Morning Links: It’s Bike Week in LA, meet a real American hero, win a free book and ride a tiny new bike lane

It’s Bike Week in LA.

I’m not going to list all the events here; many others already beat me to it. Which is a big — and welcome — change from years past.

CiclaValley offers a look at the scheduled events for the week, including my personal favorite, the Blessing of the Bicycles. Other highlights include today’s panel discussion on whether bikes are in your future, and Friday’s Bike Night at Union Station. Not to mention Thursday’s Bike to Work Day, with bike trains and pit stops all over the county.

KCRW says bike events are going to be all over the county this week; case in point, Santa Clarita celebrates the Tour of California and Bike to Work Day on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. KNBC-4 looks at Bike Week activities in Pasadena, while Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is offering a 15% discount all week.

The LA Daily News provides a preview of the week’s events, though someone should explain to them that the point of bicycling is to keep the rubber side down.

And Performance Bike in Santa Monica, which recently moved into the old Wilshire Theater, is appropriately hosting a series of movies at 7 pm each Tuesday throughout May’s Bike Month.

  • 5/5 – Breaking Away
  • 5/12 – American Flyers
  • 5/19 – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
  • 5/26 – The Bicycle Thief

Admission is free; bring a chair to sit on. Thanks to Jon Riddle for the heads-up.

……..

One more semi-Bike Week event this week.

This Friday, there will be fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank from 3 pm to 9 pm. The event is being held by 14-year old Michelle Morlock to raise $3000 in donations to the organization; the donation will allow her to ride 400 miles with wounded vets from West Point to Annapolis.

If you’re not familiar with Ride 2 Recovery, the group uses bicycling to help veterans, many of whom have suffered life changing injuries, heal from their wounds and come all the way home from the trauma of war.

The highlight of the event will be a chance to meet 94-year old Lt. Col. Robert Friend, one of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, one of the most legendary military units of World War II. He will be available for photos and autographs in the parking lot; a donation jar will be available, and if you present the flyer inside, Bob’s Big Boy will donate 15% of your meal ticket to Ride 2 Recovery.

The Airmen not only fought the Nazis, but had to fight discrimination in the army to defend a country where they were treated as second-class citizens. They arguably did as much as anyone to integrate the military and end legal discrimination in America, by proving that African Americans could not only be as good as any other flyers, but were among the best to fight on either side.

My father, who was in his 40’s when I was born, fought in both Europe and the Pacific. He often said he wanted to meet one of the Tuskegee Airmen just to shake his hand and thank him for what they did.

On Friday, I hope to do it for him.

……..

It’s been awhile since we’ve held a contest on here. So in honor of Bike Week, let’s do something about that right now.

Pilgrim Wheels - front coverLast week, I received a press release announcing a new book by Colorado author Neil Hanson, Pilgrim Wheels: Reflections of a Cyclist Crossing America.

Here’s the description from the publisher:

An inspirational story of journey, discovery, and place, Pilgrim Wheels describes Neil Hanson’s 2011 journey by bicycle across the United States. His bicycle ride becomes the canvas for an incredible adventure: a pilgrimage of wonder as he explores the people he meets along the path, the obstacles he faces, the pain he endures, and the boundless joy he achieves as he completes the first half of his journey to the humid farmland east of Medicine Lodge, Kansas. A beautifully written and reflective memoir, Pilgrim Wheels provides a glimpse into the sweetness of physical achievement, the inspired awe that comes from the sheer beauty of our country’s majestic back roads, and the warmth and love shared by the people who welcome Hanson into their lives along the way.

You can read more about the book and the author on his website.

Hanson has generously offered to give a copy of the book to a lucky BikinginLA reader. All you have to do is click the link below and enter with your Facebook account or email address by end of day Friday.

Win a copy of Pilgrim Wheels!

Good luck!

……..

Westwood has been famous in recent years for the ridiculous 275 foot long bike lane on Galey Avenue in Westwood.

Now Richard Rosenthal sends photographic evidence of an even more absurd bike lane on Sepulveda Blvd in El Segundo.

The lane channels bike riders to the left of right turning cars for a whopping 50 yards, if that, before throwing them back into traffic on the busy, high speed thoroughfare.

Sepulvrda Bike Lane

……..

The Amgen Tour of California is underway, as Mark Cavendish wins the first stage; allergies knocked California’s Andrew Talansky out of the race.

The LA Times says New Jersey native Carter Jones is excited to be back in the US racing on American soil. Before the race even started, though, a woman taking a wide turn on a Sacramento area bike path took out some of the pros out on a training ride, including Peter Sagan.

The Sacramento Bee says pro cycling could use a showman or two, while anti-doping agencies team up to keep the race clean.

Sadly, the women’s race is over just as the men are getting started, after just three stages, although there will be a invitational time trial in Big Bear on Friday.

Lauren Komanski led the women’s race after two stages, but dropped to third as Trixi Worrack took the overall title; Leah Kirchman won the final stage to finish second. Meanwhile, a member of British royalty rode in the peloton after competing in the Paralympics.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Simon Gerrans looks pretty in pink after winning the team time trial in the Giro d’Italia. And don’t try this at home, kids — a fixie riding race fan gets the blame for crashing into the peloton at the end of the second stage of the.

……..

Somehow I missed this one from last week.

A Georgia father of three was killed when the driver of a pickup crossed the double yellow line on a blind curve to illegally pass another truck, slamming into a group of riders. The driver faces charges of felony vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

Thanks to Mike Kim for the heads-up.

……..

Local

A counter-press conference will be held at 8 am tomorrow at Red Car River Park to protest plans to rebuild the Hyperion bridge without a sidewalk. Everyone who supports Option 3 to include bike lanes and sidewalks on the bridge is urged to attend.

A bike rider was hospitalized after being hit by a car in Valencia.

About 3,000 riders turn out for the Tour of Long Beach, raising $350,000 for juvenile cancer research.

 

State

A Riverside county supervisor defends the troubled plan for a 50-mile bike and pedestrian path from Desert Hot Springs to the Salton Sea.

Hats off to tiny Guadalupe (population 7225), which closed down three miles of streets for the town’s first ciclovía.

The bike riding managing editor of the Stockton Record says we all need to share the road; a windshield-addled commenter says why not share railroad tracks and airport runways, too.

A San Francisco college instructor says a road raging driver repeatedly tried to run him down as he rode his bike; the final assault was captured on video.

 

National

Tucson cyclists get a new two-way separated bike lane. For one whole block, before dumping riders into traffic on the left side of a three lane one-way street.

The Colorado Rockies radio announcer will take a sabbatical to compete in RAAM as part of a two-person team to raise funds for a Haitian orphanage.

Remarkably, cyclists have no legal right-of-way when riding through Nebraska intersections; state lawmakers vote to keep it that way.

