Archive for General

It’s getting scary out there — dogs attack Pasadena bike rider; driver flees police with bike dangling from car

A Pasadena cyclist walking his bike barely avoided serious injury when he was attacked by three apparently road raging dogs.

He was smart enough to place his bike between himself and the raging pit bulls, then jumped onto the hood of a car for protection. Police shot all three dogs, killing one; the rider suffered minor bite punctures.

If they shot humans for attacking cyclists, there might not be many drivers left.

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Horrifying video footage shows a car fleeing police in Laguna Beach with a bicycle dangling from its side, leading to speculation that it was a hit-and-run.

Fortunately, no victim has yet appeared. Other reports suggest the bike may have started out on a rack on the car before it was knocked off in the pursuit.

Thanks to Steve Messer and sonofabike for the heads-up.

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KTLA-5 offers a look at Ghost Bikes. Maybe if more people understand what they are, we might not need so many of them.

Thanks to Lois Horwitz for the link.

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Charges in the case of Donald Johnson, the Calimesa driver arrested for the hit-and-run death of Philip Richards earlier this month, have been upgraded to gross vehicular manslaughter and fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter; bond has been increased to $1 million.

In addition, his wife, Kerri Johnson, has been arrested on a charge of accessory after the fact for aiding in the coverup.

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Bikes lanes are now a near certainty on the Glendale-Hyperion bridge, after serious blowback from pissed off advocates; now the fight is to get sidewalks on both sides. Bicycle Fixation’s Rick Risemberg gets it; whatever you wear to ride — or play social games — is okay. On the other hand, the LAPD clearly doesn’t. The next Metro Bicycle Roundtable is scheduled for Tuesday, February 11th. Former DA and current mayoral dad Gil Garcetti talks Paris: Women & Bicycles. Yes, you really can live car-free in Los Angeles. Pedicabs could be coming to Hollywood and San Pedro; a previous trial in Westwood failed, just like every other business seems to do there sooner or later. UCLA Bicycle Academy rightfully demands better safety and access; but is anyone listening? The LACBC’s Operation Firefly distributes bike lights in Long Beach. Hawthorne approves $11 million renovation of Hawthorne Blvd, including bike lanes; thanks to Margaret for the tip.

Independent review says Caltrans is out of date, operating out of a culture of fear and acting too much like the highway department it is and not the mobility department it should be; I could have told them that. Newport Beach’s proposed bike plan can now be viewed online. San Diego’s planned bike share program has been delayed until Spring; it should still beat LA’s by a few years, at least. San Francisco woman does everything wrong, but still gets her stolen bike back — $260 later. San Francisco’s cycle tracks are paving the way for safer cycling throughout the state. Caltrans approves $2.7 million for a Monterey bike lane. Mountain View man is busted with a truck full of hot bikes. A Redding man is seriously injured in a possible BUI solo crash.

New bi-partisan bill in Congress would bring equity to bike and pedestrian funding, as well as boosting funding for bike and pedestrian projects in low income communities. It takes a real schmuck to steal a bike from someone suffering from Parkinson’s. The law is stacked against bike riders in Alaska; there are reasons Alaskans ride year round, though. Wounded warriors mountain bike to recovery in Las Vegas. Fear and loathing in Las Vegas, as a German reporter attempts to cover CES by bike. The hit-and-run victim killed near my hometown turns out to be a gifted elected motor scientist who could breath fire; no, really. The good get better, as Denver bridges gaps for cyclists and pedestrians. Fort Bliss Afghan vet rides his way back from battlefield injuries. Infamous bike lane hater and tweeter Anthony Weiner now rides them; bike lanes, not tweets. NYPD targets drivers and jaywalkers in a traffic safety crackdown; evidently, cyclists are still fair game. Freezing temperatures don’t stop DC cyclists. Baltimore police ignore evidence and the law to illegally blame a bicyclists. A Chattanooga cyclist takes the local paper to task in the wake of a teenage assault on a bike rider.

The Vancouver bike rider assaulted by a road raging driver tells his side of the story. The death of a British cyclist has turned into a murder investigation. London finally bans large trucks without pedestrian and cyclist safety features; vehicles that kill by design should never be allowed on the road, anywhere. Forty-two-year old Chris Horner, the oldest Grand Tour winner, gets a ride for 2014. Spanish cyclist riding through Pakistan denies reports six policemen were killed protecting him. Family of Japanese woman killed in collision with cyclist awarded equivalent of nearly half-a-million dollars. Sydney’s bi-directional bikeways take the wrong path.

Finally, outgoing County Supervisor Zev Yaroslovsky profiles LACBC board member, bike advocate and alternative transportation fan Greg Laemmle; they couldn’t feature a nicer or more deserving guy.

Transportation rock star Gabe Klein comes to City Hall; HBPD hits a cyclist and Milton Olin investigation drags on

A little this, a little that. And not much bad news, for a change.

So let’s dig right in.

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A real transportation rock star visits the city as former DC and Chicago DOT chief Gabe Klein will talk bike share at City Hall Friday afternoon. Maybe our esteemed mayor can convince him to stick around for a job interview afterwards.

Or even before. Or during, for that matter.

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I’ve gotten a report that a Huntington Beach patrol car struck a bicyclist around 11 pm last Tuesday; no word on how the collision occurred, the officer involved or the condition of the rider.

Not that they’re being tight lipped about it or anything.

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The investigation into the death of former Napster exec Milt Olin continues over a month after his death, while the Times notes that the slow pace raises questions of a cover-up.

You think?

I’ve only heard fears of that from, lets see, everyone I’ve heard from about this tragedy.

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Nine ways LA is ditching its auto-centric reputation, while Salon says the City of Angeles is experiencing a renaissance for biking and walking. But maybe not so fast, as Metro decides cyclists and pedestrians deserve only one lousy vote on their Technical Advisory Committee; God forbid they should let the hoi polloi have a say. Another meeting added to discuss the reconstruction of Santa Monica Blvd — and possible bike lanes — in Beverly Hills; Better Bike recaps the last meeting. Join Stan’s Bike Shop and the Eastside Bike Club on Saturday, the 25th to kick off April’s Tour de Cure. Manhattan Beach approves new bike lanes on Rosecrans and Manhattan Avenues. Long Beach gets to keep its green sharrows even though the Feds have pulled the plug on the popular super sharrows and green-backed sharrows. Bike Long Beach invites you to hear the Bike League’s Steve Clark talk about what we can learn from the best bike infrastructure from around the world this Thursday. Share your thoughts about the proposed San Gabriel Valley bike master plan before the end of the month. Hopefully, bicycling at Cal Poly Pomona is now a little safer, as the campus gets its first bike path; they still need to fix the streets leading to campus, though.

Here’s a bill to keep an eye on, as AB 1193 encouraging the use of cycle tracks in California passes its first committee test with flying colors. Newport Beach plans a community bike ride on Saturday. No surprise, as the accused road raging San Diego driver who seriously injured a cyclist pleads not guilty. A 71-year old cyclist is critically injured after allegedly riding into the path of a Riverside bus. Mark your calendar for the Thousand Oaks Ride 2 Recovery ride on May 3rd. Bay Area bike riders reject the idea of licensing fees. Is San Francisco America’s most bike-friendly city? Maybe so, as SF supervisors call for the city to adopt a Vision Zero, two words I have never heard escape the lips of an LA politician. The Bay Area Bike Share hits 100,000 trips in less than four months.

Should doctors do more to prevent traffic fatalities? Seven predictions that could drive the bike industry in 2014; is the youth bike boom going bust already? More curb-protected bike lanes are coming to America. A case before the Supreme Court could affect the viability of the Rails to Trails movement. Bicycling offers advice on how to break wind; a couple burritos usually do the trick for me. The incomparable Katie Compton wins her 10th national cyclocross title; VeloNews looks at the highlights of this year’s championships. A new Portland housing project will have nearly two long-term bike parking spaces for every unit, the most in the US. Arizona driver gets a whopping seven days — seven whole days! — in jail for first harassing, then crashing into, a group of pro cyclists before fleeing the scene; clearly, any expectation of justice for cyclists in the Grand Canyon State is just an illusion. Three Houston cyclists have been killed in hit-and-runs in the last 45 days. Walkers and runners are invading Austin TX bike lanes. The most impressive vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show have just two wheels. Drunken Michigan man busted for driving on a bike path. Someone is tossing tacks on a Tampa bike path; if anyone put something on a roadway that could cause drivers to crash, they’d call it a terrorist attack. Oddly, the solution to drunk drivers hitting cyclists on a Miami-area causeway isn’t banning bikes.

A London rider says drivers are out to kill him, perhaps literally; another responds — reasonably — that we shouldn’t exaggerate the risks of bike riding. Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson clearly doesn’t get the need to take the lane. A UK rider says few people are injured by bikes, and motorists who disagree should try riding one, while another says there is no we in bicycling. A Brit cyclist rides 1,350 miles to visit Auschwitz. Eighty-three-year old British man flees the scene after killing a bike rider in Spain; hit-and-run is clearly not just an American problem as another driver drives off after killing a Romanian rider in Cyprus. A UK paper says Spain’s Majorca is a bike rider’s paradise. Touring India by bike. A New Zealand cyclist denies he fled the scene after striking a 12-year old bike rider. New Zealand drivers don’t see cyclists because they aren’t looking for us; so would I be out of line suggesting that maybe they should start? Kiwi cyclists account for 60% of red light runners at four key intersections. The British woman who survived brutal conditions to set a record riding her bike to the South Pole tells her story.

Finally, the effects of texting and driving caught on camera; thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up. You don’t want this on video, as an Irish mountain biker suffers a seven week erection after crash landing on the top bar.

And talk about taking the high road, as Calexico border guards stop a bike rider with nine pounds of marijuana stuffed in his rear tire.

Thanks to John Hall for the generous donation!

Honor the memory of a fallen cyclist, a Santa Barbara bike smackdown, and enough links to last a weekend

Lots of news to share today, so let’s get right to it.

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John Rapley; photo from The Age

James Rapley; photo from The Age

Friends and family of fallen Australian cyclist James Rapley call for your help to honor his memory.

As you may recall, Rapley was killed by an alleged drunk and possibly distracted driver while riding in the bike lane on Temescal Canyon during an extended layover at LAX just before Christmas.

We have had a lot of people ask how they can help and if they can send flowers. Karen and his family believe that donating to a charity would help honour James memory in a more lasting way and we would like to direct you to the below everyday hero site for how you can help via a number of avenues including:

1) donating to the Amy Gillett Cycling Foundation

2) participating in a Hello Sunday Mornings challenge

3) please share these links with your friends and family and spread this important message. Remember to share the roads and to never let yourself or others drink and drive. If you can’t afford a taxi, you can’t afford to drink.

Thank you all for your support. James was very loved and will be forever missed.

They also explain the  purpose of the HSM challenge.

We are hoping to encourage 100 people to sign up for a Hello Sunday Morning’s 3 month challenge to abstain from alcohol and create a ripple affect to change Australia’s drinking culture and hopefully save a life. Each HSMer’s story has a positive impact on the drinking culture of 10 people around them. If 1,000 people stop their friends from getting behind a wheel drunk or not binge drinking we can help James make a difference and hopefully spare another family this incredible tragedy.

One last note.

James Rapley was laid to rest Thursday in Hadfield, Victoria, Australia.

If not for a drunken LA driver shattering the quiet of a Sunday morning, he’d be back at work at Groupon in Chicago. And all this would have been a bad dream.

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Yesterday, a Santa Barbara writer offered some reasonable bike safety advice. After a hate-filled, auto-centric introduction in which she collectively blamed all cyclists for the actions of a few, that is.

Or possibly, just two.

Although she never bothered to explain how her coffee ended up in lap when she slammed on the brakes to avoid one; it’s not like someone so safety conscious would have been holding it while she drove. Right?

I was debating how to respond to her piece, when I found myself reading an insightful, brilliantly constructed take down that made any response from superfluous. I wasn’t surprised when the writer mentioned he was a lawyer; yet somehow, I missed his name until I got to the end.

I should have known.

Thanks to Charles Hudak for the heads-up.

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This should put the value of our lives in perspective.

A South Carolina man who killed a police dog in a shootout gets 35 years, while an Iowa woman is fined a whopping $500 for killing a cyclist after claiming she thought she hit a deer.

Of course, a rational person might have stopped to see what she hit. Then again, a rational law enforcement agency — or judge — might have questioned such a convenient excuse.

Thanks to Michael McVerry for the link.

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If you haven’t seen it yet, this New Zealand traffic safety spot is a must watch. Even though studies show traffic safety ads don’t work.

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An LA rider lives out his biggest bike commuting fear in colliding with a stop sign-running rider; thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up. Federal anti-poverty funds could be used to build bike lanes in some of LA’s least advantaged neighborhoods. LA’s 2020 Commission concludes the city is going to hell in a hand basket. We’re just over the halfway point to completing the full 51-mile LA River bike path, with 25 miles to go. Breaking Away, the movie that got me back into bicycling, will screen as a fundraiser for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition at Laemmle’s NoHo7 on Wednesday, February 12th. Experience South LA’s iconic Central Avenue by bike this Sunday. New film looks at the Eastside Riders Bike Club. SaMo police bust a homeless man for stealing a bait bike. Great pair of letters in response to an anti-bike screed in the Santa Monica Daily Press, one from a bike rider and one from a non-rider who gets it. CICLE’s Arroyo Seco tweed ride rolls this Saturday. A San Gabriel walker correctly notes we should give pedestrians three feet passing distance, too. Boyonabike resolves to be a pain in the ass for safer cycling in the SGV this year. CLR Effect is selling a classic Bottecchia I would kill for if I was just a touch more psychotic. After a friend barely survives broadsiding a U-turning car on Via del Monte in Palos Verdes Estates, Cycling in the South Bay barely avoids the same fate; I thought I recognized that deadly street.

Nine top international pro teams will take part in this year’s Amgen Tour of California. The Huntington Beach Independent looks at the local cost of distracted driving. The Bike League’s Stephen Clark talks about what it takes to be a Bike Friendly Community in Huntington Beach next Wednesday. Advocacy group BikeSD endorses David Alvarez for mayor of San Diego. Cannondale Pro Cycling unveils its 2014 team; Thousand Oaks is not LA, though. A Santa Cruz writer says “Share the Road” has failed to protect local cyclists. Palo Alto cop is faulted for using his Taser on a 16-year old cyclist, but it’s okay to knock him off his bike with a patrol car; anything that could cause a rider to fall from his bike should be considered deadly force. After a 90-year old Menlo Park driver jumps the curb and hits two small kids, his lawyer accuses them of recklessness for walking on the sidewalk. SF Gate looks at May’s Climate Ride; I’ve heard nothing but good things from those who rode it last year. A salmon cyclist is expected to survive a head-on collision with tow truck in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. San Francisco supervisors call for a crackdown on dangerous drivers; will LA’s city council ever have the courage to demand that motorists stop killing Angelenos? Is spray painting “road kill” in a Napa bike lane a hate crime; seriously, do you really have to ask?

Powerful story from a legally blind bike rider who fought the law, and won. Agenda announced for this year’s National Bike Summit in March. Legal commentary calls for tougher rules for bike and ski helmets, while the incomparable Elly Blue offers five things more worth arguing about than bike helmets — and nails it. Riding a bike in your teens could help prevent a heart attack later in life. Maybe it is a minor miracle, as Portland residents demand that parking be removed to improve bike access. A Spokane website offers a comprehensive list of women’s bike blogs. Gay marriage is off for now in Utah, but mayors biking to work is on. Does the world really need a smarter bike bell? Talk about a good cause — a Boulder CO event raises funds for the Amy D Foundation, dedicated to introducing young girls to cycling in honor of fallen pro cyclocross rider Amy Dombroski. Turns out auto traffic really does drop on bike to work day, at least in Boulder. Nebraska cyclists protest plans to ban them from a key bridge. A South Dakota driver gets a plea deal on road rage charges, though security camera footage may raise issues. Robbers pistol whip, then shoot a Pasadena cyclist; no, the other Pasadena. Zip-off pant extensions could help you arrive at work in style. Biking is up in Boston, though 70% of riders are men; helmet use is a surprising 76%. A Boston writer looks at the recent death of fallen cyclist Pam Leven, and questions whether it, or any other collision between cyclists, is really an accident. Students at Northeastern University develop a smart bike with built-in collision warning system; is anyone old enough to get a “Danger Will Robinson! Danger!” reference? November was the deadliest month for NYC cyclists and pedestrians in nearly two years. New York cyclists get bike repair vending machines. Florida legislature could remove incentive for drunk drivers to flee collisions; that’s just the first step we need to take here.

UCI appoints its panel to examine doping in pro cycling, and Lance promises to play nice. Experts debate whether bike helmets should remain mandatory in British Columbia. Oxford cyclist drowns on flooded pathway near where a teenage cyclist drowned in 2007; never try to ride through water if you can’t tell how deep it is. Panicked Lancashire publication says speeding poser cyclists on Strava risk road death. Irish authorities urge humans to wear hi-viz rather than ask motorists to actually pay attention. Hamburg plans to eliminate the need for cars within 20 years. Aussie driver harasses a cyclist, who turns out to be the state police commissioner. Freak mini-tornado blows rider off bike in Australian time trial. Brisbane closes a toxic bikeway for asbestos removal. Kiwi cyclists fear more deaths unless a new pathway bypasses known danger zones. New Zealand writer says bike safety should be a political issue; he’s right. A rider takes a record-setting tour of the South Pole.

Finally, a Canadian driver cuts out the middleman, and crashes into bikes before they ever leave the shop. LA now has the world’s first Burrito Vending Machine — and naturally, a bike lane leading right to it. And Another Perfect Day finds a road sign anticipating lonely cyclists.

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One last bit of bad news from last year — Barrington dooring victim died of his injuries last month

Ghost bike for Julio Martinez; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike for Julio Martinez; photo by Danny Gamboa

Unfortunately, last year’s bad news didn’t end with the new year.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been trying to confirm rumors that the victim of last month’s dooring on Barrington Ave in Brentwood had died of his injuries. And had received no response, respite repeated emails to members of the LAPD.

Sadly, I finally received confirmation today, thanks to Danny Gamboa of ZKO Films, who has been documenting Southern California ghost bikes. He was able to track down the victim’s place of work, where co-workers confirmed that he had died sometime between December 10th and December 17th.

According to Gamboa, 37-year old Julio Martinez worked with his brother at Belwood Bakery at 11625 Barrington Court, just off Sunset Blvd. He was apparently riding home from work when he was hit by the door of a car on a downhill section of Barrington, where bikes can easily reach speeds of 25 mph or higher.

Martinez was taken to a hospital with severe head injuries, where he later died. His brother has taken time off from work to accompany his body back to their hometown in Mexico.

The Belwood Bakery is collecting funds to help defray the expenses. If you find yourself in the area — and many popular group rides pass nearby on Sunset Blvd — stop by for a sandwich and some coffee, and drop in a few bucks. Or take up a collection and drop it off on your way home.

Because he died as one of us.

This is the 88th bicycling fatality in Southern California in 2013, and the 39th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 18th in the City of Los Angeles — a 360% increase over 2012.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julio Martinez and all his family and loved ones.

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A Koreatown bike rider became the city’s latest hit-and-run victim early this morning.

According to OnScene.TV — which offers raw footage from the scene — the victim, described only as a male in his early 20s, was riding with roughly 25 other cyclists down Vermont Ave when he was hit by an unknown vehicle at the intersection with 4th Street. The site reports he was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.

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A male cyclist was shot and wounded in a Filipinotown drive-by this morning; the victim was not suspected of being a gang member. Fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

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In today’s driving news, dialing your phone behind the wheel is the most dangerous form of distracted driving, while inexperienced drivers reaching for a cell phone increases crash risk by 700%.

It turns out drivers view people more negatively than non-drivers do; maybe that’s why so many of them hate us.

The UK asks if radar and RFID can be the solution to stop drivers from killing cyclists; new technologies can’t cure bad road design, though.

Elly Blue offers motorists advice on how to drive around bike riders.

And a driving Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t want to see anymore ghost bikes. Neither do we, Jerry.

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Darren Graves offers this beautifully evocative photo of the Venice bike path from this morning's commute.

Darren Graves offers this beautifully evocative photo of the Venice bike path from this morning’s commute.

A Times’ writer offers a surprisingly good piece on sharing the road, albeit from a windshield perspective. Streetsblog talks with interim LADOT — and Recreation and Parks — General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri; now that Chicago and New York both have new DOT heads, what is Mayor Garcetti waiting for? Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman explains she rides to connect to her city. Local Los Feliz paper seems to be trying to create controversy over Rowena road diet, but the story doesn’t support it. A Santa Monica letter writer says bike on ped collisions are a problem when you’re the ped. The final meeting for Santa Monica’s MANGo project takes place on Tuesday; my suggestion is getting rid of that silly lower-case O in the name. Flying Pigeon’s Richard Risemberg finds Downtown El Segundo’s new bike racks almost perfect. Milestone Rides explores the Verdugos with Long Beach’s bike touring expats. A Carson cyclist is injured in a collision on Avalon Blvd.

The new ABCs of bike riding should include air quality. A San Diego cyclist says he woke up in a ditch several hours after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver; others suggest he got drunk and passed out. A Piru man faces charges for using his car as a weapon to injure someone he was arguing with. Uber bans an off-duty San Francisco driver after he killed a six-year old girl on New Years Eve, but maybe they should be accountable anyway. Some people just don’t get it, as an SF writer objects to bike riders’ right to take the lane. A dozen years after a Modesto-area woman killed a cyclist while drunk, she faces six years for another DUI.

A writer for Bicycle Retailer asks if bicycles are the new gay marriage for misinformed conservatives; thanks to Geri for the link. US cities are installing the first curb-protected bike lanes. The Atlantic Cities asks if distracted bicycling should be banned; having nearly been run off the road by other riders on more than one occasion, I vote yes. The Bike League highlights their 2013 accomplishments in a new infographic. The Feds finally approve bicycle traffic signals, allowing riders to be separated by other traffic by time rather than just distance. New bike gloves offer built-in turn signals; thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

Portland cyclists suffered zero fatalities in 10-million trips in 2013; thanks to Michael McVerry for the heads-up. Seattle’s former mayor says the city’s streets were frustrating before bike lanes were put in and probably always will be; oddly, Seattle cycle tracks draw mixed reviews when delivery drivers are allowed to park in them. Just heartbreaking, as a five-year old Nevada girl killed by possible DUI driver while riding her tricycle on the sidewalk; she was riding with her sister and grandmother when the driver backed over her bike. Montana driver requests an all-points bulletin after a rider turns in front of her car. Houston Critical Mass riders are accused of being traffic bullies. Annual Minnesota New Years Day ride has its coldest ride yet. A Tennessee pastor bikes 455 miles over two days to greet all 102 members of his congregation. Hit-and-run MA driver drags parts of a bike 1.5 miles after killing the rider on it. The streets of New York have changed dramatically under outgoing Mayor Bloomberg. DC bike riders get a legal head-start on red lights as a new bike safety law goes into effect. North Carolina cyclist is busted for doping at age 62 with 21 national championships and one world age-group title under his belt; it’s the non-dopers who should be getting the attention.

Will 2014 be the year of the bike? Brilliant Brazilian anti-drunk driving ad. Calgary also gets it right, with no bicycling deaths in 2013. Montreal cyclists say more has to be done to stop dooring. UK drivers who kill cyclists have just a 10% risk of facing jail time. Drivers are responsible for over two-thirds of collisions with cyclists in London’s Westminster district. Everyone’s talking about London’s wildly impractical SkyCycle plan; yes, separation can be good, but one of the best things about bicycling is how it brings you closer to the life of a city, so why would you want to soar above it? Speeding UK drivers are called lunatics; unfortunately, that happens to a lot of people when they get behind the wheel. Brit cyclist is removed uninjured after being trapped under car for 30 minutes — but be warned, the photos are hard to take. New Dutch cargo trike has a front door. Jakarta officials are ordered to leave their cars home once a month. An Aussie writer says it’s time for real reform on the roads. New Zealand guard rails protect careless drivers while putting cyclists at risk.

Finally, don’t pretend you haven’t been tempted; police in Ghana rescue an alleged bike thief from an angry crowd before they can burn him to death. And an Aussie cyclist responds to getting cut off on his possibly stolen bike by stealing the car of the driver who did it.

 

Happy New Year!

Please accept my best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

May you, and all your loved ones, experience a year filled with peace and joy. And may every bike rider who celebrates this new year make it through to 2015 in one piece.

Just the links: Your between the holidays reading list

LA’s last Critical Mass of the year honors the city’s fallen cyclists. As LA still works on wayfinding signage, other local cities point the way. That stooped tall bike gets even stoopidly taller, and more LA-centric. A road diet wish list for the Eastside. It’s now legal to park your car at a broken meter, but still illegal to park your bike at one in LA, whether it works or not. Santa Monica writer says all those new bike lanes will cause more congestion, rather than relieving it. From rising bike riding 1940’s starlet to hunting accident paraplegic, and dead at 31.

California’s three-foot passing law goes into effect in 2014, but not until September. San Diego’s BikingBrian tours the Oregon coast on video. Getting around Catalina by bike. Cal Fire rescues an injured mountain biker near Lake Elsinore. Bike riders are the real scofflaws on our streets, right? Woodland writer says taxing bikes — and pedestrians — isn’t a bad idea; a self-proclaimed scofflaw cyclist and tax specialist echoes those thoughts. A Chico paper calls on the city to rethink, rather than close, a bike path.

The top 10 bike stories of 2013. A new lighted bike suit makes you look like a comic book superhero; or you could just put lights on your bike. If someone booby-trapped a highway in a way that could kill a motorist, they’d face criminal charges; do it on an Albuquerque bike path, and it’s just a dangerous prank. A Texas bike blogger is killed despite campaigning for safer streets. A St. Louis cycling instructor claims bike lanes are dangerous with no evidence to back it up. A Milwaukee cyclist is killed in a hit-and-run by driver with 13 previous traffic violations — yes, 13 and still driving. Even Boston liberals hate bikes, while a bike riding Boston letter writer says I’m okay, but the rest of you suck. New York’s New Year’s Eve ball drop will be powered by Citibikes. DC writer takes newspaper to task for not showing riders in bike helmets — in a story about bike theft, no less; I’m a firm believer in helmet use, but contrary to popular opinion, they aren’t magic devices that ward off all risk of injury to the wearer. Orlando cop kills a cyclist in a collision; witnesses say the officer wasn’t at fault. Learning to ride a bike in Margaritaville.

Bike use is booming in Latin America. Bicycle-oriented Mexican town fights for the country’s first slow zone. Nice interview with Chris Bruntlett of Vancouver Cycle Chic. Jamaican cyclist Horace McFarlane arrested on drug charges. Bike Radar looks at the unique partnership between supercar maker McLaren and the copyright bullies of Specialized. Brit cyclist is honored as a hero for saving two girls from an attacking dog. The Royal Mail throws in the towel on bike deliveries; meanwhile, I’ve heard several reports of UPS delivering by bike in the LA area. TdF champ Chris Froome picks the Cannibal’s brain on how to win riding clean. Scot motorists are glad more bike riders are getting tickets. Kolkata police say there’s no proof banning bikes will improve traffic. Taiwan cyclists will be included in holiday DUI stops. Kiwi bike riders call for changes in the country’s mandatory helmet law. Two Aussie men face charges for whacking cyclists with a rolled-up newspaper from a passing car. A British woman sets a new record by bicycling to the South Pole.

Finally, the next time someone says cycling isn’t safe, remind them you’re not even safe from drunk drivers in your own home; turns out the killer driver had a history of DUI and couldn’t legally be on the road, but was anyway.

Nice.

Too much bad news for Christmas Eve, and a long list of pre-holiday reading

Let’s start with the bad news.

And there’s just too much of it for Christmas Eve this year.

First up, the Daily News identifies the Sheriff’s Deputy who killed cyclist Milt Olin on December 8th as a 16-year veteran from the Malibu/Lost Hills station, despite a lack of confirmation from the department. The collision is still under investigation; two weeks later, investigators still haven’t spoken to all the witnesses. Thanks to Deb Fort for the link.

There’s still no ID on the cyclist killed by a Metrolink train on December 6th. The victim is described as a Hispanic man over 21 years old, about 5’2” and 144 pounds, with brown eyes and a black Mohawk, and a red stud earring in one ear. Anyone with information is urged to call coroner’s investigator Daniel Machian at 323-343-0754 or the coroner investigations division at 323-343-0714.

Australian publication The Age fills in the blanks on the death of countryman James Rapley, who was just passing through LA when he was killed by an alleged underage — and possibly texting — drunk driver while riding a rental bike up Temescal Canyon.

And a comment on the Brentwood Patch website says the cyclist doored on Barrington Ave in Brentwood two weeks ago today has died. I’ve reached out to members of the LAPD for confirmation, but no response yet.

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The news isn’t much better in the pro ranks, as 21-year old Swiss rider Felix Baur was killed in a collision while training in Spain last Wednesday. Meanwhile, 26-year old Euris Vidal — who was scheduled to join the Incycle-Predator Components team next year — was shot and killed while trying to stop a robbery in the Dominican Republic on Sunday.

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Four missing mountain bikers are found safe after spending an unplanned night in the Angeles National Forest. A new short film follows the life of an abandoned bike in East LA. One of California’s best schools was founded in honor of a 13-year old girl killed by a distracted driver while her family was riding in Wyoming. Cast your vote in the LA Streetsblog Streetsie awards. Julia Roberts rides a Dutch bike through the ‘Bu. British bike scribe Carlton Reid offers an in-depth look at the elevated California Cycleway which stretched from LA to Pasadena in the early 1900s. Mark your calendar for next month’s Arroyo Seco tweed ride. In a heartwarming story, hundreds of cyclists join a Santa Clarita rider in completing the ride that almost took his life a year ago. Bikes and bike advocates rank high in this Long Beach year-in-review.

Cyclelicious offers a year-in-review retrospective. The San Diego Bicycle Coalition lists their 2013 accomplishments, including the city’s first ciclovia. You still have time to join in the Harbor View Holiday Lights Ride in Corona del Mar at 5 pm this evening. Oxnard bike cop suffers minor injuries in a hit-and-run; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the heads-up. The National Parks Service has thrown the brakes on endurance bike and running events in Death Valley, something we’d reported here a few weeks ago. Salmon cyclist killed in Lodi. Merced man tries to run down a bike rider in a jealous rage over a woman. Prison inmates refurbish bikes for kids. UC Berkeley manager dies from a heart attack after swerving to avoid a skateboarder while riding his bike. Think of it as a Street View for bikes for SF and NY riders. Chico shuts down a bike path in response to crime.

Elly Blue’s dog offers advice on bicycling with your human. US urban cycling is here to stay; let’s hope so. Americans are less likely to bike but more likely to be killed doing it according to a new study. Ten lessons learned from biking across the country. Colorado filmmaker offers tips on winter riding. A Houston website asks if the city’s drivers hate cyclists after a second rider is killed by a hit-and-run driver; in that case, they must really hate us here. Merry Christmas indeed, as a WI man pushes a boy off his bike to steal it. Chicago cyclists are about to get their first curb-separated bike lanes. Michigan non-profit gives bikes to 2500 kids. Ohio rider gets her stolen bike back for Christmas. UPS delivers by bike in Providence RI. DC Streetsbog wants your vote on the year’s biggest transportation stories, including the plan to tear down a Long Beach freeway. After Fayetteville NC’s Bicycle Man passes away, his wife continues his mission of giving 500 bikes to deserving children. The Florida cyclist dumped behind a dumpster by a heartless hit-and-run driver clings to life, but his prognosis is uncertain.

Who exactly are the real scofflaws in the UK? British paperboys and girls get new helmets and hi-viz to keep them safe after one of their peers is killed; not getting hit by cars would probably help more. A Brit letter writer says they built it, and no one came, so just give up already. Young Belgian pro attempts suicide after testing positive for clenbuterol after racing in China. The collision that left a Singapore cyclist in critical condition is caught on video; thanks to Danny Gamboa for the tip. Even Bangkok is becoming a better place to bike. Yes, Australia’s helmet law reduced cycling rates, but maybe not so much. Aussie bike tourist gets shot in the eye with a paintball gun on the first day of a planned New Zealand tour.

Finally, no bikes involved. Just a Texas driver who drank cologne to mask the scent of alcohol on his breath after he was stopped by police following a hit-and-run; nice try, anyway. And a woman pedals her hi-tech tricycle in a race to the South Pole; thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the link.

Please accept my best wishes for a very merry Christmas, and the happiest of holiday seasons for all.

Cyclist critically injured in Rancho Cucamonga, but the question is how; plus your weekend reading list

A Rancho Cucamonga man is in critical condition in what may — or may not — have been a solo fall.

According to the Daily Bulletin, forty-seven year old Daniel Oliver Loera suffered significant head injuries when he fell from his bike at Foothill Boulevard near Monet Avenue at 6:08 Friday morning. Investigators aren’t sure if another vehicle was involved; however, as many bicyclists have learned the hard way, it’s possible for a passing car to cause a cyclist to fall without ever making contact with the bike or rider.

At last report, Loera was in critical condition at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputies Adam Cervantes or Richard Buss at 909-477-2800.

Thanks to PValley Bike for the tip.

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The LA Times looks at Girls Gone Riding, the nation’s largest women’s mountain biking group. A HuffPo writer asks if LA can be a bike city; actually, it already is, regardless of whether our civic leaders ever catch up to that fact. Meanwhile, the Times’ architecture critic says the city is getting better and bikes are part of that; New York’s Citi Bike makes his top 10 list, since LA doesn’t have a bike share program and isn’t likely to get one soon. Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers advice on how to win holiday arguments over bicycling. Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg confesses to being an accessible road user. LADOT Bike Blog visits the Valley’s 1.6 mile Brown’s Creek Bike Path, complete with ponies. Masked robbers steal a La Puente rider’s cruiser bike at gunpoint; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. A new park, walking path and brief bikeway are planned for the confluence of Aliso Creek and the LA River in Reseda. Boyonabike admits to being a dreamer. CLR Effect looks at bike racing in LA — 110 years ago.

San Diego unanimously passes a $312 million bike plan. Rancho Cucamonga kids get bikes for better grades. Apple Valley cyclists can look forward to over $400,000 in new and better bike lanes. Evidently, only special interest groups care about street safety, according to the San Francisco Fire Department. The SF Weekly questions the city’s official bike count showing a near doubling in ridership since 2006. A Napa woman donates 25 bikes out of her own pocket for a local toy drive.

Washington state endorses the NACTO guide; one down, 49 to go. Dallas police recover a custom-made cruiser bike stolen from the former city manager. After a truck driver reported hitting “something” on a Missouri freeway, police drove by for 8 hours before discovering the cyclist he killed on the side of the road. For a change, Austin TX police crack down on dangerous drivers to protect cyclists; most departments seem to think the way to save cyclists is to go after the victims, which is the same approach the LAPD takes to pedestrians in DTLA. Chicago bike lawyer says the hyperventilating about bike helmets has got to stop; scaring bike riders off the roads makes them less safe for everyone. New York study shows new bikeways pay off for the businesses along their routes, but federal red tape could delay New York bike lanes. A Boston driver loses it when a cyclist taps on his trunk for blocking bike lane; thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the link. A PA man gets two to four years for the hit-and-run death of a 73-year old bike rider who was on his way to buy groceries.

Now that’s major chutzpah, as a Canadian hit-and-run driver asks the victim to help remove the bike from under his car, gives him money for the bike, then drives away. London’s mayor plans to de-lycrafy cycling in the city, while cyclists conduct another die-in. Bath England police are looking for a cyclist who has repeatedly lost it. The podium girl famously pinched by pro cyclist Peter Sagan gets a new bike for Christmas courtesy of Cannondale; he could pinch my ass, too, if they’ll give me a new bike. Riding to Soweto to honor Nelson Mandela. Is that a sawed-off shotgun in your riding pants or are you just happy to see us? An Australian bike rider dies a month after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver; clearly, hit-and-run is not just an LA — or even American — problem.

Finally, can someone please explain to me how a single-use invisible bike helmet hardly anyone owns — let alone can afford — could possibly be revolutionizing bike safety? And if your neighbor pushes you off your bike, do not respond by taking an axe to his home and car. Especially not if you’re riding your new Wu Tang fixie.

Thanks to Michael Young and Jim Lyle for their generous donations to help support this site.

Report from an active BAC Bikeways committee, and a long list of pre-holiday bike links

Sometimes pressing issues force me to set aside things I intend to discuss here.

That’s what happened over the last few weeks, as I’ve been meaning to post a link to the minutes of last month’s meeting of the Bikeways Subcommittee of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee.

As you’ll see, the committee — and the BAC as a whole — is doing great work on some of the most pressing issues facing LA cyclists.

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LADOT’s People St prepares to work with the community to transform the streets of LA. The CEO of DTLA’s Union Rescue Mission rides his way back from a heart attack and kidney transplant. Metro to consider better bike and car parking in North Hollywood. A homeless Rosemead man teams with an off-duty anesthesiologist to save the life of a fallen bike rider; remember that the next time you’re tempted to look down on the tattered guy huddled in a doorway. CLR Effect says pay attention out there after coming on an injured bike rider near a school. A Santa Monica letter writer complains about a lack of enforcement against bike riders, but neglects to consider all those scofflaw motorists. The Acorn asks that the sheriff’s deputy who killed cyclist Milton Olin, a 16-year veteran, be investigated for distracted driving.

Twenty Riverside students get new bikes. Dates are set for next April’s 30th Redland’s Bicycle Classic. A Big Bear bicycling group invests $35,000 in local bike projects. Huntington Beach’s new mayor has supported bike paths since he was eight years old; let’s hope he still does. San Diego city council approves a $312 million bike plan. A San Diego summit considers how to wean the North County area off auto-dependency. San Diego State students are threatened with having their bikes impounded if they don’t use the new bike racks. The Borrego Springs Century rolls this weekend. Now that’s more like it, as a Santa Barbara driver faces murder charge for a drunken hit-and-run after his victim dies. A Bakersfield driver faces a vehicular manslaughter charge for killing a cyclist while legally using a hands-free device. Small town San Luis Obispo ranks as the 7th most dangerous city for California cyclists. A former Google engineer wants to put turn signals on your hands. How to use your bike for holiday shopping. Ride 2 Recovery brings a greater sense of normalcy for a wounded Stockton Iraq war vet.

Cyclists send a message to motorists in a nice new video; basically, that message is please don’t kill me or someone I love. Physical activity is the new wonder drug. Bike lanes are good for small businesses; someone should tell that to the anti-bike merchants on Westwood and Lankershim. The Bike League is seeking a new Equity Advisory Council member. A tongue-in-cheek look at why you should never try biking to work. NPR looks at efforts to make bike share more accessible. A look at America’s top 10 protected bike lanes; not surprising, Los Angeles — which recently got its first sort-of protected bike lane in the 2nd Street tunnel — doesn’t make the list. Bike Portland examines when it’s legal to ride side-by-side in Oregon; it’s legal here in California, though many some misinformed cops may disagree. Long Beach biking expats The Path Less Pedaled looks at Oregon’s Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway. Seattle’s new mayor could mean less support for a new bike plan. My hometown, which has a real winter, holds a Winter Bike to Work Day; Los Angeles, which doesn’t, doesn’t. An over-privileged 16-year old Texas boy gets probation for killing four people while driving dunk at three times the legal limit; thanks to Austin Brown for the heads-up. Big hearted Nebraska driver goes bowling after running down a bike rider; no word on what he scored. The family of a fallen Chicago cyclist hopes to crowd source his funeral expenses. Ohio driver fesses up to punching a bike rider in a road rage incident; it helps when the chief prosecutor is a cyclist too. DC Streetsblog asks the Associated Press to nix the term accident in their style book. A different kind of scofflaw cyclist, as a DC rider stencils bike-positive messages on bike lanes. Cranky VA letter writer takes issue with the idea that bike lanes improve livability. Alabama foster kids get 502 new bikes for the holidays.

Trek hopes the Schlecks can bounce back. A BC writer just doesn’t get the concept of sharrows; problem is, he’s not far off. As expected, Specialized kisses and makes up with the Canadian bike shop they tried to run out of business; that means they’re not overly litigious bullies anymore, right? A Canadian cyclist videos his own face plant after a failed stunt, leading to a breakthrough in facial surgery. Avid cyclists are going extinct, and maybe that’s a good thing. UK study show’s only a tiny fraction of cycling collisions resulted from bad behavior by the bike rider. Look, no matter what they did to piss you off, don’t punch out drivers — or moms in front of their kids. Newly minted Sir Bradley Wiggins is humbled by the honor. The Beeb asks if new technology could make cyclists safer; thanks to Victor Bank for the link. Unconscious Norwegian cyclist is saved when a passing snowplow operator sees the handlebars of his bike poking out from a snow bank. A new Bangkok bike promises to clean the air while you ride; now we only need a few hundred billion of them and enough people to ride ‘em.

Finally, great holiday ad from Jamis bikes, aside from the gratuitous sex object. And don’t try this at home. Or especially not this.

Let’s try this again

Just a quick note to let you know we’re going to try once again to transfer my blog over to a private server, hopefully tonight.

With a little luck — okay, a lot of luck the way things have gone so far — we’ll be back up and running in a day or two, almost as if nothing has changed.

On the other hand, if things go the way I expect, it may take a few days to get it back to where it needs to be. Or maybe even better, as I start to add some of the new pages I’ve been working on.

Which means, unless there’s breaking news, you may not see anything new here the rest of this week. So bundle up and get out on your bike, which beats the hell out of sitting in front of a screen reading about it any day.

In the meantime, I hope to see you here Thursday night.

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