Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: Statewide hit-and-run alert bill in trouble; Gil Cedillo shares the outrage at tragedy he helped cause

As we noted last week, today is the last day to voice your support for the proposed California hit-and-run alert system before Tuesday’s vote in the state senate.

The bill faces unexpected opposition from the CHP, which evidently favors letting fleeing drivers get away with it.

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Boyonabike says the death of a bike rider in Friday’s Highland Park hit-and-run is another outrage. As was the cancellation of the road diet that might have saved him; Richard Risemberg blames city council overreach for keeping our streets dangerous.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who was single-handedly responsible for that cancellation, says he shares the outrage over this tragedy, and suggests we have to make better choices.

Let’s hope he takes his own advice.

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Looks like LA had a big turnout for Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride.

LAist offers all the NSFW photos you could want, although the best photo might just be a mirror image; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Meanwhile, a Portland writer describes what it’s like to ride buck naked, while Breitbart doesn’t seem to get it — or the difference between #pdx and #lax, for that matter.

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An Aussie site looks at the big four in the upcoming Tour de France, which kicks off on Independence Day. Ours, not theirs.

Vincenzo Nibali is on a mission to defend his title, while some seem to question Chris Froome’s mental fortitude. In the absence of sprinter Marcel Kittel, it should be Mark Cavendish’s time to shine. And a parcel service offers an infographic explaining the tour’s logistics.

A team of Baltimore cyclists bike like a girl over 3,000 miles across the US while setting a team RAAM record.

Thankfully, the Danish cyclist critically injured in a collision while competing in the Race Across America is showing some improvement. Something is seriously wrong when someone can’t come to this country to compete without an American driver putting his life in jeopardy.

And UCI, cycling’s governing body, is seriously out of control as they fine an amateur racer for tweeting his objections about a lack of water and neutral support at the amateur national championships, where several cyclists succumbed to heat stroke.

Maybe someone should fine UCI for risking the safety of their riders.

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Local

Evidently, California’s police chiefs don’t want you to see what really happened when Gardena police fatally shot an unarmed man whose brother’s bike had been stolen.

 

State

The LA Times’ David Lazarus asks why bike riders aren’t entitled to free air at gas stations, like motorists are.

The Orange County Register explains how to report bad or hostile drivers to the DMV.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get your stolen bike back, including reporting the theft for free with Bike Index. Which you can do right here; you can also register it before it’s stolen, which is a lot smarter.

One cyclist finds serenity riding the Columbia River Gorge outside Portland, while another loses his life there after losing control of his bike on a descent.

Apparently, Albuquerque bikes climb light poles.

Denver police say if you steal a bike, it just might be one of theirs; over 20 would-be thieves have taken their GPS-equipped bait so far. On the other hand, Georgia sheriff’s deputies go low tech by using scent dogs to track a 15-year old thief.

An Iowa City paper asks if removing traffic lanes can curb aggressive driving and promote bicycling. That would be, yes.

Hats off to a team of Houston cops riding to New York to raise awareness for leukemia and lymphoma, who stopped along the way to save the life of an Alabama driver after he’d gone off the road.

Vermont’s transportation secretary says the recent deaths of three bike riders should be a catalyst to further safety in order to meet the state’s goal of zero traffic fatalities.

Boston gets a new bike counter. Not that we’re going to get one, but where would we put it if we did?

A Connecticut teen steals a $3,000 bike because he got tired of walking. On the other hand, what kind of idiot who leaves a bike like that unlocked on the porch at two in the morning?

A Bethlehem NY boy gets a new bike as a reward for quick thinking after his is destroyed in a collision where he could have been collateral damage.

 

International

A new Canadian study says those scary reports that bike riding can cause prostate cancer are probably wrong.

A Canadian recreational cyclist offers tips on bicycling etiquette — including advice to ride in the door zone.

A new bike light projects symbols on your back — like a stop sign, turn signals or a bicycle — while you ride; it can also be programed to project your own symbols. Yes, even that one.

Good article from London’s Telegraph, asking why serious bicycling injuries are increasing while fatalities are going down — and at a rate greater than the rise in ridership.

Brit bike riders go back to the future. Or maybe forward to the past.

Someone stole a $100 bike 20 minutes after it was donated to a British charity store. They seem to define racing bike a little oddly, though.

The Times of London looks at Dublin’s plans to ban cars from the city center and convert traffic lanes to segregated bike paths. Riots would break out if anyone suggested that here.

A New Zealand paper says if the country’s planned bikeways do what they’re supposed to, everyone wins.

 

Finally…

At least we only have to worry about LA drivers; six Florida cyclists were injured, one seriously, when his bike slipped on the remains of a roadkill gator. When you’re chasing a bike-riding suspect on foot, be sure to lock your patrol car first.

And when you’re riding with a digital scale, meth and heroin on your bike, put some damn lights on it. And don’t ride on the sidewalk.

And don’t crash into pole trying to get away.

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It has nothing to do with bicycling. But just thought I’d share the view out our window last night.

Dusk-6-28

 

Update: Arrest made in horrifying high-speed Highland Park fatal hit-and-run

North Figueroa was supposed to be safer by now.

Had LADOT been allowed to carry out it’s plans, the street would have undergone a road diet. Not just to install bike lanes, but to calm dangerous high-speed traffic.

Now a bike rider is dead, the victim of a speeding hit-and-run driver.

According to the LA Times, two bike riders were crossing Figueroa at Marmion Way in the crosswalk at 3:02 am when one was hit by car traveling at what police estimated as 80 mph, based on witness reports.

At that speed, there is virtually no chance of survival. Especially since the victim was dragged several hundred feet underneath the car as it sped away.

Witnesses say the driver never braked, before or after hitting the victim.

The second rider wasn’t struck. No word on whether they were riding or walking in the crosswalk.

The victim has not been publicly identified; he is described only as a man in his 20s.

The car’s bumper was left lying in the road, which should make the car easy to identify if it can be found. Police are looking for a small black sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima.

There should be an automatic $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver, based on the hit-and-run reward program recently passed by the city council.

Despite overwhelming support in public meetings, plans for a road diet to improve safety on North Figueroa were halted by Councilmember Gil Cedillo.

Cedillo claimed he was canceling the plans for safety reasons, an argument this morning’s wreck has proven wrong.

Now he has to answer to the victim’s family. And the rest of us.

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in LA County; it’s also the eighth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: An arrest has been made in the case.

According to KTLA-5, a witness tipped police to the location of the abandoned vehicle, which had biological matter from the victim on it.

That led them to 21-year old Alexis Virto, who was found asleep in bed with his girlfriend at 7:15 am, roughly four hours after the collision.

Virto was still drunk when he was taken into custody. He insisted that he wasn’t the driver; however, he had injuries consistent with a crash, and windshield debris clinging to his hair.

He was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder and felony drunk driving with great bodily injury.

The LA Times reports the victim is a 33-year old man, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of his family.

The Times also says there were 68 collisions that resulted in severe injuries to bicyclists on that stretch of North Figueroa between 2002 and 2012; there were also nine pedestrians killed in that time period.

Meanwhile, anti-bike Figueroa activist and Boulevard Sentinel editor Tom Topping had this to say:

Why was this person on the street at 3am? Usually only meth-head criminals looking for something to steal are riding around on bikes at that hour.

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

Thanks to everyone who tipped me off to this story.

Morning Links: Metro commits to DTLA bikeshare, US pros swear they’re clean, and $50K reward for fatal hit-and-run

It’s official.

DTLA is getting an $11 million bikeshare program next spring, with 1,100 bikes and 65 stations around the Downtown area. Plans are to expand into nine other neighborhoods by 2017.

However, the system to be installed by Philadelphia’s Bicycle Transit Systems is unlikely to be compatible with other bikeshares in Long Beach and Santa Monica, as well as other Westside locations.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says we should let the disparate systems thrive. I wish I could share his optimism; my fear is that multiple, incompatible bikeshare systems will doom them to failure.

Let’s hope I’m wrong.

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2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome blames overzealous hotel workers for his missed blood test earlier this year. US riders swear they’re clean, too, while Teejay says his homie Lance deserves a second chance.

Peter Stetina hopes to return to racing this year after a horrific crash in Spain last spring. NPR profiles rising Columbian rider Nairo Quintana.

Women will ride some of the same routes as the men in Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge this year; the first American Gio Donne winner is looking forward to it.

And British pro Lizzie Armistead has recovered from her recent collision with finish line photographers, and will be racing in the country’s national championships this weekend.

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Local

LA’s recently passed hit-and-run reward system is being put into practice, offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the heartless jerk who killed Manuel Enrique Mendoza-Hernandez in South Park earlier this month. Meanwhile, KCRW talks hit-and-run.

CiclaValley pens an ode to the 300 volunteers helping to put on Sunday’s LA River Ride. I’m planning to be there, so stop by the main LACBC booth and say hi after your ride.

Malibu’s city council approved the new PCH safety study by a vote of four to zero; as the story notes, the problems will come when it’s time to implement the recommendations over the likely objections of local residents.

Some Redondo Beach residents are declaring the city’s new separated bike lanes, sharrows and reverse-angle parking a failure a whole week after they were officially unveiled.

Sounds like fun. Flying Pigeon is hosting the Nobody Can Hear You Scream in Space Ride Saturday night.

 

State

For reasons that probably only make sense to them, the CHP opposes a statewide hit-and-run alert system; you’re urged to voice your support for the bill before Monday.

The OC Register says the adult tricycle rider killed with her dog in a suspected DUI collision was riding at one of the most dangerous times of day; CHP records put the greatest risk to bike riders between 6 pm and 7 pm, and 10 pm to 11 pm. The victim still hasn’t been publicly identified.

The bike rider who was deliberately run down by the UC Santa Barbara shooter has filed a lawsuit against the shooter’s parents, as well as the university, the county and the sheriff’s department.

 

National

A 9-year old girl was shot in the leg while riding her bike in Lincoln NE, while a cancer patient riding cross-country to raise awareness was robbed at gunpoint in Tennessee.

Pittsburgh is experiencing a bikelash over proposed bike lanes, as the city attempts to get people out of their cars.

Danish Race Across America (RAAM) competitor Anders Tesgaard has been critically injured in a collision with a pickup in West Virginia; his support van had reportedly stopped for gas, leaving Tesgaard unprotected on the roadway.

DC residents don’t exactly respond positively to an OpEd calling for bikes on the sidewalks.

The Episcopal Church is doing some soul searching following the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist at the hands of a now-former Baltimore Bishop.

Now that’s more like it. A Florida man gets 20 years — yes, 20 — for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

 

International

A bike thief with a conscience returns the BMX bike he stole and rebuilt, and offers a heartfelt apology to the parents of the bike’s 11-year old Calgary owner eight months after he died in an accident — and exact one year after he first brought the bike home.

Speaking of Calgary, the local police get it, saying of you’re too drunk to drive, you’re too drunk to ride. But if they had to choose, they’d rather see you drunk on two wheels than behind one.

London mayoral candidates says the priority given to motor vehicles in the city has to end. Any chance we could get them to move here?

A salmon cyclist reportedly yelled at a UK pedestrian to get out of the way before slamming into her and riding off, breaking her leg in five places.

English police arrest a 26-year old motorist on suspicion of murder following a fatal bike collision, though Britain’s press restrictions prevent them from telling us why.

Yet another British bike race has been sabotaged with pins. And yet another saboteur should face terrorism charges when he, she or they are caught.

Serious cycling injuries are up 8% in Great Britain, however, the increase could be due to a jump in ridership.

An Aussie cyclist says both drivers and bike riders need to be educated on proper road use.

New Zealand commits to building 41 new bikeway projects worth $333 million, the equivalent of $230 million US.

 

Finally…

A Portland Baptist church isn’t really calling for a cover-up of the city’s World Naked Bike Ride. Your next e-bike foldie could provide turn-by-turn navigation and warn you about potholes. But not, evidently, naked bike riders. Or Baptists.

And bikes have headlights, so why not skateboards?

 

Morning Links: Brake-checking driver harasses cyclist; curb-jumping drivers don’t get Redondo bike lanes

The problem with sharrows is that they put you right in the path of drivers.

Impatient, road-raging and brake-checking drivers, at times, as cyclist Michael Schinderling learned out the hard way while riding on Fountain Ave in Los Angeles.

The driver first honks, then repeatedly slams on his brakes in front of him. Even though Schinderling was riding exactly where the sharrows indicate he should be.

The big problem with LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance is that it’s so hard to get proof that a driver deliberately antagonized a rider.

But this looks like an open-and-shut case.

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Caught on video: Those new Redondo Beach separated bike lanes seem to be working well. Except for curb-jumping drivers who can’t seem to figure out why the traffic lane is green and there are so many bikes in it.

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American cyclist Tyler Farrar is heading back to the Tour de France as part of the first African-based pro team, while Tejay van Garderen is older and wiser and says he’s ready for the challenge. The Wall Street Journal asks why no Latin American rider has won the Tour de France, as Nairo Quintana attempts to become the first.

Meanwhile, former pro team leader Bjarne Riis chose to ignore doping by his riders. Or more likely, tacitly encouraged it, if not openly.

Cycling Weekly looks at the best bike tans in the peloton. Dutch police evidently feel the best way to get a new collective bargaining agreement is to delay riders in the Tour de France, thus ensuring it won’t besmirch their country again.

And sad news from the UK, as a British bike racer was killed in a collision with another rider last weekend.

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Local

The LA-area’s Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) wants your input on a new regional transportation plan.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom and two Westside councilmembers say Metro is going the wrong way with plans for a bike share system that will be incompatible with systems opening soon in Long Beach and Santa Monica, and as well as systems planned for West Hollywood, UCLA and yes, the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

San Gabriel gets a new bike lane on Las Tunas Drive.

Santa Clarita opens a new 1.5 mile stretch of the Santa Clarita River Trail, including a bike bridge over the Los Angeles aqueduct.

A Long Beach councilwoman will host a bike safety program for kids from 9 to 17 years old next week.

The second Tour de Laemmle will roll on July 19th, as Greg Laemmle invites you to ride with him on all or part of a 125+ mile tour of all the Laemmle Theaters.

 

State

Santa Ana conducts a reverse road diet, forcing long-time residents out of their homes to make room for an added lane and bike lanes on Warner Ave, as the OC Register says evicted residents will have to be made whole.

A bike rider suffered major injuries in a collision with a pickup in Anaheim on Tuesday; a comment on Bike Forums suggests the victim was riding in the crosswalk over the onramp to the 57. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

Big oops from the Bay, as San Francisco retracts a report that a new bikeway saw a 651% jump in bike traffic; the actual figures ranged from a 12% to 62% increase depending on time of day. You’d think someone would have noticed that those numbers seemed just a tad high before sending out the press release.

Oakland is planning to trade traffic lanes for bike lanes, with twelve road diets proposed for the next three years; needless to say, bike riders are thrilled while motorists are worried. Maybe Oakland could explain how the process works to Santa Ana.

The Marin tech exec who viciously beat a driver who clipped him with his mirror has been found guilty of felony battery and misdemeanor assault; he faces up to four years in prison. Seriously, never resort to violence. Period.

 

National

Tragic news from Las Vegas, as a 16-year old boy riding without ID was hit by a car last week; he died the next day before family members learned about the wreck and he could be identified.

A Utah driver has plead guilty to intentionally running down a bike rider with whom he had an adversarial relationship.

Evidently, the penalty in Texas for riding a bike without lights is to get Tased, then beaten after falling off your bike. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

An Iowa man is back on his bike six months after losing a leg to complications from diabetes; he’ll be riding in the Tour de Cure this weekend.

Needless to say, Chicago business owners are worried about the loss of parking with the city’s first curb-protected bike lane; Chicagoist asks if it will be good for business. Bikes are usually good for business. And there’s something seriously wrong if your customers won’t walk a few extra feet to do business with you.

A Maine driver is accused of intentionally running down a 10-year old boy on a bike over a dispute with the kid’s mother; unbelievably, the man was released on just $1,000 bail — despite using his car as a weapon to attack a child.

Just days after an LA bike rider was attacked with a machete in an attempted bike theft, a machete-swinging road-raging PA teenager attacked a cyclist and his fiancée, who used his bike to defend themselves.

The Baltimore Sun says bike helmets aren’t ugly anymore, while The Week offers a look at six bike helmets of the future. Can we just get one that actually protects against concussions and other serious brain injuries in real world collisions?

A Georgia website offers advice on how to get a red light to change for your bike.

A cyclist rides 1,400 miles up the East Coast while towing his dog and a cargo trailer.

 

International

Here we go again, as a Facebook page devoted to shaming law-breaking Victoria BC cyclists devolves into a hotbed of anti-bike hatred.

Two Edmonton councilors call for ripping out bike lanes on three streets, calling them unsafe and underutilized.

Cyclists halt London traffic to protest the death of yet another young woman killed by a truck while riding to work. Although not everyone was willing to show a little respect.

Caught on video: The UK’s “vigilante cyclist” catches a woman texting behind the wheel with two kids in her car. I see something similar almost every time I ride. Like a woman who was steering with her knees as she texted with her kids in the back seat.

A pair of Good Samaritans pitch in to replace a British nurse’s bike after it was stolen from outside her apartment.

A Brit bike rider gets a year in jail for killing a 73-year old woman in a collision while riding a brakeless BMX.

Switzerland is telling e-bike riders to slow down, following a rise in single-vehicle bike wrecks due to riders misjudging their speed and stopping times.

India gets its first cycling café in the “Detroit of India” even though the city doesn’t have a single bike lane.

Australian bike riders may soon be allowed to ride on sidewalks in the state of Victoria, but could face on-the-spot fines for using a handheld phone. So what happens if they can’t pay? Are they arrested on the spot?

“Selfish” Aussie cyclists are accused of illegally riding in high-speed bus-only lanes to avoid slower bikeways.

Don’t ride under the influence in Japan, don’t report a falling down drunk bike rider to the police, and don’t ride with groceries on your handlebars.

 

Finally…

It takes a bold thief to ride off with a bike cop’s bike as she stood just a few feet away. Caught on video: an Ohio bird defends his territory against a cyclist. Or maybe he just doesn’t like they guy’s taste in bike helmets.

And a new study from the University of Duh confirms that marijuana use impairs driving. Next up, a study confirming that it gives people the munchies, too.

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I need to find a better name for the Morning Links, since I seem to be temporally challenged these days. Chain Links is too cutsie, while Bike News seems a little dull.

Any suggestions?

Suspected DUI driver kills adult trike rider and her dog in Garden Grove

No one is safe from intoxicated drivers.

Not women on adult tricycles. Or the dogs they carry with them.

That’s exactly what happened last night in Garden Grove, as  suspected DUI driver killed a cyclist, and her little dog, too.

According to the Orange County Register, a woman believed to be in her 50s was riding her adult tricycle eastbound on Chapman Ave near Faye Ave, carrying a small dog in the bike’s basket, when she was struck from behind by a pickup around 9:45 pm.

One of the Register’s photos from the scene shows damage to the hood of the truck, suggesting she was thrown onto it by the force of the impact, while KTLA-5 says the dog was thrown several feet away, still inside the basket.

No word on whether she was using lights or reflectors after dark.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene; she has not been publicly identified. Her dog died later at an Orange County Animal Services clinic.

The driver, 58-year old Rita Faye McLaughlin of Santa Ana, remained at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after failing a field sobriety test.

Anyone with information is urge to call the Garden Grove Police at 714/741-5800.

This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Orange County; that compares with 10 in the county this time last year. It’s the first bicycling death in Garden Grove since November, 2012.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.

 

Morning Links: Safer streets spread, except in Congress; aliens attack; and a non-dog hero saves a young cyclist

The common theme in today’s news seems to be the movement to make our streets more people friendly.

Or not.

Congress continues to boldly plan for a 1980s transportation system; then again, what do you expect when they call the new transportation bill the DRIVE Act?

Maybe they should start by reading the local paper, as the Washington Post says cycle tracks should be the next great American transit project.

As Calgary rolls out an entire cycle track network all at once, a columnist warns that bicyclists are still subject to liability. And a bike rider says he doesn’t feel safe riding them, blaming his tack-induced flat on bike lane saboteurs.

Meanwhile, Toronto takes action to improve safety, dropping speed limits on residential streets to the equivalent of 18 mph; then again, the city clearly needs help. Of course, enforcement is the key; LA has a 25 mph speed limit on most residential streets, which is almost universally ignored.

Singapore’s chief redevelopment planner says the city needs to emulate New York to improve traffic safety; despite appearances, they may be on to something.

Paris plans to de-emphasize cars on seven iconic squares to make them more inviting to people. Clearly, the mayor gets it:

A city where you’re surrounded by hubbub, abandoned to cars—that isn’t a [real] city.

Let’s hope incoming District 4 city councilmember David Ryu gets it, too; things look promising, but as the Times notes, he has a lot of promises to keep. Then again, his predecessor, the outgoing Tom LaBonge, clearly didn’t get it.

Even formerly auto-centric Malibu is making improvements on the deadly coast highway, as the three-year PCH safety study is finally ready for approval by the city council. The plan calls for bike lanes the full length of PCH through the city — except where that would mean the loss of a parking space, of course.

On the other hand, a Montreal writer says we should stop wasting money and road space on bicycles when we can just get on the damn sidewalks, instead.

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In racing news, the Amgen Tour of California has parted ways with its long-time organizer.

And former Danish pro cyclist Nikki Sørensen is sorry he doped. Isn’t it time we just accept that just about everyone did and get on with it?

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Local

CiclaValley offers a preview of Sunday’s upcoming LA River Ride, with a guide to what to see along the way. You are going, right?

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton tries to put LA declining driving rate in perspective; evidently, it ties in nicely with the declining national trend, even if traffic planners and LA city council members haven’t noticed yet.

After a too close call, a texting LA driver gives it up and urges everyone else to put their phones down, too.

Nice to see Bike LA pitch in to help a fellow rider. Less than a day after popular bike commuter and yoga maven Joni Yung reported her bike had been stolen off a Metro bus, a gofundme account had raised over $1,400 to replace it.

Just days before an LA man was attacked with a machete in an attempted bike theft, a Pasadena bike rider was punched in the face when he refused to give up his bike to a would-be robber.

 

State

An Anaheim ghost bike was taken down to make way for a bigger and better strip mall.

San Diego officials voice support for a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths within 10 years by focusing on the eight most dangerous traffic corridors. So evidently, it would be Vision+ anywhere else?

San Mateo cyclists and pedestrians could soon get a new bridge over the 101.

The bike-riding COO of Berkley-based GU Energy labs is tired of cleaning up after you. Seriously, shove your trash in a jersey pocket or your seat bag when you ride, and throw it away somewhere besides the side of the road.

Good question. Writing for the Guardian, our own Nate Berg asks if Google’s new bike plan will help riders in the rest of the often bike-unfriendly Silicon Valley.

A 67-year old Sacramento woman is the latest victim of a fatal California hit-and-run.

Nice. The volunteers at a Chico bike camp help get children and adults with disabilities riding.

 

National

Just Another Cyclist, aka Ross Del Duca, looks at paying for the roads and the anti-bike argument that just refuses to die.

A new lighted bicycle lock on Kickstarter aims to keep more than your bike safe. Even if they did name it after a leading porn producer.

A Las Vegas cyclist is calling for safer roads and better drivers after his neck was broken in a hit-and-run.

A Texas driver is under arrest in the hit-and-run death of a cyclist riding in a bike lane; the driver claimed he thought he hit a deer on the city street, which is evidently why he sped away so fast witnesses couldn’t keep up with his car. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

A Minneapolis realtor peddles homes by pedaling.

A Cincinnati resident calls on the city to build out the bike plan when they fix streets. Which is exactly what’s supposed to be happening here, but doesn’t always. Right, Councilman Koretz?

A South Carolina writer says we all have to obey the same rules. Including the bike rider who slammed into a pedestrian after blowing a stop, and left without leaving his contact information. Even if you did stop, it’s still hit-and-run if you leave the scene without exchanging information, regardless of whether you’re on two wheels or four.

An apparently suicidal New York cyclist is blamed for inexplicably swerving into the side of a truck in a fatal collision. Because no truck driver would ever pass too close, right?

A week after a New York cyclist got doored, the driver who did it hit the jackpot, winning a record $38 million Powerball payout after taxes. Needless to say, the lawsuit has already been filed.

 

International

After wealthy New York condo owners fought to have bike share stations moved away from their buildings, a new Montreal study shows they could increase property values. The bike stations, not the clueless condo owners.

The press loves to ridicule Lycra-wearing cyclists. Except when they’re royalty-in-laws who just rode in a 54-mile charity ride.

London suffers its eighth bicycling fatality of the year; seven of those cyclists have been killed in collisions with large trucks. With such an obvious risk, you’d think they’d actually do something about itThanks to Jim Pettipher for the link.

A British drivers’ group offers surprisingly good advice on how to share the road with bike riders — including if one cyclist does something dangerous, don’t assume all cyclists do.

A new study shows riding a bike for an hour will add an extra hour to your life. At least if you live in The Netherlands.

Caught on video: Neo-Nazis stop a Slovokian urban mountain biker mid-course.

An Aussie study says the country’s mandatory helmet law really did reduce head injuries 29%, without noticeably reducing riding rates.

 

Finally…

Let’s end on a rare double caught on video, as an Indiana bike rider captures a series of bizarre lights in the sky on his bike cam, which NASA says is probably just lightening. Because they don’t want us to know about the coming alien invasion, right?

And a Bakersfield cat is named Hero Dog of the Year for rescuing a three-year old tricycle rider from an attack by the neighbor’s dog.

And deserves it, even if he doesn’t exactly fit the description.

Hemet mountain biker found dead on trail after being reported missing

Police have finally made the connection that seemed to be obvious.

The Press-Enterprise reported yesterday that a man had been found dead on a bike trail near Hemet on Sunday, a day after a mountain biker had been reported missing in the same area.

Yet even after authorities identified the victim, they wouldn’t say if he was the person who had been reported by his family when he failed to return from a Saturday off-road ride.

That changed tonight when police finally confirmed that 33-year old Hemet resident Shane Gainer had been found dead after riding in the hills a mile north of Simpson Park.

Police located his car in the park’s parking lot, then conducted a search of the area before finding his body in a ravine off one of the trails in the area.

No cause of death was evident; the Press-Enterprise reports it could take up to six weeks to get the results of an autopsy and toxicology report.

However, the paper reports temperatures in the area reached 100 degrees on Saturday, which could easily have resulted in dehydration or heat stroke.

This is the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Riverside County. That compares with eight in the county this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Shane Gainer and his family.

 

LA bike rider attacked with machete, bad news from Hemet, plus Bicycle Coffee and pleasant private bike cops

In one of the most horrifying attacks in recent memory, a Los Angeles man may have kept his bike, but lost one of his thumbs.

And nearly his life.

According to multiple sources, a 43-year old man was walking — or possibly riding — his bicycle near the intersection of West 12th Street and South Burlington Avenue around 12:30 am Sunday, when he was attacked by four men who tried to steal his bike and wallet.

One of them hacked at him with a two-foot machete, resulting in a severe cuts to both arms, as well as a fractured skull, in addition to having his left thumb cut off; early reports suggest he was likely to lose his right hand, as well.

Despite his injuries, he somehow managed to run a few blocks to get help; at last report, he was hospitalized in critical condition. However, he was able to keep both his bike and his money.

The attackers were described only as young adult men, possibly 18 – 21 years old, who fled in a green four-door sedan. According to police, the attack did not appear to be gang related.

For some reason, the victim was initially described as an 18-year old man before police corrected the report.

Let’s hope he recovers quickly, and that police catch his attackers.

And let this be a reminder that no bike is worth your life.

………

Brace yourself for bad news.

A man was found dead on Hemet biking trail on Sunday, hours after a 33-year old mountain biker was reported missing.

The victim has not been identified yet, and here’s no confirmation yet that it’s the missing cyclist. But it doesn’t look good.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon.

Update: Authorities have identified the man found dead as 33-year old Hemet resident Shane Gainer, but for some reason, won’t confirm if he is the missing cyclist. No cause of death has been determined. 

………

Bicycle-Coffee-1Now let’s switch to a happier subject.

On Sunday, my wife and I made a short trip to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market at Ivar and Selma, just a few blocks from the Hollywood and Vine Metro station.

Sans bikes, since she doesn’t ride. And without the Corgi, since even well-behaved dogs aren’t allowed under LA County health rules.

The purpose of our journey was to find the elusive Bicycle Coffee Company.

Elusive, because the LA branch at Santa Monica and Western is only open Friday though Sunday. And despite our best efforts, we hadn’t been able to get there when the doors were open.

Bicycle-Coffee-3On the other hand, we knew they were at the farmer’s market every Sunday, just a short subway ride way from our apartment.

It took some searching to find their Nishiki-towed bicycle cart — yes, there’s a reason for their name — hidden back behind the other vendors near the Arclight, nee Cinerama, Theater, and just in front of Umami Burgers.

We left with a couple bags of what is reputed to be some of the area’s best coffee, each accompanied by a free cup of joe with purchase.

And the knowledge that next time, we can just order our beans and they’ll deliver by bike within a roughly 10-mile radius.

……..

On the way out, I stopped to admire a bike belonging to one of the security guards with the BID Patrol at the farmer’s market.

Rosales-1And found myself talking with retired LAPD officer and dedicated cyclist Jim Rosales, who was happy to point out the 29” wheels and disc brakes, as well as the rear rack for the panniers he usually uses but decided to leave at home that day.

We talked about his volunteer work patrolling the Santa Monica mountains, the road bike he rides in his spare time, and the fixie he’s currently building. As well as his favorite bike shops, including the Performance Bike his brother-in-law wrenches for in Pasadena.

Kanagi-bikeAll in all, a pleasant talk with another rider. And one more example of a conversation that would never have happened behind the wheel.

Then just as we were about to leave, I noticed the pink handgrips on his partner’s bike. So he called her over, and fellow BID security officer Cortney Kanagi was happy to show us her matching pink handcuffs and the pink grip on her handgun.

Proof that you can be feminine while riding a bike.

Or subduing a suspect.

Kanagi-2

Former OC lawyer gets max sentence in drug-fueled death of bike rider

Four years.

That was the sentence a judge finally issued Friday, after repeated delays, for the death of bike rider Eric Billings in Mission Viejo 27 months earlier.

Former immigration attorney Hasti Fahkrai-Bayrooti, who goes by the name of Hayley, had unexpectedly pleaded guilty to a single felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in March of this year.

According to the OC DA’s office, she had a near-lethal dose of Xanax and Suboxone in her system when she ran down Billings’ bike from behind on March 15, 2013, as he rode in a marked bike lane on Santa Margarita Parkway.

My News LA reports that investigators found a bottle of Xanax in her car following the collision; despite being filled just two days earlier, there were already 75 pills missing.

She reportedly ignored several text messages prior to the wreck from friends who begged her to stop driving and sober up. Yet despite claims that she was screaming and “pulling her hair out” following the crash, her first call was to her pharmacist, not 911.

She had faced a possible sentence of 16 months to four years for the conviction. She was also sentenced to an additional three years, to be served concurrently, after being caught with Clonazepam, a sedative used to treat seizures and panic disorder, while she was behind bars.

In addition, Fahkrai-Bayrooti’s license to practice law has been suspended by the California Bar, and stands to be permanently revoked after her sentencing.

My News LA reports that her defense attorney — at least the third one she has had in this case — claimed she had been dependent on prescription drugs since an “early, early age,” and may have early onset dementia as a result.

She expressed remorse at the hearing while pleading for mercy, saying she is no longer in denial about the damage she has caused. Although that denial appeared to be in full force in comments she left on this site just one day after pleading guilty.

A press release from the DA’s office quotes Billing’s wife from the victim’s statements given at an earlier hearing, offering just a hint of the loss her family has suffered.

The victim’s wife said in part, “The void that is left by this tragic and senseless accident is overwhelming. The fact that it isn’t just an accident, but rather an accident committed by one under the influence, is ironic in that Eric never had a drink in his life, would not even take a Tylenol, and would barely take a pain killer after surgery.” She went on to say, “Although I have chosen not to be bitter and have forgiven this woman, I would like her to have consequences for her actions.”

Fahkrai-Bayrooti now faces a long stay in state prison because she didn’t get the help she so clearly needed before she took an innocent man’s life.

Let’s hope she finally gets it while she’s behind bars.

And is never, ever allowed to drive again.

 

Weekend Links: Bikeshare finally coming to LA, and fighting among ourselves won’t make bicycling to grow

It looks like bikeshare is finally coming to Los Angeles.

According to Streetsblog, Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee approved a contract for the first phase of the program, starting with 1,000 bikes in Downtown Los Angeles before hopefully spreading to other parts of the city.

Metro selected Bicycle Transit Systems, operator of Philadelphia’s Indego system. And they pinkie swear the system will be interoperable with the bikeshares in Santa Monica and Long Beach.

The LADOT Bike Blog says Metro’s goal is to allow rentals using a TAP card, so it becomes an extension of the transit system. And calls bikeshare an ideal fit for LA.

Which is true, as long as we have the infrastructure network in place to keep riders safe. And that currently exists only in DTLA.

Then again, this isn’t the first time it’s been promised.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica has announced their proposed rate structure, ranging from $6 for a one-hour rental to $25 a month for one hour per day of riding. Annual passes start at $119, or $79 for SaMo residents; Santa Monica College students get a discount at just $47 a year.

Looks like I may have to go back to college.

………

Mobility Lab says if we want people to like bicyclists, we all need to slow down, lose our helmets and spandex and buy cruiser bikes.

