Archive for Violence & Crime

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: 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.

………

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.

………

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: 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: Van Nuys bike rage leads to murder and car theft, Guidroz gets ten years, and a sidesaddle Sagan

Horrifying story of an apparent road rage murder in Van Nuys.

According to the Daily News, the whole thing started when a bike rider hit a car’s windshield after the driver honked at him Sunday night. The driver responded by getting out of his car, only to get punched by the bicyclist, who then got into the other man’s car and drove off, as a passenger bailed out the right side.

When the driver tried to grab the door of the car as the bike rider was driving away, the rider responded by ramming the driver’s side of the car into parked cars, forcing him to let go.

The victim was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

The suspect was last seen driving away on Sepulveda Blvd in the victim’s car. He’s described as a Hispanic male approximately 20 to 30 years old, around 5’11” and between 140 and 160 pounds, wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

Anyone with information is urged to call Valley Bureau Homicide Detective Steve Castro at 818/374-1925.

………

As expected, Lucas James Guidroz was sentenced to ten years after pleading guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run resulting in death in the May death of math teacher, music director and musician Rod Bennett as he rode his bike on Placerita Canyon in Santa Clarita.

Guidroz apologized before the sentence was announced, saying he’d take it back in a heartbeat if he could.

The problem with remorse is it always comes too damn late.

………

Caught on video: Peter Sagan rides sidesaddle.

I used to do that all the time to make my patented flying dismount, before switching to cleats made sticking the landing a tad problematic; the real trick is to pedal from that position.

………

Local

UCLA is gearing up for the sixth annual Bike (Re)cycling Day this Sunday, when students, staff and faculty can claim abandoned bikes and parts.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce calls for moving the planned Union Street two-way cycle track to the north side of the street to avoid conflicts with businesses on the south side.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is offering 20% rentals to help you cast your vote this election day.

A member of the Big Orange Cycling club suffered head, rib and back injuries when she was rear-ended in Rancho Palos Verdes on Sunday; witnesses report her shoes were still clipped into her pedals following the crash.

 

State

A Laguna Beach newspaper remembers surfer and sailor Jack Meehan, a local resident killed while riding his bike in Santa Cruz last month.

A competitive cyclist is calling for safety improvements, including narrowing the 14-foot wide traffic lanes, after he was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding in an Encinitas bike lane last August.

A lightless San Diego bicyclist suffered a broken leg when he allegedly rode through a stop sign and into the path of an oncoming car.

Someone at UC Santa Barbara is apparently going after a Masters in sarcasm, reporting that the university has decided to turn the entire campus into a bike lane.

Authorities are looking for the bicycle a young man was riding before he was found buried in a shallow grave on the Sonoma State University campus.

 

National

Bloomberg notes that bike lane networks can even improve the health of people who don’t ride, and are more cost-effective than the majority of preventive health measures. However, that’s actual networks, not a few disconnected lanes like we have in Los Angeles.

Seattle dropped speed limits on over 2,400 miles of city streets in order to improve safety. Which is exactly what LA needs to do, but probably can’t due to the outdated and deadly 85% law.

Denver’s bikeshare system is free today only to encourage people to ride to their polling place.

A Minnesota writer says a ghost bike is a beautiful sentiment, but the best way to honor fallen riders would be to actually improve safety.

The driver responsible for the Kalamazoo massacre last June has been ordered to stand trial for the allegedly drug-fueled crash that killed five cyclists and injured four more; he faces up to life in prison if convicted on any of the five second-degree murder counts.

Durham NC installs green bike lanes through an intersection in a continuing effort to improve safety on a notoriously dangerous street.

A non-driving Atlanta writer tells drivers to just calm down, while noting the irrational anger many motorists exhibit when a bicyclist breaks the law, even though they don’t obey traffic laws, either.

An Alabama letter writer complains about “unsightly” Share the Road signs that he insists are for the benefit of outsiders, since no one he knows rides a bike.

 

International

The victims of a British Columbia crash were all members of a club that raises funds for the local Parkinson’s Society; one rider was killed and two others seriously injured when a driver plowed into the six riders.

Nice piece from London Cyclist discussing five things cyclists should learn to love, from Bromptons and ebikes to airbag helmets and yes, drivers.

A UK cycling magazine discusses the need to look after your heart, noting that heart disease can affect anyone, even if you’re great shape. Seriously, take a few minutes to read this one; it could save your life some day. But remember, the symptoms of a heart attack can be different for women.

