Tag Archive for this is who we share the roads with

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

Evidently, I’ve ruined everything.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But maybe he’s right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But again, that doesn’t make him wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So far, he hasn’t responded.

I’ll let you know if he does.

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

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

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

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

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

Yes, that Abraham Lincoln.

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

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Apparently, pedicabs are nothing new.

Though seldom quite this cool.

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

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Call a happy bike surprise.

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

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

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

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

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

And if you have to ask…

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

 

Six bicyclists critically injured in attack by pick driver in Arizona bike race, and LGBTQ+ hate from Florida pickup driver

Once again, a driver has used a motor vehicle as a weapon, leaving broken bodies in his wake.

This time during a bike race in Show Low, Arizona Saturday morning.

The town of just 11,100 people, 175 miles northeast of Phoenix, was the starting point for the 13th Annual Bike the Bluff Championship Arizona State Road Race.

But just minutes after the men’s 55 and older masters race began, the driver of a Ford F-150 pickup traveling in the opposite direction deliberately crossed over three lanes of traffic to slam into a group of bicyclists, critically injuring six people, with a seventh rider hospitalized in stable condition.

Two other people suffered less serious injuries.

A witness describes the horrors of the crash, which came just six minutes after the start, with bodies flying in every direction. Be forewarned before you click on the link, though, because the story features disturbing photos of the victims lying on the ground after the crash, as well as their mangled bikes and helmets.

You’ll find most of those same photos here, without the graphic photos of the victims. But even then, there’s a photo of a bike wheel and busted fork stuck in the truck’s grill that will haunt me forever.

This is how a Phoenix TV station describes the aftermath.

Helmets, shoes and crumpled and broken bicycles were strewn across the street after the crash, and a tire was wedged into the grill of the truck, which had damage to its top and sides and a bullet hole in a window.

The New York Times reports the driver crashed into a utility pole and was surrounded by angry bicyclists pounding on the windows and screaming for him to get out.

Instead, he backed out and drove down the road, before making a U-turn and heading back toward the bicyclists, who feared a second attack that thankfully never came.

Police attempted to stop the 35-year old Show Low man, who has not been publicly identified, as he fled the scene. They cornered him behind a hardware store a short time later, and shot him in a confrontation, the details of which have not been released.

He remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

There’s no word yet on why he did it. Or what charges he’ll face, assuming he survives his wounds.

It should be at least six counts of attempted murder. And hopefully, with a sentence to be served consecutively so he’ll be locked up for a very long time.

Thanks to everyone who sent this one to me.

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This is who we share the road with.

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The team competition in the Race Across America, aka RAAM, kicked off in Oceanside, California yesterday, as teams of 2, 4, and 8 people set on on a race across the continent to the Empire State Building in New York.

Solo riders are seven days in on the race after starting on Tuesday, and allowed just another five days to complete the course.

An Oklahoma team is riding to promote mental health and suicide prevention, something that’s especially important after a year of Covid losses and lockdowns.

Endurance cyclist and semi-retired star San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette forwards a photo of himself sandwiched between three-time Olympian, four-time US road cycling champ and Ironman World Champ John Howard and former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati, who’s competing in this year’s RAAM for Team Thin Energy.

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The Eastside Riders want your support to win an LA 2050 grant.

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A Kenyon rider offers a fascinating view of bicycling conditions in east central Africa, with a challenging soda-fueled, 102-mile ride to the Tanzanian border and back on torturous tuk tuk filled roads.

Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the link.

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Pro cyclists have to move obstacles out of the way, too. Even Liège–Bastogne–Liège women’s champ Demi Vollering.

But damn, check out that scenery.

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Are two riders faster than one?

Probably not.

Thanks to Tandem Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. Opponents of a bike path through a Florida seniors community insist that “bicycles and people do not mix.” Apparently forgetting that people ride bicycles, including many older people. And those who do are usually healthier and happier than those who don’t, regardless of age.

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

Now that’s more like it. Responding to complaints of anti-social behavior from groups of bike riders and skateboarders, London police welcome them to ride in the city center, where its relatively safe compared to other areas.

A 28-year old Welsh man could face charges of manslaughter and causing bodily harm by wanton/furious driving after killing a 79-year old woman while allegedly riding his bicycle recklessly.

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Local

Metro will vote this Thursday on whether to modernize their Highway Program to open up spending for bus lanes, bike lanes, pedestrian infrastructure and other projects that work to reduce Vehicle Mile Traveled, instead of adding lanes to already overcrowded freeway.

Unincorporated Los Angeles County has a short new protected bike lane on Workman Mill Road in Avocado Heights.

 

State

Work is set to begin this week on installing spacious seven-foot parking- and post-protected bike lanes on 30th Street in San Diego. Meanwhile, local residents and business people decry the loss of 450 parking spaces for the project.

Ride with the American Institute of Graphic Arts next Saturday, and take in the murals of La Jolla.

San Francisco police have arrested a 40-year old man on suspicion of a “prolific” string of pharmacy thefts, including the recent theft where a man on a bicycle was seen clearing pharmacy shelves into a bag before riding out of the store.

Santa Rosa police are looking for a heartless hit-and-run driver who left a bike rider lying in the roadway with severe injuries.

 

National

CNN confirms that it’s not your imagination. Drivers really have gotten worse during the pandemic.

A design site recommends bicycle accessories that run the gamut from smart to cool to…strange.

A writer for c|net recommends a pair of bone conduction headphones from Aftershokz, crediting them with saving his life by allowing him to hear a truck bearing down on him from behind as he rode his bike; they’re on sale now for Prime Day.

Keith Johnson forwards information on a one-year bicycle technician program at the Northwest Arkansas Community College.

Minneapolis bike riders vote with their feet — or their pedals — riding on bike trails more and bike lanes a lot less.

Take a 33-day ride along the entire length of the Mississippi River.

On one of the area’s first post-pandemic group rides, around 50 Michigan bike riders remember the victims of the Kalamazoo massacre, five years after a drunk and stoned driver killed five people and injured four others when he slammed into their group ride.

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late, a Massachusetts man was arrested for his fifth DUI after hitting a bike rider (scroll down), following four previous convictions; he was also arrested for possession of a powdery substance believe to be coke. Let’s hope they finally take it seriously this time, and he never drives again.

An op-ed writer in the New York Post insists that the city has to reign in ebikes after the death of Gone Girl actress Lisa Banes, and the ebike hit-and-run that left her seriously injured. Except Banes was struck by a rider on an e-scooter, not an ebike. And in her case, the problem wasn’t the ebike, it was a salmon delivery bicyclist going the wrong way in a bike lane on the wrong side of the street. 

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a passing bicyclist teamed with a New Jersey state trooper to rescue two women who fell from their overturned kayak.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a 12-week plan to get fit this summer.

Cuban bike riders turned out to protest the ongoing US blockade of their country, which hasn’t accomplished anything 50 years.

A British Columbia man thought he was in good shape thanks to mountain biking, but his first visit to a doctor in years uncovered stage 4 thyroid cancer than had spread to his spine; he’s now planning a solo 465-mile bike ride across Minnesota in September to benefit the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association.

It takes a major schmuck to knock an 11-year old Toronto boy off his bike after speeding through a stop sign, then flee as the kid stumbles to the curb. And schmuck is putting it mildly.

Big news from London, where Oxford Circus, one of the city’s busiest intersections, will be transformed into a pair of pedestrian plazas separated by a significantly smaller street, with traffic further reduced by closing nearby feeder streets. Seriously, if they can do it there — and in Paris and New York — there’s no reason we can’t do it here. Or wherever you live and ride.

An Indian immigrant learns to ride a bike again at 70 years old, nearly 50 years after giving up riding when she moved to Great Britain.

A writer for Cycling Weekly takes a ride through the UK’s equivalent of Top Gun on Northern Wales’ Mach Loop, one of just two places on earth where you can look down and see ground-hugging fighter pilots roaring beneath you.

British lawyer “Mr. Loophole,” whose job is to get celebrity drivers off the hook for traffic crimes, wants to make bicycle and e-scooter riders wear a license plate. Seriously.

Evidently, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will keep the bespoke Bilenk bicycle given him by Joe Biden, after commissioning a matching tricycle for his one-year old son.

Several Philippine bicyclists were injured, including a 14-year old girl, when they collided with each other while passing a truck during an illegal bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to Lauren Stephens and Joey Rosskopf for winning the US national road cycling titles; SoCal’s Coryn Rivera finished second to capture her third silver of the nats, while retiring cyclist Brent Bookwalter finished second for the men in his final race as a pro.

LA’s vaunted L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team came up short in the men’s crit, when pre-race favorites Cory Williams and Travis McCabe of Best Buddies Racing hit the pavement on the final turn; 18-year old U-23 team member Luke Lamperti won a surprise victory, while Kendal Ryan won the women’s crit.

In a major surprise, L39ION of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams won his 12th national title — but his first representing Belize, switching his national affiliation to his father’s homeland after winning eleven US national titles.

Reuters previews the road cycling competitions at next month’s Tokyo Olympics.

Team USA introduces the 14 paracyclists who will represent the US in Tokyo.

Twenty-five-year old South Africa native Nicholas Dlamini was named to the Tour de France roster for the Qhubeka Assos team, becoming the first Black African cyclist to ride in the race.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have some good bones. Don’t use a riding crop on your fellow naked bike riders, even if you are a dominatrix.

And that feeling when a bicyclist and TV news host turns out to have pretty good taste in music, too.

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

This is who we share the road with, the world’s coolest book bike, and Braves pitchers brave DC streets on bicycles

This is who we share the road with.

Inglewood faces a more than $300,000 lawsuit from the City of Los Angeles for a crash allegedly caused by the city’s mayor that left an LAPD motorcycle officer with an undisclosed permanent disability — even though LA rejected the officer’s injury claim.

More details on the Chicago man charged with attempted murder for intentionally driving his car over a median to attack a group of people enjoying a birthday picnic, after allegedly becoming enraged over “yuppies on the boulevard” and their dogs, then brandished a knife until he was disarmed by a passing grandmother. Yes, you read that right.

New York police continue to waffle on the crash that killed a delivery rider, before the driver went on to slam into a pair of parked cars and an outdoor dining area, alternating between calling it road rage and writing it off as a medical episode. Or maybe they think irrational anger behind the wheel is just a medical condition.

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Without a doubt, the coolest book bike ever.

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As long as you’re in DC for the game, might as well play two-wheeled tourists.

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

There’s a special place in hell for whoever kicked a British man off his bicycle from a passing moped; he was lucky to escape with cuts and scrapes, despite doing around 20 mph at the time of the assault.

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

Mad City cops are on the lookout for a bike-riding bandit who robbed a chain restaurant before fleeing with the cash.

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Local

A pair of short new bike paths have opened in Boyle Heights; they’ll eventually connect to the planned 12-acre Sixth Street PARC (Park, Arts, River and Connectivity Improvements) Project under the new Sixth Street Viaduct.

Once again, the East Side Riders Bike Club demonstrated that they’re far more than what their name implies, teaming with the LA Galaxy and TreePeople to plant shade trees in residential neighborhoods around Watts.

Pasadena Now reports on the city’s plans for four north-south bicycle boulevard corridors, days after getting scooped by Streetsblog.

Whittier is bringing bike cops back to the city’s Uptown area.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies offer advice on how to bike and drive safely during Bike Month. And for a change, the cops mostly get it right.

Santa Monica takes a bold step forward, with the city council voting to close a three-block section of Main Street to motor vehicles on weekends. Let’s hope it proves successful enough to shut the street down entirely. And not just three blocks.

 

State

Streetsblog California highlights Bike Month events around the state, including International Bike to School Day. Which is oddly scheduled for tomorrow, aka Cinco de Mayo, otherwise known as International Drunk Driving Day.

San Diego’s Mayor Gloria announces plans to fix streets in underserved areas, with a $40 million proposal to calm traffic, add bike lanes and repair sidewalks. Albeit under the unfortunate name of “Sexy Streets.”

Berkeley bike cops busted an armed felony suspect who led police on a chase after allegedly ramming his car into another vehicle. Although calling the city’s bike cops the Bike Force makes them sound like Trump’s Space Force on two wheels.

Marin bike riders could see much needed safety improvements on connections to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike path, if the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission approves a $4.3 million state grant.

A passing bike rider discovered a fatal single car crash near Clarksville, after the driver apparently went through a guardrail and into the Sacramento River; there’s no way to know how many people may have driven by without spotting the crash.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the difficulty larger riders have finding a bicycle, which they correctly note is harder than it should be. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

An association of pilots and aircraft owners suggests celebrating Bike Month by tossing your foldie in your plane and taking off. Or at least flying to an airport with bikeshare.

Rolling Stone offers their picks for the best bike locks. And won’t mind if they make a few bucks when you buy one.

Singletracks explains how carbon bike frames break.

The Cherokee Nation introduces the four young women who will take part in this year’s 950-mile Remember the Removal Ride, which roughly follows the northern route of the Trail of Tears, one of the most shameful acts in American history.

A Kentucky family is pushing for a bike helmet mandate for children 12 and under, eleven years after their then-seven-year old son suffered permanent brain damage going over his bike’s handlebars.

Ridership has surged on New York’s formerly contentious Prospect Park West bike lane, with 75,000 riders using it this past March — a jump of 25,000 over pre-pandemic levels.

He gets it, sort of. A Staten Island writer says everyone breaks the law, whether in cars, on bikes or on foot, scooters or mopeds. And says the solution is to just obey the rules and be safer out there. Although a much better solution is to design roads so breaking the rules doesn’t result in broken bodies. Which is the whole premise behind Vision Zero. 

 

International

A writer for Cycling Weekly complains that the sport’s obsession with weight is doing untold damage, and calls for a rebalancing of perspectives on fuelling, physique and performance.

Brompton is auctioning off 13 custom music-themed folding bikes to benefit Crew Nation, a global relief fund assisting live music crew workers affected by the pandemic. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Havana, Cuba is taking bids from potential operators of the city’s bikeshare system.

London’s Independent picks the six best gravel bikes for under the equivalent of $1,400. Although they have a little trouble sticking to that price tag.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list, with a 150-mile bike trail that loops around Britain’s Cornwall Coast opening this fall, taking you past “spectacular coastal scenery,” old industrial works and bronze age monuments. Not to mention the westernmost and southernmost points of mainland Britain, and the home turf of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.

British bicyclists are being urged to get off their bikes and lace up their running shoes in honor of a 27-year old woman who was trying to complete her first 10k when she was killed by police officers responding to an emergency call, and make a donation to a UK diabetes charity in her name.

Moscow is taking advantage of the country’s authoritarian top-down form of government to build a modern, European-style bicycle network throughout the city, unhindered by the usual NIMBYs, who don’t get a say in what gets built or where.

Call it a nightly ciclovia, as Tunisian bike riders take to the streets of Tunis for three glorious hours, with cars banned from the streets between 7 pm and 5 am to combat the coronavirus, while people are allowed out until 10 pm.

A Singapore man has pled guilty to killing a 64-year old bike-riding woman while riding a “grossly non-compliant” e-scooter at speeds of up to 26 mph.

An Aussie writer says Melbourne’s pandemic parklets don’t have to revert back to permanent parking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mexico’s Elizabeth Rodriguez makes the rare leap from pro cyclist to MMA fighter.

Interesting piece from Cycling Weekly on what separates the best cyclists from the great mass of merely excellent riders.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike doesn’t have to look like one — or weigh like one, either. If you’re riding your bike under the influence, while carrying a concealed pellet gun and brandishing a tomahawk, just…don’t.

And yes, you can do stunts on a gravel bike.

Okay, maybe you can’t.

But still.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Happy LA Bike Month, Los Angeles Vision Zero fail, and Damian Kevitt calls for support for school zone speed cam bill

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

Just another of the many and varied joys of diabetes, a cruel disease that can take you from feeling okay to passing out in a matter of minutes, for no apparent reason.

And yet another reminder to get yourself checked if you’re at risk, and do whatever it takes to avoid getting it. Because you don’t want this shit. 

Seriously. 

Today’s photo of irresistible cuteness by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

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Happy Bike Month, Los Angeles.

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Despite — or maybe because of — an up to 70% drop in traffic fatalities, roadway deaths declined just 3% in Los Angeles last year, thanks at least in part to a dramatic jump in speeding as empty streets encouraged drivers to use a heavy right foot.

This is how LAist explained it.

Based on preliminary data reported by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, 238 people died in collisions last year, compared to 246 in 2019 — a decrease of about 3%.

That slight dip pales in comparison to how sharply car travel fell in greater L.A. and beyond in the early months of the pandemic. Schools closed, many workers stopped commuting to their offices, and local and state stay-at-home orders drastically limited the places and activities we could drive to in our cars.

In mid-to-late March 2020, daily vehicle traffic fell as much as 70%. Last April saw traffic volumes decrease by 30% to 50% compared to the start of the year. Daily driving has been increasing since that historic plummet, but still remain below typical levels, according to city traffic data.

And despite a drop last year, bike and pedestrian deaths are still up over the five years since LA adopted Vision Zero in 2015.

Which isn’t the way it’s supposed to work.

The basic philosophy behind Vision Zero is that humans will make mistakes on the road and crashes will happen, but by redesigning streets to reduce speeding and better protect vulnerable road users, those crashes don’t have to cause severe injuries and deaths. But as the data has shown in recent years, L.A.’s current approach is not working…

While fewer people were killed and seriously injured in crashes overall last year, not all L.A. communities experienced less traffic violence. According to preliminary data compiled by LADOT:

  • The number of pedestrians killed by drivers fell about 12% overall, but increased in some neighborhoods
  • Slightly fewer cyclists were killed last year (15, compared to 19 in 2019)
  • The number of motorcyclists killed in crashes jumped about 45%
  • Motor vehicle occupant deaths were nearly unchanged

Pandemic or not, it’s clear that LADOT’s piecemeal approach to reducing traffic deaths isn’t working.

And it isn’t Vision Zero, by any definition.

The basic philosophy behind Vision Zero is that humans will make mistakes on the road and crashes will happen, but by redesigning streets to reduce speeding and better protect vulnerable road users, those crashes don’t have to cause severe injuries and deaths. But as the data has shown in recent years, L.A.’s current approach is not working.

It’s long past time Los Angeles stopped talking about Vision Zero, and got off its collective ass and did something about it.

Because I’m every bit as tired of writing about fallen bicyclists as you are reading about it. And don’t get me started on all the other people needlessly killed on our streets.

For any doubters out there, yes, ending traffic deaths is possible. If — and only if — we have the political will to make it happen.

Speaking of LAist, just like their parent public radio station KPCC, they survive on public donations.

So open that wallet if you can spare a few bucks

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SAFE founder and Executive Director Damian Kevitt, who lost a leg — and nearly his life — to a hit-and-run driver who was never caught, makes a heartfelt plea to fight for SB 733, which would allow automated speed cams in school zones.

Sadly, California is one of the only nine states that expressly forbids speed safety cameras in school zones. This tool has been available since 1987 and is unquestionably effective. Data in cities across the country, such as New York, Seattle, and Chicago, show that speed safety cameras reduce traffic injuries and fatalities and change driver behavior. More importantly, there are already thousands of schools across the country that currently use speed safety cameras to protect kids, teachers, and parents.

The common sense bill, which would only impact people breaking the law and endangering innocent kids and adults, has been severely watered down by Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez, a Democrat misrepresenting Long Beach, at least in this case.

As currently written after it was butchered in committee, the law would only allow a pilot project in four schools out of more that 20,000 in the state.

As Kevitt writes,

This is an insult to victims of traffic violence and the coalition of support, especially given the immediate problem and widespread, documented effective use of speed safety cameras across the country.

One of the harder things I have had to do is tell victims of traffic violence — who were emotionally prepared to testify in committee — that this lifesaving bill wouldn’t make it through committee due to political forces that are hard to explain. Why would police unions work to fill a bill that so obviously would help save lives? It is heartbreaking.

But we will pick ourselves up and gain strength. The voices of traffic violence will not be silenced. Safety advocates will not accept that denial of the science. Equity groups will demand accountability. And, in the end, we will save lives.

He urges you, and all of us, to call or email Gonzalez’s office to express your outrage, and demand this life-saving tool to protect innocent lives.

Here’s that link again for her contact information, and sample scripts you can follow.

I’m planning to do it later today. I hope you’ll join me

………

I’ve been remiss in not mentioning the LACBC’s virtual LA Rivers Challenge, which replaces their popular LA River Ride, as the world still struggles to shake off the pandemic.

Join us the entire month of June for a virtual challenge in place of the LA River Ride. 2020 was supposed to mark 20 years of River Ride, but we had to put our beloved event on hold due to the pandemic. We’re making up for it in 2021 by inviting you to 30 days of riding, walking and running the historic waterways of Los Angeles!

The LA Rivers challenge is all about doing the mileage goal that is best for you. Select the goal that excites you, tests your abilities, or that you can do with your family. There is a distance for everyone to ride, walk or run.

Opening March 15th, registration is just $40, but follow up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for exclusive discounts. You also have the opportunity to support healthy, sustainable and equitable streets by choosing to fundraise for LACBC while meeting your mileage goals. You can earn great prizes at key fundraising milestones and will qualify for The 2021 LA Rivers Challenge Drawing to win one of our grand prizes TBA! Whatever your contribution, you will be supporting the work of LACBC, as we try to make Los Angeles a safer and more inclusive place to ride, walk and run.

………

This is who we share the road with, part one.

Part two.

Part three.

It’s no surprise that we can’t manage to do anything about man shootings, when we still can’t even do anything about stopping people from using their car as a multi-ton weapon of mass destruction.

………

While we’re on the subject, there’s good news from Maryland, where bike cam video was used to convict a driver for an aggressive punishment pass.

We need to change the law here in California, where police are currently prohibited from ticketing drivers or charging them with misdemeanors unless they actually witness the infraction.

And no, witnessing it on video doesn’t count, for some strange reason.

………

GCN offers advice on how to find good riding routes when you’re new to the area.

And GCN considers one of bicycling’s most vital questions, and one of the last remaining forms of legal doping.

………

I’m all in.

Seriously, we could use this right here in Los Angeles.

And right now.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

A sharp-eyed Megan Lynch spotted LAFD bike paramedics on the red carpet of last week’s Academy Awards.

And thanks to Vyki Englert for spotting the LAFD logo on their panniers.

………

Nothing sexier than someone on a bike.

Okay, maybe the right someone.

………

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

Someone sabotaged a beginners bike trail in Scotland with obstacles including tree branches, and fence posts with rusted razor wire, which could seriously injure an unsuspecting rider. Or worse.

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

A murder suspect accused of killing his wife has ridden his bike over 3,000 miles around Denver, despite being on house arrest — and posted it to Strava.

A British man was lucky to walk with a suspended sentence after he was busted with the equivalent of over $2,700 worth of amphetamines when police stopped him as he rode his bicycle with a bloody face; no word on how his face got that way.

………

Local

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom announces his candidacy for County Supervisor, basing his run in part on a 20-year record of advocating for a transit, bike and pedestrian-friendly Westside.

That’s more like it. Pasadena is considering four north-south corridors for bicycle boulevards.

A teenage mountain biker was airlifted from the Santa Monica Mountains after suffering painful wrist and shoulder injuries on Sunday.

A young boy celebrated his eleventh birthday Saturday with a 111-mile ride along the beach bike path from Santa Monica to Palos Verdes and back until he completed a century plus an 11-mile victory lap. When I was eleven, I was happy to ride around the block by myself.

Clearly, Long Beach isn’t afraid of road diets, proposing a lane reduction and bike path for a 1.4-mile section of Spring Street. Unlike a certain megalopolis to the north.

 

State

A 38-year old man in El Cajon suffered serious lower body injuries when he was struck by a driver moments after getting off his bicycle.

San Diego’s SANDAG has received a $12 million grant to complete a seven-mile segment of the Inland Rail Trail from San Marcos to Vista.

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom take their eight-month old daughter for a ride through Santa Barbara on their massive ebikes.

Apparently, San Jose leaders aren’t afraid of road diets either, or LA’s seemingly inevitable angry driver backlash to them.

You know you’ve got a serious safety problem when two disabled people are killed crossing the same San Jose intersection in a single month.

Why pro cyclists like to train in Sonoma County. Surprisingly, it’s not the wine. Or maybe not just the wine. 

A Redding man calls it a life-changing moment when he wins a new ebike.

 

National

Cycling News considers the best ebikes for under two grand.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers advice on how to not get your bike stolen.

A British website highlights “four epic cycling adventures that showcase the incredible landscapes of the USA,” starting with a ride down the Left Coast from Seattle to San Diego. My brother did that one just a couple years ago — along with riding to the Northwest from Western Colorado, and back again to Colorado from San Diego.

The American Southwest experienced a bigger bike boom than anywhere else in the world, including Europe and the rest of the US.

It takes a real schmuck to steal $20,000 worth of bicycles from a Dallas Boy Scout camp.

A Texas man is suing a sporting goods store after a bike fell off an upper display rack and landed on his head. Which is not funny at all, except that it is.

A Minnesota town is repurposing an old abandoned bridge over the Mississippi as a bike and pedestrian bridge, 40 years after it was closed to cars.

Celebrate Bike Month with a visit to Ohio’s Bicycle Museum of America, where over 800 bikes are on display, dating back to an an 1816 draisienne invented by Karl Drais that they credit as the first true bicycle. Although not everyone agrees. You can read that second link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you, which it probably will unless you’re a subscriber.

New York mayoral hopeful Eric Adams pledges to build another 300 miles of protected bike lanes in the city during his first four years, if he’s elected, an annual rate nearly three times the 28 miles installed last year. Let’s get the candidates for mayor in next year’s LA election to make a similar pledge. And hold them to it.

A crowdfunding page raised $75,000 for a New York delivery worker who was killed when driver went into the bike lane to pass another car, hit the scooter the victim was riding, then went on to hit two parked cars and slam into an outdoor restaurant.

Two men with the same name are fighting back against a cease and desist order from the City of New York to remove their unpermitted dockless ebikes from the streets.

New York police stopped a salmon cyclist, and discovered they had nabbed a hate crime suspect responsible for a rash of anti-Jewish vandalism.

A Florida driver faces charges for intentionally driving off the road to run over a man she knew who was riding a bicycle.

 

International

Your next Subaru could be a single-speed mountain bike. If you live in Canada, that is.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. A deadly Montreal underpass where a woman was killed riding her bike seven years ago now has a bike path with a concrete barrier to protect riders from passing drivers. And the ghost bike that was installed in her honor was removed Sunday to be transferred to a museum, where it will highlight the dangers on the streets.

Former Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams is one of us, as she goes for a London bike ride in a see-through top while filming a new six-part bio-series based on a memoir from Sex Pistols bassist Steve Jones. Sorry guys, they blurred that part out.

A Scottish bicyclist was forced to abandon his attempt to set a new record for the greatest distant ridden in a single week, after suffering a knee injury on the fourth day.

Those e-cargo bike front wheel skids may soon be a thing of the past, as Italian brake maker BluBrake introduces the world’s first ABS, aka anti-lock braking system, designed for electric cargo bikes. Thanks to Thomas Riebs for the tip.

She gets it. Germany’s first professor of bicycle traffic management says cars should give up space to make room for people on bicycles.

Ebike and electric scooter riders will now have to pass a theory test before they’re allowed to ride in Singapore, starting next month.

She gets it. The widow of a Kiwi bicyclist says a single mistake shouldn’t cost someone their life, while opposing jail for the truck driver who killed him.

 

Competitive Cycling

According to Cycling News, 21-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel stands suspended between stardom and superstardom since breaking his pelvis at Il Lombardia last August.

Cycling News also examines the omertà in women’s pro cycling, where virtually no one is talking about the shameful poverty wages — or no wages at all — paid to riders below the WorldTour level.

Cyclist talks to pro cyclists about their less-than-favorable reaction to UCI’s new safety rules.

The popular Over the Hump mountain bike race series will make a comeback at Irvine Lake on July 20th.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your ebike has a sidecar. That feeling when the bike lane is blocked by a city bus, whose driver is busy having sex onboard.

And if you’re riding your bike after dark while carrying two bags of meth, put a damn light on it, already.

………

Thanks to Matthew R for his monthly donation to help keep this site coming your way every day; your support is always welcome and appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Pasadena driver faces murder charge, LADOT proposes bike lane-free Lincoln Blvd, and protected parking lanes in DTLA

This is who we share the road with.

Police arrested 36-year old Anthony Marcus Houston on murder and reckless driving charges for a Pasadena crash last December.

He’s accused of blowing through a red light at twice the posted speed limit, and slamming into a car driven by 49-year old Pasadena resident Juanita Lucinda Johnson, killing her and injuring three other people.

Houston, who has a lengthy criminal record dating back to his teens, had been wanted since an arrest warrant was issued last month.

He also faces charges for assaulting and threatening two people earlier this month.

It’s just too bad that’s what it seems to take to get prosecutors to take traffic crimes seriously.

………

LADOT wants your opinion on proposed changes to Lincoln Blvd south of Santa Monica.

None of which involves building a bike lane.

Then again, it’s not like even a “protected” bike lane means much in the City of Angels these days.

………

This is what could be happening in Los Angeles.

But isn’t.

………

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

A driver jumped out of his car and tried to fight a woman riding her bike in New York.

Something that happens too damned often, and for no good reason.

………

Local

Los Angeles has received a $30.7 million grant for transportation projects in the Canoga Park area, including protected bike lanes on Owensmouth Avenue and Sherman Way, and a protected connection between the Orange Line and the LA River bike path.

 

State

A teenage Indio bike rider was hospitalized with moderate injuries after getting struck by a driver Wednesday evening.

The Santa Barbara city council voted unanimously to build the new crosstown Sola Street bicycle boulevard, over loud objections from the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission, who somehow felt traffic diverters would destroy the historic ambiance of the Mission District.

Northern California’s Caltrain is installing new bike lockers at most stations, available on a first come, first served basis for just five cents an hour.

This is who we share the road with, too. Police are looking for a Santa Rosa man who deliberately slammed his car into a homeless camp, injuring a man he’d been arguing with and killing nearby a woman; he’ll face murder and attempted murder charges once he’s arrested.

 

National

Men’s Journal offers their picks for the best bike helmets to keep your head in one piece, however you ride. Although you can protect your head just as well for a fraction of the cost of some of their choices.

Cycling Weekly recommends clothing and accessories for on or off your bike.

A new online bicycling community promises to bring together cycling content, resources, perks and discounts into a single resource, with annual memberships starting at just $10.

A former Portland bike shop owner is urging his erstwhile peers to band together to support an industry climate change declaration. Seriously, bicycles could — and should — be one of the most important tools in fighting climate change, yet the industry has done virtually nothing to encourage it.

In an extreme example of failing to share the trail, a Washington hiker stabbed a mountain biker who asked his group to move over so he could get by. Predictably, both sides disagree on whose fault it was.

Residents of College Station, Texas rally around an 81-year old lawyer after someone stole the beat-up cruiser bike he’d ridden to work every day for the last 12 years.

Minneapolis introduces new artistically designed bike racks. Although I suspect most bike riders are more concerned with keeping their bike safe than how whimsical the rack is.

New York is poised to make a big move by shifting responsibility for crash investigations from the NYPD to the city’s department of transportation, although the police would still be responsible for any criminal investigation that results. However, that raises questions over the need to hire and train hundreds of crash investigators for a department that has never investigated anything more serious than a parking violation.

As California considers legalizing speed cams, New Yorkers voice overwhelming support for automated traffic enforcement, with 78% of New York City voters approving, along with 73% of motorists.

A New York Streetsblog op-ed argues for the role bike co-ops play in promoting equity on the city’s streets, enabling cash strapped people to get a good bike without falling into the trap of dysfunctional used bikes or low quality mass market bicycles.

Speaking of Streetsblog, they note that booming bike use means there’s now an average of just 1.9 cars for every bike on New York’s Second Avenue, yet drivers get roughly 12 times the space.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could flee the scene after killing a 10-year old boy riding his bike; a 27-year old Georgia woman faces a charge of vehicular homicide.

 

International

The bikewear market took a nosedive last year, dropping 25% despite the bike boom.

An Edinburgh bus driver is out of work after colliding with a drunken bike rider; he was fired for reckless conduct, even though police cleared him of misconduct.

An 84-year old Limerick, Ireland woman beamed when she was given a new bicycle by the kindhearted owner of a local bike shop, after he discovered the bike she rides around the city was too far gone to be repaired.

A group of around 20 Singapore bicyclists are accused of hogging the road — not to mention violating Covid protocols — even though they courteously moved out of the driver’s way after he honked.

 

Competitive Cycling

Leading French newspaper Le Parisien reports next month’s single-day Paris-Roubaix, aka the Hell of the North, has been postponed until fall due to the pandemic; it comes after last year’s race was postponed, before being cancelled.

Bicycling hops into the Wayback Machine for a look back at the pioneering women bicyclists who forced their way into the sport, paving the way for today’s women’s cyclists. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike through a closed Burger King drive-thru looking for change, with an open beer in hand, maybe leave the meth pipe at home. Florida police are looking for an electric bicycle thief; no word on whether he runs on a cord or batteries.

And yes, please.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

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?

………

How to ride like a bike messenger.

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

………

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.

………

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

………

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

Your help needed for precedent-setting legal case, Epstein enters CD5 council race, and reward for hit-and-run drivers

This has been a rough year for all of us.

And riding a bike hasn’t always been enough to get through it, emotionally or otherwise. 

So take some time to find something you can truly be thankful for, and give your heart and mind a break for a few days. 

And stay safe out there. I want to see you back here bright and early when we return to our regular programming on Monday.

Meanwhile, Friday will mark the launch of this year’s 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

The corgi puppy is already hard at work preparing for her debut as our new spokesdog. 

But feel free if you want to get a jump on donating and beat the holiday rush. 

Update: Thanks to Arthur B for kicking the fund drive off!

………

Today I learned what depublishing means — and what we can do about it.

Recently, we mentioned a legal ruling from a California appeals court that held Sonoma County responsible for injuries a woman suffered when her bike hit a pothole at 25 mph, setting a precedent that would make it easier for other injured riders to hold local governments accountable for bad roads, and their failure to maintain them.

But now lawyers for the county are asking the California Supreme Court to depublish the ruling, which means it couldn’t be used as a precedent for other cases, claiming she was engaged in an “extreme sport.”

This is how the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition described the case.

The argument put forth by appeals attorney Nadia Sarkis, representing the County, focused on the length, speed, and purpose of Williams’ ride, claiming that as she was engaged in an “extreme sport” and was not an “ordinary user” of the road, she assumed the “inherent risk of the sport.”  In other words, she should have known she could get hurt riding a bike and that County liability for poor road condition therefore does not apply to her.

The Justices’ line of questioning really hammered on this idea that the County’s liability varies based on the speed and purpose of a cyclist’s ride on a given day. One Justice gave Sarkis some hypotheticals and asked in which cases the County has duty. They included a woman riding at the same speed and distance but to work; a teenager riding the same speed but on her way to soccer practice; a 65-year-old woman riding the same speed on an electric bike she bought after having a knee replacement. They all seemed somewhat incredulous only Williams’ incident, but not the rest of these situations, should release the County from liability for the cyclist’s injuries and questioned the whole idea of defining “ordinary” versus “extreme” bicycling.

(Sarkis had quoted a study on “average” speed and distance for recreational versus transportational cyclists and implied that anything above “average” was “extreme.”  The speed and distance of Dr. Williams’ ride were certainly those of a fit and serious rider, but nowhere near what any of us would consider “extreme.”)

Which is ridiculous, of course. And has nothing to do with the failure to ensure a safe riding surface.

Which is where you come in.

Alan Charles Dell’Ario, the plaintiff’s attorney, is asking for letters from bicyclists to forward the Supreme Court within to oppose depublishing the ruling, and keep it as a precedent that could prove invaluable to other injured riders.

You can email your letter to him at Charles@dellario.org.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard L. Duquette, a longtime friend of this site, has shared his own letter to serve as a guide.

Just hurry, because it’s due at the Supreme Court by the end of next week.

Update: Mr. Dell’Ario sends word that your letter must follow the format below to be forwarded to the court.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

………

This year’s city council election ended less than a month ago. But the campaign to replace termed out Paul Koretz in CD5 is just getting started, as Scott Epstein tossed his cycling cap into the ring.

Epstein is a life-long bike rider and advocate for safer streets, and a long-time leader with both the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Mid City West Community Council.

I’ve known him for over a decade, and it’s hard to imagine a better replacement for the pseudo-environmentalist Koretz, who has opposed virtually every bike project in his district.

Epstein has my unqualified support. And you can find a long list of other endorsements by clicking on the thread above.

………

This is who we share the road with.

The LAPD is looking for a motorcyclist and two drivers who ran down a South LA man in a deadly triple hit-and-run.

Fifty-year old Jose Fuentes was crossing Central Ave near 78th Street when the motorcycle rider slammed into him, followed by both drivers running over him, one after the other, as he lay in the roadway.

And not one had the basic human decency to stick around afterwards, let alone call for help or render aid.

Meanwhile, 76-year old Kuen Ham died several hours after she was run down by yet another hit-and-run driver as she was crossing Miramar Street at Union Ave in the Westlake District, dragging her several feet as they fled the scene.

As always, there is standing $50,000 reward offered by the City of Los Angeles for information leading to an arrest and conviction in any fatal hit-and-run, which applies in both these cases.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the Fuentes heads-up.

………

Four people find the balance between mountain biking and skiing.

………

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

A road-raging Pittsburgh man faces a raft of charges including attempted murder for allegedly shooting a man riding a bicycle in a dispute that following a collision.

Someone has been sabotaging a rail-to-trail bike path in the UK by strewing large branches on the pavement, as well as throwing sticks at passing riders.

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

Lincoln, Nebraska police are on the lookout for a pair of bike-riding teens who confronted a family jogging on a bike trail, and flashed a gun when they were asked to move out of the way.

………

Local

Metro is offering Black Friday deals on bikeshare passes this weekend.

 

State

San Luis Obispo released the city’s new active transportation plan for public review.

A Santa Cruz man faces a murder charge after telling police his girlfriend was killed falling off her bike, even though neighbors reported her screams for help.

Tragic news from San Leandro, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a van driver, who remained at the scene. Police are looking for a second driver who left the scene and may have been involved, as well.

Davis police are looking for whoever is responsible for a series of bike shop burglaries targeting high-end bicycles. And it’s not just bike shops falling victim, either.

 

National

Bicycling recommends the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for bike riders, along with ten cutting-edge gifts for tech-loving bicyclistsUnfortunately, these don’t seem to be available on Yahoo yet.

Gear Junkie recommends the best mountain bikes for under a grand.

The NYPD has finally done the right thing, and cancelled dozens of outstanding ebike tickets after the city belatedly got around to legalizing them; the department’s crackdown fell primarily on immigrant delivery riders who could least afford it.

New York’s Department of Transportation overrules a community board to build a cargo bike corral near a Manhattan Whole Foods.

Outgoing New York Mayor de Blasio says it will be up to the next mayor to finish Vision Zero, even though the city has barely made a dent in it.

 

International

Cyclist looks at the relatively brief history of Cervélo, as the cutting-edge brand reaches the quarter century mark.

The Guardian considers how to stay safe running or biking after dark this winter.

Wired looks at the surge in bike lanes in cities around the world, as they react to the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic. Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

The CBC profiles London, Ontario residents who plan to keep riding through the frigid Canadian winter.

Bike Radar has the best Black Friday bike deals from the UK, as well as a few from the US.

Cycling Weekly examines how London’s Pearson, reportedly the world’s oldest bike shop, launched its online business in the middle of the pandemic.

Brazen London thieves used an angle grinder to steal a locked ebike in front of witnesses in broad daylight.

British residents say a local bike rider might not have been killed if completion of a half-finished bikeway hadn’t been pushed back to 2027.

That’s more like it. An Irish man has until the end of the year to pay a nearly $24,000 fine for seriously injuring two bicyclists while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit, after an appeals court ruled his original 18-month sentence was too lenient.

A Borneo op-ed says it’s time to consider installing bike lanes on the Malaysian island.

Australia’s food delivery riders complain about dangerous conditions after five riders were killed in just two months.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen is back on his bike, three months after a horrific crash during the final sprint in stage one of the Tour de Pologne.

Pez Cycling looks forward to five things they want to see in road cycling next year.

 

Finally…

Not all bike riders are saints, but at least one bike riding priest is one his way. And when the shooting of America’s only remaining Tour de France champ didn’t even make the local paper (Scroll down. No, seriously, keep scrolling.).

………

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

LACBC virtual holiday celebration, Calbike agenda reveal, and this is who we share the road — and the bike path — with

You’re invited to the LACBC’s virtual holiday celebration and potluck dinner next month.

………

Think of it as a legislative baby reveal, when Calbike officially unveils their 2021 agenda next month.

Speaking of Calbike, you have until midnight tonight to enter to win one of 21 bike-related prizes.

………

This is who we share the road with.

The LAPD is looking for a woman who abandoned her vehicle after slamming into another car in a fiery crash while participating in a speed contest, as well as a second driver who helped her flee.

And an Oregon Tesla driver crashed while doing a whopping 100 mph, sending the car’s batteries flying through the windows of a nearby apartment building.

Bicycles hardly ever spew batteries into buildings when they crash. Especially the regular kind.

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This is who we share the bike path with.

A Colorado driver somehow managed to get stuck on a bike/ped bridge on a Denver offroad bike path.

Far offroad.

Which leads to today’s entry in the Annals of Bad Headlines, which somehow manages to blame the car instead of the driver.

SUV on Denver Bike Path

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Gravel Bike California wants you to get your Whoops in.

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An Oakland bike rider gets his five seconds of fame, popping a wheelie on his scraper bike in the background of a live news report.

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I like him already.

Ashtyn Davis, a rookie safety with the New York Jets, lives a carfree lifestyle, riding his bike to practice every day.

The Jets, on the other hand, totally suck this year.

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An Ottawa city counselor politely reminds drivers to use their turn signals after he’s right hooked by a truck driver turning across a protected bike lane.

A reminder to check their damn mirrors wouldn’t hurt, either.

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GCN’s latest video considers whether a used bike being sold by a pro cycling team is worth buying, even at a big discount.

Which kind of depends on whether you even want a high-end racing bike to begin with.

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Now that’s how to do a baby reveal.

Real Housewives of the Potomac star Ashley Darby surprises her husband with the sex of their coming baby in the middle of his bike ride.

At least they didn’t set the woods on fire.

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Local

A bike-riding man was killed in yet another hit-and-run in South LA on Wednesday; nearly half of the bicycling fatalities in LA County this year have been hit-and-runs.

The Eastsider talks with the owner of Echo Park bike shop Revenge Fantasy Cycles, who recovered from Covid-19 only to run head-first into the bike boom and resulting bicycle shortage.

Streetsblog looks at LA Councilmember Paul Krekorian’s decision to cancel plans to widen Magnolia Blvd in North Hollywood, and proceed with safety improvements including better sidewalks. Although no bike lanes, protected or otherwise, unfortunately.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Bicycling gives you the run down on the hybrid bikes the future first couple were riding last weekend. Meanwhile, Carlton Reid says the new Biden administration will boost transit and bicycling, but won’t do anything about car dependency.

No surprise here. The annual Bike Shop Day falls victim to Covid-19.

Bike-friendly US cities are scrambling to combat a rapid rise in bike thefts, which are up 68% since March, according to Bike Index. Which explains why Los Angeles isn’t doing much about it — although the LAPD is now partnering with Bike Index to offer free bike registration.

Riding a bike helped a New Mexico nurse lose 35 pounds and recover from knee surgery — and discover he had the same heart problem that nearly killed my wife. As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

Denver residents are pushing for the city’s Shared Streets, aka Slow Streets, to be made permanent.

An Ohio man explains how to build a lightweight cross-country bike on a budget.

The executive director of Bike Pittsburgh makes the case that bike lanes benefit everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

After a bike commuter was injured in a hit-and-run outside her apartment, a kindhearted South Carolina woman arranged to get him a new bike, then tracked down the total stranger to give it to him.

South Carolina’s Workman Cycles continues to fill orders in workman-like fashion to ensure people get their bikes for the holidays; the 122-year old company claims to be America’s oldest bikemaker.

A professional golfer living in Florida is lucky to come back after suffering serious injuries when she ran her 30 mph ebike into a curb.

 

International

A writer for Bike Radar argues what mountain bike standard should be standard, and that standards should exist to make your life easier.

Merchants in a British Columbia city attempt to shoot themselves in the foot by opposing a plan to replace 90 parking spaces with a two-way cycle track, apparently unaware that bike riders spend more money than drivers do. A city counselor wisely notes that “There’s not a bike path in the world that didn’t start off with some kind of controversy.”

An Ontario, Canada newspaper makes the case for why people in colder climes should keep riding through the winter.

Princess Diana was one of us, spending the night before her wedding to Prince Charles riding through the halls of London’s Clarence House.

Bicycling deaths in Scotland have jumped to their highest level since 2013. Meanwhile, 90% of drivers in the Scottish Borders region say they will simply ignore the new 20 mph speed limit. Those things couldn’t possibly be related, could they?

Proposed British ebike subsidies could cut prices by as much as a third.

A public health professor in the UK calls on the country to close roads over the holidays to give pedestrians and bicyclists room to exercise and allow people to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

The BBC says bike-friendly Slow Streets are changing cities for the better.

The president of the Philippines decrees that the 4th Sunday of every November will henceforth be National Bicycle Day.

 

Finally…

Dunkin’s new donut tandem appears to have failed basic geometry. Keeping up the grand tradition of cheating in bike racing, even virtual kind.

And that feeling when a company claims their reflective bike stickers could potentially save thousands of lives.

Unlike, say, all the other reflective bike stickers out there.

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

Great achievements in bad reporting, New Yorkers brawl over parking, and whether we’re better off with Garcetti in DC

Let’s start off today with the latest edition of Great Achievements in Bad Reporting.

Writing about a bike rider killed in collision with a truck, a Boston TV station failed to mention the driver at all.

Or if the truck even had one.

Then they added this sparkling gem.

Seriously?

Sources report the truck is bereft, and receiving counseling. No word on whether the vehicle will face charges.

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels.

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This is who we share the road with.

New Yorkers engage in an all-out brawl that starts with a baseball bat, and ends with a car slamming through a storefront.

All over a damn parking space.

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

Police in New Jersey are looking for a bike-riding man who mugged a woman as she sat at a sidewalk cafe.

A New York thief who apparently doesn’t know how to wear a face mask walked out of a Queens bike shop with an $11,400 Trek Domane SLRQ, after posing as a customer taking it for a test ride. Seriously, Covid-19 aside, if you’re planning to commit a crime, keep your damn mask on. And even if you’re not. 

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Local

A Jewish publication questions whether LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is worthy of a spot in President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet. My take is that the city would be better off without him, so we could get a replacement who isn’t so easily distracted by national ambitions.

The Los Angeles Fire Department will now be even more nimble in crowd situations, after accepting a gift of four ebikes from Ontario CA bikemaker Aventon.

Culver City got a $47,000 state grant for bicycle and pedestrian safety education programs; Pasadena topped that with a $150,000 grant.

Glendale is attempting to reduce traffic fatalities by improving 16 intersections responsible for 40% of pedestrian deaths.

 

State

San Diego is moving forward with plans for protected bike lanes in the North Park neighborhood, which could be a problem for restaurants that have expanded into the street for al fresco dining.

Ventura sheriff’s deputies busted a pair of suspected thieves with a hot bike stolen in Malibu, as well as meth and burglary tools.

Bad news from Lompoc, where a bike rider was critically injured in a collision. Although once again, there doesn’t appear to actually be a driver involved, judging from the story.

More bad news, as a San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he reportedly fell off his bike, striking his head.

‘Tis the season. A pair of Red Bluff women are planning to distribute 200 bicycles to kids in Shasta, Tehama, and Siskiyou Counties for the holidays.

 

National

Writing for Outside, Joe Lindsey says the pandemic had presented us with a rare opportunity to reimagine how we get around, resulting in more bikeable, walkable and enjoyable cities.

Portland is teaming with Oregon State University to conduct a study of conflicts between bus and bike lanes at intersections.

Apparently, bikes are getting more like cars every day. Case in point, Seattle is building a $2.5 million bicycle interchange connecting two major bike trails that literally cross, without actually meeting.

Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes continues to push down ebike prices with their new RadMission 1, starting at around a grand.

An Illinois cycling instructor argues that an accident is never just an accident. Which is why I never use the word, unless someone drops a glass of milk or the puppy pees on the carpet.

A South Carolina columnist explains what the hell sharrows are. But fails to mention that they are pretty much useless, except to help angry drivers improve their aim.

 

International

Pink Bike talks with bike industry professionals about what comes next after the coronavirus bike boom. Good to see them hopeful for the future, which is a nice change from recent years.

A London man described as a professional bike thief and one-man crime wave will spend the next two years behind bars after confessing to his crimes.

That didn’t take long. It only took a couple hours for UK residents to snap up all 50,000 vouchers in the country’s second round of bike repair funds.

No surprise here. A new report from an organization that advices the British government on transportation safety makes clear who is responsible for most deaths on the country’s roads, and it ain’t the people on bicycles. Although the family of a 70-year old English woman might disagree.

A Scottish man discovers what happens when his solo bike tour across Europe turns into a tandem ride after meeting a stray kitty in Bosnia.

 

Competitive Cycling

Legendary cycling coach Edward Borysewicz died in Poland from the effects of Covid-19; the 81-year old man better known as Eddie B coached the US Cycling Team to its greatest successes in the late ’70s and ’80s, as well as coaching American cycling greats Greg LeMond, Andy Hampsten and Rebecca Twigg, as well as He Who Must Not Be Named.

An unlicensed British truck driver has pled guilty to charges for killing women’s pro cyclist Josephine Gilbert; he’ll learn his sentence next month.

 

Finally…

Your next bike may not have a chain — or much of a frame, for that matter. That feeling when you fall off a stolen motor scooter after seeing a cop, and your mom comes out to scold the police for, you know, making you fall.

And Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer for the win.

………

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

LA traffic collisions — and bike deaths — drop dramatically, our debt to Alex Trebek, and Culver City bus/bike lanes

No surprise here.

Traffic collisions dropped nearly 42% in Los Angeles during the pandemic lockdown earlier this year, as many drivers stayed home and off the roads.

What’s more surprising is that’s also reflected in the dramatic drop in bicycling deaths in LA County this year, at less than half of last year’s total — 14 so far this year, compared to 34 for all of last year.

Now if we could just keep it that way, as traffic creeps back up to pre-pandemic levels.

Today’s photo comes courtesy of David Drexler, combining two of my favorite things — bikes and coffee.

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Your periodic reminder that some people can live forever, and still be gone too soon.

And this.

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on proposed bus/bike lanes in Culver City, which is rapidly lapping Los Angeles in the race for safe streets.

Then again, it’s not hard to lap someone who never left the starting gate.

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This is who we share the roads with.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could just drive off and leave an 87-year old man to die in the street.

And hopefully, a special place behind bars, for a very long time.

Meanwhile, if they really want to put a dent in street racing, make the impound permanent.

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John McBrearty forwards this short video about his bike club’s annual bike build program for kids at the YMCA.

While the video is a couple years old, he assures me it’s taking place once again this year if you want to get involved.

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We can thank Bart Anderson for forwarding this YouTube version of last month’s BBC report on Europe’s bike boom, which wasn’t previously viewable in the US.

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The Bike League is looking for speakers for their upcoming virtual Bike Summit.

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

Monterey bike riders can breathe a little easier tonight, after the local DA announced a man who threw acid on a bike rider 20 years ago will stay in a mental hospital for the foreseeable future.

A Nevada man is being held on $120,000 bail for allegedly shooting a 14-year girl with a BB gun as she was riding her bike; he faces charges of conspiring to commit child abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.

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Local

Looks like Metro is finally getting it, after moving to open up highway funds so local communities can use the money for bike, pedestrian and transit projects, instead.

The Los Angeles Business Journal examines how LA bike shops are struggling to keep up with increased demand due to the bike boom.

A man faces charges for pepper spraying and robbing someone on the beachfront bike path in Santa Monica at 1:37 in the morning; a second suspect was released to…wait for it…his mommy.

Long Beach receives a $275,000 state grant for bicycle and pedestrian safety education programs.

Streets for All is hosting a virtual happy hour with the founders of CicLAvia tomorrow.

 

State

Fontana police are looking for the driver who fled the scene after rear-ending a bike rider last week.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is keeping up the fight for a safer Market Street after the city tries cutting corners by cancelling plans for a raised bike lane.

 

National

Bicycling considers the best bike trailers to ride with your kids. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager offers advice on how to overcome common bike riding fears, like descending wet roads and riding in traffic. Once again, you can read it on Yahoo

A Seattle-area man committed suicide just hours before a jury convicted him of raping and murdering a young woman nearly 50 years ago as she was riding her bike. Speaking of a special place in hell, he’s probably already roasting. 

Remarkably, a Las Vegas driver remained at the scene following a high speed crash that took the life of a man riding his bike, despite some outstanding arrest warrants. Then again, if he’d been arrested sooner, the victim might still be with us.

 

International

The BBC looks at the technological advances in the never-ending war against bike thieves.

Good news for ebike riders, as a new Dutch study shows ebikes are no more dangerous than other bikes. Although another study blames ebikes for the rise in traffic deaths among elderly riders.

Madrid’s El Pais maps out how cities around the world are responding to the coronavirus crisis by expanding their bike networks. Note that LA was not included, despite its grand total of zero popup bike lanes.

Ebikes are encouraging Kiwis to get off the couch and start exercising again.

 

Finally…

It’s one thing to ride a bike cross-country; another to make the trip on a Penny Farthing. If you leave the parking meters next to the curb after installing a protected bike lane, where the hell do they think people will park?

And we’re finally training someone to fill in and write these posts when I can’t.

 

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

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