Tag Archive for ‘Tis the season

90-year old walk advocate severely injured by driver, ’tis the season to give kids bikes, and biking down stairs in hot pursuit

It’s the last three days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Brandon H and Michael S for their generous donations to bring all the best bike news and advocacy to your favorite screen every morning.

And yes, the corgi is going to keep staring at you while you’re reading this, until you give in. 

So don’t wait. Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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

It’s okay. We’ll wait. 

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A driver ran down 90-year old walking advocate Jacque Ensign, the co-founder of the Berkeley Path Wanderers, as she walked in a Berkeley crosswalk, leaving her with “multiple severe injuries.”

She’s one of three older residents seriously injured while walking or biking on the same short section of roadway in the Bay Area town.

Which is a pretty damn good indication they have a serious traffic safety problem.

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‘Tis the season.

Sacramento sheriff’s deputies made a ten-year old special needs boy’s wish come true, giving him a bicycle made to look like a police motorcycle, including red light and siren.

Police in Port Isabel, Texas gave a ten-year old boy a new bicycle as a reward for pointing out where a suspect was hiding.

A professional mountain biker performed stunts for a group of 65 Hartford, Connecticut first graders, then surprised them all with new bikes and helmets.

A foundation started by a Baton Rouge, Louisiana man has given adaptive bikes to special needs kids for the last 14 year, donating over 400 of the high-end bikes in that time.

A Mississippi sheriff’s department is teaming with a local chapel to donate bikes to a pre-selected group of children.

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Pink Bike examines the difference between $450 and $2,200 mountain bike wheels.

Now someone tell ’em to do road bikes next, ’cause I need new wheels if my damn hands ever let me start riding again.

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A Seattle bike cop rides his bike down a couple flights of stairs before chasing a suspect on foot to recover a gun and bust a suspected drug dealer.

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

A British politician demonstrates the opposite of the holiday spirit, yelling at a group of kids to get off their bicycles for the crime of riding in a new bike lane that recently opened. Schmuck.

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

Police in Osaka, Japan believe a bike-riding man accused of arson at a mental health clinic where he was being treated attempted to seal the door with tape before lighting a leaking container of gas on fire, sparking a blaze that killed 25 people.

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Local

Metro will offer free bus and train rides on Christmas and New Years’ Eves, along with free Metro Bike rentals the same days.

 

State

San Clemente will consider banning bicycles and ebikes from the pier, as well as the beach trail and sidewalks, in response to complaints about reckless bike riders.

The rich get richer, as the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, offers a progress report showing 12 miles of new bikeways, with 11 more currently under construction and another 34 miles in the wings. Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the email.

A San Luis Obispo op-ed explains how bike riders can avoid right hooks. Although better advice would be to tell drivers to check their mirrors and blindspots to avoid cutting someone off in the first place.

Bike Davis looks back on the last year in California’s ostensibly most bike-friendly city, in the form of the 12 Days of Christmas. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

 

National

A triathlon site considers the best reflective and hi-viz gear to keep you safe on your bike.

A small Chicago bike shop is out around $16,000 after thieves broke in for the second time in two weeks, stealing five bicycles worth $15,000; the rest is the cost of having the glass replaced for the second time. Meanwhile, a SWAT team surrounded a bike shop in nearby Skokie, Illinois, but all they found inside was a few missing bikes. Thanks to David Drexler for the tip.

It’s not safe for anyone outside of a car on New Jersey streets these days, as bicycling and pedestrian deaths reach their highest levels in 32 years.

Eight Pittsburgh PA cops will face discipline for killing a man who was tased to death for the crime of taking a bike being sold for fifty bucks for a test ride around the block without permission; the Black victim was tased eight times in rapid succession, dying the next day. Criminal charges are still being considered against the officer who fired the taser, and possible others.

Life is cheap in Georgia, where judge tossed out charges against a state senator for failing to call 911 when his buddy called to tell him he’d just fled the scene after running down a bike rider; he called the police chief, instead, fatally delaying the critical emergency response.

Frank Sinatra would probably appreciate plans to install bike lanes on Sinatra Drive in his home town of Hoboken NJ, since he looked pretty dapper on a bike himself.

 

International

Cyclist beats a dead horse, once again raising the long-settled question of whether it’s safe to ride a bike when pregnant. Not only is it safe to ride when your pregnant, it’s good for you and your baby, who will likely be born wearing cleats and a jersey. Unless you’re a man, that is, in which case it’s not safe at all. 

Jalopnik explains how a group of Colorado bike theft victims worked with Bike Index to uncover a ring of bike thieves who would steal high end mountain bikes, then send them across the border to be resold in a Juárez bike shop.

Mexico News Daily considers a far more legitimate operation, profiling an all-female studio making custom, hand-built bicycles in Mexico City.

With typical Brit understatement, the government of the UK says it has no plans to make people on bicycles wear identification numbers, regardless of what a popular bike-hating lawyer demands.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twentyone-year old Columbian cyclist Daniel Arroyave was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was struck by a driver while on a training ride in his home country; however, his bike is toast.

Spanish cyclist Rafael Valls calls it a career after 11 years on the WorldTour, concluding that lingering injuries prevent him from competing at an elite level.

 

Finally…

Apparently, cops are perfectly okay with someone flashing a fake driver’s license and a tin foil police badge while riding a possibly stolen ebike. When you’re carrying $13.8 million in coke on your bike, try not to hit a car fleeing from the cops.

And that feeling when a protective barrier is there to protect the sidewalk, not the bike lane.

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

Pity the poor oppressed drivers, killer Texas driver blind in one eye & can’t see out of the other, and ’tis the season

It’s the final week of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just five more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. 

It was a record-setting weekend, easily topping last year’s record 73 donations.

So let’s all thank Alissa C, Joel S, Gregory S, John C, Adrienne G, David A, Steven Y, Heather J, Matthew R, Steven F, Brer M, Mitchel D, Jeff M and Joel F for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news coming your way every day.

Which raises the question, what are you waiting for, already?

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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

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Today’s must read comes from The Guardian.

Columnist Catherine Bennett writes in sympathy to all the poor, oppressed drivers forced to share the road with the rest of us.

Reports from the frontline of the war on motorists have made distressing reading for some vehicle owners. With low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) surviving both physical and media assault, improved protections for pedestrians and cyclists in a revised Highway Code will weaken still further, they discover, a right to road domination long understood to be, if not divinely ordained, something even better: unassailable.

She goes on to discuss an unfortunate driver who was sentenced to a whole 18 months behind bars and a three-year driving ban for chasing, and ultimately running over a man on a bicycle, recording the entire intentional attack on his dash cam accompanied by his screaming wife.

And leaving his victim “fortunate to survive injuries including a fractured pelvis, torn genitals, six broken ribs and a punctured liver.”

She concludes this way.

Teachable moment: if you want to behave recklessly and dangerously on a road without incarceration, inconvenience, or even incurring a large fine, it’s advisable to do it inside a car. As for almost killing a stranger in a moment of madness: that too, as demonstrated by Mr Moult, is best done, for the avoidance of more stringent penalties, from a seatbelted position inside, for preference, one of the car industry’s more environmentally objectionable models.

Seriously, read it.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

The 66-year old Texas driver who slammed into a group of cross-country bicyclists, killing a Massachusetts man and injuring two others — including a Santa Rosa woman —  explained the crash by telling police he’s blind in one eye and can’t see very well out of the other one.

So why the hell was he still allowed to drive?

Someone, somewhere, should have noticed his vision problems and got him off the streets before he killed someone.

Not after.

Just one more example of the convenience of drivers being given priority over the safety of everyone else.

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‘Tis the season.

Orange County’s Bicycle Santas are back after last year’s forced hiatus, donating 80 bicycles to FaCT (Families And Communities Together, Orange County).

Around 200 Portland kids can expect new bikes, thanks to a group collecting bicycles and tricycles for children in need under five years old.

A Boulder, Colorado program has provided anywhere from 300 to 500 refurbished bikes for local kids each year for the past 15 years, as well as 50 ebikes for essential workers this year, funded by a state grant.

A massive bike donation program in Syracuse NY celebrated its 25th year by giving away 2,000 bicycles to people in need.

Donations are still being sought for a Virginia Beach VA foundation, where organizers hope to distribute 300 bikes to kids this Christmas.

Fayetteville, North Carolina’s famed Bicycle Man charity is giving away around 1,000 new and refurbished bicycles, after delaying last year’s giveaway due to the pandemic. The longtime community activist started by repairing bikes in his garage; his wife took over following his death eight years ago.

A church in Columbia, South Carolina is continuing their tradition of refurbishing around a hundred bicycles a year to give to local kids.

Louisiana’s Terrbone Parish hosted a bike and toy giveaway, with 300 bicycles given to children in need, including families still suffering from 2009’s Hurricane Ida.

A Cajun Country car club donated three custom-built adaptive bikes to special needs kids in Louisiana.

Nearly one hundred kids got new bicycles in a Daytona Beach park.

Today’s list also includes one of our own sponsors, San Diego bike lawyer Richard L. Duquette, who is now among latest sponsors of the Bikes 4 Kids Project.

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

As usual, there’s no shortage of anti-bike letter writers, who put their bias on full display in response to Michael’s Schneider’s recent op-ed calling on officials to drop their opposition to bike lanes; one writer said people on bicycles are usually very fit and very brave, and so there’s no point wasting our streets on a tiny niche. Cleary, he hasn’t met many of us.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Irish man walked with a suspended sentence after threatening a female bike cop, promising the court he’s a changed man and will never, ever do it again — even though seven of his 72 previous convictions were for threatening behavior. Yes, 72.

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

Authorities in Florida are on the lookout for a man who fled on a cruiser bike after robbing a convenience store with a sawed-off shotgun.

A bike-riding man in Osaka, Japan is under investigation for an apparent arson fire that killed 24 people at a mental health clinic where he was a patient.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times asks if drivers are angrier these days, and goes on to answer their own question — an average of 42 people a month were shot or wounded in road rage shootings in the past year, double the previous average. And one person was shot or injured every 18 hours in the US this year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines the new MOVE Culver City project, and concludes Downtown Culver City just got more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly.

Electrek says if you’re still waiting for a new ebike, it’s probably stuck on a ship off Long Beach.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks at what’s in the new federal infrastructure bill for the state.

A Chula Vista bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was rear-ended by a driver following some “miscommunication,” because the bike lane was clogged with storm debris.

Family members remember Ricardo Serrano, the 15-year old boy killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bicycle in Victorville less than a mile from his school earlier this month.

 

National

Nice tradition in one Billings, Montana neighborhood, where residents still light luminarias every Christmas Eve in memory of a 12-year old boy who was killed  by a driver while riding his bicycle in 1962.

A 22-year old Mad City, Wisconsin man operates a one-person bicycle recovery program within the police department.

One person is dead, and seven injured, after nine ebike batteries blew up while being recharged in New York overnight, sparking a massive fire; two teens were forced to shinny four stories down an exterior pipe to escape the blaze.

A Steetsblog op-ed observes that bike booms come and go, so the New York’s new mayor has to seize the moment to make transformative change.

A stoned Long Island utility worker faces 3.5 to 10 years behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle while high on meth, amphetamines and fentanyl; he slammed into five separate vehicles after running a red light, fled that crash before hitting the victim, fled again and ultimately attacked another driver after slamming head-on into the man’s truck.

A certified cycling instructor in Jersey City NJ says there’s currently a de facto ban on bicycling for transportation in the city.

She gets it. A DC columnist says a five-year old girl recently killed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk with her father deserved better, and should leave behind a legacy of safer streets.

A Norfolk, Virginia man has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the local police for excessive use of force, after a cop tackled him off his bike for the crime of riding without a headlight, breaking his leg in three places; needless to say, an internal investigation concluded the cop didn’t do anything wrong.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana continues to make progress on accommodating people on bicycles, with plans in the works for a bike path that would wind through five parishes, the Louisiana equivalent of a county. And it only took four decades after I left.

Miami bike riders complain that new widely spaced rubber armadillos placed on a causeway to protect them from drivers have just replaced one danger with another one.

 

International

Road.cc examines the science behind flashing versus steady bike lights. So why does it have to be one or the other? I ride with a solid beam illuminating the roadway, and a flashing light to get drivers’ attention. 

Meanwhile, Road.cc’s off-road edition considers whether titanium is the ultimate frame material off-road bikes.

Buzzfeed considers 18 places around the world where cars are banned, and “no one seems to miss them.”

Life is cheap in Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a parole board told a woman who was sentenced to five years behind bars after killing a man riding a bicycle and fleeing the scene while driving drunk last year can go home during the day.

London’s Independent considers the huge change a bicycle can make in a refugee’s life, and how you can contribute. Even if you have to read the story on Yahoo.

According to a recent survey, even though bicycling is up 30% in Scotland, 61% of bike riders say a lack of safe riding routes keeps them off their bikes.

It may be a long way to Tipperary, as the song says, but you may not find anywhere to park your bike in the Irish city once you get there.

A 70-year old blind Japanese woman has authored a picture book based on her own experience riding a bike for the first time at age 60.

A New Zealand woman can credit her two-year old rescue dog with saving her life following a bike crash, climbing up an embankment to get help after she had ridden off the edge.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now you, too, can own the bike Wout Van Aert rode to victory on Mount Ventoux in this year’s Tour de France; bidding currently stands at nearly $15,000.

USA Cycling announced a new national crit series with a $100,000 purse, although it currently features just six of the previous ten races.

 

Finally…

Learn how to ride a bike in real life, in the metaverse. That feeling when you go on to become a famous actress, even if your first stunt double was a bike-riding boy in a padded bra.

And yes, he gets it.

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

Stoned killer of Costa Mesa fire captain gets 16 to life, Peloton PR disaster, and bike-riding car vandal strikes in Norwalk

Time’s running out to give to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just 12 days left to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

Thanks to Nick R, Steve M, Sean M, Penny S and David M for their generous donations to help support this site, and keep the corgi in kibble for the next couple months.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. And needed.

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Sixteen to life.

That’s the sentence handed down to 28-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa in the drugged driving death of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza.

Scarpa, a former drug counselor, was convicted of second degree murder for jumping a curb in Mission Viejo, and running down Kreza as he was riding on a sidewalk.

Kreza was training for an upcoming triathlon when Scarpa slammed into him, as he was driving home from partying all night with a cocktail of drugs in his system.

Scarpa told investigators he’d taken meth, fentanyl and “undefined downers,” and had been awake for days before getting behind the wheel.

Someplace he had no business being under any circumstances.

Kreza left behind his wife and three young daughters, who have been understandably devastated by their loss, and who struggle to go on without him.

Hopefully, Scarpa can get clean behind bars, and do something to benefit society when and if he gets out..

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More on last week’s Peloton PR disaster.

Peloton stock prices plunged in the wake of a key character dying after using one on the first episode of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…

Meanwhile, the New York Times wants to know if the company can sue over it, while Peloton responds by resurrecting the victim in a new ad.

This comes just two years after the company’s self-inflicted PR fiasco with their widely panned Peloton Wife holiday commercial.

Maybe they should just avoid the holidays from now on.

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Sheriff’s deputies in Norwalk are looking for a bike-riding man who vandalized a pair of cars last week.

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‘Tis the season.

Third graders at two Tustin schools thought they were going to learn who won a new bicycle in an essay contest; instead, all 143 kids got a new bike, courtesy of Aliso Viejo’s Dirtbag Mountain Biking Club and Bikes for Kids.

Volunteers in Madera, California built 215 bikes ranging from tricycles to 29″ mountain bikes to give to children in need.

A motorsports dealer in French Camp CA was hoping to give 200 bicycles to local kids over the weekend, a tradition of giveaways that began when he decided to fix up and donate 30 bikes four years ago, rather than throw them away. And yes, I had to look that one up to figure out where the hell French Camp is.

Volunteers in Tyler, Texas continued a 35-year tradition of rebuilding bicycles to donate to local kids for the holidays.

Over 200 people turned out for the longest-running holiday themed bike ride in the Boston area, many dressed as Santa or other seasonal characters. Although probably no one bothered to dress as Krampus, darn it.

A Georgia auto shop owner has given away hundreds of bicycles over the last ten years. And this year was no exception.

Panama City, Florida’s Salvage Santa oversaw efforts to rebuild 350 bicycles to give to local kids and organizations, an ongoing effort for the past 43 years.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man has over 2,000 bicycles to give to kids “at the bottom of the food chain” this year; a tradition that started with just 20 bikes 15 years ago.

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Zackary Rynew calls attention to LA’s use of plastic bollards to keep cars safe. Yet somehow, they have trouble using them to protect people on bicycles.

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Volunteers are needed to work this weekend’s Holiday Carnival at the Velo Sports Center, and experience three days of competitive track cycling.

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The open streets revolution is spreading worldwide.

The latest evidence comes from Kenya, where three major streets were closed to cars and opened to people in the city of Kisumu on Saturday.

Thanks to @Menorman for the heads-up.

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Apparently, Joe Jonas is one of us, taking to a bike on the streets of New York to get to his latest show.

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There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after knocking a nine-year old DC kid off his bike. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to be too badly hurt.

As usual though, you can’t unsee it. So be sure you really want to watch a little kid get run down by a heartless coward before you push play. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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You still have time to make a bid on the jersey Lachlan Morton wore on his alt-Tour de France run, where he followed the entire race route while putting in more miles, and riding solo. And still beat the peloton into Paris.

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

No bias here. Plans to close a longstanding gap in Seattle’s famed Burke-Gilman Trail hit a snag when the Teamsters and local businesses complained that putting a bike lane through the area will make it more dangerous for their businesses and truck drivers. Because apparently, running over a bicyclist get blood on their big, bad trucks.

No bias here, either. A retired New Jersey planner and engineer says forget installing bike lanes in downtown Northampton street, because bike riders can just get off and walk. And it’s just too dangerous for people on bicycles on the street without them, anyway. That sound you heard is thousands of near simultaneous head-slaps from every bike rider reading that crap.

Or here. A DC writer says just because a four-year old kid was was hit by a car while riding in a crosswalk, that’s no reason to call for safer streets. And misrepresents safety studies to say protected bike lanes are no place for kids.

A British man in his 30’s was critically injured in what police are describing as a deliberate attack, as the driver used his car as a weapon to run down the victim on his bike before fleeing the scene.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the bike-riding thief stole two days worth of cash donations to a San Francisco toy drive.

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for hurling a sharp-edged rock into a passing car, slightly injuring a boy inside, after the driver swerved close to him to avoid rocks in the roadway; he admitted to keeping the rock strapped to his bike for exactly that purpose. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

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Local

Thieves scaled a fence to break into a home in LA’s Mid-Wilshire neighborhood, stealing a $2,700 ebike and power tools while the residents were in the house.

Police have identified a 29-year old man as the victim of a fatal shooting in a homeless camp along the LA River bike path in South Gate.

A 23-year old mountain biker was in serious condition Saturday after he was airlifted following a fall in the Santa Monica Mountains above Pacific Palisades.

 

State

Caltrans has issued a new Complete Streets policy, which states that all Caltrans projects will, by default, provide “comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities” for bikers, walkers, and transit riders. Let’s hope they live up to it this time.

Encinitas is looking at installing a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane on the Coast Highway to help people on bikes get to the legendary Swami’s Beach.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, will consider implementing a road usage fee that would charge drivers for each mile they drive. Which is one of the best reasons I’ve heard to ride a bike instead.

 

National

A digital photography site offers tips on how to get better shot of bicycling events.

Bicycling offers advice on when to fix your own bike — and when to let someone else do it. As usual, read it on Yahoo it Bicycling blocks you.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss considers the zen of ignoring obstructions in the bike lane. Which seems like kind of a metaphor for life.

A legal website looks back at how government regulations killed off the forerunner of the e-scooter a hundred years ago, and questions whether history will repeat itself.

Over 300 bike riders turned out for a memorial ride down the Las Vegas Strip to remember five men and women killed by a meth-fueled semi driver a year ago while on a group ride just outside of town.

A formerly 306 pound Indiana man credits bicycling with helping him drop 136 pounds in just 18 months; he started on a stationary bike, before bicycling neighbors invited him to come outside and ride with them.

Ebike makers are teaming with local nonprofits to provide discounts to front line workers in the Bronx.

Heartbreaking story from DC, where a woman describes how she went from mom to traffic safety advocate following the death of her five-year old daughter, as she was riding her bike in a crosswalk last September.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to make your bike more comfortable.

A former London bike courier explains why he’s willing to risk prison to fight for safer streets for people on two wheels, and call attention to the impending climate emergency. Which is clearly already here.

Tripling current levels of bicycle use in London would result in the equivalent of a $6.62 billion boost to the local economy, according to a new study.

Great Britain has introduced new traffic rules to give bike riders, equestrians and pedestrians a higher priority on the road, with the new rules going into effect January 1st.

World champion British cyclists Rachel Atherton and her older brothers Dan and Gee are moving from racing mountain bikes to making them.

A German court ordered employers to provide all the tools their employees need to do the job, including bicycles and smartphones for delivery riders and bike couriers.

A pair of Italian teenagers were sentenced to 18 months behind bars for their roles in the gang that stole 22 bikes from the Italian national track team at October’s world track championships.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips talks with the philosopher of the pro peloton, French cyclist Guillaume Martin, who has flown under the radar while notching a number of top ten finishes.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert is just as dominant at ‘cross as he is on a road bike, taking a snowy first place by more than a minute at Val di Sole, while the great Marianne Vos was narrowly edged out by 19-year-old Dutch cyclist Fem van Empel on the women’s side.

 

Finally…

One more time, if you’re riding a stolen bike in the wee hours of the morning, put a damn light on it.

And Burger King is preparing to field a whopper of a cycling team. Although credit Jay Cisco with a better take than mine.

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

Vegas driver gets up to 26 years for pushover death, bikes are good for the world’s health, and more ’tis the season

My apologies for the earlier proofreading errors to this post. Server problems combined with an internet outage to keep me making any corrections. Hopefully I’ve caught everything now. 

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It’s the 13th day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Bryan B for his generous donation to help keep everything you need to know about the wild, wonderful and wacky world of bikes coming your way every day.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, far more than I could ever put into words. 

So donate today, and let’s make this a lucky 13 for both of us!

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com. 

Go ahead. We’ll wait. 

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That’s more like it.

In the conclusion to a tragic story we’ve been following for the past year, a Las Vegas man will spend a well-deserved 10 to 26 years behind bars for the death of a 56-year old woman as she was riding her bike.

Rodrigo Cruz was driving the van when he swerved close to the victim, Michelle “Shelli” Weissman, as his friend leaned out the passenger window to push Weissman off her bike, killing her.

In the ultimate tragic irony, the passenger, Giovanni Medina Barajas, fell out the window and died at the scene, as well.

Cruz’s attorney tried to write the whole thing off as a “some sort of dumb, childish prank.”

Now two lives have been needlessly snuffed out, and another irreparably damaged, all because two people thought harming an innocent person was funny.

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A new study from my hometown university shows that bicycling is good for the world’s health, too.

According to the study, as many as 205,000 premature deaths could be prevented every year worldwide if cities encouraged people to use a bicycle instead of a car. Although that figure depends on replacing all car trips with bikes by the year 2050.

Which ain’t gonna happen.

In what the authors describe as a more realistic scenario, 18,589 annual deaths could be prevented worldwide if just eight percent of people switched from cars to bikes.

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‘Tis the season.

A Waco, Texas builders association donated 87 bikes to Toys for Tots, while complaining that the pandemic-driven bike shortage kept them from giving more.

The county engineers office in Ohio’s Wayne County built 21 bikes to be given away to kids, including three for a domestic abuse treatment center.

A trio of Georgia bike clubs teamed up to deliver 88 bicycles that will be donated to kids in need by a local church.

After spending four days living atop a scissor lift, a Florida DJ collected 450 bicycles, as well as helmets and toys, for local kids.

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This is what a Slow Street can bring to life.

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

No surprise here, as San Diego’s bike-hating OB Rag lives down to its name by taking glee in a very unscientific DIY study showing hardly anyone is using the city’s new 30th Street protected bike lanes.

Prepare to dodge even more distracted drivers, now that Teslas allow drivers to play video games on the in-dash video screen while the car is in motion.

The city council in Cambridge, Massachusetts condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the sabotage of a protected bike lane with tacks and bricks.

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Local

Typical. Even though there’s an approved plan for bike lanes on Rosecrans Avenue, Metro will only make room for them in an overhaul of the street in anticipation of high speed rail, rather than actually building them. Evidently, a few bucks worth of paint would just add too much to the $156 million project.

 

State

San Diego’s bicycle-powered Coffee Cycle coffee cart now is now a brick and mortar coffee roaster in Pacific Beach.

This is who we share the road with. When a couple teenagers hit his pickup with water balloons, a 63-year old Ridgecrest man responded by shooting their truck with a 12-gauge shotgun; to make matters worse, he’s an ex-con who’s legally barred from owning a weapon, let alone using it.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco approves funding for another protected bike lane, this time in the city’s Panhandle neighborhood.

 

National

This is what the bike boom really means, as half of today’s bike riders either started riding in the last two years, or came back to their bikes after an extended layoff.

A former Aston Martin engineer has designed what looks like the first practical folding helmet.

A writer for Bike Portland says she’s obsessed with ebikes, even choosing to get drenched in pouring rain instead of hailing an Uber because they’re so much fun to ride.

Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club is teaching third, fourth and fifth graders how to safely ride their bikes to school.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could hit a 13-year old kid in the Bronx with their car, and just keep going; fortunately, the kid wasn’t seriously hurt.

 

International

Bike riders from 195 countries around the world uploaded 10 billion riding miles to Strava over the past year. Speaking of which, you could devote all your working hours to managing Strava’s social media.

A writer for Cycling Tips hopes every bikemaker imitate’s Britain’s Brompton’s bike rental program, which allows people to rent a bike for up to 30 days for the equivalent of just $6.61 a day.

A serial bike thief who targeted an English train station walked with the equivalent of probation, but was ordered to repay his victims.

After conservative politicians ripped out a bike lane in the UK, a petition calling for its reinstatement collected three times the signatures as one demanding its removal.

Traffic speed matters more than traffic volume in deciding where to ride, according to a new British study, which showed most people prefer to ride their bikes on streets with a speed limit of 20 mph or less.

A new study from the UK shows we’re losing the youngest generation, as a full 36% of primary school kids haven’t ridden a bike in the last year. And one in 20 has never ridden one.

This is who we share the road with, part 2. French authorities accuse a British expat of murdering his wife by flooring his car and running over her as she stood in front of it. Naturally, he says it was just a tragic accident.

When you donate to World Bicycle Relief, this is the bike you’re helping deliver to people in Africa.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand pro Olivia Ray says she’s still waiting for her $15,000 check for winning the inaugural Into The Lion’s Den crit, founded by L39ion of Los Angeles’ Williams brothers.

 

Finally…

The science of how your bicycling shoes work. It doesn’t do any good to catch a bike thief if you can’t keep him in your rusty jail.

And making cities more dog friendly, one bike ride at a time.

………

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

CicLAvia and other mass bike rides near and far, ’tis the season for bike giveaways, and rescuing kitties in Azerbaijan

It’s the second full week of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to S H, Samer S, Robert H, John H, Glen S, Scott G and Ezequiel C for their generous donations this weekend! And it was great to hear from some old friends, and new. 

So take a moment to show your support for this site, and to help ensure that all the best bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day. Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated — and needed!

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com. 

………

Apparently, CicLAvia wasn’t the only mass bicycling event in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Even if it’s not just for bike riders.

And even if the other one wasn’t on closed streets. Or even permitted.

Then again, Los Angeles didn’t have mass bike rides to itself this weekend.

Although you can see the same thing in Venice every Sunday, as long as you’re willing to give up the Hemingway vibes.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the Key West video.

………

‘Tis the season.

It’s that time of year again, when holiday bike giveaways start making the news.

This time, it starts close to home, where Los Angeles Lakers legend and Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson hosted a holiday event that brought the two teams together with the LA Rams to provide 400 underserved kids with new bikes, as well as helmets and toys.

An Idaho landfill is reclaiming bicycles people toss in the trash to donate to local kids, to ensure every kid can have a bike.

A bighearted Michigan girl collects cans to buy bicycles for a local nonprofit dedicated to providing kids with their first bikes, starting with just two bikes in 2018, and increasing to 217 this year.

A pair of bike clubs in America’s largest retirement community teamed up to donate over 300 bicycles for Florida kids in need.

………

Forget a BB gun. This is the real Christmas story.

………

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

Someone has been sabotaging a new protected bike lane in Cambridge, Massachusetts by sprinkling it with tacks and bricks, causing at least one crash.

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

A Redwood City man learns the hard way not to run a stop sign at 3 am with meth and drug paraphernalia on his bike — because they might use a CHP helicopter to track him down.

An Oklahoma man faces hit-and-run and assault with a deadly weapon charges after running down a bike thief with his car and reclaiming his bicycle, leaving his victim bleeding in the roadway.

A Singapore bike rider makes an unintended safety video by crashing into the back of a car while distracted by his phone.

………

Local

It came too late to make our Friday Morning Links, but you can still check out the Militant Angeleno’s guide to yesterday’s South LA CicLAvia to see what you saw.

 

State

Oceanside has approved a route for the final link missing from San Diego County’s 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail, which will eventually connect the city with San Diego.

Business owners and residents along San Diego’s 30th Street continue to aim shots at their own feet, filing an appeal to a recently dismissed lawsuit over the new protected bike lanes along the corridor, apparently unaware that protected bike lanes result in increased retail sales and property values, despite any loss of parking. Or maybe because of it.

An alleged bike thief is on trial for murder in Oakland after shooting the victim as he chased after his stolen bicycle. Allegedly.

Emeryville has a shiny new $21.4 million bike and pedestrian bridge.

No bias here. A Marin newspaper says a 15 mph speed limit for bike riders on the Golden Gate Bridge makes sense, especially in light of ebikes capable of doing up to 28 mph. Except ebikes that fast are already prohibited from using separated cycle tracks like the one on the bridge.

 

National

A Cycling Tips forum debates whether paywalls blocking internet access to bicycling publications will will eventually hurt the bicycling community and bike industry. It’s hard to argue that it won’t hurt them, as well as the magazines themselves, in the long run. But websites and magazines also need to make profit to stay in business. So until someone comes up with a better business model, we may be stuck with them. 

Bloomberg looks at the proposed $900 ebike tax credit contained in the current draft of the Build Back Better bill, which limits it to 30% of the first $3,000 of bicycles costing up to just four grand. Never mind that drivers can claim up to $7,500 on electric cars, no matter how much they cost.

New Mexico residents are battling over whether to close trails in the environmentally fragile badlands in the northern part of the state, where the increasing popularity of mountain biking risks eroding hillsides and destroying plant life. Mountain bikes belong almost everywhere, except where they can do irreparable harm to people, plants, animals or the environment.

A Colorado man will spend the next three years behind bars for killing German pro mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag, after he was convicted of vehicular homicide; sentences on two lesser charges will be served concurrently.

Record-setting Scottish bicyclist Josh Quigley returned to a Texas medical center to thank the trauma team that saved his life two years ago, after he suffered near-fatal injuries when he was run down by a truck driver while attempting to ride around the world.

There has to be a special place in hell for any driver who could leave a 13-year old bike-riding Ohio kid to die alone in the street.

A Grubhub rider in DC doesn’t let the lack of a front wheel delay his food deliveries.

 

International

No surprise that the global ebike market is expected to exceed $120 million by 2030. More surprising is that e-mountain bikes are the fastest growing segment.

Momentum offers a guide to bicycle snow tires. Which we usually don’t get a lot of call for here in sunny Southern California.

A 70-year old Winnipeg, Manitoba woman got her missing bike back 16 years after it was stolen, thanks to registering her serial number with the police before it was taken. Which is a good reminder to register your bike now.

Damned if you do, really damned if you don’t. A London bike rider gets fined the equivalent of $99 for riding in a bike-free zone outside a tube station — which is about $66,202 less than the fine for parking it there.

Scotland’s minister for active travel caught flack for posing with bicycling school kids on his own bicycle without wearing a helmet or hi-viz, even though neither is required for adults.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver walked without a day behind bars for killing a bike rider in an unsafe pass; the driver pulled in too soon because his wing mirror had been knocked out of place, denying him a view of the side of his truck. Evidently, it was just asking too much to pull over to the side of the road and fix it before he killed someone.

When you actually care about people on bicycles, you build thing like this three-way bike bridge over a highway roundabout in Naaldwijk, Netherlands. Thanks to Rich Flanagan for the tip.

A Dutch taxi passenger will face charges for fatally dooring a little girl riding with her parents, which forced her to swerve and fall in front of a bus.

A poultry farmer in Accra, Ghana won a sprayer and a new bicycle after being named the area’s best farmer.

Your next Chinese ebike could have five shock absorbers and carry two people. And cost just $700.

The World Naked Bike Ride follows the sun to Melbourne, Australia, where spring is just coming to an end.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly ranks the best road cyclists of 2021. And no, my name isn’t in there. And probably not yours, either.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could be made from mushrooms and hay, and keep growing even if your head doesn’t. If your friend kills you and burns your body over a motorcycle, maybe he wasn’t really your friend.

And that feeling when you pick up a hitchhiker while riding across Azerbaijan.

………

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

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. 

………

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.

_______

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.

_______

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.

_______

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.

_______

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.

_______

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.

_______

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.

_______

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.

_______

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.

_______

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.

………

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!

………

‘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.

………

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

………

………

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.

………

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. 

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

Who knew?

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

………

‘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.

………

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.

………

………

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…

………

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!

………

‘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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

………

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

https://twitter.com/AmericanFietser/status/1333948483557003265

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

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