Archive for Bikes & the Law

Morning Links: Brake-checking driver as victim, cyclists are not obstructions, and going full superman on a bike

So who exactly is the victim here?

A group of around 30 Charlotte NC cyclists were riding in a bike lane when they were dangerously buzzed and brake checked by a road raging driver, who proceeded to swear at them and give them the rare double bird when they caught up to her at a red light, all for no apparent reason.

Charlotte NC double bird

And with her child in the car, no less.

Although she was probably unaware that two of those riders she threatened happened to be off-duty cops.

Oops.

So the riders filed a complaint with the police, while those cops had a nice little chat with the undoubtedly surprised driver.

But that’s when the story took a bizarre turn.

Because when the local TV station was done with it, the victim wasn’t any of the innocent cyclists whose lives she’d threatened.

It was the driver herself, who was said to be working with the police and seeking legal council after alleging she’d been threatened once the story became public.

So instead of focusing on the would-be Dr. Christopher Thompson, the news report approached it from the perspective of how she didn’t deserve to be harassed for what she did.

Which she didn’t.

No one deserves that. Which is why I often withhold the names of drivers accused of criminal acts until they become common knowledge, after seeing the outrage that poured out in the first few days following the Mandeville Canyon brake check — including late night death threats directed at the wrong Dr. Christopher Thompson.

Let alone the person who once politely offered to track down a driver who harassed me and bust his windshield, if not his legs. Or his head.

But while she didn’t deserve the alleged response, let’s not forget she was the one who started it by attempting to threaten, if not injure, a group of people whose only crime was riding their bicycles in the lane designated for just that purpose.

Because they didn’t deserve it, either.

Thanks to Michael Hart of Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.

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Patrick Lynch forwards a report of a legal case in which police refused to blame a scofflaw driver for breaking the law. And his insurance company tried, and failed, to convince a jury that the bike rider he hit was just an obstruction in the roadway.

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A cyclist goes full Superman in an ad for a fixie maker.

Although it’s been done before.

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Wish Los Angeles a happy 235th birthday this Saturday with a walk and bike ride from the San Gabriel Mission to Olvera Street, retracing the steps of the city’s original founders, who didn’t even have a Garmin to guide their way.

LA Birthday Ride

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Once again, victory in yesterday’s stage of the Vuelta went to someone other than the favorites; the winner was just back from a four-month suspension for failing a drug test.

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Local

LADOT explains the new cycle hoops pilot program allowing you to legally lock up to parking meters in Westwood. But for now at least, only in Westwood.

Unlike the LA Rams football stadium coming to Inglewood, the new soccer stadium for the coming LAFC franchise promises to be easily accessible by bicycle, with parking for 440 bikes.

Saturday’s Gravel Trofee #4 offers a gravel grinding grid from the Backbone Trail to the beach.

The 17-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía postponed from last June due to the San Gabriel Complex fire could be rescheduled for spring of next year, possibly in March.

 

State

A Laguna Beach radio host observes that the wife of fallen cyclist John Colvin has forgiven Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby, the 19-year old driver convicted of taking his life. And notes that there hasn’t been another bicycling fatality in the city since, crediting luck, along with a network of sharrows directing riders off PCH.

Orange County officials are blocking access to a maintenance road used as a de facto bike path along seven miles of the Santa Ana River following complaints about homeless camps along the roadway. However, the Santa Ana River bike path remains open.

Not surprisingly, the driver who killed Redlands cyclist Randy Stephenson in Loma Linda while fleeing from sheriff’s deputies has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

Simi Valley votes to remove ghost bikes and other roadside memorials after just 30 days. After all, why would they want to bum people out by reminding them to drive, bike and/or walk safely?

The UC Santa Barbara student newspaper traces the history of bicycling at the bike friendly university, where musician Jack Johnson met his future wife by locking his bike to hers in his rush to get to class.

The New York Times says Silicon Valley group rides are the new place to pitch ideas and make deals, if you can keep up; VeloNews responds that cycling is not and never will be the new golf.

The San Francisco Chronicle offers proof that Bay Area bike activism goes back nearly 45 years, including photos taken by the man who shot the iconic Iwo Jima flag raising.

The former Napa Valley Bike Angel is launching a drive to donate bikes and helmets to families affected by the recent Clayton Fire.

 

National

People for Bikes considers what can be done to improve safety on roads filled with distracted drivers.

Evidently, bicycles really are dangerous. A Texas woman was injured by one that fell off a vehicle and struck the car she was in.

A Wisconsin writer says hell yes, cyclists are entitled to their place on the road, and people driving cars and trucks have a responsibility to honor that. Note: Michael Hart points out the writer is the former mayor of Madison WI, and the current president of the Wisconsin Bike Federation.

A security guard for the Chicago ABC affiliate gets credit for catching a wrong-way, probably drunk driver who tried to flee the scene after running down a bike rider; fortunately, the cyclist wasn’t seriously injured.

A woman on Martha’s Vineyard puts out cold drinks to comfort strangers passing by on a bike path in a gesture of hospitality.

It’s not just pedestrians who are at risk from collisions with bicyclists, despite the breathless stories in the press. A New York cyclist was seriously injured going over his handlebars after swerving to avoid a pedestrian who stepped out in front of him while he was riding in Central Park. And in a similar incident, a Texas woman died a month after she was injured going over her handlebars in Central Park, possibly after being cut off by a pedicab.

The New York Times says the death of a 78-year old bike rider shows biking perils persist in the city, as advocates grow angry that the city isn’t doing more to address them.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare expands further into Brooklyn, with an additional 139 stations coming by year’s end; however, not everyone is happy with the loss of parking spaces.

A Pennsylvania town is being terrorized by teenage bike riders who pop wheelies, and force drivers to remember where their brakes are.

Road diets can do more than just improve safety; a New Orleans street is being reconfigured in hopes the narrower street and bike lanes will bring life to a crime-ridden neighborhood and encourage businesses to invest there.

A St. Petersburg FL bridge is the latest to be sabotaged by someone throwing tacks in the bike lane; police and DOT officials insist they don’t know anything about it, even though a reporter picked up 30 tacks herself.

A Florida jury deliberates for a whole 10 minutes before giving a bike thief three years for stealing a bait bike. Unfortunately, LA still doesn’t use bait bikes, despite a rampant bike theft epidemic. And most bike thieves here don’t get three days, let alone three years.

 

International

Ella Cycling Tips offers tips on what to do if your lady bits hurt after riding. Assuming you have lady bits, of course.

A Winnipeg man fled on a bicycle after placing a backpack containing a bomb in front of the courthouse; fortunately, no one was injured in the explosion. Meanwhile, a kindhearted Winnipeg couple is fixing up bikes to donate to refugee children. And no, let’s not jump to any connection there.

A man in the UK was the victim of a strong arm robbery after being pushed off his bike by a someone who then rode off on it.

An Indian man plans to become the first visually challenged cyclist to conquer the Himalayas on a tandem.

A new Aussie ER study shows most cycling injuries occurred while the victims were riding on the street, often in bike lanes, and usually in broad daylight.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. A Japanese driver has killed one pedestrian and seriously injured another while playing Pokémon Go instead of watching the road.

 

Finally…

If not being able to ride drives you crazy, you may be right. If you’re going to steal your neighbor’s bicycle, don’t ride past her house on it, especially not while she’s filing a police report.

And do they make these in adult sizes?

No, really.

 

Morning Links: One year for killing OC cyclist, new video of LAPD beating bike rider, and bike hating sportswriters

We have way too much news for one day. So grab yourself a cuppa Joe and buckle in, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Just one year for the hit-and-run death of a Laguna Beach bicyclist.

Twenty-one-year old Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby plead guilty Monday to one count of felony hit-and-run with injury and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the death of John Colvin over two years ago.

Sure, you could call death an injury.

Rand-Luby swerved his car out of his lane and into the bike lane where Colvin was riding, striking him from behind, then continued on for another mile with a windshield too shattered to see through before finally pulling over.

He had faced up to four years in prison, but accepted a plea deal calling for just one year behind bars, with three years formal probation upon his release.

You can read the OC District Attorney’s full press release here, including the very moving impact statements from Colvin’s family.

Thanks to Edward M. Rubinstein for the heads-up.

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The LA Times released security camera video of the beating of South LA bike rider Clinton Alford, Jr. by an LAPD officer following a brief chase on bike and foot.

Yet despite what you see, the LA District Attorney’s office inexplicably let the officer who kicked Alford in the head, beat him for several seconds, then kneeled heavily on his back for a couple minutes — even though Alford was in handcuffs and laying face down on the street the whole time — off with community service and a $500 fine.

And he could have his felony conviction changed to a misdemeanor once he completes the terms of his plea deal.

This is the third time DA Jackie Lacey has let a cop off with a slap on the wrist — or less — in a case involving a bike rider, following her refusal to charge the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, and the three Gardena cops who fatally shot the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim.

Clearly, the DA has someone’s back.

But it’s not ours.

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Where to even begin with this one?

The online bike world blew up over the weekend when not one, not two, but three sportswriters felt a need to display their ignorance, anti-bike bias or just plan willingness to risk the lives and safety of those on two wheels.

Starting with a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King showing his co-worker driving in the bike lane in order to get to San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium for an interview. A move that did not sit well with a number of people, including the San Diego Police Department.

Properly chastised, King apologized on Monday. Although generally, if someone is truly repentant, they don’t bury the apology at the bottom on an exceptionally long column.

Then there’s Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who felt compelled to chime in, saying it’s hard not to drive in a bike lane down there since it’s all they have, claiming there’s 10,000 miles of bike lanes for just ten bicyclists.

Never mind that San Diego ranks third nationally for bike commuting among cities over one million population.

This is what San Diegan Frank Lehnerz had to say in an email to Canepa’s colleagues at the U-T.

No, it’s not okay to violate CVC 21209 as Mr. King bragged on social media last weekend. There are plenty of normal traffic lanes for motorists to use. Bike lanes are far from “all we have.” Nearly every mile of freeway in the city prohibits cyclists and the infrastructure is only usable to only the most competent and attentive cyclists.  If your colleague can’t learn, respect, and follow the laws, he should do the public a favor and surrender his driving license. In addition to the few dangerous drivers, bicyclists here in San Diego have to deal with potholes, train tracks, cracks, non-functioning signals, and bikes lanes which end all the sudden at intersections and where roads cross over freeways. Personally I’ve dealt with several close calls of people driving motor vehicle swerving into the bike lane in order to pass stopped traffic or get a head start on making a right hand turn. These drivers often do this with no turn signal or with a cell phone in hand. It’s not a joke when a cyclist is struck and injured or killed. In some cases it’s a hit and run, in others the cyclists is either dead or unable to recall the actions and thus his or her side of the story is never told.

Motorists should not be in the bicycle lanes unless it’s for one of the exemptions given under CVC 21209 and after they’ve ensured the lane is clear of cyclists.

And last, and certainly least, there’s former footballer and current NFL Network analyst Heath Evans, who may have absorbed one hit too many before hanging up the cleats.

Because it was Evans who took it a step further by expressing his desire to run down people on bikes, apparently because he was briefly delayed by a couple cyclists in Venice.

SI7O0H2T.jpg-large

Funny how no one ever says they want to kill motorists because they were stuck on the 405 for hours, but a few seconds behind someone on a bike is enough to bring out murderous rage.

Like King, but apparently, not Canepa, Evans apologized after debating the matter with rightfully enraged members of the Twitterati, even as he expressed bewilderment that bikes don’t actually belong on the sidewalk.

It’s worth a few minutes out of your day to read what Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has to say on the subject. And even New York’s famed Bike Snob couldn’t resist adding his two cents to the West Coast blow-up.

Because, as ignorant as these comments and actions were, these are the people we share the streets with.

And as much as we might like to think they’re extreme examples, the attitudes they express are a lot more common than any of us would like to believe.

Thanks to Cuong T. for the tip.

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Good luck to Mark Friis, formerly the Executive Director of the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance.

Friis recently stepped down from his position, and yesterday the reason became clear. He’s about to embark on an around-the-world bike tour.

You can follow his journey on his new website. And contribute to his efforts online, if you’re so inclined.

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Still more kindhearted people.

Pomona police dig into their own pockets replace the bike a 12-year old boy was rebuilding after it was stolen; it only took 20 minutes for eight cops to step up after the call went out looking for officers willing to pitch in.

Clovis police recovered a boy’s stolen bicycle after it had been dismantled, so they rebuilt it themselves before returning it to him.

Bighearted volunteers in Calgary are refurbishing donated bicycles to provide reliable transportation for Syrian refugees.

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Local

CiclaValley takes a late night ride with Walk Bike Burbank’s Midnight Ramble.

Pasadena is taking steps to become more bike friendly in the next 10 to 15 years — apparently not five as the headline suggests — by conducting road diets and installing buffered and protected bike lanes.

Damien Newton’s latest podcast talks with Claremont Mayor Sam Pedroza and Jose Jimenez, Education Director for Bike SGV.

 

State

Cyclelicious says thank you, but he did not coin the term Idaho Stop, although he was among the first to popularize it.

San Diego’s CicloSDias open streets event returns on October 30th after a two year hiatus. Meanwhile, San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood will get a new bike co-op, including a weekly bike valet.

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks at the state of protected bike lanes in the US, and around the world.

Sunday marks the ninth annual Bike the Bay in San Diego, offering riders a once-a-year opportunity to ride across the arching San Diego – Coronado Bridge. Although you’ll find yourself among the bizarrely anti-bike Coronado denizens once you get to the other side.

A law firm is offering a $25,000 reward for information in the hit-and-run death of Moreno Valley resident Duane Darling as he rode his bike in Mead Valley last month.

The Redlands cycling community mourns Randy Stephenson, who was killed by a driver fleeing sheriff’s deputies in Loma Linda last week; the long-time member of the Redlands Water Bottle Transit Co bike club had just left Don’s Bike Shop in Redlands when he was run down.

 

National

The Bike League looks at how cycling can help solve global warming.

A Chicago website reports on the booming, spandex-free underground bike scene that roams the city every Monday night.

Eleven cities in the US and Canada are now using the sonar system developed by the Chattanooga Police Department to measure whether drivers give bicyclists the three-foot passing distance required by law. Sadly, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

The New Yorker looks at the challenges of transforming the Motor City into a bike making center.

A Rochester NY minister is offering a $1,000 reward for his stunt BMX bicycle that apparently fell off his car on the way back to his church — after using it to jump over a helicopter into a burning wall.

New York needs a better system for removing abandoned bicycles clogging up the city’s bike parking.

Tragic irony, as a Florida man who served time for killing a man in a road rage incident was himself the victim of a road raging driver.

 

International

Bike Radar says the formula for how many bikes you need is N+1 = CX, offering five reasons why your next bike should be a cross bike.

New cars should be able to see you by 2018, even if their drivers don’t.

A Columbian startup is rewarding riders in Bogotá and Mexico City with points for each kilometer they ride, which can be exchanged for discounts at participating merchants; they will expand into Vancouver next.

A Toronto sportswriter tries riding the new Rio bikeways without luck, including the rebuilt cliff-side trail that collapsed earlier this year, killing two people.

Winnipeg bike riders are advised to use two locks when they lock up, as bike thefts jump nearly 75%.

A Brit bike rider claims to have set a new world record for the longest distance traveled on a bikeshare bike in a single hour, at just over 20 miles.

A British woman wants signs posted in a park warning pedestrians about bikes after she was knocked down by a bike rider. Seriously, anytime there are pedestrians around, slow the hell down.

Apparently not satisfied with winning most of the cycling medals in the Rio Olympics, British Cycling looks to build on its success.

 

Finally…

Everything you need to know about getting back on your bike after a vasectomy. No, those aren’t bike shorts.

And if you’re going to use an axe to try to hack through a bike lock in broad daylight, try not to whack the bike.

 

Morning Links: A human speed bump at Sunday’s CicLAvia, and a miscarriage of justice in Ventura County

Sunday marked yet another successful CicLAvia, as thousands turned out for the shortened course on Wilshire Blvd despite the heat.

However, some aspects left something to be desired, as dangerd explains.

Vision Zero L.A Style at CicLAvia

Do you want to know how much the LAPD cares about your safety and “Vision Zero”?

At the Wilshire CicLAvia this Sunday my girlfriend and I were making our way back to where we parked mid-route at our hotel near MacArthur Park when at 3:30pm a LAPD motorcycle cop escorting the DOT truck reopening Wilshire Blvd. pulled up behind us an announced over his loudspeaker “Get over to the right, the street is re-opening, this is L.A. You are just a speed bump.”

I pulled aside the cop on my bicycle and said, “I am not a speed bump I am a road user and I would appreciate it if you enforced the traffic law. If someone runs me off the road I expect that you will give them a ticket.”

To which he answered, “How can I give them a ticket after they run you over, you will already be dead?”

In my opinion we will not achieve “Vision Zero” by 2035, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, Not with a police force who is unwilling to enforce traffic law even at a CicLAvia event, and makes jokes about cars running over pedestrians and bicyclists.

Are you listening Eric Garcetti?

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I got to CicLAvia late myself, but still managed to grab a few photos along the way, presented in no particular order.

Church-&-Bikes

Bike-Rodeo-Course-smallCicLAvia-Van-small

Nice to see the City Attorney's office represented

Nice to see the City Attorney’s office represented

Indodnesian-Band-small

An Indonesian band performed, drawing a large crowd

Gen. Otis, founder of the LA Times, not the namesake of MacArthur Park

Gen. Otis, founder of the LA Times, not the namesake of MacArthur Park

A very moving memorial to Robert Kennedy, steps from where he was assassinated

A very moving memorial to Robert Kennedy, steps from where he was assassinated

The LA Public Library book bike

The LA Public Library book bike

CicLAvia-Van-small

As usual, businesses that catered to CicLAvia participants were richly rewarded

As usual, businesses that catered to CicLAvia participants were richly rewarded

Soon to be the Left Coast's tallest building

Soon to be the Left Coast’s tallest building

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is one of us, as he rode the full route with his charming family

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is one of us, as he rode the full route with his charming family

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In a truly bizarre miscarriage of justice, a 27-year old Camarillo woman who killed two people while allegedly texting is allowed to plead out to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges.

The CHP concluded that Rachel Hill was “distracted by a portable electronic device” when she ran down Emmy Award-winner Maciek Malish as he rode his bike on the shoulder of Moorpark Road, then overcorrected and hit Jesse Cushman as his motorcycle came from the opposite direction.

Yet somehow, the Ventura County DA concluded that the death of two innocent people at the hands of a distracted driver really wasn’t that big a deal, and didn’t merit felony charges.

And can’t seem to explain why, other than to respond in an unsigned form letter to say the decision was not made lightly.

Which really makes you wonder just who Hill knows in the DA’s office.

She’ll be sentenced to a slap on the wrist on September 20th.

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BMX rider Kevin Robinson came out of retirement to set a world record with an 84” power-assisted backflip, after crashing hard on his first attempt.

Or maybe you’d be more impressed by a mountain biker leaping over a train gap — aka a railroad track running through a ravine —  in British Columbia; although that’s still not as impressive as doing it over an actual train.

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A Dutch cyclist rode on the wall — vertically — in an attempt to avoid a crash in the women’s keirin.

The Australian cycling team is going bust at the Rio Olympics.

A Detroit artist’s work was along for the ride when Kristin Armstrong won her third consecutive gold in the time trial. Although it does have some rather operatic competition.

The British women’s pursuit team pens a note of congratulations to their medal-winning countrymen, with a friendly reminder not to drunkenly stumble into the wrong room. And apparently, it worked.

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer was part of the silver medal winning US pursuit team.

A Brazilian cyclist was suspended for failing a drug test. Meanwhile, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, looking oddly like Rodney Dangerfield, says Americans shouldn’t throw stones when it comes to doping at the Olympics.

And no, a Canadian parliament member did not win cycling gold in Rio.

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Local

Metro’s $22 million underpass connecting the Red and Orange Lines in North Hollywood is set to open today.

A San Marino man plans to ride 17,500 miles from Alaska to Argentina to honor his friend, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a Las Vegas traffic collision.

The Santa Monica Spoke will host an August “Go Public” Ice Cream Ride visiting three gourmet ice cream shops in the Santa Monica area on the 27th.

 

State

An Encinitas bike rider was hurt in a hit-and-run Sunday morning; fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening.

A Carlsbad dog escaped from its home and attacked a bike rider, then lunged at police, who had to use pepper spray and a beanbag gun to subdue him. Bad dog!

The madness continues in Coronado, where a candidate for city council says no to a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, because transients, homeless people, drug addicts and alcoholics would use it along with the bike riders and tourists. “I’m going to build a wall, a beautiful wall, across the bay. And I’ll make the homeless drug addicts pay for it.”

A bike rider was airlifted to a local hospital following a collision on PCH in Ventura County. Which seems unusual since she was listed as suffering just minor injuries.

A San Francisco bicyclist says it’s time to require bike riders to register their bikes, obtain a license and carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, using the money to design and build safer roads. In other words, the people most at risk, who do the least harm to the roads, should pay prohibitively to protect themselves from those who do the most damage and pose the greatest danger. Got it.

 

National

After a recording proves a Utah councilmember said bike riders should be run off the road, a woman writes that’s exactly what happened to her husband, and she wouldn’t wish that pain and sorrow on anyone.

Denver business owners are worried about how a new six mile, two-way cycle track will affect their businesses, even though studies show it could actually help.

Colorado authorities are investigating after someone spray painted messages on the roadway suggesting bike riders should be killed in advance of a Gran Fondo.

 

International

A Toronto driver complains that she was left with a $500 deductible payment after a careless bike rider scratched her car while she was stopped at a red light, and wants the law changed to hold bicyclists accountable. Which it already does, but she chose not to file a case in small claims court.

An Irish cyclist is nearing the finish of a 14 month bike tour from New Zealand to Ireland, through 23 countries on three continents.

An Aussie cyclist has his bike stolen three months into a one year, 12,000 mile charity ride around the continent.

A Wellington, New Zealand columnist pens a piece that could have been written here, saying that local leaders are reluctant to make the hard choices to improve bike safety, in a city where cars form the top of the transportation pyramid and everything else is on the bottom.

Philippine police are surprised when no admitted drug users show up for a bike ride with drug enforcement cops. The only real surprise is that the cops were surprised.

Bikeshare comes to Shanghai, even if some riders are hording the orange-wheeled bikes for their own use.

 

Finally…

Don’t buy meat from skinny Brits in hi-viz. If you’re going to wrestle a bike away from its owner, don’t hang around and watch when the police come to investigate.

And seriously, when you’re riding with outstanding felony warrants, don’t weave in and out of traffic.

 

Weekend Links: Reward for killer hit-and-run Riverside County driver, and CicLAvia returns to Wilshire this Sunday

The family of fallen cyclist Duane Darling calls on the public’s help in tracking down the hit-and-run driver who left him to die on the side of a Riverside County road.

Investigators are looking for a Ford F-150 pickup with damage to the passenger-side headlight. Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP at 951/637-8000; there’s a $1,000 reward in the case.

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Just in time for Sunday’s CicLAvia, the Militant Angeleno offers his guide to the iconic, if truncated, route, which has been shortened due to construction on the Purple Line subway.

However, he fails to include the locations of any of the other 55 Pokestops along the route.

CicLAvia offers a list of feeder rides to the event. Given the heat forecast for the weekend, my feeder ride may be the Red Line.

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More kindhearted cops.

Over a dozen Virginia police officers pitch in to buy a new bike for an autistic boy after his was stolen off his porch.

And a pair of Kentucky cops buy a new bike for a seven-year old girl after hers was stolen; the girl touchingly said the officers healed her heart.

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Evidently, it takes one to know one. Lance Armstrong makes a cryptic, one-word doping accusation when Fabian Cancellara won gold in the Rio time trial.

Bradley Wiggins becomes the UK’s most decorated Olympian after winning gold in the men’s team pursuit.

The Guardian looks at the impact not making their nation’s Olympic teams has on women cyclists, and what comes next for them.

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Local

Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV’s Wes Reutimann.

Membership in the new WeHo Pedal bikeshare costs just $69 for the first year.

 

State

A two week ride to put an end to human trafficking will end in Newport Beach on September 25th.

The co-founder and CEO of the Lyft car-sharing service once biked 350 miles from LA to Mono Lake, and helped raised funds for a campus bike line as a student at UC Santa Barbara.

The Department of DIY strikes in San Francisco, as a group called the San Francisco Transformation Agency is taking bike safety into their own orange cone-bearing hands.

Thirty bicyclists riding across the US with the Bike & Build program stopped in Stockton to work on a home.

 

National

A Colorado woman wants a new mayor who won’t pander to bike riders by allowing them to rudely ride in the middle of the traffic lane, while a bike-riding Colorado lawyer offers advice on how to deal with police and angry drivers. Such as the letter writer, probably.

A new Nebraska law gives bike riders the same crosswalk right-of-way enjoyed by pedestrians, as well as repealing the outdated mandatory side path rule.

Evidently, cycling is an obscure sport, at least as far as a Boston writer is concerned as he ranks the greatest sports movies. American Flyers over Breaking Away? Seriously?

A writer for the Boston Globe calls for cycle tracks in the city.

DC is installing pocket lanes to help bike riders navigate through intersections to avoid right hooks.

Tragic story from South Carolina, as a 77-year old bike rider died after riding into a ravine; he left a voice mail for his wife saying he’d crashed into a creek bed and needed help, and hung his shirt on a tree branch to signal rescuers, but wasn’t found until it was too late.

A Louisiana cyclist made it about a mile onto the 26-mile Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, which prohibits bicyclists. I threatened to try riding it myself more than once when I live down there, since it would cut the ride to New Orleans down to a few scenic hours.

The Florida cop who accidently shot and killed a 77-year old woman left his previous job after siccing his police dog on a bike rider.

Florida cyclists wisely object to plans to place buffered bike lanes on a six lane divided highway with a 55 mph speed limit.

 

International

Bike Radar asks if you’re a cycling snob.

An off-duty British cop goes beyond the call of duty by stopping a thief and recovering the bike he stole, then using his own car to track down the vacationing Dutch couple it belonged to.

After a Brit bike rider was knocked cold by a hit-and-run driver, paramedics leave him on the side of the road, despite a neck injury and a broken shoulder, telling him to find his own way home.

A BBC TV reporter discusses his long road to recovery after a near-fatal bicycling collision; when he woke from a two-week coma, he thought he was an American race car driver in 1952.

Spend your next bike vacation pedaling through the real Palestine from Tel Aviv through Jericho and Bethlehem to Jerusalem.

 

Finally…

If you can’t fix it with duct tape, it ain’t broken. If you miss not being on your bike, doesn’t that mean you wish you weren’t on it?

And you’ll need to ride a bike for 50 minutes to work off the calories from the new frozen deep-fried Twinkies.

Which seems like as good an excuse as any.

 

Morning Links: Police investigate as Corona del Mar bully says he’s sorry; Canadian cyclist loses all in theft

Newport Beach police are investigating the video we linked to yesterday showing a bully motorist berating a bike rider in a profanity-laced, homophobic tirade, for the crime of riding on the sharrows.

And yes, they’re now taking it very seriously, after the rider was initially blown off when he tried to file a report.

In case you missed it, the video has now been posted to YouTube, which means we can share it here.

Let’s hope he likes the way he looks on the screen; the Facebook video has been seen over 400,000 times in just the first 24 hours.

KCBS-2 caught up to the driver, who apologized for the language he used, and said he was embarrassed by the whole thing.

“I’m just an old surfer, knucklehead, and I do apologize for using the words that I used,” Lewis told CBS2 reporter Michelle Gile.

However, you’ll note that he didn’t apologize for threatening the victim. Or for clipping him with his mirror, or for the brake check that forced the victim into the left lane to go around him.

And we’re still left to wonder whether even that apology was sincere, or if it was just the result of adverse publicity from a video that went viral.

We’ll have to wait for the NBPD to complete their investigation to learn what charges will be filed, if any. Although there’s a good case to be made for assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run if it can be shown that he really did clip the victim with his mirror.

However, LAPD officers have explained in the past that the mere act of getting out of a vehicle to confront someone is enough for an assault charge.

Let alone threatening to kill him.

Meanwhile, the whole thing just shows how far we have to go in educating drivers about sharrows.

And just about every other aspect of sharing the road with people on bicycles.

………

Thanks to David Bain for forwarding word of a Canadian musician who had his bike and all his belongings stolen while attempting to set a Guinness world record on a coast-to-cost bike tour; a gofundme account has raised over $6,500 of a $10,000 goal to help replace it.

………

Kristin Armstrong waited until her victory was confirmed, becoming the first cyclist to win gold three times in the same event, then collapsed and was checked out by medics before her five-year old son came out to give her a hug.

A French rider may have only placed 26th in the women’s road race, but she’s winning the competition to resemble the former Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge.

Britain threw down the gauntlet with a world record on the first day of qualifying for the women’s 4,000 meter team pursuit, while the men struck gold in the team sprint.

The great Evelyn Stevens decides to walk away from pro cycling at the peak of her career, just seven years after quitting her job as an investment banker to compete full-time.

A Philippine paper says it helps to have a short memory in bike racing, since everyone hits the pavement sooner or later.

Closer to home, the Redlands Bicycle Classic will move to May next year, serving as a domestic lead-in to the Amgen Tour of California.

And SoCal Cycling offers photos of Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

………

Local

Air quality in the LA area is the deadliest in the nation. That alone should be enough to get LA and other local cities to provide safe alternatives to driving. But probably won’t.

CiclaValley reports the North Hollywood Metro tunnel will be opening Monday, with a promised Bike Hub to come.

Park La Brea News profiles Sunday’s Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia.

Long Beach celebrates the opening of the new parking protected bike lanes on Artesia Blvd, the first half-mile of what will eventually be a two-mile protected bikeway.

 

State

Cyclelicious examines why land use matters for bike advocacy, noting that people aren’t likely to bike to work if they can’t afford to live nearby.

KPCC looks at the increasing popularity of bike lanes in OC.

Don’t throw your bike at a trolley if they won’t let you on, a lesson a Laguna Beach man learned the hard way; he could face charges for vandalism, and probably needs a new bike after the trolley ran over it.

Salinas will host its fourth ciclovía in October, with a 1.6 mile route.

This time it’s firefighters with the big hearts, as Pleasanton firefighters pitch in to buy a man a new bicycle and helmet after his was damaged when he was hit by a car.

Sacramento authorities want people to walk, ride a bike or take transit when the new arena opens.

Sad news from NorCal, as a Redding bike rider was killed by a driver who allegedly ran a red light. Something many drivers insist only bike riders do.

 

National

An Oregon neo-Nazi covered with pro-Aryan and anti-police tatts fled on his bicycle when police tried to stop him for a traffic violation, eventually shooting a cop and taking a woman hostage; he suffered non-life threatening wounds when he was shot by police to end the siege.

Forget riding through crosswalks; Portland is installing cross bikes — no, not this kind — to help bike riders get through intersections safely.

The grizzly bear that killed a Montana mountain biker last June was nearly old enough to legally drink.

Caught on video: An Iowa bike rider is forced to bail off the road when a pickup coming in the opposite direction crosses onto the wrong side of the road, barely missing him.

Inflamed passions boil over in a dispute over a Detroit bike lane.

This is who we share the roads with. A Pennsylvania woman was caught on video, not just texting behind the wheel, but actually steering with her feet while she drove.

A South Carolina bike maker is bringing some manufacturing back to the US thanks to automation, even if the pay is less than the new minimum wage in Los Angeles.

An Atlanta bike advocate is working to get more black people on bicycles as the founder of the local chapter of Red Bike and Green.

Seriously, if your hat blows into the bay while riding your bike on a Florida causeway, just let the damn thing go.

 

International

Bike Radar offers tips on how to keep your saddle from being a pain in the butt, while Ella Cycling Tips offers advice on how women can choose the right one.

Forget the Olympics; Rio is also the site of the world’s largest Lego bicycle.

It’s not just the US where the bike theft epidemic is on the rise; it’s jumped 31% north of the border in just one year.

Calgary’s new bike lane network will hit one-million riders just a year after completion, a 40% jump in ridership. Yet one councilmember is underwhelmed, claiming it should have at least doubled — never mind that it came in $1.5 million under budget.

As if the Brit press didn’t have enough reasons to hate bike riders, now they accuse us of being deer killers. Seriously, don’t discard anything when you ride; jerseys have pockets for a reason.

A UK website says nothing beats a bike if you want to get more active.

A renowned pediatrician who made a “huge contribution to neonatal medicine in the UK” is mourned after he lost his life in a solo fall.

Amsterdam now has a special mayor devoted entirely to improving bicycling in the already bike-friendly city. Sometimes it seems like they’re just rubbing it in.

An Iranian town bans women from bicycling after the local iman says it violates the teachings of Islam, despite a national anti-pollution program encouraging everyone to ride their bikes every Tuesday.

 

Finally…

Evidently, if you’re riding in dark clothing at night, you need to take it all off. This is what you call a bike lane fail.

And don’t wrestle over dead goats without locking your bike up first.

 

Morning Links: Cop gets slap on wrist for beating bike rider, and road raging driver threatens CdM cyclist

Once again, the Los Angeles District Attorney let a cop accused of wrong doing off the hook.

And once again, it involved someone riding a bicycle.

The LA Times got wind of a plea deal reached earlier this year in the case of LAPD officer Richard Garcia, who was captured on security video beating and kicking a bike rider after he voluntarily surrendered and was already restrained by other officers.

Then-22-year old Clinton Alford Jr. was riding his bike on the sidewalk along Avalon Blvd in South LA when a police car pulled up behind him and ordered him to stop. According Alford, the officers failed to identify themselves, and fearing for his safety, he tried to get away, fleeing first by bike and then on foot.

After a brief pursuit, he stopped on his own and laid down on the ground, and was taken into custody without resistance.

That is, until an officer identified as Richard Garcia arrived on the scene, and immediately began beating and kicking Alford; one police official said he kicked the man’s head like he was kicking a field goal.

This is how the Times described the brutal attack.

The officer then dropped to the ground and delivered a series of strikes with his elbows to the back of Alford’s head and upper body, sources said. Alford’s head can be seen on the video hitting the pavement from the force of the strikes, two sources recounted. Afterward, the officer leaned his knee into the small of Alford’s back and, for a prolonged period, rocked or bounced with his body weight on Alford’s back, the sources said. At one point, the officer put his other knee on Alford’s neck, a source said.

Afterwards, several officers can reportedly be seen on the unreleased video carrying his limp body into a patrol car.

Yet despite that, and despite the determination by LAPD Chief Beck and the Police Commission that Garcia and another unnamed officer violated the department’s use of force policies, DA Jackie Lacey quietly negotiated a plea that lets Garcia off without a single day behind bars. Let alone the three years he faced if the case had gone to trial.

And possibly, without even a felony conviction.

Garcia pled no contest to felony assault in exchange for s sentence of community service and a paltry $500 fine to be paid an unnamed charity. After he completes the terms, he will be allowed to enter a new plea to a misdemeanor charge, which would replace the original conviction, and be placed on two years probation.

That’s it.

According to the Times, Lacey thinks that was a tough sentence.

Lacey said that she believed filing the felony charge against Garcia signaled to both police officers and residents that “people will be held accountable.”

“I do think it sends a strong message to any law enforcement officer who is thinking about violating the law,” she said. “If you talk to any officer about a felony on their record gotten in the course of their job, I don’t think anyone would see this as light at all.”

She’s right, it does send a strong message.

It tells every officer on the street that you can nearly kill a man for no valid reason, and walk away without even a felony conviction on your record.

Which is exactly the same message she sent in refusing to file charges against the LA County sheriff’s deputy who killed cyclist Milt Olin while typing on his onboard computer instead watching out for the man who was legally riding his bike in the bike lane on Mulholland Highway — just moments after the deputy texted his wife while driving, something that could have landed anyone else in jail.

And the same message she sent in refusing to indict the three Gardena police officers who killed an unarmed man who was simply trying to tell them they had stopped the wrong men after his brother’s bicycle was stolen, in a shooting captured on dashcam video.

Let’s be clear. Alford is no saint.

He was originally booked on possession and resisting arrest, charges that were quickly dropped when news of the beating came to light. And he faces new charges of pimping, rape and assault with a deadly weapon.

But even the worst criminal deserves protection from rogue cops who take the law into their own hands.

And from a DA who doesn’t seem to give a damn.

One time might be explainable. But three times is evidence of a pattern, and an apparent policy of refusing to hold even the worst police officers accountable for their actions.

Or maybe it’s just the people on bicycles she doesn’t like.

………

Unbelievable.

A cyclist in Corona del Mar receives a death threat from a road raging motorist who calls him a pussy and a queer, among many other things, and says he’s just lucky there are witnesses around. All because the rider had the audacity to ride his bicycle on the sharrows, exactly where he’s supposed to be.

They need to get this asshole off the streets before he kills someone. On purpose.

………

A Santa Monica writer notes that bike theft was up 30% in the city in 2015, and guesses that the trend has continued this year. And wonders if the Expo Line is to blame.

Never mind that the Expo Line didn’t even reach SaMo until May of this year.

………

The next time someone says bike riders don’t pay our share of the road because bikes aren’t registered, show them this.

CA DMV Where Money Goes

Only 13% of registration fees go to maintain the roads — and even that is just for state highways.

………

We have results from yesterday’s Olympic time trial, so skip to the next section if it’s still waiting in your viewing queue.

Fabian Cancellara caps his cycling career by capturing gold for Switzerland in the time trial, eight years after winning in Beijing; Tom Doumalin and Chris Froome finished second and third.

No Cinderella story on Wednesday, as cycling scion Taylor Phinney finishes 22nd, over five minutes behind the leaders, while Aussie Rohan Dennis had to settle for fifth after his handlebars broke. A Namibian cyclist takes pride in finishing dead last in the time trial after he entered the race at the last minute on a road bike because he didn’t have a time trial bike.

American Kristin Armstrong overcame age and a bloody nose to win her third consecutive gold medal in the women’s time trial on her final day as a 42-year old; dope-tainted Russian Olga Zabelinskaya took silver while Anna van der Breggen captured bronze. The Wall Street Journal calls Armstrong the comeback queen.

The US women’s pursuit team begins its pursuit of a gold medal today with new left-side drive Felt track bikes that promise to shave three seconds off their time.

The world’s top pro cycling teams have voted to boycott the time trial at October’s world championships in Qatar in a protest against cycling’s governing body.

………

Local

The LA2050 Challenge Grants are back for another year; applications are being accepted between September 6th and October 4th.

A Los Angeles triathlete’s bike was stolen while she was training with her team in Long Beach; her bike was missing when she came back from a swim. As of this writing, a gofundme account to replace it has raised $1895 of the $3,000 goal.

A French artist begins a two-month examination of the LA River by foot and bike for an art project based on the items he recovers.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on the soft opening of West Hollywood’s new WeHo Pedals bikeshare. Although almost all of the planned docking stations are on the Santa Monica Blvd corridor, ignoring most north/south streets and the Sunset Strip.

Alhambra police ask if you know this bike-riding package thief. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Caltrans reports it has patched pavement along PCH; however, a Malibu Safety Commissioner says they should be held to a higher standard of surface integrity given the large number of bicycles on the roadway.

Friends remember Bill Bowers, the homeless bike rider fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in Castaic last week; posters at the event call the shooting murder.

Save the date for Noche de los Luminarias, the Bike SGV Awards Night on November 10th.

 

State

Too little too late. Newport Beach decides to install four new stop signs between Newport Heights Elementary School and Newport Harbor High School following the death of eight-year old Brock McCann as he rode his bike home from school. There’s no reason to believe it would have prevented this tragedy, but maybe it will help prevent the next one.

Dozens of Encinitas streets could get bike lanes or sharrows, depending on the width of the street.

A San Diego man teams up with a cop in an unsuccessful effort to recover his stolen bike, though they did catch the suspected thief with a stolen truck and two other hot bikes. Note to ABC 10: $900 does not a pricey bike make.

A Ventura tow truck driver pled not guilty in the hit-and-run death of 14-year old bike rider Jonathan Hernandez earlier this year; he faces up to 40 months in prison if he’s convicted.

 

National

A mountain biker says the current ban on bikes in wilderness areas is based on nothing more than a few people who don’t like them, and risks dividing supporters of environmental protection of unspoiled areas.

Elly Blue says everyone benefits by looking past the stereotype of bicyclists as white guys in spandex to embrace the full bicycling community, regardless of color or sex, noting that people of color make up the fastest growing cycling demographic.

People for Bikes says businesses are finding creative ways to put bicycles to work.

When a beginning bike rider asks how far an “easy” ride really is, a Portland writer says a bike coach who recommends adding 10 miles per ride until you reach 80 miles can just fuck off.

A New Mexico teen is making a remarkable recovery, even if his dreams of becoming a pro cyclist ended on the bumper of a careless driver.

A Denver bike rider says the hit-and-run driver who ran him down did it on purpose.

The National Transportation Safety Board issues their preliminary report on the Kalamazoo massacre in which five cyclists were killed and four injured by a stoned driver, but doesn’t have much to add to the story. If this is just the first step in the NTSB finally dealing with bicycling and traffic safety, it’s a welcome one; if not, it should be.

Scientists at Columbia University are studying vehicle exhaust to determine its effects on bike riders.

A Pennsylvania county offers a $500 reward to catch whoever has been repeatedly tossing tacks on a popular bike trail. Note to Fox 43: A deliberate attempt to harm cyclists or their bikes may be many things, but a prank it’s not.

Philadelphia women say they’re forced to ride their bikes through red lights and stop signs to escape threats and sexual harassment. Seriously, everyone, regardless of gender, has the right to travel the streets safely and without fear.

 

International

A Canadian bike rider praised Vancouver’s bike lane network, but says most of the country’s bike lanes are a waste of space and money, with some amounting to little more than private roads for hip urbanites.

British cyclists crowdfund the private prosecution of a driver accused of killing a 70-year old bike rider; a writer says it’s not about persecuting the driver, but getting prosecutors to take bicycling deaths seriously. Too bad we can’t do that here.

Katy Perry is one of us, as she shows a little cheek riding in the French countryside.

Anime fans can look forward to the release of Yowamushi Pedal: Spare Bike next month, though you may have to go to Japan to see it.

CNN shares a cyclist’s perspective on Tokyo, courtesy of Byron Kidd, editor of Tokyo by Bike.

This is why you don’t lock up to living things. A Chinese bike thief is caught on video cutting down a tree to steal the bicycle chained to it.

 

Finally…

Your next helmet could be a headphone. Taking a virtual reality tour of the UK on a bike that doesn’t move is not the same as the real thing.

And if you want to illustrate the town’s new bike lanes, maybe the best way to do it isn’t with a photo of a salmon cyclist riding next to one, with a sidewalk cyclist visible in the background.

I’m just saying.

 

Morning Links: Insurance owes squat if a hit-and-run driver misses, more on SB 986, and more kindhearted cops

Bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen uncovers an insurance loophole that victimizes hit-and-run victims a second time.

In a piece he penned for a law journal, Cohen points out that insurance companies aren’t required to pay for hit-and-run crashes caused by drivers if the car doesn’t actually make contact with the victim.

He illustrates it with the story of a bike rider who was forced into a stopped car by an inattentive driver.

The client pulled into the number two lane behind the last car stopped. He intended to pass the bus and vehicles stopped behind it in the number one lane once the traffic light turned green. The light turned green. Suddenly the client heard a car accelerate toward him from behind. The driver behind him did not notice him and was bearing down on him. The driver’s car came within inches of the client. The client took his last clear chance and veered back into the lane to his right. He got injured when he crashed into the stopped car to his right.

The driver of the car that caused the crash recognized he was at fault. He pulled over, took out his driver’s license and insurance card, and waited. An ambulance came and took the client away. The police never came. The offending driver left the scene, rendering the case a hit and run. But not exactly: there was no hit. It was a near-miss and run.

The victim’s insurance company denied his claim under the uninsured motored coverage on his policy, which requires actual physical contact — despite the state’s three-foot passing law.

Cohen says the easy and obvious solution is to remove the physical contact clause from the state’s uninsured motorist statute, saying it places an undue burden on vulnerable users.

Sounds right to me.

………

While we’re on the subject of bad laws, a lawyer writing for the prestigious National Law Review warns that careless wording in California’s proposed SB 986 could put pedestrians at risk if drivers are allowed to legally roll through red lights to make right turns. CiclaValley takes up the subject, as well.

………

More kindhearted cops.

LA County sheriff’s deputies team up to replace a bike stolen from a 41-year old San Dimas man with Down’s Syndrome. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Minneapolis police arrange for a new bike for a ten-year old boy whose bicycle was stolen by an older kid who punched him in the face.

………

Spoiler alert: We’re going to talk about the men’s and women’s road races from the Rio Olympics. So if you still have them on your DVR or waiting to download, skip down to the next section.

Broken-hearted American Mara Abbott just missed a medal as she was caught by three riders within sight of the finish line, as Holland’s Anna van der Breggen took gold.

Abbott had been riding with Annemiek van Vleuten when the Dutch rider suffered a horrific crash; as of Sunday night, van Vleuten was in intensive care with a fractured spine, though Dutch officials said she was okay and conscious.

Belgian cyclist Greg van Avermaet took the gold in the men’s race after leaders Vincenzo Nibali and Sergio Henao hit the pavement less than seven and a half miles from the finish line on the road course’s crappy pavement.

Australian Ritchie Porte is out of the time trial after breaking his shoulder in Saturday’s race, while Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali will have surgery for a broken collarbone. Rwandan team captain Adrien Niyonshuti failed to finish, blaming his bike for the early exit.

Meanwhile, American Andrew Talansky entered the final stage of the Tour of Utah with the lead, but ended up losing the race to Aussie Lachlan Morton.

As Deadspin says, cycling is cruel.

………

Local

After years of promises, Wilshire Blvd finally gets new pavement and buffered bike lanes through the Condo Canyon area formerly known as “the gauntlet” for its speeding cars and bad pavement, connecting with the existing one whole block of bike lanes east of Beverly Glen. Odd that we’re told that Westwood Blvd has too much traffic and too many buses for bike lanes, while Wilshire gets bike lanes despite having far more of both.

Fallen cyclist and music teacher Rod Bennett lives on in his music at Santa Clarita’s LA SummerFest, even if no one showed up to listen.

Long Beach plans for greater density, sidewalks and bike lanes along an industrial stretch of PCH.

An 18-year old Long Beach man could be 26 before he rides a bike again after using his in a string of cellphone thefts.

 

State

A Redlands couple are halfway through a 10,000 mile tandem ride around the US.

After a 21-year old Chico woman was killed riding her bike, her parents find a bucket list in her bedroom and decide to live it out for her.

 

National

Bicycling talks with President Obama’s bike commuting chief of staff.

Missed this one last week, as CNN says distracted driving goes way beyond mere texting. Thanks to Victor Bank for the link.

A competitor in the Boulder CO Ironman was killed when she was struck by a car during the bicycling portion of the race. The course was not closed to motor vehicles, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look up and see there’s a damn race going on. Thanks to Penny Sputh for the tip.

A Denver bike cop credits his helmet with saving his life when he was run down by a driver who was having a seizure nearly two years ago; the driver got six years in a halfway house for failing to disclose his condition when applying for a driver’s license.

One of the benefits of putting cops on bikes is their ability to respond quickly, as demonstrated by the El Paso bike cops who arrested a bank robber while he was still at the teller window.

Cyclists ride outside the White House to “bike around the bomb” on the 71st anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing; they were joined by people riding around the Sepulveda basin here in LA.

 

International

An Edmonton, Canada bike rider accepts an apology from the driver who got out of his car to hurl a racial slur. Somehow, we’re all expected to believe the man was deeply remorseful, and not just trying to prove to the world he’s not really a racist after the video went viral. Not to mention avoid prosecution.

Caught on video: A London cyclist somehow manages to ignore the driver hurling obscenity-laced abuse at him.

Caught on video too: Another London bike rider learns the hard way not to splash water in the face of a driver he was arguing with, when the driver swerves into him and forces him into oncoming traffic. Similar to my greatest lesson, which was never flip off the driver behind you. For reasons which should be painfully obvious, and for which I still have the scars.

One Direction’s Harry Styles is one of us, as he takes to the streets of London on a classic Raleigh tri bike.

An Indian writer says bike commuting hasn’t caught on because owning a car is a symbol of moving from poverty into the middle class in the developing country.

An Israeli reporter asks the US State Department if Israel should pay a Palestinian girl $100 for the bicycle that border guards took from her and tossed into the bushes. Seriously, is this even a question? Just buy the girl a new bike, already.

Aussie motorcyclists are beating traffic by illegally using suburban bike paths, putting bicyclists and pedestrians at risk.

An Australian paper says new studies suggest being visible is less important than whether drivers are actively looking for people on bikes, giving more support to the safety in numbers theory.

Once again, police crack down on the victims, as Hong Kong police respond to recent bicycling deaths by chasing down law breaking bike riders.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to get high and shitfaced drunk, try not to stop your bicycle in the middle of a traffic lane in front of a school bus. Pro cyclists may not have better legs than you do, just better brains.

And no, you can’t actually live tweet an Olympic road race while you’re competing in it.

 

Redlands bike rider killed in Meade Valley hit-and-run

It’s happened again.

Yet another bike rider has been left to die on the side of the road by a murderous coward.

In a story that flew under the radar earlier this week, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that an unidentified cyclist had been killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.

According to the paper, the CHP was attempting to identify the victim, who was apparently struck from behind while riding west on Cajalco Road west of Wood Road in Meade Valley; however, Google Maps places that location in Perris, instead. No word on the time of the collision.

The driver fled the scene without stopping. Police are looking for the driver of a 2008-2014 Ford car with front end damage on the passenger side, with a possible broken headlight.

The victim was identified today as Duane Darling, a member of the Redlands Water Bottle Transit Company, a recreational bike club based in Redlands. He was reportedly on a 60-mile ride when he was killed.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a two lane, undivided highway with a shoulder on each side; there would have been nowhere to go if he had seen or heard the car coming up behind him.

Anyone with information with information is urged to call CHP investigators at 951/901-8401, or the Riverside office at 951/637-8000.

Once they find the driver, he — or she — should face a second-degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to leave the victim to die.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Riverside County; that compares with 41 in SoCal this time last year, and four in the County.

If the crash did occur in Perris, it is the fourth fatal bike collision in the city in the last 36 months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Duane Darling and all his friends and lived ones.

Thanks to Dorothy Wong and Lester Walters for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Hit-and-runs rising, wife of fallen PVE cyclist John Bacon speaks out, and soda for a cause

This is what you call a teaser.

Amateur bike statistician Ed Ryder has done another deep dive into bike collision data, preparing reports on the national and state level, with local data still in the works.

We’ll take a look at some of his findings next week.

But meanwhile, here’s a preview of what’s to come.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Following a meeting with a local legislator’s office to discuss changing the law to stop hit-and-runs in the state this past week, they asked for stats to back up the need for changes.

So at my request, Ed graciously stopped what he was doing, and produced the following chart to demonstrate just how bad the problem is here in California.

As you can see, hit-and-runs have risen significantly after dropping to a low of nearly 68,000 in 2013, down from over 100,000 in the last decade.

But as the overall collision rate has dropped, hit-and-runs have increased dramatically as a percentage of all reported crashes, with nearly 20% of drivers statewide fleeing the scene following a crash.

Something has to change.

Because current law clearly isn’t enough to get drivers to stick around.

………

Speaking of hit-and-run, KCBS-2 offers a heartbreaking report on the hit-and-run death of bike rider John Bacon in Palos Verdes Estates in May.

His wife struggles to talk about her loss, describing him as “a strong, silent type, a very kind and generous, loving person,” as well as an experienced cyclist who lost his life just going on a bike ride.

Over two months later, police still haven’t made an arrest, despite security camera video showing a white pickup truck following just feet from Bacon’s wheel.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has strongly criticized the PVE police for a lackadaisical approach to the investigation, failing to even respond when a bike rider initially spotted the suspect vehicle.

Bacon’s family is urging the drivers and bicyclists who passed by shortly after the crash to come forward and describe what they saw, so they can finally get some justice in the case.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

Pink Bike reports on efforts to allow bicycles to return to US Wilderness Areas, which may finally be on the brink of success. Write your Congressional representatives to urge their support.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the link.

………

Support bikes and a good cause at the same time.

Galco’s Old World Grocery on York Blvd in Highland Park is hosting a Summer Soda Tasting to help save the Southwest Museum.

However, the store’s owner has fought the highly successful road diet that has helped revitalize York Blvd, as well as the bike lanes that run in front of his store. And still refuses to install bike racks, insisting that his customers don’t get there by bicycle.

Let’s prove him wrong.

Ride your bike to the soda tasting, and as friendly and politely as possible, let them know how you got there. Even if it’s just resting your helmet on the counter as you check out.

They’ll get the message.

………

Pro racing teams are objecting to a requirement that every team has to participate in all 27 UCI top-level WorldTour events.

Three Russian riders are out, and another three are being probed over doping reports in advance of the Rio Olympics.

Everyone’s trying to get a technical edge in Rio. The US has high-tech bikes with the gearing on the wrong side, while the Brits are lubing their chains with nanotubes.

Cycling Weekly asks if bike racing is the toughest sport, while Cycling Tips explores whether team budgets equal racing success. Short answer, yes. To both.

A Claremont Paralympic cyclist is raising funds to compete in Rio next month; born with a congenital foot defect, Samantha Bosco plans to compete in the 3k individual pursuit and 500-meter race, as well as the road race and time trial. You can contribute to her efforts through her gofundme account.

………

Local

Walkup rentals for Downtown’s Metro Bike bikeshare begin on Monday; the program kicks off with a discount rate of $1.75 per half hour through October 1st.

CiclaValley joins with Victor Boyce and Ron Meyer to discuss the ten most essential climbs in Los Angeles, the Tour de France, and the state of bicycling in the East Valley. Although the most essential climb is really just climbing onto your bike for a ride.

LA Rams quarterback Case Keenum arrived at training camp on his wife’s borrowed bicycle, claiming it was the first time he’d been on a bike since he was 12 years old.

Meg Ryan’s directorial debut centers on the life of a young bike messenger during World War II, based on William Saroyan’s book The Human Comedy.

 

State

A 17-year old Irvine student organized a 450-mile, five day fundraising ride to benefit victims of modern slavery and human trafficking; the ride ends Saturday in Laguna Beach.

Police are searching for the hit-and-run driver who injured a woman riding her bike in National City Wednesday night.

Bike SD reports on the network of cycle tracks coming to downtown San Diego.

Construction will begin this February on a bicycle boulevard through Menlo Park. Although it sounds more like just a buffered bike lane.

A jury concludes a pair of Los Altos deputies used excessive force in confronting a driver during a traffic stop, which began when she didn’t pull over for a patrol car — because she didn’t want to run over the bicyclists in the bike lane next to her.

Hundreds of toddlers will converge on San Francisco to race balance bikes. Am I the only one who has a problem with kids as young as 18 months competing against each other? Although I’d love to see the podium girls for this one.

 

National

US Congress Members tell the Department of Transportation to measure the movement of people, however they travel, rather than just cars.

Vogue talks to a model/bike lifestyle company owner about on how to look chic on your bike.

Nevada will break ground this summer on a $30 million bike and pedestrian pathway around Lake Tahoe.

A Denver area man is under arrest for sabotaging a popular bike route by spreading thumb tacks over the roadway; he faces possible misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

Outside says 23-year old Colorado native Howard Grotts is the best American mountain biker in a generation.

A Dallas cyclist created a popular weekly crit to combat the elitist image of local bike racers.

A former Iowa mayor says cyclists should stay on a bike trail instead of the roadway, and have to register and license their bikes if they want to ride on the street.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d shoot a nine-year old Wisconsin boy in the face with a BB gun while he was riding his bike back to his lemonade stand.

A 10-year old Connecticut boy is asking for 1,000 veterans and emergency responders to sign his BMX bike; so far he’s up to 780 signatures with room for more.

NY Streetsblog says cyclists need protection from drivers, not from themselves, even if the NYPD seems to disagree. Meanwhile, the city’s influential Transportation Alternatives advocacy group says the city isn’t doing enough to crack down on driver behavior that threatens people walking and riding bikes.

A passing bike rider talks a possible jumper off New York’s George Washington Bridge.

A Connecticut man is suing New York’s Citi Bike for the head injury he suffered falling off one of the bikeshare bikes, on the grounds that the city didn’t require users to wear a helmet. On the other hand, nothing says he couldn’t have used one on his own without being forced to.

Charlotte NC mourns the death of a “human landmark;” the 73-year old developmentally disabled woman was famous in the city for riding her bike for hours while dressed in orange.

Bighearted Florida sheriff’s deputies donate an unclaimed bike to a hardworking teenager who had no other form of transportation.

 

International

Cycling Industry News lists 20 key cities where mode share for bicycling is growing. Needless to say, Los Angeles is not on the list; Atlanta is the only US city to make the cut.

The CBC says despite recent breakthroughs, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the physics of bicycling.

Winnipeg cyclists say injuries will keep increasing along with ridership until the city gets some decent bike infrastructure.

Kindhearted Manitoba, Canada residents step up after a woman posted a profanity-laced poster asking for her stolen bike back; as many as 50 people have offered to replace it for her.

After getting knocked off her bike, a Toronto reporter says it’s time to rise above road rage and the mentality that cars are the king of the road.

A Brit bike rider is fined £400 — the equivalent of $527 — for blowing a red light; a local safety advocate says cyclists going through red lights poses more danger to themselves than anyone else, which is confirmed by a police report showing no injuries have been caused by red light-running bicyclists.

A London driver allegedly targeted cyclists riding in a bike lane by deliberately running several riders off the road, then getting out and stomping on the cellphone when one of the victims tried to call the police. Yet police describe it simply as a “dispute” between a cyclist and two men in a car.

Tel Aviv builds a multi-million shekel network of bikeways for adaptive riders, allowing handicapped cyclists to take to the trails.

 

Finally…

If you’re using a bicycle as your getaway vehicle, drop the flat screen and take the guns. If you’re going to burglarize cars after dark, put some damn lights on your bike and watch our for cameras.

And every time you ride your bike, you can be grateful you’re not stuck on the nation’s worst highway from hell.

Although it makes you wonder just what the best highway from hell must be like.

 

Morning Links: New law should make hit-and-run vehicles easier to identify, and LA gets new cold brew coffee bike

Finally.

In a big step forward in the fight against hit-and-run drivers, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring all motor vehicles sold in the state to have temporary license plates when they roll off the lot.

Currently, drivers only have to display a small bill of sale, which can’t be read at a distance to identify a driver trying to flee the scene, or report them to the police for some other reason.

However, the question is whether the law will also apply to cars leased by brokers, where the actual title of the vehicle isn’t transferred, and drivers therefore aren’t required to register them. Which explains why you see so many expensive cars without license plates.

While the Times reports that consumer and civil rights advocates fear disaster when the law goes into effect in 2019, similar laws have been in effect in other states for decades without the sky falling.

Including Colorado, where I grew up and drove a number of cars with temporary plates until the regular license plates arrived in the mail, without incident.

Thanks to Lila Kalaf for the heads-up.

………

The Wall Street Journal asks if the Tour de France needs a financial fix to keep rich teams from dominating the race, as Team Sky did this year. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the link.

Sports Illustrated says the US women’s track cycling team should have an edge in the Rio Olympics, thanks to their new high-tech bicycles with the gearing on the left side.

Columbian cyclist Nairo Quintana pulls out of the Rio Olympics due to illness.

A Canadian Paralympian gets one of her two stolen bikes back in time for the Rio games.

Brit cyclist Emma Pooley says she ain’t gonna shake hands with no damn Russians if she wins gold in Rio. Wait, not even this one?

………

Local

LA is about to get a new cold brew coffee dispensing bike cart from a new Boyle Heights coffee company. Correction: I originally wrote this was the first coffee bike like this, but I was reminded this morning that The Wheelhouse has a coffee bike, and Bicycle Coffee has a bike at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market every week.

Downtown News names DTLA Bikes Downtown’s best bike shop; Just Ride LA was the runner-up. Speaking of which, Just Ride LA will host the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on August 7th.

A Glendale street gets fresh Kermit with a 1.3 mile green bike lane on Sonora Ave.

A Pomona man accepts a plea of life without parole for murdering his girlfriend; he was arrested two days later while riding his bike, still carrying the bloody knife. Note: The story contains gruesome details of the crime, which you may not want to know. I’m still trying to get that image out of my head.

 

State

San Diego’s troubled bikeshare system may finally be getting new docking stations, even as efforts continue to remove to successful stations from the Pacific Beach boardwalk.

Double bad luck. After a Bakersfield bike rider suffers a broken leg in a hit-and-run, police say he was high at the time of the crash. And yes, biking under the influence is illegal in California.

The handlebar-mustachioed San Francisco Critical Mass rider who attacked a Zipcar with his bike lock got off with time served and three years probation.

Streetsblog offers photos from Oakland’s Pedalfest.

A Rio Linda cyclist was killed when he allegedly swerved into the path of a car; his riding partner was injured when the force of the crash knocked him into her.

 

National

The LA Times recommends a handful of backroads bike tours up and down the West Coast.

High times indeed. Writers for a marijuana magazine take a dope bike tour of the Left Coast.

An 81-year old Denver woman mysteriously dies just days after killing a 14-year old boy and seriously injuring his friend as they stood in a bike lane. After receiving news of her death, authorities magnanimously dropped all charges against her, rather than propping her up in the defendant’s chair before a jury of her peers.

Iowa’s governor says he plans to address traffic safety and bicycling fatalities in the next legislative session. Meanwhile, California’s current governor doesn’t seem to have even noticed the carnage on our streets.

A Boston bike rider got her stolen bike back after spotting it on Craigslist.

Evidently, a ten minute discussion of bike lanes by the Charlotte NC city council was too much for impatient Black Lives Matter activists in the audience.

Atlanta gets the nation’s first bidirectional bike intersection to accommodate two intersecting cycle tracks.

 

International

That’s one way to boost bike sales. Canadian bike shops are seeing an increase in sales from people buying bicycles to play Pokémon Go.

An Icelandic psychology professor says to go easy on the caffeine. They’ll get my oversized coffee mug when they pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.

Caught on video: A British cyclist catches the crash on his helmet cam when a driver pulls out in front of him during a high-speed descent.

Police in the UK are looking for a jerk on a bike who punched a woman driver in the face. Seriously, there’s never any excuse for violence, no matter what the driver did to piss you off. Although at least he had the courtesy to knock first.

A new Norwegian study says you’re safer riding in the summer months when more bike riders are out, because the safety in numbers effect really is true.

Does a backward letter reflect a backward approach to Aussie bike infrastructure?

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a taxi driver gets just two weeks in jail and a four year driving ban for fatally right-hooking a cyclist.

 

Finally…

Caught on video, too: Close calls don’t get any closer than this. Now you can finally build that Airstream-style DIY bicycle trailer you’ve always wanted.

And we may have to deal with piggish drivers, but actual pigs? Not so much.

 

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