Archive for Stolen Bikes and Bike Crime

BOLO Alert: White 2009 LeMond Reno stolen off Metro 222 bus in Hollywood

Just got word that a bike was stolen off a Metro bus on Hollywood Boulevard Wednesday night.

Stolen Lam LeMond

I’ll let the bike’s owner, popular LA cyclist Johnny Lam, describe what happened.

It was stolen off the 222 Metro bus line heading Eastbound on Hollywood Blvd at 8:40PM.  The theif lifted it off at the bus stop on Ivar Ave and Hollywood Blvd and rode southbound on Ivar Ave.  By the time I saw it happen, I could only see that he was wearing a backwards baseball cap and was pedaling away with my bike around the corner.  The bus driver was honking and people on the bus was yelling, “the bike”.

It was a 2009 Lemond Reno 51cm.  They can email me at johnny.m.lam@gmail.com or contact Detective Savedra at (323) 563-5000 at the LA Sheriffs referencing case #913-06822-6874-386.

Keep your eyes open, especially if you see a similar bike listed on Craigslist or some other online forum, or see a bike on the street that matches the description.

Let’s get this one back.

And catch the son of a bitch who stole it while we’re at it.

Teenage cyclist loses leg in collision, 3-foot passing law awaits Brown’s veto, and an 8-year old PCH bike reporter points a finger at Caltrans

We’ve got a lot of news to catch up on. So let’s not waste any time.

………

In still more tragic news, a teenage Long Beach girl loses a leg, and nearly both, when her bike is struck by a Lexus and she’s pushed through a plate glass store window Monday afternoon.

According to the Long Beach Post, the girl was riding to the beach with her adult nephew when the Lexus allegedly ran a red light and struck another vehicle. The collision caused the Lexus to veer into the riders, who were standing with their bikes waiting for the red light to change.

Both riders were struck, though the other rider suffered less serious injuries.

In a sign of just how trivially traffic laws and dangerous drivers are treated, the driver was cited and released.

Meanwhile, his or her victim has been sentenced to a lifetime on one leg.

………

AB 184, which would add one year to the statute of limitations for prosecutors to file charges once they identify a suspect in hit-and-run cases, moves forward in the state Senate.

Meanwhile, California’s third attempt at passing a three-foot passing law once again sits on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, awaiting his signature — or perhaps a chance to veto it a third time. Texas Governor Rick Perry is the only other governor to veto a three-foot bill, and he only did it once.

There is simply no reason left to veto this watered down bill, after every objection Brown expressed to the previous versions has been addressed or removed.

So when if he vetoes it once again, I hope he’ll be honest with us and say he just doesn’t like bikes.

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Opus the Poet’s Witch on a Bicycle has long been one of my favorite bike-related websites, tracking cycling collisions and other bike news from around the world — and offering advice on how to avoid them yourself.

The collisions, not the news.

What many readers may not realize, though, is that he himself was briefly a bicycling fatality, brought back to life only by the miracle of modern medicine.

And, as he movingly explains, as a different person than he was before. Not necessarily better or worse, but very different.

It can be a damn long road back from a devastating collision, and not everyone has the courage to do it. He did, and does.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I admire that guy.

………

Just heartbreaking.

Some despicable low life has stolen the bike that would been used by a San Pedro man in the cycling portion of last June’s Redondo Beach Triathlon — if he hadn’t died of a heart attack in the swimming leg that proceeded it. His adult son had been planning to ride the yellow Specialized Allez in next year’s race in his father’s honor.

If the schmuck who took it has any human decency left, he’ll put it back where he found it. If not, hopefully we can find some room for a lengthy stay behind bars for him.

………

First the good news about the news, then the bad.

In a must-watch news report, an eight-year old journalist reports on Caltrans’ dangerous installation of K-rail along the shoulder of north/westbound PCH above Malibu.

The concrete barrier, installed in response to a recent brush fire in the area, dangerously forces riders in front of high speed traffic on a bend in the roadway. Funny how a child has a better sense of bike safety than the state Highway Department charged with keeping us all safe.

That is their job, isn’t it?

Then again, a group of riders recently took the lane on PCH instead of hugging the shoulder. And declared it the best bike lane in the world.

………

Yellow journalism lives, as the anti-bike publisher of NELA’s Boulevard Sentinel accuses the LACBC of planning to pad the planned Eagle Rock bike count on September 14th.

Tom Topping, who has led a vociferous, if somewhat biased, opposition to planned road diet and bike lanes in Northeast LA, writes that a planned Sept. 14th bike safety class in Eagle Rock, as well as additional classes in Glendale and Pasadena, exist only so the Coalition can get unsuspecting participants to ride past the Eagle Rock bike count location scheduled for the same day.

Never mind that the two events are completely unrelated, or that the planned route for the Metro-sponsored safety classes go nowhere the bike count location. Or that the dates and times for the citywide bike count co-sponsored by the LACBC and Los Angeles Walks are the same for every neighborhood in the LA area, regardless of whether they face opposition from a local newspaper publisher intent on keeping bike lanes from besmirching his neighborhood.

Of course, by calling advance attention to this paranoid conspiracy theory, he’ll later be able to claim that he stopped the Coalition from cheating on the count when the class participants don’t go anywhere near where they never going to go in the first place.

Just like I can keep tigers away by snapping my fingers.

No, really. Haven’t seen one yet.

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Somewhere in between those two journalistic efforts, the Los Angeles News Group’s Summer of Cycling comes to a disappointing end.

The parent group of the Daily News, Press-Telegram, Daily Breeze, et al, finishes its short examination of bicycling in the Los Angeles area with a positive look back at the last 20+ years. Along with unexamined — and unchallenged — readers comments, including a call for every bicyclist to ride facing traffic.

I kid you not.

And a “can’t we all just get along” summation of the lessons learned in their feeble efforts over the past few months. One that mistakenly says bike riders must dismount and walk at crosswalks, ignoring state law that, confusing though it may be, allows bicyclists to ride along crosswalks.

The LAPD’s current interpretation of that law is that bike riders can ride in the crosswalk as long as they go in the direction of traffic; ignoring the bi-directional nature of both crosswalks and the sidewalks of which they are an extension.

Los Angeles cyclists and drivers could have both benefitted from an in-depth examination of the issues facing local cyclists and the impact of bikes on our communities. Instead, we got a series that barely skimmed the surface, offering less depth than the investigative efforts of a typical high school newspaper.

They apparently didn’t even contact any of the many bicycling advocates and city officials fighting for greater safety, acceptance and improved infrastructure for bicyclists on SoCal streets. Any series on local cycling that doesn’t mention Long Beach’s Charlie Gandy, CICLE or the LACBC, or examine the progress in Long Beach or Santa Monica, just to name a few, is a failure from the outset.

If this is the face of LA journalism, count me out.

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I’ve always wondered how any bike rider — or anyone else — could get hit by a train; a new Metro video dramatically drives it home. The Source talks with bike commuting LADOT employee Jon Overman, who helped the city score a grant for 43 miles of new bike lanes; when I started this blog, I don’t think most of the city’s traffic planners and engineers knew what a bike was, let alone actually rode one. LA’s city council takes a big step towards livability by voting to cap the 101 Freeway in Downtown LA with a park. A call for entries for Ghost Bikes of LA, a multi-media exhibition exploring the ghost bike phenomenon, hosted by red35 yellow#7. LAist offers tips for drivers and cyclists on how to survive around one another. Gary Kavanagh offers his input on the planned redesign of Santa Monica’s Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGO); loss of parking is a concern. A September 15th ride around the Santa Monica Airport is planned to consider its future after the city’s agreement with the FAA expires in 2015. Ten reasons to complete the survey for the Malibu PCH Safety Study. Pasadena police arrest two suspects for knocking a cyclist off his bike in an attempted robbery. The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition is hosting a barbeque on Saturday, Sept. 21st to thank everyone for their support.

Cycling in the South Bay writes movingly about fallen Newport Beach rider Debra Deem. Four hundred competitors take part in the inaugural Temecula Grand Prix. A Cayucos CA driver is under arrest after allegedly running down two cyclists, killing one and critically injuring the other while under the influence; she already had an outstanding warrant for reckless driving, but apparently was allowed to remain on the road until she succeeded in killing someone. In a case that sounds like a surreal scene from a David Lynch movie, a Stockton man riding with his son is wacked eight times with a cane by a 20-something Asian man. Petaluma brothers repair bikes for the homeless. Bike riders go just partway on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

Twenty-nine riders have been named to the US World’s team. Family members say ‘70s cycling legend Dale Stetina is showing improvement. This is why you always carry ID with you on your bike, as an unidentified rider is killed in Wyoming. Eight months later, not a single citation has been issued under the new Dallas vulnerable road user law. A Lincoln NE bike rider ignores his injuries to aid the driver of the SUV that hit him. An Arkansas driver faces charges for the alleged distracted driving collision that took the life of a high school student on a cross country bike tour. Chicago’s bike friendly mayor shows just how friendly he is by aiding a rider who was injured in a collision. Evidently, she’s a Ramones fan, as an Ohio woman proceeds to beat on the brat with a baseball bat, oh yeah, after a 14-year old bike rider hits her in the face when she yelled an obscenity at him from her car; both were — deservedly — cited for assault. A New York state man is charged with hit-and-run after a road rider is found dead on the side of a street Sunday morning. New Jersey cracks down on New York bike riders. Boston wants to be the nation’s leading city for bicycling. If you think there’s been an increase in road raging drivers, you’re probably right. Florida confronts the state’s well-deserved killer reputation with protected and buffered bike lanes; it comes too late to help a tandem-riding couple critically injured by a hit-and-run driver.

A Vancouver area man is arrested in a fatal hit-and-run after his license plate is found next to the victim’s body; passersby tried heroically to save the victim’s life before paramedics arrived. Protesters surround the UK Parliament to protest cycling conditions; MPs respond by voting to Get Britain Cycling. Could a new London building be the ultimate weapon in the war on cars? Spandex — or rather, Lycra — clad thieves simply ride off on high-end bikes. A big hearted Liverpool cop teams with Walmart to replace a boy’s stolen bike. Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an LA problem. Tour de France riders live an average of 6.3 years longer than the general population; maybe because they get all the good drugs. Formula 1 star saves unpronounceable Spanish Euskaltel Euskadipro cycling team. New Varibike can be pedaled with feet or hands. A teenage Delhi boy is killed in a fight over bicycling courtesy; seems needlessly rude if you ask me. A young girl’s collarbone is broken in a collision with an Aussie cyclist on a shared pathway.

Finally, what it’s like to live in a town so bike friendly, even the chef at your soon to be ex-favorite restaurant can recognize a bike part in your food. You can now ride your bike up a tree. And if you’re going to walk off with the bike you just stole — complete with U-lock still attached to the rear wheel — don’t cross against the light.

Important LAPD meeting next week for anyone who lives or rides through the San Fernando Valley

Yesterday I received the following email from Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee. 

Dear Valley Bicyclists:

At the request of LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas, commanding officer of LAPD’s Operations-Valley Bureau, an important meeting with Valley bicyclists to discuss and improve the handling of:

  •       traffic enforcement to ensure cyclist safety
  •       hit and run collisions/crimes
  •       bicycle thefts
  •       improving safety on the Orange Line and other bicycle paths in the Valley
  •       safety education for motorists and cyclists
  •       and other topics of interest to bicyclists

The LAPD Valley Traffic Division will be participating and the County Sheriff (Metro Orange Line enforcement) has been invited as well.

You are cordially to invited to attend:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
LAPD Van Nuys Division
6240 Sylmar Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91401

So that there is adequate seating and copies of handouts, please RSVP via email to glennbaileysfv@yahoo.com if you are attending OR may be attending. Also, if you have additional topics you wish to be considered for this or a subsequent meeting, please forward those as well.

I encourage you to forward this invitation to other interested Valley cyclists.

Hope to see you there.

Thank you.

Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair
Bicycle Advisory Committee
City of Los Angeles

Having worked with both Bailey and Deputy Chief Villegas as part of the department’s bike task force, I can assure you this is one meeting that will definitely be worth your time.

Especially given the subject matter.

Nothing to see here — I’m on Streetsblog today

Unless there’s breaking news that has to be addressed, I won’t be posting on here today.

Instead, you can find my latest post on LA Streetsblog, discussing sidewalk riding and bike parking in Santa Monica. Especially at the new Apple Store on the Third Street Promenade, where cyclists are shunted off to park — and possibly get their bikes stolen — behind the store in an alley.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious and Bike Metro for calling attention to the problem.

BOLO Alert — Bike stolen in front of Downtown hotel

Here's the actual bike that was stolen.

Here’s the actual bike that was stolen.

Just getting word that a bike belonging to a friend of a friend was stolen last night from in front of the Sheraton Hotel at 7th and Hope Streets, across from Macy’s Plaza.

The bike is a black men’s Virtue roadster-style, with black tires, black seat, a rear rack and a bent back fender. It was reportedly parked next to a police cruiser when the brazen thief cut the cable lock and took of with the bike.

If you see the bike, don’t try to stop the thief yourself; call the police and let them deal with it. Then contact me so I can pass word on to the owner.

Bike theft is one of the few forms of crime on the upswing in Los Angeles, offering thieves the perfect storm of easy opportunity, high reward and low risk.

Protect yourself by using a heavy-duty U-lock any time you’re going to be away from your bike for more than a few minutes; as this case shows, most cable locks provide little protection. Record your bike’s serial number in a safe place, and keep current photos showing the way it looks now to aid in recovery.

And I strongly recommend signing up for free or low cost bicycle registration from Bike Shepherd or the National Bike Registry.

Then again, if Downtown L.A. had a bike center where riders could securely store their bikes, this theft — and countless others — might never have happened.

A-GGH7DCIAA2f_L.jpg-large

Model of the bike taken.

Possibly stolen bike recovered by Monterey Park police

Just received an email from an officer with the Monterey Park Police Department about a suspected stolen bike.

According to the officer, they have recovered a Kestel Talon, roughly 50 cm, with a full Dura-Ace Gruppo. They have reason to suspect it was stolen, but the serial number doesn’t show up in any database of stolen bikes, which suggests that the theft may not have been reported by the owner.

Contact me if you know the owner; you can find my email address on the About page. Or contact the Monterey Park police directly through their Craigslist ad for the bike.

They’d really like to return the bike to its rightful owner. And put the person they believe stole it behind bars for awhile.

A heartwarming story to end your week, a bunch of legal updates and week’s worth of links

Now that there’s finally a lull in this week’s rash of bad news, let’s catch up on all the news that’s been on hold this week.

