Tag Archive for Stupid Driver Tricks

This is who we share the road with, new 1st Street bike lane in DTLA, and call to end freeway widening in LA County

Let’s start with a quick look at who we share the road with.

A hit-and-run driver was arrested by police after he killed a man and his three dogs walking in Downtown Los Angeles early yesterday, then crashed into several parked cars trying to flee; police used a stun gun and baton to take the man down.

And a 20-year old woman faces 25 to life after allegedly using her car to kill a Cypress man she thought was trying to run over a cat; she thoughtfully recorded the confrontation on her cellphone, in case prosecutors needed more evidence to put her away. No word on whether the cat escaped with all nine lives intact.

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Another new bike lane in DTLA.

Now if they’d just put a few in the rest of the city.

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Seriously, someone tell Metro and Caltrans to take the hint, already. And stop wasting billions on induced demand-inducing freeway projects.

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More news from Gavin Newsom’s veto pen, as he signs a bill requiring bike parking in new multifamily construction, but vetoes a bill requiring the state to put its climate change money where its mouth is.

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Just a reminder that there are still good people in the world.

Although it’s also a reminder not to post videos online that start or end where you live.

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

Life is cheap in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where killing a woman and injuring another bike rider as they took part in a fundraising ride only merits a lousy ticket for a bad lane change. Although that’s still more than the driver would get in some other places.

Police are looking for the bike rider who viciously attacked a disabled London man while threatening to kill him, after the driver tried to let him know he was behind him. As we’ve said before, violence is always wrong. But something tells me there’s another side to this story.

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

Police in Eugene, Oregon busted a man with an outstanding warrant after he went over his handlebars while trying to flee the cops on his bicycle.

The New York man who killed Gone Girl and Cocktail actress Lisa Banes faces one to three years behind bars after pleading guilty to running her down with his moped.

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Local

South Pasadena will observe the annual Walk or Bike to School Day on Wednesday.

 

State 

The Orange County Transportation Authority is urging people to walk, bike, use transit, share a ride or work from home during next week’s Rideshare Week.

Police in Carlsbad are asking for witnesses to the ebike crash that left a 61-year old woman with serious injuries; it’s not clear if she was the victim of a hit-and-run or a solo crash.

Goleta will host a public meeting Tuesday to discuss the San Jose Creek Bike Path Project.

Sad news from Redwood City, where a man was killed when a semi driver crossed the double yellow line and hit his bicycle head-on; the driver was arrested on a charge of involuntary manslaughter with gross negligence.

San Francisco bicyclists are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original Critical Mass tonight.

Richmond’s Rich City Rides is as important to the East Bay Community as the East Side Riders are down here. Right now, they’re 13% of the way to their $10,000 fundraising goal to keep giving away free bicycles and bike repair to people in need. Just in case you have a little extra money lying around.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the best bike shorts with pockets to stash your essentials. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Forbes examines whether you can get a DUI on a bicycle. Short answer, in California, yes. In other states, it depends.

Vision Zero is failing in Seattle, where traffic deaths continue to climb despite the commitment to end them by 2030.

A Spokane writer visits the Netherlands to examine how the western Washington city could elevate itself to the ranks of bike friendly cities like Copenhagen, Mexico City and Portland. All of which would work just as well in Los Angeles.

Salt Lake City’s efforts to get more people on two wheels is paying off, with a 19% jump in bike commuting rates over the past two years.

Just one day after pledging to rip out the city’s only protected bike lane — and hours after a protest from bike riders — the mayor of Omaha, Nebraska says the bike lane will stay in place until construction begins on a planned streetcar.

Slate examines why Houston cops would say a quiet residential street “isn’t safe for pedestrians or people riding bikes” after an eight-year old boy was killed doing just that.

That’s more like it. A 44-year old Peoria, Illinois woman has been sentenced to 22 years behind bars for the drunken, hit-and-run crash that killed a ten-year old boy riding an ebike.

The Boston Globe says bike riders and runners are turning to gravel trails as a safe refuge from aggressive drivers. Or it could just be because it’s fun. Or both, maybe.

New York’s attorney general took a few minutes off from suing the Trump Organization to warn New Yorkers about the dangers of improperly charging ebike batteries.

Great idea. A New York City council member has proposed a bounty for reporting a blocked bike or sidewalk; the program would pay a reward equalling 25% of the $175 fine.

New Jersey is establishing a committee to create a statewide Vision Zero program. First step is to actually fund the damn thing, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name. 

 

International

Road.cc considers the pros and cons of using a single bike helmet across various bicycling disciplines.

Litelok claims their new lightweight, axel grinder-resistant U-lock is five times more theft proof than the best performing locks currently on the market.

Edmonton, Alberta is investing $170 million to build 62 miles of new bike lanes. Although some people think the money could be better spent on other things.

A new Dutch ebike promises to last forever, with a modular design that allows you to swap out parts as they become worn or obsolete.

A 34-year old man is riding over 18,000 miles from Thiruvananthapuram, India to London, passing through 35 countries in 450 days.

Bicycles have taken over the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover, as other forms of transportation become impractical or prohibitively expensive.

Bike advocates in Jerusalem are seeing progress in making the ancient, hilly city more welcoming to people on two wheels.

Your next Chinese ped-assist bicycle could be powered with hydrogen instead of electricity.

 

Finally…

The first Harley-Davidson had pedals. Now you, too, can own your very own Bugatti urban bike for a mere $75,000 or so.

And a reminder that refrigerators don’t belong in bike lanes any more than cars do.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

“Coming out of nowhere” to get right hooked by clueless driver, Streets For All virtual Happy Hour, and classic bike ads

One quick personal note before we get started. 

You may recall an LA Times story from a couple years ago about how my wife and I took in a foster corgi for a homeless man for a few weeks after our corgi died, so he could get into a shelter and get back on his feet.

Those few weeks turned into nearly six months. But in the process, that little dog helped heal three lives. 

Sadly, the corgi — whose owner asked us to keep his name private — died on Friday, after suffering from cancer and doggie dementia. 

He was 15 years old. 

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SoCal bike writer Peter Flax was the victim of a right hook by a driver who cut in front of him after passing, then claimed he “came out of nowhere;” turning so close Flax actually brushed his shoulder against the moving SUV.

Which serves as yet another reminder that, in the entire history of cars and bikes, no one on a bicycle has ever come out of nowhere. Though it may sometime seems that way to careless and/or distracted drivers.

Click on the tweets below to read the whole thread.

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Streets For All will host their latest virtual Happy Hour a week from tomorrow, featuring my state assembly member.

Although probably not just because he’s my assembly member.

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Your periodic reminder that bike advertising was so much better back in the day.

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

No bias here. A writer for Vice responds to last week’s anti-ebike screed in The Atlantic by saying the lack of appropriate infrastructure for ebikes is making bicycling worse, and that we have an ebike problem that more ebikes won’t solve.

A DC bike rider was hit in the face with a metal water bottle thrown by a road raging driver, who then reversed into him and tried to run him over; fortunately, he escaped with a few bruises.

Former Canadian pro cyclist Marcel Zierfuss was the victim of a road raging driver in Toronto’s contentious High Park; the man started by driving erratically and swearing about entitled cyclists, before swerving towards Zierfuss and finally brake-checking him, leaving Zierfuss with a serious concussion, nose injury and whiplash. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

An English city painted over a previously existing bike lane because drivers couldn’t manage to avoid a new pedestrian island without swerving into it.

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

Houston police are looking for a man who fled by bicycle after fatally shooting another man following an altercation outside a convenience store.

A bike-riding thief punched a student walking on an Illinois university campus before making off with the victim’s cellphone.

A 20-year old British man fled from police on his bike after showing up late for a court hearing, then hurling abuse at social workers.

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Local

Long Beach bike riders enjoyed a tour of new murals painted over the weekend as part of The Long Beach Walls and Art Renzei Festival.

 

State 

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Tour de Fat is back in my Colorado hometown after a two-year pandemic layoff.

A Colorado man got 16 years behind bars for his part in an organized bike theft ring that used stolen cars to break into 29 Boulder area bike shops, then shipping the stolen bikes to a Mexican bike shop for resale.

The Chicago Tribune offers photos from Sunday’s Bike the Drive open streets event on the city’s iconic Lake Shore Drive; a growing number of those riders were using ebikes.

Five kids from the Cleveland Boys & Girls Club hopped on new loaner bikes to help a videographer with the local paper finish the last three-tenths of a mile of his century ride — then are shocked when they get to keep the bikes, along with other gear.

They’re one of us. Or maybe four of us, as Kate Hudson and her fiancé Danny Fujikawa, and Sophie Turner and husband Joe Jonas go for separate bike rides in New York.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. After a Pennsylvania driver drifted onto the shoulder of a roadway, critically injuring a 61-year old bike rider, police gave him a pat on the wrist by writing a pair of traffic tickets. As someone noted on Twitter, that could cost the driver tens of dollars.

Hundreds of DC area bike riders turned out to honor a fallen bicyclist at her ghost bike ceremony; the veteran diplomat was killed by a driver while riding in Bethesda, Maryland last month.

 

International

A new book details the world’s largest collection of bicycle derailleurs.

Smart bike helmet maker Lumos has introduced a set of magnetic bike lights that can display red, white and yellow lights, which combine with an app to work as turn signals and brake lights; there’s still a few left at two for $65.

Wired likes Skarper’s new ebike conversion prototype, but questions why someone wouldn’t just buy an entire ebike for the $1,190 price tag. Although we’re getting closer to the Holy Grail of conversion kits, where they’re small enough to toss in a backpack and just clip on as needed.

Hats off to a four-year old Welsh girl, who has raised the equivalent of over $1,100 by riding her bicycle 93 miles over the past six weeks.

Once again, authorities managed to keep an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late, after a 70-year old English man was killed when he was run down on his bike by an 82-year old driver with failing eyesight, who couldn’t manage to read a license plate from ten yards away.

After a Bristol, England woman’s bikes were stolen, she spotted one of them when she went to the police station to file a report — and was mugged by the thief when she tried to reclaim it, even though they were right outside the doors of the cop shop.

Then there’s the Lancaster, England thief who denied stealing a bicycle when he was questioned by the police , but they saw him riding the purloined two wheeler the next day. Oops.

A UK woman says she made her two kids stop riding their bikes after it got too dangerous when officials started removing the pandemic popup bike infrastructure; a British bike advocacy group blames the removal of those bikeways for a drop in bicycling rates.

Good news, as Welsh decathlete Ben Gregory is breathing on his own and slowly coming out of a coma after suffering a fractured neck and skull, and multiple brain hemorrhages when he was struck by a driver in a near-fatal collision while riding his bicycle last month.

No bias here. Stuff says the data is inconclusive on whether Christchurch’s protected bike lanes are improving safety, with four of 13 planned major bikeways in operation — except the data is only inconclusive because it’s based on the entire city, with no specific safety information for the new bike lanes themselves. The website also asks why Christchurch lost its position as New Zealand’s bicycling city, where bikes outnumbered cars on the streets as late as the 1950s.

A drunk driver in Hunan, China could face a charge of intentional murder or injury for the hit-and-run crash where she ran down an ebike rider, then dragged the victim for more than one thousand yards after her clothes got caught on the car’s bumper. We could use a law like that here.

 

Competitive Cycling

Veteran Belgian cyclist Sep Vanmarcke won Baltimore’s inaugural Maryland Bicycle Classic, out-sprinting four other riders who survived a lengthy breakaway; more than 50,000 spectators turned out for a brief glimpse of the riders zooming by, with downhill speeds of up to 45 mph.

Things are getting more interesting in the Vuelta, where Remco Evenepoel is holding on to the red leader’s jersey by one minute 34 seconds over second place Primož Roglič, after the three-time winner shaved over a minute off Evenepoel’s lead in Sunday’s 15th stage.

Now you, too, can own your very own replica of Tadej Pogačar’s Tour de France-winning yellow Colnago V3Rs signed by the cyclist; the current bid is the equivalent of just over $550,000 — yes, over half a million bucks — with the proceeds going to a nonprofit that provides access to education for vulnerable children. Did I mention it’s a replica?

This is what a photo finish looked like in Monday’s Tour of Britain.

 

Finally…

Oddly, advice on how to treat common bike injuries doesn’t involve wrenches, spokes of bike lube. Seriously, who doesn’t need a 153-pound ebike with a sidecar?

And that feeling when a man decides to take up bicycling after a judge bans him from driving for the next year for driving while high.

Even though he couldn’t legally drive in the first place.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Free LED safety gear for low-income Culver City commuters, and reasoning with an angry climate denying driver

Bike Culver City is starting a light giveaway program for bike riders and pedestrians in the city.

BCC steering committee member Art Nomura writes to say the organization has won a grant from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) GoHuman program to purchase and distribute hi-quality LED safety equipment to low income workers in Culver City and the vicinity.

Bike Culver City will be giving away a free top-rated LED Vest or a pair of hi-vis LED lights to qualified recipients; night or early morning workers that bike or walk to work (including first and last milers) are especially encouraged to apply.

Anyone interested in the program can click on this link to see what is available and to fill out a simple application form in English or Spanish.

However, he stresses that the application period ends on August 16, so this is a limited time opportunity.

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Um, okay.

An angry Portland driver goes off on a cargo bike rider because of his sticker reading This Machine Fights Climate Change, calling climate change a hoax and a scam, and saying the rider’s Antifa buddies can go to hell.

No, really.

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People For Bikes urges you to contact your US senators to demand the inclusion of an ebike tax credit and bicycle commuter benefit in the final draft of the new climate bill, aka the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

Although at last report, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was the last remaining holdout on the bill, looking to add back tax breaks for corporations and private equity managers.

So the question isn’t what your senator will support, but what can they get Sinema and bill co-author Joe Manchin of West Virginia to sign off on.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski was killed in a traffic collision, along with two of her staffers, when a driver traveled onto the wrong side of the road and hit her SUV head-on.

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That feeling when a famed mountain bike park is full of bears. And no, you probably shouldn’t greet one like a lost puppy.

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If you need me, I’ll just be pretending I’m on my way to Bruges now, thank you.

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

After a Toronto bike rider was hit by a cop rolling a stop sign, he claimed the same officer had been harassing riders in a city park all day.

A 65-year old English man was injured when a road raging driver pushed him off his bike for the crime of not riding in a bike lane; he says he was hurt so badly he had to quit his job as an undertaker, and now struggles to play his trombone and bass guitar. Although probably not at the same time.

A British driver and his passenger face murder charges for deliberately driving onto a sidewalk and killing a man who was riding a bicycle with his girlfriend on the handlebars, before fleeing the scene without stopping.

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

Police in New York are looking for a Brooklyn bike-by shooter who shot a man who was standing outside his house, leaving the victim in critical condition. Although the NY Post can’t seem to decide whether the shooter was riding an ebike or a scooter.

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Local

Streetsblog is over halfway to their summer fundraising goal of $15,000, and just needs to raise another $7,000 to keep up their vital work reporting on Los Angeles and California transportation issues.

The Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia route returns on August 21st, once again heading along the Hollywood Walk of Fame before dropping south to Santa Monica Blvd.

Camilla Cabello is sort of one of us, trying a kids bike on for size at a Los Angeles area Walmart.

 

State 

Carlsbad’s long-awaited 94-acre Veterans Memorial Park could soon be home to the city’s first bicycle park, complete with pump track, jumps and a slalom course.

Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, pled not guilty to a charge of DUI stemming from a May injury collision in Napa County; the 82-year old driver had a blood alcohol level of .082% after the crash — just over the .08% limit.

 

National

A trio of Republican senators are fighting for your right to drive drunk, introducing a bill that would remove a requirement for carmakers to install passive drunk-driving detection mechanisms on all new cars by 2024.

The prestigious National Law Review considers the causes of bicycling crashes and how to avoid them.

Planetizen says accurate bicycle counts on city streets matter, because inaccurate — or non-existent — counts could lead to an underinvestment in bike infrastructure.

Streetsblog considers the multiple strange and varied vehicles that get called ebikes, and where they belong on the road, while Wired offers the latest deals on ebikes, e-scooters and accessories.

Prevention recommends the best women’s bike shorts. Only one of which is actually intended for, you know, riding a bike.

Seattle is testing a number of alternatives for building protected bike lanes this summer, from armadillos to low concrete barriers, with a goal of placing the winner throughout the city.

A Durango, Colorado letter writer insists residents of the city have been duped into thinking ebikes can have a tangible reduction on greenhouse gas emissions. Although he seems to think the point is to replace regular bike trips, rather than replacing car trips with ebikes.

A bighearted Odessa, Texas shop owner bought a new bike for a longtime customer after his was stolen outside the store.

