Archive for Bikes & the Law

Morning Links: No lawsuit in Piven dooring, Brandt-Sorenson gets slap on wrist, and Russian road rage abduction

In a surreal LA moment, the bike rider injured in a dooring by actor Jeremy Piven says he recognized the actor as he was falling to the pavement.

Surprisingly, though, the victim says he’s not going to sue because Piven was so helpful after the crash.

Although that may change once a lawyer explains the concept of “deep pockets.”

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His attorney may call it a “significant sentence,” but LA cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson, aka Thorfinn-Sassquatch, barely got a caress on the wrist at his sentencing for selling performance-enhancing drugs over the internet.

He could have been sentenced to up to a year in prison, but instead received just three years probation and a $5,000 fine, along 300 hours of community service.

Yes, that’s a lot of time in an orange vest picking up trash. But if he keeps his nose clean, he won’t spend a single day behind bars.

And he gets to keep all his Strava KOMs.

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Caught on video: The question is, just what the hell is going on, after what appears to be a road rage assault on a Russian cyclist ends with the attackers being abducted by masked gunmen. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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The Cannibal says Chris Froome can’t be beaten in this year’s Tour de France.

Bicycling examines a day in the life of a Tour de France cyclist, while Cycling Weekly looks at five super-domestiques who have delivered for their team leaders during the Tour. Bora-Argon 18 rider Shane Archbold withdrew with a broken pelvis after a high-speed fall on Wednesday, but finished the stage before realizing he was injured.

Nineteen-year old Chloe Dygert has been tapped to round out the US women’s pursuit team after winning the junior road race and time trial at last year’s worlds. US time trial champ Taylor Phinney will represent the men after his amazing comeback from a devastating injury.

And here’s a step-by-step guide to get into women’s road racing, so you can compete in the 2020 Olympics. Unless you’re not a woman, of course.

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Local

EGP News offers a reminder that a one-mile stretch of the LA River bike path near the Griffith Park Zoo will remain closed for construction for the next three years.

Pasadena has received a $3 million Metro grant to build a two-way cycle track on Union Street, the first of ten planned bicycle corridors through the city.

A Wisconsin couple made it to Santa Monica after riding 2,600 miles across the US on a tandem.

Streetsblog affiliate Santa Monica Next will host a fundraising cocktail party on Saturday, July 30th.

Santa Clarita suffered a net loss of $132,000 in hosting a stage of the Amgen Tour of California this year; however, a study of the 2008 ToC showed the race generated a $1.9 million economic impact for the local area, which this year’s race probably exceeded.

 

State

The San Diego Union Tribune says the city’s bikeshare program could use a push, but no public subsidies. So billions of dollars to subsidize motor vehicles is okay, but a few million to help get people out of their cars isn’t.

A Fontana cop discusses how cars and bikes can share the road. And gets it right.

Goleta votes to build a one-mile median-protected bike lane, replacing an existing painted lane.

Caltrans recommends lowering the speed limit by 5 mph near a Lompoc homeless shelter where a man was killed earlier this year. Although chances are, he’d be just as dead if he’d been hit at 50 mph as he was at 55 mph.

A bighearted Salinas cop splits the cost of a new bike with the local Walmart to replace one stolen from a young man who volunteers with foster children.

 

National

Streetsblog calls the GOP Transportation Platform a disaster, including a plank to eliminate all funding for transit and active transportation.

A new mini-bike trailer sleeps four and unfolds in minutes. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

A Seattle hospital gets multiple sclerosis patients out on adaptive bicycles, sometimes for the first time in years.

Tucson develops a master plan for a network of bike boulevards through 63 residential corridors. LA has a mobility plan calling for the same thing, but that doesn’t mean they’ll actually build it.

A ghost bike was installed at the Idaho site where a Bike and Build rider was killed recently. Although the local press oddly called it an Angel Bike; maybe they don’t believe in ghosts.

A Wisconsin writer recalls a 250-mile bike trip across the state in the ‘70s, which could have ended badly except for the kindness of a stranger.

The FBI has joined the search for an Ohio college student who went missing Tuesday night; her bike was found in a cornfield later that night.

A trio of Vermont teenagers will ride 500 miles to raise funds to fight Duchenne muscular dystrophy; they’ve already raised $15,000 in pledges before starting their ride. A subject close to my heart; the son of a long-time friend is battling Duchennes.

The owner of North Carolina’s First Flight Bicycles, as well as the Mountain Goat Cycles brand, was killed by a drunk driver Wednesday while walking across a street.

 

International

The Canadian resort town of Banff is lowering speed limits and building a short, two-way bicycling greenway to improve safety and encourage more transportation riding.

For a change, the British press is justifiably appalled when a salmon cyclist jumped a red light with his nine-year old son on his handlebars.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a tractor driver was fined a whopping £80 — the equivalent of $105 — for killing a 72-year old bike rider.

A new $3,500 Italian smart bike features a 96-decible horn that’s as loud as some train whistles. Which has to be as painful to the person using it as it is to everyone within earshot.

A Kiwi truck driver was convicted of killing a bike rider for the second time in less than 10 years. Let’s hope the court gets him off the road before he goes for three.

 

Finally…

Evidently, bears really are out to get us. If you’re going to rob a bank, wear a helmet, but don’t ditch your getaway bike; unless maybe it wasn’t yours to begin with, of course.

And this is what you’d look like if humans had evolved to survive car crashes.

 

Morning Links: Bad guys on bikes, a South LA primer for bike advocates, and don’t walk through a bike race, bro

Today’s common theme is bad guys on bikes.

Social media helps flush out a repeat shoplifter who tried to make his getaway by bicycle after stealing a number of U-locks from a San Pedro hardware store, and getting in a fight with the owner.

An attentive neighbor scares off a bike-riding package thief in San Diego.

It takes a seriously sick schmuck to stick a gun in the face of a nine-year old boy to steal his bicycle, then ride it to rob a Connecticut store.

A Florida man rode his bike to a local hospital, walked in through the emergency room, then wandered up to the third floor and fatally shot two people at random.

The Baton Rouge gunman was one of us, as a neighbor says there was nothing unusual about him, other than tearing through the neighborhood on a mountain bike.

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The peloton and staff of the Tour de France pay tribute to the great Fabian Cancellara in his final Tour. Peter Sagan may not win every race, but the Associated Press says he can win any way he wants to. Like this, for instance.

Bon Appetit explains, in case you’ve ever wondered, what pro cyclists eat on the bike to get them through each stage.

Boise’s Kristin Armstrong is in the running for her third gold medal at the Rio Olympics next month.

A new report shows Russia covered up 580 positive dope tests, including 26 involving cyclists. That’s all?

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman and Malcolm Harris of TRUST South LA discuss what bike advocates need to understand about South Central LA.

CiclaValley gets down and dirty at the LA Roubaix. And likes it.

 

State

Riverside is asking the public what they think about the 2.5 mile Brockton Ave bike lanes. Be sure to give your input if you ride in the area, because you know the bike haters will.

A San Bernardino man is in critical condition after being shot in a drive-by while riding his bike.

A new San Francisco study shows both drivers and cyclists prefer streets with separated bike lanes.

Sudwerk Brewing names their latest beer after the monthly Davis Bike Party.

 

National

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is considering joining their colleagues at NACTO by supporting protected bike lanes in less urban areas.

Utah’s two senators introduce legislation that would allow local managers to determine whether to allow bicycling in Federal wilderness areas, which was the policy prior to 1984.

