Tag Archive for the cost of traffic violence

The cost of traffic violence, Metro unveils October bike calendar, and Colorado Blvd public meeting this weekend

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A 26-year old digital media staffer for the Los Angeles Clippers was killed when he pulled his car onto the shoulder of a highway Monday night, and was rear ended by another driver who drifted off the roadway.

But let’s be honest.

Any transportation system that accepts even a single death as a cost of simply getting from here to there is an abject failure.

Let alone over 38,000 deaths each year.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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Metro announced their calendar of classes and bike rides for October.

Only the Leimert Park Fix-A-Flat class and a pre-Halloween DTLA Taco Ride are in person, while the rest are online.

Classes

Rides

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The Beautiful Boulevard Coalition wants your help creating a safer, more livable and yes, more beautiful Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

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This is what a street looks like when it’s designed to serve everyone, not just the people in cars.

https://twitter.com/Derailluer/status/1443696873659789328

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Yes please. And start in my neighborhood.

https://twitter.com/grescoe/status/1443638526482989062

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GCN considers whether Colnago’s new blockchain technology will spell the end of bike theft.

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

A 25-year old Brazilian woman was knocked off her bike when a driver pulled up next to her so his passenger could reach out to grope her ass; fortunately, she wasn’t injured. Police stopped the driver, who is expected to face charges along with his groping friend. Schmucks.

A Queensland, Australia driver is behind bars for deliberately swerving into two bike riders in separate incidents, with one rider suffering “significant injuries.” Although he appears to be an equal opportunity offender, smashing his car into two other vehicles, as well.

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Local

Evidently, Long Beach wants you to stay in your lane. The city is installing bike lane markers on a portion of the city’s boardwalk. Correction: Once again, I’ve mistaken news from Long Beach, New York for Long Beach, California. We should make one of these change their name. Thanks to Steve White for the catch. 

 

State

San Mateo proposes building bike lanes and a bike boulevard that will necessitate the removal of 214 parking spaces, but promises to make up for it with additional parking nearby. Maybe Los Angeles could learn from their example.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at a pair of toxic car ads “that use the shiny gloss of white feminism to sell cars as a form of women’s empowerment.”

A writer for Outside defies convention and rides his bike shirtless. And the world doesn’t come to an end.

An Entrepreneur op-ed offers business lessons gained from eleven years and 38,000 miles on a bicycle. Although that works out to a relatively paltry 66 miles a week.

A Las Vegas woman did everything right by coming to a full stop at a stop sign before riding into an intersection. And was killed by a speeding driver who blew the stop.

Police in Missoula, Montana used their patrol car to shield a couple of young bike-riding kids from a driver fleeing from police while high on meth; the driver bailed out about 15 feet short of the children and attempted to flee on foot.

Sad news from Iowa, where human remains were found in a farm field matching the description of a young boy who disappeared four months ago, after going out for a bike ride just days before his 11th birthday. Although there’s no word yet on what may have happened to him.

The University of Cincinnati is calling for the removal of a popup protected bike lane near campus. But they swear they really do support bike lanes, just somewhere else.

 

International

A British Columbia court rejected a lawsuit from a consortium of Vancouver restaurant owners demanding the removal of a bike lane through a city park, evidently preferring the money of people who arrive on four wheels to those who do on two.

A pair of candidates for mayor of Montreal debate bike safety after a bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run truck driver, near the site of another bicycling death four years earlier.

Drivers in the UK will soon be required to use the Dutch Reach to open their cars doors, although the overwhelming majority of drivers apparently have no idea the law is about to change.

There may be hope in the battle against bike thieves. A new ceramic, graphene reinforced bike lock from Britain’s Hiplock stood up to a sustained attack with an axle grinder for over 20 minutes, defeating four grinder disks in the process. But it will cost you $270 on Kickstarter, before it goes up to $345.

A confederation of European ebike makers are working together to keep their customers from hacking their bikes to get more speed.

An Indian woman and her lovers face murder charges for hacking her husband to death, and tossing his bicycle into a canal.

Seriously? A Singapore panel charged with reviewing the rules for on-road bicycling has recommended the equivalent of a four and a half foot passing law — but also recommends a limit of five bikes in any group ride, and required to ride single file.

The Australian cycling community is mourning coaching legend Heiko Salzwedel, who died in his native Germany following a brief illness.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cycling star Mathieu van der Poel likes his chances in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, predicting attacks will begin early.

In a big step forward for women’s cycling, twenty-two teams and 132 riders will line up for the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix, complete with over 18 miles of cobbles.

Former pro Gracie Elvin explains why the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes carries such symbolic weight after 125 years as a men’s-only event.

Congratulations to the new women’s hour record holder, with a distance of 30.077 miles.

https://twitter.com/GcnRacing/status/1443629636051689472

Finally…

Get your very own Key West branded spandex bike kit. No, distracted bike riding doesn’t work, either.

And while she’s happy there’s a new Metro Bike location in our Hollywood neighborhood, she does find the corgo carrier is just a tad cramped.

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Thanks again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to help keep this site coming your way every day; donations of any size and frequency are always welcome and appreciated.

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

Columnist who wrote about bus bike theft leaves LA, the massive cost of traffic violence, and restoring your faith humanity

LA Times City Beat columnist Nita Lelyveld penned her final piece for the paper, which included a reminder of one of my favorites.

In a story from nine years ago, she told how two strangers on a bus became close friends when one rescued the other man’s bicycle from a would-be thief.

A story that started right here a few months earlier.

She also told my own story of taking in a homeless man’s corgi so he could get back on his feet. Which literally saved his life when he saw the outpouring of love and support that resulted, much of it from readers of this site.

Along with a followup from earlier this year, relating how my wife and I had become friends with the now formerly homeless man, and the new puppy that filled the hole in our lives after our own corgi died.

To be honest, I’m not sure I would have trusted anyone else with the story.

Nita’s moving on to Portland, Maine, where she’ll be the new city editor for the Portland Press Herald.

Their gain, LA’s loss.

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels.

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Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

So just let these numbers sink in: 112,519 people who weren’t in cars — mostly pedestrians and people on bicycles — have been killed by drivers since 9/11.

And nearly 2 million — yes, million — American traffic deaths since 1975, which would make it equivalent to the 5th largest city in the US.

Somehow, we have to make our fellow Americans care enough to finally do something about it.

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I’m usually not one for surveys, but I might make an exception this time.

PeopleForBikes wants your opinion on what it’s like to ride a bike where you live for their 2022 City Ratings, and promise it will only take five minutes of your time.

Anyone who does will be entered to win prizes, including this Schwinn Orange Krate bike.

From PeopleForBikes

Then again, the fewer people who respond, the better my chance of winning the bike I wanted as a kid, but never got.

So forget I said anything.

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This is who we share the road with.

Phil Gaimon posted video this morning of the aftermath of a road rage incident in Boulder, Colorado. Although it’s not clear if the driver severely beat the victim, or ran him down with his car, then got out to look at him.

The good news is, the driver has been identified, and may yet be held accountable for his crimes.

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As usual, drivers make the best case for protected bike lanes.

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Let’s interrupt the usual news with a few stories to help restore your faith in humanity.

A nurse on Hawaii’s Big Island discovered it takes a village to recover a stolen bicycle — in less than a day, even — while reminding everyone to get vaccinated.

Bighearted Texas cops used donations from local businesses to give a new bike, helmet, lock and lights to a man formerly homeless man who had been walking 14 miles round trip to get to his job in another town.

Kindhearted Oklahoma cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a special needs man, after the bicycle he used as his primary means of transportation was stolen.

Firefighters in Waukesha, Wisconsin opened their own wallets to buy a used bicycle for a man whose bike was destroyed in a collision with a driver, after learning it was his only means of transportation.

An anonymous Good Samaritan surprised a Virginia girl with a new bicycle, leaving it on her porch with an unsigned note a month after hers was stolen.

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Clean transportation nonprofit Calstart is looking for a new director of innovative mobility.

Although even after reading the job description, I’m still have no idea what that means.

But something tells me I’m probably not qualified, anyway.

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

A road raging Aussie driver drove over a bicycle and took off with a bicyclist clinging to the hood of his car, in a confrontation that began when a group of bike riders complained about the driver swerving into them; the driver can be heard on the video saying “I will fucking destroy you, I’ve got money mate.” And there’s nothing scarier than an angry driver with money, right?

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

A bike-riding parolee was busted for “terrorizing” a Venice community by slashing car tires with a folding knife and shattering a window in the west LA neighborhood with a brick.

A man was permanently banned from a Washington Walmart after entering the closed store on his bike, riding around the store pocketing drinks and candy bars before threatening security guards with a meat cleaver.

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Local

Los Angeles CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman appeared to throw long-standing plans for a 4th Street Neighborhood Greenway under the bus in a meeting with Larchmont area homeowners, agreeing to oppose proposals for bike and pedestrian traffic signals on 4th and Highland, and 4th and Rossmore. Even though they would benefit local residents as much as anyone else, without causing any harm.

Metro Bike is offering two weeks free for any passholders who refer a friend.

Simon Cowell is still one of us, taking his ebike for a ride through the ‘Bu, a year after shattering his back crashing an electric motorcycle. Which the press still insists on calling an ebike.

 

State

Paso Robles is looking for public input for a planned bicycle pump track, to be designed by the same firm that built the skate park for the Tokyo Olympics.

Drivers were outraged by the estimated 5,000 people on bicycles who turned out for the 5th annual Santa Cruz Ride Out and “clogged traffic for hours.” In other words, kind of like drivers do all by themselves multiple times a day.

 

National

Bicycling makes their picks for the best ebikes of 2021 — including LA-based Aventon — with prices starting at just $999 and going up. Way up. I can’t find this one on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if Bicycling blocks you.

A father and daughter duo rode their antique Penny Farthings across the US from San Francisco to Boston, covering 3,314 miles in 57 days. Then turned around and rode across the US from north to south, for a total of 6,100 miles.

Forbes reviews the new book by the guy who took a New York bikeshare bike on a ride across the US in search of a new home, before settling on — and in — Tusla OK.

Heartbreaking news from Wisconsin, where an 88-year old man was killed by a driver while trying to make a left turn on his bicycle. Anyone who makes it to that age deserves better, damn it — and safer streets to ride on. Never mind that it takes the local paper until the penultimate paragraph to mention that the pickup that hit him even had a driver.

Chicago Streetsblog tells the sad story of protected bike lane proposals killed by parking pushback. Something tells me Los Angeles could produce an even greater tearjerker.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 70-year old retired creative writing professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and former Alaska Writer Laureate was killed in a Maine bicycling collision last week.

 

International

After a Toronto councilmember had her own bicycle stolen, some unsympathetic residents blamed her for supporting shelters for the homeless, accusing them of taking her bike.