Heartbreaking story from Michigan, where one of the two men killed by an alleged DUI driver shared his motivation for participating in the challenging 300-mile ride just hours before his death — a bracelet with the name of a Make-A-Wish child that he looked at whenever he needed inspiration.

A kindhearted Connecticut cop bought a new bike for a little kid who started crying after realizing he didn’t win one in a raffle on Tuesday’s National Night Out.

That’s more like it. A Manhattan community board is onboard with plans for a road diet and bike lanes, but are insisting on concrete barriers instead of just paint.

Another tragic ebike fire in New York, where an exploding battery took the life of a five-year old girl and a 36-year old woman in a Harlem apartment, along with their three dogs; the girl’s father survived in critical condition. Although once again, the local CBS station can’t seem to decide if it was an ebike or an e-scooter.

 

International

Bike Radar recommends the best torque wrenches to work on your bike. And no, that’s not what you use to hammer a tight nut you can’t get off.

An 80-year old Canadian man is trying to set a new world record for the longest journey by motorized bike, riding an ebike over 8,000 miles from Alaska to Panama.

Canadian bicycling injuries jumped 25% in the first full year of the pandemic, likely due to an increase in bike ridership. 

More proof that opposition to bikeways melts away over time. Despite the opposition of some drivers, local residents strongly support the UK’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, Britain’s version of Slow Streets; in one study, 44% opposed an LTN in their neighborhood before it was installed, but after five years, less than 2% wanted it removed.

Porsche is jumping deeper into the ebike market by creating two new companies — one to make ebike components, and the other to build complete ebikes based on them.

A new German study suggests drivers pass bike riders just as close, if not closer, on streets with low speed limits as they do on faster streets.

Australia has issued an urgent recall notice for the children’s eZee Viento folding ebikes, which could suffer a broken frame while being ridden. The bikes were also sold in the US, but no word on a recall here yet.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has announced the members of the US team for the Mountain Bike World Championships in Les Gets, France later this month.

Note to race organizers — speed bumps defeat the purpose of bike races. A half-dozen cyclists went down hard after clipping a speed bump in the last quarter mile of Spain’s Vuelta a Burgos.

 

Finally…

Is it really an ebike if it doesn’t have pedals, looks like a dirt bike and goes 38 mph? Or if the pedals are so hidden away they’re almost impossible to use?

And the story may be science fiction, but at least Amazon’s Paper Girls gets the ’80s bikes right.

And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bike lanes finally appear on DTLA’s North Spring Street Bridge, and scofflaw drivers force closure of new 6th Street Viaduct

The good news is I’m feeling a little better tonight, thanks to the wonders of modern pharmaceuticals.

The bad is that this helps happening far too often. That tells me there may be something more going on than just migraines, which really shouldn’t happen on a near daily basis.

Photo of North Spring Street Bridge by Joe Linton for Streetsblog.

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Streetsblog reports the long-stalled bike lanes were finally installed on the North Spring Street Bridge.

The new lanes come four years after they were arbitrarily blocked by former CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, who was removed by voters in May.

Maybe now there’s finally hope for the lane reduction on North Figueroa, which Cedillo also killed.

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This is why we can’t have nice things.

Surprisingly, LAPD Chief Michael Moore put at least part of the blame on irresponsible carmakers.

Moore placed some of the blame on commercials for high-end cars which show spinouts that are not safe for a city street.

“I ask all of us, including manufacturers of high-end, high- performance vehicles to exercise corporate responsibility in how they go about their work and what they promote,” Moore said. “We see the antics of people trying to replicate this, resulting in serious injuries and deaths and violence.”

And yes, he’s talking to you, Dodge.

Although apparently, closed doesn’t always mean closed if you’re on two wheels.

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Turns out that AI image generator DALL-E is actually pretty good at designing livable streets.

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Nice to see a driver admit to going too fast on Stadium Way, and putting others at risk.

I was the idiot taking the curve too fast. Close call from IdiotsInCars

Thanks to Kevin for the heads-up, who says he forwarded the video to LADOT and new CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez.

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They get it. Now, anyway.

The Bike League is finally considering equity and accessibility in their Bicycle Friendly Community awards, with an emphasis on “building and connecting low-speed and low-stress bike networks.”

And while we’re on the subject, NACTO wants you to know that yes, disabled people ride bikes. And trikes, tandems and ‘bents, too.

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Imagine this on Broadway or Hollywood Blvd.

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What you get with the best bike you can buy at Walmart.

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

Once again, someone has sabotaged a mountain bike trail. Top Irish ‘cross racer Seán Nolan was seriously injured when he crashed into a wire someone stretched across the trail for exactly that purpose. Nolan was lucky to escape with four broken ribs, two fractured vertebrae and partially collapsed lung, while noting it could have been much worse. Let’s be honest — sabotaging a trail like that is nothing less than anti-bike terrorism. And should be investigated and prosecuted that way.

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

A Rhode Island man will be eating meals through a straw for awhile, after breaking his jaw when his bike was hit head-on by someone riding an ebike on the wrong side of a bike path; the ebike rider gave police a false name, address and phone number.

Police in Charlotte NC arrested five bike riders ranging from 15 to 39-years old on a charge of reckless driving, and confiscated their bicycles, accusing them of being part of a group that disrupted traffic and allegedly punched a stranger.

A teenaged Irish boy walked for allegedly knocking a 17-year old girl off a train platform with his bike after a judge dismissed the charges, citing insufficient evidence.

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Local

More on the new and improved curb-protected bike lanes taking shape on Reseda Blvd.

It could be more comfortable to ride in Pacoima soon, where the city is topping surface streets with a reflective coating that can lower street temperatures as much as 10 degrees.

Pasadena is implementing the Safe System in an effort to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries, which is basically Vision Zero by another name. But maybe they could say they give a damn about people on bicycles, too, who also make up a “disproportionate number” of traffic fatalities in the city. 

A man riding a “motorized scooter” was killed in a collision when he was cut off by a left-turning driver in Lancaster Sunday night.

 

State 

A webinar on Thursday, August 4th will discuss how building bike lanes is a matter of political will, and explain how to build and harness it.

A writer in a California town lets go of fear and learns how to ride a bike at 48-years old, after being discouraged by her mother as a child.

Bad news from San Diego County, where a 42-year old bike rider suffered life-threatening head injuries when he was struck by a driver early Monday morning.

San Francisco Streetsblog editor Roger Rudick may be out of commission for awhile, after he was injured in a crash while riding his bike.

 

National

Government Technology says even major car-dependent cities like Los Angeles and Houston are serious about auto traffic on highways. Although you’d be hard pressed to find any sign of it here.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. The 29-year old driver who killed a Utah man and injured his 17-year old daughter as they were riding bikes was allegedly high on heroin at the time of the crash, and had four previous drug convictions, as well as convictions for burglary, theft and forgery. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

Adventure Journal goes chasing ghosts in Utah’s John’s Canyon.

The law enforcement-friendly US 5th Circuit Appellate Court tells Texas cops that simply being a Hispanic person on a bicycle is not probable cause for stopping a Hispanic person on a bicycle.

Unbelievable. A Chicago bike rider was awarded $2.25 million after he was the victim of a hit-and-run on-duty cop, who didn’t bother to stick around or report the crash to his supervisors. How the hell can we expect cops to do something about hit-and-run when they do it, too? Thanks to OC bike lawyer Edward Rubinstein for the link. 

He gets it. A writer for Chicago Streetsblog says education, infrastructure and driver accountability trump bike helmets for keeping bicyclists safe. And before anyone complains, I never ride without a helmet. But they should always be considered the last resort when all else fails, not the first. 

Finishing our Chicago trifecta, a Chicago bike ride will visit historical sites related to the 1919 Chicago Race Riots, including 38 glass bricks scattered through the city — one for each of the 38 people killed.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of us, although the team might wish he wasn’t, since he’ll be starting training camp on the injured list after falling off his bicycle.

New York is considering a bill that would use cameras to catch drivers illegally blocking bike lanes, although the measly $50 fine may not be enough to stop anyone.

Jersey City NJ Councilwoman Amy DeGise faces a hit-and-run charge for leaving the scene after hitting an alleged red light-running bike rider.

New Jersey’s Rutgers University is evaluating popup bike lanes using reality-capture technology, traffic cameras and lidar footage. Along with chalk and a pool noodle.

Vox calls out the deadliest road in America, particularly for pedestrians, on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers the best road bikes under the equivalent of two grand, concluding you won’t find carbon frames in that price range anymore; the magazine also looks at the best hybrid commuter bikes for under $600.

What happens when the Edmonton, Alberta edition of the World Naked Bike Ride runs headlong into a trucker’s Freedom Convoy.

The UK’s “cheeky” tandem-riding couple completed their naked ride down the full length of the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, despite getting hit by a driver who somehow couldn’t see two naked people on a bike directly in front of him. Then again, they could have just done it on a Brompton.

A Hamilton, Ontario city council candidate was the victim of a hit-and-run driver when she was forced to dive out of the way when the driver tried to squeeze past her bike.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a truck driver walked with a suspended sentence for killing a 19-year old Dublin bike rider.

Horrifying story from India, where 15-year old girl fatally slashed the throat of a 40-year old man on a bicycle, after he failed to move out of the way when she repeatedly honked the horn on her scooter — failing to realize the man was deaf.

The new 79-pound, Chinese-made Himiway Zebra ebike promises to carry up to 400 pounds, with an 80-mile range.

A New Zealand man built his own DIY wheelchair bike so he could take his 89-year old wife who suffers from dementia, for a ride.

He gets it, too. An Aussie urban design expert says cities should put bike lanes on the fast track, because “the benefits of more cycling infrastructure pedal themselves.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Danish cyclist Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig took stage three of the Tour de France Femmes, one day after crashing in stage two.

The sport director for the Parkhotel Valkenburg team defended their decision to keep Nicole Frain in the race, after she allegedly cause the collision that knocked Marta Cavelli out of the race, saying criticism on social media brought Frain to tears; Australia’s Amanda Spratt was also forced to withdraw.

Race favorite Annemiek van Vleuten hasn’t made an impact in the TdFF yet, as the Dutch cyclist battles a stomach virus.

Bicycling is apparently more concerned with how women cyclists take a leak during the race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

The Guardian offers photos from Europe’s grueling 2,500-mile Transcontinental Race, which kicked off Sunday in Flanders.

Former NBA great Reggie Miller says he’s committed to seeing how good he can be, in an effort to dominate the other racers in his age group.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have three wheels, front wheel drive and no pedals. Is it really a naked tandem ride if only the captain is bare?

And your bike mechanic might be willing install top shelf components on your Walmart bike if you ask nice.

But they won’t like it.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Road rage rises on the mean streets of LA, LACBC Bike Month ride, and Streets For All plans June virtual Happy Hour

No surprise here.

Road rage continues to soar on the mean streets of Los Angeles, with reports up 41.4% over the first four months of the year, compared to last year.

And no, that doesn’t just reflect calmer streets during last year’s pandemic slowdown. It’s also a significant increase over the pre-pandemic good old days of 2019.

It’s more than just a simple disagreement between road users, too. As Crosstown explains,

While the concept of road rage makes some think of a driver who gets cut off and responds by shaking a fist, actual incidents are much more serious. The LAPD defines road rage as when a person commits an assault with a vehicle, or other weapon, due to something that occurs while driving. To be classified as road rage, the encounter must, in police parlance, require “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.”

Over two-thirds of road rage cases reported last year involved a gun — more than double the number of cases reported in each of the previous two years. As if a multi-tin motor vehicle isn’t weapon enough.

So be careful out there.

You never know who you’re sharing the road with. Or how they’re armed.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

Lionel Mares forwards photos from last Sunday’s LACBC Bike Month ride, where it appears a good time was had by all.

………

Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour on June 8th — the day after Election Day — with the vice mayor of Burbank.

And no, that’s doesn’t mean he’s mayor of all the fun stuff.

………

Gravel Bike California offers your guide to riding the rocks at May and Kagel Canyons.

………

If anyone gets me on their gift list this year, this will do nicely.

………

GCN offers advice on how to buy a used bike.

………

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

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British hit-and-run driver was fined the equivalent of just $526 for a crash that left a bike rider seriously injured, even though he appeared to crash into the victim intentionally.

Police in the UK are looking for three men who got out of a car and beat a man in his 50s after they crashed into his bike.

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

New York police are looking for a masked bike rider who jumped off his bicycle and repeatedly stabbed a man who was walking on the sidewalk; the victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Times got four of the remaining candidates for mayor of Los Angeles on the record for their transportation policies, although Kevin de León is the only candidate with an actual transportation platform; billionaire Rick Caruso apparently had better things to do, saying he wasn’t ready to discuss the subject yet, less than two weeks before Election Day.

E-scooter providers Lime, Lyft and Spin have changed their city-mandated programs for low-income riders, reportedly without informing the public first.

 

State 

A 52-year old San Diego man was sentenced to 11 years behind bars, 34 years after his errant shot killed a passing bike rider in the city’s Encanto neighborhood.

Murrieta kindergartners are learning how to ride a bike as part of the All Kids Bike program, with bikes and helmets courtesy of supercross star Ryan Dungey.

Momentum considers the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s successful efforts to create the city’s first carfree street. Which compares favorably to LA’s none.

If you build it, they don’t always come. A San Francisco website reports the free bike valet at the city’s Chase Center arena, home of the NBA Warriors, is going mostly unused.

No surprise that New York and Los Angeles lead the nation in bicycling deaths; more surprising is that Stockton and Sacramento County both rank in the nation’s top ten for bicycling fatalities.

 

National

CNN offers suggestions on how to store and secure your bike at home.

The sheriff of New Mexico’s Sandoval County is recovering from a broken back and rib after crashing his mountain bike when he tried to ramp over a rock, and slammed into it instead.

A Colorado writer considers the growing animosity between drivers and bike riders, insisting “We all kinda hate each other, and by ‘kinda,’ I mean truly and deeply with a passion.”

Colorado Public Radio relates the origin tale of the Iron Horse Classic, when two brothers decided to race each other, one on a bike and the other at the helm of a classic narrow gauge steam engine; this weekend marks the 50th edition of the road race.

Britain’s Daily Mail — not exactly know for its veracity — reports cyclist Colin Strickland has gone into hiding, evidently worried that his fugitive girlfriend will target him next, after allegedly shooting and killing top gravel cyclist Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson.

The head of Brompton is on a mission to convert New Yorkers to foldies.

A Pennsylvania man is on life support after a man just released from jail knocked him off his bicycle, then beat him with it for two minutes before walking away and leaving his victim for dead.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Fed up with high gas prices, an 85-year old North Carolina man fixed up his bike, and plans to live virtually carfree for the foreseeable future. Even if gas prices there are nearly two bucks cheaper than in Los Angeles.

 

International

A new international database offers nearly 1.6 million geo-located records of bicycle collisions from various cities, states, regions and countries around the world, apparently including Los Angeles, making it easier for researchers to study them.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — an easy four-hour ebike ride from Rome to see the 2,500-year old Appian Way and ancient Roman aqueducts.

Survivors of a British endurance cyclist are suing the organizers of a French bike race for the equivalent of nearly a million dollars after the 36-year old man died of heat stroke during the competition.

Copenhagen will introduce Denmark’s first diagonal bike lane to connect bike lanes through a busy intersection.

WaPo examines Ukrainian fighters turning ebikes made in the country into weapons of war.

Sad news from Myanmar, where the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Winner was killed in a collision; 42-year old Kyaw Win Hlaing was run down when a quarreling couple in a mini-truck rear-ended his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

The popular Belgian Waffle Ride offroad race is expanding into Michigan, for what will be the series fifth event, following races in San Diego, Utah, North Carolina and Kansas.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a massive DIY omnidirectional front wheel. Your next ebike could be made by Mercedes Formula E car racing team.

And who says you can’t carry trash on a bike?

Thanks to Jon for the link.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bike riders warned to avoid construction on PCH, a bike a week stolen in WeHo, and driving drunk on the SaMo bike path

Bicyclists are being urged to avoid PCH between Deer Creek Road and Sycamore Canyon Road for the next two days.

The roadway will be reduced to a single lane for construction work from 9 am to 2 pm, with traffic allowed through in alternate directions, while the bike lanes will be completely blocked.

However, there’s no word on what road conditions will be like if you arrive before or after that five-hour time period.

It’s also questionable whether bikes can be prohibited from using PCH during those hours, since California allows bicycles on any public road where cars are allowed, with the exception of limited access highways in most urban areas.

Whether it would be smart to put yourself in that situation is another matter.

Image from RoadTrafficSigns.com.

………

West Hollywood sheriff’s deputies report that crime was up a whopping 137% in the city last year. Fifty-two bicycles reported stolen, a rate of one per week; just over half were classified as grand theft with a value in excess of $950.

Five bikes have been stolen in WeHo so far this year.

Both of those totals are undoubtedly higher, since the majority of bike thefts never get reported to the police.

………

File this one under Stupid Driver Tricks.

I often get asked if any place is really safe from dangerous drivers. People like this are why I usually say no.

https://twitter.com/SantaMonicaPD/status/1503856385922154498

Thanks to @yoScot for the heads up, who added this thought.

Recklessly — is there a safe way to be driving on the bike path?

………

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

There’s a special place in hell for a group of Georgia teens who terrorized a young kid by surrounding him as he rode his bike on a golf cart path, then shot him repeatedly with liquid-filled splatter pellets in yet another harmful TikTok challenge; the boy escaped with a bloodied nose and pellet gun wounds to his torso.

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

An English man was busted for bicycling under the influence after crashing into a woman, who suffered minor injuries when she was knocked to the ground.

Police in the UK are looking for a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing into a 75-year old bike rider, leaving the man fighting for his life with a critical head injury.

Then there’s this.

https://twitter.com/schscott/status/1501847461064843269?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1501847461064843269%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-15-march-2022-291073

………

Local

Los Angeles is installing bright red bus lanes in East Hollywood and DTLA, with others coming soon on Alvarado and La Brea; LA interprets state law as allowing bike riders to use bus-only lanes, though some other cities may disagree.

An Atwater Village elementary school is working with the PE Learn-To-Ride program sponsored by All Kids Bike to teach the youngest students how to ride using balance bikes, after a teacher discovered no one really wanted to win a bicycle as a reward for good behavior.

It looks like protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s Union Street could soon bcomee a reality, after the city council formally blessed a contract for a 1.5 mile lane reduction with traffic island and bollard-protected bike lanes; the project also includes a short bike boulevard on Holliston Ave.

Hermosa Beach police used bait bikes to bust a pair of bike thieves, while making sure the bikes had a value of more than $950 so it would count as felony theft. Which serves as yet another reminder that the LAPD still doesn’t use bait bikes to cut high theft rates, thanks to a misguided opinion from the city attorney’s office concluding they could be seen as entrapment; meanwhile, that same city attorney wants your vote for LA mayor

 

State 

A San Francisco op-ed says gas prices aren’t high enough, and should be $15 a gallon to include the associated costs of global warming, military, traffic and crashes.

Around 250 people turned out for a weekend rally in Berkeley calling for a carfree Telegraph Avenue, and blocking traffic to show what the street could be like.

San Raphael residents are complaining about plans to remove a traffic lane on Point San Pedro Road to install a buffered bike lane, even though the bike lane was mandated as part of a 1971 permit agreement, but never built.

 

National

CityLab says many Americans are taking up ebikes and e-cargo bikes as an alternative to high gas prices, so why are they absent from government policy discussions?

Planetizen examines how bike advocates can strengthen existing partnerships and make strategic alliances to secure federal funding for projects that will benefit bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. Surprisingly, the answer isn’t promising to waste as much government money as much as possible.

A Staten Island teenager will spend the next four years behind bars for a carjacking and police chase that ended when he crashed into a man riding a bicycle in a crosswalk; fortunately, the bike-riding victim was not seriously injured.

Atlanta bike riders protested a surprise decision to remove bollard and planter-protected bike lanes on iconic Peachtree Street; the lanes were originally installed as a two-month pilot project, but have been in place for over 200 days.

A Savannah, Georgia Catholic school celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with their annual bike parade for kids from Pre-K through 8th grade.

Diddy is sort of one of us, saying he gets around Miami on a five grand water bike.

 

International

A vote by the UN General Assembly calls on member nations to integrate bicycles into public transport, while improving road safety and promoting the use of bicycles to increase bicycle trips to improve sustainability and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Cycling News examines how bikes get made, starting from iron ore or a vat of petrochemicals to the finished bicycle in your garage. Although you’re better off keeping it inside your home, since garages are often easy targets for thieves.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where a newspaper columnist questions the justice of a lousy two-year sentence for a speeding, uninsured driver who killed a popular science teacher as he was riding his bike, while trying to escape a police chase; police clocked him going over twice the 40 mph speed limit. But at least he’ll be forbidden from driving for five years — even though it should be a lifetime ban.

A British man is being tried for manslaughter for the death of a teenager outside a nightclub; the fight began when he and his companions started kicking and riding the victim’s bicycle. Two other men have already pled guilty in the case.

 

Competitive Cycling

When your famous bike-riding dad gets his image on a wall.

https://twitter.com/GeraintThomas86/status/1503652857765113856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1503652857765113856%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-15-march-2022-291073

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get run off from a historic mansion while walking a bike. Your next ebike could have a driveshaft instead of a chain.

And who needs a $10,000 gold bar when you could win a beer-branded bike instead?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Design stress-free connections in Central LA, close the DTLA gap on the LA River path, and Arthur C Clarke was one of us

Just nine days left in the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to John C for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Here’s your chance to help design stress-free connections for biking and walking in Central Los Angeles.

And score a free tree in the process.

………

Metro is looking for feedback on plans to close the longstanding gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA, Vernon and Maywood.

………

CD3 candidate Yasmine Pomeroy talks about the increased dangers to pedestrians on LA streets, despite the city’s Vision Zero program, and the lack of funding for Safe Routes to Schools.

She’s running to replace Bob Blumenfield in the district.

………

Never put it past an impatient driver to pass at exactly the wrong time.

………

Legendary writer Arthur C. Clarke was one of us.

Even if those shorts are a little scary.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1471344337145446401

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Pink Bike demonstrates how to make jumps easier on a mountain bike.

………

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

A shirtless Houston jogger faces charges for attacking a bike rider with a metal pipe for no apparent reason, after the rider had already passed him once without incident.

Sad — or maybe infuriating — news from the UK, where a woman has left Twitter after complaining about the abuse she received from a group of men opposed to her efforts to support active transportation.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would put an end to freeway expansion in underserved neighborhoods. Maybe they could spend the money on transit and bikeways serving those underserved communities, instead.

San Diego’s Rouleur Brewing is hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater Ride this evening.

A columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune points out that bike lanes usually have a positive impact on local businesses, although the cost for the city’s planned 77-mile regional network has ballooned to $446 million, more than double the original estimate.

Caltrans promises to make improvements on Bakersfield’s Union Ave, including pedestrian crossings, new sidewalks and green bike lanes; the deadly corridor has seen 28 traffic-related fatalities in just the last two years. With deadly stats like that, they should be putting in protected bike lanes for the full length.

 

National

The only bike mechanic in Congress, retiring Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, talks with CityLab about the state of transit in the US, fixing existing highways before building new ones, and the need for protected bike lanes.

A pair of Seattle cops won’t face discipline over a viral video that appears to show bias against a homeless man who was struck by a driver while riding a bicycle.

The family of a man killed in the meth-fueled crash that killed five Las Vegas bike riders have filed suit against the driver, the trucking company he worked for, and the driver who was escorting the group.

A bighearted 81-year Texas man is spending his retirement refurbishing and customizing discarded bicycles to give to local kids. And sometimes not so local.

DC bike riders are worried that the city isn’t living up to the mayor’s commitment to build ten miles of protected bike lanes every year. At least they have a commitment, unlike LADOT’s vague promise to build one major active transportation project per year.

Meanwhile, DC announced plans for a people-friendly makeover of a busy commuter corridor, removing traffic lanes in favor of installing bike lanes and improving access for people on foot, as well as transit users.

Evidently, Georgia’s not the most bike-friendly state, as only Decatur managed to receive a silver-level award from the Bike League’s Bicycle Friendly Community program, with a handful of other towns garnering bronze.

 

International

CityFix calls for investing in bicycling and walking to build safe, sustainable cities.

A Toronto bike messenger has been acquitted of all charges over a viral altercation with a driver, after the judge concludes that his actions were reasonable self-defense.

This is who we share the road with. Or not, for the time being, as a Paris cab company has suspended the use of Teslas after one of the company’s cars accelerated instead of stopping when the driver hit the brakes, killing someone on a bicycle and injuring 20 other people, three of them seriously.

A German court has has sentenced a bike-riding Russian hit man to life in prison for killing a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park, after prosecutors alleged he was the commander of a special unit of the Russian FSB spy agency.

Bicycling wants to take you riding on a seven-day tour of Tuscany, for the low, low price of $7,650 if you’re willing to share a room, $8,100 if you’re not. I can’t find this one on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, as Italy plans to open a 26-mile rail-to-trail pathway along the country’s famed Adriatic coast.

Shimano has successfully gotten a fake clearance site taken down that was posing as part of the company.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay has been named African cyclist of the year for the second year running, after taking silver in the U-23 world championships.

Three days of track cycling are coming to the Carson velodrome this weekend.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike goes through someone’s windshield, without anyone riding it. If you’re pretending to be blind, maybe don’t ride your bicycle through the town square.

And we all know who’s always to blame.

Right?

………

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

 

Kid driver trying to roll coal runs down 6 Texas bike riders, bike rider gets stung in Hermosa sting, and sad state of LA biking

What does it take for a driver to get arrested, anyway?

Because if anyone deserves to spend some time behind bars, it’s the 16-year old boy who tried to coal roll a group of bike riders, and plowed into them, instead.

But considering it happened in Texas, he’ll probably get a slap on the wrist and a pat on the back.

According to Houston’s Fox-26, a group of bicyclists were training for a triathlon in Waller County, northwest of Houston Saturday morning.

Roughly 75 miles into their training ride, Ferrell says a black diesel pickup truck slowed down near him and accelerated to blow smoke in his lane.  Moments later, the pickup trick tried doing the same thing to other cyclists riding ahead of Ferrell.

“The reason he couldn’t stop is because he was accelerating to blow more diesel fuel on these cyclists,” said Ferrell.  “He ended up hitting 3 people before his brakes even started.”

A total of six riders were run down by the kid behind the wheel, four of whom had to be hospitalized; fortunately, their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Yet despite everything, the kid was not ticketed, let alone arrested.

Rolling coal is assault with a deadly weapon, capable of causing riders to fall off their bikes, or cause lung damage, asthma attacks and eye irritation.

Let alone the risk of slamming into the intended targets while doing it.

This was anything but a mere oopsie.

It was a deliberate attack that led to serious injuries. And needs to be prosecuted that way.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

This is what can happen when you get caught up in one of those bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations.

A bike rider who prefers to be anonymous forwarded this ticket for running a stop sign in Hermosa Beach. The irony is, that could be legal soon if Governor Newson signs the bill legalizing Stop as Yield in California.

Evidently, Hermosa cops weren’t willing to wait.

………

This twitter thread is worth a click to read the whole thing, as he describes the sad state of bicycling in Los Angeles.

Which keeps far too many people from riding their bikes.

………

Somehow, we missed this video of scofflaw salmon drivers in LA’s Griffith Park earlier this month.

But they’re right. Cars don’t belong in public parks.

Period.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1441485335284752391

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Bicycle art, junkyard or illegal bike chop shop?

4th and vermont from LosAngeles

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Got to admit, it’s a pretty impressive work of Strava art.

Let’s just hope the grown-up guy who was the baby on the album cover doesn’t decide to sue him, too.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

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

No bias here. New Orleans has been targeting ghost bikes for violating a proposed policy, even though there is no current rule in place prohibiting them.

Bizarre story from the UK, which reports a bike rider was intentionally run down in a collision with a van — yet fails to even mention that the van had a driver.

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

A 60-year old road raging Kiwi man was sentenced to 100 hours behind bars, and a $400 “emotional harm payment,” for physically attacking a driver who allegedly clipped his leg in a dangerous pass as he was riding a bicycle with his wife.

………

Local

Metro has come back with a pair of plans for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, one of which is very similar to the locally drafted Beautiful Blvd plan. And the other one isn’t.

 

State

Residents of Santee are revolting against transportation plans from Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, insisting they’re not interested in bike lanes, but want more highway lanes to reduce congestion. Apparently they’ve never heard of induced demand, which would fill those new lanes with even more cars. Or that bike lanes can reduce traffic congestion by given some people an alternative to driving.

The CHP is looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down a 60-year old woman as she was riding her bicycle on Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo, leaving her with multiple broken ribs and two broken clavicles.

The San Francisco Chronicle has apparently dropped its draconian paywall for a special graphic report illustrating the progress the city has made building bike lanes during the pandemic. An opportunity Los Angeles lost by failing to step up efforts when they had the chance.

A Santa Clara newspaper honored a retired electronic salesman with their North Bay Spirit Award for this month, for his work with the nonprofit he founded to fix up unloved bikes and give them to kids whose parents can’t afford one; in just the past seven months, he’s taken in 100 bicycles and given 80 away after repairing them. Thanks to Murphstahoe for the link.

 

National

Forbes says Harley Davidson’s new Serial 1 Mosh/CTY could easily replace your car for local shopping or commuting. But good luck getting one of their special edition, vintage-style bikes, which sold out the first week.

Then again, Men’s Health says the same thing about Specialized’s new turbo ebikes.

Denver’s transportation department says they can’t put more bike lanes on the city’s wide streets, because there just isn’t enough space. Having ridden throughout the city when I lived there a few decades back, I can say with all confidence, bullshit.

An Iowa man will spend anywhere from 14 to 60 years behind bars for beating a 72-year-old maintenance man to death with a kid’s bicycle.

Common sense prevailed in Dayton, Ohio by denying a permit to tear down the Wright Brothers first bike shop.

Kindhearted Massachusetts cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a young boy after his was stolen from his yard.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever punched a nine-year old Staten Island boy in the face and stole his bicycle.

New York authorities blame obsolete replacement batteries for 65 ebike and e-scooter battery fires that have killed three people this year.

Speaking of which, police in New York are looking for a group of four men and a woman for allegedly tossing that exploding ebike onto the subway tracks, which had initially been explained away as an accident.

New York’s Department of Transportation wants to install cameras to catch people blocking bike lanes with their cars, which will require a law change from the state. Never mind that some of the worst offenders are cops.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old South Carolina man rode his bike 800 miles to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity.

A Florida woman was killed by a road racing motorcyclist, who hit her bicycle while he was racing a driver in a BMW as she was trying to ride across the street; no word on any charges, though police are looking for the driver of the BMW driver.

 

International

An op-ed by a British Columbia bike rider says the city of St. John’s is the worst bicycling city in Canada, without a single inch of bike lanes. And that has to change .

Life is cheap in the UK, where a doubly distracted taxi driver got less than three years for running down a man on a bicycle while using, not one, but two phones behind the wheel, leaving the victim with life-changing injuries.

Florence, Italy is extending its Bicipolitana network with two new lines; the concept refers to planning bikeways like subways, with primary routes leading across the city.

Italian bikemaker Colnago will fight bike theft by using blockchain technology combined with a non-removable RFID embedded in the frame.

Belgium has introduced the country’s first ever countrywide bike plan.

Seventy percent of the bicyclists killed in the Czech Republic this year weren’t wearing helmets. While that figure sounds disturbing, it’s meaningless without knowing how many of those victims suffered head injuries, and whether their injuries would have been survivable with or without one.

The late Zambian president and recording artist Kenneth Kaunda was one of us, with the 1960s guerrilla frequently riding the countryside carrying a guitar on his bike while leading the country’s freedom movement.

An Aussie columnist calls out the “gutter scum” who mocked the victims of collision on the paper’s Facebook page, after several bike riders were injured and a 63-year old woman was killed, when they were struck by a school bus driver.

 

Competitive Cycling

France’s Julian Alaphilippe repeated as men’s world road champ, in what Cycling Weekly termed possibly the greatest ride of his career.

Hometown favorite Wout van Aert said he just didn’t have the legs to compete with Alaphilippe, saying he’s only human.

Surprise third place finisher Michael Valgren saved the day for the vaunted Danish team at the worlds, telling himself “Shit, it’s up to me,” after realizing he was the only team member still in contention.

Youth was served at the women’s world road championships, as 23-year old Italian cyclist Elisa Balsamo outsprinted Dutch great Marianne Vos; VeloNews talks with Balsamo, as well as several other top competitors.

Cycling News blamed failed tactics for the Dutch team’s loss in the women’s race, which left a sour taste in Vos’ mouth.

Forget crits. Try testing your mettle on an “inappropriate” single speed bike in a brutal Slovenian bike race; towing a dog in trailer behind your bike is optional.

 

Finally…

Call it a split decision in an epic battle of man versus ebike. Nothing like setting up your own personal bait bike.

And if you can’t punch and kick an acquaintance and steal his bicycle, who can you?

………

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

Infrastructure bill could cut drunk driving, but keeps US on unsustainable path; and road raging driver hits man on 3rd try

Debate continues over the pros and cons of the new infrastructure bill, which passed the US Senate on Monday with rare bipartisan support.

One big plus was highlighted by the anti-drunk driving advocacy group MADD, which points to provisions that could finally put an end to the deadly scourge.

Or at least put a big dent in it.

The bill directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a rulemaking process and set the final standard within three years for impaired driving safety equipment on all new vehicles. NHTSA will evaluate technologies that may include:

  • Driving performance monitoring systems that monitor the vehicle movement with systems like lane departure warning and attention assist;
  • Driver monitoring systems that monitor the driver’s head and eyes, typically using a camera or other sensors;
  • Alcohol detection systems that use sensors to determine whether a driver is drunk and then prevent the vehicle from moving.

Automakers are then given two to three years to implement the safety standard. New cars equipped with the NHTSA-directed technology could start rolling off the assembly line in 2026-2027.

So now that Congress has proven they can actually work together, maybe they can do something about distracted driving, too.

On the other hand, the National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO, is no fan of the measure.

Even as the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that our planet is heading toward an increasingly uninhabitable future, the infrastructure bill passed today by the Senate keeps our nation on an unsafe and unsustainable path. It continues to prioritize building the infrastructure that most contributes to the U.S.’s worst-in-class safety record and extraordinarily high climate emissions: new highways. With transportation as the largest source of U.S. climate emissions, and 80% of those coming from driving, the Senate’s bill goes in the wrong direction, giving a whopping $200 billion in virtually unrestricted funding to this unsustainable mode.

With the bill moving to the House for consideration, there is still a narrow opportunity to rectify the worst aspects of this enormous legislation, reshaping it to address the looming threat of climate change and stem the unconscionable level of death and injuries on American roads, which are the least-safe of all industrialized countries. We urge House leaders to meet this moment and use their leverage to fix what’s painfully wrong with the bill to meet the scale of the climate emergency the world is facing today.

They recommend a series of simple fixes first proposed in the bill that passed the House earlier this year, including a requirement to fix existing roadways before building new ones, and investing more in transit.

Maybe they could also include more funding for non-motorized transportation while they’re at it.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels.

………

This is who we share the road with.

Apparently, it’s not just people on bicycles at risk from hot tempered drivers, as a road-raging Oakland driver tried three times to run down another man who had the audacity to ask him to slow down.

For anyone unclear on the concept, that’s attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, at a bare minimum.

Let’s just hope the local DA takes it seriously.

………

A new ad from Dutch ebike maker VanMoof suggests a way out of the ever worsening traffic congestion in our cities.

And you can probably guess what that is.

………

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

Evidently, we’re not safe anywhere. Portland bike riders are being warned to watch their backs on an offroad bike path, which is being used as an access road for drivers from a nearby homeless camp.

Then again, people evidently drive in protected cycle tracks in Hong Kong, too.

A Singapore bike rider slammed into a taxi that pulled out directly in front of him, in a crash caught on bike cam video. So naturally, people blamed the guy on two wheels.

………

Local

Once again, the East Side Riders prove they’re much more than a bike club, providing 30 underprivileged kids in the Compton area with $100 for back-to-school shopping, along with a grocery shopping spree, laptop and a haircut. If anyone wants to know my choice to succeed Joe Buscaino in LA CD15, the list starts and ends with East Side Riders founder John Jones III. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link. 

Metro has finished renovation work on the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station, which includes a full service Mobility Hub with safe bike parking.

 

State

San Diego-based Juiced Bikes has launched a new version of their Cross Current X Step-Through ebike, with an improved price tag reflecting a $500 drop from earlier versions.

A Bakersfield man suffered major injuries when he allegedly rode his bike through a red light, and was struck by a driver. As always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses other than the driver who saw him go through the light.

San Francisco Streetsblog argues that it’s lobbyists and elected officials marring the public process rather than bike and pedestrian activists, accusing representatives of the de Young museum of engaging in gaslighting in an attempt to “turn J.F.K. back into a de facto freeway through Golden Gate Park.”

Once again, bike riders are heroes, after mountain bikers were credited with reporting and attempting to extinguish last month’s Cascade Fire, helping to restrict the blaze to a few hundred acres; a former lecturer at Santa Clara University and Sonoma State University is suspected of setting a number of fires in the area, including the massive Dixie Fire. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

National

USA Today says American cities are failing to meet their climate goals, but there’s still time to turn things around. Does anyone really believe Los Angeles will meet its goal of a 45% reduction in greenhouse gasses in just four more years — especially without a major investment in reducing motor vehicle traffic?

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows separation works, saying bike paths and protected bike lanes saved lives from speeding drivers during the pandemic, while suggesting last year’s jump in bike deaths would have been even worse without them.

Tern’s commitment to plow 1% of their sales back into social and environmental causes resulted in splitting $45,000 between World Bicycle Relief, PeopleForBikes, and Trips for Kids. Now if every bike and accessory maker would do that, we might make some real progress for a change.

That one-of-a-kind Harley-Davidson chopper ebike styled after the classic Schwinn Apple Krate could have been yours for a mere $14,200.

Bicycling declares the once ubiquitous aluminum frame road bikes with mechanical shifting and rim brakes officially dead. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Evidently, a “miscellaneous accident” is a thing in Hawaii.

A Portland writer celebrates biking with dogs in tow, including her own Dalmatian.

Rapidly rising Covid counts in my Colorado hometown, driven by the virulent Delta variant, has led to cancellation of the original Tour de Fat celebration, which was apparently the only one scheduled in the US this year.

A Denver magazine offers tips on how to power up hills like Colorado’s Sepp Kuss, the first American to win a stage in the Tour de France in over a decade.

A Colorado man confesses that he used bikepacking to escape from depression and anxiety, but let it turn into a tool for his own self-destruction. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Kansas woman faces a second-degree murder count for the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding 16-year old girl over the weekend; she’s also charged with DUI, hit-and-run and tampering with evidence.

An unused bikeshare dock on a New Orleans street was turned into a guerrilla artwork to protest the death of a Black man at the hands of Louisiana State police, in what some see as a prequel the murder of George Floyd.

 

International

An Edmonton, Alberta cop is on trial for assaulting a member of the Cree First Nation by needlessly driving his knee into the man’s back while he was already restrained by another officer, in what began as a simple traffic stop for not having a bike bell. One more argument for eliminating bike bell laws and other similar requirements, which are too often used as an excuse to target people of color.

A Toronto bike rider thanks the strangers who rushed to help him when he was struck by a driver pulling out of an alley.

London’s Independent looks at the city’s edition of Black Girls Do Bike, part of a loosely affiliated international organization dedicated to breaking down barriers that keep Black women from bicycling.

A British TV host credits her helmet with saving her skull when she was struck by a driver in the UK equivalent of a right hook. But instead of blaming the driver, her husband got rid of her bicycle.

You’ve got to be kidding. After BBC broadcaster Jeremy Vine posted a video of bicyclists riding side-by-side to argue that it’s safer and less inconvenient to drivers if bicyclists ride abreast, the founder of a motorist rights group called him a “cycling zealot” and accused Vine of breaking the Beeb’s rules by “politicizing” the roadways. Then again, “motorist rights group” pretty much tells you everything you need to know about him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-three-year old Portuguese cyclist João Almeida made a late attack to take a slim lead on day two of the Tour of Poland.

New Zealand Olympic cyclist Eddie Dawkins called for accountability from the country’s cycling and sports authorities after the suspected suicide of fellow Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore, who died suddenly at just 24 years old.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a 33-year-old Rhode Island scientist was killed when he suddenly veered off the course of the Concord Criterium; Evan Barr-Beare had a 45-second lead on the rest of the peloton in the final lap when he apparently suffered some sort of medical emergency and lost control of his bike.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a life-size Hot Wheels. If you’re going to risk up to 20 years behind bars for knocking a man off his bicycle, at least make sure he’s got more than five bucks on him.

And seriously, don’t tempt fate by parking in a bike lane.

Thanks to Ted Faber for forwarding the video.

………

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

Questions raised about PCH door zone warning, and driver crashes into home built by Lincoln’s great-grandfather

Evidently, I’ve ruined everything.

Yesterday, a series of tweets were directed my way to tell me I got it all wrong about the proposed changes to PCH that would seem to put bike riders in the door zone.

Those were quickly followed by a comment on here, and a series of increasingly rude and insulting private messages blaming me for somehow ruining 20 year of bicycle advocacy by repeating what was said in a news story from a Malibu paper.

Which I was apparently supposed to somehow be able to deduce had made some yet-to-be confirmed error in reporting the story.

Then again, I was also accused in those private messages of somehow plagiarizing that same story by someone who had apparently never read it, and clearly has no idea what plagiarism means.

Seriously, feel free to do a side-by-side comparison, and see for yourself if I copied anything.

While I wasn’t involved in this project, and had no idea it was even in the works before this week, I have long fought for bike safety on PCH in Malibu. And worked with and supported Eric Bruins in his surprisingly successful campaign to turn the city from extremely anti-bike to a newfound commitment to welcoming people on two wheels.

And this project was definitely not what I remember asking for.

I also don’t remember meeting Mr. Laetz during all those years that I represented the LACBC on the PCH Task Force, before illness forced me to step down.

Which doesn’t mean he wasn’t there, or wasn’t working for bike safety in other ways. With all the meds I’m on these days, I have trouble remembering last week, let alone what happened a decade or so ago.

But maybe he’s right.

My reaction to this project was based entirely on Wednesday’s story in the Malibu Surfside News, which said this in the very first paragraph —

A stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu that’s seen several bicycle collisions in as many years is being looked at for changes that will make it safer for bicyclists while adding motor vehicle parking.

Note that last phrase, “adding motor vehicle parking.”

The writer of that piece, Scott Steepleton, the editor of the Malibu Surfside News, cited a Malibu Planning Commission document as his source.

According to the July 19 meeting staff report by Jessica Thompson, associate planner, the changes “will provide increased travel space on the right shoulder for a combination of bicycle use and on-street parking, thereby improving safety on this segment of PCH.”

I never hid the fact that this was my source, and linked back to the story in my original post. I also sent the link to Mr. Laetz when he objected to my story to confirm where the information came from.

Yet he continued to attack me, both publicly and privately. Right up to the point I told him what he could do with himself, and blocked him from my personal Twitter account.

But again, that doesn’t make him wrong.

This is how he describes the project in a comment Mr. Laetz left on here.

WAIT A MINUTE, The city’s plan is to WIDEN the shoulder, by narrowing the median and shifting the traffic lanes to the center, No parking will be added, none will be eliminated. Te (sic) plan will leave shoulders that are in excess of 14 feet wide. It will also add marked bike lanes at the traffic lights. The Coastal Commission will not allow the city to add parking (reducing coastal access to bicyclists) or decrease parking (reducing parking access for people in vehicles). This plan is parking neutral. It will eliminate much of the wide, unused median. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.

Despite repeated requests, he never sent me a link to any source to back up his description of the project, though he did reference a story he claimed to have written for the Malibu Times, which I haven’t been able to find on their website.

However, assuming the shoulder will in fact be a minimum of 14 feet wide, while that may be enough room to safely pass an average parked car, it would leave only a sliver of space outside the door zone of today’s massive pickups and SUVs.

And that’s if the driver pulls all the way to the right, which hardly ever happens the real world.

It also raises the question of whether that space could be better used to provide a parking protected bike lane that would keep riders safely out of the door zone, as well as away from drivers cutting over to park their cars or pull out of a parking space.

And why maintain those plush eleven-foot traffic lanes, which encourage higher speeds, when they could easily be narrowed a foot to help slow traffic, and provide more space to work with on either side?

As I tried to point out to Mr. Laetz, even if this project would be wholly beneficial for people on bicycles, the worst thing that resulted from calling it out is that hundreds of bike riders are newly aware of it, and prepared to give it the scrutiny any bike project should have.

So go ahead and email your comments and concerns by Sunday night, if you haven’t already. And attend Monday’s virtual meeting of the Malibu Planning Commission to learn more about it if you can.

Full disclosure, I won’t be able to make it Monday evening. Somehow, I suspect my wife’s birthday has to take priority if I don’t want to see a permanent change my sleeping arrangements.

I’ve also offered to let Mr. Laetz write a guest post for this site to clarify anything he thinks we got wrong.

So far, he hasn’t responded.

I’ll let you know if he does.

………

I do my best to be as truthful and accurate as possible in everything you read on this site.

If I get something wrong, I’m more than happy to correct it, which I’ve done more times than I can count. Just reach out to me, either in the comments below, at the email address on the About page, or on Twitter @BikinginLA.

Just be able to back it up. And don’t be a jerk about it.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Massachusetts driver slammed her SUV through the side of a 371-year old house built by the great-grandfather of Abraham Lincoln, after swerving to avoid an early-rising squirrel.

Yes, that Abraham Lincoln.

Although it may have been the house’s fault, since the owners say there have been a number of near-misses since they moved in.

………

Apparently, pedicabs are nothing new.

Though seldom quite this cool.

https://twitter.com/anderspreben/status/1031213754724372480

………

A Utah TV station wins the award for best attempt to remove any agency for an injury collision, with a headline that suggests some unidentified “person” was injured when a car without a driver somehow collided with a bicycle without a rider.

………

Call a happy bike surprise.

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Maus/status/1415896935374802946

………

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

After a Denver man attempted to stop a woman from stealing his neighbor’s $5,000 mountain bike, she returned in a beat-up SUV and smashed into another car while attempting to run him down. But even after they tracked the attacker to a nearby homeless camp, the police have refused to go in and do anything about it.

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

Must have been in a hurry. A New York “transit menace” snatched a bikeshare bike out of the hands of the person who rented it, rode it to the subway station, the jumped the turnstile to catch his train.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. Bicycling talks with a 77-year old Lake Forest man who still rides a bike every day, despite two serious heart surgeries. Or maybe because of them. I mean, without all the heart problems and stuff. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

San Diego letter writers continue to beat a dead bike lane horse, still complaining about the new protected bike lanes on 30th Street in North Park that are already under construction.

Police in Salinas are asking for the public’s help identifying a thief caught on camera stealing a mountain bike.

 

National

CyclingTips examines the custom Trek Domane Richard Branson pretended to ride to Sunday’s space launch, in what they accurately describe as part of a billionaire “dick-measuring competition.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

A culture website suggests four exciting US cities to ride a bike in. If you really want excitement, though, it’s hard to top mixing it up with LA drivers. Although it may not be the kind of excitement you want.

Nearly a hundred Portland-area kids now have newly refurbished bikes, thanks to an organization dedicated to giving kids free bikes who might not be able to get one otherwise.

No surprise here. Las Vegas is being sued by the family of a Black man who died in police custody in 2019 with a cop’s knee planted firmly in his back; Byron Williams was recorded saying 24 times that he couldn’t breathe, after getting stopped for the capital crime of not having a light on his bike. The family is being represented by the same lawyer who filed suit in the George Floyd case.

Montana’s first shuttle mountain bike park is now open near the Flathead Lake resort area, incorporating a shuttle service to carry riders from the end of one gravity trail to the start of another.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where an off-duty cop in a jacked-up truck ran over a little boy and dragged him to his death; nine-year old Hershel Weinberger was riding his bike in a crosswalk when the driver reportedly ran the stop sign, even if the local union head swears he stopped and looked both ways. But investigators failed to hold the off-duty officer accountable after he played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, by claiming he just didn’t see the boy. Although chance are, just flashing his badge was probably enough.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a driver faces a single year behind bars for killing a 16-year old boy riding a bike, after prosecutors allowed him to plead to a misdemeanor moving violation. Sad to know that’s all a kid’s life is worth to them.

A new study suggests 30% of DC crashes involving a bike rider or pedestrian go unreported, reducing the reliability of the data Vision Zero relies on.

 

International

Talk about flash photography. A British woman snapping a selfie captured the exact moment she and her brother and sister were struck by lightening as they were sheltering under a tree, after getting caught in a thunderstorm while riding their bikes to see their aunt; fortunately, they were all okay after being treated for burns.

The final stage of the Tour de France is just the start of festivities as Paris bounces back from the pandemic lockdowns, as only Paris can.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Thursday’s final hors catégorie climb, which was pretty much Wednesday on repeat.

Here we go again. CyclingNews is reporting that French authorities raided the hotel and team bus of the Bahrain Victorious cycling team before Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France, as prosecutors open a preliminary investigation into doping allegations. But we all know the doping era is over, right?

Road Bike Action wants to help you build the perfect bike for Sunday’s Belgian Waffle Ride.

 

Finally…

Why pro cyclists dance with their bikes. Your next (really weird looking) touring bike could come with a built-in chair and day bed.

And if you have to ask…

………

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

 

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