Tag Archive for Taylor Yard Bridge

Metro EIR blesses Eagle Rock Beautiful Blvd plan, and Taylor Yard bike bridge bountifully blessed with corgis

A quick note before we start. 

I’ve received a guest post from frequent Munich correspondent Ralph Durham for when I’m out next week following my hand surgery. 

If anyone else wants to share your thoughts next week, just send it to the email address on the About BikinginLA page above. 

Write about anything you want, as long as it’s bike related. The only restrictions are to avoid personal attacks or being needlessly offensive. 

Which means it’s okay to be necessarily offensive, evidently.

And no, this is not an invitation for SEO marketing or Native Advertising. Sorry. 

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It looks like Metro is finally onboard with Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan.

An email from the Beautiful Boulevard Coalition reports that Metro’s final Environmental Impact Report for the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit project adopts most elements of the plan, including dedicated bus lanes on Colorado Boulevard, and new family-friendly protected bike lanes.

It also includes a lane reduction to improve safety in downtown Eagle Rock, with a single traffic lane in both directions, along with bus and bike lanes.

The next steps include working with CD12 Councilmember and mayoral candidate Kevin de León to make adjustments to the plan, such as enabling al fresco dining and keeping cut-through traffic from disrupting residential neighborhoods.

And getting de León to sign off on the plan, after he’s done significant waffling on the project since taking office.

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Nice surprise from my friend Jonathan Weiss, who forwards photos from a recent ride to check out the new Taylor Yard Bridge.

And stumbled across an apparent corgi meetup.

Better yet, my wife instantly recognized the blue merle corgi staring off into the distance as one she knows from meetups with her corgi Instagram group.

Face it. It’s a corgi world, and we just live in it.

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Nothing like jamming on the brakes to avoid getting hit head-on by a wrong-way driver.

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

No bias here. Miami city commissioners voted to require developers to include more parking in their projects, with one saying “This is not a pedestrian and bicycle city.” And with that attitude, it never will be.

No bias here, either. A Twitter account claims bicyclists “injury and maim” (sic) thousands of people in the UK every year. Which comes as a surprise, since there were only a little more than 600 collisions reported between bikes and pedestrians in 2020.

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

Police in El Cajon are looking for a Hispanic man who rode off on a beach cruiser after stabbing another man in the abdomen at a Del Taco drive-thru.

Similar story in Edinburgh, Scotland, where police are looking for a pair of bike-riding men who assaulted and robbed a man walking along a bike path late at night.

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Local

The Archinect News site says LA’s new bike and pedestrian-friendly 6th Street Viaduct is about to change common perspectives on public urban space. Although you’ll have to earn the bike crossing with a steep climb to get there.

Streetsblog is looking for a part-time journalist and podcaster to cover the San Gabriel Valley beat.

 

State 

Armed only with a baseball bat, a San Diego man stole back the bike that was stolen from him the day he bought it. Although he was successful, you’re always better off getting the police involved if you can; taking back a stolen bike can be very dangerous.

A 61-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when he was run down by an alleged drunk driver on Mountain View Drive in the city’s Adams North neighborhood on Sunday; fortunately, his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Berkeley bicyclists are backing a plan for protected bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on deadly Hopkins Street, while preserving most curbside parking in front of local businesses.

Sad news from Yuba County, where a 21-year old woman was arrested for the allegedly drunken rear-end crash that killed a 36-year old man riding a bicycle; she faces charges of DUI and 2nd degree murder, which suggests this isn’t her first DUI.

 

National

A writer for CleanTechnica offers advice on how to defend yourself from criminal attackers out to get your ebike. Even though she’s a firearms instructor who rides with a gun, she agrees with me that no bike is worth risking your life, or taking another.

Mountain Bike Action considers the pros and cons of buying an e-mountain bike.

Kindhearted Ohio cops gave a new bicycle to a man whose bike was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver; he escaped with a few minor scrapes, but the bike he used as his only form of transportation wasn’t so lucky.

 

International

Bike Biz considers the month’s hottest new bike products, including new urban cross ebikes and a new Cannondale Synapse roadie with an intelligent light and radar system.

The CEO of international insurance giant Lloyd’s of London is one of us. Although he might want to make sure he’s covered, after he was injured in a bike crash over the weekend.

Tragic story from Wales, where a factory worker was killed riding his bike home from work when he grabbed hold of a coworker’s car to talk as the other man drove alongside his bike, then was thrown from his bike after his handlebars hit the side of the car.

Drivers and motorcyclists are up in arms over a new 40 mph speed limit intended to save lives on a deadly Welsh pass, amid fears they’ll just go somewhere else where higher speeds are allowed. But bicyclists are entitled, right?

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France champ and Olympic cycling star Bradley Wiggins says the best way for Britain’s Ineos team to win the Tour is to buy the contract of two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar, and send him to the Giro, instead.

Belgium’s Alpecin-Fenix team blamed their failure at the one-day Gent-Wevelgem race on other teams not doing their part to chase down the lead group. Seriously, if your strategy relies on other teams to help you win, you’ve already lost.

 

Finally…

Build your own ebike with whatever scraps you happen to have lying around. You may never win an Olympic cycling medal, but now you can buy one.

And a rock god with a whole lotta love for riding a bike.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Murder charge for Riverside road rage attack, LA bike bridges to nowhere, and apparently I’m part of LA bike history

Before we get started, David Drexler reminds us that Sunday’s LA Marathon affords the perfect opportunity to ride through the streets of LA in relative comfort and safety. 

No word on whether the usual Marathon Crash Ride will take place before the race, though chances are people will show up for it anyway, officially sanctioned or not. 

But either way, major roads like Hollywood and Santa Monica blvds will be closed for hours because of the race, which will quiet nearby streets, as well. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Thirty-two-year old Riverside resident Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the death of Benedicto Solanga, after allegedly running down Solanga intentionally as he rode his bike last July.