A pair of British men are on trial for murder in the death of a young father, after he accused one of them of stealing the other man’s bicycle to buy more drugs; the alleged killer swears he didn’t mean to harm the victim, despite repeatedly punching him and stomping on his head. I’d hate to see what he’d do if he did mean to hurt someone.

Welsh residents complain about plans for a “national standard” BMX track over fears that it will add to traffic congestion. More proof that NIMBYs are the same everywhere.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s starting to look like the only thing that could keep two-time defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič from the red leader’s jersey is falling off his bike. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

Tragic news from Spain, where ultra-distance cyclist Ana Orenz was competing in the unsupported, nearly 2,00-mile Transiberica race when she suffered “devastating” injuries after crashing into a wild boar during a high-speed descent; Orenz suffered a broken neck and spinal injuries, as well as severe head trauma, and lay alone in the roadway unable to move for two hours before she was found. A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $41,000 of the $58,700 goal.

 

Finally…

Who needs a Bookmobile when you’ve got a cargo bike? Now you, too, can have your very own Louis Vuitton bicycle, complete with awkward hand brakes that look chic but will probably kill you, for the low, low price of $27,000.

And it takes a pretty smart dog to be this knowledgable when it comes to doping.

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

Council committee vote on semi-Complete Streets, bike stabbings in San Diego, and remembrance for victims of traffic violence

About damn time.

The Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee will vote tomorrow to transform Culver Blvd and Highland Ave — and to a lessor degree, La Brea Ave — into the Complete Streets.

In other words, turn them into the somewhat less auto-centric streets they should have been to begin with, but aren’t.

All three would get desperately needed pedestrian and accessibility improvements, but only Culver and Highland would get the bike lanes they all need.

Which would still leave La Brea a somewhat safer, but still incomplete Complete Street.

But it’s a start.

Streets For All points out the La Brea proposal also leaves out the bus lane called for on the corridor in the 2035 Mobility Plan, which would be an exceptionally shortsighted surrender to private cars.

Never mind that bike riders would be allowed to use the bus lanes, if they exist.

Streets For All also directs our attention to proposals to redesign streets to prevent street racing, and reduce illegal eardrum-shattering exhaust noise.

Yes, please.

Update: According to Streets For All’s Michael Schneider, there are currently no plans for bike lanes in the so-called Complete Streets plan, and that the references to “bikeway striping” may simply be a reference to sharrows.

And as we all know, sharrows are nothing more than an attempt to thin the herd, with arrows to help drivers improve their aim. 

Both Highland and La Brea are scheduled for bike lanes in the 2010 bike plan, although they’re reduced to Tier 3 in the mobility plan, which means they’re less likely to be built by 2035. 

Meanwhile, Culver Blvd calls for a bike path, which is apparently a reference to the existing, not-so-safe pathway that runs down the median. 

Maybe we need to let the council know tomorrow that sharrows aren’t good enough, and we want the bike lanes they promised us by unanimous vote. 

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San Diego police are looking for a heavyset White man with a shaved head who allegedly stabbed a homeless man in a dispute over a bicycle in the city’s Midway district.

Fortunately, the victim’s injuries were not considered life threatening.

No word on what exactly they were arguing about.

Meanwhile, another man was repeatedly stabbed by a pair of attackers in the city’s Logan Heights neighborhood; he was also expected to survive.

No reason was given for that attack.

We’ve said it many times before, but it’s worth saying again — No bicycle is ever worth a human life.

Just give it up before risking your life, if that’s what it takes. Or before risking anyone else’s.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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Faith for Safer Street and Streets Are For Everyone will host a memorial for the victims of traffic violence in South LA at the end of this month; RSVP here.

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Now that’s more like it.

A little good news from NextDoor, for a change, as a Good Samaritan offers up her own bicycle to a stranger in need.

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Nothing like photobombing a couple’s wedding photos in the middle of a bike race.

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Local

CicLAvia made a comeback on historic Avalon Blvd in Wilmington on Sunday, after missing all of last year due to the pandemic.

 

State

Calbike urges you to email your state senator to support AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which most of bike riders safely do anyway, legal or not.

San Diego’s National City plans to convert an existing overpass into a protected bike lane and place for people to hang out. But whether it’s a good idea to expose bike riders and pedestrians to the exhaust and noise of an overhead freeway remains to be seen.

San Diego will pay out $1.75 million to a man who was seriously injured when his bicycle hit a patch of buckled pavement in Carmel Valley; he’ll also get additional settlements from a landscape contractor and a tree contractor, for a total of $2.8 million.

You’ve got to be kidding. A proposed extension of Bakersfield’s Kern River bike path could be sent back to the drawing board because it’s “incompatible” with the golf course it’s supposed to go around, since bike riders might get hit by balls or sneak onto the course. Evidently, they’ve never heard of fences in the San Joaquin Valley.

Speaking of Bakersfield, there’s a special place in hell for whoever fled the scene after crashing into a ten-year old kid riding his bike.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a bike-riding, 23-year old Cal Poly grad student died six days after a 17-year old hit-and-run driver left him bleeding in the street

She gets it. The editor of a Monterey weekly says yes, cars occupy a unique place in American culture. But the reality is they’re bad for us.

 

National

A new study refutes the popular belief that bike lanes lead to displacement and gentrification.

Popular Science recommends their picks for the best bike helmets for any age rider.

