Morning Links: Justice denied and threats against cyclists, and it’s time to give up some of that good bike blood

Sometimes there seems to be a common thread in the day’s news.

This time, it’s a tale of threats and justice denied. At least, if you’re on a bike.

In a must read from Colorado, a cyclist describes the collision that totaled his bike — and nearly totaled him — when he was rear-ended by a driver doing an estimated 35 mph.

Yet when an officer from the highway patrol showed up, he had apparently decided what had happened before he even got out of his car. And gave the rider a $24 ticket for not getting the hell out of the way of the truck that hit him.

Then there’s the case of a Virginia driver who was convicted on two misdemeanor counts after buzzing a group of cyclists, then threatening them with a gun.

Yet despite threatening the lives of five innocent people, he walks away without even a single day behind bars.

And don’t even get me started on the schmuck who robbed an Oakland bike rider as he lay unconscious in the street after being hit by a truck; the victim’s mother says a heart defect has compounded his injuries and left her son clinging to life.

Hopefully they’ll catch the thief, lock him up and shove the key where the sun don’t shine.

Then there’s the idiot who tossed tacks on a busy Portland bridge popular with bike riders for the second time this week.

It may not sound like a big deal.

But a sudden flat can cause a cyclist to lose control and fall, possibly resulting in a serious injury. Or worse, if it causes him or her to fall in front of oncoming traffic. And even a sudden swerve after spotting the tacks in the roadway could be dangerous.

Police tend to treat incidents like this as a simple prank. When they should be investigated as an assault. Or at least an attempt to intimidate — if not terrorize — people exercising their legal right to ride a bike.

But at least authorities are taking the case of the drunken hit-and-run Baltimore Bishop seriously, holding her on $2.5 million bond.

………

Red Kite Prayer urges you to perform a life saving act by donating blood, and putting those bulging bike riding veins to good use during National Blood Donor Month.

I couldn’t agree more.

I used to donate on a regular basis until health issues forced me to stop, losing count at somewhere north of five gallons of my own high test A-positive over the years.

Way north. Because after awhile, how much just didn’t matter anymore.

What did matter was that it was, perhaps, the only entirely selfless thing most of us will ever do; all you’re likely to get out of it is a good feeling and a cookie or two.

I have no idea what happened to that blood, who might have gotten it or why; I can only trust that it went to people who needed it. And hopefully made a difference.

With the exception, that is, of a single pint that went to my own wife before her own major surgery.

Thankfully, she came through with flying colors.

But showed no more interest in riding a bike than she had before.

………

San Francisco bike bag and clothing maker Mission Workshop is opening up on Sunset Blvd in Silver Lake.

………

No. Just no.

………

A new website and Twitter account promises to cover all things bike in the San Fernando Valley.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg looks at the proposal for five blocks of complete streets on North Figueroa.

KCET will air a report on last December’s South LA CicLAvia next Wednesday.

Been awhile since we’ve heard from the Department of DIY, which took it upon itself to remove sand blocking the usually bikable shoulder on Lincoln Blvd. Seriously, it shouldn’t be up to bike riders to keep our streets safe to ride.

Congratulations to Cindy Decker of Performance Bike in Long Beach on winning one of ten Women’s Bicycle Mechanic Scholarships; the winners were selected from over 800 applicants nationwide.

 

State

Orange County pulls the plug on Fullerton’s less than successful bikeshare program, which cost taxpayers $800 a ride.

Apple could be planning to take on GoPro with a more aero cam that can be mounted on a bike helmet. And would undoubtedly connect to your other Apple gear.

How slow can you go? Marin County is reducing the speed limit on a popular bike path to just 10 mph to cut down on conflicts with pedestrians.

 

National

Note to world: Racism ain’t funny. And yes, “jokingly” accusing black people of riding stolen bikes is racist. Especially when biking while black is still a problem in this country.

You may be able to tour Mesa Verde National Park on a rented bike next time you go.

Nice story from my home town, as two bike shop owners pitch in to replace a little girl’s stolen bike.

Four Texans are under arrest for running a high-end bike theft ring; one member stole $70,000 worth of bikes in seven cities.

VeloNews calls Sunday’s rain-delayed national cyclocross championships a disaster.

If you build it, they will ride. Bike traffic is up 81% in a single year after a protected bike lane was installed on a Minneapolis bridge.

New York is reworking streets and intersections, and adding 50 miles of protected bikeways, as part of its push to reduce traffic deaths — something LA will have to do if the city’s newfound commitment to Vision Zero will ever be more than a vague promise.

 

International

British authorities search in vain for a cyclist who may have been swept out to sea by a rogue wave.

An Irish writer says it shouldn’t be a matter of us versus them when 80% of cyclists have a drivers license and one in five drivers ride a bike.

Italian soccer team Cesena will wear pink this Sunday to honor legendary cyclist Marco Pantani.

More progress, as an African team will compete in the Tour de France for the first time this year, after participating in last year’s Vuelta.

An Aussie columnist says bike licenses are worth trying to curb bike-born bullies; after all, it’s worked so well to stop bad behavior by motorists. Or maybe it’s the drivers who really are arrogant.

 

Finally…

The bikelash is alive and well in Down Under, even popping up on the Aussie version of Family Feud. Your new Bern could bear the mark of Wu Tang.

And caught on video: Probably not the best idea to steal an unattended Philadelphia police bike; they tend to take that shit seriously.

6 comments

  1. […] Sometimes there seems to be a common thread in the day’s news. This time, it’s a tale of threats and justice denied. At least, if you’re on a bike. In a must read from Colorado, a cyclist describes the collision that totaled his bike — and …read more […]

  2. Jim Baross says:

    San Diego traffic court just found two bicyclists guilty in two separate instances for riding two-abreast; one for two-abreast in a Bike Lane, and one for two-abreast in a lane marked with Sharrows. Stated citations were for CVC 21202. Go figure. CABO members are pursuing appeals.

    • bikinginla says:

      Good luck with the appeals — and thank you for taking this on.

      Unbelievable that any cop would cite for riding abreast a bike lane where it has no impact on other traffic. And the presence of sharrows would suggest that the lane is too narrow to share, in which case the exceptions to CVC 21202 would mean it does not apply. Sounds like San Diego police — like most cops — need better education on bike law. And you need better traffic judges.

  3. James says:

    I noticed another ghost bike in Huntington Beach. This time on Beach blvd. near Talbert. I haevn’t read anything about a collision involving a cyclist but do remember that last week a woman was killed there. She was described as a pedestrian if I recall. Does anyone know anything?

    • bikinginla says:

      Sorry for the delayed response. Cheryl Pierce was killed at that intersection on Saturday, January 10th. All the reports I’ve seen identify her as a pedestrian, as you point out. I have no why there would be a ghost bike for her or who would have installed it. I’ll let you know if I find anything out.

  4. Rick says:

    I object to the math in your second link and language of yours citing it of the capital investment being ‘spent’ prior to the apparent grand opening ever occurring in Fullerton’s effort’s to not make us both own the bike and some how park it near any destination of ours and only retrieve it from the last such place.

    For me on first blush the grants appear defective. Bike Nation offers crap, worse then cheap bikes to ‘share’ when at the very least any share program must offer MUCH MUCH better wheels then are routinely owned by just one user. As a form of transit the grants should be earned over time even if disbursed in full from the getgo. As a taxpayer and modes plural supporter I am shocked that the public money is being wasted by a bad faith churning of the funds. We have paid for far more then another half year of competition with MODE singular support. To consider the money spent is to support cars. It also is business as usual to let cities keep transit funds even if they fail to get riders/users. But this effort to cut ongoing costs that are dimes per ride, not tens of dollars, by the locality, would not be so condoned. The point is that the local government is picking up nearly none of the $80 per ride spent so far, that’s why they voted to spend it- it was not there money, it was ours, hard won, wasted by our nation and the “bike nation” who however sincerely regrets leaving town with it in tow, not just the pathetic local labor built ‘bikes.’ Reimburse Uncle Sam for those jobs if you want to be free of those wheels. Bike Nation shows how sociopathic they are to not be blowing the whistle beyond not wagging there newbie tale as if greenly going. Refusing the grants would of been green, gobbling, feasting, serving only welding ‘jobs’ up is not helping us share our paths, it is eating the seeds and shitting into foreign cess pools where they are not needed. Cheap shared bikes are like smoking diesel rubber tired car sale enabling schemes of yeseteryear. There is a reason Paris designs and builds there own shared electric not just bikes but cars. Nobody wants to share a bike they can afford to own as much as one far nicer. Bike Nation and cities etc. who loot the public coffer lining there pockets serve only big motor stinking at best other side of the planet cities- that is to say they are who gets our money when we don’t follow through beyond paying our taxes. Muddy water can’t be muddier. Take that overjovial as archived bike talk spandex babes. We need to get down and dirty in it if it is ever to run clear for real. Progress especially apparent at this point is most what we can not afford. Let the public choose among product presently available for purchase by the wealthiest, then let us share it, inventing indigent wheels is the evil alternative and has been the rule for far too long. The hundreds registered to read this blog want to ride and not store far better then they can afford to own, together that is easally accomplished. We matter. People who have never ridden a bike can get that experience elsewhere. Adults matter. Most workers are adults, tourists pay there own way and do not need public subsidy. Parking the best wheels more affordably must be understood to be the point. Two wheels can be better afforded and parked then those of cars designed for either anyone or just personal use. The bike consumer simply has never paid for a bike designed to be affordable if used all day long by many- and those unaffordable for most but enjoyed by few are the closest we have and a good start. For example Organic Cop version bikes can be successful using the for cars failed ‘better’ battery model. Clear differences between shared infrastructure and that we can presently only consider superior are not hard to imagine. Organic is about to ship doors for there windshield equipped privately owned and enjoyed so far output. Bikes that do not need riders to stay upright are obviously good deals for sharing as that means they can balance themeselves as to location as well. Over time the cost can range far more extreme then $800 per ride to however low, below private car cost. The provably true as a trivialty premise that people prefer the higher quality, safer, lower cost alternative of luxury bike infrastructure compared to obscenely inefficient or outrageiously expensive internal combustion engine or ‘electric’ cars has been ignored so far. We die daily from that peril imposed by do gooders in too large part.

    I am proud that consumers did boycot bikenation wheels. Anything supportive of hope for real contenders is the best source of pride.

    Shared infrastructure if novel must only be so because it is better, not worse. Invent to improve, not defeat costs that are a bargain. Enclose, riders, charge batteries with sun, finance riderless operation from more ‘owners’ per pair of wheels, leave the concrete filled pipes and solid antique rubber tires in the prior millennium please or be understood to be our greatest enemy.

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