Tag Archive for Los Angeles

Better bike lanes beat hi-viz for safety, commuting 46 miles — each way — by ebike, and Sunset4All gaslit by O’Farrell

It’s Day 12 of the of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Which means you have just 19 days left to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy.

It was a slow weekend while I was out of town for my sister’s birthday, but the fund drive is still ahead of last year at this time.

Please join me in thanking Bonnie W, Patt M, Plurabelle Books and Damian K, who says he’s only here for the corgis, for their generous donations to keep all the freshest bike news and corgi pics coming your way every day. 

So take a moment and give now!

It’s okay, we’ll wait. 

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He gets it.

A writer for Velo says better bike lanes will stop bicyclists from getting hit by drivers — not lighting yourself up like a Christmas tree.

There is one proven way to lower the risk of cyclists being killed: adding quality bike lanes.

A quality bike lane works for cyclists of even the most novice of levels to help them feel comfortable moving around their community. Usually, they’re separated from the road, or at the very least partitioned in a way that provides freedom of movement and opportunity to get around.

Hi-viz and fluorescent gear won’t stop inattentive drivers from hitting cyclists. It won’t stop a driver angered by the mere inconvenience of having to share the road. Unfortunately, it won’t stop drivers who mean well but don’t see a cyclist either. It’s a bike lane. More specifically, it’s separated bike lanes that improve cyclist safety.

It’s worth taking a few minutes from your day to read the whole thing.

Because he’s right, even though I ride with enough lights to guide Santa’s sleigh these days.

Thanks to Joel Falter for the heads-up. 

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He gets it, too.

Los Angeles Times Letters Editor Paul Thornton shares his experience after buying an ebike to beat traffic on a commute between his Alhambra home and the Times offices El Segundo that can stretch to two hours or more.

Tell that to someone who says you can’t use a bicycle for LA’s long commutes.

That was until I bought an electric bike and just this week started using it to ride the 46-mile round trip between home and work.

On Tuesday morning, by which time L.A.’s rush-hour traffic had fully rebounded from its holiday break, getting from Alhambra to El Segundo by e-bike took 90 minutes. The electric motor flattened hills and helped with attaining traffic speed sooner.

The commute home lasted 80 minutes. That’s 46 rush-hour miles in less than three hours — typically what it takes in a car, and less than the same journey on Metro rail.

But as we’ve all learned by now, even the best bike commute isn’t all sunshine and roses.

Thornton says bicycle safety is dangerously backsliding due to a lack of safe bike infrastructure, even as cities rush to catch up.

Big SUVs and trucks, with front ends resembling battering rams, are outselling all other vehicle types and killing pedestrians and cyclists with greater ease than ever before. Even many of the “protected” bike lanes popping up around Los Angeles, which separate cyclists from vehicles with flimsy plastic bollards that collapse if hit by a car, offer barely any protection.

To L.A.’s everlasting shame, traffic deaths have ballooned to crisis proportions since then-Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the goal of eliminating them completely by adopting Vision Zero in 2015. That year, according to the group Streets Are for Everyone, 203 people died in L.A. traffic; in 2022, 312 were killed.

Once again, it’s worth taking a few minutes from your busy Tuesday to read it.

Because he succinctly captures both the risks and the opportunity ebikes present, on a personal level.

And gives me a nice shoutout in the process.

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The Guardian takes a look at the Sunset4All project to improve safety and livability along LA’s busy — and deadly — Sunset Blvd, led by LA Bike Dad Terence Heuston.

Heuston says that at the time his group formed, safety problems with the Sunset corridor were already on many radars. The section of Sunset made it on the LA department of transportation’s Vision Zero High Injury Network, a list of the most dangerous roadways in Los Angeles. And safer biking on Sunset fit with Los Angeles’ Mobility Plan 2035, a blueprint launched in 2015 to transform LA’s streets into “complete streets” – roadways that can be safely used by bikers, pedestrians, cars and mass transit alike – by the year 2035. Furthermore, in 2015 the LA Metro Active Transport (Mat) program identified the Sunset corridor as high priority for safety improvements because it would make a significant impact on resident use of active modes of transportation, as well as the Metro.

The clear solution was creating protected bike lanes along the corridor, which studies have shown can improve safety for everyone on the street.

With Heuston leading the charge, activists were buoyed by the idea that they were advocating for something so many agreed should be done. “We were hoping this could be a model project,” says Heuston. “Sunset is this iconic boulevard in the most iconic ‘car-centric’ city in North America. The idea was: if we can change it here, then we can change it anywhere.”

They had community buy-in thanks to countless events like the coffee walk gathering and long hours spent talking to various groups, lots of volunteers and the support of their city council – or so they thought.

Unfortunately, Heuston and the other volunteers were gaslighted by former CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who told them to hire expensive independent traffic engineers to create plans and renderings for the project.

So the plans and renderings crowdfunded by the group just ended up in the circular file.

Hugo Soto-Martinez, who defeated O’Farrell for District 13 in the 2022 general election, says his predecessor lied to the group. Studies conducted by third parties aren’t accepted by the city. O’Farrell was “just sitting on the project”, Soto-Martinez said.

And yes, once again, it’s worth taking the time from your busy day to read the whole thing.

If for no other reason than to fully grasp the frustrations bike and safety advocates experience dealing with our auto-addled city leaders.

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Dr. Grace Peng calls your attention to a proposal to improve bike-carrying bus service in the Bay Cities. And wants your support to put an actual ebike user on the Redondo Beach Ebike Task Force.

Preferably her.

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This is who we share the road with. A Bellevue, Washington driver turned a local restaurant into a drive thru, the easy way.

Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. A Claremont, California letter writer applauds himself for striking a nerve with the “bike lane fanatics,” then proceeds to say a recent survey showing overwhelming local support for bike lanes doesn’t pass the smell test. Which evidently, is the only proof he requires. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link. 

A New York bike rider shares “infuriating” video of the city’s drivers blatantly ignoring bicycle infrastructure, with “numerous sizable vehicles obstructing an already small bike lane.”

No bias here, either, as London’s Daily Mail accuses the city’s mayor of chopping down a historic palm tree to make room for “yet another bike lane for his beloved cycling constituents,” before conceding that the tree was merely moved to another location.

Organizers of an Oxford, England Christmas market threatened to cancel the event because city officials demanded they maintain bicycle access, instead of blocking a bike lane.

French officials decided to celebrate the season by plopping a large Christmas tree in the middle of a trans-European bike path. Because why wouldn’t they?

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

Bakersfield police arrested one person and seized seven bicycles after a large group of bicyclists took over city streets on Saturday, allegedly causing traffic hazards and disturbing the peace, as well as engaging in thefts, vandalism and at least one assault with a deadly weapon.

The family of a 91-year old British Army veteran says the ebike rider who crashed into him will likely get off with a slap on the wrist because the country has failed to update its bike laws, after the man died of his injuries three months after he was struck.

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Local 

LA Weekly takes a long-delayed look at Mobility Plan 2035, which promised a transformation of Los Angeles streets when it was passed by the city council in 2015 — but fails to mention that it was promptly shelved and forgotten, in a story with the depth of something written by AI.

CD10 Councilmember Heather Hutt called for new protected bike lanes on a 3.1-mile stretch of Venice Blvd between Fairfax and Arlington avenues.

A coalition of South LA organizations is launching a new ebike library pilot called Power Up South Central, similar to an existing program in Pacoima.

Tomorrow is the last day to offer comments on the Glendale Bicycle Transportation Plan.

Santa Monica’s mayor proudly proclaims that the city will soon be the bicycling capital of the world, warning Amsterdam to watch out as she opens the new protected intersection on 17th Street. Correction: I originally misidentified the mayor of Santa Monica as a man, rather than a woman. But with a name like Gleam, I had a 50/50 shot. Thanks to Joe Linton for setting me straight. 

A Santa Monica letter writer says speed limits and road design must change if the city hopes to save lives.

 

State

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition has teamed with CABO and the American Bicycling Education Association to create a short video explaining CVC 21202, the basic law governing the operation of bicycles on the roadway. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

A Fullerton writer calls for safer bike and pedestrian detour around construction zones. Something that’s just as needed in Los Angeles, where construction work too often reminds us that people walking and biking barely enjoy second-class status.

 

National

Cycling Weekly offers a long list of reasons why roadies should ride in the dirt this winter.

A Wyoming website profiles one of the state’s most senior wildlife biologists, who is also a ninth-degree blackbelt in karate, the former mayor of Laramie, and a founder of the Tour de Wyoming cycling event.

A Houston magazine calls ghost bikes painful reminders of the city’s cyclist death problem, with over 100 such memorials dotting the city.

Bicycling says convicted killer Kaitlin Armstrong is appealing her 90-year sentence for fatally shooting gravel cycling champ Moriah “Mo” Willson, in a perceived love-triangle with pro cyclist Colin Strickland. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

A 30-year old Chicago woman faces charges for the drunken death of a 59-year old man riding a bicycle in October, while running three stop signs and driving in the bike lane, with a BAC two and a half times the legal limit.

The mayor of Anne Arbor, Michigan is one of us, urging others to join him in commuting by ebike.

 

International

Momentum tells Elon Musk’s vaunted Cybertruck to move over, because ebikes are the real sustainability game-changer, and considers the right and wrong way to lock your bike.

Bike riders continue to flock to Bolivia’s famed Death Road, despite the nearly three-mile high roadway claiming the lives of nearly 20 bicyclists every year.

Good question. The parents of a Newfoundland teenager want to know why the driver who hit him was able to get behind the wheel despite a lifetime ban on driving, after the man fled the scene after hitting the kid as he was riding his bike.

Forbes talks with a representative of the European Cycling Foundation attending the COP 28 climate conference about the role bicycling can play in confronting the climate crisis.

An angry driver tells British radio star Jeremy Vine to fuck off, after the bike-riding BBC presenter challenged him for blowing through a stop sign.

An Oxford, England city councilor responds to a challenge from a bicycling critic to post a photo of school bike racks on a cold wet December day by doing just that — showing the racks overflowing with bikes.

A French engineer is attempting to solve the problem of exploding lithium-ion ebike batteries by storing energy with a supercapacitor, instead.

A Kenyon newspaper looks at the nation through the eyes of a 24-year old woman who is riding solo over 8,000 miles across Africa.

A Pennsylvania man recreates a historic 900-mile trip from Nagasaki to Yokohama by Penny Farthing, 136 years after the original journey.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News offers a comprehensive team-by-team look at next year’s WorldTour cycling teams.

 

Finally…

Seriously, why wouldn’t an elderly ghost want to watch a little kid learn how to ride a bike? Is it really a folding bike if the wheels don’t?

And why go around when you can go through?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

No charges for killing 2 AZ bike riders and injuring 19, more on charges in Boyes killing; and DUI murder in Solano County

It’s the First Day of the Last Month of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

We’re already way ahead of last year at this time, both in the number of donations and the amount of donations!

So please join me in thanking D-J H and Stephen H, who gave yesterday.

And each of the other 35 people who’ve so kindly opened their hearts and wallets to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

So what are you waiting for? Give now!

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Rght after begging for your hard-earned money may not be the best time to mention that I’ll be tied up with a family matter over the weekend, so there won’t be a new BikinginLA post on Monday.

But we’ll be back bright and early on Tuesday to catch up on anything we missed over the weekend.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

Life is cheap in Arizona, where a Phoenix DA has declined to file felony charges against the driver who slammed into an entire group of bicyclists, killing two people and injuring 19 others.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell refused to file charges against 26-year old Pedro Quintana-Lujan, saying there was no evidence he was speeding, distracted or under the influence of alcohol, though he did still have cannabis in his system from the night before.

Because evidently, that’s the only way someone can be responsible for killing two innocent people, and mowing down a group of people on bicycles like an overgrown lawn.

Quintana-Lujan told investigators his steering locked up and he was unable to control his pickup, which was pulling a trailer at the time of the crash. Although you’d think a forensic examination of the truck would be able to determine whether that was true.

Mitchell tried to position her lack of action as a refusal to let the case go by referring it to the city prosecutor in Goodyear AZ, where the crash occurred.

However, that means Quintana-Lujan could be charged with just a misdemeanor, at best, making the whole damn thing just another fatal “oopsie.”

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More on the 81-year old driver charged with DUI and involuntary manslaughter for killing US Masters track champ and national record holder Ethan Boyes earlier this year.

San Francisco resident Arnold Kinman Low faces federal charges because Boyes was riding on Arguello Blvd in Presidio National Park when Low lost control of his car, and hit Boyes head-on as he rode in an unprotected bike lane.

In addition to the recently installed guard rails separating the bike lane from traffic lanes in the park where Boyes was killed, San Francisco has secured $1.2 million in funding to install protected bike lanes connecting Golden Gate Park and The Presidio.

Normally I say that once again raises the question of how old is too old to drive safely, but the allegation that Low was under the influence probably had more to do with his deadly driving skills than his advanced age, although there’s no word yet on just how drunk he was.

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A 47-year old Solano County driver faces a murder charge for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed a bike rider in Fairfield last year.

Witnesses testified at a preliminary hearing this week that Sean Richard Miron crashed into another vehicle as he fled the scene of the original crash, leaving Suisun City resident Christopher Blake Sudat lying in the roadway next to his shattered bicycle.

Miron was detained, along with his passenger, at the second crash, where officers said he appeared to be under the influence. Police also recovered a semi-automatic pistol with an illegal threaded barrel from Miron’s pickup, even though he was barred from having a weapon as a convicted felon.

He faces the murder count due to three prior DUI convictions, suggesting he likely signed a Watson advisement indicating he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence.

However, even without that, his prior convictions indicate he was well aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated before he sat down behind the wheel that night.

Miron faces charges of murder, hit-and-run causing death, hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of an assault weapon.

Then again, if Miron had been charged in Southern California, he could probably plead out on a misdemeanor and walk with time served.

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

A driver in Boston’s South End parked in the bike lane, leaving a note tucked under his windshield wiper reading, “I don’t care that I’m parked in a bike lane. Just go around me!!” To which bike-riding commenters to the local website responded both emphatically and poetically.

A “mean spirited” saboteur continues to put bike riders outside a London subway station at deliberate risk by tossing thumb tacks in a protected bike lane — and has somehow managed to go uncaught for the past two years. Although we can probably surmise that police indifference could be the likely cause for why they’ve gotten away with it so long.  

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

A Florida city manager is asking for the public’s understanding after he wrecked his bike following a night of drinking. Although I’d much rather see a drunk on a bicycle than behind the wheel of a multi-ton vehicle.

Scofflaw bike riders in Salisbury, England are accused of “endangering the public and traffic” by riding salmon on a one-way street, which local police called “incredibly dangerous.” Although how traffic can be endangered is beyond me. 

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Local 

Um, okay. The Journal of the Congress for the New Urbanism examines the successful Move Culver City project, calling the 1.3-mile bus lane and bike lane installation the first quick build Tactical Urbanism project in the Los Angeles area — without mentioning that the newly conservative city council voted to rip it out, or that the city is being sued to keep that from happening.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune says freeway cams counted 45,000 people taking part in the all-too-brief Arroyo Fest that shut the Pasadena Freeway down to cars, and opened it up to people on foot, skates and bikes.

Pasadena police will mark today’s first day of December with a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation, ticketing anyone who commits a traffic violation that could endanger either group — even if it’s the bike rider or pedestrian who commits it. So as usual, ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city, or you could be the one who gets a ticket.

 

State

The California Coastal Commission is standing in the way of traffic safety in San Diego, stalling the installation of bike lanes on a deadly Point Loma roadway.

An emergency inter-agency operation was mounted to save the life of a mountain biker who suffered life-threatening injuries in the remote mountains of Boulevard, California last Friday, requiring the services of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, US Border Patrol, a San Diego Air and Marine Operations helicopter, and CalFire to bring the victim out to safety. So remote, in fact, that I’ve never hear of Boulevard before. 

A San Francisco bar owner blames the installation of the centerline Valencia Street protected bike lane for the demise of his 150-year old subterranean establishment, suggesting the loss of parking and reduced foot traffic resulted in an 80% drop in revenue. And not, a business model resulting in a bar that no one wants to go to if it means being slightly inconvenienced.

 

National

Bicycling reports that Portland’s MADE Bike Show will be back next year, promising to be even larger than this year’s 200 exhibitors and 5,000 attendees. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

An Arizona man reminisces about his life on two wheels, and dreams of coming back in the next life to live and ride in Amsterdam. But it’s the archival photo of young boys riding for Western Union that’s worth the click.

In a big win for injured bike riders, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that pedestrians and bicyclists must be covered by the uninsured motorist provision in their auto insurance if they’re stuck by an uninsured driver while walking or biking.

Call it the new normal. New York City landlords are banning ebikes from their properties to prevent fires, even though only certain lithium-ion batteries, or batteries with mismatched chargers, are at risk.

 

International

Momentum explains what daylighting intersections means, and how it enhances the safety of bicyclists. Governor Newsom signed a daylighting bill passed in the last legislative session, which will require open spaces on the curbs near intersections to improve visibility.

A 23-year old Florida woman thanked first responders in the Bahamas for saving her life after she rode her bike off an embankment in Walker’s Cay earlier this year, saying the moon and the stars aligned to enable her to survive.

A pair of London teenagers have been convicted of murdering an 18-year old man as he rode his bike to see his girlfriend; a then 14-year old boy, who can’t be named because of his age under British law, killed the victim with a machete in an apparent attempt to steal his bicycle.

While US traffic deaths continue to climb, Great Britain saw a significant decline in bicycling fatalities, with deaths dropping nearly 25% over the past year. Which is more evidence that the dangers on American roads are due to official indifference, as other nations show that reducing deaths is possible when they’re willing to make the necessary changes.

A new Dutch AI tool can demonstrate how any street or neighborhood can be made more livable and bike-friendly.

Professors at a Zurich, Switzerland university are investigating what changes would be required to the city’s streets to encourage more ebike riding than driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

GCN asks if the high cost of entry to cycling is killing the sport. Maybe at the highest levels, but you can spend as much or as little as you want and still compete, if you’re willing to build your own bike and do your own wrenching. 

Cycling Weekly talks with newly retired time trial specialist Alex Dowsett about the moment he realized cycling was his sport when he was just 14.

A top amateur cyclist says British Cycling’s recent ban on transgender athletes competing in women’s bike racing events makes the sport is less inclusive and welcoming than ever by denying the identity of trans women as women; 31-year old Josh Jones is believed to be the only openly gay rider to hold a world ranking in any cycling discipline

 

Finally…

It’s time for Santas and elves on bikes. Why wait to run down a bicycle when you can kill it and the entire bike corral it’s locked to?

And forget bike skills, they’re probably better with a basketball than you are, too.

Or me, anyway.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Elderly alleged DUI driver finally charged with killing national Masters champ Ethan Boyes, and Calbike talks ebike incentives

It’s Day 7 of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Kathryn R, Kathleen S, Bryan B and Kent S for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

So stop what you’re doing, and join them by giving now!

Besides, how can anyone resist this much AI-created bike-riding corgi cuteness?

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The alleged drunk driver who killed San Francisco cycling champ Ethan Boyes has finally been charged by federal officials.

The 44-year old national masters cycling champ was riding in the Presidio National Park when he was run down by 81-year old Arnold Kinman Low this past April.

Low is set to be arraigned Wednesday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence.

In addition to being an age-group national champ, Boyes held the national record for the “flying start” 500-meter time trial.

His death led to demands for protected bike lanes on Arguello Blvd in the park, where officials have recently narrowed traffic lanes and installed guard rails protecting bike lanes in response.

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Calbike posted video of a panel discussion on How Cities Can Incentivize Electric Bikes at October’s Micromobility America in Richmond, California.

Which is yet another opportunity to mention that California’s ebike voucher program continues to suffer from a failure to launch, over a year after it was originally promised.

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I want to be like him when I grow up.

The latest BMX star on YouTube is just 71 years old. Then again, if he was any younger, he’d probably be on TikTok.

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

Once again, someone riding a bicycle has been intentionally injured by a driver in a stolen car, as security cam video showed a driver in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania deliberately ram a 72-year old man riding a bicycle, who escaped without serious injuries; the driver has been identified, but no word on whether charges have been filed. This appears to be part of a troubling nationwide trend, possibly inspired by a TikTok stolen car challenge.

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

A former British news producer and regular anti-bike crank has turned the tables on BBC host Jeremy Vine, who frequently posts bike cam video of scofflaw drivers, by recording video of lawbreaking bicyclists while out walking.

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Local 

Long Beach will stripe new and improved bike lanes on Alamitos Ave following a slurry sealing treatment scheduled to begin next week.

 

State

San Diego County received a $125,000 state grant to fund bicycle and pedestrian safety programs, ranging from social media campaigns to open streets events.

You can now check out ebikes from the public library in Santa Barbara for up to a week, giving borrowers a chance to try out the city’s e-bikeshare for free.

A San Francisco TV station reports on efforts to put age restrictions on throttle-controlled Class 2 ebikes, as 71% of Bay Area children who suffered bicycling injuries were hurt riding ebikes. Although that stat could just reflect the popularity of ebikes with kids under 18, and says nothing about whether the kids were on ped-assist or throttle-controlled bikes.

For a change, San Francisco Streetsblog says the Bay Area can learn from Los Angeles by imitating the recent Arroyo Fest, which shut down the Pasadena Freeway for a few hours to open it up to people on bicycles and on foot.

 

National

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines new bike infrastructure on a visit to Medford, Oregon, including the city’s first two-way protected bike lane.

A “cavernous” Salt Lake City bike shop is the new storefront for a statewide nonprofit dedicated to selling spare parts and refurbished bicycles to “provide self-reliant and independent transportation for people in need.”

The rich get richer. Long Island City in Queens, New York received three new protected bike lanes on Wednesday. Although the guy riding in icy temperatures in the photo is somehow choosing to ride in the buffer, rather than the actual bike lane. 

A New York TV station reassures viewers that ebikes are a safe holiday gift, despite the city’s well-publicized recent rash of ebike battery fires.

Doylestown PA is making a series of popup bike lanes permanent, after receiving “rave” reviews from the public.

Public schools in Florida’s Miami-Dade County are starting a pilot program to build bike lanes to help kids get to class safely in one of the nation’s deadliest counties for people on bicycles.

 

International

Road.cc says a gravel bike could be the ultimate winter bicycle.

Environmental activists in Plymouth, England are fighting plans for a proposed bike path through the center of the city that would require transplanting a half dozen trees that survived a recent “chainsaw massacre,” which saw the city chop down 100 trees earlier this year.

Momentum reports Paris is putting people — and bicycles — at the heart of the city’s ambitious new climate plan. Which is what cities that actually give a damn about the climate do, as opposed to just paying lip service to confronting the climate crisis like a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

French residents can now buy or lease a new bucket ebike from their friendly neighborhood Toyota dealer.

The Jerusalem Post offers the 23 best bike charities for 2023.

South Africa’s largest membership-based bicycling organization warned bicyclists to avoid crime hotspots and be careful when riding, as the country has seen a dramatic increase in violent crimes targeting bike riders.

Bicycling says the biggest challenge Italian ultra-adventure bicyclist Omar De Felice faces in his two month solo, unassisted bike ride across Antarctica is his own mind. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

 

Competitive Cycling

New York City will host a one-day UCI men’s pro road race next May in conjunction with a previously scheduled gran fondo. But women cyclists need not apply.

 

Finally…

Add Tadej Pogačar’s actual 2023 time trial bike to your holiday wish list. Now you, too, can improve safety by adding a seat belt to your bike saddle.

And nothing like intentionally riding a perfectly good bicycle off a cliff.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Beach city anti-ebike hysteria, tackling bicycling’s gender pedal gap, and 3 years for pipe attack on naked bicyclists

It’s the Penultimate Day of the First Week of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Or Day 6, in other words.

And we’re off to a great start, well ahead of last year’s record pace, thanks in part to the kindness and generosity of yesterday’s Giving Tuesday donors.

So let’s all thank Ben F, Bernard B, Anne F, James Z, Catherine D, and Jennifer P for their generous donations to help keep Southern California’s  best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

So take a moment, and give now!

It’s okay, we’ll wait. 

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It was a light news day in the world of bikes yesterday.

Which is a good thing, since I got another shot in my eye to control bleeding in the retina yesterday, and can barely see my screen to write these words.

Yet another reminder, if we need it, that diabetes sucks.

So if you’re at risk or have any of the warning signs, do whatever it takes to get or keep your blood sugar under control. Because you don’t want this crap.

And forgive me if I screw something up, because I seriously can’t see half of what I’m reading or writing this time.

Now let’s get to it.

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Los Angeles Times letter writers respond to a recent article about the anti-ebike hysteria sweeping the area’s beach cities.

Although the paper might not have characterized it quite that way.

Some pointed out, not incorrectly, that throttle-controlled ebikes that can easily exceed common bicycling speeds should more appropriately be regulated as underpowered electric motorcycles, rather than bicycles.

While others point out that, despite the hysteria, the story makes clear that there have been no reported collisions between pedestrians and ebike riders in the area in the past two years.

Which means they’re trying to fix a problem that has so far resulted in no reported injuries, while ignoring the ongoing carnage caused by motor vehicles just feet away.

Still, no one should ever ride a bike at speed around pedestrians, who can be even more unpredictable than we are. And who face just as much risk, if not more, in a collision with someone on a bicycle, regardless of the bike’s power source.

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A new British report from Lime titled Tackling the Gender Pedal Gap considers concerns preventing women from bicycling, topped by worries over poorly lit streets and isolated riding routes.

According to a story from the UK’s Stylist, the report also found,

Anti-social behaviour (36%) and fear of harassment from other road users (34%) were also listed as major deterrents for female cyclists. Only one in five women said they felt safe cycling alone at night and four times as many women as men (82%) said they view cars as a safer transport option when it’s dark.

The same likely holds true in this country, serving as yet another reminder that women face dangers on the streets that most men don’t.

And that they should be directly involved in all bicycle planning decisions.

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‘Tis the season.

A group founded by a Minnesota real estate broker teamed with a local nonprofit to refurbish bicycles to distribute to kids in need this holiday season, capping their efforts with a $2,500 donation.

Bicycling Australia recommends holiday gift ideas for bicyclists. Although it should be noted that some things may not be available in this country or could be sold for a different price. And you may have to install or use it upside down.

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GCN considers whether it’s ever acceptable for bicyclists to break the rules.

It depends on the rule, of course.

But given that most traffic laws weren’t written with bike riders in mind, it can sometimes be necessary to break the rules to protect your own safety.

Just bear in mind that, like civil disobedience, you might do it for the right reasons, but still have to suffer the consequences.

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

A 40-year old Portland, Oregon man was sentenced to three years behind bars for a violent attack against two people participating in the World Naked Bike Ride earlier this year. Robert Earl Houchins received a bias crime enhancement for yelling homophobic slurs as he struck the riders across the back with a metal pipe; fortunately, neither victim was seriously injured.

No bias here. A British commentator is calling for all bicycle and scooter riders to be required to wear hi-viz clothing to make them more visible to drivers, who want us to dress up like clowns because they’re apparently unable to rely on their own eyesight or lights. Or put down their phones, for that matter.

………

 

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Local 

Streetsblog visits a new traffic circle under construction at Parthenia Place and Columbus Ave in North Hills; the project also includes a short protected bike lane.

Santa Monica has finally converted the intersection of 19th Street and Idaho Ave into a four-way stop after years of complaints from local residents; it only took the death of fallen bicyclist Tania Mooser and serious injuries to another bicyclist two weeks later to get the city to act.

 

State

The San Diego Reader considers which of the city’s many bike wheel-busting potholes should be fixed first.

San Diego is nearly a year away from starting work on an overhaul of the “notoriously congested” I-805 and Palm Ave interchange in Otay Mesa, including new 6-foot wide sidewalks and separated bike lanes.

A San Francisco letter writer says the real danger on the new Valencia Street centerline bikeway isn’t the people on the 30-pound bicycles, it’s the people in the two-ton cars.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for the Brown University student newspaper says bike helmets are ineffective because they’re a piecemeal solution to a societal problem, and it shouldn’t be up to the individual to be solely responsible for their safety while riding a bike. Before anyone fires off an angry comment, the writer isn’t anti-helmet, and neither am I. I never ride without mine, but recognize that bike helmets should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, not the first. 

 

International

Momentum offers a guide to bike tourism and planning your first ride. Meanwhile, the magazine also offers advice on how to handle a real northern winter on an ebike. Which is not something we’re likely to encounter here in sunny Southern California. But given the unpredictable effects of climate change thus far, it may not be entirely off the table.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 78-year old English woman has been named one of the UK’s most exceptional women in cycling after riding the full length of the country, then following it up by riding 200 miles from Yorkshire to London.

A beachfront British town has ripped out a short new bike lane bordered by a wiggly line that a local NIMBY group characterized as a “Mickey Mouse” layout that had made the town the “laughing stock of the nation.”

France has committed to investing the equivalent of $137 million in bicycling infrastructure across the country. Which is like the US investing nearly $650 million on a per capita basis. 

The Belgian region of Flanders has installed speed cams on bicycle-priority streets to ticket anyone exceeding the 18 mph speed limit, including people on bicycles. Although identifying someone on a bicycle from a speed cam photo could be problematic — and licensing bicyclists isn’t likely to help, given the small size required for a bicycle. 

Cycling News reports Shimano was struck by hackers who blackmailed the Japanese component maker, threatening to release a massive trove of data if they failed to pay up — then followed through by releasing information including confidential employee details, financial documents, a client database, and other confidential company documents. Which means it’s possible your personal information may have been compromised if you’ve dealt directly with the company. 

 

Competitive Cycling

The Spanish cycling community is mourning the death of former pro and elite cyclist Jorge Martin Montenegro, after the Argentine native was found dead in his home at age 40.

Dutch multi-discipline cycling star Mathieu Van der Poel may be forced to give up cyclocross to deal with nagging back issues, after winning five world titles competing in ‘cross, mountain biking and road cycling. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Cycling Weekly asks if we’re seeing the death of multi-discipline cycling stars.

 

Finally…

Fishing with magnets for underwater abandoned bikes. And the godfather of gravel grinding.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Give a little for bikes on Giving Tuesday, windshield bias in Santa Monica, and the case of the doubly purloined Pinarellos

It’s Day 5 of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

So take just a moment before we get started to open your heart and wallet in support for our humble little bike blog.

And let’s thank Paul F and Grace P for their generous donations yesterday to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

So don’t wait! Donate today!

………

It’s also Giving Tuesday.

So if you have anything left after giving to our holiday fund drive — or maybe the other way around — send a little love to some of the groups out there working to keep you safe and informed.

Thanks to Valley Duke, Chris Thomas and Gary J. Templeton for their suggestions.

………

Santa Monica is celebrating the official unveiling of the bike and pedestrian friendly improvements on 17th Street and Michigan Ave, which have already survived the slings and arrows of local residents angry over changes to their streets.

Or should I say, “their” streets.

17th Street Bikeway Ribbon Cutting

9 a.m. Donuts, coffee and hot chocolate (while supplies last)

9:30 a.m.  Ribbon cutting ceremony

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Mayor Gleam Davis
  • Director of Transportation Anuj Gupta
  • Chief of Police Ramon Batista
  • Santa Monica Spoke Director Cynthia Rose

10 a.m. Santa Monica High School Marching Band

11:15 a.m. Academia de Danza Ballet Folklorico Flor de Mayo

10 a.m. – noon Guided bike tours

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

Speaking of Santa Monica, a local writer offers a word salad of windshield bias and entitlement, along with support for what she says is Santa Monica’s near non-existent public transit system.

Evidently, she’s not a fan of the city’s Big Blue Bus. Or the continuous rumble of Metro buses on the coastal boulevards.

She starts with the story of her ex-husband’s bicycling crash, when he was run down from behind by a driver who questioned why he failed to see him as he rode home from dinner on Pico Blvd.

Because it was dark? Because the lights there are dim? Because it was late and maybe he was tired?

Because accidents happen. No one need be at fault. And yet, the city bears some responsibility for promoting biking before it’s truly safe, for making it ever-more-maddening to drive a car, and for absolutely refusing to create any realistic public transportation options.

I’ve been horrified to since read about two more recent bike accidents, one fatal. The city council’s solutions are all about increasing safety and visibility — and adding more fines. Safety is a good thing, certainly. But better biking is not a full-scale transportation option. And the current practice of incessantly writing parking tickets is already anti-resident, punitive, and un-Santa Monican. The real problem is that it is nearly impossible to drive a car peaceably anywhere in Santa Monica and it is only getting worse. The city has not invested in public transportation. We need safe, reliable, cheap public transportation, not more rules and more fines.

Except that “accidents happen” shouldn’t be an excuse for carelessness.

Cars are big, dangerous machines, and it’s not unreasonable to expect their operators to pay attention to the road directly ahead of them, and stop before hitting people or objects directly in their path.

Is that really too much to ask?

As for promoting bicycling before it’s truly safe, she’s got a point.

But that’s how you make it safe, by making improvements to the streets and encouraging people to use them, and using that increase in ridership to justify the next round of improvements.

Which shouldn’t be necessary, but it is. Because people like her inevitably complain about the inconveniences they face from each little incremental change on the streets.

That’s followed with more talk about the dangers of riding a bicycle, and holding onto one, along with the usual litany of all the reasons why bicycling is impractical.

Except that people do it every day, under exactly the conditions she complains about.

Also, it can be hard to keep a bike in Santa Monica. I, too, had been regularly biking until my electric bike got stolen from behind my house, and then my beach cruiser. And a biking-first policy isn’t inclusive. Plenty of people can’t rely on a bike — like parents of young children, the elderly or disabled, grocery shoppers, those needing to take important meetings free of sweat and errant hair, anyone who has to get anywhere else in LA.

Never mind that bikes, especially ebikes like the one she used to own, serve as effective mobility devices for the elderly and disabled, while cargo bikes are surprisingly efficient for grocery shopping and transporting young kids.

And as a former ebike owner, she should know as well as anyone how well they work for getting you places virtually sweat-free, especially in Santa Monica’s cool coastal climate.

She’s not wrong about the need to improve public transit, in Santa Monica and throughout Southern California.

But she is wrong about the practical benefits of bicycling, and the need for a virtually carbon-free form of inexpensive transportation as we confront a looming climate crisis.

Not to mention that bikes are fun.

Maybe a little lingering resentment towards her bike-riding ex is tainting her thinking.

………

A team of well-rehearsed Italian bike thieves celebrated the American Thanksgiving Day with a professional heist at the headquarters of Pinarello, stealing 12 bikes worth over $164,000 in just 3 minutes.

The theft was so successful, they staged an encore just 20 hours later, returning to snatch another seven Pinarellos worth more than $109,000.

So if you happen to see a struggling bike team riding brand new Pinarellos next year, it may be more evidence that the cycling financial model really is in trouble.

Or maybe that’s just how they haze rookie riders these days.

………

‘Tis the season.

Forbes offers a holiday gift guide recommending ebikes for every time of riding. Except for people who prefer standard bikes, of course.

And either there was an issue with translation, or Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling blog has written a gift guide for the cyclist band Queen.

………

YouTuber Daily MTB Rider explains why the bike industry is failing.

………

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

Maybe there’s hope. A British writer who confesses to pouring gasoline on an inferno with her 2015 call to ban the “menace of bicycles” from the roads says she’s given up her car, taken to public transit and revised her low opinion of men in Lycra.

………

 

………

Local 

Streetsblog examines the new bike lanes, green pavement treatments and a new bike path in Artesia.

LAist offers tips on how to achieve a more walkable, bikeable city.

Long Beach is on the path to getting speed cams.

 

State

Caltrans is moving forward with plans to extend San Diego County’s SR-56 bike path, with construction expected to be finished next year.

Bike-unfriendly Coronado, which famously banned all future bike lanes after residents complained about their dizzying, vertigo-inducing visual effects, is planning a festive Ride the Lights nighttime cycling party for December 10th.

The high desert community of Tehachapi unveiled 1.5 miles of new bike lanes in the Old Town district in an effort to improve air quality and traffic safety, as well as safety for cyclists who train in the area during the off-season.

Bicycling says San Francisco-based subscription service Friiyay is changing the business model of ebike rentals and ownership. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

More NorCal traffic violence, after someone riding a bicycle was killed by a driver in Stockton on Sunday.

 

National

Velo explains why banning right turns on red lights remains a challenge despite rising bicycling and pedestrian deaths, and numerous studies demonstrating the risk.

In the wake of bicyclists killed intentionally by murderous teenagers, extreme speeding motorists and drunk municipal bus drivers, Las Vegas police attempted to improve safety by instructing drivers on bike safety laws, including Nevada’s three-foot passing law. Which wouldn’t have helped with any of those cases. Or the truck driver high on meth who killed five bike riders in 2020, for that matter. But hey, baby steps, right?

While the interminable wait for California’s ebike voucher program to finally launch continues, Denver is wrapping yet another round of the city’s highly successful ebike voucher program with the final launch of the year, with all available vouchers expected to be claimed in less than 10 minutes.

A package of bills in the New York State legislature addresses the exploding risk of ebike fires, with bills mandating safer batteries and fire control equipment at ebike shops. Which raises the question of why any business wouldn’t be required to take the most basic steps to prevent fires.

 

International

Despite the government announcing a more than $10 billion fund to repair England’s notorious potholes, the country’s leading bicycling charity says it’s still not enough to keep bike riders safe.

A British doctor is suing Sheffield, England-based bike designers, builders and sellers Planet X for the equivalent of $12.63 million, after his gravel bike shattered underneath him as he rode, leaving him paralyzed with a broken spine.

Toyota is getting into the e-bikeshare business in Copenhagen.

More proof that bikes are built for disasters, as a Palestinian rides a bicycle past the rubble of a bombed out home, after gasoline has become unobtainable in Gaza.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says cycling great and former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich confessed to doping and his crumbling life after his career ended, including “cocaine and alcohol abuseassault charges, and arguably even more drama than Lance.” Although he still has a long way to go to match getting stripped of seven Tour titles. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bicycling also says Peter Sagan coulda been a contender. Or at least even greater than he was. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

 

Finally…

Your all-new Holocene aero roadie could be made from your old one. And that feeling when you steal a bike from the bike thief who stole it from the bike shop.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Hope for Expo bike path despite entitled NIMBYs, LA needs safer streets not more signs, and South Bay tries to rein in ebikes

Welcome to the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

We’re off to a rip-roaring start as we begin Day 4, ahead of last year’s record pace by nearly $450 after just three days. 

So before you settle down to Cyber Monday shopping, take a moment to join the 23 people who have already opened their hearts and wallets to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

And please join me in thanking everyone who’s given so far for their kindness and generosity in supporting this site. 

Thanks to James L, David R, Eric L, Arthur B, Stephen T, Scott R, John C, Joni Y, André V, Glenn C, Jordan G, Michael G, David M, Joseph R, Michael S, Mark J, Stephen M, Patrick M, Steven F, Steven S, Brian N, Robs M, and Smiling Corgis. 

Let’s hope tomorrow’s list is just as long. So donate today!

………

Writing for Streetsblog, longtime lawyer, bike advocate and Cheviot Hills resident Jonathan Weiss tells a prototypical LA horror story about entitled NIMBYs blocking the Expo Line bike path.

Weiss writes how wealthy Cheviot Hills residents successfully fought the installation of the Expo Bike Path after unsuccessfully fighting the Expo Line train, resulting in the notorious Northvale Gap that has forced bike riders and walkers to use difficult bypass routes.

And how they’ve used means both legal and otherwise to deter outsiders from besmirching their neighborhood.

But there may finally be light at the end of the tunnel, after ten long years.

As for finally closing the Northvale Gap, I am cautiously optimistic now that Katy Yaroslavsky is the Los Angeles City Councilwoman for Cheviot Hills. She is pro-active-transportation and is also on the Metro board. Already, her office has obtained additional funds from Metro to close the Northvale Gap. Her staff regularly meets with relevant departments (LADOT, Engineering, City Attorney) to solve problems. The latest (2022) fact sheet available through LADOT’s “Exposition Bike Path (Northvale Segment)” website says “Construction is anticipated to begin Spring 2024.” The Council Office expects construction to start some time in 2024.

………

In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says the city needs safe streets, not more signs warning drivers to “watch your speed.”

The official responses to proven traffic hazards are woefully inadequate — mere gestures, if even that.

In 2021, after Monique Muñoz was killed on Olympic Boulevard at Overland Avenue by a driver going more than 100 miles per hour, the city placed a “Watch your speed” sign, politely asking drivers to slow down. Unfortunately, in the over two years that have passed, the city has yet to meaningfully redesign Olympic Boulevard to prevent a crash like this from happening again.

People don’t drive based on signage. They drive based on the design of the street. In the case of Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles, the design screams “wide open highway,” a lot like the Pacific Coast Highway. Hazardous as this is to all people (including drivers), it is most dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists.

Take a few minutes from your busy Cyber Monday to read the whole thing, because, as Schneider concludes, “The problem is carnage in the streets, and we know the solutions.”

Indeed we do.

We just need leaders with the courage to implement them, which seems to be sadly lacking in this town.

………

Speaking of the LA Times, the paper observes the proliferation of ebikes in California’s coastal cities, as South Bay cities struggle to rein riders in.

And as we’ve seen, several have over-reacted with draconian, and possibly illegal, restrictions. Hello, Manhattan Beach.

Meanwhile, Clean Technica gets it, pleading with officials not to turn ebikes into a regulatory nightmare.

………

CicLAvia looks forward to their final event of the year, as the nation’s most successful ongoing open streets festival finds its way to South LA this weekend.

The route runs from historic Central Ave to iconic Leimert Park, with culturally rich MLK Jr. Blvd in between.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to miss this one, much to my regret, due to other obligations.

………

The Cyber Monday sales are coming in fast and furious, with as Cycling Weekly rounds up bicycling deals, including up 40% off at REI and up to 50% off at Competitive Cyclist, as well as deals on bikewear and novelty jerseys.

Meanwhile, Wired says you can now get a Specialized ebike for as little as two grand.

Which would normally give us another opportunity to chide California for the interminable delay in launching the state’s ebike rebate program, but screw it.

………

Of course Bill Nye the Science Guy is one of us.

………

A German TV network reports on the influx of migrants flowing into Finland across the border with Russia, many on bicycles supplied by the Russians.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

GCN tackles the ultimate question of who is the fastest, staging a drag race pitting a roadie against a mountain biker, BMX rider and a track cyclist.

………

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

No bias here. Georgetown historian Thomas Zimmer writes on Mastodon that certain members of the far right are promoting “aggressive anti-bikeism” as part of their political agenda, even though bicycling is far less socialist than the massive public subsidies paid for cars. Unfortunately, I can’t embed his post, but you can read this thread and other Mastodon posts without having an account with the social media company; thanks again to Megan Lynch for the link. 

Britain’s Daily Mail offers a panicked assessment of the “staggering 10,000 cyclists” delivering fast food across Scotland’s cities and towns, saying they pose a threat to pedestrians and even cars by flouting ­traffic regulations and riding on sidewalks. Never mind that an additional 10,000 people driving cars to make fast food deliveries would pose an greater risk to everyone.

London’s former police chief calls for forcing bike riders to wear numbered license plates to “stop so many cyclists being a danger on London’s streets.” Meanwhile, a writer for conservative The Spectator wisely asks what good would requiring bicyclists to wear numbered plates actually do?

………

Local 

Writing for CityLab, Alex Contreras argues that LA should have used the I-10 closure as an opportunity to rethink the freeway and apply the same sense of urgency to get people out of their cars.

West Hollywood will team with the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition to host a WeHo Mobility Popup on Santa Monica Blvd tonight, giving away free bike lights on a first-come, first-served basis for people with bicycles, along with other complimentary giveaways for everyone.

 

State

No surprise here, as California ranks among the country’s deadliest states for bicyclists, ranking 4th nationwide in the percentage of bicyclists killed compared to total traffic deaths.

An assistant US Attorney in San Diego says a form of blood cancer knocked him off his bike, but not for long.

In a rare occurrence, someone was killed in a bicycling crash, and it wasn’t the person on two wheels. A driver in San Gregorio was killed when he struck a bicyclist riding on the shoulder, then went off the road and struck a tree; compounding the tragedy, the bike rider was hospitalized with what was described as severe injuries.

San Francisco advocates say the city is prime real estate for undoing one of the country’s most glaring urban infrastructure mistakes and building cities around people instead of cars.

Sad news from Lodi, where a 56-year old homeless man was killed riding his bike after allegedly swerving head-on in front of a 19-year old driver; investigators blamed the victim for possibly being stoned

 

National

A pair of kindhearted Pocatello, Idaho business owners gave a new bicycle to a man described as a local fixture for riding his bike around the city, after his bike was stolen.

New York’s high court extended prohibitions against illegal search and seizure to bicyclists, ruling that people on bicycles should have the same protections as people in cars, and require that police have probable cause to conduct a search.

Bloomberg’s CityLab talks with the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey about the steps the city has taken to improve street safety, which has resulted in no traffic deaths for the past six years. And proves that Vision Zero is achievable — if our leaders actually give a damn, and have the political will to make the tough choices.

 

International

Rouleur says ‘cross will make you a more powerful bicyclist.

Momentum offers the top ten reasons to bike to work in the winter. Reason #1 should be that you live in Los Angeles. Or anywhere else in sunny Southern California. 

The mayor of Manchester, England defends plans for a new segregated bike path alongside a major highway, as vandals steal orange construction cones in what the mayor describes as “systemic theft,” arguing that we can’t live in a world where cars “have got all the road.”

The owner of an independent Dublin, Ireland bike shop describes how his business was trashed and looted by right-wing rioters angry over immigration and a stabbing.

The Guardian examines the culture of bicycling on the cobbles and countryside of Flanders.

National Geographic describes how to plan a design-focused bicycling tour of Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city.

The Philippines’ Iloilo City hosted roughly 3,000 bike riders for a three-day celebration of all things bicycle.

A British TV star is once again criticizing a 108-mile New Zealand bike path that runs across property and a restaurant he owns, citing a number of safety concerns for bike riders on the trail, although he has long fought its mere existence on his property.

Hats off to 39-year old Kiwi paracyclist Hannah Pascoe, who became the first blind bicyclist to ride the full 1,000-mile length of New Zealand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jeffrey Rusk forwards news that four California paracyclists were among the 15 Americans competing for Team USA at the 2023 Parpan American Games in Santiago, Chile last week — including his girlfriend Jenna Rollman, who brought home bronze in Road Mixed H Womens Class Time Trial, among several other American medalists.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a 19-gear string drive groupset. Why ride a mere bicycle, when you can pedal a Star Wars speeder, instead?

And when you disagree with the law, just change it.

Or chop it down, anyway.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Burbank’s Friedman out as Transportation chair, still no stops at deadly SaMo corner, and breaking piggy bank to buy a bike

We’re just two days from Friday’s official kickoff of the Ninth Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Which is a lot better way to use your hard-earned cash than joining in the mad-dash Black Friday consumerist frenzy when you could be riding your bike. 

After donating, of course.

But take a little time to visit your favorite local bike shop for Small Business Saturday, and just buy something, anything, to help ensure they’ll still be here when you need them. 

Just be careful out there. Ride defensively, and try to avoid the malls and other shopping meccas over the weekend, when frenzied drivers will be focused on everything but you. 

Because I don’t want to have to write about you unless you rescue a kitten from a burning building or something. 

We’ll see you back here bright and early Monday morning. 

And seriously, have a great Thanksgiving. 

Photo: State Assemblymember and Congressional candidate Laura Friedman speaks at the recent die-in at LA City Hall. 

………

It’s a big loss for traffic safety.

In her time as California Assembly Transportation Committee chair, Laura Friedman has been a champion for safety measures that benefit everyone on our streets, not just people on bikes.

But it was probably predictable, as her campaign to replace Adam Schiff in the US Congress will take her away from Sacramento leading up to next year’s election.

………

A little kid should never have to see a ghost bike.

………

REI has marked their highly rated e-cargo bike down 40% off the retail price  to $899.39, $100 less than their previous lowest price.

Too bad potential California buyers still can’t use their ebike vouchers to take advantage of it.

………

‘Tis the season.

EF Pro Cycling is out with their holiday gift guide for bicyclists.

Strider Bikes is donating 645 balance bikes worth more than $100,000 to benefit kids in local charities near their Rapid City, South Dakota HQ.

………

Local 

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Santa Barbara’s on again, off again State Street bike lanes are back on again, as the city re-striped the lanes in yellow paint, just one year after removing “garish” green bike lanes just 20 months after they were installed. Let’s hope these ones last a little longer. 

Sad news from Salinas, where someone riding a bicycle was killed when they were struck by one driver, then run over by another; no word on whether either driver will face charges.

A Redwood City writer makes the case that authorities should focus on building bike lanes instead of mandating bike helmet use, or whether a victim was wearing one.

A Rohnert Park man was lucky to escape without life-threatening injuries when he was hit by a commuter train after riding through the warning gates. Yet another reminder to never, ever do that. 

 

National

A new study shows ped-assist ebikes can help seniors and people with disabilities — if they can overcome barriers to riding; meanwhile, Electrek says the two biggest problems with ebikes aren’t even about ebikes, but the risk of theft and the dangers of riding on the streets, instead.

A Utah teen is recovering after a speeding, wrong way driver forced his bike off the road.

Property owners shut down an Idaho bike path, after confusing wording on city maps left it unclear whether or not its a public easement.

No surprise here. NBC News reports Dallas, Texas has the most traffic deaths per capita of any American city. And the primary factor causing fatal crashes is speed.

A Mad City group has given away 10,000th refurbished bicycles, with the latest going to a high school wrestler who was forced to walk five miles to school after his bike was stolen.

Officials in New York cut the ribbon on a new project converting a small street into a bike boulevard, despite an angry protester accusing them of selling out the city.

A Florida judge ruled that Jean Macean is mentally competent to stand trial, despite his “mild intellectual disability,” for the stabbing deaths of a Daytona Beach couple as they rode their bicycles home from the motorcycle Bike Week festivities last year.

 

International

GCN offers tips on how to choose a gravel bike.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a 73-year old Vancouver driver walked with a lousy $1,500 fine for killing a 57-year old man riding a bicycle; he saw the victim enter the intersection from the opposite direction, but decided to make a left turn in front of him, anyway.

A blind lawyer has raised concerns over a Toronto bike lane built on the sidewalk, rather than the street, with no clear tactile difference to indicate its presence, which poses significant risks to pedestrians with limited eyesight.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website discusses how to prepare your bike for riding on cobbles.

Some bicyclists in South Africa’s Gauteng province are giving up riding due to rising rates of attacks on bike riders, including one fatal shooting and another rider who who survived after being shot twice; even riding in groups of of eight to twelve riders isn’t enough to deter the robbers.

 

Finally…

That feeling when turn your ebike into a solar power charging station. Or when a deer makes you duck.

And let’s end things with a pre-holiday smile, as a South Africa boy breaks open his piggy bank to buy a new bike for a gas station worker he befriended.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Update: Bike rider apparently killed in hit-and-run at 405 onramp in West LA

No official confirmation yet.

However, Citizen is reporting that a bike rider was injured in a hit-and-run while riding on Santa Monica Blvd near the onramp to the 405 Freeway in West LA.

Video from the scene show a police canopy over the victim, which usually indicates a fatal crash; a commenter also said they saw police pull a sheet over the victim.

Another comment indicates the victim was run over by a second car while on the street.

This is an exceptionally dangerous section of roadway where the street narrows as passes underneath the 405, and where bike riders must navigate busy on- and off-ramps in both directions.

It’s also where Frank Guzman was killed riding his bike five years ago this month.

There’s no indication yet just where or how the crash occurred, or any description of the driver or suspect vehicle.

If this is confirmed — and there’s every reason to believe it will be — it will be at least the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 31st that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the 23rd bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Those numbers were recently increased following a report of 13 deaths in the City of Los Angeles that we were previously unaware of.

At least 18 of those SoCal bicyclists have been the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The LAPD has confirmed that someone riding a bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run around 10:30 Tuesday night, placing the crash at Santa Monica and Cotner Ave.

Update 2: This places the crash on the north side of the street, at the northbound onramp to the 405 Freeway — just after the bike lane ends, unceremoniously dumping riders into heavy traffic. Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the photo.

Update 3: The victim has been identified as 46-year old Aaron Cobb

Photo by Danny Gamboa

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Aaron Cobb and his loved ones.

The bike-sized loophole in US crosswalk laws, MLK Blvd Complete Streets meeting, and Black Friday bike deals

Can’t you just feel the excitement?

We’re now just four days from the official kickoff of the Ninth Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive — and we’ve already got our first donations before the campaign even starts!

So let’s give a special thanks to Jim L and David R for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news coming your way every day. 

Be sure to come back here on Friday when the fund drive starts for real, because this is your chance to support SoCal’s bike source for bike news and advocacy.

And help keep the corgi in new shoes. 

So let’s get to it before this migraine makes my head explode all over the inside of your screen. 

………

The Des Moines Register considers what they call the glaring loophole posed by American crosswalk laws.

According to the paper, most crosswalk laws protect pedestrians, but do nothing to protect people riding bicycles, as well as wheelchairs, scooters or any other personal conveyance.

However, California is the exception, sort of.

The state amended its crosswalk law a few years ago to make it clear that bicyclists are allowed to ride along crosswalks — but neglected to clarify whether “along” means in or next to.

………

Despite being under indictment for embezzlement, CD9 Councilmember Curren Price, Jr. continues to work towards a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, with a public meeting next Tuesday.

………

They had me at donuts.

……..

‘Tis the season.

Bicycling offers a list of all the best Black Friday bike deals, along with the best sales on ebikes. As usual, you can read the first story on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you, but the ebike story doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else.

Momentum offers Black Friday bike deals, heavy on ebikes.

And Road.cc provides a high-end bicycling holiday gift guide for when money is no object.

………

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

No bias here. After a Houston bike rider was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver, a local TV station can’t resist framing the headline to blame the victim, while making it sound like he could fly like Superman.

No bias here, either, as a New York Councilmember forgets that some of her constituents are bike riders, and that people who ride bicycles vote, too.

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

The San Clemente City Council voted unanimously to consider an ordinance banning people from riding bicycles on the city golf course, after ebike riders damaged some of the greens and landscaping.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run New York delivery rider who took off after blowing through a red light on his ebike and crashing into a toddler being pushed on a stroller in the crosswalk.

A multitasking Florida man faces charges for allegedly shooting his shot while riding his bike, after a woman reported seeing him pleasuring himself while pedaling during a 5 am bike ride.

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Local 

LAist considers the negative effect that parking minimums have on the climate by encouraging people to drive everywhere.

The LA Fire Department airlifted a 31-year old man from Tujunga’s remote Haines Canyon, after he suffered severe injuries while mountain biking in the area.

 

State

Ebikes are currently allowed on all University of California campuses, but banned at California State University schools, including CSU Los Angeles, CSU Northridge and CSU Long Beach, as well as both Cal Poly campuses.

The San Diego Association of Governments introduced a new interactive map allowing you to indicate areas in need of pedestrian or bicycle safety improvements, which will be considered in the upcoming county Active Transportation Plan.

A Santa Cruz high school student won a full-ride scholarship to any college he wants for creating a nonprofit to refurbish and distribute bicycles, giving away 70 bikes to people in need so far.

A San Francisco letter writer takes issue with a recent news story saying the Valencia Street centerline protected bike lane is killing local businesses, arguing that it is slowing traffic down and improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

 

National

The founder of traffic safety nonprofit It Could Be Me writes about her own bicycling collision and the windshield bias that followed, from the driver who hit her to the cops that investigated, and the media that reported the story without ever getting her side.

REI staffers have filed 80 labor complaints across the US alleging the co-op has failed to negotiate in good faith with their union; however, the only unionized locations on the Left Coast appear to be in Berkeley and Bellingham, Washington.

A Fort Lauderdale, Florida law firm considers liability regarding bikeshare collisions — but bizarrely illustrates the story with a crashed motorcycle.

Men’s Journal says these are not your dad’s panniers. Which is definitely true in my case, since my dad didn’t have any. 

Speaking of windshield bias, police in Louisville, Kentucky report a man riding a bicycle was killed in an apparent SWSS — Single Witness Suicide Swerve — after allegedly swerving in front of an oncoming driver for no apparent reason. Yes, it’s possible the victim really did swerve in front of the car. But it’s more likely the driver drifted to the right and was startled to suddenly see a bike rider directly in front of them, and assumed the rider swerved, with no witnesses to contradict it.

A Boston TV station examines the dangers bike riders face from car doors and the careless people who fling them open without looking.

Speaking of Boston, Streetsblog explores a new parking and plastic car-tickler bendie post protected bike lane through the Back Bay Area.

Build it and they will come. After the city invested heavily in new bike lanes, The Daily News reports New Yorkers are riding bicycles at record levels for the second year in a row. The same can’t be said for Los Angeles, which hasn’t. Read it on Yahoo to get past the paper’s paywall. 

 

International

EF Pro Cycling explains how to lube your chain like a pro. That’s easy — just have someone else do it, just like they do. 

The Havana Times photo of the day depicts a fisherman riding his bicycle along the shore.

A new survey shows London bike riders are changing their riding habits in response to rising rates of violent bikejackings, leaving them overwhelmed with fear.

Students at Dublin, Ireland’s Trinity College are walking and biking less than they did before the pandemic, with bicycling rates down a whopping 59%. But at least they’re using public transport rather than driving.

Dutch e-bikemaker VanMoof could be back in business soon, as McLaren Applied-backed new owner Lavoie is working to simplify service and resume retail sales after buying the company out of bankruptcy.

New guided bicycle tours are revolutionizing cultural tourism in Istanbul.

Queensland state officials sought to reassure bike riders that a “draconian” new law against reckless riding won’t criminalize everyday riding activities, like drinking from a water bottle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Sagan might be rethinking his decision to focus on mountain biking after eating dirt in a recent race.

Pez Cycling News looks back on the careers of Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins, calling them two of Britain’s greatest ever cyclists. Although fans of Beryl Burton might beg to differ.

 

Finally…

Honda’s new throttle-controlled scooter is also the box it comes in. Your next Italian gravel bike could be a woodie.

And this is what a Chilean bike park looks like.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

NTSB calls for speed limiting tech, World Day of Remembrance, and LA Times calls for fast-tracking non-freeway projects

Time to start scrounging under your cushion for lost nickels and dimes, because we’re just five days away from the official kickoff of the Ninth Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

That means we’re also just five days away from my annual Eff Black Friday campaign, in which I urge you to skip the stores, save your money and get out on a bike ride, instead. 

And if you want to donate some of the money you save by not shopping, be my guest.

Then visit your favorite local bike shop the next day for Small Business Saturday, to help ensure they’ll still be there the next time you need something. 

………

About damn time.

Fast Company is reporting that the National Transportation Safety Board, aka NTSB, is calling for speed limiting technology to be installed on all new cars in an effort to reduce the needless carnage on our streets.

The idea is to use geolocation to give drivers an audible warning when they’re going too fast, or make it harder, but not impossible, to press down on the gas pedal when they exceed the posted speed limit.

I vote for the latter.

Because that might have saved the lives of four young women on PCH last month, allegedly murdered by a driver doing 104 mph in a 45 mph zone. Along with countless others killed on American streets, whether on two feet, two wheels or four.

Speeding is now a factor in almost a third of the crash deaths in the U.S. The traditional approaches to reducing that toll all have significant limitations. Police can issue tickets to individual drivers, but law enforcement can hardly be in all places at all times. Automatic speed cameras, which allow police to mail citations directly to vehicle owners, are more effective; but many states, such as New Jersey and Texas, have banned their use (and they’re far from ubiquitous even where they’re allowed). Another partial solution would be to reconfigure dangerously fast roads with narrower lanes and additional intersections that naturally lead drivers to slow down, but doing so nationwide would be prohibitively expensive—and it would do little to combat reckless speeding on highways and interstates that facilitate car traffic at speeds of 45 to 85 mph…

NTSB’s proposed solution: Adopting Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA), a modern and techier version of the speed governors that Cincinnati considered a century ago. Rather than preventing a vehicle from ever exceeding a given threshold, ISA uses geolocation to automatically reflect the legal limit on a given street or highway. “Passive” ISAs issue audible or haptic alerts to drivers who exceed the top programmed speed, hopefully compelling them to slow down. “Active” ISAs intervene in the car’s mechanics, often by requiring the driver to apply extra force on the accelerator. ISAs can be set to kick in a few miles above the posted speed limit, giving drivers the ability to go faster when, for instance, passing a vehicle in the slow lane.

In the EU—where residents are several times less likely to die in a crash than in the U.S.—regulators are requiring that ISA be installed on new cars as of next year. But no similar effort is afoot in the United States (the federal government did propose requiring them on heavy trucks, a move that has faced stiff opposition from some truckers).

Let’s hope federal regulators take their recommendation seriously.

Because it can’t happen soon enough.

………

Speaking of federal regulators, it starts at the top.

Fortunately, the Biden administration’s Transportation Secretary seems to get it, as Pete Buttigieg marked the World Day of Remembrance for the victims of traffic violence by calling for safer streets to get cities down to zero traffic deaths.

Including more protected bus and bike lanes.

For a change, the World Day of Remembrance got a lot of attention in the media.

Starting with a moving and dramatic display in Malibu, where volunteers installed 58 white car tires to commemorate the 58 people killed on PCH in the beachfront city since 2010.

Just in case you ever wondered why I call it LA County’s killer highway. Although it’s not much better in Orange County, either.

The World Day of Remembrance was also marked in San Diego, Fresno, Knoxville, Philadelphia, Portland, Charlotte and Houston, among many others.

Maybe one day we can remember those we’ve lost to traffic violence, without worrying about adding more names to the list.

………

Good question.

After the mad-dash rush to repair the fire damage to the 10 Freeway that disrupted traffic for just over a week, the Los Angeles Times asks why more transportation projects can’t be fast tracked the same way.

So, why can’t more transportation projects get the speedy treatment? Although the work being done on the 10 Freeway is a model of expediency, other important transportation repair jobs have taken far longer to complete.

Take for example the rail line used by Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink between Orange and San Diego counties. It’s the second busiest passenger route in the country, but was out of service for six months from late 2022 to early 2023 after a landslide and coastal erosion undermined the tracks.

It’s taken a year in some cases to repair storm-damaged bike paths in Los Angeles, leaving those routes closed to riders and forcing them onto busy streets, notedMichael Schneider, founder of the road safety advocacy group Streets for All.

Meanwhile, a letter writer says the freeway closure is an opportunity for more people to try public transit, and to invest in bus lanes and a quick-build bike network.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles only seems to know how to quick builds when it comes to freeways.

………

Evidently, they take murder seriously down in Texas.

A Texas jury sentenced former international fugitive Kaitlin Armstrong to a whopping 90 years behind bars for fatally shooting gravel champ Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas last year.

However, she will be eligible for parole in just a third of that time.

Armstrong was convicted of killing Wilson in a jealous rage, because she considered her a rival for the affections of her former boyfriend, pro cyclist Colin Strickland.

………

While we endure the seemingly endless wait for California’s ebike incentive program, the nonprofit program chosen to administer it offers safety advice for ebike riders, though with a glaring omission.

Sign up for email announcements here for when and if they finally get it going.

Speaking of which, Electrek says all the sales currently underway make this the best time ever to buy an ebike, while CBS News lists all the best early Black Friday sales on ebikes.

None of which you can take advantage of if you’re waiting for California’s program to launch.

And waiting. And waiting.

………

It’s almost always faster to ride a bike in city traffic for relatively short distances.

When I used to ride my bike from Westwood to DTLA for Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — now BikeLA — board meetings, I found I could bike the roughly ten mile distance as fast or faster than I could drive it.

And have a hell of of lot more fun doing it.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

………

I’ve never been a Dierks Bentley fan.

But anyone who carries his kid on a cargo bike is okay in my book.

………

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

The Port of San Diego says you’re not welcome on the city’s Embarcadero if you ride an ebike, e-scooter or a pedicab. Although something tells me they’re setting themselves up for a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

No bias here. A Wisconsin website says they drove Milwaukee’s new advisory bike lane and barely survived, calling it a game of automotive Frogger. Because evidently, drivers haven’t learned anything from the previous hundred-plus years of sharing narrow streets.

………

Local 

Speaking of BikeLA, the nonprofit bike advocacy group is downsizing due to limited funds, announcing “a temporary reduction in staff and operating expenses.”

Hip-hop legend MC Lyte says her best Sundays in LA include renting a bike and going for tacos at the beach. Both of which I can wholeheartedly endorse.

 

State

A San Francisco city supervisor led an informal delegation of VIPs on a damp bike rider marking the last day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

At least two of the nearly two hundred triathletes whose bikes are impounded due to a shipping dispute live in the Bay Area; their hi-end trim bikes could be auctioned off for pennies on the dollar, and they won’t receive a dime. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

Romper names the year’s best balance bike to unlock the joy of bicycling for your toddler.

The Seattle Times considers how the Pacific Northwest became the nation’s ‘cross capital.

A Las Vegas public bus driver faces charges for running a red light and killing a man riding a bicycle while apparently driving drunk on the job.

There’s a special place in hell for the Flagstaff, Arizona tow truck driver who ran a red light and killed a woman participating in a bike party ride, and injured several others; he reached a plea agreement after the investigation into the crash also turned up evidence he sexually exploited a minor.

New York’s fire commissioner says lithium-ion ebike batteries are a ticking time bomb.

Police in New York suspect a headless body that washed up onshore at Rockaway Beach could be an Irish filmmaker who disappeared on a bike ride two weeks earlier; despite the condition of the body, they don’t suspect foul play, suggesting he drowned and his body was dismembered by sharp rocks and fish. FYI, stop the page from loading before the popup to get around the paywall.

The Daily Mail seems to be suitably appalled by New York’s Bike Kill Brooklyn block party, featuring “‘freaks’ with mutant bicycles, scantily clad women and bizarre costumes,” along with Victorian unicycle jousting.

They get it, sort of. A Chattanooga, Tennessee newspaper applauds a road diet currently underway, saying safer streets and more bike lanes will benefit everyone — although the same site complains that bike lane construction is adding to the chaos on city streets.

A bystander was the innocent victim of an Atlanta shooting that began with a dispute over a bicycle. Yet another reminder that no bike is worth a human life. 

 

International

A columnist for Cycling Weekly argues that pre-internet local bike shops weren’t as good as you remember.

A kindhearted Saskatoon, Saskatchewan doctor is trying to donate more than 800 bicycles to African communities in need.

Who says you can’t carry big things on a bike? Road.cc says tradespeople like electricians, plumbers and gardeners are increasingly turning to cargo bikes to transport their goods and tools, while a London man borrowed a cargo bike to transport a big chest of drawers across the city, and had a blast in the process.

The BBC reports a spike in violent bikejackings has left some Londoners afraid to ride their bikes.

Belgian ebike maker Cowboy says they expect to become profitable next year, even as some competitors are swirling the drain.

A German bikemaker introduced what Road.cc calls the most unusual road bike of the year, which ignores UCI regs to ditche the seat post, incorporating it into the extremely compact frame.

Once he’s caught, an Indian truck driver will face a murder charge for the high-speed hit-and-run that killed one man riding a bicycle, and injured a woman and her son on another bike.

Times of Israel profiles a presumed hostage who disappeared after driving to meet friends for a bike ride near the border with Gaza; his car was later found shot up and abandoned.

Italian extreme cyclist Omar Di Felice is attempting a solo bike ride across the entire continent of Antarctica.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo says Columbian cyclist Rigoberto Urán’s recent performance at the Gran Fondo of Colombia is a reminder that the pros are way, way faster than you and me.

Twenty-six-year old New Zealand mountain bike champ Kate Weatherly is being forced out of the sport by new UCI regulations banning trans cyclists who transitioned after reaching puberty from competing in women’s cycling.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made for bikepacking, but look like a Penny Farthing drawn by a drunk who’s never seen one. We might have to dodge dodgy LA drivers, but at least we don’t usually have to worry about hit-and-run golf cart drivers.

And Rosalyn was one of us.

May she rest in peace, after a lifetime of service.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin