A road raging Monrovia driver, a bike riding RB police chief, and an anti-bike ordinance in Costa Mesa

Let’s catch up on recent news.

Starting with a traffic-crazed Dr. Thompson wannabe who tried to run over, then punch out, a group of cyclists last Friday.

Monrovia Patch forwards word of a roadway altercation in which a motorist apparently became enraged with a group of cyclists and swerved his car into them, forcing one rider to rear-end a parked car.

Then the candidate for anger management got out of his car and started hitting another rider before police arrived and took him into custody.

Patch reports that two cyclists were treated at the scene by paramedics.

If anyone has more information on this story, let me know.

Thanks to Monrovia Patch for the news.

………

Two big stories hit the news while I was tied up with family activities over the holiday period.

Even if that family consists of my wife and a six-year old Corgi.

First up is the news of the off-duty Redondo Beach police chief who commandeered a theft suspect’s bike to chase him down and help make the arrest.

Hats off to Chief Joe Leonardi for proving a police chief can still be a real cop; I’m not sure how many of his peers would have chased the suspect themselves, rather than just calling in their street level officers. And for remaining in riding shape — and recognizing that a bike is often the best way to get there, whether or not you’re chasing someone.

And whether or not it’s yours.

Chief, you can ride with me anytime.

Second is the news that Costa Mesa has banned bike parking on public property to — get this — battle the local homeless population.

Apparently, homeless people don’t like having their bikes stolen any more than people with residences to go home to at night.

Go figure.

So instead of dealing with the problem — like maybe providing a secure place to store their belongings, let alone a roof over their heads — city leaders respond in a regressive fashion by attacking everyone who rides a bike.

A member of the Homeless Task Force that came up with the recommendation promises police won’t be heavy-handed in enforcing the ban.

Neighborhood Improvement Manager Muriel Ullman, a member of the task force, said the ordinance would be enforced within reason. For example, if nearby bike racks are all full, then police would not enforce the ordinance.

“If the police see there is an open rack, and they sees (sic) some bikes lying on the grass…they’re not just going to go impound the bike, they’re going to work with the people,” Ullman said.

Right.

Never mind that the city currently has only 38 bike parking spaces in their 30 parks.

Something tells me they have a hell of a lot more than 38 parking spaces for cars. And not just at public parks, but anywhere in the city that cyclists — excuse me, human beings — would like to go.

The nearly forgotten Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, which clearly has not made it to Costa Mesa, includes the right to safe and secure bike parking at the end of a trip.

Personally, I think the law should be changed so that anytime secure bike racks are full or unavailable, cyclists have a legal right to lock their bikes anywhere they damn well please. Up to and including the legs of Costa Mesa council members.

That would only begin to put us on a par with motorists, who enjoy tens of thousands more parking spaces than are available for bicyclists in most areas. As well as forcing cities and building owners to invest the relative pennies needed to provide adequate bike facilities, as opposed to the $4000 to $40,000 it costs to provide space for a single car.

We can only hope that Costa Mesa somehow comes to its senses and repeals this discriminatory, wrong-headed anti-bike and anti-homeless ordinance.

If not, I hope everyone who rides a bike will remember this on election day.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up on the Costa Mesa ordinance, and everyone who forwarded news about the Redondo Beach Police Chief — far too many to thank here, but I’m grateful to everyone who takes the time to send me a link.

………

Erik Griswold forwards a comment on a Danish website (scroll down) claiming to be from a San Francisco motorcycle dealer.

One of my business endeavors is a motorcycle dealership in San Francisco, California. Among other things my dealership services and repairs Police motorcycles for the City of San Francisco and for the California Highway Patrol in this area. I have talked to Police Officers about the “bicycle problem.” We have a serious problem in California with bicyclists thinking that traffic rules apply only to others and that “share the road” means “take the road and screw the cars.” I think some of these people purchased the wrong size spandex and the blood flow to the brain got cut off.

All of the Police Officers I have talked to will not ticket an automobile driver if a bicyclist ignores traffic rules and gets run over in the process. Several of the Officers smiled and quietly encouraged me to “just hit them.”

Everyone is tired of bicyclists inventing their own rules, not just in Copenhagen. Being sustainable, greeny and eco-friendly is not a blanket pass to misbehave.

I cannot wait to paint the first bicycle on the side of my company truck, fighter-pilot kill style. ;-)

Aside from the obvious threat in the last line, if this is legitimate — which, given the nature of anonymous internet comments is always questionable — it goes a long towards illustrating the bias bike riders face from those charge with protecting us.

And yes, I’m looking at you, San Diego Police Department.

………

A judge orders the thrill killers who shot developmentally disabled cyclist Jordan Hickey as he rode his bike to stand trial on murder and special circumstances that could result in the death penalty. Testimony in the preliminary hearing indicated they were cruising for victims when they encountered Hickey, shooting him three times with a shotgun just for the hell of it.

Which, appropriately enough, is where they belong.

I’m not a supporter of the death penalty. But if anyone ever deserved it, these two would be at the top of my list.

………

Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins dons the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, as teammate Chris Froome won stage seven and stage eight was taken by the youngest rider on the tour. It looks like a good tour for the British Commonwealth, as Wiggins takes yesterday’s time trial to keep his yellow jersey, while last year’s winner Cadel Evans holds second overall.

Wiggin’s Team Sky teammate Chris Froome finished second in the time trial. For awhile, it looked like young American rider Tejay van Garderen would win, instead settling for the white jersey as best young rider.

The new leader gets a little hot under the collar when asked about cynics who believe doping is required to win the tour. Cyclists are dropping like flies as countless collisions deplete the riding roster.

If you need an introduction to le Tour, you could do worse than this pop-up guide, reviewed by Gina Morey Rosemberg.

Meanwhile, New Zealand pro Michael Torckler is bouncing back after a near fatal hit-and-run in Sonoma county. A South African woman is the first to finish in the top ten in the women’s Giro d’Italia, as Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley and American Evelyn Stevens take the top three.

Lance files suit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in an attempt to derail doping charges, and is quickly shown the door for now. Former TdF champ Jan Ullrich briefly almost comes clean. And Cofidis rider Remy Di Gregorio is the latest to be arrested for suspected doping in today’s “clean” riding world.

………

The L.A. Times talks with leaders of the city’s bike and pedestrian communities on how to calm traffic. LADOT Bike Blog offers the agenda for tomorrow’s BPIT meeting. L.A. area schools will share in a $48.5 million Caltrans grant to the Safe Routes to Schools program. Will Campbell rides under the big rock — yes, that rock — with his timelapse camera rolling. Better Bike offers a detailed analysis of cycling casualties, concluding the highest risk is during the summer and for riders aged 45 to 54; he also astutely asks why it’s up to an unpaid bike blogger to compile stats that Beverly Hills city officials should be doing. The Bike Babes Bicycling Classic will roll round-trip from Long Beach to Huntington Beach next Sunday. A young Riverside man struggles to walk again, nearly three years after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.

Cyclelicious asks what’s wrong with this picture, as road construction signs block a major bikeway. San Mateo County officials plan to improve a bike lane where cyclist Lauren Ward was killed in 2010; why does it seem like officials always wait until someone is killed to fix a problem? A writer for the London Mail rides his rental bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. An Oakland cyclist is killed in what one witness describes as an intentional hit-and-run. Sunnyvale could soon be the third city to adopt an L.A. style anti-harassment ordinance; nice to see former LADOT Bike Blog writer Christopher Kidd making a name for himself up by the bay. Sonoma County struggles through four cycling deaths in just five weeks — and Michael Torckler could have easily made it five — while over 200 cyclists turn out to honor one of those victims, former Sonoma State University Steven Norwick. Meanwhile, a local rider says cyclists would stop dying if they’d just slow down; evidently he’s an expert on the subject, thanks to one whole year of riding experience. Fairfax CA police crack down on scofflaw cyclists who blow stop signs in groups of 10 to 20. A Visalia rider makes a slow comeback a year after a devastating solo collision.

A writer blames bike sharing for escalating the mythical war between cyclists and drivers; that explains why no cyclists in cities without bike share programs — like Monrovia, for instance, ever have to deal with angry drivers, right? The National Park Service plans to expand access for mountain bikes. Raising your handlebars could reduce sexual dysfunction for women riders. A big-hearted former bike rider with cerebral palsy offers his three-wheeled recumbent to a disabled Utah man whose bike was stolen for the third time. Collisions are on the rise as Denver cyclists and drivers struggle to coexist on the road; actually, it’s pretty easy — if everyone follows the rules, no one gets hurt. Chicago Jews and Muslims ride together in a show of unity; I’d love to see a ride like that here. Chicago trains 100 to 200 new bike cops every year; then again, Escondido bike cops seem to be doing pretty good, too. Whimsical bright colored bikes reappear for the third year in Muskegon MI. Heartbreaking news, as a registered sex offender has been arrested for the murder of missing Louisiana cyclist Mickey Shunick, even though her body has not been found. Police and prosecutors — and motorists — are ignoring New York’s three-foot passing law. Fearless Bed-Stuy cyclist attempts to stop a thief from stealing two bikes, rescuing one. The popular Bike Radar website launches a new American version.

A North Carolina father riding with his daughter watches as she’s killed by a pickup while riding in Canada. A Winnipeg writer suggests lowering speed limits across the city to the equivalent of about 25 mph. Scandinavian researchers says the effects of inducing traffic demand by increasing capacity are ignored too often. After security officers tackle a young boy riding his bike next to the Olympic torch run, they release a report saying he simply fell down and rode off on his own — despite video evidence to the contrary. An insightful look at anti-bike bias in the media that focuses on scofflaw cyclists while ignoring the far bigger problem of dangerous drivers. Taiwan attempts to kick start a bike culture. A Canadian transport expert calls for loosening Melbourne’s helmet laws on a trial basis. A South African man commits suicide after being charged with the hit-and-run death of an 18-year old cyclist. A new study suggests Australia’s bike boom is a myth, as ridership has declined on a per capita basis.

Finally, a great pro cycling ad from Huffy, of all places. And seriously, if you’re an underage cyclist riding with drugs, burglary tools and a loaded gun, don’t ride salmon without a headlight.

8 comments

  1. Frank Peters says:

    great post, as always!

  2. Mark Elliot says:

    Thanks for those great links. This caught my eye:

    >Costa Mesa has banned bike parking on public property to — get this — battle the local homeless population.

    Let’s turn this on its head. One hurdle we face as bike advocates is that simply not enough people in our communities bike. With higher numbers comes greater recognition and political pull. So I propose that we increase the proportion of bike-riders by inviting “sober living” home operators to set up shop where opposition to bike facilities rears its head.

    These homes would bring more bike riders to town because often home residents can’t drive due to convictions. And under state law, local officials can’t bar transitional homes with fewer than six residents, which sure makes some homeowners mad. But like the homeless population that Costa Mesa and other towns wants to essentially criminalize, these folks are members of society with mobility needs. We should recognize them.

    I’d like to have more riders on Beverly Hills streets. Maybe the prospect of a few sober living homes and bikes laying around on the grass might convince homeowners that, in comparison, everyday bike riders aren’t so bad after all.

  3. billdsd says:

    I hope we find out more about that Monrovia incident. This idiot needs to be famous for being an idiot.

  4. […] Biking In LA, who notes that there are only 38 bike parking spots in the city’s 30 […]

  5. […] more: A road raging Monrovia driver, a bike riding RB police chief, and an … This entry was posted in Blog Search and tagged anytime, bike, changed, costa, cyclists, damn, […]

  6. […] Biking In LA, who notes that there are only 38 bike parking spots in the city’s 30 […]

  7. […] Biking In LA, who notes that there are only 38 bike parking spots in the city’s 30 parks. Email Share […]

  8. The Australian Bike Boom myth is probably true and I agree with the theory that cycling has largely been exterminated there by the mandatory helmet legislation.

    What do I mean by ‘exterminated’? I mean that there are cyclists now, but the pool of prospective cyclists (kids and adults alike) are scared away from cycling by the social dynamics following on from the helmet law. By comparison, it’s good to wear sunscreen; it saves lives from melanoma deaths. But if you show up at the beach without sunscreen, nobody notices. And one can be a smoker in the privacy of his own home. And no one chastises a guy driving down the street without a seatbelt, because it’s invisible.

    But, roll bare-headed down the dirt driveway on your fat-tire bike to get the mail at the street, and you’ll hear the patronizing barks of “where’s your helmet” from even your neighbors. And yes, being helmetless for a child is truly a social stigma there. Better for a child whose helmet is lost, forgotten, broken or outgrown to stay indoors than identify himself as a juvenile delinquent…

    And thus ends cycling in Australia.

    (By the way I am Australian-American.)

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