Tag Archive for virtual happy hour

“Coming out of nowhere” to get right hooked by clueless driver, Streets For All virtual Happy Hour, and classic bike ads

One quick personal note before we get started. 

You may recall an LA Times story from a couple years ago about how my wife and I took in a foster corgi for a homeless man for a few weeks after our corgi died, so he could get into a shelter and get back on his feet.

Those few weeks turned into nearly six months. But in the process, that little dog helped heal three lives. 

Sadly, the corgi — whose owner asked us to keep his name private — died on Friday, after suffering from cancer and doggie dementia. 

He was 15 years old. 

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SoCal bike writer Peter Flax was the victim of a right hook by a driver who cut in front of him after passing, then claimed he “came out of nowhere;” turning so close Flax actually brushed his shoulder against the moving SUV.

Which serves as yet another reminder that, in the entire history of cars and bikes, no one on a bicycle has ever come out of nowhere. Though it may sometime seems that way to careless and/or distracted drivers.

Click on the tweets below to read the whole thread.

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Streets For All will host their latest virtual Happy Hour a week from tomorrow, featuring my state assembly member.

Although probably not just because he’s my assembly member.

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Your periodic reminder that bike advertising was so much better back in the day.

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

No bias here. A writer for Vice responds to last week’s anti-ebike screed in The Atlantic by saying the lack of appropriate infrastructure for ebikes is making bicycling worse, and that we have an ebike problem that more ebikes won’t solve.

A DC bike rider was hit in the face with a metal water bottle thrown by a road raging driver, who then reversed into him and tried to run him over; fortunately, he escaped with a few bruises.

Former Canadian pro cyclist Marcel Zierfuss was the victim of a road raging driver in Toronto’s contentious High Park; the man started by driving erratically and swearing about entitled cyclists, before swerving towards Zierfuss and finally brake-checking him, leaving Zierfuss with a serious concussion, nose injury and whiplash. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

An English city painted over a previously existing bike lane because drivers couldn’t manage to avoid a new pedestrian island without swerving into it.

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

Houston police are looking for a man who fled by bicycle after fatally shooting another man following an altercation outside a convenience store.

A bike-riding thief punched a student walking on an Illinois university campus before making off with the victim’s cellphone.

A 20-year old British man fled from police on his bike after showing up late for a court hearing, then hurling abuse at social workers.

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Local

Long Beach bike riders enjoyed a tour of new murals painted over the weekend as part of The Long Beach Walls and Art Renzei Festival.

 

State 

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Tour de Fat is back in my Colorado hometown after a two-year pandemic layoff.

A Colorado man got 16 years behind bars for his part in an organized bike theft ring that used stolen cars to break into 29 Boulder area bike shops, then shipping the stolen bikes to a Mexican bike shop for resale.

The Chicago Tribune offers photos from Sunday’s Bike the Drive open streets event on the city’s iconic Lake Shore Drive; a growing number of those riders were using ebikes.

Five kids from the Cleveland Boys & Girls Club hopped on new loaner bikes to help a videographer with the local paper finish the last three-tenths of a mile of his century ride — then are shocked when they get to keep the bikes, along with other gear.

They’re one of us. Or maybe four of us, as Kate Hudson and her fiancé Danny Fujikawa, and Sophie Turner and husband Joe Jonas go for separate bike rides in New York.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. After a Pennsylvania driver drifted onto the shoulder of a roadway, critically injuring a 61-year old bike rider, police gave him a pat on the wrist by writing a pair of traffic tickets. As someone noted on Twitter, that could cost the driver tens of dollars.

Hundreds of DC area bike riders turned out to honor a fallen bicyclist at her ghost bike ceremony; the veteran diplomat was killed by a driver while riding in Bethesda, Maryland last month.

 

International

A new book details the world’s largest collection of bicycle derailleurs.

Smart bike helmet maker Lumos has introduced a set of magnetic bike lights that can display red, white and yellow lights, which combine with an app to work as turn signals and brake lights; there’s still a few left at two for $65.

Wired likes Skarper’s new ebike conversion prototype, but questions why someone wouldn’t just buy an entire ebike for the $1,190 price tag. Although we’re getting closer to the Holy Grail of conversion kits, where they’re small enough to toss in a backpack and just clip on as needed.

Hats off to a four-year old Welsh girl, who has raised the equivalent of over $1,100 by riding her bicycle 93 miles over the past six weeks.

Once again, authorities managed to keep an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late, after a 70-year old English man was killed when he was run down on his bike by an 82-year old driver with failing eyesight, who couldn’t manage to read a license plate from ten yards away.

After a Bristol, England woman’s bikes were stolen, she spotted one of them when she went to the police station to file a report — and was mugged by the thief when she tried to reclaim it, even though they were right outside the doors of the cop shop.

Then there’s the Lancaster, England thief who denied stealing a bicycle when he was questioned by the police , but they saw him riding the purloined two wheeler the next day. Oops.

A UK woman says she made her two kids stop riding their bikes after it got too dangerous when officials started removing the pandemic popup bike infrastructure; a British bike advocacy group blames the removal of those bikeways for a drop in bicycling rates.

Good news, as Welsh decathlete Ben Gregory is breathing on his own and slowly coming out of a coma after suffering a fractured neck and skull, and multiple brain hemorrhages when he was struck by a driver in a near-fatal collision while riding his bicycle last month.

No bias here. Stuff says the data is inconclusive on whether Christchurch’s protected bike lanes are improving safety, with four of 13 planned major bikeways in operation — except the data is only inconclusive because it’s based on the entire city, with no specific safety information for the new bike lanes themselves. The website also asks why Christchurch lost its position as New Zealand’s bicycling city, where bikes outnumbered cars on the streets as late as the 1950s.

A drunk driver in Hunan, China could face a charge of intentional murder or injury for the hit-and-run crash where she ran down an ebike rider, then dragged the victim for more than one thousand yards after her clothes got caught on the car’s bumper. We could use a law like that here.

 

Competitive Cycling

Veteran Belgian cyclist Sep Vanmarcke won Baltimore’s inaugural Maryland Bicycle Classic, out-sprinting four other riders who survived a lengthy breakaway; more than 50,000 spectators turned out for a brief glimpse of the riders zooming by, with downhill speeds of up to 45 mph.

Things are getting more interesting in the Vuelta, where Remco Evenepoel is holding on to the red leader’s jersey by one minute 34 seconds over second place Primož Roglič, after the three-time winner shaved over a minute off Evenepoel’s lead in Sunday’s 15th stage.

Now you, too, can own your very own replica of Tadej Pogačar’s Tour de France-winning yellow Colnago V3Rs signed by the cyclist; the current bid is the equivalent of just over $550,000 — yes, over half a million bucks — with the proceeds going to a nonprofit that provides access to education for vulnerable children. Did I mention it’s a replica?

This is what a photo finish looked like in Monday’s Tour of Britain.

 

Finally…

Oddly, advice on how to treat common bike injuries doesn’t involve wrenches, spokes of bike lube. Seriously, who doesn’t need a 153-pound ebike with a sidecar?

And that feeling when a man decides to take up bicycling after a judge bans him from driving for the next year for driving while high.

Even though he couldn’t legally drive in the first place.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

13 previous car crashes for nurse who killed six people in Windsor Hills, and women and retirees fastest ebike adopters

Talk about keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 37-year old, Texas-based traveling nurse Nicole Lorraine Linton was involved in 13 prior crashes before she killed six people and injured eight others after allegedly blowing through a red light at up to 90 mph on Thursday.

Yes, you read that right.

Thirteen previous crashes, including a 2020 crash that totaled both vehicles. And yet she was somehow allowed to keep driving, despite demonstrating a clear inability to do so safely.

Either that, or she was plagued by some of the worst luck in the history of driving.

Linton was formally charged with six counts of murder — one for each victim — along with five counts of vehicular homicide. The unborn child of the pregnant woman killed in the crash accounts for the discrepancy; the death of the eight-and-a-half month unborn baby is eligible for a murder charge, but not vehicular homicide.

LA County DA George Gascón concluded her prior crash record indicated she was aware of the risks of driving in a dangerous manner, making her eligible for the murder charges.

Linton faces up to life behind bars upon conviction. She’s currently being held without bail after the previous $9 million bond was revoked.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

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Meanwhile, the news is not good for Anne Heche.

The actress, who was seriously burned crashing her car into a Mar Vista home at high speed on Friday, is reportedly in extremely critical condition after slipping into a coma.

Police investigators are trying to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the fiery crash.

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I once made the mistake of telling a bikemaker I didn’t see a market for ebikes, because I assumed everyone would want the exercise and health benefits of a standard bike.

Turns out I was wrong about that, too, since studies show ebikes offer the same health benefits as any other bike.

So this is a snapshot of just who is taking up ebikes.

You know, the market I somehow couldn’t picture.

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Let’s take a few moments to consider what’s possible when you register your bike with Bike Index.

You can get a free, lifetime registration in just minutes.

So if anything happens to your bike, you’ll have all the information you need to add your bike to Bike Index’ nationwide database of stolen bikes. And increase your chances of getting it back, wherever its found.

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Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening.

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Who needs an ebike bike when you can build your very own DIY jet-powered bicycle?

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

No bias here. A new San Francisco group demanding the reopening of JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park to cars has issued their full set of demands, including parking on every street, no parking-protected bike lanes, and no bike lanes replacing parking.

A road-raging Dayton, Ohio man faces charges for intentionally running down, then running over, a man riding a bicycle, before getting out with another man and looking at the victim; the attack was apparently in retaliation for the rider throwing a small flashlight at the driver’s car, after someone in the car threw a water bottle at the victim.

A Florida driver is accused of circling back and jumping a curb to intentionally run down a pair of bike riders, then getting out and shooting one of them in the leg

British police interviewed a man accused of “furiously” pushing a man against a wall and throwing his bicycle out into the street, for the crime of riding his bike on the sidewalk.

An Irish road and cyclocross racer is back to riding just two weeks after he suffered four broken ribs and two broken vertebrae, as well as a partially collapsed lung, when someone sabotaged a mountain bike trail with a rope strung across the path; Seán Nolan warns that its only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

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

A Nebraska man was busted after fleeing from police on his bike when the cops recognized his as having outstanding warrants; he was also carrying meth and drug paraphernalia in his backpack.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man learns the hard way that if you’re going to stab a man and ride off on his bicycle, make sure it doesn’t have a flat tire first.

Police in Chicago are looking for a bike-riding man who has targeted elderly women in a string of strong-arm robberies, stealing their jewelry before riding off.

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Local

Dozens of bicyclists and other activists turned out at City Hall on Monday to protest a new ordinance banning outdoor bike chop shops, fearing the law could be used to target low-income people and people of color, rather than cracking down on bike thefts.

Streetsblog reports Venice Blvd will be getting another 4.3 miles of parking protected bike lanes connecting to the .8-mile Mar Vista Great Street project, for a total of 5.1 miles of protected bike lanes.

The LA River Greenway is getting a new Canoga Park entry pavilion designed by acclaimed architect Frank Geary, even though the river is nothing more than an open air concrete culvert at that point. Geary has also proposed hiding lower sections of the concrete channel under elevated parks, rather than returning the channel to a more natural state.

Walk Bike Glendale offers action alerts on proposed makeovers of North Brand Blvd and La Crescenta Ave, as well as plans for a feeder ride to the Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia on August 21st.

 

State 

Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 922 passed the state Assembly with almost unanimous support; the bill expedited bike, pedestrian, light rail, and rapid bus projects by exempting them from the California Environmental Quality Act, aka CEQA. It now goes back to the Senate for a final vote before going to the governor’s desk for a signature.

Encinitas-based bikemaker Electra continues to stick close to its roots, keeping its focus on cruiser bikes on the eve of its 30th birthday.

San Diego’s newly revised Climate Action Plan doubles down on efforts to get people out of their cars, including a shift to more Class IV protected bike lanes.

Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Commission approved the removal of 34 trees to build a bike path on the city’s Modoc Road, which will require moving the roadway 12 feet so the path won’t go through sensitive wildlife habitat near Arroyo Burro Creek; the project is less controversial than another one along Modoc Road in Santa Barbara County, which will require removing 40 to 61 trees.

Streetsblog calls on San Francisco officials to fix a street grate in Golden Gate Park that could grab a narrow bike tire and bring down the rider. And did. Call it Golden Gate Grate-gate. 

Oakland wants to use a $1 million state grant to buy 500 ebikes to open an ebike library for low-income neighborhoods.

After hundreds of bike-riding teens swarmed the lower deck of the San Francisco Bay Bridge Saturday afternoon, they’re accused of burglarizing businesses and throwing things at people in Oakland.

A man was sentenced to a well-deserved 17 years behind bars for trying to rape a woman on a Davis bike path.

 

National

Streetsblog offers advice on how to access federal funding from the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program, offering a cool $1 billion a year for the next five years for “meaningful, community-led Vision Zero projects.”

Even with federal incentives of up to $7,500, electric cars remain outside the reach of many Americans. Yet the new climate bill fails to mention far more affordable bicycles, let alone ebikes.

The Verge says the ebike tax credit is only mostly dead, as supporters plot the next steps to revive it.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Take a cog railway train to the summit of Colorado’s 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, then bike 13 miles and 5,000 feet back down.

A 49-year old Durango, Colorado fire fighter was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver; his death came just two weeks after a 60-year old member of the same department died of a heart condition while riding bikes with his son.

A 68-year old Sierra City, California man was killed when he was rear-ended by a semi driver and knocked into a ditch while riding in Kansas.

Great idea. While Houston is in the midst of a years-long commitment to build 1,800 miles of high-comfort bike lanes, the city is reserving 10% of the funding for smaller “strategic” projects suggested by members of the bicycling community.

Police arrested a 26-year old man for yelling and chucking rocks at people using a Madison, Wisconsin bike path.

A Detroit website says more pedestrians are getting killed as trucks and SUVs keep getting bigger, with some models now exceeding the size of a WWII tank.

The woman accused of killing two men participating in a Michigan Make-A-Wish fundraising ride while driving under the influence is due back in court for a prelim next week; the crash left nine kids without their fathers.

The bighearted employees of a Maine company pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 19-year old coworker, after the bike he used to ride to work was stolen.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is one of us, after he suffered a broken wrist falling off his bike to end his season; a Texas website offers an incomplete list of other major league bike incidents, although they include motorcycles as well as bicycles.

New York saw a 33 percent jump in weekday bicycling trips during the deepest, darkest days of the pandemic in 2020. Meanwhile, the latest official figures for Los Angeles show a 22 percent increase — in 2019, before the pandemic and subsequent bike boom.

New Yorkers want more, and more secure, bike parking. Then again, doesn’t everyone?

DC has a new bicycle awareness specialty license plate, even if it does misspell “taxation.”

New Orleans police arrested a 16-year old boy, accusing him of stealing a bicycle from an off-duty cop in a French Quarter strong-arm robbery.

 

International

A Suffolk, England woman is credited with helping save a man’s life after he rode his bike into a river; now she’s raising funds to support the medical charity that helped his rehabilitation.

British police failed to arrest a single bike thief in 87% of neighborhoods with at least one bike theft. And usually a lot more.

A German company has introduced what they call the world’s smartest bike helmet, including a full face air bag, 360° surround safety system, LED lights and a breathable, 3D-knitted liner.

NPR says many Sri Lankans have switched to bicycles due to the country’s economic crisis.

The pandemic is fueling a sports bicycling boom in China, a country more noted for utilitarian and proletarian bikes; meanwhile, the country’s surviving bikeshare companies are raising their prices in an effort to finally turn a profit. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Indianapolis Monthly takes readers to school, explaining what a crit is.

A new documentary captures Pittsburgh’s Frigid Bitch alleycat bike race.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you find driving stressful when you’re not going 186 mph. Try not to back your motorbike into a pit.

And this is who we share the road with.

https://twitter.com/ChadBlue83/status/1556435695635517440

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Streets For All virtual happy hour tonight, SoCal’s killer highway getting bike lanes in OC, and Prime Day bike deals

Let’s start with a reminder that Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening, featuring Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

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Southern California’s killer highway could be getting a little safer in Orange County.

According to the Daily Pilot, the stretch of PCH that runs through Huntington Beach is scheduled for a number of improvements, as part of a $14.8-million Caltrans project.

Among the scheduled improvements are rehabilitating the pavement — whatever that means — replacing traffic loop detectors and guardrails, and upgrading facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

In addition, the plans call for adding Class II painted bike lanes, although they will be downgraded to a mere bike route in some areas, forcing riders to fight for road space with impatient drivers.

That could mean relying on the dreaded sharrows, which studies show could be worse than nothing. And which appear to exist only to help drivers improve their aim and thin the herd.

Additional plans call for $21.2 million to be spent on two projects in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, including unspecified pedestrian and bicycle upgrades.

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Today’s common theme is Prime Day bike deals.

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A Twitter user responds to Governor Newsom’s call to sue gunmakers by suggesting we should be able to sue the makers of killer cars.

Especially since the news media insists on holding their drivers blameless.

Not just cars that kill, but cars, trucks and SUVs that are literally built to kill, with no thought to the survival of anyone outside the vehicle.

And which are too often sold in a way that actually encourages the most extreme and dangerous behavior.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up. 

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A new crowdsourced book says it’s not too late to stave off a carbon-fueled climate disaster.

Let’s hope they’r right.

Thanks to Pedal Love for the tip.

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A lifelong car enthusiast explains why he’s starting to hate cars, and why owning multiple cars is an insanely bad idea.

And “why car dependency is terrible and why car enthusiasts should care about reducing traffic fatalities.”

Took the words right out of my mouth.

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

There’s a special place in hell for whoever painted swastikas along a Rhode Island bike path.

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

Palo Alto police arrested a 34-year old Mountain View man for robbing a 16-year old bike-riding boy; he was arrested riding a bike while carrying meth and drug paraphernalia, as well as the knife he threatened the teenager with.

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Local

Streetsblog reports on last week’s groundbreaking for the Rail-to-Rail active transportation project through South LA and Inglewood.

Heartbreaking story from the LA Times about a young Black man who lived alone and worked remotely, whose body was found five days after he logged off from work, after apparently dying in his sleep from an undetected heart condition; among his possessions was a new bicycle with just four miles on the odometer.

 

State 

A pair of projects in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys have received grants from the Southern California Association of Governments, part of 26 grants up to $15,000 for active transportation projects in the six-county SCAG region.

More sad news from Northern California, where a Visalia bike rider was killed in a rear-end collision.

San Jose received a $10 million grant to install street lights and build out bike lanes on a nearly five-mile stretch of one of the city’s most dangerous roads.

The recent decision to permanently ban cars from a portion of JFK Drive through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park could go to the voters, after opponents turned in enough signatures to get the question on the November ballot. Or opponent, actually, as the signature gathering effort was funded entirely by an heiress to the Dow Chemical fortune, who’s family apparently hasn’t done enough environmental damage yet.

A speeding hit-and-run driver ran down a man riding a bicycle in San Francisco’s Mission District, driving off with the bike’s front wheel still stuck to their grill; fortunately, the victim is expected to survive. Although the driver may regret leaving the car’s license plate behind.

 

National

Muscle and Fitness recommends bicycling as a low-impact exercise in the great outdoors that provides something for everyone from elite athletes to people battling serious illnesses, focusing on a survivor of stage 4 pancreatic cancer who rides 50 to 100 miles a week.

Money Inc lists ten jobs that often require using a bicycle.

Peloton is outsourcing its stationary bike manufacturing, shutting down its bikemaking subsidiary and laying off 570 people; the layoffs follow more than 3,000 earlier job cuts.

Gear Junkie rates the year’s best mountain bike helmets.

Las Cruces, New Mexico is using special green paint to lower the surface temperature of bike lanes, while making them more visible to drivers.

A carfree Portland Millennial is spreading her “glorious bike propaganda” to her 16,000-plus Tik Tok followers.

Wisconsin’s 32 foot high fiberglass sculpture of an 1890’s man riding a Penny Farthing has been designated as the world’s biggest bicycling statue.

Unbelievable. A 40-year old Florida man faces vehicular homicide and hit-and-run charges for killing a 74-year old man who wasn’t even riding his bike at the time — or anywhere near the roadway; the speeding driver hit a mailbox on the wrong side of road before losing control, driving off the road and hitting the victim, then crashing into a building.

 

International

Streetsblog’s podcast The Brake talks with British environmental psychology expert Dr. Ian Walker about why high gas prices and other disincentives don’t get people out of their cars, and why even incentivizing other modes doesn’t always work.

British bike scribe and bicycling historian Carlton Reid examines how Milan, Italy tamed its streets with bikeways, ping pong and polka dot plazas, a move that proved so popular that the mayor was re-elected with nearly two-thirds of the vote — 20 points more than he received in 2016.

Electrek previews ebikes expected to make their debut at the Eurobike 2022 trade show, starting today in Frankfurt, Germany.

An Emirati website examines why Middle Eastern countries are lagging in the fight to reduce traffic deaths. Just wait until they see the US, which is going the wrong way entirely.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yesterday’s stage ten of the Tour de France came to a sudden and unexpected halt when a group of protesters blocked the roadway. A statement from the group Dernière Rénovation — aka Last Renovation — says they interrupted the stage to “stop the mad race towards the annihilation of our society,” adding they “can no longer remain spectators of the ongoing climate disaster.”

Former Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins, who won the race a decade ago, was criticized for calling the protesters imbeciles.

Yes, there was actually a race after the road was cleared of protesters, with Danish rider Magnus Cort winning in a mountain top finish; Germany’s Lennard Kämna missed taking the yellow jersey by just 11 seconds.

Covid reared its ugly face in the Tour after all, with two riders dismissed after testing positive and another allowed to continue, just 24 hours after the peloton had gotten a premature all clear.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a 20-foot long, two way bike lane, with arrows directing you to crash into a pole. That feeling when you’re still waiting for your bike and luggage to arrive, ten days into a two-week Icelandic bicycling vacation.

And that feeling when you run into your idol while riding your bike, then perform with him at a sold out concert.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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