Gutierrez reportedly made a U-turn to run down Solanga as he was riding in the opposite direction, following what may have been a traffic dispute.

In other words, he’a accused of using his car as a weapon following a road rage dispute.

Gutierrez remains behind bars on $1 million bail.

Hopefully, he’ll be there a long damn time.

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Not surprisingly, Curbed’s Alissa Walker offers the best take on the recent invitation-only opening of the Taylor Yard Bridge, in which people apparently more important than you or me were instructed to drive to the opening of a bridge for people walking or biking.

And people walking or biking were largely locked out.

There are three new car-free bridges on a widely used four-mile corridor of the L.A. River — one of the few places where it is a meandering naturalized channel not fully encased in a concrete chute — and this morning was a chance to honor all three at once. Standing before a sign that read “Bridging Communities” in the same bright orange as the bridge, elected officials from every level of government — city, county, and state — gave speech after speech about connection. California assemblymember Wendy Carillo cited the “walkable, livable green open space our communities need.” L.A. city councilmember Gil Cedillo called it “a win for everyone” that “brings neighborhoods together…”

…Instead, L.A.’s Taylor Yard Bridge just exposes the distance between the people who say they care about walking and biking in L.A. and the people who actually walk and bike in L.A. The ribbon-cutting invitation (which I did not receive) provided attendees with driving directions only. Meanwhile, people who arrived from the west that morning and actually came to the car-free bridge using car-free modes of transportation found themselves locked out, as the ceremony took place on the eastern landing. At the end of the event, after giving their speeches about the role of walking and biking connections in reducing traffic and smog, the elected officials each walked back to their SUVs and drove away.

It’s worth a few minutes of your time, as Walker succinctly illustrates the problem with riding a bike in the City of Angels, where people on bikes are second-class citizens.

And bridges for bikes don’t take you anywhere.

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Evidently, I’m officially part of LA bike history.

Carfree writer and artist Eric Brightwell responds to the recent jump in gas prices with a detailed history of bicycling in Los Angeles, from the first dandy horses through bikes in popular culture, to the places you probably ride today and the clubs you may ride with.

And somehow finds it appropriate to include yours truly among the more recent developments.

Bicycle culture began to rebound in the 1990s and 2000s when there was a marked upsurge in bicycle advocacy and group-cycling culture. Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition was founded in 1998 by Joe Linton and Ron Milam. Critical Mass, a group cycling event, first launched in San Francisco in 1992, as “Commute Clot,” made its way to Los Angeles in or around 2001. Los Angeles Critical Mass is today the largest community bicycle ride in the US. In 2001 I bought my first Los Angeles bike, a 1972 Raleigh Sprite 27, from Lars Lehtonen, who around that time launched the bicycle event aggregator/calendar, Bike Boom. Wolfpack Hustle, a fast-paced ride, started in 2005. Midnight Ridazz, a late-night group bicycle ride, was launched in 2004. Ted Rogers started Biking in L.A. in 2008. You can also start or join a Bike Train.

2008? Has it really been that long?

No wonder I feel old.

It’s a surprisingly good read. And not just because Brightwell demonstrated the exceptional good taste to give this site a brief shoutout.

His “brief history” is anything but. It’s remarkably detailed yet still concise, and always entertaining.

But his relatively brief into should be mandatory reading for anyone who bikes or drives. Or gets around any other way, for that matter.

…As I write this I brace myself for rage from motorists. And while I sympathize with poor and working class people for whom gassing up truly is painful, so too is riding a bus bogged down in traffic or being hit by a car and when does a motorist every offer a cyclists or bus rider anything other than derision, a middle finger, and a blast from the horn? Cyclists, walkers, and mass transit riders have thicker skin, though — and if they’re car-free, save them an average of $11,000 a year in depreciation, maintenance, gas, repairs, parking tickets, registration renewal, and especially, paid parking that just may be the difference between having to live in a far-flung, car-dependant suburb and a dense, walkable, transitable, and bikeable communities in which a car is not only unnecessary but a burden.

So go ahead. Give it a read.

But give yourself a little time, because there’s a lot to digest here.

Thanks to E/Expo Line Ledger for the heads-up. 

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Calbike offers a roundup of all the bike-friendly bills that have been introduced in the new legislative session.

Much of it has a back to the future feel, with Assembly members reintroducing a series of bills previously vetoed by Gov. Newsom, with minor changes in hopes of getting them past his veto pen. They include bills to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, legalize safely crossing the street mid-block, and fund connected bicycle networks.

Another measure would permanently exempt bike lanes, and other projects that don’t add motor vehicle capacity, from environmental review.

Additional proposals would require cities to include significant bicycle, pedestrian and traffic calming elements in their general plans, and change the vehicle code to require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle.

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That feeling when you discover a bike/ped bridge over a car canyon that makes your commute that much easier.

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A little girl lies down on the job to giver her little sister a boost to learn how to ride a bike.

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San Diego bicyclists will ride next Saturday to show their support for the people of Ukraine, who more than deserve it.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

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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 the UK, where a hit-and-run driver got just 22 months for killing a man riding a bicycle who he had just been drinking with at the local pub, then hid his van and lied to the police about it

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Local

Make money while you help build a more livable Los Angeles. The Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is now hiring people to collect signatures to get it on the ballot; it would require the city to build out its already-approved mobility plan as streets get resurfaced.

A former LA city planner calls for switching to sustainable transportation to put oil-funded autocrats out of business.

Authorities have identified the 28-year old woman who was found dead along a beach bike path in Long Beach, however, no cause of death has been released yet.

 

State 

A San Diego ebike rider questions whether bad drivers and poorly maintained streets make the city too dangerous for people on bicycles.

San Diego is celebrating the grand opening of the new Georgia – Meade Bikeway tomorrow morning. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Tragic news from Mountain View, where a 13-year old middle school student was killed by a truck driver while riding to school; needless to say, police virtually exonerated the driver, saying the driver wasn’t speeding or under the influence, even though the crash is still under investigation.

No surprise here, as Tesla fired the whistleblower who released video of one of their cars nearly running over a bike rider while in autopilot mode; Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick says that proves plastic doesn’t offer enough protection to keep people on bicycles safe.

 

National

Triathlete explains the difference between road and triple bikes.

Henderson, Nevada is opening the final link in a 12-mile rail-to-trail conversion named after the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; the pathway connects to a 220-mile trail system.

A Minnesota man faces charges for punching a passing bike rider and robbing him while the victim was unconscious.

Even in the oil fields of Louisiana, bike use is booming as gas prices continue to rise. Bike sales are up in Cleveland, too.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Despite suffering from diabetes, a 79-year old Hemingway lookalike still rides his bike 15 miles every day through his Florida neighborhood, after cutting back from 20 to 25 miles a day when he turned 75. Although I’ll pass on the Papa look, thank you.

Friends of a legally blind Florida man launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new bike, after his was stolen when he chained it to a short post outside a Walmart; his poor eyesore kept him from seeing that a thief could just slide the chain off. The campaign has raised over $3,700 of the $5,000 goal.

The bridge tender who was operating a Florida drawbridge when a 79-year old woman fell off after it opened while she was walking her bike across the span has been arrested on a charge of manslaughter by culpable negligence.

 

International

Audi is partnering with Qualcomm and the maker of the Spoke app to develop a cellular vehicle-to-everything system that would alert drivers to the presence of bicycles. Presumably if you have the app installed and open.

Britain’s Parliament discussed the need to improve bike safety, following the deaths of two people riding bikes in Oxford in recent weeks. Somehow, it’s hard to picture Congress responding like that, even with nearly 850 deaths in the US.

Scary footage as a Welsh bike rider barely avoids getting crushed when a half-ton bale of hay falls off a passing truck.

Most bicycle companies are following the lead of other international corporations in pulling out of Russia; notable exceptions include French retailer Decathlon and German manufacturer Bosch.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside offers an insiders look at racing with the L39ion of Los Angeles team at Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.

Someone stole 12 racing bikes from the Mauritian National Team, just one day before they were due in Egypt for today’s All African Championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal an ebike, maybe put some clothes on first. Or even if you’re riding your own bike. Repeat after me — if you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant and nearly four ounces of meth, stop for the damn stop sign, already.

And that feeling when not knowing your front from your back leaves you feeling deflated.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Roadkill Gil supports bikes off the road, Metro teaches group rides, and always pay cash before you kill someone

One quick note before we get started. 

I’m scheduled to have arm and hand surgery at the end of the month. 

As you may recall, I had surgery on the right side last year, and was down for about 10 days before I was able to get back to work, however, that was a more extensive surgery than we’re expecting this time. 

So I’m not sure how long I’ll be out; hopefully, it will only be a few days. 

But if you’ve been thinking about writing a guest post, this would be a great time to send something to me. 

Standard rules apply. Write as much or as little as you want, about anything you want, as long as it’s about bicycling. Feel free to include photos (just send them separately from the text, please).

The only restrictions are to avoid insults and personal attacks, or being needlessly offensive. But I’m pretty damn hard to offend, so that should give you a lot of leeway.

No, this is not an invitation to SEO marketers, so no extraneous links unrelated to the topic at hand. 

And I’ll be the judge of what’s related. 

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More proof Roadkill Gil supports bike infrastructure, as long as it doesn’t offend NIMBYs or inconvenience motorists just a tad.

LA’s future ambassador to India seems pretty darn pleased, too, apparently taking pride in the new bike/ped bridge.

Even though his Vision Zero program has failed, and his Green New Deal is already gathering dust.

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Metro wants to teach you how to survive group rides.

https://twitter.com/MaverickMPA/status/1504279453605646338

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If you’re going to murder a couple riding their bikes, remember to pay cash — and try not to be too memorable.

The man who allegedly stabbed a Daytona, Florida couple to death as they rode their bikes back home was caught when a waitress recognized his photo, and police tracked him down from the credit card he used.

Thirty-two-year old accused killer Jean Macean has been extradited from Orlando, where he was arrested.

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This is the kind of note you write when Costco places a bench blocking the bike racks.

If you’re more polite than I am, that is.

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

It’s bad enough when a driver passes too close and ignores the painted bike lane, but even worse when it’s a cop.

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Local

The Sheriff’s Department has declared zero tolerance for speeding and crosswalk violations on PCH in Malibu in the wake of several recent pedestrian deaths. Good luck with that. If they really want to slow drivers on LA killer highway, they need to remake PCH so the Malibu’s Main Street isn’t just a speedway for pass-through drivers.

Rancho Palos Verdes will lift a 28-year ban on bicycles and skating at three local parks, in a six-month trial starting at some yet-to-be-determined date; residents have complained that they don’t have safe place to teach their kids how to ride a bike.

 

State 

San Jose announces a $6 million plan to reduce last year’s near-record number of traffic deaths, which continue to rise even though it was one of the first US cities to adopt Vision Zero. Once again demonstrating that Vision Zero doesn’t work if you don’t actually do something.

San Francisco moved a step closer to permanently banning cars from JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park. Parks are for people, not cars.

Davis is working to reduce traffic congestion on the city’s Mace Boulevard, including installing a new protected intersection.

 

National

As Colorado expands its power transmission network with hundreds of miles of new power lines, the state’s bike advocates see a unique opportunity to build bike paths along the new power line routes.

Texas Monthly remembers the state’s own Mr. Rogers, who fixed bikes for all the neighborhood kids until his death at 93 years old in 2004, and says some of those bikes are still being ridden today.

A Michigan man faces a minimum of 25 year behind bars as a habitual offender after following a man on a bicycle in his car, then intentionally jumping a curb and swerving into him to steal his wallet.

Research shows more Tennessee drivers are obeying the state’s three-foot passing law, and passing bike riders at a safe distance.

Tampa, Florida is the latest city to adopt Vision Zero, in an effort to confront the city’s average of 44 traffic deaths each year.

It’s not just a SoCal problem. A Florida family wants answers after a 50-year old man was killed riding his bike home from work; his brother found his body after retracing his route a full two days after the crash that killed him.

 

International

Garmin has patented a new rear-view bike cam radar system, which automatically begins recording when it senses danger from behind.

Ouch. Someone broke into a shed on a Scottish property, and made off with five mountain bikes worth nearly $33,000.

After an English woman was confronted by a gang of young men while riding her bike home, she didn’t realize how close she came to being robbed — or worse — until she later watched an attacker lunge at her on her rear-facing bike cam.

Former Australian Olympic track cyclist Dean Woods brought mourners to tears by delivering his own pre-recorded eulogy at his funeral, after dying of lung cancer at 55.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark Cavendish overcame a lingering cold to continue his winning ways from last year with a victory in the one-day Milano-Torino race.

Tragic news, as 28-year old Belgian cyclist Cedric Baekeland died of a heart attack while training in Spain.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Chick-fil-A becomes a traffic hazard. And when your pedal is no longer on speaking terms with the rest of your bike.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Invitation-only Taylor Yard Bridge opening excludes public, and killer distracted driver walks for running down bike-riding family

My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.

After a previous false start, Los Angeles officially opened the new Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River, in an invitation-only event.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the bridge has been under discussion for a full 30 years, before work finally started in 2019.

When Metro re-industrialized the downstream end of Taylor Yard, siting a Metrolink yard there, community groups sued Metro for not following environmental law. In a 1992 settlement Metro agreed to pay for several community benefits, including a pedestrian bridge. For decades, the promised bridge project suffered from false starts. Ultimately Metro paid for the $25 million dollar bridge, which was built by L.A. City’s Public Works Department’s Bureau of Engineering.

Never mind that three decades of delays meant it ended up costing over five times the original $5.3 million estimate.

And no, Linton didn’t get an invitation, either, despite reporting on the bridge even longer that we have. But he ended up crashing it on a bicycle, ignoring both the lack of invitation and the admonition to arrive by car.

No, really. The city wanted everyone to drive to the opening of a bike bridge.

The good news is, the bridge is open at last, providing safer and more convenient access between Frogtown and Elysian Valley to the south, and Glassell Park and Cypress Park to the north.

A previous public opening was cancelled at the last minute, with the city doing such a crappy job of getting the word out that would-be attendees who showed up anyway were left wondering where everyone else was. No explanation was ever given for the cancellation.

Maybe they were afraid people from the bike community might actually show up.

Because this is how Linton ended his piece.

Cedillo and O’Farrell have histories of being hostile to bicyclists. O’Farrell’s bike antipathy has been more subtle, other than his notoriously snide anti-bike safety tweet in 2018. Cedillo’s anti-bike stance has been more overt. Both have canceled approved bike safety projects in their districts: Cedillo on North Figueroa Street and on the North Spring Street Bridge, and both colluded on the cancelling of a Temple Street road diet. Both are Democrat incumbents facing elections this year, with challengers to their ideological left. It is a sad state of affairs that it now appears that they fear allowing the public – including the press and those pesky cyclists – to celebrate the opening of a really great thing they have done for bicycling in L.A.

And yes, I was the one on the receiving end of that snide O’Farrell tweet.

Today’s photo is the invitation you didn’t get to the bridge opening, even though you — and the rest of us — paid for it. 

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Evidently, life is cheap in Massachusetts.

In the conclusion to story we’ve been following for the last two years, a 45-year old Massachusetts woman walked without a single day behind bars for the distracted driving death of a father as he was riding bikes with his family.

Ryane Linehan pled guilty to negligent homicide, admitting she was texting when she killed the man and seriously injured his wife and adult son.

Yet she still got just an 18-month suspended jail sentence, along with six months of home confinement, three years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Maybe it’s just me, but a lousy six months sitting at home watching TV and eating bonbons seems more like a staycation than punishment.

The only good news is she won’t be allowed to drive for the next 15 years. Which isn’t nearly long enough.

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Good question.

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

No bias here. An Iowa appeals court affirmed the right of a town to block a short street connecting two multi-use trails, forcing bike riders and runners moving between them to use a dangerous highway — because local residents didn’t want a trail through their community in the first place.

An English pub owner complained that a new bike lane was an accident waiting to happen, warning it would result in collisions between bike riders and pedestrians. Then blocked half of it with advertising barriers to help ensure he was right.

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

English police are looking for a bike-riding man who yelled racist abuse at a driver before kicking her car, after she challenged him for using a cellphone while riding.

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Local

Los Angeles received a $5 million grant to beautify Boyle Heights’ Hollenbeck Park. Except the only thing that would really beautify it is to move the damn 5 Freeway, which cuts directly through it. Except that would probably cost a hell of a lot more.

A woman in her 30s was found dead next to the beach bike path in Long Beach Sunday morning, with no apparent cause of death.

 

State 

A San Diego bike rider suffered a fractured skull when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver in Balboa Park Sunday night; fortunately, his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

San Luis Obispo is opening a new bike and pedestrian bridge connecting a new section of trail through the town.

East Bay bike advocates are pushing for the first protected bike lane through the San Francisco suburb of San Leandro.

Sad news from Modesto, where a 38-year old woman riding a bicycle was killed by a suspected drunk driver on Sunday.

 

National

Oklahoma has approved a 400 mile section of the US Bike Route 66 though the state.

That’s more like it. A 19-year old Florida man got 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a seven-year old boy riding his bicycle. Although anyone so heartless they could leave a little kid to die alone in the street deserves a lot more than that.

 

International

He gets it. Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says governments should subsidize ebikes instead of gas prices — including Gavin Newsom’s proposal to rebate gas taxes paid by California drivers.

No irony here. Toronto NIMBYs are demanding the removal of a protected bike lane by claiming it makes it too hard for ambulances to respond to injured bike riders, because all the cars get in the way.

Canada’s Prince Edward Island announced a $100 rebate on bicycle purchases, with a $500 rebate on ebikes.

A Welsh bike advocate explains how taking political candidates for a bike ride can help them seem the local community from a new perspective. Not to mention give them a better understanding of the dangers we face.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a 71-year old man walked with probation and a 15-month driving ban for yelling racist comments at a group of bike riders and telling them to go back to England, before backing his car up and crashing into them; fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

A new British poll shows broad support of using ebikes to reduce carbon emissions, even among people who aren’t currently thinking about buying one.

UK advocates are petitioning the government to stop using the word “accident” in official documents, and to use “collision” instead; if they get 100,000 signatures, Parliament will be required to take it up.

It took the 1973 OPEC oil embargo to put Copenhagen on the path to a bike-friendly future.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers five takeaways from last week’s Paris-Nice.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could look like folded paper, and be made by Yamaha. Rocking Rod Stewart, pothole repairman.

And meet a four-year old bike riding superhero.

https://twitter.com/biker_tiny/status/1503075842896932874?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1503075842896932874%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-14-march-2022-291043

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bike rider killed in horrific Arkansas hit-and-run, Bike Talk talks Healthy Streets LA initiate, and Taylor Yard Bridge opening off

Unbelievable.

In one of the most horrifying examples of traffic violence in recent memory, police in Fort Smith, Arkansas discovered a hit-and-run had taken place when someone found a severed leg lying in the street Saturday morning.

They found the rest of the 57-year old victim’s body in the back of a man’s pickup, where it had been since the driver had crashed into his bike around 12 hours earlier.

The driver claimed he didn’t know the victim’s body was there until he got home — and then apparently just went inside and left him there to die once he did.

Graphics by tomexploresla

Which presumably would have given the man plenty of time to sober up before the cops found the body in his truck.

And how anyone could do something like that without being drunk or stoned is beyond me.

The crash is reminiscent of the infamous 2014 case in which a hit-and-run driver drove home with a bike rider embedded in his windshield, and didn’t notice until he came back out the next morning.

Fortunately, that one had a happier ending.

Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

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Bike Talk talks with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider about the organization’s Healthy Streets LA initiative to force Los Angeles to build out the city’s mobility plan when streets get repaved.

That’s followed by a segment with Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss discussing the Idaho Stop Law, which allows bike riders to treat stop signs like yields, and — at least in Idaho’s original version — treat red lights like stop signs.

A version of which was vetoed by California Governor Newsom last year.

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Remember what we said yesterday about the new Taylor Yard Bridge opening next month?

Yeah, not so much.

LA officials say the official opening has been cancelled. No reason or makeup date has been announced.

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British singer, songwriter and producer James Blunt is one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1495986709179207682

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

A road-raging British driver walked without a single day behind bars for chasing down and ramming a bike rider who damaged his wing mirror; adding insult to injury, the driver was ordered to pay the equivalent of just $1,359 in compensation, despite totaling the victim’s $9,500 bicycle.

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

Police in London busted a sexual assault suspect who used a bikeshare bike in the attack, which allowed police to identify him from his credit card.

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Local

Momentum Magazine asks if Los Angeles can shake its anti-bicycling reputation, and seems to conclude, “maybe.”

On a similar note, a graduate student at Northwestern examines LA’s Vision Zero program, saying it brings both hope and skepticism to the city. Which most Los Angeles bike riders can relate to.

 

State 

No surprise here. San Diego’s KPBS says families of traffic violence victims often feel let down by the criminal justice system.

A 32-year old man was injured when he was struck by a driver in Santa Rosa after allegedly riding his bike through a red light while under the influence.

 

National

A Las Vegas optician may need his own eyes examined, after confessing that he was one of the bike riders charged by a bull captured on a viral video during the recent Rock Cobbler offroad race.

An Ohio mayor is oddly up in arms over a former rival’s donation of a $3,600 police bike to the local police department, as well as giving her late firefighter husband’s rescue gear to the fire department, calling them ethics violations; opponents call the ethics flap just an effort to keep her off the city council.

A paper in Worcester, Massachusetts marks Black History Month by tracing several key sites in the adopted hometown of legendary cyclist Major Taylor, as well as historic locations relating to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, among others.

After a 15-year old boy accidentally ride his bike off a bridge, a Massachusetts cop is credited with his rescue.

New York’s legislature is considering a package of bike and pedestrian safety bills that would give cities more control over speed limits, encourage them to build safer sidewalks and bike lanes, and require drivers to study more safety topics for their license test.

You know you have a problem when two people on bicycles are run down by hit-and-run drivers on the same stretch of a Florida street, the same time of day, just one mile and three days apart. Or when four people have been killed at the same Orlando intersection in four months, the latest victim was a 15-year old boy right-hooked while riding in a crosswalk.

 

International

Bike Radar’s podcast considers how to make this your best year yet on your bike. That’s easy. 1) Just ride, and 2) just ride more. And don’t take it so damn seriously.

Bike riders debate the relative merits of daytime running lights, after Road.cc reposts a 2015 article about their use.

A writer for Jalopnik says the “Freedom Convoy” that paralyzed Ottawa, Canada in recent weeks shows why cars and trucks should be banned from cities.

Canadian bicyclists are mourning the loss of longtime Toronto bike advocate Robert “Bicycle Bob” Silverman, who fought for bike lanes long before the city had any, and helped set it on its current bike-friendly course; Silverman passed away Sunday at age 88.

Good news on the bike theft front, as reports from more than 40 British police agencies indicate the crime fell over 11% last year.

A delivery rider in the UK says he’s never more than one crash away from financial disaster, after his earnings have dropped almost in half over the past few years.

A self-described die-hard Indian cyclist writes in defense of the humble bicycle, after the country’s prime minister cast aspersions on bikes in attacking another political party that uses one as its symbol; the head of that party calls the prime minister’s comments “an insult to the nation.”

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI may be ditching Red Bull for coverage of the Mountain Bike World Cup after this season, entering into exclusive negotiations with Discovery Sports.

Colombian cyclist Daniel Martínez calls injured countryman Egan Bernal a champion on and off the bike, as Martínez opens the European campaign with a third-place finish in the Volta ao Algarve.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin says he’s happy to be back on the WorldTour after walking away from the sport for several months last year.

 

Finally…

Go ahead and ride straight, even if the bike path isn’t. And sometimes you have to pedal upstream in life.

………

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

Settling for sharrows in Beverly Hills, Times columnist gets that crashes don’t just happen, and parking on the bike path

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

I’m still battling the same health issues I’ve been dealing with since before Halloween. Most nights I battle through it; last week I couldn’t. 

But after seeing four different doctors since this all began, we’ve reached a clear consensus is that it’s definitely a) an inner ear problem, or b) not an inner ear problem. 

Maybe the next four specialists I’m supposed to see can figure it out. 

Meanwhile, have happy Presidents Day! Go out and buy a mattress or something. 

And go for a ride, already.

The Sharrows Are Bullshit t-shirt modeled by yours truly in today’s photo can be purchased from our friend Peter Flax.

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Good news and bad from the former Biking Black Hole.

The good news is Beverly Hills, which has made a major turnaround in recent years, will be implementing a “minimum grid bikeway network.”

The bad news is, it’s just going to be signs and sharrows. In other words, it’s the least they can do.

Literally.

Hopefully, this is just the first step as the city implements its Complete Streets plan, with its promises of pursuing “parallel, longer-range efforts to expand and upgrade cycling infrastructure.”

Let’s hope so.

On the other hand, until the paint is on the ground, we’re always just one election — or uprising by angry drivers and/or overly privileged home or business owners — from a change of heart.

………

Maybe she’s starting to get it.

It was only a week ago that we criticized the Los Angeles Times’ Robin Abcarian for concluding that Vision Zero was a worthy, but impossible goal, so “why go out on a limb with a big, bold promise that is so obviously doomed to fail?”

But yesterday found her reconsidering use of the word “accident,” after reading author Jessie Singer’s new book There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster — Who Profits and Who Pays the Price.

Although the AP’s change of heart on the word should have tipped her off long before now.

She quotes Singer saying that in virtually every case, there is a cause — often more than one — leading up to the cause of any unfortunate event.

“Never focus on the last causal factor,” Singer told me. “The thing we screw up about ‘accidents’ is looking at the last person who made a mistake. Accidents have layered causality. When you look toward the question of preventing harm, there are just so many answers, so many ways we can throw a pillow between us and our mistakes.”

Abcarian seems to take that message to heart, concluding,

Almost every day, I drive past the intersection on Venice Boulevard and Shell Avenue close to where the actor Orson Bean was struck and killed by two cars as he crossed the four-lane street one dark evening two years ago. There’s a new bright crosswalk, warning lights and signs now where before there were none.

I used to think his death was an unfortunate accident. I’m starting to think of it as inevitable.

Meanwhile, Singer, author of There Are No Accidents, says it’s time to stop yelling at drivers, and start expecting the government to demand safer cars.

After the founding of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the 1960s, the organization began requiring safety improvements to protect the occupants of cars, from seat belts and collapsable steering wheels to air bags.

The result was a steady decline in traffic deaths, resulting in as many as 600,000 lives saved, Singer says.

Until now.

But progress began to reverse even before the coronavirus pandemic. Speeding on pandemic-empty streets only exacerbated the threats posed by heavier, more powerful SUVs. The crisis of traffic safety has been particularly acute for people on foot. While traffic fatalities rose 5 percent in the past decade, pedestrian deaths rose by nearly half. For people living in povertyBlack people, and Indigenous people, the likelihood of traffic death, inside and outside a car, is even more acute.

The European Union and Japan have not seen a concurrent crisis. In those jurisdictions, regulators protect people both inside and outside of a vehicle; vehicle-safety ratings take pedestrian risk into account. More than a decade ago, EU and Japanese regulators required that automakers redesign bumpers, hoods, and detection systems to reduce the likelihood of death on impact. Putting the onus of survivability on the automaker spurred the development of new technology, such as airbags that inflate outside the vehicle. Pedestrian fatalities fell by more than a third in a decade in Europe and have fallen by more than half since 2000 in Japan.

Meanwhile, The Nation makes that case that cars kill twice as many people as guns, and disproportionately affect people of color.

And why.

We also need to change our roads, which often plow through Black and low-income communities with the goal of making it easier to drive farther and faster. Replacing intersections with roundabouts could reduce crashes by more than 50 percent. We can hem in streets with curbs. Removing lanes, adding shoulders, bike paths, and speed bumps, and creating turn lanes would all decrease speeding and crashes.

On the other hand, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham seems to come out in favor of traffic deaths in the name of freedom.

………

Mark your calendar for March 5th, when the Taylor Yard Bridge officially opens.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

………

It’s bad enough we have to deal with people parking in bike lanes.

But this is taking it too far.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1494378341465395202

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This is what we could have in Los Angeles, if our ex-Climate Mayor and future ambassador to India had even a fraction of the courage and commitment shown by the his predecessor, the mayor of Paris.

https://twitter.com/grescoe/status/1494326829305323521

And did I mention who else is following suit?

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Presenting the height of women’s bikewear fashion, circa 1897.

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I’m happy to say Trevor Noah is one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1495261934999855115

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Your periodic reminder that this is not what bikes are for.

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This is who we share the road with.

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That feeling when what’s passing you on bike path isn’t a bicycle.

Let’s just hope there wasn’t someone inside.

………

Former pro Ted King shares his experience on the annual 400-mile Coast Ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, including the invaluable direction finding advice to just keep the ocean on the right.

………

The folks at GCN tackle the route of famed Paris-San Remo race.

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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 complains that a 17-year old boy riding an ebike “could have been traveling upward of 20 mph” when he was critically injured in a collision with a truck driver, using that to justify a call to put the brakes on ebikes. Then again, the teen could have been doing just 12 mph. Or 17. Or any other number he wants to pull out of his ass.

Boston bike riders support a pilot program for widening a bike lane over a key bridge, even as video shows vandals tossing the orange cones off it.

Road.cc asks why asking drivers not to pass bike riders too closely causes so much irrational anger.

………

Local

Mark your calendar for March 19th, when Walk ‘n Rollers will mark ten years of making a difference for kids on our streets.

To the surprise of virtually no one who lives here, most people in Los Angeles like living here, though there is a lot of room for improvement.

A writer for City Watch calls out councilmember and mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino for what he calls the “ill-conceived notion” to outlaw sidewalk bike repair. Meanwhile, Buscaino’s turn to the right in the mayor’s race has been outflanked by even more conservative billionaire Rick Caruso.

 

State 

California Assemblymember Phil Ting is taking another crack at making it legal to cross the street, reintroducing a bill that would legalize jaywalking, which disproportionately affects people of color.

Also back for another round is a proposal in the legislature to legalize a pilot speed cam program, while another bill would require Leading Pedestrian Intervals at all stop lights statewide. Let’s make sure the law explicitly allows bicycles to use LPIs, too.

A proposal from San Diego’s mayor would shift infrastructure spending, including bikeways, to lower income areas.

Kern County’s long awaited lake-to-lake Kern River Bike Trail has finally become a reality, with a 36.3-mile pathway connecting Lake Ming with the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area.

 

National

A Streetsblog op-ed makes the case for why Vision Zero is a human rights issue for the deaf community and other disabled people.

A new add-on battery promises to double the range of your ebike.

Ford is examining replacing warning alerts with the sounds of simulated, in-car footsteps and bike bells to get the driver’s attention.

Bicycle Retailer examines the role volunteers play in helping Bike Index return stolen and missing bikes to their rightful owners.

Peloton workers say the company sent out rusted stationary bikes to customers as it struggled to keep up with demand.

Shaq says he once bought a new bike for a random kid at a bike shop. Although the kid was probably too young to know who the hell his giant benefactor was.

After nearly 30 years, Seattle’s King County has finally pulled the plug on its well-intentioned but misguided mandatory bike helmet law, after belatedly discovering that it unfairly targets the homeless and people of color; repeal of the law also removes a contested pretext for traffic stops.

European countries offer hard-hitting traffic safety messages; in the US, we’re more likely to get messages like this one from Austin, Texas that says Life is Valuable, Please Drive Safe. Which isn’t likely to get anyone to take their foot off the gas long enough to read it.

Hoboken NJ offers proof that Vision Zero really can work if cities make a commitment to it, with no traffic deaths for the past two years, and a 35% and 11% drop in collisions involving pedestrians and bike riders, respectively.

She gets it. A Virginia columnist decries news coverage that blames and dehumanizes victims of traffic violence.

Our sympathy to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which now has the fourth-worst traffic congestion in the US, behind only eternal leader Los Angeles, New York and Miami.

A new Florida law allows group rides to proceed through stop signs ten riders at a time. But only after coming to a complete stop first.

 

International

Momentum highlights beautiful bike trails in national parks around the world. Which you could visit on your very own amphibious ebike camper.

That’s more like it. A skyscraping Toronto condo tower is being targeted to the bicycling community, complete with a bike repair room, secure bike lockers and a dedicated bicycle elevator.

Road.cc remembers Southern England’s classic handmade steel-frame bike builders of the last century.

You’ve got to be kidding. A prolific thief was given a “final, final chance” after he was convicted of stealing the equivalent of $1369 worth of parts from a British bike shop, which he claimed was to buy his daughter a birthday present — despite a whopping 126 previous convictions. Must have been a damn good present, too.

This is why people keep dying on our roads. A judge could give a convicted drunk driver his license back after a ruptured Achilles heel left him unable to walk or ride a bicycle. So they want to put him back in a big, dangerous machine and give him another chance to kill someone, since he wasn’t successful the first time.

Life and lies are cheap in the UK, where a woman walked without a single day behind bars for fleeing the scene after running down a nine-year old boy on a bicycle, then lying to police investigators, claiming she hadn’t been in a wreck.

Life is cheap in the UK, part II. A 76-year old British man will spend two years behind bars for the impatient pass and head-on crash that killed a man riding a bike, who was reportedly doing everything right. But at least he’s been banned from driving for seven years, even though it should have been life.

Life is cheap in Ireland, too, where a drunk, hit-and-run driver got a lousy two and a half years for killing a man on a bicycle, after leaving him lying in a field to die alone.

Your next French e-cargo foldie could glow in the dark.

After India’s prime minister tried to link the Samajwadi Party, which uses a bicycle as its symbol, to a 2008 terrorist bombing, an Indian paper relates the history of bike bombs around the world.

Longtime Bollywood actor and producer Anil Kapoor is one of us.

Bicycling Australia tackles the eternal question of whether or not to shave your legs.

 

Competitive Cycling

After 13 years, retired pro Ruth Winder discovers that unbecoming a pro cyclist isn’t much easier that becoming one.

Egan Bernal gives a first-person account of the harrowing 38 mph crash that nearly left him paralyzed, as he shares his hope of a return to racing.

Belgian pro Wout Van Aert had a one word response to Chris Froome’s suggestion that specialized time trial bikes should be banned from pro cycling: “Bullshit.”

Cycling Tips examines legendary Black cyclist Major Taylor’s 1903 singlespeed Peugeot track bike, complete with wooden rims.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get away with seven grand worth of meth because the cops didn’t have probable cause to stop your bicycle. When you’re such a jerk your mom gives away your new birthday bike before you can even ride it.

And when you leave your bikes at the beach just a tad too long.

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

Bravo to face trial on fatal Indio hit-and-run, Schrödinger’s Taylor Yard bridge, and Firecracker bike ride goes virtual

It’s taken almost a year.

But there may be justice for fallen bicyclist Anthony Duran after all.

My News LA is reporting that 29-year old Indio resident Mark Christian Bravo will stand trial for felony hit-and-run involving injury or death, with a sentencing-enhancement of committing the crime while on bail.

The convicted drug dealer was out on bail on an assault charge when he ran down Duran as he was walking his bicycle across an Indio street last February. Bravo kept going without stopping, leaving his victim to die alone in the street.

There’s no indication how long Duran’s body lay there before he was discovered.

Bravo is currently free on $75,000 bail, as well as $85,000 bail for the previous assault case.

If there was any real justice, Mark Bravo would face a 2nd degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to let his victim die, rather that a mere four years for the fatal hit-and-run.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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The new Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River is finally open.

Or not.

Like Schrödinger’s cat, it seems to depend on the observer.

https://twitter.com/awalkerinLA/status/1485505272751689731

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Disappointing, but probably predictable, news, as Chinatown’s annual Firecracker 10k celebration has gone virtual once again.

A press release from the organization says the event, which also includes a 20 or 40 mile bike ride, was changed due to the recent surge in Covid cases due to the Omicron variant.

The 2022 L.A. Chinatown Firecracker events will now take place virtually only with extended participation from now through February 27, 2022. Participants will be able to complete their event(s) by downloading and activating the RaceJoy app on their mobile device. The app will track the participants’ events as they run/walk/ride and record their results. The RaceJoy app provides live GPS progress alerts, tracking, Send-a-Cheer (where participants may receive supportive audio cheers from remote friends and family) and virtual results. Participants may also submit their results manually on the L.A. Chinatown Firecracker registration site.

L.A. Chinatown Firecracker will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all participants and volunteers, including a focus on adherence to public health guidelines. Each registered participant receives a commemorative 2022 Firecracker race bib, exclusive-collectible finisher’s medal, limited edition t-shirt and goody bag.

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Clearly, you can carry anything on a bicycle.

No, really.

https://twitter.com/GardenerHolger/status/1484254862384799754?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1484254862384799754%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-21-january-2022-289711

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Today’s mountain bike break takes us on hand built trails carved into the Welsh countryside.

Although you may have to click through to see it if the video below isn’t visible.

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

No bias here. London’s Daily Mail predicts chaos and road rage as a new British traffic code takes effect requiring drivers to yield to more vulnerable road users, and allowing bike riders to use the full lane to increase visibility under some circumstances.

On a related subject, Road.cc accuses major newspapers of misrepresenting the new rules, including mistakenly telling drivers they can be fined if they don’t use the Dutch reach.

………

Local

Metro wants you to make a commitment to ride more next month.

Today is the last day to offer your input on how Metro should spend their money. Or rather, our money.

Maybe Arnold should stick to riding his ebike, after a woman was nearly killed when his massive Yukon SUV rolled on top of her car after they collided.

Former BMX pro and current road and gravel rider Andrew Jackson offers a guide to the best rides in Los Angeles. And more importantly, where to get the best tacos.

The Arts District in DTLA now has an LGBTQ-centered bicycle cafe.

 

State

Truly appalling news from Coachella, where a pair of 13-year old boys were arrested for stealing a bicycle from another boy at gunpoint; one of the boys was also arrested for attempting to stab another boy walking home from school. The gun turned out to be a prop gun designed to fire blanks, although the victim had no way of knowing that.

 

National

Surprisingly, Popular Science wants to tell you how to turn your bike into a DIY ebike. No, the surprise is that the magazine is still a thing.

The best-selling electric vehicles aren’t cars, with bicycles outselling motor vehicles in the US by nearly 140,000 last year.

 

International

Off-Road.cc offers tips on how to make your mountain bike faster. Without, you know, buying a new one.

Cycling Weekly gives Cannondale a chance to respond after a review of the company’s SmartSense technology embedded in the new Synapse ebike drew an unusual amount of hostile comments.

A Montreal bike messenger considers the challenge of keeping warm on the job in the Canadian winter.

Riding cross-country is nothing new. Unless maybe the country is Iceland, in subfreezing weather with snow coming.

The Daily Mail profiles London bike cam vigilante Mike van Erp, who’s recorded over 2,000 distracted drivers and reported them to the police for prosecution, earning the undying enmity the driving public. We desperately need the law updated to allow prosecution of drivers based on photographic and video evidence on this side of the Atlantic.

British track cycling hero and bike advocate Chris Boardman has been appointed as the UK’s first bicycling and walking commissioner. And no, there is no comparable position here in the US, even though there should be.

A judge in the UK notes that some bicycles are more expensive than many cars, as he sentences a pair of high-end bike thieves to 40 and 66 months, respectively. Now the courts just need to accept that some people need their bikes just as much as others need their cars, if not more.

Tyler the Creator is sort of one us, writing the score for the final Louis Vuitton fashion show designed by the late Virgil Abloh in Paris, and finishing the show by walking a bicycle down the catwalk and riding across the stage.

 

Competitive Cycling

French pro Alexandre Geniez could be racing under a cloud this spring, with a possible six-month sentence for domestic violence against his ex-wife hanging over his head.

Sad to see that retired American pro Andrew Talansky has become a raving Covid denier.

 

Finally…

That feeling when fictional Peloton users keep dropping dead. When you’re already on probation and riding your bike with an outstanding arrest warrant, put a damn light on it, already.

And only Snoop D O Double G could pull off a lowrider bicycle with a microwave on the back.

………

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

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