Archive for Bikes & the Law

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

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

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

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

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

………

Speed cameras work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

………

We all knew this was coming.

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

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

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

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

So let’s be clear.

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

Evidently, Gil Cedillo’s doesn’t.

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

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

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

But clearly, not all politicians are so ethically enlightened.

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

But he should have known better.

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

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

………

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

Unfortunately, installing and using the app is voluntary.

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

………

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

Touring Paris on two wheels.

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

Morning Links: More funding for Vision Zero, City of Angels Ride, and saving NB cyclists by crashing into them

In his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a boost in Vision Zero funding, from a paltry $3 million up to $17 million.

Although that’s still a far cry from the $155 million New York spends on Vision Zero each year.

And as CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin made clear, it’s not nearly enough.

………

This one sounds like fun.

Adam Ginsberg reminds us that there’s still time to register for this Sunday’s City of Angels Charity/Fun Ride benefitting the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center.

After all, how often do you get a tour of LA with a police escort, and the intersections corked by cops?

………

Newport Beach police don’t have to look very far in their quest to crack down on violations that threaten the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, after one of their own officers collided with a bike rider Thursday afternoon.

The victim was reported to be conscious and breathing when he was taken to a local hospital.

And unlike the LA County Sheriff’s Department, which insisted on investigating its own deputy in the crash that killed Milt Olin, the NBPD has wisely handed the investigation over to the CHP.

………

In case you’ve forgotten, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo was for bike lanes before he was against them.

Then again, that’s when he was running for council the first time and thought he needed our votes.

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Apparently, aggressive riding is okay, but punching another rider isn’t, as Ukrainian cyclist Andriy Grivko gets a 45 day ban for slugging Marcel Kittel during a race.

The probe into British Cycling continues, as an outside investigator delves into their medical records.

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Local

The long-delayed Los Angeles State Historic Park will open this Saturday on the east edge of Chinatown in DTLA.

The Metro Bike bikeshare has hit 134,000 rides through March since its launch July 7th, but is still far below their target goal of two rides a day per bike.

Caught on video: CiclaValley captures what happens when Waze intersects with trash day on a narrow roadway.

West Covina police will patrol the city’s parks on bikes to address concerns over the homeless population.

A suspected bike thief apparently got away from sheriff’s deputies in Newhall by taking to the rooftops in his effort to escape, although they did recover three bicycles during the search. I just wish there was an armed response like that every time someone steals a bike.

Rotterdam comes to Santa Monica to talk bikes May 3rd.

 

State

The San Diego Padres’ annual fundraising ride will cross the Coronado Bay Bridge for the first time this fall.

Palm Springs bicyclists rode to city hall in support of the proposed 50-mile CV Link bike path, in the face of opposition from the city’s mayor.

A Monterey woman describes how she won a Brompton bike race wearing a plaid skirt, while Monterey bike shop owners explain how they’re adapting to a rapidly changing marketplace.

A Stanford postdoctoral fellow considers the problem of distracted drivers, and how they can keep women from riding their bikes.

 

National

You may never have to carry a spare tube or patch kit again — if you can get used to the strange looks you’ll get.

The Today Show considers how to find the right bikes and accessories for any rider.

A government website looks at how technology can help eliminate traffic deaths.

A new Portland video asks people how many traffic deaths and injuries would be acceptable for their own families, then asks if that should be the goal for everyone.

A bighearted 11-year old Wyoming girl won a new bicycle at an Easter egg hunt over the weekend. But instead of riding it home, she turned around and gave it to another girl who needed one.

Three Michigan police agencies deny charges in a federal report that they could have done more to prevent the Kalamazoo massacre, despite failing to respond to three calls warning about the stoned driver as he careened down the road for 22 minutes before the fatal crash.

The rich get richer. New York continues to get safer for bicyclists, as Brooklyn’s busiest business corridor is about to get a bike and pedestrian-friendly makeover. And plans are underway to install 24 blocks of protected bike lanes along iconic 7th Avenue.

 

International

A British man shares the lessons he learned bicycling around the world for seven years, including that strangers will open their doors for you, and Iran is a much better place than people make it sound.

If you still aren’t convinced, London’s Telegraph offers eight stats that show why you should bike to work — like being less likely to need Viagra in your 50s. The Telegraph also gives a glowing review of the $35,000 Bugatti urban bike without actually bothering to ride it.

London cyclists complain that a study showing bike commuting cuts your risk of cancer by 41% doesn’t take into account the dirty air they have to breathe.

Caught on video too: A British bike advocate’s camera is stolen as he’s recording cars parking in a bike lane, then smashed to bits by the thief after a brief chase.

Belfast’s successful bikeshare system is being put at risk as more than one-third of the bikes have been stolen or put out of action by vandals.

An Aussie cyclist urges other riders not to react to aggressive or threatening drivers. Which may be good advice, but it’s a lot easier said than done when you’ve just had the crap scared out of you.

As China’s dockless bike bikeshare systems expand into new cities, bike abuse and vandalism follow.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your cruiser bike as a getaway vehicle after a double-barreled bank robbery, at least hide the damn thing afterwards. Before you headbutt someone who won’t loan you his bicycle, make sure he actually owns one.

And an Aussie writer says don’t do things that could kill you. Which pretty much eliminates everything other than staying in bed all day.

Except that can kill you, too.

 

Morning Links: Pablove Across America ride, campaign histrionics in CD1, and a worldwide rash of assaults on cyclists

I normally don’t repost press releases.

I usually don’t finish reading them, for that matter. Let alone share them on here. But I’m making an exception this time, to give you a chance to ride the Left Coast for a good cause.

Pablove Across America (PAA) is a pro-plus experience with a world-class support crew and the energy of 50 cyclists riding for a cause. Cyclists will have the opportunity to ride down the beautiful California Coast, from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles. This race was started a few years ago when Jeff Castelaz and Jo Ann Thrailkill lost their six year old son to a rare form of cancer. In order to cope with the pain Jeff rode his bike from Florida to LA and it started in 2009. When friends and family heard of this news a family friend set up a fund and began collecting donations for his ride and for the family. Before they knew it there had over $250K in their account and from there this ride turned into an annual fundraising event to celebrate the life of Pablo and the Pablove Foundation was created to raise money for pediatric cancer.

The Pablove Foundation helps kids with cancer live a love-filled life today, and a cancer-free life tomorrow. Pablove’s mission is to invest in under-funded, cutting-edge pediatric cancer research and improve the lives of children living with cancer through the arts.

The event takes place October 1-7 and is unlike the others – you can see all the 5-star details below. If riders want to participate in just one day of the race (either the sendoff in SF or arrival in LA) they can also do that.  And when riders arrive in LA there will be a special party for them at Trancas Country Mart — just north of Zuma/Malibu. The party will include a live musical performance (big name to be confirmed soon) with great food and drinks for all. Locals can also attend to participate in the festivities and welcome in the riders.

Riders are asked to raise at least $7,500 to receive a professional-grade experience, including:

  • Pro-race support to roll behind the peloton and perform daily maintenance on your bike
  • Soigneur services to keep your body in good working order through massage
  • Nutritious meals and on-bike food and drink
  • A double-occupancy hotel room (upgrades to single rooms available for $100/night, dependent on availability)
  • A training plan and individualized coaching
  • Pablove cycling kit with short-sleeved jersey and bib shorts

………

KPCC looks at Monday’s “raucous” debate between CD1 candidates Joe Bray-Ali and incumbent Gil Cedillo, which was lowlighted by a racist call for the LA-born Bray-Ali to “go back to India;” the LA Weekly calls it the all-time craziest debate in LA.

Meanwhile, Bray-Ali apologized for a nine-year old YouTube video in which he repeats a George Lopez joke about Mexicans; needless to say, it was sent to reporters by the Cedillo campaign, who’ve clearly done their opposition research.

Bray-Ali will host a campaign block party tonight.

And with all the histrionics in CD1, it’s easy to forget there’s another runoff going on in CD7, between bike-friendly Monica Rodriguez and even more bike-friendly Karo Torossian, who will both participate in a debate a week from Saturday.

………

Unfortunately, today’s common theme is violent attacks on bike riders.

A San Francisco cyclist was attacked by two men who attempted to knock him off his bike, then punched him and stole his bag when he managed to stay upright.

A New York man suffered a broken arm and jaw after he was knocked off his bike and jumped by a road raging driver and his passengers, because he wouldn’t get the hell out of their way so they could go around a double-parked car; no arrests have been made, even though police got their license number from two separate sources.

Four Brooklyn gang members will serve life in prison for fatally stabbing a man after he refused to hand over his bicycle and backpack.

Two British teens were arrested for attacking a man with a machete as he rode his bicycle home from his girlfriend’s house.

Another British rider was saved by a passerby after being attacked by four men armed with golf clubs and a crowbar.

A Yugoslav Ironman competitor was knocked off his bike and robbed by a gang in South Africa, less than a month after similar attacks on two other riders.

Then there’s the road raging driver who pulled his car over to harass a group a cyclists, then provoked an altercation with a second group and apparently pepper sprayed them — then was stupid enough to post the video on Facebook. I don’t know where this occurred, but this appears to be damn good evidence of felony assault; regardless of who attacked whom, he pulled his car over in order to provoke a confrontation. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for sharing the link.

………

Then there are the bike riders behaving badly.

A 73-year old Bay Area driver was reportedly punched by three different bicyclists, and his classic Camaro damaged, after he allegedly bumped a rider participating in the East Bay Bike Party Monday night.

A Brit bicyclist reached in to snatch the keys from a driver’s car and rode off after a roadway argument.

Seriously, just don’t. As tempting as the last one may be sometimes.

………

Czech-based Team Elkov-Author Cycling faces a suspension from competition after two team members received four year bans for doping.

A pair of HuffPo writers discuss the pressure on professional athletes to dope, and the consequences they face, physical and otherwise.

Members of the Cylance Pro Cycling team met with Big Bear elementary school students, as they trained in the area for this weekend’s Tour of the Gila.

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Local

Streetsblog takes an initial look at LA’s new interactive Vision Zero map, which appears to be still working the bugs out. What’s missing from the map is any word on what happened in response to the fatality; whether the driver was charged or if any changes were made to the roadway following the crash.

The Bike Metro bikeshare will be free this Saturday for Earth Day.

CiclaValley checks out Little Tujunga’s recovery from the massive Sand Fire.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Boyonabike, who reviews The Guardian bike scribe Peter Walker’s new book How Cycling Can Save the World.

Don’t plan on using the Chandler Bike Path through Burbank on Saturday.

A 46-year old man was fatally shot while riding his bike in El Monte Tuesday night.

A Santa Monica bike rider is expected to recover after he was hit by an 80-year old driver, who sideswiped a car before hitting him, then crashed into at least one more vehicle.

Ride with the mayor of Santa Monica this Sunday.

LA County is now offering a $10,000 reward for information on the murder of a Compton man as he sat in his parked car last June by someone who rode up on a bicycle; two other men in the car were wounded in the shooting.

While you’re jonesing for the June CicLAvia, take advantage of the Beach Streets University open streets event in East Long Beach at the end of the month.

 

State

Newport Beach will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation through Monday; as with similar programs in other cities, ride to the letter of the law as long as you’re in the city so you’re not the one ticketed.

A San Diego man who took off with a Border Patrol agent hanging on for dear life in the back of his truck after the agent tried to stop him from stealing a bicycle was sentenced to five years in prison.

Congratulations to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which saved 14 bike riders from themselves in a crackdown aimed at preventing crashes involving motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, but could only manage to find a single scofflaw driver to ticket.

A team of San Bernardino firefighters will take part in June’s Race Across America to support a pair of fellow firefighters who are battling cancer.

The country’s largest bike expo starts tomorrow in Monterey, as the Sea Otter Classic takes place at the famed Laguna Seco raceway.

Watsonville police recover five bikes believed to be stolen while conducting a probation search, including a $7,500 bicycle.

Once again, a bike rider was the hero, as a Dublin cyclist spotted a Pleasanton boy who’d been missing from his elementary school for three hours.

San Francisco approved protected bile lanes on 13th Street, and proposed replacing sharrows with painted bike lanes on another while realigning parking to make room for them. Unlike LA, where parking spaces are more sacred than cows in India.

A San Francisco Op-Ed from the head of the city’s transportation agency says it’s time to make traffic deaths a thing of the past.

An alleged drunk driver has been arrested for critically injuring a five-year old Sacramento boy as he rode his bike Tuesday evening. There’s something seriously wrong when a little kid can’t ride his bike without being endangered by some jackass who can’t manage to stay the hell out of his car after drinking.

 

National

Streetsblog considers the human toll of normalizing distracted driving.

People for Bikes offers a half dozen first person accounts to show the only thing that’s just like riding a bike is riding a bike.

Bicycling offers advice on how to pass an alligator in the road. Which is not a problem we normally have here in sunny Southern California.

Apple Maps now includes bikeshare docks, but only in New York, London and Paris. After all, the LA area is so unimportant in the greater scheme of things, right?

NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr beat fellow racer Jimmie Johnson, at least when it came to bragging rights for putting in the most miles on his bike.

The Guardian asks if Seattle’s mandatory helmet law killed their bikeshare system, or if it was the hills, rain and lack of infrastructure. In short, yes.

No bias here. A Las Vegas cyclist allegedly lost control and made a suicide swerve into the side of a tour bus.

A Colorado state senator wants to ban coal-rolling drivers; if you live in Colorado, the bill could use your support. Although it’s questionable whether a $100 fine will deter them, when an existing $3,750 federal fine doesn’t.

Topeka KS native Steve Tilford will be honored with a four hour celebration of his life on Sunday; the cycling legend was killed in a Colorado car crash earlier this month.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the Kalamazoo massacre might have been avoided if there had been better communication between the three police agencies in the area; the initial call warning about the stoned driver came 22 minutes before the crash that killed five riders.

The NYPD has shifted gears and will recommend charges against a truck driver who killed a bike rider, just days after attempting to blame the victim, who had the right-of-way.

The Daily News mostly gets it, calling on the NYPD to stop confiscating ebikes and target reckless cars, instead. Although Disney movies aside, most cars are only as reckless as the drivers in them.

New York state gets serious about active transportation, investing $112 million in federal funding to pay for several dozen bike and pedestrian projects.

A New Jersey study shows barriers to bicycling go far beyond infrastructure for people of color.

 

International

An Austrian endurance cyclist plans to ride 900 miles across Cuba in 37 hours. Although the hardest part of the journey may be listening to a single song on endless repeat.

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of us, too. Or was five years ago, anyway. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Brit driver who threatened BBC presenter Jeremy Vine as he rode his bike has lost her appeal, and will spend nine months behind bars.

A very popular London bike safety advocate has been killed in a collision with an allegedly drunk and stoned driver in Mallorca, Spain.

A 35-year old English man is returning home after a 43,000 mile journey by bike around the world; he was only 28 when he set off in 2010.

A new study from the University of Glasgow shows that bicycling to work can cut your risk of cancer and heart disease nearly in half, and your risk of premature death by any cause by 41%. Which means that after 37 years of adult riding, I should live forever.

India’s Army Chief General “felicitated” a retired general for riding over 6,800 miles in 183 days to honor the nation’s 21,000 fallen soldiers.

Someone stole 20 track bikes worth the equivalent of over $15,000 from a Durbin, South Africa velodrome.

 

Finally…

You can carry anything on a bicycle — even a body. Probably not the best idea to bike away from a known drug house if you’ve got outstanding warrants, and drug paraphernalia and meth in your backpack.

And nothing like crapping in your own hands and throwing it at the driver who honked at you.

Clearly, someone has spent way too much time watching the monkeys at the zoo.

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I know firsthand how hard it is to ask for money to support a site like this. So when Seth Davidson asks for your help to support his work at Cycling in the South Bay, it should mean something.

 

Morning Links: CD1 race gets dirtier, bike rider assaulted on LA River path, and fixing streets is Vision Zero, too

As predicted, incumbent CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo is getting down and dirty as he fights to retain his seat in the face of a strong challenge from outsider Joe Bray-Ali.

Today’s attack from the city’s most anti-bike councilmember comes in the form of repeated accusations that Bray-Ali is just a Republican in Democrat clothing. And that he only switched parties to run for office — fighting words in the strongly Democratic and independent district.

Except he isn’t. And didn’t.

Bray-Ali is the first to admit he was, briefly, registered as a Republican several years ago as he searched for his place in the political landscape, before landing in the Democratic party after equally brief stints as a Green and an independent.

And never mind that Los Angeles local elections are supposed to be non-partisan, so whatever the hell party he belongs to shouldn’t matter in the slightest.

More amusing is Cedillo’s claim that he’s running a grassroots campaign.

Which is absurd coming from a career politician who gets the overwhelming majority of his donations from outside the district. And who has been in bed with mega donors like Chevron and Walmart for years, leading to questions whether their donations have influenced his votes.

After Saturday’s bizarre Lyin’ Joe episode, and today’s overblown tweetstorm attacks, it’s starting to look like Gil has been studying at Trump U.

And learning all the wrong lessons about how to conduct a campaign.

………

A bike rider reports he was the victim of an assault on the LA River bike path at the Los Feliz overpass when he was punched by one of two men partially blocking the pathway.

Fortunately, he was able to maintain control of his bike, and didn’t stick around to find out what they wanted.

While incidents like this are relatively rare, it’s a reminder to always remain alert and aware of your surroundings when you ride, especially on bike paths or anywhere else out of direct public view. He did the smart thing by getting out of harms way as quickly as possible before stopping to call the police.

He doesn’t give the date or time of the attack, but it makes me wonder if that’s why I saw a CHP cruiser turn onto the bike path as I passed by on Los Feliz Monday afternoon.

LA bicyclists have long called for regular police patrols on the bike paths in the city and county, to little effect; incidents like this sometimes result in an increase in patrols, which die down after awhile as other hotspots take precedence.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up.

………

I may not have made myself clear the other day.

While I am a strong believer in the need to fund Vision Zero projects in Los Angeles, and feel that it should take precedence over repaving streets and filling potholes, that doesn’t mean the latter isn’t important, as well.

As yesterday’s tragic news reminded us, bad roads can be an expensive annoyance to people on four wheels. But they can be deadly to those of us on two.

Vision Zero should not attempt to improve safety at the expense of our streets, but in conjunction with repaving efforts to ensure a safe riding, driving and walking environment for everyone. We have to somehow find room in the budget to pay for both.

Because it doesn’t matter whether our streets are dangerous because of aggressive drivers, bad road design or crumbling street surfaces. The results are the same.

And human lives are at stake.

………

This is seriously one of the scariest close passes I’ve ever seen, as a driver for a British market buzzes within inches of a cyclist. But says it’s okay since he didn’t cross into the extremely narrow bike lane.

Just as scary is the response from the company, which was basically “We didn’t hit him, so who cares?”

Thanks to Jon for the link.

………

I’ve never had a lot of heroes.

Willie Mays when I was younger, Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King as I got older, though both were gone before I reached my teens. But there are a lot of people I’ve admired; a few I’ve tried to emulate.

And one of the best and brightest of those was killed in crash early Wednesday morning.

Steve Tilford was everything I wanted to be as a young rider. A passionate cyclist who was among the first wave of American riders to storm Europe and show that we could compete on equal terms with the best names in the sport, he made it all seem effortless, competing on the road and winning in mountain biking and cyclocross.

According to various press reports, Tilford was driving on I-70 just west of the Colorado – Utah border when his van crashed into an overturned semi. He and his passenger were standing outside of the van, injured but okay, when a second semi plowed into the overturned truck, striking Tilford.

He died a few hours later at a hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado.

His passenger, Vincent Davis, was injured, and the driver of the second truck was killed as well.

VeloNews sums up the reaction in the cycling world, while the BMC Racing Team’s Jim Ochowicz remembers him and offers his condolences to Tilford’s partner Trudi Rebsamen, a soigneur with the team.

And Bicycling revives a 1998 profile of Tilford, saying he is why we ride.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have something in my eye.

 

………

Another of those young riders from the 80s, American cycling great Andy Hampsten, is happy to share his love of cycling with young riders in Sonoma County.

Scientists are trying to take the hell of riding cobbles out of the Hell of the North.

………

Local

The jury’s still out on the 2024 Olympics, but LA will be hosting the 2017 Police & Fire Games.

Sunday marks the return of the Brompton Urban Bike Challenge scavenger hunt in DTLA.

Bike SGV invites you to attend the opening of the Jeff Seymour Family Center on Monday.

Topanga Canyon Blvd will be closed this weekend to repair storm damage and remove that big rock blocking the roadway.

Speaking of big rocks, CiclaValley discovers Big Rock Canyon.

 

State

The OC Breeze estimates that 15,000 people attended Saturday’s Garden Grove open streets event.

San Clemente plans to provide a safer route to an elementary school by improving bike lanes and sidewalks on Avenida del Presidente.

Indio is looking for public input on plans to install sidewalks and bike lanes. That’s easy. Yes. Please.

Sad news from the San Joaquin Valley, as a man was killed riding his bike in Southeast Bakersfield.

A Visalia man is scheduled to spend the next 34 years behind bars for shooting a bike rider from his moving car.

Bay Area bike riders will finally be able to ride halfway across the Bay Bridge on weekdays. Then turn around and ride back, since it will be several years before the bikeway goes all the way across, if then.

A UC Berkeley architecture professor wants you to bike along the big, not-so-beautiful wall already standing on the Mexico border with the US.

Folsom is planning to complete the Johnny Cash Trail near the prison where he recorded the best selling live album of all time.

Chico police bust an ebike thief who broke in from the shop next door to steal a $3,000 bike from a local dealer.

 

National

A writer for City Lab says bike helmet laws do more harm than good, and the idea that they improve overall safety for cyclists isn’t backed up by the evidence.

Someone vandalized over 200 of Portland’s 1,000 bikeshare bikes.

Great read. When a reader asks why bicyclists don’t have to carry insurance, an Oregon columnist responds “don’t be that guy.”

Alaskan fat bike riders are risking their lives by riding through railroad tunnels to get to a near-wilderness area that’s closed for the winter.

Prosecutors offer an undisclosed plea deal to a road raging Arizona driver who allegedly murdered a bike rider earlier this year; he faces up to 25 years if he’s convicted.

Someone walked out with $8,000 worth of bike clothes from a trio of Dallas bike shops.

A bike-riding Florida cop struggles to find answers in the wake of a recent tragedy, saying ultimately we must learn to care about others on the road, and encourage them to care about us.

 

International

Caught on video: A Canadian thief demonstrates just how fast a poorly secured bike can be stolen.

Four of London’s most dangerous intersections are scheduled to get bike and pedestrian friendly improvements. Which is exactly how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

The Guardian asks if London’s cycling czar is tough enough to take on critics and bike-haters. On the other hand, at least they have one, unlike some cities I could name.

Sometimes they do come home. Australian police recover an American man’s bicycle two years after it was stolen from a laundromat.

Designer and cyclist Paul Smith is creating cycling jerseys for a bike race to help raise funds to rebuild a Japanese town devastated by the 2011 tsunami.

Abandoned bikeshare bikes are crowding out humans in a Shenzhen, China park.

 

Finally…

No, popsicle bike is not a thing, but it should be. No, throwing your bike at an ex-friend who owes you money is not the correct way to use it.

And which of these things are you doing wrong in your cycling class?

That’s easy. Not riding a real bicycle outside, to start.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero funding carries the day, cyclist-killing pedophile sentenced, and bad bike marketing

Safer streets won the day at yesterday’s meeting of the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Curbed LA, a motion passed to allocate 60% of the city’s Measure M local return funds to Vision Zero projects, as opposed to a city plan to allocate two-thirds to fixing the city’s crumbling streets.

The motion sponsored by CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin passed by a slim 3 – 2 margin, with CD5’s Paul Koretz and CD4’s David Ryu voting to fix potholes while keeping the city’s streets dangerous.

As Bonin put it,

“We can fill a bunch of potholes, or we can save a bunch of lives.”

However, comments from Koretz blamed jaywalking pedestrians and poor pavement quality in bike lanes, not high speeds, poor street design or dangerous drivers, for the city’s unacceptably high rate of fatalities.

Never mind that he’s the one responsible for blocking planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and on other streets in his mostly Westside district.

And Ryu is the one standing in the way of a desperately needed road diet on 6th Street that’s overwhelmingly supported by the neighborhood councils in the area.

But sure, let’s go with potholes over human lives.

………

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

An Agoura Hills man was sentenced to the maximum term of nearly six years behind bars for committing lewd acts with a 14-year old boy, 29 years after he was convicted on felony counts of hit-and-run and conspiracy for killing a bike rider in Laguna Hills.

Gary Haw, who owned a string of tanning salons in the early 2000s, is also suspected, but wasn’t charged, with molesting other boys who worked for his company.

He was driving his father’s $80,000 Porsche when he slammed into his 17-year old victim in 1988. Despite throwing the boy’s body the length of a football field, he was somehow acquitted of vehicular manslaughter in the case, and received just two years in prison.

His father was convicted of obstruction and lying to a police officer for attempting to cover for Haw by claiming he was the one driving, even though he was at his Culver City home at the time of the crash.

Haw was also convicted of molesting a child in Santa Monica that same year.

Yet his attorney in the current case argued that Haw was a “pillar of the community” who was unlikely to re-offend.

Which seems highly unlikely, given his track record.

And which makes the five year, eight month sentence seem a few decades too short.

………

Once again, a bicycle company badly misses the mark by assuming their market is made up solely of immature straight males.

As Bicycling points out, the sexist and homophobic ad Wolf Tooth Components and another company shared on social media over the weekend was quickly pulled when wiser heads prevailed following an intense backlash.

The question is why anyone would approve it in the first place. And why does the bike industry just not get it?

………

Patrick Lynch forwards video of an airport bike cop photobombing a Today Show news report on TSA pat-downs.

………

A professional mountain biker describes his addiction to Tramadol, the painkiller used — legally — by many cyclists in the pro peloton.

Women’s races have been added to two of the four stages of the new Colorado Classic bike race, with an unrelated women’s crit the third day.

A German website profiles American cyclist Leah Thorvilson, who went from marathon runner to winning a pro cycling contract at age 38 by coming in first in a Zwift virtual cycling competition.

………

Local

CiclaValley calls tonight’s People For Bikes Draft Meetup at Pure Cycles a must.

LA-based Smart Bikes is accepting pre-order sales for their new Hexagon light, combining a rear-view camera with a taillight, brake light and turn signals, and allowing you to use your smartphone to see what’s coming behind you. But probably not the “ultimate safety device,” as the company describes it.

The LACBC’s annual River Ride will once again feature a Long Beach start, as well as the traditional starting line in Griffith Park; the Long Beach start was discontinued last year due to construction work.

 

State

There seems to be a common theme to our first three stories. I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

  • Health rankings of California counties indicate where you live has an impact on how healthy you are and how long you’ll live, with Orange County near the top of the list, and Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties not so much. Safe, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods with access to fresh fruits and vegetables made a positive difference.
  • Calbike says a good state transportation bill was poisoned at the last minute by an ill-advised compromise allowing the trucking industry to keep polluting neighborhoods near ports and trucking routes.
  • A white paper from the California Air Resources Board says physical activity is good for you, just try not to breath the air.

Long delayed plans for a bikeway on San Diego’s Coronado bridge could cost as much as $210 million for a 15-foot tube suspended beneath the bridge, and could require a toll to fund it — either on the bicyclists and pedestrians using it, or the drivers on the bridge above them.

A Santa Cruz letter writer says “smug weekend cyclists” should be banned from a large number of mountain roads. Does that mean modest weekday riders are okay?

A Sacramento magazine says it’s time for the city to stop spinning its wheels and build its first protected bike lane, noting that Sacramento and Las Vegas are the only two of America’s 40 largest cities without at least imminent plans for one.

A Folsom newspaper says cyclists and motorists need to work together for safety, and drivers shouldn’t squeeze cyclists off the road.

 

National

A new study questions why girls lose interest in bicycling when they reach their teens; not surprisingly, traffic is a major factor.

A writer for Forbes calls the new $5,000, 33 mph Stromer ebike a people magnet and a thing of sheer beauty. Although here in California, any motorized bicycle that goes that fast requires a helmet and a motorcycle license.

It was a big night out for a Denton TX man, who was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into three separate vehicles before hitting a woman on a bicycle, then running away and attacking a woman getting out of her car, insisting he needed it to get something to drink.

Chicago bike riders are cheering plans for extending a bike trail and building a riverwalk bike path on both sides of the river through a gentrifying industrial corridor.

A Cleveland letter writer says don’t be a jerk by riding in the middle of the lane and slowing down traffic just to prove you have a right to the road. Never mind that riders are taught to take the lane to avoid the door zone, increase visibility and make drivers go around them to pass.

Next City examines how Massachusetts is updating its statewide bike plan to shift focus from recreational riding to riding for transportation.

 

International

The international bicycle industry is finally getting onboard with bike advocacy.

Peru’s Agricultural Minister was fired for sunbathing and riding her bicycle while half the country was being devastated by the worst flooding in two decades.

Plans are underway to install segregated bike lanes on London’s Westminster bridge, site of last week’s terrorist attack. However, work has been postponed for the foreseeable future, as one British lord inexplicably blames the current painted lanes for contributing to the carnage.

A British rider is close to finishing his goal of riding 107 kilometers (66 miles) every day for 107 days, despite working full time, and overcoming food poisoning and a major storm.

The head of Ireland’s Green Party calls for improving safety for cyclists on the country’s roads, comparing riding in Dublin to a Ben-Hur chariot race.

CNN takes a 12-day, 602-mile ride around Taiwan on a route that is rapidly becoming one of Asia’s greatest adventures.

Singapore is trying to encourage bicycling by installing bike racks and bike parking zones throughout the island.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Going full Superman downhill on a fixie doesn’t look as hard as getting back on the spinning pedals. Evidently, bike racers get fined for riding where bike riders are supposed to.

And nothing like riding your fat bike past a long line of cars stalled in an Alaskan blizzard.

Update: Pico Rivera bike rider left to die by hit-and-run driver in early morning crash

Yet another bike rider has been murdered by a heartless cowardly driver in Los Angeles County.

According to KABC-7, the victim, who the coroner said appeared to be a woman in her 30s, was found by someone passing by the Pico Rivera crime scene shortly after 2 am this morning.

The Whittier Daily News places the wreck on Rosemead Blvd south of Rex Road; photos from the scene show a retaining wall, which would appear to put it at or near the railroad overpass between Rex and Slauson.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she died.

KTLA-5 reports that evidence from the scene suggests she may have been riding on the sidewalk when the car jumped the curb and struck her.

Sheriff’s investigators say there are no apparent witnesses. However, based on debris from the crash site, they’re looking for a dark green Honda Accord, 2003 to 2007, with significant front end damage.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station at 562/949-2421.

This is the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the seventh in Los Angeles County; nearly half of the deaths in the county have been hit-and-runs.

Given the hour, the driver should be assumed to have been under the influence at the time of the wreck.

Once found, he or she should face a second degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to leave the victim to die in the street, rather than call for the prompt medical attention that might have saved her life.

Of course, since hit-and-runs are seldom taken seriously in LA County, that’s not likely to happen.

Update: The LA Times reports a suspect was arrested after deputies pulled over a 2005 Honda Accord for several vehicle violations two miles from the crash site, and saw extensive damage to the front end that matched the suspect vehicle. 

Twenty-one-year old Berta Ramirez of Pico Rivera was arrested, and was being held on $50,000 bond.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 45-year old Pico Rivera resident Suzanne Corona. Her accused killer was released on bail a day after the crash. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Suzanne Corona and her loved ones.

52-year old bike rider killed in Anaheim hit-and-run; driver captured following police chase and shooting

An Orange County man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike early Sunday morning. But for once, the driver didn’t get away.

According to the Orange County Register, 52-year old Anaheim resident Encarnacion Salazar Munoz was riding east on Ball Road, just east of Gilbert Street in unincorporated Anaheim, at 5:20 am when he was struck by an SUV headed in the same direction.

He died at the scene.

According to a CHP spokesman, the driver had veered into the the bike lane where Munoz was riding, and fled the scene after striking him.

KCBS-2 reports Anaheim police later spotted the driver, 25-year old Riverside resident Jason Roy Rocha, when they tried to pull him over for an unrelated traffic violation. Rocha fled from the police, losing the officers, until he crashed his Ford Expedition into a fence at the intersection of Seal Beach and Westminster boulevards in Seal Beach.

He reportedly came out of the SUV holding his arm as if he had a weapon; a Seal Beach cop responded by firing his gun, missing Rocha. He was taken into custody on suspicion of hit-and-run and driving under the influence.

Munoz leaves behind a wife and three kids. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay his funeral expenses; so far it has raised just $85 of the $25,000 goal.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, four of which have been hit-and-runs. He is the third person killed while riding in Orange County since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Encarnacion Salazar Munoz and his family. 

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

Morning Links: LA rider intentionally doored, and Montana politician tries to ban bikes from state roadways

Now this one’s scary.

An LA bike rider was harassed by the road raging occupants of a car, and intentionally doored by a passenger in the back seat.

Even though the door never made contact with him or his bike, this is a clear case of assault, since the passenger obviously intended to threaten, if not injure, the victim. As such, any case like this can and should be reported to the police — especially when there’s video evidence.

And yes, the cops do want to know about cases like this.

Even if the authorities aren’t able to press charges, it could establish a pattern of behavior if the driver or passengers do something like this again.

The video also provides strong evidence to make a case under LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which entitles victims to $1000 or actual damages, whichever is higher, plus triple damages. As well as reimbursement for any legal fees.

It’s not easy to make a case under the law, since you have to have witnesses and/or corroborating evidence to prove the harassment occurred.

But with a video like this, it should do the trick.

………

After blocking a three-foot passing law in the state legislature, Montana Senate Leader Scott Sales plans to introduce legislation to ban bike riders from many state highways.

Sales’ legislation would prohibit bicycles from any two lane roadway with less than a three-foot shoulder, and require riders to place reflectors on their bodies as well as their bikes. And he’d require bicyclists to pay a special tax to ride on state roadways that they already pay for with their tax dollars.

Never mind that, as Bicycling points out, his proposal would kill the state’s burgeoning bike tourism industry.

His apparent distaste for bicycles and the people who ride them stems from his observation that bike riders are “some of the rudest and most self-centered people [he’s] ever encountered.”

Evidently, he’s never looked in the mirror, since he freely admits to blaring his horn at riders who have the audacity to get in his way. Or encountered many of the motorists he shares the roadways with, for that matter.

Meanwhile, a massive new study says bike riders aren’t really rude, we’re just trying to stay alive.

………

The state issued another $56 million in grants to fund 25 active transportation and Safe Routes to Schools projects in six SoCal Counties, including $15 million for bike lanes in the Arts District in DTLA, bike lane connections at Cal State Long Beach, and a bike track in Santa Ana.

………

Scandal-plagued British Cycling could now risk losing the equivalent of over $21 million in funding for grassroots programs due to concerns over governance of the organization.

A former rider for Team Sky says he broke cycling’s no needles rule to inject himself with vitamins leading up to the Vuelta. Vitamins, sure. Let’s go with that.

A new crowdfunding campaign is attempting to raise $10,000 to make a movie about the legendary Major Taylor, America’s first great bicycling champ, and a groundbreaking African-America athlete.

………

Local

No one was hurt, but a bicycle was mangled when a 45 foot shipping container fell off a big rig. No word on whether someone was riding the bike and jumped off, or if it had been parked.

A writer for City Watch calls CD1 challenger Joe Bray-Ali a ray of hope, saying “If Mr. Smith rode his bike to Washington, he’d look and sound a lot like Joe Bray-Ali.” We could find out today if Bray-Ali will be in a runoff with incumbent Gil Cedillo, when the latest vote counts are released.

The formerly anti-bike LA Weekly looks at seven group rides for cyclists new to LA streets, starting with next week’s CicLAvia.

The LACBC is hosting a Green on the Ground bike ride at noon today in Downtown LA.

DASH bus service to the Griffith Observatory will begin next week, part of a so-far successful effort to keep Mt. Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park from being opened to motor vehicles.

Travis Stork, host of The Doctors, is one of us, keeping his three bikes on the walls of his Hancock Park apartment, including a $10,000 Specialized Roubaix.

Santa Monica is considering new plans to make it safer for students who walk or bike to school at the city’s Edison Language Academy.

According to the Santa Clarita Signal, sheriff’s deputies arrested a homeless man for riding his bike at night without lights, then says he was issued a citation. Something is seriously wrong if he was actually arrested, since riding without lights is a simple traffic violation, not a misdemeanor or felony offense subject to arrest. He should have been stopped, cited and sent on his way; let’s hope that’s what really happened. And someone please tell them it’s not that homeless people refuse to disclose their occupation; they usually just don’t have one.

 

State

San Diego cyclists will take a two-day, 90 mile tour of the coastline this weekend in honor of a beloved local bike advocate and cycling instructor who was killed in Oregon in 2014 near the beginning of a planned ride from Canada to Mexico.

A pitcher for the Padres has been on the bench since he pulled an endo last weekend when the front tire of his bicycle blew and he went over the handlebars.

The Inland Empire region receives a $13 million state grant for active transportation, including bike projects in Highland, Redlands and the Coachella Valley.

Sad news from Tulare, where a 69-year old bike rider was killed in a crash after allegedly running a red light. As always, the question is whether anyone other that the driver involved witnessed the crash and saw whether the light was red or green.

Berkeley police say it wasn’t excessive speed or impairment that was responsible for the collision that killed a 78-year old bike rider last month, blaming poor lighting, rain and a wet roadway. Yet that would suggest a violation of the state’s basic speed law, which prohibits driving too fast for current conditions. Or is that only used as an excuse the ticket bike riders these days?

More bad news, this time from Sacramento, where yet another bike rider was murdered by a hit-and-run driver; police are looking for the owner of a two-tone utility truck.

Caltrans plans to install center rumble strips on a 30-mile segment of Highway 1 in Marin County, while widening the shoulders to improve safety for bicyclists.

 

National

People for Bikes makes clear what many of us had feared — Trump’s proposed new budget will be bad for bikes.

Apple applies for a patent for a new way to calculate a cyclist’s performance from wind resistance and other factors, suggesting they may develop a new form of power meter.

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, you could turn your bicycle into an ebike just by swapping out your front wheel, for less than half the price of the Copenhagen Wheel.

Judging by the headline, Texas police apparently arrested a self-driving car for hit-and-run; or maybe someone was actually driving it, after all.

A Missouri mother is organizing a non-profit to aid the victims of hit-and-runs. Great idea, but sad that it’s even necessary.

A Chicago crash shows the difficulty bike riders face in getting justice following a hit-and-run.

Witnesses report the suspect in the shooting of two Detroit cops had been seen riding a bicycle similar to the one used by the person who killed a Wayne State University cop last year.

Defense attorneys argue that second degree murder charges should be dropped against the — allegedly — stoned driver who killed five Kalamazoo MI bicyclists because prosecutors failed to show that a combination of amphetamine, meth, hydrocodone and tramadol would have affected his ability to drive. On the other hand, they certainly didn’t improve it.

Now that’s what I call a bike tour. The owner of a Rhode Island bar plans to ride across the US sampling microbrews along the way to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis.

The rich get richer. New York cyclists can look forward to a new two-way protected bike lane leading eight miles up to the Brooklyn Bridge. And actually resulting in more parking spaces for a change.

A local news site asks if South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island is doing enough to keep bicyclists safe; the only gold-level bicycle friendly community in the Southeast, it ranks just 17th out of 20 in terms of safety.

Friends have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for Florida bike advocate and bicycle writer Alan Snel, who was injured in a collision last week; it has raised nearly $6,400 of the $10,000 goal as of Thursday night.

 

International

A globe trotting guide to bicycling through the wine country, from Napa to Tuscany.

A one-woman Canadian performance illustrates the role bicycles played in the emancipation of women, starting with the story of Annie Londonderry, the first woman who biked around the world.

A new study of London bicycling shows bike riders experience an average of one close call at intersections every two weeks.

A man takes one of London’s bikeshare bikes on a tour of seven cities on three continents, and returns it with a £300 late fee — the equivalent of $371.

Caught on video: Passersby confront a masked Brit bike thief, but back off when he brandishes an axe.

The British man who put up his own No Cycling signs on a pathway where bicycling is allowed says he can’t be anti-cycling since he rides a bike himself.

This is why people continue to die on the streets. A UK van driver was given a suspended sentence for running over a doored bicyclist who fell into his path — even though he fled the scene and was three times over the legal limit for drunk driving. His lawyer claimed he only started drinking after the wreck, though he was still drunk from the previous day. Seriously, that’s an excuse?

After elite German police shoot a man on a bike who was carrying a horror mask, the press speculates he may be a terrorism suspect.

In the latest criminal scandal from Down Under, cyclists are breaking the law by removing bells and horns from their bicycles, making them subject to fines as high as $775 — around $600 US — if they fight the ticket in court.

Chinese app-based bikeshare company Ofo has decided the way to get users to take better care of their bikes is to flood the streets with even more, so they know another bike will be readily available. Um, probably not.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who doesn’t need an environmentally friendly bamboo ebike? Nothing like riding with a Jack Russell on your back.

And clearly, stunt cycling is nothing new; check out this performance on a golden fixie from1965.

Morning Links: Joe Bray-Ali still alive in CD1 council race, and frontline reports from the war on bikes

Don’t give up yet.

Despite the election night gloating of incumbent Councilmember Gil Cedillo, the race in CD1 is not over yet. In fact, it may just be getting started.

According to the latest count of outstanding absentee and provisional ballots from the County Clerk’s office, Cedillo’s vote total has dipped below the 50% required to avoid a runoff.

Which means that if the totals stand as they are now, challenger Joe Bray-Ali will face Cedillo in the May 16th general election.

Of course, things could still change. There are more ballots to count, with the next update due on Friday.

And even if Bray-Ali does qualify for a runoff, it will be an uphill battle against the entrenched city hall establishment and massive piles of special interest money that inevitably flow in to support any LA incumbent.

But he has a chance. And that means, so do we.

Thanks to Matt Ruscigno and Todd Munson for their help.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A San Francisco driver punched a bike rider in the eye, knocking her off her bike and into traffic, for the crime of complaining that he was illegally stopped in a bike lane — even though there was nothing to his right and he could have easily pulled over to the curb.

A Ross CA man is charged with misdemeanor reckless driving after allegedly attempting to run a bike rider off the road, and threatening to come back with a shotgun and blow his head off. So evidently, the driver’s own words aren’t enough to prove he was threatening the rider.

A Chicago bicyclist was attacked by a road raging driver who threw his bike into the curb, damaging both wheels.

Caught on video: After a London driver barely misses a cyclist in a way too close pass, the rider has it out with the driver, who tries to door him, then barely misses with a second punishment pass.

A British bike rider was lucky to escape with superficial injuries when someone strung a wire at neck level across a promenade; fortunately, the police are investigating it as the assault that it is, rather than a prank.

A New Zealand bike trail was booby trapped with logs and branches that could have knocked a rider off his bike or impaled someone.

………

A sports site talks with former pro cyclist Rebecca Rush, as a new movie documents her 1,200-mile journey along Ho Chi Minh Trail to find where her father’s plane crashed in the Vietnam war, when she was just three years old.

………

Local

CiclaValley suggests the city may have changed it’s mind about installing paid diagonal parking on the road leading up to the Griffith Park Observatory. Meanwhile, plans were announced to close the popular hiking trailhead on Beachwood Canyon leading to the Hollywood sign, following years of incessant lobbying from Beachwood residents — essentially converting a public park into the private property of a few privileged homeowners.

The Culver City Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will discuss several options for the city’s proposed bikeshare system at its meeting tomorrow night; the plan could serve adjacent areas such as Palms and Playa Vista, as well as Culver City.

 

State

A Carlsbad cyclist’s legacy lives on five years after he died of ALS; the annual Bike4Mike Coastal Ride he founded has raised over $1 million to fight the disease, and hopes to bring in another $100,000 this Sunday.

The San Diego Association of Governments is offering a number of $1,500 grants to encourage kids to walk or bike to school. So why not just use one of the grants to offer 150 kids ten bucks if they get out of Mom’s, or the nanny’s, SUV and walk or bike it to class instead?

A Palm Springs bicyclist suffered major injuries in a crash that involved two motor vehicles.

The Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition writes to demand protected bike lanes on upper Market Street, saying a decision to delay implementing them is incompatible with Vision Zero.

The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in Marin is now accepting nominations for this year’s class.

 

National

Streetsblog asks when the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the overly conservative national guide to traffic signal, signs and pavement markings, will finally catch up to the 21st Century; they just got around to approving Bike Lane Ends signs. Even though American bike lanes have been ending — without warning in most cases — for 50 years.

A new study shows millions of people could switch from driving to autonomous ride-sharing services, presumably opening up curbside parking for bike lanes, while doing nothing about traffic congestion. Which means drivers will likely rise up and demand those curbside lanes be used for vehicular traffic, instead.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gives America’s roads a D grade, saying they are “often crowded, frequently in poor condition, chronically underfunded, and are becoming more dangerous.”

Justice denied, as a Michigan man died after pleading guilty in the death of a bicyclist last year, but before he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

A man is under arrest for breaking the window of a Pittsburgh bike shop and making off with a $4,000 mountain bike; he also threatened to shoot one of the arresting officers in the head and kill his family when he gets out of jail. Hopefully, that will be a very long time off.

A New York newsman takes his fat tire bike out for a blizzard bike tour in the middle of yesterday’s storm.

 

International

No, you can’t throw your bike backwards. At least not while you’re on it.

Vancouver residents are upset that a row of cherry trees along a seawall were removed to make room for a bike lane, although the city promises to plant new, and healthier, trees in their place.

Not all guerilla DIY efforts are beneficial to bike riders; an English town promises to remove the No Cycling signs someone had illegally placed along a pathway, where bicycling is in fact allowed.

A British court rules a killer motorist’s driving ban should have started the day he was sentenced. Which means he would have been prohibited from driving while he was in prison, where cars are seldom allowed, anyway.

A Brit podcast discusses a forthcoming BBC documentary on the history of Raleigh bicycles. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Cycling Industry News has a list of bike jobs in the UK, if you’re ready to give up on the US.

Even in Copenhagen, bikeshare can be a tough sell, as the company behind the city’s e-bikeshare system goes belly up.

Frightening story from Berlin, where a man riding a bicycle has sprayed six women in the face with what appears to be battery acid.

An Aussie radio station discusses what parents can do to make riding to school safer for their kids.

An Australian grandfather explains what it was like to be the victim of an apparently random shooing as he rode his bike last month.

 

Finally…

Just what every rider needs — a $350 Levi/Google smart jacket. Evidently, Dale Earnhardt Jr. needs taller socks.

And if you attend Cedarville University, it’s only natural you’d build a wooden ebike.

 

Morning Links: Yet another South LA hit-and-run, and Montana politician wants bike riders out of the state

A 50-year old woman was critically injured in yet another South LA hit-and-run Sunday night.

She had dropped something from her three-wheeled bike in the 8700 block of South Central Avenue, and was hit when she stopped to pick it up; she was taken to a nearby hospital with multiple injuries.

There was no description of the driver or suspect vehicle.

………

You’ve got to be kidding.

It’s not just that the Montana Senate blocked a bill that would have required drivers to give bike riders a three-foot passing distance at speeds up to 35 mph, and five feet above that.

It’s the reason.

Consider this from unabashedly bike-hating Senate President Scott Sales, who says there are already too many cyclists in the state, and he doesn’t want anymore.

“They’re some of the rudest people I’ve ever. I hate to say it, but I’m just going to be bold — they’re some of the most self-centered people navigating on highways, or on county roads I’ve ever seen. They won’t move over. You can honk at them; they think they own the highway,” Sales said.

Never mind that they have as much right to the road as he does. And unless the law is very different up there, drivers are supposed to pass riders, rather than blare on their horns and expect them to get the hell out of their way.

So of course, the obvious solution is to keep the roads dangerous for people on bikes, because that should help reduce the number of riders on the road.

One way or another.

………

Cycling Tips provides a belated wrap-up and photos of the 2017 World Paracycling Championships held in Carson earlier this month, which was completely ignored by both the local and national press; it turns out the US led the standings with 18 medals. Then again, late is better than not at all.

A European website says French cycling is up, British down.

Cycling Weekly offers five things they learned from Paris – Nice, including some new faces challenging the old guard.

A planned four-day bike race intended as a follow-up to the world championships in Richmond VA has been cancelled.

………

Local

The LA Weekly offers photos from Sunday’s Tweed Ride though historic DTLA, which somehow managed to slip under the radar.

Get your fresh bagels by bike in Silver Lake and Echo Park.

The LACBC is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Green on the Ground Lunchtime Ride on Friday.

The West Hollywood Transportation Commission will consider the city’s proposed Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan tomorrow night.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune offers a series of photos from the recent 626 Golden Streets.

El Monte is the latest SoCal city to adopt Vision Zero, pledging to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2027.

 

State

The LA Times recommends biking 17-Mile Drive at Pebble Beach past the famed Lone Cypress; drivers have to pay $10 for the privilege, but bikes are free.

The San Francisco Fire Department is butting heads with the city’s DOT over protected bike lanes required as part of the city’s Vision Zero plan, complaining they won’t leave enough space to respond quickly to emergencies.

 

National

Bad news for anyone who reads the print version of Bicycle Times, which has ceased publication; fortunately, it will continue to live online. And it should include a profile of yours truly next month. Which is probably the real reason they dropped the print version.

Continuing their emphasis on clickbait, Bicycling offers seven reasons why bicycling is better than running.

A Canadian cyclist is returning to the scene of the crime, going back to where his bike was stolen in Philadelphia on his way to Mexico.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will have to pay $5.4 million after a bike rider was severely injured on a badly repaired bridge. This is the cost of carelessness, to the victim and the taxpayers. All it takes is a little more effort to do the job right, and no one would get hurt.

A Pennsylvania man faces up to 13 years behind bars for fleeing the scene after running down a young girl as she was riding her bike.

The driver who ran down North Carolina bike shop owner, Dirt Rag columnist and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member Jeff Archer as he crossed the street in front of his shop has been sentenced to up to five years behind bars.

The parish just west of New Orleans has developed its first-ever Comprehensive Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan for the largely rural area. Which was the very definition of bike-unfriendly when I lived down that way.

 

International

The editor of Outside Brazil and Bicycling Brazil shares moving photos from her treatment for breast cancer, and says cycling was the force that kept her alive.

Saskatoon, Canada gets a petite street sweeper to keep their protected bike lanes clean while lowering their costs.

Horrifying story from Australia, where two men in an SUV repeatedly tried to ram a bicyclist and run him into a parked car, just 30 minutes before killing another rider.

A Chinese court rules that that a bike shop that sold a banned fixie is responsible for the death of a woman who lost control on a steep downhill and rode off a mountainside; her boyfriend, who owned the bike, was also held liable.

 

Finally…

No, you can’t just run over bicyclists using a crosswalk. And why teach your kids to ride a bike when you can pay someone a hundred bucks an hour to do it for you?

 

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