Archive for Bicycle Safety

Bike rider killed in Oxnard DUI collision; driver reportedly high on prescription drugs

More bad news.

The Ventura County Star is reporting that a 46-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a van in Oxnard.

Forty-six-year old Oxnard resident Amado Ray Johnson was riding on the dirt shoulder of southbound Victoria Avenue north of Gum Tree Street around 3 pm Tuesday when the driver drifted off the road and struck him from behind.

He died at the scene.

The driver, identified as Ventura County resident Sean Patrick Donovan, was arrested on site for vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

A street view shows a divided roadway with three southbound lanes and a left turn lane, with what appears to be a macadam shoulder.

This is the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Ventura County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amado Ray Johnson and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Anthony Navarro for the heads-up. 

Update: Altadena bike rider dies weeks after an apparent solo fall, possibly caused by old-style speed bumps

Correction: New information changes the location of this crash, meaning the old-style speed bumps were not the cause of this crash. See the update at the end of this story for the latest details. 

An experienced bike rider has died two weeks after he fell on an Altadena street.

The victim was reportedly riding on Holliston Ave when he fell due to rubber speed bumps a little over two weeks ago.

The man, identified on Facebook as Dick Wood, was reportedly conscious immediately following the fall, and identified the older-style speed bumps as the cause of his crash.

The exact date and location of the fall are unclear at this time. However, someone who lives on North Holliston confirms that there are rubber speed bumps on the lower section of the roadway.

Wood was described by numerous sources as a very experienced and well-liked rider in his 70s who had ridden across the US and participated with the weekly ROC ride at Stan’s Bike Shops when it was located in Monrovia; it has since moved to Azusa.

It’s speculated that he somehow lost control of his bike and hit the speed bumps before going over his handlebars, but that is unconfirmed at this time.

This is the 18th confirmed bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. Five of those have been the result of solo falls; that compares with two for all of last year.

Update: I have been informed that Wood is believed to have fallen on Holliston below New York Ave. A street view shows an odd speed bump made of what appears to be rubber tiles on the street south of New York; while there appear to be channels in the speed bump, it looks like a high bump that could easily upset a bike if the rider missed the channels for whatever reason. 

Photo courtesy of Ellen Steel

He reportedly was alone at the time of the crash, and died of head trauma this past Saturday. He’s described as a very experienced rider who had ridden across the US more than once.

Update: A comment from a local resident places the site of the crash as Holliston Avenue between Altadena Drive & Mendocino Avenue; a ghost bike has been placed at 2401 N. Holliston, one block above Mendocino. 

As he notes, these appear to be modern speed cushions, which are lower and longer than the old speed bumps, with grooves that should have allowed safe passage of a bicycle.

It’s hard to understand how these would have caused the crash, as Wood reportedly said. 

Meanwhile, another source says that he passed away on Saturday, May 6th.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dick Wood and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Carlos Morales, Wesley Reutimann, Tim Rutt and Ellen Steel for helping with this story.

Morning Links: Idaho Stop Law dead for this year, and 13-year old may have died due to misaligned handicap ramps

So much for that.

A California version of the Idaho Stop Law that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields is dead on arrival at the state legislature.

The bill’s sponsor, Big Bear Assembly Member Jay Obernolte, pulled AB 1103 off the docket following a harsh review at its first committee hearing on Monday in the face of opposition from the usual auto-centric suspects, who can’t seem to grasp that it only legalizes what most bike riders have done for decades.

And the sky hasn’t fallen yet.

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KCBS-2 reports classmates of Ciara Smith wore bright colors to school today to honor the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach on Friday.

At least one parent blames her death on misaligned crosswalks, which are a result of the single diagonal handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps that would line up with the crosswalks. In order to turn or cross the street, her bike would have angled out into PCH, exposing her to traffic.

Fatally, in this case.

Which means the city could be ultimately responsible for placing a higher priority on reducing costs rather than improving safety.

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This year, the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen cyclists falls right in the middle of next week’s Bike Week, between Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles and Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

There will be two Los Angeles rides this year, the traditional Pasadena Ride of Silence beginning at the Rose Bowl, and a new North Hollywood ride sponsored by the LACBC beginning at the Metro station.

There will also be rides in Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties, so you’re likely to find one near you.

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No doubt feeling the need to get a jump on LA, the Bay Area will celebrate its Bike to Work Day this Thursday, with 10,000 people expected to participate.

Meanwhile, OC will celebrate with Bike to School Day tomorrow, Bike to Work Day next Tuesday, and a Bike Rally next Thursday.

You can find a calendar of LA-area Bike Month events on the Metro website, while the LACBC offers their own very crowded Bike Month map.

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Still more in the ongoing CD1 saga.

LA Downtown News says Joe Bray-Ali has a chance in next week’s CD1 election, even if it’s a million-to-one.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman uses the Bray-Ali story to challenge bike and safety advocates to examine our own biases, saying the approaches and narratives of the Livable Streets community can silence voices on the margins.

And there’s something seriously wrong when the incumbent blocks the LA Times transportation writer on Twitter for no apparent reason.

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If you’ve been watching the Giro, you may have wondered about those black sticks under the rider’s seats.

The ex-winner of the 2005 Vuelta will get his title back, along with $794,000, after Spanish courts threw out his positive test for EPO.

Chris Froome’s high-speed tuck may not be aerodynamic as everyone thought.

Newcomers won the Redlands Bicycle Classic in a pair of upsets. And speaking of upsets, this RBC rider probably was when a drone sent him over the handlebars.

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Local

Metro’s long-delayed Hollywood Bike Hub is finally scheduled to open next Friday.

Streetsblog reports on Downey’s three-mile open streets event this past Sunday, while Rancho Cucamonga is hosting their own open streets even this Saturday.

 

State

Newport Beach will be conducting a pair of bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Wednesday the 17th and Monday the 22nd. By now you know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Diego is facing another lawsuit from a man injured while riding his bicycle on a broken sidewalk, just weeks after paying out $4.85 million to settle a similar case.

Oakland cuts the ribbon on the city’s first protected bike lane. Or rather, make that its first curb-protected lane.

Another Sacramento bike rider was bitten by a leashed dog on the American River Parkway, after a rider was bitten by a loose dog from a homeless encampment last week.

 

National

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Idaho man plans to ride 100 miles in a charity ride this Sunday; he didn’t take up riding until five years ago following a double knee replacement. Then again, I’d settle for being able to ride 80 miles when I’m 100.

A Denver bike cop will retire, less than a year after he finally was able to return to work following critical injuries when he was hit and dragged half a block by a driver who suffered a seizure.

Denver drivers are up in arms over a nine-second delay in travel times due to a new road diet and protected bike lanes on a major commuting corridor, as the city reprioritizes its transportation policies to make room for everyone. This should be required reading for everyone at LADOT, the city council and the mayor’s office.

No bias here. An Omaha NE bike rider gets the blame for crashing into a police cruiser whose driver apparently cut him off on the sidewalk.

The LAPD officers participating in the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers have made it to Nashville TN.

A New York writer describes what it’s like to join 32,000 other riders in a one-day journey through all five of the city’s boroughs.

A Brooklyn judge has ruled that a bike-riding lawyer can proceed with his case against the city following a crash with a pedestrian on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Louisiana driver is brought to justice by another bike-riding lawyer in the first application of the state’s anti-harassment law. Los Angeles has had an anti-harassment measure on the books for nearly six years, but I’m not sure if anyone has actually used it, let alone received a settlement.

 

International

No justice in the death of rising Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters, who was killed in a collision during a training ride last December.

A Toronto writer says Vision Zero won’t become reality because it’s written in a report, but only when it’s written in the streets.

British bike historian Carlton Reid uses Google Street View to rediscover the country’s lost and abandoned WWII era bike paths.

A writer for the Guardian comes to terms with the death of famed endurance cyclist Mike Hall, counting himself among the lucky ones to have been inspired by him.

The Philippines has a five point action plan to cut traffic deaths in half by 2020. Oddly, reducing driving rates isn’t one of them.

 

Finally…

The world may be coming to an end, but at least your bike has less bacteria than what passes for a bike at the local spin club. If you’re already high, carrying a controlled substance and riding the bike you just stole, maybe you should try obeying the damn traffic laws.

And who needs toilet plungers for a DIY protected bike lane when you’ve people?

 

Morning Links: The good, bad and ugly in SD, screaming AL truckers busted, and the future belongs to bikes

It’s shaping up to be a video Monday.

Let’s start with a clip from Frank Lehnerz, who offers a first-hand perspective on why San Diego bicyclists are frustrated that starts out good, but gets ugly fast.

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An Alabama father and son were arrested after turning themselves in for the screaming road rage assault on a charity cyclist that went viral last week.

Then there was this one from the UK, where a British van driver deliberately ran a bicyclist off the road. And was fired as soon as the video became public.

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The future is ours. A prominent disruptive technologies analyst says bicycles will eventually rule the roads, and cars will be the big losers.

And forget ebikes. Here’s what we’ll all be riding.

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Nice new ad from Go Human in honor of bike month.

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With just over a week left in the campaign, CD1 challenger Joe Bray-Ali has replaced both his campaign manager and communications director with professionals, taking the place of two people described as “essentially neighborhood volunteers.”

Speaking of Bray-Ali, Todd Munson forwards a mailer from incumbent Gil Cedillo that targets the bike-riding challenger directly.

 

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Former American pro Tyler Hamilton says there’s still doping in the pro peloton. Which should come as a shock to absolutely no one.

It was not a good day for Australia’s Rohan Dennis at the Giro; Geraint Thomas had the legs, but not the luck. Here’s Sunday’s spoiler-free standings.

The Sacramento Bee wants to know why women cyclists competing in the Amgen Tour of California make less money than men when they work just as hard. Why, indeed?

Make your TV watching plans for the AToC. Or be there in person when the race comes to the LA area for the last four stages.

BMC Racing General Manager Jim Ochowicz says fans will be surprised by the next generation of cycling talent coming from the US in the next few years; a new group of Canadian riders is on the rise, as well.

ESPN introduces the women of New York’s Red Hook Crit. And for a change, it’s not all glamour pics. Or any, for that matter.

New champions were crowned in the Redlands Bicycle Classic men’s and women’s crits.

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Before we move on, let’s throw in a quick sponsored post from our friends Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, Co-Authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles.

Don’t let National Bike Month slip by without adding Where to Bike Los Angeles to your cycling library. It’s by far the best riding guide for LA by far and you can pick it up during the ongoing one-month sale — this May only — for less than twenty bucks a copy directly from the authors’ Amazon store.

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Local

The LA Times says it’s time to give the Idaho Stop Law a try in California.

The LACBC is hosting a Bicycle Commuting Essentials workshop tonight at Just Ride LA in DTLA to help get you ready for next week’s Bike to Work Day.

Streetsblog checks out the new protected bike lanes on Monterey Road in Northeast LA.

A writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune rides the San Gabriel River Trail and encounters several homeless encampments on the way, including what looks like a bicycle chop shop.

A writer on Facebook says his mother tracked down her stolen bicycle in El Monte, but can’t get police to take it seriously.

 

State

Newport Beach considers a road diet on Bayside Drive to slow speeding drivers, after resistance to plans for a roundabout.

A San Diego city councilmember rides with 100 bicyclists through his Barrio Logan district, while promising money for bicycling.

San Bernardino County accepts a $200,000 SCAG grant to develop an Active Transportation Plan for the High Dessert’s Morongo Basin.

Why blame all those people in cars for causing traffic congestion, when a bike-riding Santa Cruz councilmember and his supporters make such convenient scapegoats?

A Sacramento bike rider was attacked by a pair of pit bulls from a homeless encampment along a riverfront bike path, suffering severe bite wounds on his legs.

 

National

Despite the failure of Seattle’s bikeshare program — largely blamed on the city’s mandatory bike helmet law — two dockless, app-based bikeshare companies have set their sights on the city.

Caught on video: If you’ve ever wondered how bike thieves go about their business, check out this Boise ID security video.

Bighearted members of an Iowa organization provided five special needs kids with adaptive bicycles.

Texas toddlers complete in a strider bike race around the streets of Fort Worth in the cutest story you’ll read today.

A Memphis cop has joined past and current officers from the LAPD on the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers.

Several hundred New York riders take part in the annual Blessing of the Bicycles. LA’s Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital a week from tomorrow.

New York riders says a perpetually clogged Williamsburg bike lane is a fatal crash waiting to happen.

Evidently, Aziz Ansari is one of us, riding his bicycle to promote an upcoming show at New York’s Paley Center. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Twenty-six riders stopped in Philadelphia on their way to DC on a 400-mile ride from Newton, Connecticut to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

No surprise here. Bicyclists in Maryland oppose the release of the drunken, hit-and-run Baltimore bishop; if you live in Maryland, you’re urged to sign the petition to keep Heather Cook behind bars.

A Virginia writer says everything he knows about bicycling he learned from his father, and hopes to pass it on to his own kids one day.

Kindhearted cops in Georgia help 17 kids build their own bicycles donated by a food company.

 

International

In a study that should surprise absolutely no one, researchers conclude that the success of bikeshare programs depends on safe bicycling infrastructure.

Bike Radar offers six essential roadie skills, along with nine things you can do on a bike, but probably shouldn’t do off one.

Calgary police recover a stolen bicycle and return it to the owner 18 years after it was taken.

Despite support for cycling from Parliament, the UK’s Cyclist Magazine worries that cycling will get squeezed out of political party manifestos in the rush to the country’s new election.

A writer for the Guardian considers the lesson he learned from his dad about how to be a good father, courtesy of a used purple chopper bike.

Popular five-year old British bikewear maker Vulpine has gone belly-up.

An award-winning inventor in the UK has developed an incredible shrinking bike helmet designed to fit into a small pouch.

A five-year old girl will be tackling the full length of a 55-mile Welsh trail, along with her father and seven-year old brother. At that age, I was happy when my parents let me ride around the block. On the sidewalk.

Sad news from Spain, where a drunk and stoned driver — at 8:30 on Sunday morning — plowed into six members of a triathlon team on a training ride, killing two and seriously injuring three others.

Melbourne, Australia authorities clear a bike rider in the death of an elderly man who stepped in front of him as he rode in a bike lane.

 

Finally…

If you’re a convicted felon carrying a loaded handgun on your bike, don’t ride salmon. Unless headline is missing a comma, this could be the most popular bikeway in the state.