Rapha’s Lael Wilcox is attempting to break the record for the Tour Divide by riding the 2,745-mile offroad route from Canada to Mexico in less than 14 days to beat the existing time of 13 days, 22 hours and 51 minutes. My brother is currently riding the same route, after turning south Saturday after riding up to the Canadian border. Although he expects to take just a tad longer. (Update: Wilcox posted on Instagram that she is abandoning the attempt due to poor air quality from all the wildfires; thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.) 

Sad news from Arkansas, where a man was killed when he was rear-ended by a driver after moving his bike over to make way for a truck, and his riding companion injured in an apparent attempt to bail out of the way.

A nine-year old Colorado girl finished a 4,000-mile ride across the US riding stoker on the back of a tandem with her father upfront, finishing in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Chicago speed cams brought in $11 million in fines in just the first two months after they were readjusted to ticket any driver doing more than six miles over the speed limit, resulting in 300,000 speeding tickets. And yet, these proven traffic cameras remain illegal in California, where they are somehow seen as unfair to people needlessly breaking the law.

A writer for New York Streetsblog argues it’s time for muscle car makers to stop marketing them as vehicles for mayhem. And yes, he’s looking at you, Dodge. Although these days, virtually every carmaker is selling virtually every car as a high performance vehicle, and showing them being driven the same way.

 

International

NPR explores the history of Mexico City by canoe and bicycle.

The husband of the deputy chief of staff to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his life after he was struck by a truck driver while riding his bike in London’s Primrose Hill.

A Welsh university student shattered the women’s Everesting record, making 72 ascents up an 18% grade to equal the mountain’s 29,029 feet of climbing; 21-year old Illi Gardner beat the existing record by nearly 20 minutes.

Here’s a few more rides to add to your bike bucket list, with a handful of scenic on and offroad trails in Wales. Unless maybe you’d prefer a vacation to the “coastal cycling paradise” of Japan’s Setouchi district.

A pair of English cops are credited with rushing to the rescue of a bike rider who collapsed in the middle of the road, and potentially saving his life with a chocolate bar and orange juice after realizing he was having a diabetic episode.

After two bikes were stolen from a British man, he went to Facebook to find a replacement — and found his own bikes for sale; a 31-year old man is now in custody for the thefts.

It turns out there was a second rider who finished the Tour de France route on his own this year, as Australia’s Jack Thompson rode the entire route averaging two stages per day. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

You probably haven’t ridden your bike often enough if a Japanese bird makes its home in the basket.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovokia’s Primož Roglič put on the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey on Saturday, and held on to it by a scant four seconds over Alex Aranburu by narrowly avoiding a mass crash in Sunday’s sprint finish.

Cycling News offers a full-length interview with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome following his dramatic comeback from a nearly career-ending crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten took control of the four-stage Ladies Tour of Norway with a powerful ride on Saturday, claiming the title a day later.

Recently retired American cyclist Tejay van Garderen will take the helm of the EF Education-Nippo cycling team as sports director next year.

South Africa’s Willie Smit offers uncensored, inside views of the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your modernistic new ebike looks like the Mark of Zorro. Or when your tea is worth its weight in bike balls.

And meet the future militants of the bike brigades.

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

Unofficial Bixby bike lane opening on new Desmond Bridge, Beverly Hills popup on Sunday, and the cost of traffic violence

That long-planned bike lane over the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge is finally still not open.

The Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path was inaugurated with a private ceremony Saturday on what is now called the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge.

The bike advocating scion of one of Long Beach’s most prominent families, Bixby had fought for a bikeway along the bridge prior to his death ten years ago in a private plane crash, along with four other people.

Despite the ceremony for Bixby’s family and friends, the path is not expected to open to the rest of us for several more months, while a connector bridge leading to it won’t be ready for another year and a half.

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The former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills is demonstrating just how far they’ve come.

The city is hosting a popup protected bike lane on Roxbury Drive next to Roxbury Park from 10 am to 4 pm this coming Sunday. The lane is designed to protect riders while connecting with existing bikeways in Los Angeles, without removing any parking spaces.

Which means there’s a realistic chance it might actually get built.

Meanwhile, this is what we could and should have here in Los Angeles.

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Hats off to LA’s Metro Bike workers on their successful campaign to form a union to protect their rights with the company that manages the Los Angeles bikeshare system.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Another promising life was needlessly cut short, for the crime of crossing the street near the Beverly Center.

As usual, there is a standing $50,000 reward for his killer.

Police are looking for the driver of a white BMW driving east on Beverly Blvd. Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division detectives at 213/473-0234.

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The Netherlands is advancing bike safety by removing protected bike lanes on some streets, redesigning them to give priority to the vast majority of users.

The people on bicycles.

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Who says bike riders never stop for red lights?

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

Anti-bike sabotage rears its ugly head in Colorado, where someone has apparently been tossing thumb tacks on a popular bike lane.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Kalamazoo, Michigan ghost bike. Or any other ghost bike, for that matter.

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

A Buffalo NY man faces charges for injuring two men with an illegal gun in a bike-by shooting.

A road raging bike rider faces charges for attacking a lawyer on his way to court, after somehow getting blamed for the Indian equivalent of a right hook. A reminder to never resort to violence, no matter how justified it may seem at the time, because you’ll automatically get the blame.

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Local

Streets For All reminds us that the LACBC and Sunset4All are over halfway to their goal of raising $25,000 for LA’s first public/private partnership to build protected bike lanes on the eastern part of Sunset Blvd; make that 55% as of this writing. So what the hell are you waiting for, already?

 

State

A man was seriously injured in a collision in Downtown San Diego when a driver crashed into the e-scooter he was riding.

Also in San Diego, a 65-year-old man suffered a skull fracture, fractured pelvis and multiple other injuries when he was run down by a suspected drunk driver while walking his ebike, after it had apparently run out of juice; fortunately, his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

They get it. Instead of cracking down on teen bike riders, police in Fresno are riding with them.

Santa Cruz pulled up stakes on a popup bike lane, after saying they don’t have the money to make it permanent. Especially since it didn’t even get the full endorsement of a bicycling club.

They kind of get it. San Jose will consider reducing future parking, while leaving all the current spaces intact.

Uber’s CEO says he nearly got killed delivering food by bike outside San Francisco’s Oracle Park baseball stadium for the company’s Uber Eats program.

Alpine County’s 40th annual Death Ride took a back seat to a real risk of death, after it was cancelled when Northern California’s Tamarack fire exploded to over 18,000 acres. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

If you’re riding a bike in Ukiah carrying meth and a loaded gun, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is. Not the gun.

 

National

Two-time NBA champ Ray Allen is one of us, crediting his helmet with saving him from “a far worse fate” after he ran over a tree branch and was thrown from his bicycle.

Outside looks at the new mountain bike boomtown of Ely, Nevada.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive bike from a disabled Minneapolis woman. Seriously, just how low do you have to be to steal someone a person relies on for accessibility, let alone transportation? Thanks again to Megan Lynch. 

The off-duty Chicago cop who killed a nine-year old boy with his jacked-up pickup as the kid was riding his bike in a crosswalk got a traffic ticket for “failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the road. Yes, a lousy traffic ticket was all he got for killing an innocent kid.

Police in Arkansas used a pair of bait bikes worth nearly four grand to bust a bike thief suspected in a number of high-end bike thefts. But the LAPD still won’t use bait bikes to confront rampant bike theft in Los Angeles, thanks to a ruling from the City Attorney that it might be considered entrapment — despite their successful use in a number of other cities in California and across the US.

Forget driving, and explore Indiana’s Notre Dame University by bicycle.

A Massachusetts ebike maker is introducing a new bicycle for first responders, complete with a 70 mph top speed and its own drone.

Horrible news from New York, where man riding a bikeshare bike was shot and killed at point blank range.

Heartbreaking news from New Orleans, where a baby was found stabbed to death in a bicycle trailer; police arrested the baby boy’s mother after finding a sharpened railroad spike covered in blood on her bicycle.

 

International

A writer for Medium makes the case that streets are for people, not cars.

Portland will donate 600 used bikeshare bikes to Hamilton, Ontario, to help keep that city’s bikeshare system going after it nearly shut down last year.

British authorities punish the victim, jailing a man whose bicycle had been stolen for confronting the thief with a fake gun to get it back; he got 13 months behind bars, while the thief only got four.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a 76-year old driver walked with a suspended sentence for killing a 69-year old man riding a bike. But at least he won’t be able to drive again until he’s 86. And yes, that was sarcasm.

Our old friends Chris and Melissa Bruntlett, who uprooted their two kids to move from Vancouver to the Dutch city of Delft, discuss just how their new home gets bicycling right.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’s leading bicycle advocacy group called for a get-tough approach to people who hack their ebikes to exceed the 15 mph speed limit on bike paths, as much as doubling the allowable speed.

An Indian engineer hacked an old bicycle to convert it into an ebike capable of riding at 25 mph, for the equivalent of $267.

A writer for Stars and Stripes begs bike riders to pay attention in Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as 22-year old Slovenian Tadej Pogačar took his second consecutive Tour de France in such convincing fashion, it raises the question of whether everyone will be racing for second place for the foreseeable future.

Pogačar swore there’s nothing illegal about his bike, after riders from other teams said they heard strange noises emanating from the rear of his bike, and that of his teammates and three other teams; it didn’t help that Pogačar’s teammate Matej Mohorič made an ill-advised “zipped lip” gesture after winning stage 19.

It’s not every day a pro cyclist turns hero. Chris Froome, Philippe Gilbert and BikeExchange’s Christopher Juul-Jensen were riding back to their buses at the end of stage 17 when they saw a bike-riding tourist ride off the road into a ravine after missing a turn, so they hopped off their bikes and climbed around 65 feet down to rescue him; the man was injured badly enough that he had to be evacuated by ambulance.

Thirty-year old former pro Ian Boswell faces the difficult choice of whether to turn pro again and return to full-time cycling after winning June’s Unbound Gravel race.

Once again, LA’s own diversity-based L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team swept the podium on the men’s side at the third round of USA Crits in Salt Lake City; L39ion’s women’s team sat this one out, giving other teams a shot at victory.

Disappointing to see Cavendish miss out on breaking Eddy Merckx record for most stage wins in the Tour de France, but no one makes the right moves all the time. But after four stage wins in this year’s race, along with capturing the points title, there’s a good chance he’ll get another shot next year.

 

Finally…

Your next full suspension mountain bike could be made of plywood. That feeling when you live in San Diego, and decide to ride your bike to grandma’s 90th birthday celebration — in North Dakota.

And how to spot a clown behind the wheel, without the big red nose and stuff.

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Thanks to Raul M for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

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

Carlsbad GOP candidate gets proposed ebike bill all wrong, sexist anti-bike bias, and the high cost of traffic violence

No bias here.

A Republican candidate for the California Assembly from Carlsbad takes aim at a proposal to provide a tax rebate for part of the purchase price on a new ebike.

The proposal, AB 117, is supported by current Assembley Member Tasha Boerner Horvath, whom she hopes to unseat.

At a price-point anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, they are a noteworthy investment, but should the government be subsidizing these purchases without accountability? Absolutely not. Yet Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath wants to spend unlimited amounts of money to do just that.

Maybe someone should tell her about the massive rebates the state already gives to people who buy electric cars.

But rudeness, rather than money, seems to be her chief objection.

Worse, many of us have witnessed near collisions between e-bikes or e-scooters and vehicles. Personally, I have been almost struck while crossing the street in a crosswalk, and many people have observed near-catastrophes on a daily basis.

So, from her point of view, we should make it harder to buy ebikes, because someone almost struck her while riding one.

Because apparently, no one on a regular bicycle — or a scooter, skateboard, roller skates or running shoes — would ever do such a dastardly deed.

And she’s evidently never experienced the way rude, aggressive and/or inattentive drivers treat people in crosswalks, either.

But the most frightening part, from her bizarre perspective, is that the bill would provide up to $10 million in state tax rebates. Never mind that California currently has an $85 billion — yes billion, with a b — tax surplus.

Which, by my English major math calculations, works out to less than 0.012% of that surplus.

Now the state government wants to fund incentives for purchasing electric bicycles — atop significant out-of-control spending already happening at the state level.

Think I’m kidding? One of Boerner Horvath’s latest bills — Assembly Bill 177 — states that the purpose of her newest taxpayer-funded program is to “fund…incentives for purchasing electric bicycles” under the guise of an “air quality improvement program.”

But wait, there’s more!

Despite Horvath’s empty virtue signaling to the environmentalists, the government should not be incentivizing us to purchase electric bicycles when they are already affordable and available. That’s the job of Lime, Bird, and other companies in the San Diego region. Plus, those companies are held accountable by the cities in which they operate — not by nameless bureaucrats in Sacramento.

Maybe $1,500 to $4,000 — or a lot more, actually — is affordable to her. But it’s a major stretch for many of the constituents she hopes to represent.

And she apparently has no idea what Lime, Bird and other e-scooter providers actually do.

Or what bikeshare is, for that matter.

Then she trots out the usual bike hater screeds.

This legislation is a disaster in the making. Beyond the notion that this isn’t the role of government, there are no safety precautions, no spending limits, and no licensing requirements. Above all, there is no accountability to determine the efficacy of the program or its reduction in air pollution.

So, she wants to license ebike riders. Or maybe all bike riders.

Never mind that California already regulates ebikes into three distinct classes, with increasing levels of safety restrictions and requirements.

And did we mention that $10 million spending limit?

As for reducing air pollution, she’s got a point. Everyone knows the paltry electricity consumed by a little ebike, and its burrito eating rider, would create far more emissions than your average massive gas-guzzling SUV.

Right?

Let’s hope that, contrary to her wishes, AB 117 does see the light of day.

And the very confused and uninformed 

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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Then again, they’re blaming ebikes in New York, too.

On the other hand, Cycling Savvy discusses ebike etiquette so you won’t be one of those few ebike-riding jerks justifiably complains about.

As opposed to the overwhelming majority who aren’t.

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You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to read this hard-hitting op-ed from a New Zealand environmental sociologist and bike rider.

When white men start using a bike, I often think they experience a sort of status shock. They see what marginalisation feels like: the dehumanisation, the fear, the threat of violence. If you ride a bike and you belong to another group who already lives with this threat, there is a familiarity to it all…

Being a cyclist often reminds me of being a woman. If someone hurts me it’s my fault because I didn’t wear the right thing, I didn’t defer to them and “know my place”, and I didn’t just smile and put up with their abuse. Power imbalances foster bullying.

So, avoid them if you can, the dehumanising stereotypes. All the comparisons to vermin this past fortnight on conservative radio and social media – cockroaches, rats, lice, etc –  have been way out of line. Even the fixation with lycra. It’s something male sports cyclists usually wear. The obsession with men wearing tight revealing clothing in public so often veers into an obviously homophobic place. Just don’t.

Seriously, read the whole thing.

Because it probably matters more than you think.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Bystanders had to lift a pickup off an 11-year old boy, after an alleged drunk driver ran the kid down while he was riding in a crosswalk, then continued on dragging the boy underneath his truck for a “considerable distance,” leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

One of the top dog handlers missed out on this year’s Westminster Dog Show after his van was rear-ended in Laramie, Wyoming while driving ten canine competitors cross-country to the show; he ended up in the hospital, but fortunately, the dogs were uninjured. Which goes to show how much safer cars could be if everyone inside just rode in the human equivalent of a dog crate.

Speaking of Wyoming — Wyoming, Delaware in this case — a 74-year old man was killed in a collision when he was run down by a driver while mowing his lawn when a driver lost control of her SUV, pinning him underneath.  Naturally, no charges have been filed yet, because it was just an oopsie.

A Canadian woman complains that the drunken hit-and-run driver who fatally rear-ended her 27-year old son as he rode his bicycle could be out of prison in just one and a half years, despite a BAC over twice the legal limit after an admitted 13 drinks that day prior to getting behind the wheel — leaving a hole in her family that can never be filled.

In another form of violence due to motor vehicles, the grave of Robert Meacham, who rose from slavery to Florida state senator and helped establish the state’s public school system, is likely buried unmarked and unremembered under a Tampa parking lot, along with the bodies of hundreds of other Black people.

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Sarah Silverman is one of us now.

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GCN dives into the endless debate over roadies versus gravel bikes (gravelies?).

They also consider whether Shimano’s integrated shifters and brake levers were the greatest bike innovation of all time.

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

A road raging woman from an undisclosed location got out of her car to demand a young bike-riding woman give her “everything” in compensation for an invisible scratch to her apparently very expensive car.

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Local

Streets For All wants you to call on the city council’s Transportation Committee to support walking, bicycling, and micromobility and maximizing traffic signal priority for the Expo Line, as part of the LA’s Green New Deal, which could finally be getting long overdue traction.

A year ago, LA Times readers were asked to envision life post-pandemic, but only one lonely response addressed how nice life was with fewer cars on the streets. The simple fact is, if we go back to life as normal pre-pandemic, with cars maintaining hegemony over our streets, we will have failed. And looking outside, it appears we already have.

 

State

Two armed Orange County men were busted after blocking the path of a pair of Garden Grove bike riders with their car, robbing the woman of her bike, pack and cellphone while her male companion bravely rode away; police seized six guns from their home, was well as gun parts.

Family-owned Hesperia bike shop Hi-Desert Bikes is shuttering in August after 30 years in business, sending its owner into an unplanned early retirement.

 

National

If you still long for the little red wagon of your youth, Radio Flyer is riding to the rescue with a pair of fat tire ebikes.

Streetsblog marks Pride Week by examining how the design and planning needs of LGBTQ+ can make public spaces more inclusive.

Livestrong recommends this years best bike locks, starting at just $14.99.

An Anchorage paper says bicycling is a great way to visit different Alaskan towns, while finishing your ride with a local brew.

The Las Vegas bicycling community joined family members in remembering the five bike riders killed by a meth-fueled truck driver, six months after the fatal crash.

The popular bike repair website written by the late Sheldon Brown could be in jeopardy, as the Boston bike shop where he worked, which maintains the site, is shutting down.

More on the custom handmade bicycle President Biden got on the cheap for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from Philadelphia’s Bilenky Cycle Works at a steep presidential discount, and in record time. And no, he didn’t get a Wikipedia printout in returnThanks to k_david for the link.

Kindhearted members of a West Virginia police community group bought a new bicycle for a young boy, after the Spider-man bike he got for Christmas was stolen off his porch.

Kindhearted New Orleans cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a nine-year old boy, after his was stolen when he was pushed off it by a group of older boys.

A Florida artist makes a statement for inclusion in bicycling with a 215-foot Ocala mural depicting bike riders of all ages, genders, nationalities and abilities.

 

International

Vancouver bike riders shed their clothes for the city’s first post-pandemic edition of the World Naked Bike Ride. And in New Orleans, tooAt least, we can hope it’s post-pandemic, despite rising overseas variants and a high level of unvaxxed people in the US and Canada.

They kinda get it. An editorial in Toronto’s Globe & Mail unexpectedly emerged from behind the paper’s paywall, asking — and attempting to answer — what if cities were designed for the safety of people, instead of the convenience of cars. Although cities could go way beyond Vision Zero, and consider designing them for the convenience of people, as well. 

An Oxford, England writer complains that the way the media reports on crashes involving bike riders, including use of the word accident, just fuels the conflict between bicyclists and motorists.

A heartbroken English mother called on parents to pay more attention to their bike-riding children, after her 12-year old son was killed by a driver the first time he rode his bike on the streets, while being watched by her estranged husband.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this survey gathering responses from disabled bike riders in the UK; if you live or ride in the UK with a disability, or care for someone who does, they want to hear from you.

Advocates in Lagos, Nigeria are calling for more robust provisions. policies and affordability for non-motorized transportation, including walking and bicycling.

Bike riders in Jakarta are calling for a bicycle revolution in Indonesia’s capital city, as the governor calls for building 310 miles of bike lanes, as well as a $56,000 monument to bicycling in the city’s main thoroughfare.

An Aussie writer says riding a bicycle is sweet freedom, even if it might kill her. And it lets her eat more of her wife’s cakes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bike racing returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first time since the pandemic reared its ugly head, only to face near total domination from our hometown L39ion of Los Angles, which took all three men’s podium spots and the top two women’s spots at the Tulsa Arts District Crit. And swept the top spot on all three individual race titles and omniums on Sunday.

Congratulations to Colorado’s Riley Amos, who became the first American man to win a U23 World Cup mountain bike race.

Cycling Weekly writes that new unions for both men’s and women’s pro cyclists could be about to change the shape of top level bike racing.

 

Finally…

Your next bikepacking campsite could be a portable treehouse trailer towed behind your bike. And probably not the best idea to ride a children’s bike along the crowded train platform you’re supposed to be guarding.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

The racist history of LA’s 10 Freeway, the real cost of traffic violence, and no, bicycles aren’t the new cars

It’s Cinco de Mayo, when Americans celebrate by pretending to be Mexican by acting like drunken gabachos. 

And too often, getting behind the wheel afterwards. 

It’s also one of the few days when I refuse to ride or walk extended distances. Or even get in a car if I can avoid it. 

Which is a long-winded way of saying be careful if you’re going to ride today, and assume every driver on the road has been drinking. 

Because you probably won’t be too far off. 

Photo by Sabel Blanco from Pexels.

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NPR offers a heartbreaking and infuriating story about the racist history of LA’s 10 Freeway, and the prosperous, tight knit Black neighborhood that was destroyed to build it.

Unfortunately, I can’t embed the audio. But take a few minutes to listen to it, or at least read the transcript.

Because it makes painfully clear just how much we’ve sacrificed on the altar of the automobile.

And it’s a story that was repeated in virtually every major city in the US, where it’s almost always communities of color that pay the price.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Minneapolis woman wrote a heartbreaking Twitter thread about the death of her husband when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike home from work.

Then there’s this.

And it’s not just her. Virtually anyone who’s lost someone like that will recognize themselves in her words.

So take a moment to click on that top tweet, and read the whole thread.

Then do whatever you can to to make sure it never happens to anyone else.

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On a related note, Streetsblog explains what traffic violence means.

And why that’s the right term for it.

Meanwhile, in a powerful piece for The Atlantic, an Atlanta writer says despite what we may believe, we can’t control what happens on the road. And uses his personal experiences behind the wheel to explain why we should all be more afraid of driving.

If you can read it without catch in your throat and a tear in your eye, you’re a stronger person than I am.

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A fashion, beauty and culture site asks if bicycles are the new cars, examining the sustainable reasons some people are making the switch.

Short answer, no.

Longer answer, unlike motor vehicles, bicycles cause no harm to the environment and our cities, and pose little risk to the people around them. So maybe we’d all be better off if cars aspired to be more like bicycles.

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

No bias here. A grand jury is targeting an award-winning Monterey bike path project, calling it a “bike path to nowhere,” even though it was completed completed below budget and local businesses and residents were kept informed by a thorough public process.

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Local

Metro celebrates Bike Month by offering a month of Metro Bike bikeshare for just a buck, and a chance to win a year of Metro Bike.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition is kicking off Bike Month with a month-long series of virtual rides.

The owner of West Hollywood’s Bikes and Hikes LA / Bike Shop LA complained to the sheriffs department after someone walked off with a new BMX bike without paying for it.

 

State

Streets For All asks for your support for AB 53, which would weaken the deadly 85th Percentile Law by allowing cities to lower speed limits on streets with high injury and fatality rates, and ensure they won’t have to raise speed limits in order to enforce them.

Chula Vista officially opened the new Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade on Tuesday.

Chino police have scheduled a bike and pedestrian safety crackdown for next Monday. The usual protocol applies, so ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Luis Obispo is starting work on a $2.5 million, 1.7-mile neighborhood greenway — aka bike boulevard — connecting Cal Poly SLU with Downtown.

A Turlock man faces charges of hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter for fleeing the scene after running down a 50-year old bike-riding man, who died after he was removed from life support; the coward behind the wheel was captured after crashing his truck trying to escape from witnesses who tried to stop him.

A 36-year old man was sentenced to 15 years to life after pleading guilty to murder for the drunk driving crash that killed a Modesto police officer riding his bicycle, while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit; he had a previous DUI conviction from 2014 that legally justified the murder charge.

 

National

Schwinn is sponsoring an LGBTQ+ advocate on a 363-mile bikepacking trip to promote the need for inclusivity in the outdoor industry.

Conde Nast Traveler recommends the best bike saddle bags for your next expedition.

No wonder he moved there. My bike tourist brother’s new western Colorado hometown is marking its mountain biking roots with a new housing development featuring street names like Singletrack, Yeti and Pivot.

That’s more like it. A newly signed Colorado law puts people and safety first on the state’s main streets.

An allegedly drunk 24-year old Texas woman and the bar that helped her get that way face a $20 million lawsuit for the death of a mother of two, who was killed when the driver jumped a curb and slammed into the victim’s bicycle. Sadiy, lawsuits like that are prohibited under California law, which states that a bar or host can’t be held responsible for the actions of people who got drunk there.

Tragic news from Moline, Illinois where a cop is on administrative leave after killing a 13-year old boy riding a bike while responding to a call in his squad car; no word on whether he was using lights and sirens at the time of the crash.

Police in Buffalo NY are looking for a 73-year old man who disappeared on a bike ride.

Baltimore attorney Barry Glazer successfully bid the equivalent of over $61,000 for Princess Diana’s “shame” bike so he could display it to call attention to “the British Royal Family’s basic racist roots” and colonial past. It was dubbed the “shame” bike after the royal household informed her it was not a suitable form of transport for a future member of the Royal Family. Which should have tipped her off right then to run like hell while she still could.

A Maryland man marked the pandemic by fixing donated bicycles, then giving them away for free at a local park to anyone who needs one.

Miami police busted a killer driver who fled the scene in his Maserati after fatally rear-ending a man on a bicycle.

 

International

Taking a page from the Bike League, Canada’s non-profit Share the Road Cycling Coalition and the Canadian Automobile Association are teaming to name the country’s Bicycle Friendly Communities.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. A viola soloist who played with the Paris National Opera for 36 years was killed when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike. At least we can assume there was a driver, since the story doesn’t mention one. Or a car, for that matter.

Finnish police have uncovered a thriving black market trade in secondhand bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin’s Jumbo-Visma team is unsure whether he will ever return to the sport, after walking away last year due to stress and not being sure whether he even wanted to keep riding.

Bicycling profiles Josie Fouts, who started racing on a whim despite being born with just one hand. And now is aiming for the Paralympics. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Forget fantasy football, Cycling Tips invites you to participate in a Giro fantasy competition.

 

Finally…

Throwing it at a parked car during an excuse is not one of the approved used for a bicycle. Nothing like being banned by the Duke of Devonshire.

And apparently, Trevor Noah knows nuts when he sees it.

 

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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