Search results for Jordan Ames

Breaking news: Bike rider killed on 5 Freeway in Santa Ana

This one doesn’t make a lot of sense.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, a male bike rider was killed while riding on the 5 Freeway in Santa Ana last night.

The collision took place on the southbound I-5 north of 4th Street just before 11 pm, when the rider was struck by multiple vehicles. The victim has not been publicly identified; no word on whether authorities know who he was, or if it is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

No information is given for how the collision occurred, or whether he was riding on the shoulder or in the traffic lanes. However, there is an exit ramp at 4th; if he was attempting to continue on the freeway it would have put him in the path of exiting vehicles.

And no explanation is given for what he was doing on the freeway at that hour. Or at all.

Hopefully more information will become available later that will shed light on this troubling case.

This is the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Orange County; that compares to just two in the county this time last year. And he is the fifth cyclist to be killed in Santa Ana in the last 36 months.

Update: It gets even stranger.

According to the Orange County Register, 21-year old Tustin resident Jordan Ames was riding south in the center carpool lane — not the right shoulder — when he veered in front of traffic and was hit by a Honda CRV. He was then thrown into the main traffic lanes, where he was hit multiple times.

How he even got to the car pool lane on a busy freeway — let alone what he was doing there — is still to be determined. A lot of questions will have to be answered before this one makes any sense.

Meanwhile, a commenter describes coming on the scene in the immediate aftermath of the crash. But be warned, the description is very graphic; you may not want to read it.

 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jordan Ames and his loved ones.

Thanks to James Johnson of Johnson Attorneys Group for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Camarillo hit-and-run driver, more on Governors’ bike safety study, and a bicycle bike workstand

Another day, another heartless hit-and-run coward.

Camarillo police are searching for the driver who fled the scene after rear-ending a man riding his bike on Lewis Road near Dawson Drive early Sunday morning, leaving the victim with major injuries.

Unfortunately, there’s no description of the hit-and-run driver or suspect vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to call Senior Deputy Sam Dominguez at 805/388-5146.

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More on the new study we mentioned yesterday from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

The report called for better infrastructure, enforcement and education, along with better training for in state and local bike laws for police.

The study was also just the latest to name Florida as the most dangerous state to ride a bike.

Meanwhile, the next time someone criticizes Vision Zero without understanding what they’re talking about, you can point them to this newly updated Policy Platform from the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance.

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Now this is a creative solution.

A British bike mechanic adapted his bicycle into a mobile workstand to create the ultimate fully mobile bike repair shop.

 

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Mark your calendar for the 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards, aka Wanky Awards, at the Strand Brewing Company in Torrance on October 14th.

Cycling in the South Bay has a list of this year’s nominees, as well as past winners.

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Cycling Weekly offers highlights of Thursday’s stage 6 of the Vuelta, where American Tejay van Garderen remained in the GC hunt, despite suffering a pair of crashes.

An Aussie Olympic track cyclist was arrested and charged with six counts of selling ecstacy; Jack Bobridge had retired from racing last year after winning silver in team pursuit in the 2012 and 2016 games.

Russia’s anti-doping agency has banned marathon cyclist Alexei Medvedev for two years for using performance enhancing drugs. But seriously, the doping era is over, right?

And a special congratulations to eight-year old Taylor Rungaitis; the Simi Valley 3rd grader is now a world champion after winning her age group at the UCI 2017 BMX World Challenge in Rock Hill SC.

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Local

CiclaValley looks forward to those promised bicycling improvements to 7th Street in DTLA. As does pretty much anyone else who has the misfortune of riding it.

If you’re going to have a heart attack while riding your bike, do it in front of a Pasadena fire station.

Hermosa Beach approved its first comprehensive planning document in 36 years, calling for a citywide network of bike lanes and mixed-use development in the downtown area.

Sad to see Long Beach’s Seafarer chapel go; it will be torn down next week to make way for an off-ramp and bike path for the new bridge being built to replace the aging Gerald Desmond bridge.

The Downey Bicycle Coalition is hosting an Art Party Ride this Saturday.

 

State

A bicyclist and a motorcyclist were both critically injured in San Diego yesterday morning when the bike rider reportedly crossed over the path of the motorcyclist to make a left against the light.

A 38-year old San Bernardino man was arrested as the so-called “Bicycle Bandit,” accused of riding his bicycle to set eight fires in an Bernardino and Highland, including a brush fire that burned 700 acres.

Ventura County officials are drawing plans for a three-mile bike lane on a stretch of Potrero Road through Hidden Valley that’s popular with cyclists.

A recovering addict says he’ll never get the chance to thank the officer who arrested him in 2014 for changing his life by treating him like a human being, after the off-duty Modesto police sergeant was killed riding his bicycle Tuesday evening.

San Francisco bicyclists threaten to boycott businesses who demanded that a new bikeshare station be removed because the businesses weren’t consulted before it was installed.

San Francisco riders criticize plans for a protected bike lane that ignores the mixing zones at intersections.

Volunteers with the Petaluma Police Department fix up unclaimed bicycles and donate them to local nonprofit organizations.

 

National

A coming bike industry report says ebikes are the industry’s fasted growing category, older Americans account for 1/3 of all new bicyclists, Latinos ride more than any other racial group and low-income people ride more than anyone else. So much for the myth of the rich, elite cyclists.

Portland completes a 9-mile, $4.5 million bikeway through the city, although it frequently jogs to side streets to preserve street parking in commercial districts. So even in bike friendly Portland, they prefer parking spaces to customers on bicycles. Even though the former can be converted to much better uses.

Oregon police arrested the woman who fled the scene after demanding the bike rider she hit pay for the damages to her car. But not until she returned to the scene of the crime, crashed into a tree and ran over her passenger.

The kickers for the Oregon State University football team are two of us, riding the streets of Corvallis on their new tandem bicycle. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

How to explore Chicago on a bikeshare bike.

Heartwarming story from Minnesota, where a five-year old girl born with no arms rides a bicycle for the first time thanks to a custom-made prosthetic device.

Michigan police have identified the hit-and-run driver who killed a bike-riding nun, but no charges have been filed yet. The suspect was found after filing a false police report that he had hit a deer.

NIMBY Massachusetts homeowners literally say Not In My Back Yard to a proposed bike path.

An 84-year old man recalls winning a 1949 boy’s bike race in Valdosta GA after a picture of his victory unexpectedly appears in the local paper.

 

International

A Canadian bike rider has his journey across the country halted when someone stole his locked bike and all his gear in front of a Winnipeg Walmart; however, local residents have been contributing to replace it.

The husband of the London woman killed by a brakeless fixie rider calls for changes in the law to treat bike riders like motorists when someone is killed or injured by a cyclist. Someone should tell him most killer drivers walk away with just a light caress on the wrist.

A London bike courier explains why he rides brakeless. And why he’ll probably put one on his bike now.

The co-host of the Good Morning Britain TV show blew up at a bicycling advocate on yesterday’s show when he wasn’t satisfied with the answers to his questions. Meanwhile, a man on another show blasted a bicycle advocate for saying only a minority of riders break the law, while calling for all bicyclists to be registered.

An Australian driver claimed he was blinded by the sun when he plowed into a dozen cyclists while making a U-turn, injuring five riders, one critically. So why couldn’t he see the riders before he made his turn? Or if he was already blinded, why the hell would he make a U-turn when he can’t see where he was going?

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a police bike minutes after being released on a shoplifting charge. Seriously, don’t stab your bike-riding former partner in crime in the butt just because he wants to go straight.

And that’s one sketchy DIY ebike.

But this one looks like a blast.

Literally.

Morning Links: Beverly Hills approves SaMo Blvd bike lanes, Echo Park hit-and-run, and your new bike safety jam

It’s good news from Beverly Hills, for a change.

Several sources — including Better Bike’s Mark Elliot and the city’s mayor — tweeted late last night that the city council voted unanimously to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd as part of the current reconstruction of the iconic street.

Credit Elliot, who never gave up on the seemingly lost cause, despite years of rejection from the city.

Maybe it’s time to stop calling it the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Or maybe we should wait until there’s paint on the ground, just to be safe.

Update: Mark Elliot has written his story on the approval — including the news that the council voted to make the lanes hi-viz, which will piss off the film industry. Meanwhile, Joni Yung reported live from the meeting on Facebook.

Thanks to Joni for the heads-up.

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Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after hitting a bike rider, leaving his victim writhing in pain.

KCAL-9 reports Michael Starr was not seriously injured in the crash caught on security camera on Alvarado Street near Sunset Blvd in Echo Park early Friday morning.

But Starr had no way of knowing that at the time. And neither did the driver who hit him.

The suspect is described as being about 30 years old, with olive skin and a dark goatee. His car appeared to be a 5 or 7 Series BMW with a license plate starting with WXP.

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People for Bikes unveils their new Bike Days of Summer campaign to get people out on their bikes, with one day each month dedicated to a specific theme.

Although we already missed the first one.

Besides, they’ll have a hard time topping this bike safety jam.

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Caught on video: A Mexico City cyclist goes on a hair-raising ride to rescue a runaway dog and return it to its owner.

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Federal prosecutors lay out why they’re picking on Lance Armstrong in their $100 million lawsuit, even though he wasn’t the only one on the US Postal team who doped. Odds are team leaders knew exactly what was going on, as well. But Lance makes a convenient, and high profile, scapegoat.

Meanwhile, Lance’s lawyers want Greg LeMond and Betsy Andreau to be prevented from testifying, and USADA decision than detailed his doping regimen barred from evidence.

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Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes a look inside RAAM, calling it the toughest ultra-endurance race of all.

The Orange County Register reports on the June 11th Ladera Ranch Gran Prix, just a tad late.

VeloNews says LA’s own 24-year old cyclist Coryn Rivera is just getting started, despite 71 national titles.

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Local

Improvements are finally coming to the Ballona Creek bike path, which will be under construction — but not closed — for the next three weeks between Sepulveda and Lincoln Blvds.

An LA company is introducing a new e-cargo bike on Kickstarter; right now, you can pre-order yours for the low, low price of just $2,799.

The LA Times reviews Blood Road, the documentary about champion cyclist Rebecca Rusch’s bike tour along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to visit the remote site where her father died in the Vietnam War.

Caught on video: Someone broke a window at Burbank’s H&S bike shop, stealing a pair of Rocky Mountain bikes worth around $4,000 apiece; two other bikes have been stolen from them in recent weeks.

South Pasadena will hold the groundbreaking for the Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail this Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

Bike SGV discovers the first signs of incipient bikeshare coming to Pasadena.

The Malibu city council hears the recommendations of the PCH parking study, which really addresses safety on the deadly roadway through the lens of improving parking. However, no word on what they intend to do as a result.

Skip the traffic and ride your bike to Santa Monica’s Twilight Concerts on the Pier, and take advantage of the bike valet. The same goes for this weekend’s inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Rose Bowl.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Caltrans Sustainability Director Ellen Greenberg about changes in the state transportation agency.

Fullerton announces plans to create a two-mile bike boulevard along Wilshire Blvd, to be completed late next year. LA’s bike plan calls for a network of Bicycle Friendly Streets as the city calls them, exactly zero of which have been built. And probably won’t.

Once again, a dangerous driver manages to stay on the road until it’s too late, as a Menifee bike rider suffered severe, but not life-threatening, injuries when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver with a suspended license and history of DUIs.

If you were planning on mountain biking in Hemet’s Simpson Park any time soon, you might want to change your plans; it’s closed for the foreseeable future due to fire danger.

Bixby the Dog received the “bone to the city” in San Luis Obispo Tuesday; the rescue dog had been traveling the country by ebike with his owner to promote animal rescue until stopping in SLO to have some malignant growths removed.

 

National

An Alaska teenager competing in a mountain bike 5K trail race was killed by a black bear in a rare predatory attack after he veered off the trail and got lost; he had called his brother to say he was being chased by the bear. Despite what this story says, he was actually competing in a running race, not on a mountain bike. Which doesn’t make it any less tragic. Thanks to Mark for the correction.

Detroit hopes new bicycling infrastructure can help reverse an increase in deaths and serious injuries.

The murder of a young Muslim woman in Virginia wasn’t a hate crime, unless hatred of people walking and on bikes qualifies; the teenager was part of a group that got into a dispute with the road raging driver, who hit her with a baseball bat, then dumped her body in a pond. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the murderous jerk who killed her. Thanks once again to Megan Lynch.

 

International

David Suzuki writes that two centuries after their invention, bicycles are still the most efficient and beneficial form of transportation we have.

A city in the Netherlands installs a 3D-printed concrete bike and pedestrian bridge at virtually no cost by using recycled materials along with the 3D-printing.

A German politician parks his cargo bike in the middle of a traffic lane to pop into a bakery to protest drivers who use the same excuse to park in a bike lane.

Hit-and-run is not just an American phenomenon. An Iraqi cyclist was the victim of a speeding driver who fled the scene after fatally striking him.

An Australian TV network looks at the partnership between the country’s Deacon University and America’s only remaining Tour de France winner to dramatically cut the cost of producing carbon fiber for a wide range of applications.

The competition among China’s dockless bikeshare companies claimed its first victim after 90% of the company’s bike were lost or stolen because, unlike its competitors, it neglected to install GPS on them.

 

Finally…

Bicycle touring is seldom boring, but now it’s a board game. Also not boring, your very own bicycle wall of death.

And you can see all kinds of things when you ride a bike. Like Irish people schtupping, for instance.

Low Speed E-Bikes Given Bicycle Privileges

Bikes Have Rights™
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

 

On Oct. 7, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1096 that gives two of the three classes of electric bikes the right to access bike paths and bike lanes. This is the first of its kind of legislation in the country, and it is a sign that e-bikes are coming of age.

AB 1096, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016, divides electric bikes into three classes:

  • Type 1: Pedal-assisted machines with a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph
  • Type 2: Throttle-assisted machines with a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph;
  • Type 3: Pedal-assisted bikes with a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph.

As of 2017, electric bike manufacturers must label e-bikes as a Type 1, 2, or 3. The infographic below by People for Bikes and the California Bicycle Coalition explains the policy more completely.

e-bike-graphic-trimmed

E-bikes are gaining in popularity, and not just with seniors, people with injuries or disabilities, families, and those who have particularly long or uphill commutes. These bikes are quickly going mainstream because they’re fun to ride and adaptable to various conditions.

