Archive for Legal Cases

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.

Metro-Van-Attempts-to-Run-Down-Bicyclist-Page-1

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: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: 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.

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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.

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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.”

 

100-plus mph, underage drunk driver gets four years for 2014 death of bicyclist Haytham Gamal

Four years.

Four years behind bars for driving at speeds over 100 mph in a 35 mph zone, with a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit.

And taking the life of an innocent man as he rode his bike home from work on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, after losing control on a slight curve and skidding 200 feet before striking the victim from behind. Then dragging him another 500 feet before flipping over after hitting the curb.

Needless to say, the victim, 39-year-old Haitham Gamal, was pronounced dead at the scene.

All because he had the misfortune of sharing the road with then 19-year old Dominic Devin Carratt that tragic April night in 2014.

Carratt pleaded guilty last month to A) one count of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, B) one count of felony driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, and C) one count of felony driving with a blood alcohol of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, along with a sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury.

Yet even though the victim’s wife implored the court to give him the maximum 10-year sentence, the judge showed leniency, deserved or not.

I’m told he imposed a sentence of four years in state prison for the first count, another two years for the second count, to be served concurrently, and stayed an additional two years for the third count.

Carratt will also be required to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later date, and his driver’s license will be suspended for three years after his release.

Though why he would ever be allowed to drive again is beyond me.

A woman in the courtroom for the sentencing noted that Carratt’s mother gave him a long, tearful embrace as he walked to the front of the courtroom.

It may be a long time before she gets another chance.

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

Dominic Carratt sentence

 

Morning Links: Victim’s family calls for compassion as hit-and-run driver gets time served; bike thief faces 27 years

Sometimes, compassion wins.

Especially when it comes from the family of the victim, for a driver who didn’t show any himself.

On Friday, commercial truck driver Filemon Reynaga was sentenced to time served for the hit-and-run death of 19-year-old Manuel Rodriguez as he rode his bike to work in Anaheim nearly two and a half years ago.

Reynaga was convicted last August for running a stop sign and right hooking Rodriguez, dragging him and his bike several yards — by some accounts, up to 150 feet — before finally stopping his truck. He got out, walked back to look at the young man lying badly injured the street, then simply got back on his truck and drove away to continue his deliveries.

At least one driver manage to avoid striking Rodriguez as he lay on the dark street before he was hit by another car, whose driver had the decency to stay at the scene.

It’s impossible to say which vehicle struck the fatal blow.

Reynaga faced up to four well-deserved years in prison, even though the judge planned to sentence him to two.

But that changed when Rodriguez’ relatives urged him to show leniency — not because they felt sorry for Reynaga, but out of sympathy for his family, because they didn’t want them to suffer the loss of a loved one like they did.

Moved by their remarkable compassion, the judge ordered Reynaga released, while imposing $16,000 restitution to help pay for Rodriguez’ burial in Mexico, along with three years probation; if he violates probation, he could be sentenced to serve the full four years.

Let’s hope he justifies their kindness.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling and Ann for the heads-up.

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A homeless man faces 27 years in prison — yes, 27 — for stealing a specialized three-wheeled bicycle belonging to a Burbank boy suffering from cerebral palsy.

The $5000 tricycle was found on the side of a road in Silver Lake several days later after the alleged thief dumped it when media coverage made it too hard to sell.

So let’s get this straight.

A hit-and-run driver who left a man to die in the street gets off with a little more than a year in jail, while someone who stole a bike faces nearly three decades behind bars.

Even with the bike thief’s long list of priors, something is seriously wrong here.

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A California appeals court overturned the murder conviction of the substance abuse counselor who got loaded, got behind the wheel and smashed into a Torrance pedestrian so hard she knocked his pants off — then drove two miles with his underwear-clad body embedded in her windshield.

The court ruled that the jury might have been prejudiced because they were shown her entire rap sheet — including previous convictions for possession, prostitution and burglary.

At least they let her conviction for hit-and-run stand.

But the 55-years to life sentence she originally received is out the window, pending a likely retrial. Or more likely, a plea for a dramatically reduced sentence.

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This is what a distracted driver looks like on the road, as a cellphone-using SUV driver repeatedly drifts towards a bike lane before right crossing the rider.

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Local

More than 200 people ride for love and unity in Watts.

Assuming the Santa Monica city council says yes on Tuesday, the city’s Breeze bikeshare will expand outside the SaMo for the first time with five new stations in Venice.

Mark your calendar for the return of CICLE’s Tweed Ride in Pasadena on March 13th.

A writer for the San Gabriel Tribune calls a proposed Class 1 bike path on Garvey Ave in Rosemead a game changer because people are more likely to ride their bikes if they feel safe. And credits advocacy group Bike SGV for many of the bicycle improvements in the area.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is suing the city after suffering serious injuries when he hit a pothole so big it could be seen in a satellite view taken months before.

The Coyote’s Bicycle, a new book from a San Diego journalist, follows Central American migrants making their way illegally across the border by bicycle.

The feds aren’t the only ones having issues with Apple; bicyclists in Cupertino have suffered serious injuries on wet pavement at the construction site for the new Apple headquarters.

A San Francisco cab driver insists it’s okay for him to break traffic laws because he’s a professional and knows what he’s doing. So bike messengers, pro cyclists and delivery people should be able to break the law with abandon, right?

Sonoma County bicyclists hold a Tour de Trash, riding the back roads of Petaluma on Saturday to locate trash, then coming back in trucks on Sunday to remove it.

 

National

Country music star Clay Walker credits riding 25 to 40 miles a day with his band with helping him manage the effects of MS.

Truck side guards could save the lives of countless people on foot and bikes, but the federal government has failed to take action.

Austin TX agrees to stripe a bike lane by narrowing traffic lanes from a dangerously capacious 14 feet to a more realistic 11 feet — but only after a kid riding his bike on the sidewalk is hit by a car.

Not surprisingly, Arkansas cyclists would rather have a driver cross a double yellow line to pass than follow behind until they get to a passing lane. I agree; in my experience, drivers who follow behind a bike instead of passing usually do it too closely and impatiently.

When a carfree Little Rock AK man called police to report the bicycle he used as his only form of transportation had been stolen, the cop who responded promptly walked into a pawn shop, pulled out his own credit card and bought him a new one.

The Cincinnati paper says it’s time to embrace the bicycle and fully commit to bike-friendly infrastructure and education.

Tennessee proposes legislation forbidding funding bike and pedestrian projects with gas taxes. In that case, they should also prohibit general tax funds paid by bicyclists and pedestrians from being used for highway projects.

Evidently, they take drunk driving seriously in Pennsylvania, as a woman who killed a cyclist while driving under the influence gets up to 13 years behind bars.

DC is planning to trade traffic lanes for bike lanes in four key spots. Something that would probably lead to rioting in Los Angeles. Or endless attempts to undo it.

Four North Carolina cyclists were seriously injured when a driver tried to pass in an unsafe place, and cut over into them when she saw a car coming in the opposite direction. That’s the caveat in crossing the yellow line to pass a cyclist; the driver has to have enough sense to do it only when it’s safe.

 

International

A San Francisco travel writer rides through the heartland of Cuba.

A Newfoundland bike rider says once you go fat bike, you’ll never go back; the rider who just finished a Yukon dog sled race on one would probably agree.

Irish track cycling gold medalist Martyn Irvine talks about walking away from the sport after losing his love for riding.

Apparently, it’s open season on pro cyclists, as two riders for the Belgian Lotto team became just latest racers to be hit by a car while they were training in Spain; fortunately, their injuries seem to be limited to bruises and abrasions.

Nothing suspicious here. The former executive director of the Russian anti-doping agency was planning to write a tell-all book about the country’s doping program before his sudden and unexpected death. Let the probably well-founded conspiracy theories begin.

ESPN profiles the only woman on the Rwandan National Cycling Team.

The transportation minister for Australia’s New South Wales is standing firm on dramatically higher fines for bicyclists, despite fears that they will force people back into their cars; remarkably, the department insists the heavy-handed measures will actually encourage more people to ride.

Sounds familiar. When a Singaporean ad man lost his major client, he switched careers, becoming a cycling coach and setting up a new bike school. Which is sort of how this site was born, too. Although it wasn’t the dog that crapped on my best work, it was usually my clients.

A Malaysian bank funds a twice monthly two-hour ciclovía in Kuala Lumpur, including offering free loan of one hundred bicycles and ten tandems for the event.

 

Finally…

Who cares about a lousy separated bike lane when you could have valet parking for Saks? Seriously, train seats are for people, people, not bikes.

And always read the legal disclaimers warning about possible injury or death before you install a bike bell.

Yes, a bike bell.

 

Morning Links: Glendale bike rider attacked by SUV driver, and guilty plea in 100 mph Orange County DUI case

It’s happened again.

A woman riding her bike in Glendale is the latest bike rider to be the victim of an apparent intentional assault by the road raging driver of a motor vehicle.

The 29-year old woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding on San Fernando Road near Magnolia Ave around 4:40 pm last Friday when the driver of an SUV allegedly pulled up next to her and swerved into her bike, striking her ankle.

After the victim yelled that she’d been hit, the driver yelled something back and swerved into her again, nearly crushing the rider between the SUV and a parked car after she turned her bike to avoid getting hit.

Police arrested 53-year old Glendale resident Nazik Ghazarian on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon; she was taken into custody after another driver blocked her car while bystanders called police.

Meanwhile her legally blind husband, who was riding with her in the SUV, told police Ghazarian did nothing to “agitate” the cyclist.

The victim reported pain in her ankle, but declined treatment at the scene.

After all, who would get agitated over a little thing like multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon?

………

The OC Register reports 20-year old Dominic Devin Carratt faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the DUI death of cyclist Haitham Gamal as the victim was riding home from work in April, 2014.

In a horrifying detail that wasn’t reported at the time, Carratt was going over 100 mph when he slammed into Gamal’s bike; he had a BAC nearly twice the legal limit, despite being just 19-years old at the time of the wreck.

According to the paper, he pled to a long list of charges.

Carratt pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit causing bodily injury and he admitted a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

………

Pro cycling’s governing body considers testing team bikes before each race to prevent motor doping. They should also stop the practice of allowing riders to switch bikes mid-race, which is the easiest way to get, and hide, a tampered bike.

………

Local

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will consider a motion directing LADOT to report on the implementation of the bicycle infrastructure in the City at this afternoon’s meeting. Based on recent progress, that could be a very short report.

Several dozen protesters associated with T.R.U.S.T. South Los Angeles gathered on Central Ave to fight a proposal from Councilmember Curren Price to remove the street from the Mobility Plan. Someone should tell Price not to judge a bikeway by what he’d be comfortable using; not everyone is looking for a quiet place to ride with their grandkids.

The maker of Lucky Brand jeans offers their own private bikeshare system for employees of their offices in DTLA.

High-end British bikewear maker Rapha pops up on Abbot Kinney for the next two months.

Caltrans presents alternatives to replace the Trancas Creek bridge on PCH in the ‘Bu; both versions include a wider shoulder to make room for bikes and pedestrians.

A Pasadena bike rider is in serious condition after he was hit head-on by a driver who veered onto the wrong side of the road.

Temple City will select a final design for Las Tunas Road at the city council meeting on Thursday; make your voice heard to ensure they choose the safest option for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

A group of Olympic cyclists and hopefuls, including the great Kristin Armstrong, urged middle school students in El Cajon to believe in themselves. And have fun.

A Berkeley OpEd says the city needs to work to provide greater safety for bicyclists.

More bad news from Sacramento, as a second bike rider has been killed in a collision this week.

 

National

A Portland study says a good bikeway network helps riders avoid dirty air.

Las Vegas’ coming bikeshare system will be just part of a new transportation innovation district in the downtown area.

Wyoming considers creating a committee to study a network of bike and pedestrian paths crossing the state. Having crisscrossed the state many times, safe bikeways through the mountains and prairies of the state would be absolutely amazing; you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden with a herd of wild antelope running alongside you.

The Kentucky state senate approves a three-foot passing bill, including a provision allowing drivers to cross the center line to pass cyclists, even in no passing zones, similar to the one vetoed by Governor Brown a few years ago.

Residents of Hoboken would rather double park than make room for bike lanes.

Jimmy Fallen is one of us, as he cruises sans skid lid through the Hamptons on a $6,000 fat bike.

A Savannah GA writer credits recent bike lanes with the city’s jump in bike commuting rates, but fears they’ve reached peak bike with no more bikeways on the agenda.

 

International

Road.cc offers a roundup of a number of new bikes from top makers, including a Look time trial bike that would be perfect for your morning commute.

If you build it, they will come. A Toronto study shows bicycling is up 300% on one street since a separated bike lane was installed; 38% of those riders didn’t use the street before the bike lane was built.

An exceptionally compassionate Canadian family urges the court to sentence a hit-and-run driver to probation instead of jail for the death of a bike rider.

A candidate for mayor of London says bicycling in the city is quite safe, even though he won’t let his own teenage daughters do it.

Social media blows up when an English rail station operator suggests a traveler and his family should just leave their bikes at home.

Britain’s leading bike retailer is accused of sexism for saying a men’s bike is great for riding on pavement or trails, while the women’s version is good for visiting Auntie Doris.

A South African cyclist is visiting all 19 of the country’s national parks, riding over 3,700 miles in 80 days to raise funds for orphaned rhinos. Meanwhile, a Durban DJ learns the hard way not to make fun of fallen cyclists on Facebook.

A 24-year old Chinese man who once walked across the US is planning to bike from San Francisco to China on a pilgrimage to “explore the ecological and spiritual awakening in the 21st century and the cultural landscape and the political economy of the global village, through the lens of China’s interconnectedness with the world.” Oh, well if that’s all.

 

Finally…

Bashing people and cars is not the correct use for a cable bike lock; then again, neither is locking your bike with one for more than a few minutes. Seriously, don’t stab someone if you think he stole your bike; at least that’s better than how they treat bike thieves in Bali, though.

And British police appear to be looking for a maniacal bike-borne pedestrian pusher with multiple personalities.

 

Morning Links: Beach bike path closed, slap on wrist in Glendale hit-and-run, and six years for drunken OC driver

Last Sunday’s storm wreaked havoc on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path.

According to the LA County Department of Public Works, the winds drifted sand up to two feet deep on the path, resulting in its closure along Venice Beach, as well as from Ballona Creek south to Torrance Beach.

Work began on clearing the path on Tuesday, but it’s not expected to open until Friday. Just in time for what’s expected to be a warm and sunny weekend.

The Daily Breeze offers photos of riders trudging through the sand with their bikes.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A Glendale man gets just 360 days — less than a full year — after pleading no contest in the hit-and-run death of a four-year old girl.

A slap on the wrist for leaving a little girl to die in the street in front of her own family. If that.

And to top the outrage, the judge ordered his driver’s license suspended for just six months after his release.

Six whole months.

Never mind that he violated one of the most basic rules of driving, let alone human decency, by failing to stop at the scene of a collision and render aid as the law requires.

The law has to be changed. Now.

Let’s write our state representatives, and demand that any driver who leaves the scene of a collision should have his or her license automatically revoked. Not suspended.

And not for a limited period, but permanently.

Make them appear before a judge, after any sentence has been completed, to explain their actions and beg for the chance to apply for a new one.

………

There’s finally been justice in the case of fallen cyclist Matthew Liechty.

If you can call it that.

Michael Liechty reports that Antonio Magdaleno Jr. accepted a plea on Friday, nearly two years after he fled on three wheels from the DUI collision that killed Liechty’s brother while he was riding in a Newport Beach bike lane.

Magdaleno was originally charged with felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, fleeing the scene of a collision and hit-and-run with permanent and seriously injury; he had a BAC nearly two times the legal limit at the time of his arrest.

He received a six-year sentence after pleading to two felony counts, and was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his time behind bars. However, the DA handling the case reportedly said he can expect to serve just half that.

This is yet another case of California’s weak traffic laws allowing drivers back out on the streets after just a brief sentence, despite taking a human life with depraved indifference. And despite the best efforts of the Orange County DA’s office, which is one of the few in Southern California that actually takes traffic crimes seriously.

Liechty suggests that the law should be changed to mandate a charge of second degree murder for killing someone while driving under the influence.

I couldn’t agree more.

………

Make your reservations for March 1st, when Metro is hosting their 2016 Active Transportation Summit.

2016 Active Transportation Summit Flyer

………

Cyclelicious has created a real-time map of California bike collisions based on CHP dispatches. Which means that it includes reports that come into the CHP’s 911 dispatchers, but may not include those handled by local jurisdictions.

………

Once again, a cyclist celebrates prematurely, thinking he’s won the world U-23 ‘cross title even though there’s still a lap to go.

And the father and brother of that Dutch rider who figuratively gave the cycling world the bird by motor doping are charged with literally stealing a few.

………

Local

LAist explains why LA is a great city for bikeshare.

Tomorrow KPCC will feature the results of a rush hour race from Union Station to the Santa Monica pier by bike, transit and motor vehicle, to determine if the car is still king on the streets of LA. Here’s betting it isn’t.

A writer for the Daily Bruin calls for more dedicated bus — and bike — lanes prior to a possible 2024 LA Olympics, despite blowback from groups like the Westwood Neighborhood Council.

Facebook is expanding into new creative space in Playa Vista, complete with bike racks. Seriously? A development that large should be required to install a bike hub as part of the permitting process to encourage workers to leave their cars at home.

An OpEd in the Santa Monica Mirror says give the new Expo Line a chance. And put lights on your bike if you’ll be riding home from the station after dark.

A former bank building will be demolished to widen Newport Blvd in Newport Beach and make room to extend the bike lanes two blocks south to 32nd street.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition invites you to Ride Around Pomona this Saturday, and the first Saturday of every month.

 

State

Cyclists and government officials met with officials from Miramar to discuss why the Marines are confiscating bikes from trespassing riders. The official version is they don’t want you to get shot or blown up, and that warning signs on the trails get torn down as soon as they go up.

Someone stole a $2,000, three-wheeled pedicab from a Vietnamese community group in San Diego, who consider it a priceless cultural artwork.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A San Francisco woman planted herself in front of a van after a road rage assault, refusing to move until the police showed up. But all the police did was ticket the driver for violating the three-foot passing law, and ignored the threats and assault from the car’s passenger, who bravely ran away before the cops came.

A Berkeley bicyclist is in critical condition after being hit and dragged by a car.

A city planning consultant presents a bold vision for Oakland, suggesting it tear down a freeway that represents a “great gash” through the city, and replace it with a grand boulevard for walkers, cyclists and cars. Maybe someday we’ll see that kind of thinking here.

 

National

A Denver driver faces up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty for the DUI death of a cyclist; he was two and a half times the legal alcohol limit when he crossed the double yellow line to pass at least two cars on a blind curve, hitting the 38-year old father head-on.

A Cincinnati cyclist says the city needs to take its bike plan off the shelf and stop treating bicycle safety like a line item in the budget.

Unlike LA, where too many neighborhood groups fight bike lanes tooth and nail, a New York community board approves taking away a traffic lane to install a protected bike lane on Amsterdam Ave; Streetsblog explains why arguments against it don’t hold up.

Philadelphia gets its first Complete Streets Commissioner.

Sounds like fun. Washington DC plans a massive 17-mile ride around the city’s many monuments this May.

A former New Orleans police recruit is charged with second degree murder for firing his gun six times as he chased a bike thief down the street, eventually shooting him in the back of the head; his lawyer says he somehow felt threatened by the man who ran away after attempting to take his bike. Listen, I hate bike thieves as much as anyone, but seriously, don’t kill them.

 

International

Caught on video: A rear view camera catches a driver speeding up to deliberately run down a cyclist before fleeing the scene; despite clear video evidence, the authorities declined to prosecute, saying they can’t prove who was behind the wheel.

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill takes to the snow.

Afghanistan’s women cycling federation has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. You know it sucks in a country when just having the courage to ride a bike is enough to win international recognition.

After his son was killed when he hit a pothole while riding a bike, a Mumbai man takes it upon himself to fill potholes on the city’s streets. And yes, it was probably a motorbike, but that doesn’t lessen what the father is doing to keep it from happening to anyone else.

A writer says Malta is dangerously trapped in the auto-centric ‘50s, instead of emulating other cities where bicycling is as natural as walking.

 

Finally…

Some of our bike lanes may be useless, but at least they’re more than six feet long. People find lots of things while riding their bikes; like a human skull, for instance.

And now you can pedal away the pounds with your very own sitNcycle for just $19.95, including shipping and handling.

No, really.

………

One last note.

When I announced the winner of our bike contest giveaway, I lamented that we only had one bike to give away, despite two very deserving people.

So I’m happy to report that a very generous anonymous donor has volunteered to buy a bicycle for the second place finisher, and that she’s in the process of picking out her new bike.

Which makes this a win/win in the best possible sense.

 

Morning Links: Improving bike safety on Bouquet Canyon, less liability on bike paths, and doping gets mechanical

Anyone who has ridden Bouquet Canyon through the Santa Clarita Valley — or driven it, for that matter — knows it’s a fun ride, but far from safe.

Especially at the speed too many drivers take it.

Following the death of a teenage motorist on the roadway last month, the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition has written an open letter to LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich urging safety improvements on Bouquet Canyon Road. Especially in light of its inclusion as a Class III bike route in the new county bike plan.

Their suggestions include better signage warning drivers of the possible presence of bicyclists, reducing the speed limit, and installing a rideable shoulder the full length of the road.

You can read the full letter here.

Let’s hope Antonovich does, too. Then actually does something about it.

And no, it’s not just drivers who have lost their lives there.

………

A California appeals court strengthens the concept of trail immunity, which holds that land owners and government bodies aren’t responsible for dangerous conditions on trails used for recreational purposes, including bike paths.

In Teresa Burgueno, et al. v. The Regents of the University of California, the 6th Court of Appeal ruled that bike paths that are used for both recreational and transportation riding are still considered recreational trails under the law.

Which means that if you’re injured due to dangerous condition on an off-road bike path, you can’t hold anyone legally responsible for your injuries. Even if they knew about it in advance, and failed to do anything about it.

And even if it’s used by people riding to school or work, in addition to people riding for fitness or enjoyment.

………

Caught on video: There is something seriously wrong with a driver who’d back up just to run a group of cyclists off the road; the incident occurred near Perth, Australia.

And yes, it’s been reported to the police.

………

After years of rumors, there’s finally been a confirmed case of motor doping.

A Dutch rider competing in the women’s Under 23 Cyclocross Worlds was forced to withdraw after race authorities found an electric motor hidden inside her bike.

Naturally, she claims it wasn’t her bike and she knew nothing about it.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay calls it perhaps the goofiest scandal ever, while Bike Hugger accuses the cycling world of a Motor Omertà.

………

Local

A bike rider in his 40s had to be rescued from rising waters in the LA River near Fourth Street due to Sunday’s rain. Which should serve as a reminder to avoid rivers and streams during and after a heavy rain, even if the path isn’t closed. And seriously, don’t go around the gate if it is.

You have just over a week to legally walk your bike across the Mariposa Street Bridge over the LA River; at the urging of horse riders, Burbank is scheduled to vote on the 9th to ban the mere possession of a bike on the bridge. Hopefully, they’ll listen to the Burbank Leader, which says they got it wrong.

Now here’s a good cause. The East Side Riders Bike Club has started a gofundme account to get a mobile bike shop. Their goal is to get kids hooked on bicycling, instead of something more dangerous.

 

State

A Highland man has his bike stolen after fleeing a man with a gun following an altercation.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a bike from a legally blind former Marine in Eureka; prior to the theft, he was still able to ride using his peripheral vision.

 

National

A new study has shown what many of us already know. Riding harder doesn’t necessarily mean burning more calories or losing more weight, since metabolism tends to plateau at a certain level.

A Seattle writer places the blame for the failure of the city’s bikeshare system on a disconnected bike lane network, a lack of stations in popular places, and their bike helmet requirement.

Portland has now made protected lanes the default design for bike lanes; if city engineers recommend an unprotected lane, they have to be able to justify it.

Who knew sharrows were born in the Mile High City? No offense to my home state, but in most cases, they can keep them.

A Texas jury awards a cyclist injured by a distracted driver over $850,000, even without a finding of gross negligence. The victim and his wife hope this will inspire change in the state; remarkably, Texas still has not banned hand-held cell phone use while driving. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

This is why you don’t chase after bike thieves. After an Ohio woman tries to use her car to chase down the man stealing her bike, he steals her car. And runs over her with it.

Any film or journalism school graduates want to move to PA? Bicycling Magazine is looking for a video producer.

Once again, a bicyclist rides to the rescue, as a Florida man rolls his truck and an anonymous man on a bike helps pull him and his brother to safety.

 

International

Evidently, drivers are no better in Canada than they are here. And it’s about time someone pointed out it’s often the people behind the wheel who act entitled, rather than those on two wheels.

A Brit Olympic legend says scandal-plagued international athletics should follow cycling’s anti-doping example. Like placing tiny motors in runners’ shoes and springs in the vaulting poles, perhaps?

A Philippine filmmaker worries that her new movie, which promotes a love of biking, fitness and nature, may put riders at risk by encouraging them to take to the country’s streets.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me: Don’t ride drunk with nearly two ounces on dope in your backpack. How about a rousing game of match the celebrity to the bike?

And that’s what I call a cargo bike. At least, China’s People’s Daily swears there’s a tricycle under there somewhere.

……..

Come back later today, when we’ll announce the winner of our first-ever bicycle giveaway, courtesy of Beachbikes.net.

 

Morning Links: Glendale driver brake-checks cyclists; Newport Beach legal settlement could fix deadly intersection

In case you haven’t seen it already, the big story of the day was a driver assaulting two cyclists riding in Glendale.

CiclaValley broke the story, reporting that the incident happened sometime last week as friends of his were riding on Chevy Chase Drive.

In the video, you can clearly hear an impatient driver honking from behind as the cyclists ride just outside the door zone, even though the bike computer visible at the bottom of the screen appears to show they’re traveling at 27 mph.

The driver then buzzes them at an unsafe distance, in clear violation of the three-foot passing law, before slamming on his brakes and brake-checking the riders, nearly forcing one off the road while the other has to swerve dangerously out into traffic to avoid rear-ending the car.

Yet even though this is an obvious case of assault with a deadly weapon — in fact, Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years for a similar incident — CiclaValley implies the Glendale police have been slow to act, at best.

Using a car in a violent manner should be no different under the law than if the driver had taken out a gun and shot at the riders. And should be taken just as seriously, especially since there’s video evidence of the assault.

The one problem with using video like this to press charges, according to officers at the last meeting of the LAPD bike liaisons, is that it’s difficult to prove who was behind the wheel.

Yet even that is not a factor here, since KNBC-4 tracked down the driver, who freely admits he was the driver in the video.

According to his version of events, he honked as he passed — for reasons he failed to explain, just as he failed to explain the apparent punishment pass — then slammed on his brakes after he heard something hit his car, suggesting that one of the riders hit it as he passed.

Yet the video clearly shows that never happened.

There’s no sound of a smack against a car, which should have been clearly audible. And there’s no wobble of the bike, which would have been inevitable if the rider had reached out and hit a hard object as it zoomed by.

The unidentified man, who says he’s a former cyclist himself, portrays himself as the victim in this incident, and says he was just trying to get away from those scary men who were attacking him.

Even though he was the one who honked for no apparent reason. And he was the one who passed dangerously close, even though he was legally required to be well out of their reach. And he was the one who slammed on his brakes directly in front of the two bike riders.

KNBC is no doubt patting themselves on the back for tracking the driver down and getting an exclusive interview with him. But they should be hanging their heads in shame for failing to confront him about the obvious holes in his story, accepting at face value an excuse that is both implausible and demonstratively false.

As should the Glendale police for failing to take action to protect people who are using the streets in a safe and legal manner.

They will most likely claim this is a case of he said/she said, and try to wash their hands of the matter.

But the evidence is right there on the video. All they have to do is look at it.

This just in: CiclaValley breaks down the driver’s statement in great detail, and doesn’t find a lot of truth to it. Or any, for that matter.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

………

After the authorities refused to press charges, Philadelphia bicyclist posted video of a confrontation with a road raging hearse driver who hit him with the van’s mirror, and threatened him for the crime of kicking over a traffic cone.

………

Most legal settlements involving cyclists include a payment to the victim to help recover his or her loses.

It’s not often one tries to keep it from happening again.

Torrance law firm AgnewBrusavich announced a settlement with Caltrans and the City of Newport Beach over the death of 58-year old cyclist Debra Deem in 2013.

According to the settlement, Caltrans will pay $450,000, while Newport Beach will kick in another $225,000. But more importantly, both agreed to help fix the deadly intersection where it happened.

Deem had been riding north on PCH in Newport Beach around 4:30 pm on August 27th when she approached the intersection at Newport Coast Drive, where a freeway-style exit lane allows drivers to turn right without slowing down, and forces riders to cross high-speed traffic in order to go straight.

She was hit from behind by an 84-year old driver exiting PCH, and died the next day.

According to the lawsuit, Newport Beach was well aware of the dangers to cyclists at that intersection; in fact, a 2009 Bike Safety Task Force identified it as the intersection most in need of safety improvements.

Now that may finally happen.

The settlement negotiated by attorney Bruce Brusavich requires the city to cooperate with traffic safety experts selected by him and Deem’s husband, Cycle Werks owner Paul Deem, to design improvements to the intersection. And Caltrans will be legally required to consider those improvements in good faith.

Though evidently, not required to implement them.

It’s too late to help Debra Deem. But maybe this settlement can keep it from happening to someone else.

………

More bad news from the world of bike racing, as Claudio Clarindo, the world’s 12th ranked ultra-distance cyclist, was killed in a collision while training in Brazil, and his riding partner severely injured. Clarindo was a five-time finisher in the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

……..

Local

Continuing the theme of angry drivers, a Santa Monica cyclist encounters a driver who apparently wasn’t pleased with where he was riding. Maybe the fumes from that Porter Ranch gas leak is making drivers crazy; twice in the last week I’ve had drivers get out of their cars to physically threaten me while I’ve been walking.

LACBC board member and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass explains the new state laws affecting bike riders.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with bike advocate Wes Reutimann, executive director of Bike SGV, about the proposed bike park at the former Puente Hills Landfill; you can sign the petition to support it here.

 

State

California is finally getting rid of the outdated LOS (Level of Service) requirement for environmental rules; the previous rules meant that removing bike lanes didn’t require an environmental review, while installing them often did.

The inventor of the cardboard-based Kranium bike helmet is suing a consortium of investors in San Diego, alleging they lied about contacts with retailers and failed to pay what they promised.

A new $5 million development in San Diego’s Imperial Beach will cater to bike riders and pedestrians with cafes, a bike shop and water station.

Police in El Centro say they don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant to look for a bike tourist’s stolen bike, even though they tracked the bike’s GPS to a house; when no one answered the door, they apparently gave up. Seriously, you’d think a GPS reading saying the bike was inside would be enough for a search warrant, but what the hell do I know.

 

National

The City Metric website asks if road diets are the next big thing for American cities, then suggests car culture may be too deeply entrenched for that to happen.

Vancouver WA gets its first green lanes.

A proposed Nebraska bill would repeal the state’s outdated must-use law requiring cyclists to use a bike path if one runs parallel to the roadway, although it may have a difficult time moving forward in the legislature.

A Dallas writer says cyclists and runners need to work together to make roads safer in the face of their common enemy, the motorist.

Nice program from a Connecticut school, allowing students to earn credit towards buying a refurbished bicycle, as well as establishing a bike club and teaching them to fix bikes.

A New York study shows that split-phase traffic signals that allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross an intersection before motor vehicles are twice as effective in reducing injuries as the more common mixing zones that send everyone through at once.

 

International

C is for Coffee, D is for Drafting, as Cycling Weekly offers the A to Z of bike riding.

A British letter writer complains about bicyclists blocking the sidewalk by chaining their bikes to posts and railings. If bike riders are locking their bikes up wherever they can, maybe it’s a sign that there’s not enough safe bike parking in the area.

If you can afford an electric car, you can now silently sneak up on cyclists in British bus lanes, where bike riders previously only had to contend with noisy buses and cabs.

Drivers usually get a slap on the wrist for killing a bicyclist; a UK German Shepard just won a three-year battle to overturn his death sentence for biting one.

Cyclelicious looks at a crowdsourced, lock-free bike parking solution in Latvia. And one that could easily work here.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an 18-speed front wheel drive, although pedaling while turning may be just a tad awkward. Getting out on your bike could improve your sex life.

And screw OKCupid and Tinder; all you need to find true love is Strava.

 

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