Tag Archive for the war on bikes

Nevada lawmakers propose banning bikes from high-speed highways, and the war on bikes just keeps on going

No bias here.

Nevada lawmakers somehow respond to the meth-fueled massacre of five Las Vegas bike riders by trying to punish the victims by banning bikes from 4,400 miles of state highways with a speed limit of 65 mph or higher.

The bill would also ban bicyclists from riding more that two abreast on the shoulder of a highway, even if there’s room for it without encroaching on the roadway.

Although personally, I don’t have a problem with passing a law banning bikes from high speed highways.

As long as they pass another one to lower speed limits to more rational levels that would improve safety for everyone.

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

South Carolina bicyclists complain about harassment and attacks from people in cars, ranging from punishment passes and being pelted with bottles to leaving a critically injured bike rider bleeding in the road.

A Florida county sheriff was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was the victim of a hit-and-run while on a 20-mile bike ride; a witness said the driver appeared to intentionally run him down. Update: The crash wasn’t intentional, just another stupidly distracted driver shopping on her phone instead of watching the road. And naturally, claimed she just hit a mailbox when she was caught.

Someone deliberately tried to injure innocent bike riders by stringing a wire across a popular Edinburgh bike path; at least one man was seriously injured.

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

An English man in his 70s suffered a broken hand, wrist and arm when he was knocked down by a sidewalk-riding, top hat-wearing, hit-and-run bike rider, who swore at him while riding off without stopping.

A Welsh bicyclist was filmed skitching by holding on to a large truck as it pulled him through traffic; the trailing witness naturally gave the story to Farmer’s Weekly.

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Local

Metro invites you to take a short bikeshare tour through Downtown LA for women’s history month.

A Santa Clarita bike rider made a lucky, if possibly illegal, escape after allegedly getting hit by a Metrolink train, then picking his or herself up and fleeing the scene. Although I’m not sure that qualifies as fleeing if there were no injuries or significant damage to the bike or the train.

 

State

It seems like it would be hard to go belly up during a bike boom, but SoCal direct-to-consumer bikemaker Eminent Cycles proved it can be done by filing Chapter 11, with current assets representing just 10% of its existing debt.

A San Jose man was busted for the hit-and-run death of a 63-year old man riding his bike in Cupertino last August, after sheriff’s deputies finally found the man’s car with damage consistent with the crash.

 

National

Specialized is teaming with a Tesla co-founder to solve the problem of recycling old ebike batteries.

A Bicycle Retailer op-ed questions why we can’t make bicycles in the US, citing advantages ranging from shorter supply chains to pride in craftsmanship.

Um, no. A Utah columnist responds to the collision that left former NBA star Shawn Bradley paralyzed by talking with a bicyclist who offers safety advice. Except all of the advice is for the people on two wheels, and none for the ones in the big dangerous machines — even when it comes to dooring.

Denver wants to give Lyft and Lime the keys to the city, handing them exclusive rights to provide dockless bikes and e-scooters in the city.

A Colorado man’s new book details his “difficult and grueling 1,400-mile ebike ride from Denver to Columbus, Ohio” to raise funds for Meniere’s disease awareness and research — which causes chronic dizziness, nausea, severe ringing in the ears and vertigo — after realizing the automated features of an ebike could hep him overcome his symptoms to get off the couch and onto the road.

An Arkansas woman celebrates the passage of a bill that sailed through the state house without opposition to tighten the penalties for hit-and-run, with up to 20 years behind bars and a $15,000 fine; her husband was killed riding his bike less than two months after they were married.

A New Hampshire woman faces faces up to seven years behind bars for hit-and-run despite playing the “I thought I hit a deer” card, telling police she blacked out after seeing horns and hearing a loud bang; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured. Surprisingly, very few bike riders actually have horns, even though some drivers apparently think we all do.

Police in Greenwich, Connecticut remind everyone that people on bicycles have to obey the law just like people in cars. Which evidently means no one has to obey the law, since most drivers don’t.

Pennsylvania approves a bill to legalize parking protected bike lanes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 70-year old man plans to ride 1,000 miles from Miami to Mobile AL to raise funds for an organization that provides comprehensive care to people with special needs.

Miami Dade police killed a man who stole a bicycle from a bus while shooting his gun to frighten off the owner, then fired again during a carjacking at a gas station.

 

International

Ebike prices continue to drop, with the new KBO Breeze checking in at a relatively svelte $1,399.

Canadian advocates call for making temporary popup bike lanes permanent, arguing that they’ve increased accessibility in a number of the country’s cities. A feeling Los Angeles bike riders are unfamiliar with, since the city still hasn’t installed a single popup lane anywhere.

London bike riders say the decision to rip a popular popup bike lane off one of the city’s deadliest streets is depressingly predictable, after officials concluded that the plastic bendy posts marking the lane would somehow prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. Apparently forgetting that the plastic bollards are no match for a bigass firetruck, or even a decent police bike.

Good boy! An eight-year old English boy started his own fundraising bike ride to help dogs rescued from the meat trade; so far he’s raised $400, mostly from family and friends.

A British man and his family converted one of the country’s iconic red phone booths into a self-service bike repair station.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof plans to expand to 50 cities around the world. Although in the US, it will be limited to the West and Northeast Coasts.

A local tour guide recommends ten iconic Manila landmarks to visit by bicycle.

An Aussie home burned down when an ebike that had been left to charge overnight burst into flames; all seven residents managed to escape safely, though the bike was toast.

 

Competitive Cycling

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 78-year old driver walked with a lousy fine for brake checking an Olympic hopeful just days after she won a bronze medal at the world championships; then-19-year old Lauren Dolan was forced to give up cycling as a result of her extensive injuries.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a Louisville bike shop restores Ray Bradbury’s bicycle, but the story is hidden behind a paywall.

And when you’re already carrying a large bag full of stolen mail — including a $10,652.90 check — maybe it’s not the best idea to stop to steal a bicycle.

Especially not in front of a cop.

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

Wealthy LA-area man accused of shielding son in deadly crash, cargo bikes and dogs, and ride like a bike messenger

Is this who we share the road with?

A Reddit user accused an LA-area millionaire of allegedly using his money and influence to protect his speeding, Lamborghini-driving son from the consequences for killing a woman driving another car on Olympic Blvd in Westwood.

Monique Munoz was killed when a 17 year old, driving a $200,000 Lamborghini at over 100 MPH crashed into her at 5PM. The drivers father, James Khuri, is a millionaire and has been throwing money to get any news coverage of the incident pushed to the back of google and have positive articles of himself populated instead. Meanwhile, following Moniques death Khuri has been posting about his lavish lifestyle on Instagram and deleting and blocking  anything in reference to Monique. It’s been two weeks and no charges have been pressed.#JusticeForMoniqueMunoz

Update: Anyone interested in helping please email DA Gascon to move forward with the case at info@da.lacounty.gov and keep the story alive on socials. #JusticeforMoniqueMunoz

Photo by Sundesh Chaudhary from Pexels.

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Dogs and bikes. What’s not to like?

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How to ride like a bike messenger.

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This is the difference a well-planned bikeway can make.

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

A British woman claimed a bike rider somehow threw himself onto the hood of her car, and flashed a salute as he slid off. Although we can probably guess what kind of salute it was, and how many fingers he used.

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Local

Today is the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the neighborhood council elections in the Hollywood and Mid City areas.

LA street safety PAC Streets For All will host a free virtual happy hour with bike-friendly Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin on Wednesday.

 

State

San Clemente has banned ebikes from the city’s eponymous pier, as well as the city’s beachfront trail.

Sad news from Turlock, where a 44-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike; police are looking for the driver of a gray or charcoal Mercedes sedan with possible front-end or side damage.

The news wasn’t any better in San Jose, where an 81-year old man was killed when he was right hooked while riding his bike; the case will be reviewed by the DA’s office to determine if the driver will face charges.

And still more bad news from the Bay Area, where a woman suffered life-threatening injuries when her bike was hit by a van driver in Golden Gate Park. Which raises the eternal question of what the hell are motor vehicles doing in a public park in the first place?

San Francisco Streetsblog calls for keeping a small street next to the city’s new transit center open to people and closed to cars, instead of converting it to an access ramp for a new parking garage.

 

National

Advice on how to keep your bike from being stolen, including using multiple locks, taking your seat with you, and letingt your bike sleep inside whenever possible when not in use. Or you could just make potential thieves vomit all over your bike.

Bicycling says riding a cargo bike is the perfect way to instantly add joy to any outing. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Yahoo version this time in case bicycling blocks you.

VeloNews offers a new website for women gravel grinders.

A retired army colonel is riding his bike from San Diego to Florida’s St. Augustine Beach to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project; so far he’s raised $12,000 of the $100,000 goal.

A Sitka, Alaska driver learns the hard way that it may not be the best idea to flee the scene after killing a bike rider when you live in a town of less than 10,000 people.

Seattle researchers discover racial disparities in traffic stops and tickets are prevalent throughout the city, including enforcement of the city’s mandatory helmet law.

A Bellingham WA driver questions whether a bike rider belongs in the center of a traffic lane with those funny symbols of a bicycle and some arrows; the local newspaper patiently explains that those things are called sharrows.

Chicago suffered the city’s first bicycling fatality of the year when a woman was killed by an unlicensed driver in an apparent right hook.

Gothamist examines where the candidates for mayor of New York stand on the future of bicycling in the city.

 

International

This is who we share the road with, part 2. A Brazilian motorcyclist clung to a large truck for dear life as the apparently unaware driver carried him 19 miles following a crash that took his wife’s life.

A Kenyan TV station marks International Women’s Day by talking with the bike-riding head of the country’s World Wide Fund for Nature, who founded a public awareness and advocacy campaign calling for safety for everyone, including bike riders and pedestrians, without prejudice, on Kenyan roads.

A Aussie driver faces charges for allegedly killing a 57-year old bicyclist while driving stoned, then ditching a large quantity of illegal narcotics following the crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s first Tour de France winner was a woman.

Former Tour de France competitor Peter Stetina continues his post-pro tour winning ways by capturing Alaska’s 100-mile Gravel Hugger Race.

 

Finally…

Coyotes don’t attack people on bicycles — except, apparently, when they do. What good is karate if it can’t protect your dojo from cars?

And no, this probably isn’t the right message for International Women’s Day.

Or any other day, for that matter.

https://twitter.com/AwesomeCycling/status/1368501816363806722

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

London paper holds ugly mirror to LA bicycling; bike rider brutally attacked with baseball bat; and chef has bike, will cook

London’s Guardian takes a look at bicycling in the City of Angels.

And it ain’t pretty.

With year-round perfect riding weather and a topography that allows both bike commuters to enjoy pedaling without too much strain and experienced riders to explore the nearby mountains and hills, Los Angeles in many ways is a cyclists’ paradise.

But the city’s cycling reputation is tempered by the fact that it is one of the most vexing, difficult and downright dangerous cities in the United States to ride a bike in.

The story goes on to describe LA’s crappy roads, lack of safe bikeways, and drivers who can’t seem to take their foot off the gas or put their phones down — despite city officials nearly dislocating their shoulders patting themselves on the back.

In 2018, Bicycling Magazine gave LA the ignominious title of “worst bike city in America” because of the hazards posed to cyclists by distracted drivers, the terrible shape of most streets, and the seeming willingness of local officials to pay out millions of dollars in lawsuits rather than address the infrastructure needs that could make LA a safer place to bike…

The poor shape of streets in Los Angeles has forced the city to dole out millions of dollars in the last decade to cyclists severely injured by the shoddy road conditions.

In 2017, the city paid $7.5m to a man left quadriplegic after he crashed on a stretch of road where the pavement had buckled because of tree roots. That same year it gave $6.5m to a cyclist who suffered a traumatic brain injury after hitting a massive pothole on his bike, and another $4.5m to the family of a rider killed after he hit a 2in ridge in the pavement.

Phil Gaimon, former pro, author and YouTube star Phil Gaimon sums it all up.

“The weather here is so perfect that you really don’t need a car to shelter like you do in other parts of the country,” said Phil Gaimon, a former professional cyclist turned author and YouTube star. “But LA is also the shittiest city in the most beautiful part of the world.”

It’s not how we want to see ourselves, or how we want others to see us.

But it’s too often true, in far too many ways.

It doesn’t have to be.

But until we can help our elected leaders find the political courage to stand up to LA’s driver industrial complex — or replace them with officials who will — we will continue to put up ghost bikes.

And dream about what might have been.

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Horrifying attack in New York, where a bike-riding man was beaten senseless by a man with a baseball bat, who struck him repeatedly until the victim fell to the sidewalk unconscious and bleeding, then kept striking him as bystanders attempted to intervene.

Police arrested the 46-year old attacker after witnesses pointed him out standing in the crowd.

At last report, the victim still hadn’t regained consciousness, and no reason was given for the vicious attack.

The video depicts a brutal assault on a helpless victim, so make sure that’s something you really want to see before you click Play.

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Who needs a food truck when you’ve got your own bicycle kitchen?

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

A British delivery rider says he’s been struck by drivers over 20 times during the pandemic, and physically attacked four times.

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

Boise police are looking for a mountain bike-riding bank robbery suspect who rode off with an unspecified amount of cash after telling the teller he had a gun. No word on whether he made an Idaho Stop as he made his getaway.

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Local

LA bike diversity expert Tamika Butler turns up in an unexpected place, writing for Red Bull about elite mountain bikers Eliot Jackson and Katie Holden and their new Grow Cycling Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to inclusive community building and career development, and tearing down the barriers to entry for marginalized communities.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists can now get turn-by-turn bike directions on your iPhone.

Congratulations to UC Riverside on being designated as a Bicycle Friendly University.

Santa Barbara is offering a free demo of various kinds of ebikes in an effort to encourage more people to get out of their cars.

Bay Area residents now have the option of trading their older, smog belching cars for a new ebike. Last I checked, the ebike option was still unavailable in the LA area.

The rich get richer. UC Davis has completed a new and much improved bike path leading to the bike-friendly campus. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Good idea. The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is offering weekly in-person bicycling lessons for just $5 a session.

San Mateo police urge drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to kill ’em with kindness. Instead of just, you know, killing ’em.

 

National

Forbes examines how one of the top low-end bike makers is struggling to keep up with booming demand at Walmart, Target and other mass-market retailers.

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where a careless driver ran down a couple in their 70s as they rode in a bike lane, killing the woman and injuring her companion. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

Kings County, Washington, home to Seattle, will re-examine its mandatory bike helmet law, after reports indicated that the seldom-enforced law was used disproportionately to target homeless people who can’t afford to buy one.

After a year of riding her bike to campus, a Texas nursing student got the free use of a new Nissan for one year. Although that may not necessarily be an improvement.

A Chicago bike advocate was critically injured when she was right hooked by a driver illegally turning from far left lane; the fleeing vehicle was caught on security cam, but turned out to have been carjacked just days before.

A Pennsylvania man faces up to 12 years behind bars after he admitted to running a pair of stop signs before fatally slamming into a bike rider, while driving without a license.

NASCAR champ Bobby LaBonte is one of us, as he moves his annual fundraising ride to North Carolina, with a Roubaix-style finish circling the race track.

The executive director of a New Orleans advocacy group predicts this will be a breakout year for bicycling in the Big Easy, where 80% of residents support quickly building a “completely connected network of safe, dedicated bike lanes and trails throughout the city,” while 73% support protected bike lanes.

 

International

No, the best way to stay safe on a bike isn’t to wear a helmet; it’s to ride safely and defensively so you don’t need one.

We can hope. The chairman of Giant Bicycle’s Spanish and Portuguese subsidiary predicts cars will disappear in the coming years, while bicycles will keep being pedaled around the world.

Punjabi police busted a hit-and-run driver who slammed into a bike rider from behind, then drove over six miles with the man’s body on the roof of his car, only getting out to dump it when the man’s arm fell across the car’s window.

A lack of safe infrastructure could derail Mumbai’s plans to promote bicycling as a commuter option, and become India’s bicycling capital.

Bikes are booming in Nairobi despite a near-total lack of bike infrastructure, where a nine-mile ride to work is described as “harrowing.”

Maybe there’s justice after all. A Malaysian court has overruled a local magistrate, reinstating the case against a 26-year old woman who rammed 30 teenage bike riders with her car, killing eight and injuring eight more; the ruling came four years to the day after the horrific crash.

A New Zealand study concludes that e-scooters aren’t as safe as bicycles, and their users are much more likely to end up in hospital emergency rooms with a high level of alcohol in their blood.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News reminisces about five late and lamented North American bike races that bit the dust in the last decade, at least temporarily, including our own dearly departed Tour of California.

Bicycling looks forward to eleven “can’t miss” bike races in the coming year, starting with Belgium’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad later this month. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

LA’s pioneering, diversity-based L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team will field a women’s Continental team for the upcoming racing season, in addition to the previously announced men’s squad.

Hats off to British Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart, who took a knee in support of racial equity — and put his money where his heart is by sponsoring an under-23 rider with his former Hagens Berman Axeons team to promote racial diversity in professional cycling.

 

Finally…

Turn your old bike wheel into an otherworldly pan flute. Your next ebike could be a sub-19 pound roadie with the battery hidden in a faux water bottle, for the low, low price of just $14,449.

And the award for best use of a cargo bike goes to…

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

When is a bike lane not a bike lane, stumbling on the Venice Lights Parade bike ride, and Kevin Hart is one of us

Happy Fat Tuesday to everyone freezing their ass off down south today.

Not to rub it in, but our weather here in SoCal is sunny and warm, if a tad windy today.

So toss some beads and bunting on your bike, put some Mardi Gras music on your earbuds — okay earbud, since California law only allows one when you ride.

And shout out a few heartfelt “Iko Ikos” for our biking brethren left bereft by the pandemic and Mother Nature.

Photo by Michael Gravois from Pixabay.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s completely overgrown and no one wants to do anything about it.

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Meet the candidates for the Hollywood Hills West neighborhood council tomorrow evening. And make sure we get a council that backs much needed bike and pedestrian improvements in the Hollywood area.

And yes, Mary Yarber is one of us.

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A bike rider stumbles on the weekly Venice Lights Parade, which is still going on despite the pandemic.

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Evidently, Kevin Hart is one of us, too.

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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 Massachusetts TV station calls for motorists to be careful driving in bike lanes, but proceeds to remind bike riders they have to obey traffic laws.

Talk about a close pass. A British bike rider captures a 360° view of a needless punishment pass. As if it’s ever necessary.

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

A British man was busted for carrying up to 50 packs of heroin after his attempt to escape by throwing his bike at the cops failed.

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Local

Yes, please. Streets For All is calling for the completion of the Ballona Creek bike path, which was originally supposed to end at Cochran Ave and Venice Blvd.

Sad news, as the 12-year old daughter of a lawyer handling the estate of Michael Jackson has died, after suffering what her mother described only as a “terrible accident” while riding her bicycle in Los Angeles; the story of her fight for survival had gone viral, touching hearts around the world.

UCLA’s transportation department marked Valentines Day with a neurologist, a digital humanities specialist and two graduate students explaining why they love riding their bikes.

Pasadena police will conduct another bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement campaign on Friday. The usual protocol applies. Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

World traveling Long Beach expats The Path Less Pedaled are selling some of their beautiful bicycle watercolors for less than $300 apiece. Any of which would look perfect gracing your walls. Or mine, for that matter.

 

State

Yes, please. A Streetsblog SF op-ed calls for getting rid of the flimsy plastic bendy posts that pass for bike lane protection, and replacing them with steel and plastic barriers to force drivers to obey the law.

Police concluded a San Francisco bike rider suffered a medical emergency after he was found unresponsive in the street near Golden Gate Park on Saturday, despite social media reports that he’d been struck by a hit-and-run driver. Although it’s also important to remember that drivers don’t have to actually hit someone to cause a life-threatening fall.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle a mentally disabled Vacaville man used to get to work

 

National

Riding a bicycle improves your health in 12 ways. Kind of like Wonder Bread.

Seattle bike groups are hoping to get the county health department to reconsider the city’s mandatory bike helmet requirement, calling the law arbitrary and troubling, while arguing that it disproportionately affects people of color.

A Nevada nonprofit bought a billboard to remind drivers that state law requires them to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle. Which beats the hell out of California’s seldom enforced three-foot passing law.

A New Jersey man is planning to bike across the US to raise funds for an animal rescue, after dropping 100 pounds when he started riding a bike last spring.

There’s not a pit deep enough for whoever beat a 12-year old New York boy on the subway and stole his bicycle.

A bighearted bikemaker from Pennsylvania surprised a pair of young sisters suffering from a rare neurodegenerative disease by giving them new motorized tricycles; Jason Kraft gave away ten similar bikes to children suffering from the disease last year, and hopes to donate 20 this year.

 

International

New reflective wheel stickers promise to improve safety by making you visible to drivers up to 500 feet away.

An 80-year old English paperboy decides not to pack it in after all, after a local bike shop gave him a free ebike to ease his 2.5-mile daily route.

A Dublin bike rider puts his money where his mouth is, donating five euros to an anti-bike lane campaign just so he can tell them off.

A kindhearted Irish bike mechanic gave a 81-year old man a refurbished bicycle, after the bike he used to get to the shops broke down.

Lessons from the Netherlands suggest we need better traffic lights, and fewer of them.

Thousands of bike and scooter riders turned out in Malaga, Spain to protest a new law that would ban them from sidewalks and pedestrian plazas.

A new bill in the Philippine legislature would establish a national network of safe bike lanes and pathways connecting to essential destinations like work, school, medical facilities and markets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome said goodbye to Los Angeles by posting his final SoCal training ride on Strava; the seven-time Grand Tour winner is joining his new team, Israel Start-Up Nation, after rehabbing here from his gruesome crash two years ago.

Peloton talks with rising American cycling star Sepp Kuss.

 

Finally…

At least no one has to worry about getting cancer from that new bicycle smell. Just what every bike rider needs for the occasional time trial around the block.

And your next bike may not even need you.

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

Gaimon gamely tries to regain Everest title, riding 1,000 miles across Yukon in 1900, and bike cops in 1904 DTLA

Phil gave it his best shot.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough.

After briefly holding the world Everesting record — climbing the equivalent of the height of Mt. Everest in a single ride — former pro Phil Gaimon bided his time making another attempt, before finding the perfect hill in Malibu.

Unfortunately, he was done in by an unexpected heat wave, abandoning the attempt after more than four hours as the heat climbed into the 80s.

Although something tells me he may give it another shot before the pandemic is over.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels.

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LA may be wet and cold right now, but it could be worse.

An adventure website tells the tale of a shop owner who sold everything he owned at the turn of the last century, and bought a 45 pound, single speed safety bicycle.

Then gave himself one week to learn how to ride before tackling a nearly 1,000-mile journey across the Yukon to Nome, Alaska, hoping to get there before all the gold was gone.

In the middle of winter, with temperatures down to -45.

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One more week to get a discount when you sign up for this year’s virtual Bike Summit.

Evidently, bike cops are nothing new in Downtown LA.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Here’s your chance to chuck it all, and live the mountain bike dream.

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Bicycles seldom fly off highways and burst into flames. Just saying.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the forward.

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

No bias here. A conservative candidate for London mayor pledges to rip out all the Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of this country’s Slow Streets — if he’s elected, and get rid of congestion pricing to enter the city center.

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

Modesto streets were swarmed by people on bicycles, as hundreds of riders responded to local bike club’s call by flouting traffic laws, leading to five arrests and police impounding 19 bikes.

Police in England are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who forced a mother riding with her four-year old son on her bike face-first into a wall; she needed 20 stitches to her upper lip and the equivalent of nearly $500 in dental work.

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Local

About damn time. Nearly 75 advocacy and safety groups, including LADOT and the LACBC, sent a letter to newly inaugurated President Biden calling for a nationwide commitment to Vision Zero to traffic deaths in 29 years.

Burbank is gearing up to open another .75 mile segment of the Burbank Wash Bikeway next month.

The bike boom isn’t just limited to riding outside, as subscriptions for Long Beach’s Zwift have doubled over the past year.

 

State

La Jolla approves plans for protected bike lanes on Gilman Drive as part of San Diego’s Coastal Rail Trail project.

San Diego letter writers epitomize what passes for debate over bike lanes, with one calling for safety, while the other would rather have parking and arguing that some bicyclists don’t want them, anyway.

A 12-year old Bakersfield boy is back on a bike despite losing his vision, riding a tandem with his nine-year old brother up front, thanks to an Idaho man who hit up his friends to raise five grand for a child-sized bike.

A homeopathic medicine company featured Santa Barbara’s famed Gibraltar Road in their series of Great Ride videos.

Sad news from the central coast, where a 57-year old Soquel man was killed when his motorized bike crashed into a roadway median at 30 mph. Although it would be interesting to know how the CHP determined his speed, since it’s almost impossible to calculate the speed of a bicycle following a crash.

A San Mateo man is cleaning up by riding his bike, after starting a group to help clean the roads they ride in the county.

 

National

Streetsblog offers highlights from last week’s confirmation hearing for Transportation Secretary-designate Pete Buttigieg, including a call for Complete Streets and long overdue recognition that it’s time for America to end its auto-centric ways. Yes, he actually used one of my favorite terms.

They get it. Time says ebikes are taking off, but America’s cities aren’t ready for them.

After 136 years, Oregon finally concludes that bicycles are for humans.

Unbelievable. A Seattle bike cop is likely to walk without charges for slowly rolling his police bike over the head of a prone protester, after the victim declines to press charges.

Las Vegas remembered the five bike riders killed by an alleged meth-using truck driver by installing a five-seat ghost bike.

A 12-year old Arizona cancer survivor won a new ebike by winning a national dance competition, despite having just one leg.

Utah’s Arches National Park is seeking public input on a proposal that would allow bike riders to safely access the park by allowing them to use an existing trail that connects to the Moab Canyon Parkway.

Nice piece from Outside, as they profile the mobile bike repair shop working to keep the Navajo Nation on their bikes.

Turning bicycling into recycling, an 82-year old former pension fund manager in Wisconsin is using his retirement to collect and recycle aluminum cans; he recently gathered his two millionth can on his bike, using the profits to benefit environmental groups.

Pittsburgh is calming streets to slow traffic, in a city where ten percent of people still walk to work, and more are riding bikes every year.

No surprise here, as over half of the bicycling deaths in New York were low income or essential workers.

 

International

Singer, reality show judge and former Dancing With the Stars champ Nicole Scherzinger is one of us, taking a maskless ride with her boyfriend while vacationing in Turks and Caicos in the middle of a pandemic.

Toronto bike riders continue to die while the city backpedals on a $100 million commitment to build bikeways.

A Toronto woman rode her bike to get through a rough year. And used the lessons she learned to keep going through marital problems and a lost job.

Road.cc says why settle for riding the length of the UK when you can ride from London to Barcelona, instead.

Britain’s Busby safety app has seen a whopping 870% increase during the pandemic, as the resulting bike boom has encouraged riders worldwide to download the app that detects unusual movement — like a fall — and calls for help if it’s not deactivated in time.

Bike Radar considers why bike prices are spiking in the UK, concluding it’s not all due to Brexit, and takes a look at the best e-roadies.

Traffic deaths are down in Germany. Except for people on bicycles, which are climbing due to a lack of quality infrastructure.

Even in winter, 12% of all trips in Oulu, Finland are made by bicycle. But no one will ride in usually sunny Los Angeles winter weather, right?

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Giro champ Tom Dumoulin is taking a gap year, in a sense; the Dutch rider walked away from his Jumbo-Visma team to reconsider his future, questioning whether he still wants to race bikes.

An aspiring pro describes life in the lower rungs of pro cycling. And it ain’t pretty.

On a related note, Explica examines the impatience of tech-oriented Spanish Gen Z cyclists to turn pro in a world where 23-year old amateurs are over the hill.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the sound of gunshots turns out to be a tree falling on your back while you ride. Who needs ice skates when you’ve got an ice bike?

And seriously, who hasn’t played the bagpipes while shoveling snow on a unicycle dressed as Darth Vader?

………

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

Man fixing bike severely injured in South LA hit-and-run, and what white allies can do to help build greater bike equity

The LAPD is looking for the driver of a glass utility truck who ran over a homeless man as he worked on a bicycle in South LA, leaving the victim with severe injuries.

The crash happened on Monday, January 4th, at the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Nevin Avenue in the Central-Alameda neighborhood.

The driver had just turned the corner when he struck the man as he knelt near the curb. He briefly stopped, then continued on without getting out of his truck.

The crash was caught on a security cam across the street.

But be warned before you click on it, because it clearly shows the innocent victim getting hit by the driver’s truck. And there’s no way to unsee it once you do.

As always, there is a $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run that results in serious injury, under LA’s standing hit-and-run reward program.

………

Good piece in Bicycling from the “People’s Bike Mayor of New York,” who explains what white allies can do to make bicycling more equitable for all riders.

Starting with this.

The biggest and most important thing an ally can do is shut up, listen, and amplify the voices of Black and brown folks, who are often silenced.

That’s an important message.

Because too often I’ve heard well-meaning white people explain to people of color what they need, instead of asking them first.

And sometimes, I’ve been one of them.

We’ve come a long way from the days when a friend told me you’d never see him or any other Black person on a bicycle, because everyone would just assume they couldn’t afford a car.

LA groups like East Side Riders, Black Kids on Bikes, Major Taylor Cycling Club and Black Girls Do Bike, as well as the Bahati Foundation Cycling Club and the Legion of Los Angeles, founded by former national champs Rahsaan Bahati and Justin Williams, respectively, have made great strides in getting more people of color out on bikes.

But clearly, we’ve still got a long way to go.

Here’s the Yahoo link if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

………

Any chance they might be willing to trade national leaders for a few days?

Thanks to W. Corylus for the heads-up.

………

Another SoCal stolen bike recovered thanks to Bike Index’ free lifetime bike registration and nationwide bike theft database.

………

This one will probably come in handy some day.

If it hasn’t already.

………

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

No bias here. A Singapore news site somehow concludes a bike rider was in the wrong for getting right hooked after stopping a few feet beyond the stop line, as if the truck driver that nearly hit him had no obligation to see or go around him. I would have flipped him off, too, under the same circumstances.

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

A bike-riding Chicago-area man was busted for allegedly committing 15 car burglaries while wearing ten different shirts and five pairs of pants; whenever he was caught on security cam he’d take off a layer to make himself less recognizable. Didn’t work, though.

………

Local

LAUnscripted invites you to customize your ebike with Newport Beach bikemaker Electric Bike Company.

 

State

A Coachella bike rider was lucky to escape with a minor head injury after being struck by a driver.

Bike shop owners in California’s Central Coast are enjoying the benefits of the lockdown-induced bike boom.

Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic bike fest will be pushed back from May to October, in hopes the coronavirus pandemic will recede by fall and allow the event to be held.

A San Francisco advocate is calling for the elimination of beg buttons, which prioritize motor vehicle traffic over pedestrians; the buttons often force bike riders to ride up onto the curb to push the button in order to get the light to change.

 

National

An Arizona preacher complains he almost became a hood ornament for a careless driver, who somehow didn’t see him on his bike directly in front of her car.

Bicycling takes a look at — and recommends — New York’s massive, 750-mile cross-state Empire State Trail, which allows you to bike across the state, from north to south and east to west. Or vice versa.

Speaking of New York, they could become the next state to adopt the Idaho Stop Law, after an upstate legislator introduced a bill calling for bike riders to be allowed to roll through stop signs and go through red lights after coming to a full stop.

 

International

Do as he says, not as he does. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was spotted riding his bicycle in London’s Olympic Park, seven miles from his home a 10 Downing Street — despite the country’s Covid lockdown orders requiring people to stay close to home. Needless to say, some people were none too pleased.

Singapore drivers are fed up with bicyclists hogging the roadway “like nobody’s business.” Which is another way of saying streets are for cars, and anyone else is just in the way. Especially when there’s another lane to go around them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist and mountain biker Lachlan Morton offers tips on how to ride during the winter. Almost none of which applies in sunny Los Angeles.

Cycling Weekly plays fashion critic, ranking which women’s WorldTour team has the best kit.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is looking forward to riding for a new team this year, saying competing for the same team year after year felt like copy and pasting. Never mind that he’d already been pushed from the leadership of what is now Team Ineos.

 

Finally…

If Zwift has gotten too boring for you, try being a bike messenger from the comfort of your own home. That feeling when your failed wheelie ends up with a swim.

And nothing like guitar legend Robert Fripp accompanying your exuberant exercise bike vocal performance.

………

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

The war on bikes keeps on going, bike riders behaving badly, and that really was Chris Froome riding that bike in SaMo

It’s a light news day in the big, wide, wonderful world of bikes, after yesterday’s DC shit show sucked up all the oxygen.

So let’s get right to it.

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels.

………

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 man walks without a single day behind bars for reaching out of a car window to push a man off his bicycle.

A 27-year old British man remains in critical condition with a head injury after he was brutally attacked while riding his bike.

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

An Ontario, Canada man faces charges for biking under the influence after cops observe him yelling and swearing at passing cars while struggling to stay upright.

A pair of young kids walking in a crosswalk were sent flying when a New Zealand bike rider slammed into them after blowing through a stop sign; fortunately, the brothers have been released from the hospital, but the youngest one is now afraid of bicycles. And understandably so.

………

Local

‘Tis still the season. A Santa Clarita landfill company built out 100 bikes and 70 scooters to donate to a pair of nonprofits for distribution to local kids for the holidays.

 

State

Visalia punts on plans to complete an offroad bike trail after property owners refuse to sell, and councilmembers balk at using eminent domain.

 

National

CityLab looks forward to the incoming Biden administration, saying it could take steps to make motor vehicles a lot safer, especially for bike riders and pedestrians. Let’s start by banning oversized private trucks and SUVs, and redesigning the high, flat grills on SUVs and pickups.

Despite initial opposition, the Slow Streets movement have proven its popularity, causing planners to rewrite their playbooks.

Fort Worth’s bike-riding mayor calls it a career after five full terms leading the Texas city.

Huh? Martha’s Vineyard rejects a proposal for a shared use path on a local roadway, because bicycles would be “detrimental to the bucolic nature of the road.” Because only cars and SUVs are bucolic, evidently. 

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Syracuse NY judge undercuts prosecutors by offering a hit-and-run driver a reduced sentence for killing a beloved local street musician as he was riding his bicycle — even though the driver, who was out on parole, was driving without a license.

Life is cheap in New York, where a truck driver gets to keep his license despite killing a teenaged bike rider with his erratic driving.

An NYPD commander throws in the towel, saying a deadly Brooklyn intersection should be redesigned to physically separate bike riders and pedestrians from reckless drivers, because nothing else will work.

In an unusual move, a New Jersey driver and his passenger will both face charges for the hit-and-run death of a 56-year old bike rider.

After a lifetime of bicycling, a Florida woman switches to a ‘bent in order to keep riding as she gets older.

 

International

Red Bull offers easy but awesome tricks to customize your mountain bike.

Life is cheap in Great Britain, where a drunk, speeding driver got a lousy 34 months behind bars for slamming into a bike rider while driving at three times the legal alcohol limit; the victim had to have a number of surgeries and skin grafts to repair his shattered knee and lower leg.

Cycling News goes shopping for the best bike deals in the US and the UK so you don’t have to.

More bike fallout from Brexit, as bicycle and accessory makers suspend shipments to the UK.

No surprise here, as an Irish bicycle advocacy group comes out against a mandatory helmet law, saying traffic cameras, separated cycle tracks and lower speed limits would be more effective in reducing bike injuries.

Why choose between a mountain bike and a city bike when a German ebike maker will give you both with a single shared engine and battery.

High-end Indian bikemakers are struggling to keep up, as import restrictions and supply chain disruptions result in a delay of up to four months to buy a new bike.

Bizarre story from Zimbabwe, where a 39-year old bike rider was killed in a collision with a donkey cart driven by a man with the same name.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is spending his winter riding and rehabbing in Santa Monica in an effort to fully recover from the critical injuries he suffered in a high-speed training crash last summer.

 

Finally…

Who needs wheels when you can turn your bike into an e-snowbike? That feeling when they promise the best bike baskets to bring your dog along for the ride, but only deliver one barely big enough for a chihuahua.

And still wheelie good at 51.

………

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

Metro BRT could remove Eagle Rock bike lanes, reaction to Wicksted sentence, and carmakers really are trying to kill us

Metro will host a second virtual meeting on Saturday to discuss alternatives for a proposed North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line.

Options include removing bike lanes on Colorado Blvd, while many bike advocates call for improving them and removing a traffic lane, instead.

The project has brought Eagle Rock NIMBYs out in force, who bizarrely insist that no one would ever take the bus to shop or dine at local businesses.

Meanwhile, Metro makes the unintended case for why bikes belong in their own lane next to, rather than in, busways.

………

Earlier this week, we mentioned the plea agreement that gave Sandra Marie Wicksted just 16 years behind bars for intentionally running down Leslie Pray, killing the Claremont woman as she was riding her bike, and attempting to kill two other bike riders.

A couple of comments to that story are worth elevating and sharing here.

It’s hard to call 16 years in state prison a slap on the wrist. But this one feels wrong for a couple reasons.

If Wicksted really was suffering from psychiatric problems, she need treatment, not jail; too often we warehouse the mentally ill in jail, which doesn’t benefit anyone.

If not, a 16-year sentence for what amounts to first degree murder is ridiculously low. She could easily be out in half that time, or possibly less under current circumstances.

Either way, it’s yet another example of the outgoing DA’s repeated failure to take traffic crimes seriously.

Let alone do the right thing.

………

Yes, carmakers really are trying to kill you.

………

GCN thinks you need to improve your bike handling skills.

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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 London paper celebrates drivers surreptitiously removing bollards from bike lanes, describing it as fighting back against the above mentioned mythical war on cars.

Meanwhile, another British tabloid is up in arms over Prime Minister Boris Johnson approving the equivalent of $206 million for new bikeways to satisfy “the public’s strong appetite for greener and more active travel.”

………

Local

Whittier will install a memorial mural to honor a local man who rode his bicycle across country twice to lobby Congress to honor Vietnam vets.

 

State

A Bakersfield woman faces up to 40 years behind bars after she was convicted of murdering a man who tried to reclaim his bike after she had stolen it.

Bay Area officials discuss how to get more people walking and biking.

Sonoma County residents voted to extend a quarter-cent sales tax intended to fund road improvements, bike paths, transit and transportation projects.

 

National

Salsa is recalling some of their Cutthroat bicycles due to a possible fork failure; the recall affects 600 bikes sold in the US between September of last year and September this year, as well as another 100 sold in Canada.

A 49-year old mother of two remains missing six months after she reportedly rode her bike away from her Southern Colorado home last Mother’s Day, despite massive search efforts.

After a Kansas appeals court threw out his original two-year sentence as too lenient, a driver convicted of using his car to murder a bike-riding man following an argument between the two was resentenced to a still too low ten years and a month behind bars.

Tennessee officials are struggling to identify a man who was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle on Wednesday. One more tragic reminder to always carry some form of ID with you that’s not likely to be stolen after a crash.

A New York delivery person was killed when he was right hooked by the driver of a massive beer truck, while apparently riding an e-scooter in what passes for a protected bike lane. So naturally, the NYPD blamed the victim.

New York’s Vespertine NYC creates fashionable, reflective bikewear designed to keep you safe without looking like a clown.

A South Carolina man lost a whopping 460 pounds after starting a diet and getting on his bike less than two years earlier. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

 

International

Cyclist says ebikes are changing the world.

An Aussie paper explains how an Argentine bicyclist ended up covered with literally thousands of cactus quills.

They’re not looking forward to any Viking biking in Thunder Bay, Ontario; the city on the shore of Lake Superior plans to shut down all its bike lanes for the winter on Sunday, and open them up for parking.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A Toronto-area man got a slap on the wrist for jumping the curb and killing a woman as she rode her bike on the sidewalk, while he was allegedly street racing with another driver who fled the scene; the judge said he hoped the paltry 26-month sentence would serve as a deterrent. Not bloody likely. 

Paris’ plan to remake itself into a 15-minute city — where everything you need is within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride — is spreading worldwide and becoming the new utopia for urban planners. Let’s hope it spreads to Los Angeles, too. 

Barcelona tries to one-up Paris in the walk and bikeability department, announcing plans to convert every third street in the city center to pedestrian-first zones.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nineteen-year old former junior world road race champ Quinn Simmons’ suspension for using a dark-skinned emoji in a tweet has been lifted; the apparently chastened American rider will return to his Trek-Segafredo team for next season.

 

Finally…

Move to the Ozarks for ten grand and a new bike. That feeling when your $20,000 custom bike is trashed by a careless driver less than a mile into your first ride.

And nothing like getting dropped by a 12-year old girl with a pro contract and her own YouTube channel.

………

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

Soda pop cargo bike art in East LA, has Covid-19 affect your bike riding, and the war on bikes just keeps on going

Why does East LA get all the good art?

Aurelio Jose Barrera caught this soda pop delivery truck adorned with a Jariritos-selling cargo bike.

If they didn’t have so much sugar, that would be enough to get my dollars.

………

PeopleforBikes wants to know how Covid-19 has affect your bike riding.

………

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

Newly found video shows a Portland driver intentionally run over a man’s bike as he tried to cork traffic during an August protest; naturally, police just let the driver go.

A North Dakota woman pled guilty to using her car as a weapon to intentionally run over a man on a bike after they argued about money; the victim was lucky to escape with road rash and bleeding.

No bias here. A London paper gleefully reports that a popup bike lane will be removed after causing traffic congestion, leading to calls to remove others, as well. Although no one seems to consider that it’s all those cars that cause traffic congestion, not bike lanes or the people using them.

A London driver didn’t take kindly to being told to drive more carefully, telling BBC presenter Jeremy Vine to fuck off.

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

Police in Milwaukee are looking for a bike-riding, saw-toting man wanted for damaging several trees.

………

Local

Bike-riding Downey city council candidate Alexandria Contreras will be on Bike Talk this evening. However, the link in the tweet is dead, but you can find the show here.

 

State

Weight weenies rejoice! Morgan Hill’s Specialized has introduced the lightest disk brake bike yet, checking in at a svelte 13 pounds, even though they insist it’s really about the ride quality. As long as you’ve got a cool twelve and a half grand in spare cash lying around, that is.

San Francisco is moving forward with plans for a complete Slow Streets network after ruling against several CEQA appeals that were holding things up.

Next City examines how Oakland was inspired by Covid-19 to get real about equitable urban planning.

Historic Angels Camp will get new bike lanes and sidewalks to serve the town’s 3,800 residents and assorted tourists.

 

National

A new study shows it only takes 15 minutes of high-intensity bicycling to boost your memory. You can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

Bicycle Times takes a trip in the wayback machine to review the 1972 Schwinn Paramount.

A new bike helmet takes a more subtle approach to lighting, and will call for help if you crash.

A pair of young Armenian and Turkish bike riders formed an unlikely friendship on a ride across the US despite centuries of hostility between the two countries, including the mass genocide of Armenians at the hands of Turks a century ago.

Shaq is one of us, even if he has to have his bikes custom built to fit his 7’1″ frame. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo, too.

One app to rule them all, one app to find them. Lime takes a step towards world domination, or at least the world of micromobility, by offering Wheels scooters through their app, along with the usual Lime e-scooters and ebikes.

The bad news is, Boston has removed its popup bike lanes. The good news is, they’re making them all permanent, instead.

When Rhode Island cops were unable to recover a boy’s stolen bike, the kindhearted officers pitched in to buy him a new one.

A new candidate to replace termed out Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York says bike lanes should be part of the city’s transportation network. But fails to mention that city law requires 50 miles of new protected bike lanes and 30 miles of bus lanes every year. Unlike Los Angeles, where city officials are legally required to build absolutely nothing. And too often don’t. 

A Pennsylvania man will face charges for running down a bike rider after running not one, but two stop signs while driving without a license.

Another unlicensed Pennsylvania driver pled guilty to charges of slamming his SUV into a bike trailer pulling an 11-month old infant; fortunately, the critically injured baby pulled through.

Maryland drivers will now be allowed to briefly cross a double yellow line to pass bike riders on narrow roads. California drivers would have the same privilege, except Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed an early version of the three-foot passing law because it contained the same provision.

She gets it. A Delaware letter writer says developers should be required to build a mile of bike lanes and sidewalks when they get project approvals.

 

International

A writer for Tech Digest shares what he’s learned by riding a bike during the coronavirus lockdown, including that cars are scary, pedestrians are not your friend, and no, you don’t look good in Lycra.

Cycling Industry News asks a panel of experts about the role of bikeshare in attracting new bike riders.

Revel Bikes is raffling off a custom painted Rascal mountain bike to benefit LoveYourBrain; tickets are just $5.

You can add Colombia to your bike bucket list, as bicycles create a sustainable path to tourism in the country.

Forget speeding drivers, Toronto cops are turning their speed guns on bicycle riders exceeding a bike path’s 12 mph speed limit.

A pair of Welsh bike thieves are pretending to have mechanical problems while riding on a bike path, then riding off with the victim’s bike when they stop to help.

An Irish mother is calling for more and safer bike lanes after a near miss with a driver as she was biking to school with her seven-year old daughter.

A trio of Rwandan firms will pitch in to provide bike helmets for bicycle taxi riders in Kigali.

Motor loving Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor is one of us, riding his chunky $635 e-foldie through Mumbai with his mom.

Bollywood actor, professional model and former first runner-up to Mr. India Rahul Rajasekharan is one of us, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas is out of the race with a broken pelvis. And out for the remainder of the season; VeloNews says that leaves the race wide open.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could look pretty cool, even without a front hub. Nothing like doing a century in less than two and a half hours — while drafting, of course.

And seriously, don’t ride your bike directly at cars, no matter what you call it.

………

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

Chief Lunes cyclist dies in Vegas car crash, removing cops from traffic enforcement, and no 15-minute city in LA

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

Between my diabetes, neuropathy and whatever the hell else was going on, Thursday was one of the worst nights I’ve had in recent memory.

Just one more reminder that I’m not in charge of my own body any more.

Which is a very hard thing for a formerly dedicated bicyclist to face.

And another reminder to see your doctor, improve your diet, and do whatever it takes to keep your blood sugar under control. 

Because you really don’t want this shit. Especially now

Photo by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay.

………

Let’s start with some heartbreaking news.

Many of us got to know Spencer Sims, either directly or through sites like this, following the hit-and-run death of bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA two years ago.

Like Woon, Sims was a member of the Chief Lunes cycling group, and was one of the leaders in the fight for justice for Frazier, as well as his mother and infant child, who was born after his death.

For well over a year afterwards, I got emails from Sims about the status of the case and the next moves in their battle for justice.

Sadly, I won’t be getting any more.

It took awhile to confirm, but Spencer Sims was killed, along with another man, in a single-car collision outside Las Vegas last week, when 19-year old driver lost control and the car they were riding in left the road.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt.

There were apparently no witnesses to the crash; a passerby reported finding the wreckage sometime later. Just a couple more sacrifices to the motor vehicle gods.

Now Woon’s mother will be even more alone and isolated without Sims looking in on her.

And he leaves this world without ever seeing justice for his friend and fellow rider. After a retracted confession and countless delays, Mariah Candice Banks, the woman accused of killing Woon in her high-end SUV, has yet to set foot in a courtroom for anything other than her arraignment.

Her long-delayed prelim is now scheduled for November 4th.

Sims won’t be there; let’s hope he and Woon are riding together somewhere. But maybe some of us can take his place.

………

LAist makes the case for why we may not really need police to enforce traffic laws and curb traffic violence, suggesting there are effective alternatives like automated enforcement and self-enforcing street design.

This summer, a group of L.A. City Council members filed a motion calling on the city’s Department of Transportation and legislative officials to work with community members and report back on alternative methods of traffic enforcement, collision investigations and other traffic safety duties currently handled by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Some potential changes that will be explored: replacing LAPD officers with a “transit ambassador program” staffed by unarmed LADOT personnel and/or automated technology to monitor and cite drivers for speeding, illegal turns and other moving violations.

“Such a move would virtually eliminate the LAPD’s role in traffic stops, one of the leading forms of interaction between police and the public,” states the motion, which was filed by L.A. City Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mike Bonin, Curren Price and Herb Wesson.Breonna

It’s a challenging and thought-provoking read, well worth a few minutes of your time.

Because the current system really isn’t working for anyone.

………

The C40 Cities — a group of 96 cities dedicated to taking action to fight climate change — says the concept of a 15-minute city is rapidly spreading around the world.

That’s the idea that you should be able to walk, bike or take transit to anything you need within 15 minutes of your home or office.

Except here in Los Angeles, of course.

Where the car continues to be king, nothing even slightly resembling a bike network exists anywhere outside of Downtown, and Metro just locked in major service cuts for at least the next year.

Never mind that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is the current chair of the Metro board. Not to mention chair of C-40 Cities.

Or are we not supposed to notice that?

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

This is who we share the roads with, protest edition.

A truck driver floored it after encountering a Breonna Taylor protest in Hollywood, plowing through the crowd and seriously injuring a woman who was standing directly in front of his pickup.

That was followed by the driver of a Prius who forced his way through the crowd before being stopped and attacked with skateboards and bicycles.

A person was injured when a pickup driver plowed through a racial justice protest in Eureka, appearing to strike several people; the regional Coalition for Responsible Transportation condemned the attack.

A Milwaukee woman was injured when a driver accidentally hit her bike as she was riding on the wrong side of the road during a protest.

A Buffalo, New York woman faces charges for intentionally driving through a Bronna Taylor protest, seriously injuring a woman working as a bike marshal,

However, an Orange County woman flipped the script, seriously injuring two people by driving through a conservative, pro-Trump rally; 40-year old Long Beach resident Tatiana Turner was arrested.

………

In a truly sickening action, a Seattle bike cop deliberately rolled his police bicycle over the head of a protestor lying prone in the street.

He was immediately placed on leave after the video surfaced, pending an investigation., while the victim decried the apparent disregard for human life.

Let’s hope this is the last time that cop wears blue.

A little further south in Portland, police threw an Uber delivery rider off his bike and hogtied him, even as he insisted he was just doing his job and had nothing to do with the protests.

………

VeloNews follows along as five riders and a camera crew hope to inspire others with a 1,114-mile journey bikepacking tour exploring the Underground Railroad.

………

Gravel Bike California goes riding in Puerco Canyon, as well as Latino Canyon and the iconic Rock Store.

For those Español challenged like me, that translates to Pig Canyon.

Just so you know.

………

Slow Streets comes to Altadena, where most streets are, anyway.

………

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

A New York woman recounts her recent hit-and-run, describing a deliberate attack by a driver who knew he could get away with it.

Police are looking for a man who jumped off some rocks to attack two bicyclists with a bat as they rode on a paved trail through a Philadelphia park.

A Scottish cyclist reports an elderly “gentleman” tried to run him and another rider off the road, slowing down and swerving into them just after they completed a 31-hour, 560-mile ride. Although that pretty much defies any definition of gentleman I’m familiar with.

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

Long Beach police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who killed another man in an early morning bike-by shooting.

A defense lawyer in Canada’s Northwest Territories argues that his client was too drunk to form the intent necessary for murder, after killing another man following a day of bicycling in a drunken stupor.

………

Local

Metro Bike is shutting down operations on LA’s Westside for a couple months starting today, as the system expands and unifies the Westside and Central bikeshare networks, as well as bringing in the popular ebike service.

Despite the budget cuts, Metro’s new long-range budget included plans to close the long-standing eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path, and provide better bike access to DTLA. Because evidently, those must be the only places anyone would ever want to go on a bicycle.

 

State

SoCal ebike maker Electric Bike Company has opened their first showroom in Huntington Beach.

A San Diego nonprofit is working with local small businesses to train young adults to work in the bicycle industry.

A Ventura man celebrated his miraculous recovery from a near-fatal mountain bike crash by paddle boarding 14 miles back to Channel Islands Harbor Marina from Anacapa Island.

Bay Area bike riders dropped Bike to Work Day and celebrated Bike to Wherever Day last week, instead.

San Francisco finally gets around to opening a carfree route through Golden Gate Park.

Seriously? A woman who was injured riding a Jump scooter in San Francisco has filed a class action suit against several e-scooter companies, including Uber and Segway, because…wait for it…no one warned consumers that scooters don’t have turn signals. No one tell her about bicycles.

 

National

How to access bicycling directions in the latest version of Apple Maps.

The former head of the League of American Bicyclists says it’s time to stop relying on commuter data as the primary measure to make traffic planning decisions, because there’s a lot more to transportation.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is back in the bike business with a small line of carbon ebikes that are a far cry from the road bikes he used to be known for.

Minneapolis’ Black-led Major Taylor bike club has been working for two decades to get more people of color on bicycles.

How to navigate your next bike vacation in the Big Apple.

 

International

An op-ed from The Guardian calls for media reporting guidelines for traffic safety, arguing that how stories are reported and the language used contribute to the dangers on our roads and how the law is applied.

He gets it. Another writer for The Guardian says denying a child the joys of riding a bicycle is an abdication of parental responsibility, adding “No video game, Covid-19 lockdown or computer simulation can replace the childhood liberation of being alone on a bicycle.”

E-cargo bikes are already replacing trucks in cities around the world.

Chances are, a 13-year old dog may have visited more countries by bike than you have, traveling through 26 countries on a two-year bike tour of Europe and South America.

Cycling Weekly directs your attention to the best eco-conscious bikewear brands.

Needless to say, Vancouver bike riders aren’t happy about the closure of a popup bike lane through a park, because drivers somehow insisted they needed two lanes each way for their cars. Yes, choosing cars over people in a park.

A bighearted Cambridge University academic replaced a speech therapist’s stolen bike, because they’d helped him so much when he was diagnosed with a severe speech impediment as a child.

An 11-year old English girl rode a tandem 70 miles with her dad to visit all 12 cricket clubs in the North Staffordshire area, raising more than four times her original goal of £500 for cardiac risk assessments for young people; she’s raised the equivalent of over $2,800.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 93-year old British man raced competitively until he was 80, and still rides 150 miles a week.

A bike rider in the UK recorded 14 drivers traveling through a popup bike lane in just 35 minutes. Kind of makes you wonder how many went through it the other 23 hours and 25 minutes.

Forget CicLAvia. The entire city of Paris left their cars at home for one day for the city’s annual carfree day.

Parisian pedestrians find themselves competing for space with bike riders on the city’s busy streets.

France is introducing a new victim-blaming bike safety campaign as bicycling injuries go up with more people taking to the streets on two wheels.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. An Indian family is alive today because an anonymous bike rider was in the right place at the right time, leaping into action to pull them to safety after their car went off the road and into a natural drain before simply riding away afterwards; sadly, though, he wasn’t able to save the family’s three-year old girl.

Bicycling violations are up as in Japan as bicycling booms during the pandemic.

Malaysian bike riders take issue with a call from the country’s road safety institute to license bicyclists and require numbered plates, saying it would not improve traffic safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

Julian Alaphilippe won the world road championships with a late attack, becoming the first Frenchman to wear the rainbow jersey in over two decades.

Anna van der Breggen continued the Dutch dominance of the women’s road worlds, as the country placed three of the four top finishers; cyclists from the Netherlands have won the event four years in a row. Van de Breggen claimed the time trial title, too.

Last week we mentioned defending champ Chloe Dygert was injured after wiping out during the women’s time trial world championships. Turns out that injury was more gruesome than any of us probably imagined.

 

Finally…

If he really was Lucifer, why would he need to steal a bike? Two hundred miles in 32 hours is pretty good — especially when you’re doing it on your daughter’s little pink girl’s bike.

And evidently, moose don’t like cars any more than people on bikes do.

………

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

G’mar Chatima Tovah!

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