Though AB 1096 permits various classes of e-bikes to ride in or on various bike paths and lanes (as indicated on the chart above), be aware of where e-bikes still may not be permitted to ride, unless specifically indicated in these areas:

  • Bike paths and roads that are not under federal or state vehicle codes (an example would be a bike path in a county park).
  • Natural surface paths in parks, like mountain bike trails, and open space areas.

Most importantly, counties, cities and other government entities still have the right to regulate e-bikes, just as they have the right to regulate bicycle usage with their domains.

Since we’re discussing e-bikes’ rights and responsibilities under the law, let’s go a little further. In 2001, the United States Congress passed Public Law 107-319. It stated that electric bicycles and tricycles that meet the definition of low-speed electric bicycles are regulated by the federal Consumer Product Safety Act versus mopeds and motorcycles that have the ability to exceed the speed of an electric bicycle. The latter are regulated by the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

States then passed their own laws regulating e-bikes. In California, low-speed (up to 20 mph) e-bikes have all the rights and responsibilities of a motor vehicle, just as a bicycle does. E-bike riders do not need a driver’s license, license plate or insurance. You must be at least 16 years old to ride an e-bike, and if you are age 17 or younger, you must wear a bicycle helmet.

Now with AB 1096, you can ride an e-bike almost anywhere you can ride a bicycle. But remember, all the traffic laws – from stop signs to traffic signals and to phone and text use and from riding with traffic and having working brakes, handlebars, and lights on your bike – all apply to you on your e-bike.

There are a couple of potential legal issues that I see facing e-bike riders. The most important one in my mind is the issue of insurance. As I said, no insurance is required for an e-bike in California.

I have read online that dealers believe that if your e-bike is stolen, it is likely that your homeowner’s or rental insurance policy would cover the theft. They do suggest that you contact your insurance agent to confirm that.

My apprehension is whether your uninsured motorist insurance would cover you if you are in a collision and the driver of the motor vehicle is either uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover you if the collision results in serious injuries or a wrongful death. A cyclist riding a bicycle who has a collision is covered by his/her uninsured motorist insurance. Is a cyclist on an e-bike similarly covered?

This is a very important point, and it’s why we always recommend that a cyclist increase his/her uninsured motorist insurance as high as their insurance company will permit. It’s pennies on the dollar and if you’re in a collision, it could mean that you have a much easier time of restarting your life.

Your uninsured motorist insurance kicks in if the driver does not have insurance, if the driver does not have enough insurance to cover the damage he/she caused, or in the event of a hit and run when the driver is not found.

Does your uninsured motorist insurance cover you on an e-bike? I urge you to contact your insurance agency and ask. If they say “yes,” get it in writing!

It is also worth noting that regardless of what type of bike you are riding, it is illegal to ride under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Besides the obvious, I see a potential legal issue here also.

In 1985, California passed Vehicle Code 21200.5, which made cycling (or bicycling) under the influence a CUI rather than a DUI. A CUI is a misdemeanor and it will show up on your record as a conviction. It also carries a $250 fine but no jail time. If the individual is under 21, a CUI conviction can result in the suspension of the person’s driver’s license.

In my mind it is unclear whether riding a Type 1 or a Type 2 e-bike under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol would be categorized as a CUI or a DUI if you were stopped by law enforcement.

Cal. Veh. Code § 231, specifically defines a bicycle as a device upon which any person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one of more wheels. It says that persons riding bicycles are subject to the provisions of this code (CUI) specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5.

A moped rider who is under the influence is subject to the drunk driving laws (DUIs). This was decided in 1977 by the California Court of Appeal in People v. Jordan, 75 Cal. App.3d Supp.1. The court specifically stated that because it had a motor it did not fall under the CUI law.

There doesn’t seem to be any law on the books at this time that would remove Type 1 or Type 2 e-bikes from DUI law. My best advice would be to not test the law and to not ride under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (illegal OR prescription drugs).

So the next time you see an e-bike in a bike lane, remember, it, too, has the right to be there.

 

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

For more than 25 years, Jim Pocrass has represented people who were seriously injured, or families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death, due to the carelessness or negligence of another. Jim is repeatedly named to Best Lawyers of America and to Southern California Super Lawyers for the outstanding results he consistently achieves for his clients. Having represented hundreds of cyclists during his career, and Jim’s own interest in cycling, have resulted in him becoming a bicycle advocate. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Jim Pocrass at 310.550.9050 or at [email protected].

 

 

Weekend Links: Parking protected biking finally comes to LA; gunman guilty in shooting of San Diego bicyclist

LA takes a big step forward, as Northridge gets the city’s first parking protected bike lane.

The new Reseda Blvd bike lane uses the parking lane, and the cars in them, to form a protective barrier between bikes and motor vehicle traffic on the busy street. Even if some drivers don’t seem to get the idea.

The sidewalk got a makeover, too.

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The man accused of shooting and killing a developmentally disabled San Diego bike rider just for the hell of it has pled guilty to first degree murder.

Twenty-two-year old Humberto Emanuel Galvez leaned out of a car window and shot Jordan Hickey with a shotgun as Hickey was just blocks from his home as he rode home from visiting his girlfriend four years ago.

Galvez will be sentenced to life without parole for the shooting; by pleading guilty, he took a possible death sentence off the table.

His partner in the crime, 24-year old Juan Ignacio Gomez, also faces life without parole after being convicted last week.

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Local

Routing bike riders onto alternate back streets that don’t form a complete grid isn’t the right answer, a lesson CiclaValley says ostensibly bike-friendly CD4 candidate Carolyn Ramsay needs to learn.

Flying Pigeon explains why the upcoming school board election should matter to you, whether or not you have kids.

KPCC correctly notes that LA’s incomplete bike network makes it impossible to cross the city using designated bikeways. Although they could have found a more current map.

Good ideas are contagious. The success of CicLAvia prompts Glendale to consider their own ciclovía on Brand Blvd this September.

 

State

A 13-year old bike rider suffers non-life threatening injuries when he’s apparently right hooked by the driver of a car.

Build it, and they will come in droves. Buffered bike lanes in San Diego result in a 347% increase in ridership since 2012.

Former baseball great Curt Schilling joins with other San Diego residents to help replace the 18 custom bikes stolen from wounded vets; so far, they’ve raised $25,000 to replace bikes valued at $45,000.

San Diego cyclists will gather on April 19th for the second annual 35.5-mile memorial ride to honor long-time cyclist and bike advocate Gordy Shields. We’re still waiting for LA to do something, anything, to memorialize our own Alex Baum after his passing.

Plans for a 48-mile bike path through the Coachella Valley could be jeopardized as Rancho Mirage threatens to pull its support.

San Francisco’s bike share program could expand from the current 700 bikes to 7,000 bikes in cities throughout the Bay Area.

A San Francisco bike theft victim gets his $7,000 ebike back when the built-in GPS pinpoints its location.

Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who plowed into three SF cyclists, seriously injuring one, as she fled after rear-ending a car and before hitting another one.

 

National

I want one. Or maybe two. Trek’s Bontrager line introduces a new tail light designed for daytime use, said to be brighter than a car taillight and visible for over a mile away.

A Harvard study says police are still using outdated collision report forms, missing out on vital data that could help prevent bike collisions; Los Angeles cyclists have been asking the LAPD to improve their forms for years.

Despite complaints, a Portland road diet slows drivers an average of just one minute per trip.

Nice story. A 12-year old boy in my hometown who was born without arms will soon be able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to the efforts of his new friend.

A Milwaukee writer says it’s not riding a bike that’s hazardous to your health.

A Minnesota public library is introducing The Book Bike, a bicycle-towed trailer designed to bring books to local kids.

Even the Motor City is getting its first parking-protected bike lane.

Some people just don’t get it. A Syracuse paper says parking is more important than bike lanes, even though getting more people on bikes could reduce the need for it.

A New Yorker who helped paint the city’s first ghost bike says he’ll keep building them until they aren’t needed anymore.

The Baltimore bishop accused in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider has pled not guilty; she faces trial on June 4th. So much for confession being good for the soul.

New Orleans cyclists turn to social media to track down suspected bike thieves.

No bias here, as a Florida rider died after being doored, yet the local press blames him for running into it. Note to Tampa Bay Times: If someone dies of his injuries, they were life threatening, even if they didn’t appear that way at first.

 

International

Montreal cyclists say the city has a long way to go to improve safety; a new bike path could have only been designed by someone who doesn’t ride.

A two-year old Brit boy is the proud owner of perhaps the world’s only penny farthing balance bike.

Paris plans to double the size of its bike lane network to over 860 miles in the next five years, including protected bike lanes on the Champs Elysees and other major avenues. Seriously, if they can do it there…

VeloNews looks at Easter Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

At least Mercedes AMG didn’t build yet another high-end racing bike, like so many other car makers dabbling in bicycling. They built a mountain bike instead.

Bystanders join together to lift a car off a Chinese cyclist when she’s pinned underneath following a collision. For some reason, though, they illustrated the story with a photo from CicLAvia, and a caption about LA’s planned bike share program.

 

Finally…

Someone stole the new sign asking people to stop pooping on an Illinois bike path; to be honest, given the opportunity, I might have taken it myself. When you’re wanted on two outstanding warrants and carrying nine packets of heroin on your bike, put a damn bell on your bike if that’s what the law requires.

And yes, biking under the influence is illegal in California, as a San Raphael rider blows twice the legal limit after blowing a stop sign.

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Please accept my best wishes for a happy Passover, a happy Easter, or just a damn fine weekend, whatever you may observe.

 

Update: 89-year old bike rider killed in San Diego; police blame the victim

Sadly, it couldn’t last.

After suffering just three bicycling fatalities in the first six weeks of the year, four Southern California bike riders have lost their lives in just the last week.

The latest, an 89-year old man who reportedly rode out into traffic on a busy San Diego street.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was leaving a parking lot on Imperial Avenue near Marketplace Avenue around 10 am Tuesday. The paper reports he rode straight out into the roadway, heading north, despite a right turn only sign.

He made it nearly all the way across the four lane avenue before he was struck by a pickup traveling west in the right lane.

No word on how fast the driver was going, or why he wasn’t able to stop in time. Despite the apparent victim blaming in the U-T report, and another from KUSI-TV suggesting he rode “directly” in front of the oncoming truck, he should have been visible to the driver after crossing three lanes of traffic.

The victim was taken to a hospital with a broken pelvis and major head injuries; he died there later the same day.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

Note:I am not attempting to blame the driver in this collision. As billsd and Jennifer point out in the comments below, the victim appears to have broken the law in some way and may well bear at least some responsibility.

What I am questioning is how the collision could have occurred as it has been reported. A cyclist who manages to make it almost all the way across a four lane roadway cannot be described as riding out into traffic, let alone directly; it had to be clear at least part of the way for him to make it that far. So the question becomes why the driver was unable to see and avoid someone who presumably was riding slowly across the street, and why the victim thought he could make it across. 

Maybe the driver’s view was obstructed by another vehicle; maybe the victim couldn’t see the car coming or misjudged its speed. We simply don’t know based on the limited information available. 

Another possibility is that the police gave the wrong direction for which way the victim was traveling. If he was headed south out of the cemetery on the north side of the road, rather than north out of the shopping center parking lot to the south — where there is no exit, as billsd points out — then he might have ridden out in front of an oncoming car, and the driver may have been unable to stop in time.

All I know is that this story does not make sense as it has been reported.

And as Jennifer points out, I may have been overly critical of the press, as they appear to have relied on the information provided by the police.As a result, I have changed the headline which initially criticized the news sources for blaming the victim.

Update: A comment from Bill Jordan may clear up the confusion. He suggests the collision could have occurred further west at the parking lot drive identified as Edgefield Way, which does have a no right turn sign, and roughly correspond’s with the KUSI report, which placed the collision on the 4300 block of Imperial Ave.

He also says the site is just west of a hill, as well as trees in the median, both of which could have hidden the victim and the driver from one another until it was too late.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family. 

 

A heartwarming story to end your week, a bunch of legal updates and week’s worth of links

Now that there’s finally a lull in this week’s rash of bad news, let’s catch up on all the news that’s been on hold this week.

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First off, maybe you remember the story.

It was about a year and a half back, when I told the tale of a hero bus rider who jumped off his Commuter Express bus after a long day at the DWP to stop a bike thief, and rescue the prized ride of a total stranger.

It’s one of my favorite stories I’ve told on here, second only, perhaps, to a pair of female triathletes who saved two men from drowning off the Malibu coast.

And I was there last year when Good Samaritan Hospital, where the owner of the bike, Dan McLaughlin, serves as a vice president, honored him at the annual Blessing of the Bicycles.

But after that, I lost track of the story until L.A. Times writer Nita Lelyveld gave me a call a few weeks back.

What I didn’t know was that the story didn’t end that day when McLaughlin handed his bike’s rescuer a plaque in front of a group of gathered cyclists. They had become friends, bonding over bikes, and Bolivar and his wife had even taken to riding a tandem together.

It’s a beautiful story. And one that Nita tells beautifully.

It’s definitely a must read, if you haven’t already.

………

My apologies to Shane Feldon.

I had promised to write this week about a new light system currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. Unlike other bike lights, it doesn’t just attach to your handlebars, but actually is a structural part of your bike.

So it’s always there when you need it, and you never have to worry about forgetting it or having it stolen.

Unless they take your whole bike, of course.

Sadly, there’s only a few hours left to get funded, and it looks like it’s going to end up well short. But if you’ve got some money to invest — or happen to own a bike company — this looks like a great idea with a lot of potential.

………

Nineteen-year old Korean college student Jin Hyuk Byun has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of hit-and-run causing death for allegedly killing 18-year old Angel Bojorquez as he rode home from work in Rancho Santa Fe last Friday.

The judge recognized the risk Byun posed, calling him “an extreme danger to the community,” as he raised Byun’s bail from $50,000 to $1 million, according to the North County Times.

The NC Times also reports that Byun allegedly stopped after killing Bojorquez — not to render aid or call for help, but to push a broken headlight assembly back into place and strip the torn rubber from his tire before driving home on the bare rim.

Remarkably, he faces a maximum of just four years in prison for leaving another human being to die on the side of the road.

Surely there are other charges the DA can file.

Vehicular homicide might be a good start.

………

In other legal news, the Highland Community News confirms that Patrick Roraff has entered a guilty plea in the 2010 death of pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado, as we discussed Monday; co-defendant Brett Morin is still pleading not guilty.

Dj Wheels reports that Phillip Goldburn Williams, charged with vehicular manslaughter in the July, 2010 death of cyclist Victor Apaseo-Rodriguez in Downtown L.A., has been convicted after changing his plea to no contest.

And walked away with a slightly bruised wrist.

Williams received a three years of probation, $194 in fees, 20 days of Caltrans road work, and 160 hours of community service. Oh, and a whopping 12 hours of anger management; we can only wonder what that’s about.

Meanwhile, his victim received a death sentence, carried out on the bumper of Williams’ Chevy Avalanche.

Wheels also reports that a preliminary hearing took place this week for a very pregnant Christine Dahab, charged with felony counts of driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a blood alcohol count over .08, after injuring 13 cyclists in Culver City in June of last year.

And our anonymous South Bay source reports that Joel Alexander Murphy has pleaded not guilty in the hit-and-run death of cyclist Roger Lippman in Huntington Beach last month, as well as for violating his formal parole on drug charges.

I’m also told that both the D.A.’s office and Mothers Against Drunk Driving have been trying to reach out to Lippman’s family and friends to aid in the prosecution and prepare Victim Impact Statements to present to the judge to influence sentencing.

………

In racing news, David Millar wins stage 12 of the Tour de France, seven years about coming back from a doping ban, in what’s turning into a British dominated race. Cadel Evans cracks in stage 11, while Wiggins tightens his grasp on the lead, and Thomas Voeckler won the first mountain stage of the Tour de France.

Bicycling offers an update on the eight Americans who started this year’s Tour; it ain’t pretty. Meanwhile, young riders Chris Froome and Tejay Van Garderen learn the hard way what it means to be a domestique.

Not content to go after Lance, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency bans his doctors and former trainer, while Armstrong refiles his lawsuit against USADA, and a U.S. representative calls for an investigation into the USADA for wasting time investigating Armstrong. And current former TdF champ Alberto Contador plans to return from his doping ban next month.

It’s been 45 years since British rider Tommy Simpson died in the Tour de France, the first, but sadly not only, fatality in its 109 year history.

The route for the fourth stage of August’s badly named USA Pro Cycling Challenge is in danger, as a giant sinkhole threatens to swallow the roadway.

In local racing, the Easy Reader offers a good wrap up of last weekend’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, as Ken Hanson and Shelby Reynolds take the top men’s and women’s categories, respectively.

………

A new date — and new routes — have been announced for this fall’s CicLAvia, in order to make room for the space shuttle. Here’s your chance to ask CicLAvia’s Stephen Villavaso about the changes. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa offers up a video explaining how CicLAvia is transforming our streets, while Better Bike provides a detailed look at the new areas you’ll experience.

………

Bill Cosby narrates a 1970s-era public service video about bi-cycling, as he calls it; who knew Santa Ana used to be bike friendly?

………

A reader sends in this photo of an angry Santa Monica bus driver cursing him out after he asked the driver to be more careful. He notes that Big Blue Bus officials were very helpful in handling his complaint, and that simply taking a photo is often the best thing you can do when confronted with a traffic altercation.

I’ve long been a believer in pulling out a camera when confronted with angry driver.

Especially ones that may have been otherwise distracted.

………

The monthly Spoke(n) Art ride rolls tomorrow. CD13 City Council candidate Josh Post is hosting a two hour fun ride along the L.A. River bike path on July 22nd to share his vision for a bike-friendly L.A. and revitalization of the L.A. River. If you’re in the market for a new job, Bikes and Hikes LA is looking for in-shape, bilingual tour guides. LADOT will be testing new treatments Sunday for the badly worn Spring Street green bike lanes. BIKAS offers a better than passing grade for L.A.’s new bikeway efforts. Will Campbell creates another great timelapse through Griffith Park. Santa Monica moves forward with their own 13 station bike share program, which may or may not be compatible with the upcoming L.A. bike share; Better Bike asks what role, if any, the Westside Council of Governments will play on the region’s expanding bike share plans. Glendale gives up on the Honolulu Ave road diet, as auto-centric council member Dan Weaver observes that the city’s streets were designed for automobiles, not bicycles; thanks to Michael Wade for the heads-up. The route has been set for Pasadena’s inaugural Gran Fondo. A ghost bike was installed Friday for Larry Schellhase, the cyclist killed when he hit road debris in Redondo Beach last April.

Newport Beach votes on placing sharrows on the East Coast Highway; word from cdmCyclist’s Frank Peters is that they were approved. San Diego cyclists are understandably upset after Caltrans decides to remove a ghost bike for fallen rider Nick Venuto, but manage to save another for Chuck Gilbreth; they’ll also host a ride to honor fallen cyclists Theodore Jones and Angel Bojorquez on July 25th. San Diego hires Safe Moves to provide bike and pedestrian safety training to students. A local resident asks why Coronado isn’t bike friendly. Sharrows are coming to Highway 101 in Solano Beach. The Bert and Ernie approach to sharing the road. Be careful biking with your dog running alongside; or better yet, just don’t. Security video catches a Solvang burglar breaking in to a bike shop and running out with two bikes. Palo Alto moves forward with a new bike plan. Good news, as the Modesto girl seriously injured when she stepped in front of an antique car to save her bike riding brother returns home from the hospital. Cyclists are gaining political influence in the Bay Area, though not everyone is happy with it. A not guilty plea from the driver accused of critically injuring New Zealand pro cyclist Michael Torckler in a Sonoma County hit and run.

The Bike League looks at our own Dorothy Wong. States can’t wait to spend former bike funding on other projects. New pedals double as bike locks. A Portland study shows bicyclists spend more at local business. Clif Bar celebrates its 20th Anniversary by giving Public bikes to their employees. According to a Denver paper, either cruiser bikes rule, or they’re ruining cycling for the rest of us. A micro brewery in my home town converts its parking lot into secure bike parking. Survivors of the devastating Colorado fires say their lives would be better if they could just get rid of those damn bikes. Aspen CO cyclist can now expect to get a warning instead of a ticket. A North Dakota’s Supreme Court rules a cyclist can be convicted of drunk bicycling. Republican candidates in Madison WI unite to oppose a local bike path. Turns out riding a bike in Chicago is safer than riding in the suburbs. A Michigan driver rear-ended and critically injured a rider, then casually continued on to the same casino where his victim worked. Ohio bike lawyer Steve Magas asks if this is the worst crash report ever. A reminder that cyclists aren’t always the good guys, while a Columbus writer says that city’s drivers are courteous, but cyclists are road-hogging jerks who should be ticketed — and describes unsafely passing a rider as proof. New York plans to slow more drivers down to a 20 mph speed limit. Boston’s Lovely Bicycle finds the middle ground in appreciating John Forester, the father of vehicular cycling. Shockingly, it turns out drivers break the law more than cyclists. Turns out that the DC-area cyclist who killed a pedestrian recently wasn’t a spandex-clad maniac after all. North Carolina cyclists ride in honor of Steve Jordan, the state director for mental health, who was killed while riding his bike on the 4th of July. Florida plans to allow bikes on some limited access highways on a trial basis.

A San Diego physician saves the life of a doored cyclist while vacationing in Vancouver. The British Medical Association says curb car use and make room for bikes and pedestrians. From anorexic model to a favorite in team pursuit at the London Olympics. A British Paralympic cyclist sees her games in doubt after she’s Jerry Browned by a passing car. German cyclist Kristina Vogel bounces back from a broken neck to compete in London. A London cyclist rhetorically asks why not just ban bikes entirely after they’re barred from bus and Olympic lanes prior to the games. A British cyclist receives the equivalent of 36 cents in court ordered compensation for his stolen bike. “Pranksters” nearly decapitate a 12-year old English boy by stringing rope across the footbridge he was riding on; yeah, real funny. Tests show cyclists using earphones at a reasonable level can still hear warning sounds from other riders, comparable to a car driver with no music playing. An Aussie cyclist calls for an end to road rage.

Finally, that’s what I call a rough ride, as a Type 1 Diabetic riding in the Tour Divide stops to check his blood sugar, encounters a bear, slides off of an embankment and nearly drowns in a river before making his way back to his bike — and on to a hospital. This is what I call a sharrow. And these are the rules that should govern every bike club:

1) Ride Bikes

2) Try not to be an ass

………

My apologies to everyone who sent me links this past week. Between all the breaking news and an inadvertent email crash, I’ve completely lost track of who sent me what. But I am grateful to each of you, and hope you’ll all keep sending me more stories as we move forward.

A road raging Monrovia driver, a bike riding RB police chief, and an anti-bike ordinance in Costa Mesa

Let’s catch up on recent news.

Starting with a traffic-crazed Dr. Thompson wannabe who tried to run over, then punch out, a group of cyclists last Friday.

Monrovia Patch forwards word of a roadway altercation in which a motorist apparently became enraged with a group of cyclists and swerved his car into them, forcing one rider to rear-end a parked car.

Then the candidate for anger management got out of his car and started hitting another rider before police arrived and took him into custody.

Patch reports that two cyclists were treated at the scene by paramedics.

If anyone has more information on this story, let me know.

Thanks to Monrovia Patch for the news.

………

Two big stories hit the news while I was tied up with family activities over the holiday period.

Even if that family consists of my wife and a six-year old Corgi.

First up is the news of the off-duty Redondo Beach police chief who commandeered a theft suspect’s bike to chase him down and help make the arrest.

Hats off to Chief Joe Leonardi for proving a police chief can still be a real cop; I’m not sure how many of his peers would have chased the suspect themselves, rather than just calling in their street level officers. And for remaining in riding shape — and recognizing that a bike is often the best way to get there, whether or not you’re chasing someone.

And whether or not it’s yours.

Chief, you can ride with me anytime.

Second is the news that Costa Mesa has banned bike parking on public property to — get this — battle the local homeless population.

Apparently, homeless people don’t like having their bikes stolen any more than people with residences to go home to at night.

Go figure.

So instead of dealing with the problem — like maybe providing a secure place to store their belongings, let alone a roof over their heads — city leaders respond in a regressive fashion by attacking everyone who rides a bike.

A member of the Homeless Task Force that came up with the recommendation promises police won’t be heavy-handed in enforcing the ban.

Neighborhood Improvement Manager Muriel Ullman, a member of the task force, said the ordinance would be enforced within reason. For example, if nearby bike racks are all full, then police would not enforce the ordinance.

“If the police see there is an open rack, and they sees (sic) some bikes lying on the grass…they’re not just going to go impound the bike, they’re going to work with the people,” Ullman said.

Right.

Never mind that the city currently has only 38 bike parking spaces in their 30 parks.

Something tells me they have a hell of a lot more than 38 parking spaces for cars. And not just at public parks, but anywhere in the city that cyclists — excuse me, human beings — would like to go.

The nearly forgotten Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, which clearly has not made it to Costa Mesa, includes the right to safe and secure bike parking at the end of a trip.

Personally, I think the law should be changed so that anytime secure bike racks are full or unavailable, cyclists have a legal right to lock their bikes anywhere they damn well please. Up to and including the legs of Costa Mesa council members.

That would only begin to put us on a par with motorists, who enjoy tens of thousands more parking spaces than are available for bicyclists in most areas. As well as forcing cities and building owners to invest the relative pennies needed to provide adequate bike facilities, as opposed to the $4000 to $40,000 it costs to provide space for a single car.

We can only hope that Costa Mesa somehow comes to its senses and repeals this discriminatory, wrong-headed anti-bike and anti-homeless ordinance.

If not, I hope everyone who rides a bike will remember this on election day.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up on the Costa Mesa ordinance, and everyone who forwarded news about the Redondo Beach Police Chief — far too many to thank here, but I’m grateful to everyone who takes the time to send me a link.

………

Erik Griswold forwards a comment on a Danish website (scroll down) claiming to be from a San Francisco motorcycle dealer.

One of my business endeavors is a motorcycle dealership in San Francisco, California. Among other things my dealership services and repairs Police motorcycles for the City of San Francisco and for the California Highway Patrol in this area. I have talked to Police Officers about the “bicycle problem.” We have a serious problem in California with bicyclists thinking that traffic rules apply only to others and that “share the road” means “take the road and screw the cars.” I think some of these people purchased the wrong size spandex and the blood flow to the brain got cut off.

All of the Police Officers I have talked to will not ticket an automobile driver if a bicyclist ignores traffic rules and gets run over in the process. Several of the Officers smiled and quietly encouraged me to “just hit them.”

Everyone is tired of bicyclists inventing their own rules, not just in Copenhagen. Being sustainable, greeny and eco-friendly is not a blanket pass to misbehave.

I cannot wait to paint the first bicycle on the side of my company truck, fighter-pilot kill style. 😉

Aside from the obvious threat in the last line, if this is legitimate — which, given the nature of anonymous internet comments is always questionable — it goes a long towards illustrating the bias bike riders face from those charge with protecting us.

And yes, I’m looking at you, San Diego Police Department.

………

A judge orders the thrill killers who shot developmentally disabled cyclist Jordan Hickey as he rode his bike to stand trial on murder and special circumstances that could result in the death penalty. Testimony in the preliminary hearing indicated they were cruising for victims when they encountered Hickey, shooting him three times with a shotgun just for the hell of it.

Which, appropriately enough, is where they belong.

I’m not a supporter of the death penalty. But if anyone ever deserved it, these two would be at the top of my list.

………

Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins dons the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, as teammate Chris Froome won stage seven and stage eight was taken by the youngest rider on the tour. It looks like a good tour for the British Commonwealth, as Wiggins takes yesterday’s time trial to keep his yellow jersey, while last year’s winner Cadel Evans holds second overall.

Wiggin’s Team Sky teammate Chris Froome finished second in the time trial. For awhile, it looked like young American rider Tejay van Garderen would win, instead settling for the white jersey as best young rider.

The new leader gets a little hot under the collar when asked about cynics who believe doping is required to win the tour. Cyclists are dropping like flies as countless collisions deplete the riding roster.

If you need an introduction to le Tour, you could do worse than this pop-up guide, reviewed by Gina Morey Rosemberg.

Meanwhile, New Zealand pro Michael Torckler is bouncing back after a near fatal hit-and-run in Sonoma county. A South African woman is the first to finish in the top ten in the women’s Giro d’Italia, as Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley and American Evelyn Stevens take the top three.

Lance files suit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in an attempt to derail doping charges, and is quickly shown the door for now. Former TdF champ Jan Ullrich briefly almost comes clean. And Cofidis rider Remy Di Gregorio is the latest to be arrested for suspected doping in today’s “clean” riding world.

………

The L.A. Times talks with leaders of the city’s bike and pedestrian communities on how to calm traffic. LADOT Bike Blog offers the agenda for tomorrow’s BPIT meeting. L.A. area schools will share in a $48.5 million Caltrans grant to the Safe Routes to Schools program. Will Campbell rides under the big rock — yes, that rock — with his timelapse camera rolling. Better Bike offers a detailed analysis of cycling casualties, concluding the highest risk is during the summer and for riders aged 45 to 54; he also astutely asks why it’s up to an unpaid bike blogger to compile stats that Beverly Hills city officials should be doing. The Bike Babes Bicycling Classic will roll round-trip from Long Beach to Huntington Beach next Sunday. A young Riverside man struggles to walk again, nearly three years after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.

Cyclelicious asks what’s wrong with this picture, as road construction signs block a major bikeway. San Mateo County officials plan to improve a bike lane where cyclist Lauren Ward was killed in 2010; why does it seem like officials always wait until someone is killed to fix a problem? A writer for the London Mail rides his rental bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. An Oakland cyclist is killed in what one witness describes as an intentional hit-and-run. Sunnyvale could soon be the third city to adopt an L.A. style anti-harassment ordinance; nice to see former LADOT Bike Blog writer Christopher Kidd making a name for himself up by the bay. Sonoma County struggles through four cycling deaths in just five weeks — and Michael Torckler could have easily made it five — while over 200 cyclists turn out to honor one of those victims, former Sonoma State University Steven Norwick. Meanwhile, a local rider says cyclists would stop dying if they’d just slow down; evidently he’s an expert on the subject, thanks to one whole year of riding experience. Fairfax CA police crack down on scofflaw cyclists who blow stop signs in groups of 10 to 20. A Visalia rider makes a slow comeback a year after a devastating solo collision.

A writer blames bike sharing for escalating the mythical war between cyclists and drivers; that explains why no cyclists in cities without bike share programs — like Monrovia, for instance, ever have to deal with angry drivers, right? The National Park Service plans to expand access for mountain bikes. Raising your handlebars could reduce sexual dysfunction for women riders. A big-hearted former bike rider with cerebral palsy offers his three-wheeled recumbent to a disabled Utah man whose bike was stolen for the third time. Collisions are on the rise as Denver cyclists and drivers struggle to coexist on the road; actually, it’s pretty easy — if everyone follows the rules, no one gets hurt. Chicago Jews and Muslims ride together in a show of unity; I’d love to see a ride like that here. Chicago trains 100 to 200 new bike cops every year; then again, Escondido bike cops seem to be doing pretty good, too. Whimsical bright colored bikes reappear for the third year in Muskegon MI. Heartbreaking news, as a registered sex offender has been arrested for the murder of missing Louisiana cyclist Mickey Shunick, even though her body has not been found. Police and prosecutors — and motorists — are ignoring New York’s three-foot passing law. Fearless Bed-Stuy cyclist attempts to stop a thief from stealing two bikes, rescuing one. The popular Bike Radar website launches a new American version.

A North Carolina father riding with his daughter watches as she’s killed by a pickup while riding in Canada. A Winnipeg writer suggests lowering speed limits across the city to the equivalent of about 25 mph. Scandinavian researchers says the effects of inducing traffic demand by increasing capacity are ignored too often. After security officers tackle a young boy riding his bike next to the Olympic torch run, they release a report saying he simply fell down and rode off on his own — despite video evidence to the contrary. An insightful look at anti-bike bias in the media that focuses on scofflaw cyclists while ignoring the far bigger problem of dangerous drivers. Taiwan attempts to kick start a bike culture. A Canadian transport expert calls for loosening Melbourne’s helmet laws on a trial basis. A South African man commits suicide after being charged with the hit-and-run death of an 18-year old cyclist. A new study suggests Australia’s bike boom is a myth, as ridership has declined on a per capita basis.

Finally, a great pro cycling ad from Huffy, of all places. And seriously, if you’re an underage cyclist riding with drugs, burglary tools and a loaded gun, don’t ride salmon without a headlight.

A UPS SaMo minor bike lane miracle, and Sunday Funday Beverly Thrills fun was had by all

I’m a firm believer in miracles.

I’ve learned over the years that they tend not to occur with a parting of the skies and a booming voice from above, but in small ways that you might not even notice at the time.

Like the Venice Blvd cab driver who pulled out from the curb too quickly, and set Mayor Villaraigosa on the path to unexpected bicycle advocate.

But I never expected one to come in the form of a Twitter comment from UPS.

Recently, I’ve had my fill of UPS drivers parking their big ass brown trucks in the bike lanes on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica. Something that seems to be happening with increasing frequency in recent weeks, forcing riders to share a lane with dangerously distracted, beach-air addled drivers.

So when it happened once again on Friday, I stopped to take a photo. And when I got home, tweeted my frustration to the world, never expecting a response.

Yet that’s exactly what I got just moments later from UPS Customer Support. So at their request, I followed up with an email, including a close-up of the truck’s license plate.

About an hour later, I was on the phone with a local representative, who promised me that the problem would be dealt with promptly. And that they would speak with local supervisors and dispatchers to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

We’ll see.

But UPS earned some real respect for genuine customer service. And to a non-customer, no less.

It may not be a real miracle, even if it seems that way. But if more companies dealt with complaints that promptly and efficiently — or even just gave a damn — it would be a much better world.

And that really would be a miracle.

………

Will Campbell and John Wayne at the beginning of the ride; Will is the one on the bottom.

Allow me to offer my personal thanks to Will Campbell and special guest Mark Elliot for a truly thrilling Beverly Thrills Sunday Funday ride this past weekend.

Along with Greg Laemmle, Colin Bogart, Eric Weinstein, Niall Huffman, Carol Feucht and designated Tweeter Joni Yung for their contributions to ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride for everyone.

Not mention everyone who showed up to ride.

Or rather, especially everyone who showed up to ride.

Will offered a fun, insightful and entertaining tour of the biking black hole of Beverly Hills, starting with the very street where he learned to ride a bike (mumble mumble) years ago. And extended past the soon-to-be exploding Beverly Hills High School to sites such as the homes where gangster and Las Vegas founder Bugsy Siegel met his ignoble end, and Marilyn Monroe and Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio shared a whole nine months of connubial bliss.

The only downside was the Beverly Hills cop who decided to welcome us to their fair city by using his loudspeaker to order everyone to ride single file — which not only isn’t required under California law, but would have inconvenienced the exceptionally light vehicular traffic even more by stretching the 40 – 50 riders out over several blocks.

On the other hand, even though we were cruised by several other patrol cars over the course of the ride, the only other contact we had with the BHPD was a friendly wave in passing.

Mark Elliot shares his remarkably in-depth recap of the ride, and Hap Dougherty offers his typically great photos of the day.

And Will himself offers an exceptional timelapse video cutting the four hour ride down to a very fast and entertaining 11 minutes; don’t miss the rapid-fire notations in the upper right.

Seriously, it’s more than worth the click.

………

A preliminary hearing opened Monday for the two men charged with killing developmentally disabled cyclist Jordan Hickey in National City last year. According to testimony from a friend, Humberto Galvez and Juan Gomez bragged about murdering Hickey, reportedly picking their victim at random and shooting him three times with a shotgun as he rode.

Just for the fun of it.

Hickey’s mother understandingly lost control during the testimony and had to be escorted from the courtroom.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for these two alleged psychopaths.

………

LADOT General Manager Jaime de la Vega reports on what he calls L.A.’s best year ever for bicycles.

