Archive for Bikes & the Law

Morning Links: CHP says oops about I-15 ticket but not cuffs, and Hollywood once again used to fight bike lanes

Oops.

It was exactly a month ago that we discussed the case of Jerry Counts, the 75-year old man who was handcuffed and ticketed for riding his bike on I-15 north of San Bernardino.

Even though that’s one of the sections of freeway where bikes are legally allowed.

And even though few, if any, motorists are ever pulled from their cars and cuffed for a simple traffic violation.

Now Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word from Caltrans that the CHP has agreed to rescind the ticket. Though apparently, not the indignity of being handcuffed on the side of the road in full view of hundreds, if not thousands, of passing motorists.

They also offer a map showing where you are legally allowed to ride on a freeway in Caltrans District 8, along with a list of freeways in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties where bike riding is prohibited (see below).

That list was sent to the CHP to distribute to all of their officers in the area in hopes of avoiding another fiasco like the Counts case.

Still, if you plan to ride in the area, you might want to print it out and take it with you to avoid riding where you shouldn’t.

And to show any officers who try to stop you where you can.

District-08--Prohibiting-Bicycles-on-Freeway---2-Counties

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Once again, Hollywood is being used as an excuse to fight bike lanes.

In a case reminiscent of LA’s first green bike lanes on Spring Street in DTLA, London city barristers have complained that planned bike lanes will make it impossible to film movies in a section of the city that has played host to productions like Harry Potter, Mission Impossible and Silk.

Never mind that New York’s protected bike lanes and Citi Bike bikeshare docks seem to pop up in movies and TV shows with ever increasing frequency, without hurting filming in the city one bit.

In the LA case, Hollywood production companies successfully argued, over the objections of bicycling community, that the bright green paint initially used for the bike lanes on Spring would be impossible to remove in post production, and would forever ruin the street as a filming venue.

Even though it took a film editor all of 20 seconds to do it.

But in a city that places a higher value on pimping itself out as a movie set than on livability and the safety of its citizens, city leaders kowtowed to the studios and agreed to strip the paint off. A darker and less visible shade of green was then used to repaint it in sections, rather than the entire lane.

Not satisfied with their victory, filmmakers complained that even that would be a problem and argued for the complete removal of the bike lanes, more because it interfered with parking their trucks than the actual effect it had on the filmmaking process.

But as anyone who has ridden a bike in Downtown LA can attest, the bike lanes haven’t seemed to limit movie shoots in the slightest.

And haven’t kept studio trucks from parking in them, either.

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Colorado pro cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo has lost her memory, as well as suffering numerous broken bones, following a major crash in the final sprint of the San Dimas Stage Race here in California.

According to her father, she barely remembers being a cyclist, let alone what she had for lunch.

A gofundme account to help with her medical expenses has raised nearly $40,000 of the $75,000 goal.

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Local

LA considers traffic calming measures, including bike lanes and safer crosswalks, on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey.

CiclaValley and family experience a week of bad drivers. In other words, pretty much like any other week here in the big city.

LA Independent examines West Hollywood’s coming bikeshare system, which will be incompatible with the Metro system planned for DTLA, and eventually, next door in Hollywood.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton questions the value of this weekend’s mini-open streets events in Lawndale and Burbank. Both seem designed to provide the least possible inconvenience to anyone in a motor vehicle, without any significant benefit to the community.

A Santa Clarita cyclist thanks the man who witnessed someone steal his bike, then chased down the thief and got it back undamaged.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune looks at BikeSGV and their monthly family friendly bike trains through the valley, including Sunday’s Love Mother Nature Ride.

The Samaritan Center is hosting the 4th annual Ride for the Homeless in Simi Valley this Sunday, with rides ranging from five to 100 miles. Thanks to Project Hero Ventura for the heads-up.

 

State

A San Diego teacher and triathlete was surprised with a new beach cruiser as promotion for next month’s Amgen Tour of California.

Six hundred cyclists will ride into Santa Barbara Sunday on the final leg of the L’Etape California, following the 106-mile course planned for Stage 3 of the Tour of California.

A Stanford publication asks if the birthplace of mountain biking will become the worst place for mountain biking as Marin County continues to restrict offroad riding.

Bike and pedestrian projects would likely be included in a proposed $3.6 billion Sacramento transportation tax measure, though as much as 75% of the funds would be spent on road projects.

 

National

Men’s Journal says smarter bikeshare programs, including bike libraries and pedal-assist bikes, are coming to a town near you.

Unbelievable. A New York truck driver gets five summonses for various technical violations, but nothing for killing a cyclist earlier this week.

The country’s oldest bike race started in 1939 in New Jersey because the son of a local bike shop owner wanted to sleep in his own bed before a race.

A South New Jersey paper offers advice on how to teach a reluctant child to ride a bike.

Former San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds rides his bike to work at his new job as batting coach for the Florida Marlins, and takes it with him when the team goes on the road.

 

International

Not surprisingly, anger is growing in Brazil over the Rio bikeway collapse that killed three people, as ties between the contractor and city officials emerged.

A British man is riding the entire length of South America unsupported to raise funds for people in Nepal; however, halfway through he’s raised just $425.

A UK writer wonders why more of his countrymen aren’t captivated by watching men in Lycra battle it out on the barely paved roads of Europe.

A bike-riding Brit serial groper gets a well-deserved four years in prison.

Liverpool, England will use thermal imagery to detect bicyclists at intersections to give the riders an advanced green light ahead of other traffic.

Yet another hero cyclist, as a bike rider in the UK wrestled down a man armed with a machete who was attacking a pregnant woman, and had threatened other people.

My favorite Scottish blogger and bike advocate measures the cycling support of the country’s political parties.

The Philadelphia Sun says Flanders is considered the cycling capital of Europe. Which may came as a surprise to the Dutch.

A 70-year old Aussie bike rider was stabbed by a young woman when he refused to let her use his phone.

 

Finally…

Everything you need to know about motor doping, except how to do it yourself. Evidently, cyclists need to be aware of their surroundings so they don’t follow a bikeway into a lamp post.

And who would have thought a column by a self-described bike-hating dyke would be the funniest thing I read today?

 

Morning Links: Police shoot at a K-Town bike rider, Prince was one of us, and bicycle heroes in the news

Now the police are shooting at bike riders.

In a somewhat bizarre story, the Eastsider reports LAPD officers opened fire after stopping a man riding a bicycle in Historic Filipinotown Wednesday night.

The website says it’s not clear why police attempted to detain the man, who fled on foot after the shooting, and no reason is given for why the police tried to shoot him.

Then again, if cops were shooting at me, I’d run like hell, too.

The man was taken into custody a few hours later after police cordoned off the area; as of Thursday morning he had not been booked, and there was no information on what charges he might face, if any.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

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As everyone most likely knows by now, Prince was found dead in his Minneapolis home yesterday, just days after he got on his bicycle to show the world he was okay after a brief hospitalization for flu-like symptoms last week.

He also rode his bike to leave the stage between songs during his March solo concert in Oakland — not San Francisco, as I wrote earlier.

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Today’s news features a few hero bicyclists.

After two Polish women steal another woman’s purse, a cyclist chases them down and crashes into them to recover it, while catching the pursuit on his bike cam.

Closer to home, an OC rider uses his bicycle to take down a thief who had just emptied the cash drawer in a Huntington Beach restaurant.

And a different kind of hero, thanks to the efforts of a USC student, 37 high school students in need will receive bicycles impounded by the university; she got the idea after her own bike was stolen. Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the link.

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Episode 1Momentum Magazine says those overly graphic Phoenix bike safety graphic novels are gruesome and straight up appalling, while noting that the tone deaf AZ Department of Transportation inexplicably considers them a success.

If you can call frightening little kids off their bikes for life a success, that is; Streetsblog simply calls the brochures insane.

Meanwhile, prinzrob points out they’re not the first to use the scary graphic novel approach, as a 1972 comic book tells the tale of kid and his bicycle from hell — literally.

Although it does have a happy ending, since he learns to ride safely and grows up to be a hipster.

03

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Local

LA City Councilmember Jose Huizar is working to create a more walkable, bikeable and livable Downtown. Contrast that with LA’s Westside and Northeast LA, where councilmembers have actively blocked any significant improvements in their districts.

CiclaValley takes a slide through Topanga State Park.

A person of interest in a rash of bike thefts at Cal State Long Beach has been temporarily banned from campus after police spotted him casing bike racks; he’s subject to arrest for trespassing if he’s even seen on campus before Monday.

Culver City Walk & Rollers hosts a seven-mile Family Sweet Streets Ride to visit bakeries and ice cream and sweets shops in the city.

 

State

The Dana Point Gran Prix returns to the city’s Lantern District at the end of this month, with two days of family bike activities before the pros hit the streets.

Competitive bike polo comes to Fresno.

In a brilliant display of police work, Clovis police fail to conduct a sobriety test after a driver fatally runs down a cyclist from behind, in a bike lane and without braking; police initially said the driver “accidently bumped into” the victim. Kind of makes you wonder how well they know the driver, doesn’t it?

A free training class for League Certified Cycling Instructors in Monterey County will likely be postponed for lack of interest.

Chico police are planning to install cameras on a dangerous bike path near the local university; so far, only $4,000 of the required $20,000 has been raised so far. Even in a small town like that, $20,000 should be little more than a rounding error in the city budget.

 

National

A new NACTO guide on siting bikeshare stations says they should be accessible and convenient, and located within a three to five minute walking distance of one another. Let’s hope LA Metro picks up a copy.

Bicycling Magazine offers safety pointers for urban bicyclists, as well as tips on how to prepare for your first bike ride; meanwhile the Oregonian suggests ways to get ready to bike to work.

Ohio pediatricians are teaming with the state DOT to distribute 10,000 free bike helmets to children. Hopefully they won’t include the Arizona bike safety brochures along with them.

Once again, the NYPD seems to be bending over backwards to exonerate a truck driver in the death of a bike rider; first they said the victim was hanging onto the truck, which was not supposed to be on the narrow residential street, then suggest that the non-existent “wind force” of the slow moving truck sucked the rider underneath.

The New York Daily News says the NYPD, and Chief Bill Bratton — former head of the LAPD — needs to get onboard with the mayor’s Vision Zero plan. As the above story shows, the department’s extreme windshield bias means drivers are seldom held accountable for collisions with cyclists and pedestrians, continuing to put both at needless risk.

Somehow I missed this story from the New York Times, which examines the problem of motor doping in the pro peloton; thanks to George Wolfberg for finding it.

A pair of New Orleans men fight bike theft one Facebook post at a time.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a specialty handbike from a handicapped Tampa man.

 

International

Two people were killed when an elevated bike path built in advance of the Rio Olympics collapsed when it was it by a strong wave; a third person is missing while two others were rescued. ABC News says shoddy construction due to graft is an ongoing problem in the country, which could affect this summer’s games.

Montreal is working to improve safety for bike riders on 57 dangerous underpasses in the city, while Toronto’s war between cyclists and drivers seems to have ended.

A writer for the Telegraph says the UK could wipe out its national debt if they fined every driver who stopped in London’s bike boxes.

London cabbies team with cyclists to campaign for cleaner air.

Scotland expects a record turnout for the fifth Pedal on Parliament; last year’s ride drew 4,000 people calling for bike safety.

Caught on video: A London cop is enraged that a bicyclist chose to ride in the traffic lane rather than a crowded bike lane.

A new system in the Netherlands is designed to warn drivers that a bicyclist is approaching an intersection in order to help riders cross safely.

A writer for the Guardian looks at the war on bike riders in Australia’s New South Wales.

 

Finally…

Apparently, Americans aren’t too concerned about global warming because we like it. Is the shape of a bike-riding BBC presenter’s ass really more important than the ride she’s promoting to battle cancer?

And what if Chrissie Hynde was one of us, just a stranger on a bus?

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Thanks to Josh Cohen, aka Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney, for renewing his sponsorship for another year. Without the support of our sponsors, this site couldn’t exist in its present form.

And to all who observe Passover, Chag Sameach!

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

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

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

He tells his story in the following press release.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

And tastes a lot better.

 

Morning Links: Hit-and-run in Harvard Heights, protected bike lane coming to 1st St, and 10-Freeway victim ID’d

Police are looking for the cowardly schmuck who took off after running down a bike rider in LA’s Harvard Heights on Wednesday.

The collision occurred around 3 pm at the corner of Venice and Hobart Blvds as the cyclist reported he was blindsided by the collision. Fortunately, he suffered just cuts and bruises, along with a head wound that required six staples.

The driver was caught on a security camera stopping several blocks away to remove the mangled bike from underneath his minivan before getting back in and driving away.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD’s West Traffic Division at 213/473-0222.

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Good news for LA bike riders.

LADOT reports construction has begun on a protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street from First Street to Union Station in DTLA — including LA’s first bicycle-specific traffic signals.

Hopefully, this will finally stop LAPD officers from parking in the bike lane. Though I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Maybe they can have it ready for an official unveiling during next month’s Bike Week.

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The victim in Sunday’s inexplicable bicycling fatality on the 10 Freeway in Alhambra has been identified as a 40-year old transient named Eduardo Castillo.

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If you hurry, you may still have time to make it up to the Sea Otter Classic in time to race your Brompton this evening. Coat and tie or dresses are required, although nothing says your attire must be gender appropriate.

Meanwhile, Bicycle Retailer says ebikes abound at this year’s event. And Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious offers his always great photographs of the Classic.

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Just months after approving them for racing, pro cycling’s governing body has suspended the use of disk brakes following a couple of serious cuts caused by the sharp blades.

Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov can unretire now that doping officials say he gets a do-over. On the other hand, Italian rider Luca Paolini got an 18 month ban for doing coke during last year’s Tour de France, apparently mistaking the French countryside for Studio 54 in the ’80s.

An Aussie writer says organized teams of weekend warrior MAMILS are ruining amateur bike racing.

A Malay cyclist says there’s more to bike racing than the prize money.

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Local

Richard Risemberg employs his best WTF! in an attempt to comprehend why the Second Street bike lanes simply stop at Beverly Blvd, dumping riders into a complicated intersection with unforgiving traffic. Not unlike, say, most bike lanes in LA’s disconnected and discombobulated non-network.

LA considers returning a portion of parking revenue to the neighborhoods where it was collected, and where it could be used to fix sidewalks or stripe bike lanes.

CiclaValley takes a ride up upper Los Virgenes Canyon.

How does wehogo sound for the name of West Hollywood’s new bikeshare system?

Two of Bike the Vote LA’s top ranked candidates win in Culver City, with endorsee Meghan Sahli-Wells coming in first by a wide margin.

The LA Sheriff’s Department has made an arrest in the hit-and-run that injured a woman in her 70s riding her bike in Agoura Hills last month; the detective said the juvenile driver was sorry, but he screwed up. Gee, you think?

 

State

Oceanside will study a proposal for a road diet on the Coast Highway, narrowing the roadway from four lanes to two while adding buffered bike lanes.

A Sacramento woman helps recover her own stolen bike after spotting it on Craigslist.

 

National

People for Bikes explains how to raise a bike rider.

A Montana paper looks back on 133 years of bicycling in Yellowstone National Park; the first riders to visit the park were three men from Laramie whose sag wagon actually was one.

The Houston Chronicle says the city’s dangerous road design is killing people.

Caught on video: An Omaha driver claims she was the victim of bike rage, as a man on a bike goes off on her for blocking a bike path.

A Wisconsin woman faces a homicide charge with up to 10 years behind bars for running down a bike rider while texting; she allegedly deleted her texts in an attempt to cover-up her crime.

Good news from Tennessee, as the controversial bill that would have barred the use of gas taxes for parks and bike lanes has been pulled by it sponsor.

Rather than develop compatible systems, Jersey City votes to limit commercial bikes from using city bike racks for more than two hours to keep Hoboken bikeshare users from hogging them. This could offer a hint to LA’s future, as Metro’s coming system won’t compatible with Santa Monica’s or systems planned for Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Westwood.

Security video proves NY cops hit a cyclist as he rode in a bike lane, after which they accused him of riding on the sidewalk, then lied on the accident report to shift the blame to him. Thanks to Michael Byerts for the heads-up.

New York considers a bill that would allow cops to use a device to scan drivers’ cell phones after a crash, and automatically suspend their licenses if they refuse. Checking cell phone use should be standard practice after any injury collision, anywhere.

Bike trails have unexpectedly become Philadelphia’s must-have real estate amenity, as developers are opting for bike paths instead of parking lots.

President Obama uses an air horn to kick off this year’s Wounded Warrior Ride to raise awareness of military vets suffering from physical and psychological disabilities as a result of their service.

Now that’s more like it. Washington DC lowers the cost of an annual membership for their bikeshare program to just $5 for low income residents.

 

International

A Canadian paper offers advice from bike messengers on how to keep yours from being stolen; a teenage Brit bike thief says get a better lock.

The Guardian considers who’s the best bike-friendly candidate for London mayor.

British director and Madonna ex Guy Ritchie is one of us.

A deaf London bicyclist says he grew up with cycling in his veins, and prefers the tranquility of riding without sound.

A British study shows 85% of the growth in bike use over a four year period was due to improved infrastructure.

Caught on video 2: A Brit driver stops and lashes out at a cyclist for flipping him off after an apparent punishment pass.

 

Finally…

When does it stop being a step-through frame and become a step-on? Evidently, Kiwis don’t like bumps and bulges at breakfast; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

And a motorcycle rider takes exception to the elderly man he spotted riding a Penny Farthing through a red light.

Apparently he’s never considered what happens when you stop one of those things.

 

They drive among us: Letter writer threatens all cyclists for the water-squirting actions of one

I recently received the following letter from an anonymous source.

I’m told the writer, a Hollywood screenwriter, has circulated it among his friends as a joke. Apparently, one of them didn’t think it was funny.

I can’t imagine anyone else would, either. Let’s hope he specializes in horror; if he’s a comedy writer, he’s in the wrong business.

My source also said he may be trying to get the letter published. So I’m going to do him a favor and publish it for him.

Read it for yourself, and we’ll discuss afterwards.

………

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An-Open-Letter-To-Bikers-Page-2

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Let’s answer that last question first.

No one who isn’t a psychopath is likely to accept that invitation.

Now let’s get this out of the way.

The cyclist who squirted his girlfriend was a jerk. By the simple act of squirting her with water, he committed misdemeanor assault, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in county jail.

So let that be your warning.

But it was water. Unless his pretty 20-something girlfriend is a witch, she probably didn’t suffer any lasting injury.

And let’s not forget she was breaking the law by parking in the bike lane, which, despite the perceptions of some people — apparently including our humble letter writer — wasn’t striped on the street to provide a waiting zone or a secondary parking lane.

Under California law, a bike lane is a legal lane of traffic reserved for bicycles, just as HOV lanes are reserved for vehicles with two or more occupants.

And on a busy street like Main, blocking the bike lane can force riders out into traffic, risking their safety in front of drivers who are more focused on finding a parking space than looking for bikes where they don’t expect them.

If the guy on the bike had been hit by a car, she could have been held liable, at least in part, for any injuries he suffered as a result.

Yes, what the guy did was wrong. But so was what the woman in the car did.

And the writer of this letter clearly doesn’t get that.

Then there’s this notion.

Not a Saturday morning goes by that I don’t witness some menace on wheels screaming “Hey watch where you’re going asshole!” at a peaceful and law abiding driver.

Which, unless he encounters an unusual number of mentally unstable people on two wheels, is highly unlikely; few cyclists feel a need to yell at “peaceful and law abiding” drivers.

Unless maybe they’re yelling at him.

Perhaps he just doesn’t understand traffic law well enough to recognize when drivers put people on bikes in needless danger. Like his girlfriend’s parking issues, for instance.

Which leads us to the real problem with this letter, and the person who wrote it.

Back in my starving writer days, the convenience store where I worked nights was robbed by a couple of kids in their early teens. One of whom had to talk his friend out of shooting me to see what it felt like to kill a white guy.

That marked the beginning of a multi-week crime spree that culminated in their arrest for pistol whipping another clerk so badly that he lost an eye.

I could have concluded, as have some I’ve had the misfortune of knowing, that all members of that particular ethnic group, or maybe minorities in general, were somehow to blame.

Even though that would have included my boss, her boss, and the friend-of-a-friend psychologist who volunteered over two hours of his time to talk me through it. Not to mention the woman I was dating at the time.

Yet this writer somehow blames every spandex-wearing person on two wheels for the action of one.

Never mind that some of those who appear to be riding recreationally may actually be riding to work, as part of the group he immediately absolves of collective guilt.

And never mind that some people at the agency that represents him are undoubtedly cyclists themselves. Not to mention at least a few of the studio execs capable of greenlighting his projects.

Which is I’m withholding his name.

It would easy — and admittedly, tempting — to let his own words destroy his career. But rather than grasping just how foolish he was in writing this letter, it would probably just reinforce his belief that we’re the evil creatures he thinks we are.

That brings us to his self-professed life of crime, which ranges from vandalism and simple assault, to criminal stalking and assault with a deadly weapon. Not to mention inciting violence by encouraging others to do the same.

His plan to repeatedly brake-check groups of cyclists — what he calls the “speed up slow down tactic’ — is exactly what got Dr. Christopher Thompson sentenced to four years hard time for slamming on his brakes in front of three riders in Mandeville Canyon.

And we’ll ignore his final chloroform fantasy, which he should take a good whiff of the next time he’s tempted to dash off another letter like this.

So on behalf of recreational bike riders everywhere, I’d like to apologize to his girlfriend, while politely suggesting that she watch where she parks in the future. And maybe reconsider her taste in men.

As for the letter writer, maybe he’d like to join us for a bike ride some time. And see that there’s another way to see the world in which bike riders aren’t the bad guys he thinks we are.

Once he calms down, that is.

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Check back this afternoon for today’s Morning Links.

Morning Links: Connecting the dots in LA doping scandal; bike routes through Camp Pendleton closed next week

One quick note before we get started.

I’ll be meeting with the officers in the LAPD’s bike liaison program later today; leave a comment below if you know of any bicycling issues or problem areas you’d like me to address with them.

………

Peter Flax, former editor in chief of Bicycling magazine, connects all the dots in the Nick Brandt-Sorenson doping scandal.

He points out that the rider disqualified for doping after winning the Masters 30-34 national road championships — and recently convicted of selling performance enhancing drugs over state lines — is the same one who owns many of the allegedly dope-aided LA-area KOMs on Strava.

Many people, especially road-racing types in Los Angeles who have to wake up to emails from Strava notifying them of lost KOMs, would like to see these marks stricken. We are talking about a convicted doper who now has admitted to selling EPO. We are talking about a strong but undistinguished big guy who was pack fodder in Pro/1/2 crits who has taken dozens of KOMs from far smaller WorldTour climbers.

When I asked Marcotte about Brandt-Sorenson’s Strava achievements, he laughed out loud. “There’s no way that guy could have done that with the fitness I ever saw — no fucking way,” Marcotte said. “He’s a pretty stout dude. He must be 75 kilos [165 pounds]. That’s a red flag.”

Then there’s this,

I emailed a copy of these testing claims to Cannondale pro Phil Gaimon, who says he doesn’t know Brandt-Sorenson, but has riding friends in common. His reply: “To be honest, he seems like Lance-level creep, just not as good at it.”

It’s a good story, from someone who knows how to tell it.

………

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that the bike path through Camp Pendleton will be closed next week — as will the usual alternate route on the shoulders of I-5 through the base.

This comes from an email from Caltrans’ Seth Cutter —

The U.S. Marine Corps is planning to temporarily close the Camp Pendleton Bike Path—the only bike access between Las Pulgas Rd. and Basilone Rd. along Interstate 5 (I-5)— for military operations between this Monday, Mar. 28 and Friday, April 1, 2016.  Under normal bike path closure circumstances Caltrans would open the freeway shoulders in this segment to bicyclists, however there is a construction project that has closed the shoulders of I-5 in that segment.  Caltrans will provide a 24/7 on-call shuttle to carry bicyclists through the closures in the I-5 corridor between Oceanside and San Clemente.  The phone number for the shuttle is (619)385-3267.  Pick-up/drop-off locations are at Oceanside Harbor in the east parking lot (NW corner of the lot), at the park and ride lot at Las Pulgas Rd., and Basilone Rd.(at the south end of the Trestles bike path, where it meets Old Hwy 101).  Signs at these locations will include the shuttle phone number.  Please share this information and make your plans accordingly. We apologize for any inconveniences in advance.

………

A British driver is caught on video deliberately driving onto a sidewalk to run down a bike rider, who then gets up and smashes the car’s rear window.

………

 

Local

Councilmember Jose Huizar announces a new plan called DTLA Forward to improve safety in the Downtown area, including parking-protected bike lanes on Spring and Main. Which just shows what can happen when a councilmember actually gives a damn about improving safety, rather than blocking needed improvements.

Boyonabike gets excited about the new buffered bike lanes on North Halstead Street in Pasadena. Especially since he called for them in his very first blog post nearly four years ago.

Stephen Frears, director of The Program, talks with Variety about Lance and doping.

BikeSGV will celebrate the new Gold Line extension with a Bike the Gold Line ride this Sunday.

CiclaValley talks with John Morlock about Ride2Recovery and next month’s Honor Ride in Simi Valley.

 

State

Redlands will host the 7th annual RUFF Ride this Saturday to benefit animals, including shelters, rescues and spay-neuter initiatives. Yesterday was National Puppy Day; celebrate by adopting an adult rescue dog who used to be one.

San Francisco’s bikeshare system is expanding by adding 72 new stations and up to 1,000 more bikes by the end of the year.

Bike-friendly UC Davis is looking for a new Bicycle Program Coordinator, while Calbike is looking for a Communications Director. I’ll take it if they change the title to Minister of Bicycle Propaganda.

 

National

Portland traffic fatalities are running ahead of last year, despite the city’s Vision Zero pledge last year. Just adopting a Vision Zero isn’t enough; it takes real changes on the streets, as well as education and enforcement. And more than just one year.

City Lab says every city needs a Bike Batman to recover stolen bikes, not just Seattle.

A Utah driver gets off with a misdemeanor after fatally running down a bike rider; he had a BAC nearly three times the legal limit following the crash. This kind of failure to take traffic crimes seriously is why people continue to die on our streets.

Ohio transit workers pitch in to buy a 14-year old boy a new bike after his was crushed in a collision while on the front rack of a bus.

Kentucky expands the time period for tracking DUI offenses from five to ten years; a fourth conviction for driving under the influence within a decade would be treated as a felony. Nice that they’re finally doing something. But allowing four strikes before the crime is taken seriously just keeps dangerous drivers on the road.

A new Texas study says women who take oral birth control are less likely to suffer a knee injury and recover faster if they do.

New York plans to remove a four-lane highway blocking access to the Niagara River, replacing it with a park and walking trails.

 

International

A new study from the University of Duh says if you’re out of shape, an intense training session could do more harm than good. Which anyone who has gone for a hard ride too soon in the season can attest to.

Your front derailleur could soon be a thing of the past.

Argentina’s president gives President Obama a new 250-watt e-bike foldie (scroll down). Which should be good for zooming around DC once he’s a private citizen next year.

A Toronto cyclist says a new parking protected bike lane could be a game changer.

A Belgium bike race goes ahead despite this week’s terrorist attacks, with a local favorite coming in first.

Bike Radar talks with the German expat bike shop owner at the heart of Dubai’s cycling revolution, who’s selling high-end bikes to royal customers.

Surprisingly, an Australian study shows there’s no difference in how drivers treat cyclists, regardless of whether they ride themselves.

That $3,000 Chinese smart bike has already smashed its crowdfunding goals, selling 110 bikes with two more weeks to go.

Tokyo authorities hope a new bikeshare system and a 100-bike sidewalk parking space will reduce the number of illegally parked bikes in the Akihabara district.

 

Finally…

Yes, your bike helmet has an expiration date, or maybe not, after all; thanks to Ron Richings for the correction. What do a tandem bike, a WWII grenade and a headless Paddington Bear have in common?

And a Kansas man noticed someone riding a bike that looked just like his son’s. Because it was.

 

Morning Links: 75-year old cyclist cuffed and ticketed for riding legally on I-15; Specialized says they’re sorry

03-15-2016 Jerry ticket from CHPMaybe the cop didn’t get the memo.

Or maybe he was confused after losing an hour of sleep two Sunday’s ago when the nation switched to Daylight Savings Time.

Either way, Jerry Counts was well within his rights on March 13th to ride his bicycle along a section of I-15 north of San Bernardino, where bikes are legally allowed on the roadway.

Yet he was handcuffed and ticketed by a CHP officer for violating CVC 21960(a), using a non-motorized vehicle on the freeway.

Yes, they handcuffed a 75-year old man to write a traffic ticket.

An invalid one, at that.

When was the last time you heard of a 75-year old man being pulled from his car and cuffed for a simple traffic violation?

As Ginny Sullivan of the Adventure Cycling Association points out in an email, this section of the freeway is part of the ACA’s Bicycle Route 66, running south of Oak Hill Road between exits 138 and 129, where no viable alternate route exists.

The DMV puts it this way,

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

Exit 129 going North

Exit 129 going North

As the photos she pulled from Google Earth show, there are no signs at either entrance prohibiting pedal-powered bicycles from riding on the freeway.

I’d like to write this off as a simple mistake.

However, it fits a long pattern of CHP officers being unaware of the rights of cyclists, whether it’s riding on the freeway, or ticketing cyclists for riding two abreast or in the traffic lane. Which points to officers receiving inadequate training both at the academy and in the field.

Exit 138 going South

Exit 138 going South

Although the bigger question is why the officer felt the need to handcuff a man well past retirement age, for the simple crime of riding a bicycle.

Advocating on his behalf, Sullivan has contacted both the CHP and Caltrans District 8 asking that the ticket be dismissed, and that Caltrans provide the CHP with a letter stating that bicyclists are allowed on that section of the freeway. And that the CHP train its officers accordingly.

I’d take it a step further, and request a formal apology to Mr. Counts.

I’d also ask that the notoriously auto-centric CHP follow Caltrans lead, and accept that bikes are legally a part of the California traffic system, and we’re here to stay.

Because we shouldn’t have to know the laws regarding bicycling better than they do just to defend our right to the road.

………

Specialized apologizes for last week’s Playboy Bunny fiasco, claiming the models were hired by their German affiliate, without knowledge of its global marketing staff.

Which is kind of hard to believe, since they were hired to promote Specialized’s new Playboy-branded e-bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Glendale Mayor and Metro Boardmember Ara Najarian and Bike SGV Executive Director Wes Reutimann about Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure. And reminds us about Thursday’s celebration to benefit Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next.

Once again, Santa Monica police will step up enforcement of traffic violations that put pedestrians and bicyclists at risk this Saturday, regardless of who commits them. So straighten up and ride right, for one day at least.

The WeHo Bike Coalition announces that the West Hollywood city council has approved bike lanes on Fairfax Ave; when completed, they’ll join existing lanes in LA to create a continuous bike lane from Hollywood Blvd to Melrose.

The World Cycling League debuted in Carson over the weekend as teams from Pennsylvania and Mexico battled it out for the inaugural victory.

Bike Long Beach offers photos of last weekend’s successful Beach Streets Downtown.

 

State

Santa Barbara bike riders compete to see who can ride the slowest down a 50-foot course without putting a foot down or swerving out of their lane. Meanwhile, promise to ride slow yourself and you could win a new bike from People for Bikes.

A Salinas man is riding 40 miles a day for 40 days to raise funds for the homeless.

 

National

Yes, it is possible to ride cross­-country sans chamois or other bike gear.

BuzzFeed offers 19 things every cyclist needs. Most of which most cyclists could probably do without.

Former pro Alex Candelario is offering bike tours through usually off-limits back country on Hawaii’s Big Island.

A bighearted firefighter replaces a bike that was stolen recently from a 10-year old Spokane boy.

A teenage driver in my hometown will be sentenced to 100 hours of community service at a bike nonprofit, and a $1,500 donation to a nonprofit bicycle organization, as part of a new diversion program for killing a cyclist after falling asleep at the wheel.

CNN looks at Chicago’s Heritage Bicycles, which has made bikes for everyone from Beyonce and Jay Z to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Washington’s popular bike-riding running back departs for the hated Cowboys.

Once again, someone used a DC bike rack to jump the fence at the White House. Considering how often that keeps happening, wouldn’t it be prudent to move that rack just a little?

An Orlando doctor says yes, riding a bike really can help with Parkinson’s.

 

International

Despite numerous studies showing bikes are good for business, Vancouver business owners oppose a bike lane on a busy shopping and dining street, which the city says is needed for safety.

Saskatoon’s mayor questions the cost of clearing snow from a protected bike lane; then again, he opposed building it in the first place.

Toronto’s notorious crack-smoking, anti-bike former mayor Rob Ford has died at 46.

A Belgian bike race is expected to go on despite Tuesday’s terrorist attacks.

Indian police crack down on bicyclists riding without a helmet.

An Australian program is working with kids as young as 10 years old to develop the first aboriginal cycling star.

A road raging Aussie driver is fined a whopping $100 plus $169.10 in court costs after smashing a cyclist’s helmet cam in a fit of anger.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be grown and printed. Now you really can be replaced by a robot, even on your bike. But does it still have to wear a helmet if it’s under 18?

And any t-shirt that combines Corgis and bicycles can’t be all bad. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Nine years for drunken West Covina hit-and-run; suspect wanted in Agoura Hills bike crash

For once, the punishment fits the crime.

The Los Angeles County DA’s office announced Tuesday that 25-year old Presley Danielle Rodriguez was sentenced to nine years in state prison for the drunken, high-speed hit-and run that took the life of 44-year old Jose De Jesus Ruiz Villanoeva as he rode his bike to work in West Covina last October.

She was arrested almost immediately when an officer pulled her over after hearing the crash and discovered the damage to her car, while a second officer discovered Villanoeva’s body.

This sentence comes as a pleasant surprise for an office with a reputation for bargaining away serious penalties just to get a conviction in many bike cases.

Although someone should tell the Daily News to read their own story before writing the headline.

Thanks to DreamWaveDave for the heads-up.

………

LA County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled after hitting a woman riding her bike in Agoura Hills.

The victim was severely injured when she was apparently right hooked while riding on Argos Street around 11 am Sunday by a driver turning onto Parkheath Drive.

The suspect is described only as a man driving a late-model black compact car. Anyone with information is urged to call the Malibu Lost Hills Station at 818/878-1808.

Thanks to Chris Willig for the link.

………

Sadly, this is exactly how too many bikeways are planned.

Sort of like Paul Koretz’ search for an alternate route for the Westwood Blvd bike lanes, which seems to be proceeding at the same pace as OJ’s search for the real killers.

………

Now that’s tough.

Not the bad break — literally and otherwise — that kept track cyclist Missy Erickson of the nascent World Cycling League’s California Wave team from competing in the Rio Olympics.

But Erickson herself, who broke off a cast so she could compete in a race after suffering a broken wrist and collarbone, as well as a Level 3 concussion, when she took a bad fall during a competition.

The league premiers this Friday and Saturday in Carson; Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson seems to think it’s a good idea.

………

Local

Once again, Los Angeles tops the rest of the US for the nation’s worst traffic. Maybe that explains why groups like Fix the City are fighting the new Mobility Plan; why change anything when you’re already number one?

Good Magazine talks with the founder of the Ovarian Psychos about their new documentary and riding gentrifiers out of town.

Bike friendly New York restaurant, sandwich shop and butcher The Cannibal is finally slated to open, partially at least, in Culver City next month; the name is based on the great Eddy Merckx, not the Donner Party.

Actor Josh Brolin is one of us, as he rides his single speed cruiser along Santa Monica’s Main Street. Although the British tabloids once again seem most impressed with his biceps.

Will Arnett is one of us, too; he recommends riding a bike through the streets of Venice, calling it the greatest mode of transport.

Call it a non-CicLAvia ciclovía, as Long Beach celebrates its downtown area this Saturday with the city’s second Beach Streets open streets event.

 

State

Costa Mesa’s Orange Coast College plans a pedestrian-free bike and skateboard loop around the campus, while banning riding from other areas.

San Marcos will get a one-third mile Complete Street this year, but not as soon as planned.

A San Diego group has unexpectedly dropped their lawsuit against buffered bike lanes on the city’s 4th and 5th Streets.

A Santa Barbara neighborhood association once again chooses parking over bicycles, threatening to sue if the city doesn’t consider alternatives to a contested bike lane on Micheltorena Street and conduct an environmental impact report. The governor signed a bill in 2013 exempting bike lanes from environmental review, but that hasn’t seemed to stop anyone from suing.

Berkeley officials call for extending a protected bike lane two blocks, a month too late to help a woman who was critically injured while riding her bike there.

Red Kite Prayer visits the Marin Museum of Bicycling.

A columnist for the Davis paper looks at Calbike’s proposal to offer a rebate to anyone who buys a commuter bicycle.

 

National

Evidently, the death of a bicyclist is no big deal in Alaska. An 18-year old hit-and-run driver is allowed to finish her college semester before beginning her prison sentence; she was under the influence when she ran down the victim while driving in reverse down the street following a party.

An anonymous Seattle bike vigilante has earned the moniker Bike Repo Batman for helping theft victims get their bicycles back. Thanks to joninsocal for the tip.

Sad news from Boulder CO as former pro cyclist Phil Zajicek lost an arm in a collision with a flatbed truck; fortunately, he’s expected to survive. Zajicek received a lifetime ban for doping violations in 2011.

Bighearted Michigan cops buy a new bicycle for a five-year old boy who was injured when a car backed over him as he tried to ride around it.

An upstate NY man is making plans for a record-breaking attempt at the world’s biggest classic bike parade; under the rules — yes, there are rules for such things — the bikes must be at least 30 years old, and travel at least two miles. Which means my 1981 Trek would easily make the cut, if I could get it to go that far.

 

International

A sustainable transportation lecturer writing in the Guardian says it’s not enough to reduce speed limits on residential streets to 20 mph; we need to stop cut through traffic — aka rat running — to keep quiet streets quiet.

It’s time to bury the phrase “Share the Road” once and for all when it’s used by auto-centric NIMBY’s to fight a planned London bike superhighway.

A London woman breaks the third date rule, agreeing on her second date to ride around the world promoting education with the man who’s now her fiancé.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a Brit paperboy’s bike as he delivers his paper route.

English bicyclists take safety into their own hands by spray painting a warning on an unsafe bike lane; naturally, county officials respond by calling it vandalism rather than actually doing anything to fix it.

A man in Limerick, Ireland was arrested after riding his bike with a sawed off shotgun looking for people to shoot; he wounded one man and missed another before he was stopped while looking for a third victim.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize goes on a rant against what he considers bad bikeway designs, insisting that if you don’t see it used in the Netherlands or Denmark, it’s probably a stupid idea.

Yemini women lead the resistance to the country’s civil war by riding bicycles as a symbol of solidarity.

Beijing tries free bikeshare in an attempt to battle the seemingly endless pollution gripping the city.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to plow our own pathways. Forget PowerBars; try surviving on roadkill on your next bike tour.

And what to ride when an ordinary, sub-$9,000 bike just isn’t good enough.

 

Morning Links: Memorial ride for RPV cyclist, 11-year old advocate writes for Times & Mt. Hollywood stays car free

Most fallen cyclists are fairly anonymous, their deaths, while tragic, affecting only a relative few.

Then there are those who are well known in the local community, among their fellow riders as well as others.

Redondo Beach resident Pissanuk Jonathan Tansavatdi, known as Jonathan to his friends, fit that description.

According to Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, the 29-year old rider, who lost his life descending Hawthorne Blvd in Rancho Palos Verdes this week, was a member of his Big Orange riding club.

He cites Matt Miller, another member of the club, who wrote a remembrance of his best friend.

Jon wasn’t just strong, either. He was kind. After the last bro ride, we sat on our top tubes for 10 minutes outside his apartment while he gently encouraged Bader to ride hard, but also to ride more safely and obey the rules of the peloton.

Off the bike He was a prodigious success. He was a founding member of the Rubicon Project, a tech startup that made it big. He just left to found another start up company that had already secured several million in investments.

Perhaps most impressively, Jon had invented his own photosharing app, nearly at the beta testing stage, that allows users to automatically share photos with friends nearby via bluetooth. We mused how useful an app like that would be on our rides.

More than anything, Jon loved his family. He spoke of his sisters and mother and wife with compassion, understanding, and a clear desire to protect them.

Clearly, he was someone who touched a number of people in his all-too-short life, and will be missed by many.

A memorial ride will be held this Saturday at the weekly FDR ride, departing from Miramar Park in Redondo Beach at 8:10 am.

………

I’ve often mentioned that homeowners and renters insurance can cover your bike if it ever gets stolen, even away from home. And recommended carrying high levels of uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance to protect you while you’re riding your bike.

But bike lawyer John McBrearty offered some good advice I hadn’t considered in a comment on yesterday’s post about the UCLA student raising funds to pay legal fees, after she was sued by the driver that hit her for damaging his car.

You are absolutely correct about Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist protecting you on the bike-possibly it’s the most important insurance a cyclist can have if the correct policy limits are purchased. However, while homeowners/renters insurance will not provide liability coverage while you are operating a motor vehicle it will cover you for liability if you are on a bike. Much the same way it covers you for liability if someone trips and injures themselves on your property or if your dog bites someone at any location. Of course, you should always read the “Exclusions” section of your policy to see what they don’t cover, some dog breeds are excluded from coverage but I have never seen an exclusion for a bike accident that was caused by the policy holder. Liability coverage only protects you from third parties who are making a claim against you. Again, that’s why UM/UIM coverage is so important for a cyclist also. UM/UIM will also protect you if you are walking, running or otherwise if you are hit by someone who is uninsured or underinsured.

Meanwhile, after mentioning it here yesterday, her gofundme account has reached over $7,000 of the $9,000 goal as of this writing.

………

Great piece from precocious traffic safety advocate and future mayor Matlock Grossman, who says LA streets should be safe for 11-year olds like him to ride a bike.

My vision of a livable city is one where kids like me can ride our bikes to school, or to orchestra practice, or wherever, and our parents don’t have to worry about our safety. Streets where cars can only go 20 to 30 miles per hour would be a great start. People driving would still be able to get where they are going in the same amount of time, but the roads would be much safer for everyone — young and old, rich and poor, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians…

By the time L.A.’s mobility plan is supposed to be in place in 2035, I will be 31. I don’t want my children to have to write newspaper articles to make it easier for them to ride their bikes to orchestra class. Safe streets belong to everyone.

It’s well worth reading the full piece.

I only wish most adults understood the need for safe streets as well as he does.

………

In a victory for hikers and bike riders, the city announced plans to charge for parking at the Griffith Observatory, while expanding shuttle service throughout the park — except for the highly contested Mt. Hollywood Drive, which will remain closed to vehicular traffic.

Give CiclaValley credit for telling the full story the news media based theirs on.

………

Local

The Nation asks if a revitalized LA River will become a playground for the rich, crowding out everyone else. Which is surprising, since I didn’t even know the former left wing bible was still around.

The Easy Reader News names Hermosa Cyclery the South Bay’s best bike shop.

Long Beach has a shiny new aqua-colored and still unnamed bikeshare system, which will eventually offer 500 bikes at 50 stations throughout the city. Down the road, it should be compatible with Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare, which is blowing through the Santa Monica College campus.

 

State

A Rancho Mirage resident says the city’s leadership doesn’t seem to represent people like her, who aren’t afraid of change and support the planned 50-mile CV Link bikeway through the Coachella Valley.

Even Barstow in getting bike lanes on its Main Street.

A San Francisco couple lived just five blocks apart, but they met, fell in love and got engaged at the Solvang Century bike ride; this year’s edition rolls Saturday.

No bias here. A San Francisco TV station says an Antioch cyclist wasn’t hit by a car, but collided with it, instead.

After nearly declaring war on bike-riding tourists last year, Sausalito plans to expand a Bike Ambassador program to help alleviate problems caused by too many people on two wheels. On the other hand, they never seem to complain about all the tourists on four wheels, which made my last visit there pretty miserable.

 

National

A scary new study says distracted driving is the new normal, as motorists spend over half their time paying attention to something other than the road.

Bicycling offers useful advice on how to make sure the bike rack you’re using is secure. Or you could just build your own.

After helping her husband Kurt set the new record for riding the most miles in a single year, Alicia Searvogel plans to tackle the women’s record.

An auto-centric Seattle radio host argues for keeping the streets dangerous and letting pedestrians die, fearing that advocates will lie about an uptick in pedestrian deaths to demand safer streets. Then again, he doesn’t sound like a prince on other subjects, either; thanks to NE Seattle Greenways for the latter link.

An Iowa columnist learns first hand what it’s like to bike like a bike cop.

A Houston weekly lists six streets where people “probably” won’t die riding their bikes. Maybe they should move to Boston, which claims to be tied with DC for the nation’s safest big city for cyclists and pedestrians.

A Missouri woman plans to ride 13,000 miles, stopping at churches in 37 states to raise awareness of sex trafficking.

Forget Vision Zero, says New York police commissioner — and former LAPD chief — Bill Bratton, who insists there will be traffic deaths as long as there are people on the roads. Maybe the city should find someone to do the job who doesn’t give up before he starts.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian offers 10 tips to conquer your bike commute.

A Scottish paper asks if the draconian new fines on Australian cyclists offer a lesson to be learned, or just make the state a laughing stock. You can probably guess how riders in New South Wales, who say they remain terrified on the Aussie state’s roads, would respond.

Seriously? Even the attorney for the former enforcer for Australia’s Banditos biker gang said he had “anger management issues” after getting out of his car and beating a bicyclist for not using a bike lane. Yet he walked with just a fine and a four month license suspension. Evidently, the only crimes they take seriously Down Under are cyclists riding sans helmets.

An Aussie woman insists she told the story of deliberately running down a bike rider who flipped her off hundreds of times, but only in an attempt to frighten off a man she thought was a “child rapist,” never imagining he might actually turn her into the police. Sure, let’s go with that.

A Kiwi bike commuter says he supports better bike facilities, just not if it involves closing his own street to vehicular traffic.

 

Finally…

Who needs real dog, when you can buy one made of recycled bike parts? If you’re going to steal a bike, don’t leave your old one covered in your DNA at the crime scene.

And Lance may have cheated, but he never put itching powder in his rivals’ shorts.

That we know of.

 

Morning Links: UCLA cyclist screwed by insurance company needs your help; team track cycling league comes to LA

If you’ve got a few extra dollars lying around looking for a good cause, here it is.

A UCLA grad student and member of the school’s triathlon team has established a gofundme account to raise enough money to repay her mother for legal expenses after being sued by the driver that hit her.

That’s right. She was run down from behind while riding her bike, yet she’s being sued for damaging the car that smashed into her.

On Sunday April 6, 2014 while I was riding on my road bike from work, I was rear-ended by a speeding car with such force that the car’s front bumper was damaged. It is almost two years since the collision and I am still in great debt from the medical bills, property damage and lawyer fees.

Instead of paying for my medical bills, the driver’s auto insurance company had sent me four consecutive letters and invoices claiming thousands of dollars of damages and threatening to sue me for the broken front bumper. First, the company claimed that I backed into the car, although I was on a road bike that does not go backwards. Then, they accused me of smashing into the car from the side – even though my bike was run over by both the front and back wheels of the car. In fact, my bike was still underneath the back tire of the car when the ambulance and police arrived.

Sounds like the same insurance company that represented the road raging driver that ran me down several years ago. Or maybe they’re all like that.

And that’s the Catch-22.

Bike riders often need a good lawyer after a collision, but unless there are significant damages, most lawyers can’t afford to take the case. So there’s no one to hold the insurance companies accountable for their outrageous behavior.

And it’s the people on bikes end up getting screwed.

Thanks to Alex de Cordoba for the heads-up.

………

Break out your cow bells.

A new team track cycling league will hold its inaugural races at Carson’s Velo Center on the 18th and 19th. The World Cycling League will host six mixed-gender teams with a hometown format; our local heroes will be known as the California Wave.

………

Local

The Times says candidates to replace termed out County Supervisor Michael Antonovich were asked questions about “bike trails in Santa Clarita that taper off when they cross into the surrounding unincorporated county area” at a candidate forum. But then fails to mention how any of them responded.

Richard Risemberg notes that humanity, and in particular, humanity on bicycles, has returned to DTLA.

CiclaValley discusses what Strava heat maps reveal about cycling in the City of Angels.

Even if you missed Sunday’s CicLAvia, there’s still a long list of open streets events coming up in the coming months.

You’re invited to the official unveiling of Long Beach’s bikeshare program at 10 am today; the first ten stations and 100 bikes will be available to try out during the city’s Beach Streets Downtown ciclovía on the 19th.

 

State

A tiny park in Orange was originally built as a rest stop for cyclists riding on a pair of long gone bike lanes. Which pretty much sums up the state of bicycling for the past several decades; hopefully that’s changing now.

Nothing like mischaracterizing the story. San Diego Magazine positions the city’s new bike plan as nine miles of bike lanes versus the loss of 500 parking spaces. Then explains that as few as 233 on-street parking spaces might be removed, and those will be mitigated by the addition of 200 underground parking spaces. So it’s really bike lanes versus no big deal.

San Francisco cyclists are forced to ride in a center lane in front of car traffic because of a local law banning bikes from the city’s expanding network of transit-only lanes.

Plans to complete a nine-figure bikeway across San Francisco’s 80-year old Bay Bridge include an elevator to allow disabled riders — and anyone who doesn’t want to accept the challenge of a long, steep ride up the ramp — to access the bridge. Meanwhile, plans to improve bike access to the other side of the Bay Bridge could fall victim to falling gas tax revenue.

 

National

New graphene-infused bicycle tires are more resilient than standard rubber tires, while remaining firm on straightaways for lower rolling resistance, yet softening while braking or cornering for added traction.

Why settle for a dumb bell when you can have a new 95-decibel smart bike bell with built-in microphone, and accelerometer to alert you if it’s being moved without your knowledge?

Singletrack Magazine disavows its own article offering ten reasons why a fat bike should be your only bike.

Modern entrepreneurs often talk about blowing up existing business models; blowing up an actual Seattle bike shop, not so much.

Police in my hometown have located the thoughtful driver who got out of his car to move a cyclist’s bike and backpack over to the curb, but left the victim he’d just run over lying in the street with long list of broken bones. Yet oddly, they still haven’t made an arrest.

So much for political promises. Missouri cyclists plan to circle the capital building next month to protest the ridiculous proposal to require cyclists to attach a 15-foot high fluorescent flag to their bikes; the bill’s author promised to withdraw it weeks ago, but hasn’t kept his word.

As if drunk drivers weren’t bad enough, a Wisconsin bike rider was the victim of a speeding, drunk bicyclist.

 

International

The bike-riding mayor of Victoria, British Columbia wants to make bicycling the norm in the city.

Tragically, a London woman has died after being struck by a bicyclist. Which is just another reminder to always ride safely around pedestrians; they’re the only people more vulnerable on the streets than we are, and even more unpredictable.

London parents say the city’s streets are too dangerous for children to ride their bikes.

British women hold a Suffragette Ride and Tea Party to call attention to the continuing gender imbalance in bicycling; male riders outnumber women three to one in the UK.

Norway’s plan to build ten bicycle superhighways at a cost of nearly $1 billion will be funded by the country’s oil revenue. Now that’s putting it to good use.

The third stage of the Paris-Nice cycling classic was cancelled mid-race due to snow; riders complained about the lack of a plan B.

Plug-in e-bikes are just so old school. A new Dutch model uses solar power to recharge while you ride.

German discount retailer Aldi is starting to carry bike equipment, just in time for its planned expansion into Southern California.

The bikelash rears its ugly head in New Zealand, as community members rise up against a bike lane that isn’t even finished yet.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding your bike while high, put a light on it — and don’t attack the cop who tries to stop you because you don’t have one. If you’ve ever wanted to own a Penny Farthing for pennies on the dollar, here’s your chance.

And I henceforth and for all time claim authorship of the term “areobam.”

 

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