Weekend Links: Cowboy catches bike rustler, Expo bike path really does need signage, and lots of LA bike lane news

No need to round up the posse.

In the best story of the day, an Oregon cowboy rides to the rescue when a women sees someone stealing her bike. He saddles up and chases the thief down, lassoes him like a calf roper and holds the outlaw at bay until the sheriff arrives to take him away.

Good thing for the thief they don’t string up rustlers anymore.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

The other day we linked to a story about the new Expo Line bike path, in which Streetsblog’s Damien Newton pointed out the need for better signage.

An email I received this week points out just how much it’s needed.

Have a Google peek at Metro’s Division 14 yard, where Expo line train cars go to sleep at night.

Last Saturday night, a group of about two dozen cyclists may have been traveling westbound on this path. Upon approach to the “terminus” of the path where it effectively dead-ends at Centinela, they may or may not have crossed the street and continued westbound.

After crossing Centinela, they may have proceeded down a newly paved driveway. It is clearly not a bike path, but as mentioned in Mr. Newton’s Streetsblog post, the signage for the bikeway is rather lacking, and confusing when it is present, so it’s not unusual for cyclists to be shuffled off the Expo path onto a Class II facility, or a high-volume arterial, or whatever this long, long driveway was. The sudden shift in facility type is recognizable as par for the course for Los Angeles bikeway “planning.” Adding to the confusion was Metro’s gigantic graphic M on the side of the overpass for the tracks, indicating Metro property. (Although I envision it as M for Militant.)*

As it turned out, the driveway funneled the cyclists through a small, sleepy parking lot. Continuing forward, the riders rolled past parked cars, with no humans to ask for directions and no signs pointing to the continuation of the bike path.

And then even the parking lot ended. Or, better put: It was easy enough to roll forward, but the only unimpeded path was RIGHT INTO THE CAVERNOUS TRAIN SHED, where the majestic, shiny new Kinki Sharyos slumbered on the tracks, oblivious to the sudden burst of awe and terror and alarmed cussing emanating from the cyclists. This was clearly not an extension of any Metro bikeway; nowhere along its length is the Expo bike path so brightly lighted as that shed.

The riders in front slowed considerably, and very briefly stopped as the slower riders rolled up. There was an immediate chorus of solid consensus: “Let’s get out of here!”

In fear of possible detention by the Sheriff’s deputies, the group rolled westward out the only open shed door, and then dismounted to squeeze through a break in the perimeter fence.

It was a heck of a learning experience. The cyclists now know better, and Metro is doubtlessly re-evaluating its security measures.

*That may or may not be a reference to the Militant Angeleno.

………

Lots of bike lane news today.

As we noted yesterday, the long-delayed MyFigueroa Complete Streets project on South Figueroa will finally break ground this summer, with completion projected for next March.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton attend the opening of the new Fairfax Blvd bike lanes.

The popular Second Street Tunnel, home to LA’s first semi-protected bike lane, is under an emergency closure for repairs after tiles fell from the ceiling; officials hope to reopen it to bike and vehicular traffic by Monday.

Meanwhile, the LA Weekly’s Hillel Aron offers a good look at the problem of LA sheriff’s deputies harassing bicyclists who are riding legally in the city’s Bus Only Lanes.

………

The National Transportation Safety Board has announced it will investigate the Kalamazoo bicycling crash that took the lives of five riders earlier this week. It’s almost unheard of for the NTSB, which usually investigates plane and train disasters, to investigate a traffic collision — and it’s the first bicycle crash they’ve investigated in 30 year. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

The four surviving victims are improving, now ranging from serious to good condition.

CBS News offers photos of all nine victims.

The son of one of the victims wrote on Facebook that he forgives the driver, and hopes the man will make it his mission in life to educate others about the causes of events like this.

A Michigan public radio station asks if the roads are wide enough for bikes and cars. They are if people on four wheels remember they’re operating big, dangerous machines and drive accordingly.

………

Pro cycling’s failing financial model means several teams could go under for lack of sponsorship, jeopardizing the future of the WorldTour. This is the end result of cycling’s ongoing doping scandals, as many backers are choosing to back away from the sport.

British endurance cyclist and Trans-Am Bike Race competitor Lee Fancourt says he fell off his bike due to dehydration, then passed out under a tree for 27 hours before resuming the race. Meanwhile, another competitor in the race is crowdfunding a new bike after hers was stolen just three days from the start.

Does anyone really care about disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis’ efforts to retaliate in court against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong? I didn’t think so.

………

Local

KCBS-2 talks to the West Hollywood bike rider nearly run off the road by a tour bus earlier this week. I understand anchor Jeff Vaughn, who helps introduce the story, is a pretty decent cyclist himself.

The New York Times explains how to spend a weekend in LA by utilizing Metro trains and the coming Metro Bike system. Although that would be a very expensive bikeshare ride to the Eastside, where no docking stations are planned for the foreseeable future.

It’s not every day a sasquatch crashes a South Pasadena city council session to promote the 626 Golden Streets event at the end of this month.

Claremont is planning to convert a section of the famed Route 66 along Foothill Blvd into a bike-friendly Complete Street.

A busy bike weekend gets a little busier, as Chatsworth will host the annual COLT Bike Rally and Health Walk through the historic San Fernando Valley horse country on Sunday. No word on whether there will be any bike rustler roping demos.

CiclaValley says it will be a weekend of highs and lows, with Saturday’s Santa Clarita Ride of Silence honoring Rod Bennett, followed by Sunday’s LA River Ride.

 

State

San Diego plans to trade nearly 500 downtown parking spaces for nine miles of protected bike lanes over the next 20 years. Naturally, merchants prefer the few customers they might lose due to less parking to the many they might gain if people felt safe walking and biking there.

Work is moving forward on a 21-mile inland bike trail in North San Diego County, although a money shortage will leave it with a two mile gap for now.

A Ventura man is under arrest for knocking an acquaintance off his bicycle, then punching and kicking him.

 

National

It’s not unusual to find things when you ride a bike. But an Arizona woman’s cremated remains, not so much.

Caught on video: A security camera catches a Phoenix hit-and-run in horrifyingly graphic detail as the rider goes tumbling over the car; the writer for the automotive website Jalopnik says it looks like the wreck may have been intentional.

NFL legend Brett Farve is one of us, preparing to take part in a Wisconsin ride this weekend on bike custom made for him by Trek.

That New York bikeshare rider who was unceremoniously taken down by the police when he crashed a presidential motorcade was on his way to a hook-up. And pumping Call Me Maybe through his headphones.

Treehugger says language matters when talking about bike and car crashes, after a New York bike rider is first blamed for her fatal crash, then exonerated in later press reports. I always take crash reports with a massive grain of salt, especially initial reports, since they often reflect a bias against bicyclists.

Caught on video 2: A New York driver — with a clergy placard in the window — drives down a separated bike path barely wide enough for his car, while flashing his lights at a cyclist to get out of his way. And they call bike riders entitled?

Atlanta launches their bikeshare system with just 100 bikes at 10 stations, expanding to 500 bikes at 50 locations by the end of the year.

The war on cars has officially begun, as a scruffy-faced Florida bike rider was spotted shooting at cars on a highway.

 

International

Canada’s Ontario province considers stiffer penalties for drivers who run down vulnerable road users.

Toronto passes a watered down bike plan.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a specially adapted bike from a one-armed British cyclist.

It’s now officially faster to ride a bike in Belfast than to drive a car.

You don’t have to speak Norwegian to grasp the idea behind this video, in which a driver is incensed that he’s stuck behind a large group of spandex-clad cyclists and unable to pass. Although in all fairness, the riders could have shown a tad more courtesy. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

 

Finally…

Nothing like accidentally entering a triathlon. Now you can fight the power on your very own Public Enemy 29” BMX bike.

And if you think you’re more likely to be run off the road by the driver of an expensive car, you may be right. And there may be a reason for that.

 

One comment

  1. Steve Cook says:

    These bus drivers need to learn about CVC 21211 and the PD need to enforce it

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