The 2011 – 2012 fiscal year saw 76 miles of new bikeways, nearly double the number the city committed to in the bike plan adopted last year. That includes 51 miles of bikeways, 21 miles of sharrows and 4 miles added to the Orange Line bikeway, as the city starts to see the beginnings of an actual bike network.

The most intriguing part, for me at least, was acknowledgement that LADOT is shifting from a historic focus on maximizing automotive throughput to a more complete focus on all forms of transportation.

Can the former department of automobiles really help the city of Angels evolve into the type of metropolis that embraces cyclists, pedestrians, and transit?

We think the answer is an unequivocal “yes”.

LADOT is committed to making Los Angeles a place where cyclists are safe and city streets make room for bicycles.

We’ll wait for Joe Linton’s analysis of just how accurate the city’s claimed mileage actually is. But just looking at L.A.’s new and improved streets suggests that LADOT is more than fulfilling their promise.

And that things really have changed in the department local cyclists have long loved to hate.

Meanwhile, the department presents their progress to the City Council Transportation Committee, and improves signage to help cyclists stay alive during the Riverside Dr. bridge reconstruction.

………

Mark Cavendish pulls another Tour de France stage win out of his hat, while Spartacus keeps the yellow jersey. World time trial champ Tony Martin steps up to stage 2 despite a broken hand. And evidently, 22-year old Peter Sagan really is that good, the youngest stage winner in nearly 20 years.

Once again, however, we should note that only Americans with names that start with L — LeMond, Lance and, briefly, Landis — have won le Tour.

Which means Levi Leipheimer remains our best hope for victory.

………

People for Bikes reports on the new federal transportation bill that dramatically cuts funding for bike and pedestrian projects. They won’t say it, but let’s remember which of our elected officials attacked cycling and/or sold us out, and cast our votes accordingly in the fall.

Meanwhile, PfB staffer Kate Powlison is among the five women riding the entire Tour de France course one day ahead of the men. Their stated goal is to inspire women to ride more often, and encourage people everywhere to tackle dreams that seem impossible.

Maybe so.

But hopefully they’ll also inspire professional cycling to open more doors for women, either by a vastly improved women’s tour or by opening top level professional teams to female riders.

You can’t tell me that the best women aren’t as good or better than many of the men who fill out the support roles.

And might even kick some ass if given the chance.

………

Tomorrow marks L.A.’s can’t miss bike sale with the annual 4th of July Blowout Sale at Helen’s in Santa Monica and Arcadia. And just a few blocks away, Cynergy Cycles is extending their No Tax sale through the 4th.

Any other big bike sales we should know about this week?

………

Flying Pigeon offers tongue-in-cheek advice — at least I hope it’s tongue-in-cheek — on how to take your vehicular cycling to the next level. Sunday’s Peace, Love and Family ride catches the eyes of local residents. Richard Risemberg reviews the Bromptons they took to Denver. LADOT kicks off the environment impact reviews that will determine if 43 miles of projected bikeways will ever be built. The LAPD reports on a four-month old biking under the influence arrest that left a 50-year old rider injured; something tells me there’s more to the story if they’re bringing this up after so long. Beverly Hills police let a road raging driver off the hook. New bike lanes appear in El Sereno. East Side Bike Club is hosting a 4th of July Ride to see the fireworks in Alhambra. Over at CLR Effect, Michael encounters an unpleasant odor that isn’t the rider next to him, and notes that Glendora Mountain Road will be closed to motor vehicle traffic on the 4th of July, allowing for an unofficial high country ciclovía.

Readers respond to OC Register columnist David Whiting’s recent column calling for more courtesy on multi-use trails. An Orange County florist gets attention with a bicycle through the store’s front window. More on La Mesa cyclist Nicola Grossi, who lost 120 pounds in just two years of riding before dying in a solo collision on Saturday during the Climb to Kaiser ride. San Francisco bike corrals transform 30 parking spaces into 336 spaces for bikes. The Santa Rose Press Democrat says patient, defensive riding is the key to bike safety; they’re right, of course, but only because too many motorists can’t be bothered to do the same.

American cyclist and former model Dotsie Bausch overcomes anorexia to complete for the U.S. cycling team in the London Olympics. You can now get bike insurance if you live in the Portland area. A Utah man stabs a cyclist and a steals his bike; police find the bike in the laundry room of the thief’s building. Denver authorities crack down on scofflaw cyclists — including ticketing a rider for not putting his foot down on a stop, which isn’t illegal. A 90-year old Eau Claire driver kills a cyclist while driving on an off-road bike path; thanks to Witch on a Bicycle for the link. A Lancaster NY cyclist is killed by a dump truck; I usually pull off the road when I find one behind me, since they scare me as much as anything else on the road.

In shocking news, a Canadian study finds off-road mountain biking can be dangerous, and that bears often defecate in forested areas. Evidently, cowardly, murderous hit-and-run bastards aren’t just an American phenomenon — which is one word I have never spelled correctly in my life. Irish authorities consider a plan to fine parents if their children don’t wear helmets. A London lawyer is left with life-changing injuries after his skull is fractured when he’s hit in a crosswalk by a serial red light running cyclist, proving that not all bastards are on four wheels. While other traffic casualties have dropped, serious cycling casualties and pedestrian deaths have spiked in London. A new sign design warns cyclists about the dangers of big trucks. What if roads were designed the same way bikeways are? David Hembrow says the right to ride on any roads may not always be in cyclists’ best interests. Dutch police commandeer a tractor to chase down three bike thieves.

Finally, a deeply offended neighborhood watch group calls on L.A. to ban the annual Naked Bike Ride. Maybe if they didn’t watch so closely, they wouldn’t be so offended.

And just in time for the 4th, here’s your new bike anthem for the summer.

Let’s be careful out there this week. The period around the 4th is traditionally one of the most dangerous times for SoCal cyclists. Ride safely and defensively, so you can enjoy a lifetime of Independence Day riding.

San Diego cyclist shot and killed in National City area (updated)

It’s happened once again.

Early Friday morning, 21-year old Jordan Hickey was shot and killed while riding his bike in the Lincoln Acres neighborhood of National City, just southeast of downtown San Diego.

The shooting occurred at 12:30 am on the 2800 block of Grove Street. When police arrived, they found Hickey lying on top of his bike, fatally shot at least once in the upper body. No explanation yet on the motive for the shooting.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s department at (858) 565-5200, or the homicide detail at (858) 974- 2321.

Remarkably, this is the third fatal shooting of a cyclist in Southern California this year, and the fourth since December.

Update: According to the Union-Tribune’s Sign On San Diego website, Hickey did not drive due to developmental disabilities, and rode his bike everywhere. He was returning home from visiting his girlfriend, and was just minutes from the apartment he shared with his mother and brother when he was shot. 

“He was just at the bottom of the hill,” his mother said. “He was almost home….”

She said her son “lived in his own world,” and was kind and caring. “He did not believe me when I told him that there are people in the world who would hurt you,” said Hickey, a single mom who has raised her sons on her own.

The story quotes his uncle, John Hickey, describing Jordan as artistic and gentle, someone who “wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

John Hickey said he was angry that this could happen to his nephew, who “never smoked, never did drugs, never drank” and who had “no malice toward anybody.”

Authorities still haven’t identified a motive; it doesn’t appear that he was robbed, and unlike the other recent bike-related shootings, there doesn’t appear to be any suspicion of gang violence.

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