A man from my hometown modified his cargo bike, which is built to carry up to 500 pounds of beer kegs, to give a lifelong cyclist suffering from ALS a chance to enjoy one last 232-mile ride across the Rockies.

A Cincinnati woman faces up to 17 years in jail after pleading no contest in the drug-fueled death of a bike rider while driving with a suspended license; she reportedly shoved bottles of pills in her bra as she tried to make her getaway.

A bighearted Maine boy is inspiring others by donating a bicycle he won in a reading contest.

A Boston letter writer acknowledges the need for protected bike lanes, but says there’s also a place for non-protected lanes, and too many places with no bike lanes.

A pair of cyclists ride nearly 900 miles, planting trees and raising funds for cancer research in honor of Massachusetts native Johnny Appleseed.

WaPo says stricter driving laws really do work. As long as they’re enforced, anyway.

A New York writer says bicycling infrastructure fails because local community boards have the power to veto lanes in their neighborhoods, resulting in an incomplete network. And police fail to keep the lanes safe.

 

International

Vancouver businesses embrace bicycling, six years after fighting bike lanes tooth-and-nail to preserve on-street parking.

Canadian lawyers complain about the lack of criminal penalties for killer drivers in Quebec.

Caught on video: An East London bike rider was subjected an obscenity-laced tirade from a carful of road raging motorists at 3 am.

Cyclist and royal-in-law Pippa Middleton is getting married. Your invitation probably be coming in the mail.

British cyclists complain about a pointless, six-foot long bike lane.

Once again, anti-bike terrorists have put the lives of others at risk by throwing tacks onto the route of a charity ride. Riders in similar attacks have suffered serious injuries after getting sudden flats while riding at speed.

A US Army reservist will ride 150 miles through Germany to raise funds and awareness for STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — education.

Now that’s more like it. Israel’s legislature considers a law that would require communities to build bike paths for commuters, and require buses and trains to accommodate bicycles.

Caught on video, too: Family members say a 92-year old Australian woman was lucky to survive after a cyclist plowed into her as she stepped into the street. The rider appears distracted, with no hands on the handlebars, but it also looks like the woman may have stepped out into the rider’s path.

 

Finally…

That’s not riot gear at the GOP convention, it’s mountain bike equipment. It could be open season on bike riders, with plans for a rail-to-trail conversion running right through a shooting range.

And caught on video 3: If you’re going to walk in the crosswalk, try not to do it when a bike race is going by.

 

Weekend Links: Driver charged in death of Ventura teen, Tour de France mourns, and stupid criminal tricks

Five months after he died, Jonathan Hernandez may see partial justice.

The tow truck driver who struck the 14-year old boy and fled the scene, leaving him to die in the street after being hit by a second vehicle, has been charged with felony hit-and-run; he also faces a misdemeanor charge of concealing evidence.

Unfortunately, the second driver, who also fled the scene, has still not been found.

Fifty-one-year old Hermin Martin Henderson pled not guilty to the charges; he faces up to five years in prison if he’s convicted.

Ironically, if he had simply stayed at the scene after the February crash, he probably wouldn’t have faced any charges, since security video showed Hernandez running the red light just before he was struck by Henderson’s truck. Unless he was under the influence, of course.

And Hernandez might still be alive.

Meanwhile, Henderson and his towing company, along with the city and county of Ventura, face a civil suit filed by the victim’s family.

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The Tour de France was in mourning Friday, following the Bastille Day attack in Nice. The race went on under heightened security as the riders competed in the time trial.

Not everyone believes Froome should have kept the yellow jersey after Thursday’s Mt. Ventoux debacle, though.

And the dark side of bike racing gets the HBO treatment, as Andy Samberg plans a mockumentary focusing on doping in the world of professional cycling.

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Local

Metro hopes to spur development of bikeable, walkable communities within a short walk of the Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley.

CiclaValley invites you to come out for LA’s own version of the Hell of the North, at Sunday’s SoCal GRAVEL Trofee #3: LA ROUBAIX v2, starting at Golden Road Brewing.

Disappointing news, as the annual Brentwood Grand Prix bike race won’t be held this year. However, the 55th edition of the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will roll as scheduled, bringing California’s top racers to SoCal on August 7th. Thanks to Lynn Ingram and David Huntsman for the heads-up.

 

State

Police once again arrest a bike-riding suspect in the attacks on five homeless men in San Diego; a previous suspect was released after police concluded he couldn’t have done it.

A Palomar College English professor wrote a book about the 3,145-mile cross-country bike trip he took between two unrelated bouts of cancer.

Now that’s more like it. San Francisco police throw the book at the accused killer of a bike rider in Golden Gate Park three weeks ago; the 19-year old driver is booked on suspicion of murder, burglary, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and hit-and-run causing injury or death, as well as two traffic violations .

 

National

The rich get richer, as Portland proposes a complete network of bikeways crisscrossing the city.

A Wisconsin driver wasn’t texting when he swerved onto the shoulder of a highway and slammed into a woman riding her bike; just looking down to read papers as he drove.

A blind, 79-year old Michigan man plans to ride 100 miles to raise funds for breast cancer research by riding stoker on a tandem bike.

The lawyer for the stoned Kalamazoo MI driver who killed five cyclists last month says he never meant to hurt anyone. Oh, well if that’s the case…

Your next ride through a Manhattan park could be underground.

A Charleston SC letter writer aptly notes that the so-called bike lobby is just people looking for a safe place to walk and ride.

New Orleans considers turning several streets into bike boulevards. Something that was supposed to happen here with the network of Bicycle Friendly Streets included in the 2010 Bike Plan, but hasn’t. And from the looks of it, probably won’t.

 

International

A Toronto writer says the conflict between drivers and bike riders will only end “when sharing the road is not seen as a war… and a bicycle is as common a sight on a road as a car.”

Kindhearted Ontario residents pitch in after a disabled man’s three-wheeled ebike was stolen from his backyard.

A new British study suggests that bicycling may be the best way to lose weight.

New Zealand advocacy groups join together to call for Vision Zero in the country, along with a safe, sustainable, healthy and fair transport system for everyone.

It’s official. The world record for riding around the world now belongs to a Kiwi cyclist, with a time of 123 days, one hour and six minutes.

A Chinese man and his dog rode over 43,000 miles through 23 countries in Asia, Europe and North America to promote protection for stray animals, visiting over 100 animal shelters along with way.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: This is why you need to pay attention when you’re riding, or the tabloids will call for your head. No, seriously. if you leave your bike behind when you steal a car, don’t go back to get it the next day.

And if there’s already a warrant out for your arrest, don’t ride you bike to the police station when playing Pokemon Go.

Especially not in your pajamas.

 

Weekend Links: Killer drunk driver cops a plea, PVE gets a little bike-friendlier, and your road share is pocket change

That was fast.

Just eleven weeks after Tomas Brewer was killed by a drunk driver, the man who killed him has pled no contest to vehicular manslaughter.

Twenty-three-year old Cruz Tzoc was driving at an estimated 60 mph on Burlington Ave in LA’s Rampart District on April 23rd when he struck a parked car and spun around, sliding into Brewer as he rode on Temple Street, before slamming into a tree.

Tzoc was arrested at the scene with an alcohol level over two times the legal limit. A police sergeant had spotted Tzoc’s speeding car prior to the crash, but was unable to stop him before it was too late.

He had faced up to ten years in state prison, but was sentenced to just six years after pleading to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

He’s likely to get out in half that time.

