Archive for Bicycle Safety

Update: Bike rider killed in Studio City collision

Multiple sources are reporting that a bike rider has been killed in a collision in Studio City this morning.

The male victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a truck while riding on the 12000 block of Ventura Place around 7:45 am.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. No other information is available at this time.

Ventura Place is a short, four-lane commercial street running diagonally between Ventura and Laurel Canyon Boulevards.

This is the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Los Angeles County; it’s the first fatality in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen points out that a photo on the KABC-7 website shows the covered victim’s body resting near the crosswalk on southbound Redford Ave, at the entrance to Ventura Place off westbound Ventura Blvd.

Update 2: The Daily News has identified the victim as 42-year old North Hollywood resident Cario Joseph Castaneda. The paper says he was riding west when he was struck by a private trash truck as he entered the intersection.

Other reports indicated the driver was traveling in the same direction, suggesting Castaneda may have been right hooked, possibly as he came off the sidewalk. 

A comment from Alberto identifies Castaneda as his nephew, and says he was riding to work as he did every morning. 

Meanwhile, CiclaValley writes movingly about the impact of a death that stuck so close to home.

Update 3: Castaneda’s family is attempting to raise funds to pay his funeral expenses; so far they’ve raised $5,600 of the $20,000 goal. 

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

Thanks to Glenn Bailey for the heads-up.

Morning Links: AP gives a little on crash not accident, and headphones don’t cause distracted riding

The AP finally gives a little on calling crashes accidents.

The latest edition of the press network’s new stylebook will advise reporters not to use the term when “negligence is claimed or proven,” since it could be interpreted as exonerating the person responsible.

Now we just have get them to flip that, and tell reporters and editors to never call a crash an accident unless it’s proven that no one’s at fault.

But it’s a start.

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Britain’s equivalent of AAA is the latest to blame distracted walkers and cyclists for collisions, calling them smombies, or smartphone zombies.

Yet like so many others, they also throw headphone-wearing bike riders into the distracted riding mix. Even though headphones only affect hearing, rather than focus.

Here in California, it’s legal to wear headphones or earpieces in one ear, illegal to use them in both.

But blaming them for distracting riders is like saying drivers are distracted when they have their windows rolled up and the radio on. It may keep them from hearing the fire truck blaring its siren next to them, but it doesn’t significantly distract their focus from the road.

Just as riders don’t suddenly lose their ability to concentrate on the road ahead of them when they plug the second earpiece in.

It may not be legal. And it may not always be smart.

But it’s time to stop the ridiculous narrative that equates it to distracted driving.

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The LA Weekly looks at the man who is using the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to fund his personal LA anti-growth campaign, while an OpEd in the Times says increasing density is more effective in fighting global warming than raising fuel economy standards.

Meanwhile, chapter four of former NYDOT Commissioner Sam Schwartz’ new book Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars offers the best explanation I’ve seen of why density makes sense.

And why’s it’s necessary for healthy cities, and to make walking and bicycling viable options for most people.

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Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins says Metro wants to know how you’d slice the proposed $120 billion for transportation funding in LA County. Let’s start by not wasting it on widening any more freeways.

CiclaValley offers much-needed advice on taking your bike on the subway. Or any other Metro train, for that matter.

The Long Beach Grand Prix course is all yours for a whopping 75 minutes around noon today, as long as you’re biking, walking, skating or using some other form of non-motorized transport.

 

State

A Santa Cruz man is building an oversized mountain bike for taller people.

Sad news from Central California, as a 92-year old bike rider died in a collision with a 91-year old driver.

Northern California’s Caltrain is adding an additional bike car to their trains, increasing bike capacity from 48 to 72.

Tiburon residents worry that a new bike and pedestrian plan designed to improve accessibility could encourage more bike traffic. Which is kind of the point, isn’t it?

A Vacaville man faces a hit-and-run charge for a violent collision with a cyclist last August. Once again proving the inadequacy of current laws, as he faces a max of just four years for a needless wreck caused by overly aggressive driving that left a rider in a coma for two and a half weeks.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to deal with a little — or a lot — of rain, and how to keep your knees from hurting when you ride.

Who says bikeshare bikes are slow? A Hawaiian man riding one beats an experienced triathlete runner in a four mile uphill time trial. By four minutes, no less.

A Portland university is working to develop standards for safe intersections.

Caught on video: A Seattle bike rider narrowly avoids a collision with an SUV by turning hard to the left, though his momentum nearly throw him under the vehicle.

Caught on video 2: An Indianapolis bike cop challenges a couple of kids to a race.

New York cyclists can get a little divine protection at the annual Blessing of the Bicycles at the end of this month; LA’s very ecumenical Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital on May 17th. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A Charlotte NC newspaper wisely warns drivers to expect bicyclists to do the unexpected and give them room on the road.

South Carolina officials close off a lane on a busy bridge for two months as a test to see if they can make room for a bike and pedestrian lane.

Police in St. Petersburg FL are cracking down on bicyclists and pedestrians to improve traffic safety. Probably because it’s easier than attempting to tame the people in the big, dangerous machines.

A Florida paper says it’s time for the state legislature to actually do something about bills to protect cyclists and pedestrians; one would require drivers to allow a bike rider to clear an intersection before turning.

 

International

Vancouver joins the Vision Zero club.

London bike couriers fight for a minimum wage, holidays and sick pay.

It’s been a rough few days for dogs in the UK, as one pup barely survives a collision with a bike rider, while another was repeatedly kicked following an argument between its owner and a man on a bike. Seriously, no matter how pissed off you are at the owner, don’t take it out on the dog. Or anyone else, for that matter.

A business in the UK warns that cyclists who ride under the influence are ten times more likely to be injured than sober riders — then makes a blatant pitch for their roadside breathalyzer.

A South African man goes from stealing bikes to running his own bikeshare company. Let’s just hope he bought the bikes he’s using now.

 

Finally…

Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t blow your tax return on a new bike. Don’t try to lowball a bike seller, or you could end up at a brothel.

And try solving a Rubik’s Cube while riding on one wheel. Then do 116 more.

 

Morning Links: Bikeshare safer than cycling, challenging LA’s stupidest bike lane, and re-striping Washington Blvd

It was a busy weekend in the bike world.

So get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

………

Evidently, bikeshare is safer than other forms of bicycling.

According to a new study, not one person has been killed while using a bikeshare bike anywhere in the US, with over 35 million rides in at least 94 systems.

And despite the overwhelming lack of helmet use.

That compares with an estimated fatality rate of 21 deaths per 100 million bicycling trips. Which means statistically, we could have expected at least seven bikeshare deaths so far. And there hasn’t been.

Among other factors, the study credits the heavy, slow bikes typical of bikeshare, and the fact that bikeshare trips are usually taken in urban areas where traffic tends to move slower.

Though there are exceptions.

My take is that in addition to being heavy, most bikeshare bikes are made with a step-through design, which makes them easy to jump off of in the event of danger or a fall.

Hopefully that track record will continue as bikeshare begins to spread through the LA area.

……….

Maybe we need a tape measure.

Streetsblog discovers a one-block long bike lane in Pleasanton that they say may be the shortest bike lane in California; a city official admits that yes, it’s short, but it’s a little better than nothing.

Don’t send the trophy up to the Bay Area yet, though.

It was just eight years ago when Slate declared a one-block long bike lane on Galey in Westwood the Stupidest Bike Lane in America.

A title it should hold on to, even if Pleasanton’s measures out a little shorter.

………

My spies tell me the lane markers have all been stripped out on Washington Blvd between the Marina and Sepulveda Blvd, apparently so the lanes can be realigned, with the existing bike lanes extended all the way to Sepulveda.

Let’s hope the lanes are being moved to make room for a buffer. Or better yet, protected lanes.

After all, the new protected lanes on Venice look pretty comfy. Maybe once LA drivers get used to the ide, we can turn those bollards into planters.

Thanks to Margaret for the tip.

………

bikesbelongposterIn a piece that should be mandatory reading for everyone in the bicycle industry, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says if bike makers and sellers want the bicycle market to grow, spending on advocacy is an investment, not an expense.

Many of the current crop of unpaid promoters of our products are burning the candle at both ends, working tirelessly in their free time to get more people on bicycles. With substantial financial and moral support these advocates could truly work wonders. It’s shocking, really, that the industry stays largely aloof from such a passionate and committed volunteer army. (Bikes Belong in the US, and the Cycling Industry Club initiative from the European Cyclists’ Federation are stand-out examples of how the worlds of advocacy and the industry can meet in the middle.)

………

April Fools Day came and went. And as usual, it didn’t leave the bike world out.

Streetsblog says LA’s Great Streets will now be named after the councilmembers whose districts they’re in, which means Koretz and Cedillo will have their names permanently attached to failed streets they’ve made. We could only wish that one was true.

West Hollywood comes up with a brilliant name for their coming bikeshare system — Bikey McBikeface.

Cyclocross Magazine says the 19-year old Belgian motor-doper is making a comeback at the Sea Otter Classic’s e-mountain bike race.

How about a bike helmet that doubles as a pour-over coffee maker?

And Google launches a self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands. Although that may not be as much of a joke as they seem to think.

………

Lots of news from the racing world this weekend.

Slovakian pro Peter Sagan won Belgian’s Tour of Flanders on Sunday, overcoming a string of second-place finishes to claim his first Monument.

Meanwhile, a team mechanic became the latest person to be struck by a race vehicle when he was run down by an Etixx-QuickStep team car; no word on whether he was injured.

A writer for the Guardian says the death of Belgian pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié in a collision with a race moto — 66 years after a French rider suffered the same fate — should be a wake-up call for pro cycling’s overly crowded races. This crap is going to continue until race vehicles are required to remain behind the peloton. If a rider suffers a mechanical, he — or she — can wait until the peloton has passed, or just fix himself like the great riders of the past.

British world champ Lizzie Armitstead won the women’s Tour of Flanders in a photo-finish sprint to claim her fourth major victory of the year.

Eleven-time British world champ Anna Meares still suffers pain, eight years after she went from a wheelchair to the Olympic podium in just eight months following a bad fall while competing in Los Angeles.

A Taiwanese amateur cyclist feels the need, the need for speed, while an Aussie woman prepares to compete in triathlon at the Rio Paralympics just 18 months after taking up the sport — and despite being born with just one hand.

And a London doctor claims that he helped dope 150 athletes, including unnamed top British Tour de France cyclists; the Telegraph says a 39-year old amateur cyclist rolled over on the doc to get a reduced sentence from doping authorities.

………

Local

Councilmember David Ryu’s staff continues to study the Rowena Ave road diet.

Streetsblog suggest supporting the inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival on Kickstarter, while Bike Talk talks with LABF founder Nona Varnardo, as well as our friend and frequent linkee Richard Risemberg.

No bias here. A Santa Monica paper says a cyclist was arrested riding salmon while carrying burglary tools in a hot spot for break-ins. Chances are, they would never refer to the alleged thief as a motorist or pedestrian in the headline under similar circumstances.

The blog post may have come out on April 1st, but it’s no joke that Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is ready for the opening of the Expo Line and all the people it will bring looking for a way to explore the city or travel the last few blocks to their destination.

 

State

San Diego’s Downtown News looks at opposition to the city’s bike and pedestrian plan for the downtown area.

The 32nd annual Redlands Bicycle Classic starts this Wednesday, while fans of vintage bicycles will want to turn out for Paso Robles’ annual three-day Eroica California starting this Friday.

A self-righteous Clovis letter writer says cyclists have to stop being self-righteous and “assume responsibility for the proper use of their toys.” Yes, toys.

San Francisco’s People Behaving Badly reporter goes looking for bicyclists with earbuds in both ears. Nice to know they’ve solved all the other safety problems in Bagdad by the Bay.

A writer from New Jersey outs himself and his family as a few of those tourists on rental bikes that people in Sausalito claim are ruining their fair city; no such objections seem to have arisen from their ride through Yosemite, though.

Marin sheriff’s deputies will be lying in wait for the rogue one percent of mountain bikers who exceed the 15 mph speed limit on county trails.

A Fairfield driver faces DUI charges for running down a drunk salmon cyclist; he told police he’d supported his two-gram-a-day habit by using meth 30 times that day before getting behind the wheel.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to climb hills.

The Christian Science Monitor explains the benefits of bicycling attire, especially for long rides. Seriously, you don’t need spandex to enjoy your ride, but it does make a difference.

After high-stakes gambler Dan Bilzerian won his $1.2 million bet by riding from LA to Vegas in less than 48 hours, the New York post calls him the biggest jerk on Instagram. Judging by the little I’ve seen of his fascination for guns and boobs, you won’t get any argument from me.

Las Vegas police stopped the driver of an off-road vehicle but somehow let him go, just one hour before he killed a bicyclist while driving under the influence.

A Boulder CO company acts like a legal chop shop by breaking down bikes and selling the parts on eBay.

A Colorado city will vote Tuesday on whether to require bicyclists to ride single file through town, despite a state law allowing cyclists to ride two abreast.

In a horrifying hit-and-run reminiscent of the crash that nearly took the life of Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt, a Texas woman survives after being dragged several blocks under a truck as the driver fled the scene. But unlike the jerk who ran down Kevitt, this driver was found and arrested, held on a $100,000 bond and an immigration detainer. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Thanks to a Michigan company, your next bike may have a spring instead of a down tube.

Great piece from the Washington Post refuting five myths about bicycling. Although I’d quibble with the suggestion that it wouldn’t make much of a dent in congestion even if more people rode bikes.

A North Carolina cyclist thanks the driver who said her tire was flat, and drove home to get an air compressor to fix it.

 

International

Bike Radar lists seven rookie mistakes that could ruin your ride to work.

Chances are, you sit on something made by the most powerful woman in cycling every time you ride.

An anti-bike British lawyer says police are ignoring law-breaking cyclists, to which nearly everyone else says au contraire.

A new study says Brits support bike lanes across virtually all age and political groups, even if it means a longer commute.

Caught on video: A British bike rider tries to pass a bus. And fails.

Protected bike lanes come to Belfast, though drivers don’t seem to get it yet.

A new bike tour takes tourists on a post-midnight ride through the streets of Mumbai. Now that sounds like fun.

