physical health risks that we may pay for as a society for years to come.

Therefore, for the critical reasons of equity, mental health, safety, and the physical well-being of Angelenos, we ask you to authorize the creation of an emergency people street network – using cones or other temporary infrastructure – to create additional sidewalk and open space for people to walk, run, scoot, and bike in, while maintaining 6’ of distancing. ​On neighborhood streets, this could be as simple as a few cones and a “slow down” sign taking up some of the street, calming traffic but still allowing local and emergency vehicle access. On major arteries, this could be redistributing a parking lane and/or single vehicle traffic lane on each side of the street, while taking care not to interfere with bus stops​. These treatments may also advance the Mayor’s goals under L.A.’s Green New Deal to “Activate Streets” and “Prioritize Land Use and the Right-of-Way” in ​Executive Directive 25​. All of this can be accomplished inexpensively and without the need of distracting our police or fire departments with enforcement during this critical time.

It’s worth taking the time to read the full letter. And voice your own support.

Meanwhile, KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks with Curbed’s Alissa Walker about closing some roads to cars so people have more space to walk, run or bike.

Salt Lake City joins the growing movement to convert streets to bike and pedestrian use.

Berlin is the latest world capital to carve out more space on the streets for active transportation in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.

And Paris trumps everyone by readying the equivalent of 400 miles of permanent and temporary bikeways for use when the city reawakens.

………

No surprise here.

The Governors Highway Safety Association says speeding is up around the country on streets emptied by the coronavirus crisis, which means crashes are more serious, too.

Case in point, the CHP reports that tickets for speeding in excess of 100 mph have jumped 87% over the past month.

Which can either mean that more drivers are speeding. Or that more are just getting caught.

Or maybe both.

………

New York City’s mayor demonstrates that he’s never been to California by bizarrely insisting that California drivers are so courteous, they stop on every block — even when they don’t have to.

https://twitter.com/laura_nelson/status/1252979892846645248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1252979892846645248&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnyc.streetsblog.org%2F2020%2F04%2F22%2Fstill-defiant-now-mayor-de-blasio-wrongly-claims-california-can-have-open-space-because-its-drivers-are-better%2F

………

The LACBC and Sunset For All are teaming up tomorrow to show that bikes mean business.

………

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

A “furious” English man demands that bike riders be banned from a multi-use path along the coast for the alleged crime of failing to maintain social distancing.

………

Local

Khloé Kardashian’s two-year old daughter is one of us.

 

State

A San Diego columnist questions whether it’s time to reopen parts of the city, arguing that the fitness of residents helped it avoid the worst of the coronavirus.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of San Diego men up to 80 years old are still taking long rides along the SoCal coast. And the coast of Normandy.

After losing his job in a San Francisco restaurant, a Venezuelan chef turns to his native cuisine, and starts a new business delivering homemade arepas by bike. Which is literally what he named it.

Once again, a Bay Area bicyclist posts a nearly one-hour video of a ride through Oakland and San Leandro. And once again, an Oakland News blogger freaks out over his scofflaw behavior.

They get it. A pair of Sacramento mayors agree this is no time to back down on climate change, coronavirus or not.

 

National

PeopleForBikes aims to support bike shops by encouraging responsible riding during the Covid-19 crisis, along with virtual cycling.

How to turn your kid into a mini mountain bike shredder.

A pair of Idaho bike commuters are credited with helping the environment by trading gas pedals for bike pedals; one was inspired to get on her bike by attending CicLAvia when she was a student at USC.

Evidently, Texas trail users don’t like being told which way to go.

Wisconsin wrenches are raising old bikes from the dead at a record pace.

Security cam video shows a St. Louis hit-and-run driver plowing into a bike rider, hurling him into the air before flooring it and fleeing the scene; despite the head-on crash, the victim only suffered minor injuries. This video is just as disturbing as it sounds, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on the link.

Three friends from Maine end up driving 2,000 miles home when their fundraising cross-country bike trip ground to a halt in Texas after the coronavirus shut down much of the country.

After an MIT researcher blamed New York’s transit system for spreading Covid-19, a researcher from George Mason University reminds him that correlation isn’t causation, noting that restaurants and bikeshare showed the same curve — and points the finger for spreading the disease at motor vehicle use, instead.

Streetsblog says the empty streets have turned New York’s Third Ave into a dangerous speedway.

A writer for Rolling Stone takes a desolate and desultory ride through the city, feeling anger towards people flaunting social distancing rules and mourning places that may not return.

A Philly radio station says bicycle couriers have had to change their strategies to avoid spreading Covid-19. Or getting exposed to it.

 

International

She gets it. A writer for Forbes says our planet needs cities to prioritize people over cars, and this is the perfect time to do it.

The Pinkbike Podcast discusses why every new bike now seems to be a trail bike.

Cycling News says you can save time and money by learning to fit your own bike chain. Meanwhile, Bike Radar offers a beginner’s guide to road bike shifting.

Bike-riding British Columbia mounties stop a man for riding without a helmet, which is against the law there. And end up busting him for stealing the bike he was riding.

Dutch model Lilly Becker is one of us, too, going for a socially distant ride through London’s Wimbledon neighborhood.

Tragic news from the Netherlands, where an 18-year old man was stabbed to death in an apparent random attack while riding his bike; police arrested a “known troublemaker” immigrant with mental health problems.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault about his 50-mile solo breakaway through a brutal snowstorm to win the 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège

 

Finally…

Who needs a BMX track when you’ve got a Tribeca apartment with an awesome view of the waterfront? Why move over when you’ve got a six-foot social distancing stick?

And no, bikes aren’t “the new toilet paper.

You can actually get a bicycle.

………

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

Improve mobility and open space access during Covid-19 shutdown, CA crashes down by half, and bike shops are essential

Los Angeles leaders are focused on fighting the coronavirus.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t provide safer transportation and exercise options for LA residents during the shutdown.

That’s the case nonprofit group Streets for All has been making with city councilmembers and the mayor’s office in recent days.

Here’s what they have to say.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on Los Angeles; tens of thousands are out of work, hundreds of thousands are working from home, and millions have been ordered to only leave their homes if absolutely necessary.

Because of these changes, our road space far exceeds the required amount for vehicle traffic. At the same time, for their own physical and mental health, many Angelenos need to get to/from work if they are an essential employee, need to go to the market or a doctor’s office, or perhaps just need to go for a run, bike ride, or go play with their kids. It isn’t possible to do this and maintain 6’ of space on our current transit, sidewalk, and bike lane infrastructure.

Proposals to enhance mobility and open space access in Los Angeles during COVID-19:
  1. Pilot a temporary emergency safe streets network to slow down speeding cars and give residents a safe 6’ distanced option for active transportation while reinforcing connections to grocery stores, hospitals, LAUSD food centers, delivery services, parks, and other essential resources. View our potential network.

  2. Create an accelerated path for street closure requests to increase local access to open space, especially in neighborhoods with limited park access. Potentially using the framework studied with Play Streets. These could be hard closures block by block, or maintaining local access for parking.

    Specifically we suggest:

    • Waiving fees and insurance requirements

    • Giving Neighborhood Councils the same request exception as council offices

    • Increasing application turnaround to 10 days

    • Allowing option for LADOT to install barricades

There’s more, as they make a solid case for why it should be done. And done now.

Check it out, and get involved.

………

No surprise here, as California traffic collisions — not accidents, please — have been cut in half as the entire state shuts down for the coronavirus, thanks to a 60% drop in traffic volume.

However, there’s no word on the severity of those crashes, as the lighter traffic has meant higher average speeds on the roadways.

………

New Mexico finally came to its senses and joined most other states in allowing bike shops to reopen as essential businesses, in response to outrage from the local bicycling community.

But only under extremely limited circumstances.

Under the new orders, customers can’t enter the bicycle shops, retail sales are banned, payments are to be made by credit card or debit card remotely; customers must leave and pick up bicycles outside the store; and the bikes have to be disinfected before being brought inside. Staff must also wear protective equipment and the stores have to be routinely disinfected.

But despite the restrictions, it’s not the strictest regulations in the country, according to Bicycle Retailer.

In Michigan retailers are allowed to service bikes only if the bikes are used by workers to get to a job that is considered essential.

Meanwhile, bike shops got the nod as an essential business in Nebraska. And in Louisiana, too.

Hopefully with less draconian restrictions.

And advocacy groups from the US to Russia and Japan call for bike shops to be recognized as essential businesses during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Thanks to Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl for the New Mexico heads-up.

………

Bike Index reports they’ve helped recover over 7,000 stolen bikes worth nearly $10 million.

Which seems like a pretty good reminder to register your bike for free right now, before you need it.

Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the tip.

………

Here’s your chance to work in SoCal transportation social justice.

………

This should get your heart going if you can’t get out for a ride.

………

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

An apparent road raging driver faces an attempted second-degree murder charge for getting out of his car and shooting several times at a group of bike riders; fortunately, he seems to be a bad shot.

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

Texas police bust a man who rode away on his bicycle after a fatal stabbing.

………

Local

SoCal Cycling mourns the death of cyclist Randy Houston, who died peacefully on March 17th; no cause of death was given.

A cargo bike-riding street vendor in South LA was attacked in a shameful strong arm robbery; the attack was caught on low-res video.

It looks like the popular Rose Bowl Loop is only sort of closed right now.

A Santa Clarita man was busted for assault with a deadly bicycle rim after he was allegedly caught burglarizing a garage.

Reese Witherspoon is one of us, and so is her seven-year old son.

 

State

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says right now, while we’re all sheltering in place, is the perfect time to convince non-riding friends to give bicycling a try. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

San Francisco’s MTA head it’s time to build cities for buses, bikes and feet, not cars.

Yes, you can still walk or ride your bike in the Bay Area even after coronavirus restrictions are tightened, though you’re asked to consider if your trip is really essential.

A Roseville man describes touring the state by bike, including four trips to Yosemite and an epic Sonora Pass bonk that ended in the ER.

 

National

In case you missed it last month, Jeff Vaughn reminds us that bicycling is the best way to get around during the pandemic.

An automotive website says now is the time to take advantage of the empty streets to get into bicycling.

NPR says double your distance from others to protect yourself from coronavirus while safely exercising outside.

VeloNews picks the year’s best mountain bike gear, and offers a look at some of the best bikes from their virtual North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Streetsblog points out that no one forced scooter companies to pull them off the streets because of Covid-19.

After getting laid-off from his job as a sous chef, a Tacoma WA man channels his anger into a new business riding his bike around town and shouting messages to people sheltering inside their homes.

A Washington man builds a Victorian era safety bike for a new period drama airing on HBO. Which is as good a reason as any to tune in once the show airs.

A very sad Aspen CO girl writes a letter to the local paper asking for her stolen bicycle back.

A local magazine recommends six bike paths to try out on your next trip to Austin, Texas.

The president of an Illinois advocacy group says it’s time to get back on your bike and shift the perception of bicycling from a sport to transportation.

A Minnesota man gets his bike back six years after it was stolen, after a bike shop owner with a long memory finds it in a pawn shop when it was advertised on Craigslist.

Inspired by Stephen Colbert fixing a flat on his bike, a Cleveland columnist gets his bike tuned and starts riding again to save what’s left of his sanity.

New York state eliminates an entire criminal class by finally getting around to legalizing ebikes.

Great idea. A new DC program matches people who have an extra bicycle or two lying around with essential workers who need one for safe transportation.

Fox Racing’s enduro/ebike helmet scored the highest in the latest bike helmet ratings from Virginia Tech.

 

International

Road.cc readers explain how their bicycling habits have changed due to the pandemic.

British Columbia’s Whistler ski area is still on track to open a bike park this May despite the coronavirus crisis, though the situation remains fluid.

Where to get the best online bike deals if you live in the UK. Hint: Email or call your favorite local bike shop before you buy anything online. They need the business, and will appreciate it more.

A British triathlete defends his nine hour, 201-mile bike ride in violation of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

A 78-year old former Irish amateur cycling champ calls himself an unrepentant sinner for defying the country’s restrictions and getting out on his bike, insisting he never touches anyone when he’s riding.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says Covid-19 will deal a serious blow to pro cycling, as teams fold and the sport may never be the same. Pro cycling never recovered from the doping scandals, and many teams have for been circling the drain for years now; this will only speed the process.

 

Finally…

Surprisingly, it turns out a $550 stolen bike is worth around…$550. Which means that a $50 Craigslist Gary Fisher bike is worth…more, evidently.

And get out the crayons to pass the time until we can all ride again.

………

Thanks to Matthew R for his very generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Contributions of any amount are always appreciated, especially in times like this.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Calls for John Lee to resign in corruption probe, Covid-19 wreaks havoc on bike world, and SaMo protected bike lanes

As we discussed yesterday, CD12 Councilmember John Lee is facing calls to resign after he was identified as the city staff member who took a corrupt Vegas joyride.

Lee’s alleged involvement was spelled out in an indictment against his predecessor and former boss Mitch Englander.

Oddly, Lee won’t confirm that he was the unidentified City Staffer B who accompanied Englander on his — allegedly — bribe and escort-filled Las Vegas fling, which was paid for by an LA businessman. Even though he admitted as much on Monday.

Lee continues to lead challenger Loraine Lundquist as the vote count in last week’s city election crawls on. Although the situation would likely be very different if the news had broken just a week earlier before Election Day.

Meanwhile, political advocacy group Streets For All joins the chorus demanding Lee’s resignation.

You can add your voice to the call by signing the petition demanding that Lee to quit immediately.

And in a related note, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Fuerer, whose office was raided in the same FBI probe of city officials, tossed his tainted hat into the race to replace termed-out Eric Garcetti as the city’s mayor.

Which could turn out to be the tip of an iceberg that could make the one that sank the Titanic look small in comparison.

And possibly bring down much of the LA political establishment.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

………

The Covid-19 coronavirus continues to take a toll on the bicycle community.

The annual Bentonville, Arkansas Bike Fest has been postponed until August in hopes the virus will run its course.

Streetsblog says it doesn’t help that New York’s mayor told people to ride their bikes to avoid the coronavirus, but didn’t add any capacity to the streets to make it easier for them to do it. Like opening bridges owned by the transit authority to bicycles.

In a surprising development, the Bike League has cancelled the annual National Bike Summit scheduled to begin this Sunday in Washington DC.

Things aren’t looking good for this year’s Giro d’Italia after the entire county went into a coronavirus lockdown.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics scheduled to begin in July could face a two-year delay until 2022.

And Monterey’s annual Sea Otter Classic has been rescheduled for this fall.

Thanks to John Huntsman for link to the Sea Otter tweet.

………

Santa Monica’s Broadway bike lanes will get the protected treatment.

Once again showing SaMo continues to run rings around Los Angeles when it comes to safety and livability.

………

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

An Akron, Ohio woman was sitting in her car when she was shot in the leg by a man in black as he rode by on a bicycle, in an apparent unprovoked attack.

A Brooklyn bike rider gets the blame for stealing a woman’s wallet from her car while she was on the other side pumping gas.

………

Local

Echo Park residents are demanding action after a string of fatal hit-and-run crashes, mostly on deadly Sunset Blvd. The Sunset4All plan would be a good place to start.

CiclaValley beats the clock by biking to Newhall and taking the train back home.

 

State

No surprise here, as San Diego is failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks thanks to its ongoing addiction to gas guzzling motor vehicles.

Two Victorville teenagers were busted on robbery charges after stealing a bike from a 13-year old girl, and trying to steal another, as she was walking to meet her brother with a pair of bikes.

Tragic news from Bakersfield, where a bike rider was killed when a driver fell asleep at the wheel, and woke up just in time to slam into the victim.

Watsonville has approved a Complete Streets to Schools Plan to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians around 15 schools.

No surprise here, as bike and scooter rides rise on San Francisco’s Market Street in the two months since cars were kicked off.

Authorities have made an arrest in the cold case murder of a Rohnert Park teenager who was last seen riding his bike in 2016.

 

National

Gear Patrol recommends what they call the best commuter bikes for every kind of road and rider. Not sure they accomplished that, but there are some interesting choices here.

That’s more like it. Bellingham, Washington is trading traffic lanes for a network of wide, buffered bike lanes.

Conspiracy meister Alex Jones of Info Wars infamy was busted for DUI after a fight with his wife in a Texas restaurant, even though his BAC was just under the legal limit. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

A “deplorable” Wisconsin driver got a well-deserved five years for killing a father riding bikes with his son, claiming he was distracted because he was looking down at his car’s radio. And didn’t bother to stop because thought he hit a mailbox.

Chicago has closed sections of the popular Lakefront Trail bike and pedestrian paths due to “recent historic high lake levels and severe storms.” But neglected to tell anyone they were closed, or why the concrete barriers suddenly appeared on the paths.

Minneapolis sets an ambitious goal of having 60% of all trips by bike, transit or walking in just ten years.

When is a protected bike lane not a protected bike lane? When the city of New York says it doesn’t exist, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Gerrard Butler is one of us, as he runs, bikes and walks throughout his day in New York. And gets stalked by paparazzi no matter how he travels.

Despite the NYPD’s nasty habit of repeatedly blaming the victims, an analysis by the New York Times shows errors by bike riders and pedestrians were blamed in just five percent of fatal crashes last year. You can probably guess who was responsible for the other 95%.

A North Carolina city bizarrely concludes that four-way stops at a pair of intersections wouldn’t do any good, because there is “no clear evidence that pedestrian or bicycle traffic is high at either of these intersections.” Except maybe that’s because it’s too dangerous to walk or bike there now without them.

Baton Rouge LA is starting the approval process on the city’s pedestrian and bicycle master plan. When I lived down there, the only master plan they had was for bike riders and pedestrians to stay the hell out of the way of drivers.

A Miami man told police he just wanted a better bike, after he was busted for violently attacking a couple to steal theirs. If you’re going to steal a bicycle, that’s about as good a reason as any.

 

International

She gets it. A writer for Bike Biz says a love of bicycling is the greatest gift of all.

Outside visits what they call the hiking and mountain biking Mexico of your dreams in Baja’s Rancho Cacachilas.

Canadian Cycling Magazine looks at the pretty damn funny collection of egregious bike user-errors and bad luck damage on the JustRidingAlong subreddit. Including the one we below that we’ll end with today.

A Toronto columnist calls for banning right turns on red lights, even if they do save gas and time.

The founder of a Swedish e-cargo bike maker and a bicycle delivery firm walks — or in this case, pedals — the walk, spending Fridays on a bike delivering packages alongside his employees.

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says just riding a bicycle is an intensely political act in occupied Palestine, where he says the Israeli government imposes 705 obstacles to the free movement of the people.

A Moroccan man is traveling the world by bike to promote peace. Clearly, he has a long way to go — in every sense.

An Aussie study shows bike riders are more confident in their abilities than drivers. Which isn’t too surprising considering our lives depend on our bike skills.

 

Competitive Cycling

Road Bike Action Magazine reports on the third stage of the eight stage Paris-Nice bike race, where the finish was determined by a late crash.

Pink Bike talks with BMX and mountain bike crossover champ Anthony Napolitan.

VeloNews looks behind the scenes with the US team at the 2020 world track cycling championships.

 

Finally

If you’re tired of angry, aggressive and/or distracted drivers, you’re in luck.

And how to keep someone from stealing your bike seat.

Mmmmmm that saddle from Justridingalong

 

LA Times tells state to speed up slowing drivers down, Streets For All goes all in on ads, and 5 riders run down Down Under

I seem to be apologizing a lot this week.

Sorry for the downtime on this site yesterday morning, and thank you to everyone who notified me about the 502 error; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access the backside of this site, either.

It turned out to be a large scale glitch that took down a number of sites across the internet. But everything’s back to normal now.

Hopefully, it will stay that way.

And let me apologize to everyone who sent me links the past few days. I’ve lost track of most of them, and I’m way too tired to track them all down now.

So allow me to just offer a general and generic thank you to everyone who contributed something for your help, which I genuinely appreciate.

………

They get it.

In recent years, the LA Times editorial board has taken strong stands in favor of safer streets and alternative transportation.

Yesterday was no exception, as the paper complained about the state slow-walking efforts to slow motor vehicle traffic. And called on California to finally get rid of the deadly 85th percentile state speed limit law, calling it “outdated, absurd and downright dangerous.”

The problem stems from a decades-old state law that essentially requires cities to set speed limits based on how fast people are already driving on that stretch of road, regardless of whether that speed is safe or whether the street has a history of wrecks. It was adopted more than 60 years agoto prevent cities from setting speed traps, or arbitrarily low speed limits aimed at sticking drivers with pricey tickets…

The more common and unintended consequence of the 85th percentile rule is what’s known as speed creep. Higher speed limits encourage motorists to drive faster, which in turn prompts higher speed limits. That’s what happened on Zelzah Avenue in L.A.

It’s not surprising, then, that the task force has recommended giving cities more flexibility to set lower speed limits, particularly on streets with lots of injury crashes or an abundance of pedestrians and cyclists. Research shows that speed limits do affect drivers’ behavior, and even modest reductions in speed can save lives. A pedestrian or cyclist hit by a vehicle traveling 35 miles per hour has a 68% chance of survival. A person hit by vehicle traveling at 40 mph — just 5 mph faster — has only a 35% chance of survival.

They conclude this way.

None of these steps will be easy; Californians have fiercely resisted safety-promoting reforms that might slow their commutes. But at the very least, lawmakers should get rid of a system that forces cities to give in to speeders before cracking down on them.

Amen, brothers and sisters.

………

Here’s something that’s been missing from Los Angeles for far too long.

LA nonprofit Streets For All has produced YouTube ads supporting safe streets candidates in the upcoming March 3rd election.

The short ads endorse CD4’s Sarah Kate Levy and Loraine Lundquist in CD12, while taking well-deserved shots at incumbents David Ryu and John Lee.

While there’s an argument to be made against independent groups getting involved in local political races, until campaign finance laws are reformed to remove outside influence and expenditures, it’s vital to get our side out there, too.

And yes, I’ll be casting my vote for Sarah Kate Levy during the early voting period next week.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA lists their endorsements in the coming election, including Levy and Lundquist, as well as Calbike’s endorsements for the state legislature.

………

Horrible news from Australia, where five bicyclists have been injured, two critically, when they were run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a clearly marked bike lane.

A 28-year old man has been arrested for the crime after police discovered his blood-splattered SUV.

He faces numerous charges, including multiple counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; and failing to remain at the scene and render assistance.

The question is whether he was just too drunk and/or stoned to control his damn vehicle, or if this was a deliberate attempt to run down as many riders as he could.

………

A meeting will be held in NoHo this afternoon to discuss the ill-advised widening of Magnolia Blvd, which contradicts LA’s Vision Zero and climate action plans, and all that is holy.

………

A UK website questions whether police have given up on bike thefts, saying many riders are putting off buying expensive bikes for fear of having them stolen.

Case in point, a bike thief uses an axle grinder to slice through a lock, stealing a bike on a crowded street in broad daylight.

Then threatens a bystander with it when he objects.

………

The source of those nonstandard, and likely legally unenforceable, Dismount Bikes signs in the construction zones on Wilshire Blvd has been revealed.

In case you want to order some of your own. Maybe someone could convert them to Drivers Dismount, instead.

………

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

A road raging Miami-area driver was caught on video brake checking a bike-riding couple and trying to run them off the road, screaming that they aren’t allowed on the street; naturally, the local police don’t seem to care.

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

A Washington burglar was busted just five minutes after raiding a restaurant freezer while making his getaway by bike. Although it does make you wonder if maybe he was just hungry.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says just eight days into the mayor’s “Decade of Action” on climate change, the closure of the Jefferson Blvd bike lanes has left the city’s bike infrastructure worse off than it was last week.

Pasadena News Now allows the four candidates for the city’s mayor to make their case; all but one ignore transportation, except to complain about traffic. The fourth, Major Williams, gets points for wanting to get cars off the street — but what the hell are “motorized walkway paths?”

 

State

Bicycling says NBA Hall of Famer — and UCLA legend — Bill Walton is a huge cyclist, riding the streets of San Diego when he’s not broadcasting basketball games or engaged in multi-day tours.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s investigators are asking anyone with information or video regarding the allegedly drunken hit-and-run that took the lives of Mary Jane Becerra Corral and Adolfo Corral on a Goleta bike path to contact them; their accused killer, Eric Mauricio Ramirez-Aguilar, remains in custody on $1 million bond.

San Francisco’s mayor proposes congestion pricing and charging for metered parking on nights and weekends to reduce traffic in the congested downtown area.

An architecture and design site talks with the urban planner behind San Francisco’s newly carfree Market Street. Meanwhile, a San Jose columnist says closing streets there would have major benefits.

 

National

Seventy-seven-year old Harrison Ford is one of us. And wants you to know he doesn’t ride an ebike.

Peloton wants to swap your Flywheel in-home cycling bike for a “like new” Peloton, after the former lost a patent infringement suit to the latter. You might want to think twice about an Echelon stationary bike, too.

A Golden, Colorado bike thief made off from a bike shop with an $8,000 bicycle after leaving a stolen ID and credit card as security to take it on a test ride, and never came back.

After kids bike was stolen, a Colorado cop followed tracks in the snow to find it, along with another stolen kids bike, as well as the homeless addict who admitted taking them.

A Buffalo, Wyoming website tells the convoluted tale of why there were bike tire tracks in the snow one recent morning, after a rancher remembered he left his pickup in town following a late night visit to a “parts store.”

Nice piece from VeloNews, as a Marine lieutenant colonel describes how he started bicycling to recover after he was shot by a sniper in Afghanistan, and fell in love with the Dirty Kanza gravel race.

A Texas county commissioner pledged $7.4 million to build 3,000 acres of greenspace along Houston’s bayous, along with 150 miles of connected hiking and bicycling trails.

Cincinnati is moving forward with plans to create an additional 176 miles of bike lanes.

New York’s ped-assist bikeshare ebikes are back, after a redesign to prevent the brakes from locking and tossing riders over the handlebars.

New York City met its goal of 20 miles of protected bike lanes last year, and commits to 30 miles this year. That compares to LA’s firm commitment to maybe build a mile or two if it doesn’t, you know, inconvenience anyone.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says car crashes are an epidemic, but one we can solve. But autonomous cars aren’t the answer.

This is who we share the road with. A West Virginia woman admits to distracted driving after killing a man riding a bike, saying she never saw the victim until she heard the thud because she was too busy looking at her phone.

An 88-year old DC crossing guard is a hero, holding his ground against a speeding driver and sacrificing his own life to save two children. Thanks to Orange House for the heads-up.

Kindhearted Virginia firefighters started a crowdfunding page for a man with Down syndrome after the custom three-wheeled bike he relies on for transportation was stolen; the site has raised over $1,600 in two days.

The Department of DIY strikes in the Big Easy, as a carnival krewe posts their own handmade signs urging drivers to watch out for bike riders during the upcoming Mardi Gras season.

Over 500 people are expected to turn out for a 51-mile bike ride commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March of 1965.

 

International

A new report says e-scooters are just as safe as bicycles, and drivers are the real problem. But better regulation is necessary.

Cycling News considers the counterintuitive benefits of slapping wider tires on your skinny tire bike.

Now you, too, can own your very own badly named online bicycle accessory site.

A group of bicyclists ride 285 miles across Nicaragua in three days.

A proposal to require licenses and insurance for bicyclists in British Columbia is met with decidedly mixed reviews.

Despite the overwhelming success of London’s bicycling superhighways, merchants in the city’s Holland Park district fear it will cost them business — once again mistaking passing cars for paying customers.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A 75-year old London rabbi offered to help a woman park her Jag, and somehow confused the brake and gas pedals, crashing into two pedestrians before plowing into a pharmacy. Yes, the news is two years old; British privacy rules prevent releasing details on cases like this before they go to trial.

A man in the UK was driving at twice the legal alcohol limit when he hit a traffic island. So naturally, he blamed a bike rider for the crash.

British rock group Glass Animals makes a comeback 18 months after drummer Joe Seaward suffered a serious head injury when he was hit by a truck driver while riding his bike in Dublin.

A South African “adventure enthusiast, businesswoman and entrepreneur” describes how taking up bicycling twelve years ago has opened up her world.

Now that’s a beautiful bike. A Japanese student designed and built a handcrafted bespoke bike, melding traditional kitsuregoshi woodwork with a modern bicycle.

A Christian group has kicked off a campaign to provide 2,500 bicycles to pastors in Asia at a cost of $110 apiece.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with American cycling legend Davis Phinney.

🎶 Hello muddah, hello faddah, busted for burglary, in Granada. 🎶 Former TdF stage winner Juan Miguel Mercado was arrested on suspicion of leading a violent burglary gang in Granada, Spain. Scroll way down, or read the original story en español. And anyone too young to get the musical reference can catch up here

 

Finally…

When you’re skipping school to ride your bike and carrying a little weed and a gun in your pants, make sure you have something in there to keep it in place. Your next ride could be on car tires.

And when you’re bunny hopping a canal, don’t miss.

New hope for Venice Blvd, entitled drivers and anti-bike bias, and an antidote for overly aggressive car ads

There may be hope for Venice Blvd yet.

Recently formed political advocacy group Streets For All has unveiled a new website to promote — or maybe fight for — a Complete Street plan that goes far beyond the limited lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

The group is demanding that the city live up to the promises it made in approving the city’s mobility plan, Vision Zero and Green New Deal Sustainability Plan, and implement dedicated bus lanes, protected mobility lanes and pedestrian improvements to create a safer, cleaner, and more livable Venice Blvd for everyone.

It’s a worthwhile goal.

Venice is one of the few streets that runs from DTLA all the way to the coast, making it a prime thoroughfare for anyone needing to cross the city.

It also cuts through countless neighborhoods along the way that could experience new life and improved safety for the people living nearby.

And it could — and should — provide safe and affordable mobility options for people who don’t own cars, or who choose not to drive. for whatever reasons.

But the most important thing is, all they’re asking for is what the city already promised to do.

Isn’t it time we held our elected leaders to their word?

………

No bias here.

An entitled Antioch driver says his car should somehow have priority over all those entitled bicyclists who ruined his recreational drive along the coast.

………

No bias here, either.

A Missouri writer complains that the traffic statistics bike advocates cite are just lies, and that the Complete Streets that don’t even exist in his little town cause road rage.

No, seriously.

And he goes on to blame people on bicycles for causing the injuries suffered by pedestrians.

But then concludes this way.

I hope that I’ve dispelled some concerns and encouraged others to give bicycle riding a try. Perhaps we’ll meet soon. I’ll ring my bell!

Um, sure.

I feel much better now.

………

And definitely no bias here.

A writer for a right wing Central California site goes on a tirade about bike lanes and Compete Streets, saying gas tax money is being “stolen” for bike and transit projects.

Even though that’s exactly what the state said they’d be used for.

And accusing governor Newsom of using road diets to force “California residents to reach back to the 19th Century when bicycles and trains were the only transportation, other than horses and wagons.”

Damn. That sounds wonderful.

She’s on to us, comrades.

………

That’s more like it. Or maybe not.

A Belgian bike thief got a well deserved three year sentence after a judge ruled the theft was an ecological crime, because it forced the victim to use a less-clean form of transportation.

But don’t expect him to serve that sentence anytime soon.

He’s already been sentenced to a total of nine years for a massive rap sheet that includes 44 arrests with 17 convictions.

But he hasn’t spent a single day behind bars.

Yet.

………

Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes car makers to task for relying on ads that portray their cars, trucks and SUVs being driven recklessly on the same streets where people keep dying.

But here’s an antidote to those heavy footed, over aggressive Super Bowl ads.

………

Blink and you’ll miss it.

Hidden in plain sight in Jeep’s Groundhog Day Super Bowl ad was the official reveal of their upcoming 750-watt ebike. Or maybe it’s actually twice that powerful, capable of literally ripping a bike chain to shreds.

………

Can’t find the carbon fiber mountain bike frame you want? Just build your own.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

An Iowa woman got a whopping 40 years behind bars — yes, four zero — for killing a man riding a bicycle in a Cedar Rapids parking lot while driving at twice the legal blood alcohol level; she claimed she was only trying to run over his bicycle, but he just happened to be on it at the time.

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

A New Mexico man was busted after riding his bike up to an undercover cop posing as a prostitute, then asking if he could pay her later because he wouldn’t have the money until Friday. Then finally agreed to pay her with the hamburger he was carrying.

………

Local

Curbed says the proposed makeover of Hollywood Blvd would be a big improvement, but hardly radical compared to San Francisco closing Market Street to cars.

Selena Gomez used to be one of us, but now she’s unloading the bikes she used to ride with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.

A writer for the New Yorker apparently thinks you can see the air in LA most days, and just breathing here feels like smoking three cigarettes — let alone riding a bike. Maybe I’ve been privileged living on the Westside most of my time in LA, but in 30 year as an Angeleno, I can count the times I’ve experienced that on one hand with most most of the fingers closed, not counting nearby wildfires. 

Burbank is making traffic improvements around three schools to create safe routes for students who walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, though, those improvements don’t appear to include bike lanes.

 

State

San Diego’s Ocean Beach Bike Path will be closed for construction work most of this month, starting today.

The owner of The Bikesmith in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood has been wrenching bikes for 50 years, earning the sobriquet Bikesmith Bob. Correction: Somehow Pacific was autocorrected to Pacificas last night. This bike shop is in Pacific Beach, as Robert Leone pointed out.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this Sunday, bringing riders from 46 states and four countries to the roads of the Coachella Valley.

Speaking of the Coachella Valley, the planned CV Link bike path around the valley continues to move forward, thanks to a $29 million state grant; however, the once 50-mile trail has shrunk to just 40.

Streetsblog says San Francisco’s 28-year old Critical Mass movement deserves credit for banning cars from Market Street, with one of the founders saying the rides made it possible for the “tepid, wimpy bike coalition people to do their thing.” Ouch. Especially considering the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is one of the country’s most successful and progressive advocacy groups.

 

National

CNN suggests Lyft should be doing well, but it keeps shooting itself in the foot.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a possibly impaired driver walks with a ridiculous two days behind bars after copping a plea to vehicular homicide in the death of a 75-year old bike rider — about 14 months and 28 days less than the typical minimum sentence. He claimed he didn’t know his medication could cause impairment, despite being on it for the past four years.

Denver officially shutters its docked bikeshare system after ten years, but looks forward to exploring other forms of micromobility.

A solo bike crash last year left a nationally recognized spinal surgeon in Houston a quadriplegic, after he caught his front wheel while riding in a park and went over the handlebars. It’s a sad commentary on our society that even someone like him needs to crowdfund money for the things not covered by insurance.

A Good Samaritan bought new bikes for two Texas boys after theirs were stolen outside their school; the local police also pitched in some new locks.

Illustrating the difficulty in keeping dangerous drivers off the roads, a Milwaukee driver confessed to the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — even though he’s never held a driver’s license.

No bike helmet requirement for Indiana kids, after a state legislator backed off on his proposal because his peers in the legislature considered it too intrusive.

Data from Atlanta’s pop-up protected bike lane experiment confirms that sharing road space benefits everyone.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a backpack from a Baton Rouge bike rider after he was killed by a pair of street racing brothers.

A New Orleans carnival krewe teams with a local neighborhood to call attention to bike and pedestrians safety, eleven months after an extremely drunk driver plowed into a group of bike riders near a Mardi Gras parade at 80 mph, killing two; Tashoni Toney will serve 90 years hard labor after pleading guilty in the crash.

This is why you don’t just toss old tires away. A Florida manatee has been spotted once again after having a bicycle tire stuck around him for at least a month.

 

International

A Toronto writer goes on an anti-Vision Zero rampage, insisting it was created by leftists to drive traffic down to turtle-like speeds and force drivers out of their cars.

A former British soldier set a new Paralympic hour record nine years after losing a leg when he was run over by a tank.

A driver in the UK got eight weeks behind bars for calling a bicyclist wearing a pink jersey “gay boy” and spitting on him; that was his big mistake since authorities traced his DNA through the sample he deposited on the victim. Unfortunately, the original article is hidden behind a paywall, so scroll down Road.cc’s page for the story.

A writer for the Guardian predicts an epic disaster if Great Britain allows e-scooters to infest the country, both for pedestrians and the people riding them. The scooters, not the pedestrians.

You might want to rethink that dream of bicycling the Emerald Isle. Bicycling fatalities have risen an average of 8% a year over the last decade, four times the rate of the next-worse European countries, France and the Netherlands.

Paris provides a prime lesson in what a real climate mayor would do to reinvent a city before it hosts the Olympic Games. Or even just let it live up to its potential.

How about a family bike tour along the Danube from Vienna to Budapest?

 

Competitive Cycling

Those proclamations that the era of doping is over might be just a tad premature. Danish and Norwegian media are reporting that Jakob Fuglsang, the world’s number two ranked cyclist, has been spotted training with Lance’s alleged doping doc Michele Ferrari, who has been banned for life from working with athletes due to his involvement in Armstrong’s US Postal Service team doping scandal.

Bicycling offers five takeaways from this year’s Cyclocross World Championships — including a surprising medal for the US in the women’s U-23 race.

Spanish cyclist Mikel Landa became just the latest pro to have a run-in with a car bumper while training, after he and a riding parter were both run down by a hit-and-run driver last week; fortunately, neither was seriously injured.

Three time men’s ‘cross champ Mathieiu van der Poel faces a tough choice between mountain biking and competing in the Grand Tours.

Columbian cyclist Egan Bernal is going to have some nasty road rash after wiping out rounding a bend on a high-speed descent during the country’s national championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying meth and a pipe on your bike and riding with an outstanding warrant, put some damn reflectors on it, at least. Same goes for carrying heroin and a loaded gun, with a warrant from another state.

And your next ebike could look like a vintage motorcycle.

But why would you want it to?

………

Ride safe out there. If this wind gets any stronger, we may have to change the name of this site to BikinginOz.

And I don’t mean Australia.

 

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