But his decision to get behind the wheel after drinking ended the life of a budding screenwriter, and sentenced Brewer’s loved ones to a lifetime without him.

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Formerly bike-unfriendly Palos Verdes Estates continues its surprising turnaround, as the city’s Traffic Safety Committee voted to replace the hated signs reading “Bike Laws Strictly Enforced” with “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” and signs promoting the three-foot passing law.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson describes the meeting in his own inimitable style.

Meanwhile, a Tustin councilmember explains four reasons why bicycles may use the full lane. But forgets the primary reason — bike riders are allowed to take the lane anytime the lane itself is too narrow to be safely shared with a motor vehicle.

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Today’s common theme is bikeshare, in LA and elsewhere.

Downtown News explains everything you need to know about LA’s new bikeshare program, while CiclaValley crashes the launch party. And the LACBC, which was instrumental in bringing bikeshare to LA, celebrates with photos.

San Diego’s bikeshare system is struggling, as the city’s transit officials refuse to cooperate.

Palo Alto plans to replace its failing bikeshare system with a new smart bike program. But it will still likely fail if they don’t install more than five docking stations.

And Portland informs bike owners that those handy little docks at convenient locations around town are not bike racks.

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Drivers often argue that cyclists don’t pay for the roads, but if road users were charged for the damage they actually cause, we could pay our share with pocket change.

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London Bridge is falling down, and so is the inflatable arch cyclists are supposed to ride under, not into, at the Tour de France.

Belgian race leader Greg Van Avermaet holds a nearly six minute lead in the race, but will probably fall back in the standings when they reach the mountain stages. British riders dominated the first week of the Tour, while Mark Cavendish says Africa will produce a TdF contender in ten years.

Specialized says you don’t know Jacques about the Tour de France. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Bicycling takes a look at how the race takes a toll on even the fittest riders.

And the peloton came up clean in the Tour’s first unannounced thermal imaging scan for hidden motors; former Lance whistleblower Frankie Andreu says cycling has come a long way, but the sport may never be fully clean.

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Local

Marina del Rey’s stinky Oxford Basin gets a much needed makeover, including a new bikeway connecting to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

CiclaValley looks at the movement to fix LA’s crumbling Forest Lawn Drive, which we mentioned here — and misspelled as Forrest Lawn — the other day.

A moving company wants tips on how to avoid LA traffic. Everyone who says “use a bicycle” please raise your hand.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are asking for the public’s help to identify a bike and barbeque thief.

As expected, the parents of a 12-year old Oceanside boy killed while riding his bicycle to school last October have filed suit against the driver, as well as two businesses alleged to have contributed to the crash; a lawsuit is expected against the city, as well.

Sixty-six cyclists from the University of Texas rode across the Golden Gate Bridge on their way to Anchorage AK to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

San Francisco’s new bicycling state Assembly member keeps a bike at home by the Bay, and another in Sacramento.

 

National

Not surprisingly, the US is falling behind other countries when it comes to traffic safety.

Bicycling says you’ve been pumping your tires all wrong. Wait. You mean I have to take that little cap off first?

Vogue lists five surprising ways bicycling is good for your mind and body.

A Portland bike rider is suing after being clotheslined by a Comcast cable that was strung over a roadway.

Hats off to my alma mater, which became the nation’s first high school to be honored as a Bike-Friendly Business.

That former Illinois congressman who tweeted what sounded like a threat to the president and the Black Lives Matter movement after the Dallas shootings is one of us; he successfully campaigned for his only term in office by riding his bicycle.

In a widely watched case, a Michigan driver faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to fleeing the scene after plowing into a cyclist on an organized group ride.

A bike-riding writer for the Columbus Dispatch offers a well-reasoned analysis of the SUV driver in last week’s Doo Dah Parade who, in effect, threatened to kill cyclists unless they obey the law; he says what concerns him most is the public’s lack of concern.

A Massachusetts boy was impaled with a branch after veering off a trail and slamming into a tree; fortunately, he appeared to be in stable condition at a local hospital.

Bicycling under the influence is legal in Massachusetts, though not always the best idea. I know some may argue, but I’d still much rather see a drunk on a bike than behind the wheel. Although the best choice is neither.

New York police find the murder weapon used to intentionally run down a bike rider.

 

International

A Toronto paper offers advice on how to get over your fears and bike to work.

A Canadian Steely Dan fan nearly missed their Detroit show after paying the toll, then illegally riding through a tunnel across the border; US custom agents were amused, but searched and detained him for two hours anyway.

A mentally ill driver who fatally stabbed a popular British bike advocate following a minor traffic collision has been sentenced to ten years to life in a medium security mental hospital.

Friends and family remember a 75-year old London time-trialing legend who passed away following a May bicycling collision.

Caught on video: A jerk cyclist clips a London bike rider with a far too-close pass, nearly sending him under the wheels of a large truck. Pass another rider at the same distance you’d expect from a motor vehicle, or at arms-length at the very least; if that’s not possible, slow down and announce your presence before passing. Or you could just wait until it is safe.

An Irish business executive pleaded guilty to knocking a cyclist off his bike, then beating and strangling him, for the heinous crime of riding on the sidewalk.

Hiding under your jacket after stealing a pair of bikes will not make you invisible to Chinese police.

 

Finally…

Suddenly, your bike shorts are fashionable — assuming you’re a woman; guys, not so much. Why walk on water when you can pedal?

And you can thank a mountain pine beetle for your next wall-mounted bike rack.

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As an added bonus to get your weekend started off right, David Wolfberg forwards the latest video from Colombian superstars Shakira and Carlos Vives, for their new song La Bicicleta (Or The Bicycle, for the Spanish-challenged, like me).

Morning Links: BOLO alert for bicycling Hollywood robber, and celebrate the coming of bikeshare to DTLA on 7/7

The LAPD asks us to be on the lookout for a bike-riding robber victimizing Hollywood parking lot attendants.

Hollywood Bicyclist Robber Sought

Hollywood: The Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Area robbery detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that will lead to the identification and arrest of an armed suspect that was involved in a series of parking lot robberies.

From June 11, 2016 through June 25, 2016, between the hours of 11:35 A.M. to 10:50 P.M., there have been multiple robberies in the Hollywood area involving parking lot attendants.

The suspect armed with a handgun confronted the victims and demanded money from each of them. The suspect then fled with the victims’ money on a mountain bike. The mountain bike is described red and/or black in color.

The suspect is described as a 40 to 60 year old male Black. He stands approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs between 130-150 pounds. He was seen wearing a ‘Flat Bill’ style baseball hat during the robberies. The suspect is to be considered armed and dangerous.

Hollywood Bicyclist Robber Sought

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Bikeshare officially comes to Downtown LA on July 7th.

For people who sign up in advance, anyway; walk-up users will have to wait until August to take advantage of the system.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, Metro is teaming up with the LACBC and Multicultural Communities for Mobility on a $100,000 program to make bikeshare services available to low-income riders, making it one of the first systems anywhere accessible to people with limited incomes and no credit cards.

Meanwhile, you’re invited to join Metro for a grand opening celebration and ride-off at Grand Park on the 7th. You can learn more and RSVP here.

Metro-Bike-Share-Launch-Celebration-1

But how long before we see our very own NIMBY bikeshare bikelash?

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Today’s common theme is bike helmets.

Consumer Reports rates bike helmets for adults, including some with the relatively new MIPS technology to help reduce the risk of concussions.

A New York public health professor credits a bike helmet with saving his son’s life, and extrapolates that to mean every bike rider, everywhere, should be required to wear one — even on bikeshare systems, which have yet to experience a single fatality in the US. Of course, by that logic, everyone should wear a bulletproof vest, too.

And a Canadian coroner concludes that a helmet could have saved a cyclist’s life, even though the victim was hit by a car with enough force to throw him over 50 feet through the air. He fails to mention that stopping for the stop sign the rider ran would have done a lot more good.*

*Just a reminder for new readers: I’m a firm believer in bike helmets, and never ride without one. But I also recognize that they are designed to protect against slow speed falls, not high speed collisions, and should be seen a last resort when everything else fails.

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A bike helmet probably wouldn’t have done a US Forrest Service officer any good, as the 38-year old mountain biker was attacked and killed by a grizzly bear; the victim and his riding companion surprised the bear while riding just outside Glacier National Park.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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The Fresno Bee looks at the contenders for this year’s Tour de France, which starts Saturday at Mont-Saint-Michel; the AP says Chris Froome may be on the cusp of greatness. Tejay van Garderen heads the diminished American contingent, as Taylor Phinney and Andrew Talansky skip the race, while Tyler Farrar and Ben King were left off their team rosters.

The Tour de France isn’t the only major race kicking off this weekend, as the last remaining Grand Tour in women’s racing, the Giro Rosa, starts on Friday.

Canadian pro Mike Woods talks about the journey that brought him to the threshold of the Tour de France and the Rio Olympics, starting when he had to give up his running career due to injuries and took up cycling just four years ago.

LA resident, Olympic medalist and seven-time national champ Dotsie Bausch credits bicycling with saving her life as she recovered from an eating disorder.

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Local

A nitrogen-based draft coffee bike is raising funds on Indiegogo with plans to hit the streets of LA this summer; donate three grand and get your own nitro coffee bike, uh, trike.

Angelyne may drive a pink Corvette, but her assistant is one of us.

The ICanBike program teaches handicapped individuals how to ride a bike in Pomona.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reveals that underneath his curmudgeonly façade, he’s a begrudging optimist when it comes to making Palos Verdes Estates a better, safer, more enjoyable place to ride a bike.

Obey the letter of the law if you ride through Hawthorne today, as they become the latest SoCal city to target violations that put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them.

Long Beach cyclists are asked to try out temporary bike lanes in Bixby Knolls on Friday.

 

State

Shrink it, pink it and charge more for it. The so-called “pink tax” survives a challenge in the state legislature, allowing companies to continue overcharging charging women more for bicycles and other items that are virtually identical to less-expensive men’s models.

Legendary bike maker Masi will host screenings of Breaking Away in Carlsbad this weekend to celebrate its 90th anniversary.

An Arroyo Grande woman with a long history of drug and alcohol convictions gets 15 to life for killing a bike rider while under the influence; she had alcohol, meth and THC in her system, and was wearing an ankle monitor for a previous conviction at the time of the hit-and-run crash.

A San Francisco cyclist questions the safety of a buffered bike lane that resulted from a road diet on Golden Gate Avenue, as people continue to drive in it anyway. Such as the motorcyclist who punched him when told he didn’t belong in a bike lane.

San Francisco cyclists ride to remember the two women bicyclists killed in separate hit-and-runs last week; a witness to one of the wrecks writes a heartbreaking remembrance.

A columnist for the SF Chronicle calls for automated speed cameras, which are currently barred under California law, to improve safety on the streets.

 

National

Three women leave their husbands behind and tour Alaska’s Denali National Park by bicycle.

A Boulder CO drunk driver faces charges after fleeing from a fatal cycling collision; despite a witness’ assertion that she was laughing hysterically following the collision, she was actually hysterically freaking out. Or so her lawyer says, anyway.

Instead of bikeshare, Golden CO opens a bike library offering two styles of American-made Jamis bikes in various sizes for adults and children.

A Michigan driver tries riding a bike to get a better perspective on what cyclists experience, and gain some insight into how to avoid more tragedies.

A bighearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputy replaces a pair of stolen bicycles that were taken from two little kids in the same family.

 

International

A determined Toronto area mom rode her bicycle through two barriers of police tape to get to her daughter following a house explosion that killed one person.

A cranky Ottawa, Canada writer pens the bicycling equivalent of “get off my lawn,” while somehow concluding that cyclists are responsible for avoiding collisions, even when drivers are at fault.

A Canadian writer offers drivers advice on how to pass a bike without killing anyone or being a dick.

A man in the UK put in the winning bid on a bicycle listed on eBay. Then gave the seller’s address to the police, since it was his stolen bike.

Caught on video: A Russian cyclist looks away for a few seconds, and looks up just in time to plow into a pedestrian.

Police in Chennai, India are going back to bicycle patrols, which allows them to sneak up on miscreants at night.

Tragic news, as a South African cycling champ who finished fourth in the 1956 Olympics was tied up and shot in a home invasion robbery.

 

Finally…

Before you celebrate your victory, make sure the race is actually over. If you think roads are crappy now, wait until they pave them with pig shit.

And it is possible to ride a $180 Walmart Huffy down a double black diamond mountain bike trail. But barely.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

 

Morning Links: Redondo’s bike speed limit may be illegal, and SF Critical Mass rider pleads out in assault case

It seems Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson is no fan of bike lanes.

But what he hates even more is stupidly illegal regulations.

Like the one on the relatively new protected bike lanes in Redondo Beach, which, like on the Strand in Hermosa Beach, restrict bicyclists to a measly eight mph speed limit.

Except, as someone on his site pointed out, it would appear to be in violation state laws. So hold on to that one in case you get nailed by a radar-toting South Bay cop for going nine in an eight mile per hour zone.

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A San Francisco bike rider will get probation and anger management classes after pleading guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism for attacking a car during a Critical Mass ride last year.

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NPR says authorities will be on the lookout for motor doping at this year’s Tour de France, using thermal imaging devices.

Cycling Weekly says pro cycling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as three young riders have retired in the last six months.

Team USA cyclists are relying on high-tech training tools to get ready for the Rio Olympics.

………

Local

Plans for the LAX-adjacent Metro stop include a bike hub with showers and parking for 150 bikes, as well as protected bike lanes on nearby Manchester Blvd.

A man riding his bike outside his home was one of two people killed in separate Compton shootings.

A Santa Monica architect calls the city’s Breeze bikeshare an unqualified success.

 

State

San Diego is a hub for bespoke bikes.

Construction begins on new bike lanes in Chula Vista, at the possible expense of some eucalyptus trees.

Sad news from Newman, where a 65-year old bike rider was killed by a 17-year old driver in a left cross crash; his nephew describes the victim as “just a cool guy.”

Drivers say they seldom see a bicyclist using the bike lanes after a San Jose road diet, even though ridership has nearly doubled.

Streetsblog says outrage over bike deaths isn’t enough, especially when city employees — and the police — don’t seem to care.

San Francisco residents were lucky no one was injured when an apparently drunk driver went on a hit-and-run rampage in the Lower Haight district.

An Antioch bike rider was killed in a collision with a train Sunday afternoon.

 

National

Wired gets all science-y to explain why added mass on your wheels is your worst enemy. But only when you accelerate.

A Las Vegas man is riding 4,000 miles in 70 days to fight cancer, despite losing his left femur to Stage 2 Ewing’s Sarcoma.

The 10 best gonzo bike rides in Colorado for your next trip to the Mile High State. Which takes on a whole new meaning these days.

A Colorado driver faces charges for vehicular homicide, hit-and-run and DUI in the death of a bicyclist Saturday; she was already on probation for driving while impaired, and had another DUI arrest in Texas just three years ago. Nice job of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until she kills someone.

An Ohio driver faces multiple lawsuits for killing two cyclists and injuring three others, after being acquitted of vehicular homicide by claiming the sun was in his eyes, and it was the bike riders’ fault for not wearing hi-viz.

A Massachusetts advocacy organization urges charges in the fatal dooring of a bike rider last week, while a bike-hating Boston columnist responds by going on a bizarre anti-bike Twitter rant.

A stoned Massachusetts driver still managed to rear-end a cyclist, despite a cop’s best efforts to pull him over.

Jennifer Aniston’s husband is one of us, as Justin Theroux Read trades his motorcycle for a bicycle in NYC.

A Philly writer says drivers, walkers and cyclists can all get along, even if she feels like an avatar in a video game when she takes to the city’s streets and trails.

 

International

Momentum offers advice on how to safely pass a bike rider.

Brazilian police want charges filed against 14 people for the collapse of a Rio elevated bike path that killed two people in April.

Calgary small businesses are learning to love bike lanes after discovering the value bicyclists bring to the marketplace.

A Winnipeg writer says wearing a bike helmet will improve your safety, but passing a law to mandate them won’t.

Tennis star Novak Djokovic is one of us. Or at least he would be if he hadn’t been banned from his bike at Wimbledon for reckless riding.

More fallout from the UK’s ill-advised exit from the European Union, which could mean a big jump in British bike prices.

Nearly 100 people in Malta swapped their cars for bicycles to commute to work this month in the tiny island republic.

Something’s seriously wrong when a photo of a Dutch bike rider in an Aussie airline ad violates the country’s helmet law.

The bighearted people at a local bike shop replaced a tandem bike stolen from a blind and autistic New Zealand man.

 

Finally…

When store employees stop you from buying two bikes with a stolen credit card, don’t try to grab another one on the way out — and don’t punch the cop who tries to stop you. If you’re carrying crack, dope and a pipe in your sock, seriously, don’t ride salmon.

And if you want to confuse drivers, just hang a bike from a tree.

………

A special thanks to ReaniMac for getting my Macbook up and running again in less than an hour, after a bad hard drive cable put me out of business over the weekend. If, as Steve Jobs famously said, computers are the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds, they’re my LBS.

 

Morning Links: Ventura DA gives form letter response, deadline to support candidates opposing Koretz and Cedillo

Evidently, the Ventura County District Attorney can’t be bothered to respond individually to complaints about how they do their job.

Or in this case, don’t do it.

Last week, we featured a heartbreaking guest post from Hailey Cushman, daughter of Jesse Cushman, who was one of the two people killed by an allegedly distracted driver in Moorpark last fall.

Several people were inspired to write the DA’s office to complain that the driver, Rachel Hill, was only charged with misdemeanors in their deaths, rather than the felony counts the CHP recommended. And isn’t expected to spend a single day behind bars.

On Tuesday, I heard from three separate people who received the exact same response from the DA’s office, identical in every word, space and comma.

And not only that, one that they couldn’t even be bothered to respond to personally; each was signed simply “Webmaster.”

RE: Ventura County District Attorney Contact: Refile People vs. Rachel Hill as a felony

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 21:03:47 +0000

DA Criminal <DA.Criminal@ventura.org>

Dear Ms. xxxxx

Thank you for contacting the District Attorney’s Office. While we appreciate your concerns regarding this case, we are required to make difficult decisions, which include filing only those criminal charges that we have legally sufficient, admissible evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court. The case was reviewed and filed by a veteran prosecutor in our Criminal Division. Please understand that the decision to file this case was not made lightly. The District Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough review of the investigation done by the California Highway Patrol and our conclusion is reflected in our filing decision.

Webmaster

Ventura County District Attorney

Nice to see they take complaints — let alone the lives of traffic victims — so seriously over there.

Maybe the good people of Ventura County should ask themselves if this is really what they want from their DA.

………

It’s time to put your money where your vote is.

Recently we reported that CD5’s Paul Koretz, who has taken it upon himself to singlehandedly set bicycling on the Westside back 20 years, will be facing a challenger in next year’s election.

Which means his opponent, Jesse Creed, already has my support before I even meet the guy.

However, the end of this month marks an important fundraising deadline for candidates for LA City Council.

So if you’re as pissed-off as I am about Koretz siding with wealthy homeowners at the expense of everyone else — let alone claiming to be an environmentalist while blocking bike lanes that would enable people to leave their cars at home — dig as deep as you can to make a contribution to his campaign.

And while you’re at it, send another one to Josef Bray-Ali; the owner of NELA’s Flying Pigeon LA bike shop is taking on Gil Cedillo in CD1, thanks in part to Cedillo’s ongoing efforts to keep North Figueroa dangerous.

Send your check to:

Bray-Ali for City Council 2017, 3346 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065. Be sure to include your name, address and employer, which is required in order for his campaign to legally accept the contribution.

………

Speaking of Koretz, the motions to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the Mobility Plan come back before the Planning Commission at 8:30 am tomorrow, on the 10th floor of City Hall in Downtown LA.

It’s not looking good at this point. So we need everyone to attend if you can, or if not, reach out to the commission to demand a safer, and more rideable Los Angeles.

Maybe if we show overwhelming support for keeping them in the plan, the commission — and more importantly, the city council, which will consider it next — may actually listen.

………

If your plans for today included a ride along the upper reaches of the LA River Bike Path, you may want to reconsider.

The path will be closed from 8 am to 3 pm today between Glendale and Fletcher Blvds for major cleanup work following the removal of the flood control barriers.

………

Caught on video: A Philadelphia bike rider is run off the road and threatened by a driver who fled the scene, then can’t get the police to give a damn.

Thanks to Thread Riot for the heads-up.

………

The New Yorker offers photos from 75-years of bike racing. Which is not the same as cycling, despite the headline.

Six African riders are on track to compete in this year’s Tour de France, including Eritrea’s Daniel Teklehaimanot, who became the first black African to compete in the Tour last year.

A British amateur rider conquers the Tour de France’s famed Col du Tourmalet in just three and a half hours; even more impressive considering he’s just eight-years old.

If you want to hear Lance talk about cycling, skip his new podcast.

………

Local

The LA Times endorses plans for a half-cent transportation sales tax, while calling bicycling and walking “a vital part of the transportation infrastructure that has been too often overlooked.” Meanwhile, Metro’s CEO calls it an opportunity to be bold, while a pair of Inglewood and West Hollywood leaders say speed up completion of the north-south train lines.

Kill four people who were walking in a Redondo Beach crosswalk, admit to taking pain killers before getting behind the wheel, and get off with time served.

Damien Newton discusses Metro’s open streets program, as well as Sunday’s 19-mile 626 Golden Streets.

While everyone else is offering advice on how to ride in the heat, contrarian CiclaValley tells you what not to do while cycling in it.

 

State

Caltrans’ survey for their first-ever draft bicycling and walking plan will close at the end of this month.

San Diego unanimously approves plans for nine miles of protected bike lanes in the downtown area, along with five miles of wider sidewalks.

Three San Diego area mayors call for approval of that county’s proposed $18 billion sales tax measure to fund transportation projects, including bicycle and pedestrians projects.

Monterey considers installing its own bikeshare system.

A new line of smart bikes from the Bay Area will come complete with built-in lights, turn signals, brake lights and an electronic shifting system, along with an open OS that will allow developers to add additional features.

The executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition hopes to have more time to ride his bike once he steps down at the end of this month.

 

National

People for Bikes considers how Kickstarter is kick-starting innovation in the bike industry.

Kryptonite increases the amount of optional anti-theft protection coverage they offer with their locks, while streamlining the registration process.

The Denver CO 2011 bike plan calls for investing $119 million to build an additional 270 miles of bike lanes; four years later, it had only spent $2.8 million to stripe 68 miles of new lanes. Sounds like another city I could name.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Austin TX makes safety improvements to an intersection just weeks after a 14-year old boy was killed riding his bike.

Houston adopts an ambitious new bike plan calling roughly 800 miles of new bike lanes within the next ten years.

The annual Remember the Removal ride will finish on Thursday, as members of the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians retrace the infamous Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma.

A Memphis woman is behind bars after threatening to shoot a bunch of kids in a dispute over a stolen bicycle. Seriously, no bike is worth dying for. And it’s sure as hell not worth killing anyone over, especially not a kid.

Cincinnati’s Red Bike network has expanded seamlessly into Northern Kentucky to form the country’s first multi-state bikeshare system.

Minneapolis makes plans to unseat Portland as America’s bicycling capitol.

Seriously? A Massachusetts driver is expected to be released on a whopping $1,000 bail after being charged with possession of heroin and cocaine, driving with an open container, driving to endanger and driving under the influence when he knocked a woman off her bike. Nice to see the court system taking DUI seriously. And yes, that is sarcasm, in case you weren’t sure.

More proof cyclists are tough. A New York man rode his bike home after getting shot in the stomach.

 

International

Caught on video 2: An Ottawa, Ontario bike rider’s rear-facing cam captures the driver who smashed into him from behind; fortunately, he walked away from the crash.

A bystander jumped into a London river to save the life of a 68-year old bike rider who had fallen in.

A British paper offers advice on how to ride in the rain. Which is not a problem we’re likely to have anytime soon.

A stoned driver in the UK gets seven years in prison — and a 10-year ban on driving — for killing a bicyclist after using heroin and prescription medication.

An Irish soccer fan rides nearly 375 miles to the Euro championships to raise money for cancer charities, only to get mugged on arrival in Paris; fortunately, women working at the Gare du Nord train station chased off the men who tried to steal his bike.

An Aussie cyclist says riding 2,600 miles across the continent in just 32 days can change your life, especially if you almost die twice, get bitten by a snake and caught in a cyclone.

A Singapore women’s non-profit group rode through Cambodia to raise awareness and funds for a hotel and restaurant training school trying to stop human trafficking.

Caught on video 3: A Chinese sidewalk cyclist barely avoids being run down by an out-of-control driver who smashed into a clothing shop.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike as a getaway vehicle, maybe you should only steal one box of frozen chicken at a time. It’s not a bike helmet, it’s a speaker with a hockey puck on top.

And when is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a contraflow traffic lane, of course. Thanks to kdbhiker for the video.

Morning Links: Alhambra police stop bike rider and search his belongings, for the $5 crime of riding in a crosswalk

It’s like playing Whack-A-Mole.

Once we deal with cops misapplying the law in one area, it pops up in another.

Longtime bike advocate Stephen Box, now Director of Government & Community Affairs for the Transit Coalition, witnessed Alhambra police stopping a bike rider on Saturday in what he calls “overkill for an infraction… that carries a maximum penalty of $5.”

This is how Box describes what he saw.

I watched the entire process, from Officer Alvarez chirping the cyclist and pulling him over to Officer Vega joining the stop to the officers searching the cyclist and his backpack and his bike. When it was over, the cyclist left and I asked the Officers what happened and found the explanation implausible. A westbound motorist (Officer Alvarez) in a stopped car can’t almost hit a northbound cyclist riding in the crosswalk.

Box stopped to talk with the two officers, then called their watch commander. But rather than getting a clear explanation of the officers’ actions, he discovered none of the three seemed to be clear on the Alhambra Municipal Code that laid the basis for the officer’s actions. So he looked it up himself.

Apparently it’s illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalks of Alhambra. (Alhambra Municipal Code 10.04.020) I looked it up and I have three comments:

  1. I’m not a fan of sidewalk cycling, I think it’s dangerous for the cyclist but I understand it
  2. I’m not a fan of local traffic laws that aren’t posted. In this case the public can hardly be expected to know of un-posted restrictions when law enforcement is also unclear on the specifics of the code
  3. If Alvarez pulled the cyclist over for riding in the crosswalk, wouldn’t the appropriate action have been information on safe cycling instead of the three-way search?

His research also led to a couple of discrepancies in the city’s municipal code.

While researching Alhambra’s unposted sidewalk cycling ban, I found two instances where the City of Alhambra appears to be in violation of the State of California’s Uniformity Code which states “no local authority shall enact or enforce any ordinance on the matters covered by this code unless expressly authorized herein.”

  1. Alhambra’s Bike Licensing Law (10.04.040)is a violation of CVC 21. The City of Alhambra does not have the authority to require bike licenses from non-resident cyclists.
  2. Alhambra’s “Five feet from the Curb” law (10.04.030)is a violation of CVC 21. The City of Alhambra does not have the authority to establish a specific distance from the right-side curb for cyclists. Further, the courts have held (Mauchle v. Panama-Pacific Int’l Expo. Co., 37 Cal. App. 715, 719 (1918)) that “The provisions of the law are elastic. They do not attempt to lay down a definite and rigid rule as to the distance which the slowly moving vehicle must keep from the curb.”

As you may have noticed, Stephen Box know his way around state and local traffic laws and enforcement, particularly as it pertains to bicycling.

He co-founded a number of bike advocacy groups, including the now-dormant Bikeside LA, the city’s first — and so far, only — bicycling nonprofit group registered with the IRS as 501(c)(4) to engage in political activity.

He also led the 2009 march on the LA city council that marked the unofficial start of the modern bike advocacy movement in Los Angeles. Setting in motion the events that would eventually lead to adoption of the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights (informally, and sadly forgotten), the Cyclists’ Anti-Harassment Ordinance, and the 2010 LA Bike Plan that’s now under attack in city hall as part of the Mobility Plan 2035.

And he was one of the original founders of the LAPD’s bike liaison program, helping to develop the department’s bicycle training module that was required viewing for every street-level officer.

Box followed-up his repeated, and apparently unsuccessful, phone conversations with the watch commander with an email to the Chief of Police for the Alhambra Police Department, asking for a review of the events he witnessed and the municipal code discrepancies he uncovered.

So, here is the formal request conclusion to this email:

  1. I request a review of the Fremont/Mission traffic stop of a male cyclist that took place on Sunday, June 18, 2016 at approximately 5pm by Officer Alvarez who was then backed up by Officer Vega. Specifically, was the search warranted (reading paperwork in the cyclist’s backpack can hardly be construed as a search for weapons due to safety concerns) for a minor traffic infraction or did it exceed the standard?
  2. I request a review of the Watch Commander’s instructions that I come to the station to file a complaint and that I come to the station to request a record (the field incident report taken by the officers at the traffic stop).
  3. I request a review of the two Alhambra City Municipal Codes (10.04.040 and 10.04.030) that are a direct violation of the State of California’s Uniformity Code.

There is little question from what he describes that the officers’ search exceeded what is legally allowed under the circumstances; the courts have repeatedly ruled that a simple traffic stop does not provide probable cause for an invasive search, whether you’re in a car, on foot or on a bike.

Even if they were legitimately searching the backpack for weapons, let’s not forget that the officers had the rider under their control, and presumably unable to access that backpack, whether for a weapon or anything else. If he could, they need some serious retraining.

And let’s not forget that you have the legal right to refuse an officer’s request to search your belongings.

Box concluded by thanking the chief for all he does to make the streets of Alhambra safe for everyone, “including motorists and pedestrians and transit passengers and cyclists.”

Which is a sentiment I share, having worked with police departments on various bicycling issues over the years, I truly appreciate the job they do to keep us all safe on the streets and in our homes.

But sometimes, as we’ve seen, they get it wrong.

And sometimes, local governments overstep their bounds.

………

On the other hand, the Alhambra police deserve a round of thanks for recovering an apparently stolen or misplaced silver Condor bicycle. If it looks familiar, contact the department at 626/308-4875.

And either way, let that be a reminder to always register your bike, whether here through Bike Index, or with some other organization.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Twenty-two-year old Columbian Miguel Angel Lopez won the nine-day Tour of Switzerland; American’s Tejay van Garderen and Andrew Talansky finished fifth and eighth, respectively.

World champ Lizzie Armistead finished second in the final stage to win the women’s Aviva Tour.

British cyclist Simon Yates gets a four month ban for doping, but swears it was just an honest mistake.

British cycling great Chris Hoy trades two wheels for four, finishing 17th in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg offers advice on how to ride in today’s 100-plus degree weather.

Former American Idol winner Phillip Phillips is one of us. Or at least he was, since his bike just got stolen from a Burbank recording studio.

Santa Monica’s long, dark California Incline hell may soon be over. And with bike lanes.

 

State

A bike-commuting Tustin math teacher has a shot at making the US mountain biking team for the Rio Olympics.

Over 300 people rode to the new Pedego headquarters in Fountain Valley in an attempt to set a world record for the longest ebike parade.

Two dozen San Diego bicyclists ride to Tijuana to preserve a downtown mural.

The only form of human scum lower than the person who stole a disabled 10-year old San Diego girl’s handcycle is the jerk who took her wheelchair. And probably the same person.

A 64-year old Pt. Loma bicyclist was seriously injured when he was left-crossed by the driver of an SUV.

The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the monthly East Bay Bike Party.

Nice move from the East Bay park police, as they donate nearly three dozen unclaimed bicycles to an Oakland nonprofit to replace several dozen that were stolen.

A seven-year old Shasta Lake boy is a double bike-theft victim, as someone stole the bike he was given to replace his stolen bike.

 

National

Bike Radar says e-MTBs could ruin it for the rest of us.

A Portland writer says the rapid spread of bikeshare systems allow travelers to see more of a city at a lower cost.

Maybe it moved while we weren’t looking. Shinola’s bikes and watches may be Built in Detroit, but apparently are not made in America.

Thanks to a local Kiwanis club, an Ohio boy is able to ride a bike for the first time since he was severely injured in a car crash.

A Philadelphia cop completes a 3,000-mile journey from Venice to Atlantic City to raise funds after a fellow officer was shot and killed; so far, he’s brought in over three times his original $5,000 goal.

 

International

A Winnipeg thief hacked a cyclist with a hatchet to steal his bicycle; the thief was arrested with the bike 20 minutes later.

A UK court tells a bicyclist he should have a “completely clear conscience” after a fatal collision with an elderly pedestrian; the rider tried to hug her as they both fell to the pavement in an unsuccessful attempt to protect her from injury.

Former Boomtown Rats singer and sidewalk cyclist Bob Geldof doesn’t have anything good to say about London’s popular bicycle superhighways.

Grief is worldwide, as a Belfast bike club rides in honor of ‪Kalamazoo.

A Danish moped rider learned the hard way not to snatch a purse from a 75-year old woman on a bike, who chased him down – and into a car — to get it back.

Caught on video: A Malta cyclist was flipped off and nearly run into a rock wall for the crime of riding a bike on a narrow street.

A woman is suing an Aussie state after colliding with a cyclist after she unexpectedly found herself riding in the middle of a bike race.

 

Finally…

Every few years, someone invents a bike you pedal with your hands as well as your feet; why should this year be any different? It’s okay to bite your tongue when someone nearly doors you.

And bicyclists find a lot of things while riding their bikes. Fortunately, a badly decomposed body is hardly ever one of them.

 

Guest Post: The cost of traffic violence — the daughter of a distracted driving victim speaks out

Last year, an alleged distracted driver plowed into a cyclist in Moorpark, then swerved into motorcyclist coming in the opposite direction, killing them both.

Recently, the daughter of one of those victims asked for the opportunity to tell her story. 

This is what she has to say.

……..

Hailey Cushman’s Story

My name is Hailey Cushman and I am Jesse Cushman’s only biological child. My dad was killed on September 12th, 2015 on his way home from work from BMW Motorcycles located in Ventura. He was hit head-on on his motorcycle in Moorpark, CA by Rachel Hill, who was later found to have been texting and driving. Hill first hit bicyclist Maciek Malish then over-corrected and swerved to hit my father. Both men were killed on impact but Hill only walked away with scratches. In fact, Hill was caught taking pictures of her injuries and posting them on her Facebook the next day as if the accident was humorous to her. This tragic event happened just 9 days before my 21st birthday (in which I had plans that were immediately cancelled and never rescheduled). Dad was going to be 44 years young in October 2015. He was born in Simi Valley, CA but lived most of his life in Reno, NV, which is where I live. Within a couple days of the accident I was down in Fillmore, CA, where dad currently lived with my grandmother, Jorja, and my stepmother, Julia. Julia and dad married in 2002. When dad moved to Southern California he was brought closer to his biological father, Joe Freas, who lives in Thousand Oaks, CA. Joe and dad were in the process of trying to rekindle their relationship after years of separation.

As a child I was lucky to have never experienced a close death in the family but that aspect has also made losing my father at this age extremely difficult for me. My dad had an exciting, fulfilling and fun life. My dad was Batman! My dad and Julia were heavily involved with cosplay and all things comics. Dad had several Batman suits that were so legit that he was in several professional photo shoots. That year dad and Julia won free tickets to the San Diego Comic Con, which they had been trying to attend for years. Dad and I enjoyed doing a lot together when I would come visit in the summer time; we would go boogie boarding in Malibu, go to Six Flags Magic Mountain several times a month (it was our favorite together), race quads (he raced professionally but he also taught me how to ride and I was too racing at just 5 years old). As a family, we would frequently play video games and board games as they owned a plethora of Monopoly games and superhero video games. We would even get the whole family involved with Rockband and have somebody on each instrument. Another big part of my dad and Julia’s life was motorcycles. They were a part of the local STAR riding chapters where they would do toy drives, poker runs and many other fun rides with the group. My grandma would always worry about dad on his motorcycle because she knew the risks but both dad and Julia were very cautious riders. I guess this proves that no matter how cautious you are in life you can never fully protect yourself from others.

Since I lost my dad my life has changed forever. I’ve had to see more psychiatrists lately for stress, anxiety and depression in order to keep my job and continue my college education (which I am close to finishing). I am so young and I have so much of my life ahead of me but my father will not be able to be there to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, be there at the birth of his grandchildren, see me graduate college or buy my first house. The Cushman and Malish family’s lives have forever been changed and will always hurt when we think about this tragic incident. We try to put our minds at ease by thinking about how Rachel Hill will have to live with what she has caused these two families for the rest of her life as well, but unfortunately, we are unable to rely upon the justice system to make her accountable. We have recently been told by the Ventura County District Attorney’s office that Hill may not even receive any jail time but only community service. The Ventura County District Attorney’s office is certainly corrupt. The CHP took 8 months to complete the police report to ensure they had all the information and evidence to create a strong case. The CHP’s recommendation was that Hill should be charged with a felony of two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Within 2 weeks of the Ventura County District Attorney receiving the case they decide that Hill only be charged with a misdemeanor!