Caught on video too: The Sun insists hundreds of wheelie-popping London teens caused mayhem by riding through red lights and weaving through cars while on a ride to raise awareness for a cancer victim. Yes, they rode recklessly, but it’s quire a reach to describe the minimal disruption they appear to have caused as mayhem.

For the first time, there are more bikes than cars in Copenhagen’s city center.

Bicycling is once again becoming cool in China.

 

Finally…

Seriously, if another rider stops to help you after a fall, don’t repay him by whacking him with your bike. When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a park.

And we should know later today if Donald Trump’s candidacy will grab the yellow jersey or go the way of his ill-fated bike race, while the one he tried to sue to stop is still going strong.

Now go vote already.

Morning Links: Road rage assault in San Diego County, and LAPD looking for shooter of Echo Park bike rider

Come back later today when we’ll have a guest post from Mr. CiclaValley himself as he talks with Toluca Lake resident and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about next weekend’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

San Diego’s 10News reports a road raging driver intentionally knocked a local radio host off his bicycle as he was escorting a disabled cyclist on the Coast Highway in Carlsbad, just a few miles from the end of the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s 620-mile Million Dollar Challenge.

As the rider worked to make it up a small hill, an impatient driver began honking his horn, despite a support van warning cyclists were ahead. So KOGO host Bob “Sully” Sullivan rode back to explain that his riding partner was a paraplegic using a handcycle to get up the hill.

“‘We’ve gone 590 miles, give me 90 seconds, I’ll have him up and over this grade, you can be on your way,'” Sullivan said he told the man. “Completely agitated, he says to me, ‘I don’t care if it’s f-ing God up there. Get out of the f-ing road.'”

Sullivan said that’s when he stopped talking to the man and got back on his bike. The truck’s driver accelerated and hit Sullivan’s bike, causing him to fall to the roadway.

Yet despite the presence of an off-duty Carlsbad cop riding in the opposite direction, no charges have been filed.

“I think he needs to be arrested,” Sullivan said. “Somebody who purposely hits somebody on a bicycle using his car is either assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, at the very least shouldn’t be driving a car right now.”

Seriously.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

………

The LAPD is asking for the public’s help in finding the person who shot and killed a bike rider in Echo Park last week; 37-year old William Perea was hit with gunfire as he rode at Mohawk and Montana the night of October 17th.

………

LADOT says safety remains the top priority on the LA River bike path, as they remind both walkers and bike riders about the statutes governing the pathway and the need to share it safely, in the wake of a collision with a bicyclist that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

………

Equity is the common theme of the day.

Momentum Magazine looks at the nationwide movement to build greater equity in bicycling.

People for Bikes says the massive racial wealth gap is a major barrier to bicycle use, noting that a bike can’t save you money if you don’t have enough to buy one.

And Curbed looks at the speech given by the LACBC’s Tamika Butler that brought down the house at last month’s NACTO conference.

The LACBC deserves a lot of credit for starting this conversation, even before Butler came on board, with its outreach to lower income immigrant communities in the last decade. Along with notable presentations at the National Bike Summit that marked the bike coalition as a national leader on the subject.

………

Don’t forget to vote for LA Bike Trains and SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) for this year’s LA2050 challenge grants; voting ends tomorrow.

………

Local

KCET discovers the delicious marriage of bicycling and desserts that is Sweet Ride USA, with new episodes appearing online every Wednesday through November 16th.

KPCC discusses solutions to the first mile/last mile problem for transit users.

The Westwood Village Improvement Association discusses how to improve business and better serve the surrounding community. Oddly, making it safer to walk and bike there doesn’t seem to be an option, even though both would benefit the Village’s long suffering businesses.

Pasadena’s bikeshare system is expected to open next July as the Metro Bike system expands northward; the system is expected to have 400 bikes at 34 docking stations around the city.

The new and improved Agoura Road, complete with shiny new bike lanes, opens in Agoura Hills after a year of construction.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson recounts Tuesday’s civil obedience protest ride and lengthy council session in Palos Verdes Estates in his own inimitable style.

 

State

Hats off to OC’s Special Spokes and the San Clemente Rotary for providing special-needs kids with adaptive bicycles. With all the negativity this election year, it’s nice to see people working to make a real difference in kids lives.

A Clovis driver faces up to a year in jail for fatally rear-ending a bike rider last April.

An unidentified man was shot and killed as he rode his bike in Fresno Tuesday night; police are unsure if the shooting was gang-related.

 

National

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a bicycle on loan to a vet from Ride 2 Recovery so he could ride across the US with his dog, who’s suffering from terminal cancer. And in my hometown, no less.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about a new Close Call Database allowing bike riders to report punishment passes from angry motorists to establish a paper trail in case the driver does it again. Or worse.

A Texas rider says learn to ride safely and obey the law, or don’t ride at all.

A Maine newspaper says the technology for today’s carbon fiber bicycles got its start in the state with Aegis Bicycle, but the company couldn’t hold out against increasing competition and the demand for ever lighter frames.

New York tells cyclists and pedestrians to make themselves more visible, and drivers to pay more attention, in advance of the end of daylight savings time next month. Meanwhile, a new proposal would allow bike riders to get a head start at traffic signals by going with the walk signal for the leading pedestrian interval.

Who was that masked man? A Bronx bike rider is a hero after retrieving a woman’s stolen purse, then riding off before she could thank him. No word on whether he left a silver bike chainlink behind.

Philadelphia police arrested a 17-year old boy in the shooting of a Good Samaritan who got off his bicycle to try to stop an armed robbery; he faces charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Bikes and dogs are now officially banned from Arlington National Cemetery.

A Charleston writer says the city deserves the distinction of being called America’s worst city for bicycling.

 

International

You know Calgary has a lot of bike riders when the city’s bike counter gets maxed out with 68 days still left in the year.

Ella Cycling Tips offers advice on how to recover mentally from a bicycling crash.

Life is cheap in Belize, where champion cyclist Marlon Castillo is fined just $13,000 for the careless driving collision that killed his friend.

Ottawa police release a new PSA campaign explaining how to use and drive around the city’s new bike box and bi-directional bike lanes.

Caught on video: A British cabbie clips a cyclist with his mirror, then launches into a foul-mouthed temper tantrum claiming the rider somehow hit him. And yet some actually question who was in the right.

Tom Cruise is one of us, as he reportedly rides through the English countryside with his new girlfriend.

A Brit cyclist born with just one arm is raising funds to buy a prosthetic arm so he can compete in the Paralympic Games; a Go Fund Me account has raised a little more than half of the £7,500 goal, the equivalent of $9157.

A nine-year old cyclist may be a better climber than most of us, topping Italy’s famed Mt. Ventoux and Stelvio climbs in under 48 hours.

An Aussie writer says Sydney needs to focus less on fining bike riders and more on building some decent infrastructure for them.

A German cyclist survives a night in the snake and crocodile-infested Australian wilds after taking a header over his handlebars and dislocating is shoulder.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a bicycle to make your getaway after stealing a bag-full of booze, try not to ride into a lamppost. Why settle for a mere sag wagon when you can have your very own bike butler?

And in LA we have police chases; in London, it’s investment bankers biking away from bobbies.

 

Morning Links: Study shows bike helmets work, every lane is a car lane, and possible knifepoint bike jacking

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

………

Yet another shot has been fired in the contentious helmet wars.

An Australian meta-analysis study finds that bike helmets reduce the risk of suffering a head injury by 50%, a serious head injury 69%, and the risk of a fatal head injury by 65%, without increasing the risk of neck injuries.

However, it seems like quite a stretch to suggest that other studies, which have not found helmets as effective, or that suggest they could cause neck or diffuse axonal brain injuries, are “crazy” junk science.

Or that there is some undefined “silent majority” that wants helmet laws, and only a “small and vocal minority group” oppose them.

And lets not forget that, effective or not, bike helmets should be considered a last resort when all else fails. It’s far better to avoid crashes than to count on your helmet to save you.

Meanwhile, Bike Radar looks at how to identify a concussion and what to do about it.

………

CiclaValley posts a bike cam video proving, contrary to Metro’s message, that every lane is a car lane.

………

I’ve received an unconfirmed report that a mountain biker had his bike stolen at knifepoint on the popular Fullerton Loop in the City of Fullerton on Monday evening, on the bridge where the train tracks and the trail cross under Harbor Boulevard.

Whether or not that turns out to be accurate, it’s a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings, and to take extra caution when riding through dark areas or when out of public view.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

………

Marvin Davis sends word of the upcoming 2016 Revolution Bike Fest at Orange County’s Irvine Lake November 4th through 6th.

The event is being held at Irvine Lake in the OC. There are several excellent rail accessible bicycle routes that lead to the bike fest. The Serrano Creek trail provides a dirt path through Lake Forest to MTB trails in Whiting Ranch, the Aliso trail provides both paved and dirt trails and there is also a mostly dirt route from San Juan Capistrano. The AMTRAK/MetroLink stations in both Irvine and San Juan Capistrano and also the MetroLink station in Laguna Niguel provide pretty good access to these routes. AMTRAK Pacific Surfliner requires advance reservation (impossible to get on weekends) for bicycles and allows only 6 bikes per train. No reservation required for MetroLink and no specified limit to number of bikes. Or for the more vigorous, just roll from home.

……….

Local

LADOT released their 2015-16 annual report, including discussions of bikeshare and Vision Zero; the report cites 1,190 miles of bikeways on the city’s 7,500 miles of streets. However, that includes nearly 300 miles of sharrows and bike routes that are of little benefit. And those totals reflect lane miles, which count each direction separately, rather than both directions on a single street as one mile.

LA councilmembers blame distracted drivers — and pedestrians — for traffic fatalities in a debate over whether to accept a half-million dollar grant to promote Vision Zero. CD1 CM Gil Cedillo points the finger at pedestrians wearing headphones and texting in crosswalks, even though those weren’t factors in any of the recent deaths in his district.

A nutritionist writing for the Daily News recommends commuting by bicycling, walking or taking transit, or at least getting out to ride or walk if you have to drive to work.

Kurt Russell used to be one of us; he tells GQ he went into acting as a child star so he could buy bicycles for his sister and himself.

 

State

Sad news from Forestville, as a cyclist was killed after he allegedly clipped a tractor-trailer while splitting lanes and weaving through traffic. He was the second bike rider killed in the Bay Area in 14 hours; another man was killed while riding in Fairfield Tuesday night.

The Department of DIY strikes again in San Francisco, as a group called SFMTrA is marking their own protected bike lanes with orange cones.

A writer for the Sacramento Bee calls a route out of Foresthill one of the best cycling rides in the country, and the best you’ve never done.

 

National

The long legal battle over New York’s Prospect Park West bike lanes is finally over, as wealthy opponents finally drop their legal battle after five needlessly long years.

Both people were seriously injured when New Jersey bicyclist crashed into a 16-year old boy as he was crossing the road. One more reminder to always ride carefully around pedestrians, who can be every bit as unpredictable as motorists accuse cyclists of being.

A Pittsburg area cyclist is back on his bike, despite being prohibited from riding as he awaits trial on eight criminal charges for riding in the middle of the traffic lane and harassing drivers who try to pass.

Moving piece from a woman in North Carolina, who finished the bike tour her partner had registered for before passing away unexpectedly, and credits training for the ride with saving her life.

A 28-year old Florida woman broke the 78-year old women’s mile record in just four months, averaging over 200 miles a day; a former U-23 racer, she got back on her bike after overcoming both a hole in her heart and a collision that left her with a broken back and a brain injury.

 

International

London cyclists get the blame for putting deer at risk by discarding their empty gel packs while racing in the city’s Richmond Park.

A British bike advocate calls for stronger laws against scofflaw cyclists after she was knocked out in a collision with a sidewalk rider. Seriously, pedestrians should always be given the right-of way on any sidewalk, where it may or may not be legal to ride. And you’re usually safer on the street, anyway.

Sweden slashes taxes on repairs of bicycles and other products in an attempt to encourage re-use and bring an end to today’s throw-away society.

A writer for an Aussie paper gets it, saying driving is a privilege and not a right, and that many older drivers are a danger to themselves and others, and shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying heroin in your wallet and have outstanding warrants for drug possession, don’t ride salmon. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about pythons on the side of the road.

And don’t be like this Austin TX councilmember’s alter ego and use bike lanes to get to work.

No, really.

Richard Mason notes that the councilman is a member of the local Tea Party, and once lectured a group of Hispanic Boy Scouts visiting the council about getting jobs and not relying on government handouts.

 

Morning Links: Arrest made in LA River Bike Path shooting, and Los Angeles ranked 24th best bike city in US

My apologies. We haven’t been able to correct the problem with email notifications yet. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, rest assured we’re working on it.

