Archive for Bicycle Safety

Update: Cyclist killed riding wrong way in Lincoln Heights collision

Once again, riding on the wrong side of the road has claimed the life of a Los Angeles bike rider.

The Eastsider reports a bike rider identified only as a Latino man in his early thirties was hit and killed in Lincoln Heights early this morning.

The victim was riding south on Humboldt Street on the wrong side of the road when he was struck by a driver traveling north on Avenue 26 at 1:30 am. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other information is available at this time. The site notes the investigation is ongoing.

A street view shows an intersection with four lanes on 26th, with an offset crossing at Humboldt controlled by a stop sign.

While some people believe riding against traffic is safer because they can see cars coming, it’s actually one of the most dangerous things you can do. According to the LAPD, riding salmon is leading cause of serious bicycling collisions in many parts of Los Angeles.

In this case, the victim would have been hidden from view by the upholstery shop on the right side of the street, as well as any cars parked on the lot until the last moment — particularly if the vehicle was traveling at speed, which is likely given the hour. And the vehicle would have been hidden from his sight, as well.

This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The Eastsider has updated its story to identify the victim as 22-year old Los Angeles resident Giovanni Cali.

He was riding with a companion who saw the car and was able to avoid it; unfortunately, Cali did not see it in time. The driver remained at the scene, and was not under the influence.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Giovanni Cali and his loved ones.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

South El Monte bike rider killed crossing Rosemead Blvd

A man was killed in a collision while riding his bike near South El Monte Wednesday.

According to the San Gabriel Tribune, 39-year old South El Monte resident Jose Antonio Resendez was crossing Rosemead Blvd at Rush St at 9:35 pm when he was struck by a car headed north on Rosemead in unincorporated LA County.

No word on which direction Resendez going or who had the right-of-way; he died at the scene around 15 minutes later.

The driver remained at the scene.

The story notes both the bicycle and the car suffered moderate damage; as usual, the victim fared worst in the impact.

This is the 35th bicycling collision in Southern California, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 17 in SoCal this time last year, and eight in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Antonio Resendez and his family. 

Morning Links: Glendale brake-check driver charged, busy SaMo bike weekend, and just what is AAA saying?

Justice is served, for a change.

LAist reports the Glendale driver who was caught on video buzzing and brake checking a pair of cyclists — then lying about it on TV — has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and filing a false police report.

CiclaValley broke the original story, posting video that clearly shows driver Dennis Reed’s actions.

He also breaks down the story Reed told KNBC-4, finding it somewhat truth-challenged.

Despite Reed’s assertions that the cyclists rode dangerously and attacked him first before the posted video, I’ve seen the entire unedited 20 minute video, which is sure to be offered as evidence in court.

It clearly shows both men riding in a safe and legal manner, even stopping for stop signs and observing the right-of-way. And shows no interaction whatsoever with Reed or his car until he honked, buzzed them and slammed on the brakes after another driver had just passed them safely.

I’m glad to admit I was wrong when I said this would most likely be a case of he said/she said, and that Glendale police would probably wash their hands of the matter.

They deserve credit for taking this case seriously, along with the DA’s office for filing charges.

However, while I couldn’t have more respect for Don Ward, I think he’d be the first to tell LAist writer Matt Tinoco there’s a whole city full of bike advocates and activists working to make this a safer and more inviting place for all of us to ride our bikes.

And you should take your blood pressure medication before reading the comments, especially from this apologist for the driver.

Update: CiclaValley offers his thoughts on the case, and posts the full video. So see for yourself what really happened. 

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It’s a busy bike weekend in Santa Monica, starting with tomorrow’s Brompton Urban Challenge to benefit LACBC local chapter Santa Monica Spoke.

That’s followed with the collaborative community celebration Gear Up! to kick off Bike Month on Sunday, May 1st. Events include a bike swap, free helmets and bike repair, music, bike art and local food.

Thanks to Cynthia Rose for the reminder.

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At first glance, it just seems like an interesting, artful shot.

Westways

But after taking it in, you’ve got to wonder what message is AAA’s Westways Magazine, a publication for Orange county drivers, sending with a rusted out bike within easy crapping range of a pelican?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sometimes, it’s not.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the cover photo.

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Speaking of Mike, he also forwards this new promotional video from GoPro, the first in a new series called Beyond the Race – An Inside Look at Competitive Cycling.

We’ll let Mike offer his take on it.

The first GoPro produced “Beyond the Race” episode features a serious road biker taking off on a morning ride and imagining he’s engaged in a bar-banging sprint to the finish. The video alternates between his passionate ride along a beautiful coastline (Oregon?) and up-close and personal GoPro footage of some very real and very serious professional bike races.

Walter Mitty fantasies are no doubt enjoyed by many road bike enthusiasts, so GoPro’s first episode is sure to hook them. However, the 2:17 video was so short and so shallow that it almost felt like a tease. Even with its shortcomings, that tease is enough to make me to wait anxiously for the next episode, and it may entice others to do the same.

New videos are scheduled to be posted every other Thursday.

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Local

A writer for the Times says since she’s become a bike commuter, she’s noticed how frequently and needlessly drivers honk at her. And says don’t do it. Just… don’t.

UCLA’s bikeshare share system is expected to open this fall, and will be compatible with systems already open or planned for Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. While the campus is bike friendly, what will happen when those riders venture out into Westwood Village and beyond, where Councilmember Paul Koretz has actively blocked bike safety improvments?

CiclaValley captures on video what it would be like if Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive is ever opened to cars. Seriously, that’s three mentions of him in a single post; if you’re not checking out CiclaValley every morning, you should be. Okay, make that four. No, five.

Once again, Santa Monica is cracking down on violations that can affect bike and pedestrian safety, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians.

Long Beach isn’t just bike friendly, it’s also one of the most walkable cities in the US.

 

State

Instead of a bike corral, the Sawdust Art Festival hosts a colorful floral Bicycle Garden made up of Laguna Beach’s first sculptural bike racks.

A Murrieta man is nearing the end of his 18,000 mile journey by bicycle to return his father’s ashes to Southern China.

Ventura County’s largest charity ride, Cruisin’ the Conejo, is set to roll on Sunday the 7th.

Oakland gets its first protected bike lane on a newly slimmed down Telegraph Avenue.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is leading Bike to Work Day rides with eight of the city’s eleven supervisors. Yet here in LA, if any city councilmembers will be riding to work that day, they’ll be doing it on their own; we should have organized rides like that with our elected officials, too. And not just one day a year.

The bike polo scene in Sacramento and Davis is attracting some fiercely competitive women.

 

National

Female bike messengers across the US band together to support one another and fight harassment.

Lance asks the court to throw out the Feds’ $100 million lawsuit against him, a day after the US asked for a summary judgment against him. But then, that’s just the usual legal maneuvering and probably doesn’t mean anything.

Oahu HI installs new bike lanes to improve pedestrian safety. It’s often overlooked that bike lanes can improve safety for everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

Yet another bighearted cop, as a Michigan officer buys a new bike to replace one that was stolen from an 11-year old boy last week.

Like business owners almost everywhere, Chattanooga businesses oppose city plans for a road diet and bike lanes on a major street. And like virtually everywhere else, they’ll probably fight to keep it and the added customers and sales it will bring in.

Baltimore’s Highway to Nowhere will be getting a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover.

New Orleans rises into the top 20 cities in the US for bike commuters. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

The Awl takes a look at Mississippi, the last state where it’s still legal to drink and drive.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as bike riders in Florida’s Siesta Key take it on themselves to improve bike safety in the tourist resort.

Florida police blame a bike rider for colliding with a patrol car that was blocking the sidewalk he was riding on, saying he just crashed into the car while trying to go around it. Sure, that’s credible.

 

International

Montreal has seen a dramatic spike in bicycling casualties, with deaths up 50% and serious injuries climbing 43%. And as usual, police are quick to blame the victims.

The Toronto Star says the city should finally put bike lanes on Bloor street after studying it for 25 years.

The Guardian offers advice on how to on how to ride in the rain. A problem we’re not likely to face very often since El Niño crapped out on us.

Bike Radar lists 25 pieces of riding advice for beginners. And for a change, they’re actually pretty good.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is using bicycling to make immigrants feel more at home in their new country.

Caught on video: When a Malta cyclist confronts a truck driver following a too close pass, the driver gets out of his cab and tries to kick him in the head; oddly, the same two people had another confrontation a few months earlier.

A teacher in Afghanistan turned his bicycle into a mobile library to bring books to children in isolated areas. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman fights for women’s rights by riding a bike across the country.

An Aussie cyclist attacks a car in a case of bike rage, for no apparent reason. Something tells me there’s another side to this story. But regardless, never resort to violence, ever. Period.

A Vietnam vet and his wife return to tour the country by bicycle, welcomed as friends despite being former enemies.

 

Finally…

Nice to see old school doping is still alive and well in this age of high-tech motor doping. If you’re going to crack a safe stolen from a preschool, a busy bike path in broad daylight probably isn’t the best time and place to do it.

And what the hell did Snapchat think would happen when they added an mph filter to their app?

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Thanks to everyone who proofread this site for me yesterday, and caught my colossal geographic blunder.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

 

Morning Links: Local DUI bicycling death reverberates on the East Coast, and PCH study says OC’s got problems

This is the harm that traffic crimes cause.

The pain of Saturday’s drunken high-speed crash that took the life of 26-year old Tomas Brewer reverberates through his hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The budding screenwriter came to LA to break into the business; next week his family will come to take him home.

Correction: This piece initially misidentified Brewer’s hometown as Gloucester, England, rather than Gloucester, MA. I apologize for the error; thanks to Phillip, Jay, Sean and Yawfle for the correction. 

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A newly published $400,000 safety study points out the many safety problems for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on PCH through Orange County.

And needless to say, the possible solutions — and the willingness to actually do something about it — vary from one town to another.

Like Laguna Beach, where the city manager questions removing or reducing lanes or parking; nice to know a parked car could have more value than a human life.

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Maybe it’s yours.

Amid the steady drumbeat of stolen bikes registered through this site, news popped up yesterday afternoon about a bike that had been recovered during an arrest in Westwood.

According to the report, it’s a black, 2015 Fuji Transonic 2.5; the serial number has been removed, so they’re asking for distinguishing characteristics to identify the owner.

If you know someone whose bike has been stolen recently, pass the word along. It would be nice to see the owner get their bike back for a change.

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Even the judge is mad as a 19-year old Michigan driver is somehow allowed to plead down to a misdemeanor for killing a cyclist while high on drugs, resulting in a maximum six months in jail.

His comments are worth considering, since they apply to so many people who injure or kill others while driving impaired, distracted or aggressively.

“You don’t get it,” Alexander said. “You destroyed a life, you destroyed a family and you destroyed another life, yours. You don’t care. You just don’t care.”.

“You just think this is a little inconvenience,” Alexander said. “I don’t think you have any understanding of what you did. You took a life, you took a life and I don’t think you care.”

Maybe it will sink in for someone, somewhere.

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Still more bighearted people, as a Portland bike shop owner receives a $5,000 carbon bike after being selected as National Retailer of the Year. And promptly gives it to a 15-year old autistic kid.

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Local

CiclaValley recaps Tuesday’s meeting of the Metro Bicycle Roundtable. Which I can attest was actually more of a semi-circular arrangement.

Richard Risemberg catches the Ballona Wetlands in full bloom, and says ride out to see it yourself for the good of your soul.

The LA Weekly previews the Los Angeles Bicycle Festival coming to Grand Park on May 8th.

Vin Diesel gives his latest co-star a BMX dirt bike for her 30th birthday. Then takes her ax-tossing.

The annual Tour de Cure Ship to Shore ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association rolls through Long Beach this Sunday. As a diabetic American, I’ll have to take part myself one of these days.

 

State

Coronado plans to reward bike riders of all ages with gift certificates and theater tickets for riding safely and following the law. Although they might improve safety a lot more if they rewarded motorists for driving safely around bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sad news from Tulare, as a bike rider was killed in a collision with a big rig truck; police insist the rider somehow crashed into the truck’s trailer.

After suffering serious injuries in a Fresno hit-and-run, a physician and life-long cyclist says bicyclists have a right to the road, and asks if we can all just get along.

A Berkeley bike rider is suing the city and several civic employees, alleging they were aware of dangerous road conditions that led to his injuries when he hit a pothole.

 

National

Men’s Journal explains why you should take your next camping trip by bicycle.

Portland biketavists are joining the Department of DIY to get their point across, from dropping orange cones to mark bikeways, to shaming drivers and posting signs to slow them down.

After supporting a billion dollar transportation tax last year, Seattle cyclists are understandably pissed off that promised bike lanes through the downtown area have disappeared from the implementation plan.

A New Mexico private security guard is charged with intentionally running down a bike rider with his car, then beating the crap out of him.

Fargo ND police take to a tandem to promote bike security.

Bob Mionske looks at the case of the Michigan rider illegally convicted of impeding traffic, and the $10,000 pro bono legal brief that got the $200 ticket dismissed on appeal.

After a witness proves them wrong, the NYPD finally gets around to correcting their report that said a woman was riding her bike against traffic when she was struck by a car; the witness also says the driver lied about the victim running a red light.

A North Carolina TV station offers a reality check for calls to license, register and tax cyclists; one commenter says riding a bike on the road “is dangerous, not too logical, actually disrespectful to every auto driver the roads were designed for.” But really, it’s bike riders who think they’re entitled, right?

A Florida mom is raising awareness of bike helmets for kids after her son suffered a skull fracture and brain hematoma that went undiscovered for two days, nearly costing him his life.

 

International

Experts say the Rio bike path that collapsed recently, killing three people, was destined to fail and should never have been built in the first place.

Vancouver disability advocates say plans to remove parking spaces near the city’s General Hospital to make room for protected bike lanes would make it too difficult for people to access healthcare services. Evidently, it’s the only major hospital in North America without onsite parking or drop-of zones.

The new law school dean at the University of Windsor, Canada walks the walk by riding his bike to work and meetings at the courthouse, year round. Shouldn’t that be pedals the pedals?

A Toronto columnist aptly observes that traffic tie-ups due to road construction are just a fact of life, but a project to test bike lanes on a busy street has everyone up in arms.

An Oxford, England bookseller returns home after a two-year, 20,000 bike trip around the world, motivated by the cyclists’ travel diaries he sold in the shop.

Evidently, telling a British women’s track cyclist to give up riding and go have babies can be detrimental to your career.

Afghanistan’s Nobel Prize-nominated women’s cycling team falls victim to the country’s notorious corruption; along with the loss of 40-newly purchased bicycles worth $100,000, the team’s recently dismissed coach was accused of using it as his “personal piggy bank and love playground,” marrying — and divorcing — three of the team members.

Aussie police urge bike riders to carry liability insurance in case they crash into someone.

 

Finally…

If your SUV has a blind spot so big it keeps you from seeing a five-year old riding her bike with training wheels, maybe you shouldn’t be driving it. Your long wait for fresh bicycle anime may soon be over.

And it’s about damn time we had a bike riding saint.

Update: Echo Park bicycling fatality confirmed; 22-year old DUI driver book for murder

This is not the news we wanted.

After reaching out to the LAPD, Detective Felix Padilla confirmed that a 27-year old man was killed while riding his bike on Temple Street at Burlington Avenue Saturday evening.

According to the press release prepared by Det. Padilla, a sergeant with the Rampart Division observed a driver traveling at an estimated 60 mph while headed north on Burlington Avenue at around 6:15 pm.

However, before the officer could catch up to him, he heard the driver, identified as 22-year old LA resident Cruz Tzoc, lose control and smash into a parked car before proceeding into the intersection, where he slammed into a man riding his bicycle east on Temple.

The victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tzoc was found to be over twice the legal alcohol limit, and was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of murder.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713, Detective Felix Padilla at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222/8477, or texting to 274637, beginning the message with “LAPD.”

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has identified the victim as 26-year old Tomas Brewer, no city of residence given.

His death was collateral damage when Tzoc collided with the parked car and went through the intersection backwards, dragging Brewer 25 feet to his death  before striking a tree.

Tzoc has been charged with a single felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and was expected to be arraigned on April 26 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, case #BA446088; prosecutors are asking for $130,000 bail.

He faces up to 10 well-deserved years in prison upon conviction.

Let’s hope the DA’s office doesn’t bargain this one away.

Update 2: This is the damage traffic crimes do, as the pain of Brewer’s death reverberates in his hometown of Gloucester, MA. The budding screenwriter had moved to LA in 2013 after graduating college to get into the business.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tomas Brewer and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Missing bike rider found dead in Echo Park Lake, and a 2nd possible bicycling death in Echo Park

Sad news from Echo Park, as the body of a missing bike rider has been found in Echo Park Lake.

Twenty-seven year old Ramon Piche Beltran disappeared last Tuesday while riding with a friend. He left his bike, bag, cell phone and shoes at the park with his companion, promising to return, but never did.

He was found in the lake around 10:30 am Saturday; no cause of death was reported.

A gofundme account to help support his family has raised over half of the $10,000 goal.

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More bad news from the Echo Park area.

An Instagram post from cachicken reports that a bike rider was killed in a collision at Temple and Burlington sometime Saturday.

A photo shows a bicycle lying in the street, a badly damaged car nearby with the driver’s door smashed in; a comment to the post says the driver tried to flee but was caught.

However, I’ve been unable to confirm the report so far, either through the press or through official channels. I’ll let you know if I get more information.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up on both these stories.

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Cops sometimes get a bad rap these days, but there’s some big hearts in blue out there when it comes to bikes.

After a teenager’s $1,500 bike is stolen at a BMX expo, a Utah cop works to get him a new one, and even throws in some of his own money — then gets the bike signed by the BMX pros at the event.

When a little girl’s bike was stolen, a pair of bighearted Montana cops drove to Walmart and bought her a new one.

Meanwhile, a Spokane cop proves the local kids aren’t the only ones with mad bike skills.

Then again, it’s not just cops. A British bike shop surprises a three-year old leukemia patient with a customized stunt scooter from the US.

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Good read from a Scottish cyclist, who starts off saying bicycling has an image problem in the country — like just about everywhere else — then covers all the bases from political inactivity to making the streets a more democratic space.

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Local

The LACBC is looking for volunteers to support Bike to Work Day pit stops on May 19th.

Cal State Northridge students can now get free bike repair wherever they are, as the student association opens a mobile bike repair shop, which charges for parts only.

A mountain biker from LA is recovering after being bitten by a rattlesnake while riding above Altadena; with no cell reception, he had to ride five miles to get help.

 

State

An Orange County mountain biker was rescued in critical condition after falling 200 feet off a Laguna Beach trail.

Seriously? Del Mar and Carmel Valley residents oppose an on-demand stop light intended to improve safety for kids walking and biking to school because it might increase congestion and be hard to see. So they’re saying the life of a child isn’t worth having to stop for a few seconds every now and then? Got it.

The San Diego Padres will take over sponsorship of the city’s Pedal the Cause to raise funds for cancer research.

San Diego cyclists ride in honor of Gordy Shields, the bike advocate and racer who fought for a soon-to-be-completed bikeway around the bay, right up to his death at age 95.

Napa Valley considers replacing planned flyovers on a busy freeway interchange with traffic circles, in part to improve safety for cyclists.

A South Dakota couple thanks Redding police for recovering their bicycles just two days after they were stolen.

 

National

City Lab says the best way to avoid bad street designs is to copy the good ones.

Now that both are gone, Portland’s annual Bowie vs Prince Ride is ending as well.

A Washington driver was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants and sedatives when he fled the scene after running down a cyclist; he passed out in the back of the patrol car after his arrest. But other than that, he was perfectly sober, right?

A year later, there’s still no arrest in the apparently random shooting of a Colorado man who was fatally gunned down while riding his bike.

Shameful. Twenty-one Iowa bike riders have been killed in collisions since 2011, yet not one driver has faced a single day in jail; the most common punishment was a $250 fine.

Nebraska gets it’s first protected bike lane on a Lincoln street.

Slap, meet wrist. A 72-year old Minnesota driver gets a whole one year of unsupervised probation for killing a cyclist after crossing onto the wrong side of the roadway, and slamming into the man as he rode his bike on the opposite shoulder.

The New York Times offers a guide for nervous cyclists attempting their first ride in the city.

Over 150 wounded vets are teaming with 600 able-bodied cyclists on a 110 mile ride from the Pentagon to Gettysburg to help them come back from their injuries.

A Charleston driver gets it, saying the debate over a proposed bridge bike lane is really a question of the convenience of motorists like himself versus the safety of bike riders, even though he’ll never use it himself. Not everyone gets it, though; another driver complains about the seven seconds the lane might add to his commute. Yes, seven seconds.

 

International

NPR looks at the scourge of motor doping.

The Times says Brazil’s fatal bike path collapse raises questions about the country’s readiness for this summer’s Rio Olympics. It should raise a lot more questions than that.

An international coalition is working to connect bikeways on both sides of the Detroit River in the US and Canada.

A bike cam view shows exactly why a proposed Toronto bike lane is needed.

Montreal police want to ban bicycling under the influence, while a local cycling organization says there are bigger problems, like dooring.

A London woman tries every other commuting mode, and finds bicycling is still the quickest, most pleasant and nearly the cheapest way of getting to work. But wonders if she should get back on her bike after her third wreck in 10 years.

The Department of DIY strikes in the UK as someone paints “Door Lane” in a door zone bike lane.

The only separated bikeway in Hyderabad, India falls victim to a multi-level road widening project.

That’s one way to improve bike safety stats. The draconian fines on cyclists in Australia’s New South Wales appear to be scaring people off their bikes.

A writer in Singapore looks at the conflict between motorists and cyclists from a decidedly windshield perspective, and throws pedestrians in for good measure.

 

Finally…

No sexism here, as a track cyclist is told to forget the Olympics and just go and have a baby. Evidently, it doesn’t take much to terrorize the streets of London; a few hundred wheelie popping teenagers will do the trick.

And 400 years after his death, research proves Shakespeare was one of us.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist threatened by Metro driver, SD DUI hearing, and Phoenix scares kids off their bikes

Did a Metro employee try to run down a cyclist while on duty?

That’s what carfree bike rider Randall Fleming says happened to him last week as he rode on South Hope Street in Downtown LA.

He tells his story in the following press release.

Metro-Van-Attempts-to-Run-Down-Bicyclist-Page-1

As noted in the release, Fleming did forward photos of the driver and the van, however, I’ve chosen not to publish them at this time pending further action in this case.

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In a preliminary hearing for Jonathan Domingo Garcia, witnesses report the 23-year old man drove past popular San Diego neighborhood activist Maruta Gardner twice without stopping as she lay dying in the street after he allegedly ran her down while she was cleaning off graffiti.

According to her husband, she had just taken a photo and was putting her Kindle back in the basket of her adult tricycle when Garcia’s car slammed into her.

He faces charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving after he admitting to drinking and smoking dope before getting into his car.

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Episode 1Let’s give credit to Phoenix AZ, for producing what may be the single most distasteful and off-putting series of bike safety graphic novels ever.

They may actually prove effective in improving safety, however, by scaring kids and their parents off their bikes forever.

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Local

A writer for the New York Times discovers you can actually visit LA without a car, and even participate in CicLAvia while you’re at it. Just don’t pick the watercress downstream from a horse crossing.

Richard Risemberg says LA doesn’t need a test cycle track near the government offices on Los Angeles Street.

Santa Monica is preparing for the arrival of the Expo Line by improving bike and pedestrian facilities in hopes of getting people out of their cars.

A Valencia bike trail was shut down Wednesday, along with two lanes of traffic, when someone left a leaky canister near the curb; about a gallon of the unknown substance leaked into the gutter. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up; she also sends word of Indonesia’s bicycle rickshaw karaoke pedicabs.

Long Beach is looking for public input to refine the city’s 15-year old bike plan; current efforts include a bike/ped bridge over the San Gabriel River, connecting the Atherton Street bikeway to the San Gabriel Bike Trail.

CiclaValley talks with members of Walk Bike Burbank about the city’s first open streets event this Saturday. But don’t oversleep or you’ll miss the hour-long ciclovía from 8:30 to 9:30 am.

Santa Monica Spoke invites you to participate in the local edition of the worldwide Brompton Urban Challenge scavenger hunt on April 30th; they have a limited number of folding bikes you can borrow for the event.

Team LACBC will host a training ride for next month’s Climate Ride on La Tuna Canyon Road this Saturday; everyone is invited to join in, whether or not you’re participating in Climate Ride yourself.

The May edition of the LACBC’s Sunday Funday ride will visit local landmarks in an 18-mile journey through Northeast LA on Sunday, May 1st.

 

State

Police at UC Irvine use a bait bike to bust a pair of bike thieves; one of the men was already on probation for a previous bike theft. Prison overcrowding and an increase in the threshold for felony theft means few bike thieves ever face serious consequences, even if they do get arrested.

Cal Poly SLO won a national challenge to develop a pedal-less fluid-drive bicycle, thanks to a unique clutch design that enabled the bike to coast more efficiently.

An 85-year old Burlingame recumbent rider was injured in a collision with a garbage truck; fortunately, he’s expected to survive. The news wasn’t as good in Clovis, as a 40-something man was killed when he was hit by a car while riding in a bike lane.

Cars have been banned from one of two roadways up San Francisco’s Twin Peaks for a two-year trial period; only bikes and pedestrians will be allowed on the western loop offering the best views of the city.

San Francisco will host the city’s third annual Walk & Bike to Worship Week next month.

Oakland’s famed Telegraph Avenue is getting a green separated bike lane.

 

National

A writer for Popsugar says biking is the best, despite the silly clothes. Seriously, can we get over this whole thing about the ugly cycling attire? You don’t need spandex to ride a bike. And it can actually look pretty damn good on some people.

Assuming it’s stolen, a Salt Lake City man buys a $5,000 bike from a guy at a 7-11 for $300 in hopes of returning it to its owner.

Apparently, a Kansas State University research and extension agent assumes bicycle helmets are the only thing needed for bike safety. Helmets are a last resort for when all else fails; it’s far better to prevent any need for them by avoiding collisions and falls through safer infrastructure, teaching and obeying bike laws and riding defensively.

Over 15,000 bicycles have been stolen in Chicago since 2010. And only 62 recovered.

The Wall Street Journal says ex-UCLA basketball star and famed Dead Head Bill Walton is all about the bicycle these days.

What may be the oldest continuously operated bike shop in the country is still going strong in Queens NY after 98 years.

 

International

A Canadian sous chef chased down a bike thief and recovered a bike stolen from his restaurant after spotting something suspicious; the owner got her bike back after he a note left on the street.

Yesterday we mentioned a story about British thugs stealing a boy’s bike the day before his bar mitzvah in a strong arm robbery; today’s news is better, as kindhearted strangers raise £1,000 to replace it in less than 24 hours.

Bicycling is up 46% over the last decade, though the country’s notorious weather is keeping many off their bikes. Although someone should tell the writer the phrase is “put a damper on,” not “put a dampener on” it. Even if that seems appropriate for the soggy climate.

 

Finally…

Bike corrals can’t stop speeding drivers from running stop signs. Your next BMW could be a $1,590 Long Beach Blue bicycle.

And a new study from the UK shows that eating just 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate boosts endurance as much as beet juice.

And tastes a lot better.

 

Update: 54-year old salmon cyclist killed in Perris collision

Sad news from Perris, as a bike rider was killed in a wrong-way collision on Wednesday.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the victim, identified only as a 54-year old man, was riding against traffic on the 300 block of Fourth Street when he was struck by a work truck around 4:43 pm.

He was taken to a hospital, where he died sometime later.

No other information is available at this time.

street view shows a wide four lane roadway with a center turn lane, with sidewalks and a wide concrete gutter on either side. No word on why he would have been riding on the wrong side of the roadway, rather than with traffic or on the sidewalk.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Kiebach at 951/210-1000.

This is the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Riverside County; it’s also the fourth bicycling fatality in Perris in less than three years.

Update: The Press-Enterprise reports the victim has been identified as Perris resident Roger Villegas. He died at Menifee Valley Medical Center before 5:30 pm, roughly 45 minutes after the collision. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Roger Villegas and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Cyclist critically injured in Malibu, May’s Ride of Silence, and an in-depth Irish look at cycling

Bad news from the ‘Bu.

I had received reports of a cyclist down on PCH, but hadn’t been able to get any information over the weekend.

Tuesday, the answer came in the form of a gofundme account asking for donations to help defray the medical expenses for Steve Striver, who was hit by a car while riding in Malibu on Saturday.

Here’s what Edie Raff Pratt, author of the page, had to say.

After being airlifted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Steve underwent 6 hours of surgery to begin to repair the damage. The surgery went well however Steve remains in critical condition in the Neuro ICU unit at the hospital.

Steve’s injuries are extensive and severe. Trauma and bleeding in his head, a bruised heart, a punctured lung, fractured ribs, left wrist fracture, right hip fracture, pelvis fracture, left femur fracture, scapula fracture, lower broken back, extensive wounds on his body and face from road rash.  Honestly, there is hardly an unbroken or contusion free area on his body.

Once Steve gets past the initial hurdles in the hospital, he will have extensive and challenging rehabilitation and a long road for recovery ahead.  We appreciate any prayers of healing you can provide for Steve as well as prayers of comfort for his wife Marianne and their four children Claire, Tim, Sam and Jeffrey.

Steve Shriver is a husband, father, son, brother, friend to many, artist, musician, cyclist, surfer, gentle soul and one of the best people to ever know.

As you can imagine, the medical bills ahead will be mounting.  This page and fundraiser is set up by friends of Steve & Marianne Shriver and family, so that we may raise money for the medical bills and expenses related to them. All monies will go directly to the Shriver family.

As of this writing, the fund has raised a little more that $15,000 of the $250,000 goal in the first 18 hours.

Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the heads-up.

………

We’re less than one month away from the annual Ride of Silence to remember bike riders who’ve lost their lives in the past year.

This year’s ride will take place on Wednesday, May 18th, the evening before LA’s Bike to Work Day.

The Pasadena ride around the Rose Bowl will be held as usual, while CiclaValley writes that he will be leading a first-time Ride of Silence through the San Fernando Valley.

And for the fifth year in a row, the Anthony Martinez Jr. Memorial Bike Ride will be held in Oxnard to remember victims of traffic violence. The ride is named for a six-year old boy who was tragically killed while riding his bike on Thanksgiving Day in 2011; his father is now a tireless advocate for bike safety.

………

The Irish Times goes all in on bicycling, with a series of stories looking at riding from almost every conceivable angle.

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As long as we’re doing bullet points, let’s keep it going with a look at bikes in the news.

………

Local

Not only will we be getting a protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street, it will also be LA’s first curb-protected bike lane. Maybe that will actually be enough to keep the LAPD from parking their patrol cars in it. We can hope, right?

Taylor Swift may be one of us, as she keeps what looks like a three-wheeled pedicab stashed outside her Beverly Hills home.

Santa Clarita is hosting an open house tonight to discuss the future of pedestrian and bicycle trails between Saugus and the Santa Clara River trail.

Long Beach photographer John Montich opens a new exhibit looking at unrideable bicycles.

Unbelievable. The multiple cities in southeast LA County that make up the Gateway Council of Governments propose spending exactly zero on active transportation projects if the planned transportation sales tax measure passes. Yes, nothing.

You’re invited to a costumed Tour de Phat People bike ride visiting some of their favorite Highland Park watering holes this Saturday.

 

State

So much for equity on our streets. Two bills in the California legislature calling for equity in transportation funding and accessibility for low-income communities die lonely deaths for lack of support.

A San Diego cyclist is injured in a collision with a homemade three-wheeled “Star Trike” motorcycle; the driver naturally puts all the blame on the bicyclist, even while an on-screen graphic notes the trike — and presumably, the man riding it — has been involved in eight previous wrecks.

Murrieta police bust three transients and recover several stolen bicycles after responding to a burglary at a bike shop and spotting a man ghost riding another bike.

Santa Barbara planners approve plans for a 2.6 mile bike path. Or maybe it’s a bike lane; the story isn’t clear.

A 19-year old Napa man is busted after being spotted riding a $9,000 stolen bike.

 

National

People for Bikes says protected bike lanes can actually reduce the cost of building new roadways by lowering the cost to manage storm runoff.

Chicago cyclists can finally take their bikes on commuter trains, though few turn out to take advantage of it.

Streetsblog says everyone loses in the ridiculous bikeshare fight between Hoboken and Jersey City.

Caught on video: A New York cyclist offers a high-speed look at his ride to work, catching nine traffic violations by motorists on a single 12-minute commute.

Aussie model Elyse Taylor is one of us, as she rides her retro-style bike through the streets of Gotham in her high-waisted jeans.

A DC church is hosting a bicycle blessing next month to try to mend fences between cyclists and churches that fought over bike lanes.

 

International

Turns out pro cycling’s Dr. Dope was caught up in the Panama Papers scandal, hiding over $1 million in offshore accounts.

The Oxford Mail asks if we’re all riding the wrong bike, except for maybe for roadies, closet and otherwise.

The Telegraph asks why British courts show remarkable leniency to drivers who kill bike riders.

A new British study says nearly half of all hit-and-run drivers wouldn’t have fled if they only knew it was illegal. To which I politely respond, bullshit.

Caught on video 2: A pair of Brit thugs wrench a bike from the arms of a 13-year old special needs kid the day before his bar mitzvah.

Caught on video 3: An Edinburgh cyclist posts video of the taxi driver who attacked him last year after they exchanged words following a too-close pass; the driver was fined after pleading guilty to careless driving and assault.

A new photo book captures the agony and the ecstasy of the Tour de France dating back to 1939; one of the photographers involved calls Lance an arrogant prick.

Former heavyweight champ and current mayor of Kiev is now one of us as he rides his folding bike to work, to the ambivalent reactions of his constituents.

Ride your ebike on the sidewalk in Tel Aviv, and face a $70 fine.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build a better bicycling body by eating nothing but pizza every two hours. Not even the Dawgfather can block a planned bike lane whose time has come.

And if you put a statue of Johnny Cash next to a bike trail named for the late singer, tourists will park in your driveway.

No, really.

 

Morning Links: Drunk hit-and-run driver encourages safer cycling, and an in-depth look at counterfeit bikes

Nothing like encouraging responsibility on the roads.

An English driver was so concerned about the safety of others, she started a petition calling for all bicyclists to be required to wear a helmet and fluorescent clothing, mentioning in passing that she’d been involved in a collision with a cyclist who died.

Of course, she failed to mention that she was drunk at the time. Or that she fled the scene, leaving her critically injured victim lying alone in the street.

But sure, let’s blame the victims.

Maybe a better petition would require drivers to put fluorescent lights on their cars to warn us if they’ve been drinking, since we can’t seem to keep drunks off the roads.

Or get them to take responsibility for their own actions.

Link courtesy of Matthew Hardy.

………

Brit bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid takes an in-depth look at the problem of counterfeit bikes and parts, with chapters including:

………

Caught on video: Italian cyclist Fabio Felline pulls an endo just seconds after the start of Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race, suffering a broken nose and fractured skull; Enrico Gasparotto took the victory in the Dutch race.

Motor doping may be more common than we might think, as the European press use a heat detector to discover what appears to be seven hidden motors in two different races.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 100-year old man crossed the finish line in this year’s Tour de Yorkshire on an assisted bicycle, 63 years after he founded a British bike club.

And Wolfpack Hustles’ annual Short Line Crit is less than three weeks away.

………

Local

Van Nuys MeetingA Tuesday meeting in Pacoima will discuss a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover of Van Nuys Blvd in a bid to improve safety on one of the city’s more dangerous streets.

One of the best things about bicycling is the people you meet. CiclaValley encounters a Korean couple taking a break in LA on their 10-year journey around the world.

A writer for the Gazettes takes a free adult cycling class as part of the efforts of Danny Gamboa and Empact Communities to make Long Beach safer for cyclists.

Lawndale will host its first, albeit very brief, open streets event from 8 am to 10 am this Saturday, followed by a kids ride from 10 am to 12:30 pm.

 

State

A San Diego man receives a life sentence for fatally shooting a bike-riding 46-year old father of six for no apparent reason last year.

Now that the Chargers plan to abandoned their stadium in Mission Valley one way or another, a San Diego city council candidate calls for building a bike path along the river.

San Bernardino police are looking for a driver who allegedly intentionally ran down a cyclist, circling around him before reversing and pinning him to a wall.

A Fresno letter writer says parents should be charged with child abuse for allowing their teenage children to ride their bikes on a busy street. I think he means child endangerment, which is still an absurdly myopic windshield perspective.

Bicycling is booming by the Bay, with an 8.5% increase in San Francisco bike trips in the last year, and an increase of 184% since 2006.

A Monterey CHP officer calls on drivers to share the road with cyclists during this past weekend’s Sea Otter Classic. But mistakenly says bike riders can be cited for impeding traffic for riding too slowly or failing to move over so cars can pass; the latter only applies on two lane roadways when five or more vehicles are following behind and unable to pass. Unfortunately, the CHP frequently misinterprets this law, as well as the requirement that cyclists ride as far right as practicable. Which puts cyclists at risk of underserved tickets, and retaliation from angry drivers who’ve been misinformed about the law.

A Sacramento artist finds new life for old bike chains, turning them into dog sculptures. Meanwhile, both major candidates for mayor of Sacramento pledge to make the city a vibrant place people can safely navigate without a car.

 

National

NACTO’s new Transit Street Design Guide offers a blueprint for how to incorporate transit and protected bikeways on city streets. Let’s hope LA officials read it.

Wired says putting down temporary bike lanes is the best first step to eventually getting permanent protected lanes in place.

Utah could see a future with free transit, along with a bike superhighway on the I-15 corridor.

The Purple One is one of us, as Prince rides his bike just one day after his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois so he could be hospitalized with flu-like symptoms.

Boston boosts funding for their Vision Zero program, budgeting more than $12 million over the next three years.

Federal authorities question whether Baton Rouge LA officials misspent $2.2 million, including $400,000 used to build a bike path along the Mississippi River.

 

International

Caught on video 2: A road raging British driver repeatedly brake checks and swerves at a cyclist, apparently incensed that the bike rider had filtered past a line of cars at a red light.

Seriously? The Guardian says don’t wear your bike shorts in public, especially not in front of children. So presumably, you’ll need to throw on a pair of pants or a skirt before you dismount.

The grammatically challenged Telegraph asks what cycling tribe are you? Because evidently, it’s not possible to just ride a bike without being some sort of stereotype. Or to get that whole singular/plural thing right.

Apparently, life is cheap in Britain, where an 80-year old British man gets a suspended prison sentence and lifetime driving ban for killing a cyclist. Not that it will likely keep him off the road, since he was already driving without a license — and his glasses — after failing previous eye tests.

In the US, drivers are allowed to turn right on most red lights; in Denmark, bike riders just got approval to do the same at 33 intersections.

The United Arab Emirates considers locking dangerous drivers up for 24 hours; that’s in addition to a fine, 12 points on their license, and having their cars impounded for 30 days. Nice to see someone take traffic crime seriously, anyway.

A New Zealand railroad tunnel is repurposed as the Southern Hemisphere’s longest bicycle tunnel after lying dormant for over 60 years.

 

Finally…

Now that’s what I call a scary mug shot. Apparently, James Joyce’s Ulysses was about bicycling.

And it turns out there’s science behind spitting instead of swallowing.

Sports drinks, of course.

Why, what did you think I meant?

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