Morning Links: Another killer driver gets a sore wrist, and the Flying Scotsman compares himself to Pluto

A special thank you to the ten new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition who’ve signed up as part of the May BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive. That means we just have 90 to go to reach our goal of 100 new members before I step down from the LACBC board next month.

So take a moment to sign up now to add your voice to one of the nation’s leading bicycle advocacy organizations. And tell all your bike riding friends, family, coworkers to join up, too.

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Add one more driver getting off with a tiny slap on the wrist for fatally running down a bike rider.

After discussing two similar cases yesterday, one more was added to the list after 25-year old Luis Aranda Llamas was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence for the death of Matthew Carp as he rode in a Menifee bike lane.

Llamas received just three years probation, along with 90 days work release for the 2014 collision.

Prosecutors somehow concluded there was no gross negligence that would have warranted a felony charge, even though Llamas was speeding when ran Carp down from behind, and barely missed Carp’s riding companion.

Evidently, killing someone while driving in a bike lane at a speed well above the posted limit is just one of those things.

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Patrick Lynch forwards news of a horrifying crash that nearly took the life of a Chicago man as he was riding home with his two sons earlier this week.

An SUV driver struck Scott Jacobson after making a U-turn, dragging him hundreds of feet before witnesses and firemen from a nearby fire station managed to stop the driver.

Yet even though the driver was clearly trying to flee the scene, not to mention driving with a revoked license and no insurance, he was not charged with hit-and-run. And isn’t facing a single felony count.

As Lynch puts it,

While Matt Willens from the Streetsblog article is right when he says “In general, society — including legislators, judges, and jurors — is quick to identify with a driver who injures a cyclist, rather than with the injured cyclist. People feel bad about punishing someone they can relate to.”

I don’t think a jury will have a hard time convicting an uninsured, unlicensed motorist who dragged a man 300 feet trying to flee. Let’s hope I’m not wrong.

A gofundme account in Jacobson’s name has raised over $27,500 out of the $50,000 goal in a single day.

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Multiple record holder Graeme Obree, aka the Flying Scotsman, feels ignored by the racing world these days, saying his relationship to cycling is like Pluto’s relationship to Earth.

And they’re off on the Giro, with Dutch favorite Tom Dumoulin taking the early lead, while Aussie cyclist Adam Hansen is attempting to finish his 14th Grand Tour in a row, dating back to 2011.

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Local

Caught on video: A friend of CiclaValley is nearly taken out by a speeding driver who used a bike lane to pass a car on the right while he was riding in it.

If you hurry, you may still be able to make the LACBC’s free bike commuter workshop this morning. Meanwhile, they profile Pitzer College cyclist Cade Maldonado, who grew up in the Pico Union neighborhood.

Car crashes are up in Long Beach, as low gas prices encourage more driving — along with more distracted driving.

The third annual Long Beach Bike Festival takes place today, with bicycle themed events throughout the Downtown area.

 

State

Laguna Beach police will hold a bike rodeo and road safety expo on the 15th.

Community leaders are calling for the reopening of a bike crossing between the US and Mexico that was closed after 9/11.

Over 200 mountain bikers kicked off bike month with a 44-mile dirt trail ride across San Diego County to raise funds for the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

A 91-year old Santa Barbara man turned himself in for the hit-and-run that injured a 14-year old boy riding his bike. Seriously, anyone who doesn’t know you have to stick around after a crash shouldn’t be driving.

Great story from Sports Illustrated about a Salinas teenager who competes for his high school mountain bike team on one leg, after losing his right leg to cancer in junior high.

A San Francisco cyclist remembers the terrifying assault he somehow survived a year ago when a road raging driver repeatedly attempted to run him down. The driver confessed to his actions, bizarrely thinking the police would agree he did the right thing; he was eventually convicted of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

Prince was one of us; so apparently is the Marin rehab specialist who was supposed to save him from his addiction to painkillers.

 

National

The Feds make it easier to narrow wide traffic lanes and put protected bike lanes on street projects funded with government money.

Bicycling says it’s never too late to learn how to ride a bike, while a business website says folding bicycles are taking over the commuting world.

An Arizona newspaper congratulates the Department of Transportation for reconsidering plans to remove roadside memorials, such as ghost bikes.

An Iowa driver faces 25 years for killing a cyclist while under the influence — and with a suspended license after a previous DUI conviction; the victim’s parents justifiably decry the “catch-and-release” system that puts dangerous drivers back on the streets.

Chicago Magazine offers a nervous cyclist’s guide to riding more.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a customized tricycle from a special needs kid; hats off to Rockland MA police for getting it back.

A New York man wonders if he did anything wrong when he doored a scofflaw cyclist; the short answer is yes.

New York residential buildings are getting bike friendly, with bike parking, storage and repair rooms and high-end loaner bikes; one building is even giving away $450 bikes to the first 25 buyers. Although with prices starting at over half a million, I’d expect a Cervelo, at least.

A New Orleans man gets 25 years for fatally shooting a man who was stealing his bicycle.

 

International

KCRW’s Madeline Brand talks with the author of The Coyote’s Bicycle, about a Mexican man who used bicycles to smuggle immigrants across the border to avoid detection by sophisticated American ground sensors.

Outgoing London Mayor Boris Johnson leaves a legacy of a bicycling city, even if one rider calls him a prick on his last day in office. Meanwhile, newly elected mayor Sadiq Khan promises to make the city a byword for cycling around the world — which only makes sense since his sister-in-law is former New York DOT maven Janette Sadik-Khan.

A British man got 200 hours of community service for running down his bike-riding FedEx coworker just minutes after they both got off work.

There once was a bike-riding, body armored, shotgun toting man from Limerick, who rode through the streets shooting people at random, and got five and a half years for his crimes. No, it doesn’t rhyme, has no meter and it’s not funny, either.

An Irish cycling group warns young riders not to take caffeine supplements after two teenage cyclists fall ill.

Norway will spend nearly $1 billion in bicycling infrastructure as it aims for zero growth in car use by 2030.

Indian studies show bicycling really is better for you than walking.

A pair of South African women blame a cyclist for causing their car to skid across a freeway and summersault into a ditch in their attempt to avoid them. But if they were really driving slowly enough for a bike rider to pass them, as they claim, how is it they were going fast enough to have a crash like that?

 

Finally…

How could anyone oppose a freaking sidewalk? When Woody hates on bike lanes, New Yorkers fall out of love with Woody.

And I may not be able to read Chinese, but I know a beautiful and utterly amazing kite when I see one. Link courtesy of Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious.

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