Wisconsin’s conservative governor takes aim at the state’s Complete Streets law by removing the requirement to make streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, claiming it’s merely an attempt to remove a regulatory burden. Right.

A bike path sparked a $200 million redevelopment in Minneapolis. Yes, a bike path; let’s hope Wisconsin’s governor is listening.

Ohio could require children up to 16 to wear helmets.

Sad news from Philadelphia, as a local filmmaker is killed while riding his bike. Note to Philly.com: There is nothing inevitable about traffic collisions; they can actually be avoided if people care enough to pay attention and obey the law.

Nearly 2,000 law enforcement officers ride from New York’s Ground Zero to Washington DC to honor fellow officers killed in the line of duty; 300 cops from Southern California took part.

A Virginia cyclist reportedly swerved into the path of a driver who had safely moved over to pass. Sure, let’s go with that. Note to WYDaily.com: A bike rider is a human being, not an “it.”

 

International

A new Australian electric bicycle professes to fix what’s wrong with other e-bikes.

Evidently, requiring helmets hasn’t done enough to force riders off the road, so an unworkable requirement is in the works as an Aussie state considers yet another step to stifle the growth in bicycling by requiring bikes to be licensed to curb “lunatic” cyclists.

Thai cyclists say drunk drivers who kill should be charged with premeditated murder instead of reckless driving. Couldn’t agree more; drunks who merely injure or maim someone should be charged with attempted murder.

Another good idea from Thailand — drivers on shared lanes should be limited to 30 kmh, the equivalent of just 18 mph.

 

Finally…

A writer for London’s Telegraph can’t seem to grasp that different people enjoy different styles of bike riding — including, yes, riding in Lycra. Another new study from the University of Duh says it’s pretty much useless to ride with a hangover.

And more proof bike riders are tough, as a San Diego man rides to a friend’s house for help after being stabbed at a 7-11.

 

Weekend Links: Sentencing delayed in emotional drugged driving case, rider reportedly robbed on Ballona Creek

Before we start, here’s one video you want to watch. Trust me on this.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

………

Just gotten word that the sentencing of Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti in the drugged driving death of cyclist Eric Billings has been delayed due to a technicality.

Fakhrai-Bayrooti unexpectedly pled guilty to a single felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated last March, and was scheduled to be sentenced to up to four years in prison today. The judge delayed sentencing until June 10th to allow the defense time to review the probation report.

However, he revoked bail and remanded her into custody to be evaluated prior to sentencing.

According to the OC DA’s office, Fakhrai-Bayrooti had Xanax and Suboxone in her system when she ran down Billings’ bike from behind on March 15, 2013, as he rode in a marked bike lane on Santa Margarita Parkway in Mission Viejo.

According to My News LA, Billing’s daughter, who was six month’s pregnant when he was killed, gave birth to a son who will never know his grandfather. And one her brothers is getting married Saturday without a father to stand by his side.

Mark Billings said he too had struggled with addiction, but it was his brother’s unconditional love that helped him overcome his own drug problems.

Eric Billings “was the kind of guy who carried extra shirts and sweaters in his car to give to someone out in the cold,” Mark Billings said.

I’m told the judge wept openly in the courtroom listening to the impact statements from family members. And the court reporter recorded it all with mascara running down her face.

………

Once again, there’s bad news from Ballona Creek.

A rider writing on Reddit reports that he saw another cyclist being robbed by four men on the bike path near the National/Jefferson exit Tuesday evening.

This has been an ongoing, if infrequent, problem over the years; in fact, crime alerts on the pathway date back to at least 1990.

It’s not that the bike path is particularly dangerous. However, just like any other place in the city where you’re out of public view, you have to be alert to the circumstances around you.

If you don’t feel comfortable, wait for other riders to catch up, or go back to the previous exit and ride around the problem area.

Just don’t hold your breath for the police to respond. There’s been an ongoing debate over which police agencies have jurisdiction where on the path.

And riders have complained that 911 operators can’t seem to find it on a map to send anyone, anyway.

………

CiclaValley offers a preview of the next week’s Amgen Tour of California, which starts on Sunday. The Sacramento Bee explains seven things you’ll want to know about the Tour of California; eight actually, since an update mentions that Marcel Kittel has pulled out.

American Tyler Farrar is one of the riders to watch. And tour officials are working to keep the routes safe for the riders, unlike several recent racing calamities that left riders badly injured.

Meanwhile, the women in these photos finally get four days in the AToC, which started Friday. Second-year UnitedHealthcare pro Katy Hall dreams of charging up Mt. Baldy just like the men, while Alison Tetrick looks forward to joining a deep field charging through the snow.

While this year’s women’s tour is a big step forward, it’s long past time to let women racers compete on equal terms. And put them on TV, for chrissake.

………

A sign on LA garbage trucks urges homeowners not to turn bike lanes into garbage lanes.

I’m told the LAPD has gotten several complaints about people blocking bike lanes with their garbage cans. And yes, that is illegal.

A new Toronto app allows riders to report cars blocking bike lanes. Maybe we need an LA version that lets us report trash cans, too.

………

Local

South La Brea is making a comeback. And a local bike shop is helping lead the way.

USC’s Story Space interviews the LACBC’s Eric Bruins and Michael McDonald of Bike the Vote LA; thanks to Streetsblog LA for the link.

The Westwood Village Farmers’ Market is giving away a “sleek” new commuter bike from Helen’s Cycles to celebrate the new bike corral on Broxton Ave. Which would be the perfect place to park your bike to attend the Westwood Village Farmers’ Market. I’m just saying.

Santa Clarita hosts the free nine-mile family friendly Hit the Trail bike ride on Saturday.

Former Olympic cyclist Tony Cruz will lead Saturday’s Tour of Long Beach, with rides from 30 to 100 miles, benefitting pediatric cancer research.

Speaking of Long Beach, bike ridership is up 21% in the downtown area from 2013, suggesting that the city’s emphasis on building bike lanes is working.

Women are invited to tell their story explaining why you need a new bike, and possibly win one from Pedal Love and Made in Long Beach.

 

State

Red Kite Prayer remembers Bay Area bicycling legend Jobst Brandt, who passed away at age 80 after a long illness.

San Bernardino deputies recover a Loma Linda boy’s $1,500 stolen bike after his father discovered it for sale on Craigslist.

Bakersfield police release surveillance video of burglars who knocked off a local bike shop last month.

Great idea for a bike ride, as the San Jose Public Library host the Gira de Libro, visiting five of the city’s 23 libraries. Rumor has it that LA has public libraries, as well, though few residents have actually been inside one.

After the local Marin paper refused to even consider the possibility a bike rider might not have been at fault in a collision with an 80-year old woman, it turns out the rider did what he could to avoid hitting her. An estimated 15 to 17 mph sounds way too fast for a narrow bridge shared with pedestrians, though; we need to slow down when passing people on foot, just like drivers should slow down when passing bikes.

A Sacramento bike rider was killed in a collision with a train. By far the easiest type of wreck to avoid, since trains have to travel on tracks and have warning lights, bells and/or crossing gates to tell you they’re coming.

A Mariposa cyclist suffered major injuries when he was left crossed by a motorist; according to the comments, the victim is the principle double bass player for the local orchestra. Let’s hope makes a fast and full recovery.

 

National

Performance Bicycle is named a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Business. Then again, if a bike shop isn’t bike friendly, something is seriously wrong.

America’s biggest bike share operator has now gone into the manufacturing business.

As we’ve said before, people don’t ride on the sidewalk if they feel safe on the streets, as shown by a new protected bike lane in Honolulu that’s cut sidewalk riding by 65%.

Salt Lake will build the nation’s first protected intersection, designed to keep bike riders and pedestrians safe.

A texting teenage Chicago driver could get off the hook for hitting a cyclist because the police never read the driver her rights.

Turns out Chicago’s favorite sport of the late 1800’s wasn’t hockey or baseball. So when, if ever, is that long-rumored Major Taylor movie coming out, anyway?

Once again, a bike rider is collateral damage in a wreck between two drivers, this time in Milwaukee; the victim was an ice cream vendor on a three-wheeled bike.

Kids, don’t try this at home. An off-duty New Hampshire cop was killed riding his bike down a flight of stairs — inside a house.

 

International

The pope attends a singletrack bike fest. Oh, not that pope.

A new study from the University of Duh says bike commuters really do lose weight, as long as they ride 30 minutes each way.

Expect serious bike lust at this weekend’s Spin London bike show.

A UK court is told a cyclist killed in an unsafe pass by his own father’s truck would have survived if he had only been wearing a helmet. Which is impossible to say with any certainty, despite the investigator’s apparent certainty.

Sweden’s Princess Estelle looks like any other adorable three-year old bike rider with her pink helmet and training wheels.

A new German safety campaign encourages cyclists to wear helmets, just like Darth Vader. Do they seriously think equating a bike helmet with crossing over to the Dark Side will actually work?

As bicycling grows in Egypt, it’s even becoming safer for women to ride alone.

Bangkok cyclists call for stiffer penalties for drunk drivers in the wake of two collisions in which drivers plowed into group rides, killing four people; police promise to step up safety measures.

 

Finally…

How many times do we have to say it? If you’re riding your bike with an outstanding felony warrant, stay off the damn sidewalk in Santa Monica, already. Now you too, can have a truly tasteless bike taillight dangling from your seat, just like the big boys in their trucks; the sad thing is, it was actually funded.

And Bremerton WA police have apparently developed a new technique to stop fleeing drivers by throwing out a bike strip; no word on whether they use roadies, fixies or mountain bikes.

 

Morning Links: Injured SD cyclist needs your help, CA keeps dopers on the road, and Winnipeg ups the ante on ciclovías

Once again, a bike rider needs your help.

Earlier in the week, we mentioned that a San Diego cyclist was seriously injured when a wrong way driver tried to enter a mall parking lot through the exit lane. However, the story didn’t identify the 61-year old victim.

Now it turns out he’s well-known in the San Diego area.

Paul Kroeger is a 40-year veteran of the bicycling industry, and the long-time Master Mechanic at Hi-Tech Bikes. According to the shop’s Facebook page, Kroeger is in stable condition despite suffering major injuries, and faces a long, hard recovery.

A fund has been established to help cover expenses; in the first 11 hours, it had raised nearly $6,000 of the $25,000 goal.

……..

California legislators reject a proposal for roadside testing of suspect drug-using drivers, evidently opting to keep dope-impaired motorists behind the wheel, where they can do more harm.

Smart.

……..

Love this idea.

Instead of a ciclovía, Winnipeg is closing some of the city’s streets on Sundays and holidays to turn them into designated bike routes.

Drivers who travel more than one block on any of the four streets face hefty fines for violating the closures.

……..

Bike lawyer Edward Rubinstein looks at the weather forecast for next week, and asks if the Amgen Tour of California is the cure for the state’s drought.

But lost in the excitement over Sunday’s start of the Amgen Tour of California is Saturday’s start of the Giro d’Italia.

……..

Local

Metro says give your car a break and take a bike instead. Although sell your damn car and use the proceeds to buy a few Pashleys for your family has a ring to it, too.

More on the unveiling of a new PCH safety video produced by the PCH Taskforce, along with the kids’ bike rodeo in Malibu on Friday. Full disclosure: I’ve helped represent the LACBC on said taskforce for several years, though I had nothing to do with the creation of the video.

New LA-made bike socks offer maps of some of the city’s iconic bike routes.

The LA Weekly looks at Long Beach’s young, gay, Latino and bike-friendly mayor.

 

State

A San Diego County Supervisor rides 25 miles along the coast to work, promising to promote safe cycling and demonstrate how much fun bike commuting can be. I dare any LA County Supervisors to do the same; hell, I double dog dare you. So there.

In a new podcast series, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with BikeSD’s Sam Ollinger, who somehow managed to turn a bike blog into a powerhouse advocacy organization with 1,200 paying members. And counting.

Carlsbad police recover 35 stolen bicycles; if you lost a bike recently, call 760/931-2142 or email judy.thomas@carlsbadca.gov. And register your bike now so it can be identified if does ever happen to you.

The Great Western Bicycle Rally offers a four day bike fest in Paso Robles at the end of this month.

San Francisco plans to lower bicycling injuries by elevating bike lanes. The city is also testing triple bike racks on some of the hillier bus routes.

A Marin County cyclist collided with an 80-year old woman while riding on a multi-use pathway. Bike riders should always use extra care when riding near any pedestrians; on the other hand, the local paper never even considers the possibility that it might not have been the rider’s fault.

Nice story, as the victim of a fatal Chico hit-and-run is still having a positive effect on the world two years later. Note to ChicoER: A drunken hit-and-run — with a BAC four times the legal limit, no less — is a crime, not an accident.

 

National

The Travel Channel lists the nation’s top 10 cycling cities. LA must have come in at number 11, right?

A new bike helmet includes built-in front and rear lights. I just happened to see one of these on Sunset Blvd Monday evening; it wasn’t that bright at dusk, but should stand out after dark.

A road raging Portland bike rider is photographed throwing a U-lock at a teenage driver’s car. I’ve said it before — no matter how angry you are or how much you think the driver deserves it, never resort to violence. Period. Great photo, though.

A new Salt Lake City poll shows nearly everyone loves the city’s bike lanes. Except Republicans.

A French cyclist has his recumbent stolen from his Colorado campsite, just one week into a planned 18-month round-the-world tour.

The NYPD is decriminalizing sidewalk riding, opting to issue traffic tickets instead of criminal summons.

Tragically, a Louisiana bike rider is killed by a hit-and-run driver just one day before his 46th birthday.

Florida commits to installing buffered bike lanes when possible. Which wouldn’t have helped the rider who was intentionally run down, then shot at by a driver; the suspect faces multiple felony charges.

 

International

An Ottawa writer suggests kicking bikes off the bike paths.

London’s Telegraph expresses concern that the increase in bicycling is putting Britain’s economic recovery at risk, because a whopping 5% of people polled had taken out personal loans to buy either a car or a bike. No, really, I think they’re serious.

A pair of Scot students design a bike rack with a built-in lock, so you don’t have to tote a heavy U-lock everywhere you go. Or have one to throw at the driver behind you, for that matter (see above).

The great-grand-nephew of its founder is reviving a classic Latvian bike brand.

An unconscious Aussie man was found lying in the street wearing a bike helmet; police eventually found the bike the apparent hit-and-run victim was riding in the top of a tree.

The Thai hit-and-run driver who plowed into a group of cyclists, killing one, turns himself in four days later. But swears he wasn’t drunk and that he pulled over to talk on his cell phone. Honest.

 

Finally…

Here’s one problem we don’t have in LA, as a noted South African cyclist faces surgery after colliding with a water buffalo; sadly, the buffalo didn’t make it. The next time a truck runs you off the road, it may not have a driver to yell at.

And if you’re carrying a billiard ball wrapped in a bandana, put some damn lights on your bike…wait, what?

 

Morning Links: Ride SaMo’s Breeze bikes, Seth says thumbs down to PCH bike lanes, & an 8 y.o. hit-and-run perp

Local

The rich get richer as bike lanes are scheduled to go in on Westwood Plaza this month on the already bike-friendly UCLA campus.

Nine more bikes have been stolen in Downtown LA, including one where the owner left the key resting on the seat. Seriously, let that be your reminder to register your bike now, before anything happens.

The Santa Monica Public Library wants your advice on what kind of programs they should offer, including possible bicycle-related programming. Meanwhile, visitors to Saturday’s Santa Monica Festival can try out one of the bikes from the city’s coming Breeze bike share.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says Malibu’s new door zone bike lanes on PCH are complete rubbish, and the equivalent of the city giving the finger to cyclists who ride the highway.

Flying Pigeon hosts the monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride this Saturday.

LADOT Bike Blog lays out the full schedule for next week’s LA Bike Week, while CICLE hosts Women’s Bike Night next Wednesday as part of Pasadena Bike Week.

 

State

Someone with a San Clemente address has scammed two bike manufactures out of high-end bikes by posing as a magazine editor asking to do a review. Note to bike makers: I will gladly review your bikes, and probably even return them afterwards.

The ninth annual Grand Prix of Cycling rolled through Dana Point on Sunday.

Apple Valley police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a cyclist from behind; the victim was airlifted to a hospital with unknown injuries.

San Jose becomes the latest California city to adopt a Vision Zero plan. Now it’s time for the state to step up.

 

National

Drivers often complain that bike riders don’t pay enough for the roads we ride on. Actually, it’s the other way around.

Denver is missing an opportunity to create a network of protected bike lanes.

An Illinois woman is being investigated by child services for riding her bike while holding the hand of her small son as he ran alongside, apparently struggling to keep up.

Maybe it’s just me, but 9 am seems just a tad early to use heroin before getting behind the wheel; the allegedly stoned driver hit a parked car, then drove onto the sidewalk and ran down a parked bicycle. But what the hell is an “unoccupied” bike?

New York introduces a new Vision Zero TV ad designed to get drivers to actually slow down and pay attention. As if.

A New York street could go from having a 10-foot shared lane to a six-foot parking-protected bike lane with a five-foot buffer. As Yoda would say, jealous I am. Except a Jedi master probably wouldn’t be jealous.

A heftier Jonah Hill is captured by paparazzi pedaling a Citi Bike through the streets of New York.

 

International

How to tell if you’re watching too much cycling on television. I only wish that was a problem on American TV, especially when it comes to women’s racing.

Ottawa votes to spend nearly $5 million to not install protected bike lanes.

The Guardian looks at how Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world, including the Stop de Kindermoord movement to end the deaths of children on their streets. Something we desperately need the equivalent of right here in the US.

Thai authorities are on the lookout for a driver who fled the scene after plowing into a group of Bangkok bike riders, killing one and injuring two others. This follows just days after a drunken, speeding driver killed three riders elsewhere in the country.

 

Finally…

The Feds want to ask Lance’s girlfriend if his pants are on fire, while Astana goes on double secret probation. A New York cyclist unexpectedly beats a well-deserved ticket for running a red light.

And Mad City police are on the lookout for a hit-and-run cyclist who broke the leg of a two-year old boy; the perp is described as an eight or nine year old girl.

 

23-year old bike rider killed last week in Granada Hills truck collision

Today is turning into a very sad day.

Last Thursday, I received a secondhand report that a bicyclist had been killed in Granada Hills earlier in the week. Since then, I’ve been working with Asher M to confirm the report, without success

Sadly, that came today, when the LAPD’s bike liaison for the Valley Traffic Division confirmed that that a rider was killed last week.

According to his email, the victim was crossing Nordhoff Street while riding north on Petit Ave when multiple witnesses report he went through the red light while riding against traffic, and was struck by a vehicle.

No time was given for the collision.

Asher was able to track down Facebook and Instagram pages identifying the victim as 23-year old Andrew Fang. A memorial post indicates he was on his way home from school when he was hit by a truck, and died in the hospital the following day.

A fund has been established to help his family cover the unexpected costs relating to his death. As of today, it has raised a little over $3,800 of the $10,000 goal.

This is the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles. That compares with 16 in the county and four in the city this time last year.

Update: The wreck occurred at 7:50 pm, so visibility may have been an issue, as well.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andrew Fang and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Asher M, whose assistance was invaluable.

Morning Links: More on efforts to undo Chase Street, bike riding family shot in WI, and apparently only dopes dope

Good commentary from Mr. CiclaValley (who apparently has no idea how hard it is not to type CicLAvia by mistake) on the ridiculous efforts to undo a road diet on Chase Street in Panorama City.

As he points out, the argument comes down, as it usually does, to the convenience of pass-through motorists versus the safety of people who live, work and attend school along the street, which was never intended to be the arterial people seem to use it for.

Or that the local neighborhood councils want it to be, at least.

Battles like this are best seen as the violent death throws of LA’s overdependence on motor vehicles. Simply put, the city has no choice but to change; as he points out, increasing capacity on our streets does nothing to reduce congestion in the long run.

The only choice we have is to provide viable alternatives to driving. Which means, not just providing transit options, but making our streets safe to bike and walk.

As an added benefit, improving safety also makes our neighborhoods more livable, resulting in increased property values and greater profitability for local businesses.

Which seems to be more than worth a small increase in congestion — which usually only lasts until drivers adjust to the changes, anyway.

But hey, that’s just me.

………

This one’s just too sad for words.

A Wisconsin father and daughter were killed, and the mother injured, when a stranger opened fire on a family out for a bike ride before killing himself. Just because he was pissed off after a fight with his girlfriend, and they happened to be there.

There are no words.

………

Give Lance his yellow jerseys back.

A new study says doping not only doesn’t improve performance, but it can actually have the opposite effect.

So Armstrong may have won in spite of cheating, not because of it.

Yeah, good luck with that one.

………

Local

The WeHo Bicycle Coalition posts candidate questionnaires for all the candidates in next months West Hollywood election, while the city’s City Council considers jacking up fines for parking in bike lanes.

Malibu is hosting a free bike rodeo for kids ages 4 – 13 this Friday afternoon, along with the premier of a new video promoting safety on PCH.

Look ma, no hands! Actor Orlando Bloom impresses the impressionable Brit press by riding his mountain bike hands-free through the ‘Bu.

A Long Beach rider walks away from a collision in Belmont Shore.

 

State

All-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk will compete in this year’s Amgen Tour of California, while former non-diabetic Astana rider Evan Huffman struggles to come back with an entry-level team competing in the tour.

A a meth-fueled Santa Barbara woman attempts to make her getaway by stolen bike after attacking an elderly woman with a pitchfork.

San Mateo County can afford to widen the freeway, but can’t seem to scape up enough funds for a safe way for bikes and pedestrians to cross it.

Bay Area-based Google gets a patent for how driverless cars can detect bike riders and recognize hand signals. But can it recognize the one we give to too many human drivers? Yes, that one.

Chico bicyclists smartly adapt the tweed ride for the California climate with an annual seersucker ride.

 

National

Advice on how to choose a lock and effectively secure your bike.

A $100,000 grant from REI helps fund protected bike lanes in six cities. And no, Los Angeles is not one of them.

A Mac website says the non-Apple-made Stromer ST2 e-bike is such a blast to ride it shouldn’t be street legal.

A Honolulu protected bike lane increased bike traffic by 70% in just one year, while cutting sidewalk riding from 66% to just 14%.

Oregon begins a new campaign to increase bike tourism in the state.

My hometown offers an alternative to bike share, with a bike library that lends out bicycles to anyone who needs one. Note to the Coloradoan newspaper: Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes. Fort Collins wasn’t a cow town; it was all about the sheep. Which explains why my high school team was called the Lambkins, something I’m still trying to live down.

Yesterday we mentioned a cyclist with pancreatic cancer who spent the last three years touring the US. Now another rider pauses in Texas on a cross country ride to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer; his wife, who suffers from the disease, is following in the support van. My mother died of pancreatic cancer, as did Steve Jobs and Cardinal Joseph Bernadin. And as a relatively newly minted Type 2 diabetic, I face an increased risk, as well. I fucking hate cancer.

Tres shock! The editor-in-chief of Vogue is nearly flattened by a bike rider on her way to a New York red carpet event; the rider was reportedly led away by police.

Bono falls off his bike once again. But this time it was just a stunt for Jimmy Fallon.

West Virginia tells drivers to give bike riders three feet.

A South Carolina motorist faces an attempted murder charge for jumping out of his car and attacking a woman riding her bike; the victim was seriously injured in the assault.

 

International

Good for them. A UK appeals court tells a hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist and tried to cover up his crime that he deserves every day of his eight-and-a-half year sentence.

A bicyclist is beaten to death by a motorcycle rider attending a wedding in India, after he lost his balance and broke a turn signal on the motorbike. A mob responded by trashing the wedding site, yet the couple still managed to exchange vows under heavy police protection.

Adult cyclists may soon be allowed to ride on the sidewalks in one Down Under state.

The LA Times looks at the problems besetting Giant’s giant Taiwan bike manufacturing plant.

Not surprisingly, the speeding Thai driver who plowed into a group of cyclists, killing three and injuring six, was under the influence.

 

Finally…

It often seems like spandex and those who wear it are under attack these days, but bike shorts still come in handy for smuggling a half kilo of coke jammed into your nether regions. When you’re claiming to be the victim in a road rage incident, it helps if you don’t head butt and bite the cops when they respond; it also helps if the Kiwi press can manage to keep the damn parties in the story straight.

And caught on video: A Brit bike rider flips through the air along with his mangled bike after he’s hit by a car, and catches the whole thing on his helmet cam.

 

62-year old crosswalk rider killed in Santa Ana left cross collision

Bad news from Santa Ana.

I learned late last night from a source in Orange County that a bike rider was killed in a left cross while riding in a crosswalk Monday evening.

The victim, identified by the Orange County Coroner as 62-year old Robert Horton, was riding in a crosswalk along 17th Street when he hit by a car turning left onto the northbound I-5 Freeway onramp around 5:20 pm.

He was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead at 6:06 pm.

Presumably, Horton was riding on the sidewalk when he rode into the crosswalk; no word on which side of the street he was on or which direction he was riding.

Riding on the sidewalk is banned in the downtown area in Santa Ana; whether that would apply along the freeway is unclear. Depending on how the local police apply the confusing laws on riding in a crosswalk, he could be blamed for the collision if he was riding against traffic.

However, looking at Google Earth, it’s unclear how the driver could have made a legal left turn onto either onramp, since they appear to be designed for right turns only, with left turns blocked by the median.

And while the Orange County Register identifies the make and model of the car, there’s no word on the driver. Or even if the car had one.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Orange County. That compares with 38 and eight, respectively, this time last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert Horton and his family. 

Thanks to James Johnson of Johnson Attorneys Group for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Photographic proof of bikes in Hollywood, ride LA with Phil Gaimon, and transvestites on bikes

We took the Corgi on a long and pleasant walk through our new Hollywood neighborhood on Sunday, on our way to the Ride On! Bike Day at Amoeba Records.

And I was not only pleased to see that people ride their bikes to the city’s largest farmer’s market…

SAMSUNG

…but that Amoeba has their very own bike corral. Which doesn’t look a bit like the ones the city installs.

Amoeba Bike Corral

……..

Local

Caught on video: Ride the streets of LA with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon.

Pasadena mountain biker survives a 75-foot fall off a trail in the Angeles National Forest with only minor injuries.

Redondo Beach will host a ribbon cutting for their new and improved bike path and cycle track on June 13th.

The last link in a 21-mile bike and walking trail connecting communities in LA and San Bernardino Counties opens.

The annual Santa Monica Festival kicks off Bike Week this Saturday.

 

State

Women cyclists seek parity with the men; female racers will get a three-stage race as part of next week’s Amgen Tour of California, but only one hour of long-delayed TV coverage.

Orange County firefighters use a helicopter to rescue an injured mountain biker who went over his handlebars.

A San Diego cyclist was seriously injured when a wrong-way driver turned into an exit lane at a shopping mall.

San Jose plans to achieve Vision Zero by cutting the number of solo drivers on the road by half in the next 25 years.

 

National

A new study says putting lights on your hips, knees and ankles does the most to increase visibility.

After being told he had just 18 months to live, an Oregon man with pancreatic cancer spends three years riding through 41 states and three countries. Meanwhile, a cyclist who’s been riding for 71 years says it’s the key to aging gracefully.

Seriously? A Nebraska prosecutor concludes that drivers can’t be expected to see a three-wheeled ‘bent, even with an eight-foot flag attached. Thanks to Warren for the heads-up.

Illinois bike riders develop a free online quiz on the rights and rules governing bicyclists.

After Lansing MI officials remove a ghost bike honoring a 69-year old hit-and-run victim, local cyclists put a new one in its place.

When a DUI driver hits a man riding a bike, it may be many things, but it’s not an accident. Despite what a Kentucky TV station says.

Actor Patrick Dempsey is hosting Maine cyclists on the two day, 130 mile Dempsey Challenge.

The Boston Red Sox are offering a bike valet service all this summer at Fenway Park. Are you listening, Magic?

Roughly 32,000 bike riders take part in New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour. But why does the story refer to spandex-clad bicyclists when the photo shows nary a Lycra in sight?

Tampa’s bike share program has logged 40,000 miles with just eight flats and no thefts. And more importantly, no reported injuries.

 

International

Two Canadian cyclists plan to ride 5,000 miles from Poland to Iran to recreate the 75th anniversary of Polish exiles escaping to Iran in WWII.

A road raging Brit driver is on trial for swerving at a bike rider, throwing a water bottle at him and then threatening the rider with a knife; he claims he merely pulled over because his grandmother — who wasn’t actually in the car — had a cramp and dropped her water bottle when the door opened.

Bicycling gains popularity in Yorkshire. But how the hell does that threaten soccer and rugby, as the headline suggests?

Scotland plans to invest the equivalent of $30 million to fund 150 bicycling projects.

A new documentary by a Swedish filmmaker says it really is a battle between bikes and cars on streets around the world.

Two Indian boys kill their friend in a dispute over a rental bike.

Aussie bicyclists are demanding action to catch whoever has been sabotaging bike lanes with tacks for the last 16 months.

An Australian cyclist wants to thank the anonymous bike riding stranger who saved his life.

A Kiwi columnist says there’s no good or evil in the conflict between those in cars or on bikes; just people trying to get their “fat arses” to work. Or sometimes, riding next door to report a house fire when the phones don’t work.

Horrible news from Thailand, as a speeding driver plowed into a group of cyclists from behind, killing three riders and injuring six.

 

Finally…

Judging by the headline in an Alameda newspaper, an apparently sentient and driverless SUV attacked a bike rider. The New York Post reports Entourage actress Emmanuelle Chriqui rode a $799 bike out the door of a Rag and Bone boutique party in Venice, before bringing it back; there’s a story here because…?

And it turns out bicycling is the perfect form of sport and transportation for transvestites.

 

Weekend Links: Bike the Vote endorses Ramsay, bike protest at Malibu City Hall, and rough week for LA cyclists

Too much news, good and bad, for one weekend.

So let’s dive right in.

……..

Bike the Vote LA has officially come out in favor of Carolyn Ramsay in the May 19th election for LA’s Council District 4, which they describe as crucial for LA cyclists.

And as someone who lives in the district, so do I. Bike-friendly improvements can’t come soon enough to an area where there are far too few safe and comfortable options for cyclists.

Riders are invited to join Bike the Vote LA to canvass for Ramsay on Saturday.

……..

LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 goes before the Planning Commission on May 29th at the Van Nuys City Hall. The plan incorporates the 2010 bike plan, which has been gutted in some areas by a handful of city councilmembers, despite being unanimously approved the council in 2011.

Evidently, unanimous votes don’t mean what they used to. Maybe they had their fingers crossed.

You might want to consider showing up to tell the Planning Commission how you feel about that.

……..

If you ride PCH or the Malibu Hills, you owe it to yourself to protest the illegal mistreatment of cyclists by the motorists on the highway, as well as by members of the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

Join Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson at Malibu City Hall at 9 am on Saturday, May 9th, or meet him at Will Rogers State Park to ride into the city as a group. And hopefully not get any tickets for not riding in the non-existent bike lane along the way.

This has been an ongoing problem in the area, as bike riders work with the department to ensure fair enforcement, only to see new officers transferred in who don’t understand the basics of bike law, so the process starts all over again.

And it’s time it stopped.

……..

It’s been a rough week for LA cyclists.

According to a Facebook account, two bike riders training for the AIDS/Lifecycle Ride were mugged and robbed at gunpoint by three men on the LA River bike path Wednesday night.

One of the riders was eventually able to get away, but the other lost his bike and cell phone to the thieves.

Unfortunately, the account doesn’t say where it happened on the bike path. So be alert out there, especially at night. Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.

Then there’s this case, where a cyclist definitely didn’t get a three-foot passing margin.

In another Facebook account, a rider describes being passed by a vehicle so closely that the trailer it was pulling actually brushed his foot, scraping the side of his shoe — despite the fact that he was riding at the speed limit in a no passing zone.

Needless to say, the driver refused to take any responsibility, instead blaming his victim for being on the road. Or maybe the planet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

……..

A Santa Ana cyclist is in critical condition after he was right hooked by a large truck when he came off a sidewalk into the street, and was caught under the rear wheels of the truck. He was dragged about 200 feet before the truck came to a stop.

As usual, the driver was not cited.

……..

Let’s catch up with the upcoming bike events.

Don’t forget Ride On! Bike Day at Amoeba Records from noon to 4 pm this Sunday, benefitting the LACBC.

All ages are welcome to the family friendly second annual Walk ‘N Roll Festival in Culver City this Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club is hosting a breakfast ride on Sunday to kick off Bike Month.

Santa Clarita will host their free Hit the Trail community bike ride on Saturday, May 9th.

The LA edition of the worldwide CycloFemme Global Women’s Cycling Day movement rolls on Sunday, May 10th, starting at the Spoke Bicycle Café on the LA River bike path.

Tour LA’s iconic street art with the Eastside Mural Ride on Saturday, May 16th.

……..

Local

CiclaValley goes climbing.

Councilmember Jose’ Huizar calls for re-evaluating streets in Downtown LA to make them safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A new bike from LA-based Pure Fix pays tribute to the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, and former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace. But could it support an extra large rider like Biggie?

Santa Monica businesses can join in the city’s 2015 Commuter Challenge: Bike Month to see which company can achieve the highest CO2 savings by having their employees bike to work through May. Which just happens to be National Bike Month, as well as the start of the National Bike Challenge.

Manhattan Beach residents raise a whopping 543% of their Indiegogo goal to market an affordable e-bike beach cruiser.

The long planned two-way bikeway connecting Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach should be rideable by Memorial Day.

Advice on bicycling in LA County from a student at Biola University.

 

State

Schedule your life around the TV viewing schedule for the Amgen Tour of California for the next few weeks. Needless to say, the women’s races won’t be televised — except for a one-hour 11 pm highlight show. So much for network support for women’s racing.

Unbelievable. San Diego police are looking for a road raging truck driver who hit bike rider in the head with a hammer during an argument. I repeat, he hit a bike rider in the head with a hammer. Proof that bike helmets really do help.

The San Diego Bike Coalition kicked off Bike Month a day early. Apparently, they were too excited to wait another day.

A Modesto driver gets six years for a hit-and-run that seriously injured a cyclist while she was high on meth; somehow, she was still allowed on the road despite two previous DUIs.

Sacramento considers putting more of their streets on a diet.

I’ve said it before: It takes a major schmuck to mug a small boy and steal his bike, this time in Calaveras County.

A proposed Merced bike path is the regional finalist in a $100,000 contest sponsored by Bell Helmets.

San Francisco buses get triple bike racks, something we’ve been promised down here now that the law has been changed to allow them.

A Marin equestrian says safely sharing every trail with bikes, hikers and horses is an illusion. Maybe so, but bike riders and hikers hardly ever poop on the trail.

 

National

Bicycling lists 10 mistakes for beginner bike riders to avoid.

A new bipartisan Safe Streets bill in Congress would give planners two years to adopt Complete Streets policies for all federally funded transportation projects.

Denver bike messengers adapt to a declining market, while a London bike courier spills his secrets.

Mountain biking ex-president Bush does his best Elvis impersonation while leading wounded vets across his Texas ranch on the first leg of a 100 mile ride.

A Milwaukee writer discusses how to transport your dogs by bike.

A Vermont website worries that Complete Streets safety improvements will make things worse for cyclists in the wake of recent bicycling collisions. Even though none of them had anything to do with Complete Streets.

Bono still can’t play guitar five months after his bicycling spill in New York’s Central Park; it could take him another 13 months to learn if he’ll regain feeling in his hand.

Baltimore’s hit-and-run bishop gets defrocked four months after the alcohol-fueled death of a cyclist.

Wal-Mart isn’t responsible for the injuries suffered when a Mississippi boy took one of their bicycle-shaped objects for the spin through the store.

A Florida rider discusses when to pack it in and call the SAG wagon.

 

International

Advice on how to ride around the world from a Scottish rider who set a record doing it; a fellow world traveler writes about his plans to cross Australia by bike.

Here’s something LA riders can relate to, as a hard-won Toronto bike lane is blocked by a film shoot.

Canadian teens ride from Auschwitz to a Netherlands Nazi transit camp to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation Holland.

A UK rider is nearly garroted by an extended dog leash while riding on a bike path.

Caught on video: This is why you need good brakes, as a Brit bike rider barely avoids becoming bus fodder.

Also caught on video: The owner of a Dutch cat litter company converts his bakfiets into a kitty carriage for a 300-mile journey from Amsterdam to London.

VeloNews asks if the Vuelta has lost its mojo.

German police thwart an alleged plot to bomb a Frankfurt bike race; the race was cancelled in the wake of the arrests.

Touring China by bike may be the best way to find clean air and quiet in the booming country; meanwhile, a 28-year old Pomona College student is honored for teaching Chinese people how to take control of their own lives by building bamboo bikes.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to sell a stolen bike, try to make sure your coffee-drinking potential customers aren’t off-duty cops. An Indian cyclist credits his survival in a hit-and-run in part to his knee and elbow pads, while a badly injured Brit rider thanks his badly mangled helmet.

Your next bike could be made of carbon fiber, ash and mahogany, though that wooden saddle looks a tad harsh. And you may never have to look up while you ride again; although personally, I’d be more impressed if it showed what’s behind me, instead. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the tip.

………

One last note. I’ve been told about a possible bicycling fatality in Granada Hills on Wednesday, but haven’t been able to get confirmation; both the CHP and the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division say they aren’t aware of anything. 

Let’s hope this one’s just a false alarm.

Morning Links: Turning private tragedy into help for others, and a 3-decade old AG opinion on sidewalk riding

Donny McCluskey in better days.

Donny McCluskey in better days.

Okay, so this one made me cry.

You see, one reason I write about fallen cyclists is the hope that somehow, some good will come out of such senseless loss. Whether in the form of improved safety measures at the site of the collision, or in some other way.

Patti McCluskey Andre made sure that happened.

It was just over three years ago that her brother, Donny McCluskey, stood waiting with his bike, for a Palm Springs red light to change. He was in the right place, exactly where he was supposed to be, obeying the law so many motorists seem to think we break with abandon.

Yet in the intersection in front of him, a drunk driver was hit by a motorist running that same red light. One of the vehicles went ballistic, spinning out of control and crashing into him; with his feet planted on the ground, there was nothing he could do to avoid the impact.

In seconds, he became collateral damage to the dangers on our streets, a victim of actions beyond his control.

The remorseful driver who ran the red light was ultimately convicted and placed on three years probation and community service. This at the request of the victim’s family, who saw no benefit in putting him behind bars.

In most cases, that would have been the end of it.

They would have walked away, mourning the loss of someone so dear to them, and trying to find some way to put it all behind them.

But Patti wanted Donny’s life to mean something.

So she started a fund in his name, which this month awarded its first two scholarships.

Here’s what she had to say:

Yesterday I had the honor of awarding the first 2 in memory of Donny McCluskey scholarships. Both recipients, Lisa Ponsford and Wendi Swanson are family nurse practitioners graduating in May with their DNPs. As FNPS working in our communities — they have the power to promote change at every level. Lisa works in the ER and Wendi in college health plus both are educators at WesternU. Both recipients are physically active and dedicated to changing population health with lifestyle interventions.

Both recipients were honored and touched to be chosen for this scholarship. All I can say is that I am honored to know them and wish they had known Donny, he would have been honored to have his name associated with these two!

Just how big a heart does it take to turn your own private tragedy into something so positive? Let alone something that will not only benefit those who receive them, but everyone whose lives they touch?

Patti has thanked me more than once for the work I do here. But I am in awe of her, and what she’s done to not only channel her own grief, but make our world a better place.

She’s currently raising funds for an additional scholarship for a graduate or doctoral student of Health Science at the same university. And promises to match every donation dollar for dollar.

I can’t think of a better cause.

……..

In light of yesterday’s guest post about riding on crosswalks, I was forwarded this 1993 opinion from then California Attorney General Dan Lundgren, concluding that the rules of the road do indeed apply to bicyclists on the sidewalk, and that sidewalk cyclists can be required to ride with traffic.

We note that certain rules of the road concern the use of the roadway in particular rather than the highway in general (e.g., § 2165 [except in specified circumstances, a vehicle upon the highway is to be driven upon the right half of the roadway]). Although a sidewalk is a separate part of the highway from the roadway, we believe that, given the factors discussed above, the intent of the Legislature was for the operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk to be similar to vehicular travel wherever practicable. Therefore, to the extent that a vehicle must be driven on the right half of the roadway, a bicyclist riding on an adjacent sidewalk must travel in the same direction as the vehicular traffic. This interpretation of section 21200 provides pedestrians with some assurance as to the direction of bicycle riders on sidewalks at all times. Such statutory construction is consistent with the well-established principle that “[t]he courts must give statutes a reasonable construction which conforms to the apparent purpose and intention of the lawmakers.” (Clean Air Constituency v. California Air Resources Bd. (1974) 11 Cal.3d 801, 813.)

Of course, an opinion of the AG does not have the force law.

It’s up to the courts to interpret and rule on the meaning of laws guiding the use of bicycles on the sidewalk, as well as the crosswalks. And laws can be amended, and interpretations change, over three decades.

I don’t know of any California city where sidewalk riders are routinely expected to ride in the direction of traffic. However, many police departments — including the LAPD — believe bikes become vehicles once they enter the street, and so must travel in the direction of traffic when they enter a crosswalk, yesterday’s post not withstanding.

But it’s interesting to see such a different interpretation of the law from thirty years ago.

……..

Somehow I missed this column from an auto-centric writer in my otherwise bike friendly home state, insisting that bike riders are law breaking junior partners who deserve only a small share of the road. And of course, the usual complaints about a “subset” of arrogant, self-righteous, self-centered and condescending riders.

A cyclist responds by shouting tongue-in-cheek taunts at other riders when he’s behind the wheel.

……..

An article in a Boston College environmental law review makes the case for how strict liability could even the scales on our roads, improve safety and encourage more environmentally friendly forms of commuting.

Like bicycling, for instance.

Strict liability is based on the assumption that motorists, as the operators of the more dangerous vehicles, have a greater responsibility for avoiding collisions, and so are presumed to be at fault in a collision unless it can be shown otherwise.

Adopting it here is probably the biggest step we could take to reduce reckless behavior behind the wheel and stop the carnage on our streets.

……..

Local

Thieves made off with nine bikes in DTLA in a one week period this month; eight of the purloined bicycles had their locks cut.

Turns out there’s already bike share in Century City, while nearby Westwood’s new bike corral is being put to good use.

Fear of a more user-friendly future on our streets rears its ugly head, as the president of the Miracle Mile Residential Associations waves a red flag and LADOT’s senior planner appears to backpedal on the city’s draft mobility plan.

The first bike lane in the ‘Bu finally opens, but it’s just a tad shorter than earlier reports. Instead of seven miles long, it’s two miles, along with an improved seven-mile bike route.

Glendale police held a fundraiser for next week’s 300-mile Police Unity Tour to honor fallen officers.

 

State

Irvine police make their second bust in two days of thieves stealing copper wire from the lights along a bike path next to the 405 Freeway. But at least the crooks were on bikes, right?

No bias here, as the Press-Enterprise says a bike rider was badly hurt when he ran into a car; never mind that he was actually right-hooked. Note to the P-E: The victim was cut off, not passing on the right; thanks to sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the link.

No bias here, either. A Hollister newspaper reports a bike-riding child hit a car and fell over, but fails to mention if the car was even moving at the time. And in more Hollister news, if you’re a known gang member carrying a concealed weapon, ride to the right, damn it.

San Francisco police arrest the unlicensed hit-and-run driver who plowed into three bicyclists earlier this month; she’s scheduled to appear in court today.

In an exercise in sheer stupidity, a San Francisco man is arrested for stabbing another man to death in a dispute over a bicycle.

Police in Menlo Park are looking for a bike rider who whacked a driver in the head with his bike lock after throwing something at his car. Seriously, no matter how much you think someone might deserve it, don’t resort to violence. Ever. Period.

 

National

Bikes hardly ever catch on fire. Unless maybe you’re on a Pedego e-bike; the company just recalled their batteries due to a fire hazard.

A new study says bike shares are more successful when the stations are close together. Are you listening, Metro?

A website lists the three best American cities to tour by bike. No, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

Here’s that full report on bike helmets from Consumer Reports.

A Portland website asks if bike locks of the future could end 120 years of thieving bastards. Their words, not mine, but I like the way they think.

An Oregon judge gives a repeat drunk driver yet another second chance, despite already spending time in prison for killing a cyclist in 2004. The driver, not the judge. This is how we keep drunks on the road until they kill someone. Or in this case, kill again.

Yuma AZ changes the city ordinance to require cyclists to ride with traffic, after two-thirds of bicycling collision victims in the town were riding salmon. Which makes you wonder what the hell the law was there before.

Mad City cyclists will get a new $3 million bike and ped bridge this September.

A off-duty Cleveland cop is punched in the arm by an 81-year old man for riding his bike on a multi-use bike path.

Residents of a New York neighborhood complain about scofflaw salmon cyclists, unlike all those law abiding drivers on Gotham streets. Evidently, New York moms don’t teach their kids to look both ways before crossing the street, either.

LA may be the mecca for food trucks, but Pittsburgh is about to get the Porkrind Bike, delivering 15-flavors of free-range chicharróns.

A three-time DUI loser is sentenced to over 10 years behind bars for the death of a Virginia bike rider, after a BAC two-and-a-half times the legal limit — then has eight years suspended. See above about why we can’t get drunks off the roads before they kill. Or kill again.

 

International

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, a sociologist explains that Europeans are more likely to be injured riding a bike, though we Americans are more likely to wear a helmet. And says he doesn’t, even though he thinks he probably should.

Quebec’s Transport Minister is leaning against a mandatory helmet law, saying it would be hard to enforce.

An amateur Brit bike racer spends the equivalent of nearly $40,000 competing in a single year. Many amateur racers would like to just have that much money, let alone spend it on racing.

That’s one way to get the streets fixed, as a UK graffiti artist draws attention to potholes by drawing a penis around them. Thanks to Topher Mathers for heads-up.

The Wall Street Journal offers five things to know about riding in Amsterdam.

At least we only have to worry about LA drivers, as a South African cyclist was apparently killed by a giraffe.

 

Finally…

Slowtwitch offers advice on group riding for triathletes attempting to infiltrate the peloton. Advice on how to tell another rider his ass is showing through his spandex shorts.

And an off-duty Houston cop with crappy aim shot at a man stealing a bike from his porch twelve times — yes, 12 — because he “thought” the thief was armed. Apparently without hitting anyone, though police briefly followed a trail of dried paint or tomato juice.

Seriously, you can’t make this crap up.

 

%d bloggers like this: