Tag Archive for ‘Tis the season

Catching up on killer driver court cases, still more bike giveaways, and last day of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

It’s the last day of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Robert H, William C and Jo Y for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And help keep it free for everyone, all the time!

So don’t wait.

Take a moment right now, and give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

And a very merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous new year to you and all your loved ones. 

As usual, I’ll take a much needed break between the holidays to shake off the dust of this awful year. But we’ll be around if there’s any breaking news, and see you bright and early on January 4th.

Just be careful out there.

I don’t want to have to write about you, unless maybe you ran into a burning building to rescue a bunch of puppies or something. 

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our anonymous courtroom correspondent, which she more than makes up for this morning.

Here’s what she has to say.

In a heartbreaking story, Randle Wayne Ommen was the cyclist killed by the allegedly impaired semi driver on Route 76 down in San Diego County last week. He would have turned 59 on December 28th.

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Also last Thursday night, a cyclist was knocked unconscious at Manchester & Normandie (near where Woon was killed) and transported by ambulance. This is all I know, and I’m furious that I can’t really find out more. With the current hospital capacity, the old method of walking around talking to the locals just unnerves me too much.

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Rojelio Martinez-Cuin accepted a plea deal in the hit-and-run death of 51-year old Michael David Tomlinson.

He pleaded guilty on December 2nd and was sentenced last Thursday. The misdemeanor count of driving without a license (due to a prior DUI conviction) earned him 6 months in County (time served).

For the vehicular manslaughter count, he received 4 years; the enhancement was dismissed. For the hit and run count, he received one additional year, to be served consecutively.

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Scuzzy Stephen Taylor Scarpa’s jury trial was pushed back to next February, and now the Defense will be filing a Pitchess motion on January 5th. Hmm. A homicidal, hypocritical, repeat impaired driver now wants to question the credibility of an officer involved in the investigation. The defense attorney who argued in the prelim that Scarpa is also a victim in this case is now attempting to portray the investigator as the bad guy. Bold strategy, Cotton.

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Samantha Cunha, who ran over her friend during a bizarre case of road rage last January, has been charged with… a single count of hit and run. She’ll be before Judge Hobbs next month, the same judge who’ll be presiding over Mariah Banks’ prelim the following week.

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Still trying to find court info about Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes, the hit-and-runner accused of killing Whittier bike rider Agustin Rodriguez Jr., who ran all the way to a new life on another continent.

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Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling is one of us.

Christopher Krebs, former CISA dude, is also one of us. Before he deactivated his Twitter account, he made it known that he would be spending his newly gifted free time on his bicycle. Oh, and with his family, of course.

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On my commute Sunday, at an intersection that’s seen at least half a dozen collisions his year (including two crashes into a building and a recent car vs. bike), I was diverted around yet another solo collision that had pushed the guardrail three feet across the sidewalk.

At this location (with a clear line of sight to Mariah Banks’ last known address, btw), I always scootch up onto said sidewalk because the asphalt’s gouged from the frequent crashes and permanently littered with debris. The sidewalk wan’t cordoned off, probably because Johnny Law thinks nobody uses it. I got barked at by an officer (who I feel should’ve secured the damn crime scene better) after I’d hit the brakes ’cause there was about 40 pounds of debris laying on the path, which I repeat was already constricted by the incursion of the guardrail.

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In personal news, Santa baby just slipped a Surly under my tree, early. Time to wrap her with tinsel & lights!

Also. At the end of October, my boyfriend (who had the rona in April) & I spent a night at the Millineum Biltmore. We got confirmation that it was okay to bring our bikes into the room. Everything was cleared. Then, at check-out, they tried to charge us $50 for garage parking!!! We contested this at reception desk while standing there with our bikes. Sigh.

And. Noooo more hotel stays till after this virus gets its ass kicked. The button plate in the elevator and the balcony handrail above the Instagrammer-magnet as-seen-in-movies lobby were filthed up with smudges, full on handprints even. So repulsive, even if there wasn’t a pandemic going on. I’m incredibly disappointed in the Biltmore.

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Until recently, the aforementioned boyfriend had been storing his bikes, a Kilo WT & his beloved carbon fiber, in a Metro locker at the De Soto Orange Line station.

They were stolen. Right out of the locker.

He has elected to keep his new Cinelli in a storage facility a half mile away from his apartment.

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On a personal note, I’ve often complained about FedEx trucks parked in the bike lanes.

But let’s give credit where it’s due.

Last night the corgi puppy somehow slipped her harness, and was running rampant on the streets of Hollywood, ignoring my every command and attempt to entice and corral her.

I’d probably still be chasing her if a FedEx driver hadn’t dropped his packages, and managed to snag her on his fourth attempt, delaying her just long enough for me to slip the harness back on.

Unfortunately, I neglected to get his name.

But thank you, Mr. FedEx driver, whoever you are!

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‘Tis the season for still more bike giveaways.

A Hollister teen is leading a toy and bicycle drive to ensure every kid has a gift under their tree.

Kindhearted firefighters in a suburban Denver county bought a new mountain bike for a 16-year old boy after his was stolen.

A six-year old Tennessee girl started her own bike giveaway program, donating 23 refurbished bikes in just its first week — starting with her own.

A New Hampshire musician bought out all he bikes at a local Walmart to give to kids in need.

Several organizations came together for a bike and toy giveaway in Alabama’s Chattahoochee Valley.

And things like this are why I love South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

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Thank goodness for drop handlebars, or this rider could be looking for a new head.

https://twitter.com/WigansDannyB/status/1340973757163331584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1340973757163331584%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-23-december-2020-279681

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Local

Santa Monica-based Spinlister has a new owner, after the bikeshare platform was purchased by LA ebike manufacturer Rokit Made.

 

State

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, which is arguably the most influential bike advocacy group on the Left Coast, is looking for a new full-time community organizer.

A 63-year old Stockton woman is spreading holiday cheer on her brightly festooned pedicab, complete with a glowing unicorn leading the way.

Better late than never. Sacramento is finally jumping on the Slow Streets bandwagon, opening six miles of streets to bike riders and pedestrians while closing them to motor vehicles.

 

National

Ford is touting their new warning system to help prevent doorings. Instead of warning drivers and bike riders about a potential dooring, maybe they could just keep the damn door locked until the danger is past.

Clean Technica says the new Akhal Shadow from Extans Design, with its bespoke monocoque carbon frame, is just too beautiful to ignore. Although as always with over-designed bikes like this, the question is less how does it look, and more how does it ride.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $24,000 to buy a new car for a Hawaii security guard who rode his bike an hour out of his way to return a woman’s wallet after she left it in the store where he works. Maybe he could turn down the car and buy a bunch of new bikes, instead.

The alleged meth-using truck driver who killed five Nevada bike riders is scheduled to appear in a Las Vegas courtroom today after he was extradited from Arizona, where he was taken into custody.

A new nonprofit bike and coffee shop is trying to fill the gap on the Navajo Nation, where many children and adults ride bikes, but there wasn’t a single bike shop despite being the nation’s largest Native American reservation. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

The employees of a Denver bike shop have been keeping the operation going for most of this month, as the owner recovers from a hit-and-run while he was driving home.

Speaking of Denver, the city will maintain its Slow Streets program through the winter, with changes to adjust for winter weather.

Ugh. The carnage continues on the streets of New York, where the Daily News goes into way too much detail in describing how the most recent bike-riding victim lost his life; the city has seen 25 people killed while riding their bikes this year.

A Maryland man faces a raft of charges, including homicide and vehicular manslaughter, for the drunken head-on crash that killed one man and injured two others when he crossed the road to plow into a group ride.

Good idea. Chapel Hill NC bike riders are decorating their bicycles for the holidays to honor frontline workers.

A refurbished bike program started by the owners of an Ohio chain of car dealerships and bike shops has given away over 125,000 bicycles in the past 38 years.

 

International

Life is cheap in London, where a driver walks without a single day behind bars for assaulting two bike riders in a royal park.

 

Competitive Cycling

The sports director of men’s cycling team Israel Start-Up Nation is leading the way for women in pro cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a suspected hit-and-run victim got drunk and fell off his bike, instead. A bike ride as metaphor for the dumpster fire that was 2020.

And taking your Christmas tree — and your family — home by bike in Amsterdam.

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

Too many bike riders never came home, 3 DUIs in 2 years for killer Newport Beach driver, and bike stats for every occasion

Just two days left in the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Kent S and Jose P for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite screen every morning — and free for everyone!

So don’t wait.

Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today and avoid the last minute holiday rush!

And be sure to come back tomorrow when we’ll mark Christmas Eve with an extensive recount of OC court cases, courtesy of our anonymous correspondent. 

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In a heartbreaking story, Outside remembers nine people who went out for a bike ride and never came home, just a tiny fraction of the nearly 700 people killed on American streets this year.

It’s also a reminder that yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of the DUI collision that killed Australian James Rapley as he rode a rented bike on Temescal Canyon.

Rapley was on a layover at LAX, making his way home for the holidays, when he was run down on a Sunday morning by an underage driver still wasted from the night before.

Every one of the nearly 1,000 bicycling deaths I’ve written about haunt me, but some are always with me; Rapley’s death is one of those, because it was just so damned needless.

His death almost resulted in a parking protected bike lane on Temescal, too late to help Repley, but which might have kept the next driver from taking a life by drifting into the painted bike lane on the curving climb.

But despite my best efforts, and those of others, the proposal died amid the fierce backlash over road diets in Playa del Rey.

It would have been a fitting memorial to a life needlessly lost, to go with the white bicycle-shaped bike rack installed by Rapley’s family in the park next to where he died.

Instead, his spirit will continue to haunt me until we finally take steps to ensure not one more bike rider will die there.

Meanwhile, Jalopnik blames the high bicycle death count on a lack of pedestrian crash testing, allowing oversized trucks and SUVs to proliferate on American roadways.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A 22-year old Newport Beach woman allegedly ran a red light directly before slamming into another car, killing a young couple, and leaving their three small kids orphans.

Court documents allege Grace Elizabeth Coleman had a blood alcohol content of more than .20, over one and a half times the legal limit. And she had no reason to be on the road after she had already been driven home from a local brewery.

This is apparently her third DUI in just two years, including a June 2019 hit-and-run for which she assumed financial responsibility without being charged, as well as a pending DUI from this past August.

She’s currently being held without bail.

Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late.

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Livestrong is alive and well, even without He Who Must Not Be Named, who we’re all expected to pretend never won the Tour de France once, let alone seven times.

The cancer charity slash website offers an extensive and useful compendium of 95 bike stats, ranging from global cycling to crashes — not accident, please — and broken down by sex, race and ethnicity.

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Who knew?

You can get a free QR code sticker from Bike Index to help secure your registered bike.

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‘Tis the season for still more bike giveaways.

The San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles teamed with the Pechanga tribe to distribute 200 bicycles and helmets for LA-area kids.

A San Antonio, Texas ministry gave away over 700 bicycles and toys to less fortunate children.

Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity gave 14 new kids bikes to struggling families in Selma, Alabama.

A Savannah, Georgia bike advocacy group donated nearly 60 refurbished kids bikes to families facing hardships.

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

Italian pro Andrea Vendrame was the victim of a road raging driver, who got out of his car and punched him following a punishment pass on a training ride, all for no apparent reason other than Vendrame was riding on the roadway.

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Local

Sunset For All offers their own gift guide from bike-friendly shops on the iconic boulevard.

Around on Bikes talks with Streets For All’s Michael Schneider about the bike and pedestrian PAC’s efforts to transform transportation on the streets of Los Angeles.

LADOT is looking for feedback on the long-delayed 4th Street Street Neighborhood Greenway project.

The Metro Bike bikeshare will be free on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Years Eve and New Years Day.

 

State

A bike-riding man was critically injured in an East Oakland hit-and-run collision.

 

National

A new study of aggregate insurance data shows over half of all collisions involve someone using a phone.

Boulder, Colorado police have busted a pair of bike burglars blamed for stealing nearly $60,000 worth of bicycles.

A Colorado TV station examines the anatomy of a bicycling crash, as an entry into the 4225 crashes resulting in injuries to bike riders over the past decade in which drivers were believed to be at fault.

An accident reconstruction specialist deconstructs a recent fatal bike crash in Illinois, saying as cyclists, “we accept risk in return for the beauty of our sport, but we cannot ignore the risks.”

A Detroit father of five was surprised with a new car after his fellow Carvana employees took pity on him for riding his bike 30 miles to work in frigid weather. Which might be warmer, but may or may not be a improvement.

Not bloody likely. Michigan sheriff’s deputies believe an 82-year old man just happened to fall off his bike, fatally striking his head, at the exact moment an SUV driver was passing him.

They get it. A Nassau NY newspaper considers how motorists can drive safely around bike riders.

A candidate for New York District Attorney says the DA should use all available laws to bring dangerous drivers to justice; his opponent says criminalizing collisions is the wrong way to go.

New York drivers quickly moved to take over formerly protected bike lanes after snow plows took out the flex posts.

DC discovers the hard way that more traffic cops does not necessarily translate to fewer drivers being ticketed for parking or driving in bike lanes during a pandemic.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A South Carolina band director suffered major injuries when he was struck by a cowardly driver while on a half-century ride; the driver was apprehended shortly after fleeing the scene.

Insurers settled with the family of a homeless Georgia man for a whopping $7.5 million in a Christmas Day crash two years ago, after a pickup driver ran him down on his way to church just one day after a Good Samaritan had given him the bike he was killed on.

 

International

Don’t count on a Canyon bike under the tree if you live in the UK, as the German bike brand has become one of the first Brexit casualties.

Pink Bike considers what the coming no-deal Brexit will mean for British bike customers.

A Polish bike builder dressed as Santa Claus broke the record for the world’s tallest tall bike, on a bicycle shaped like a Christmas tree; the previous record stood for seven years, set by LA’s own Richie Trimble’s Stoopid Taller bike in 2013.

A Mumbai researcher says non-motorized transportation is the way to travel for smart cities of the future. And the present, too.

An Indian laborer left his wife and twins at home, riding 260 miles to join a multi-day protest.

 

Competitive Cycling

Newly signed L39ion of Los Angeles women’s cyclist Kendall Ryan is focusing on next year’s Tokyo Olympics, with the support of the team.

An aspiring young British cyclist says yes, the sport has a serious safety problem, even if he doesn’t think about it when he’s competing.

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike may not even need you.

And, um…

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

‘Tis the season to give bikes to kids, LA delivery drivers turn bike lanes into parking, and dangerous PCH rumble strips

It’s the last four days of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Joel F, Kim D, Carol K, Danielle C, Brian N, Gregory C and John M for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Your support helps keep this site free for everyone, with no access or subscription fees. And no paywalls, popups or premium content. 

Period. 

So don’t wait. Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive now!

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‘Tis the season.

Something to smile about in this plague-infected year is the outpouring of bike love we’re seeing, with groups all over the country giving their time, skills and money to make sure countless kids will have a bike under the tree this year.

A group of Ojai organizations donated 42 new and refurbished bicycles, along with helmets and bike locks, to local kids.

A kindhearted Sacramento CHP officer bought a new bike for a young boy after a driver ran over his bike and his family couldn’t afford to buy him a new one; fortunately, the boy wasn’t injured in the crash.

In addition to donating 420 bicycles to local kids, a Boise, Idaho nonprofit is delivering 100 bicycles to a pair of Indian reservations.

A Bozeman, Montana bike shop that refurbishes and resells bicycles most of the year allows kids to come in and pick a free bike every December, giving away 75 to 100 bicycles every year.

A Syracuse NY program gave away a remarkable 2,300 bicycles to kids in need despite the pandemic, while teaching kids to give as well as receive.

Thanks to a donation from a secret Santa, a Pennsylvania nonprofit was able to give 100 bicycles and helmets to kids in need.

Thanks to two Florida men, 25 local kids received newly refurbished bicycles reclaimed from the scrap heap.

A Florida sheriff teamed with a local group to give away 13 refurbished bicycles.

For the fifth year in a row, a retired NFL player is giving over 80 bicycles to kids in need at the Florida high school he attended.

On the other hand, Fayetteville, Arkansas’ annual Bicycle Man giveaway, which normally hands out up to 1,200 bikes each year, was cancelled due to the pandemic.

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What do you call a Los Angeles-area bike lane filled with delivery vehicles?

An illegal parking lot. And dangerous as hell.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1340506670519078913

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An effective new video calls for the removal of dangerous rumble strips along an already dangerous stretch of PCH in Orange County.

A Facebook post from the Riverside Bicycle Club explains the problem in more detail, as well as proposing specific actions to fix it.

Seriously, when will Caltrans finally learn that rumble strips should never be used on any roadway used by bicyclists.

Which is pretty much all of them.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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Maybe there’s hope yet.

https://twitter.com/rufusgifford/status/1340346200671850496

Meanwhile, Bicycling considers what his nomination will mean for people who ride bikes. As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if you get blocked out of the Bicycling site.

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This is why you should never rely on a cable lock to secure your bike.

Because chances are, there was a bike connected to this that someone is missing now.

It’s also a reminder to register your bike before this happens to you.

Because even the best bike lock can be defeated by a determined thief with the right tools.

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

A London man with a potentially life-threatening condition is suing to remove a bike lane in front of a hospital, claiming that potential congestion could delay his arrival at the hospital, and the removal of parking spaces means that his friend couldn’t park to bring him in. Never mind that his friend could always drop him off, and the bike lane could help countless others improve their health. For that matter, I have a potentially life-threatening condition too, as do countless other people who ride bicycles. 

A British truck driver will spend nearly four years behind bars for killing a bike rider, despite losing his license three months earlier due to diabetes and poor eyesore.

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

A 32-year old man was stabbed by someone on a bicycle in an apparent random attack while he was standing with friends on a bridge in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

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Local

This is who we share the bike path with. The LA Times remembers one of the many men and women who live along the banks of the LA River in the shadow of the bike path, who, unlike most, was neither unknown or alone.

 

State

About damn time. A new bill under consideration at the state legislature could provide financial incentives to purchase ebikes, most likely in the form of rebates.

San Dieguito River Park near Del Mar received a $1.39 million grant to fill a gap in the planned 71-mile-long Coast to Crest Trail.

Construction workers lifted an arched bike and pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks in Emeryville.

 

National

Outside considers how much you should spend on a gravel bike, noting that higher cost doesn’t always translate to higher value.

Wired says learn to fix and upgrade your bike instead of buying a new one.

Cycling News looks at their favorite new bike tech of the year.

The Verge considers how to keep the pandemic-inspire bike boom from fizzling out. Which it will, unless our leaders take steps to encourage riding and improve safety.

Consumer Reports explores whether an ebike is right for you, while a writer for Forbes says that’s all she wants for Christmas.

More than a thousand people took part in a virtual bike ride to honor the victims of the Las Vegas bicycle massacre that killed five experienced riders; the Zwift ride raised $15,000 for the victims.

Boston removed the concrete barriers protecting a bike lane, blaming them for causing drivers to crash. Evidently, the barriers must have jumped out in front of people in cars without warning; otherwise, the blame should go to all those people who couldn’t manage to drive safely next to them.

New York’s least bike-friendly newspaper shows a little sympathy for winter bike riders blocked from bike lanes that weren’t plowed after a heavy snowstorm, unlike the streets next to them.

Six people are suing New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare, alleging they were injured when the brakes locked on the ped-assist bikes they were renting, throwing them off their bikes.

 

International

Two English men will spend the rest of their lives behind bars for beating a recent college graduate to death after he pushed a boy off his bike for riding directly at him on a sidewalk.

An English driver continued to claim a bicyclist somehow rode into his truck, despite video showing he plowed right into the young woman who was wrapped in hi-viz bikewear, while making no effort to go around her.

The Scottish bicyclist who nearly got killed on a Texas highway just miles from the end of his round-the-world bike ride has bounced back to have a record-setting year, and announced he’ll return to Texas for a group ride to raise funds for the two hospitals that saved his life. And this time, he’ll have a police escort to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Kenya’s second lady rode 90 miles to mark 100 days since she established the Mama Cycling club to encourage people to become more physically active and call attention to the need to prioritize road safety to protect people on bicycles.

A Manilla op-ed warns about the risk of wearing a face shield when you ride a bike, despite a new nationwide mandate; a Philippine advocacy group doesn’t like the mandate, either.

A Kiwi city became the canvas for a New Zealand man’s bicycle Strava reindeer art.

An Australian judge rejected a truck driver’s claim that he didn’t know he hit and killed a man riding a bicycle because his music was cranked up too loud.

 

Competitive Cycling

The L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team — pronounced Legion — unveiled their roster for the upcoming racing season.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to shoplift a shitload of toys, try not to ride over a police bike making your getaway. Try not to break anyone’s leg when you’re biking under the influence.

And this is just what I feel like on a trainer.

https://twitter.com/deceuninck_qst/status/1339988426830049282

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

Painful history of NY ghost bikes, Calbike unveils initiatives tonight, and Mexican shopper chains herself to Walmart scooter

It’s Day 7 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Diana R and SSK Press for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day! And for their kind words, which mean every bit as much to me as the donations. 

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes right now to join them in supporting this site!

I mean, seriously, who can resist that pretty face?

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Today’s must read is a beautiful piece recounting the first few ghost bikes in New York, and painful steps that go into one.

Writing for Bicycling, NY bike advocate Jessie Singer captured in a few words exactly how I feel writing about a fallen rider.

What I remember most was the sadness that wafted in with the white cloud of paint. Painting that first bike, I thought of a woman I knew nothing about except that, like me, she rode a bike. I imagined her life and horrible death. I pictured the people she left behind. In the act of making, I felt mournful about something that before, I might never have known.

Then there are the lessons to be learned, including who is most likely to be killed, and how.

Which again tracks with my own experience.

The more ghost bikes I built, the more I found even broader lessons. Across boroughs, for example, ghost bikes were needed at intersections and on streets without bike lanes, because those places were where most were killed. In this way, the ghost bikes mapped what needed to be done: Fix a street. Build a bike lane. Protect an intersection. Each death was a lesson, and by marking the dead, the lessons appeared stark.

But there were other patterns too, ones that a ghost bike offered nothing for. These emerged only after years of building ghost bikes, as I met the families of the dead. The people we built ghost bikes for were disproportionately Black, Latino, and Asian. Often they were immigrants; often they were killed on the job, or riding to and from work in the dim of late night and early morning…

In New York and across the United States, transportation access is a racial and economic barrier. Today more than a million unemployed people have stopped looking for work because family or transportation issues make returning to work impossible. While other markers of the economy have improved, this number has not. With public transit budgets being cut nationwide, and even the cheapest used car costing a few thousand dollars, the simplest and most affordable transportation option is a bike. For people who ride bikes because they have no other choice, a bike can bring transportation freedom, access to a paycheck, and also vulnerability to premature death.

And he sums it up this way.

What is the difference between a ghost bike for a person who chooses to ride a bike and a ghost bike for a person who must ride a bike? Nothing. And that is where the ghost bike falls short.

Take a few minutes to read it.

Because it will likely be the most moving, and challenging, thing you read today.

Then multiply that over 800 times every year, in cities and towns of every size throughout the US. And you’ll just be starting to understand the problem.

Like this one, for instance.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

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Calbike will unveil their top initiatives for 2021 in an online conversation this evening.

Let’s hope it includes tackling California’s hit-and-run epidemic and eliminating the deadly 85th Percentile Law that lets drivers set speed limits with their right foot.

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This is who we share the stores with.

A woman in Mexico chained herself to a motor scooter until Walmart agreed to honor the posted price of just 14.999 pesos — the equivalent of 75¢ — instead of the intended 14,999 pesos.

No word on whether she was successful, after the store agreed to sell it to just one person at that price.

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‘Tis the season.

Christmas came early for nine Kansas City kids, as a pair of nonprofits gave them bikes and taught them how to ride them.

A Pennsylvania man is hosting a bike drive to ensure local kids don’t feel the pain of finding nothing under their tree this year.

Georgia bike advocacy groups are working to get new bikes for kids throughout the state.

‘Tis not the season, in this pandemic plagued year. An annual bike giveaway sponsored by a Louisiana law firm is the latest casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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CD5 council candidate Scott Epstein will be the featured guest on this week’s Bike Talk.

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GCN considers how often you should lube your chain.

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

New York police are looking for a pair of grinning bikeshare-riding jerks who stole the hats off the heads of several Hasidic men.

A pair of Scottish teens punched a woman in the face as she walked on a pathway, apparently at random, before riding off on their bikes.

And at least one bike rider was a scofflaw villain nearly 120 years ago.

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Local

They get it. BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners writes we need more and better bike lanes.

 

State

San Francisco agreed to a $330,000 settlement with Lyft, after the city solicited bids for dockless bikeshares that would compete with the docked bikeshare system operated by a subsidiary of the company.

Davis police busted a pair of alleged bike thieves suspected in a bike shop burglary last month that resulted in the loss of several bicycles worth over $17,000.

 

National

Who needs an SUV when you can have a three-wheeled Dutch cargo bike for just six grand?

Now you, too, can get your very own official Gryffindor-themed Harry Potter bike at your neighborhood Walmart. Hopefully, you won’t have to chain yourself to it.

Wired says the pandemic gives us a chance to reconsider how we get around our cities.

No sexism here. Cycling News offers a Christmas gift guide for male bike riders. Even though most of the suggestions would work just as well for women.

Bike Portland critiques a questionable police report that blames the victim in a bicycling collision.

A Houston man was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle after he drove home, and family members told him to go back and turn himself in.

Speaking of ghost bikes, a new one was installed to mark the opening of a new curb-protected bike lane honoring a Boston University student killed on the street eight years ago. Which will hopefully save other lives, even if it comes too late for him.

Kindhearted deputies in New York’s Ulster County bought a boy a new bike after learning he’d had several bicycles stolen over the past year. Let’s hope they gave him a good lock to go with it.

The heartbroken mother of a bike rider killed in Mississippi two years ago while on a cross-country fundraising bike ride says she’ll finish the ride he started, beginning right where he died.

An Alabama website offers an affordable gift guide for the bike rider in your life. Even if that’s you.

 

International

Cycling News recommends several entry-level gravel bikes to get you started.

A 74-year old Quebec bicyclist has donated over $20,000 to cancer research at a Jewish hospital by selling his artwork, despite taking up painting just a few years ago — and he painted his bike club’s jersey.

Writing on a driving website, a Toronto writer explains that bike lanes won’t hurt you, and could save others. And wonders why some people have a problem with that.

The BBC examines whether there will be enough bikes to go around this Christmas. Short answer: Maybe not.

London police post a gallery of seized hot bikes in hopes of returning them to their owners.

The director of a London bike co-op explains how to properly maintain all those new — or new to you — bikes purchased during the pandemic.

He gets it. London’s mayor says the city’s road to recovery can’t be clogged with cars.

A French hunter will spend a year behind bars for killing a Welsh mountain biker as he rode down a popular cycling route, apparently mistaking him for a wild boar; he’ll also be banned from owning a gun for five years, and from hunting for ten.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Canadian pro Alex Stieda says the rules have to be clarified, or it could be the end of traditional sprint finishes. Meanwhile, five-time world track champ and former WorldTour cyclist Theo Bos suggests adopting rules from track cycling to make final sprints safer. Thanks to JoninSoCal for the heads-up.

Cycling News looks back to the rise and fall of the late, great Tour of California.

After former team owner Rochelle Gilmore tweeted to blame Indigenous people for breaking into her car, Wiggle High5 cyclist Elinor Barker put her autographed team kit for sale on eBay, with the proceeds going to support Aboriginal rights.

 

Finally…

Who wouldn’t want a solar-powered ebike from a company that makes flying cars? Unless maybe you’d rather have a leather-wrapped bespoke Louis Vuitton model. Or a handcrafted bike inspired by a high-end purebred pony.

And this might be just a tad hard to do.

………

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

‘Tis the season for bicycles, Walton rides high in the San Gabriels, and LeMond set to receive top US civilian honor

It’s Day 6 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Take a few minutes right now to support this site, and help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Don’t worry. We’ll wait. 

………

‘Tis the season.

Gear Junkie recommends 16 biking gifts for the bike rider in your life. Even if that’s you.

Nice story from Southern Colorado, where a kindhearted woman reached out to replace a boy’s bicycle after learning he was the victim of bike theft for the second time, then she and her kids ended up “adopting” the boy’s family for Christmas.

Florida’s famed Jack the Bike Man is struggling to buy a building to get out from under their $175,000 annual rent, and continue their mission of refurbishing bikes for kids who wouldn’t otherwise have one for the holidays.

………

Former basketball great Bill Walton regaled fans with his tale of biking in the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena, seemingly forgetting the game he was there to cover.

Although someone should tell them that Mountain High is a ski resort off the Angeles Crest Highway, not a reference to riding in the mountains while high.

………

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner is expected to become just the 10th individual athlete to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

Greg LeMond will receive the honor, one of the country’s highest civilian awards, this weekend unless Trump vetoes the resolution.

………

………

Local

Curbed’s Alissa Walker asks the burning question of whether new LA councilmember and urban planner Nithya Raman can fix Los Angeles and save the city from itself.

Glendora has installed a temporary protected bike lane on Glendora Avenue as part of an effort to improve first mile/last mile connections with the coming L Line station, née Gold Line.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is one of us, making the news for falling off his bike in Manhattan Beach after catching a wheel while riding with fellow entertainment moguls Brian Grazer and Bryan Lourd. Who wants to bet at least one of those three bike-riding Hollywood hotshots reads this site every morning? Yeah, probably not.

 

State

A Georgia man will stand trial for the hit-and-run death of bike rider Dan Sweeney in San Diego last August; Mauricio Armando Flores got out to look at Sweeney bleeding on the pavement, then moved his bike and fled the county.

 

National

Cycling News asks whether women can ride men’s bikes, and if we even need gender-specific bikes anymore. Which sounds a lot like a return to the bad old days of “pink it and shrink it.”

Authorities in Boulder, Colorado have dropped charges against a man originally accused of killing another man in a fight over a stolen bicycle in a convenience store parking lot, after additional evidence revealed the victim’s meth use and a heart condition contributed to his death.

Houston is using $1.3 million in federal funds left over from building a commuter train line to build protected bike lanes, and encourage Texans to leave their cars at home and take a multimodal trip to work.

The mobility coordinator for Fayetteville AR makes the case for why you should stay off the sidewalk and ride in a bike lane, for your own safety.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a semi-truck driver walked with just a $500 fine for illegal passing after killing a bike rider. Evidently, passing within 100 feet of an intersection is illegal, but slamming into someone riding a bicycle is just fine.

The bike boom is alive and well in New York, as ridership on bridges leading into the city jumped an average of 21% this year compared to last year, with a whopping 30% increase in October.

A New York columnist calls for returning the city’s streets to the people.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a group of newly retired friends take a 334-mile journey along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal trails over the Eastern Continental Divide through Virginia and Pennsylvania.

When a North Carolina mom struck out trying to teach her son to ride a bike, she walked across the street to the local police station, and asked them to teach him. So a kindhearted cop set his paperwork aside and did.

A Georgia newspaper remembers a local man who completed an inadvertent ride around the world on his single speed bike in the 1930s.

Tragic news from Florida, where retired ABC News correspondent Tim O’Brien was killed in a collision while riding his bike; the 77-year old Emmy-winning attorney served as the network’s Supreme Court expert for 22 years. O’Brien was collateral damage in a collision between two drivers as he was riding on a sidewalk.

 

International

Toronto is taking a step back on Vision Zero by ripping out a protected bike lane just four months after it was installed. Although I have a hard time calling  a painted bike lane set off from motor vehicles by a few bendy plastic posts “protected” in any way.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Toronto bike rider was killed when he was right hooked by the driver of a cement truck, 15 years after he walked away from a successful real estate career to become a teacher.

Tragic news from the UK, where a pair of cousins killed a man by tracking him down and repeatedly stabbing him in the mistaken belief he had stolen their bicycle.

The European Union has slapped a stiff 25% tariff on US framemakers, collateral damage in the ongoing feud over commercial aircraft subsidies.

Bicycling Australia offers a refresher course in why bicyclists ride two abreast, while making the case that it’s better for motorists, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

The New York Times picks up the story of multiple US cycling champ Justin Williams in his battle to diversify the sport through his L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team.

Win the Cannondale SystemSix bike Rigoberto Uran rode into Paris on the final stage of this year’s Tour de France.

Sad news from Italy, where former pro cyclist Celestino Vercelli, founder of Vittoria Cycling Shoes, passed away at age 74; the company notes his death was not related to Covid-19.

A Colombian cyclist learns the hard way to wait until you cross the finish line before celebrating your win.

https://twitter.com/wcsbike/status/1333475679866925057?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1333475679866925057%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-1-december-2020-279135

 

Finally…

How not to build a bike lane. If you ever get tired of your mountain bike, just turn it into a DIY snowmobile.

And speaking of the protection value of flex posts…

………

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

Morning Links: Speeding across the US at 123 mph, the once and future CicLAvia, and more post-Peloton ad hysteria

Before we start, let me take a moment to thank every who’s given to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive so far.

Since we started ten days ago, not a single day has gone by without at least one donation. And often, more than that.

So let me offer my heartfelt thanks to Mike W, Ilya G, Philippa M, Gregory S and Glen S for their generous donations to since we saw you last.

Because their open hearts, and open wallets, is what helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Which means the only question is, who’s going to join them today?

And will it be you?

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Writing for Bicycling, Joe Lindsey criticizes a culture that allows motorists to break the law with seeming impunity. And chuckle when someone gets away with it.

Like drivers in a highly modified Mercedes using every trick known to man to evade the police while speeding across the US at an average of 123 mph.

And a top speed of 193 mph.

Speeds which would be instantly fatal to anyone outside of the car in the event of a crash. And probably in it, too.

All to win an illegal, unauthorized race across the country, speeding 2,800 miles across the US in less than 27 and a half hours. And putting the lives of everyone else on the roadway at risk, in every city, county and state they drove through.

Maybe it’s here where I point out that all of this is patently insane.

It’s insane to shift-drive across the country on open roads at triple-digit speeds. It’s insane to have such arrogant disregard for the law that you heavily modify a vehicle specifically to evade the police, using technologies that are themselves illegal in many states—laser jammers are illegal in California, Colorado, and Illinois, to name three states on the route, and it’s illegal in every state not to have functioning brake and taillights. It’s insane to try to pass this off as both a bold adventure AND a paragon of driving skill and discretion. And it’s insane for the media to accept that narrative so credulously and uncritically…

Cars are the apex predator in a transportation ecosystem where menace and aggression are literally built into the grilles, and where drivers can hit and kill cyclists and pedestrians and walk away without charges, or receive laughably minimal punishment when they are brought to court. Our devotion to cars is a stuck parking brake on the economy, a pox on public health, and is killing the planet.

It’s today’s must read.

And well worth the few minutes it will take to speed through it.

………

The Los Angeles Daily News says the final CicLAvia of the year opened people’s eyes to “the sights, scenery (and) shops” in Canoga Park, Winnetka and Reseda yesterday.

But don’t worry.

CicLAvia will be back next year with a return to South LA and a first foray into Watts in February.

………

It’s worth clicking on the tweet below just to read the long list of witty responses.

………

San Diego is moving forward with the long-debated protected bike lanes in North Park, removing 450 parking spaces to make room for them.

At the same time, however, it’s also beginning work on a pipeline under the street, which could mess up your bike commutes for the next month.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

Leone also forwards news that parts of Camp Pendleton were closed due to flooding as of this past weekend.

Please be aware of the following closures due to flooding:

  1. BEACH CLUB ROAD REMAINS CLOSED
  2. RAMP TO WIRE MOUNTAIN ROAD FROM VANDEGRIFT BLVD  ENTERING FROM MAIN GATE CLOSED
  3. LAS PULGAS GATE IS NOW CLOSED
  4. STUART MESA RD, 41 AREA TO LAS PULGAS IS NOW CLOSED.

Roads and gates above will re-open once water subsides.

For additional information regarding these closures, please contact Mr. Sam Jammal.

Sam Jammal, Community Plans Liaison, Camp Pendleton

Osamah.jammal@usmc.mil

………

Nothing like a leisurely bike ride along the Nile.

No, on it.

………

Just when you thought discussion of the much-loathed Peloton ad had beaten the subject into the ground…

…actor and gin meister Ryan Reynolds takes a swing at it.

Meanwhile, a Fox News host insists the whole controversy stems from the actress’ expressive eyebrows. No, really, he’s serious.

Apparently failing to understand what actors do for a living, some very stupid people have been sending death threats to the man who plays the husband in the spots. And a writer for the Guardian says the actor’s attempts to prove he’s not sexist misses the point.

And not surprisingly, Saturday Night Live got in on the action, not once but twice. Although you have to watch the first one all the way through.

Unfortunately, the actor in the ad isn’t an SNL fan, either.

At least not in this case.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Inmates in an Iowa county jail refurbished 25 bicycles for local kids.

A western Pennsylvania bike drive resulted in 1,245 bike for Toys for Tots; the founder says he wants to make sure every kid has the chance to ride one like he did.

Twenty-six Long Island NY kids got new bikes and helmets thanks to a local nonprofit.

A Tampa Bay nonprofit built 900 bicycles for local kids in need.

………

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

No, people on bikes don’t think they own the road. But evidently, the woman in this Texas truck thinks she does.

………

Local

Los Angeles got a pair of state grants totaling $3.5 million to build 2.2 miles of multi-use pathways along the LA River in North Atwater Village, as well as improving habitat along the river.

If you’re carrying a garage door opener, crack pipe and several change purses on what’s probably a $5,000 stolen bike, stay off the sidewalk — and put a damn light on it.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists rode Friday to celebrate the completion of new bus and bike lanes along El Cajon Blvd.

Mind your turn signals and stop signs in Oxnard tomorrow, when the police conduct a bike and pedestrian safety sting, calling it an educational operation. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.

San Jose pedestrian fatalities are at an all time high, with other traffic deaths not far behind.

A somewhat incredulous Sacramento reporter follows a Christmas tree delivery in three parts to prove it can be done by bicycle.

 

National

A writer for Quartz questions why women don’t ride to work when they love bikes so much.

Life is cheap in Colorado, where a dump truck driver walks with community service for killing a new mother on her first bike ride after giving birth. And apparently gets to keep his license, too.

Conservative Texas aims to eliminate traffic deaths in the entire state by 2050. Unlike progressive California, which hasn’t even discussed Vision Zero.

A Chicago alderman (alderperson?) backed down on plans to dangerously reconfigure bike lanes to make room for more parking.

He gets it. An Illinois writer says you “meet the most interesting people, see what most drivers rarely notice, and discover places you wish you had known years ago” when you ride a bike.

No surprise here, as Pittsburg drivers make like a quarterback avoiding a blitz by using bike lanes to swerve around speed humps without slowing down.

Gothamist wants to know why ebikes are okay for Amazon and UPS deliveries in NYC, but remain illegal for immigrants delivering food. And why the governor hasn’t signed a bill to rectify that.

New York’s Port Authority makes La Guardia Airport virtually off limits to people on bikes, suggesting it’s your fault for making drivers feel bad when they have to hit you.

 

International

Stats show most Toronto bicycling and walking deaths occur during the day, suggesting the free reflective armbands offered by police won’t help very much.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver will serve less than two years behind bars for killing a bike rider when he couldn’t even see her because of the tray table he built onto his dashboard.

A British woman says she’s lucky to be alive after the brakes on her bike failed during a steep descent on a 114-mile charity ride, sending her crashing into a rock.

British Prime Minister and Captain of the H.M.S. Brexit Boris Johnson says the naughtiest thing he’s ever done was ride a bike on the sidewalk. But London’s Mirror begs to differ, insisting Boris has done much worse — like using highly offensive racial slurs, for instance.

A new Austrian inner tube offers lower rolling resistance, combined with the kind of savings weight weenies could only dream of — if you’re wiling to pay the price.

An African photographer focuses his lens on Burundi’s bicycle taxi culture.

The best way to visit the Cypriot city of Nicosia is by bicycle, according to a local paper. Then again, that’s usually the best way to visit any city.

A visually impaired Japanese man can finally live his dream of racing with his wife after friends and family hand-built a lacquered bamboo and beech wood tandem they can ride together.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist picks the cycling team of the decade; three of their eight picks are women — with Marianne Vos topping the list.

Eurosport considers the most controversial moments in the 2019 bike racing season.

Although maybe you’d prefer watching the top riders and their crazy bike handling skills seen below.

https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/1202302881224896513?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1202302881224896513&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fracing%2Fwatch-velon-recap-shows-amazing-bike-handling-skills-pro-riders-443996

 

Finally…

When your stolen bike — and subsequently stealing it back — becomes the topic of a children’s book. If you spot a tempting bicycle sitting outside the sheriff’s office, just leave it alone, already.

And if you want to avoid ripping the skin off your penis, put some damn grips on your handlebars.

Assuming you have one, of course.

………

 

 

Morning Links: F*** Black Friday & and support your LBS instead, ebiking clergy, and handicapped people ride bikes too

I doubt I have to tell you Thanksgiving is coming.

Which means the unofficial holiday dedicated to worshiping unbridled consumerism and spending will inevitably follow, as day follows night, and doping allegations follow cyclists.

Which is why a writer for Outside clues you in on tested and approved Black Friday deals for bike riders.

But seriously, screw Black Friday.

Get out and ride your bike instead, to burn off that Thanksgiving dinner and restore some semblance of post-holiday sanity, then go spend some money at your local bike shop the next day for Small Business Saturday.

Maybe you’ll find some of these things to kick off your holiday shopping.

Speaking of which, a few years back, David Kool, owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, wrote what remains the best explanation I’ve seen for why supporting your local bike shop matters.

Because it does.

Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

………

A surprising common theme today: Ebikes and the clergy.

Starting with a Sacramento nun who combines her love of bicycling with her vocation to serve those in need, riding her ped-assist adult tricycle to perform outreach to the homeless.

Then there’s this Brooklyn priest, who’s nearly as evangelical about his ebike as he is the church.

………

Carry this one with you to your next public meeting, when someone will inevitably insist that handicapped people can’t ride bicycles.

………

This one from Spain is scary as hell. And naturally, the driver flees the scene afterwards.

Maybe they forgot to make eye contact.

Let’s just hope the victim is okay.

………

It’s our first ‘Tis the Season of this year’s holiday season.

And more than one.

The bighearted owners of a Santa Maria gym are raising funds for a bike rider who’s learning to walk again after losing the use of his arms and legs in a bicycling crash.

Around a thousand volunteers turned out in San Jose on Saturday to build 2,400 bikes as holiday gifts for low income kids.

Tennessee community members turned out in force to raise $2,000 to buy an adaptive tricycle for a four-year old kid suffering from an extremely rare gene disorder.

It’s not unusual for a cop to make a woman cry. Except in this case, it was a kindhearted Louisville KY cop who dug into his own pocket to buy her a new bicycle, just 20 minutes after she told him the bike she used as her only form of transportation had been stolen.

A Louisville KY radio station held its annual bike collection drive and bike build to ensure around 2,000 children will have a happy holiday season.

………

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

A Birmingham, England bicyclist became just the latest victim of that country’s recent anti-bike terrorist fad of pushing people off their bikes from a passing car, shattering his arm and destroying his bicycle in the process.

………

Local

Government Technology says the recent CoMotion LA conference pushed attendees to rethink the nature of mobility in a city with fewer cars.

LAist explains how Santa Monica brought order to the city’s e-scooter chaos.

 

State

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is giving you a chance to put you money where your passion is, offering $3,000 mini-grants for “local programs and organizations that encourage people to choose biking as their main form of transportation.”

San Diego could be the next landing spot for Brooklyn-based Revel’s dockless, Vespa-style mo-peds; one EPA scientist says “I hope Revel users have signed their organ donor cards.” Because that sort of extreme safety judgement is exactly what the EPA does, right?

A San Diego family estimates they’ve saved as much as $150,000 by trading their cars for bikes and transit.

The annual Eroica California vintage bike ride will return to Cambria next April — assuming it can find a new home.

San Francisco’s new transportation chief wants to create a city where cars are no longer king.

Berkeley is working on its own Vision Zero plan, with a goal of eliminating traffic deaths and injuries by 2028.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a homeless bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver, who may have been seen swerving all over the road.

Once again forgetting the lessons of induced demand, a Sacramento-area highway project would remove bike lanes from a causeway to widen I-80, replacing them with a separate bike/ped crossing. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one, as The Verge ranks the transportation modes in the Wizard of Oz; surprisingly, the bicycle came in second behind the ruby slippers. Personally, I would have gone with the witch’s flying broom. And maybe toss in a few of those flying monkeys, too.

Arizona’s annual El Tour de Tucson rolled on Saturday with nearly 6,000 participants, including former congresswoman and gunshot survivor Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former astronaut and possible future senator Mark Kelly. Another participant was riding after suffering multiple skull fractures and a collapsed lung last year while training for the ride.

The newly elected mayor of Lewiston, Maine, hit a woman walking in a crosswalk with his van two weeks before the election. So naturally, it’s people riding a bicycle and a scooter in the bike lane who get the blame.

A Manhattan bike messenger shares a bike rider’s view of the streets after getting $240 worth of tickets for riding though a yellow light.

A Long Island writer tells the tale of Mile-A-Minute Murphy, who set the first bicycling world speed record by riding 61 miles an hour while drafting — and crashing into — a train.

DCist tries to crack the city’s #2 case, talking with a repeat poop smearer to try to answer why someone has been smearing crap of unknown origin on bikeshare bikes and scooters for the last few weeks.

Los Angeles continues to fall further behind the rest of the country, as Washington, DC commits to building 20 miles of protected bike lanes over the next three years.

Chris Pratt is one of us, going for a “brisk” Atlanta bike ride with semi-famous wife Katherine Schwarzenegger.

Palm Beach FL authorities make an extremely belated arrest in a six-year old case where a driver killed a homeless vet riding a bicycle, while traveling at twice the speed limit. And tried to let the woman he was with take the blame. Be forewarned, this was a horrifying crash, and the story gives a graphic description of it.

 

International

Travel & Leisure says cities around the world are cracking down on e-scooters; CNN agrees, saying scooters could be running into serious trouble, in part because they disproportionately affect people with disabilities.

Cyclist says don’t let winter weather keep you from riding. Especially here in LA, where temperatures sometimes drop all the way into the 60s. Brrrrr.

Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington is credited with saving a woman’s bike from thieves, noticing she’d left it unlocked and carrying it into the pub where she worked.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would steal a ghost bike; a British Columbia writer found a stolen ghost bike that had been stripped of its wheels, not far from where the victim had been killed.

A British Columbia city councilor says forget drive-thrus, what the world really needs is a few good bike-thru restaurants because bicycles run on calories.

I come across a lot of horrible news, but this is the worst I’ve seen in years, as heartless Toronto motorists continued to drive around a hit-and-run victim as she lay dying in the street next to her bicycle.

Life is cheap on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a speeding driver got a whole two years behind bars for killing a bike rider — despite driving 25 mph over the speed limit, fleeing the scene and reeking of alcohol when police found him hiding under a house five hours after the crash.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. A Scottish police chief says close passes by motorists aren’t a problem, and it makes more sense to target people on bicycles because drivers aren’t causing any wrecks. Meanwhile, councilors in another Scottish city insist the real problem is those damned inconsiderate bicyclists who ride two abreast, just because they don’t want to get killed or anything.

A British man went to the market to buy some cat food, and left with someone else’s bicycle — then someone else stole it from him four days later.

A Cork, Ireland dealer will take your car in trade for a new ebikeSpeaking of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, they beat that by seven years, working with the car dealer across the street to accept cars in trade for a new bicycle

India’s Congress Party promises a job for every family in one state, along with a free bicycle for every girl whose family earns less than 10,000 rupees a month — the equivalent of $139.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sometimes just riding a bike is cheating. A woman has received a lifetime ban from the Shanghai Marathon for using a man’s number and riding a bicycle instead of completing the race on foot.

French pro Elie Gesbert was lucky to escape without any major injuries when he became just the latest cyclist to be hit by a driver while training.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to get in a crash with a police car. Who doesn’t need a Vogue-designed Shinola bike?

And no, the bicycle wasn’t invented in ancient India some 1,800 years before the first European velocipedes.

 

Morning Links: Recapping the biking year that was, New Year’s bike resolutions, and one last ’tis the season

Please accept my best wishes for a very healthy, happy and prosperous new year for you and your loved ones. 

We have a lot of ground to catch up on after taking the holidays off, so grab your coffee and strap yourself in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

………

‘Tis the season for a long list of annual recaps.

People for Bikes lists their ten best ebike stories of the last year.

Bicycling offers the year’s most viral bike moments, while Pink Bike contents itself with the best mountain bike fails.

Bicycling also lists the 101 best products they tested over the past year. If you have time to click through all 100-plus pages, that is. Once you finish reading this, of course.

Road.cc remembers the ten most bizarre bicycling stories of 2018, from a hero Romanian dog to a hero British actor. And Kanye.

A Minnesota paper says goodbye to the year in labored verse.

CiclaValley looks back on his favorite Instagram moments of 2018.

And LA Bike Dad remembers 2018 as the year his bike got run over by a bus.

………

‘Tis the season for resolutions, too.

Vancouver’s former chief planner offers some timely suggestions on how you can resolve to make your city better this year.

A British website offers 15 suggestions to improve bicycling in the country in the year to come.

If your New Year’s resolution was to ride your bike more, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has 45 good reasons to back that up — including a longer, healthier life.

And not only is LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis one of us, she’s resolving to ride her bike more.

https://twitter.com/HildaSolis/status/1078760602116403200

………

‘Twas the season, too.

A North Carolina program gave away 773 bikes to kids on Christmas morning, for their 22nd straight year of bike donations.

Volunteers pitched in to build 200 bicycles donated by Trek for victims of November’s Woolsey Fire in the Malibu Hills, courtesy of the Westlake Village Trek store.

San Diego, uh, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon worked with Rally Cycling to give 100 inner city Gardena kids new bikes, helmets and locks.

LA City Council President Herb Wesson continued his annual tradition by giving away over 1,000 bicycles to kids in South LA.

………

Lots of healthy bike news to report, as well.

A new study shows bicycling can help you live longer, even if you can only ride of weekends.

A writer for Bike Biz says bicycling could provide the antidote to childhood obesity.

Just six months of bicycling can improve thinking stills in older adults with cognitive impairments.

Egypt’s president gets on his bike to set an example after calling his countrymen and women fat. And gets ridiculed in response.

And forget the energy drinks, have a chocolate bar.

………

Phil Gaimon continues to ruin a good retirement, this time going for KOMs on a pair of the South Bay’s favorite rides.

………

Local

Get ready for the next round in Pasadena’s battle over unsafe streets, as the city holds a meeting next Tuesday to discuss a lane reduction and Complete Streets proposal for Cordova Street. If previous meetings are any indication, the city’s traffic safety deniers are likely to turn out in force to halt any hint of progress.

State

As of yesterday, you can legally leave your helmet at home when you ride a scooter. And you can be charged with hit-and-run if you ride off following a crash with another person on a bike path.

The good news is, a new law will require California drunk drivers to install interlock devices on their cars after a DUI conviction. The bad news is, they’ll be able to keep their licenses as a result. And don’t forget that Breathalyzers only detect alcohol use, and do nothing to keep stoned drivers off the roads.

Santa Ana builds Orange County’s first curb-protected, separated bike lane.

San Diego has started work on a 9.3 mile cycle track connecting the city’s downtown to the surrounding neighborhoods. But those protected bike lanes aren’t protected yet, so needless to say, they’re being used as parking and traffic lanes.

A San Diego firefighter is riding across the US to honor his friend, who was killed fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County in 2017.

It’s a San Diego trifecta, as letter writers respond to a letter in the Union-Tribune to insist that roads were built for us, too.

San Jose’s mayor is recovering from being hit by a driver on New Years Day, suffering a broken collarbone and chest bone, as well as injuries to his back and neck. Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

San Francisco struggles to find answers after hit-and-run deaths spike in 2018; Vision Zero deaths blamed on fleeing drivers more than doubled over the previous two years. Actually, finding solutions isn’t the problem; finding the political will to actually do something is.

So what did you do to celebrate your high school graduation? Chances are, it wasn’t a 4,200-mile ride across the US like this 18-year old Santa Rosa man.

National

Outside says stop tossing your damn banana peel on the trail.

The New York Times says the West Coast is kicking the East Coast’s collective butt when it comes to transportation. And yes, they include Los Angeles in that.

Heidi Klum is one of us. So are her fiancé and kids.

The top bike city in Oregon probably isn’t the one you think.

To prevent doorings, Illinois residents will now be required to learn the Dutch reach to get a driver’s license.

Great story. After a Massachusetts man is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, he dedicates whatever time he has left to putting underprivileged kids on bikes.

No bias here. A conservative Boston newspaper says the state’s new bike plan should take a hike, calling bikes a Victorian-era solution to 21st century problems.

It’s a New York trifecta, too, as Streetsblog says it should come as news that cars are the problem with our cities. And always were.

Vision Zero is working in New York, with traffic fatalities down for the fifth straight year, to the lowest level in 100 years.

Tragic news from the city, however, as a New York ebike rider was killed when he was doored by a cab driver, knocking him into the path of a car headed in the opposite direction. Doorings are among the most common types of bicycle crashes, but are seldom fatal.

In an editorial that could have been written in any city in the US — and most cities out of it — the Washington Post says too many people died in DC traffic collisions last year.

We may have problems getting bike lanes built in LA, but at least we don’t have to deal with Congress.

Writing in the Washington Post, a self-described occasional bike rider says he knows bicyclists don’t have all the answers on bike safety, because he was hit by one while he was walking in a park. And he wants bike riders to be required to have insurance and a license — or at least turn signals on their bikes, which wouldn’t have helped him in the slightest since he was hit from behind.

Normally it’s just drivers who are a pain in the ass. A South Carolina man may be riding his bike gingerly for awhile after a passing bicyclist shot him in the butt for no apparent reason.

International

The BBC explains how not to die on a bike.

An engineering website challenges any takers to improve on the design of the traditional diamond bike frame.

Bike Biz asks if ebikes could save the bicycling industry.

Bike culture is growing in Sonora, Mexico.

Fifteen years after breaking three ribs while working as a bike messenger, a Toronto woman is working to make sure other messengers have the financial help she didn’t.

Toronto’s mayor says the city’s Vision Zero program just isn’t working, despite investing $100 million in making changes over the past five years; advocates says it’s because the city hasn’t made the right changes. Los Angeles tried the opposite approach; don’t fund Vision Zero and don’t make any major changes, and just hope deaths go down.

It’s a Toronto trifecta, as well, as a driver writes that society is over governed, so people on bicycles should be, too. And drivers should be required to learn all those silly little traffic laws that they’re already required to know.

If you want to be invisible, ride a bike. A drone-flying couple disrupted thousands of flights at London’s Gatwick Airport before Christmas, making their getaway in plain sight on bicycles. And while wearing hi-viz.

With the city’s transportation systems shut down for Christmas Day, Londoner’s take to bikeshare.

London-based Simon Cowell is one of us now. Whether we want him or not.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a reckless bike rider was fined the equivalent of less than $560 for crashing into a pedestrian, leaving the victim with life-changing brain injuries.

Business Insider takes a video look at how Copenhagen got its 7,500 miles of cycle tracks.

Oslo, Norway says it’s time to stop planning cities for cars and start planning for people, by banning cars from the city center.

An Indian entrepreneur says a little reflective tape could have prevented over 20,000 bicycling deaths in the country. Um, probably not.

A month after a married Indian man went missing on a solo cross-country bike tour and was presumed drowned, he was found safe and sound in a Mumbai motel. With his girlfriend.

NPR goes for a bike ride with a group of Pakistani women to see firsthand the abuse they suffer just trying to ride their bikes through a conservative Karachi slum.

Two new Aussie studies confirm what you already know — some drivers just don’t like people on bicycles, and won’t move over or slow down, regardless of what the law says.

In a desperate attempt to go viral, a Singaporean teen turns himself into a human crash test dummy, jumping off at the last second as he deliberately crashes a dockless bikeshare bike into a wall. If he really wanted to go viral, he should have stayed on the bike.

A foreign policy website considers the rise and fall of China’s dockless bikeshare companies. And asks what the hell happened.

Competitive Cycling

Just a coincidence, I’m sure. Cycling Weekly ranks the ten best performances of the 2018 road cycling season, while Road.cc lists the ten biggest stories in the pro peloton, and Cycling News offers the ten biggest stories in pro cycling last year.

Chris Froome is planning to skip the Giro this year to focus on the Tour de France in an effort to tie the record for most victories. As long as you don’t count Lance, that is.

Finally…

If you’re going to build a track bike to honor one of history’s greatest cyclists of any color, try to get the date of his first championship right. If you’re going to steal a bike, maybe you should pick one that isn’t locked up in front of the police station.

And if you’re going to get drunk on the job, try not to ride your delivery bike into a cop.

Seriously.

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Thanks to Passion Beauty Inc and Terence H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

With your help, we raised nearly $2,100 to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

And let’s all give a special thanks to Todd Rowell for his exceptionally generous donation of a new laptop keep BikinginLA online and, at long last, put an end to nearly a year of dead and dying laptop misery.  

Morning Links: Sweating on your bike to improve your health, and Elon Musk’s Tesla Tunnel with a bike rack

Just four days left in the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Time’s running out to support SoCal’s leading source for bike news and advocacy. Donate in just minutes via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

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

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support for this site, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world. 

Besides, you can write off the full cost as an advertising expense on next year’s taxes.

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Let’s start with a pair of medical studies.

Mike Wilkinson forwards news of a new study that shows just six months of walking for bicycling may reverse cognitive decline. Although at that rate, it ma take me a couple years.

And don’t throw away your pills just yet. But a new British study shows working up a good sweat while riding can lower your blood pressure as well as prescription medication can.

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‘Tis the season. The Virginia Beach VA Rotary club teamed with a local Methodist church to collect and refurbish 45 bikes for underprivileged kids.

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Local

Elon Musk unveils his first test tunnel, with plans to solve urban traffic problems using modified Teslas on an underground track. And maybe even put a bike rack on the back. Meanwhile, Streetsblog calls it a bad joke.

State

Trek Bicycle Westlake Village in Thousand Oaks is working with volunteers to donate 200 bicycles to victims of the Woolsey Fire.

National

People for Bikes ranks the top 10 new protected bike lanes in the US. Guess how many are in Los Angeles?

Streetsblog asks if e-scooters are unsafe at any speed, as the Centers for Disease Control — aka CDC — prepares to look into it.

Bike Snob says cars and great cities don’t go together, suggesting that to have the latter, we have to ban the former.

Snow biking in the Colorado high country near my hometown.

Chicago opens separate bike and pedestrian pathways along the lake front, as well as a flyover to keep both from having to deal with dangerous intersections.

Boston plans to use a peanut to improve bike and traffic safety.

New York added nearly 21 miles of protected bike lanes in 2018, for a total of 45 in the past two years. Meanwhile, Los Angeles only added the semi-protected MyFigueroa.

Jacksonville FL is getting its first two-way cycle track, courtesy of a new road diet.

International

A writer for Bike Radar makes mistakes so you don’t have to.

It’s been a bad year in Trinidad and Tobago, where bicycling fatalities are up 300% over last year.

Cyclist explains why bikes make the perfect Christmas gift for the kids in your life. Grownups, too.

In business news, virtual cycling firm Zwift has raised $120 million to expand into esports; the company already has deals to operate cycling championships in Great Britain and Australia.

Uber’s Jump e-bikeshare bikes are about to jump to the UK and Ireland.

Police in Punjab, India are “adopting” ebikes in a pilot project.

A New Zealand man invents a detachable taillight assembly to keep your bike and rack from blocking your car’s lights.

The CEO of dockless bikeshare provider Ofo says the company nearly filed bankruptcy after misreading the market, in what would have been the biggest failure of a Chinese startup.

Competitive Cycling

Belgian cyclist Tosh van der Sande has been suspended by his Lotto-Soudal team after testing positive in a doping test. Thank goodness the doping era is over though, right?

Floyd’s Pro Cycling, the new Continental-level cycling team started by America’s other ex-Tour de France winner, is attracting top talent by promising riders they’ll get to compete on a variety of surfaces and types of racing.

Following in his dad’s tire tracks, a man sets out to finish the 120-mile, three-pass Colorado road race his father created.

A West Virginia woman uses a sports talent search to make the rare leap from high school wresting and soccer to track cycling Olympic hopeful.

Now you, too, can own the Van Gogh inspired bike that Giant gave Dutch cycling star Tom Dumoulin, for a low, low $22,000. Cutting off your ear to match the bike is optional.

Finally…

Pseudo cycling products for cheapskates. Chances are, those grey-bearded guys could drop you like freshman English.

And so could a 90-year old spin instructor.

Or maybe that’s just me.

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Thanks to James E and Darryl K for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 



Morning Links: Rapley death leads to effort to catch texting drivers, and more holiday bike giveaways

It’s the last week of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Give today, and join the 37 generous people who’ve already given their hard-earned money to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. And help keep this site coming your way every day.

Donate in just minutes via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address on this link.

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

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support for this site, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world.

Not to mention you can write off the full cost as an advertising expense on next year’s taxes.

………

The death of an Australian tourist on an LA roadway has led to safety improvements Down Under. 

James Rapley was riding on Temescal Canyon while on an extended layover at LAX on his way back home for the holidays five years ago when he was run down by a stoned and distracted driver who drifted into the bike lane.

Now one of his best friends has developed a camera system designed to catch distracted drivers, and keep anyone else from dying needlessly. 

The system, from a company called Acusensus, works like a red light camera, capturing photos of distracted drivers and mailing them tickets. 

While no tickets have been issued yet, a four week test of the technology this past October captured an average of 11,000 drivers a day using their phones illegally

Something like that would probably require a law change here. But it might finally get California drivers to put down their damn phones and pay attention to the road ahead of them. 

And possibly avoid thousands of needless deaths and injuries every year. 

Then maybe Rapley’s death won’t have been in vain.

On a related note, I worked with Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office and LADOT to push for a parking-protected bike lane on the uphill side of Temescal Canyon where Rapley was killed. 

However, the plan LADOT developed for a road diet on Temescal with a protected bike lane on the uphill side and a separated bike lane on the downhill side met local opposition from Palisades homeowners in its only public presentation.

And was quietly shelved following the tumult over the Playa del Rey road diets in Bonin’s district. 

Let’s hope sanity returns someday, and the plan can be revived before anyone else gets killed. 

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‘Tis the season. 

couple dozen Idaho kids got new bikes, along with free helmets, air pumps and water bottles in a holiday giveaway. 

Hundreds of Detroit kids got free refurbished bikes and helmets from Free Bikes 4 Kids

A Roman Catholic priest, one of 700 selected by Pope Francis to travel the world doing good deeds, gave every 2nd grader in a Kentucky school a new bike and helmet from Trek.   

A London neighborhood sees over 500 cycling Santas turn out on BMX bikes

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Horrifying security video captures the moment an Australian bicyclist was run down from behind by a driver high on meth, who then continues on to hit a pedestrian and another car. 

No word on whether the victim was injured, or how badly. 

But fair warning, before you push play, be sure this is something you really want to see. The video is graphic and disturbing, and you can’t unsee it. 

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Local

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a man was critically injured in a hit-and-run while riding on La Tuna Canyon with his adult son last year, Los Angeles officials unveiled a new separated bike lane and other safety improvements along the dangerous roadway

This is the cost of traffic violence. Two nine-year old girls are battling for their lives after suffering “massive” head trauma in a street racing crash; one driver was arrested, while the other fled the scene. 

Bird briefly flocked to Redondo Beach on Thursday, only to have its wings clipped and unceremoniously ordered to get the flock out of town by Sunday. 

State

Seriously, don’t kill the newtsThanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up

San Diego’s Holiday Joy Ride shines a light on safety improvements in the city, with many new projects set to be unveiled in the coming year.

North San Diego County bicyclists rode to honor bike and pedestrian safety advocate Roberta Walker, who was critically injured in a crash while riding her bike recently. 

After a bike rider was killed by a speeding driver on Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage, local bicyclists express their concerns about the dangerous roadway. And the local TV station offers tips on how bicyclists can stay safe, without a single word on how drivers should slow down and avoid killing people. 

An Oakland news site operated by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism offers a video report on the latest plan to complete the bike path on the Bay Bridge.

National

In yet another blow to alternative transportation, the Trump administration is converting the popular TIGER grantsthat helped build bike and walkways across the US into a highway building program. 

That energy drink could mess with your blood flow

A Seattle judge sends the city back to the drawing board, ruling in favor of a coalition of maritime and industrial businesses who sued to halt the proposed completion of an 18-mile bike path that’s been in the works for over thirty years. 

A local paper says a planned redo of I-70 through Colorado’s Vail Pass will have to balance the needs of motorists, bicyclists and wildlife; a bike advocate says some sections of the existing bike path through the Rockies are terrifying in places where it runs too close to the freeway. 

Wichita Falls TX bicyclist calls attention to the dangers bike riders face in the city after he was hit from behind with no warning by a drunken motorcyclist. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Wisconsin state senator praises the country’s longest serving state legislator, who she calls the dean of the senate — and who rode nearly 3,000 spandex-clad miles this year at 91-years old.  

Connecticut Public Radio discusses the origin of bicycles, and how bikes paved the way for the women’s movement over a century ago

After a New York ebike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane, the NYPD trips over itself to blame the victim and exonerate the missing driver.  

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Times says urban areas around the world are getting the message that cities are for people, not carsMaybe Los Angeles will finally figure that out someday

An op-ed in the Washington Post says traffic laws are universally ignored, and safety will never improve until drivers have to pay for breaking the law

An Orlando FL plastic surgeon says bike riders have to be taught traffic laws, and the laws have to be enforced to improve safety. In other words, he’s blaming the people on bikes for getting hit by cars, and not the people who hit them.  

International

Ottawa, Canada bicyclists are calling for a permanent memorial where a bike rider was killed by a cab driver earlier this month, saying the death can’t be swept under the rug. 

Life is cheap in London, where a dump truck driver walked with a suspended sentence in the death of a pregnant woman as she rode her bike. 

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton gets back on her bike for the first time since giving birth in October. 

Troubling piece from a gay couple who biked along the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as Brexit throws the border into question, and find gay people hidden deeply in the closet and a revival of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants waiting just under the surface.

A new competition-winning Dutch app enables employers to track bike commuters to pay them for riding to work

Thousands of people in Kathmandu continue to ride their bikes, despite the dangers and chaotic traffic — including missing manhole covers exposing open sewers. 

No bias here. A Kiwi columnist says it’s okay if he hates on bikeways as a ridiculous waste of money, because he rides a bike himself. Sure, let’s go with that

Competitive Cycling

Normally, Stephen Hyde’s third consecutive US national cyclocross championship would be damned impressive. Except the incomparable Katie Compton just won her 15th in a rowYes, fifteen

The former long-time coach of the late, lamented Jelly Belly team has found a new sponsor, allowing him to continue fielding a Continental-level cycling team

Sad news from the UK, where a court heard a cyclist died of a heroin overdose, driven in part by a crippling fear of urinating in public, which prevented him from turning pro over his fears of being forced to take drug tests in front of a witness. 

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.  

Finally…

Even the trees are out to get us.  Strava Santa is coming to town

And not everyone wants cycling gear for ChristmasThat’s okay; I’ll gladly take whatever he doesn’t want


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Thanks to James van G and Mitchell D for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 

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