Now, I am a smart and educated person. I have been going to school for 16 years (total) and this is not what I was taught in how our justice system operates! When you kill another person due to reckless driving you go to jail! End of story! Rachel Hill is only getting a slap on the wrist for killing TWO innocent people. I spoke with the assistant District Attorney who informed me that they did not have enough evidence to prove gross negligence, even though they had all of Rachel’s text message conversations showing she was texting while driving leading up to the accident. Hill has been able to spend the last 9 months with her family through the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, which were especially hard times for both the Cushman and Malish families. Now that Father’s Day is less than one week away my heart aches just thinking about that empty feeling I will have now not being able to celebrate it with my dad. No amount of money or punishment on Rachel Hill’s behalf will ever bring my father or Maciek Malish back but it would at least be nice to have a piece of mind knowing that Rachel Hill’s life would be forever affected with jail time, a felony and two counts of manslaughter on her record for the rest of her life the same way that our family will forever be devastated about this loss and injustice. Not a single person I have spoken to agrees with the District Attorney’s decision of a misdemeanor (besides the Hill family). We need to bring attention to this obvious injustice and corruption of our justice system by bringing publicity to this case for both the Cushman and the Malish family in hopes to one day begin to heal from this tragic loss.

From left to right: dad, Julia, grandma and me. Disneyland 2012 celebrating mine and Julia's graduation, grandmas birthday and dad and Julia's anniversary.

From left to right: Dad, Julia, Grandma and me. Disneyland 2012 celebrating my and Julia’s graduation, grandma’s birthday and Dad and Julia’s anniversary.

Dad and Julia's wedding picture: June 12th, 2002.

Dad and Julia’s wedding picture: June 12th, 2002.

Dad in his amazing Batman costume!

Dad in his amazing Batman costume!

My favorite picture of dad and I at Disneyland.

My favorite picture of Dad and I at Disneyland.

R.I.P. Jesse Cushman. I love you!

……..

Reducing, let alone eliminating, traffic fatalities will be impossible as long as prosecutors refuse to take even the most egregious cases like this seriously. 

If you’re as angry as I am about this case, contact Ventura County DA Gregory D. Totten, and politely — but firmly — demand that the case be re-filed as a felony.

Hailey, and all the families and loved ones of both victims, deserve better.

As do we all.

Morning Links: Justice at last for OC’s Michael Bastien, and the bike world strips for the World Naked Bike Ride

It’s taken two years, but there’s finally been justice for Michael Bastien.

And with far more jail time than initial reports would have suggested.

This comes from our anonymous Orange County correspondent —

On a sunny Labor Day afternoon, Michael Bastien and his son Matt were riding their bikes down Bolsa Chica when they were hit from behind by a drunk driver. Michael was killed; his son survived.

On Friday, June 3rd, Michael John Perez accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for felony vehicular manslaughter. He’ll be out in half that, of course. His ass is currently in County awaiting transfer to Wasco.

Michael Bastien’s brother is still calling the collision that resulted in his brother’s death a “DUI accident,” which is pretty damn big-hearted of him, because I consider “repeat drunk driving” and “vehicular manslaughter” to be crimes, not accidents, and I am incredibly disturbed at the idea that the collision (whose aftermath I passed on my daily commute) was in any way unavoidable and free of blame.

Once again, the Orange County DA’s office has gotten a conviction in a traffic case resulting in serious jail time. While other local district attorneys don’t even care enough to try.

………

Hundreds of people turned out for the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride Sunday; a surprising number chose to bare all on a cloudy morning. (Both links NSFW).

Riders also turned out in force for the Toronto and London editions.

………

Michigan lawmakers respond to the Kalamazoo bike crash tragedy by introducing a bill that would impose up to 15 years in jail for causing serious injury or death with a motor vehicle.

Nice gesture from Lance Armstrong, who will join members of the victims’ cycling club to finish the ride they started before the crash.

Meanwhile, the judge ordered the killer held without bond on Friday.

………

Former German world champ Rudi Altig has died of cancer at age 79; Altig once spent 18 days in the leader’s yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

Peter Sagan set a new record by winning his 12th stage of the Tour of Switzerland.

The New York Times looks at efforts to hold bike racing motor doping at bay.

An Aussie website talks with veteran cycling announcer Phil Ligget.

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Local

A 10-year old girl was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Boyle Heights, as someone fired multiple shots at a bike rider in an apparent gang attack, and hitting her in the head instead; at last report she was in critical condition.

Good looks at LA’s Great Streets Initiative, saying the city is reinventing itself one street at a time.

A writer for the LA Times goes for an illuminating LA Noir Ride with the Los Angeles Explorers Club.

Richard Risemberg says don’t be a blockhead, put some sunscreen on any uncovered skin when you ride. You won’t get any argument from me; I’ve already had cancers carved out of my nose and calf as a result of riding unprotected in my youth.

Around 300 people turned out for the Rod Bennett Memorial Bike Ride in Santa Clarita on Saturday; Bennett was killed in a hit-and-run while riding on Placerita Canyon last month.

 

State

A Santa Barbara newspaper says the new sharrows being installed in the city may be useless. Sort of like most sharrows, in other words.

A new mural remembers a Salinas man who was killed in a hit-and-run two years ago; his killer was never found.

Sad news from Campbell, as a bike rider was killed in a collision Sunday afternoon.

 

National

The Federal Bureau of Land Management has created a map of the nation’s 20 top mountain bike destinations, only one of which is in California.

NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson, Josh Wise and Landon Cassill are each one of us, as they take a 71-mile bike ride with their crew members through Michigan’s Irish Hills.

In another case of bighearted cops, when DC police officers were unable to fix a 12-year old boy’s bicycle, they pitched in to buy him a new one.

 

International

Bicycling under the influence may not be illegal in Canada, but it’s not recommended. But it is illegal in Californiawith a fine up to $250, but no points against your driver’s license.

A bike commuter writing in the Guardian says too many drivers forget we’re all human; motorists will survive being delayed a few seconds by a bike rider, but the rider may not survive their anger. Case in point: A bicyclist in the UK suffered a serious eye injury when someone threw an egg at him from a passing car.

A Scottish rider visits Copenhagen, and says cycling utopia really does exist.

In a new study from the University of Duh, British researchers discover that kids who bike as children are more likely to ride as teenagers.

An eight-year old Kenyon boy breaks down in tears when he’s given a new mountain bike for finishing at the head of his elementary school class.

 

Finally…

Having a bike stolen sucks — especially if you haven’t even gotten it out of the box yet. If you’re not happy with a bike shop’s prices, don’t run off with their tip jar.

And forget bike Nazis; we’re now a “cycling Talibanforcing unwanted changes on poor, oppressed drivers.

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Come back later this morning, when we’ll have a heartbreaking guest post from the daughter of one of the victims in the Moorpark distracted driving crash that left two people dead; the Ventura County DA has inexplicably filed the charges as misdemeanors, against the wishes of the CHP and any form of common decency.

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Thanks to an anonymous donor for her generous donation to support this site.

 

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