A Maltese cyclist says animals get more respect than bike riders; “No one honks at a horse, but cyclists are often harassed.”

An Australian website says the risk of riding in large cities is extremely low, while the individual and social benefits are high.

 

Finally…

When you crash your car while driving under the influence with a suspended license while carrying drug paraphernalia and prescription meds, “borrowing” a bike to make your getaway may not be the best idea. Now you can print your own parts for an ugly ass ebike.

And good luck selling this stolen bike.

 

Morning Links: Non-April Fools edition — Punishment pass in Venice, and a designer bike pop-up on Third Street

Welcome to today’s hopefully April Fools-free Morning Links. I’ve done my best to sort out the fake news, but my apologies in advance if something manages to slip through.

………

Nothing like a self-appointed expert on bike law to ruin your ride.

John Montgomery actually collided with a driver making an apparent punishment pass as he rode in Venice, who blamed him for the minor collision, and proceeded to chastise him for riding in the traffic lane instead of hugging the curb.

Then stopped a little further down the street and got out of the car, with a generous offer to kick Montgomery’s ass.

As police officers have explained to me, a motorist can be charged with assault the moment he gets out of his car to confront someone.

Never mind the obvious harassment and violation of the three-foot passing law.

………

New York designer Lorenzo Martone will open a pop-up shop for his monochrome bicycles, as well as accessories and his favorite active wear brands near Third and Orlando for the month of April.

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Local

Councilmember David Ryu’s staff continues to study the Rowena Ave road diet.

CiclaValley previews this weekend’s San Dimas Stage Race.

Santa Clarita’s Golden Valley Road bridge over Hwy 14 is in the midst of a widening project that will add two lanes, a pedestrian walkway and a bike path.

BikeSGV invites you to ride with them along Pasadena’s proposed bike-friendly, traffic-calmed street to visit the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens this May as part of Metro’s bike month; admission is free, but limited to just 30 riders.

 

State

A Laguna Beach writer says put bikeshare kiosks everywhere to help solve the city’s traffic problems, and complete the city plan that calls for a bike and pedestrian friendly downtown while they’re at it.

A Fresno bike thief is busted shortly after threatening the victim by saying “It’s not worth dying over” as the man tried to get his bike back.

Police bust a San Jose bike thief the easy way, after discovering a $3,000 bike they impounded was stolen and the thief already in custody on other charges; he and his partner allegedly took four high-end bikes from an apartment complex.

Marin County sheriff’s deputies will use radar guns to monitor the speed of bicyclists; riders on unpaved trails are limited to a maximum speed of 15 mph, and must slow to 5 mph when passing. So, how do you pass a rider doing 10 mph if you have to slow down 5 mph to do it?

 

National

Anchorage AK becomes the latest city to adopt a Vision Zero plan.

Gambler and Instagram celeb Dan Bilzerian wins his $1.2 million bet to ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 48 hours without dying in the process.

My hometown becomes the latest city to get bikeshare before Los Angeles; the new 13-station system kicks off today.

It’s a virtual ciclovía in Yellowstone for the next two weeks, as bike riders are allowed into the national park before cars are let in on the 15th. But if there isn’t anyone else on the road, why are cyclists required to ride single file? It’s not like the bears and bison care.

Wisconsin tries to reduce hit-and-run by requiring drivers who hit anything to stop and investigate, eliminating the all-too-common excuse that they thought they hit a log or a deer, or something else non-human.

A Pennsylvania conference looks at the possibility of installing speed cameras to combat speeding drivers. That’s something we desperately need here in California, where speed limits are merely suggestions. Not to mention the risk speeding motorists pose to anyone not wrapped in a couple tons of steel and glass.

Baltimore police are looking for a cyclist who collided with a four-year old child despite ringing his bike bell. He rode on after stopping to ask if the girl was okay; unfortunately, the child was seriously injured and is now in a body cast.

 

International

The Guardian offers practical advice on how to conquer hills.

Evidently, London’s Daily Mail has never heard swearing before, as they are astonished at the very brief four-letter tirade unleashed by a cyclist when he has to swerve to avoid a car. Then again, their windshield perspective is pretty obvious; someone should tell them it’s not a dashcam video if the user isn’t in a car.

Despite the popularity of London’s new bikeways, opponents call them a 20th Century solution to a 21st Century problem. Meanwhile, a high-level panel discusses how to get more people riding in the city.

Britain’s prime minister is caught riding a bike with his daughter while on vacation, both sans helmet, after he pinky swore not to do that again.

A British driver is found not guilty of attempting to run down the cyclist who ended up on his hood, saying he was just trying to get away after the group of riders harassed him.

Crowdfunding for a $3,100 Chinese smartbike raises $690,000 in just eight days.

 

Finally…

When carrying a massive load of boxes on your three-wheeled e-cargo bike, be sure to leave a tunnel you can see through. Shockingly, bike racers tend to bang into other riders while they race.

And what are bike lanes for? Street racing at speeds up to 85 mph before crashing into a house, evidently.

 

Morning Links: Bike collisions down across LA, hit-and-runs up in IE, and special offer on a new lighted backpack

How about some good news for a change?

According to LAPD statistics presented at yesterday’s bike liaison meeting, bike-involved collisions are down dramatically throughout Los Angeles compared to this time last year.

  • 49% reduction in bike collisions in the Valley Traffic Division, with serious injuries down 83%
  • 18% reduction in bike collisions in the Central Traffic Division
  • 30% reduction in bike collision in the South Traffic Division
  • No stats were available from West Traffic.

No reason was given for the sudden improvement in bike safety; as one officer said, it might just be luck.

But it’s a good way to start the year.

………

Meanwhile, things aren’t looking as good in the Inland Empire.

Hit-and-run collisions involving pedestrians are up 73% in San Bernardino County and 51% in Riverside County over the last five years, while hit-and-runs involving cyclists are up 34% and 40%, respectively.

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An Anaheim bike rider was critically injured in a collision while crossing South Beach Blvd Thursday evening.

Let’s all hope he’s okay.

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I’m normally not a big fan of the visibility arms race, in which it seems like every rider has to outdo everyone else to capture the attention of drivers.

But this new backpack seems like a great idea.

The Bluetooth-enabled Aster backpack from India’s Lumos Design Technology, currently raising funds on Indiegogo, lights up the night with side and rear LED lights, as well as forward white lights on the front straps. Not to mention turn indicators and automatic brake lights.

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It also functions as a commuter backpack, unfolding completely to provide easy access to your stuff, while offering helmet and U-lock holders, and a detachable shoe compartment.

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And it was designed for use in the US, and product tested right here in California, with feedback from 50 or so riders from the Bay Area.

As a special offer for BikinginLA readers, the first person to pledge at least $75 on the Aster Indiegogo page will also get their Lumos Thrillseeker Solar Daypack, designed to convert sunlight into electricity to charge your USB devices while you ride. Just include “BikinginLA” in the comments when you make your pledge.

But remember, this offer is limited to the first person to make a $75 or higher pledge; there’s no way of knowing if someone may have beaten you to it.

………

Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins says that as planned, Metro’s proposed transportation tax increase will “build a fantastic system that people won’t feel safe walking and biking to.”

CiclaValley recaps Wednesday’s Traffic Safety Summit in Valley Village.

The LA River is slowly coming back to life in the San Fernando Valley, with plans for a walkway on one side and a bike path on the other.

Monrovia police bust a hit-and-run driver who left a cyclist with minor injuries. Thanks to DreamWaveDave for the link.

The lead guitarist for the band Pennywise is suing Uber after he was doored while riding in Hermosa Beach last year; the passengers stayed to help, but the driver fled.

Bike-friendly Long Beach wants to extend bicycle improvements to the city’s Southeast Area.

The Armenian Youth Federation’s annual Cycle Against Denial will be held in Santa Monica for the first time on April 10th; the event marking the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide had previously been held in the San Fernando Valley.

 

State

San Diego horses can be trained to share trails with bicycles, unlike the ones that use Burbank’s Mariposa bridge, apparently. Maybe they have smarter horses down there.

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer is the first American cyclist to qualify for the Rio Olympics; the multiple silver medal winner hopes her third Olympics will bring gold. Although she may have trouble winning anything if they don’t get the track installed in time.

The OC Register suggests a two-wheeled wine tasting tour through the Santa Barbara wine country.

A Contra Costa county bike rider is under arrest for randomly hitting and blocking people on a local pedestrian pathway.

Sunnyvale’s mayor accepts a student’s challenge to ride a bike to a local high school, and sees first hand what students have to deal with.

San Francisco’s red transit lanes are forcing cyclists out of the right lane and into traffic.

After a speeding tour bus driver crashed into pedestrians and a cyclist in a crowded San Francisco neighborhood, injuring 19 people, police basically say “oops.”

Fremont becomes the latest California city to adopt a Vision Zero plan, while Daly City considers it.

Someone must not like mountain bikers in Folsom Lake. Three riders were forced to take cover when bullets flew over their heads, even after they called out to stop shooting.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on riding during your period. Or maybe gel for your hoo ha would help.

Treehugger says the cargo bike is the new family car.

The Department of DIY strikes in Portland, as someone puts up fake speed limit signs saying 20 is plenty.

A Washington bike commuter suggests it’s your own damn fault if you get hit by a car if you’re wearing dark clothes and not using lights.

Police in my hometown finally make an arrest in the case of the courteous hit-and-run driver who apparently moved a bike and backpack to the curb, but left his victim lying in the street.

A protected bike lane in Nebraska suffers $2,500 in damages when a wrong-way driver plows into the concrete divider. On the other hand, without it, that could have been a bike rider.

When a Pennsylvania man walked over to the local police station to see if they’d found his stolen bike, a bighearted cop dipped into his own pocket to buy him a new one. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up from his home town.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at ambitious mountain bike products that failed big time.

Folding bike maker Brompton calculates it costs the equivalent of $62 a month to store a bike in your London home. Not that you have a London home, of course. And not like they have a vested interest in suggesting you might want a bike that takes up less space.

A British cyclist is riding 1,400 miles across England to collect signatures for the Queen’s birthday card.

A new Irish study says the perception that you’re only riding a bike because you can’t afford a car is slowing efforts to get people out of theirs.

 

Finally…

When police can’t identify the vehicle a piece of plastic came from, the Internet can. If you take your imaginary friend for a ride, does he need his own bike?

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken wreck, maybe it’s best not to be painted gold from head to toe.

 

Morning Links: Rough week for LA bike riders, Streetsie Award celebration, and more sexist bike marketing

Last week was a rough one for LA area cyclists.

Santa Monica police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who rear-ended a bike rider on Ocean Avenue last Wednesday; anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Investigator Jason Olson at 310/458-8954.

An 82-year old cyclist from Marina del Rey was seriously injured when he was hit by a car in Palos Verdes Estates on Friday.

And a bike rider suffered major injuries when he was hit by a UPS truck turning into a driveway in Baldwin Park Friday evening.

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Streetsblog will honor two of their 2015 Streetsie Award winners this Thursday, Santa Monica’s Cyclehop/Hulu for the Breeze bikeshare program, and CA Assemblymember Richard Bloom.

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Specialized builds the bike of the future, sort of.

Yet that doesn’t seem to be the only thing they specialize in, as they somehow resort to the sexist marketing of the past to promote their new e-bike.

Maybe bike companies should be required to hire women to head up their marketing departments so the industry will finally stop shooting itself in the foot.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

German pro cyclist Marcel Kittel says there’s no longer a systematic doping culture in the sport. Then again, that’s what Lance said.

Of course, doping isn’t the only way to cheat; France’s Arnaud Demare is accused of getting a tow from a team car before winning Saturday’s Milan-San Remo race in a tight finish, while the peloton rode through a wall of smoke along the way.

If you have a USA Cycling license, your personal data may have been hacked.

………

Former pro Phil Zajicek remains in a medically induced coma after losing an arm when he apparently crossed the center line and crashed into a pickup while riding with a group in Boulder CO; he also sustained facial fractures, broken ribs, a shattered femur and an undisclosed head injury.

A gofundme account has been started to raise $300,000 for his medical care and to support his family.

………

Local

Streetsblog reviews Sunday’s Beach Streets open streets/ciclovía in Long Beach; a commenter calls it more relaxed and less bike-oriented than most CicLAvias. Meanwhile, the Press-Telegram says over 50,000 people turned out to enjoy the day. Which is over twice as many as supposedly attended last year’s far more crowded Culver City to Venice CicLAvia.

Investing in Place and the LACBC call for more funding for walking, biking and safe routes to school in Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure.

Joel Epstein writes that density is LA’s destiny, and says a proposed anti-growth measure comes at the wrong time as Los Angeles is embracing its bike, pedestrian and transit-oriented future and putting it’s auto-centric focus in the past.

LA’s Pure Fix offers advice on how to photograph your bike.

You know the new Ovarian Psychos documentary has had an impact when their story reaches Pakistan.

Caught on video: A Long Beach cop walks away when a BMX rider schools him on the law allowing bikes on the Rainbow Harbor Esplanade.

 

State

Orange County’s Transportation Authority has $20 million to invest in boosting bikeways in the county.

The Marines finally got around to releasing some of the mountain bikes that were seized for trespassing on trails crossing the Miramar base in North San Diego, after reaching agreements with the owners.

If you’re still jonesing for open streets, head out to El Centro in the desert north of Mexicali this Saturday.

Unbelievably, Fremont uses Safe Routes to Schools funding to make the street in front of a high school less safe by removing a bike lane to make room for a left turn lane. Update: It turns out the bike lane removal is only temporary during the construction, although using SRTS funding for a turn lane is questionable; thanks to Robert Prinz for the heads-up.

Sausalito continues to struggle with how to deal with bike-riding tourists.

 

National

The AP looks at lax penalties for errant drivers who hit cyclists. About damn time the press finally noticed.

Good idea. An Austin TX company offers e-bike foodie tours of local restaurants.

A Minnesota reporter wonders why the state shouldn’t adopt the Idaho Stop law now if it improves safety for bicyclists, and police aren’t enforcing the law against riding through stop signs as it is. Apparently, a British cardiologist would concur.

Jeffrey Tanenhaus explains why he left his corporate job behind and rode one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes across the country.

A TV station asks if DC is moving fast enough on bike lanes; local cyclists say not really.

 

International

A new kind of bike rack promises to block bike thieves; since they were installed at a London stadium and park, not a single bike has been stolen. Can we get some here? Pretty please?

After a British bike courier was injured by a distracted hit-and-run driver, he turns to a crowdfunding site to raise money to pay his rent; so far he’s raised over five times the original £300 goal.

An Irish cyclist is injured in yet another anti-bike attack, as someone strung a wire at neck height across a bike bridge. Note to press everywhere: a deliberate attempt to injure or kill someone riding a bike may be many things, but a prank isn’t one of them.

A disabled Indian cyclist tries to crowdfund the money he needs to compete in the Rio Paralympic games.

Israeli cyclists ride in honor of the legendary Gino Bartali, following the route he rode from his home in Italy to the convents of Assisi, where he passed on documents that were hidden in his bike to save Jews in WWII.

A Kiwi website asks if it’s time to reevaluate New Zealand’s and Australia’s mandatory bike helmet laws. Although they may provide some protection from dead kangaroos.

An Aussie feels guilty about the bike he used to get home from a drunken night out, and takes out an ad to find the owner he stole it from.

The next time someone calls for registering bikes and licensing cyclists, remind ‘em that’s the way North Korea does it.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to leave an explosive device on a bike path, make sure police can’t defuse it by simply unscrewing the cap. When you’re riding after dark, try to keep your candles blowing out.

And evidently, they have some very bad swans in Florida.

 

Update: 21-year old bike rider killed in Devore collision Saturday night

New has just come in of yet another fatal bicycling collision.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, 21-year old Jimmy Lynn Fraley was hit a car in the area of Devore Road and the northbound onramp to the 15 Freeway around 5:50 pm Saturday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene minutes late.

Once again, no other information is available at this time.

Devore Road doesn’t seem to intersect with the 15; however, it would appear the collision was somewhere in this area.

This is the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in San Bernardino County.

Update: According to the Highland News, Fraley was riding west on Devore Road — which appears to run north and south — when he was left-crossed by the driver of an eastbound pickup as it turned into the I-15 onramp. 

Update 2: Friends described Fraley as a vibrant man who took up bicycling three years ago to visit his girlfriend in San Bernardino; he had recently begun training for his first triathlon. 

A gofundme account has been established to help pay his funeral expenses.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jimmy Lynn Fraley and all his loved ones.

Woman dies after bicycling collision in Buena Park

New is just coming in that a woman died on Thursday after a collision in Buena Park.

According to the Orange County Register, 35-year old Buena Park resident Becky Sheehan was hit by a pickup while riding her bike at near Stanton Avenue and Page Street at 7:41 pm.

She died Anaheim Regional Medical Center an hour later.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a two-lane street with limited lane markings on Page, and a four-lane street with left turn lanes on Stanton; the intersection is controlled with a traffic signal.

This is the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Becky Sheehan and all her family. 

Thanks to bike lawyer John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Effing around on the Orange Line, JSK at the Hammer, and LA cyclist guilty of pimping PEDs

When is a bike path not a bike path?

Apparently, when there’s a truck driving on it.

The video was forwarded by kdbhiker, who recently shared his Describe Your Ride video with us. He says it was taken Tuesday on the Orange Line Bike Path at Haskell Ave and the 405 Fwy.

If, like me, you can’t quite make out the reason the driver gives for driving on the bike path, the response was “Honestly, we’re just fucking around.” Which is probably as good a reason as any for doing something stupid.

And kdbhiker reports he’s already contacted Councilwomen Nury Martinez office about installing removable bollards to keep other idiots drivers off the bikeway.

………

Harv, who shared a Describe Your Ride of his own earlier this year, sends a link to yesterday’s chat between former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and the LA Times’ Christopher Hawthorne at the Hammer Museum, which I had the misfortune of missing.

But which I’ll look forward to viewing later.

………

The Daily News reports former LA-based pro cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson pled guilty Tuesday to federal charges of selling performance enhancing drugs imported from overseas.

He reportedly sold EPO online, as well as a medication derived from calves blood that isn’t approved for human use.

He faces a maximum of one year behind bars and a fine up to $100,000 for a single misdemeanor count of introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce. Which sounds like they’re letting him off easy.

Brandt-Sorenson retired from racing after accepting a two-year ban for doping in 2012.

An earlier version of the story got one major detail wrong, reporting that Brandt-Sorenson helped “pioneer” LA’s popular Midnight Ridazz. However, a tweet from the Ridazz says he was never an organizer, founder or pioneer of the group.

………

Speaking of the Daily News, they take a look at the new World Cycling League and your hometown California Wave, premiering at Carson’s Velo Sports Center this weekend.

………

As long as we’re on the subject…

Evidently, the supposed curse of the rainbow jersey doesn’t apply to English reigning world champion Lizzie Armistead.

Maybe the late Italian great Marco Pantani didn’t dope in the 1999 Giro after all; evidence has surfaced that the Mafia may have tampered with his blood samples to ensure he didn’t win, which would have cost them millions in gambling payouts.

And a writer for Cycling Tips says it’s regrettable that the 19-year old Dutch rider accused of motor doping walked away from the sport without defending herself, because it’s unlikely that she acted alone.

………

Zipp is recalling nearly 57,000 high-end aluminum wheel hubs; they could be at risk of failing, causing your wheel to collapse. Which is a very bad thing.

………

Local

KCET looks at the Ovarian Psychos radical feminist bicycle brigade, subject of a new documentary that premiered at South by Southwest earlier this week.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a custom built motorized bicycle from a disabled North Hollywood vet, who was selling it to pay his bills.

Councilmember Paul Krekorian will hold a traffic safety summit at Colfax Elementary School in Valley Village, co-hosted by LADOT and Vision Zero LA.

Chris Brown is one of us, as he rides single speed with no hands while filming his latest music video along the beach in Santa Monica.

Congratulations to the owners of Long Beach’s Rossmoor Pastries, who are selling the company and retiring after nearly 30 years. At 80 years old, departing owner Charles Feder still rocks the spandex, with plans to ride the Tour de France route this summer, as well as riding across the country; he also founded the annual Tour of Long Beach fundraising bike ride along with partner Janice Ahlgren.

The next editions of Finish the Ride are coming up on April 12th in Griffith Park, and April 30th in Santa Clarita.

 

State

You can find a lot of things while riding a bicycle. Like a rubber boot with a severed leg bone on a Carlsbad beach, for instance.

Jury selection begins in the trial of a San Jacinto driver in the death of Menifee cyclist Matthew Carp.

 

National

Former pro Phil Zajicek reportedly crossed the center line at a high rate of speed before colliding with a truck in the Boulder CO crash that severed his arm this week.

WaPo says the new bike-friendly SRAM headquarters in Chicago should be the norm, not the exception.

A proposal to ban the use of gas taxes for bike and pedestrian projects is moving forward in the Tennessee legislature, over the strenuous objections of bike advocates.

Cyclists in DC organize group rides to help commuters stranded by an emergency shut-down of the city’s train system Wednesday.

Baltimore’s planned bikeshare system will offer the largest fleet of e-bikes in the Western Hemisphere; 200 of the 500 bikes will feature a pedelec electric pedal assistance system.

 

International

Vancouver might check in higher than the third best place in Canada to ride a bike if it wasn’t for those damn hills; Montreal and Saskatoon are the first and second place Canadian Bike Score finishers.

A British driver is charged with deliberately running down a Chinese cyclist who she says flipped her off, leaving him in a ditch to die of hypothermia. Evidently just because she hates Asians.

A new study from the UK says that bicycle training at schools does nothing to boost child riding rates.

Tres shock! Twitter goes into an uproar when a BBC radio host rides a London bikeshare bike without a helmet.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bus driver loses his license for six months for aggressively tailgating and deliberately bumping a bike rider.

 

Finally…

Your next $3,000 smart bike might be made by a Chinese cell phone maker. Could the Apple iBike be far behind? Or maybe you’d prefer a world record setting bike that checks in at nearly 1,896 pounds.

And sweet revenge, as Columbian bus drivers learn first hand what it’s like to be passed by a honking bus that doesn’t slow down or move over. Thanks to Joel Sabillon for the heads-up.

 

Update: Woman killed riding bike in Carlsbad when she reportedly veered out of bike lane

The deadly beat goes on, as a woman was killed riding her bike in Carlsbad this morning.

According to multiple sources, the 59-year old woman was riding south on the 4600 block of Carlsbad Blvd when a witness reports she drifted out of the bike lane in front of high-speed traffic, and was hit by a car sometime after 10 am.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A photograph from the scene show an aqua beach cruiser lying between the number one and two lanes, while another shows her tarped body resting on the bike lane marker itself. Which raises the question of just how far she strayed out of the bike lane, if at all.

Lining up a street view with the photos places the collision site somewhere along here, with a door zone-buffered bike lane next to two lanes of traffic.

The left turn lane suggests she may have been attempting to make a U-turn or turn left into the power plant. Or she may have swerved to avoid an obstacle or a vehicle pulling out from the curb.

There’s a 35 mph speed limit on the street; however, the straight, uninterrupted traffic lanes are likely to encourage speeding through that section.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and remarkably, the sixth in San Diego County. That compares with ten in SoCal this time last year, and three in the county.

Correction: I originally located the collision site further north away from the turn lane; thanks to Skip Pile for the correction.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Joyce Smith of Carlsbad.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joyce Smith and her loved ones.

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