Morning Links: Hit-and-runs rising, wife of fallen PVE cyclist John Bacon speaks out, and soda for a cause

This is what you call a teaser.

Amateur bike statistician Ed Ryder has done another deep dive into bike collision data, preparing reports on the national and state level, with local data still in the works.

We’ll take a look at some of his findings next week.

But meanwhile, here’s a preview of what’s to come.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Following a meeting with a local legislator’s office to discuss changing the law to stop hit-and-runs in the state this past week, they asked for stats to back up the need for changes.

So at my request, Ed graciously stopped what he was doing, and produced the following chart to demonstrate just how bad the problem is here in California.

As you can see, hit-and-runs have risen significantly after dropping to a low of nearly 68,000 in 2013, down from over 100,000 in the last decade.

But as the overall collision rate has dropped, hit-and-runs have increased dramatically as a percentage of all reported crashes, with nearly 20% of drivers statewide fleeing the scene following a crash.

Something has to change.

Because current law clearly isn’t enough to get drivers to stick around.

………

Speaking of hit-and-run, KCBS-2 offers a heartbreaking report on the hit-and-run death of bike rider John Bacon in Palos Verdes Estates in May.

His wife struggles to talk about her loss, describing him as “a strong, silent type, a very kind and generous, loving person,” as well as an experienced cyclist who lost his life just going on a bike ride.

Over two months later, police still haven’t made an arrest, despite security camera video showing a white pickup truck following just feet from Bacon’s wheel.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has strongly criticized the PVE police for a lackadaisical approach to the investigation, failing to even respond when a bike rider initially spotted the suspect vehicle.

Bacon’s family is urging the drivers and bicyclists who passed by shortly after the crash to come forward and describe what they saw, so they can finally get some justice in the case.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

Pink Bike reports on efforts to allow bicycles to return to US Wilderness Areas, which may finally be on the brink of success. Write your Congressional representatives to urge their support.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the link.

………

Support bikes and a good cause at the same time.

Galco’s Old World Grocery on York Blvd in Highland Park is hosting a Summer Soda Tasting to help save the Southwest Museum.

However, the store’s owner has fought the highly successful road diet that has helped revitalize York Blvd, as well as the bike lanes that run in front of his store. And still refuses to install bike racks, insisting that his customers don’t get there by bicycle.

Let’s prove him wrong.

Ride your bike to the soda tasting, and as friendly and politely as possible, let them know how you got there. Even if it’s just resting your helmet on the counter as you check out.

They’ll get the message.

………

Pro racing teams are objecting to a requirement that every team has to participate in all 27 UCI top-level WorldTour events.

Three Russian riders are out, and another three are being probed over doping reports in advance of the Rio Olympics.

Everyone’s trying to get a technical edge in Rio. The US has high-tech bikes with the gearing on the wrong side, while the Brits are lubing their chains with nanotubes.

Cycling Weekly asks if bike racing is the toughest sport, while Cycling Tips explores whether team budgets equal racing success. Short answer, yes. To both.

A Claremont Paralympic cyclist is raising funds to compete in Rio next month; born with a congenital foot defect, Samantha Bosco plans to compete in the 3k individual pursuit and 500-meter race, as well as the road race and time trial. You can contribute to her efforts through her gofundme account.

………

Local

Walkup rentals for Downtown’s Metro Bike bikeshare begin on Monday; the program kicks off with a discount rate of $1.75 per half hour through October 1st.

CiclaValley joins with Victor Boyce and Ron Meyer to discuss the ten most essential climbs in Los Angeles, the Tour de France, and the state of bicycling in the East Valley. Although the most essential climb is really just climbing onto your bike for a ride.

LA Rams quarterback Case Keenum arrived at training camp on his wife’s borrowed bicycle, claiming it was the first time he’d been on a bike since he was 12 years old.

Meg Ryan’s directorial debut centers on the life of a young bike messenger during World War II, based on William Saroyan’s book The Human Comedy.

 

State

A 17-year old Irvine student organized a 450-mile, five day fundraising ride to benefit victims of modern slavery and human trafficking; the ride ends Saturday in Laguna Beach.

Police are searching for the hit-and-run driver who injured a woman riding her bike in National City Wednesday night.

Bike SD reports on the network of cycle tracks coming to downtown San Diego.

Construction will begin this February on a bicycle boulevard through Menlo Park. Although it sounds more like just a buffered bike lane.

A jury concludes a pair of Los Altos deputies used excessive force in confronting a driver during a traffic stop, which began when she didn’t pull over for a patrol car — because she didn’t want to run over the bicyclists in the bike lane next to her.

Hundreds of toddlers will converge on San Francisco to race balance bikes. Am I the only one who has a problem with kids as young as 18 months competing against each other? Although I’d love to see the podium girls for this one.

 

National

US Congress Members tell the Department of Transportation to measure the movement of people, however they travel, rather than just cars.

Vogue talks to a model/bike lifestyle company owner about on how to look chic on your bike.

Nevada will break ground this summer on a $30 million bike and pedestrian pathway around Lake Tahoe.

A Denver area man is under arrest for sabotaging a popular bike route by spreading thumb tacks over the roadway; he faces possible misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

Outside says 23-year old Colorado native Howard Grotts is the best American mountain biker in a generation.

A Dallas cyclist created a popular weekly crit to combat the elitist image of local bike racers.

A former Iowa mayor says cyclists should stay on a bike trail instead of the roadway, and have to register and license their bikes if they want to ride on the street.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d shoot a nine-year old Wisconsin boy in the face with a BB gun while he was riding his bike back to his lemonade stand.

A 10-year old Connecticut boy is asking for 1,000 veterans and emergency responders to sign his BMX bike; so far he’s up to 780 signatures with room for more.

NY Streetsblog says cyclists need protection from drivers, not from themselves, even if the NYPD seems to disagree. Meanwhile, the city’s influential Transportation Alternatives advocacy group says the city isn’t doing enough to crack down on driver behavior that threatens people walking and riding bikes.

A passing bike rider talks a possible jumper off New York’s George Washington Bridge.

A Connecticut man is suing New York’s Citi Bike for the head injury he suffered falling off one of the bikeshare bikes, on the grounds that the city didn’t require users to wear a helmet. On the other hand, nothing says he couldn’t have used one on his own without being forced to.

Charlotte NC mourns the death of a “human landmark;” the 73-year old developmentally disabled woman was famous in the city for riding her bike for hours while dressed in orange.

Bighearted Florida sheriff’s deputies donate an unclaimed bike to a hardworking teenager who had no other form of transportation.

 

International

Cycling Industry News lists 20 key cities where mode share for bicycling is growing. Needless to say, Los Angeles is not on the list; Atlanta is the only US city to make the cut.

The CBC says despite recent breakthroughs, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the physics of bicycling.

Winnipeg cyclists say injuries will keep increasing along with ridership until the city gets some decent bike infrastructure.

Kindhearted Manitoba, Canada residents step up after a woman posted a profanity-laced poster asking for her stolen bike back; as many as 50 people have offered to replace it for her.

After getting knocked off her bike, a Toronto reporter says it’s time to rise above road rage and the mentality that cars are the king of the road.

A Brit bike rider is fined £400 — the equivalent of $527 — for blowing a red light; a local safety advocate says cyclists going through red lights poses more danger to themselves than anyone else, which is confirmed by a police report showing no injuries have been caused by red light-running bicyclists.

A London driver allegedly targeted cyclists riding in a bike lane by deliberately running several riders off the road, then getting out and stomping on the cellphone when one of the victims tried to call the police. Yet police describe it simply as a “dispute” between a cyclist and two men in a car.

Tel Aviv builds a multi-million shekel network of bikeways for adaptive riders, allowing handicapped cyclists to take to the trails.

 

Finally…

If you’re using a bicycle as your getaway vehicle, drop the flat screen and take the guns. If you’re going to burglarize cars after dark, put some damn lights on your bike and watch our for cameras.

And every time you ride your bike, you can be grateful you’re not stuck on the nation’s worst highway from hell.

Although it makes you wonder just what the best highway from hell must be like.

 

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