Tag Archive for World Car Free Day

It’s Car Free Day, San Diego driver faces murder for meth-fueled death of Laura Shinn, and always carry ID on your bike

Happy International Car Free Day!

Metro Bike is offering a free bikeshare ride today to celebrate, along with steep discounts on 30 day and yearly passes.

And a European website says if there is a war on cars, Car Free Day is winning converts to the anti-car side.

So leave the car at home today.

Or better yet, declare your own personal war on cars, and trade it in for a new bike or ebike, and make it Car Free Day every day.

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A San Diego man faces years, if not decades, behind bars for killing a woman as she rode her bike.

Thirty-eight-year old Pacific Beach resident Adam David Milavetz is charged with murder for running down well-known architect Laura Shinn while high on meth as she rode her bike to work in a Balboa Park bike lane last July.

He faces an additional felony count of vehicular manslaughter while under the influence, giving jurors a choice of charges and potential sentences.

Milavetz, who works as a “420 mobilization tech” and delivery driver for a pair of cannabis dispensaries, entered a plea of not guilty to the charges; he has been held in custody without bail since his arrest.

He was arrested a month earlier for driving while high on meth.

And once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver the road until it was too late.

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Momentum Magazine says there’s still a lot worth fighting for in the $3.5 trillion House infrastructure bill, even if Congress did cut the proposed $1,500 ebike tax credit in half.

The e-bike tax credit and other bicycle programs that make up the massive bill are as follows, and it signifies a welcome change and an indication of just how fast and how large e-bikes sales are growing:

  • E-bike tax credit: 15% on the purchase of new e-bikes (the first $5,000), up to $750 benefit value. The credit was originally proposed for 30%.
  • Bicycle commuter benefit: Allow use of pre-tax dollars to fund bike purchases and bike-share memberships.
  • E-bikes for business tax credit: An incentive of a tax credit of 30% for businesses to install e-bike charging stations
  • Funding to reconnect or enhance communities split apart by highway projects.
  • Opportunities to build a sustainable and complete bicycle network.

Meanwhile, drivers will continue to get a tax credit ten times that size for buying an electric car, as the government works to maintain the automotive hegemony on our streets.

And never mind that the prospect for the House bill aren’t looking good in the evenly split Senate, where Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are insisting on further steep cuts to the bill, even though it has already been reduced $1.5 trillion from the original proposal.

Slate asks what if Congress helped bicyclists instead of drivers for a change?

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Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

Authorities in Sacramento are trying to identify a Spanish-speaking man who is trapped in a fugue state following a collision with a driver while riding his bicycle, and can’t even remember his own name.

But don’t rely on your wallet or cellphone, or anything else that can be easily stolen if you’re incapacitated in a crash; it may sound ghoulish, but it happens often enough to be a valid concern.

I always wear a Road ID when I ride. Or any other time I leave home.

I also keep emergency contact information written down on a slip of paper in my jersey pocket or seat bag; other people attach information on their shoes or directly to their bikes.

But do something. You don’t want your loved ones frantically searching for you if anything happens.

Thanks to “Zero Carbon” Kevin and Megan Lynch for clarifying where this took place.

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Unless you have to share the road with LA drivers, that is.

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If you build it, they will come. Women, too.

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GCN examines whether we should be afraid of bicycles made by carmakers.

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

Police in the UK criticize the “depressing level of selfish and poor behavior” shown by motorists during a sting operation to catch drivers who pass too close to people on bicycles; a fifth of all drivers were stopped for violations.

Meanwhile, a bike rider in Cornwall, England shares video of repeated bad passes by drivers.

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

Police in Regina, Saskatchewan tackled a man off his bicycle as he attempted to flee, booking him on 11 counts including weapons charges, assault and possession of burglary tools.

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Local

A Long Beach couple started a petition demanding safety improvements to Los Coyotes Diagonal after their son was killed by a suspected drunk driver while trying to cross the deadly street earlier this month, where far too many people have been killed in recent years — including a pair of bike riders just two years ago.

 

State

If you ride in the Santa Barbara area, the CHP will be distributing enough bike lights, reflectors and helmets for one thousand people in Isla Vista this evening.

An Oakland website examines why the area’s roads are among the deadliest in the state, and asks for their readers help in finding out.

Marin County drivers and officials are once again coming for the successful bike lane on the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, after a study suggested that converting it back to a traffic lane could save drivers a whole eleven minutes, while costing bike commuters hours. Or forcing them back into cars. Sure, let’s just turn all the streets back over to cars. It’s not like there’s a climate or fatality crisis or anything to worry about.

 

National

National Geographic says there are good reasons to believe America’s pandemic bike boom will become a longterm trend.

A Tesla fan site explains how the carmaker’s Full Self-Driving Beta steers cars around bike riders and pedestrians. The problem is, Tesla is turning all of us into unpaid beta testers just by sharing the road with them, whether we like it or not. 

A Streetsblog op-ed says playable streets represent the next frontier in public spaces, with infrastructure and street furniture designed to inspire imagination.

A first-time ebike rider says the new 28 mph Specialized ebike won him over — especially the Garmin sensor feature that displays the position of cars around and behind the bike on a small screen on the handlebars. Although that maximum speed means a helmet is required in California, regardless of age, and it would be banned from separated bike paths.

Bicycling offers tips from the pros for beginning riders. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Nevada couple faces a shitload of charges for killing the wife of a Tesla co-founder as she rode her bike last July, then lying about who was behind the wheel; a TV reporter explains the driver is charged with reckless driving causing death, rather than vehicular manslaughter, because the former is a felony while the latter is just a misdemeanor. Thanks to Al Williams for the tip.

A suspected Arizona bike thief was killed after he dropped the bicycle to flee from police and ran out into traffic — and into the side of a box truck, before getting hit by another driver.

The Sierra Club magazine talks with Detroit bike riders about the difficulty of Biking While Black, even in a city that’s overwhelmingly African American.

Dayton, Ohio wants to destroy the 1892 building that housed the Wright Brothers first bike shop, saying it’s become a nuisance after falling into a state of “extreme disrepair.” Although once a historic site is gone, you can’t get it back.

They get it. A Bangor, Maine newspaper reminds us that pedestrian deaths aren’t statistics, they’re people. That goes for people on bicycles, too. Or anyone else who’s a victim of traffic violence.

Maryland is investing $16.8 million to fund 42 bike projects around the state. Although Amazon donated nearly half that amount to complete two bike trail segments near their Bellevue, Washington HQ2 alone.

 

International

The Finnish city of Turku is attempting to promote bicycling by experimenting with different types of secure bike parking, including public ebike charging cabinets that can automatically extinguish a battery fire.

If you can live without the extra bells and whistles and Garmins, you can get a new Chinese-made Tenways ebike right now on Indiegogo for less than half the price of the Specialized ebike.

Singapore Facebook users freak out after spotting someone riding a recumbent bike, accusing the low rider of courting death.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to 23-year old Christopher Blevins, who became the first American to win a Mountain Bike World Cup race in 27 years on Sunday.

 

Finally…

That feeling when even a nine-foot fence and a pond aren’t enough to deter a bike thief. That feeling when you want an ebike, but secretly wish it was a motorcycle.

And don’t bother showing up for a Covid test if you’re not in a car.

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

Happy virtual Bike Week, Bike the Vote makes Culver City endorsements, and the time to reimagine public transport is now

Welcome to the long-delayed Bike Week for the Age of Covid-19, where not much is going on, and like everything else in this plague infested year, what does will be mostly virtual.

The one actual semi-activity to hit the streets will be tomorrow’s Ride A Bike Day, on what is otherwise known as Worldwide Car Free Day, in which you’re encouraged to ride your bike somewhere.

Or anywhere.

The Bike League simply calls it Bike There Day, wherever there happens to be.

So do what you’d probably do anyway, and get out on your bike to enjoy what passes for relatively smoke-free fall weather here in Southern California.

But give yourself a pat on the back for it.

Meanwhile, Ventura County has a number of eco-friendly activities to get you involved.

And enjoy this from Pedal Love.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

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With the upcoming election is just over a month away, Bike the Vote LA is offering their endorsements in the Culver City race.

There are three out of five council seats on the ballot. Only one incumbent is running (Mayor Goran Erickson), as Bike The Vote L.A.-endorsed Meghan Sahli-Wells is termed out and bike-friendly Councilmember Thomas Small decided not to seek re-election. Five of the eight candidates running responded to Bike The Vote’s questionnaire. Each of the responses were promising, but Bike The Vote’s Cuvler City committee determined that these three candidates stood out as worthy of endorsements.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s BikeSD offers their own endorsements in local races.

And consider this my endorsement for Downey’s bike friendly Alexandria Contreras for city council in District One.

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The NRDC says the moment to reimagine public transportation is right now.

The environmental organization lists three key themes, including —

  • Streets are not just for cars
  • Public transportation infrastructure needs and deserves investment
  • Access to safe, effective transit is very much a racial justice issue

That’s exactly what’s being done in cities around the world, particularly when it comes to bicycle access during the coronavirus pandemic.

And exactly what we need to do here in Los Angeles.

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They get it.

Lyft has partnered with several New York advocacy groups to pen a white paper calling on New York City to create resilient streets for transit, biking and walking.

(You can find an edited version of the piece on New York Streetsblog if you’ve used up all your free Medium visits for the month.)

At the risk of repeating myself, that’s exactly what we need to do here in Los Angeles, where the need may be even greater than in Gotham.

And exactly what the city has been pledging, and failing, to do for the past decade.

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Speaking of which, when is a bike lane not a bike lane?

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Some people are seriously effed up.

Drivers in London’s upscale Hackney borough compare limited access Low Traffic Neighborhood with Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip — and the Holocaust.

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Malaysian are aghast at the sight of a bike rider drafting a truck.

https://twitter.com/Aweeff/status/1307172043171872770

The tweet awkwardly translates to this, which appears to be saying that all bike riders get blamed for one rider’s actions.

Because a drop of tilapia spoils the milk of an orange. Deck because of a cyclist’s suicide act exhausted all cyclists are beaten equally.

Which, sadly, is all too true.

And seriously, kids. Don’t do that.

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

Canadian authorities are looking for a man who yelled at a pair of bike-riding women, then used a telescoping camera pole to knock them off their bicycles.

No bias here. When the Queensland, Australia Department of Transportation asked online about the minimum passing distance on a road with a 43 mph speed limit, readers insisted the bike rider shouldn’t be on the road to begin with.

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

A Philadelphia bike rider opened fire on three plainclothes cops when they slowed down to ask if he was okay; another man joined the firefight after the officers got out of their car to exchange fire. Fortunately, none of the cops were seriously injured.

A road raging Irish bike rider was bitten in the nose by a passenger in a car, after the passenger got out and attacked the bicyclist for shattering the car’s windshield with his bike; both men face well-deserved charges.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman offers a frame-by-frame analysis of the video the LA Sheriff’s Department says is proof that their deputies were justified in shooting Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee, and says bullshit.

A Silver Lake gym owner and social justice advocate is riding his bike across the US, accompanied by a documentary crew, to explore American’s attitudes and show we’re stronger together than apart. Yahoo mirrored the story in case you can’t access the Times site

 

State

An ad hoc group of Bakersfield bicyclists are turning out for weekly half century rides on a local bike path to keep in shape during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

National

Former basketball player Damen Bell and professional skier Connor Ryan moved their Break the (Bi)cycle” ride from the left coast to the Rocky Mountain states after fires in Washington and Oregon forced them to change their route; they’re riding to call attention to mental health for Black and Indigenous men.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Montana man celebrated his 84th birthday by riding 84 miles along the Bitterroot Trail.

A former Michigan college student was reunited with her stolen bicycle when it unexpectedly turned up four years later. Which probably means it was taken by a fellow student.

They get it, too, Michigan’s Department of Transportation says most crashes aren’t accidents.

A New York bike commuter says the laws have to be changed to better protect people on bikes from road raging drivers.

The New York Times examines the anatomy of a protest, including the role of bike blockers to protect protesters.

Leftovers star Justine Theroux is one of us, taking an apparently chilly ride through New York, a day after speaking in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

New Orleans police release a video they say proves a bike rider ran a red light before being struck by the driver of a police cruiser. Except the video doesn’t show traffic signal, which could have changed before the rider went through.

A drunken hit-and-run driver in Florida faces charges for killing a bike rider, then driving another two and a half miles down the highway dragging the victim’s bike beneath his car before police pulled him over.

 

International

Yet another study shows that both drivers and bike riders break the law. But drivers do it to save time, while people on bicycles do it to save lives.

Cycling Weekly considers the best comfort hybrid bikes, and offers advice on how to buy a bike on a budget without needing an upgrade six months later.

A Montreal bikemaker uses recycled steel, ethical suppliers and local labor to build high-end bikes.

The New York Times asks whether Canada’s bike boom will last through the winter.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley set a new world’s record by riding the 516-mile North Coast 500 route through the Scottish Highlands in just 31 hours and 17 minutes, less than a year after he barely survived being struck by a Texas driver doing 70 mph while attempting to ride across the US.

Seventy-three-year old former Tour de France winner Joop Zoetemelk broke both his legs when a driver knocked him off his bike, 40 years after he wore the yellow jersey in Paris.

A European court ruled that Barcelona soccer star Messi clearly ain’t Spanish bikemaker Massi.

After news got out about an Indian boy who made a bicycle for his younger sister out of newspaper, a kindhearted local business owner gave him a real one.

Hundreds of Nairobi, Kenya residents rode to protest harassment of people on bicycles, after a bike rider was killed when the driver of a private minibus cut him off.

A group of Chinese bike riders are using their bikes for good, riding up to 1,200 miles to buy agricultural products to support poor villagers, and delivering food and milk to those in need.

Indonesian bike riders are now required to wear a helmet and ride a bicycle certified to meet the country’s safety standards.

Ebike sales are projected to surpass car sales in New Zealand in the next three years.

 

Competitive Cycling

The biggest surprise in this year’s Tour de France is that they actually made it to the finish in Paris in the midst of a pandemic. The second biggest surprise came in Saturday’s time trial, where 21-year-old Tadej Pogačar upset everyone to became the youngest winner of the Tour de France in 116 years, following an epic collapse by leader Primož Roglič.

Cycling News calls Tadej Pogačar a shark in sheep’s clothing, while Cycling Tips asks what do you say to someone who just lost the Tour de France.

Nice move from the pro peloton, which came together on Sunday’s final stage to condemn racism, after Kévin Reza, the only Black rider in this year’s Tour, was subjected to racist abuse from at least one rider.

More on Oneida Tribe member Neilson Powless, the only Native American to compete in this year’s Tour de France, or any other year for that matter — including a couple of near-podium finishes.

Business Insider ranks the bikes ridden in the Tour this year, giving the win to Astana’s Wilier Zero SLR, even if the team didn’t.

Bicycling recounts the biggest and craziest comeback victories in the Tour de France; here’s the Yahoo link for the firewall deprivedGreg LeMond certainly belongs there, although I’m not sure I’d include Floyd Landis’ pyrrhic victory.

The Tour of Luxembourg took place at the same time as the other, better known Tour.

Cycling Tips catches up with everything you missed in this year’s Giro Rosa — which is probably everything, since the most important stage race in women’s cycling was nowhere to be found on TV, as usual. Italy’s Longo Borghini got the win, her first after six previous top ten finishes.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have an Apple logo. Or maybe be spokeless.

And forget a Covid mask. Just put your bike helmet on under this.

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

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