Morning Links: LA rider intentionally doored, and Montana politician tries to ban bikes from state roadways

Now this one’s scary.

An LA bike rider was harassed by the road raging occupants of a car, and intentionally doored by a passenger in the back seat.

Even though the door never made contact with him or his bike, this is a clear case of assault, since the passenger obviously intended to threaten, if not injure, the victim. As such, any case like this can and should be reported to the police — especially when there’s video evidence.

And yes, the cops do want to know about cases like this.

Even if the authorities aren’t able to press charges, it could establish a pattern of behavior if the driver or passengers do something like this again.

The video also provides strong evidence to make a case under LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which entitles victims to $1000 or actual damages, whichever is higher, plus triple damages. As well as reimbursement for any legal fees.

It’s not easy to make a case under the law, since you have to have witnesses and/or corroborating evidence to prove the harassment occurred.

But with a video like this, it should do the trick.

………

After blocking a three-foot passing law in the state legislature, Montana Senate Leader Scott Sales plans to introduce legislation to ban bike riders from many state highways.

Sales’ legislation would prohibit bicycles from any two lane roadway with less than a three-foot shoulder, and require riders to place reflectors on their bodies as well as their bikes. And he’d require bicyclists to pay a special tax to ride on state roadways that they already pay for with their tax dollars.

Never mind that, as Bicycling points out, his proposal would kill the state’s burgeoning bike tourism industry.

His apparent distaste for bicycles and the people who ride them stems from his observation that bike riders are “some of the rudest and most self-centered people [he’s] ever encountered.”

Evidently, he’s never looked in the mirror, since he freely admits to blaring his horn at riders who have the audacity to get in his way. Or encountered many of the motorists he shares the roadways with, for that matter.

Meanwhile, a massive new study says bike riders aren’t really rude, we’re just trying to stay alive.

………

The state issued another $56 million in grants to fund 25 active transportation and Safe Routes to Schools projects in six SoCal Counties, including $15 million for bike lanes in the Arts District in DTLA, bike lane connections at Cal State Long Beach, and a bike track in Santa Ana.

………

Scandal-plagued British Cycling could now risk losing the equivalent of over $21 million in funding for grassroots programs due to concerns over governance of the organization.

A former rider for Team Sky says he broke cycling’s no needles rule to inject himself with vitamins leading up to the Vuelta. Vitamins, sure. Let’s go with that.

A new crowdfunding campaign is attempting to raise $10,000 to make a movie about the legendary Major Taylor, America’s first great bicycling champ, and a groundbreaking African-America athlete.

………

Local

No one was hurt, but a bicycle was mangled when a 45 foot shipping container fell off a big rig. No word on whether someone was riding the bike and jumped off, or if it had been parked.

A writer for City Watch calls CD1 challenger Joe Bray-Ali a ray of hope, saying “If Mr. Smith rode his bike to Washington, he’d look and sound a lot like Joe Bray-Ali.” We could find out today if Bray-Ali will be in a runoff with incumbent Gil Cedillo, when the latest vote counts are released.

The formerly anti-bike LA Weekly looks at seven group rides for cyclists new to LA streets, starting with next week’s CicLAvia.

The LACBC is hosting a Green on the Ground bike ride at noon today in Downtown LA.

DASH bus service to the Griffith Observatory will begin next week, part of a so-far successful effort to keep Mt. Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park from being opened to motor vehicles.

Travis Stork, host of The Doctors, is one of us, keeping his three bikes on the walls of his Hancock Park apartment, including a $10,000 Specialized Roubaix.

Santa Monica is considering new plans to make it safer for students who walk or bike to school at the city’s Edison Language Academy.

According to the Santa Clarita Signal, sheriff’s deputies arrested a homeless man for riding his bike at night without lights, then says he was issued a citation. Something is seriously wrong if he was actually arrested, since riding without lights is a simple traffic violation, not a misdemeanor or felony offense subject to arrest. He should have been stopped, cited and sent on his way; let’s hope that’s what really happened. And someone please tell them it’s not that homeless people refuse to disclose their occupation; they usually just don’t have one.

 

State

San Diego cyclists will take a two-day, 90 mile tour of the coastline this weekend in honor of a beloved local bike advocate and cycling instructor who was killed in Oregon in 2014 near the beginning of a planned ride from Canada to Mexico.

A pitcher for the Padres has been on the bench since he pulled an endo last weekend when the front tire of his bicycle blew and he went over the handlebars.

The Inland Empire region receives a $13 million state grant for active transportation, including bike projects in Highland, Redlands and the Coachella Valley.

Sad news from Tulare, where a 69-year old bike rider was killed in a crash after allegedly running a red light. As always, the question is whether anyone other that the driver involved witnessed the crash and saw whether the light was red or green.

Berkeley police say it wasn’t excessive speed or impairment that was responsible for the collision that killed a 78-year old bike rider last month, blaming poor lighting, rain and a wet roadway. Yet that would suggest a violation of the state’s basic speed law, which prohibits driving too fast for current conditions. Or is that only used as an excuse the ticket bike riders these days?

More bad news, this time from Sacramento, where yet another bike rider was murdered by a hit-and-run driver; police are looking for the owner of a two-tone utility truck.

Caltrans plans to install center rumble strips on a 30-mile segment of Highway 1 in Marin County, while widening the shoulders to improve safety for bicyclists.

 

National

People for Bikes makes clear what many of us had feared — Trump’s proposed new budget will be bad for bikes.

Apple applies for a patent for a new way to calculate a cyclist’s performance from wind resistance and other factors, suggesting they may develop a new form of power meter.

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, you could turn your bicycle into an ebike just by swapping out your front wheel, for less than half the price of the Copenhagen Wheel.

Judging by the headline, Texas police apparently arrested a self-driving car for hit-and-run; or maybe someone was actually driving it, after all.

A Missouri mother is organizing a non-profit to aid the victims of hit-and-runs. Great idea, but sad that it’s even necessary.

A Chicago crash shows the difficulty bike riders face in getting justice following a hit-and-run.

Witnesses report the suspect in the shooting of two Detroit cops had been seen riding a bicycle similar to the one used by the person who killed a Wayne State University cop last year.

Defense attorneys argue that second degree murder charges should be dropped against the — allegedly — stoned driver who killed five Kalamazoo MI bicyclists because prosecutors failed to show that a combination of amphetamine, meth, hydrocodone and tramadol would have affected his ability to drive. On the other hand, they certainly didn’t improve it.

Now that’s what I call a bike tour. The owner of a Rhode Island bar plans to ride across the US sampling microbrews along the way to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis.

The rich get richer. New York cyclists can look forward to a new two-way protected bike lane leading eight miles up to the Brooklyn Bridge. And actually resulting in more parking spaces for a change.

A local news site asks if South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island is doing enough to keep bicyclists safe; the only gold-level bicycle friendly community in the Southeast, it ranks just 17th out of 20 in terms of safety.

Friends have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for Florida bike advocate and bicycle writer Alan Snel, who was injured in a collision last week; it has raised nearly $6,400 of the $10,000 goal as of Thursday night.

 

International

A globe trotting guide to bicycling through the wine country, from Napa to Tuscany.

A one-woman Canadian performance illustrates the role bicycles played in the emancipation of women, starting with the story of Annie Londonderry, the first woman who biked around the world.

A new study of London bicycling shows bike riders experience an average of one close call at intersections every two weeks.

A man takes one of London’s bikeshare bikes on a tour of seven cities on three continents, and returns it with a £300 late fee — the equivalent of $371.

Caught on video: Passersby confront a masked Brit bike thief, but back off when he brandishes an axe.

The British man who put up his own No Cycling signs on a pathway where bicycling is allowed says he can’t be anti-cycling since he rides a bike himself.

This is why people continue to die on the streets. A UK van driver was given a suspended sentence for running over a doored bicyclist who fell into his path — even though he fled the scene and was three times over the legal limit for drunk driving. His lawyer claimed he only started drinking after the wreck, though he was still drunk from the previous day. Seriously, that’s an excuse?

After elite German police shoot a man on a bike who was carrying a horror mask, the press speculates he may be a terrorism suspect.

In the latest criminal scandal from Down Under, cyclists are breaking the law by removing bells and horns from their bicycles, making them subject to fines as high as $775 — around $600 US — if they fight the ticket in court.

Chinese app-based bikeshare company Ofo has decided the way to get users to take better care of their bikes is to flood the streets with even more, so they know another bike will be readily available. Um, probably not.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who doesn’t need an environmentally friendly bamboo ebike? Nothing like riding with a Jack Russell on your back.

And clearly, stunt cycling is nothing new; check out this performance on a golden fixie from1965.

3 comments

  1. James says:

    I’ve had passengers open the door after the car they were in passed me (poor timing, spatial reasoning skills?) and I’ve seen presumably unintentional doorings but never have seen an intentional dooring come so close to working. Is there video or the harassment prior to the attempted dooring.

    I’d like to ask readers if they experience a type of apparent harassment I face on a daily basis. A car will swerve into the bike lane just as it passes me and drive in the bike lane for some distance. Somehow I’ve never been hit. I find it hard to believe that these drivers are so skilled and so familiar with the dimensions of their cars that they can plan a vehicular harassment so close without hitting me. This is a common experience for me in Long Beach, Huntington Beach and Fountain valley. I assume it is their way of telling me to get out of the road and onto the sidewalk.

    • I occasionally see drivers cross into the bike lane after they pass me. The move is slow, as if they’re just not paying attention.

      I wear very bright clothing and have a REALLY bright taillight, so I get the impression that these drivers see me, avoid me, and then once they’ve passed me slip back into whatever semi-conscious state they were in before they passed me.

      Whatever the true explanation is, it doesn’t do anything to add to my confidence while riding on the street.

    • Michael says:

      From the video explanation, he started videoing after they harassed him and then they attempted to door him right on cue: “Honked & yelled at for 2 blocks along 7th St. In DTLA, Los Angeles. So, I pulled out phone to record in case. Passenger intentionally tries to door cyclist and physically threaten.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: