Morning Links: Glendale brake-check driver charged, busy SaMo bike weekend, and just what is AAA saying?

Justice is served, for a change.

LAist reports the Glendale driver who was caught on video buzzing and brake checking a pair of cyclists — then lying about it on TV — has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and filing a false police report.

CiclaValley broke the original story, posting video that clearly shows driver Dennis Reed’s actions.

He also breaks down the story Reed told KNBC-4, finding it somewhat truth-challenged.

Despite Reed’s assertions that the cyclists rode dangerously and attacked him first before the posted video, I’ve seen the entire unedited 20 minute video, which is sure to be offered as evidence in court.

It clearly shows both men riding in a safe and legal manner, even stopping for stop signs and observing the right-of-way. And shows no interaction whatsoever with Reed or his car until he honked, buzzed them and slammed on the brakes after another driver had just passed them safely.

I’m glad to admit I was wrong when I said this would most likely be a case of he said/she said, and that Glendale police would probably wash their hands of the matter.

They deserve credit for taking this case seriously, along with the DA’s office for filing charges.

However, while I couldn’t have more respect for Don Ward, I think he’d be the first to tell LAist writer Matt Tinoco there’s a whole city full of bike advocates and activists working to make this a safer and more inviting place for all of us to ride our bikes.

And you should take your blood pressure medication before reading the comments, especially from this apologist for the driver.

Update: CiclaValley offers his thoughts on the case, and posts the full video. So see for yourself what really happened. 

………

It’s a busy bike weekend in Santa Monica, starting with tomorrow’s Brompton Urban Challenge to benefit LACBC local chapter Santa Monica Spoke.

That’s followed with the collaborative community celebration Gear Up! to kick off Bike Month on Sunday, May 1st. Events include a bike swap, free helmets and bike repair, music, bike art and local food.

Thanks to Cynthia Rose for the reminder.

………

At first glance, it just seems like an interesting, artful shot.

Westways

But after taking it in, you’ve got to wonder what message is AAA’s Westways Magazine, a publication for Orange county drivers, sending with a rusted out bike within easy crapping range of a pelican?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sometimes, it’s not.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the cover photo.

………

Speaking of Mike, he also forwards this new promotional video from GoPro, the first in a new series called Beyond the Race – An Inside Look at Competitive Cycling.

We’ll let Mike offer his take on it.

The first GoPro produced “Beyond the Race” episode features a serious road biker taking off on a morning ride and imagining he’s engaged in a bar-banging sprint to the finish. The video alternates between his passionate ride along a beautiful coastline (Oregon?) and up-close and personal GoPro footage of some very real and very serious professional bike races.

Walter Mitty fantasies are no doubt enjoyed by many road bike enthusiasts, so GoPro’s first episode is sure to hook them. However, the 2:17 video was so short and so shallow that it almost felt like a tease. Even with its shortcomings, that tease is enough to make me to wait anxiously for the next episode, and it may entice others to do the same.

New videos are scheduled to be posted every other Thursday.

………

Local

A writer for the Times says since she’s become a bike commuter, she’s noticed how frequently and needlessly drivers honk at her. And says don’t do it. Just… don’t.

UCLA’s bikeshare share system is expected to open this fall, and will be compatible with systems already open or planned for Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. While the campus is bike friendly, what will happen when those riders venture out into Westwood Village and beyond, where Councilmember Paul Koretz has actively blocked bike safety improvments?

CiclaValley captures on video what it would be like if Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive is ever opened to cars. Seriously, that’s three mentions of him in a single post; if you’re not checking out CiclaValley every morning, you should be. Okay, make that four. No, five.

Once again, Santa Monica is cracking down on violations that can affect bike and pedestrian safety, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians.

Long Beach isn’t just bike friendly, it’s also one of the most walkable cities in the US.

 

State

Instead of a bike corral, the Sawdust Art Festival hosts a colorful floral Bicycle Garden made up of Laguna Beach’s first sculptural bike racks.

A Murrieta man is nearing the end of his 18,000 mile journey by bicycle to return his father’s ashes to Southern China.

Ventura County’s largest charity ride, Cruisin’ the Conejo, is set to roll on Sunday the 7th.

Oakland gets its first protected bike lane on a newly slimmed down Telegraph Avenue.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is leading Bike to Work Day rides with eight of the city’s eleven supervisors. Yet here in LA, if any city councilmembers will be riding to work that day, they’ll be doing it on their own; we should have organized rides like that with our elected officials, too. And not just one day a year.

The bike polo scene in Sacramento and Davis is attracting some fiercely competitive women.

 

National

Female bike messengers across the US band together to support one another and fight harassment.

Lance asks the court to throw out the Feds’ $100 million lawsuit against him, a day after the US asked for a summary judgment against him. But then, that’s just the usual legal maneuvering and probably doesn’t mean anything.

Oahu HI installs new bike lanes to improve pedestrian safety. It’s often overlooked that bike lanes can improve safety for everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

Yet another bighearted cop, as a Michigan officer buys a new bike to replace one that was stolen from an 11-year old boy last week.

Like business owners almost everywhere, Chattanooga businesses oppose city plans for a road diet and bike lanes on a major street. And like virtually everywhere else, they’ll probably fight to keep it and the added customers and sales it will bring in.

Baltimore’s Highway to Nowhere will be getting a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover.

New Orleans rises into the top 20 cities in the US for bike commuters. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

The Awl takes a look at Mississippi, the last state where it’s still legal to drink and drive.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as bike riders in Florida’s Siesta Key take it on themselves to improve bike safety in the tourist resort.

Florida police blame a bike rider for colliding with a patrol car that was blocking the sidewalk he was riding on, saying he just crashed into the car while trying to go around it. Sure, that’s credible.

 

International

Montreal has seen a dramatic spike in bicycling casualties, with deaths up 50% and serious injuries climbing 43%. And as usual, police are quick to blame the victims.

The Toronto Star says the city should finally put bike lanes on Bloor street after studying it for 25 years.

The Guardian offers advice on how to on how to ride in the rain. A problem we’re not likely to face very often since El Niño crapped out on us.

Bike Radar lists 25 pieces of riding advice for beginners. And for a change, they’re actually pretty good.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is using bicycling to make immigrants feel more at home in their new country.

Caught on video: When a Malta cyclist confronts a truck driver following a too close pass, the driver gets out of his cab and tries to kick him in the head; oddly, the same two people had another confrontation a few months earlier.

A teacher in Afghanistan turned his bicycle into a mobile library to bring books to children in isolated areas. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman fights for women’s rights by riding a bike across the country.

An Aussie cyclist attacks a car in a case of bike rage, for no apparent reason. Something tells me there’s another side to this story. But regardless, never resort to violence, ever. Period.

A Vietnam vet and his wife return to tour the country by bicycle, welcomed as friends despite being former enemies.

 

Finally…

Nice to see old school doping is still alive and well in this age of high-tech motor doping. If you’re going to crack a safe stolen from a preschool, a busy bike path in broad daylight probably isn’t the best time and place to do it.

And what the hell did Snapchat think would happen when they added an mph filter to their app?

………

Thanks to everyone who proofread this site for me yesterday, and caught my colossal geographic blunder.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

 

10 comments

  1. CiclaValley says:

    Looks like the commentator on LAIST has already turned tail and removed his comments!

  2. Is that pier in California or Havana? AAA’s metaphorical image of the rusted bike on Oceanside’s pier is more representative of their myopic ignorance than Oceanside’s perspective of bicycle transportation & recreation. The city has been a bicycle friendly community for years and was recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as having the best bicycle education program in the nation in 2014. Moreover, the efforts of the downtown business community and the Oceanside Bike/Ped Committee are largely responsible for the bike/ped = business friendly changes coming soon to Coast Hwy. The dedicated souls in Oceanside exemplify the 5 P’s: preparation, persistence, patience, partnership, and positive thinking. AAA’s vision of multimodal transportation is more rusty than the bike on the pier.

    • Brenda,

      From p6 of the magazine:

      Send Your Comment To…

      MailBox, Westways
      Auto Club of Southern California
      PO Box 25222
      Santa Ana CA 92799-5222
      [email protected]

      I will send my comment, and I hope you will, too. I have a feeling yours will be more eloquent!

    • To their credit, the feature article does mention that Oceanside is the start point for the 3,000 bicyclists who compete in the annual Race Across America.

    • This is what I emailed to Westways:

      I guess the cover photo for the May 2016 Orange County Westways was selected simply for its artistic merits. Unfortunately, the terribly rusted bike and the pelican eyeing it for bombing practice poorly represent an important part of Oceanside culture. The city is very bicycle-friendly, thanks to hard work from local businesses and organizations. One of the best ways to enjoy the city is by bike or on foot, and I can guarantee that 99.9% of the bikes look far better than the one on your cover.

  3. Ralph says:

    The best thing about the assault charge for the aggressive driver is that it is a criminal charge. Even if it gets plead down or he is found innocent in court this will cost a bunch of money. Felony retainers are in the $5 K to $10 K range and can go up from there. Any expert witnesses will add to that also.

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