And the next time you’re struggling to make it up a hill, just &%$^! the #&O%! out of it.

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Thanks to Danila Oder for her generous donation to support BikinginLA, and help keep Southern California’s best bike news coming your way every day.

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And another post comes to  close, as the support staff has petered out after hard day fetching all the latest news.

Update: Teenage girl killed by Metro bus on PCH in Redondo Beach

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed another victim. And a lack of bicycle infrastructure may be at least partially to blame.

According to the Daily Breeze, a 13-year old girl, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike with a friend when she somehow swerved in front of, or into, a Metro bus around 5:40 pm on Pacific Coast Highway at Knob Hill Ave in Redondo Beach.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper reports a witness said she swerved in front of the bus, while initial reports suggest she rode into the side of the bus, according to a Metro spokesperson. The bus was operated by a subcontractor, MV Transportation, rather than Metro itself.

However, the South Bay’s Easy Reader, which places the time of the crash as 4:40 pm, cites a local business owner who says the girls were coasting their bicycles along the sidewalk before riding out into traffic.

They also note that the collision was partially captured on security camera, while observing that the bus had the green light as it approached Knob Hill on southbound PCH.

The other girl was unharmed.

A street view shows a commercial roadway on PCH with two lanes in each direction and a center left turn lane, with a wide sidewalk along side.

Meanwhile, a Twitter photo on the KTLA-5 report shows the victim’s bike resting on the curb on the northwest corner, while police blockade the center Knob Hill alongside PCH, suggesting she may have ridden off the handicapped ramp into the intersection. However, it’s unclear how that would have placed her in the path of the bus.

The lack of safe bicycling infrastructure on PCH may have contributed to the crash by encouraging the girls to ride on the sidewalk instead of the street, where they would have been more visible to the driver. And may not have had to dart into the path of the bus.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County. And while it’s at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Redondo Beach since 2010, it’s the first in the last five years.

Update: The victim has been identified as 13-year old Ciara Smith of Redondo Beach, a student at Parras Middle School. 

Update 2: The community turns out to mourn her death.

Update 3: KCBS-2 reports the crash may have been a result of misaligned crosswalks due to the single diagonal cut handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps aligned with the crosswalk. 

Some of her classmates brought flowers and wore bright clothes in her favorite colors of teal, mint green and blue.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ciara Smith and all her family and loved ones.

Morning Links: Bicycling examines our deadly streets, Bike Month heats up, and Bray-Ali story travels the globe

Bicycling Magazine gets it.

No, really.

The magazine that’s long been criticized for its focus on spandex-clad road cycling has dug deep into the safety crisis on our streets, for a June issue focused on the dangers riders face and the failure of the legal system to protect us.

They even got the headline right — This Has Got to Stop!

Their examination is highlighted by a survey of bike riders conducted on the magazine’s website, which includes the following key points:

  • 32% have been hit by a motor vehicle (me too)
  • 61% of urban riders have been doored (yep)
  • 89% of respondents have been harassed by an aggressive driver (uh huh)
  • 20% experienced being followed by an aggressive driver (ditto)
  • 31% have had an object thrown at them on a ride (more than once)
  • 29% report being coal rolled (cough)
  • 52% of female cyclists have experienced aggressive driver behavior on at least some of their rides compared to 33% of men

In addition, you’ll find a number of articles that together sum up the current sorry state of bike safety in the US.

It’s not all bad news, though. The magazine also looks at some of the more positive aspects.

As you read these stories — and read them, you should — you may recognize several of the cases as stories we’ve reported on here. And if you read carefully, you may find my name, as well as the name of this site, sprinkled in here and there.

It’s a demanding, heartrending and intense series of stories. And may very well be the best work the magazine has ever done.

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Bike Month is starting to heat up.

Metro is celebrating with a free month of Metro Bike bikeshare if you sign up for a monthly membership.

The LACBC is celebrating by profiling bike riders throughout the month, while Bike SGV profiles bike riders in the San Gabriel Valley.

And thanks to Portland bike advocate and mom Kath Youell, you can now track your Bike Month Challenge miles online, even if you don’t have a workplace team to join.

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The Joe Bray-Ali story has now made it around the world, as an Indian website picks up the story, apparently drawn by Bray-Ali’s Indian-Hungarian-Irish Jewish and Muslim heritage.

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In addition to the risk of traffic violence, some bike riders face actual violence.

A 12-year old Cleveland girl was collateral damage in a car-to-car shooting, shot in the foot as she rode her bicycle.

A Florida man was shot in the ankle by another bike rider who attempted to rob him.

Caught on video: A man calls for help as he’s mugged by a gang of hooded youths who steal his bicycle in a London Park.

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The legendary Marco Pantani still holds the hearts of Italian cycling fans, 13 years after his cocaine-fueled death.

African cycling suffered a big setback as Namibian cycling star Costa Seibeb was killed in a car crash Tuesday morning.

Caught on video, maybe: A stalled motorcycle caused a massive pileup near the starting line of New York’s annual Red Hook Crit. The video may or may not play; I’ve been looking for a working version of this for two days, after it was apparently removed from YouTube.

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Local

Streetsblog highlights the debate over Vision Zero funding in the Los Angeles transportation budget, which is quickly reaching a crisis point as traffic deaths continue to climb.

While approving a handful of bikeways, West Hollywood says forget about a road diet on Fountain, and chooses parking over safety on Santa Monica Blvd. Note to WeHo: You can’t connect to the bike lanes on Willoughby in Los Angeles, because there aren’t any.

Yo! Venice examines bike theft in Venice Beach, which is down after police cleared out a number of homeless encampments in the Ballona Wetlands; the LAPD still has a number of unclaimed bicycles they recovered from the homeless camps.

Ground was broken on a Newhall Ranch bridge project, including walkways on the bridge and a bikeway underneath.

 

State

No bias here. After a Santa Rosa cyclist was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street, police note that he was not in a crosswalk. Even though bike riders are usually discouraged, though not forbidden, from using one.

Sad news from Northern California, where a bike rider was killed in a Half Moon Bay hit-and-run, and a Petaluma man died when he reportedly went over the handlebars after losing control of his bike.

An anti-bike Marin County columnist says bike riding is not a viable option for anyone except fit, young people, and the county isn’t going to become a bike-crazed Holland anytime soon. Which is exactly what they said in Holland before it became one. And countless older, out-of-shape adults ride bicycles every day.

Disabled veterans ride with the pros at an invitation-only mountain bike race in Grass Valley.

Chico gets promoted to gold-level bike-friendly status.

 

National

The Hawaii city council votes on whether to fork over $50,000 to pay the legal fees of a police officer who was apparently fired after killing a bike rider in a crash while on duty.

A Seattle man who lost both legs when he was hit by a Prague subway train hopes to be the first handcyclist to complete the Race Across America, which starts next month

Now that’s more like it. A stoned Washington driver gets seven and a half years for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle just minutes from his home.

A model arrives at New York’s Met Gala dressed for the red carpet after beating traffic with a pedicab ride through Central Park.

Caught on video too: An Alabama cyclist is the victim of a screaming tirade from two men in a truck, one of whom hangs out of the open passenger door to berate him.

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a police officer, this time in Jacksonville FL. As usual, police say it was the bicyclist’s fault, even though the officer was responding to a call without lights or siren, saying the rider was reportedly swerving for no apparent reason and didn’t have any lights. Even though the crash occurred before sunset.

 

International

Ottawa bicycle advocates throw mud in the great debate over bike fenders.

A new report from members of the British Parliament calls for changing the driving code to require drivers to yield to people on bicycles.

Over 200 cyclists turn out to honor fallen endurance cyclist Mike Hall at a memorial service in his English hometown, a little over a month after he was killed in a collision while competing in an Australian race.

One in five Welsh adults have not ridden a bicycle in ten years. Which means 80% of Welsh adults have.

Caught on video three, or maybe four: A Scottish man is nearly crushed in the equivalent of a right hook, after taking up bicycling again for the first time in 20 years. While the driver clearly cut him off, he should have stopped when the truck first cut into him, rather than pulling alongside before the driver cut him off again.

Helsinki, Finland will get an expanded bikeshare system this summer, with 1,400 bikes at 140 stations, as well as another 100 bikes in a neighboring city.

 

Finally…

Touring the world on a smuggled bikeshare bike. Your next ebike could be a hippo. Or maybe a panda.

And nothing like teaching your son the family business.

The bike theft business, that is.

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Thanks to Eric from Boulder for his generous donation to support this site.

Which leads to our periodic reminder that if everyone who visits this site today contributed just $10, it would fund BikinginLA for a full year.

Then again, if just one person contributed a shitload of money, it would probably have the same effect.

Oceanside bike rider dies after apparently crashing into a tree

For the third time in two weeks, a bike rider has died in an offroad fall in Southern California.

San Diego’s CBS2 is reporting that an unconscious man was found around 9:40 this morning just off a bike path in Oceanside, near North Santa Fe Avenue and state Route 76.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was found with his bicycle next to a tree at the bottom of an embankment. He was pronounced dead at the scene, despite attempts to resuscitate him.

No other information is available at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Accident Investigator Gabe Cobian with the Oceanside Police Department at 760/435-4989.

This is the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego County.

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

 

Update: Man dies after apparent right hook in Temecula Wednesday night

Sad news from Temecula, where a man on a bicycle died following a Wednesday night collision.

According to the Valley News, the victim was struck by a truck driver who was turning right from eastbound Temecula Parkway to Pechanga Parkway around 8:52 pm last night.

Riverside County sheriff’s deputies responding to the scene found the man, who has not been publicly identified, lying in the roadway suffering from major injuries. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died today.

There was no indication that alcohol was a factor.

Based on the limited description, it would appear the rider was the victim of a right hook. However, there’s no word on where the victim was riding at the time of the crash.

A satellite view shows a major intersection with seven through lanes and two right turn lanes on Temecula, which suggests that he may have been riding on the sidewalk and rode off into the crosswalk. However, that is just a guess at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Carpenter at the Temecula Police Department at 951/696-3000.

This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 56-year old John Napolitano.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Napolitano and his loved ones.

Morning Links: LA cyclist mugged by transient, CHP endorses speeding drivers, and CD1 race gets dirtier

Regular bike commuter Lou Karlin forwards word that he was attacked by a transient while riding in LA’s Pico-Robertson neighborhood Tuesday evening.

I was going west on Whitworth at Crescent Heights at approximately 6:10 p.m.  A male transient was pushing a shopping cart northbound across the intersection.  He passed me just as my light turned green.  As I began to pedal, he turned back, entered the intersection and punched me in the jaw, knocking me off my bike.  The driver behind me stopped and came to my aid.  The transient, apparently deranged, accused me of having attacked him first and then threatened to hurt the driver.  We let him go on his malevolent way, northbound on Crescent Heights.

I wasn’t badly hurt, just a sore jaw and ribs.  I called 911 to report the incident, and was told to wait for officers.  Unfortunately, it took 60 minutes and repeated calls before two officers arrived–so the transient had disappeared long ago.  In retrospect, I wish I had followed him.

It might be worth a heads up to those who commute on Whitworth — the transient is white with a stocky build, in his 50’s, has a beard, and wore baggy jeans and a light-colored, short-sleeved shirt.

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Speed cameras work.

A Maryland news report says that no pedestrians have been killed on a roadway near the University of Maryland since a speed camera was installed in 2014; three people were killed on the street in the six months before it was put in place.

And a New York report from 2015 showed that speed cameras in school zones have been a resounding success, resulting in a 58% decline in speeding tickets in just four months.

Unfortunately, though, a bill that would allow a pilot project in San Jose and San Francisco has been put on hold due to opposition from law enforcement groups.

California Highway Patrol Officer Tom Maguire, representing the CHP’s rank-and-file union, challenged the notion that speed cameras would help improve street safety.

In his 21-year career patrolling the East Bay, Maguire said, “I have never investigated or assisted in an investigation that involved a vehicle and a pedestrian or a vehicle and a bicycle that resulted in a fatality where speed was the primary collision factor. Never.”

Which ignores the fact that while collisions may be caused by other factors, excessive speed can contribute or exacerbate that primary collision factor — such as a speeding driver blowing through a red light or making unsafe lane changes — and significantly increases the risk that a crash will result in death or serious injury.

Things he should be well acquainted with in his 21 years of patrolling.

In fact, it seem disingenuous, to use the polite term, to suggest that speed is never a factor in a collision, let alone the determining factor in whether someone lives or dies following a wreck.

And the CHP should, and undoubtedly does, know better.

So the question becomes, not whether speed cameras save lives, but why the union representing CHP officers is willing to stand in the way of safety, and continue to let people die on our streets as the victims of speeding drivers.

You’d think they’d be in favor of reducing speeds, obeying the speed limit and saving lives.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

………

We all knew this was coming.

The only question was what it would be, and when.

LAist posted a story yesterday that dug deep into CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali’s online history, and found a handful of comments posted to an alt-right website that can be described as insensitive, at best. And that appear to have the fingerprints of the Cedillo campaign.

Bray-Ali explains in a video posted on Facebook that he was, in effect, trolling the users of the site. But apologizes repeatedly for his mistake in judgment.

He also apologizes for remarks about gender reassignment surgery, noting that he’s changed his views after getting to know a number of trans people during the campaign.

So let’s be clear.

Virtually every political campaign conducts opposition research on the opposing candidate to dig up whatever dirt they can find. Most campaigns have to common sense and decency not to use it.

Evidently, Gil Cedillo’s doesn’t.

While they will undoubtedly deny having anything to do with it at today’s press conference to denounce Bray-Ali’s comments, there can be little doubt that this came directly from Cedillo’s campaign — and undoubtedly with his direct approval — and was given to the writer for LAist.

I’ve personally been involved in a number of campaigns where someone uncovered damning information about the opposing candidate. The decision on whether to use it was left to the campaign manager, but it always run past the candidate before releasing it.

And in every case, the decision was made not to use it. Sometimes by the campaign manager, sometimes by the candidate. But always because it was the right thing to do.

But clearly, not all politicians are so ethically enlightened.

I am deeply disappointed by Joe Bray-Ali’s comments, and the lack of judgment shown in posting to sites like that, for whatever reason. His only defense is that he was posting as a private citizen, before he chose to run for office.

But he should have known better.

On the other hand, I am disgusted that Gil Cedillo would stoop so low to hold onto a seat he clearly doesn’t deserve. Whether or not he wins the election, his credibility is shattered.

And we should all see him as the dirty politician he has proven himself to be.

………

Samsung is introducing an app that will automatically reply for you if you get a call or message while you’re driving or riding your bike.

Unfortunately, installing and using the app is voluntary.

Which means it’s not the solution to distracted driving, but it’s a start.

………

The Colorado Classic has announced the twelve women’s teams that will compete in the inaugural edition later this year.

Iran’s former national champ just got a seven and a half year ban for doping, his second offense in less than 12 months. Good thing the doping era is over.

………

Local

Bike SGV forwards news that South Pasadena is considering bike lanes on Mission Street and protected bikeways on Fair Oaks; you can weigh in with your thoughts to help shape the future of South Pasadena.

Credit Bike SGV with passing on the news that Pasadena’s bike-friendly city council candidate Andy Wilson eked out a victory in last week’s runoff election.

The Press-Telegram presents your playlist for the fourth Beach Streets open streets event this Saturday.

 

State

No bias here. The San Diego Union-Tribune says an eight-year old girl hit the front of a truck with her bicycle, even though they explain that the truck actually crashed into her after she allegedly rode out in front of it.

Officers taking part in the Hollywood Memorial Ride from Hollywood to DC to honor fallen law enforcement officers stopped in Palm Springs Tuesday night.

Kids in a small, impoverished Kern County town are now riding bicycles abandoned by people at Burning Man, after they were stripped of fur and psychedelic tape, and repaired by a Bakersfield nonprofit.

A Sacramento news site warns that Vision Zero may be an elusive goal, while noting that countywide figures show bicyclists were at fault in 71% of crashes, and riding salmon in 61%. Both of those numbers seem highly questionable; if so many people are really riding on the wrong side of the street, something is seriously wrong. And they need to find out why.

 

National

You’ve got to be kidding. A Hawaii judge reduced the bail of a man charged with attempted murder for allegedly driving up onto a sidewalk to intentionally run down a bicyclist — even though he has no permanent address and at least one previous conviction for failing to appear.

A Portland writer says the city has spent 40 years building itself around pedestrians, trains and bicycles, so it’s time to just give up on driving altogether.

Employees of a Denver-based company built and donated 750 bicycles for local kids in an effort to set a new Guinness world record.

If you plan on riding the Montana backcountry this spring and summer, watch out for bears.

Four Texas cops are riding across the state to honor the five officers killed in last year’s Dallas ambush.

Researchers at the famed Cleveland Clinic have discovered that bicycling may be the best medicine for Parkinson’s Disease. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A California man with Type 1 diabetes will ride 800 miles through what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider America’s Diabetes Belt, from Chicago to Atlanta, to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association.

A Vermont letter writer says replacing parking spaces with bike lanes is discrimination against disabled, elderly and rural people. Because as we all know, none of them ever ride bicycles.

 

International

A Canadian cyclist warns his fellow riders not to ride the nearly finished Trans National Trail, saying it’s not safe because much of the trail runs on the shoulders of high speed highways.

An Ottawa city councilor pulls his support for a bike lane in the face of public opposition to the loss of 97 parking spaces.

New legislation would commit the United Kingdom — which may become the Untied Kingdom post-Brexit — to a specific plan for funding bicycling and pedestrian projects, with the equivalent of up to $1.54 billion in spending by 2020/21.

A new British study shows how road pollution can pass through your lungs and into the bloodstream, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke; the risk is greater for people who already suffer from coronary heart disease. However, the benefits of bicycling still outweigh the risk posed by air pollution.

A Scottish transportation group says bicycling instead of driving would amount to an 8% pay raise for the average person, saving the equivalent of over $2,500.

Touring Paris on two wheels.

While the US government scrubs any reference to climate change off government websites, the UN is partnering with a Chinese bikeshare company to raise awareness of global warming.

 

Finally…

That’s one way to prevent bike theft. Your next bike could literally suck smog.

And a writer in Singapore isn’t exactly pleased with her brief bikeshare experience.

 

Morning Links: Dangerous driver — and pedestrian — tricks, and willfully indignorant* bike-hating writers

The war on bikes goes on.

A Macon GA pedestrian was convicted of misdemeanor assault for body-checking an Air Force chaplain who was riding his bike on a base fitness trail, insisting “the trail is not for bicycles.”

A North Carolina driver faces a second degree murder charge for — allegedly — intentionally running down a bike rider, for the apparent crime of saying something to a woman at a nearby home.

A British Columbia hit-and-run driver may have intentionally targeted a 14-year old competitive cyclist; a witness saw the truck veer into a bike lane to hit her, while reports circulated about a similar truck involved in a previous road rage incident.

Meanwhile, a Toronto writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke — and why shouldn’t dangerous drivers be priced off the road?

Or as Tom Vanderbilt put it, a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.

………

Then there are the writers who just don’t get it. And seem damn proud of it.

A Davis columnist doesn’t seem to like the idea of an Idaho Stop Law, because, in his observations, virtually no one on a bike stops for a stop sign anyway, while every single driver comes to a full and complete stop. No, really, you can stop laughing now, that’s what he said.

An Atlanta columnist describes a road diet as “New Urbanism-speak for choking off a road” in hopes that drivers will become so frustrated they’ll go somewhere else.

On the other hand, an Australian columnist gets it, saying licensing bicyclists isn’t the answer, and that only a change in the attitude of all road users will prevent future tragedies.

………

Fallen pro cyclist Michele Scarponi will be buried today in his full team kit; even his parrot is in mourning.

A French pro was the victim of a vicious attack with a baseball bat and a box cutter while on a training ride with two other cyclists.

Former British cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke lost his license for 41 months after being convicted of driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. This is why people continue to die on the streets, when even a second drunk driving offense results in nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

………

Local

Vision Zero will host four open houses in Southeast and South LA in the coming weeks, with the first one this Thursday. And will roll out a series of events throughout the LA area, starting this week on Hoover Street.

The Better Bikeshare Partnership looks at the Team LACBC Diversity program to encourage more people to take part in the annual Climate Ride, beyond the usual white male suspects.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’ll be holding a roadside bike repair workshop tomorrow evening in conjunction with DTLA’s Just Ride LA bike shop.

 

State

Now that Governor Brown and his wife got new bicycles for Christmas, maybe he’ll be a little more concerned about bicycle safety and providing safe places to ride.

A San Diego man recounts his “amazing” four-day ride along the coast highway from Ocean Beach to Santa Barbara with a friend.

A San Jose woman wants bike riders to pay to fix potholes in the roads, even though bikes don’t cause them. Cyclelicious takes the opportunity to remind us of the Fourth Power Rule, concluding that a Prius causes 38,000 times more road damage to the road than a bicycle.

 

National

People for Bikes compares bicycling to other types of exercise to see how it stacks up; shockingly, riding a bike comes out on top almost every time.

Portland is developing an adaptive bikeshare program to address complaints that the city’s Nike-sponsored systems isn’t accessible to people with disabilities.

Austin TX is doubling the size of their free bikeshare system.

Caught on video: A Skokie IL cop pulls over a driver for tailgating a bike rider, telling them both “I want you to know that I care.” Although it’s kind of scary that the rider didn’t know he was being followed that closely.

A Minnesota TV station profiles a facemask wearing, bike-riding Robocop who records and challenges dangerous drivers.

Drag racer Courtney Force and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal are two of us, as they go fat bike riding in Indianapolis.

Caught on video too: Tennessee firefighters rescue a teenager who tried to ride his bicycle through 50-degree floodwaters.

Life is sickeningly cheap in Florida, where killing a fourth grader riding his bike on the sidewalk is worth nothing more than a $1,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

 

International

Caught on video three: A bike-raging Toronto cyclist smashes the side mirror of an SUV, accusing the driver of laughing after nearly hitting him; a local advocacy group rightly condemns vigilantism while noting that something clearly led up to the incident.

Horrific story from London, where police are looking for a gang of masked thugs who hacked a teenage bike rider to death for no apparent reason, after harassing people earlier in the evening.

An unmarked bike cop will be riding the streets of Edinburgh to catch and educate drivers who don’t pass safely. Which is really all it takes to enforce the three-foot passing law, and yet, almost no police agencies in the US bother to do it. Including here in Los Angeles.

Forbes says the Glasgow study showing bike commuting can lower your risk of death by all causes 41% is an exceptionally well-controlled study, adding to its credibility. Unlike, say, the one that says you could suffer dementia and have a stroke if you drink diet soda.

A new Dutch system uses bunnies and turtles to tell you whether you need to speed up or slow down to make the next green light. And a cow to say just give up, already.

A bikeshare company is picking up the tab for Beirut’s first prototype bike lane, which will be extended throughout the city if all goes well.

The battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS rebels has resulted in a unique bicycle culture, as cars and motorcycles are banned from moving in the west side of the city, and bikes are more practical in the rest.

Remembering when bikes went to war a century ago, as members of the Kiwi and Aussie Anzac Cyclist Brigade found themselves trapped in the trenches of WWI.

Nothing like watching a seeming embarrassed kangaroo hide its crotch after just missing an Aussie cyclist.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding your bike at 2:40 am carrying hash, crack and coke, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. If you’re going to use your bicycle as a burglary getaway vehicle, again, put a damn light on it, already.

And if you feel the need to salute the cyclist who just beat you in a sprint to the finish, try to use more than one finger.

Or at least hide it from the camera.

 

*A mashup of indignant and ignorant, a truly lovely combination

 

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