Screw that.

Despite what some have to say, we won’t win any battles if we turn on ourselves, and say one way to ride a bike is right and every other way is wrong.

We should expect everyone to ride courteously and safely.

Beyond that, there is nothing inherently wrong with riding fast for sport, just as there is nothing wrong with a moderately paced ride to work or a leisurely cruise along the beach.

And there is nothing wrong with dressing for the kind of riding you do, whether that means Lycra, jeans, shorts or a dress.

Our strength comes from working together to support all forms of bicycling, by every kind of rider. Demonizing one form of riding and dividing bicycling into various camps is the best way to ensure we conquer ourselves.

……..

Long Beach-based bike advocate extraordinaire Charlie Gandy goes car free after his trusty Jeep dies.

……..

The National Brotherhood of Cyclists is attempting to band bike advocacy groups together to bring equity to the front of the movement.

Speaking of which, there will be a Ghost Bike Ride for Justice in South LA Saturday evening.

……..

The US amateur and junior cycling championships will come to Truckee and North Lake Tahoe next week.

VeloNews talks with Ian Crane, the pro rider who nearly died after a gut-wrenching crash through the window of a race vehicle during last year’s USA Pro Challenge.

Pro cyclist John Degenkolb says dopers are still thriving, and bike racing will never be 100% clean.

Or any other sport, for that matter.

………

Local

Los Angeles residents continue to drive less.

LA’s Topanga Creek Bicycles is honored as the small business of the year for California’s 27th Senate District.

A Santa Monica traffic safety group says an analysis of traffic collisions over a 10-year period shows bikes aren’t to blame for road injuries, cars are.

A Manhattan Beach man plans to ride 3,800 miles from one Manhattan Beach to another,

 

State

San Diego cyclists may be down but not out after a kick in the pants by the local Association of Governments.

An Indio cop says he fatally shot a bike rider who hadn’t threatened him because he was mourning the death of a fellow officer. Oh, well okay, then.

Wealthy Rancho Mirage once again votes to block a planned 50-mile bike path around the Coachella Valley.

A hit-and-run cyclist flees the scene after crashing into an 81-year old woman in a San Francisco intersection. Jerk.

A Sacramento columnist calls for a ban on sidewalk riding after she and her husband are nearly hit by the sort of rider who probably wouldn’t obey it anyway. Meanwhile, a DC sidewalk rider asks why all the hate?

Davis is installing solar powered bike lockers to encourage cyclists to leave their bikes at the station.

 

National

ESPN discovers women’s bike polo. And yes, it is a badass sport.

Seven people suffering from Parkinson’s are riding 464 miles across the Rockies as part of a 30-member Davis Phinney Foundation team.

A Montana fixie-riding bike commuter experiences firsthand what it’s like to be hit by a stop sign-running driver.

A new Texas mom on her first outing after giving birth saves the life of a bike rider after noticing him slumped on the side of the road with a massive heart attack.

A local website asks how bike-friendly Louisville KY really is after the city gets bumped up to Silver status.

Evidently, aggressive cyclists are the biggest problem in the Twin Cities, as a writer offers up six ways to tell you’re a bike jerk. And London, too.

The family of a bike rider who was killed in a New Jersey amateur race settles a lawsuit against the organizers for $7.1 million; the victim collided with a race referee while riding at 30 mph.

Cute story from Philadelphia, as a young kid on a bike joins a couple of bike cops out on parole, then gets a tour of a fire station.

A bike rider once again beats a driver and a bus rider in a race to see who can commute faster in Savannah GA.

An LSU fan site says a football player should be banished from the program for beating a man and punching his girlfriend. But evidently, stealing a bike was okay.

 

International

McDonald’s introduces to-go packaging specially designed for use on bikes overseas. So what are we, chopped liver?

A Canadian boy suffering from a brain tumor gets a new bike after his was stolen.

Calgary’s new bike network comes in under budget after engineers scrap plans for bike signal lights; even so, ridership is already 25% above projections.

Caught on video: Sniggering Brit hooligans film themselves pushing a cyclist off his bike from a passing car. Hopefully authorities will show them just how stupid they were to post it online — let alone do it.

A London cyclist suffers a broken leg when he’s mugged for his bike.

An English TV presenter says bike riding is London is too dangerous, and cars should be banned from the city center. Getting rid of the blind spot on large trucks could help, too.

A Brit rider making a comeback in racing after 16 years off the bike offers advice on how to stay married and ride your bike, too.

A 19-year old British bike rider is two-thirds of the way through his attempt to become the youngest person to ride around the world.

A Dublin bike rider is searching for the Good Samaritan who drove her in search of a bike shop after she double flatted in a fall.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A bike-riding London mayor tells an angry cabbie to “fuck off and die.” The London Press freaks out over a texting cyclist riding with no hands in relative safely.

And London’s Telegraph offers a tongue-in-cheek test to see just how much of a cycling psycho you really are.

Apparently, if I’m not a bike messenger, I should be.

 

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