………

First off, maybe you remember the story.

It was about a year and a half back, when I told the tale of a hero bus rider who jumped off his Commuter Express bus after a long day at the DWP to stop a bike thief, and rescue the prized ride of a total stranger.

It’s one of my favorite stories I’ve told on here, second only, perhaps, to a pair of female triathletes who saved two men from drowning off the Malibu coast.

And I was there last year when Good Samaritan Hospital, where the owner of the bike, Dan McLaughlin, serves as a vice president, honored him at the annual Blessing of the Bicycles.

But after that, I lost track of the story until L.A. Times writer Nita Lelyveld gave me a call a few weeks back.

What I didn’t know was that the story didn’t end that day when McLaughlin handed his bike’s rescuer a plaque in front of a group of gathered cyclists. They had become friends, bonding over bikes, and Bolivar and his wife had even taken to riding a tandem together.

It’s a beautiful story. And one that Nita tells beautifully.

It’s definitely a must read, if you haven’t already.

………

My apologies to Shane Feldon.

I had promised to write this week about a new light system currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. Unlike other bike lights, it doesn’t just attach to your handlebars, but actually is a structural part of your bike.

So it’s always there when you need it, and you never have to worry about forgetting it or having it stolen.

Unless they take your whole bike, of course.

Sadly, there’s only a few hours left to get funded, and it looks like it’s going to end up well short. But if you’ve got some money to invest — or happen to own a bike company — this looks like a great idea with a lot of potential.

………

Nineteen-year old Korean college student Jin Hyuk Byun has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of hit-and-run causing death for allegedly killing 18-year old Angel Bojorquez as he rode home from work in Rancho Santa Fe last Friday.

The judge recognized the risk Byun posed, calling him “an extreme danger to the community,” as he raised Byun’s bail from $50,000 to $1 million, according to the North County Times.

The NC Times also reports that Byun allegedly stopped after killing Bojorquez — not to render aid or call for help, but to push a broken headlight assembly back into place and strip the torn rubber from his tire before driving home on the bare rim.

Remarkably, he faces a maximum of just four years in prison for leaving another human being to die on the side of the road.

Surely there are other charges the DA can file.

Vehicular homicide might be a good start.

………

In other legal news, the Highland Community News confirms that Patrick Roraff has entered a guilty plea in the 2010 death of pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado, as we discussed Monday; co-defendant Brett Morin is still pleading not guilty.

Dj Wheels reports that Phillip Goldburn Williams, charged with vehicular manslaughter in the July, 2010 death of cyclist Victor Apaseo-Rodriguez in Downtown L.A., has been convicted after changing his plea to no contest.

And walked away with a slightly bruised wrist.

Williams received a three years of probation, $194 in fees, 20 days of Caltrans road work, and 160 hours of community service. Oh, and a whopping 12 hours of anger management; we can only wonder what that’s about.

Meanwhile, his victim received a death sentence, carried out on the bumper of Williams’ Chevy Avalanche.

Wheels also reports that a preliminary hearing took place this week for a very pregnant Christine Dahab, charged with felony counts of driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a blood alcohol count over .08, after injuring 13 cyclists in Culver City in June of last year.

And our anonymous South Bay source reports that Joel Alexander Murphy has pleaded not guilty in the hit-and-run death of cyclist Roger Lippman in Huntington Beach last month, as well as for violating his formal parole on drug charges.

I’m also told that both the D.A.’s office and Mothers Against Drunk Driving have been trying to reach out to Lippman’s family and friends to aid in the prosecution and prepare Victim Impact Statements to present to the judge to influence sentencing.

………

In racing news, David Millar wins stage 12 of the Tour de France, seven years about coming back from a doping ban, in what’s turning into a British dominated race. Cadel Evans cracks in stage 11, while Wiggins tightens his grasp on the lead, and Thomas Voeckler won the first mountain stage of the Tour de France.

Bicycling offers an update on the eight Americans who started this year’s Tour; it ain’t pretty. Meanwhile, young riders Chris Froome and Tejay Van Garderen learn the hard way what it means to be a domestique.

Not content to go after Lance, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency bans his doctors and former trainer, while Armstrong refiles his lawsuit against USADA, and a U.S. representative calls for an investigation into the USADA for wasting time investigating Armstrong. And current former TdF champ Alberto Contador plans to return from his doping ban next month.

It’s been 45 years since British rider Tommy Simpson died in the Tour de France, the first, but sadly not only, fatality in its 109 year history.

The route for the fourth stage of August’s badly named USA Pro Cycling Challenge is in danger, as a giant sinkhole threatens to swallow the roadway.

In local racing, the Easy Reader offers a good wrap up of last weekend’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, as Ken Hanson and Shelby Reynolds take the top men’s and women’s categories, respectively.

………

A new date — and new routes — have been announced for this fall’s CicLAvia, in order to make room for the space shuttle. Here’s your chance to ask CicLAvia’s Stephen Villavaso about the changes. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa offers up a video explaining how CicLAvia is transforming our streets, while Better Bike provides a detailed look at the new areas you’ll experience.

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Bill Cosby narrates a 1970s-era public service video about bi-cycling, as he calls it; who knew Santa Ana used to be bike friendly?

………

A reader sends in this photo of an angry Santa Monica bus driver cursing him out after he asked the driver to be more careful. He notes that Big Blue Bus officials were very helpful in handling his complaint, and that simply taking a photo is often the best thing you can do when confronted with a traffic altercation.

I’ve long been a believer in pulling out a camera when confronted with angry driver.

Especially ones that may have been otherwise distracted.

………

The monthly Spoke(n) Art ride rolls tomorrow. CD13 City Council candidate Josh Post is hosting a two hour fun ride along the L.A. River bike path on July 22nd to share his vision for a bike-friendly L.A. and revitalization of the L.A. River. If you’re in the market for a new job, Bikes and Hikes LA is looking for in-shape, bilingual tour guides. LADOT will be testing new treatments Sunday for the badly worn Spring Street green bike lanes. BIKAS offers a better than passing grade for L.A.’s new bikeway efforts. Will Campbell creates another great timelapse through Griffith Park. Santa Monica moves forward with their own 13 station bike share program, which may or may not be compatible with the upcoming L.A. bike share; Better Bike asks what role, if any, the Westside Council of Governments will play on the region’s expanding bike share plans. Glendale gives up on the Honolulu Ave road diet, as auto-centric council member Dan Weaver observes that the city’s streets were designed for automobiles, not bicycles; thanks to Michael Wade for the heads-up. The route has been set for Pasadena’s inaugural Gran Fondo. A ghost bike was installed Friday for Larry Schellhase, the cyclist killed when he hit road debris in Redondo Beach last April.

Newport Beach votes on placing sharrows on the East Coast Highway; word from cdmCyclist’s Frank Peters is that they were approved. San Diego cyclists are understandably upset after Caltrans decides to remove a ghost bike for fallen rider Nick Venuto, but manage to save another for Chuck Gilbreth; they’ll also host a ride to honor fallen cyclists Theodore Jones and Angel Bojorquez on July 25th. San Diego hires Safe Moves to provide bike and pedestrian safety training to students. A local resident asks why Coronado isn’t bike friendly. Sharrows are coming to Highway 101 in Solano Beach. The Bert and Ernie approach to sharing the road. Be careful biking with your dog running alongside; or better yet, just don’t. Security video catches a Solvang burglar breaking in to a bike shop and running out with two bikes. Palo Alto moves forward with a new bike plan. Good news, as the Modesto girl seriously injured when she stepped in front of an antique car to save her bike riding brother returns home from the hospital. Cyclists are gaining political influence in the Bay Area, though not everyone is happy with it. A not guilty plea from the driver accused of critically injuring New Zealand pro cyclist Michael Torckler in a Sonoma County hit and run.

The Bike League looks at our own Dorothy Wong. States can’t wait to spend former bike funding on other projects. New pedals double as bike locks. A Portland study shows bicyclists spend more at local business. Clif Bar celebrates its 20th Anniversary by giving Public bikes to their employees. According to a Denver paper, either cruiser bikes rule, or they’re ruining cycling for the rest of us. A micro brewery in my home town converts its parking lot into secure bike parking. Survivors of the devastating Colorado fires say their lives would be better if they could just get rid of those damn bikes. Aspen CO cyclist can now expect to get a warning instead of a ticket. A North Dakota’s Supreme Court rules a cyclist can be convicted of drunk bicycling. Republican candidates in Madison WI unite to oppose a local bike path. Turns out riding a bike in Chicago is safer than riding in the suburbs. A Michigan driver rear-ended and critically injured a rider, then casually continued on to the same casino where his victim worked. Ohio bike lawyer Steve Magas asks if this is the worst crash report ever. A reminder that cyclists aren’t always the good guys, while a Columbus writer says that city’s drivers are courteous, but cyclists are road-hogging jerks who should be ticketed — and describes unsafely passing a rider as proof. New York plans to slow more drivers down to a 20 mph speed limit. Boston’s Lovely Bicycle finds the middle ground in appreciating John Forester, the father of vehicular cycling. Shockingly, it turns out drivers break the law more than cyclists. Turns out that the DC-area cyclist who killed a pedestrian recently wasn’t a spandex-clad maniac after all. North Carolina cyclists ride in honor of Steve Jordan, the state director for mental health, who was killed while riding his bike on the 4th of July. Florida plans to allow bikes on some limited access highways on a trial basis.

A San Diego physician saves the life of a doored cyclist while vacationing in Vancouver. The British Medical Association says curb car use and make room for bikes and pedestrians. From anorexic model to a favorite in team pursuit at the London Olympics. A British Paralympic cyclist sees her games in doubt after she’s Jerry Browned by a passing car. German cyclist Kristina Vogel bounces back from a broken neck to compete in London. A London cyclist rhetorically asks why not just ban bikes entirely after they’re barred from bus and Olympic lanes prior to the games. A British cyclist receives the equivalent of 36 cents in court ordered compensation for his stolen bike. “Pranksters” nearly decapitate a 12-year old English boy by stringing rope across the footbridge he was riding on; yeah, real funny. Tests show cyclists using earphones at a reasonable level can still hear warning sounds from other riders, comparable to a car driver with no music playing. An Aussie cyclist calls for an end to road rage.

Finally, that’s what I call a rough ride, as a Type 1 Diabetic riding in the Tour Divide stops to check his blood sugar, encounters a bear, slides off of an embankment and nearly drowns in a river before making his way back to his bike — and on to a hospital. This is what I call a sharrow. And these are the rules that should govern every bike club:

1) Ride Bikes

2) Try not to be an ass

………

My apologies to everyone who sent me links this past week. Between all the breaking news and an inadvertent email crash, I’ve completely lost track of who sent me what. But I am grateful to each of you, and hope you’ll all keep sending me more stories as we move forward.

A campus full of steal-able bikes at USC may be a sign of bigger problems

Just a small fraction of the bikes I saw on campus.

Yesterday, I found myself on the University of Southern California campus for the first time.

While crosstown rival UCLA has earned honors as a bronze-level Bike-Friendly University  (pdf) — which may have something to do with their dramatic decrease in vehicular traffic — USC has struggled with the issue of bikes on campus.

But don’t call it a problem, please.

Cars on and around campus are a problem. Getting students onto campus from outlying areas is a problem.

Bikes are a big part of the solution, by allowing students to leave their cars at home and still have the independent mobility they need to get to class on time. As well as to their jobs and other sites throughout the city.

In fact, a full 80% of USC students consider themselves cyclists. Which has reportedly led to the usual, seemingly inevitable conflicts as riders and pedestrians vie for space on a campus that has long considered bikes an afterthought.

If they thought about them at all, that is.

The good news is, the university is working on a bike plan as we speak, with the next workshop scheduled for April 19th. The bad news, I’m told the plan calls for building bike garages on the four corners of the university, followed by banning bikes from the campus itself.

So if you’re running late for class, you’d better plan on running.

Now there’s an intelligent solution for you.

Instead of designing well thought-out bikeways into the fabric of the campus, they may banish bikes while continuing to invite cars into a massive parking garage in the heart of the university. How about building parking garages on the edges of campus, and letting drivers walk for a change?

Of course, this is all third-hand information, at best. Maybe we should plan on attending that workshop on the 19th and find out for ourselves what’s really going there.

In the meantime, a simple walk around campus showed an abundance of bikes everywhere. As well as a decided lack of bike racks.

And many of those were the old-fashioned, minimally secure and often damaging wheel-bender type — all of which were completely full.

As a result, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of bikes lying unsecured on sidewalks or leaning up against buildings and trees.

Many of those were unlocked; most that weren’t just had a U-lock attached to the front wheel, making them easy to pick up and walk off with. Even those that were locked to a rack were usually secured by the front wheel only.

Had I wanted to steal a bike — or a hundred bikes — I could have had my pick.

And then our guide mentioned in passing that bike theft was the biggest crime problem at USC.

Funny, I could have told her that.

While UCLA is far from perfect, they’ve made a point of building secure bike parking throughout the university, from secure U-racks and bike corrals to reservable bike lockers – something USC could accomplish before the end of this semester if they really wanted to do something about the theft problem.

While the lack of secure parking is a real problem, the students themselves need to learn to lock their bikes securely.

Your lock should at least secure your rear wheel and the rear triangle of the frame; ideally, it should secure the front wheel, as well. Especially if you have quick release wheels.

My approach is to remove my front wheel and secure it, as well as the rear wheel and frame to the rack with a sturdy U-lock.

Then again, it’s not just cyclists who seem to have issue with parking.

………

It looks like I may have been taken in.

On Monday, I published a guest post by a writer named Brooke Kerwin.

Now Kevin Jones of the SafetyAtWorkBlog reports that he has been approached by Kerwin, as well. And that she may not be who she seems — if she exists at all.

Rather, he suspects that it may be an attempt to promote a site about distracted driving run by a Florida lawyer. And notes that virtually every article she writes links back to that same site.

It has all the hallmarks of a particularly devious SEO marketing campaign. And I apparently fell for it, along with a number of other people.

I won’t include a link to that site here, because I don’t believe in rewarding such illicit attempts to use this site to market a product or website. But you can find it yourself at distracted driving help dot com.

I’ll leave the post up, since it has some useful information.

But I’ve removed the links she included, two of which just linked back to my site, anyway.

BOLO Alert — Two bikes stolen from Culver City

I’ve been forwarded news this morning that two bikes were stolen from a Culver City woman yesterday. So be on the lookout when you’re on the street — or especially on Craiglist, eBay or other reseller marketplaces.

If you see them, contact the Culver City police at 310/837-1221, or your own local police department. Then email the owner ay virginia dot solomon at gmail dot com.

; you can find my email address on the About page.

Thanks to Eric Bruins for the heads-up; as he notes, there’s a special place in hell for bike thieves.

Ritte Bosberg -
White, external routing, size small
FSA alloy compact K Wing bar
Ritchey WCS stem
Specialized 155 ruby Saddle
FSA Gossamer alloy PC7 SRM
Ultegra pedals
Ritchey WCS maybe 57mm (?) rims with Vredestein tubulars.
Black Fizik bar tape
Swobo Sanchez -
Silver, size 50
Blue Oury grips
some random low rise MTB bar
Ritchey Pro stem
Specialized Toupe saddle
105 front wheel
hand built salsa delgado rim laced to a surly flip flop hub rear wheel
old dura ace cranks
toe clip pedals
black rack, probably planet bike…

Cops 4 bike thieves 0; County bike plan goes before Planning Committee with much to be desired

This hasn’t been a good week for bike thieves.

Manhattan Beach police nailed two, along with a half-dozen hot bikes. If you’ve had a bike stolen in the South Bay in the last six weeks, see if your bike fits the description of the bikes they recovered.

Here on the Westside, police are celebrating the arrest of two burglars specializing in high-end bicycles.

Thirty-sex year old Herrera and 23-year old Julian Herrera were arrested following a burglary on the 100 block of South Bentley just west of UCLA; no word on whether they’re related.

Two bikes that were stolen in the burglary were recovered from their cars, along with an additional two bikes that were found in their homes. One of those bikes was reported stolen over the weekend in Woodland Hills, and has since been returned to its owner.

Both suspects have been linked to other burglaries in the West L.A. area, and are being held on $500,000 bond.

A bike-riding LAPD officer calls on cyclists to report any theft that may have occurred in the last 18 months.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the screen grab, and the office of bike lawyer Howard Krepack for an advance heads-up on the arrests before the news was officially released.

……..

The LACBC writes to urge everyone to attend the L.A. County Planning Commission next Wednesday, November 16th, when they will review the Final Draft of the new Bicycle Master Plan — a plan they say still needs some serious work.

While the plan is a nice start, it still leaves a lot to be desired. Like lane widths that are painted to high-speed highway standards, and a failure to comply with suggestions from the county’s own Health Department.

Additionally, the County Department of Public Health recently released the “Model Design Manual for Living Streets” and is in the process of adopting a “Healthy Design Ordinance” elements of both of these initiatives should be reflected in the County Bike Plan. Specifically the Plan should adopt the lane width standards set out by the Model Design Manual for Living Streets.  Instead of uniformly applying Caltrans Highway Design Manual standards across a County so diverse in density, urban form, and local need, the County Manual provides more flexible standards which better reflect local uses.  On streets with design speeds below 35 mph, 10’ lanes are standard, with widths up to 11’ considered if heavy bus or truck traffic is present.  On streets with higher design speeds, the Manual is silent, permitting DPW to continue to utilize Caltrans highway design standards where prudent.  Recognizing that drivers adjust to narrower lanes by reducing their speed, the County Manual emphasizes that “desired speed” should guide lane width determinations.  In addition to desired traffic speed, we strongly request that the County give due consideration to bicycle traffic volumes and history of collisions involving bicycles.  Finally, to the extent the County will seek of guidance from the Caltrans Highways Design Manual, it should document exceptions to 11’ and 12’ lane standards as provided for in Chapter 21 of the Caltrans Project Development Procedures Manual.

The Coalition also calls for less reliance on the virtually worthless Class III bike routes — particularly on the dangerous roads of the Antelope Valley — and greater emphasis on infrastructure that will encourage riding for people of all ages and skill levels, especially in high obesity areas.

Take a few minutes to download the plan and look over the areas where you ride. And see if you think this solves the problems you know about.

And chances are, you’ll want to be at that meeting Wednesday to suggest that this Final Plan shouldn’t be.

Final, that is.

……..

Some of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations press for fair funding in the proposed federal transportation bill (pdf); DC Streetsblog says there’s still reasons for hope, even if it is popular with the GOP.

Meanwhile other cyclists complain about a clause that would force riders off roads and onto bike paths; Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious points out the obvious dangers in that. Or at least, the dangers that should be obvious to anyone who cared enough to consider the matter.

Unlike our current representatives, for instance.

Richard Risemberg writes Sen. Barbara Boxer to demand a change. And the League of American Bicyclists asks you to sign a petition to fight it.

I just did.

……..

Making short trips by bike could save four trillion pounds of CO2, 1,100 lives, and $7 billion in mortality and healthcare costs — and that’s just six months of riding in just six states.

……..

I linked to this on Tuesday, but it’s worth linking to again, as several people have forwarded it to me over the past few days. Seems like everyone loves the story of the Colorado cyclist who had her bike stolen during last week’s Colorado vs. USC football game.

She found it listed on Craigslist, contacted the thief and arranged to meet him, posing as a prospective buyer. She asked if she could take it on a test ride — then rode back to her car, stuffed it in the trunk and drove off, in full view of the thief.

And yes, the bike thief was not only arrested, but confessed to his crime.

Just remember, as Boulder police note — and as the LAPD has stated a number of times — it’s not the smartest move to confront a thief on your own.

Thanks to everyone who sent me links to this story.

……..

The New York Times says bikes are just the latest scourge pedestrians have had to face. A Brooklyn pedestrian is in a coma after she was struck by a “racing” rider; the local website blames the cyclist without offering any details. Meanwhile, an NYU student says jaywalking peds and aggressive drivers are the real problem — and it’s okay to flip off a driver who honks at you.

……..

L.A. suggests slowing sidewalk cyclists to 3 mph when pedestrians are present; I don’t think my bike can even go that slow without falling over, then again, I don’t normally ride on sidewalks. Here’s your chance to intern at LADOT. The Beverly Hills Public Library gets a shiny new bike corral. It takes 10 times as much space to park two SUVs as it does two bikes. Roadblock calls for donations to Occupy L.A.’s Bike Share program. Santa Monica’s Planning Commission approves the city’s Bike Action Plan, while Alhambra moves forward with one of their own. Metrolink offers some very cool new bike cars that can hold up to 18 bikes and will run throughout the week. Good advice from the Claremont Cyclist on handlebars and how to use them. CaliBikeTours invites you on a short ride to the Cambodian Arts and Culture Exhibition on Saturday.

Bike San Diego offers a great recap of last weekend’s California Bike Summit. The San Diego hit-and-run driver who was found hiding in some bushes after killing a cyclist will face trial on gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and DUI charges. San Jose sees its third bike or pedestrian death in just five days, and the 6th traffic fatality in the larger South Bay area. San Francisco bike fashion sans spandex. Farmers think they can’t operate safely enough to allow a Central Coast bike path without killing us; oddly, I rode tens of thousands of miles through the Colorado farm country and I’m still here.

This year’s Tour de Fat raised over $400,000 for non-profit groups throughout the U.S., including the LACBC, C.I.C.L.E. and the Bicycle Kitchen. Build your own solar-powered lighted bike helmet. How to keep your bike from being stolen; former NBA center Shawn Bradley gets his back. Twenty-eight reasons to bike; most days, I only need one. Bicycling offers 50 golden rules for riding a bike. Boulder CO proposes an 8 mph speed limit for bikes in crosswalks; like the proposed L.A. sidewalk limit, I wonder if that can be legally enforced against riders without speedometers. A Kansas driver gets just seven days in jail, plus 25 days house arrest for killing a cyclist while drunk; one reason for the low penalty — the victim was drunk as a skunk, high and riding in the lane wearing dark clothes and without lights. The Lance Armstrong Bikeway could soon connect the full width of Austin TX. A Texas driver is arrested for a head-on hit-and-run collision that killed two bike-riding Mormon missionaries and injured another. An Illinois cyclist gets a $120 ticket for riding salmon. Drivers complain about an Indianapolis road diet. An Ohio driver gets three years and six months for running down a cyclist while drunk, while apologists continue to make excuses for him. Listen online to Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas recent radio interview. Memphis gets 55 miles of bikeways in just two years. Haywood NC gets a new bike plan, for which our buddy Zeke should get a lot of credit. Here’s your chance to own a totally unique bicycle, since that sprung-steel wheel bike is up for auction. The New Orleans Times-Picayune endorses the seven-fold expansion of the city’s bikeways.

After a bike-riding mother is dragged to her death, Ottawa authorities don’t think it’s worth doing anything about it. A Toronto driver charges onto the sidewalk to run down a rider in a road rage attack. A UK cyclist clings to the hood of a car for dear life after his bike is slammed by a grinning driver in a road rage assault. The Guardian wants to create a worldwide map of ghost bikes, but questions whether they put people off from riding; I’d say ignoring the dangerous conditions on our streets seldom makes them go away. And as long as London Mayor Boris Johnson is in office, local cyclists may want to stock up on them, while a London bike ride will tour the city’s 10 most dangerous intersections. Cambridge cyclists say signs telling them to dismount need to be more polite. David Hembrow says Great Britain has improved road safety by taking vulnerable users off the road; Bike Aware says it’s the drivers who need training instead. Scotland plans to increase transportation spending — and cut bike and pedestrian funds. An Irish cyclist warns of a second-lock bike theft scam. Disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis gets a one-year sentence for hacking into a drug lab computer system. Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Romain Sicard was arrested for stealing traffic markers while driving drunk. Italy overturns the conviction of the man who supplied the late, great Marco Pantani with a fatal dose of cocaine. A pair of USB-equipped German bikes can charge your mobile device while you ride.

Finally, a British car site offers real advice on how to share the road with cyclists for a change. And check out this checklist of privileges drivers enjoy — and you don’t.

A Veteran’s Day aside to everyone who has served our country.

Thank you. Just… thank you.

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