And just keep coming back each day until we get it corrected.

………

An arrest has been made in the shooting of two men on the LA River Bike Path in Elysian Valley earlier this month.

Nineteen-year-old David Umana was taken into custody this past Thursday for the incident, which began when he allegedly tried to steal the bikes belonging to the victims, who were riding with their wives.

Despite earlier suspicion of gang involvement, Umana does not appear to have gang ties. No word on whether police have identified his alleged accomplice.

……….

Bicycling Magazine is out with their latest biennial ranking of America’s 50 best bike cities; Chicago ranks number one, with San Francisco placing second.

Crain’s says the Windy City may be number one, but it’s a long way from perfect.

My hometown ranks 12th, as part of a bike friendly Colorado triumvirate with Denver and Boulder at 11 and 10, respectively.

Surprisingly, Los Angeles checks in at 24, seemingly more out of respect for what it could be than what it currently is; meanwhile, Long Beach inexplicably follows four points lower at 28, while Santa Monica didn’t even make the list.

It’s hard to imagine anyone who has actually ridden those three cities agreeing with that.

Thousand Oaks just makes the cut at 49.

……….

Local

Work is finally set to begin on the MyFigueroa project this October; the Complete Streets project will feature protected bike lanes linking USC with Downtown.

An LAX bike cop is credited with working with another officer to save the life of a suicidal Korean man.

CiclaValley offers his fall cycling preview.

It’s a well-deserved life without parole for a Pomona man who was captured on his bicycle after cutting out his girlfriend’s lung and heart.

LA County Sheriff’s officials have identified the deputy who shot an unarmed, homeless bicycle rider in Castaic last month.

Zac Efron is one of us, as are a handful of other stars who competed in Sunday’s Malibu Tri.

Santa Monica is encouraging everyone who lives or works in the city to go carfree on October 7th.

 

State

Tragic news from Orange County, as a 15-year old Anaheim boy is in a medically induced coma in critical condition after he was hit from behind by an erratic driver who fled the scene; the victim was riding in a bike lane and reportedly doing everything right when he was struck.

The Bay Area’s BART train system says your U-lock may not be that secure after all.

Plans have been approved to add a 10-foot bidirectional bike and pedestrian lane to the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

 

National

The LA Times asks if Oahu’s Honolulu Century Ride is the best bicycle workout ever.

When St. Paul MN trades parking for bike lanes, a student complains that she might have to get a bike because parking is too hard to find. Which is kind of the point, yes.

Kalamazoo MI votes to give bicyclists a five foot passing distance. Which is meaningless unless it’s actually enforced.

A St. Louis student says she feels like Mufasa from the Lion King, as she succumbs to a wildebeest-like herd of swarming bicyclists as she makes her way across campus.

Great piece from Brooklyn Spoke, who says it’s hard to see Vision Zero when you’re looking through a windshield.

A New Orleans man is suing the phone company alleging that a low hanging phone line caused him to fall off his bike. Wait. They still use land lines in the Big Easy?

 

International

The Financial Times says cycling really is the new golf, but ride with a diverse group because nobody wants groupthink.

A London writer says an ebike helped her overcome her fear of riding in the city, without breaking a sweat.

Britain’s bicycling countess sets off on her 450-mile castle-to-castle ride, saying she’s terrified, as father-in-law Prince Phillip — aka Queen Elizabeth’s husband — calls her mad. No, seriously.

Caught on video: A British driver illegally uses his handheld phone to record cyclists riding legally.

Shades of Coronado. A UK mayor says putting bike lanes on a historic walkway would be vandalism.

This is why people continue to die on the streets. An 83-year old Australian man killed a cyclist after he was allowed to keep driving despite failing two driving tests following a stroke.

Evidently, a cable tie a day does not, in fact, keep Aussie Magpies away.

Bikeshare is becoming more popular in Seoul, Korea, with 100,000 members and no serious wrecks.

 

Finally…

Apparently, swallowing up a bicycle is enough to get on the shortlist for tree of the year. Bicycling may not cause erectile dysfunction, but it can give you a numb vagina.

And why count sheep when you can use your bike to chase them?

 

Morning Links: Arrest made in beating of Beverly Hills doctor, and more on bike lanes removed from Mobility Plan

They got one of them, anyway.

KABC-7 reports a 19-year old Whittier man has been arrested for allegedly pistol whipping a prominent Beverly Hills doctor after demanding $150 dollars, and claiming he had somehow damaged his bicycle.

Jerome Ingram was booked on charges of attempted robbery, battery, assault, and false imprisonment by violence.

No word on whether police are closing in on the woman and another man suspected of involvement in the attack.

The Hollywood Reporter offers the definitive story on the assault.

………

Both KPCC and Curbed report on last week’s city council vote to removed Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan, shunting riders off onto problematic side streets.

The best way to guarantee the failure of any bikeway is to put it where others want people ride, instead of where the people on bikes want to.

Or already do.

……….

You’re invited to ride with East LA’s own four-time national road race champ “Fast Freddie” Rodriguez in the free Powered by Pink Taco Event this Sunday; Compton’s national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati will be there as well, along with LA native Justin Williams, a two-time national champ.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

………

Cycling Weekly offers five things they learned from this year’s Vuelta a España.

………

Local

A great Op-Ed in the Times says traffic crashes disproportionately affect people walking or biking, and LA can no longer afford to prioritize the movement of vehicles at the expense of safety.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a return of their popular Ice Cream Ride on the 24th.

CicLAvia is hosting a Play Day in LA this Saturday to raise funds for the city’s iconic open streets event.

 

State

A bike riding San Francisco mugger grabbed a woman by the hair and dragged her before riding off with her cellphone and ID.

Streetsblog asks if San Francisco cyclists are guilty until proven innocent, after a bike rider is blamed for the crash that left him seriously injured, based strictly on the testimony of the motorists that hit him, even though that would have been physically impossible. In other words, just like cyclists everywhere else.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco is about to get still more protected bike lanes; meanwhile, Calbike reminds cities that protected lanes are not only legal, but actually encouraged.

 

National

Business Insider looks at 13 “amazing” bike accessories it says will make your ride smarter and safer. Amazing being a relative term, of course.

A Las Vegas cyclist was the victim of a drunk driver, even though he was riding on the sidewalk when the driver jumped the curb, fatally striking him before crashing through a wall and fleeing the scene on foot; the driver was taken into custody at his home, still showing signs of impairment.

Inspirational story, as a Denver lawyer has walked or biked up 58 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot high mountains and 47 peaks over 13,800 feet, as well as riding or walking from one climb to the next — despite being told as a teenager his severe asthma would confine him to an oxygen tank by the time he was 30.

A Chicago protected bike lane has helped improve the appeal of surrounding neighborhoods, leading to new construction that blocks the bike lane.

Chicago’s Streetsblog responds to the latest anti-bike diatribe from a Tribune columnist.

A Kentucky driver says the sun was in her eyes after plowing into five cyclists; fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

New York sets a new record by building 18 miles of fully protected bike lanes, beating the city’s goal of 15 miles.

The best part of the Wall Street Journal’s story about a 57-year old female bodybuilder who balances working out in the ring with long distance bike rides is the headline.

Actor Damian Lewis is one of us, as he rides his mountain bike through the streets of Gotham.

No bias here. A black Brooklyn bike rider says the road raging passenger of a passing car called him a racial slur and spat on him, before he was intentionally doored by the driver after catching up to the car, then repeatedly punched and his bike run over. Yet somehow he was the one who spent a night in jail.

Atlanta is building a 22 mile rail-to-trail bike and pedestrian beltline around the city.

 

International

The head of a Canadian truck association says trucks are bigger than bikes and should have the right-of-way, dammit. And bikes should be forced to stop prior to an intersection so we won’t interfere with turning trucks by making them run over us.

A Montreal website asks what it will take to make it bike friendly, saying they just want the city on their side so they can get to their destination safely. Which is pretty much what bike riders everywhere want, and seldom get.

A new line of women’s bikewear currently raising funds on Kickstarter includes reflective patches to improve visibility at night; they have just 17 days to raise another $14,000.

Visit London’s Bamboo Bicycle Club for your very own bespoke bamboo bicycle.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine offers advice on how to beat back pain caused by bicycling.

A British paper talks with the TV sports personality who nearly died after contracting malaria on a 3,000 mile bike ride to the Rio Olympics.

 

Finally…

Now that’s what I call a fast woman. If you’re going to break a man’s glasses in a road rage altercation, don’t brag about it online.

And workers score a waterlogged bike along with the scum at Echo Park Lake.

 

%d bloggers like this: